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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Trip to Mumbai - with Amul cheese to show for it!

I know I hadn't posted for a while - but I wasn't idle!
Well - I promised you cooking with Amul cheese, in the desi Mac 'n' cheese post; but what I didn't know was how tough it would be to get the original tinned cheese that I remembered nibbling away during my childhood.

I checked the local Indian stores, and all they had were Amul singles - and I confess I had long ago switched to Krafts and whatever else our local Giant and Safeway proffered on their shelves. So my quest for the original Amul and attempt to recreate the mac-and-cheese of another day and age seem destined to stay unmet - EXCEPT that I had the wonderful opportunity to make a quick dash to Mumbai this past month. Met family, chatted into the wee hours of the morning with sisters, took a brisk early morning walk down Worli with one of them, all with a surreal feeling that if I stopped holding my breath the images would all come crumbling down like a giant Truman show make-believe ecosphere.

Anyway it wasn't imaginary, as I now have concrete proof here with me.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am now the proud owner of two 400g tins of priceless Amul-ya processed cheese (actually there were three, but the first got gobbled up pretty quickly within a week of my return!)

But here are pictures.Now, I know I promised to do a desi mac 'n' cheese with the Amul as soon as I got a hold of some. But I haven't been able to work it into my family dinner menu as yet.

However I have a bonus offer: I made desi-spinach frittata with Amul this morning for brunch, and I have a recipe and picture, for those of you who might be curious!

Here's the recipe:

half a red spanish onion chopped
1 green jalapeno pepper, chopped (reduce if needed)
1" piece of ginger chopped (or teaspoon of ginger paste)
1 sprig of curry leaves stripped from the stalk, and chopped if needed
half teaspoon of red chilli powder (if needed)
1 can of egg-beater ( or 6 eggs, if cholesterol is not an issue with you)
8 oz (half a bag) of frozen chopped spinach
quarter teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
quarter can (100 g) of Amul processed cheese (or more, per taste), shredded

Heat a frying pan on moderate heat.
Pour oil when the pan is warm.
Add onions, jalapeno and curry leaves and saute till onions are translucent.
Add chilli powder, stir a couple of times then add spinach.
Stir till spinach well heated (never overcook spinach, as I believe the nutrients get lost);
add salt to taste;
spread the spinach evenly across pan;
spread the egg-beater till it covers the spinach evenly;
spread the grated cheese on top of spinach;
lower heat, cover frittata and cook for about 5-10 minutes till egg is set and cheese has melted.
Do not overcook.

Here's the picture - the proof is in the eating!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

On Apologies

Nothing to do with anything..

But I thought this would be as good a time as any to soliloquize about apologies. Top five things to remember:

  1. No one owes you an apology - so if they do, consider yourself overpaid!
  2. The world being as it is, never expect an apology - but if they do, be surprised, astonished, overwhelmed!
  3. Sometimes, those ingrates, they mean to ignore you, insult you, rub your nose to the ground, hurt you, all of those things...BUT sometimes, sometimes their error can be purely inadvertent, and so when they do apologize, let it GO!
  4. And then again, in pure self-interest, while you may think right now you can be done with them, and that you don't really need them, who knows there may come a time when you do - so if they do apologize, when they didn't have to (see 1 above), when many others don't (2 above), when it was inadvertent (3 above), consider that you may sometime or the other need them, so be a grown up and save their face for them, let them live another day to save your face for you perhaps!
  5. And last of all - even if 1, 2, 3, 4, above do not matter, remember:
"The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this-
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation; we do pray for mercy,
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea,
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there."

Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare

Crossposted at

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Traffic in India

Must-see TeeVee - this is funny!