Instagram Interludes

It’s been exactly two years since I’ve met my parents and gone back to India and specifically Mumbai. And the suspense of when I can go back is really bad, because my parents are elderly and my father is not doing too good, healthwise. So here are some of my favourite photos of our last India trip.

In My Hands Today…

Bombay Ice – Leslie Forbes

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Rosalind Benegal is a BBC correspondent who has spent years distancing herself from surreal memories of a childhood spent in India.

But lately, her long-lost sister, Miranda, has taken to sending Rosalind cryptic postcards all the way from Bombay. In swirling script, Miranda claims she’s being followed by a eunuch.

She alludes to her childhood fear of water. She hints that her husband may have murdered his first wife.

Miranda’s dizzying missives compel Rosalind to do what she would never do on her own…return to the land of her birth, to the country that still haunts her after twenty years abroad.

Recipes: Bombay Tawa Pulao

In Bombay or Mumbai, there are street stalls which sell Pav Bhaji and towards the end of the day, when the bhaji is almost over, they add some rice to the gravy and this is the origin of the Tawa Pulao. This rice works best with leftover rice, but can be made with fresh rice which has been cooled down. This makes a very good lunchbox recipe and if you cook the rice in advance, it’s a jiffy dish to make during the morning rush

Bombay Tawa Pulao

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Basmati rice which has be cooked and completely cooled. It’s best if you can make the rice a day earlier, but making it far ahead of time also works.
  • 1 carrot, chopped into bit sized pieces
  • 1 potato, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2-3 tbsp frozen peas
  • 2 medium sized onions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 pod garlic, peeled
  • 4-5 fresh red chillies (or green if you don’t have red chillies)
  • 2-3 tbsp pav bhaji masala
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tsp lemon juice (more or less as per taste)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)

Method:

  • Blend the ginger, garlic and chillies into a smooth paste and keep aside.
  • Wash the chopped carrots, potatoes and peas and keep aside.
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and when the oil warms, add the cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  • Then add the turmeric powder and stir for a couple of seconds.
  • Now add the chopped and washed vegetables and a bit of salt and cook until the vegetables are almost cooked.
  • When the vegetables are almost cooked, remove the vegetables from the pan and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add the balance oil and butter and when the butter melts, add in the blended ginger-garlic-chilli paste.
  • Let the paste cook a bit and then add the finely chopped onions and let the onions become translucent. Then add the finely chopped tomatoes and let the tomatoes cook and become mushy and break down.
  • Now add the pav bhaji masala and chilli powder if you want it spicer and salt to taste and cook till the mixture becomes slightly thicker.
  • Then add the cooked vegetables and also check for seasoning.
  • Add in the cooked and cooled rice and gently toss the rice to mix it with the vegetables till the rice is completely coated with the vegetables and the onion-tomato gravy.
  • Check for seasoning, remove from the fire and drizzle 1-2 tsp of lemon juice. Then garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with a yoghurt raita.

The children and S loved it and asked me why I didn’t make it earlier for school. You can also substitute garam masala if you don’t have pav bhaji masala. The taste will still be fantastic, but will not taste like how it’s made in Bombay. You can also add more vegetables like french beans, cauliflower etc if you are planning to make a larger batch. Remember, in this recipe, a little goes a long way.

Want to know how I make Pav Bhaji? Here’s how I make it?

Try it and let me know how you liked it!

In My Hands Today…

The Widows of Malabar Hill – Sujata Massey

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Bombay, 1921: Perveen Mistry, the daughter of a respected Zoroastrian family, has just joined her father’s law firm, becoming one of the first female lawyers in India. Armed with a legal education from Oxford, Perveen also has a tragic personal history that makes her especially devoted to championing and protecting women’s rights.

Mistry Law is handling the will of Mr Omar Farid, a wealthy Muslim mill owner who has left three widows behind. But as Perveen goes through the papers, she notices something strange: all three have signed over their inheritance to a charity. What will they live on if they forfeit what their husband left them? Perveen is suspicious.

The Farid widows live in purdah: strict seclusion, never leaving the women’s quarters or speaking to any men. Are they being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous guardian? Perveen tries to investigate and realizes her instincts about the will were correct when tensions escalate to murder. It’s her responsibility to figure out what really happened on Malabar Hill and to ensure that nobody is in further danger.

In My Hands Today…

Bombay Duck Is A Fish – Kanika Dhillon

11393736When Neki Brar moves to Mumbai to make it as a film-maker in Bollywood, little does she suspect that she will find herself standing on the terrace of her building, a bottle of wine and her diary in hand, plotting how best to jump. A small town girl, Neki has one ambition: to live in Mumbai and make it big as a film-maker. As she comes closer to her dream, she is also faced with a new reality.

The make-believe sets of Bollywood, the cramped existence with her three roommates and the battle for power on the sets of her debut film as an assistant director force her to understand the ground rules here if you don t learn the art of survival, the train back home is your only option.

Falling in love with the second lead actor, the charming Ranvir Khanna, further complicates her life, along with the realisation that she seems to have a unique ability to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and in the middle of every disaster that happens on the film sets. Battling political games, rivalry, love, betrayal and burning egos of film stars, she discovers the beauty of her own ambition and the ugliness of true love. The stakes are high. The dreams are big. The pressure is tremendous. If unfulfilled dreams keep you alive, can broken dreams push you to end it all?