Exploring Puerto Rico

Exploring Puerto Rico
At Cafe Puerto Rico in Old San Juan

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

I know I have not written in ages. Been in CA two weeks ago and in Seattle last week. I was in LA for the first time in my life to meet with my scholarship donor and it proved to be a very successful trip. The donor who is currently supporting the education of 200 university girls in Bangladesh promised me funding for these 200 girls for both their undergrad and graduate studies if they wished to continue their schooling and noted that he would like to add on another 200 girls in Bangladesh. So inshallah, we will be able to educate 400 poor university girls in Bangladesh. He held my hand and said that he has full confidence that I would use his money wisely. I was thrilled for both my hard work and for his trust in me and I know I will make him proud. To celebrate, spent the weekend with my old buddy Shannjit in LA who diligently took me to downtown LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, the Observatory, Santa Monica and to the beach. Pictures have been posted on facebook if you are curious. During one of our chats, Shannjit suggested that I turn my blog into my life chronicles with Mus as we have some hilarious stories to share. I know our stories always end up the butt of all jokes among friends. Funny thing is neither of us seems to mind...

So last night, after being back after almost 2 weeks, Mus let out a VERY LOUD burp! I looked at him stupefied and asked: "do you mind?" He looked at me with a grin, quickly apologized and said: "Oops, having been gone for 2 weeks, I forgot that you were back" And then he went on to add that he enjoyed a great level of freedom to be able to fart as loud as he could, burp all he wanted, and most of all scratch his nuts at all times without being sneered at. And just when I thought that I had him finally trained!!! Hmmpphh!! Can you really teach an old dog new tricks? I have to admit that a part of me felt guilty. Am I really restraining his freedom? Or is this just normal decency or courtesy that one should expects in a relationship? Or are men really an extenstion of dogs?

On the brighter side of things, a new trick was definitely taught to this bitch, i.e. the author of this blog! While at Shannjit's, I watched his mother make parathas. And in my aversion of handling dough, she made the process look seamless. So feeling a strange wave of encouragement, I decided to make some naan for breakfast this morning to go with the navratan korma (an attempt to use up all the veggies in my fridge). I have to say the process was quite simple and the naans tasted WONDERFUL!!!!! I was so impressed, I kept eating and eating and eating them! Yikes, so much for trying to keep my carb intake at bay! But I have to say, they were just sooooooooooooo yummy!

-- 1/2 cup warm water (make sure the water is not too hot)
-- 2 tsp active dry yeast (I bought a bottle which I keep in my fridge when I would like to use.Or you can get single sachets)
-- 1 tsp sugar
-- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling (next time, I will experiment with wheat flour)
-- 1/2 tsp salt
-- 1/4 cup canola oil
-- 1/3 cup fat free yogurt
-- 1 egg
-- Olive oil for cooking (you can use ghee if you prefer)

1. Mix the water, yeast and sugar and let stand for 5 minutes until foamy. Do not stir.
2. Once the yeast mixture is foamy, throw in the flour, salt, oil, yogurt and egg.
3. Using your hands, knead the dough well until it reaches elasticity. About 5 min.
4. Cover LOOSELY with a towel and let it sit in a warm place for about an hour. The dough will rise almost double its size. (Once ready, when you punch it in the middle, you will hear a woosh sound. The dough is ready).
5. Putting some flour in your hands, divide the dough into 8 small pieces on a lightly floured surface. On a wooden board, roll out each piece into a thin oval. Make sure your board and rolling pin are well coated with flour. When rolling the dough, do sprinkle the dough with some flour to prevent sticking.
6. Cook each naan in a hot skillet drizzled with a little bit of oil until blistered and cooked, flipping as necessary. For some, I used olive oil, for others I used a little ghee. But I preferred the ones with the olive oil.

I served my naan with Navratan Korma. You get about 8 naans.

Mustafa woke up while I was preparing breakfast and knew right away that I was cooking with spices in the kitchen. With a grin, he asked: "What are you making?" Sniffing around, he added: "Boy, am I glad you are back!" I am a sucker for compliments and to get that kind of a response, I would do this every morning if I had to...

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