From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Saturday, March 28, 2015


So in this world of ours  where most things are artificial and have an expiry date..
How do we know who is really real, in this chemically enhanced journey through life.
Or is it like food, the one that is au Naturale does not have too long a shelf life.
So we are then made to believe, that all that is real will not last.
How can we distinguish between the "real " and to put it in the words of Javed Jaffrey ,the "Na-real"..
How would I know..????
I think we just have to go through life, take everyone at face value and continue walking.

And try and live as close to our own truth as possible.
Or rather as close to the secrets we keep.
I know that judgement has to be kept for the last day, like the Bible says..
See I'm Catholic that way..HA HA HA
And frankly , who am I  to judge anyone , anyway ???

But the thing is if I were to meet you in a crowd and smiled at you and you smiled back at me, who is to predict the shelf life of this moment???
Is it fate..??
Or it the actions that you and me take..???

We were born wild..
And then humanity took over, or the lack of it...

But I have realised that you can't tame a heart..
You may adhere to how you have to behave in society..
But have you ever thought of what you would actually do if there was no society to answer to ..

I realise that I love people,but I'm not a crowd pleaser..
I don't have to be nice to someone I may not like..
And so more often than not..
I will just stay away...
There are very few that I may open my heart to...
And I  also know, than when you break your heart, only love can heal it ..

Sometimes in life, I do put on my mask on,and add my artificial sweetener and walk around...
But that does not really last too long..
It's actually just lasts for the duration of a song ..

And so today I just wanna tell you that all that is wild...
May not be as dangerous , as we have been convinced to think ..
It's more a pureness that we are not used to....
And that's why we do not know how to deal with it ..

Have you ever looked into the eyes of a wild animal ..????

The closest I ever came to ,was in Zimbabwe 12 years ago ..
And I was frightened by the sheer physicality of that beautiful lion ..
All it did ,was look at me ..
And me at him..
And those eyes were the most truthful I have ever seen ..
They were raw..
I never understood what they said ..
And in that rawness
There was a connect ..
No I did not want to meet him with no steel gauze to separate us ..
But he looked at peace in his dense forest and at me on the other side..

And so today I want to share with you a recipe that is very basic..
No frills..
No fancies..
What you have ,is what you cook with.

And while I cooked this...
I wondered ..
What is it about us humans that need a veil..
That need a safety net..
So you can see the other person , but can't really walk to their side..

In my next life ..
I'm going to just be a lioness..
I'm going to hunt when I'm hungry ..
Go to the watering hole when I'm thirsty
Love when I can meet my lion without all these borders and demarcation lines..
And just live ..
Wild and free..

We have a lot to learn in life .

Firstly I have seen that in someways we can be like animals
We all play around with our  prey ,before we destroy their souls..
Sometimes just for fun .and sometimes because we are stronger than them ..
Or then just damaged souls,ourselves.

I'm thinking that we were all born with a purpose in life ..
And no it was not to save the world or another person..
It's just to be the best person we could be .,
And if we were all going to just try and do that ..
This world that we live in , would be a better place ..
Be kind to one another..
That's the least we can start by doing ..
And so as I today make you "Junglee mutton"" ..
I just want to say ..
Keep things simple .
Keep relationships free ,from frills and fancies...
Be real ...
That's all we need to be ..
And like the animals in the wild, don't hunt if you are not hungry..
Don't pretend to love , if love is not what you seek ...

So as I sit here in my corner of the world...
I just want to say , you may be a vegetarian or a non-Vegetarian reading my blog..
And so if I can spill my self here ..
Just write back a line ..
If I touched a string in your heart in some tiny way ..

As for this recipe..
It's yummy..
And I'm not going to be bashful about it ..

Food is like love ..
Half cooked is really s big waste of time of ingredients and emotions ..
If you are going to cook .
Then do it well and with complete indulgence ..
With lotsa love from "Maria's Kitchen "

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


The thing is though we all belong to the human species...
We are all wired differently..
We girls grow up reading fairy tales, where Knights in shining armours and blazing swords save the day and ride us into the sunset.
Well it all sounds pretty idealistic..

But the problem is , the boys are not reading this fairy tale, they are busy solving murder mysteries and saving the world.
With Bond like gadgets, so tiny that they they could fit into the tiniest pocket of my tightest skinny jeans..

And so there arises the problem between us..
The battle of really crazy expectations, which in my opinion is the root cause of all problems..
Barring a few like , we find in algebra, which I hated solving..

As an economics student, it was grilled into me that in the future we are all dead.
I think that's when I began to realise..
It's now or never.

I'm not one to just jump into the deep end of the ocean, and expect to be saved..
But I did realise, that at some point of time, we all need to be saved, sometimes from our crazy self and sometimes from the decisions that we make that then complicate our lives.

In 2010 after having my Zeke and Zene, I got back to a bit of work.
I happily agreed, because it involved a long standing affair in my life..
I love food , and I have always been like that, always  perennially hungry.
You can offer me food ,after I have eaten a meal and I will have a bite.
I can eat before a meal, during my meal and after my meal..

Well somewhere down this gluttonous path I realised, that I actually began to fall in love with the whole cooking process.
And more than that, to just look at the faces of the people who are eating the food I  cooked gives me immense satisfaction.

I'm a lazy person..
I really do not like hard work..
If I had to go out and look for a job, I would be jobless, that's what I am right now ha ha ha..
But this recipe is really worth staying in the kitchen ,a little while longer for.


Well if you ask me am I qualified in anything, the answer is no.
So while I was hosting this food show in 2010, all I wanted to do is to actually go back to school and learn how to cook.
I zeroed down on Tante Marie, it was in London, 8 hours away from home, my college best friend Lorraine lives there..
And of course the queen of England , who has yet to make friends with me, but probably on my next trip... Ha ha ha
My course started end September, the latest I could pay my fees were by the end of August, and for the life of me , I just did not.

I was too scared.
Not scared of the work, I loved the thought of going back to school.
Nor the travel, I was born for that..

Ok....I was just too frightened to sleep alone.
I had never ever slept alone.
Ok stop  looking at me like me like I'm some bed-hopping diva..ha ha ha ...

All my life and through my work, I had always shared my bed-room with my sister, or then jumped into my co-Vj Mini's room and never left..thank god we became really close friends, so that was a great arrangement, but otherwise, make-up crew, my female directors etc..
And now my kids..

So this damn sleeping alone in Woking..
Was messing with me big time.
Most of my friends, told me you will be back in a week , barring a few.

So finally the day came when I had to take off, it was a Saturday, on Monday I would be in class.
Warsi dropped me to the airport, and held me tight and said, " Baby if you feel like coming back in a week , just do, don't bother about anything"
He is really sweet that man...

But I looked at him, and in my bravest voice said, '1 will see you in 12 weeks"
Frankly I was petrified..
But I got onto that plane, full of crazy excitement.
Half of me was running through the streets of London was the other half was sitting frightened in her bed..
I finally reached London,took a taxi to Woking.
Lovely little place 40 minutes from Waterloo station as i later discovered..

I loved my land-lady on sight.
Eve was pixie like and full of beans, she reminded me of my friend Sandy.
Yup I lived in a home-stay..
A room in some one's house.
Because the thought of a hotel room , gosh not at all.
I settled in..

It soon was 10 PM..
I then went to her side of the house , said good-night and then popped the million dollar question...
No I did not ask her if I could sleep in her bed, but the thought did cross my mind...ha ha ha
I asked her to please open the connecting door.
She looked at me like I'm psycho.
But she did.

I walked to my comfy bed, pulled my duvet till my nose..
It was now time for me to go to sleep with all my favorite scary moments and monsters..
It's like I take them all with me every where I go..
I lay down, I said my guardian angel prayer..
And just waited..
Well there was no knight in shining armour to sit by me, or hold me tight.
I had to save myself from my very very lucid imagination.
And I did one day a time.

It was a very very uneasy night..
I woke up really early and went for a run, through this beautiful park behind my house..
when I got back , Eve was at the table, eating breakast..
She looked at me and said, 'You're an early bird'
Ha ha ha only on holidays I thought to myself, and then proceeded to tell her how amazing my run was through that park.
"What park", she said, "there is no park here, just a forest behind that has birds, and foxes and a few stray wolves..."

Ahhhhh ha ha ha ..
So I ran free, with the birds in their nests and foxes in their holes and wolves on the side..

On Monday when I got my chef whites and my knives.
I just came home, knighted my self with some Merlot ..
And that was that..

It was now or never, I was my own knight, my own self-help book, my own psychiatrist , my own light at the end of a 12 week long tunnel..
Yes I had wonderful friends who constantly kept intouch with me, and that made it all better..
But that time alone in Woking, made me brand shiny new and the girl I met on the other side of the tunnel at the end of those 12 weeks, well she was still all over the place, and lost, but was totally happy with it ..

I love all my flaws..
That's what makes me... ME..
And so I just want to say that sometimes what frightens you the most is actually what will set you free...

So as I bite into these perfectly baked vegetables, I'm actually thinking of you , and wondering will you try this, or will you just let this moment pass..
I would not

Its now or never..

Yup that's all..

With lotsa love and yumminess, only from 'Maria's Kitchen"