From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


So I woke up really late this morning,  really late...
Because the kids and me were watching Harry Potter till really late in the night...
We love Harry Potter..
Well who doesn't..
And while I was wondering what I should eat for breakfast ..
I decided that today I need to go to the fish market ..
So I wore my fish market shoes and put on my bargaining face ..
And with a few plastics in tow , took off for the Versova fish market .
I love that place
And no the smell of the fish does not bother me at all.
The buzz of that place is actually fun..
Many familiar fish-folk and a lot of fish I still have not met.. ..
I wanted Tuna, because I wanted to make a salt baked fish with lemon butter, it's one of the recipes that I have in my book , and I really love it..
But I could not find any, the size I wanted..
So I walked around,  browsing , and in my head I was also trying to figure ingredients I would need , for something else if I did not get what I want..
So yes I completely confused myself , because I had various spices running through my head and various fish ..
And in the middle of all that ..
I spotted lobsters , so that's what I bought  , because my favorite fisher lady was selling it...
And then bought prawns because I think I will make a prawn pickle and also bought Pomfret, because felt I should...
Why do I always go over board with buying fish ..
Gosh ..
But I guess I don't understand when to stop ..
Or then I just like a lot of everything ...
Maybe I'm greedy ..
Or maybe I just am a "much too much " kinda person ..

You know , I'm sure there are there are more people like me ..
Who go a little over with everything in life ..
I guess sometimes, Ok , most times, I do fall in that category ..
You are allowed to love who you want, as much as you want, as long as you 'Love"...

It's like I feel it's OK to love the crap out of the people you love, how can you do things in half measure..
I dont understand that ..
Anyway, we leave that for another blog...

We now attend to the Lobsters..


Lobsters -1 doz
Butter -1 tbsp
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Bechamel sauce - 4 tbsp
Fish stock -1/2 cup
White wine -1/2 cup
Flat leaf parsley - 4 tbsp finely chopped
Garlic - 8 pearls
Onion -1 finely chopped
Cheese -1 slice
Dry Oregano -2 tsp
French Mustard - 1 tsp
Lime -1/2 squeezed
Egg yolk -2
Cream -1/4 cup


Clean the lobster and separate the tails from the head..
Cut the tiny fins on the under side of the tail , and then cut through the centre of the shell from the underneath , and pull out the lobster flesh delicately.
Wash , de-vein , chop into tiny bite size pieces and keep to one side ..
Wash the shells.
Leave them to dry.

Then in a non-stick pan , on a medium flame add the butter and the olive oil.
Then add the garlic and sauté for 30-40 seconds, add the onions and cook it till it gets translucent, about 3 minutes, then add the wine and the fish stock .
And let it simmer on a low flame , till it has become half.
Then add the bechamel sauce, oregano , parsley the and the cheese( I did not have cheddar cheese at home , so I just used a slice)
Let this all nicely mix together and let the cheese melt, you should have a nice thick slightly bubbling mix, please do this on a low flame.

In another bowl, mix the yolk, cream, mustard and the lime.
Then pour the hot flavoured bechamel mix over the yolk mix, continuously stirring.

Place the cleaned shells on a baking tray.
Then place the raw flesh of the lobster into the cleaned shells.
Spoon the flavoured sauce over the raw flesh and sprinkle it with bread crumbs.
And place it in the top rack of a pre heated oven at 200 degrees, bake it for 15-18 minutes.

Serve hot with a yummy tomato flavoured wheat pasta ..
Why wheat, because it's healthier, than maida..

Whole wheat pasta in a tomato and basil sauce.

So when I went to the market today , and saw so many fish .
The line , "so many fish in the sea" just came to mind, and I was thinking , sometimes in life , we run after something , or pursue something with blinders on , or have such a narrow vision , that we do not even see, all the options available...
And sometimes, because we have such a narrow vision in life ..
We may miss out on the stuff that actually may be right for us ..
But as normal human tendency we always pursue stuff that we can't get or have..
Maybe we are not supposed to live life in pursuit ..
Maybe what is good for us , will come to us organically ..
Maybe all the trouble and strife in life is completely brought on by our own unreasonable greed in life .

Like frankly in this world of 7 billion people (sorry if the count is wrong, i have yet to travel the world), how come in our entire life time we meet only 10000 to 200000 people in our life time, depending on where we live , the kind of job we have and the kind of life style we lead.
And among , all those people , we meet, we may make maybe 10000 friends over time , but the maximum amount of really close relationships would boil down to 3 or 4.
Which leaves the rest of the population to be close friends with one another.
So yes most of us broadly are loners or little islands , that live completely alone inside us , with a few chosen few that we open up to .
And how do those chosen few who come our way, completely by chance?
Beats me ..

I have realised that geographical distance, wealth, social status or colour of our skin has got nothing to do with human relationships.
They really make no difference.
That is why I guess we have soul mates.
It's such a weird concept, but I do believe in it.
I'm not saying that all of us find our soul mate , and our lives are like a fairy tale from then on.
But I do think , many times , we mistake someone for a soul mate , and hence close all doors to everyone else...
But I feel if you do meet a soul mate, both the lives of both the souls will be dramatically enriched in every sphere , and will give you freedom and you will never have to choose ..

But if you are always in a state of confusion with your supposed soul mate , then this is not the one ..
Its very much like when you are looking to buy fish, if it smells of fish, do not buy it ...
The same applies to life, if it does not feel light and smells of heart-break , it is not right..

I think the reason we make friends and are close to a few people , is because something in this universe does bind these particular souls together..
So I feel that soul mates are probably souls that you meet in your life that bring out the best in you, or then pass through your life , because they make you discover something in your self , you never knew existed..
And yes I do believe we all come across our soul mate ,once in our life at least ..
And when you both do , it will be a very deep , beautiful and powerful soul stirring part of your life , that will frighten you to your deepest core and also give you unimaginable happiness.
Where there is potential for a deep love, there there is also potential for the deepest pain ..
This is something that we all need to acknowledge ..

Well if you are one of the lucky few , who is able to spend a life time with your soul mate , then I guess, this life time is where it was supposed to happen ..
And if not , then let me say , that , it will happen when it is supposed to ..
So do not fret..
Maybe there are many more people we need to meet, and many things we still have to learn , before , we have what we are looking for ..
Like in the words of the Dalai Lama , " Remember that not getting what you want , is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck"

And that's exactly what I was thinking as I pulled out the lovely lobster from my oven..
I wanted to buy Tuna, actually , and that's what I went to the market for..
But since , I was not able to find what I was looking for, since , I'm a bit picky about the freshness and the price..
I found these beautiful chubby tailed lobsters , looking at me beckoningly..(if that is a word)
Frankly when I bought them , I had no idea , what I was going to make ..
And did not want to make a curry again..
But felt something or the other will fall into place..
And so went for a lobster Thermidor kinda recipe...

But yes, today with the full family home ,and kiddie friends ,it was a very bad idea to be making a recipe that had to be done in parts and put together..
Because I was being constantly asked if lunch is ready ..
And frankly no one should be baggering the chef with a knife in her hand ha ha ha ..
But all's well that ends well..

The Thermidor turned out beautifully, In fact I should have had more lobster,because it got swiped really fast, because I was told , it was really yummy..
Or they were just very very hungry..
One of the two, I'm hoping it was the former..
(Just remember to taste the mustard, before you add it, because some mustard has salt in it, and some is a bit bitter , so use your mustard discreetly.)
I was told that this is like food in a restaurant , that you pay for ha ha ha ..
I love kids..
And so there will be another round of this dish happening soon..

So here's presenting, "Not Fish..but Fishy.." served with freshly made tomato and basil pasta, made with a lot of hard work, and a lot of conversation with myself, about plenty of fish in the sea and soul mates, served with lotsa love , only from "Maria's Kitchen" ..

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Oh yes most of the time, I end up doing exactly what my heart pleases.
And 4.5% of the time! I let my brains take over! and sometimes, just sometimes!
I act with caution.
But most of the times, caution is thrown to the wind, and I just run the risk of completely going turntables all over the country side.
But that is also fun , because then you get a look at life , from all different angles.

Thanks for this photo Amito and Eefa for teaching me how to do a headstand...

I was not like this in my growing years.
I mostly did what I thought would be the right thing to do, because I never wanted to go wrong, or upset my parents.
I still do not want to upset them ..

But as I grew up , I realised that I was a rebel..
And I softly turned my life upside down , and once it was all out of the box , and I had stretched myself from the shell that I was in.
I suddenly wondered , why I  sat in a shell for so long.
I realised , it was because I was not really willing to accept myself, the way I was , but had accepted myself in the perception of others.

The best part I think about finding yourself along the way.
Is that you start seeing everything in a brand new perspective.
I realised that there was not just a black and white, but a beautiful grey..

Oh yes we should all have an opinion, but we need not be judgemental.
We need to know what we want to do, but know that if someone else does the opposite, he need not be wrong.
And I have realised, that the way someone treats me , is more often because how the person is feeling at that point of time in their life, and I happened to cross them at that point.

Do I fret, yes I do..
I fret deeply , if I get hurt.
Or if I have lost a friend, or if I feel, something is amiss.

But I have learned that "what is...IS"
And "what will be, will be"
Sometimes when everything is not alright.
Everything is awry.
Sometimes you fall apart, sometimes you fall together, but fall we must, because there must be something down , that we are supposed to find.
Most of the time, I have realised , I have mostly found a piece I never knew was missing..
It's quite lovely in retrospect actually..

So now that I have digressed from the cooking that I have done..
I think it's time I get back to the "piece de resistance"..
These lovely dough balls..
The first time I tasted them was on a cold London evening with my friend Sanjay, who insisted that if I tasted one, I would not be able to stop..

Well he was right, it was nicest piece of bread I had eaten..
And with one of the sweetest persons i know...
It's just the right size, and so you never can stop eating it easily.


Fresh yeast - 20 gm
Flour- 200 gm
Sugar-1/2 tsp
Luke warm water - 120 ml
Oil - 3 tbsp
Pinch of salt


In a big glass bowl, blend the yeast, with sugar and a tbsp of the water.
And leave it , till it bubbles and gets a bit frothy.
Then add the rest of the water and blend it properly

On a clean table top , or another bowl, sieve the flour , add the salt .
And make a well in the center , add the oil, add the water and slowly mix it to form a dough.
Knead it really well about 6-10 minutes, till the dough is nice and soft and springy.
Bring it all together in a shape of a ball, cover it with a damp muslin, and leave it to prove.
Till it is double in size.

Then add some flour on your work table , and knock the door , and flatten it.
Then roll it into a cylinder and make small even sized balls, I got about 18 pieces.
Leave it to prove about 30 minutes, till it has doubled in size and then brush it with some milk, and bake it in a pre-heated oven , at 180 degrees  for 10 minutes , or till it is a lovely brown .
Then just serve it with some hot, with some homemade garlic butter, or then Nutella straight of the jar ..

That's what the kids and me did ..
We are kinda addicted to Nutella ..

While making them dough balls today I thought of my friend Nikhil .Chinnappa..
I met him at the MTV VJ Hunt.

He was just the most lovely guy ...
He was smart , courteous, good -lookin, confident, quirky, had his head on his muscular shoulders and had a beautiful warm heart, and that bit is what made me want him as my friend .
And that's what we became over that one week at the Vj hunt many many moons ago .
He was just awesome at work and a wonderful person even when the cameras stopped rolling .

And we are still friends, but do not meet that often..bloody hell..
But some people always stay part of your life, whether you meet often or not and he is one of them.
He is the guy who taught me how to host a live event, when I was with MTV..
How to handle huge crowds..
He is by far one of the most amazing guys I have met, he also introduced me to "Everybody's free to wear sunscreen" the song by Baz Luhrman..
"Paris Brest " at Sunny's in Bangalore.
Gun-powder from off M.G Rd in Bangalore.
Allepey fish curry and appam in Chennai..
And filter coffee..
And was an amazing co-host ,friend and knight in shining armour all rolled into one.
He always knew what he wanted , and was also clear how he is going to realise his dreams.
Something that I'm still learning.
He always pushed me to do better, and was a complimentary host to work with.
He has a tattoo of a wizard on his arm, so I remember, looking at it and saying,"Merlin?" and he said, "Gandalf" ..
I did not want to say  "who?" I said , " well he looks like Merlin" ha ha ha ..
He spoke a language I sometimes did not understand..
Was filled with music I never heard, trance, progressive house and the likes..
Were concepts I learned from him..
And I have seen him work a crowd like no other...

He is truly "FANTASTIC"...(Which is also his favorite word, at least it was then...)

Well I do not see him often enough, nor his lovely prettier half Pearl..
There's is a beautiful love story..
And some days , I miss the madness , that we all lived together in..
We have all come such a long way ..
I have kids, he travels the world with his music ( I'm so jealous, about that)
My kids know his name, because he is "Famous"

Why am I telling you about Nikhil..???

And Warsi cooked for us a meal on the trek...

During a trek we did for a show called "Chill-Out"..Cyrus, Me & Nikhil..

Bath after 4 days on the trek..

I don't really know..
But I am ..
Because I guess, every time he walks through my mind, it explodes with memories of happy times, and I always break into a smile ..
He is one of the smile bringers in my life..

Mini & Nikhil bringers....

So in life I hope I'm a smile bringer.
It's not that we need to live life in a way that we need to make an impression.
But if we can live in a space that does not hurt someone ..
It's a good way to live..

Sometimes we touch peoples lives unknowingly..
When we do , what we bring to them , does impact their life in tiny or big ways.

So I try and keep this thought inside me.
Maybe I'm not always successful with doing the right thing.
But more often than not.
I do not say stuff I do not mean.
I realise that's the easiest thing to do .
But at the end of the day how you treat someone is far more important than what you say to them.

A lot of people say a lot of things to me.
That I may or may not take seriously.
But what if I do believe everything you say to me or insinuate..
And if your actions did not match your words ..
Then how would I feel ?

So how you  treat me, how you make me feel , how my insides truly feel , even if my smile does not betray what actually matters..

So today while I served the kids hot dough-balls, from the oven , with home-made garlic butter and a jar of Nutella..
And the kids were chatting about, what they are going to do in the holidays..
I was looking at these soft delicate dough balls, and thinking this is exactly how our hearts are , soft and like putty..
And most of the time, when we open ourselves to the people we love, we let them handle our heart..
So remember this while you handle someone else's ...

And so I bite into a warm bite of this little piece of bread, dipped in delicious garlic butter, made with Amul and a few dunked into a jar of Nutella.

I am thinking ..
Life could not be better...
Soft dough-balls on the table, with butter and Nutella ..
And laughter all around..
Some things and people are meant to be part of your life ..

So keep on walking, but stop to smell what's in the oven..
Because if you do not reach in time, it may burn..
And keep the ones you love in your life , close to you, if you can ..
And tell them you love them and more importantly show them..

People will walk in and out..
That's their prerogative ...
They may walk in and out sometimes because of their own fears and sometimes, because of you ..
So try and be the reason people walk into your life for..
and not otherwise..

Was not able to shoot the baked dough balls, as they got devoured, before I had a chance to take a photo..

So here's presenting, "Everybody's free to eat Dough-Balls"..
Fresh , simple and just the perfect size to fall in love with..
Just like me ha ha ha ...