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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Christmas.... Here I Come

The coming of Christmas, means joy, happiness, and smiles, and not to forget the main reason this happens to me is ... THE FOOD ! Its time for Sangria, Roasts, Loads of strawberries, Eggnog, and last but not the least the Cake .

I know that Christmas is still over a month away and I might be looking stupid to be dancing already. I am doing so because guess what I was smelling like last Sunday... I was smelling of Figs, Dates, Rum, Brandy, Wine, Cinnamon, Allspice, Mace, vanilla, Honey ... and lots more. Still guessing? It was my cake mixing. Christmas cake mixing usually a ceremony I love to celebrate. So I called some friends over at the Cafe and we got an amazing mix. The aroma in the air just made everyone high and the the whole process was Brought to life thanks to Plugged In who covered the vent and gave us some priceless pictures.

A dear friend and the first lady of Kolkata's Food blogging scene Poorna was there too and it was really sweet of her to write about us on the Blog. Believe me ... She has a brilliant blog. I am sharing some awesome pictures that we clicked ... I am sure you will see the joy coming through .

14 kgs of dry fruits
12 lts of booze
2 kgs of spices
and a million bubbles of happiness

Whats the recipe of a good cake mix? That is !!


Wishing everyone a beautiful Christmas !! Cheers !!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

One Bowl Cookies ... As easy as baking can get

I have seen people make a huge cry about baking chocolate hip cooking especially the ones that are slightly chewy inside and crunchy outside and I have always wondered why in the mane of the lord.
In-fact this recipe I stumbled upon ages ago in an old book and that I bought from a shop if second hand books and I have always found it so easy to make.

There are many people who just throw in some chocolate chip in a basic short bread, those I detest. Have a look at these beauties and tell me how it was ...

Here goes ...

150 g Maida/ Refined Flour
1 tsp Baking Pwd
125 g margarine
85 g mascavado sugar/ brown sugar
5 tbsp fine caster sugar / breakfast sugar 
2 tbsp Cocoa powder
1 egg
125 g chocolate chips / chopped chocolate 
  • · Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon . Do not use hands… make sure the egg is chilled and the margarine is at room temp
  • · Make 12 – 14 equal balls or scoops of the dough and chill for 30 mins in the freezer spacing then with a gap of 1.5 inches all around on a baking tray lined with butter paper
  • · Bake in preheated 190 degrees Celsius oven 
  • · Cook till evenly golden
  • · Cool on a wire rack and serve once hard
These are so easy to make but pleas make sure you follow all the measurements to the hilt. Even slight changes can change the product quite a lot 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Suhaag and Matthi .... Forgotten traditions

Punjab is a very colourful state, and Punjabis are people who are known for their larger than life ways. Be it hospitality, Festivals, food, weddings, traditions, We punjabis just know how to do it crazy. Not many know that punjabis are very sensitive about their traditions. And they have many such customs and rituals that are gradually disappearing. Its disappointing to see that the present day punajbis barely can even speak the language. Thankfully so, in Punjab even today a lot is being done to preserve the dying arts and customs.

Punjab is the Wheat Bowl of India, we studies this in class 4 in school ( not sure if many really bothered) and wheat plays a very important role in the cultures of Punjab. Wheat is Worshiped, wheat is respected. and is considered a blessing. I am here to talk about MATHI..  or some call it Mathri
Most think that it is nothing but a flour fried snack but in the life of a Punjabi Housewife, it plays a very important role. 

Some time back i had written a post on karwa chauth and the mathis associated with them. Mathis hold a lot of significance in the marriage customs as well. On the morning of the wedding, when the bride-to-be is being blessed by all her relatives. Most people call it Haldi, But the true name is Maiyan. Where the MATHI JHOLI ceremony is done. The uncles of the bride fill up her wrists with a Choorha ... Or red and white bangles, which ideally a bride is supposed to wear for one year, Now a days the girls remove is in 40 days ( calling it a Chiliya ), and Matthis are placed in her lap. It shows significance of a new life, and the mathis symbolise the advent of the process of become a woman. Suhaag songs are sung, A paste of sandal and turmeric is applied all over the girls body by all her female relatives, and each person makes her eat a little mathi and halwa and blesses her.

A marriage has a lot to do with carrying the traditions of the family forward . And a daughter evolves into a wife and parents bid her adiew with a smile on thier faces and tears in the eyes 

Hai o Mereya Daadeya Rabba
Kinna Jammiyan Kinna Ne Le Jaaniya

Loyi – Babul Tere Mehlan Vicho
Teri Lado Pardesan Hoi Hai

Chhole Chhole Chhole - Babul Tere Mehlan Vicho
Satrangiya Kabootar Bole-Hai
Babul Tere Mehlan Vicho
Satrangiya Kabootar Bole-Hai

Talliyaan O Talliyan – Maanvan Dheeyan Milan Lagiyaan
Chare Kandha Ne Chubaare Diyan Haliyaan Hai
Maanvan Dheeyan Milan Lagiyaan
Chare Kandha Ne Chubaare Diyan Haliyaan Hai

Pheeta Pheeta Pheeta Pheeta Pheeta – Aena Sakiyaan Veera Ne
Dhola Tor Ke Agaanu Keeta-Hai
Aena Sakiyaan Veera Ne
Dhola Tor Ke Agaanu Keeta-Hai

Mehndi…. Mehndi Mehndi Mehndi – Lagdi Suhagana Nu
Nai Marde Dama Tak Laindi
Lagdi Suhagana Nu
Nai Marde Dama Tak Laindi

Jhumke Jhumke – Amrhi Da Dil Kambeyan
Aj Mu Lado Da Chum Ke

Maape Maape – Naazan Nal Palke Dheeyan
Ho Jaan Paraye Aape Hai
Naazan Nal Palke Dheeyan
Haan Naazan Nal Palke Dheeyan

Choodiyan Choodiyan – Saure Ghar Jaan Waliye
Shaala Hon Muradaan Puriyan Hoi
Saure Ghar Jaan Waliye

Sharing a Suhaag song very common song that usually i have sung at most weddings and made sure people are in tears and the atmosphere is very somber .

The mathi also goes with the daughter to her new home as a blessing from the parents. During karwa-chauth, Where most bollywood movies show a coy bride shying and looking at the moon through a drum sieve, well, Punjabis have a "Mathi with a Hole" ... and they see the moon with that mathi, and then break their fast. ( Cute, isn't it?)

Most such small traditions are just phasing away with time and its there little traditions that i aspire to carry with me in the form of heritage and values. Hope this post will give a small insight to the emotional aspect of a community that is usually known for its heartiness and colors.