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Monday, September 28, 2009

Dusshera Moment!


A very 'HAPPY DUSSHERA' folks! May the Almighty always bless us with health, wealth and immense prosperity! This is my first Dusshera festival outta India so obviously its gonna take me time to digest the fact that I'll not see the immense fanfare, lights, music and utter chaos everywhere that is normally associated with any festival back in India. India has its own charm, miss it sometimes! Anyways, like always, you wouldn't find me sittin' n broodin' over it , I think I belong to those ilk of people who juz take what comes their way and change it around to suit themselves :-)

We had a wonderful Ayudha Puja yesterday. We bought some lovely flowers, the beautiful Chrysanthemums (seen in the pics here) from a nearby Kroger store & did a puja at home. It was also special coz one of our friend came down from Sterling,VA to visit us. Thanks for comin' Gags! We love you!

We sat up yesterday night watchin' the Hindi movie 'Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena'. It was awesome even though I was watchin' it for the 2nd time. Do watch it folks if you get a chance, its got a nice concept and a catchy plot, definitely worth a watch! As usual I got up late and decided to prepare a sweet. Now I know that wasn't smart of me coz normally a lot of preparation or plannin' goes into preparin' a speciality dish. No doubt a lot of stuff is available on the net 'bout cookin' but well you gotta still prepare it and prepare it right! And the chances of messing it up are higher by a few stakes since you are doin' it for the first time and you might not exactly understand every other piece of info that is out there. And hell....its not easy readin and cookin, I had juz 30 min remember?:-(

Here I was, absolutely clueless of what I was gonna do but since the great declaration was already made, I had to somehow save face or dissolve my ego coz I couldn' accomplish it! The first option sounded better :-)

It is Vijayadashami today, the culimination of the nine nights i.e Navrathri and I realised as to how badly I wanted to make a sweet. As always, my mom is my first saviour! The sweetheart that she is, she keeps givin' me recipes with a lot of patience but I keep forgettin them all the time but somehow this time I remembered this, maybe not completely but juz half part of it and that was the catch! Now there is a sayin' that goes 'Half Knowledge is Dangerous'! Either you know it completely or know nothin' at all. I decided to prepare 'Hesarbele aka Moong Dal Payasam'. I called home to get the complete recipe but nobody was available to take my call so I was back to square one! :-(

And then...bingo! Juz like a lightenin' strikes when we least expect it to, I remembered my second saviour...my pal Preeti and her cookery blog. Now since I'd already decided that I had to make THIS dish itself (its very difficult for someone to change my mind once I decide'bout somethin' ;-) and this case was no exception!), I was desperately hoping her blog had somethin' on this. And to my utter delight...after searching under a few headings...I found the "Parappu Payasam' (its the Tamil name for this dish!). I quickly went through it and realised it was a lil different from how we do it. But guess what? It was enough for me to figure out a solution! I took part of the recipe from her blog and I remembered part of what my mom gave me the & and decided to prepare it the way I wanted to! At this point of time, I didn' wanna think of the consequences of the outcome of this decision but I had made it and at any cost I was gonna make a success outta it! :-)

I went ahead and prepared the payasa ( and well did I mention I was even cookin' Poori and Potato-Peas curry simultaneously as lunch). The Payasa came out awesome, not like how mom prepares it but for a first-timer like me, it was juz fine. I served it to friends. They liked it and it was worth the effort!

Now don't ask me how I managed it coz I'm not patting my back for this Herculean-effort, its no excuse for me havin' gotten up late!...and know what? My heart goes out to my mom and all the moms in this world who have been doin' this for us since we were born! I've now come to truly appreciate all their noble sacrifices and salute the spirit of their inherent virtue of bringing up kids like us with the utmost care and tenderness that we've ever known! Love you loadsssssss mommie, am blessed to have you in my life, God Bless us all! Papa, Sis....I love you all tons too, juz in case I tell it less often!

And Mr.Calvin, do I even need to mention what you mean to me! :-)....I'm sorry for gettin a lil cranky this mornin', I know I'm a lil' difficult to handle at times Thanks for your patience, love ya loads! God Bless us all!

I'll be visitin' the temple this evenin' and probably make somethin sumptuous for dinner too. And well...did I mention, I have a ticket for the Advance Special Screening of the new movie 'Zombieland' tonight :-)
Yipppeeeee.....
Once again, wishin' you all a very HAPPY VIJAYADASHAMI festival....wishin' all of you a wonderful day ahead....
Amen

Cheers,
Amari

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Chipotle Crazy....


Does the title of my blog sound intriguin'? Well, I got that nick name yesterday! And well, behind every title, there has to be a story, right? :-)

What is 'Chipotle'? Now ask any desis livin' here at US n they would swear by that very familiar name. It is pronounced as 'Chip-poat-lay', a Mexican food chain, present in almost every city of US. Lot many a reasons for me takin' a liking towards this particular food chain, some of them I can think of right now are....
Well apart from some good Indian restaurants,it gets hard in US to get the kind of food you like here....especially if you are a veggie, you just don have stuff for veggies other than some french fries or potato wedges! Ufff, so tired of potato by now! :-( Am already wincin'!!!!
Now among the ones where u get veg, I tried Thai n Mexican n I must say Mexican took me by surprise. They do have quite a few options for veggies & well so much healthy too....Since am a lil' allergic to too much oil in my food, I find the food I get at Chiptotle well suited for my taste-buds!
Comin' back to the speciality of Chipotle, well most of them have an elegant serene brown filled kind of ambience. Very calmin' n simple! They have a simple menu which mostly consists of rice, tortilla wraps, a combo of salads, chips n some amazin' salsas. Its basically a self-service kinda chain where u have some very gracious ppl makin' the combos for you.
They have this famous dish called 'Burrito Bol' (pronounced as Burrito-bowl) which is so amazin'! Its a very simple dish but tastes like heaven. Its nothin but a combo of Rice, Fajita(pronounced as Fah-ita)-(a capsicum n onion fried combo)& black beans which can be taken with a variety of add-ons like hot or medium salsa, sweet corn, sour cream, tomatoes, cheese n guacamole (a paste kind of stuff made of butter-fruit).  Its so yummmmm....you even have an option of takin the same stuff in a tortilla wrap instead of rice! They do it so well n well its so addictive especially if you are a health conscious person! Not too many calories compared to potatoes n burgers! :-). Ofourse if ur a non-veggie, u can have it with meat add-ons too!
It works for me coz I detest seein oil on my food and most Indians like it for the simple reason that it is tasty n nutritious at the same time! It may not be your regular spicy food, somethin we all desis swear by, but on a lazy weekday or weekend when u don want to cook but still wanna eat somethin' light, Chipotle is the place to go to! Chipotle may not exactly be authentic Mexican but for a food chain, its pretty neat. Someday however I would love to try some authentic Mexican too, maybe I would love it :-)

I'm yet to tell you 'bout the title right? Well I earned that term yesterday from AK when I pestered him to take me to Chipotle to eat Burrito Bol despite him havin already packed a very tasty spicy veggie biryani....can u beat that? I actually traded Biryani for burrito bol! :-) Now well, maybe I was 'chipotle crazy' coz it was the 2nd time in a span of 4 days I wanted to eat it (the last time bein' when were visitin' Orlando n we actually went huntin' there to find Chipotle)...Uffff me n my silly cravings! :-)


I wanna learn how it is prepared at home so that I can have the luxury of makin it at home n eatin' it but well before I learn the recipe am wonderin' how long will this cravin' of minelast! It just might change in a span of couple of days...u never know! Atleast until I come up with a new one! I'm lookin' out for AK to take me to a new place to try out a new dish n well AK already has a 'No, not me n Oh-no, not again' kind of a look!!!! :-)))))

I heard u! Your spared till next weekend, thank me later! :-)

Love,
CC Amari uff Chipotle Crazy Amari