this is not a cooking blog!

I haven't been around for a while because of this:

yes, gita govinda has been here for almost seven months now... but her neediness is still unrelenting, so there hasn't been much time for blogging. I have some ideas in my mind of posts I want to make and how I'd like this blog to play out. over all, what I want most is to be writing. I miss it so much.

anywho, a few days ago I posted on facebook that I had made my good friend Devadeva's (of the Sabjimata world) faux chikki soup for dinner. I had a few requests for the recipe (one from Sabjimata herself!) to post the recipe. the original print out I have from her isn't really organized like a traditional recipe - it's more like just a list of ingredients, so I've gone ahead and put it together in the order that I thought made the most sense and with the process of how I make it. I hope it is clear and that it works out for you. it's really quite delicious! though I do want to mention that this surely isn't a cooking blog and I'm surely not a superduper cook... so don't blame me if it comes out weird. :)

Sabjimata’s Faux Chikki Soup

Here’s what you’ll need:
1-2 Tbsp Olive oil or Butter
1 tsp Hing
¼ tsp Black Pepper
2Tbsp Mustard Powder
2 tsp Poultry Seasoning
7 C Water or Veg. Stock
1-2 Carrots diced
1-2 Stalks of Celery (including greens) diced
Crumbled tofu or paneer or tvp (you can do this to taste – I use about half to one whole block of tofu that is has either been frozen and thawed or pressed for a few hours)
2 ½ Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
2-3 Tbsp Braggs
Pasta or Rice (I’ve used no-egg pastina stars, orzo, alphabets, and broken thick spaghetti - but here’s a good place to experiment)
1 ½ - 2 tsp Salt, or to taste
You can also add other vegetables – Devadeva suggested spinach, so I always throw in some fresh baby spinach at the very end.

1. Heat the oil and chaunce all of the spices. Add the vegetables and saut̩ for a moment Рthen add the tofu and do the same.
2. Add the water/stock and then stir in the nutritional yeast and Braggs.
3. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for about 15-20 mins, or until the veggies are not quite done – kind of still firm.
4. Add in the pasta of your choosing. Simmer for another 7ish minutes. If you are thinking to do rice, I would recommend cooking the rice separately and then adding it at the very end.
5. The last thing I would do here is add my fresh baby spinach. Then salt to taste.
6. Offer to the Gods, and then enjoy.


spring eternal

the rain falls hard.
I see a dozen rainbows
they will all
in this spring storm,
are quiet,
to be born.


saris, I'm so sorry. I miss you.

an homage to my beloved sari wearing. I miss you so, so very much. we'll be together again soon.

a beautiful tussar silk from Utsav. I can't believe I almost didn't buy this one!

a very thin cotton from Tulasi. I love this one especially because the sari is a darker blue
and checked, while the choli is a lighter contrast with stripes.

ooooh, one of my absolute favorites that I got from sari safari.
I heart a contrasting choli - especially if there are stripes involved!!

just a simple orissan from ganga prasad...but I miss the simple ones too!!

another delicious one from Tulasi - this one silk.
totally out of my color comfort zone, but the design is so beautiful.

I know that my days without saris are numbered... we'll be reunited soon; but my tiny skinny made matching cholis are another story. so many of my saris will go unworn for a long time. and we're not even going to talk about the ones I haven't worn yet! oh the humanity!!


my new obsession

I've been contemplating doing a "favorite finds of 2009" entry for a few weeks now, but haven't gotten off my butt to actually do it. I would have to actually go and take pictures of the items I have in mind, which takes oh-so-much effort... ok, not really. but I think it is the next thing to do on my list.
but I figured until I actually got to that I would share with you my new obsession:

I first encountered Zooey Deschanel on an episode of Top Chef Masters where she did a guest spot for a vegan challenge. oh, yea, you heard me right - she's vegan. granted, she doesn't go around getting PETA on people or posturing for animal rights... in my obsessive research I seemed to find her citing food allergies to dairy, eggs, and wheat... but come on, it still counts.
anywho, that's how I first heard about her. I was only mildly impressed though... because afterall, I'm a die-hard lover of another famous veg:

yes, ms. natalie portman (I have no idea what this picture is from... but I thought it was very nifty... her looking indianesque and all).

then, of course, there was this zooey spotting, which I thought was very cool. though I admit, I didn't realize it was her at first. I hadn't really taken all that much notice of her to begin with, but when this aired several times my husband remarked something like, "hey, isn't that that girl Zooey something who was on Top Chef?"

it's a pretty catchy tune. but still, I wasn't really making any connection.
then, at some point, my friend Kiriti asked me if I had seen the movie (500) Days of Summer, which was out this past summer. I hadn't, but I added it to my netflix que. I didn't think too much more of it, and then it was finally released on 12.22... and so it arrived at my abode. my husband and I watched it on new year's eve. granted, it's not a life changing film... but it was pretty good. and I had finally made the connection of who Zooey Deschanel is - from the vegan challenge girl on Top Chef - to the cotton commercials - to this very fine film. and then in the movie she sang in a karaoke scene. and then I found out she is a singer as well as an actress. and then I started obsessively looking up stuff about her. and well, long story short, while I will always love Natalie Portman, I am newly in love with Zooey.
her music is a little country for my taste, but it's actually really good. her duet/band is called She&Him. she has a very unique voice and style, which is why I think I can overlook the country overtones... but hey, country isn't all bad. I mean, I've always like Linda Ronstadt and Patsy Cline, what to speak of good old Johnny Cash. anyway, I think she's fantastic and lovely to look at. she's quite retro - in fact, one of the things that I most loved in (500) Days of Summer was the way they styled her character. it was oh-so-vintage and anthropologie-like. that style seems to carry over into her real-life, as most of the pictures I see of her she is dressed like that.

on a last note, I want to say that I have really been loving her hair cut. I was thinking that even before I started obsessing over her. I had similar bangs this time last year, and while I didn't mind them, I definitely haven't enjoyed growing them in. I've had a little bang-envy ever since my friend Devadeva cut her own punk-rock bangs... but for one, I couldn't rock bangs that short. Zooey's are longer, but also the rest of her hair is longer than mine... and I don't know if I could pull it off as a pregnant lady. I've also been contemplating long layers, but I generally hate layers to the point where I can't even say the word to a hairdresser, so I'm a bit afraid to try. I'm thinking of trying to make a hair-cut appointment for this weekend... I guess I'll just have to see what happens.
my cut around this time last year

zooey's cut

devadeva's cut