Tintin and Cocoa

chocolate

God bless all things chocolate.

There was a time (I’m not going to mention that it was six years back) when one could still find me gobbling up the pages of Tintin and Asterix and washing them down with cold cocoa. It was a time when I thought my curly hair cropped short was the hottest thing ever. It was a time when arguing with my Mother was the boldest thing to do ever. And a time when I used to walk like I was gliding on ice.

Yes…there was a time I used to walk like I was gliding on ice. Don’t ask me why…I have no explanation.

Lately, I’ve been hit by the Tintin bug again. Don’t know why, but I’ve pulled out all the bound up editions of the classic that I had stashed at the back of the book cabinet, with all its yellowing pages with their folded ears, glue prints left by Post-its that were used as book-marks, and the occassional coffee mug print.

I remember what was in those coffee mugs. No coffee, all cocoa…cold and chocolatey. My childhood was spent in believing that drinking chocolate simply had to have a warm milk base…there could be no cocoa without steaming mugs of milk. Its colder cousin was never something I was aware of. Seriously.

I was reluctantly introduced to it in college. At this point, I know many of you are snorting in disbelief. But its true. The laariwala (the “cocoa” cart guy) served up crushed ice dressed in a sickly-sweet green syrup and topped it with chopped cherries. Fauri and I hogged the whole thing down. The she ordered cold cocoa. I looked on in surprise and undivided curiosity when a tall glass of silky chocolate in milk turned up with a garnish of milk chocolate chips. It looked milky and was delicious. I was hooked. And spent the rest of First Year curled up with a mug of cold cocoa and enchanted by a man with weird golden hair and an even weirder pair of trousers.

cocoa

Cold Cocoa with Cayenne

Ingredients:

Four simple things –

  • 1 cup whole milk…chilled
  • 2 tablespoons of Dutch cocoa powder
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper…for a stronger tang make it 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar (this is optional…if you don’t prefer the natural taste of your cocoa powder)

What to do:

Nothing much really. Throw everything together in a blender and blitz at high speed for a minute (make it a couple of minutes if bits of cocoa remain). I don’t usually seive the mixture, but if its too bitsy strain by all means for a smoother drink.

I wouldn’t mind adding half a shot of white rum to make it an adult cold cocoa!


Sugar High and Tipsy

My blood sugar levels have hit the roof.

Well, no…not technically. But it seems so obvious considering the fact that I can’t come up with food that has absolutely no sugar in it (or honey,or molasses, or syrup, or…well you know the rest). And I’m not even talking about desserts.

I’m currently in a phase where I get fits everytime I see the sugar jar…and automatically give in to the temptation of dumping a spoonful of it into anything that’s stewing, or roasting, or boiling, or frying in the pan. I have started craving for sugary sweetness, which is unlike me in totality, after lunch, after dinner and even before bedtime.

Forget about being terrified of turning into my mother, I’m practically turning into all the women in my family. They love their sweets, believe me.

Now, I feel like a traitor after just blogging about how I stay away from ghee or syrup-dunked sweets. No excuse. I’ve even, to my own horror, found myself wondering how recipes are only totally and completely 100% savory, seasoned with only salt and pepper!

So, this is what the family GP had warned me about….hmmm.

And the rate at which Fauri keeps replacing the empty jar, all the while wondering where exactly was all the sugar magically disappearing to, is almost obscene.

Well, what can I say…I’m trying.

Continue reading “Sugar High and Tipsy”

What the fudge…?!?!

terrace_floor

The first droplets of rain in Mumbai, left streaks across the tiled terrace floor, almost washing away the dirt my gardener leaves behind every alternate afternoon. You could hardly call it “rainfall” since the drizzle was nothing compared to what Mumbai usually faces.

We’re all gearing up for the washout due 23rd or 24th of the next month. How lovely.

Meanwhile, I’m getting deliciously absent-minded, day by day.

I released the wrong set of drawings to the wrong consultant yesterday and then made his assistant drive back to the office and collect the right set. Not to mention the madness with which I cursed at myself while he was paying full attention to my instructions. His spectacles almost fell off the edge of his nose, I swear.

I typed a fantastically raunchy text message meant for the Lieutenant and then sent it to his best friend. Don’t ask me how that happened. I’m only thankful that M. is a very understanding guy and wasn’t really scandalized by the message.

I got inspired by the new book on chocolate that I bought and decided to try out the orangette recipe….I know, I know its technically not orange-season in India, but the tangy green ones are out. I just couldn’t help it.

It was destined to get all fucked fudged up really. Sorry Mom.

And hurriedly read through the directions, and instead of letting the peel strips cool in the sugar solution for 6 hours, I strained them out and left them in the open. By the time I came back from office, red ants were yelling out “Thank You Amrita!”

I know, I’m smart.

And if you’re wondering, then no, green peels don’t work as well as orange ones…they’re just not as sweet or easy.

Continue reading “What the fudge…?!?!”

From the Depths

Shreya, Foram and me

Shreya, Me and Foram

ZONASA 2007 : Synesthesia

(slumped on the swanky porch of a five-star hotel at 1:00 a.m. in the morning!)

Coming across an old photograph is such a great feeling!

It digs up so many memories, sweet and sour and hazy, but stuff we remember and will, always.

The photo above was clicked by either Azaz or Aakash, don’t remember. We were crazy tired, up from a full meal, sleepy and our legs were hardly helping. We actually slumped out on the porch of the Welcome Hotel, Baroda, leaned against the glass wall of the lobby, and grinned to glory!

What on earth are we wearing?

Those are patiala-style harem pants we got stitched according to colors needed for the college cultural performances. Its a good thing we removed the face paint before heading out for dinner.

I remember, the day had been one of the most hectic ones. A whole day of running around getting college bands lined-up together, arranging the music in order, arguing with the sound operators, giving another 1500 students the stink-eye, handing out schedules, handing out re-made schedules and getting into heated debates with fellow batchmates, miscommunication, broken shoe straps, misplaced lists and botched-up announcements! What a time we had hosting NASA 2007.

Its been nearly two years since then and still feels like yesterday. Just thinking of what we’d been through together for five years of college, makes me tingle. And oh, how we’ve changed. I’m not even trying to think where we will be in another couple of years.

Now, I don’t need my colleagues to see me crying….