Friday, February 29, 2008

An Update, A Recipe & A Meme

I’ve been tagged for a couple of memes in the recent and not-so-recent past. Much as I have fun doing them, I can’t always come up with material, and of late, I’ve even been forgetting about being tagged. Memes have their uses – not only do you get to talk about yourself on the very expedient, guilt-free excuse that someone wants you to do it, but they also fill the silence when you don’t have anything much to say.

Rachel of Tangerine's Kitchen tagged me for this meme. Considering I’ve not been honest about the really bizarre side of me, I hope this is at least a halfway good read.

1) I can never read books or watch movies or shows which don’t have women characters in them. I try, especially if it’s a must-read/must-see, but I can never go through with it. I find them extremely drab, and yes, I’ve missed out on a lot of good works this way. I’ve been this way since I was a kid.

2) Similarly, I can never finish self-help books. I’ve borrowed several to read, and they’ve gone right back to their owners. I have one with me right now, which my friend swears is wonderful, but the very layout of the book is putting me off! Bad, because it promises me that if I adopt its teachings, I will get whatever I want.

3) As much as I dislike traveling by autorickshaws (the Indian equivalent of cabs), because of the bargaining and arguing involved, I do. Often, when the driver grumbles on the way, I shout him down with unassailable arguments of fair, just and such virtues, or if he doesn’t return the change, shake my index finger violently at him and curse him that he will lose double that money, then reach my destination and begin worrying that he will somehow wreak revenge on me.

4) I am a worrier. If, for some reason, I catch myself feeling good and relaxed, I worry about that. Didn’t I have something to worry about just a few minutes ago, come on, bring that back, what was that?

5) I’m often accused of being too polite and too politically correct. (My mother won’t agree, of course.) I can be tediously nice but since that’s not naturally me, I sometimes slip and say something that sounds most tactless and clumsy.

6) I am quite opinionated but of late, I’ve been trying to put myself in the shoes of most other people before I criticize them - and it’s become a bad habit. The heat of all this tolerance is threatening to melt all my cherished beliefs and principles, and I’m turning into a dithering jelly of doubt.

7) I used to snack in even numbers. Yeah, so if I had a third chocolate, I'd have to have a fourth, and so on. Happily, I've gotten over that ...

I tag Shyam, of Food in the Main; TBC of The Budding Cook; Saswati of Potpourri; ET of Evolving Tastes; TC at The Cooker; Revathi of En-Ulagam and Bhags of Crazy Curry. Up to you, of course, to take it up or not.

AFAM update: I expect to be busy for a week starting today, and even have to travel for a couple of days next week. I will do the round-up of AFAM-Pomegranate after I return. Meanwhile, here’s a recipe I’m pretty chuffed about, a recent discovery.

I rarely pick up these beans because the ones I get here are mostly pod and very little bean, but I’ve discovered this is a nice way to include them and get over your dislike of just the pod.

Chikkudukaya/Broad beans – ¼ kg, chopped/ 2 cups, boiled till just tender
Toor daal – ¾ cup, soaked for 30 minutes and boiled till soft, but should hold their shape
Dry red chillies – 2-3, broken up
Garlic – 3-5 cloves, minced
Mustard seed – 1 tsp
Urad dal, split and hulled – 1-1/2 tsp
Cumin seed – ½ tsp
Oil – 2 tsp
Curry leaves – a few
Salt and red chilli powder – to taste

Heat the oil in a pan, pop the mustard and cumin.

Add the garlic and as it sizzles, add the urad dal.

Once the urad dal turns colour, add the red chillies and curry leaves.

Turn just once, and immediately add the beans.

Saute well on medium heat. Add salt and red chilli powder, stir well.

Add the toor dal. Mix so that all the seasoning and tempering is well distributed.

Remove from heat.

Variation: Moong dal can be used instead of toor dal. This method can be adapted to many other vegetables, including amaranth greens and stalks.


  1. Finally Sra! I so very agree with you on the auto factor!Nice read...

  2. Great MeMe. I know you worry too much girl!:D

    Get your award from FH, I didn't see you there yet. Busy?:))

  3. With so many acts of incivility happening every day, I could stand a few more people who are "too nice."

  4. great to know these sra...hahah...just like you anyway~!...have a nice trip

  5. bah!! these auto wallahs have the inane talent to work us up!! nice meme!!

  6. Love the meme, great knowing about you! the beans curry looks lovely, sra!

  7. Hi sra,
    iliked what i read here ...
    stop worry too much far as Auto rickshaw incidents considered I agree with u ...
    be a free birdie and always remain that ...
    hugs for that honesty ...

  8. I love the snacking of even numbers ;-)
    About the richshaw, it is really correct when you say about the arguing, once we were in B'lore and the auto guy didn't take us till infront of a friend house saying the road was too difficult and i was so angry that he would dumb us in a place i didn't know, i got out of the auto, with my daughter and nieces and walked off without paying him, saying to him i will only pay him if he take us to the place he had agreed when we got into the ayto, so in the end he took us with a lot of grumbling.

  9. Hi sra

    Nice to read your meme :) ....

  10. I can't read books written in the first person....
    As to self-help books...I help myself by not reading them...and certainly save money by not buying them!
    Love the beans!

  11. great to know abt u sra...yummy pic

  12. I'm a bit like that.. always need something to worry about. My mom keeps reminding me to not think so much! :) Not 3, but 4 chocolates... ? :D
    The broad beans look good. I get these once in a while and are pretty tender. Never cooked them this way though.

  13. Enjoyed reading ur meme.... was quite interesting girl... loved that snacking part...hhaha

  14. Rachel, anybody who's been in unmetered autos will empathise, I know. Thanks.
    Asha, thanks. I've had a busy time at work - off next week on more work.
    Susan, :) Too nice is different from tediously nice, I guess.
    Valli, thanks, we'll chat after I come back.
    Arundati, I know, I would take the bus, but then I'd have to take two buses to get to work!
    Uma, thank you.
    Jaya, thanks, what a sweet thing to say.
    Happy Cook, once when an autowalla refused to go further, saying I'd not been clear with the directions, I refused to get out of the auto till he dropped me at my place.
    Vanamala, hi, thanks. I'm not really weird, am I?
    Kate, I too wouldn't read books written in the first person earlier, but I do read some now. Even the binding and typeface influence me sometimes.
    Dhivya, thanks. Somehow, my pix are coming out very grainy nowadays.
    Laavanya, I saw them cooked this way in our office canteen, but with moong dal.
    Prema, I know, that was quite weird!

  15. aaah, the joy of fighting with the autowallahs! I used to do that on a regular basis while I was there. I miss that now:-(
    I'm a worrier too...need my daily quota and more to keep me going;-)
    What I don't believe is no.7...really?

    hmmm...u've tagged me. I will get to it as soon as I finish the 8+ I have been tagged for!;-)

  16. dithering jelly of doubt? i doubt it. enjoyed reading your meme.

  17. Great to learn more about you, Sra. I worry too much, too! Nice post. :)

  18. Honored! But, who me, weird? No way. :))

    Oh, and don't worry - someone might write a self help book with no women in it that you can try to read in your next rickshaw ride and the rickshaw-wallah will think you are being very polite, and that you have become very tolerant of him, so then you can go and have 2 hot hot idlis, or 4 chocolates, or 6..

  19. Was nice to read about you!! I understand when you say you worry a lot.. I do that too. :)

  20. Nice meme!! even I have a lot of experiences with the auto walas. Nice recipe...

  21. Nice to know more about you Sra. Eating in even numbers is not as bad as eating in multiples of 5! I just finished eating 15 morsels of chocolate chips in 3 batches! It doesn't stop with just eating - it's always 5 more minutes of TV, or 10 more minutes of snoozing or 15 more minutes of get the drift.


  22. sra, worring too much, does not seem like, you come across as the most free spritied girl, memku mere sati vrayadamu lo.funny yet very nice. Jodha Akhbar movie choosara ?

  23. Lovely meme, Sra! #4 rings so true here :). Broad beans curry is something i'll really enjoy, i love beans!

    have a great weekend,

  24. that's a nice dish. bought beans today, will definitely try it! :)

  25. TBC, #7 - really. Not any longer.
    Oh, Bee, believe me, it feels like that, not being able to take a stand.
    Kalai, thank you. I wonder if it's a woman thing?
    ET, why did I expect that not-weird reaction from you - maybe I should add mind-reading to my list of weird things. LOL to the rest of your comment.
    Ramya, a lot of us seem to do that.
    Nithu, hi, autowalas do strike a chord, don't they? thank you.
    Mamatha, ROFL! But c'mon, 15 choc chips in batches of 3 can't be more than a handful, right?
    Sreelu, thanks. I know - I do come across like that to people but I really am jelly inside.
    Ah Musical, you understand! Have a nice weekend!

  26. Ha Sra, so you are a worrying, dithering jelly of doubt who is tediously nice ?? :))Oh, you are really nice! I enjoy the way you write!

  27. hey, i liked ur subzi, will try! hv always liked the dal/veg combo ;)

  28. Interesting tidbits about you. ;-) Have a fun and safe trip.


  29. NICE MEME loved reading about u sra

  30. :) Great meme Sra... I remember the two years of hell with the auto drivers in B'lore...

    Self-help books are crap, only one I've ever read is Smart women finish rich, and when I came to the part about if you skip your daily latte, you can save an extra $10000 by the time you are 60, I stopped reading...

    and about #6, you said it girl, I am in the same situation... and I have finally decided, I am not going to be tolerant anymore, it is killing me :D

  31. I forgot to add: don't lose yourself to too much tolerance.

  32. nice the jelly bit..trying on other hats does that to u.. stick to ur own hat!

  33. So, you've been accused of being "too nice?" My, but the world is mad, ain't it?

  34. Great meme Sra...enjoyed reading it a lot. Self-help books do the same to me too...& well beyond them. Don't think much can help me because the mind is stubborn! Love the eating in even numbers...what an excellent way to indulge! Sorry I missed the pomegranate AFAM...tried but missed the bus;posted my pom molasses anyway! Cheers

  35. Done my meme, like a good girl :)

  36. your blog posts are always an interesting read. So you are a worrier huh!

  37. Darn it! Someone beat us to the tag. We were just about to tag you too! Oh well, thanks for sharing more about yourself! :)

  38. Great Meme Sra!! See ya soon!!

  39. That made me giggle. I'm a worrier too. Although not always as polite...

  40. Hi Sra garu,
    The show was either 'Mee inti vanta' on Zee telugu or 'Maa vuri vanta'on Maa t.v[my husband says 'mee vantaa-maa tantaa'...he..he], Ee madhyane Dish T.V connection teesukunnamu. So,have no idea about re-runs.

  41. Jyothsna, thanks. Yes, that's what I am - which translates to not so nice :(
    Richa, it's quite nice, do let me know how it worked out.
    Paz, thanks, I had a fun trip
    Sagari, thanks a lot.
    Sig, I'm reading something called The Secret, and am wanting something so badly, I'm keeping at it - it's more than a week overdue at the library!
    Cynthia, ever since I saw your comment, it's been replaying itself over and over in my mind :)
    Mallugirl, your comment too - I'm going to take it seriously
    Susan, I guess it's the politesse between gritted teeth that's excruciating for both me to display and the other to take - depends on who's on the other side, actually
    Jeena, hello!
    Shyam, you've seen my comments!
    Mandira, thank you so much.
    Sukanya, thanks.
    W, I read yours, and commented!
    Hi Swathi, your stuff is so beautiful!
    Mallika, yeah, I can imagine, your posts are full of spirit!
    Satya, Sra gaaru sounds horrible. :D Please call me Sra, that's enough. I guess the re-runs are long gone. Liked your husband's line :)


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