Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Ok, so Slumdog Millionaire won 8 Oscars. Did it deserve so many? I am not too sure. I never did like that movie. Why? Because,

1. I found the term "slumdog" derogatory. I do not think this movie would have fared any different if this term was not used.
2. This type of plot and theme has been used in a lot of movies. This is not the first. So why does it get special treatment? Because it was in English?
3. Many people including my American friends and the guy I am married to said " Oh! The way the flash back scenes were integrated into the story was really unique", "It was not just an ordinary love story" etc etc. People go get the tamil movie Autograph- plenty of flash backs plus it is well made. The love story was unique? I would like to know your definition of 'unique'. What the heck?!!! It was a stupid filmy mushy love story just like any other Hindi/ Tamil/Kannada/Telugu movie!!!
And the final reason for me not liking that movie,
ANIL KAPOOR- please retire and don't show us your face anymore. We have seen you enough!
Many people including, Chitra Banerjee Divakarun feel that Indians dislike this movie because we Indians do not like showing the real state of our country. I ask you one thing , so what did the slum kids gain by this? All this initial Oscar hullabaloo will soon fade and those kids will be a distant memory. We do not even know if the world is laughing with us rejoicing at the success of this movie or laughing at us for the state our country is in.

Incidentally, the same woman is the author of the Ashiwarya Rai starrer "Mistress Of Spice". Now, we all know how that movie was ....umm.. like CRAP!!

Moving on, so music king, A. R Rahman wins 2 Oscars. Did this work deserve an Oscar?! Hell NO! His music in movies like Roja, Bombay, Dil Se were more awe-inspiring than what he did in this movie. So now, what does the Indian government do? They plan not to tax him for his awards!!!!!!!! Okay, Mr. P.Chidambaram honorable finance minister I want to get something clear, so A. R Rahman gets a tax exempt. But my mom and my parents-in-law who live off their pension have to pay taxes? Why, because they did not bring home an Oscar!!?? What the fuck!?

In almost all Indian websites, I see politicians giving press statements saying they are very proud. Proud of what? Proud that your country houses so many slums? Proud that when you can travel in first class and live in big bungalows and drive around in posh cars, those slum kids do not even have access to the most basic amenities and more importantly a good education. And for Christ's sake please STOP calling it a Bollywood movie. IT IS NOT A BOLLYWOOD MOVIE!!! Get your facts right before you go blabbering off in some TV channel.

Our country is filled with insane people like this one- Pramod Muthalik (who runs Sri Ram Sene) who are trying to restore the so called " Indian tradition and culture". We do not need bully-boys like him to tell us what to do, what to wear, where to go and not to go, what to eat, what to watch, what to listen and when to visit the toilet. You neither have the authority nor the rights to dictate terms to another human being. If you are swamped with a sudden surge of humanity and feel compelled to save something/someone- the slums of India are waiting for you. Provide them with schools, health care and jobs. We do not need your moral policing, save it for your wife/mom/aunts/sisters/kids . You are a shame to our nation.

I just hope that through this movie, some international aid/social agency steps forward to provide these kids with a bright future. I say international aid agency because, I know our politicians/leaders/lunatic fanatics are busy saving "India's culture/tradition" and providing tax benefits to the filthy rich.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cooking for Su: R for Rajma!

We hated eating chapathis with palyas, gojjus and raita. We had to have some North Indian subzis (I know we were terrible kids!). My mom used to make the usual North Indian- chole, rajma etc and on some occasions, when she was in a highly experimental mode we would see elaborate dishes like, aloo dum, malai koftas etc. She used to roll out at least 25 chapathis and make those side dishes in that terribly hot and sweltering kitchen in Chennai. I realized how difficult the whole process was after I got married.

Now I can eat chapathis with pickles/jam/sugar! Even if I do make elaborate sides, I make sure that it lasts us for atleast 2 days (I believe that one should savor the end product of such hard labour for quite some time!). That way we have it with chapathis for dinner and pack it to lunch along with rice the next day.

One of my favorites that my mom made was- Rajma. Bursting with flavor in every bite. It leaves one wanting for more. Mmmm...

2.5 C cooked rajma
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes
1 inch ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp dhaniya powder
1/2 tsp jeera powder
1/2 tsp haldi
1 tsp jeera
2 tbls oil
salt to taste

Grind the tomatoes, ginger and garlic to a fine paste. Heat oil in a pan and add jeera. When it splutters add finely chopped onions and saute till brown. Add the tomato-garlic-ginger paste. Add all the dry powders and mix well. Saute till mixture becomes very dry. Add the rajma and mix well. Add salt and about 1 cup water (adjust water according to your desired consistency). Simmer for 10mins. Garnish with chopped coriander and slurp away......



Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lonesome Ramaswamy!

Me- I want ... I want... I WANT!!!!
Him- Are you sure papu? I don't think we need it...
Me- You always have to shoot down whatever I say... Why can't you get me a fish tank??
Him-Its not an easy task -cleaning the tank, feeding the fishes.
Me- It is easier than having a dog. I've seen my sis Su with her dog Bru, if she can do it so can I.
Him-Umm...I am not so sure about you. You never finish what you start. Remember your other blog you created with your friend Reva? You just did 1 post and its practically dead now!
Me- It was her turn to write OK??
Him- What about that scarf you started to knit for me? It has been a year since you began. Its still not ready?
Me- oh that..err...um... that is different this is different ok? Listen neenu kodsthyo illvo?
Him- Saari *govindaa govindaaaaaaaaa*

Oct 2007
Me- Hello J? Chinnaswamy died!! Sob..sob....sob...

Dec 2008
Me- Hello J? Veeraswamy reached paralokha today!

Jan 2009
Scene- J cleaning the fish tank.
Me(watching Him clean the tank)- Cha! You were so right J, we should have never got this fish tank. So much work alwa? Should we sell the tank with Ramaswamy in it? I was thinking Craigs list.
Him- *I am thinking of putting you on Craigs list!*

Lonesome Ramu!


Another view,

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cooking for Su: Rave Idli & Onion Chutney

I have always had an interest in cooking and baking. My mom is an excellent cook, whatever dishes I have learnt, it is from her. But, trying out anything in my Mom's kitchen was such a big challenge. It was because she would magically transform into the....Fuhrer (sorry Amma, but its true!!) as soon as I set foot in the kitchen armed with a recipe book . There were a thousand different instructions and orders one had to follow. I had to use bowls that were proportional to the dish. Her favorite dialogue- "Yakke ashtu dodda pathre? Chikkadhu use madu". The kitchen had to be sparkly clean once the cooking was done- when I say kitchen I mean the entire kitchen- the stove, the floor, the counter top and the utensils. By the time I finished the cooking and following all of the Fuhrer's orders I would have lost my appetite!

I started my "real" experiments in the kitchen only when I came to the US. "Real" because, I had a guinea pig- J, it was my own lab (kitchen) and best of all no Fuhrer!! I have learnt a lot of new dishes and tricks- thanks to the gazzilion food blogs. But, I definitely have to thank my dearest Fuhrer for all that she has taught me.

My sister Su's story is double-tragedy because she discovered, more often than not, that her dishes were barely edible. Poor thing she had made up her mind never to learn cooking and leave it to God to match her with a husband who could cook. Now she is in a situation where she has to cook or eat out everyday (and suffer from gastritis/ food poisoning/obesity). So this 'Cooking for Su' is my attempt at getting her interested in the kitchen.

Today's menu: Rave idli and Onion Chutney

Rave Idli (makes 12 idlis) (Recipe source: Amma)
1c sooji/rave
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp channa dal
1 tbls chopped cashews
7-8 curry leaves (chopped)
1/4 tsp hing
2 tbls oil
2-2.5 C sour curds (even buttermilk works fine)
1 tsp Eno fruit salt (this makes the idli very spongy- I do not like hard rubber idlis)

Add 2 tbls oil in a pan. Once the oil gets hot add the mustard seeds, channa dal, hing and cashews. Add the curry leaves and sooji. Fry till it turns golden brown (approximately 5-7 mins) Add salt and let it cool. Add 1 cup of curds/buttermilk to the dry mixture and mix well. Let it rest covered for 10 mins. Add the rest of the curds and mix well ( it should be little thicker than idli batter). Add the Eno fruit salt and mix well. Ladle the batter into well oiled (or not, I never grease it) idli thattai. Steam in a pressure cooker for 10 mins (without weight). Allow it to cool and unmould.


Onion chutney-(Recipe source: Dakshin by Chandra Padmanabhan)
1.5 onion (rough chopped)
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp urad dal
1/4 tsp hing
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
2 red chillies
1 green chillies (this is on the spicier side- adjust to suit your spice level)
small bunch of coriander leaf
2 tbls oil
salt to taste

Heat 1tbls oil in a pan . Add the onions once the oil is hot. Saute till the onions turn golden brown. Set aside. Heat the remaining oil, saute mustard seeds, urad dal, red chillies, green chillies and hing for 2-3 mins. Place both the onions and the seasoning in a blender. Add coriander leaves, tamarind paste and salt to taste. Blend to fine paste.


Rave idli- chutney with bisi bisi bourammanavita is how we like it!

I usually add the grated carrots to the batter. This was done to only these 4 idlis because they were going to photographed!!

I am so grateful to Harini of http://tumyumtreatssharestips.blogspot.com/ for her tips on how to enlarge the pictures. And to J for helping me with all that computer stuff.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday Bore!

Things that I actually want to do,

1. Watch the Hercule Poirot CD (The Murder of Roger Ackroyd)
2. Eat chilli paneer
3. Get under a warm blanket and sleep
4. Learn how to use photoshop
5. Knit a hat for J

Unfortunately I have to do this,

Look at the title! Do you even feel like picking it up? If anyone is suffering from insomnia please get a copy of this and read it. You will be sleeping like a baby in no time. I have to read this crap and write a synopsis of the same. GROAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What's in a name?

Some reactions when I tell people that I have a new blog named "Masala Vade",

My sis Su-" Aiooo.. rammaa.. edhakku thindi hesara?"
(Ooo.. rammaa... Even the title had be name of some food?)

My cousin Mako- "Adhenu hesaru? mental case! Innu ondu blog create madu, bajji antha!
(What name is that?? Mental case! Create another blog and name it bajji.)

My mom Amma- " Masalaaa vade na?? Oota thindi recipe blog ah?"
(Masala vade? Is it a food blog?)

So now, I feel I have to explain the significance of this name and why I chose this name for my baby i.e., my blog.

Ahem..(clearing my throat) Well, I have always liked creative and funny names. That doesn't mean that I would have loved to be named- Kempamma or Kunji Kujalambal. Although, I did suggest Su (my sis) to name her dog "Subramani" after the dog in the movie Sadma/Moondram Pirai. She named him Brutus!! Like, is that a name for a dog?? GAG!

Some of my favorite blogs (and names) include- chuntney case, vanilla vats etc. Hell! there is even a blog called "Kusublakki" (Its a Kannada name for a type of rice) !!! So why not "Masala Vade"? (plus no one had taken that name yet! Haiyya!!!)

Both J (other half) and I ( better half) love masala vades. Masala vades make me very calm, happy and totally relaxed. I wanted my blog to reflect just that- totally laid back, with very light and funny reads. You will not find any heavy stuff like "Does God exist?" or "Should astrology be made mandatory in science classes?" or "The rise and fall of the Neanderthals" in this blog.

So people don't ask too many questions! Just read, laugh and more importantly leave your precious comments!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday over!

Today went by peacefully! We had an open house in my University- you know that thing they do to attract new bhakras, I mean new students! 

Specially for them- Thai food! Yummy!! Not many vegetarian dishes though. Sad! There was a pizza session in the evening. I was all set to hog 2 slices, only to find that the veg and cheese pizza were  gone! :( 

Anyways, the highlight of my day, something which made me feel very warm and loved- was this email I received  from one of my student,


That made my day!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Movie Masala

We went to watch "I am just not that into you" yesterday. I found it intensely boring. Maybe because I could not relate to any of those situations those girls were in. Yep! Mine is an arranged maduve.
No dating, no coochi cochi cooing! just huduga nodu, maduve madu!

Anyways, one particular scene got my attention.
Jennifer Aniston finds a ring (yes, a diamond one) and turns to ask her boyfriend Ben Affleck about it. When she turns around..TADA! He is on one knee professing his love and asking her to marry him!

Me (wiping away my tear)- Nodu..nodu.. Neenu nange hange yenadru madithya?
(see, see. Have you ever done anything like that for me?
Him- Neenu Jennifer Aniston a? Neenu Jen Aniston agidre madthidhe.
(Are you Jennifer Aniston? If you were her i would have done all that)
Me-Adhu bere!! Ninge naane jasthi!
(You are so lucky you got me!)
Him- If not for me you would still be riding BMTC and going to your company, which one is that? Genie o panni o yenno ethalla.
Me- If not for me you would..
HUSHHHHHH.... (from behind, front and sides!)

We had to cut our movie short and watch the one on screen instead.
Some got married, some split up. All in all, everyone was happy.
The End. (YAWN!!!)

$20 wasteu for this kachada movie. Thank God we didn't waste money on soda and popcorn.

Tomorrow is Monday- Boo hooo....

Have a nice week y'all!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Day!

Okie. So its V-day today, what do i get for HIM? 
Wallet? Belt? Shirts? Naah... If I get these now then I will run out of options for his Bday gift.

Do I have to give something? Maybe He won't realize that it is V-day. Wait a min!! He never knows its V-day until he sees my gift!! Ha!! Then its settled... no gift giving!

Or so I thought. 
I found this on my table  Thursday night,

I especially love this chaddi picture! Its so cute just like Him too!

Then i decided on this,

My Dearest J,

These 3 years with you have been like a roller-coaster ride.
Without You i don't know how i would have managed in this strange land!
Be it a simple thing like swiping a credit card or a mind boggling task like buying a metro fare card (yea it is difficult!)
You have always been there guiding me. 
For all the graphs you have done for me and for typing most of my assignments, I am ever grateful.
I love you for all the gifts you have showered on me.
I admire your patience and tolerance level (particularly during the driving sessions!!).
No one can look after me like YOU!
I love you very, very much my sweet!
Happy V-day!

This is what I made for you,

Baby Corn Manchurian

PS- If you gorge yourself without any control and get heartburn in the middle of the night, do not wake me! You know where the Eno bottle is kept!!


Friday, February 13, 2009


How many of you teach? Well, i just started teaching a biology lab to undergrads.  Most of them are interested in the subject and want to learn. A few of them would rather watch Ramayana on DD1 than do this lab!
Today went like this,
Me- OK guys you can observe  bacteria on your petri dish and note down the colony morphology.
10mins pass by.
They (2 students)- Uum... We are done. Cane we leave?
Me-Did you fill in table 2 in your lab manual?
They- Yea! Can we leave?
Me- All three columns in table 3?!
They- yup! Can we leave?
Me- Did you look at colony morphology under the dissection scope?
They- Umm.. No. We can see the morphology pretty clearly with our eyes. um..can we ... leave?
Me- Actually the margin and shape is clearer when viewed under a scope. Go ahead and give it a try.
They- Rolling eyes..roll..roll. 
(And saying to themselves- What the fuck!!! Why can't we just leave? Who cares if the bacteria is round or rhombus shaped! What a pain!!!)
Me- You can leave as soon as you finish looking at it under the scope.
(And saying to myself- Your grades are in hands! Two points off every time you roll your stupid eyes!!)

About Me

I am a fun loving, chatter box living in the US with my husband and a lonesome goldfish! I am doing my Masters in Biology. I pen all my daily ranting and occasional recipes in this blog. Have a nice time here!