Saturday, June 23, 2012

raindrops keep falling on my head!

Its been a really hot and sweltering week and after some amazing hill station like weather in the week before that, this heat was completely unwelcome!
We went about our day to day business in the heat with a grumpy and grouchy expression-dying to head back home to the welcoming cool embrace of the A.C.
Now I can really appreciate the frayed tempers and lacklustre professional attitude of people back home in India in the baking heat of 50 degrees and more!!
Blame it on the weather, people!! Not on us...
and so as we are inching towards the end of the week (its late Friday afternoon here) we have the black ominous clouds slowly moving over the horizon...
yaaaaayyy!! its going to rain!!
and before you can say "raindrops" the clouds burst and the whole world turns hazy around us!!
We watch from the safe confines of our balcony as the sudden storm lashes and howls and growls and throws lightening bolts at us!
The fury of the storm (and believe me it certainly behaves like a full fledged storm-at least from my little one's point of view who is petrified) is wondrous to behold!
and now for some piping hot pakodas and a steaming cuppa tea...
Interested, anyone?  :-)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Fun....HELLO KITTY!!

Don't all girls love the cute "HELLO KITTY" character?
its one character that i have grown up with when I was younger... and have sketched it so many times!
so here is a tutorial of this adorable evergreen character.

do let me know if you or your child makes this and if you like any other character tutorials!

For more Step-by-Step Tutorials please click here

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Food-Tandoori Chicken!

Who doesnt love Tandoori Chicken??
I think all hardcore meat eaters of the Indian subcontinent (and now quite a bit of the world) relish the succulent juicy Tandoori Chicken-whether as boneless starters or as a full fledged entree with the mint chutney and the onions soaked in lemon...yumm.....
I have never tried tandoori chicken at home... maybe becoz I didnt have a tandoor??  :-)
I have grilled it/broiled it but not made the proper full fledged Tandoori Chicken with the nice red color and crispy outside and juicy inside flavors...
Till yesterday.
My husband has an Egyptian colleague in the U.N. and we have been thinking of having his family over for a full Indian dinner for a number of days.
Yesterday seemed like a good time and as they have mostly meat in all its forms-we ONLY prepared meats...
from Seekh Kabab to Shami Kabab to Mutton Rogan Josh to Tandoori Chicken.
And as I didnt have a tandoor (who has it?) I made it in the normal gas oven and it came out just right!
juicy and tender and crispy!!
I am attaching the gas oven recipe but you can also try it on the grill...
This recipe is for 4 whole chicken legs (skin removed) and if you are using more chicken-just increase the quantity of the spices accordingly...
also as my guests dont have spicy food-the spice is toned down quite a bit..
You can increase the red chilli powder as per your taste if you so want to.

          To roast:
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp sweet (not hot) paprika
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice 
  • 4 minced garlic cloves + 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger OR 3 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 whole chicken legs (drumsticks and thighs), or its equivalent, skinless, bone-in
  •  juice of 1 lemon + 1/2 tsp salt mixed in a bowl


    1-  Cut deep slashes (deep cuts to the bone for the marinade to go in completely) in 3-4 places on the leg/thigh pieces.
    Coat the chicken pieces in the 1 lemon + salt mixture and let it sit for 1/2 hour in the fridge.
    2-  Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, then cook the cumin, turmeric, coriander, cayenne, garam masala and paprika, stirring often, until fragrant (approximately 2-3 minutes). Let it cool completely.
    Whisk in the cooled spice + oil mixture into the yogurt, then mix in the lemon juice, ginger garlic and salt
    3-    Coat the chicken in the marinade, cover and chill for at least 6 hours...
    I marinated it overnight but some people think that is too much time but i find the flavor more intense that way! totally your call.
    4When you are ready to cook, take the chicken out of the refrigerator, line a large roasting pan with foil, lay a rack over the pan so air can circulate under the roasting chicken, and pre-heat your oven to 425 C. 
    If you have a convection bake or convection roast cycle, use that
          Place the chicken pieces on the rack so they are not touching. Empty what is left of the marinade into a bowl or measuring cup and touch up any "empty" spots on the chicken pieces with the marinade. 
          Once the oven is hot, put the pan with the chicken in the oven, and leave the door closed. Turn the chicken pieces once after 30 minutes of cooking time, then roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly charred on the second side, but no more than 15 minutes for legs and thighs. If you are cooking breasts, be sure to poke one with a skewer to make sure the juices run clear.
    5-  Turn the oven off and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before serving, garnished with lemon wedges and sliced onions and accompanied with mint chutney.
     It’s also delicious at room temperature or even cold the next day.

    Yield: Serves 4-6.

    marinate the chicken...

    grease the grill pan/foil and put in the oven


    For more tried and tasted and slurrped over recipes, please click here

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday Tutorial!

Anyone for a simple tutorial of Snoopy?

do let me know if you or your kids tried this adorable character!

For more Step-by-Step Tutorials please click here

Friday, June 8, 2012

1st Summer hols tutorials... a dinky car.

After last couple of weeks of playing hide and seek-dull dreary weather with sudden bursts of sunlight and then gloomy weather again... the sun is out in full glory! and hopefully will remain so...
and I am enjoying it all the more because back home in the plains of India, the summer is at its scorching worst...reaching 47 degrees and climbing!! whew!!
And its enough to make me dread the next summer in India, when we will most probably be back and facing the heat, literally and figuratively!
and so with summer comes the summer India its for two months while here in the U.S. its for a never ending three whole months!!!
Three long months that never seem to get over.
And like last year, this year too my kids are not going to a summer camp...
last year we were new and testing the water...everything was seeming too expensive and we also didnt want to tie ourselves down...had a lot of "exploring of a new country" plans!
This year though we have become comfortable with the spending the mighty dollar- and I would have jumped at a chance to send them off...the grandparents are going to be here!
and it would be really unfair for them if the grandchildren were out the whole day...
So...the kids are going to be home for three really busy months and I have gotta make a lot of plans to keep my two hyperactive boys busy and properly occupied-other than TV and video games!
One of them is of course lots of art and craft...hahahah!!!
what else would you expect out of me?
and I know that its summer holidays in India too-
so every week I am going to be posting a couple of art tutorials aimed at kids...
plus every week will be at least one craft that I am going to be doing with my munchkins...
so be prepared for a lot of easy, kid friendly art and craft every week!!
and if you have any particular character that your child is fond of, and wants to draw-
please let me know and I will be sure to post a tutorial of that!

so to start of today with a is the first tutorial of a small dinky car...
what can I say...I have TWO boys!

 aaaa....nnnddddd.....we are done!!
go ahead and color the car RED  or  YELLOW  or  BLUE !!
I hope you enjoyed it and do come back for more!!  :-)
it always a pleasure!

For more Step-by-Step Tutorials please click here

Sunday, June 3, 2012

the first Indybindi stall in New York!!

 Held my first stall in New York in the famed Dekalb Market (click here) that I had written about in my earlier post...
though I didnt really sell as much as I had wanted to-its was a fun day!
the sun was out in its full glory after days to gloomy wet weather...
the crowd was fascinating...made a few new friends (fellow sellers), hung out with some old friends who had dropped in to lend support and to enjoy the market...
the food was fabulous and the mood/ambiance was seen to be believed!
the music concert was awesome and would have so loved to dance to it (its been ages since I have had a nice dance night) but was too exhausted by the end of the day to really get into the groove!
but what was the highlight of the day?
the number of sketches and doodles that I did while watching fellow sellers and engrossed buyers!
I hope you enjoy them!

giving directions on setting up the stall
a diva in full glory!

is she sketching me?
no I think she is sketching ME!!

man I am SO tired!!
mamma n baby in their own little world!

a very strange headgear!

another exhausted husband/boyfriend!

now which one looks good?
a fellow seller busy at her stall...

deep in conversation!

deep in thought!

a woman dressed to kill...couldnt resist making a fashion sketch of her!

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