In the past 4 days, the nation has been terribly shaken. I see outcries in FB,  twitter, BB, etc. Its valid and absolutely needed. If not today, then when?? We are hearing a lot of versions on how to punish the rapists hang them, castrate them in public without anaesthesia, life sentence, and so on. I don't disagree that the gravest punishment should be awarded. But then will this help?? Seriously, is this the solution or justice that will be given to a woman who lost her soul?? Once they die and this case is closed and this story is over, what next? Another rape, another victim, some criminals, again a public outcry. The story goes on.

I have a point to make. When the general public can be so intelligent and smart and demand justice, I want to ask, where were the same general public when the girl was lying on the road, naked, bleeding, with an iron rod in her vagina??? Nobody came forward to help her!!!! She was emotionally devastated and too weak but onlookers (general public) just kept staring and were too scared to take the first step!!! Nobody dared at that moment to rush her to the hospital. Every second wasted was accountable for the girls' life. If she lives, I wonder what her life will be. Maybe everyday she will shudder at the thought of stepping out of home. Maybe she wont trust anybody, man or woman, ever again. Maybe.

We are talking about bringing in cultural changes, how mothers' should teach their sons' to respect woman, how men should treat woman, mothers, sisters, wives at home, etc. Don't we do that already?? Which mother teaches her son to go rape another woman and put an iron rod in her vagina??

Today, we as general public just know how to change our display pictures on FB to a black dot, or get on to the streets to protest or sit outside the CM's office to demand justice. At the scene of crime, we just freeze and become onlookers, thinking why should I take the trouble of being the first to report a crime. We shout at the police and make allegations that they don't register the FIR when a woman goes with a complaint. Have we seen how the police constables live their life at a mere salary of 6k  per month?? What motivation will he have to save a crime from happening??

We want some bills to be passed, some rules to be changed, implemented, etc. A simple question to ask here. Do we know our basic constitutional rights?? Nowhere in our education system are we taught about the constitutional rights of the people of India. I remember in school I had a subject called "civics" which taught me about how many seats does Lok Sabha have, how does the Indian parliament look from inside, and all that bullshit. What do I care? Atleast in colleges when we are 18 and above, we should have a subject which talks about rights of an Indian citizen. It doesn't matter which stream you are studying in, at the end of the day, you live in India and need to know your constitutional rights. We, the general public, need to be aware of our constitutional rights. We claim to be literates having a white collared job, but we don't know our basic rights. Let us learn them first.

Raising your voice for something which is wrong is correct. But expecting that my raised voice will bring in the change is incorrect. Let us first be humans and learn to help another fellow human being in pain. Let us have moral values and learn to respect each other first rather than protesting on the streets. Let us not play a blame game here. Men and women are equal. Period. Let us not bring politics into this and play a divide and rule game here. We are all a part of the same society and the onlookers at the rape scene were a combination of men and women, who didn't bother to help the girl for almost an hour!!! Let us be that change that we want to see, first!!!
Up until now, I've have had ready made sundried tomatoes bought from supermarkets. They do taste good and I'm a great fan of them. However, recently I realized that the same could be tried out in an oven if you do not have great sunlight in the place you live. They are the same sundried tomatoes except that they are made in the oven and save a lot more time and effort.

Recently I got the desi tomatoes which were absolutely fresh. The desi version has a lot of juice and a lot more flavor than the English variety. I added some fresh garlic to the tomatoes as it just enhances the flavor of the roasted tomatoes.



Ingredients:

2kg, fresh ripe tomatoes,
Coarse sea salt,
Fresh garlic,
Olive oil, plain or extra virgin.

Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to the lowest heat setting.
  2. Depending on how big you’d like them, either slice the tomatoes, or halve them (the bigger they are, the longer they will take to dry up). Scoop out the seeds and drain out the juice as much as possible as it will reduce the oven time. 
  3. Place the tomatoes on the baking tray. Place the crushed garlic on top of each tomato.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil on top of the tomatoes.
  5. Bake or grill at the lowest oven temperature (mine is 100 degrees) for 2-3 hours.
  6. Remove when the moisture from the tomatoes have almost evaporated.
  7. Place the tomatoes in a sterilized glass jar and cover it with some more olive oil.


If you are a garlic lover like me, trust me the garlic tastes awesome once roasted. You could use these tomatoes on pizzas, foccacia breads, salads, or just eat it as is. They taste amazing just on their own. You could also serve them up as sides with drinks too.

Yummmy!!!!
If you are looking for a healthy cake which you can keep munching on every time you pass by it, and be guilt free, then you are at the right place reading this post. This lemon cake is an outstanding discovery I made a few days back. This doesn't have butter and and has very little flour. The recipe uses semolina as a base and that's why you see the cracks on top of the cake. The texture is very soft and grainy and just melts in your mouth.


Ingredients:
For the cake:160ml light olive oil,200gms curd,2 tbsp fresh lemon juice,1 tbsp finely grated lemon rind,eggs, lightly whisked,75g flour,1 tsp baking powder,235g fine semolina,155g castor sugar.
For the Glaze:2-3 tbsp lemon juice,155gms castor sugar,250ml water,2-3 star anise, lightly crushed.

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees for 10 mins. 
  2. Line a 9 inch round cake pan with butter paper and grease it with oil or butter. 
  3. Use an electric beater to beat the oil, yoghurt, lemon juice, lemon rind and egg in a bowl. 
  4. Combine the flour, baking powder, semolina and sugar in a another large bowl. 
  5. Make a well in the center and add the yoghurt mixture and stir until smooth. 
  6. Pour this into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into center comes out clean. 
  7. Set aside the pan to cool slightly before turning onto a serving plate.
  8. Meanwhile, to make the glaze, stir the sugar and water in a small saucepan over low flame until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon juice and crushed star anise. Simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thick.
  9. Run the glaze through a sieve and remove the crushed star anise.
  10. Using a skewer, pierce holes all over the surface of the cake. 
  11. Slowly pour the syrup over the cake and set aside to cool. 
  12. Serve with a little syrup.

    Trust me, this is one cake to die for. It is so so delicious. The contrast of the lemon infused with star anise is so beautiful. If, like me, you could allow the lemon glaze to infuse completely into the cake and have it the next day, I can guarantee you will not stop at one piece.

    This is an absolute guilt free indulgence...so go... dig in!!!

There have been so many versions of cheesecakes, baked, no bake, with eggs, without eggs...etc.. I have made many cheesecakes before and have blogged about it here. But I do get a lot of requests by my vegetarian friends and bloggers to come up with an eggless or gelatin free version. So here is what I came up with. I'll be honest, this was a pure experiment!

So, on my recent trip to Metro C&C, I found the newly launched Britannia Cream Cheese. Its expensive, however cheaper than the other versions like Philadelphia, etc. So I decided to give it a shot.

Ingredients:
For the crust:
125 gms plain flour,
100 gms chilled butter, cut into cubes,
A pinch of salt,


For the Cheesecake:

180 gms cream cheese, (I have used Britannia),
100 gms castor sugar,
50 gms whipped cream,
100 gms blueberry topping, can use fresh blueberries also.
Method:

For the crust:
  1. To prepare the crust, mix the flour, salt and chilled butter using light fingers. Rub the butter into the flour so that it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Slowly bring the dough together. Cover using a cling film and chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190 degree for 10 mins.
  3. Remove the dough from refrigerator and roll out the dough using a rolling pin to 1/4th inch thickness.
  4. Place this dough sheet on a loose bottom baking tin and press it down gently. Ensure the sides are adequately covered. 
  5. Leave a little excess on the sides as the dough will shrink upon baking.
  6. Pricking the base of the tin with a fork, cover it with a butter paper and put some dried beans on top of it.
  7. Allow it to bake for 15 mins. Remove the beans and the butter paper and bake for another 15 mins.
  8. Allow it to cool down completely.

For the cheesecake:
  1. Put the cream cheese in a big bowl and using an electric beater, beat until it turns slightly fluffy.
  2. Add the sugar and beat some more. You will see that the filling has increased in volume.,
  3. Using a ballon whisk, fold in half of the blueberry topping.
  4. Now fold in the whipped cream with gentle hands. 
  5. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and using a spatula level the mixture.
  6. Put the remaining bluberry topping on top of the cream cheese mixture and level it once again.
  7. Place the tin in the refrigerator to chill overnight.
  8. Gently remove the crust from the tin, it would come off easily.
  9. Using a sharp knife, cut into slices and serve chilled.

The result was beyond my expectation. Here I must add that the Britannia cream cheese is slightly salty, hence, you will have to keep tasting to get the right sweetness. The bluberry topping already had a little sweetness and it set very well on top. You could make strawberry cheese cake the same way.

Overall, I'm pleased with the result!

Hi All....I've missed updating the food blog for a long time now...and I will say I missed blogging too...I know what I've missed, now that I'm updating it :-)

Will start off with this cookie recipe which I made a couple of days ago...

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour,
  • 1 cup powdered sugar,
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces,
  • 1/2 tsp salt,
  • egg yolks,
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence,
  • For egg wash, (optional): 1 large egg white, beaten with 2 teaspoons water,
  • Decorating sprinkles, (optional)

Method:
  1. Place the flour, sugar, butter and salt in the food processor and mix until it is well blended yet coarse.
  2. In another bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks and vanilla.
  3. Now add this liquid mixture into the dry mixture and keep processing until a dough is formed.
  4. If the mixture is not coming together, add 1 or 2 tbsps of cold milk.
  5. Place the dough on the kitchen counter, and kneed it until soft and pliable.
  6. Wrap it in cling film and keep in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours to chill.
  7. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees for 10 mins.
  8. Line a baking tray with butter paper and set it aside.
  9. Take out the chilled dough, dust the working surface with flour and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into 1/4 inch thickness.
  10. Using the cookie cutter, cut out shapes of your choice.
  11. Place them on the baking tray and if using the egg wash, brush the cookies with the egg wash. If you want to add sprinkles, you can do now.
  12. Bake the for 10-12 mins.
  13. Remove and place them on the wire rack to cool.



I dont have a better picture than this, next time will surely have more pics :-)

They came out really well :-)