Cookie Crumble Ice Cream With Chocolate Ganache


There is nothing like indulging in sinful preparations that call for chocolate, Oreo, Vanilla ice cream etc. Kid 1 @Darkequinox24 treated me to a wonderful concoction of flavors and textures today. Here is what we had on a sultry August evening.

To make this you will need :

Amul Dark Chocolate bar- 1 Big (55%cocoa)

Amul Fresh Cream – 200ml

Amul Vanilla Ice Cream – 1 liter Brick

Kraft Oreo Biscuits – Small Pack

Britannia Nutrichoice Digestive Oatmeal Biscuits – 250 gm

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To make the Ganache :
1. Heat fresh cream and a little butter in a saucepan
Add vanilla extract(optional)
2. Break the Chocolate bar into pieces.

3. Pour it over bitter chocolate and stir for a while till thick sauce forms.

4. Let it stand for 10 minutes to cool.

5. Stir with a whisk to make it smooth and shiny.

i marveled at the perfect Ganache that he made. Sneaked in to lick it off the bowl so many times. So proud of my boys.

For the Ice Cream Biscuit Mix :

6. Crumble Oreo  and crush the digestive biscuits.

7. Cut the ice cream brick and add to the biscuit mixture. Mix them well.

8. Add 30 ml whiskey\bourbon and 2 teaspoons of instant coffee in a small pot and heat. Tilt the pot a bit to flambé the mix.

To Assemble :

9. Pour it over the Ice cream and biscuit mixture and mix it  all till it forms a rich textured paste.

10. Let it chill for half an hour in the freezer.

11. To serve, make a base of Ganache and top it with the ice cream biscuit mixture. Pipe some more Ganache on top to decorate and add berries, nuts or dark chocolate biscuit crumble.

You can always use your choice of biscuits and make variations of this recipe.

Enjoy !

‘Collection Of Chaos’ Review By Dr. Amitabh Mitra |Poets Printery


My little book of poems reached East London, in Eastern Cape Province of South Africa a few weeks ago and was graciously received by poet and artist Dr. Amitabh Mitra. He did a heartwarming review of the book on The Poets Printery’s ‘Books Live’ website.

The Poets Printery, founded by Dr.Mitra, is a small publishing house in the Eastern Cape which publishes chap books and journals.

Tikuli's book

Much gratitude Dr.Mitra for appreciating my work.

Here is an excerpt from the review:

These poems are staccato of images, shot repeatedly at close quarters, they penetrate and reemerge in hue of words and distances. I take it to the hospital and pick up a few poems after having repaired gunshot wounds. They talk to me in different times among many differences.I love the book, its untitled poems and imagery distinct of an Indian aroma within a life and a city living within itself…… “

You can read the full review Here

Amitabh Mitra is a poet, artist and a medical doctor based at East London, South Africa. His work is extensively published in the web and print. He also figures in the international roster of physician poets. You can read my review of his poetry book  ‘Stranger Than A SunHere.

You can buy ‘Collection of Chaos’ from all online book sellers including amazon.com and Flipkart

Whole Wheat Spaghetti With Bell Peppers and Red Wine


I love whole wheat pasta and often make it when I crave for a meal in jiffy. It is wholesome complete meal and one can be creative with it by changing the ingredients as per the mood of the day and the season. Packed with nutrition, this pasta, made from durum wheat, is any day better than the refined pasta. It has more dietary fiber too. Spigodoro wholewheat pasta and spaghetti are made from 100% organic whole wheat. The taste is sublime and it can be paired with any kind of sauce.

The market is flooded with juicy vibrant sweet bell peppers these days and I decided to do a variation of spaghetti using garlic cloves, tomatoes, and red and yellow bell peppers. I sometimes add chicken breast/ Italian sausages, even our every desi kebabs to it. The secret ingredient in this dish is the red wine. I had an Argentine Trapiche Reserva Malbec lying at home and used it liberally. It tastes uniquely delicious. The wine has a rich ruby red color and a sweet long lasting aftertaste. It was experimental but exquisite pairing.

To make this delicious spaghetti you will need:

Whole Wheat Spaghetti – 250 gm

Sweet Bell Peppers – 1 Red 1 Yellow (Medium Size)

Tomatoes – 4 Large Plum Tomatoes or 2 Large Tomatoes + Half Cup Fresh Tomato Puree

Garlic Cloves – 4-6 (Large) (Slow Roasted)

Red Onion – 1 Large

Mixed Dried Herbs  – 1 Teaspoon (Optional)

Fresh Cilantro/Coriander Greens –  1/4 Cup (finely chopped)

Fresh Thyme – 1 Teaspoon

Olive Oil – 2 Table Spoon

Salt and freshly crushed Black Pepper – To Taste

Red Wine – Your favorite :) About 100 -150 ml

Cheese – Your Favorite ( I used Britannia Cheese but I normally prefer feta cheese with this)

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Method :

Whole wheat Spaghetti takes a little longer to soften. Boil the spaghetti in a big pot of boiling water with a little salt  and a few drops of olive oil  and cook as instructed on the pack or till al dente. Once done strain the spaghetti and rinse under cold water so they don’t stick together. Keep a bowlful of the starch water from the spaghetti to use later in the sauce.

As the spaghetti cooks, prepare the sauce.

Wash, deseed the bell peppers and dice them in thin slices or small cubes.

Dice onion in thin half moon slices.

Dice 2 large tomatoes in cubes ( discard the seeds if you wish)

Puree rest of the tomatoes.

Slow roast the cloves of garlic. (You can drizzle the garlic cloves with olive oil, cover them in foil and roast in oven for 30 minutes or till the center of the clove becomes soft. It will fill your home with a delicious aroma. Garlic is very healthy so use it generously in your cooking.  This time I just roasted them with skin on slow fire and pounded them in a pestle and mortar along with some black peppercorns. Remember , it is a meal in a jiffy and I was very hungry.)

Now that our ingredients are ready, take a large frying pan and put it on medium heat. Add olive oil, let it heat a little then add some crushed peppercorns and pounded garlic. Let it sweat till it becomes slightly golden.

Now, add the onion and let it sweat along with a little salt. Once the onions become soft and translucent add the bell peppers and stir. We don’t want the bell peppers to become mushy so stir them till they become a little crisp (If you use green pepper too then remember it will take  more time to cook so put it first) .

Once the peppers are cooked a little add the tomato puree, more salt and pepper, coriander greens, thyme and give it a good stir. Add tomato cubes now so that they retain their texture.

Add some of the starch water you saved earlier and let the mixture cook for at least 5-10 min on medium heat.

Once done add the wine. Don’t forget to keep sipping the wine while the meal is cooking. :-D

You can add/reduce the quantity of wine as per your taste. It is also optional. The dish will taste awesome even without it.

Cook for another minute and then add the spaghetti to it and stir so that the sauce covers every inch of the spaghetti or pasta if you using that.

Serve hot with sprinkle of grated cheese or crumble of feta cheese. Don’t over do as it will kill the flavours.

Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint or coriander.

If you are adding veggies to the main dish (mushrooms or spring onions) add them before adding the tomato puree.

Same with sausages or chicken. Prepare them in a different skillet or pan and add them before the tomato puree.

Enjoy this delicious colourful meal any time of the day.

Bon Appetit

Ten On Tuesday – Ten blogs to follow


Serenely Rapt  Do checkout her project called rugs of life.

bNomadic  If you love Himalayas this is the place to be.

Vidya Sury| Going A Musing Collecting Smiles

A- musing | Purba Ray

Healthfood Desivideshi and Banaras Ka Khana

Aam Janata

Shekhar Kapoor

Joshi Daniel Photography

My Garden

Tilling The Earthwoman

The reason I have just given you the links is that I want you to go explore and relish each blog. Find something that connects with you. These are the bloggers among many others that I love reading. Go indulge

You And Me – How Can You Forget


What We Were To Each Other?

never mind. it is a rhetorical question anyway.

Rant alert. Rambling thoughts.

We had different needs, our lives were too separate. Too far away. And you kept stretching the distance like cheese from the pizza.

We were pretty much on the opposite side of everything but we met, love happened, or so I thought. So many things feel like love and we are so often and so easily fooled. I just wanted a shelter, a sustenance, while you were looking for haute cuisine and a pleasant home. ASnd then one day you fell out of whatever it was you felt, dusted off, got up and walked away. we meant different things to each other. our needs were different.

I lost myself in words and images I conjured in my mind, forever torn between the lover as you were and the lover I had created in my head and in that process somewhere I lost you. I noticed the slow decline from being everything to being no one. Saw every single act of dismissal but I stayed. I wanted to. Just as i wanted to believe everything you said.

It is what it is. You, my dear, are too much to forget.

I will turn fifty in a few years. More than half my life is over. I want to  travel before my stressed out body gives away. I want to go back to places I imagined us going to. I want your memory. I want to take you there with me. Carry you in my heart. I also want to stop being a sad, sorry fuck that I am and be what I would have been if we were together.

A time to shed what’s not me. Time to move on, move away from people who pretend to care and understand but actually wish me dead. Tough luck. I wasn’t born to be ruled by others. If some people did, it is because I allowed or because I was caught in the web of circumstances beyond my control.

While I am ranting, let me also say that natal homes are most often not the safe sanctuary one thinks they are. This thought is pressing hard on my jugular.

Gratitude too is a form of love. I am grateful for your presence , imaginary or otherwise. Grateful for love, for being the wind beneath my wings. Somewhere you changed direction and I plunged into nothingness, picked myself again and now I am drifting aimlessly. My wings are tired and I can not even fold them and rest for a while.

I rant too much. Blame it on the Hormones. Times are a changing and your memory, it comes at most impossible times. Peri-menopause does that. It screws up your mind and body. I was sure I was going crazy, unable to decipher what was causing the hot flushes, night sweats, sleeplessness, mood swings, anxiety attacks, meltdowns, palpitations and not to forget the intense desire to strip off all my clothes at any given time… Was it the aftermath of losing you or were the hormones going wacko. Jeez, it is hard to go through a heartbreak when you are dealing with midlife crisis. Cold showers, by the way, came handy in both cases but it is still too much to deal.

I would reach for anything within reach that would comfort me. Alcohol, comfort food esp sweets, books, cigarettes.. anything that would cocoon me and keep me safe from the world that had suddenly become so unbearable. But now, I am going to get my sexy mojo back by turning menopause into menopower and I will make the memories of love to make me strong. Love that I felt for you. I am going to fill that You-shaped hole in me with something good and I will wait.

My love for you was wild and reckless, strong and rebellious, painful and desperate, untamed and hungry, It was needy. I was needy. I was hungry. and for me even the less was more. You were needy too but our needs were different as i said earlier. You fed me love with your fingers and then one day you left, and now I know what it is to starve. But you know what, love stays longer, endures more. Lust doesn’t. It doesn’t give anything except a momentary high.

“Loving you was like going to war. I never came back the same.” ~ warsan shire

but I will take those wounds any day.

Seeing you in the flesh, touching you, kissing your mouth, letting you kiss my mouth, surrendering to love, to lust, to the moment that brought us together was the bravest thing I ever attempted and the weakest I ever felt and now my body is like a haunted house that is never owned. A house that is sometimes lived in but mostly abandoned. It is an archive of fingerprints and scars that throb. It is filled with a lingering odour of love, sex and spices.

I am walking through a fog but I trust my instincts and I will make it through the frenzy of emotional whirlpools I am facing now.

If you think this post is not going anywhere, it is true. It is a floe, forever drifting like me.

My boy thinks I need to “chill”, that old age crept on me long ago and I am living in denial. My foot. what does he know.

So I will put a frozen teabag in my vagina (before you get ideas, it is for medical purposes. Sorry to disappoint.), have a hot mug of coffee or  go indulge in the finest wine or anything I fancy from a brain hemorrhage shot to a manga, get a short spunky hair cut that doesn’t need too much looking after.. (going bald is still a recurring thought), eat healthy while keeping my cravings satisfied, change the wardrobe (bring in some colour), and most importantly NOT GIVE A FUCK. Till now I was only writing and not believing but I guess it is time to change that.

Hormones can rage, your ever-present missingness can run havoc, financial trickling can continue, and people can snoop and stalk my blog for whatever they are looking for(you know who you are and I know it too) because I am going to live my life as I want. I am done with naysayers and f*tards that drained me of belief in myself. Go find your entertainment elsewhere.

Of course i miss you and I love you. Trust me, you do not want to feel what I feel. It is not easy task to go from halo to a broomstick in a jiffy. Don’t even try. Just understand.

this will keep me on a roller coaster

But

I will rock the change. I will flow.

And

I hope one day

you will find yourself and in turn find me.

If only
one fingertip
of a touch
could make
you real.
If Only ….

till then….

I will just come here and vent.

Better out than in.

Good things are happening in my writing world . Will share soon. :)

Recipe – Elephant Yam Dumpling Curry (Suran Kofta Curry)


This is a traditional recipe made in many kayastha homes in Uttar Pradesh. Sooran/ Suran/ zamikand/jimikand in hindi or Elephant Foot Yam/Indian Yam in English, is an ugly tropical tuber wit ha thick hide. It is very high in carbohydrates and a good source of proteins, key and trace minerals like copper, zinc, magnesium etc, It also has some vitamins and antioxidants and has high dietary fiber content. Yam is also very low in saturated fats and sodium. You can find all the health benefits on Google. :D

I love yam for many reasons, unlike arbi ( Colocasia), yam is easy to digest. I have a sensitive digestive system and yam suits me perfectly. We cook this vegetable in many ways. Mom remembers my granny making sooran ki sabzi and chutney especially during Diwali when they lived in Banaras. She also makes the maharashtriyan or Konkani style of curry. My dad was from Allahabad so we got to eat the delicious kayastha cuisine too. This particular recipe is my innovation of a recipe from my dad’s side.  The mixture used  for making dumplings or koftas can also be used for making kabab but I don’t add so much of besan (gram flour) to the kabab mixture.

To make the Dumplings/Koftas you will need :

Yam – 400 Grams

Onion – 1 medium (finely chopped)

green chilies – 2 medium (finely chopped)

Ginger – 1 teaspoon (grated)

Salt – to taste

Garam masala – 1/2 teaspoon

Amchoor (mango powder) or anardana powder (pomegranate seed powder)  – 1/2 teaspoon

Red chili powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander greens – 2 tablespoons – finely chopped

Besan ( gram flour) – 1/2 cup

For the Curry you will need –

Onion – 1 large (finely chopped)

Tomatoes – 4 big ( grated)

Ginger – 1/2 inch

Garlic – 4-5 pods.

Coriander greens – 1/4 cup (finely chopped)

Coriander Powder – 3 heaped table-spoon

Haldi (Turmeric) Powder – 1 teaspoon

Garam Masala – 1/2 Teaspoon

Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Asafetida – 2 pinches

Salt – to taste

Bay leaf – 1 ( if Garam masala doesn’t have it)

Green peas – 1 cup (optional)

Oil – for deep-frying and cooking

To make the Koftas or Dumplings –

Scrub and wash the Yam properly and peal a thick layer of skin. Wash it again to remove any dirt that may have remained from the skin.

Cut the yam in 2 1/2 inch thick broad pieces . Put them in a steamer or pressure cook till soft (2-3 whistles is good) . ( I usually put it in arhar (Toor) daal while cooking. Doing this takes away the itchiness of sooran and gives the dal a very good flavor. )

Once the yam is soft take it out in a plate and cool.

In a bowl place cooled yam pieces and all the ingredients listed under dumplings. Mash the yam well so that you get a smooth mixture. Use your hands. It will make it easier for you to judge the consistency of the mixture and working with fingers will also help the air pass through the mixture and that will make them soft and fluffy.

Once the mixture is ready, make small round dumplings or koftas, about the size of a walnut in its shell, and keep them ready in a plate.

In a kadhai (wok) heat mustard oil or any vegetable oil you use. (If using mustard oil, make sure to bring it to smoking point and then turn the heat down)

Slowly add the dumplings to the hot oil and let them deep fry till golden brown from all over. Keep the flame medium low so that the koftas get cooked from inside too.

Take out the koftas on a kitchen napkin to remove excess oil.

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Now for the gravy / curry :

In a wide pan heat a little oil ( 4-5 tablespoons) ( use the oil in which you fried the koftas). Once the oil heats add cumin seeds and asafetida. Add finely chopped onions and stir. (you can add bay-leaf if your garam masala doesn’t have it)

When the onions become translucent, add finely chopped or grated ginger and garlic. (I avoid paste)

Let it brown properly. Adding a little salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar helps in browning .

Add red chili powder and a little water ( 2 tablespoons) to give that rich brown color to the gravy. Let it cook for a while. Once the water reduces a bit add coriander powder, haldi powder, garam masala powder and stir. let the masala cook on medium to low heat for a few minutes.

Add tomato purée or grated tomatoes at this point. (I discard the seeds of tomatoes)

Stir the mixture properly so that all the spices get incorporated properly. Cover the pan with lid and let it cook for sometime on medium heat. Once the masala starts leaving the sides and the oil separates, add a little water and peas and finely chopped coriander greens . Mix well and cook for sometime.

Add 2 cups of water to make a thick gravy and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.

You can add koftas at this time and cook for another ten minutes before taking the kofta curry out in a bowl to serve. I keep the curry and koftas separate and add them half an hour before serving. That way the koftas don’t dissolve in the curry and taste nice too.

Take out the delicious , soft from inside and crispy from outside yam kofta curry in  serving dish and eat with rice or parathas. You can place the fried koftas in the serving dish and pour the thick hot gravy on top too. Garnish with fresh finely chopped coriander greens.

There is another tip for the koftas – If you are preparing this dish to be had later you can half fry the koftas and keep them covered in a bowl.  About half an hour before serving you can deep fry them again and add to the curry.  Koftas stay crisp and it saves time if you are working or need to go out for somewhere. half-done koftas can be kept in the fridge to be used the next day too and will taste exactly like the freshly fried.)

To make the kababs – prepare the mixture as you did for the koftas. You can reduce the amount of besan in this recipe. I add only two tablespoon. The mixture should be gooey for the kebabs to taste good. Trust me you will forget shammi kebabs once you eat these.

Wet your palms and make tikki (cutlets kebabs) from the yam mixture. Keep the edges rough. Brush the non stick frying pan with ghee or oil and gently place the kebabs once the oil/ghee is hot. Keeping the heat medium – low. Turn the kebabs when one side is done. They should be golden brown and crisp from both sides. Serve with green chutney and onion rings.

( If using the desi variety of elephant foot yam always apply oil to your hands or use gloves while handling it as it can be very itchy.)

I also make sooram chutney (rarely), chokha and bharit or bharta. Will put up the recipes soon.

Include this healthy vegetable in your daily diet. It can be a good substitute for potato and can be used in Paleo diet too.

How do you cook this vegetable ? Do share your views.