Tag Archives: Indian cuisine

‘Homesick’ Excerpt from ‘Inconvenient Relations’

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Excerpt

Standing in front of the large bathroom mirror, she combed her long thick hair. Should I leave it loose or braid it? Should I put on makeup or go bare? Should I wear all my bangles or just a couple of them? So many questions! Why don’t all men come with a user guide.

She braided her hair, glossed her lips, chose a pair of gold bangles for each side, and figured she was done. Then she offered a silent prayer, thanking God for the absence of her mother-in-law.

Tea and breakfast.

What? Herbal raspberry tea bags and Cheerios! And this man expects me to eat? Her spirits taking a dive, she put her head down on the table and mournfully longed for a piping hot refreshing cup of masala chai with cauliflower stuffed paratha on the side…Mama!

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“Still off in neverland?”

She sat up, startled, to gaze dolefully at him while he smiled cheerfully at her, looking handsome and crisp in casual white shirt and jeans. Why was she always at a disadvantage?

“Care for some hot pizza?” He swept a large colorful cardboard box in front of her nose. “Authentic Neapolitan from our very own Tony’s. My favorite!”

She didn’t care for it, too cheesy.

He frowned at her while she pursed her lips together feeling helpless.

“This is crazy! If you don’t eat, you will disappear in no time. Then there wouldn’t be anything left to send back home!”

She glared at him acutely hurt. They had just reached here, and he was already thinking of sending her back home? What did he take her for?

“I guess I’m homesick.”

“Ah! I see. How stupid of me! Your parents must be terribly worried!”

Getting up immediately, he dialed her home; and yes, they were in a state of panic.Hearing their voices, she nearly broke down…wanting to reach out and touch the loose end of her mother’s sari.

Accha. All right, I shall hang up now,” she said and handed him the phone, just as a tear threatened to roll down her cheek. She rushed to the window—the purple flowers had taken on a silver hue.

***

Imagine how much a new Indian bride has to deal with—

A husband who is practically a stranger, in-laws—and if she is accompanying him to a foreign land; new living conditions, new culture, and a new way of life.

As someone who has been through a similar experience I can tell you the task is not easy. These are the times when memories of home hurt the most.

In my book ‘Inconvenient Relations’ I have through my protagonist Ruhi tried to elaborate on what it is like to be a new bride in a foreign land.

You can find out more about my books here. 

Glossary

Masala Chai: Spiced Indian tea. The spice usually consists of cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, black pepper, star anise and cloves.

Paratha: popular Indian flatbread prepared fresh from whole wheat dough, and served either plain or stuffed with a variety of vegetables like radish, cauliflower, potato, methi (fenugreek leaves) or paneer (fresh Indian cheese.)

Sensual Spices and an Excerpt from ‘The Accidental Wife’

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It is one thing to prepare food for ourselves because we need to eat. It’s mealtime, we’re hungry, what do we have in the cupboard? But it is a whole different thing to cook a special dish or an entire feast because we want to shower someone we love with a caring gesture. It is a gift of indulgence that nurtures the soul, as well as the body. A home cooked meal that has been specially prepared for us, by someone else, can be one of the ultimate expressions of love.

How do we choose the perfect culinary delight to prepare when cooking for others? We might choose to cook our own favorite recipe or we might choose a selection of our guest’s favorite foods. A shopping trip to pick out fresh, vibrant ingredients is part of the delight. In India the menu might include pakora (a warm fritter), curry, tandoori, naan, or just a simple upma (porridge).

India’s aromatic spices are sprinkled into dishes according to taste, added carefully to lend a personal touch. They have been passed down generations and are known not just to add flavor but also nutritive value to food. Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, and ginger are a few of the earthy spices, and perhaps most sensual in the world, that are found in India. Spices are also available already blended together for ease of cooking (for those cooks who might want to achieve a well-known flavor) such as Garam Masala or Curry.

The fragrant smell of Indian cuisine, with hints of exotic herbs and spices promise to stir emotions deep in our hearts. Pakora and upma are two of the dishes enjoyed in The Accidental Wife.

Want to learn more about Indian Spices? Visit Spices Board India http://www.indianspices.com

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Excerpt from The Accidental Wife:

“Oh My God! I suddenly remembered I am hungry! Have you had breakfast?” she asked, suddenly looking annoyed.

“Breakfast? No. But I don’t have any time.” He peeked at his watch again.

“Please!? Not a speck of grain has entered my stomach since yesterday morning. I will die of hunger, then I won’t be of any use to you at all.” She smiled again before heading toward what Rihaan assumed was the kitchen.

“I can make phataphat upma in just ten minutes!” she said peering at him through the open door frame. “Meanwhile you can relate your troubles to me. C’mon spill it. Don’t be shy!”

Rihaan stepped into the tiny kitchen to find it dwarfed by his lanky frame. Folding wiry arms across his chest, he leaned gingerly against the wall and watched as she went about her task in a haphazard fashion. Her attempts at putting on a show of neatness and method were failing hopelessly.

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Spicy Snacks Beside the Sea- Juhu Beach, Mumbai

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On a pleasant December afternoon (Yes, December!) take a break from hectic metro life and wander onto the famed Juhu Beach in Mumbai, India. And there, enjoy the sight of the locals drinking  Kala Khatta (Indian blackberry juice, spiced with black salt, lemon juice and pepper and eat spicy Bhel (puffed rice, vegges spiced with tangy tamarind juice) or if you are brave enough sample it yourself. 🙂