Spiced Bhindi and baby potato fry

You know how you instantly like the turquoise blue saree in Sundari Silks, you shortlist it, set it aside lest anybody buys it and then go over the rest of the shop to make sure that you are right. You then realize that this shop is not the universal set. So you drag your mother/husband/friend to RMKV, Pothys, Nalli and Kumaran Silks and go over their inventory. You shortlist some at each place but can’t take your mind off the turquoise blue saree you saw first. So you go back to Sundari Silks, and ask for your shortlisted turquoise blue saree. You decide that this is the one. You ask the salesperson to bill it. Then a peacock blue saree catches your eye. You ask him for that saree. Meanwhile the lady next to you pulls up the turquoise blue saree, inspects it and asks the salesperson to open it up. You decide immediately that turquoise blue saree it is. You swiftly pay for it and leave.  My shopping dilemmas are worse now. I spent the better part of a Sunday scrolling through 845231 dresses across multiple sites, filtering, comparing, measuring Hasini every which way, poring over size charts, saving/liking the dresses (the online shortlisting equivalent), turning the dresses around and inside out and finally deciding on a couple of them. It is late afternoon and I already have a throbbing head-ache. Then my sister tells me I ought to check if there are coupons I can use. I appreciate her presence of mind. I check and I find that there is a 25% off coupon if only I bought for 700 rupees more. Wow. There is something to all this online shopping thing after all. So we scroll through 6549 dresses for my sister, filtering, comparing, measuring, checking with size charts, saving/liking dresses and turning them around and inside out and finally deciding on one. We add it to the cart triumphantly. We key in the coupon code. It said “coupon not applicable on these items, choose from our list”. I empty the cart, close all windows and shut down my system. If I am out shopping, I am thinking I might get a better deal online, I might have more choice. If I am online, I always feel the material is going to be cheap, it is going to look nothing like what it looks on the screen....

Bread Mithai

I made Bread mithai for this weekend’s dessert, this weekend was a little special since my husband returned home from a nearly 2-month long business trip. The kids were squealing in delight and my daughter being the first to spot her dad alight from the taxi, ran all over the house screaming that her dad had arrived. After 2 months of ready-to-eat microwaved meals, cold sandwiches and Nandos (which he enjoyed a lot), my husband wanted a full blown Indian meal – biryani, mutton kola urundai, chicken gravy and the works. I wanted it to be special and I wanted to replicate the bread based sweet that we had eaten in Muslim weddings. It’s like a halwa, but it absolutely melts in your mouth and is delightfully sweet and decadent. The Bread mithai that I made was not exactly the same but somewhere there. It was pretty close and it tasted great. This is a pretty quick dessert to make and it can be served warm or chilled. If you are serving it chilled, remove from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for half an hour or so for the sweet to soften. Then serve. Prep time: 5 minsCooking time: 15 minsServes: 6-7 Ingredients Sweet Bread – 8 slices edges trimmed and cut into trianglesGhee – ¼ cup + 1 tbspSweetened Condensed milk – 100 gmMilk – 1-1/2 cupSweetened Khoa – 50 gmCashewnuts – a handful Method 1.      Heat ¼ cup ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and when hot drop the bread slices and fry till golden. Deep fry in batches all the 16 pieces (8*2). Remove onto absorbent paper. Let cool. 2.      In the remaining ghee, drop the cashew nuts and fry till golden. Remove onto absorbent paper. Set aside. 3.      Break up the fried bread pieces into bite sized pieces roughly. 4.      In a bowl, mix condensed milk, milk and sweetened khoa and whisk till well combined. Set aside. 5.      In a shallow pan, layer the bread pieces, top with nuts. Pour the milk mixture on top and simmer till all the milk is absorbed and it is almost a halwa consistency – about 5-10 minutes. Stir around a bit. Add 1 tablespoon ghee around the edges of the pan. Continue cooking till the ghee starts shimmering around the edges of the pan – about 1-2 minutes. 6.      Remove from fire. Serve warm or chilled.
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