Saturday, January 30, 2010

"patra"-curried taro leaves

patra is a gujarati specialty,an icon of gujerati cuisine. flavourfull, smokey and spicy. the chief ingredient for the recipe and the way the dish is prepared is extremely interesting to watch. when I was young and had gujerati neighbours, I used to believe that the colocassia leaves were actually lotus pads. they were humongous. i surfed and tried to find an easy recipe. here it goes for those who are learners like me:

preparation time: 20 mins
cooking ime: 60 mins
serves 4

for the patra
6 black stemmed colocassia leaves(any other big edible leaf will also do)
60 g besan
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbps jaggery
4 green chillies
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 inch piece ginger, grated
3 tsp tamarind paste
2 tsp oil
salt to taste
handful of chopped coriander leaves
for The Garnish
1 tsp grated coconut.

now the hard part:
wash and dry the leaves.grind the green chillies and ginger. sieve the besan. make a pulp with the tamarind paste and jaggery. make a thick batter with the gram flour and the pulp. add the spices and baking soda. take one leaf and place on the wrong side. spread the batter evenly over the leaf and place another smaller leaf on top of the spread batter. place yet another leaf and more batter. now roll over from the base to the tip of the leaf. repeat for other leaves. Steam for an hour in a steamer or a water bath. leave until it cools down. slice the rolls into half- inch thick slices. temper mustard seeds in oil and sprinkle these on the patra slices and saute for thirty seconds.
garnish with coconut and coriander.

have a good time making the patras.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


last saturday we watched '3 idiots', a comedy film, stylishly referred to as 3i. directed by raj kumar hirani,produced by vidhu vinod chopra and starring aamir khan (rancho), r madhavan. sharman joshi, kareena kapoor(pia) and boman irani(v.sahasrabudhe nicknamed virus). it is a thoroughly entertaining movie. i have not read chetan bhagat's 'five point someone'; hence,i am not able to either fuel the controversy or snuff it. the movie appeals to young and old alike. it has all the ingredients for a box-office hit combined in the right proportions.

the three musketeers do a great job. aamir khan's acting versatality is awesome. three engineering students who share a room in the hostel have joined the 'imperial college of engineering' for different (madhavan) is fond of wild life photography but due to the insistence of his father accepts admission to the engineering college. another idiot(aamir khan) is actually extremely talented while working with any machine/contraption. engineering is in his veins but he is unconventional and is against the system of roting. the third one (sherman joshi) like the first idiot pursues engineering studies so that he will be able to pull his family out of the morass of poverty.

there is lot of fun in the competition that rancho has with the USA returned classmate (chatur ramalingam nicknamed 'silencer') who always comes second but wants to be the topper at any cost. the story is compelling and there is no dull moment. though there are no great songs,music is good. choreography is excellent and hirani's direction is outstanding. he continues in the same standard set by himself in the munnabhai series.boman irani(virus) as the autocratic head of the engineering college puts in an extraordinary performance. kareena kapoor does not have much of a role as the daughter of the principal who eventually falls in love with rancho (aamir khan)- the achilees heel of the principal.the scene where kareena uses the webcam to instruct rancho to help in the delivery of her elder sister's baby and the vaccum cleaner brought in to create a vaccum for the delivery of the child though very funny is quite original and creative.the child is stillborn but rancho breathes into the baby's mouth and resuscitates it.virus reconciles with the three idiots,allows them to take their exams and they all graduate.rancho is the topper and virus gifts him his coveted pen which he has been keeping for years only to hand over to a worthy match.raju rastogi (sherman joshi) and farhan (madhavan) share the booby prize between themselves.

the movie starts as a flashback when 'silencer' who had challenged rancho to meet exactly after ten years after their graduation to exchange notes to see who has been more succesful in their careers sees no sign of rancho at the pre-decided place of meeting. the other two idiots are summoned by text messages by the 'silencer' to jointly go in search of rancho who supposedly is in simla.the chase ends in ladakh where the genius rancho has settled down. he teaches the local school children while continuing his profession as a scientist.he has won many awards and has numerous patents to his credit.'silencer' is humbled when he realises that rancho is none other than the famous scientist(phunsukh wangdu) with whom he had drawn up an agreement to jointly start a business. he accepts defeat finally.

in sum, a great entertainer which deserves all the smashing records in the box rancho says in the movie,"if you really want to do something to become someone in the world,don't run after money.create ideas that change the world. money will follow. well said aamir. tussi great hai.

if you haven't seen it yet, just drop everything and make a beeline to your nearest will not regret it.