Cheesy soya pie

This is a one-pot meal made of soya granules which are high in proteins and nutritious. Add any combination of veggies as you like.

Ingredients (Serves about 3-4 people) –

  • 2 cup soya granules
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 carrots finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1 green chili chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil or mustard oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Dry spices:
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp allspice powder
  • salt to taste

I would divide the entire process into 3 steps broadly.

Step 1:

Wash thoroughly and soak the soya granules in warm water for half an hour. Drain the water and keep the granules aside. Chop the veggies finely. In a cast-iron pan, heat the oil. Add onions and ginger-garlic paste and saute till brown in color. Add tomatoes, carrots, green peas and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.

Step 2:

Add the dry spices, soya granules, tomato ketchup, and mix them well. Take out half of this mixture in a bowl separately. Cover the pan with half of the shredded mozzarella cheese and add the remaining soya granules mixture on top.

Step 3:

Cover the pan with the remaining shredded mozzarella cheese. Cover the lid and let the cheese melt. Enjoy the hot and tasty cheesy soya pie!

 

Money management subject in school curriculum

We studied many subjects in school life. Some of the subjects and/or topics still hold a lot of relevance in our lives. And some served no purpose as they were not applicable in our daily lives.

While growing up, we learned about money management in one way or the other. Whether it was at home, in stores, while hosting parties, or going for vacations, we saw transactions happening everywhere. Our elders taught us about the importance of saving money or spending money wisely.

I always feel that if the advice our elders gave to us about money was also taught in the school as a subject, it would help inculcate good habits in handling the money wisely and also develop a better understanding of the subject. I believe, formal education about money matters would make us informed and decisive individuals in our lives later.  The small tips taught at home can be carved out permanently in our brains if they can be incorporated into our school books thereby starting early in childhood days. And it will stay with us forever as money is a day-to-day affair.

I believe, the introduction to money management or finance can be started as early as in primary school. The topics can be designed as age-appropriate and can be made interesting and fun with a lot of examples. With senior classes, the topics can subsequently advance to a more complex level.

With the introduction of computer science subject in school around two decades back, then IT, AI, Machine learning, Robotics, Automation, and many more making their way into the school curriculum, it is always a positive sign of progress in terms of technological advancements that are happening and schools are trying to keep abreast with the same. Similarly, money management or finance should also make a way in the school curriculum as early as possible.

My heart aches when I see rich people spending huge money on material things they may even not use once or twice while a big population struggles to get both ends meet. Only if the rich were taught the value of money! Probably, I may be wrong to blame the education system for not teaching the fair division of money but one thing I know for sure, that if we were taught good principles in school like the value of money, saving, sharing money with the needy, the difference between wants and needs, goals, liabilities, assets, charity at a young age, various money saving instruments, we would have had a much better understanding of handling money-related matters.

I know that there are a few chapters here and there that taught about money, economics, demand-supply chain, profit & loss, simple & compound interest, etc but there are many more relevant and practical topics that are missing. Those who decide to graduate in finance, of course, learn about the field in-depth and are adept in money matters. But not everyone graduates in finance and would still have to deal with money matters all their lives. The sad part is an individual who’s keen to learn about money has to take the lead and learn about it on his own. Otherwise, life is spent struggling with finances or is learned the hard way as there is no prior education on this topic.

I wish and hope this can be incorporated into schools’ curriculum someday!

One pot healthy barley meal

This is a one-pot meal made of barley millet whole grain. It’s healthy, nutritious, and tasty. Barley is rich in minerals and vitamins. It’s also high in fiber, reduces hunger, and gives the feeling of fullness for a long time.

Ingredients (Serves about 2-3 people) –

  • 1 cup barley millet
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 carrots finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1 green chili chopped (optional)
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil or mustard oil
  • few drops of lemon juice
  • Dry spices:
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp jeeravan powder or allspice powder
  • salt to taste

I would divide the entire process into 4 steps broadly.

Step 1: Wash thoroughly and soak the barley millet in water overnight.

Step 2: Chop the veggies finely. You can take any veggies or meat of your choice.

Step 3: Cook the veggies and barley.

In the pressure cooker, heat the oil. Add onions and garlic and saute till brown in color. Add the rest of the veggies and fry for a minute. Add the dry spices, soaked barley, and mix it well. Add about 4-5 cups of water. It needs more water to cook well. Close the cooker lid and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes on a low flame or till you get around 10 whistles of the cooker. Pic shows the stage just before closing the cooker lid.

Step 4:

Let the cooker cool down enough till it’s safe to open. If it’s become too thick, add some boiling water and mix. Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice and enjoy a hot barley meal.

Crispy cottage cheese (paneer) sandwich

This is a healthier version of a deep-fried cottage cheese sandwich. Instead of deep-frying, I shallow-fry cottage cheese in less oil and make sandwiches. This is an easy and less time taking recipe.

Ingredients (for 2 sandwiches) –

  • 4 slices of whole wheat bread
  • cottage cheese(paneer) cut in big rectangles of about 1/2 to 1-inch thickness
  • 1 tbsp cornflour powder
  • 2 tsp refined flour
  • just enough water to get a medium consistency batter
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 big lettuce green leaves
  • Any chutney or sauce of your liking
  • 4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ghee

I would divide the entire process into 3 steps broadly.

Step 1: Prepare the batter – Mix cornflour powder, refined flour, salt, pepper powder, oregano, chili flakes, and just enough water to get a medium consistency batter. Mix everything well and coat the cottage cheese slices in the batter. Add sesame oil on a flat pan and shallow-fry the cottage cheese slices in oil on both sides on a medium flame till crispy. Transfer these onto a plate.

Step 2: On the same pan, put ghee and toast the bread slices till brown in color.

Step 3: Prepare the sandwiches – Apply any chutney or sauce of your liking on a bread slice. Place a lettuce leaf and a cottage cheese slice over it and cover with the bread slice. Prepare the 2nd sandwich in the same way.

तब और अब

तब खुशी मिलती थी जीत कर किसी को हराने मे
अब खुशी मिलती है हार कर किसी को जिताने मे

तब खुशी मिलती थी चीजो को हासिल करने मे
अब खुशी मिलती है चीजो को त्याग देने मे

तब खुशी मिलती थी खुद खुश रहेने मे
अब खुशी मिलती है दूसरो को खुश देखेने मे

तब खुशी मिलती थी अपना पेट भरने मे
अब खुशी मिलती है अपने से पहेले दूसरो का पेट भरने मे

ये अजब जिन्दगी का रूप है
वक्त वक्त की बात है
देर से ही सही मायने सिखाती है सभी को

Kadhi and Rice

This traditional dish from the North Indian state of Punjab is perfect for lunch and so satisfying.

Kadhi is made up of gram flour dumplings in yogurt-based curry. There can be many variations to it. This is one of the simple versions yet so comforting. It goes best with long grain basmati rice.

It’s a 2-step process:

Step 1: Make gram flour dumplings or pakoras

In 1 cup gram flour, add 1/2 tsp each of turmeric powder, red chili powder, garlic paste, and salt. Add little water that is just enough to bind the entire thing together. In hot oil, deep fry the dumplings on low to medium flame till they are cooked but shouldn’t turn brown. Take out on a paper towel. An alternative healthier option is to cook the dumplings in an air-fryer with very little oil.

Step 2: Make the curry

Make a paste of 2 cup yogurt with 1/2 cup gram flour. Add 1 tbsp mustard oil in a wok. Add a pinch of asafoetida, 1 tsp garlic paste, 1 onion (cut lengthwise), 1 tsp fenugreek seeds, 2 whole red chilies, 1/2 tsp each of turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt to taste. Add little water to avoid burning the spices. On a low flame, add the yogurt and gram flour paste and stir very well to avoid any lumps. Add around 2-3 cups of water otherwise, the gravy will be thick. Give it a good boil on a medium flame for about 10 mins and it’s ready to go. You may temper the kadhi with a little red chili powder, cumin seeds, and/or curry leaves using very little oil.

Enjoy kadhi with hot steaming basmati rice 🙂

garden omelette cheese sandwich

This is a nutritious and filling breakfast. I make it for dinner, too, sometimes.

Ingredients (for 2 sandwiches) –

  • 4 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 2 brown eggs
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ginger grated
  • 1 green chili chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • veggies of your choice – spinach, zucchini, carrot, capsicum, etc
  • 2 tbsp mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

I would divide the entire process into 4 steps broadly.

Step 1: Prepare the veggies

I cooked onion, tomato, grated ginger, green chili, a small bunch of cleaned and chopped spinach, salt, and black pepper in 1 tsp sesame oil.

Step 2: Make an omelet with the veggies

Take two brown eggs and beat them. Add the prepared veggies and beat them again. Cook on a pan on both sides with very little oil.

Step 3: Assemble the sandwich –

Take 4 whole wheat bread and 2 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Divide the omelet into 2 halves and cheese into 4 portions. On a slice of bread, sprinkle a quarter cheese, half omelet, the other quarter cheese, and cover with the remaining slice of bread. Make 2nd sandwich in the same way.

Step 4: Prepare the sandwich

On the same pan on which the omelet was cooked, add 1/2 tsp ghee or 1/2 tsp sesame oil and cook the sandwiches on both sides until the cheese melts and they are crispy and brown.

Stay safe everyone

What a mess the world is in now! Hope the pandemic ends soon and everyone starts to live life as it used to be.

Sharing some tips to build immunity and preventive measures especially needed these days –

  • Drink lots of warm water with a few drops of lemon.
  • Increase vitamin C intake
  • Drink ginger and black pepper tea
  • Drink kadha and turmeric latte at least once a day
  • Eat healthy home-cooked food
  • Consume more green veggies and fresh fruits
  • Exercise and do pranayam daily
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Avoid stepping out of the home, and always wear a mask if you have to step out
  • Keep a sanitizer while going out and maintain social distancing
  • Take steam once at night
  • When you feel even slight discomfort in the throat, gargle with hot water mixed with salt and turmeric
  • Last but not the least – Get vaccinated

Take care everyone and stay safe. Please share your tips too to stay healthy and safe.

Brown rice soya burrito

This is a simple soya burrito recipe that can be made at home with fresh or leftover brown rice, whatever veggies you have available, any seasoning mix, cheese or no cheese, and homemade whole wheat tortillas. Try to use fresh homemade tortillas instead of store-bought ones. If you have kidney beans ready, you can surely add them. I made this one without it as I used soya granules as a protein substitute. This is a healthy and tasty burrito dish that can be enjoyed for any meal.

Step 1: I made fresh tortillas (roti) at home with whole wheat flour dough.

Step 2: Prepare rice filling. I used cooked plain brown rice, fried some chopped onions, garlic, and tomatoes, added seasoning mix, corn, soaked soya granules, chili garlic sauce, salt, and black pepper powder. You can add any veggies and dry spices or seasoning mix.

Step 3: Take a tortilla, add 2 big tbsp of rice filling, and 1 tbsp of mozzarella cheese, and fold it like a burrito. Prepare the rest in a similar way. You can add some salad leaves, onions, tomatoes, etc instead of cheese (if you don’t like a cheesy burrito), and skip Step 4.

Step 4: Heat 1 tsp ghee or olive oil on a pan and heat the tortillas on both sides. Enjoy hot burritos 🙂

भ्रम टूट गया

जिनको जीवन के इतने वर्ष दिए उन्होंने कभी मुड़कर न देखा

मिलना तो दूर कभी जब हाल तक न पूछा

तो भ्रम टूट गया |

 

अपनों पर अटूट विश्वास किया

पर उन्हीं अपनों ने जब दगा दिया

तो भ्रम टूट गया |

 

जीवन में अपने आप को क़ामयाब समझते थे

पर यह एहसास हुआ जब कि यहाँ कामयाबी

औहदे और पैसो से तोली जाती है

तो भ्रम टूट गया |

 

लोगों ने बहुत उल्टा सीधा सुनाया

पर आज तक कभी पलटकर जवाब नहीं दिया

समझते रहे कि चुप रहने से झगड़े नहीं होंगे और रिश्ते बने रहेंगे

पर जब लोगों ने इसे कमजोरी मान लिया

तो भ्रम टूट गया |

 

बचपन अच्छा बीता दोस्तों के साथ फिर वही दोस्त मिले कई अर्सों के बाद

उन्होंने हंसी मजाक किया पर जब हमारे हंसी मजाक को दिल पे ले लिया

तो भ्रम टूट गया |

 

जीवन में यही चाह थी कि सब खुश रहें

कहीं गलती से भी हमारी वजह से किसी को चोट न पहुंचे

पर जब लोगों ने उसे तारीफ़ बटोरने का नाम दिया

तो भ्रम टूट गया |

 

लोग जो करें वह सही और हम जो करें वह गुस्ताखी

बोलो तो मुश्किल और चुप रहो तो मुश्किल

या खुदा तू ही बता आखिर जिए तो जिए कैसे

जिससे यह भ्रम बना रहे, बना रहे, बना रहे |