Its been one week since I came here in Mountain View, and things are slowly settling down. My mattress will still take around a month to ship from India (I saved $150 instantly when I brought it in India...smart!), and hence I promptly lost $20 in buying a sleeping bag—it was on popular suggestions, I was completely fine sleeping on a carpet. There have been a lot more expenses, and I am warned they will only increase with time. The baniya inside me is COL (crying out load. Perhaps this should be made a popular abbreviation).
I still haven't got a phone, driving license, and hence no vehicle. It seems that I will require a ration card for the same—it is called by a name SSN here. The lack of a vehicle is distressing. I would have preferred to drive a motorcyle here, but apparently four wheelers are more common in the States. Hence, I will terribly miss my black beauty, which is gladly taken over by my lovely brother.
People say, love is blind. I say, love is black. I will miss my black beauty (did I say it again?). Well, except if something else comes along my way some day! Can't fault a person for trying, eh?
The other side-effects include missing the delicious Indian food. Being a foodie (and hence, a "bit" overweight) that I am, I obviously miss it. Especially when you order for a Daal Tadka, and get a layer of water above some half cooked and non-spicy cereals. Or when you have to contend with "maide ki roti."
Nah, whom am I kidding? An obsessed Indoree that I am, there was no chance on earth (or in heaven. I don't like hell.) that I could forget carrying Poha—Indoree Poha—with me. Two kilograms of Poha would be enough for 2 months. Or will they? Probably depending on how well I'd control my staple diet!
I couldn't control it today, though, and while preparing it, I was reminded of those awesome three years in Hyderabad, when I used to manage my little share of fame at my home (or Abhinav's) preparing Poha for my colleagues. My flatmate, Jajoo, owes a lot to me for those 1AM Poha treats. Well, not much. He more than made up for it by preparing awesome tea (Googlers, if you haven't tried out Pankaj's tea yet, do it soon.... before our bhabhiji owns exclusive rights on those!)
As a farewell gift, they respectfully demanded the receipe for Poha—apart from mercilessly kicking my backside for 15 min—so here it goes.
- Raw "thick" Poha (preferably Indoree)
- Spices, salt, sugar (yeah, sugar!)
- Vegetables: Onion and Potato will do. Some people like tomatoes and peanuts as well, but avoid that when preparing Indoree Poha.
- Optional: "kadi patta", green chillies.
- Some Jeeravan (preferably made in Indore), and Ratan ke namkeen (laung sev). Shown in picture.
- Take some poha in a vessel, soak in water to wash it. And then drain all the water out. Keep the washed Poha lying for around 10-15 min. Even longer will do. Usually a fistful of Poha is sufficient for one person's morning snack.
- Chop onions and potatoes, meanwhile. Chop them finer so that they will fry easily.
- Heat some oil in a deep frying pan, and put those chopped onions and potatoes in it. Putting them together is just fine.
- It is also advisable to put some "kadi patta" and green chillies, but these are optional.
- Mix them for about a minute, then cover the pan so that the steam cooks them up.
- Put the gas on medium-sim.
- Meanwhile, put some salt and sugar (yeah!) in the soaked Poha, which would have dried up a little by now. Usually, a tea-spoonful of sugar, and a tea-spoonful of salt is required per fistful of Poha. You can do without sugar as well, but please note that the content cooked eventually will not be called Indoree Poha.
- Occasionally remove the lid, and stir the contents lest they burn up at the bottom.
- You would know once the onions and potatoes have cooked sufficiently. Potatoes can smoothly be cut using a spoon, while onions (assuming they are not those found in US) will turn reddish-brown
- Put turmeric powder and red-chilli powder inside the pan. It is useful, as the powders will not remain raw, and fry itself up.
- Now that the contents are cooked up, pour all the poha in the pan and stir carefully, so that the cereals do not break up.
- Occasionally sprinkle some water to keep the contents wet.
- Put the gas on sim.
- Stir for about 2 min. Sprinkle some more water (around two to three tea-spoonfuls), and now cover the pan for a couple of minutes to let the steam cook them up.
- Remove the lid, put some lemon juice, Jeeravan (even better, if you have Poha Masala with you) and give a final stir.
- Serve the mouth watering Poha with some awesome Ratan ke Namkeen!
Or rather, ni ni karke Indoree Poha khilwa hi diya, aye?