Monday, March 29, 2010

Its yet another normal workday coming to an end (its 10 past 12,so its over I guess) and apart from the fact that i slipped and fell twice in the bath tub in a span of 1 min (first one was accidental and then second when when I tried to reproduce the bug), I had one of the best dinners of my was nothing special other than 3 room mates getting together and cooking a normal dinner with no special occasion to speak of.

If you have read my old blog on cooking, you would know I am not even a average cook. But as my roomate upon hearing my shaky confession (that i have never cooked a vegetarian dish ) told with a serious face on day one , " Once in US everyone learns to cook..."

Well today we cooked Rice,Alu fry and Shahi Panner and in a span of 3 weeks I have got hands on exp on the following items :

Alu fry
Shahi panner
Panner masala
Bhindi curry
Mix veg
Mushroom curry
Egg curry
Chinese Noodles with soya sauce
The humble Rice & Dal (which is highly under rated when its freely available)
Veg biriyani
Gobi masala
Cabbage roast
and last but not the least , the daily ritualistic Masala Chai with ginger,cardamom and masala...

This blog started as a notepad list of the items I have cooked in such a short time and when I saw the number of things in it, I thought about blogging it.

For someone to whom cooking equated to chicken curry (made with no specific plan, other than adding all the masalas that one could lay hands on) its been a fun ride which just seems to be getting better each day...this may not be the case for the guys who have to eat up all this...a.k.a. my room mates...

PS : I do ensure there is milk and cereal in stock before I start cooking


Sunday, March 21, 2010

America's Finest City is really Munnar with beaches

(Having been in US for only two weeks as i write this , and having not been to any place other than San Diego, i have no reference to validate the city's 'Finest City in America' tagline. But many friends who have worked in other states confirm its true and since this tag is very popular it must be true indeed.)

The climate in Munnar in and around summer consists of cold chilly winds along with bright sunlight where you feel cold in the shadows while love the warmth of the sun when in sunlight.San Diego has similar climate (at least in feb- march but its getting warmer now). Plus the city has great beaches, so for someone who lived in Munnar for 4 years, this place is a blessing compared to the more extreme temperatures of other states.

Lesson #1(in US) :
The first and most important thing you learn in the US is being independent in all aspects.

When i landed in San Diego airport and reached the entrance,there was hardly anyone around to be seen . I had four quarters (how i got them will be told in another post) with me so without reading the instructions on the payphone i put in the coins and dialed my new colleague's number whom i have never met till them. Needless to say i never saw those 2 quarters again and nor did i get my call connected ! Now stuck with just 2 quarters i dialed first, then put the coins, and was relieved to hear my colleague on the other side, who gave me the directions for the hotel which was to be my stay for a week.

Standing at the entrance of the airport with the cold chilly wind blowing fast and the sunlight vanishing behind the horizon among the gray clouds, i felt a bit alone...There was hardly anyone around at the entrance so i asked the security guard about the cab and then got one. I had noted only the address and not the name of the hotel so when my cab reached the address i was not sure if it was the correct place. Coming from a country where one is used to see std/isd booths at every nook and corner, the rarity of seeing a pay phone was a discomfort indeed when you dont have your own phone.

Lesson 2 : What you took for granted in India like payphones everywhere,cheap phone plans,cheap taxis,cheap and more importantly robust public transport connecting even the remote nooks and corners of the city were blessings indeed.

Lesson 3 : You seem to have lot of free time in your hands when your new to a city, but more so when your new to US.

Will keep posting about what i see around here and give my lessons learned gyan as i really feel the need for a outlet of my thoughts after coming here so God save any readers of this blog :-)