Did you send an entry to Culinary Smackdown Battle-Mango Desserts?Please see details of the ongoing event here.
Featured On FoodBuzz Top 9
Sometimes I wish I had never grown up.I had been more clever,smarter, alert and less of a moron.I sometimes want to take my life 15 years back.Undo lot of mistakes and relive all those days full of despair again.Get back all those years which would have been better spent enjoying & doing fruitful things or with friends & family than being a book-worm or sulking over a guy who eventually ditched you.
High School was fun.It would have been all the more fun if I had not spent half of it trying to develop friendship with a nasty, golden-haired girl whom I mistook for a good friend. We had a concept of seat rotation every 3 months in school.Luckily or unluckily, I got a dumb but good-looking,one of those sugar candy kind of girls, S as my bench-mate back then. I must say she had one of the prettiest faces around but a screwed brain.S was smart in general but quite dumb as far as the books went. The first time she shook hands with me for a hello, all I was thinking for the whole day was how did she have such soft palms.Maybe she got a manicure regularly, but that beauty concept was unheard in those times for me.Okay I ll admit, the first time I got my eyebrows done was when I was 17.Pretty late!Dont laugh when I tell you that I used to accompany my dad to get a haircut to his dresser for many years before my mom realized that her daughter needs a proper salon and more than that the fact she needs to look better.Anyhow, coming to this girl, I was in awe of her innocent rosy face,golden locks, long eyelashes for about a week after meeting her.She was sweet spoken, used to smile a lot, did not talk much and came across as one of the high maintenance types.The first time she offered me that we could share our computer science project together, I felt gratified that she chose me out of a gang of girls around.
Having already said that I was the studious kinds, it was decided that I would do all the programming and she would do the donkey work-I mean type out my work,get the prints,get everything filed and stuff.I used to go to her house after school for a couple of months after school.In those days, getting picked by driver in a car was talk of the school.I used to keep on watching her all the time, the way she talked to the driver, the way she moved her lips, eloquence of her speech, hand movements and the pitch of her voice.I don’t know whether it was because I was impressed or because I wanted to be like her or because she was something unique for me to look at..I don’t know.We used to reach home and S used to drink herbal tea followed by a salad while I kept on thinking about the lentils and flatbreads mom would have made for lunch at home.
A couple of months passed just like that..me trying to observe minute actions of her besides programming in few of the unknown computer languages, using a lot of referrals,visits to library, testing the programs again and again to debug them and compiling the commands.Just a week away before the final submission, I handed over the floppy drive [ CDs were not used then] to her to finish off the documentation and make everything ready.Can anyone of you guess what she did?
In one of the biggest set backs of my student life, she did not mention my name on the final project document that she made for submission.Can you believe that? I know it’s quite filmy sounding but this did happen.You know why she chose me as a project partner? Coz I was the biggest fool around! She told the examiner two days before the final day that I had shifted to another project group and she ll be doing the project all on her own.I was a such a big fool,before handing over,I did not even keep a copy of the floppy disc with me.I had no proof in the entire world that I had done everything.Since we used to work at her home most of the time, no one in school knew who was doing what.As such these projects were high kept secrets, more important than India’s foreign policy.Thereafter followed days of emotional eruptions,pointing fingers at each other, me howling on top of my voice, unpleasant phone calls from my parents to her parents, sleepless nights with just a week to go for exams and most of all trying to deal with broken trust of friendship .It was one of the most difficult time of my student life.I was fooled by an innocent looking girl.Luckily, to do away my foes, the teacher adjusted me with other group so that I dont fail the exams.
At that time,this incident looked like a mishap of life.It looked as if life was shaken-a studious girl ripped off her project work Who knew then,that life is so much more complicated than that…Someday I will need to deal with such difficult and serious issues that these incidents will not even count.I still think about it and still feel hurt somewhere.Not over the project work but about being fooled.That incident in my life taught me one lesson….that looks can be deceptive.You can never be sure of an innocent childish looking face.People carry malice inside them.I m always scared of smiling people with few words.I doubt them.
Okay, I told you all the above
crap story, to let you know that during one of our “good” times, S and me went to INA market in Delhi.INA Market is Delhi’s treasure trove for all kinds of foreign groceries and food .You will get all kinds of seafood, produce,liquor from all the world over.The store owners here speak a whole lot of languages here and you can get any food item you can dream of from the western world.It caters to needs of both domestic and foreign crowds.Not to mention, it is quite an expensive market and is inundated with crowds the whole day.
Asparagus is not an Indian vegetable.I don’t know if it’s cultivated even now there.I saw asparagus for the very first in my life @ INA Market and mistook it for stalks of lucky bamboo plant Dont laugh.When I ate it for the first time, I felt I was chewing on chlorophyll.I disliked it.Its not that now I love asparagus, but its one of those veggies which we like to eat sometimes at a chinese restaurant nearby or at the most 1-2 stalks with eggs sometimes.Else,I really dont buy it.
Last week, my neighbour gifted me a big bunch of fresh asparagus she got from her trip to Farmer’s market.She knows that I like greens.But she doesn’t know that I dont like this particular green.After the bunch rested for 3-4 days in my fridge, I tried to put it to use to the best of my capabilities.Indian spices came to a good rescue to make it suitable for our palate.I made this sort of indian inspired take on italian bruschetta.Its not usual bruschetta but is an excellent fusion dish to serve for get togethers to impress your guests.Makes for an easy,any time snack.I m sure you will love it as much as we did.This is my own recipe.I hope you like it.
Below goes the recipe:
- 8-10 stalks of asparagus
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 1-2 fat cloves of garlic
- Extra Virgin Olive oil to brush
- 10-12 slices of french baguette
- Grated Parmesan to sprinkle [optional]
- 3 tbsp plain greek yogurt
- 3 tbsp cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp red chilli flakes [adjust to taste]
- Salt to taste
- Wash the asparagus and rinse them thoroughly.Break off the tough, white bottom portions and discard.Cut into 1 or 2 inch sections, slicing diagonally.
- Slice the red bell pepper lengthwise into thick julians or any way you like it.
- In a medium bowl, tip in all the marinade ingredients.Mix thoroughly with a whisk to combine well.Make sure that no lumps remain.
- Tip in the sliced asparagus and bell peppers into the marinade mix and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 450F.Grease your baking/cookie sheet.
- Once marinated, spread the vegetables on the greased baking sheet separated.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes.If you like your veggies perfectly done, you can bake for 2-3 more minutes. Note: You will have to take out the sheet midway and flip over the veggies for even baking.
- Meanwhile, brush the baguette slices with olive oil and toast them.
- Once toasted, take the slices out and rub a clove of garlic on them while they are still warm to give a hint of garlic.
- Top with baked veggies, sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese and drizzle more EVOO.
- Serve Warm.
Enjoy and Thanks for stopping by!
Sending to to Hearth & Soul #42