In matter of a month decisions were made, suitcases were being packed and for the first time we were not shopping till we dropped before heading to India. The less things we take, the less we will miss the place, my mom said in her soft yet confident voice. We were leaving Kuwait for good. And not enough words were being exchanged. There was the pressing question of 'Where am I going?'. Am I really going home or leaving home?
Reaching Rajasthan in the face of one of the hottest summers in a decade was a terrible start. Our sudden move meant, our beautiful yet vacant for years villa, didn't have every luxury we were used too. The bed was gone and so was the 24 hours air conditioning.
Nights were spend trying to keep the insects away and fanning ourselves with the cheap Japanese fans. We sisters sang our way through the night, from melodious old bollywod songs to the beats of backstreet boys (they were THE thing back then) in our not so melodious voice. We laughed out loud on the irony of our situation.
As we settled, things got much better. We got our own electricity generator, got our rooms air conditioned, got brand new matress and our new home finally started feeling like home. But once we got past our materialistic needs, there was one yearning that couldn't be helped. The sea. Those morning walks with the friends on the beach and weekends nights spend lazying on beach all became a mystical memory. The sound of the the waves hitting the shore suddenly became much louder in my mind then they ever really were.
Cocoa room, Kuwait
Nearly 7 years later, me and my mom are in Kuwait walking on the same beach together, exploring old and new favorites breakfast places . All those memories I so nostalgically write about don't even feel a day old. I'm back to my teenage self letting mom control the kitchen and relishing her food and company. Yes, that's what is keeping me busy. I really wish to be around but if I'm not remember I'm making new memories to share with you later.
Paneer Tikka With Grilled Vegetables
Ever since my how to make paneer post, I have got so many requests for paneer recipes, I was quite surprised how famous paneer is! I hope to add more paneer recipes but I decided to start with one of the easiest to make Paneer Tikka.
Paneer tikka is generally served as a vegetarian starter. Traditionally it is coated in spices and grilled in tandoor but a grill works great as well. It succulent, soft and mildly spicy. Though its great on its own, tucked in a pita bread with green chutney is my favorite way to eat it.
500 g paneer (make your own)
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 green chilly, chopped to paste
1 tbsp tandoori masala
1/2 tsp cumin powder, preferably freshly roasted and grounded
1 tbsp yogurt
1 tbsp ketchup
1 onion, cut into quarters
1 red/green bell pepper, cubed
1 tomato, cut into quarters
Salt to taste
Ghee or oil to brush
Bamboo skewers to thread
Marinate the paneer and vegetables with all the above ingredients for at least one hour.
Thread the paneer, onions and bell peppers on the wooden skewers in any combination you like. Make sure not to overcrowd the skewers else they don't cook properly.
Preheat your grill on medium or you could use a frying pan with little ghee instead. Put the paneer skewers on it and brush with little oil or ghee.
Grill till paneer is light golden on all sides. A few darker spots are a good thing but do not overcook else the paneer becomes rubbery.
Remove onto a platter and sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves and serve with wedge of lemon.
Serve hot with some green chutney if you like.