Monday, 25 July 2011

Monsoon-My Sun

     I must admit that days in India are not always "sunny". Though it doesn't mean you can't enjoy them.We are having monsoon season here, in Chandigarh. That is what makes life here better.
    I adore rainy season! First of all, the temperature decreases slightly from +37 to +30! Evenings are pleasant, sometimes a bit humid, but mostly cool and fresh. Morning is the best time of the day. It may rain around 5 o'clock in the morning; today it rained later. You wake up, go out at the backyard, see cloudy sky, smell rain... I love it.  We have several plants which, I'm sure, enjoying water drops from the sky too.
     Sometimes I like to walk in the pools under the rain, it gives you a wonderful feeling of being close to the  nature, it relaxes...
     One fact that I'm missing our dacha in my country more now... I remember how we were staying there during rainy days, in a cozy house, drinking tea, looking out of the window, watching our garden being blessed by the rain... Then towards the evening all nature around was sharing its' richness of the fragrances: wet ground, grass... Smells that you couldn't  sometimes describe, but just perceive and think how much happy you are!
     This is the reason I think, that rainy season is my favorite - it reminds of my home...


Saturday, 16 July 2011

Recipe 1.Delight for a "hungry lion"

 This is a delicious story of our yesterday homemade dinner. We don't have a microwave yet, as well as an oven, but we have an electric oven and things come out tasty when prepared in it. So, I experimented as usual. 
 Ingredients needed for this dish are available in indian markets, you just have to find them. 

Main products:
Chicken (chest and leg) - 1 kg
Potato                        - 4 items of a medium size
Onion                         - 3-4 items of a medium size

For marinade:
1-2 tomatoes
1 lemon (indian small lemon, size of a lime)

2 garlic cloves
salt to your taste (better not to make marinade too salty)
spices - such as black pepper and any kind of herbs you can get in the market

 The main flavor of the marinade will be given from garlic and lemon with tomatoes.
When I made this marinade  and smelled it I already knew dinner was going to be yummy!!!
Preparation won't take much time as long as you are passionate about delicious food yourself and want to please your hungry lion - husband :)
 Wash chicken pieces very well  and let water flow off it, you can even squeeze pieces a bit to remove spare liquid. It will prevent chicken being steamed rather than baked.
  Take a bowl, put chicken in it. Cut tomatoes into small pieces. Garlic has to be cut as tiny as possible. Add tomato and garlic to chicken. Cut lemon into two halves and squeeze juice out of it in the bowl with chicken. Add salt, spices to your taste. Mix chicken in the bowl with all added ingredients and let it stay covered for at least 30 min.
  While chicken is being marinated you can prepare potato and onion. Here you can let yourself create: cut potato round or like for french fries, or may be make small squares. Make sure pieces will be thin enough to be cooked in the oven. Same with onion. 
  Oh, time has passed like a shot! Our chicken is very well marinated and we can start cooking itself. I adjusted the temperature on our home electric oven at the maximum 220. But you can cook even at 200 degrees.
  Put marinated chicken in the form (mine was made from aluminum), arrange pieces so that all of them will be cooked well. Spread cut potato and then onion on the top. Put a bit of salt, some spices to give vegetables better taste. There was a small piece of mozzarella left in our fridge - I used it too by rasping on the top.
  Now you have to keep the form with chicken in the oven, cover it and count the time. Approximately 30-40 min. 
 You can also check the readiness of your dish from time to time by piercing chicken with a toothpick. My mum does
like this.
 When dish is ready you will see it. Sprinkle a pinch of oregano before serving.
 My hungry lion was happy and grateful! "Grrrrr" turned to "Mrrrrr" :)

    P.S.  We have this kind of an oven . It was popular during Soviet Union and was called "chudopechka" (чудопечка) literally "miracle oven".

Imagine - Indian ocean coast

This picture I made one and a half month back. Just imagined how Indian ocean coast might look like ;)

Delhi Days - 2 - Karol Bagh

    My husband left to the office located in Noida - his last deal in that business trip. I can't say much about Noida because I didn't go with my D. and stayed in the hotel again. I was happy that I wasn't lazy and took my laptop with me in our trip. At least I could watch some movies on it and use internet to chat with my husband when he was away. 
   One of the things we were delighted with was food. Our three day package included free breakfast - buffet type. We were offered vegetable cutlets, paranthas, sweet beans, sandwiches, potato mix, juice or hot milk. Besides this the hotel had it's own coffee shop. So that we didn't suffer from hunger, neither me when I was alone in the hotel room. 
    The same day we finally went out in the evening to explore surroundings. We were residing in the place called Karol Bagh famous for it's various markets. It represents a long street on the sides of which are numerous shops. 
   Mainly you can purchase clothes and accessories there at a very low cost. So we did. Some of the shops are even not shops: they consist of two-three stands with different goods placed outside. You will definitely buy something for yourself, your family and friends. At times you are followed by guys offering small stuff like handkerchiefs or socks from their hands - kind of a mobile shop! If you are bored with cheap purchases then there are proper showrooms too. That evening we spent in a lazy, but pleasant way - no hurry, just walking and stopping from time to time to see the goods.
   However the ensuing day was going to be rather hectic because we were going to see one of the sight seeings of Delhi before we left for home. My husband noticed this attraction while going by metro and thought that we had to visit. This was how we saw great Akshardham.


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Delhi Days - 1 - Connaught Place and India Gate

   Delhi days are not similar to days in Chandigarh. And I like it. 
  My husband had been requested to do a business trip to Delhi, and we decided to go there together because we didn't want to stay without each other.Moreover that was really a small trip for both of us and we were enjoying it a lot. 
  That was our fourth visit to the capital together after the day we were here for dropping my parents two weeks ago.We arrived to Delhi on the 4th of July, threw our bags to the hotel we had booked in advance, and my dear husband left for his deals, when I stayed at the hotel waiting for him to be back. 

  The very first impression after you arrive to Delhi is that it is very humid here, not even hot. The only way to avoid this not much pleasant "sauna-like" sweating is to travel by metro of course. It takes about less than 10 minutes to reach nearest to the bus stand metro station, and then you are free to go anywhere you want or anywhere you need.
  Metro is a huge advantage for such cities like Delhi, with loads of population and as the consequence with loads of traffic on the roads. And the practice shows it is rather easy to use metro if you are able to read the names of the stations and if you know what place you have to go to.
 This is "Karol Bagh" metro station we were staying in the hotel near by.
Karol Bagh Delhi metro station. (c) Hindustanka
 Delhi metro pleasantly surprises me once again with it's cleanliness on the stations and inside the trains as well. My husband doesn't like metro much cause of it's load and mess especially on the change stations and in peak hours, but he admits that metro is very useful for people. That's why even he has spent a few hours in metro already to reach the offices of the company he works for.
 But Delhi is not only about metro and rush. I believe that Delhi is one of the cities in the world where you feel life's pulse. It is not easy to adjust in this city, quiet difficult to get used to it's rhythm, but once you overcome all this, you will enjoy living here for sure.  
 I had a great opportunity to go with my husband to the office situated in Gurgaon  on the second day of our abode in Delhi. We spent the entire day together! First, Gurgaon is not Delhi already, it is a separate city though you won't see any boarder of it as seems like Delhi passes into it. Gurgaon is a very fast growing city, modern and ambitious, with many posh multistoried apartment buildings as well as foreign companies' franchises in it.
Connaught place, Delhi.  (c) Hindustanka
 Delhi in my opinion is modern too, of course, but old at the same time. For example, we were going on metro, in a speedy train supplied with the latest metro technologies, and could see out of the train window Qutub Minar, the monument which is more than 700 years old! Such combination creates what is called culture.
 The capital of India besides modern technologies and ancient sight seeings has things just for enjoyment such as cafes, restaurants, fashionable shops, different markets. We visited one of such places called Connaught Place.  We met my husband's friends there, went for a short evening walk and proceeded...
India Gate, Delhi.  (c) Hindustanka
 Our next destination that evening was India Gate. 
We were at India Gate last year too, but in the afternoon. It was very hot. This time we saw this sight seeing in the night with all the illumination and I liked it. It was rather crowded over there, so we just stopped somewhere not far from India Gate itself to take a few pictures and then  headed to the hotel.



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