IT COMMENCED WITH A COMMENT

https://world4womencom.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/should-learn-to-say-no/?preview=true

Above mentioned is a link to my first ever blog on WordPress platform dated 15th April 2016 “Should Learn To Say No“. My post followed many congratulatory comments on Facebook page and other social media which I am part of. But one comment that not only caught my attention but handed over me delight and made me ponder over the thought “how different you can think yet stay effectively relatable with masses”. Giving you all a glimpse of the comment that earmarked my journey on board with Candles Online.

The man you see there is the reason why I am writing this 😁, Mr.Chiradeep Patra, founder of Candles Online with a motive of igniting thoughtfulness thereby warding off the darkness of ignorance.

15 years and counting, a beautiful family virtually and emotionally connected and innumerable posts on various issues concerning the human psyche, behaviour, relationships, tendencies, their societal effects, social issues on micro and macro levels, questions hovering in our minds pertaining to the purpose of our existence, identity and how the almighty chose to answer them….. basically everything under the sun that matters A LOT. Apart from the serious issues it highlights there’s a fun facet too – humourous articles mostly real life experiences of the writers, short story challenges (shortest being 7 lines story), poetry weeks, story relays (don’t miss out on them), caption challenges, personal interviews and a lot more – just as a whip of fresh air when things are embroiling all around us with seriousness, negativity and gloom. Whatever the tone of the writer is or issue being spoken about is here at Candles one thing that is never taken for granted. It’s the “underlining message” that is being conveyed. Our writing should drive home a point, set the thinking wheels of the minds of the readers churning, communicate effectively.

So coming back to my journey with Candles family – it’s been fantastic to say the least. I remember my first post on Candles Online was “Reinventing – makeover of inner self” (link mentioned below). And it started with a bang!!! No it wasn’t that great but I made a goof up. Here in Candles we have a set time of publishing articles and they get published only after the administrator reads them, gives a nod to go ahead. In fact its him/her only who pushes the “publish” button if every criteria is met – language, tone, message. And novelty in writing is always welcomed. And I surpassed every such regulation by self publishing it. I still remember the fiasco it caused, how it was retrieved to be re-published. Then my co-writer , Aastha explained how it works on Candles. I must say – lesson learnt😁.

https://candlesonline.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/reinventing-makeover-of-inner-self/?preview=true

What I have learnt? Or let’s put it this way – What Candles taught me. Makes more sense, I guess. Since June 2016 I have been regularly (almost) writing for Candles. To be Frank with you all, I am procrastinator of highest order. That’s the reason after a good start on my personal blog I slowed down miserably. But my commitment to write once a week to Candles kept the writer in me alive. It not only furnished me with topics to ponder over and write about but pushed my thinking abilities, to present in a different manner about the things everyone already knew. “Thinking out of the box” I would say is Candles gift to me. At least I tried to think, and trials do succeed at some point of time, what say? Deadlines kept me on my toes which I would say is a good contribution to my life.

What excited me? We, the writers on Candles online have a WhatsApp group with the same name. Apart from the commotion of topic discussions we used to have poll results for “Best Article Of The Week” adjudged by the number of views and other criterion. That was really exciting for me. This in fact gave me the impetus to write better (excuse me for this little unapologetic competitive streak in me🙈😁).

Best Article So Far (going purely by views) : I am not sure how good it is but even after a couple of years this article has been posted I still see views coming everyday leaving me to chuckle and astonished at the same time – don’t know how 🤷‍♀️. Link mentioned below:

https://candlesonline.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/marriage-for-you-a-bond-or-bondage/?preview=true

About the Candles Family: Can you ever judge your family? I guess no, but I don’t have to. Co-writers by status, sweethearts by nature, family by bond – do I need to say more. @chiradeepnf @aastharao @aditirranade @avinashdas @kuljeetsaini @prabhjotvarsha @praditachandola @preetacreations @sakhibansal @sizzlybizzly @sonyr1 @sreepriyamenon – few names to mention that cheered me up, motivated me, been together in thicks and thins, making my journey with Candles a memorable one, one that I yearn for, one that I would continue in future too.

Last thing to say before I sign off: Thank you is a small word for what you have done for me Candles : made me realise “I am never Nothing”. I thank that moment when I accepted your proposal to join Candles Online @chiradeepnf. Hope this union nurtures further strong in future.

Stay blessed.

 

THE ‘HUMBLE’ PULAO N THE GOAN SAUSAGE

My tryst with cooking started when I decided to detach from the umbilical chord and stay away and live in another state, doing something different and well… learn to survive on my own.

From burnt chapatis to the extra-salted curries, over cooked rice to cooking a mean bowl of Maggi, I’ve experienced a little of what it means to cook – or as I would refer to it then‘Survive’

I’ve come a long way since then… from what I could refer to myself as the ‘maggi phase’ to what I can call now a phase of a decent meal-preparation [3 dishes still constitutes a meal right?] which includes a salad. Food is never quite complete without salad

A lunch on Sunday in Goa has to include the famous Goan sausage-pulao – it is almost a given. Not sure of what the relation is, between “Sausage – Pulao – Chicken and Sunday”  – but it just fits well. Rice on a Sunday just doesn’t seem right.

I’m gonna try my best to write a recipe of the above mentioned ‘Goan sausage-pulao’ a.k.a in Goa as Chourico Pulao

So what ingredients do we need.. let’s see

2 cups of rice (Basmati they say is best – but I choose whatever is available) which means you have to double that with the cups of water [2 cups of rice = 4 cups of water] anything between 10-20 sausage beads (depending on your preference) 2 chopped onions, 1 chopped tomato, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 3 or 4 small maggi cubes (I do not use salt) – number can vary (which eventually gives the taste to the pulao) and oil of course. The cloves thingy – about 4 of them, a couple of bay leaves. I personally don’t mix (but you can do) the peppercorns and cardamoms and all… (by this time I’m already hungry… so this needs to get over soon)

Let’s cook: My favorite part..coz we’re coming to the end..and basically my cooking means mix everything and wait…

With the heated oil (about a tsp) in the pressure cooker, add the chopped onions, chopped tomato and wait a little (u can check your mobile for new whatsapp messages till the spluttering starts) add the sausages, the washed rice, turmeric and maggi, now add the 4 cups of water and mix, stir etc… close the pressure cooker, put the whistle on (I used to forget that initially) wait for 2 whistles, after the 2nd whistle count up to 50 real quick…. switch off the flame and voila! you’re ready – I mean, the Sausage Pulao is.

You can choose to garnish the same with fresh coriander or simple dig in!

Chicken curry is prepared by mom.. lol. You’d think my contribution of making the pulao is enough for the day and yes.. there’s the salad I’ll get ready too… maybe papad as well.
What else? Done no?

You see!? Cooking is simple… if I can do it.. you can do it too. All you need to know is what goes where and in what quantity – you know the basics and everything else is just a mix-n-match, who knows you might just come up with a new dish all together and name it after yourself

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a dish named after you? ..I cooked a Savio today! Of course there’s a clear difference between ‘I cooked Savio’ and ‘I cooked a Savio today’ – for the grammar lesson, please enroll your names at the earliest – seats filling up fast 🙂

This is what a dish of Sausage Pulao should look like after ready:

Goan Sausage Pulao

..and let’s remember cooking is an activity enjoyed by both males and females. Of course the women take it upon themselves as a responsibility, to cook delicious food for their loved ones – but for when we cook – we may not be as good as them, it does show that we are equally capable of whipping up a meal as much as they can, giving them the option of maybe sleeping in late one day, while we prepare  it in our own style for them and also more importantly “We are in this TOGETHER”

The salt might be less or the dish may be a little burnt – don’t worry! As long as there is Love put into it – everything will turn out JUST FINE! ..and who knows we might just have a much needed laugh over it too.

Happy Cooking!