Fun Lunch

Today I called over some friends and cooked up a storm! Just kidding it was a lot of work but the results were better than the work I put in. You know what I mean ;).

Started off with a Potato Leek soup that everyone loved.

With it were blanched edamame with sea salt and a hint of Indian spices. The girls loved the deviled eggs. The filling had tuna, boiled egg yolks, small amount of shallots, green onion, cilantro, pepper and paprika sprinkled on top.

Main course had baked spicy salmon steaks, Bengali style Chili chicken and Chinese Fried rice. I had plain rice and sea weeds as special favorites of one of the picky eaters.

Dessert was homemade Abuela Marie Vanilla cream with Raspberry syrup!

Everyone enjoyed. It was totally worth the effort :D.

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Prayer: Dard se mera

 
अल्लाह ओ
Allah… Ooo.

अल्लाह
Allah….

ओ दर्द से मेरा दामन भर दे, या अल्लाह (2)
O dard se mera daaman bharde ya allah(2)

O Lord (Allah), fill this supplicant's lap with pain and suffering

फिर चाहे दीवाना कर दे, या अल्लाह
Phir chahe deewana karde ya allah
ओ दर्द से मेरा दामन भर दे, या अल्लाह
O dard se mera daaman bharde ya allah

Even if that drives me insane, O Lord,
Fill this supplicant's lap with pain and suffering

मैंने तुझसे चाँद सितारे कब माँगे (2)
Maine tujh se chaand sitaare kab maange(2)
रोशन दिल बेदार नज़र दे, या अल्लाह
Roshan dil bedaar nazar de ya allah

फिर चाहे दीवाना कर दे, या अल्लाह
Phir chahe deewana karde ya allah
ओ दर्द से मेरा दमन भर दे, या अल्लाह
O dard se mera daaman bharde ya allah

When have I ever asked of you, the moon and stars?
Give me a illuminated heart and a vigilant observation, O Lord
Even if that drives me insane, O Lord,
Fill this supplicant's lap with pain and suffering

सूरज सी इक चीज़ तो हम सब देख चुके (2)
Suraj si ek cheez to hum sab dekh chuke(2)
सचमुच की अब कोई सेहर दे, या अल्लाह
Sachmuch ki ab koi seher de ya allah

All of us have already seen a thing like the Sun
Now give us a true morning that can awaken, O Lord
Even if that drives me insane, O Lord,
Fill this supplicant's lap with pain and suffering

या धरती के ज़ख्मों पर मरहम रख दे (2)
Ya dharti ke zakhmon par marham rakhde(2)
या मेरा दिल पत्थर कर दे, या अल्लाह
Ya mera dil patthar kar de ya allah

Either put the soothing balm on the wounds of this world
Or turn my heart into a feeling-less stone, O Lord
Even if that drives me insane, O Lord,
Fill this supplicant's lap with pain and suffering

FIFTH’s WISH

Filling up my lungs with air
At the colorful world, I stare
I received the gift of today
To savor life in a unique way

Your message touched my heart
Source of all creation & art
Vision to observe divine will
Transcending own good and ill

For you will raise when I stumble
Pray keep me meek and humble
Filling up my soul with gratitude
Every dealing in a loving attitude

Key lessons learned thru’ pain
Nothing further remains to gain
Repeating over 'n over again
Om Ameen Amen, Om Ameen Amen

Ramblings of an introspective mind

In recent weeks, I have started to experience my life at a deeper level. At this juncture of middle-age, I have been experiencing loss in a palpable form. Relationships, built over several years, are coming to an abrupt end because of the mortality of human life. Why do we tend to take for granted the moments we have to spend on this earth? It makes more sense to acknowledge the limited duration of human life, my life!!
The opportunity to experience the intricate scenes and complex character interactions are way superior to any state-of-the-art video games. Our five senses are presented countless stimuli to enhance the experience to any elevated level we choose to handle. Yet, today’s generation of humans chooses to numb their sensitivity to the REAL world. They immerse themselves in the man-made, half-baked electronic world of social media and multi-dimensional graphics. A word to summarize this situation is “RIDICULOUS!”
We choose to take a break from the real game to engage in some primitive exercise to consume a large portion of our energy and day. This is a form of alcoholism, where senses are numbed without chemicals but the result is the same.
So, my humble attempt these days is to increase my awareness of my surroundings. I try to be more conscious of the implication of a real-life situation. I want to look at it from various angles and analyze how to tackle it in the best fashion that enhances my life experience.

Leadership

Many of you may know that great leaders are effective speakers. However, it is not as obvious that leaders are keen listeners. As computer scientists and engineers we are always solving problems. Often, the solution lies in active listening. Quoting J. G. Bennett, a British mathematician, and philosopher, “We tend to see ourselves primarily in the light of our intentions, which is invisible to others, while we see others mainly in the light of their actions which are visible to us.”

Our team was working on a release on a tight schedule.  Jane, we’ll call her, decided to stop working on her task based on a note from the architect.  She thought the architect reassigned the task to Mark.  I stepped in to resolve the situation.  I asked the architect to explain his note in detail. I refrained from asking why he chose Mark when he knew Jane was working on it.  I listened with an open mind to his words and intent.  I smiled when I realized that he had suggested Mark for a related but separate task, different from Jane’s.  

Hope you enjoyed my story.

How to make Bengali Patishapta

Happy Makar Sankranti to all!!

I would like to share my mother’s recipe for bengali patishapta, a sweet widely enjoyed during Makar sankranti.

Ingredients ( makes about 50):

For filling:

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 can evaporated milk

2% milk – 2 cups

1 packet milk powder

1 cup dried coconut powder/flakes

10 oz organic coconut flour

For pancake:

1 cup raw basmati rice

1 cup sooji/ semolina

2 cup all-purpose- flour

2% milk – 1/2 gallon or enough to make a thin runny batter

pinch of salt

1 tsp sugar

Oil to fry

Directions:

Lightly dry-fry the basmati rice on a pan. The rice should turn white from translucent, giving off a slight aroma. Grind the rice in coffee grinder to make rice flour. Mix with equal or slightly 15% more portion of sooji. Add salt and sugar and store in a dry bowl. For the filling, heat the 2% milk a saucepan till it is about to boil. Then add the coconut powder/ flakes. Mix well. After the coconut is evenly mixed in the milk, add the evaporated milk. After some more stirring add the condensed milk. Keep stirring. When the mixture boils again, simmer the heat. Add milk powder and mix very well. Make sure it blends with the milk and no lumps are present. At the very end, add little by little, the coconut flour and keep stirring. Turn off heat and let it cool. Make several portions of the filling and form each portion into a shape of a side-pillow or kolbalish. (This filling may be used to make chandrapuli sweets also, using a sandesh mould or chhach.)

Mix the batter for pancake with 2% milk and make sure all the lumps are smoothed out. Use the hand to do it if necessary. Let it soak for at least 30 mins. Make sure it is runny enough. Add a cup of water to make it thin. Heat a non-stick pan and add tsp of oil. Take a ladle full of runny batter and pour on top of the oil. It will spread out like dosa batter does. Wait to flip it over. Turn it and fry it very lightly. Transfer to a plate, put the pillow-shaped filling and roll the pancake to a patishapta. See picture below: