Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cheat's Cookery - Potato Cutlets

Well! According to me this isn't cheating, but having known so many people back home who prepare every component of this dish at home I'd resign to calling mine cheats cookery as many things are shop bought in my case. that I have got my foreword out of the system I'll write about my potato cutlet saga. 

All I wanted to prepare for the evening meal was a simple aloo jeera with a few spices - cumin powder, coriander powder, chilli powder, some turmeric and salt to taste and serve this as a chunky potato side dish. What I however ended up with were overboiled potatoes and so it was a masala mash that ended up with in my pan. It also was extremely spicy - you see I love spicy food so much that I went a bit over board this time.

I thought of making cutlets out of these immediately and chopped a whole lot of onions, carrots, got my peas and ginger mince ready. After the prepping up I decided to make it with just the potatoes and not add anything else - mainly coz the quantity was so much that it would have been enough for 6-8 people.

Potato mix- 
Potatoes - boiled and over boiled works just fine!
Jeera powder
Chilli powder
Cumin powder
Salt to taste
Seasoning - oil, cumin, mustard, asaphoetida 

Chutneys to serve (the cheat factor) 
Green chutney - mother's recipe's Bombay sandwich chutney has got me completely
Date & tamarind chutney
Sweet chilli sauce - not a great option but my cutlets were so spicy that I thought. It would help.

Prepping the Cutlets-
Corn Flour - 2tbsp (add water to thin it)
Breadcrumbs  (the cheat factor)

How I made it:
I made nice big patties out of my potato mix and dunked them in corn flour, rubbed them against bread crumbs and toasted them on either sides and voila! My cutlets were ready.

How I enjoyed it:
I served them with all my chutneys and as it still was extremely spicy I finished it off with a dollop of curd/yogurt. This made a perfect anytime snack, I had one during tea, another as my evening snack and couple of them for dinner.

Friday, November 08, 2013

It's Engineered - Part 3

After a few years into this I can say that I kind of understood what I had to do for the rest of the journey - just don't think, take each day at a time and enjoy the ride. 
Well, it's fair to say that there is a method in the madness. The Part1 and Part2 shows the zombi-ness with which I was going through the course. I had now begun to somewhat like what I was doing. At least when it worked, it was a good subject to study. 
I did feel a bit under pressure that I had topped the class the previous semester and wanted to come out with a decent score - you know the one time wonder syndrome was haunting me through the 5th semester. I was scared that I would fail miserably again and this time it will be seen as a bigger thing. 
I did notice the attitude of everyone - the lecturers, the HOD, some of the class mates, the lab attendants change in favour of me. They all seemed to think that I am this hard working, good girl and didn't get any nasty stares or comments from anyone. 

The temporary confusion in 5th Sem was the choice of electives that we had. Needless to say, my confused brain had no clue of what to choose, what's good , also what's easy and so on. This was the same for the next few semesters to come as 2 subjects had to be electives. We did make our decision and I didn't have any major issues with any other than Power electronics - had have no clue about what this was all about. 

I was comfortable planning my semester and brought about a good study-play balance. I planned to do combined study with a friend of mine who was from a different branch (telecom) and a different college. We made it a point to study the 1 or 2 common subjects we had together. I also had a very dear friend come home every single day from the other end of the city to study together with me. If not for him, I don't think I would have had the interest, the motivation or drive to study anything. In a way owe my marks and my 'doing well with the studies' to this friend. 

The semester was packed with a fair amount of activities. We had a better plan in managing the books that seemed to disappear from the library really quick by getting them from an external library, did better sharing of notes and reference books. Planned to get xerox, yes! the 30paise ones well in advance. Planned little samosa chat outings. explored a few other restaurants, cafes near the college. Made it a point to window shop in pretty much every Handicraft sale that was around and had luncheons at each other's place just in the name of studying. 

Over innumerable courses of taste my mom's vegetable upma's to the lovely christmas cakes from another friend to the occassional Neer Dosa treats from another pal's mom we went through the busy days. 
We now knew all about where to get the cheapest components on SP Road to the books on Avenue Road, also made a point to have a 'VTU Syllabus' book as a backup which was easy to read and digest when compared to the huge reference books. 

With a few notes in the exam paper about - please-pass-me, I-need-36-to-pass to I-don't-know-the-answer-but-the-answer-is-in-this-book (I wrote this for Power electronics), I managed to pass and pass well. I was the topper for the university, thanks to a friend who told me as her college had put up a board of all university topper's in all branches and their college names. I had reached a stage where I didn't understand the scale of things - how important it was or how it might change my life. I am glad I didn't have a clue as it did not change anything in my life other than happier parents.

6th Semester introduces to the world of projects - a Mini project is what we had to complete. Our chance to design, document, implement and build something from scratch that will 'work'. Thanks to my dad who gave us an introduction and some space in his friend's little factory and we were ready with our project - 'Liquid Level Indicator & Controller'. It went down really well at college as we had attempted something that we were yet to study in the 7th sem. But what was a disaster was that we had no clue what we had designed as we took so much help to complete the project that nothing much had entered our brains. This whole project episode introduced us to the world of Electronic City and the travels there and typing an awful lot of pages on the computer where we had to search for letters and do 1 finger typing.

It was overall a good year and was happy with the 'I got hold of it feeling' and was also enjoying the subjects as I went along. 

Friday, November 01, 2013

London Diaries - Table for One - Spuntino

The brief visit on a busy weekend evening made me fall in love with this place. I knew that minute that I had to go back. 

Spuntino - The extremely friendly & chilled out barmen cum waiters, the setting of bar stools and the walk in - take a seat - take it easy vibe the place brings with it are the key highlights. Love the fact that you are offered water as soon as you sit down like when you're visiting someone at their home and just when you are settling in and finding your bearings you already have the menu in front of you with water served with a cup of pop-corn with spice mix beside it. This was enough to make me love the place.

The menu has a mix of finger food to tapas style starters to filling mains with a great array of desserts. As a vegetarian I don't really pay attention to items which are not edible to me, but I bet if veggie options are good there is no need to think of what's available for the I can eat everything person in you. 

I settled in for a wild mushroom pizzette and unfortunately had no room for dessert but the cheesecake & the peanut butter & jelly sandwich looked sinfully yumm.

This tops my 'Table for One' list of places to eat, drink & spend a worthy me time. Must visit just for the different 'style' of food, service, ambiance, concept Spuntino brings with it.