Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Drooling over Kolhapuri Mutton...

Its been months since I am drooling over Kolhapuri Mutton and pandhra rassa (white curry).
I remember the first and the only time I had tasted the pandhra rassa was when I was at Kharghar, working at ACTREC. The dabba-waali maushi was supposed to go back to her native place, and before she left, she made some super spicy Kolhapuri mutton sukka and pandhra rassa... That was more than a year ago, and ever since I have been searching each and every maharashtrian restaurants I visit for this pandhra rassa...
Finally, I had made up my mind to go to Kolhapur itself and stay there for a few days and have this rassa day in and out... But decided to search a bit on the internet before leaving...
So an intensive search over the internet and I finally found the recipe i was looking for...
So the next Sunday I am home, I am definitely going to try and cook this delicacy and satiate my taste buds that are lusting for some Kolhapuri mutton... yummmmmmmm !!! :D

(The above photograph is taken from the link below)

Here are the links:



Actually, this entire blog is full of delicious Maharashtrian recipes, some sort of a boon for beginners like me... Thank you buddy for your wonderful blogs...

Monday, April 13, 2009

The disappearance of a friend..

It was 9 am... I am out of my bed; another lazy Sunday lay ahead of me...
I made myself some tea, and I stood at the window... the April morning Sun shone straight on my face, the rays finding their way through the dense foliage in front of me... I was lucky today that I felt the morning rays, as the trees that have grown taller than my building usually end up cutting off the Sun...

Oh.. and then comes my feathered buddy... he hops from one branch to another, as he cannot fly, and lands on my window sill... I can't tell how glad I am to see him everyday... but this time, I am really missing someone a lot... someone whom I eagerly await, through the whole of monsoon and the Winter seasons... Come March and he used to arrive, with a shrill call... and me as a child used to jump out of bed and run towards the window and try and search for him... to catch just one elusive glimpse of him...

He had never failed in showing up through all these years.. I tried hard, and over the years I managed to learn his language, not literally, but phonetically... And I loved to play with him, tease him, frustrate him with my replies... till he was fed up and he conveyed the same to me with the tone that I could never match... But this time its different... Like a fool, I let out a call out of my window... or when I am walking on the street... people look at me in amusement, sometimes they think its his call... But I think I have mad him angry... sometimes I go too far ahead in teasing someone, but I swear I will stop it, if only you show up this one last time before I fly away across the oceans...
And I hope you will miss me then, this human letting out the cuckoo call....

O blithe newcomer! I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice:
O Cuckoo! shall I call thee bird,
Or but a wandering Voice?

While I am lying on the grass
Thy twofold shout I hear;
From hill to hill it seems to pass,
At once far off and near.

Though babbling only to the vale
Of sunshine and of flowers,
Thou bringest unto me a tale
Of visionary hours.

Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring!
Even yet thou art to me
No bird, but an invisible thing,
A voice, a mystery;

The same whom in my schoolboy days
I listened to; that Cry
Which made me look a thousand ways
In bush, and tree, and sky.

To seek thee did I often rove
Through woods and on the green;
And thou wert still a hope, a love;
Still longed for, never seen!

And I can listen to thee yet;
Can lie upon the plain
And listen, till I do beget
That golden time again.

O blessed birth! the earth we pace
Again appears to be
An unsubstantial, fairy place,
That is fit home for Thee!

-- William Wordsworth

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Skeleton Woman

"If I could start my life again, I would begin by changing my profession. I would rather live on a full stomach and an empty mind. Perhaps as a fisherman...."

This was the tag line of the new play that hit the theatres a few weeks back. I am a great fan of Anuraag Kashyap, and that he had produced this play, I thought I should give it a try. And of course, it had his girl friend Kalki (The "Chanda" from Dev-D) acting in it...

Being light on my pocket (Rs. 80/-), I was happy to go for this show without keeping any expectation... The story is an adaptation of an Inuit folktale of the fishermen from the north, and tells about a fisherman turned writer, who is trapped in his own imaginary world and his marriage crumbling all around him.

The play begins, with the writer sitting in a boat which consists of a wooden frame, lost in his own imaginary world, and jolted back to reality by his wife, who is tidying up the place after they have just shifted into the new apartment. Right from the beginning, the rift between the wife and the husband is quite evident, as she is really frustrated with him cause he is unable to complete a single story while she has to work and manage the house by her own...
Later she tries to become a part of his imaginary world.... the fishing trips....the talking goose who gets flushed down the toilet, swims all alone on the sea, and gets trapped in a dark cave in the night.... the paper swans... the beautiful sunset from the boat and the birds flying against the setting sun, who then suddenly turn into flying piranhas and attacking the duo... the shark who swims upto them and grabs her feet...and then the skeletal hand of a woman he found on the sea.... one hilarious scene after another and I am surely having a great time...

She tries to get him back to reality, wants him to complete his novel and tries to make their marriage work... In the end, there is a real twist in the tale which lets you leave the theatre with many questions in your head, questions for which each one of us may have a different answer based on our own interpretation of his imaginations...

Kalki Koechlin has written the play along with her co-actor Prashant Prakash, for which they have won the Metroplus playwright award 2009. Kalki surely has a better presence on stage rather than the big screen, which was quite evident in the way she has acted effortlessly.... and the emotional transitions that she has shown from being lost in his imaginary world, to being an exhasperated wife in the real world were really wonderful... The on stage chemistry between the two is too good and makes you feel that the acting was simply spontaneous...

I got to see Anuraag Kashyap at the theatre... too bad I didnt get a chance to get his autograph :(
But this is a play you should definitely not miss out if you are a theatre fan.

Performances and Playwright: Kalki Koechlin, Prashant Prakash
Director: Nayantara Kotian
Producer: Anuraag Kashyap

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Perfect Daal recipe...

Its been ages since I have written anything, and now after all this time, I thought about writing on something that is currently going on in my life -- Cooking lessons!! :D

It was way back during the monsoon of 2006 that she had cooked the daal for me... and that was the most amazing daal I had ever had... even better than Bhagat-Tarachand... and now I have mastered the art of cooking that perfect daal recipe after a zillion unsuccessful attempts..
I am just sharing it with you all...

Dal (Serves 6)


Moong dal: 2 katoris


Tomatoes: 2-3

Green chillies

Red chillies (optional)

Garlic: 4-5 cloves

Coriander: handful

Spices: Red chilly powder, turmeric, heeng, jeera, dhaniya powder (optional) [use a small plastic spoon to measure out the spices and salt]

Salt and sugar

Lemon: ½


1. Cook the dal in a cooker (take as much water as amount of dal, add extra water at bottom of cooker). When cooked, mash it up with a ladle.

2. Chop finely: tomatoes, green chillies and coriander. Leave separate from each other.

3. Lightly mash the garlic until it splits.

4. Keep all ingredients ready beside you to put in dal, because if things burn, it tastes awful.

5. Heat a kadhai or aluminium vessel (not steel). When all moisture has evaporated, put in 2 large spoons of ghee (add more or less according to preference; more the ghee, tastier the dal). Things will need to be added as soon as it heats up, and very quickly, so be careful things don’t burn.

6. When ghee is hot, sprinkle a pinch of heeng. If it splutters, ghee is hot enough; if not, wait till it splutters. Then add a pinch of jeera, chopped chillies, and garlic. Stand back, chilly seeds are dangerous in hot ghee; then add jeera and dhaniya powders (opt), half a spoon of turmeric, and 1 spoon of red chilly powder. Stir and quickly add chopped tomatoes and half the chopped coriander. Stir for a few seconds.

7. Add the mashed up dal to this mixture. By now, it should be reddish brown or brownish red. Hold the vessel with a sanshi (pakkad, whatever) and stir everything together. Add water until desired consistency.

8. Now add salt as per preference; usually 2 small spoons should be enough. Add 2 pinches of sugar and stir in.

9. When the dal begins to boil, squeeze in the lemon [take care to avoid seeds falling in] and add the remaining coriander. Serve hot.

For the tadka (optional):

In a ladle, heat 2 spoons of ghee. Add a pinch of jeera, red chillies, and very little red chilly powder. Quickly pour over the hot dal and serve.