Foodie! (Diaries of ‘gelf’ life)

The insane,craving foodie in me made me reblog my own post! I miss you Kuwait life!❤️❤️

Adventures of Farji Farishta!

Its true that we associate a memory of a place to the food we have tasted there, be it ages ago!

I was born in Kuwait and I lived there till the age of 10. So I dont remember much but whatever faint lil food memories (call it aftertaste) I hav clung onto all thru the years, here they are-

  • Shawarma/dajaj/filafel in that order!(There was an old outlet of Sultan Centre which had a playout area where the kids cud play while the parents ordered, some good old memories! I found the below pic of that park from the internet with great difficulty)

  • Kitco (personal favourite- Funny faces)

  • KDD (personal favourite- Banana milk)

  • Hardees and BurgerKing anyday over KFC and MacD !(esp Hamour sandwich)

  • Zattar (oregano) and Irani khubz

  • Aero chocolates (those tiny melting air bubbles inside 😊)

  • Pringles(a very rare thing as mom never allowed it much)

I know…

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My favourite quote!

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

I love quotes! I feel that reading certain quotes can instantly motivate and energise especially when one is feeling down or dejected. Although its just a few words thrown together sometimes they have a magical effect, some even transport your mind to different situations and contexts. Such is the power of words.I remember during my school days, there would be a ‘Quote for the day’ daily and it would be written on the black board on top for the entire day.There started my love for quotes.

Coming back to today’s topic,so my favourite quote is one that was given by my favourite fictional professor! Yes our very own Prof.Albus Dumbledore!

Quote- ‘Happiness can found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light’

This is such a thoughtful quote, it asks us to remain positive and optimistic all through our trials and tribulations and to keep on seeking happiness even in despair! We should have the courage to face everything that comes our way and stand strong throughout. Eventually we are bound to win the battle in the pursuit of happyness(oh with a y)!

Do me a favour and post your favourite quotes in the comment section below, lets ‘Dig in’!

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Drishyam2! No spoilers!

I admit I was so skeptical to watch this one…like a lot of other people I thought it would just destroy the reputation of the original and I kept telling myself that there is nothing much to actually show in continuity…but alas how wrong I was. Jeethu Joseph is nothing short of a genius!

Infact throughout the movie,you don’t for a second feel like you don’t know Georgekutty’s family and that is proof enough of the authenticity of the characters and set. The sheer painstaking difficulties they may have gone through to make sure nothing- no location,no person,no dialogue looks out of place from where they left in 2015. The surroundings, characters seem to have aged just naturally and gradually.

This movie is a writer’s baby…the story is everything… coupled with some superb experiences with the likes of Murali Gopi, Sai Kumar and Asha Sarath.

And what do we even say about Lalettan?!Unlike the first part, Georgekutty is more subtle and mature in this one…but that could be how he evolved having gone through all the ordeals in the first part. But the conviction with which Lalettan plays his part is a class apart..he is definitely an Institution of excellence.

I will keep it short and simple, this movie is creatively intelligent and so glad that Jeethu Joseph took this risk and showed the entire world of cinema…how a sequel should be made.

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Book review- It happened in Bengaluru

This book ‘It happened in Bengaluru’ by author Absum is surely a blessing in disguise especially in recent times. We currently live in the era of WFH life.Especially those in IT would agree that work life has become way more hectic and one has almost lost the so called ‘work life balance’.

This book teaches not one but many a lesson especially to today’s stressed modern generation.Stress can come due to many reasons these days- too much work, work culture,fellow team mates,nagging management,long working hours, stringent timelines and what not. This book is a lifesaver to people who are undergoing one or more of the above mentioned pain points. The story follows the life of young and ambitious Aryan who is initially super stressed due to the disappointing work atmosphere around him and daily terminations. He has almost decided to quit it all when he comes across an angel…in this case,CB,who makes Aryan come to his senses. He arranges various mentors to guide Aryan from different walks of life. I was blown away by some of the advices provided by these mentors. Its really not rocket science but simple basic steps…Aryan slowly but surely gets more and more confident and finally reaches a zen like mode where he even inspires our author of this book. This change in Aryan from the start to the end is really his journey through various ups and downs.

Another important aspect is the importance of purpose in one’s life.This story inspires you to dig deep within you and unearth your purpose in this world. A high paying job and starting a family life does not really fulfil our purpose in life.We are often scared to make the difficult decisions of our life. We are often worried about the risks it would involve. This book is like an awakening to us…to refocus and prioritize what we wish to do. Some times we already know what we want to do but we are scared to execute.

The main part of this book is how everything is explained with reference to the beautiful game of chess. Just like in a chessboard,every person in our life has a specific role. And just like the chess pieces, every person has different characteristics.The game of Chess indeed teaches us how to maneuver our life and reach our peaceful final destination. Almost every mentor Aryan meets explain their points with reference to the game of Chess thus demonstrating their lessons in a way that is most understanding to Aryan.

My personal takeaway from this book is all the subtle learnings on how to focus on one issue at a time,how to take difficult decisions ,how to be there for near and dear ones in time of trouble,how to cope with stress. The unique way in which fiction and non fiction has been blended is this book is indeed praise worthy. So go grab a copy if you wish to be enlightened too!

How to get hold of this self help book-

Buy on Amazon – It Happened in Bengaluru


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Love for Pothichoru!

No…i didnt say petrichor, but yes pothichoru comes from the land of petrichor…the word ‘pothichoru’ brings all kinds of olfactory nostalgia to most Keralites like me and unknowingly my mouth starts watering!

For the uninitiated, ‘pothichoru’ is simply a wholesome malayali meal wrapped tightly in a slightly burnt banana leaf (almost like a wrapped up sadya minus the payyasam and plus a fish fry and omlette). Technically pothi means wrapped and choru means rice!After wrapping in the banana leaf it has that familiar rectangular shape,which is then usually again wrapped in a newspaper and then its good to go/carry!

Pothichoru is not merely a tiffin or dabba,its a whole lot of love of all malayali moms! My earliest memory was during my childhood when we used to go for each vacation to Kerala to my maternal native place.We used to go there in the morning and then return by noon to my paternal native place (a few districts apart). My grandmother would make sure she had 5 pothichors wrapped and kept neatly in a bag (one kutti pothichoru for me as I was the youngest) and we used to relish the meal whilst in the train.The train journey between the 2 places was hardly 3 hrs but the ‘pothichoru eating part’ was mandatory and most looked forward to. Its not like we cant stay hungry for 3 hrs and its not like we cant eat from the house just before leaving. Its just that whole process of having it in the train whilst travelling. The aura of pothichoru which is caused by the smells of the banana leaf itself, boiled matta rice (served warm while wrapping),chammanthi (chutney),omlette,fish fry,thoran all blended together is simply irresistible. The thoran (veg sidedish usually beans thoran), sambhar(optional), raw mango or coconut chammanthi and lime pickle are all combined together with the rice. And when we mix/roll our fingers into this potpurri and combine each bite with a little piece of that perfect fish fried in coconut oil it just elevates your senses. People like me keep the omlette for the end to savour each bite of it.There is no fixed number of items or sidedishes,its purely left to the imagination of the creator.

Eating such a meal in a moving vehicle that too with your hands and no plate is a task but one that every mallu has mastered since childhood. It is very organic and sustainable too as it does not create any plastic waste as opposed to all packed food items we consume.With time,the potichor concept has gradually reduced but it continues to remain a very fond nostalgia to many. Hotels have now recently started the concept again, whilst they come nowhere close to the one our grandmoms made, its still a gud way to relive that awesome memory!

PS- Having watched ‘The Great Indian Kitchen’ ,I must say that despite being a woman I have never deeply appreciated my mother or grandmother for their efforts in feeding all of us all day along. Kitchen work is and should not be just for any single gender or age, lets be collectively responsible.Time to abolish the thought ‘When men cook its art and when women cook its their duty’!

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Book review- Jasmine builds on shifting sands

Do you sometimes feel that the universe throws various hints at you…this book was something like that to me.Out of the blue I decided to read this book one sunny day and I was just so pleasantly shocked at the outcome and the message it conveyed.

We live in such a materialistic and visual world today all thanks to social media.The FOMO is driving us crazy day by day and we are just getting more and more sucked into this loophole!

This book by Sanjay Desai reminds us to get our priorities right.It asks us to take a grip over our life and jump on to the driving seat of our life. And it does so almost unknowingly. This book takes us through the trials and tribulations of Jasmine,a wannabe supermodel…The most interesting part is the way this book combines her story to our lives with the help of microlearning courses. Here we are introduced to the concept of TheConsciousLeap (https://www.theconsciousleap.com/JasmineBuildsOnShiftingSands/Learning) All these courses are free and present in the above link but it truly makes sense when go through them via Jasmine’s story. We get deeply connected to Jasmine’s success and failures almost reflecting our own success and failures!We also learn how we can make our dreams a reality by combining our goals, our will power and our continued focus.

Jasmine’s story is no different from your or my story. She faces troubles and doubts in every step..luckily she meets good mentors on the path to her success,these mentors guide her by giving her the formulas to success.Having just a passion and will is not enough , one should be ready to do the hardwork required and one should be open to and make use of the opportunities that come in our way. As Jasmine’s story goes there are bound to be troubles along the path,its how you persevere amidst these and focus on your end goal.

One of my favourite formulas I saw in the book was ‘Goal+will*focus=Win(Dream)’
If we follow such a formula in all walks of life,we are sure to succeed in whatever we wish to achieve.

I have always felt I was a fiction lover and non fiction hater but in this book the author blends fiction and non fiction so perfectly to create a self help manual,something that each of us need desperately today. A must read especially for those who are lost and are trying to find a purpose.

Buy on Amazon – Jasmine Builds On Shifting Sands

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Enthino vendi thilakkunna sambar!

STOP! Stop right there if you think this post will contain the recipe for a yummy sambar! It doesn’t!

I remember once as a kid I asked my mother, what all veggies go into a sambar(I started counting them on my fingers-onion, Brinjal, bhindi, potato, tomato, carrot,muringa etc etc) and she stopped me abruptly and told me there is no specific answer to it and that anything and everything could go into a sambar! Growing up I have had numerous kinds of sambar, as you know pretty much every South Indian state has its own version. I used to be baffled how one dish that goes by the same name everywhere could taste this different (opposite ends of the spectrum like).

I began to slowly accept this fact with time and learnt to never expect a particular taste in the sambar especially whilst going to new hotels or visiting frnds/ relatives for lunch. I prepared myself to get blown over by the surprise. Yes at times it shocked me, with extreme sweetness, at times it jolted me with that strong hing taste and sometimes it warmed my heart- yes those rare moments when it ticked all boxes and would taste perfect. That perfect balance of sweet, salty, acidic and tangy tastes.

Sometimes it would anger me, especially the watery swimming pool type ones, and sometimes the heat levels brought a tear to my eyes. None the less I never complained, like I said, I trained myself all along for this.

I obviously don’t claim that I make the best or perfect sambar, my tryst with it has also been unpredictable. Its like a new taste each time although I sometimes use the very same spices and veggies! I wonder why though!

Hence I end this post, wishing you all the luck to experience the different kinds of sambar our world has to offer! But yes, go indulge with an open mind, not a judgemental or prejudiced mind!Go get surprised! Hey have I really been talking about sambar all this while though!?! I leave it to you who is reading…after all you guys are the idli to my sambar! ♥️♥️Bon appetit!

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