The Paneer Parantha

Best paneer is not from the market, it is from the kitchen. Prepare by curdling the boiling milk (with vinegar). Draining the liquid, squeezing through a thin cloth and pressing with some weight.

If you do not know the process, experiment a little. You can not go wrong, no-one till date has gone wrong.

Now you have paneer, think about all the other stuff you like, ajwain (carom, Bishop’s weed), salt, red chillies, onion. Add them to the crumbled paneer. Use this stuff as a filling. May use cilantro for visuals and aroma. Up-to you. Green chilly, same remark applies.

Whole wheat dough, take a ball, and use the filling. Lift the sides and cover itself. Roll a nice flat circular chapati out of this.IMG_20150924_170412 IMG_20150924_173557 IMG_20150924_173606 IMG_20150924_173619

Place this on the hot griddle, bake one side, flip over, bake on the other side. NOW….only now paste a little oil on this side. Flip over, repeat the oil application. Keep a spatula to press the parantha (after oil application, chapati becomes parantha).

If pressed properly, on the right places, and the gods in heaven benign, it may even puff up. Even if it does not, it is delicious to look at and heavenly to eat.

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Beetroot Soup

IMG_3277 Can you see the soup here in this bowl, nearly all soup already eaten. Very little left in the bottom. I found this an interesting photo similar to an eye.

Preparing any soup is easy. Take all the vegetables you want in the soup, and peel them if needed and make smaller pieces, easy to boil and mesh. Pressure cook these with water, then with an electric hand blender mash them into pulp and pass through a sieve.

Further add water for proper consistency and boil if you want to. Not necessary. Actually there are many steps in Indian cooking which have been performed over centuries, mom did it, therefore. You must sit down, adopt a meditator’s stance and with that new found awareness ask yourself a question,” Is it really necessary?”. If there is an inner voice saying no, just skip it. That is good cooking. You will learn by tasting. Adjust the seasoning to your taste. This cooking is called स्वान्तः सुखाय meaning ‘for personal pleasure’. Adjust the looks of the food as well. It must look great, smell great and taste great. It must be good to feel on the tongue and by hand. That is the food of the gods.

Back to the soup, I had Beetroot and carrots. For a little sour taste I added tomatoes. In Delhi you get two varieties of tomatoes, one is less pulpy and sour, the other has thick flesh and sweet, I chose the more rounded, sour one. Boiled the carrots, beet and tomatoes, mashed, and sieved. Added a little water and salt and pepper, the soup was ready.

No oil, no cheese, more or less calorie-less. More or less no sodium! Dripping with fragrance, color, taste, and health. No limit to eating (actually slurping) any time of the day.

Let me know how you feel now.IMG_3283

Red Vented Bulbul

There is a small patch outside our house where there are a few trees, one Sitaphal, one Curry-patta, a two year old mango, a one year old Neem, and one Kaner; another one with white flowers, and one of which I don’t know the name. This is a captive patch, and we can plant anything here.
It is enough to give us a little greenery, and gives shade to one sun facing wall. Delhi at worst can be 45C in shade.
We spotted some activity by red vented Bulbul here in one tree for a few months and saw a nest. This category of birds was dear to Khushwant Singh, the great Delhi writer; I learnt the nomenclature from his writing.
Yesterday we photographed the three chicks and remembered this poem we read sixty years ago! Notice the Upanishad-type spiritual undertones of the simple writing!
(Four young ones of a bird go around the world, once they are ready to fly, finally coming back to the nest and declaring to the waiting mother,” East or west, home is the best.”)
एक चिड़िया के बच्चे चार
घर से निकले पंख पसार
उत्तर से वो दक्षिण आये
पूरब से वो पश्चिम धाये
घूम घाम कर घर को आये माता ​को ये वचन सुनाये
देख लिया हमने जग सारा
अपना घर है सबसे प्यारा



These plugs are life saving devise for anyone who travels by an auto rickshaw (we Delhiwallahs call it a “three wheeler”. Good plugs cut out the noise substantially. The tired feeling after 20 kms of travel is mainly because of the noise.

You get to your destination fresh. Half of the noise is due to your own “Three Wheeler” 🙂

Another life saver is a gas mask…………the exhaust pipe of buses and trucks are designed to belch their output directly into the three wheeler, and your driver manages to keep it that way, for fun and kicks.

Our obsession with HARD work

An Old Story

Long ago, a TV set (Black and White) used to cost Rs 2000, three months’ salary of a person, equivalent to Rs 100,000. in today’s money terms!

My cousin used to repair B&W TVs. One Sunday I accompanied him on a service call. It was a truck driver’s house. F90+ temperature, daytime. Brijesh opened the TV from behind. Tried all the tricks, his ustaad had taught him. After half an hour he was as clueless as he was in the first 5 minutes. He was sweating, so was I. The host’s wife offered us some cold drink. Brijesh concluded that the trouble with the set was more serious than what he thought.

I thought the owner would be shouting at us for being untrained and useless. He looked at us, sweating, and complimented Brijesh for trying so hard. He even paid him fifty bucks. I learned my lesson.IMG_20141007_0014