Sunday, 13 August 2017

Ambur Mutton Biriyani


When it comes to Biryani the first thing that comes to our mind is "Hyderabadi Biryani". In case you don’t know what biryani is all about? Well, it is a South Asian mixed rice dish with its origins among the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. It is a very popular recipe in the subcontinent. Everyone just love biriyani irrespective of gender, color, race, religion, region, language. Biriyani has somehow united the entire subcontinent in its own way. No doubt that Hyderabadi biryani is one of the most popular dishes, not only in south India but across the country. The dish is basically from Mughlai cuisine, and is quite a challenge to prepare, as it has some unique ways of spicing it up. Apart from Hyderabadi biriyani there are also different other varieties of biriyani which are equally tasty. One of my favorite is  "Ambur Mutton Biryani".


Ambur is a town in the Vellore District of Tamil Nadu, India. It is located on the banks of the Palar River on the Chennai-Bangalore National Highway. The place is quite well-known for its biriyani. I have been preparing Ambur Mutton Biriyani for quite some time now. It was Mr Viswanaathan Ramaseshan who introduced this recipe to me. Soon, I became a fan of it. I just thought to share this amazing dish to everyone.


Ingredients required (Preparation for 4 people) {
  1. 500 grams Mutton
  2. 500 grams Seeraga Samba Rice (One can use some other rice as well. But Ambur briyani comes out really well with Seeraga Samba Rice. Samba is a variety of rice grown in Tamil Nadu, also some other parts of India and Sri Lanka, and has a small ovular grain, compared to the long grain of basmati rice.)
  3. 2-3 tablespoon of refined oil.
  4. 50-100 grams of Ginger-Garlic paste (Freshly prepared, highly recommended)
  5. 2 sliced onions
  6. 2 Tomatoes, chopped (I prepared it with and without tomatoes. Without tomatoes also it is equally tasty)
  7. 10 – 13 Dried Red chilies ground to paste 
  8. Few pieces of cloves, cardamom and cinnamon sticks
  9. Coriander leaves
  10. Mint leaves
  11. 2-3 tablespoon of card
  12. Juice out of one lemon
  13. Salt (According to taste, preferably 1 to 2 tablespoon)


Instructions:
  1. Soak the rice in lots of water. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan
  3. Add spoon of curd. Add in the Cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Fry for 10 seconds. Add in the garlic paste. Fry for 2-3 minutes on medium flame.
  4. Now, add in the ginger paste. Fry for 2-3 minutes until the raw smell of the ginger goes off.
  5. Add in the chili paste, mutton, the mint and coriander leaves, chopped onions, tomatoes, salt, curd and lime juice. Add in a cup (250 ml) of water. Mix well to combine.
  6. Cover and pressure cook everything for 5-6 whistles on medium flame. Switch off the flame and wait for the pressure to release naturally.  
  7. Add in the soaked rice to the mutton gravy. Add in extra water, salt if necessary. Cook of another 3-4 whistles on medium flame. Switch off the flame and wait for the pressure to release naturally.
  8. Open the lid and gently fluff up the rice to mix. Serve the mutton biryani hot.  







Grab a copy of my debut book Story of Tublu from Amazon or Flipkart. It is a Contemporary Fiction novel, published by LiFi Publications Pvt Ltd. The book has its share of drama, that entertains; humor, that makes one reminisce; love, friendship and emotions that defines the amazing journey that is, life.





Sunday, 16 July 2017

Paanch Pandav



In the Mahabharata, a Hindu epic text, the Pandavas are the five acknowledged sons of Pandu, by his two wives Kunti and Madri. Their names are Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. The Mahabharata is the longest epic poem known and has been described as "the longest poem ever written". These 5 brothers are the life and soul of this epic. Yudhishthira was the eldest of them, and the other four respected him a lot. All the five brothers always remained together, loved each other, they shared everything among themselves. Later, all five brothers were married to the same woman, Draupadi. But all of them also had multiple other wives.

Due to some unavoidable circumstances the Five brothers had to leave their kingdom and lived in the forest for many years. They got to know from some travelers that a big Swayanvara (kind of contest) was to be held in the kingdom of Panchaal. The winner of the competition was to be offered the princess Draupadi's hand in marriage. It turned out that the winner was to be decided on the skills of archery. Arjuna was extraordinarily talented with shooting arrows. He entered the competition and won. The brothers took Draupadi and introduced to their mother, Kunti. They told mother that they had own a competition and received priceless alms. Mother Kunti was busy with something, and without looking at Draupadi she just casually ordered their sons to equally share the alms among the Five brothers. Their mother's order was supreme for the Pandavas, and they all agreed to share princess Draupadi among themselves.

The "Paanch Pandav" name was quite famous within our school, perhaps beyond the school boundaries as well. "Paanch Pandav" was the name given to a group of girls, all of them our classmates. They were very good friends, so called true friends. Friendship takes time, to know each other well, to share secrets without the worry that it could be leaked. They grew up together right from the start. Everyone admired their friendship. It was difficult to spot any of them individually, they would always be in group. During the breaks they would be together, gossiping, playing eating, everything together. They even visited the bathroom together. Even after school hours people used to see them together. They shared everything among themselves. Fortunately none of then had boyfriend that time, or things could have been different. Even after so many years, not only our classmates, but the juniors, seniors, everyone who passed out of KV BRPL still remembers the "Paanch Pandav". 

I don't know why but our "Paanch Pandav" always reminded me of The Spice Girls. Well, Spice Girls are an English pop girl group formed in 1994. That was the time when they were becoming very popular. Spice Girls were also a group of Five girls, all gorgeous, just like the Paanch Pandav.


The "Paanch Pandav" :

Arundhati
Pallabita
Neena
Anurupa
Anusuya 




Grab a copy of my debut book Story of Tublu from Amazon or Flipkart. It is a Contemporary Fiction novel, published by LiFi Publications Pvt Ltd. The book has its share of drama, that entertains; humor, that makes one reminisce; love, friendship and emotions that defines the amazing journey that is, life.




Saturday, 20 May 2017

Half Girlfriend


During our Engineering college hostel days we had a senior. We used to call him “Arvind da” (Name changed). He was very friendly and decent. He used to roam around with a girl of his same batch from different branch. She was Pooja(Name changed). They would enjoy their evening stroll in the campus, spent time together in the canteen, go movies together, only two of them. The beautiful lady also frequently visited him in our hostel. He stayed in a single room. They would spend good amount of time in the hostel on the weekends, and then went out by the college bus. For us they were ideal couples. They looked alike, both had the kind of charm, they always had smile on their face. Those were pre internet and pre mobile phone days. We also didn’t have a landline phone at our hostel, it showed up much later. But our Girls hostel had one from the beginning. If the boys had to communicate with their girlfriends or friends they had to either give a visit or go to the telephone booth about a km away. But during the ragging days there was also another option. The seniors would write letters, yes, hand-written letters, and would ask some decent first semester guy to deliver it.

So, one day I met Pooja in the city. We both hello-ed. I asked if she's with Arvind da. She smiled. Aha, I remember her smile, so delightful. She said she's alone, some shopping stuffs. Later in the evening I and one more friend were with Arvind da, in his room. We were simply gossiping, smoking. 

"Today, I met you girlfriend near Pan Bazar, " I said.

"Girlfriend? I don’t have any girlfriend."

"Come on Arvind da," the words came out from me and my friend’s mouth simultaneously.

"Are you talking about Pooja ?" Asked Arvind da.

"Ofcourse yes, or who else?"

Arvind da laughed, "Pooja is not my girlfriend."

The discussion continued for some more time. Arvind da was close to us. He tried to explain his relationship with Pooja. But we were not convinced.

"So you mean to say Pooja is only your friend and not girlfriend?" I asked.

Arvind da remained silent for a while. And then he said, "It’s much more than friendship I must acknowledge. But then she’s not my girlfriend. It is somewhere in between."

We were totally confused.

"Are you guys into some kind of physical relationship?" My friend asked.

Arvind da tried to bring his charming smile on his face, but it was fake. 

"No yaar, nothing like that."

"Not the hard core type, but kissing and may be some other soft stuffs?"

Arvind da again laughed and denied. I think he was upset with the question. He was a very emotional and simple guy.

"Forget it. You will not understand our relationship. It’s very complicated," he commented, smile on his face.

Even though we were not matured enough to understand such relationships, but we didn’t bother our senior friend anymore since then. A couple of years later it was time for Arvind da's batch to move out of hostel. We still had another two years. It was time to depart. Arvind da passed us a small diary. We were supposed to write our address/contact number/email address (Yes, suddenly internet cafes became a booming business those days). I noticed many of the guys mentioned some goodbye quotes on the diary. I was confused. It’s pretty easy to say Hello and get introduced for the first time, but farewell quotes are difficult. I didn’t know what to write? And then something came to my mind and I penned it down, fast.

Arvind da laughed. It seemed he liked my goodbye message.


Actually such relationships has had always existed. Some relationship better remain unnamed, unrecognized. Chetan Bhagat tried to give it a name. Like many others, even I didn’t like the idea. I think for some people "Half Boyfriend" name would have been more convincing name than "Half Girlfriend", or does it anyway matter? My wife picked up the book from a store long back. Even though I’m not a big fan of Chetan Bhagat but I read the book. I felt an emotional relationship is not presented in a mature way. But the book is a best seller. The novel is made into a movie as well. I don’t have any plan to watch it though, but "Half Girlfriend" made more than ten crores on its opening day. Not half bad, isn’t it?




Grab a copy of my debut book Story of Tublu from Amazon or Flipkart. It is a Contemporary Fiction novel, published by LiFi Publications Pvt Ltd. The book has its share of drama, that entertains; humor, that makes one reminisce; love, friendship and emotions that defines the amazing journey that is, life.





Saturday, 22 April 2017

Michael Learns to Rock



Michael Learns to Rock (also known as MLTR) was one of the most popular band during our schooldays. It is a Danish pop/soft rock band. Formed in 1988 and they have sold more than 11 million records over the course of their career. With romantic lyrics and melodious tunes all of their songs were very popular in India. Not only romantic people, even the heartbroken ones also loved MLTR songs. Recently they had a very successful concert in 4 cities in India. Fans in Gurgaon, Guwahati, Dimapur and Kolkata had the opportunity to hear MLTR's melodious tunes as part of their 25th anniversary tour.

I have an interesting memory about one of their songs titled “That's Why You Go Away”. It’s a beautiful song, and the lyric too catchy.

"
Baby won't you tell me why there is sadness in your eyes
I don't wanna say goodbye to you
Love is one big illusion I should try to forget
But there is something left in my head
You're the one who set it up now you're the one to make it stop
I'm the one who's feeling lost right now
Now you want me to forget every little thing you said
But there is something left in my head
I won't forget the way you're kissing
The feeling's so strong were lasting for so long
But I'm not the man your heart is missing
That's why you go away I know
You were never satisfied no matter how I tried
Now you wanna say goodbye to me
Love is one big illusion I should try to forget
But there is something left in my head
I won't forget the way you're kissing
The feeling's… 
"

We were in grade eleven. Our senior batch was about to leave school. It was farewell time. Like everywhere else in our case also it was the immediate junior’s responsibility to organize the farewell party. It was an emotional moment. We knew that now our seniors would move ahead in life. Next year we would be in their place. It was fun time. Lot of music, dance and some laughter mingled with tears. I and my friends were eagerly waiting for a chorus song to be performed by the girls of our grade.  The song was none other than MLTR’s "That's Why You Go Away". We heard the girls practicing for the last one week. The particular song was selected by our English ma'am. We were very confused. 

"The song is just too romantic. How does it fit for a school farewell event? I mean just look at the lyrics – "I won't forget the way you're kissing"

But our English ma’am was just too intelligent. A simple amendment to the lyrics made it a perfect farewell song. She simply manipulated three words and the song just turned into an exclusive dedication from the immediate junior girls to the senior boys. 

"
Baby  Brother won't you tell me why there is sadness in your eyes
I don't wanna say goodbye to you
Love is one big illusion I should try to forget
But there is something left in my head
You're the one who set it up now you're the one to make it stop
I'm the one who's feeling lost right now
Now you want me to forget every little thing you said
But there is something left in my head
I won't forget the way you're kissing blessing
The feeling's so strong were lasting for so long
But I'm not the man sister your heart is missing
That's why you go away I know
You were never satisfied no matter how I tried
Now you wanna say goodbye to me
Love is one big illusion I should try to forget
But there is something left in my head
I won't forget the way you're kissing blessing
The feeling's… 
"

The girls performed really well on stage, and some of them were laughing too.



Now listen to this wonderful song:







Grab a copy of my debut book Story of Tublu from Amazon or Flipkart. It is a Contemporary Fiction novel, published by LiFi Publications Pvt Ltd. The book has its share of drama, that entertains; humor, that makes one reminisce; love, friendship and emotions that defines the amazing journey that is, life.




Monday, 13 February 2017

How I met Anjali - 7


I’m pretty sure I and my old buddies didn’t know about Valentine’s Day during our schooldays. It doesn’t mean we were among the good guys, only our general knowledge was weak. In those pre-internet days, I think even the love birds of our hometown were also ignorant about the blessing and the strong affectionate wishing of this particular day. 

After I joined Engineering College, the situation remained the same, even though my general knowledge improved a bit, but joy of Valentine’s Day was ocean’s apart. That was the time when this day of love was becoming more and more popular in India. So popular that some political organizations started to take advantage out of it by picking couple from the parks, and then insult them, harass them, all in the name of so called Bhartiya Sanskriti (for the sake of Indian culture). I remember one occasion when few of my college friends gathered under a tree to display their Valentine’s Day protest with paper banners and placards. Well, their intention was simply to tease some of the college love birds and to have some fun. Anyways, it was quite an entertainment to watch their protest.

The story was completely different after I met Anjali. I got to know Valentine’s Day more closely and deeply. I was in my 8th semester. It was yet another Valentine’s Day. I and Anjali visited Guwahati Kalakshetra. It is a cultural institution to promote the art in Assam. The place is close to nature with lot of open space to walk around. It has got neat and clean beautiful gardens. Kalakshetra has a museum which reserves old traditional things of various tribes of Northeast. There is also a beautiful art gallery and an open theater. People can enjoy live performances by various artists out there.

We were strolling around Kalakshetra. It was cold and foggy. I think it even rained for a while. Anjali always used to carry her fancy umbrella. We were not among the couples who held each other’s arms while they walk. The passage through the garden turned slippery. The trees looked beautiful. Water droplets on the leaves. It was green all around. Lovely weather. Great feeling. And then all of a sudden Anjali was down. She slipped. I laughed. Her clothes got dirty with mud. I gave her my hand. She stood up. She didn’t say thank you. Instead she shouted at me.

"You stupid. I fell down so badly and you’re laughing. Why you didn’t hold me when I slipped?"

I was totally stunned. "How the hell I know she’s going to fall?”

“You slipped so fast. I didn’t get any time to react,” I tried to be more defensive. But still the argument continued for quite some time. 

It has been fifteen years, and all throughout her shouting never stopped. And for me, nothing changed much either, even today I prefer to play defensive.



Grab a copy of my debut book Story of Tublu from Amazon or Flipkart. It is a Contemporary Fiction novel, published by LiFi Publications Pvt Ltd. The book has its share of drama, that entertains; humor, that makes one reminisce; love, friendship and emotions that defines the amazing journey that is, life.




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