Chocolate and Coconut Balls of Goodness!

I had to share with you a simple recipe for these chocolate and coconut balls of goodness. I made these today and they were so delicious!

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Ingredients:

1 Cup of condensed milk

3 Tablespoons of cocoa (unsweetened)

1 Tablespoon butter

Almonds (or any type of nut you like)

Dessicated Coconut flakes (or any topping of your preference – brown sugar, chocolate spinkles, grinded nuts etc)

Method:

1. Add all the incredients into a pot on medium heat and keep mixing till everything is fluid and gooey (about 10-12 minutes)

2. Place into a bowl and let sit till it reaches room temperature.

3. Place bowl in the fridge for about 1 hour.

4. Take spoonfuls of the mixture, roll them into balls, place your nut of choice inside them

5. Roll the balls into the the coconut flakes (or whichever topping)

Done!

I made the mistake of taking them out of the fridge too early and so the balls were hard to handle because they were so sticky. I think that if you let them chill for longer, you won’t have this problem.

Also, I made sure to make these treats with love and care. I tried to think about positive intentions and prayers while making these treats, to wish that everyone who ate them will be happy. I think this contributed big time to their taste. It was the magic ingredient.

Let me know if you try this, or have tried it before, and what you think!

Have a wonderful day!

Love

S

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Raw Papaya Salad

I used to think that the only sensible use for papaya was in Body Shop’s foot cream… until Dad made this absolutely fabulous salad for me. That’s when I finally understood why God created the papaya!

All you need is:

  • 1 Raw Papaya
  • 2 limes
  • 2 tsps sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 generous handful of peanuts
  • a bowl of ice

With a peeler peel the papaya. Cut in half. Then with the peeler scrape out thin slivers of the papaya. Use mainly the green part, don’t use the inside red part.

Put the slivers in the ice bowl and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Roast the peanuts without oil until nice and crunchy. Let them cool. Rub them to remove the husk.

Just before serving, squeeze the juice of the limes into a small bowl. Don’t over squeeze otherwise the juice will turn bitter. Add in the sugar and mix well till it dissolves. Add the salt.

Add the chilled papaya slivers into the serving bowl, add a few peanuts to it and drizzle with the lime juice.

Serve immediately.

Have it on hot summer afternoons as a prelude to a light soup or lunch.

UMMMM…It’s delighful!!

Cheerio

S

Nutrella Nuggets with Pineapples

It’s very tasty, and because of the pineapple in it has an utterly unique flavor!

  • 1 packet of Nutrella (soya) nuggets boiled for 15-20 minutes with salt. Drain away the water and squeeze dry (careful dont burn your hands)
  • 1 juicy, sweet pineapple cut into medium sized chunks
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and cut into small chunks (or strips)
  • 1 big handful of green peas… Dunk them in boiling hot water for about 3-4 minutes (you can use more if you like green peas)
  • a big bunch of fresh corriander chopped up finely
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • Dhania-Jeera powder and Garam Masala Powder
  • Salt to taste

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat 5-7 generous spoons of ghee (the nuggets absorb a lot of ghee). Add curry leaves and let them crackle a bit. Add 4 tablespoons of dhania jeera powder and 3 tablespoons of garam masala powder and cook well on low heat for some time, until you can smell the delicious fragrance of the cooked masala. Add salt.

Soya Chunks Dry Curry

Add the pineapple and cook for about 5-8 minutes. Then add the carrots and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Next add the nuggets and stir them thoroughly into the masala, seeing to it that the masala coats them properly. Cook the entire mixture on high heat for about 6-10 minutes stirring all the time. Add the green peas and then reduce heat to simmer and cook for another 10ish minutes. Remember to keep stirring so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.

Stir in half the coriander and after transferring to a serving bowl, garnish with the rest of the coriander.

Serve piping hot with Rotis or toasted whole wheat bread. A nice Masoor Dal will go really well with it.

Its Yummy!!

Peace

SXbox

 

How to make time for the things you love to do

Happy

Occasionally somebody will ask me “How do you even find time to write in your blog?” and this question is a strange concept for me. The only answer I can think of is – I find time to write in my blog because I love writing in my blog.

You can replace “time to write in your blog” with pretty much anything.

Another question I get asked a lot is “Don’t you find it difficult to cook during exams and stuff?

Once again, same answer. I find time to cook (and not only take the cooking stuff, but all the other many aspects of being a cooking freak – which is finding time to generate inspiration for a good meal, to try making new dishes and of course taste them) because I freakin’ love cooking!

Is it difficult for me to do it? No. I love it, so it’s easy. I love it so cooking is my pleasure, not my job. It’s so simple.

You can replace “time for writing in your blog” to “cooking” to “cooking” to “listening music” to “reading comics” to “dancing” to pretty much anything you do just because you like to do it.

How do you make time for it?

You make time for it because you like to make time for it. That is the single best incentive for making time for something.

You don’t really consider “making time to shower” or “making time to eat” because you like doing them. You like the end result (being clean and full!) and perhaps you even like the process too.

So the excuse “I love to ____, but I don’t have time for it” just doesn’t cut it for me…aka “not my lookout” brother!

This essentially translate to “I think I enjoy doing ____, but at the moment I have to prioritize something else in my life.”

And that’s okay too! We only have 24 hours in the day, and we have to choose wisely how we want to spend our time – it is an important life skill to learn. Another important life skill we have to learn is to stop making excuses.

So if you are still stuck under the belief that you don’t have enough time or space in your life for something you would like to do, here are some tips to create some more space in your life:

How to make time for the things you love to do:

1. Stop doing things you don’t love to do or need to do.

It’s pretty obvious that we won’t always love to do everything we need to do. Sometimes we need to do things because we will love the end product. You might not LOVE getting up and going to work from 9-5, but you love the financial stability it gives you – which in turns allows you to create a life that you love.

Then there are the things and you definitely don’t NEED to do all that much, that you might enjoy doing from time to time, but don’t need to do it in excessive amounts. Make a list. Examples could be: Going on facebook for 5 hours a day, watching tonns of TV etc.

I’m not suggesting that TV or facebook is “bad”, but this is time that you could use for these things you “love” to do, and you need to determine which is more of a priority to you at this time in your life.

2. Find out how to be more efficient at the things you do need to do.

The things we “need” to do can sometimes feel like they get in the way of the things we truly “want” to do. One way to start minimizing this belief is to learn how to become more energy and time efficient with the things that we do need to do. Some examples of these types of activities  could be cleaning your home, cooking, laundry, studying. How could you make your engagement in these activities more effective and efficient? How could you get things done to a higher standard, but faster than you have been doing them.

For example, when it comes to cooking (which I assume is something we all need to do), to be more time efficient, we could:

  • Cook in bulk and freeze the left overs so you can eat it on the days you don’t really feel like cooking.
  • Create a meal plan for the week and shop accordingly, so that “O.M.G it is 9:00pm on Monday, I am completely ravenous, and I have no idea WHAT to cook” does not happen.
  • Repeat your favorite recipes so that you can prepare them faster without thinking much about it.

3. Decide what you want to do more of in your day.

You must choose your priorities and commit to them. If someone asked me what is important to me in my daily schedule (if not daily, pretty darn close to daily), I could literally list them off. This is what is important to me:

  • Studying
  • My personal relationships
  • Cooking
  • Keeping things organized and clean.
  • Clicking photos
  • Writing in my blog
  • Manchester United/ soccer matches
  • Reading/learning
  • Meditation/ My spiritual connection.

That is my life right now. My priorities shift occasionally depending on outward circumstances. For example, during exam time, a few of those bad boys get knocked off the list to provide me with extra time to study – just because I know that is what I have to focus on. But for the majority of the time; this is my life. It is a wonderful concoction of things that allow me to express myself creatively, intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually while simultaneously keeping up with the things in life that I personally feel I need to do. But I want to do everything on that list.

I want to be rich, so I want to study. I want to have a beautiful home, so I want to clean. I want to eat and share delicious meals, so I want to cook. You get the idea…brother?!?Nerd smile

I also am not being too hard on myself and promising myself that I will do everything every day. Because come on – watch soccer every day? Let’s be realistic here and not be so organized that I suck the fun out of a hobby. I watch soccer when I want to and I won’t do it when I don’t want to, but in my heart I know it is a passion and something that I will always allocate time, energy and love to. That’s why it’s on my list.

We might not have the same list. You might not choose to prioritize “photography” or “reading” or “dancing”, because maybe it just isn’t your joy. Maybe instead you would have other joys, such as “watching the best latest movie releases” or “your business” or “playing the guitar”. It really is a very personal thing. What is important to you? What connections are meaningful to you and important for you to maintain and strengthen?

If you can’t answer this question, you might find that you are not completely satisfied with your day, and yet still find yourself “busy” all the time, doing things you don’t really want to do!

So. Figure it out.

Make sure you are selective about what hobbies you choose to commit to. It’s very difficult to commit fully to many different hobbies and interests. It’s better to choose a couple that really make you excited, and excel fully at them.

4. Schedule time in your day for it.

Ok, so now you know what you want to do, now you have to make time for it. It shouldn’t be hard if you really and truly love it, and want it. If you want to make time for exercise in your day because that is important for you, just set your timetable and affirm to yourself that you will go to the gym 4 times a week from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

This is your new schedule now.

Don’t tell me that you don’t have time. You have time. I have time. We all have time. Remember, we all have the same amount of time in our day – 24 hours. Some people make magic in that time. Wake up earlier if you have to.Smile

Our goal is to get to a stage where we are consciously doing everything we do in our day because we want to do them.

To go to sleep each night feeling satisfied that we have made steps forward.

To go to sleep each night knowing that we are pursuing the things that mean the most to us.

To know that we are in control of our time and how we spend it.

The other day Mom and I were talking about this very topic – how we have to prioritize what is important and make sure everything is happening in a nice harmonious balance throughout our day, and how there is nothing really in our daily schedule that we don’t want, or that is taking more space and time than we would like it to. I asked her what kind of things make her really happy, and what things need to happen in her day to make her feel good.

She said “Well, my life makes me happy.

And I don’t think you could get a much better answer than that.

So our final goal of this blog post, is to get to a point where we can confidently affirm that we are living by example. And that if anyone asked you what makes you happy, you would be able to tell them – hey, you know what, my life makes me happy!!Smile

Cheerio!Hot smile

ShubiXbox

Cooking Pasta

Spaghetti, penne, fettuccine, etc. are all classified under pasta and are mostly just different shapes…

A surprising number of people I know do really terrible things to pasta…they overcook it, sometimes even pressure cook it!

Here is the way I love to make my pasta, it doesn’t matter which one I’m using, more or less its almost the same.

In a large heavy bottomed vessel, heat water to a roiling boil. Add a tablespoon or so of salt to this and another 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Now add your pasta to this and let it cook, typically for about 8-12 minutes. Pasta should be just slightly raw on the outside and utterly soft and tender on the inside, this is called al dente. You know it is done when you can pass a spoon easily through it. No pasta takes longer than 12-14 minutes to cook…and anything longer than that and you will have gooey, lifeless, unhealthy, fat, sorry excuses for pasta.Smile

Pasta is NOT rice. And really shouldn’t be overcooked or pressure cooked.

Once the pasta is done, drain the water and set aside. The olive oil that you added makes sure that it doesn’t get stuck and stays separate. Use immediately, this is not something you can cook and keep in the fridge though if you have added 3 tablespoons or so of olive oil, it would still be alright to use in a day or so…but I totally prefer freshly made pasta.

Pasta

Also as far as it’s possible, use a pasta which is an Italian brand. The Italian Government has extremely strict rules about how pasta should be made and you will be guaranteed of a great product!

Love

ShubiXbox

Aglio e Olio

Very tasty, very classy and extremely quick spaghetti to make …

Though strictly speaking aglio e olio means only garlic and olive oil, i like to add just a teeny bit of other veggies to give it color and make it more interesting!

For 4 people, you will need

3/4th a packet of whole wheat spaghetti

7 pieces of sun dried tomato

A handful of French Beans chopped long and thin

1 small carrot chopped thin

a small handful of green peas parboiled

Olive Oil

Butter

10-12 fresh Basil leaves

2-3 (depending on how garlicky you want it) small pieces of (a full) garlic either chopped fine or crushed

1 dried red chilly (you may add more to make it spicier or not add it at all for a blander taste)

Salt to taste

In a large pan, add a tablespoon of salt and some olive oil to water and heat to a rolling boil. Add the spaghetti and cook for 10-12 minutes (look on the packet for directions). Remove from heat, drain and put aside.

In a large saucepan, heat a generous amount of olive oil and a dollop of butter. Add the red chilly and the crushed garlic and cook until the garlic turns brown. Add the veggies (first the french beans, then the carrots and finally the sun dried tomatoes and the green peas) and saute them until they are cooked. Add the spaghetti and toss the whole thing until all the spaghetti is well coated, you may add just a little bit more of the olive oil if you think the whole thing is too dry…

Serve hot. Usually served with different types of bread, i like mine solo.

Feel free to add or subtract the veggies, you could add mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, etc. to it… simply remember that the veggies should be just a very tiny part of the whole thing. You could even add some grated cheddar cheese or shavings of parmesan cheese right on top while serving. If you make a soup to go along with this, it makes a brilliant complete meal.

Enjoy

ShubiXbox

Mushroom Pate

Well today…being the 3rd July, 2011 happens to be the first day in Bangalore without Suchi and trust me folks…this city has never sucked to this extent! My dolly is gone home for a one month (never ending) break!

So to give myself a chance to survive I thought to indulge myself in various activities and what else could have been better than cooking! Tried my hands on cooking after ages…and I was successful!

Here’s a delicious recipe…Pizza

All you need is the following:

1 packet of mushrooms washed and roughly cut into chunky pieces (of course not the poisonous one’s)

1 big carrot peeled and grated

1 clove of garlic finely chopped

2-3 dried red chillies (optional)

A small quantity of any left over veggie you want to add…I used a small zucchini piece that was waiting it’s turn in the fridgeWinking smile

2 tablespoons full cream

Olive oil, Salt, pepper, mustard to taste

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In a heavy bottomed pan, heat some (3-5 tablespoons) of olive oil and add the garlic and stir it around till it browns slightly. If you want it to be spicy, you could add 2-3 dried red chillies and cook for a bit. Remove them from the oil before going to the next step. Add the grated carrot and cook for 2 minutes. Then add your (left over) veggie(s)Winking smile and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and the seasoning and cook until tender, another 4-5 minutes. Stir in the cream and remove from heat.

Blend with a hand grinder or in a mixie. Don’t add water, it needs to be nice and thick.

Toast some bread and spread the pate on it or spread the pate on a some slices of bread, sprinkle some grated cheese and grill till the cheese melts. Or simply dip your finger into the pate and lick!Smile

waah waah…kya swaad hai!! (I ain’t showing off!)Smile

Butter Naans can also be used instead of toated bread! But making them at home can be a good pain in the ass!!

EnjoySmile

ShubiXbox