26 June 2008

The Cook is Back

Somehow I find it's always 10 days between my posts, just as well. Nothing much to report other than:

1.I've become a ACAD Level 2 user (same to you too)
2.I've started cooking again

The first is not worth the paper the certificate is printed on so I shall say nothing more about it. But the second thing has some meat, more like vegetable, in it. So as it happened, I was frittering away my time eating here and there, this and that (as stated in previous posts) till one day I just HAD to eat home food.

Cooking is like swimming I guess, once you know it, you don't forget. With that in mind, I raided the Taka basement, avoided aisle after aisle overflowing with un-readable Japanese wares, and found some good old potatoes, onions, and chilles, which according to me, is the basis of north Indian cooking.

Cut to kitchen and it was

1.Potato Pulao with Tomato chutney on evening one.

This having turned out fairly decently (rice got a bit mashed up), the next day I made a big batch (who's going to cook daily mien?) of

2.Aalu Mattar

This batch was the base recipe without too much मिर्ची as my pulao burnt a hole in Cee's palette. Aalu mattar was eaten with readymade roti's (sold frozen in supermarkets) which was alright considering I didn't have to लगाऊ आता, गूंदो, बेलो and सको the rotis.

Buoyed by this aalu mattar success, I got a bag of frozen

3. chopped veggies and began tossing it daily with पाँच पोरोन which is this fragrant mix of सबूत spices like fennel, मेथी, cumin, mustard seeds, कलौंजी, ஒம்மம் or अज्वैन and எல்லே and very Bengali.

I have also gone on to make
4.peas curry,
6.lemon rice,
7.moong dal,
8.stir fried vegetables with पञ्च पोरोन,
9. Indian style vegetable and egg fried rice.

In fact I've cooked every day since then. So all of you who are planning to visit me now and in future, rejoice and raise a toast that the Cook Is Back! (err not Steven Segal)

16 June 2008

The past ten days

A door opens to me. I go in and am faced with a hundred closed doors. ~ Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943

The past 10 days have been a flurry of house hunting activity. I've seen so many houses am ready to live in a boat for the rest of my life. But as things stand there is no boat in sight either... such is luck. Sadly the housing market in Singapore is at its least renter friendly and I am facing the brunt full-on. But as they say, "उम्मीद पे दुनिया कायम है" और हम भी।

To cheer myself up I shopped @ Dorothy Perkins, bless the woman she has a full range of sizes. I totalled 6 tops - grass green, tourqoise blue, dark chocolate brown, petunia purple, black, white - and a black formal skirt.

I also did the blessed act of introducing an Indian colleague to Murugan Idli Kadai - World Famous in Chennai (and Madurai, and Singapore, and wherever else they open am sure). Predictably I also suffered the consequences, I was dragged there (willingly) 3 times last week. I managed to make a pact with her and the 3rd dinner we did at super delicious Raj. What a lovely food I say, मज़ा आ गया! If you promise not to tell anyone, I will tell you what all we ate:

  1. Mili Jhuli Subzi
  2. Chola
  3. Raita
  4. Garlic Naan
  5. Missi Roti
  6. Kashmiri Roti (thankfully this was not the Bangalore version with tutti fruiti etc)
  7. Jeera Chawal

Right through dinner we were in heaven; a few... err... many digestive hours later we slowly and reluctantly floated back to mortal land.

Talking of food

  1. I ate eel for the first time. It was in a sushi (yeah sushi time again) @ Sushi Tei. Eel has a lovely texture (bit like pork fat) but has a strong fishy aftertaste; will be trying it again.
  2. Also managed to get कड़ी चावल @ a Kopitiam near Dhoby Ghaut with another bunch of colleagues; passably good.
  3. Did the Saturday night ritual of BluJaz and Chimichanga.
  4. Surprisingly did a desert of Banana Crêpe with Butterscotch and Ice Cream @ Brussel Sprouts which was rather good after the

Sunday was spent reading The Golden Compass, which I thoroughly enjoyed and swimming which am getting stronger at. Bicycle is still in shed thank you. Gym का रास्ता भूल ही गए हूँ और salad किसे कहते है मुझे कुछ याद नही। Come back Such!

06 June 2008

Tooth hurty

Q. When is the best time to go to a dentist?
A. Tooth hurty
(PJ contributed by FJ)

Hehe, a horrid tooth ache deserves a horrid PJ. Tooth ache has been the lief motif of the past weekend and this entire week. Never thought gaining wisdom would be a physically painful thing.

So weekend was spent nursing tooth and window shopping (how can anything ever stop me from that?) and the week spent alternately trying to howl in pain and trying to ignore the pain and lead normal life (read eat normal food).

Nothing much was consumed, okay huge quantities were not consumed, during this time.

There was the usual:
- Chicken rice
Then Suchi's glorious creations:
- Chicken satay salad
- Butter nut squash soup
- Prawn salad
- Orange chicken salad
- Carrot and ginger soup
And some timepass other stuff like
- Chilli crab puff
- Chicken bun
- Thai green curry and rice
all eaten OVER A WEEK and in SMALL quantities.

Finally after the main bulk of the tooth induced suffering was over, on Thursday 6 June, my medical insurance came through. Immediately I fixed an appointment with the dentist, and @ the same instant the pain started receding. How predictable. How childish. How bleeding irritating !~@#$%">!~@#$%^&*.

Unbelievably, the appointment was at tooth hurty (how bizarre can this get?) So I cross Orchard Road over to chi-chi Paragon Towers opposite Takashimaya where the dentist is on the 19th floor.

Floor to ceiling glass windows with a panoramic view, fancy schamsy art on walls, discreet sound of waterfall, comfy-funky couches, coffee tables and chairs with accompanying coffee and coffee table books greet my senses as I enter. If there was any pain left in my tooth this was the moment it completely vanished. The sight of such an opulently, luxuriously, pretty and calming dentist office was a medicine in itself. Sigh.....

Then doctor looked at tooth, hmmed and hawwed, and took a monstrous looking x-ray of full set of teeth on very cool x-ray machine. I had to wear a heavily lined outfit, more like an amour, so that the x-ray is not absorbed by my body or some such. And said okay let’s get the wisdom out. Jolly good and all that but will my insurance cover it? Of course it will except for the anesthetic cost, (oh!) and that will be about S$900. CrAsH! (Gugi fainted on floor of doctor's chamber).

Cut to: Hello Mustafa travels? Yes, I'd like to book a ticket for India please.
(So look for me in India around the end of June)