FOOOOOOOOOD

I am a Bengali and I love to eat and cook too. Once upon a time I wanted to become a Chef but slowly my wants changed. However, my love for food still remains though my gym trainer does not let me eat most of what I like. So I have decided that I would include a page in my blog where more information about my favorite food items from India will be mentioned. These posts might be of some help to Culinary students.

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My birdie

I was in the sixth grade and we lived in Mumbai. Our apartment was close to the sea, amidst an ever noisy localty. We lived on the topmost floor of the building and our balcony overlooked the sea, the railway station, salt pans, markets and a few settlements. Dad would always scatter pieces of ‘Parle-G’ buiscuit in the balcony and biIMG-20160825-WA0002rds would come and eat them. There would be parrots, sparrows, crows and mynahs. I would always get excited as I heard the chirps of parrots and would run upstairs to the balcony and watch from the corner. Feeding birds had been a tradition at my house since many years.

One fine afternoon as I came from school and was taking a nap I remember I heard a different sound but I knew it was a parrot. I guessed mum and dad had forgotten to give them food and so they were trying to remind us that they were hungry. I opened the door to the blacony and started breaking biscuits when a small parrot, dark green in color with red marks on his wings, a deep red beak and was very fluffy flew and sat on the slab. He was so hungry that even before I walked inside he rushed towards me and started having the biscuits.

I love all forms of animals and birds and so I was very excited to see this parrot being so fearless. I slowly tried to sit next to it as it ate. Other birds would fly off even if they noticed slight movement inside the house through the net but this brave one sat there and continued eating. Maybe he was very hungry.

He was a baby bird and I felt as if he was someone’s pet and had managed to fly away. I don’t know how but I fell in love with this bird from that day itself. I sat there looking at him, he ate and flew away. I just hoped he would come back.

Next morning, I slept till late, I missed the bird feeding time and I asked mum whether my birdie came, he did come. I was sad I missed him but that evening he came again. This day I tried feeding him biscuits by holding them in front of his beak. He would take it with his feet and hold it and nibble it. But I kept feeling that the biscuits were hard for him.

That eveninng I bouIMG_20160826_222027.jpgght guavas and chillies for him and kept it for him and the other parrots in the morning. He did not touch any of those so I gave him biscuits and he was happy and nibbling again.

Eventually I started crushing the biscuit in my hand and forwarding my hand to my birdie, he would eat from my hand and his beak would feel ticklish every time he pcked at the biscuits. I was the only person he liked 😛 as he would fly away if anyone came close to him. When he would eat he would let me touch his head and run my finger on his feathers. He loved me as much as I loved him.

Everyday he would come in the morning and evening at fixed times and would make a very different sound and I would know he is here. When I would tell my friends and relatives about birdie everyone would ask me to cage him by trick but I would feel hurt when they would say that. I could never trick birdie to trap him. He belonged to the sky, to the nature and to the tree and I could not take any of that away from him.

However, this lasted for a very short time as my family and I had to visit myy aunt for a few days and when we came back birdie was gone. He never came back. Maybe he was too tired of waiting, maybe he thought we left. I hadn’t even named birdie by the time he left and then I could never name him again

I have two pets now. Both of them are very dear to me but birdie was my first pet and he has always been my favorite and will always be.

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The day when I realized I was in a boarding school

When I was two and a half years old I remember being sent to a boarding school in Darjeeling, India. I was this ever smiling kid, with just a few teeth and bob cut hair. I held my Mum’s little finger and walked to the dorm. We had just dropped my brother in his dorm and now was my turn. I was small, I didn’t realize mum was leaving me and going. I didn’t know I would go to sleep without her that night and many more nights to come. As mum recalls now, with my cute smile and the two buggsy teeth in front I kept waving “tatta maa” and I held the warden’s hand and kept walking. The school was huge and I was the youngest one. From the first day onwards I was pampered a lot. I have a very good memory and remember most of what happened even when I was a kid. The whole school, its images, memories everything dances in front of my eyes when I think of it. That night I was given a bed alone, but then I wanted to go to mum and I just wouldn’t sleep. I cried and cried until the warden made me sleep with her. From the first day itself I started sleeping next to my warden. She took good care of me as I was everyone’s favorite ever smiling baby. This was the only time when I had not known that when mum leaves I will see her only after months. When she came to meet me in monsoon break I was so so so happy but then this time when she came to drop me back at the hostel I knew she was leaving me again. I just wouldn’t let go of her hand. I cried and cried and thinking of it I still cry. I can remember how tough it was for mum as she tried to control her tears on seeing her baby cry so much. Sometimes I wonder why mum and dad left me there but then I try to think maybe there were reasons she had to. Of course they did get us back  home when they saw we wanted them and kept us close. Sometimes I don’t feel good about having such a good memory… I remember not only the good things but the bad ones too :(.

 

A delivery gone wrong

Being in the hospitality industry I have always been trained to treat my guests and customers in a polite and warm way. However, recently all my experiences with various restaurants have been proving that many establishments care only about how the staff behave within the boundaries of the establishment and do not take an effort to train those who will be delivering the food in case of home delivery orders. All it needs to qualify for being a delivery agent is having a vehicle to carry out the delivery and know basic English. But aren’t even the delivery guys representing the establishment to those who are not physically experiencing the service at the hotel but experiencing the service at home? Today when I ordered food from Freshmenu, an online food delivery site which I make use of very often, the food was pretty amazing but the delivery experience ruined my meal. The delivery agent was very impolite and used improper words while talking. When I confronted him I was given many excuses and the agent even lied that he wasn’t talking to me. He was pretty rude. Moreover when I told him I would take action and report the issue to the customer service he said, “yeah okay go complain”. It was evident that they they did not fear a complain as maybe no action would be taken against them even if they were reported. Daily training is conducted for the staff so that they treat the guests well, so why not train even those who deliver. Over the past few months a few more incidencts as such have occurred where the delivery personnel was way below the mark and I wonder how many of them were corrected later on.

All about Radz!

It was my first day at my boarding school, 14th November 2011, when mum left after leaving me in the hostel. I sat on my bed and cried. I missed her, I was scared, I didn’t know how I would manage. The other girls in the dorm saw me crying and tried to talk to me and get me distracted. I remember Shraddha, Mansi, Pooja, Anchal, Rinky all talking to me cracking jokes trying to make me smile. And on one corner of the bed I can still recall this small girl sitting and listening but not talking much. After dinner time when everyone got busy with their work this girl came to me sat with me offered me something and started talking to me. She was younger to me. She was this cute little kid from what I can remember. She was Radhika, my best friend to be for many years to come. From that day on wards we started talking, sharing secrets, gossiping at times. She would miss home and cry to sleep and so would I but some where in few months she became my family there in school. I remember after the Winter break when she was so excited to see me that she jumped on to me and hugged me. I feel nostalgic as I dig into the memories now. There were days when we fought and then cried, there were days when there were gifts, there were nights when the entire dorm shhhh’ed us to sleep as we kept talking. We always had something to share. After she left that year I was left alone in school but she still kept in touch after leaving. After a year she shifted her house to the same locality as mine. It was now the best as we would spend so much time together. We were so close and loved each other so much that people teased us to be lovers. The sleepovers at our houses, those secrets, those day outs, the fun is all engraved in my heart. After I moved away to study she moved away too. Life got in the way. There have been sweet and sour times throughout the friendship but the memories will always be cherished. We got busy with our lives as we grew up, some misunderstandings and some issues drew us apart. I don’t know if I am still her best friend or not but she has been the last I ever had. She has set the bar so high that I can never find a better one than her. However far we are now, I hope we cross paths once and I hope that day will be one memorable day.

Sprout salad… nutritious and yummm!

Since I started laying the path towards a fit and healthy lifestyle a few major changes I am trying to make is in my food habits. Being a foodie I just need everything to be tasty whether it is good for my health or not. I have no cooking facilities in my hostel and so I end up eating out for almost all the meals. I try having cereals, fruits and salads which I can prepare with minimal ingredients and minimal work. So for dinner I wanted to cut down or carbs and substitute it with proteins which are not only from animal sources. So today I gathered  few ingredients and decided to make a sprout salad which would be rich in proteins and also add a few more benefits to my diet. It was yum! I want to share it with you as a fitness food that you can add into your diet and it will keep you full and satisfied for quite some time.

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All you need is

  • 1 cup mix of green gram and whole Bengal gram
  • half an onion or 4-5 nos shallots
  • 1 medium-sized tomato
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 green chili
  • Chat masala or salt and pepper as per taste
  • Coriander to garnish if needed

How to go about it?

  • Wash and soak the legumes for around 4 hours or more. Drain any excess water or use it for cooking other dishes.
  • Roughly chop the onions and tomato.
  • Slit the green chili into half and chop it finely.
  • Finely chop the coriander.
  • Add all the ingredients except coriander to the bowl having the pulses. Mix well.
  • Garnish with coriander and your dish is ready.

Sprouts are high in protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Sprouting grains increases many of the grains’ key nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamin C, folate, fiber, and essential amino acids often lacking in milled grains, such as lysine. These are even very easy to digest. One cup contains roughly 0.7 g of carbohydrates, 1.3 g proteins and 0 fat. Overall it is a perfect diet food that leads to weight loss even while keeping you full.

Look up! Look around!

In this world full of technologies such as phones, computers, video games and music players we have the world at our fingertips but we miss so much what we really have around us. Take a moment and look up from your phone and enjoy the environment around you. Look up and notice that girl or guy admiring you from the corner of their eyes. They might be your future mate. You never know what is happening around you or with you until it happens. So why wait till it happens and not make it happen? Look up from your screen in the park and see kids play and dive into your childhood memories. Look up to see an old man trying to cross the road. Go help him and earn your good deed for the day. Look up to see your favorite celebrity pass by. Look around and see a bird build its nest. Look up to see one take its first flight. Look around, you might see someone who might be heart broken and could use your comforting words. Look up to see your future best friend pass by. You miss so much when you don’t pay attention to the environment around you. Technology will stay but the moments will pass. Memories that could have lasted a lifetime could not be created because you were so engrossed in your device that you didn’t make an effort. There’s a time for everything, time to look around, time to enjoy your gadget, time to play, time to study and time to build your life and the memories. Don’t get caught up in the glamour of something and let what is actually valuable slip away.

Sincere apologies

Hello everyone. I apologize to all of you out there who have been waiting for a post from my side. My mid terms are on and I am really unprepared this semester. I will resume posting immediately after the last exam gets over that is on the 13th of this month after 17hours (as per IST). Till then hope you have an amazing day. 🙂 

Saturday evening is an evening for yourself

Throughout the week on the weekdays you slog and slog to meet deadlines, submit assignments, study for tests or prepare for presentations and on the Sundays you wish to spend some quality family time. So, when do you give some time to yourself? Aren’t you your best buddy? Don’t you want to know your buddy a bit more? After all its only you who will stick to your side no matter what happens.

I have always wanted to put up this post even before I had my own blog. Well, what I feel is that Saturdays are the days for just yourself. Just because all your friends are out clubbing or partying does not mean that it is a norm to party on Saturday evenings. What I want to make clear here is that just because you don’t want to go for a party on a Saturday evening and instead would like to spend some time at home or with yourself, it does not make you socially uncool (as many people think it does). There are endless number of things that you could enjoy doing on Saturday evenings after which you will wake up happy and contended next morning and not with a headache from a hangover. When my friends ask me what I am doing on a Saturday and I say “I’ll order some good food, watch my favorite movie, have a nice dessert and go to bed with music on” they often reply, “how sad, don’t you have friends to go out with on a Saturday eve to party?” Well, what is so sad about me relaxing for just one evening? I see my friends every single day throughout the week and it won’t hurt either of us to not meet one eve!

In this post I would like to note down the many things you could do on a Saturday evening and absolutely enjoy it without any regrets. Maybe some of your party lover friends might get too tired of partying one fine day and just ask you for some tips on how to enjoy their Saturday in a relaxing way.

Some people have half days on Saturdays and some have the whole day off. For those of you who have an off on a Saturday can spend half the day just like another Sunday or maybe just finish off your due work for Monday so that you can be stress free throughout the weekend. Otherwise after all the fun you have on Sunday you will have to sit and complete you work for Monday morning.

When evening begins to set in here are the things you can do.

1.Put on the fairy lights and turn on the music

You need to get the atmosphere right to enjoy anything. How would you like to sip wine from an elegant glass sitting on a roadside shack? It would not go together right? Similarly, if you want to enjoy the evening with yourself make it look warm and cozy and romantic. It is after all a romantic evening with yourself.

2. Read that novel you always wanted to.

Have you been passing by the book store and longing to buy that book you had just read the review about? Buy it…. NOW. Or do you have this book that you have bought or have been gifted long ago and still haven’t read it? Well this is when you attack at the content. Get all cozy in your pajamas with a cup of hot chocolate sit on your couch and dig into the book.

3. Order your favorite food and rent out a movie

This is my favorite. I just love to treat myself with my comfort food and watch a good movie. I sometimes end up watching many movies and one of them has to be scary one to help me finish my tub of ice cream or any other dessert. Saturday evenings are those evenings when I don’t mind how much I eat or what I eat. You can always get over a silly fight with your friend over dessert.

4. A bubble bath with some wine 

If you have had a terrible week with your boss this week or have just finished your mid terms and are so stressed and that you can’t even fall asleep then this is your thing!  A hot bubble bath can relieve you of all your grievances, stress and put you to the best sleep you’ve ever had.

5. Go on a date with yourself

Some people ask me if I feel weird to go out alone and have dinner at a restaurant alone. Well initially I would some times feel weird about how people would perceive me going for dinner alone. Will they think I am too lonely for life or am I waiting for someone who didn’t turn up? There were many silly things that pulled me back many a times from going to my favorite places and then I would end up having cold food ordered from those places. But then I felt, its my food, I will pay for it, it will enter my tummy and make me happy so who cares what the others think. I know its what I chose and not what happened to me. This was where I felt really nice and plugged in my earphones and with a book or a well charged tab with a movie on it I would boldly enter my favorite place, dine to my heart’s content and walk out, not bothered about how many people stared at me sitting alone.

6.Sleep.

Put on some calm good music, have an early dinner and sleep. You might get 12 or more hours of sleep and you should wake up without an alarm.

7. You could bake or cook.

Gather your supplies during the day and bake  or cook a yum dessert or a meal for yourself and enjoy it with some good beverage.

8.You could go for a swim.

Go for a swim and have a hearty meal. You will be tired yet relaxed, your tummy will be full and you will sleep like a baby.

9. Shopping?

It might be a bit crowded at the malls, but there’s really no wrong time for shopping or just window shopping. On the way back treat yourself with whatever you feel like. Let this be you cheat day.

10. Sketch.

Maybe you have an artistic side that you haven’t uncovered yet. Take a paper and bring your thoughts to life. You might be able to draw the best sketch of your life.

Along with these there are so many more things you could do. Just do whatever you feel like. Its your day. It’s your cheat day. Don’t moderate yourself one evening… nothing big happens in one day. You won’t loose anything. Run an extra mile on Sunday to compensate for Saturday but trust me it’s okay and you will be just fine. Whether you want to go out and party or just spend the night with your blanket, its your day. No one will judge you.

At the end of the day, just do what makes you happy and will help you wake up fresh and contented the next morning. Have an amazing weekend.

See you soon around :).

 

Farewell to an amazing mentor

As our entire department gathered this evening to bid a warm farewell to our beloved Prof. Jay Kumar, one could sense the close bonds that had been created between our teachers and students over the past few years. Prof. Jay Kumar has been teaching in our university since past 15 years or more and this evening was a very emotional one for him. With him leaving, the department would lose a huge chunk but then our other teachers would definitely fill the gap. As he stood there speaking to the entire crowd for maybe the last time, with a heavy voice he could recall his first day at this university so many years back. As students and teachers spoke about the role sir has been playing all along, many of us tried to suppress a tear as the bond with sir is very special. Professor being a humble and disciplined man, would often advise people for their betterment and even while leaving today he did the same. Throughout these years I have never seen sir lose his temper. He always possessed a unique calmness. He would no doubt be strict with students and keep them disciplined, he had his own way of getting students to do their work.

I have always looked up to Prof. Jay Kumar and he has always given me the best advice. He has always been the fire brigade and would always be all ears if you ever came up to him with a problem or just wanted to talk. For many small and big issues of mine, I have bugged sir at odd times and sir would never tell me to come later or that he was busy. Instead he would leave aside all other work just to hear us out and do what he could to solve our problems. Today few major things that I am following can be attributed to the push I got from sir when I was in the dilemma about where to step. As he spoke today, with a lump in my throat I wanted to meet him before he left but by the time I went he had left. As I could not bid him good-bye this is my attempt to tell you sir, what you mean to me and all of us. Things will change with you not being around. Every break I won’t have a fire brigade to run to. I hope to meet you some day later when you come and that will be the day I will make you proud.

Here are a few lines for you,

You’ve always been a mentor,

And never let us down.

There were times when you scolded us ,

And times when we were pampered,

Bitter memories cannot be recalled,

Among all the sweet ones.

Where ever you go,

The number of miles you cross,

Memories with you will always remain,

Where ever you go,

Where ever you are,

Your bond with us,

Will forever last.

You will be missed sir. Wish you good luck for your future :).