Lady Winter sure caught us by surprise! It is fashionable to be late in a party, seasonal or otherwise. But so late? Just when we were congratulating ourselves on having missed the worst of the winter chill, she arrived in full splendour.
Every year she arrives soon after fall, but this time she decided to make us wait. We waited and waited...spent an almost warm Christmas and an exceptionally mild January (heck this season Kolkata had chillier days than London!). We were feeling smug on having given winter a miss. There were signs of an early spring everywhere-- sprouting daffodil bulbs, spring collections out in shops, people wearing light jackets. Spring and love was in the air.
Then last Saturday evening it started snowing. Silently, big flakes started covering trees, roofs, roads, gardens, anything and everything. Weather reports said it was the heaviest snowfall in the last 15 years. Londoners were happy to have had at least one snowfall and that too so conveniently over the weekend. Sunday saw happy families playing with the snow. We thought that was the end of it. But there was more to come, yesterday evening it snowed again. So today we woke up to a partially white world. Spring seems like a distant dream, trudging through the snow, while shivering in the cold seems to be the order of the day.
For this Bengali, steaming cups of green tea and visions of warm, sun kissed tropical homeland are chief sources of sustenance. And a comment by a dear friend in my page. Sudha of Wit, wok & wisdom wrote to say that she has awarded me 'Liebster Blog Award'. What an award, I sit up, this is a lovely and unexpected surprise! My first blog award and I flush with joy! I feel like a kid who has been given a free run of a candy store. Wait there is more to this. I, in turn can give this award to 5 other bloggers. How nice is that. I started this blog on the 13th of January and it is not even a month and here I am receiving awards and giving them as well!
But before I move onto the awards, I want to talk about Sudha's blog. It is a space in which Sudha jots down her recipes and also her thoughts. If you, like me, is fond of a good story then you will have to check out her blog. This lady knows how to spin magic with her words. I do not know if it is permissible in the world of food blogs, but often I am chuckling so hard or nodding my head in agreement about what Sudha had written that I almost forget to check out her recipes. Almost but not quite, if you know what I mean!
Now about the award, copying the information from Sudha's blog.
"Leibster" means dearest in German and as with any award, there is bit of a ceremony involved.These are the rules if you accept the award:
- Copy and paste the award on your blog. Link back to the blogger who gave you the award.
- Pick your five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers who deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.
- Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs.
Now my turn to give this award to five food bloggers. In the small time I have been here, I have made so many new friends that I am feeling pretty overwhelmed. Still giving this to eight (following Sudha's tradition) lovely ladies who cook up magic and extended the warmth of their friendship to me.
So the names, in no particular order: are:
Sadaf Afshan of My Culinary Adventures
Poonam Borkar of Kande Pohe
Khusi of A Girl's Diary
Jaya of Spice and Curry
La of Food Slice
Sobha of Good Food
Poorna of Presented by P
Sutapa of Sutapa's Indian Cuisine
I have shared this on my Facebook page as well since the friends who follow me on Facebook are different from the Blogger ones. The link is here.
Enjoy the award ladies and keep cooking!
Now you did not think I would finish this post without posting a recipe, did you?
I have a special recipe for you. It is a recipe for paneer bhurji, but completely different from the standard ones. Like I mentioned before yesterday evening it was snowing and I felt like having something chatpata (spicy and tangy). Yet I was feeling really lazy and did not want to leave the book I was reading. Somehow hunger pangs took me to the kitchen. Found some paneer (Indian cheese) in the fridge, decided to make it, since it cooks really quickly.
Ingredients for making spicy and tangy paneer bhurji:
200 gms paneer/cottage cheese grated
One medium onion, cut into four and finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 green chillies, chopped
1/2 tea spoon of mustard seeds
1/2 tea spoon of cumin seeds
Whole garam masala-- 2 cloves, 2 green cardamoms, 1 inch cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves
1 tea spoon of ginger and garlic paste each
1 tea spoon of turmeric powder
2 table spoons of mango powder
1 tea spoon of coriander powder
1 table spoon of sugar
About 4 table spoon of milk
Salt to taste
2 table spoons of oil
Chopped coriander leaves and crushed peanuts for garnishing
Cooking Know How:
After the oil heats in a pan, add the cumin and mustard seeds, the whole garam masalas slightly crushed, then add the onions, fry till light brown. Once onions have nicely browned, add the ginger and garlic paste, fry for 3 to 4 mins, then add the masalas. After the masalas are fried and oil starts to separate, add the paneer, green chillies and the tomatoes. Mix everything and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the milk. Cook till the milk evaporates or a slight gravy is left. Add the salt according to taste.
Remove from heat and sprinkle with some crushed peanuts and coriander leaves. You paneer is ready to eat. Mango powder gives it a tangy taste, which is balanced by the sugar and the chillies give the necessary heat. The peanuts add a crunch to the dish. It takes about 15 mins to get this dinner together.
Also served a simple winter salad of radishes and tomatoes. These baby radishes are my new find this winter and I am loving them.