Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Resisting temptation

I have developed a very bad habit of reading the movie plots prior to watching them. This habit certainly saved me from watching some creepy movies like "Case 39" and "When a stranger Calls". I have been maintaining a track record of successfully staying away from horror movies for almost five years, all Thanks to Wiki.

But, I really did a huge mistake by reading the entire plot of this must-watch film named "EXAM". My god!!! British brains are freakishly good. You can go ahead and watch this one as it's not a horror movie but DO NOT!!!! DO NOT!!!! DO NOT!!!! read the plot before you watch it, as this movie is best served thrilled.....

Sunday, 24 March 2013

First lesson of cooking

This is my all time favourite curry, so it is quite obvious that I chose to learn this first. The person who taught me this curry made sure I remembered every detail of it's preparation by testing my memory with sudden oral tests. It was not until I cooked the curry all on my own without any guidance that this person, who happens to be my mum, got convinced that I had finally mastered her recipe.

Don't worry I won't be pestering you all with tests after you finish reading this post. But you can use this as a helpful recipe if you share the same love for this curry as me.

The below picture would give away the name of the curry which is actually pretty famous in South India.

Now for the ingredients, you will need,

  1. Small brinjals - 1 Kg
  2. Peanuts - A handful of them or slightly more
  3. Coriander seeds - 2 tablespoons (In the absence of whole seeds, use a table spoon of ground coriander powder)
  4. Sesame Seeds - 2 tablespoons
  5. Poppy Seeds - 1 tablespoon
  6. Whole spices - 2 or 3 cloves, 1 Star Anise
  7. Dessicated coconut powder - 2 tablespoons
  8. Onion - Half (Diced into 4-6 chunks)
  9. Butter - One tablespoon (Optional)
  10. Turmeric - Quarter teaspoon
  11. Salt - 3/4 teaspoon (Adjust quantity as per taste)
  12. Red Chilli Powder - 3/4 teaspoon (Adjust quantity as per taste)
  13. Cooking oil - 4 table spoons (Adjust quantity as per preference, this can be substituted with water)
  14. Coriander - For garnishing
  1. Dry roast the peanuts, Coriander seeds, Sesame seeds, Poppy seeds and the whole spices. I was taught to roast them one after the other, preferably, in the order listed
  2. Cool the seeds in preparation for grinding

  3. Start by grinding the roasted ingredients first. No need to add water.

  4. To the ground powder, add the diced onion chunks and butter. Grind to a paste by adding water if required. Limit the usage of water to 2 tablespoons
  5. Once the paste is ready, get it out of the grinder jar (Add little water to any paste remaining in the jar, this water can be used for the curry preparation) . Add turmeric, salt and Chilli powder. Mix well and set aside
  6. Slit each brinjal twice, to make a cross-cut as shown in the picture below. The slit brinjals need to be dropped into water to prevent them from changing colour. 

  7. Stuff the slit brinjals with the paste prepared in Step 5. The picture below was taken particularly to show the snow outside

  8. Once all the brinjals are stuffed, heat a wok and add Oil
  9. Cook the stuffed brinjals on medium flame. Mix in regular intervals. Add water or oil if the curry tends to stick to the wok's base. Cover the wok with a lid for ensure proper cooking of the brinjals
  10. Add any paste left over (After stuffing all the brinjals) to the wok half way through the cooking
  11. Continue cooking until the brinjals turn soft and tender and the oil starts oozing out at the corners of the wok
  12. Finish off by garnishing with coriander. This is optional unless you love coriander like me

Saturday, 16 March 2013

5th of July

From the makers of Udaan and Dev D comes another audio-visual treat.....

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Shubhaarambh to the fresh face of cinema

This post seems to be sidetracking from the theme of my blog which happens to be all about Enjoying England, but the inspiration for this post comes from watching a movie at the Trafford centre.

Kai Po Che - A movie overflowing with the essence of Gujarat. The movie tries to shed some light to the myth that Gujaratis are good businessmen. I term it is a myth because, according to me Gujaratis are good at minding their own business, which makes them succeed in whatever they pursue. I surely did not come across a lot of Gujaratis in my lifetime but I know this good friend Mr.Doshi (The Gujju Mahesh babu, as I named him) from whom I can infer that Gujaratis are the sweetest people you can meet in India. They like the good things about other parts of our country and are never envious of other's well-being.

Typical Gujarati men start really young. When I was happy about earning my first salary after finishing my degree, a Gujarati of the same age would have already made more than my first salary in stock market trading. This is what I really meant by starting young. One of the main characters plays this role very aptly. I liked this character the most, Raj Kumar Yadav was the best choice. I walked out of the movie convinced that he is a Gujarati by birth. I could not believe my eyes when a quick google revealed that Ragini MMS was his previous project and he hails from Haryana.

Typical Gujarati girls are very light-skinned. The bright coloured, tight-fitted, mirror-worked dresses make them look gorgeous. And not to forget their skill of applying henna, they actually make it look so easy. The cute Amrita Puri plays the typical Gujarati girl in this movie.

Mr. Doshi and I never discussed cricket. So Ishan, sorry mate. I was comparing Sushant who played Ishaan in this movie to Ranveer Singh all the way. They both look the same and strangely have the same voice, but I personally like the energy displayed by Ranveer Singh more.

Omi, the last character played by Amit is basically a pawn in the hands of a manipulative politician. I couldn't believe the film makers actually named the party that Omi supports as "Bharatiya Janahith Sangh". Its not much of a secret, who the manipulative politician in the movie is trying to represent from the real world. Again me and Mr. Doshi never discussed politics, so I am ignorant about the facts behind Sabarmathi massacre but if the allegations are true, I hope Mr.M does not punish innocents in the future if he ever did so in the past. Nevertheless here's wishing Shubhaarambh to Mr.M. Make it happen to the hot seat next year dear Mr.M.

Cute moment - Govi, saying Chi and turning his head away...
Shocker moment - Govi introduces Ishaan to Omi at the end of the movie

Amit Trivedi - he pulled me to the movie using Manja. He totally deserves a separate post.

Amit Trivedi, YOU ROCK!!!. Rehman ji, a page for you in the Social Studies text-book....

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Odeon Trafford Centre Screen 1 - Kai Po Che

This weekend was pretty bad as it was pouring down but I had my share of fun midweek. This time it was a solitary movie experience. One hell of a nightmare experience it is to be the only spectator in the entire screen. It was Thursday afternoon and I chose a Bollywood flick and there was no turn-up except me. All through the movie I was making sure that I had no other un-expected company. I could feel what Revathi experienced in the movie Raathri. Once the movie started it kept my mind occupied. When the movie paused for intermission there was killing silence all around me. I went out and saw that there was a CCTV capturing every moment in the screen. The theatre staff were monitoring it. This gave a sense of security for the second half of the movie. I finished my job at Trafford centre and was heading back.

Now, it was the turn of my second nightmare. It was pouring down heavily and the Apple maps were not picking up signal in the parking lot. I decided to get out to catch signals but it turned out that the phone needed a re-start to sort the apple maps issue. I had no option to stop and sort the phone so I continued driving by following the road signs. Thanks to H's advice, I studied the whole area in Google maps before my journey so I knew how to get to M60. The traffic was crawling on the motorway and as soon as I entered I had to take the right lane to go home, which I did not learn from Google, I was in a desperate rush to get into the right lane and no body was letting me in. I risked it totally and got into the right route and thanks to the 20 MPH traffic I restarted my phone and set the maps all while driving carefully. Thanks to the man up above the sky for taking care of me and getting me home. Trafford centre, Never again I shall see you.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Solitary Sunday

West Kirby beach - A scenic promenade on a sunny day. Walking with a steady glance at the waves was today's high point. Went round the town of Wallasey in search of coffee and two take-away menus. Mission Accomplished successfully without any traffic offences. A Sunday put to good use.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Steamy Vintage journey - 24 Feb 2013

Me and H decided to visit East Lancashire railway this weekend. Thankfully there were no Liverpool and Everton matches that day so my task of picking up H was easy. We reached Ramsbottom at 12 PM and we struggled to find a parking space but eventually we did succeed. The train station had a vintage feel as there were old luggage carts, soft-toys and milk-cans scattered on the platform to re-create the Victorian era. There was quite a turn-out of train enthusiasts that day as it was a steam Engine on display. There were many photography enthusiasts to get a show of the steam Engine. H certainly belonged to the latter group. The chilly wind did not stop H from baring the hands and standing at the window to take the perfect photograph. The train journey took almost 3 hours to complete. I would have rather sat inside the not so warm train if H did not drag me out. I got to see the engine getting separated from the wagons from one end, re-filling with water and then re-connecting with the wagons at the other end. Overall it was a Sunday well spent but this place needs another visit probably on a day when the Sun-God is kind to us.