Tag Archives: Poha

Bread Poha & a slice of my life

We had the most enjoyable three days for Eid this time. Time spent in the company of friends, eating out, bowling, watching movies was truly memorable. I thought of indulging in some cooking in these holidays but I couldn’t really get down to it. 

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Lately, I haven’t shared much on the blog about what is going on with my life. Well, there is a reason as to why I have been so cut off from this space. Everyday, there is so much happening that it is difficult to pin point a few events or even morals from the lessons I learn each day as a woman entrepreneur. Moreover, as a person, I always find it inspiring to focus on the positives that would help me move forward.

 

So here I am sharing a few highlights of my life in the last 6 months.

  • My company – The Butterfly Effect Co completed 3 years ( www.thebutterflyeffect.co). This means it has graduated from being a startup to a small business now. This also means we graduated from being a 2 people company to a 6 person company focusing on clients across industry verticals and geographies. We have also expanded our service lines from being a pure-play social media management company to a full-fledged digital marketing company providing services like SEO, mobile apps, Website development etc. 
  • Little Mimi who took up maximum space on my blog will start with grade 3 now in September. She is a little person now who has opinions and expresses them with the ferocity that makes me wonder how did she grow up so fast!
  • The blog completed 7 years in February, this year. I celebrated it with skillet brownie and ice cream. You can check out the recipe here.
  • One of the highlights this year was my foray into organizing events. Having organized community based food, art and craft festivals, bake sales in the previous years, I was able to harness on that experience to conduct a children’s painting exhibition. I cannot thank God enough for it went off smoothly despite all odds. 
  • Mimi and I started a reading club at home for children every Wednesday. It has been delightful sharing my love of books with these 7, 8, 9 and 10-year-olds. It also gives me a glimpse into the minds of this age group. How they look at books, plots, characters and what keeps their interest alive in the books they read!

These are few wonderful things that happened over the course of these 6 months which makes me feel very optimistic about the time to come. 

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Another highlight was preparing this awesome bread poha for breakfast this morning. Bread poha is one of my favourite snack / breakfast that I enjoy every once in a while. Generally, I am tempted to try this when I have some left over bread at home. It is wholesome, delicious and healthy too. Weight watchers may want to limit the portion cause it is nothing but C-A-R-B-S. For such dieters, I would recommend this dish for a cheat meal. For the recipe check out the recipe card.

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Bread Poha
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. Bread slices, torn into small pieces ( atleast 8-10 slices- older the better)
  2. 2 large onions, chopped
  3. 5 green chilles, chopped fine,
  4. peanuts - half cup( boiled)
  5. salt as per taste
  6. chilli powder - 1 tsp
  7. coriander powder - 2 tsp
  8. tumeric powder - 2 tsp
  9. sugar - 1 tbsp or less
  10. lemon juice - a dash
  11. sprinkle of water
  12. mustard seeds,- 1 tsp
  13. cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  14. dash of asafoetida
  15. curry leaves - 8 -10 leaves
Instructions
  1. Tear all the bread slices into bite sized pieces, keep aside
  2. Take some oil in a flat frying pan, splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds and add asafoetida
  3. Add chopped onions and fry until light & translucent
  4. Add green chillies and curry leaves and fry.
  5. To this add, all the spice powders including salt and sugar and mix well.
  6. Add boiled peanuts and fry well
  7. Add bread pieces and let the spices coat the bread pieces very well.
  8. Once the bread is mixed well, sprinkle water to soften the bread.
  9. Take the pan off the heat and add a dash of lemon juice and serve hot
Sliceofmylyfe - a Food blog based in Bahrain http://www.sliceofmylyfe.com/

Of Routines & Breakfasts (with Poha)

In my previous post, where in the list of 7 things, I mentioned I am a stickler for routines. It may come as a surprise even to people who have known me  for years.But without a pattern to my daily life, I am a goner. I look for reassurance that a daily routine lends to my life. The simple idea wherein, certain activities  have to be performed at a certain time, every single day, provides the much-needed succor in the otherwise chaotic events that life constantly presents. Certain days are shakier than others and to come out alive and unscathed to the solid ground that a routine provides is something I do not take for granted. Every single day requires that we think and process information and take tough decisions and it is only a routine that lets the brain go passive and lets it relax by making us function involuntarily.

From getting up everyday at 5 45 am till the time I hit the bed at 10 30 pm or 11 pm, I feel secure with the idea that most things wouldn’t change no matter what new circumstances present themselves without a prior warning. Having said that, it is a given that I do not adjust to change easily. Probably it has also to do with the fact that I am a taurus who tend to resist change with all that they can. I have never been good at change and usually take a horrible amount of effort  and time to not spin out of control.

Funnily if you meet me I may come across as the spur of the moment kind of person but at a much primitive level, my need to adhere to a routine is way stronger. I pretend to enjoy spontaneity most of the times but my poor brain at that time is dealing with an emergency short-circuit. Marrying a man who is also routine-oriented, made my life a lot easier.

Before Mimi was born, I had a set pattern to very single day which largely meant going to work and having a fitness routine in place. Weekends were meant for the spontaneous stuff that didn’t make me the boring figure that I have already succeeded in establishing myself as in the first few paragraphs of this post. I went dancing, took dancing classes, met friends, made short trips, watched movies and did things that didn’t mirror my weekdays. When Mimi arrived, inspite of all the mental notes and preparations, my life took a 180 degree flip and routines were sent flying out of the window. I grappled, coaxed, pepped talked myself and even after 2 years of being a stay at home mum, I didn’t have a routine in place. I just couldn’t manage. At all times, I felt like a failure. Now with my job, a new routine has been staring at me, claws and fangs baring. The past week has been chaotic but some semblance of what seems like a routine that may last seems to be taking shape. I know I will have to work towards getting the details in place and every day is going to be a step towards that.

Ironically, I know the blog speaks about something completely different but consider that as a testimony of my futile attempts to steady my routine- less life the past 2 and a half years. But a few things still didn’t change and that were my breakfast habits. Poha which is flattened rice is one of my family’s favourite breakfast options. Without fail, poha turns up on our breakfast table atleast twice a week. Embellished or unadorned, this makes for a tasty and filling breakfast. During my recent trip to India, I happened to eat a divine version of this humble dish and swore to recreate the magic during one of our Poha breakfast days.

Poha, in my honest opinion, does require a certain level of skill. My initial attempts at it ended in large mass of yellow lumps. Finally after practicing for a few months, I started to get it right. Now it seems like I can do it with my eyes closed. The base recipe remains the same but it can be garnished with anything that you please.  I made 3 different versions with different garnishes such as peanuts, pomegranate, sev, boondi and cheese.

Recipe for Poha

Ingredients

Poha – 2 and half cups ( use the thicker variety as the thinner versions tend to disintegrate)

Red onions – 3 medium-sized or 2 large ( we love a lot of onions in our poha)

Peanuts ,skinned and boiled – a handful

Turmeric – 1/2 a tsp

salt to taste

green chillies, chopped  – 1 or 2 ( optional. I didn’t use any)

Sugar – 1 tsp

Oil – 3 tbsp

cumin seeds – 2 tsp

fresh coriander for garnish

Lemon juice – a few tbsp

pomegranate – for garnish

boondi, sev, scrape some cheese – as per your preference.

Preparation

1. Wash and chop onions finely and keep aside

2. In a kadhaai/ wok heat some oil and brown cumin seeds.

3. Add the onions and let them turn translucent.

4. Meanwhile while the onions are cooking, wash the poha on a sieve under a tap. Squeeze out water as carefully as you can. You want only an optimum amount of water to be absorbed by poha otherwise it will reduce into a lump when you start cooking.

5. Once the onions have cooked, add turmeric, salt, sugar, peanuts and let it be for a few seconds before you add the washed poha.

6. Mix it up well. Poha doesn’t really need any cooking so once all of this is thoroughly mixed you can just take it off the heat and garnish it with fresh chopped coriander and others of your choice.

7.  Add lemon juice and mix well.

8. Serve hot with chai.

The other options that can be added to make poha as varied as possible are chopped, boiled potatoes, peas , carrots etc.

Even on days when every bit of my life is off track, making and serving poha tells me all is not lost. It reminds me that my routine however a little skewed, exists. Breakfast fads may come and go but good old poha always stays in my list of meals for all seasons.

Ahmedabad Memoirs

I am back from my short trip to India. In 10 days I have traveled plenty and hogged on more food than my system could take. It was an opportunity I wasn’t ready to miss. I feel sad that it ended so quickly but that is how vacations are. They end so that you can think about them and feel good later. I also feel sad that in my gluttonous avataar, I forgot to capture a lot of pictures that I could share over here. Midst all the hogging, my dearest hubby managed to click a few which I am going to share here.  For the uninitiated, I was in Ahmedabad for my lil brother’s ( not so little anymore) wedding to a Gujarati girl. I couldn’t be happier. I love Gujarat, its culture, the food, the people, the shopping and everything about it. I was brought up in Gujarat and had most of my education in Mithapur & Ahmedabad. I was so eager to go back atleast once to see my favourite city and re-live the wonderful college memories. Engineering, unlike other courses demands 4 years out a student’s life. I have had the most amazing time at college with my gang of friends. I am so sure when they read this post, they are gonna do that walk-down-the-memory-lane bit for quite some time.

Thats my Engineering Institute
My friend and now a professor, Poonam Modi. Bumped into her and it was such a pleasant surprise.

We landed in Ahmedabad after an entire night of no sleep on a very uncomfortable flight. My parent’s reached Ahmedabad the same day and the first thing we did was to transfer our luggage along with Mimi to my mother so they could carry on to their destination ( To the wedding place – Bhavanagar).  From then on, my hubby and I were free birds to do what we wanted to. Not having tonnes of luggage to lug around and a baby to run after can be liberating. We walked, hand in hand ( after two whole years), breathing in the crisp and very polluted Ahmedabad air. I was so eager to show my hubby all my favourite hot spots and I wishfully desired that the city wouldn’t have changed in 10 years.

The "Boys' canteen at our engg. institute
The "girls" Canteen

I quickly made some phone calls to my Engineering friends to see if anybody was free or in town. I planned the day with a few friends who were in the city and boy! what fun we had. It was certain that it was going to be mostly about food. Correction- It was all about food with a little shopping thrown in between. But I am sure my husband would think otherwise. I met up with one of my best friends from college, Dhara and one of my room mates from my hostel, Nandini. We had the giggliest time together that annoyed my hubby so much. He pretended he wasn’t with us. It was refreshing to talk about old times with my old buddies. They told me stuff about me that I never actually knew but I am not going to write about it here.

The first stop from the airport had to be the University area where I had to visit by Alma Matar – L. D. College of Engineering. It felt surreal to be there after 10 long years. But it doesn’t feel that long. Time can make you fuzzy and make you feel it was just yesterday. To see a new batch of students clambering down the institute’s stairs with a sense of purpose and books in tow, I felt nostalgic to the point of shedding a few tears. I didn’t , else my hubby would have completely given up on me. Loitering aimlessly in the corridors I had the most fantastic moment when I bumped into another classmate, Poonam,who’s now a professor at the institute. I was overwhelmed and there are no words to describe how amazing it felt to meet her. It was probably the best- est day after the birth of my daughter. No I am not exaggerating. I mean it. I was truly happy.

Now the University area is inundated with food stalls and hawkers selling all kinds of heavenly delights. Famished from our night long journey, it was only just to fill our rumbling bellies with all the goodies. It was so difficult to stop at a particular food stall and greed got better of us. We scanned the whole row before settling for some steaming hot, laden – with- goodies, Poha. The guy even scraped a tonne of cheese on it. I did not stop him. I knew my soul needed that cheese.  The poha was spiced just right and garnished with sparkling pomegranate seeds, plenty of sev, boondi, peanuts and other spices, I couldn’t identify. My pictures do not do any justice to the fantastic dish. I was too busy gobbling it down when my hubby suggested that I  may like to click a picture for the blog. This is one of the reasons why I married my man.

Poha with cheese at the University
Boondi "spice bomb" chat

My hubby had his Poha plate without the frills then realized mine was the one to go for. We also had a boondi chat which was such a spice-bomb. I enjoyed it but could not finish it. My hubby then scavenged for some tea with Maska ( buttered) buns. He wasn’t too happy with both. Morever he felt the tea cost too much. I needed to save some space for other goodies I wanted devour later during the day so I gave the buttered bun a skip after a single bite. My friend, hubby and me made our way to our college canteen. Back in those days, we had a weird system where girls and boys sections were separate. We, girls, were made to sit under a make shift roof with no fans and the boys under the cool concrete with fans in the hot summers. It wasn’t fair at all but we didn’t care. We stuffed our faces with as much food the canteen wala could possibly make. Personally my favourites were Vada pav, samosa and maggi. I am slurping as I type this 🙂

For now, we were content sipping on some hot tea, talking and reliving some of the past again. From there we took off to the famous Janta Cold Coco with Ice cream seller, right behind the boys hostel. I noticed so many boys peeping out to see the visitors walking down the road and it was flashback once again. Sigh!

Janta was closed because they were renovating. I was heart broken. We moved out of the University circle talking about what other food joints we had to hit before my day ended.

For all who have never been to Ahmedabad, there is one thing that you shouldn’t miss doing while you are here. SHOPPING. It is cheap and the variety is staggering. I wanted to go and shop at all my favourite joints on Ashram Road, Satellite and C G Road but time was a constraint. I managed to go to my favourite store called ASOPALAV which is wonderful for ethnic wear and jewellery. Since I was heading for a wedding, some jazzy jewellery was in order. It was way cheaper than I would ever hope to pay in Delhi.

my loot from my shopping escapades

After a generous stint of shopping where all my hubby did was snooze, only to wake up when it was time to foot the bill, we headed to have a sumptuous Gujarati thali at a restaurant named DadiMa ( meaning Grandmother). The sight of the huge Thali ( plate) with numerous katoris ( small bowls) was so heartening that we impatiently waited for the servers to begin their job. With every passing second our heavenly plate was being filled with divine tasting Gujarati food. There was no time to take pictures or conversation. Each one of us was in the world of our own  savouring the delicacies. Puris, tiny rotis, with potatoes in gravy, dal, kadhi, black gram gravy, dhokla, basket chats, all kinds of salad, gulab jamun, khichdi, and so much more. After finishing the meal, I was certain that if I tried moving even an inch, I was going to explode. We sat outside the restaurant because we couldn’t lift ourselves up.

My hostel room mate, Nandini came along to see me and I felt I had  new found energy and appetite. We headed for some more shopping and by early evening decided to finish of the expedition by having some coffee at a barista. That was the day I understood why westerners drink coffee after their meal. I had some hot black coffee and instantly felt revived, ready for some more scrummy food. My hubby, who knows how completely ruthless I can be when it comes to food, dragged me out of the coffee shop and I found myself saying my goodbyes to my friends from the cab windows. 🙁

It was such a wonderful day spent in the company of food and friends. There couldn’t be a better combination. We made our way to Bhavnagar which was the wedding venue. There we were greeted with more fabulous food and hospitality. I have to say this- The hospitality that Gujarati’s show their guests is incomparable. They go beyond and above to see that their guests are treated like nothing less than Gods. With that kind of treatment, one can only have fond and fonder memories of wonderful food and courteous people.

My Hostel Room mate Nandini
My dearest friend Dhara

I hope to re create the poha or the dhokla on my blog to relive the superb time in Ahmedabad.

Here are some photos from the wedding.

The Bride and the Groom
Mimi @ Sangeet night
The Ganesh Puja
The Band , Baja & Baarat just starting out
The mandap being set