It has been a quiet year for me. And good too ... in some ways.
I have been able to get back into normal routine after the tremendous loss of the earlier year.
And I have learnt that whatever time we have, we need to make full use of it.
We need to stay happy, do what we want to, follow our heart and accept the fact that life can be a bitch at times.
And can love you at others too.
I do not have this habit of making resolutions.
I have never tried to, ever since I was a young girl.
All that I have done is stay focussed and do what I have to do.
I do not bind myself inside a grid of promises ... even to myself.
All I do is to follow life and deal with whatever it gives me to deal with.
I may have had to make compromises .... and I still have to. But then, there are times when you have to do what you have to do.
There are times when you will not like what you have to do. And it will be very easy to just take another road that will take you away from it.
But again, there is this thing called the need of the hour.
And you know you must do it, in spite of not wanting to do it.
That is called the sense of duty.
That is called maturity ... or the right way to take on life.
So when I have to give up something I like to do, to be able to do something that I don't like to, I tell myself that there will be another day, when I will have all the time to myself.
And I go ahead and do what is the right thing to do. Even if I don't like it.
And believe in my heart that everything is for a good.
Like the last few days have gone not exactly like I wanted to.
The one thing that I find very difficult to accept is being taken for granted.
Those are things I have had to deal with, from people who go by the name of 'friends'.
So maybe, henceforth, I will do something different ... just so that I do not have to go through this hurt in my heart again.
This year, I had my trip to the US of A ... which was a wonderful thing to happen.
I saw nature's most wonderous creation ... the gorgeous Niagara falls ... and was overwhelmed.
And was thankful to fate for making me so happy in a long time.
And neither do I want to.
All I pray for is health and a little happiness.
And a little more understanding and accepting in my life. That I will have the strength not to be affected by negativity ... like I always have.
I can do with a little more emotional security. And some me time.
Books, music, knitting, travelling ... I can fit in myself.
A few days back, I had bought some very good prawns as we were having guests over.
But they stayed inside the freezer as the guests preferred to eat out most of the time.
So, yesterday, I took them out, wondering what to cook.
I knew I had do at least one more post before the year ended and wanted it to be a good recipe.
Going through my drafts, I found the same old daily food that my blog is famous for.
So decided to make something really good and celebratory.
Peeked into the fridge and saw a can of coconut milk and voila! I knew what it would be.
Quickly made a coconut and peas pulao for B and then set about cooking this lovely, creamy malaikari ... more for you and the blog than for myself.
My Ma makes a malaikari that used to be very, very subtle in flavours ... the coconut milk played a dominant part. I went through a few recipes on the net and saw they were slightly more richer and wanted to try that way. After tasting this, I can say I love both versions now.
Will post Ma's recipe later someday.
This recipe uses onion paste as well as ginger and garlic paste. I could not make a paste so grated the onion ... you can see the tiny bits in the gravy. Did not make much difference to the flavours.
I use ginger + garlic paste and was worried but the coconut milk immediately resolved all doubts ... imparting that beautiful sweetness and rich, smooth creaminess to the gravy.
Do let me know if you give it a try this new year.
Fresh water prawns - 250 gms
Onion paste - 2 tbsp ( I used grated onions but do you the paste )
Ginger + garlic paste - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Whole dry chillies - 2, broken
Whole garam masala - cinnamon, cloves, green cardamom - 2 each, crushed
Bay leaf - 1
Cooking oil - 2 tbsp (I use mustard oil )
Coconut milk - 1 cupful ( I used the thick canned one )
Sugar - to taste
Salt - to taste
Water - half cup
How to :
Clean, devein and marinate the prawns with turmeric powder and salt.
Heat mustard oil in a kadahi or wok.
Lightly fry the prawns and remove and keep aside.
Do not overcook them.
In the same oil, add the bay leaf, dry red chillies and the crushed garam masalas.
Then add the onion paste and a little sugar.
Fry well till the rawness goes away.
Then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till oil starts to separate from the sides.
Now add the fried prawns and mix everything together.
Check for salt and adjust according to taste.
Then lower heat and add the coconut milk.
Adjust seasoning again ... the gravy will be a little on the sweeter side,
Cover and simmer for five minutes.
Bengali mishti polau.