Friday, February 24, 2012

Recipe of the month: Maddur Vade

As with my previous blog post, this post is an extension of my vacation in India as it is something that I associate very closely with home.

Allow me to paint you a picture - It is a rainy weekend afternoon; you are in a relaxed state of mind having completed all your chores and curl up to read a good book. At this juncture, imagine you had a steaming cup of filter coffee and some piping hot maddur vades with coconut chutney in front of you? Ah! life couldn't get better. Hmmmm on second thoughts, the only way it could get better is if someone else did the cooking and then handed it to you on a platter. Oh well! 

Maddur is a place between Mysore and Bangalore in Karnataka, India. It is famous for these vadas which as you can see get their name from. Rooted in my mind are childhood memories of driving down from Mysore to Bangalore with my family and stopping by to eat these vadas (which were usually packed in newspaper). Of course my Dad was always worried about hygiene considering these vadas were mostly prepared by road side street vendors so these trips were very infrequent. Still, whenever I hear or read about maddur vade, it always brings back pleasant memories of my hometown and childhood. 

I had no idea how to make these vadas until one day I was trying to figure out what Indian fried snack to make for a dinner party. I was sick and tired of the usual pakoda-bonda-bajji-cutlet-samosa routine so was trying to come up with something a bit more unusual. My hubby suggested maddur vade so I began combing the internet to find a good recipe. I came across several of them and picked this particular one ( since it looked easy and authentic. I am always very apprehensive about trying a new recipe on the day of a party especially when I don't have any backup plan!  But this recipe alleviated all my concerns since the finished product turned out to be pretty good for a first time effort.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Movie Review: Agneepath (Hindi)

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Whenever I'm on holiday in India, something I do without fail is catch the screening of the latest Bollywood flick. This time was no different....I wanted to watch the recently released Agneepath so I set off to the nearest multiplex in tow with my hubby and siblings.

Agneepath (Path of Fire), is a hindi movie directed by Karan Malhotra under the Dharma productions banner. This movie is a remake of the classic Agneepath (1990) directed by Mukul Anand which reinforced the public perception of Amitabh Bachchan as a megastar. I've heard that the original Agneepath was released twice - the first time it bombed at the box office, one reason thought to be Bachchan experimenting with his voice so it was released a second time after re-dubbing his lines in his original baritone voice, following which it began to pick up and eventually developed a cult status. I think it is a huge responsibility to remake a classic - the expectations are huge and the pressure to equal or surpass the success of the earlier version is tremendous. Needless to say, comparisons are inevitable. My review of the new Agneepath will be unbiased because I haven't watched the earlier one! I may have watched bits and pieces of it during my childhood because I vaguely remember a few dialogues and scenes but I really don't remember much more.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Confessions of a first time home owner

I have always found interior designing fascinating. If I hadn't opted for a career in the field of science, interior design is one of the fields that I would have most likely leaned towards. Not that I have any special talent in it or anything, it's just that I find it intriguing. There was a time when I was hopelessly hooked onto home make-over shows like Debbie Travis' Facelift, Dress my Nest, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Trading Spaces, While You Were Out, My Celebrity Home and The Home Show. But such an overdose of home design began to saturate my brain so I decided to take a break for a while! However, I still enjoy going to home furnishing stores almost as much as I enjoy shopping for clothes, bags or shoes!

These past few weeks, I have been heavily preoccupied with one of the most important to-do things on my bucket list - I've been decorating my own little nest. Ever since I've gotten my own place, my head has been spinning with all the decorating and designing I want done. What wall colors do I choose? Do I paint all the walls or go for accent walls? How about wallpaper? What color should the doors and trim be? Should there be themes for each room? What kind of furniture do I choose? How do I match my existing furniture with the new furniture that I've bought? How do I integrate wood, metal and glass furniture and make it look cool? Do I go for curtains, blinds or window panels? What kind of lighting should I go for? The questions are endless. And if that wasn't confusing enough, when the home owners are a couple, you need to be able to come to a decision that both partners are satisfied with. Sometimes it may be a tug of war between aesthetics and practicality but eventually, a compromise has to be reached.