Thursday, January 27, 2011

My very own atlas

Aaahhh!!! finally my atlas is published. Its been a long journey, what started as a reference work for my work on slice culture finally took the shape of a book. I wanted to make a neonatal brain slice model, but there was no published data. I looked and asked every leading lab that works with Atlas. No one seemed to have done any work. I went to Society for neuroscience with this work on my poster and Barbara from CRC press instantly agreed to publish this work. All said, I realized how much work it involved, since I was the lone person working on this project. The reality dawned on me when I started compiling the pictures and labeling. I said to myself, this is not going to materialize as I had to carry on with my routine lab experiments and than do this work too along with my little one's arrival into our life. But constant support from my husband and my dad asking me all the time and the late night work finally payed off to get this book published.

Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive in publishing this work. Hooray!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

zucchini with peanut masala

We have farmers market every saturday morning during summer and fall. I liked the fresh vegetables that they sold there. One day I picked up Zucchini to make sambar, but after coming home decided to try something different. So opened up my pantry stared at it for a while and than came up with my own recipe. I used besan to coat the zucchini since I didn't want it to turn soggy, and it worked well.My experiment did turn out to be a success. I made it again when my Mom-inlaw was visiting me and she liked it.

I used:
Zucchini- 1 large
red chilly powder- 1tspn
turmeric pwd- 1/2 tspn
besan- 1Tbspn
salt- to taste
mustard- 1/2 tspn,
oil- 2 tbspn
fresh coriander leaves- finely chopped 2 tbspn

for dry masala:
Cumin- 1tspn
coriander seeds 1tspn
cinnamon -1/4 inch
red chillies -1 ( mine are very hot)
peanuts - 1/2 cup .

How I made:
Peel, deseed  and cut zucchini into small cubes. marinate with chilly pwd, turmeric powder, salt and 1 tbspn besan. Leave it for 15 min to marinade.
Dry roast all the spices listed under dry masala, cool and grind to a powder.
Add oil in pan, season with mustard and cumin. Add Zuchini, fry for a while till you a get nice aroma. when its almost done add the ground powder and fry for a while.If the mixture is not holding up sprinkle little water or add oil depending on your taste. Add salt to taste, remember you have salt already added to the zucchini. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve.

you can make it dry as a side dish with rice n daal.  If you need it to eat with chapathi or bread, add little water to it once the masala is fried with zucchini, to make it like gravy.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chilly chicken

Since I came to US I have been getting boneless chicken. It doesn't taste good if I made curry so started experimenting with other dishes. This was one of the recipes that I had tried 3 years back. Staying in Delhi we always enjoyed the chilly chicken in Dhabha. I have done this several times and you cant go wrong with it. Just take care not to overcook it or burn it while cooking. the flour tends to stick to the bottom and gets burned.

What you need: 

Chicken – ½ kg, boneless, cut into 1-inch pieces
Onion – 2 finely sliced
Ginger – ½ inch  finely chopped and crushed
Garlic – 2 cloves, finely chopped and crushed
Tomato sauce- 1 tablespoon
Green chillies – 3 finely chopped
Capsicum - 1, sliced length-wise
Red chilly powder – 1 teaspoon or depending on the hotness
Black pepper powder – ½ teaspoon
All purpose flour – 1 tablespoon
corn flour- 1 tablespoon
Soya sauce – 2 teaspoons
lemon juice- 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tablespoon

How it's made:
Mix well both the flour, chilly powder, black pepper powder, soya sauce, lemon juice, tomato sauce, ginger, garlic, and salt. Add the chicken pieces to this and marinate it for 2-4 hours in a refrigerator. Heat oil in a pan and when the oil is hot, add the onions and saute till slightly golden. Add the marinated chicken pieces and half of the cut capsicum and saute on low heat  until the chicken is tender taking care not to burn the chicken pieces by stirring continuously. Sprinkle a little hot water whenever needed while cooking. When almost done add the remaining capsicum, so that they don't turn soggy. Serve it hot with chapathi or rice. yummy!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

om ganeshaya namah !!!

Well, they say its good to take Ganesha's name when you start something new. So what better way to start my long awaiting blog. I have been planning on starting one since 3 years but never did it. Can you believe who my inspiration to start would be, my lazy sister. if she can start one why not me :). well just kidding. I am at work done with my all my experiments for the week and nothing to do. Its friday afternoon, the temp outside has dropped to -3 C, feeling sleepy and didn't know what to do. Was reading Madhu's blog and decided to finally start my own.
To begin with I thought I would just scribble something about my passion "ganesh, my friend, guide and my model. I have a craze to paint ganesha and to collect ganesh idols (though haven't done any painting in the past one year). This craziness probably runs in our family I guess. Anyway to continue with my talk my ultimate dream in life is to open up a ganesh boutique once I get fed up with research. I have thought about giving up research several time and pursuing this hobby seriously but again my love for neuroscience pulls me back.
I will try to post my ganesh sketches later that I have done so far ( if I get all of them).  For now I have this picture of the first ganesh chaturthi pooja we had in USA. It was an instantaneous decision to take off from work and celebrate.

Well, that's all for now, hopefully will try to keep up with the posting.
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