Yes. I am.

It has been more than a year since I wrote a blog post (or rather posted one). I have written quite a bit since last year but hardly anything has made it to this blog. This has been my longest break since I started the blog and it is strange considering there has been so much to write about.

Last year and the part of this year  has brought about a number of changes- turning 30, adjusting to a married life, moving to U.S., learning how to drive, and getting used to change in working styles. It has also been about the usual stuff- travelling and eating interesting things, reading new stuff, having conversations on politics and sports, and trying out new things in kitchen.

But it seems that day by day there is less to talk, and a even lesser number of people to talk with. I own a few more devices now than I did a year back, although I use them less than what I used to do. Is it the age catching up? Or is it just the lack of time? Or just a lack of motivation to pick up things of my interest and record them.

Apart from the fact that my social life in U.S. has been a bit on the decline, the rest of the parameters have stayed the same. I have enjoyed the lakes, the forests, the occasional runs, the beautiful drives, and the snow. Yes the snow. New York has reminded me of Mumbai and Chicago of what Mumbai can never be. Disney brought out unlimited happiness in me, Niagara stunned me with its visuals, and Grand Canyon was a bit of a let down. Food in America has swung between greasy and over-healthy and “good” Indian restaurants have been hard to find. American History has intrigued me, from the museums in DC to Netflix documentaries to books on Civil War. Winter has charmed and shivered me in equal proportions, Fall was something I totally missed, and Summer seems like something that happened a long time ago. Right now I am just hoping that this winter slowly melts into summer again. And yes that is currently the only thing I wish for,

And I have missed a lot of action back home, especially the experience of voting in the Lok Sabha elections last year and just talking about it a lot. I have developed appreciation for Ravish Kumar’s reporting on NDTV India and have stopped watching the noisy debates of Arnab totally.

Between all this what has kept me engaged has been my attempts to perfect my Indian cooking. As my wife says there is a difference between being someone who likes to cook occasionally vs. someone who has to cook daily. It is a big challenge to cook daily. It is more difficult to keep your Daal interesting on a day-to-day basis than rolling the perfect Pizza (which I have tried too). As I learn the art of tinkering with the daily recipes, without altering their simple nature, I do indulge a bit of special cooking from time to time.

Here is a recipe for one dish which reminds me of some awesome drinking / talking sessions at Raj Palace, and something which I prepare for a respite from the usual routine food.

Recipe: Egg Biryani

Ingredients:
* Hardboiled eggs
* Rice (Cooked, but shouldn’t be overcooked)
* Whole Garam Masala (Cloves, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Bay Leaves etc.)
* Onions and tomatoes
* Regular masalas from Kitchen

Put some oil in pan. Add few drops of ghee in it. Put thinly sliced onion in it. Fry till they are nice and brown. Bring them to the sides and keep it in pan, don’t mix with oil.
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Add Jeera and whole garam masala in oil ghee in pan. I added cloves, cardamon, bayleaf and cinnamon. You can consider adding few others of your choice.

Then add green chillies, ginger-garlic paste, and some ginger julienne. Add tomato paste and a bit of water. Pull in a few fried onions from the side and mix in it. Not all. We want the onions to be separate and not mash in like a paste.

Once masala is ready add eggs. Then add rice and mix it gently. Add a bit of coriander.
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Serve with Papad and Raita.

Best enjoyed with Old Monk and Thums Up.

Note: Just to be clear, my wife does most of the cooking but I do end up doing a bit too :)