The tata list

4 months have passed since the year started. Along with gaping at the flying days with wide eyes, I have realized I need to note down some very important changes which I have inculcated into my lifestyle off late.

So, here is my  Tata-list

Tata sugar
As I already have bleated profusely, I am off-sugar since 7-8 weeks. Now it so happened that since the day I resolved to say tata to sugar, a variety of sweet dishes came my way at home and at work. My usually non-foodie office colleagues had a dramatic change of heart and starting bringing in sweets every single day. Chocolates I already don’t eat so that I could easily dodge. But how to say no to hot puran-polis. Then my head did the math. Sugar is not equal to jaggery. Thus I happily gorged on my share of the puran-polis.  Someone had given a cake from a birthday party. Besan laddoos. Alphonso ice cream. Mango pachadi. Suffice to say that I barely scrapped. Many of my colleagues were interested to join my no-sugar challenge. When they came to know biscuits and cookies were off-limits, they started cursing me left and right. Sigh.

Tata shampoo
Yes, I am not using any shampoo since many months. Tired of trying out every single kind and make, I decided to go herbal. Hibiscus leaves paste. Egg mask. The likes. SIL has concocted a wondrous herbal shikakai powder which has everything to make my hair feel fuller and softer. Only God knows how many times I have blessed her.

Tata TV
The television in my room was last alive a month ago. I used to switch it on for few minutes, only to switch it off for the lack of good programs. 90% of the time, I used to watch the songs in MTV or VH1. I did not have the energy to follow any regular soap after entering the room at 11 in night, nor the inclination to watch heavily choreographed cosmetic characters.

Tata wants
This is a bit difficult to comprehend even for myself. I suddenly feel myself not wanting anything. The other day, Zack and I were at the departmental store. He egged me to try out a new deodorant. I said No. A new top? No. Warm sponge cake?No.  Jewellery? No. I know, I should just wait to let someone certify me as a cave
man. Or cave-women.

I already have my life devoid of many usual stuff – like coffee and aerated drinks. Now when folks around me are noticing these new tata-changes in me, they are wondering if I have a secret stash that I smoke. Nope, not made-up. True story.

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Friday cake and weekend music

While browsing through the internet a lazy Sunday afternoon, I came across a blogger who had cut down sugar completely from their lifestyle. Neither white sugar, nor brown. That morning, while rummaging the kitchen shelf for a something raw to be transformed into something edible, I got hold of a big container of maida. Zack loves his maida dosa more than his fish fry, so we always stock it up. That is another matter that he never knew that the dabba would be empty by the evening. If he knew, he would have dissuaded me from wasting my time in making this sugarless cake. Who in the world would eat or ask for a cake without sugar 😛

But then I had made up my mind to empty that maida dabba and make use of the over ripe bananas lying on the dining table. I planned to use all things natural.

Now this is how it looked it, when it came out of the oven. Please don’t close this page, kindly excuse my poor photography skills. It would be blasphemy to call this a cake to be very honest. But since the only ingredient missing here is sugar, I will take that leeway :mrgreen:

So how did I make it?

Ingredients :

Maida – 1.5 cups

Curd  – 1 cup

Vanilla essence – 1 tsp

Baking soda – 1/2 tsp

Baking powder – 1 and 1/4 tsp

Cooking oil – 1/2 cup

2 small bananas

5 dates

Honey – 1 tbsp

chopped dry fruits ( optional)

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Method:

Mash the bananas using a fork to a very fine paste. Soak the dates in warm water for about 5 min and smash them by hands, to a very syrupy consistency.

In a wide bowl, mix the curd, bananas and date-syrup and beat using a hand mixer for about 3 minutes. Do not be tempted to taste it, you might finish it off.

Add the baking soda and baking powder and mix well. You should see bubbles appearing. Keep it aside for 5 minutes. While you have 5 minutes at hand, dust away your oven and pre-heat to 200 degrees for 10 minutes. Preheating after your final batter is ready and waiting for the oven timer to go from 10:00 to 0:00 will make your cake go stiff.

After 5 minutes of letting the baking soda and baking powder introduce themselves, pour in the oil and vanilla essence.  Give it a good mix.

Add in the maida gradually and keep mixing the wet and dry ingredients now. It tends to get stickier but after a good two minutes, you can see the oil leaving the mixture. Do not think why is this happening, just keep on mixing it. Pour honey into this mix, give it the final mix and now your batter is ready to be baked.

Line up your bakeware with butter paper or grease it and pour this batter into it.

Bake for 10 minutes at 200 degrees.

After 10 minutes, take your bakeware out and sprinkle chopped cashews and raisins. I wanted to add almonds too, but it was empty when I opened its dabba.

Put the batter inside the oven and bake at 180 degrees for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, take out your bakeware and check by inserting a fork or a knife. If it does not come out clean, bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Notes:

Now this cake will not rise so don’t curse yourself that why you wasted an hour of your life :mrgreen:

Let it cool down a bit, cut a small part of it and taste it. Found it to be too ‘non-sugary’? Worry not!! Cut out your cake into neat slices and make a clean spread of honey on top of it and serve it to yourself or any willing-to-eat souls.

Reaction in the family :

First bite

“This is cake aa??”

“But it does not taste like cake at all”

“Arre, you forgot to put sugar”

After 30 minutes

“Where is that cake Visha, give me another piece”

“There is a subtle hint of sweetness, it’s not bland at all. It tastes so good Visha”

After 35 minutes

All is left is one slice of the cake, which I think I will have on Monday, after returning from work. Alas, that was nowhere to be found 😥

So my dear readers, the final conclusion of this great experiment is that you can have sugar less cakes 🙂 I have named it the No egg-no butter-banana-dates-honey cake. Suggestions are most welcome.

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Want to make your Friday/Saturday/Sunday evening exciting?

Gather your friends or your family or your partner or if no one is there, just make your phone silent for 2 minutes and play this awesome, awesome song and dance away to glory. If I speak for myself, I found it difficult not to get swayed by this musical piece, do let me know your views 😉

 

Philosophy and its implementation

Most of you must have heard of this story. I came across this quite recently and felt it to be implement-worthy, and not one of the kinds where in you say – ‘this does not apply to real life’. If any one of you can point out the source of this story, please let me know. Am more than happy to link it here 🙂

In a forest, a pregnant deer is about to give birth to a baby. It finds a remote grass field nearby a river and slowly goes there thinking it would be safe. As she moves slowly, she gets labour pain.

At the same moment, dark clouds gather around that area and lightning starts a forest fire. Turning left, she sees a hunter who is aiming an arrow from a distance. As she tries to move towards right, she spots a hungry lion approaching towards her.

What can the pregnant deer do, as she is already under labour pain..?

What do you think will happen..?
Will the deer survive..?
Will it give birth to a fawn..?
Will the fawn survive…?

OR

Will everything be burnt by the forest fire…?
Can the deer go left..? No, the hunter’s arrow is pointing at her.
Can she go right…? No, the hungry male lion is approaching her.
Can she move up..? No, there the forest is on fire.
Can she move down..? No, that is where the fierce river is.

Answer: She does nothing. She just focuses on giving birth to a new LIFE..

The sequence of events that happens at that fraction of a second (moment)
are as follows:

In a spur of MOMENT, a lightning strikes, and blinds the eyes of the hunter…!
At that MOMENT, he releases the arrow missing and zipping past the deer…!
At that MOMENT, the arrow hits and injures the lion badly…!
At that MOMENT, it starts to rain heavily and puts out the forest fire…!
At that next MOMENT, the deer gives birth to a healthy fawn…!

In our life too, there are MOMENTS of CHOICE when we all have to deal with
negative thoughts from all sides. Some thoughts are so powerful they
overcome us, and make us clueless.

Anything can happen in a MOMENT in this life. If you are religious,
superstitious, atheist, agnostic or whatever, you can attribute this MOMENT
to divine intervention, faith, sudden luck, serendipity, coincidence, karma,
or a simple ‘I just don’t know’…!

The priority of the deer, in that given moment, was simply giving birth to a
baby, because LIFE IS PRECIOUS…!

Now I went around to implement this story since I read it first.  Must say it helped a lot. To focus on what-must-I-do instead of thinking about the hundreds of what-could-I-do and what-should-I-do. But then life always throws you idiotic scenarios some days. Zack is bugging me to no end off late, with his I-will-work-on-the-laptop-even-if-my-house-is-burning  motto and almost ‘PMS’-y mood swings. I can always throw the heavy telephone directory on his head to make him see some sense, but then I am having a clean record till date, in the area of domestic violence and wish to maintain so :mrgreen: