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Mutton Biryani

I had tried this once as a kid and it didn’t turn out so well without some help. So some few years later I made it and realised, it’s actually a cake walk to make Mutton Biryani…for anyone and actually!

Reason why I messed up back then: Went totally by the book and hardly could reach up to the gas stove!

Ingredients:

For the Marinade:

1 kg Mutton/Lamb

4 tbps Ginger Garlic Paste

1 1/2 tbps Pepper

2 tbps Salt

2 tbps Yoghurt

Mix all together and keep for atleast 4-5 hours.

For the Main-Prep:

1 kg Basmati Rice

30-50 ml Oil

10 ml Ghee

5 gm Cumin

1 1/2 tbps Turmeric Powder

2 1/2 tbps Chilli Powder

3 1/2 tbps Coriander Powder

1 tbps Garam Masala Powder or Whole Garam Masala

1 1/2 kg par boiled potatoes

5-6 medium sized onions

500 gm Curd

5 gm Kasuri Methi (optional)

10 gm Saffron mixed in 10 ml Milk

Method:

1. Half boil the rice (ideally 20-25 mins or till you know when), strain and toss it up in ghee and cumin. Keep aside.

2. In a heavy bottom vessel, Heat up the oil and start up by frying up those par boiled potatoes. Let ’em get a light coat of the oil and harden up a bit, then add in the onions

3. Once the onions are light brown add in those masalas a.k.a. spices, i.e., Turmeric powder, Red Chilli Powder, Coriander Powder and the Garam Masala (powder blends well while whole garam masala gives more flavour but doesn’t blend well) and fry them for a few minutes

WARNING: The Spices tend to stick to the bottom of the vessel so you gotta be at it and the Red Chili and Garam Masala are heavy on the palette…use accordingly!

4. Add in the succulent mutton pieces sans the liquid!…Fry them for 15-20 minutes on a heavy flame

5. Add in the yoghurt and allow it to blend in the whole mixture while you take in the aroma! Use some of that marinade liquid too!

6. Now the main part, With a ladle place the rice gently over the mutton pieces, dabbing it lovingly from the top, time to time!

7. Once all the rice is gone in, Mix saffron with some milk and pour over the rice. Cover it with a lid and put a heavy object like a mortar, knife sharpener or something on it so that it cooks in its own steam or what we call Dum cooking! (Traditionally, it calls for sealing the edges of the vessel with dough)

8. 15 mins on high flame followed by 30-45 mins on a slow flame. To check insert a a flat spoon all the way till the bottom to check whether the liquid has been thickened or dried.

To serve

With the flat spoon, take out a portion from the bottom with the rice coming along with it and serve it with masala papad and a mixture of yoghurt, diced onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, chat masala powder and salt called Raita (a lot of  variations available!)

Big Hit and an Inevitability in our Indian Occasions and God knows why, we love it each time!

Note: Try making your own adjustments…It’s definitely worth a shot!

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Bombay. Home.

Kya Rakha Hai Iss Sheher Mein?…Dil Basa Hai Boss!

Where the sun sets in the sea and rises up from the sky scrapper right across my apartment! I’ve heard people curse this place more than they love it…and Why Not?! It is a perfect recipe for disaster and loathing! Yet they can’t leave this place, for the simple fact – It’s home!

A street right outside your door will consist of hawkers engulfing the sidewalk and no matter how much ever we curse them, we still buy stuff from them! Now the roads, you’ll be lucky enough to find a divider on the road for starters. Secondary, if you want to live, you need to look both sides at all times (if possible, simultaneously) to cross the road! As for the traffic…here goes:

You’ll need

  • Overflowing amount of frustrated drivers with cars, bikes, etc.
  • Moody disco light signals at each junction
  • Blind B.E.S.T. Bus & Truck drivers
  • Self destructive & Suicidal Pedestrians
  • Sense of not following traffic rules
  • Swarm of black and yellow public transport

Preparation:

  • Mix all together!

Note: Best made during 8 a.m. – 10 a.m & 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

No matter how suited up you are or how swanky your car is…we still stop for the occasional 4 p.m. chai(tea) at any small makeshift stalls called tapris! Cutting Chai or half a glass of tea for 5 bucks will get you through the evening! Vada Pav is our staple diet…our nutrition ain’t complete without it! Alternatively, Idli Vada does the needful!

Our pride: The Garbage & The Potholes! Its a huge population to handle so don’t point fingers at us, on the contrary, it creates employment opportunities! The adornment of the streets with the air filled with its aroma..its a part and parcel of our life. Initially we condemned it…now we live with it! Bombay is an Off-Roader’s Paradise…as well as for the garbage-feasting population!

The Nightlife: We either party at a club or at someone’s pad, go home or some other chap’s home and sleep…OR… wander aimlessly in the night, eating Chinese food at our local station, stroll at the beach, evading cops and just drive by those disco signals! The nightlife of Bombay is an inevitable part of our lives…we either work, party or reminisce!

DISCLAIMER: NOT HINTING OR PROMOTING DRINKING AND DRIVING!

The Bars: Our story starts at a really dim place where either a match or a South Indian movie is broad casted followed by the condiments of peanuts, chaklis, papads, szechuan sauce and/or green chutney with the choicest range of liquors starting from Desis to Bacardis!

CAUTION: All glass bottles should be kept on the EMPTY adjacent table!

 

Sightseeing: If you tell us to show you Mumbai…we will direct you to one place – Mumbai Darshan. The bus takes you to all the places apparently ‘worthwhile’ to see in Bombay, which includes: Gateway of India, Juhu Beach, Shivaji Park, Malabar Hill, Marine Drive and uh… forget it…Google will help you better! Our sightseeing primarily includes a good fight/quarrel/argument/loud voices etc!

 

All in all, We still get on to the trains/buses no matter if it’s a couple of limbs that our life depends on…We work hard, party harder…Most probably every guy in Bombay has taken a leak by the side of the road…We walk through shit…We treat stray dogs as our own…We take God seriously…Sachin Tendulkar even more seriously!…We give Paris a run for their money in matters of PDA!…We won’t be hawking around big star’s bungalows but will crowd the Electonics Store to catch the match!….We dance on the roads during festivities…We bargain at almost anything, be it your Wal-Mart!…We fight for 1-2 rupees with the rickshaw guy…Our beggars are most probably richer than us…We fight, abuse and vent out our frustrations but without a blink of an eye, We’d help our own and others in times of needs; be it the terrorist attacks, the floods,etc….every cop is our maternal uncle…every old guy is paternal uncle…No matter where you are from, we will speak to you in Marathi!…and the list goes on!

One can’t describe Bombay in paragraphs and lines! I’m sure I’ve missed out on a lot! The beauty of Bombay needs to be experienced, don’t be beguiled by her looks…she tends to put people off and I surely was one of them! Bombay is picturesque in its own unique way much like Picasso’s works…Many call it absurd, others call it acquired taste…we call it home!

Photo Credits:

Shrirang Swarge 

Sanjana Kashyap 

Google Images

We were mocked upon on their ground. Wrong decisions, 11 men against 9, an offside winning goal that wasn’t.

We stood on their same soil three days later. We brought in our young lads…unsung heroes…and our legend.

Without a protest we played a clean match, all we asked for is raise a hand if you are spotless. Yet with a squad of newly bud reds, we held you down to a one goal difference. Well done lads! We accepted defeat humbly & bowed down from the cup with grace.

Our past could not be erased, but our future could be shaped. None can now tell us about wrong decisions for we overlooked many without qualms. None could mock us about 9 men when they were playing against our kids. You merely lost points while we lost our chance.

For we know a new dawn arises. We fall. We rise. We conquer.

Let them struggle to keep their flag flying high while we, united, bask in our glory…

Glory Glory…

The title says it all and most of you who went through the title thought as much what all this all about! For the rest, this post is about Manchester United Football Club, the club I ardently support with all my heart! P.S. Not trying to start a riot here, just showcasing my love for the club!

Playing football has always been one of my passions and but naturally, following it on television also became a craze with me. But I was too much engrossed in the game rather than the teams actually! My love for Man United was a result of peer influence…they supported it, so I supported it! 7 years down the road, I definitely didn’t regret that decision I made. 

Lost in their matches, stand against anyone who booed them, stood united with  the ones that same passion for that club and most of all…believe in them.

You rise, you fall, question of the matter is:- Where does your allegiance lie? As Sir Alex Ferguson rightfully said, “If you can’t support us when we lose, you can’t support us when we win!”

The Club situated in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, miles afar from my homeland, has about 75 – 333 million estimated fans worldwide. Such is the following of this glorious club.

One cannot pin-point their love for Manchester United. It’s enigmatic and can never be obsolete. It’s a love that cannot be measures or defined. It just happens and you are proud to stand by it!

Their home ground, known as Old Trafford, has an approximate 76,000 seating capacity and is rightfully nicknamed, Theatre of Dreams; for the sheer fact that each match played in that ground and viewed from the stands is nothing less than a legendrary dream.

Manchester United saw its worst on February 6th 1958, wherein the team, returning from Munich after the European Cup (57-58), lost 8 of their players due to take-off failure of the plane.

Busby Babes, as they were fondly call, after then manager, Sir Matt Busby, had a handful left after that tragic incident and it took them a good two decades to get back on their feet and restore their lost glory.
Munich Clock, Old Trafford

Enter, Sir Alex Ferguson, the longest ever manager of Man United, stepped in ’86 and worked instrumentally in reviving it back on the top and bringing in 19 premier league title under his tenure – Highest any club as achieved ever! Salute to the man who put the club back to where it belonged.

Of course not to forget the players such as Eric Cantona, George Best, Duncan Edwards, Steve Bruce, Denis Law, David Beckham, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Sir Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson, Roger Byrne, Roy Keane, Denis Irwin, Rio Ferdinand, Fabian Barthez, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Christiano Ronaldo, Nemanja Vidic, Nicky Butt, Andy Cole, Edwin Van Der Sar, Wayne Rooney, my personal favourite Ryan Giggs and the all the players who were proud to showcase the iconic badge on their chest!

The lights shown on the ground, the players walking up to the field taking their positions, the stands filled with roars of pride, faith and belief starting from the kick-off till the final whistle, Win or Lose, the chants will always inevitably linger – Glory Glory Man United!Glory Glory Man United

A woman is like tea – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

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Beauty of the dusk she knew what life had in store for her with the occasional surprises! She had the grace and the strength to pull him out of his addiction and save him from downfall. She didn’t believe in the myth of ‘you need a man to survive’ and he never understood it. He never knew about her ever after the day he let her go and when life gave him a chance to repay, he just stood by the sidelines watching her downfall and her rising from the ashes. He knew in his heart, she was strong, independent and never his.Image

This story comes straight out of a Bollywood movie. But one, close to my heart. Its got all the elements: The drama, the joy, the sorrows, the families, the marriage, the aftermath, the joint family, the years…and my parents!

Flashback to late 80s where Shikha, Customer Service Assistant at Kodak meets Sanjay, Manager at Kodak. Poles apart, a little background to them.

Shikha: Gorgeous looking & petite apple-of-the-eye, obedient and disciplined child of her parents, career oriented and free of vices!

Sanjay: The rebellious, live life to the fullest, curious to try out new things even though he knows it will burn like hell, outgoing and full of vices!

The typical…it obviously wasn’t love at first sight! The matchmaking colleagues and the ‘heart to heart connection miles apart’ got them together and thus, started the courting!

A good healthy two years on, they decided to make it official. Enter the families; from Sanjay’s side – ‘The Kashyaps’ and from Shikha’s side – ‘The Jains’. Sanjay being a Christian and Shikha a Jain, although would have become a deadly combination but the familias wouldn’t budge and accept their relationship. Classic Bollywood, where Sanjay moves on to choose other prospects and Shikha exemplifying the saying, ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman Scorned’ wins her man back!

Eventually after much consolation & convincing, the families give their blessings. Consequently born were Siddhant & Sanjana! Hop-scotching cities and traversing their ups and downs, joys and sorrows, pain and happiness… a good 19 years before Sanjay breathed his last.

Their love wasn’t measured by the way they got together…but how they stuck together. They did live up to the vows of ’till death do us apart.’ Falling in love is easy…but swimming through its deep waters and currents and just going on…now that’s difficult…But for them, t’was with grace, strength and the love they had for each other.

On this date, being their 22nd anniversary, pulling this post off with 10 minutes to spare on the IST! I’d like to raise a toast to the everlasting love of that 90’s couple!

John 3:16

For God so loved the World that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

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