Archive for April, 2009
Yes, another photo post. I think, by now it is obvious that I downloaded a bunch of photos from my camera to the PC. You see, every time I wanted to put something up here, I would diligently take a pic and forget about it. Until yesterday. When my excitement about curtains won over my laziness in a photo finish race and the photos finally got to see a world outside the camera.
Thai food is one of my all time favourites. I love the way the blend spicy chillies with sweet basil and how it ends up being such a flavorful and fragrant dish. The more thai I ate, the more I wanted to cook Thai food at home. After several failed attempts and near death experiences for K, I present to you the Pad-Kee-Maw or Spicy Chow Fun.
Chow Fun or flat rice noodles (available in any oriental store)
Vegetables you like (mushrooms, brocolli, carrots, etc )
Compulsory veggies – Onions, bell peppers
Ginger (or galangal if you can get your hands on it)
Green chillies (depending on how spicy you want it)
Fried Tofu (buy readymade fried tofu or just fry firm tofu at home )
Soy sauce – 2 tbsp
Oyster sauce or for vegetarians – aged mushroom flavored sauce – 2tbsp
Vinegar – 1 tbsp
Get all your veggies chopped up and put them aside. I usually go with more chunkier cuts for this dish so that you can get hold of your veggies in the chowfun with ease. Now, with the garlic, ginger and chillies, the best way to get the maximum flavor is to slightly chop them and then crush them using a pestel.
Seperate your basil from the stalk and slightly bruise the leaves.
Now, the chow fun, you can either buy the fresh made one which is soft and can be used directly, or if you bought the dried one, then cook them like you usually cook noodles. Drain them and wash them with cold water and put them aside.
In a heated pan, pour some cooking oil. Add some sesame see oil for extra flavor. Keep the heat on the higher range. Once the oil is sufficiently hot, add the crushed ginger, garlic and chillies. Then add the onions, bell peppers, all the other veggies and tofu and sautee them for about 3 minutes.
Now, add the soy sauce, mushroom sauce and vinegar. Also add a tea spoon of sugar for the classic sweet-hot flavor. Add the chowfun and give it a stir so that the noodles are covered int the sauce. Cook them for about 2 minutes on high flame. At last, add the bruised basil and tada!! you have the pad-kee-maw that your favourite restaurant serves.
To make a more healthier version of this dish, I just increase my veggie to noodle ratio. And if you want to make the thai fried rice, just replace the noodles with boiled jasmine rice.
…you can decorate and re-decorate all you want. Well, atleast thats what I would say, and K would happily disagree. For him, home is where he can have a view of the TV from his recliner.
Anyways, for me, I have always had an idea of what my home should feel like. The look, the vibe, I have been obsessing since I don’t even know when. So when we finally bought a home, the pressure of my own expectations was so high that I promptly drew a blank. There have been paintings that stayed a while and then went back to retire in the garage. Frames have been changed for the ones I do like. I changed the couches twice – thankfully I was able to sell off the older pair otherwise K would have never forgiven me. And the curtains – that was a saga. With a home that has floor to ceiling glass, it is very hard to find curtains of that length. And width too – one of my glass arrangements is 12 ft wide. And custom curtains in this country cost a bomb.
So finally, with one resigned K, one never say die Clueless and her disillusioned mother – measurements were taken and the curtains were made to order in India. The fabric was bought at Gurjari – that lovely cotton with block prints. Everything was gung-ho till we realised that those curtains weigh a ton and would cost the same bomb to be shipped to the US. Enter FIL – my hero, who decided that since he was travelling to US anyways, he could carry the curtains along. What he did not realize was that he would be carrying ONLY the curtains since nothing else would fit into the luggage, but thats a story for another day.
You would think that with the curtains arriving safely in the US, most of the hurdles were behind us. But we left out one small detail. If we were unable to get ready made curtains that are 12ft wide, then how on earth would we get ready made curtain rods that are that long? The custom curtain rods would cost – you guessed it – a bomb. Or even worse, a kidney. Thankfully, some of K’s engineering carpentry classes came to use as he joined two ready made curtain rods and put them up. They have still not fallen off, so I am hopeful.
At the end of all this drama, this is how it looks
This is what I have on the dining table – also a product of gurjari. It is originally a hanging, but I just made all the horses stand in a row. Aren’t the googly eyes cute??
1. On my last trip to India, I was positively estatic in a steel patre (utensils) store. I was looking at all the plates, spoons and tiffin boxes and picked up loads until I realized that I would easily exceed my luggage weight limit. However, I have still not acquired the same passion for tupperware, and I hope I never will.
2. When my sister (who is an under-grad) complains to me that amma is being too protective or too paranoid, I tell her “She is doing it for your own good no? ”
3. I fall asleep at 10pm. I could not stay awake even when Barrak Obama came on Jay Leno’s show and I very badly wanted to watch it.
4. I am forever cleaning my dogs ears, taking gunk out of his eyes and generally telling him he has been a bad boy.
5. I stopped shopping in the juniors section.
6. I have a 19 year old calling me aunty. In all fairness, he is my nephew, but still….
7. My first grey hair made its presence felt. I plucked it out, and now there are two.
8. I would rather stay at home warm and comfortable than go clubbing all night. Other reasons for abstence from clubs include Reason no: 3
9. I have started collecting plastic covers and ziplocs. I keep telling myself I am being eco friendly, but really, I am becoming my mom. I can almost see myself washing milk covers and stacking them to sell to the raddiwallah or to put pickles in.
10. I am not ashamed of confessing all of the above.
My dear friends, I rest my case.
PriyaInSuburbia awarded me with the Sisterhood Award!! Thanks so much Priya! I can definitely say we can so much in common with the choices we made and the dreams we have that we should be heading towards the Twinhood awards next!
I am passing this award onto some wonderful bloggers whom I have come to know
PriyaInSuburbia : I know that when I need information / advice on anything, she is the one to go to. Her most helpful and insightful replies to my everyday worries leave me calmed and in awe. She writes with such clarity and conviction that I come back to read her writeups again and again!
La Vida Loca: I had the chance of meeting and La Vida Loca and also went on an impromptu shopping expedition with her. It was so much fun! It cannot be co incidence that I got amazing deals on the stuff I bought when I was with her – the shopping gods must have been smiling at our friendship! She is one determined lady, running marathons after marathons, just reading about them gets me all panting and gasping.
I love lucy: She is such a warm person to interact with, and on top of that, she lives in my university town. How can I not like her? Offlate, her blogs have been sparse and I am hoping this award will get a post out of her 🙂
ChroniclesofDee: She is such a straightforward and lively personality, and it shows in her blogs! Her life as an inter-religious couple makes me admire her for being so tolerant and supportive of differences. Now, only if all of our countrymen were like her!