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What’s Cool In This Heat?

As I write this post it is well above 42 Degrees Centigrade out side. My FM radio says the roads are deserted. The ceiling fan in the room is just throwing more hot air around  the room. This post is about all the cool things you can do, only in summers, when the mercury in the thermometers is raising northward. It might not be the most pleasant of   seasons but it has its uses. Imagine how you would define cold if there was no heat. The heat of the summer brings the rain bearing clouds of monsoon to India.

Here is a list of lesser known reasons to appreciate the summers you might not have considered before.

Amaltas In The Central Park-Jaipur

Amaltas In The Central Park-Jaipur

This is when the Amaltas, Gulmohar & Bougainvillea are gloriously in full bloom. However much might the heat be these trees are lush green & ever willing to shade you from the ever hot sun.

Cleaning and getting the air-cooler functional for the summer is a yearly ritual. In the dry heat of Jaipur where even the AC fails, the cooler keeps life bearable.

This is the season when you can take long afternoon siestas without any guilt.

The days start earlier and you can go for long walks in the nearby parks & gardens.

You have perfect excuse to wear minimum clothes. Cotton clothes in summer are a rare luxury.

You can store water in buckets to have bath with later when the water is colder & nobody will laugh at you.

There are hardly any mosquitoes around. Aside from heatstroke etc. this is a healthy season.

You get to MAX on watching IPL cricket at the beginning of the summer.

Now a days you can even go boating on the Man Sagar Lake.

You get to go swimming & enjoy pool side parties and freak out at the rain dances.

If you like to gamble you can bet on all aspects of the coming monsoon.

You can relish cool water from surahi or matka.

You do not see many flowers in summers but Water Lilly does bloom gloriously just now.

If you like mangoes all through summers a different variety of  mango is available in the market for your pleasure.

At no time is a glass of beer more welcome than on a hot afternoon.

In these health conscious days drinking sherbet might be out of fashion but I am very partial to sherbets in summers. They can cool you off better than a carbonated drink.

You can write a whole post on the wonders of having chach/lassi/ butter milk & curd in summers. You ought to try the meethi lassi in a kulhar on the M.I.Road at the Lassiwala next to Charmica to know what I mean.

You can have Paani Patasi with Iced-water on the Link Road next to Sarogi Mansion.

You get to drink iced tea & mint tea in summers.

This is the season when the whole family gets together to make mango ice cream in a bucket at home.

You get different types of melons to eat to cool off.

I hope reading this post took your mind off the heat for some time!

If you can think of some more cool things to do this summer please feel free to list them here.

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Paneer Masala

Here is a simple recipe to cook Cottage Cheese Masala ( Paneer Masala) for two.

Time Taken : 40 Min.

200 gms Paneer ( Cottage Cheese)

2 Medium Onions Minced

1 Medium Tomato Minced

2 Green Chillies Minced

1 Tea Spoon Garlic Paste ( Heaping)

100 gm Fresh Curd

100 gm Butter

100 gm Fresh  Cream

2 Table Spoon Refined  Soya Oil

1 Tea Spoon Red Chillies Powder ( Heaping)

1/2 Tea Spoon Coriander Powder (Dhania)

1/2 Tea Spoon Salt Or to taste

1/4 Tea Spoon Turmeric Powder

Pour the oil in a Wok and heat it to little short of smoking point and add the onions. Fry the onions on low heat till they are transparent. Add the minced tomato. Fry some more till the tomatoes are cooked. Add the red chillies powder, dhaniya powder, salt,  turmeric powder & some water to cook the mixture. You might have to add some more water once or twice to cook the mixture thoroughly. Add garlic paste & minced green chillies & cook some more. Add the curd and bring the mixture to boil. Making a point to keep string the mixture till it is boiling. Cook the mixture till the whiteness of the curd is gone and redness of the chillies is in the masala. Now stir in the butter. Add the milk cream and cook some more. Now cut the paneer in small pieces and add to the masala.

If you wish you can add a  chicken cube to the masala.

Serve it with crisp plain  parathas cooked in oil or butter-as per your taste & choice.

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Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry

Serves Four

Time Taken to Prepare – about 90 Min

Ingredients

Onions 4 large minced

Oil 1 cup

Red chilli powder 3 tea spoons heaping ( or to taste)

Coriander Powder 2 tea spoons heaping( or same proportion as the red chillies)

Turmeric Powder 1/2 tea Spoon

Salt -One and a half Tea Spoon (Not heaping) or to taste.

Sour Curd 200 gms ( or lesser in proportion to the red chillies as this much curd is needed to take the bite out of the red chillies)

Garlic Paste 2 Table Spoons

Ginger Paste 1 Table Spoons

Green Chillies 2 Minced ( optional as per taste)

Broiler Chicken 900 gms

Method

Heat the oil in a pressure cooker( thick bottom of the cooker prevents the masala from burning easily) and add the minced onions to the oil when the oil starts to smoke and fry the onions on low heat till brown.

Add the red chilli powder, salt, coriander powder & turmeric powder to the oil and the fried onions and add a little water so that the mixture does not burn.

Cook the mixture on low heat till the oil starts bubbling and the masala is cooked.Add some more water and cook some more till the oil starts bubbling again.

While adding the curd ensure to stir the mixture on high flame till the masala comes to a boil.Keep the flame on low heat and keep frying the curry till it takes the color of deep oily red chillies.

Add the Garlic paste and the ginger paste to the curry and cook some more.

Wash the Chicken and add to the curry and add enough water to cover the Chicken and cook on low heat till the chicken turns tender.

Add the green chillies to the prepared Chicken and serve with chapaties or tandoorie rotis.

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A Recipe To Cook ‘Khichari’

Chawal & Hari moong Dal

Rice & Green Moong Lentil

To Serve: 1  OR 2 Persons

Time Taken: About 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Green Moon Dal( This is moong lentils with the green covering unlike the yellow moong dal): 4 heaping Table Spoons.

Rice: 4 heaping Table Spoons.

Turmeric Powder: 1/4 Tea Spoon

Salt: To Taste

Water: 400 ml.

Some Sugar & a Little Clarified Butter and Milk  OR  200 gm Fresh Curd. As per choice.

Mix the lentil and rice together and clean and wash the mixture in water and let it soak in water for 10-15 minutes.

Throw away the water used to soak the lentils & rice mixture and put the mixture in a pressure cooker. Add about 400 ml of water with the salt and  the turmeric powder.

Pressure cook at high flame till the cooker whistles once then lower the flame to simmer for 10 minutes. Switch off the flame after 10 minutes. Let the cooker cool down on its own for 5-10 minutes.

The ‘khichari’ is ready to be served.

It can be eaten with salt as it is Or with milk and sugar and clarified butter Or with fresh curd and salt or sugar Or with only sugar.

It is very light on the stomach and is generally made when somebody is recuperating from an illness.

The 50:50 ratio of the rice and green moong dal can be varied according to a persons  choice.

If you are in a hurry and do not have the time or inclination to soak the rice and green moong dal mixture in water before pressure cooking the mixture  just wash the rice and dal  thoroughly in water  and add 100 ml extra water to the mixture and cook for the stipulated time.

Khichari

Khichari

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Rangeela Omelette

Serves: One Person

Time Taken : Ten Minutes

Ingredients:

2 Eggs

1 Small green chillies Minced

1 Small tomato Minced

1 Small Onion Minced

2 pinch of salt

2 pinch of red chillies or black pepper

Some oil

Method:

Break the eggs in a small bowl and beat them with a fork for a couple of minutes. Add the salt and the red chillies or black pepper as per your taste. Add onions, tomatoes and green chillies as per your taste. Beat the mixture some more.

Heat some oil in a non stick pan till it is smoking. Lower the flame  and pour the egg  mixture in the pan. Wait till it is brown on the frying side and turn it and fry the other side till all the egg is cooked to golden brown. If you like your omelette half done then you will have to take it off the heat sooner.

Serve with butter toast and tea.

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Recipes

These are the 10  links to the recipes found on this Blog. If you missed them some how here they are for your consideration.
DAL

Khichari

Fish Curry

ALOE VERA- Gawar Patha

KER SANGRI PICKLE

RED MEAT

SOYA CHUNKS IN MANCHURIAN SAUCE

RANGEELA OMELETTE

SPICY EGG CURRY

TEA

I am partial to each one of them.I would be happy to hear your opinion about them.

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Soya Chunks In Manchurian Sauce

If you are a novice in the kitchen and know enough cooking to boil water this recipe is for you. We are just going to assemble a few processed goodies and some vegetables and rice to make a wonderful meal.

Time Taken : About 40 Minutes

Serves: 2 Persons

Ingredients:
1 packet Chinese Manchurian Knorr make a meal
1 cube Maggi Chicken concentrate OR 1 cube Maggi Vegetable concentrate
2 Cups of Soya Chunks
1 small onion
1 small carrot
1/2 a  small  cabbage
1 small capsicum OR 2 Big green Chilies
2 spring onions
Some red OR green chili sauce
Some vinegar and green  chili  sauce
1 cup rice
salt
ghee

Method:

Wash the rice in cold water. Soak the rice for 20 minutes in cold water.Throw away the water used to soak the water.  Take 2 cups of water in a pan add the soaked  rice,  a pinch of  salt and a little ghee and cover the pan with a lid and boil the rice on Simmer setting of your gas burner till the rice is tender.( Do not stir the rice while it is cooking.The rice will be cooked by the time all the water is used up. )

Grate all the vegetables and mince the spring onions. Put the spring onions aside.Take a wok add a little ghee and sauté the vegetables for 5 minutes. Add 3 cups of water to the vegetables. Add the chinese Knorr Manchurian make a meal mixture and bring to boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.
In a little water boil the chicken cube or the vegetable cube ( as per your taste) and set aside.
Boil 4 cups of water in a pan add 1/4 tea-spoon salt and add 2 cups of Soya chunks and boil for 10 minutes. Use a strainer to get rid of the water used to boil the Soya chunks and to wash them in cold fresh water. Squeeze out the excess water.Put some ghee in a wok and fry the Soya chunks till they are a little brown. Add the boiled chicken or vegetable concentrate to the wok and bring to boil till the chunks absorb the concentrate a little and add the mixture of Soya chunks and concentrate to the Manchurian sauce.Garnish with the minced spring onions.

Your meal is ready. Use the chili  sauce as per your taste.

COOK IT UP A RECIPE WEB SITE

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Day Break At The Man sagar

Early Mornings At Man sagar-4

Early Morning At Man sagar

Early Mornings At Man Sagar-1

Early Mornings At Man sagar

Early Mornings At Man Sagar-2

Early Mornings At Man Sagar-3

If you do not live near the Man Sagar why would you want to go there far a walk  at day break? It is a good question. The answer is because  I like to take pretty pictures. And sun rise is the best part of the day if you ask me. It is a different dawn every day. And each is prettier than the last one. There are birds, there are flowers and desert vegetation and paved paal to walk on. There is even a guy selling tea even before dawn. If you ask him he will serve your tea in disposable cups.There is even a Cafe Coffee Day at a petrol pump just opposite the lake which one presume is open during the day.Later in the day you can get Camel and Elephant rides too.You get a good walk, some fresh air and get to capture the changing moods of Jal Mahal Palace and the Man sagar Lake  in your camera.

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A Recipe To Cook Lentils

Lentils

Lentils

In this guest post Ms.Ratna Singh,a house wife in Jaipur, shares with us  how to cook lentils the way her husband likes. Nature has blessed us with a big variety of lentils and man in his wisdom and to add spice to life has come up with numerous ways to cook them. The following simple recipe shows us how to cook  chana and washed moong lentiles.

To Serve: 2 Persons.

Time taken :  About 1 hour.

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Washed Moong Lentils

1/2 Cup Chana Lentiles

Clean the lentils & soak  the lentils in some water for 1/2 hour.Wash the lentils in the water used to soak the lentils  and throw away the so used water.Put the lentils in a pressure cooker and add the following items.

1/4 Tea Spoon Turmeric Powder

A little Salt

4 Cups Water to pressure Cook the lentils.

Pressure cook the lentils on high flame  till the cooker gives 2 whistles.Turn off the flame and let the cooker cool off.

Now take a wok and put in a table spoon of butter or desi ghee and 1/4 Tea Spoon of Jeera(cumin)  and fry it on low flame till it changes color now add 1 tea spoon of Ginger & Garlic paste and Saute for some time then add 2 pinch of heeng . Now add 3/4 tea spoon of red chillies ,3/4 tea spoon of coriander powder, 1/4 tea spoon of turmeric and salt to taste with some water to the mixture in the wok.If you like you can also add one minced green chilly. Cook on low flame till the oil separates.

( If you think at any stage that the mixture might burn because of too much heat and not enough masala , just switch off the gas, add everything and then start cooking again.)

Now stir in the boiled lentils with the water in the cooker to the wok and bring to boil.

You can garnish the dish with Lemon Juice to taste and with  green coriander leaves.

Prepadred Dish of Chana & Washed Moong Dal

Prepadred Dish of Chana & Washed Moong Dal

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