Today, we have Shobha from "Food Mazaa" is with us. She lives in Mumbai. She loves to cook, paint and read. She enjoys listening to music and making handicrafts. Now let us hear from her...
Nithu's Kitchen : Introduce yourself Shobha.
Shobha : I am a home maker and a graduate in English Literature.Born in Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh), I am a Sindhi by birth but a South Indian at heart. My parents have however inculcated both the cultures in me. I read and write Telugu as well as Sindhi, which is in Persian Script. I got married and lived in Chennai for a few years and ever since have been moving to other countries back and forth due to my husband's transferable job. But I love doing this and have learnt a lot from different cultures. At present we are settled in Mumbai.
Nithu's Kitchen : Tell us about your family.
Shobha : I am grateful to God for blessing me with a wonderful family. A loving and caring husband, two sons who have made us proud.(elder son is MSc in computer engineering and MBA and the second son is a PhD. in Bio-engineering, both settled in USA) A lovely daughter-in-law Holli who has filled the void of a daughter I always missed having and my sweet and adorable grand daughter Maya ( almost 2yrs.old).
Nithu's Kitchen : It is interesting to know that you have travelled to many countries. Among the countries you visited and lived, which one you consider the best and why?
Shobha : I have lived in UK, Nigeria and Brazil and travelled to many countries. Of all the places that I have visited and lived,I liked Brazil the most. Brazilians are very warm, welcoming and friendly people. We initially did not know the language yet we were comfortable. Having lived there for 10 years we now speak Portuguese well.
Nithu's Kitchen : What are your hobbies?
Shobha : My hobbies are cooking, painting, reading, listening to music, making handicrafts, travelling. When living abroad I kept myself occupied with the activities of the Indian Associations over there like organising cultural events. I like to devote time for social work too. Here in Mumbai I have joined two NGOs.
ASEEMA - which takes care of the underprivileged street children to give them free education.
RED SWASTIK SOCIETY- a charitable organization - they conduct events to raise funds and organise eye camps, blood donation camps, health check-up camps to name a few.
Doing this kind of work is really satisfying. Now that my children are well settled and as I don't work, I can easily devote my time for such worthy causes.
Nithu's Kitchen : Share us some your unforgettable moments in life.
Shobha : My children's graduation ceremony. I was feeling proud of them for their academic achievements. During my stay in Brazil I had the opportunity of meeting the Indian President Smt.Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. It was really a thrilling experience to be able to talk to them and clicking pictures. Teaching the chefs of a 5 star hotel (in Brazil) how to prepare a variety of Indian dishes for the Diwali Ball that we used to have every year.These dishes are a part of their menu now. It was a great experience cooking such a large quantity of food in an industrial kitchen.
Nithu's Kitchen : We know, you have two blogs. Tell us about them.
Shobha : I love to try out various cuisines from all over the world. Started Food Mazaa in February 2008 here I am now with 217 posts till now. My two nieces, Punam and Vinita also have contributed some nice recipes. Recently, I have started another blog "Soup for the Soul".
Nithu's Kitchen : What made you to start a cookery blog.
Shobha : Two things made me start this blog, first of course my love for cooking and second, when I was in Brazil all the newly married Indian girls who came to live there would always come to me for guidance. Away from home in a different country with a different language and culture they were lost. I became a mother figure to them and gladly taught them various dishes and gave them all the necessary tips. I thought why not I start a blog where they can easily refer to all the recipes at home. I have not restricted my blog to any particular cuisine.
Nithu's Kitchen : What are your future aspirations.
Shobha : I wish to publish my cookery book and want to hold an exhibition of my paintings. I do oil painting and have painted 30 so far and want to have at least 50 exhibits.
Nithu's Kitchen : What do you have today to share with us? Why did you select this dish.
Shobha : I'm sharing a recipe for SEYUN PATATA, a typical Sindhi breakfast dish. This is nothing but a Sweet vermicelli with fried potatoes. I have sweet memories attached with this dish.I was 15 or 16 years old when I first attempted to make it. While frying the vermicelli in ghee I was not fast enough in stirring. A portion of vermicelli turned dark brown.However I managed to make it. My dad who was always fussy with his food, just relished it (probably to make me happy and give me encouragement).
Here goes the recipe :
Vermicelli ... 2 cups
Sugar .......... 1 cup
Salt ............... a tiny pinch.( This is my grandma's tip.Adding a tiny pinch of salt enhances the flavour of a sweet dish (Indian dishes)
Green Cardamoms ... 3-4
Saffron ................. a pinch
Ghee ..................... 2-3 tbsp.
Almonds .............. to garnish (blanched and peeled)
Pistachios ............ crushed
For Fried Potatoes :
Potatoes ..... 1/2 kg
Salt .............. to taste
Turmeric powder .. 1/4tsp
Cumin powder ..... 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder. 1/8 tsp
Amchoor powder ......1/2 tsp
Red Chilli powder .... 1/4 tsp
Oil ..................... to fry
1. Heat ghee in a pan and put the crushed cardamoms. Add the vermicelli and stir fry it stirring continuously, taking care to get the even colour.
2. When the colour is brown add double the quantity (4 cups) hot water. If you are using the fine,thin vermicelli then reduce the water, 3 cups will be sufficient. Add a pinch of salt and saffron. Cover the pan and simmer to cook.
3. When the vermicelli is almost done, add the sugar and mix well. Simmer it again until the water from the sugar is absorbed.(Thin vermicelli cooks faster than the normal one)
4. Garnish with crushed pistachios and almonds.
Serve with fried masala potatoes.
FRIED POTATOES :
1. Cut the potatoes into cubes and put them in the salt water for 15-20 minutes.
2. Drain the water and deep fry the potatoes. Remove from the oil and sprinkle salt and all the dry spice powders immediately. Mix well.
Nithu's Kitchen : Thank you so much Shobha for your wonderful Sindhi dish. We enjoyed talking to you.
Shobha : Thank you for inviting me Nithu. I am really honoured to be your guest today and I must say you have a lovely blogspace and this wonderful feature that you have started brings us bloggers close together. We get to know about each other. Cheers to that !
Friends, Hope you all love Shobha's yummy Seyun Patata. If you are interested to be featured as Nithu's Kitchen's Guest, please drop a mail to nithuskitchen[at]gmail[dot]com.