Saturday, December 20, 2008
I took two sheets, and layered them one on top of the other, with little ghee in between. I cut them into rectangles, and then into smaller rectangles, I twisted some to make the twisted-version of Khari.I put the cut pastry onto a greased baking tray, put in in a pre-heated oven at 200 C for 25 minutes.
So that is the easy-weasy way to making some yummy, crunchy, crispy Khari.
Do try it and let me know.
Note: Do follow the baking instructions on the pastry pack that yo buy. Each brand has it's own temperature and time settings.
If you want to use multiple layers of pastry like I did, after brushing on some ghee/butter make sure that you roll it out a bit with a rolling pin.
Friday, December 19, 2008
I found the easiest recipe to make 'Khari Biscuit'.
Khari Biscuit or just Khari as we call it, is a baked pastry which is eaten with tea...just dip it in ur cup and enjoy !! I love the Hindustan bakery small-ones, the Santosh bakery twisted ones and even the New Poona Bakery ones..
Here is a picture of what Khari. (courtesy superstock.com)I found the recipe on Enjoy Indian Food an amazing blog with loads of recipes for all of us hungry people!!
I sent the link to Amol, who jumped at the prospect of having home made Khari, so he's going to fetch the sole ingredient required i.e. Puff Pastry sheets.
We will be making these tonight or then first thing tomorrow morning. That's when I'll give you my version and my own photos etc.
Wonder where I can find the recipe for those 'cream rolls' !!!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Rahul Welde, Asia Pac media head of Unilever, and a friend to many of us, made it out of his sixth floor room on the Taj through sheer presence of mind and faith in God. Am sharing with you all the email he sent upon returning home.
Subject : Lucky to have survived ; Living in good shape
My heartfelt thanks to you for your support and wishes during the horrific experience. I havent yet had a chance to connect with everyone and hence this bulk mail - this is so not my way of doing it. My apologies for that.
I want you to know that this is NOT a mindless forward but a straight message from someone you've known.
I wont go much into details of what happened that night. To cut the long story short - I was holed up in my room at the Taj hotel the fateful night of the terrorist attack. Managed to escape by the skin of my teeth at around 4 am - in sheer denial of allowing fire and smoke to swallow me. By gods grace I managed to make the run down 6 floors and some few metres without the devil in my way. You can imagine how happy I am to be here typing this away. ( For anyone who wants to know the gore - let me know. I have the full story and transcripts of my SMSes recorded for posterity - to keep my anger burning and reminding me of my purpose)
I thought I'd leave a few messages which might be of help to all good people. In the modern day world, risks are a plenty. Terrorists, tsnunamis, earthquakes - the list can go on. None of these check on your profile, company, religion, class or seniority when they hit. They just hit. And we know now it can happen anywhere. Here are a few things we could all do to keep it safer and better.
Firstly, value your family and friends. Two things I strongly recommend you check on
1. Make sure you are covered well by insurance. Even if you are well off - leave them better off if the unfortunate were to happen.
2. Let them know details on things like bank accounts, investments etc. Keep a folio with your spouse and close family.
3. Use every waking moment to cherish what you have - family, friends, nature. Stay smiling, laughing and caring.
Admittedly these arent things I thought about deeply till now. I shudder at the thought of what if.
Lets move from the philosphical to the more practical.
There are a few lessons that I want to share
1. When in a hotel or a new place - please NOTE where the FIRE EXIT is. The fire exit route saved my life. I had no clue of where it was and why I ran where I did. Why I turned left or right. Providential escape for me - nothing more. I've stayed in hotels for years and don't remember ever paying attention to this. Its a few seconds invested that can save you from big trouble.
2. Insist on taking a room in the outer periphery - where the fire brigade can reach you. My room was on the inside and I tell you what - there was no chance the fire brigade would ever reach me. They would have always been a few yards but several hours away. Ever thought of this detail.
3. A key item on your survival kit is your cellphone. I give it to Apple for developing the Iphone - a real smart gadget. Whatever your phone – a critical checkpoint is battery life. Often we wait for battery to go down before charging. Dont ! Keep it full charge all the time. All the SMSes saved my senses and maybe even my life.
4. I learnt for the first time that when running through fire and/or smoke - run bending down and wrap a wet blanket around. I did that thanks to a friend who advised me. Its a different story I chucked the blanket thinking that the cops would gun me down mistaking me for a terrorist. Good tip nevertheless.
5. Dont miss the aspect of staying fit - in running shape. Can help you and maybe even you can help someone.
Last few days I have heard/read a lot about peace marches and candles and politician bashing and police bashing and whatever else. I am sure a lot of energy will go in all that. Having been there I can only say that every soul - the cop, the fireman, the medico and even the common man on the street was doing the best he could. I dont blame anyone. I am sure good will prevail over evil in the long term. The short term blips we cannot avoid.
I have a lot to say and yet not much more. God is the greatest and leads to the ultimate destiny. I am thankful for all that has been and all that there is now.
Happy to be writing to you and wishe you and the family best for times ahead.
Am sure we will be in touch. Till then.
ps : feel free to forward this to anyone you think might find the message useful to know.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Will let you know once I am done or may post a passage that I love...
Monday, December 8, 2008
Well today was a step ahead in starting my dream. I bought "A long walk to freedom" an autobiography by Mr. Nelson Mandela.
I saw it at Popular, while we were at the IOI Mall today.
I will start reading it tonight. But I think I want to give it it's own time, coz right now I am reading "My favourite Wife" by Tony Parsons. The two books are from very different spaces, and time; hence my apprehension of starting the new book today. But lets see how it goes...
Wish me luck for good reading !!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I loved them as soon as I saw them and more so because of the cause they supported.
They are from TomBoy Tools (www.tomboytools.com).
The pink hammer is my personal favourite, it costs $15, and $3 per hammer goes to Susan G. Komen for cure.
I like doing my own minor repairs at home, it is quite nice to see what you can achieve if you know to handle just the basic tools.
I love these pink tools, so if anyone out there wants to send me a gift ...now you know what to send!!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
All of us have seen, read, heard about the ghastly attacks and time and again it makes me want to talk...talk about making a difference, not about who is to be blamed, who is at fault. I feel as citizens of the largest democracy, we need to balance out all that freedom with some commitment and duties as well.
On a personal level I was fighting an emotional battle...now that I am back to KL, and having to fend for myself physically and more so emotionally, I found myself draining off all my energy and the emotions that were sent away to a locker located deep inside my heart are suddenly surfacing and are demanding their right to be heard and to be dealt with.
It was/is this emotional battle with myself that has been keeping me busy and not in the 'mood' to write. I spent a lot of time reading what other people are blogging about, how they have something nice to always share with the audience. I was trying very hard to get back into doing the same myself, but I needed a push...and boy what a push I got....
The 3 days that we all saw bruised us all, the news reports, the reactions that people had...all were just and worth a read. But somewhere I wanted to read something reassuring, something that said to me "we can always make our tomorrow better". Being the eternal optimist that I am.
I chanced upon this article written by Chetan Bhagat. It made me feel OK. I hope you find some solace after reading it.
Sick of screaming anchors, gory visuals, and tired of well-meant calls, Chetan Bhagat took a walk to the Trident
I had to get out. I had to do that walk to Trident. It was Friday evening. I didn't tell anyone at home as I left my apartment at Mantralaya. I took the short walk towards Marine Drive, passing the homes of politicians - the powerful people who run this country.
I had in my house an acquaintance who had been rescued from the Trident. I wanted to talk to her, but she had to rest after two sleepless nights. She had a flight to catch, to get out of this country we call home. I was sick of the screaming TV journalists and the gory visuals. I was tired of the well-meant text messages, calls and emails that came from around the world - "r u nd family ok?" Physically yes, mentally no way. I replied to all of them, thanking them for their concerns.
I wanted to get away from two questions the most. The first kept coming from our friends in Hong Kong, from where we had moved earlier this year: "So why did you move back to India anyway?", I got asked five times a day.
The second came repeatedly from my 4-year old twin boys: "Daddy, why do we have holidays?" I had no good answers.
I reached the barricades at the LIC building, where vehicles had to stop. I walked ahead and reached the Air India building, the closest point that the security forces allowed us near the Trident-Oberoi hotel.
Four sets of people were present. First, the truckloads of army men, ready to go in and face death if required. Their camouflage uniforms and grass-covered helmets were more suitable for jungles in border areas than downtown Mumbai. They were the only hope that this crisis would end; the only hope that a few organisations in India still work.
The second group was the media. I recognised a few cameramen, as I'd seen them at my book launch or at the premiere of Hello. Today, they weren't scrambling to get a byte from Salman.
Their shocked zombie eyes tried to zoom in as much as possible on the stillness of the two white towers. We watched the various rooms, each a tiny fishbowl of humanity. It was the most luxurious and scariest prison in the world at the moment. Unlike TV, there was a tremendous silence as there were no voiceovers.
The third set of people, the most heartbreaking, were the relatives of people stuck inside. They stood helpless, with no reliable information as they called hospital after hospital. They latched on to hope and energy, which dwindled by the hour.
The fourth set was clueless people like me. We didn't know why we were there. It was dangerous, we were not directly involved, and all updates came on TV anyway.
Still, I had to come, maybe to get away, maybe to assuage a bit of guilt at being safe, maybe to show defiance.
The army trucks drove in for the final encounters. I looked again at the two five-star hotels of my poor country. We don't have a lot of these. Still, someone out there has a problem with us having a few world-class symbols of progress. Someone out there doesn't believe we deserve a peaceful country and a city where work actually gets done. Someone out there feels heroic in crushing a billion people's spirit.
I looked at Marine Drive. The queen's necklace looked beautiful on an unusually clear night, except that there were no hand-holding couples sitting on the promenade. Love had taken a backseat as my country dealt with another night of hate. I and the others gathered looked at the fishbowl windows again. I felt my eyes well up. Because of this tragedy, someone had the audacity to question my decision to come back to my own country. I felt terrible. I walked back home, taking a last glance at a set of relatives who had sensed the inevitable but were yet to acknowledge it.
I dropped off our guest at the airport. We stayed silent throughout the drive.
I returned home at night and slipped into bed with my sons. Their child-like stubbornness was making them ask the same questions again and again till they got an answer.
"Daddy, why do we have holidays?" said one.
"Daddy, why do we have to stay inside for so long?" said the other. I had to answer.
"Some bad men are trying to hurt Bombay. They are outside so we stay inside," I said.
"Who's going to save us? Which superhero will come," said one.
I paused as I looked into their little, sleepy eyes.
"You will. And that is why you came back from Hong Kong," I said as they drifted off to sleep.