A Lion's Mane and Lioness with no hair- some hairy issues

Indiblogger and Dove have teamed up once again for an intresting contest on Dove and Hair care. The subject line made me realize that having hair or not having hair is no longer an individual decision. To be or not to be with hair is not only your business but the business of dove and like...every 3rd ad on TV is about fairness cream and hair oil or shampoo. Till a few years it was targeting females, but last few ad's which I happened to see targeted males for fair skin....Love is associated with something that is here today and gone tomorrow. Cutting the long of it, having short or shorter hair all my young life made a victim if ridicule and anguish. Having curly and very thin hair did no help. Feminism is associated with long black hair, well styled hair and usually fair skin and long hair are the most wanted things in the bride search.

When I write this post, I am amazed at the way Gods Thinking process worked, Hence this title.  He blessed Lion with his mane and lioness with none, he blessed a peacock with nice colorful long feathers, but pea hen with none....only place where He seriously messed up was with Humans..he blessed girls with hair and made boys with none or fairly less. Imagine how it would be, if he blessed boys with hair and girls with less;
1) in a Indian wedding setting, The bride is ready in a jiffy with just a change of dress and the groom sends a message, give me 15 mins have to do my hair....or
2)where the girl rejects the boy saying his hair is too small almost looks like  a girl.

When I was growing up, Prothima Bedi/Persses Khambatta made BIG news, y you ask, because     they dared do the thing NO Lady in glam biz dared, they bid farewell to their locks of love. They sported Wati cuts. All my childhood went by having such role models, that if they did big with no hair, why make it a huge deal when I have no hair. Only my loved ones thought, that I had beautiful mane just like Mr. Lion. Only later was I told that with my shocking dry curls, I at times looked like him...

When time came to search for Mr. Ash, my mom freaked out at the thought of the grooms hair being longer than her doll's...oh what a poor mom to do now? search began for some products that will obviously keep the roots hydrated as to not create any static that will make my hair stand. Some prospective grooms did decline or reject Ms.Ash saying her hair is at fault, some were rude and some were sympathetic, either ways they were disappointing. IF all was good, can a mere Hair fact not be ignored...Apparently not; even in highly educated Indian classes.

Lesson were learnt and time had come to change the role models for now, I was fantasizing abut Dimple Kapadia..even watched Sagar movie for some clues...And as per instructions, I started reading Femina and Agony aunt columns, any hair care articles that came my way, henna with eggs started marking Sunday rituals, and deep conditioning was ordered. The salon girls started hushing about how the Henna has affected my hair and how I resembled a freshly baked potato . I was again lost, wasn't henna and eggs supposed to make your hair nice soft and strong. Were'nt the girls supposed to GUSH about my orange hair and not hush around me??

All in vain, Ms. Ash accepted the fact, that maybe she was not destined to play with her own hair. Being the positive person she is, she thought that all wa snot lost, having some is much better than having none. Life moved on.

Fast Forward to a couple of years, she met Mr. Ash and love happened with the soul with no hair to play a role, she came to the land of dreams and started using Dove. Then fate changed, when the seasons played a game, her hair was no longer dry and suddenly the curls were tamed. She was however not ready for the sudden change, was it love or was it dove??? maybe little dove and lots of love for myself, was the key to end my hair problems!

Slowly but steadily, over the years my hair has improved with the Dove intense therapy formula and now I have resolved for hair donation with locks of love. Regular oiling, conditioning  and having a balanced lifestyle are the mantras for hair care. Stress is the main cause of hair fall and bad hair, unless you are hair challenged like Ms. Ash. But even if you are, if I can do it you can too. So whats stopping you from loving yourself and loving your hair? Get dovey with Dove.. and feel the world change with you.

I will big goodbye to you with this piece of news on yahoo. Watch this link and decide for yourselve, the value of your hair in someone's eye.

Like Dove on Facebook

 This post is my entry to the ‘My Beautiful Hair Story’ contest organized by Dove and Indiblogger.



Kairi Punha Beat the heat with some Green Mango Punch.

Hello Dearies!! How is the Sun god treating you. Is he showing you his angry side or his smiley side. Summer for us when growing up meant only 3 things, no school, mango and more mango products. It was a tradition that my mom kept up with inspite of being a working mom, making mango methamba and kairi punha from green mangoes and having Alphonso mango with poli every meal of the summer. My mom loves mango and she waits desperately for the first shocking price of the season to die down so that she can indulge in the fruit guilt free.Learning to make kairi punha was never on my do list as I had never dreamt of leaving my beloved city of Bombay. After I landed in USA, I realized my mistake and tried to learn making this, only to realize that you need fresh and a different kind of green mango. The one I got was obviously wrong with too many strings in the flesh. I had to serve the punha with a set of toothpicks....Then I resorted to making  kairi punha from Applesauce. The taste did not differ much but again the original essence was missing. Till Finally I laid my hands on Indian green mangoes in my grocery store. I immediately picked them up and made it that very night. I was in heaven in Ashland. One chilled glass of this magic drink and I have my very own tropical Bombay in my living room.

Luck was on my side that day, I could also pick up this beautiful hydrangea flower from my garden. I am not really lucky with planting and gardening. Although I try and try, I hardly get good produce. Mr. Ash does not like me planting and then somehow saying bye to the plants. He says maybe you are born with a brown thumb. But this season has been exceptionally good as I have no dead plants till now. Maybe the brown is shedding and the green is coming out..who knows...but while the flowers are still living, might as well enjoy them.

You will need
2 Big Green mangoes
1 cup sugar
1/2 sugar jaggery
few starnds Saffron
1tbspn Elaichi or green cardamom powder
Salt to taste.

In a small pressure cooker, pressure cook the mangoes with little water for 4-5 whistles. Once cool, drain the water and peel the skin from the mangoes, and take as much of the pulp out as possible. Discard the pit and the skin.Take the pulp in another pot, add in the sugar and jaggery and heat it till the pulp and sugar gets cooked for about 5-7 mins. Run a stick blender through the pulp so as to remove any lumps. Add in the salt, saffron and elaichi powder and store in a sterile air tight glass bottle when cooled. This stays well in a refrigerator for upto 2 weeks. Remember to use  a well dried spoon every time.IN short, keep any drops of water and moisture away.

To Serve;
Take a glass, fill in upto 1/4th of the glass with the pulp, add in ice cubes and fill in 3/4th of the glass with chilled water. Stir to mix the pulp and water. Enjoy the yummy kairi punha on a hot day.



Henna Tattoo inspired Anniversary cake

Hello dearies!!!! How all have you been? I know I am a little slow on the posting scene lately, but the blame is on the busy weekends, warm lazy summer afternoons and lots of roaming around doing absolutely nothing important. All this is keeping peeps in Ashland super busy doing nothing but being lazy. June is a busy month with many celebrations in Ashland, Ms. Ash has a June birthday and also has June wedding. This year marked the 10 years of lovely bliss and we did celebrate it quietly  with our kids. No celebration is complete without a cake. As always time was  a crunch so I seeked help from the boxed cake mix, but to make up for my ultra laziness I did the henna Tattoos on White chocolate fondant. I used the strawberry flavor cake mix from Pillsbury.. see that is what happens when you send a 4 yr old with daddy for grocery. He selected a pink cake for mommy's birthday which mommy made on her anniversary day!!! Sigh!!!That's my younger munchkin for you....

The henna art was done in red gel icing. The reason for doing a henna tatto cake is simple, no Indian wedding is complete without sangeet and mehndi as in henna. The bridal henna art is a very intricate and delicate artwork. The henna artist charges a bomb for such work. Since 10 years is a milestone, I thought that Henna inspired cake would be the call of the day!!

Thanks to a cook @ Heart, who introduced me to PicMonkey, my pictures are getting better. Hers is sample of my pictures.

As always the icing is only whipped cream icing. The recipe for the icing is very simple.

** Whipped Cream icing can be made by using simply Heavy Whipping Cream and Conf Sugar,, The Rec is as

One Cup heavy Whipping Cream
Half Cup Conf Sugar
**One packet Instant pudding mix. OR IF desired One Packet Unflavored Gelatin dissolved in water.-- OPTIONAL

Take a bigger bowl and keep some ice cubes in that.. Over the cubes place anr bowl. Take one cup cream and add sugar and Pudding mix( if needed )... and beat with electric mixer for about 5-7 mins on medium till soft peaks are on the blade. The icing is ready.
Hope you all like my efforts and enjoy making such cakes for your family and loved ones.



Gajar Halwa-Carrot Halwa

Most of the Indian folk I know associate gajar k halwa and aloo paratha to Hindi Movies. Picture this, the hero comes home to his hut,( most Hindi film Heroes are poor) after a long day of manual work, his old mom who can barely see, asks him Beta kya kahoge, maine aaj apne haathon se aloo parathe aur gajar ka halwa banaya hain, (Translated to, What will you eat son, I have made gajar halwa and aloo parathe with my own hands) With Hindi films, logic is best kept out. My Munchkins find it very amusing that one guy fights 5-6 big guys alone and yet has no scratch, only when there is his mom or girlfriend involved that he gets cuts on his wrist, forehead...For me, gajar ka halwa was a very simple and humble dessert, that was glorified and given new respect by none other than Hindi film industry. Poor people starving, wearing torn clothes enjoy aloo parathe with butter and gajar ka halwa would only have its prominence there. Come on now spare us with this...

I am no filmi maa to make this nor anyone in Ashland does any kind of manual labor, but we do enjoy these staples form time to time. No particular reason  as to why I made it; maybe one lazy reason could be that our grocery store had a sale on grated carrots that week and Mr. Ash got 2 packets for me. Hint Hint!!! Saved from the trouble of grating carrots,  made it for Mr. Ash. As you all know by now, I am serious about the weight loss program introduced to me by Manali of Cravings. I have cut down on my bad fat intake and portion control has become the key for me, I have lost 13 lbs since January and wish to lose more by year ends. But again, the cravings win at times and I make such sinful desserts. Not for me but for my munchkins...I swear I had only 50% of what I made. :)

You will need;
2.5 cups of grated carrots-- I used 2 small bags of grated carrots
2 cup milk
2 tbspn Ghee/Clarified butter
1 cup sugar
1 tbspn milk powder/mava powder
1 tbspn dry nuts powder/masala.-- Cashew/almond/ pistachio
1 tspn cardamom crushed

In a wok, heat the ghee, then add in the grated carrots, let them cook covered till they get soft, add little milk to help it cook. Once they get tender, add in the rest of the milk, sugar and the mava powder and cook till the milk gets absorbed by the carrots. The halwa is ready, Garnish with the Nuts and the cardamom powder and serve hot or cold. Hot Halwa and cold vanilla ice cream tastes amazing. This is one of the most common and popular desserts served in Indian weddings. So what are you non filmi moms waiting for, Make this for your Dharam paji  or Amit ji today!!!!!



Egg Curry- Homestyle

Hello Dearies. Hope the sun and the sand are calling your name. It's been an exceptionally  busy start of summer for us in Ashland. We kick started the summer by taking  a mini vacation to Seattle to visit the Boeing factory and visiting my cousin. IT felt really nice seeing and meeting my cousin and bhabhi/SIL after 15 years. Vacations are always good for the mind and the soul. I wish the vacation part never ends. I however dread the post vacation work, like unpacking, laundry and sorting through the giant mess which I kind of accumulate in short 4 days. But memories of Seattle will help me pass through this phase. I will do an individual post on our Seattle trip. I am in love with that city. Everything was so laid back and relaxed. The scenic beauty of the city stole my heart. When my good friend moved there, she told me that she always wanted to have a home her roots in Seattle. I now kind of understand what she truly meant.

Coming back to routine, work and the long list of chores kind of made coking a decent meal unimaginable. But there are so many fast and nutritious meals in our menu for such days, that I really cannot say I cannot cook anything simple. Egg curry is one such dish that appeals to everyone in Ashland and makes dinner a breeze. This curry goes well with rice, bread or parathas. I make curry in 2 ways, either with boiled eggs or with poached eggs. Poached egg curry is yet anr family favorite.
This time I made with boiled eggs, as we were having it with bread, I preferred a thick gravy.

For the eggs
3 hard boiled eggs
After boiling shell and cut the eggs in half.

For the curry;
1 medium sized onion-diced small
1 cup tomato puree
1 tbspn ginger garlic paste
1/2 tspn haldi/turmeric
1 tspn cayenne pepper powder
1 tspn Garam masala powder
1 tspn cumin powder
1 tspn coriander powder
1 cup water
Salt to taste
1 tsp dry Kasuri methi for garnish

2 tbspn oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tspn shahjeera/Caraway seeds-Optional

In a deep wok, heat the oil on medium. Once the oil is hot add the seeds and let them sizzle for 2-3 seconds, then add the ginger-garlic paste and onions, then add in the tomato puree and cook till the oil leaves the sides of the onion and tomato mixture, then add in the turmeric/haldi, and the spices and add water and salt and cover and let it boil.Garnish with dry kasuri methi leaves.

This is a fairly easy gravy based egg curry. The basic gravy can be used for making paneer masala by adding fried bits of paneer, or adding boiled sprouts for sprout gravy or even boiling few potatoes. How do you celebrate the long weekends, do you prefer a vacation or a stay-a-cation. Either ways find time to spend such moments with loved ones and building memories for your kids to grow on.

Have a safe summer!