From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


And so how you live life , or live with the choices you make ..
Is what finally makes or breaks you ..
All of us are beautiful inside out ..
That's my consensus..

And then life happens ..
How we behave during the great times and deal with the bad times..
Is the stuff our core is made of..

Some of us are easy to please ..
Some sceptical of every move ..
And yet others who just take each day and confuse the hell out of it ..
Some live within a picket fence, too worried to step outside..
And then some just live , each day like it maybe their last ..

I have realised that , what's food to one , maybe poison to someone else!
And what's special to one , maybe average to someone else ..

So the best way to live , is to see that you are at Peace with yourself ..
We'll easier said than done ..

Yesterday after two years of writing and trying out recipes..
Shooting , re-shooting ..
Scrapping every word I wrote ,to writing again ..

I finally closed the final draft of my book !
I was so so happy and , so relieved ...
I sighed a loooong sigh of relief!
I don't think I have worked so hard in a long time ..
And after ,I finished reading it from first word to last word..
My life actually played out to me, in the many hues and colours that I have lived..
And I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot of people that I have to thank ..
That I did..
Really hope I don't forget anyone..

Because unlike so many chefs , who are able to churn out books ..
This one baby has been quite difficult ..

So today in the middle of this book discussion..
Let me lead you to my recipe of "Palak Paneer" ..
I know , that for most of you , this must be part of your weekly cuisine..
But for me it is special, because I never ever , had this as a kid..
So here it is , something common that is special to me.. ..

So getting back to my book..
It's my love-child ..
And it's always going to be , most special..
Yesterday , reading through it, was fun and also a very emotional evening for me ..
Every recipe, had a story , in my head that I may or may not have told ..
And frankly , like my editor told me , it's a recipe book , not a diary ha ha ha ..
So there is very little chatter..ha ha ha

So I will continue to blog ..
As I always do have a lot to say ..
And it just gives me immense peace to have just said ,what I feel ..
Really try it ..
It feels good ..

So my book ,is now on its way to get "Proof-read" ..
Then we will do a dummy book to check ink on paper and colour..
And then , it will get into production ..

I don't know if I'm ever going to do another book..
But I'm not going to say "never"..
Because today my friend Sambo , said to me " All the things that you say , you will NEVER do , is what comes back to bite you ..
So I'm not going to say this is my last book ..
But I'm just going to say ..
I'm really happy and excited about how it has turned out ..

This book has been lots of fun ..
And also a lot of hard work and tears..
There were some days, I had not a word written..
Because I'm not a writer..
And I used to sit with my phone ..
(Oh yes , I wrote this entire book on my phone..)
And wait .. And felt .. Oh my god ,what the hell , have I got myself into !!

But I also realised..
That the way in, is also the way out ..
And the way out, is the way in ..
Ha ha ha ha
I hope you are as confused as I am ..

See the thing is..
I just gave it my best shot ..
The rest , I have left to the forces of the universe ..

Maybe like how I find "Palak Paneer " special..
There will be a few people who will find my book special ..
And that's good enough ..

I know that once you bite into my version of "Palak Paneer"
You will love the freshness and the fact that there is no cream in it ..
And it still does not take away from the taste ..
So do make this and let me know how you like it ..

As for me ..
I have written too much ..
Tasted too much ..
Edited too much ..
Cooked too much ..

I now want to go on a holiday ..
Climb up a mountain..
And watch the sun rise ..
Is that too much to ask for ..????
In my scheme of things ..
Not at all ..
You have to just want it badly enough ..
And I want to go to Machu Pichu ..

So as I sit here , at my computer , biting into roti and Palak paneer , and reading bits from my book" "From my Kitchen to, love & other ingredients"
I feel I need to correct some more stuff..
Add a few lines, edit a few words..etc etc..
So will get down to working , till late into the night ..

And when I don't want to work anymore , will count the stars ..
With lotsa love , from "Maria's Kitchen "

Monday, June 29, 2015


 You know the best relationship you can have in life ...
Is with yourself..
Yes love does make this world go around..
But do you know any loving relationship that is just all about only love and only love ..
Well ...

We go through so many phases in life..
The single want to be in a relationship ..
The ones in a relationship wonder whether it's better to be single..
The ones who have no kids, look with longing at the ones who do ..
And the ones who do , just want a break some times..

So yup it's just human to want what you don't have or can't have ..
But what's important in life , is to try and find happiness where you are..
If you can be happy with yourself..
Single, attached, on holiday, at work, pregnant, without kids, with kids, friends or just reading a book under your bed..
I think you will then be just fine..

I sometimes feel like running away ..
Have you ever felt like that ..
With just a book and some money to travel..
Where I'm going to go , what I'm going to do ..
Without a plan..
And that's what makes the whole thought so adventurous..

But I also know that it's really stupid and not practical at all...

A lot of people who are in love with one another..
Run away with one another..
And then real life catches up with them..

Which is why most of the amazing love stories in the world end in a tragedy..

Seriously ..
What does this say about love ..

I'm not a cynic..
I'm all for love and its myriad complications...
I'm also impulsive and mercurial..
Not at all a good combination at all ha ha ha ...

And so with life I have understood a few things..
To get to the top of the mountain, you need to walk up, the view will get better slowly..
Very slowly ..if you try and race to the top, your body does not acclimatise ....
you just have to take it slow..
You cannot make someone love you , even if you want them too..
But you can love who you want to , there is no tax on that ..
Sometimes it's nicer to walk away than spoil what you have in a relationship..
Sometimes it's very very imperative that you speak your you have no regrets..
Kids will be there own person, not an extension of you (note to self)..
As a caretaker we have to keep them safe and bring them up as good caring human beings...
And so on and so forth ..

I grew up believing in star signs, then one day I read I'm not Sagittarius but some new star sign called Ophiuchus....
Whaaaaat ?
 I mean really ..So does this change my entire chemistry with other star signs...
So do I get along with the earth sign or are we not supposed to ..
Is the water sign not going to douse my spirit ..
Will the air sign be there to fan my flames ..
Fire was me ..
Now I am ...what ?

So yup the world sometimes confuses you ..

"Gosh Maria,I never expected this of you "
Oh really ..???
I want to say ..!!!

Why do I have to live up to anyone's expectations ..!
When I have not yet put up a chart for myself..!
I'm me..
I'm just supposed to live ..
I'm supposed to dream , chase my dreams , make mistakes and start all over again..
Alt- Ctrl-Del...
That's just a computer application ..

But yes , I know that in life we get along with some like salt seeps into water ..
And some people are like chalk and cheese..
And then there are still some that are like balsamic Vinegar and Extra virgin olive oil..
That look like they were never meant to be together, but when they emulsify, you just can't separate the two..
It's like soul mates..
It does not really matter post that..
Because that taste of the emulsification just stays..

Oh gosh I'm really getting soppy ..
Ha ha ha..
Ok today I want to share with you ..

This is just the nicest combination of ingredients ..
And gives you a bread that is beautifully soft , and the flavour of the cheese and the butter , just seals the deal..

Oh yes sometimes you eat bread..
And sometimes you go on a no carbs ways of life ..
Basically it's your life ..
Do what you want with it ..

I'm just going to bite into the softness of this home-made soft cheesy bread that has a healthy dousing of butter , and it's filled with love from me to you only from "Maria's Kitchen"...

Friday, June 26, 2015


So yesterday as usual I was running on Juhu beach , when I came across a turtle stranded, it had quite a crowd gathered around it , it had its left front fin missing..
The little fellow, actually he has about 21/2 ft was trying to get back into the sea but was unable to swim back against the thrashing waves on the shore!

There was another gentleman there like me who kept trying to call an animal rescue number , but so early in the morning , nobody was really picking up the calls!
I then tweeted a video of the Olive Ridley Sea turtle , and Prerna Pradhan responded with a number that I called!
It was the number of Nilesh from P.A.W.S. who immediately sent Kala  to have the turtle collected!
While all this was happening, there were lots of concerned citizens who came to that spot , and were asking if anyone has called for help ,because most did not have a phone as they were on their morning walk or jog !
And the ones that did have phones, were clicking their fingers in its face and taking photos!
I think we sincerely need to include ,'How to behave with animals " as part of our learning in school.

I was there for an hour and a half , with this other concerned gentleman , whose name I did not ask, and 4 other guys.
In that 11/2 hour , there were many attempts made to put the turtle back in the water, but he just always landed back on the shore!
By around 8 am ,after I had picked Zeke from his Athletics  training , we sped back to that spot, because I just wanted  that turtle to be in safe  hands !
There were 6 of us who were there hanging around the turtle for that whole time till he got rescued!
In the interim period , many came took photographs and left ,some prodded him and some waved in front of his face...Seriously !!
And then one elderly guy who picks plastics off the beach , wanted to take him to put him back into the water , on another part of the beach!
When we did not let him touch the turtle,he got really upset and gave all of us ,trivia about Turtles like he had done an In-depth study about them ,because he spent so many years on this beach ..

I sat next to the turtle just before he was taken away and petted his wrinkly neck ..
He did not move away or flinch !
Not because he liked me ,but more because I think he was scared,I don't know, I'm just assuming stuff here!

But it felt good to sit next to this beautiful sea -turtle !
Zeke and me wondered how his fin got cut!
Maybe it was stuck in a fisher's net, maybe it was a shark attack or then maybe a propeller..
I don't really know..
But I was happy that I went running yesterday and chanced upon him ..

You don't always get a chance to meet an animal from the wild !
And further more, to even be part of the crowd of people, to rescue one !
But to meet an injured animal , is a very sad feeling, how scared he must be, away from his family , his habitat, among humans, chatting around him, carrying him to take him back to sea, and some waving in his face!
Everytime a wave washed near him, he would turn towards it and try to walk back into the sea, but was unable to .
But he never really gave up you know.
There is a lot we can learn from nature , if we are just willing to observe and not own, or destroy!

The gentleman in the blue t-shirt who was there throughout and only left when the animal rescue person came , I wish I had got his name !

I felt very good yesterday after a very long time !
I felt one with the universe !
I felt like even if we can all do a little bit of good..
It all just binds us together in a circle of life !

As for the turtle, he is in hospital!

And from here , he will go to the Dahanu Wildlife Rehab Center, that already has 50-60 turtles that have been stranded on various beaches, whose fins get chopped due to the fishermen's nets!!

The police in Juhu Beach took my name and number ,along with the rescue workers , before they let the animal be taken from that shore!
So I do feel like I belong to him in some way !
He chose me ..
And it made me feel very wanted and special.

The last time I saw a green sea turtle ,it was in the Reef waters of Australia , where it so beautifully swam near me ,so I reached out and touched it 's back..

I'm glad I saw this turtle on the beach and I'm glad he was rescued!
But it was heart-breaking to see it had a fin missing !

You know in life , we come a cross so many people every-day !
We don't know there stories or their lives!
They may all look physically perfect !
But let me tell you from experience ,that none of us are fully whole on the inside!
Most of us have more brokenness that anyone can imagine !
So with this thought , if we can just be nice to the people we meet !
And treat everyone with kindness!
I'm sure we would all be investing in a better world for our children and the ones to come !

Have a lovely blessed day

Monday, June 15, 2015


Sometimes I find much solace in words..
Sometimes I feel like if I'm not able to say, what I want ,my heart will burst ..
Have you ever felt like that ?

And so when I started my blog in 2010 ...
It was just that..
It was a vent ...
A passage ..
A walk ..
A run ..
A trek ..
All in one !

I really did not think or measure my words!
Before I pressed, the send button..
Never edited it , except for grammatical errors or spelling mistakes ..
The rest ,was just ,what flowed through ..

It did not matter to me ,whether anyone read what I wrote or everyone read what I wrote ..
To me it was catharsis ..
It was release ..
It was my stage with or without an audience ..
I still danced ..
Sometime it was pantomime..
Sometimes it was Tap..
Sometimes Jazz..
Sometimes the waltz..

And with every send ..
Something inside me set sail into the galaxy...
Like the universe is now part of me ..
And I had slowly found my little corner in the shade of an elm tree..
That was just mine ..
And whose shade, I could share ,with whomsoever I choose to ..

Where I lay down under ..
Looked up at the skies ..
Inhaled the flowers..
Watched birds fly ..
Squinted at the sun..
Smiles at the moon..
And generally learned to be happy with myself ..
I learnt a lot from the ones who wrote back to me ..

I felt a beautiful circle of life forming ..
And I realised that it does not matter who you are , where you come from , what you do or don't do in life ..
It's what you feel and what you do about those feelings that really matters ..

I learnt to cook very very slowly ..
I learnt to enjoy that process..
With every mistake , my resolve to get it right , just grew stronger ..
I loved the hap hazardness of the way I put things together ..
I was not traditional in my approach , I was not right , but neither did it feel wrong..
The food on my plate evolved..
The ingredients I used changed a bit..
Or then , i just started adding  new stuff to the old..

I know I'm not a writer ..
Not in the traditional sense..
I'm just a product of feelings and emotions ..
That's what drives me ..
I need to feel it ..
I can't weave words out of thin air ..
Like my friend Jaya, who is just a beautiful writer , and magically spins words like spells..
Or my friend Lalita who is just the funniest and most practical writer I have read ..

Sometimes I felt that I wrote so much ,that I had driven myself to the edge of the water..
Where either ,I needed to retreat or then  swim ..
Sometimes I just sat there , looking at the waves..
Sometimes just walked on the waters edge ..
And then sometimes just swam till the saltiness and me were one ..

Writing to me is like cooking ..
And cooking to me is like the stupid poetry I write ..
Maybe not everyone gets it ..
And frankly I'm fine with that..
Maybe it's not meant for everyone ..
Just me ..

I realised that cooking is an extension of how I feel ..
And writing is the sides , that I serve my food with ..

I want to learn more and more..
I want to learn how to make traditional Indian food..
To get the tadka just right ..
To be able to make Kashmiri food ..
To learn stuff from my friends Mums ..
To learn Indian from my friend Mini, who has a special magical hand ..
To capture my mums essence in the food I make, which is really difficult ..

To just explore ..
Every facet of life that I can ..
To start at the bottom ..
I'm fine with that ..

So today I'm going to share with you a dish I learnt from my friend Jaya..
She writes as beautifully as her green eyes smoulder..

It's a simple dish ..
It's something her mum Aunty Mridula makes , that she passed down to me !
And I enjoyed every moment of cooking it ..
It can also be made with meat but that's for another day ..
So after every dish I  cook in my kitchen ..
My crew devours it ..
Ha ha haha
And that's the best part of the show ..
The part that you dont get to see, but the part that feels , absolutely awesome, to me..

So I just want to say , this mustard flavoured rice is totally yummy ..
And no you don't have to measure your calories or your carb intake all the time ..
Enjoy it ..
For what it is..
Tomorrow is another day..

So while I ate greedy morsels of this amazing Tehri..
I was thinking ..
There is so much you can learn from everyone you meet ..
And all you have to do is be open to the experience ..

Everyone comes into your life for a reason ..
Some change your life 360 degrees..
And sometimes you bring a magical change into theirs ..

So live each moment and enjoy each morsel of food ..
Take chances..
But remember ..
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts and don't let anyone be reckless with yours..
This is from the Baz Luhrmann song "Everybody's  free to wear sunscreen " that my dearest friend Nikhil Chinnapa introduced me too, eons ago ,that is like a bible for life ..

Well the first part of that sentence I do practice , the second part , is still under construction 
Sometimes when you love someone , you trust them , to not be reckless , with your breakable heart , but things always or mostly never go according to plan ..

But you can keep the love ,that is you always glowing ..
Choose to be happy ..
Choose to live life with all your awesomeness..
And remember , to keep coming back here because , we have lots more to talk about to one another over plates of food made with lotsa love ..
Siempre from , "Maria's Kitchen"