Friday, August 01, 2014

Updates and an amazing stir-fry



It’s been a long time since I last blogged – almost four months, but they’ve been such exciting months. After waiting almost two years, we finally moved homes in June. For reasons of security and paranoia (what’s with those people who put up all their personal details on Facebook? Jyo, I’m talking to you), I will only say we still live in Colaba. In an even sleepier part of that little world-of-its-own at the tip of Bombay, with more trees, fewer veggie vendors, but none of the traffic snarls of Colaba Causeway. It’s been a tremendous two months since we moved; we’re practically redoing the house, while living in it, but it’s so great to see it slowly coming together. Most of the discomfort is Kevin’s, because he works from home, from the middle of it all, and I very gratefully escape to work every day. And, in all that, we’re also preparing for Zach’s board exams. We give thanks every day; keep us in your prayers.


Via Pinterest

In other news, I may have come into this late– but I’m loving Pinterest!
I use it to pin all sorts of fun stuff for the house, and we’ve found some of our best design inspiration on the many boards. Because this is a house that has had little ‘interior designer’ input – except for very valuable advice and bathroom remodelling from my dear pal Himanshu. It will truly be a labour of love – and Pinterest! :) 

I’m also now a great advocate of Quikr and Olx. I know, I know, our parents’ generation never bought or used second-hand (though we did have a television from the Press Club way back in the early eighties, complete with ornate wooden cabinet), but theres something to be said for ‘pre-loved’ when you’re on a tight budget and you want stuff you cannot otherwise afford. Of course, you have to really trawl the listings and go check out the products – but it’s been great fun, and we’ve met some cool people in the bargain. We will need to reupholster our furniture and get some polish work done, but its totally worth the effort.
And yes, we’ve also sold on Quikr! Or was it Olx or Facebook?


Aldrin from Urban Ladder

For stuff that we must buy, my go-to place is Urban Ladder. I love the pieces, I love the names, I just wish someone gave me one of those limitless coupons to this site. I already have the Babylon book shelf, the Lhasa chest and Herbert side table are sitting boxed in our living room, and I lust over Aldrin the wing chair every evening.

Yellow Tolix chair from Pepperfry

I’ve also ordered the Tolix chair from Pepperfry. As seen in The Pantry, at Kala Ghoda, and at Dunkin Donuts. It’s inspired by a chair that became famous in 1927; a little more on the history here. I just think it’s cute.
Pepperfry also has a blue Tolix (with no cushion) and a red Tolix, which has a wooden seat; tempting till you realise that the three wooden slats could come in some very strange colours.


Saucy Korean Stir-Fry from Carlsbad Cravings

And because this is otherwise such a house/ design/ furniture-heavy post, here’s a really good recipe for a quick stir-fry. I made it with undercut, sliced really fine when it was frozen, and then fried thoroughly in small batches after marination, but I’m sure the recipe would work great with chicken as well.
It’s from Carlsbad Cravings, a new blog I found via Pinterest, and I’ve hardly adapted it, though I have to confess I did not bother with Ziploc bags as Jen does on the blog, and just marinated my meat in a mixing bowl. And my dish certainly did not look as bright (or nice) as the original – something to do with our soya sauce, I think – but it tasted very good.

Saucy Korean Beef Stir Fry
Slightly adapted from CarlsbadCravings.com
Serves: 4-6

450g beef (I used undercut), sliced as thinly as possible
1 small onion, sliced into very thin strips
2 tbsp corn flour, divided
2 tbsp sesame oil, divided
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips (I used capsicum)
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips
2 cups sliced mushrooms
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

For the Marinade/ Sauce
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp freshly-grated ginger
¾ cup soya sauce
¼ cup water
½ cup Chinese rice wine, mirin or dry sherry
1/3 cup sugar
¼ tsp black pepper
1 to 2 tsp Sriracha or hot chilli sauce
  1. Whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade/ sauce.
  2. Spoon 1/3 cup of the marinade/ sauce into a deep bowl and whisk in 1 tbsp corn flour. Add the sliced beef and onions. Refrigerate the marinated meat and onions and the reserved sauce separately for 30 minutes at least. You can go upto 12 hours, but I found even 45 minutes is good enough.
  3. When you’re ready to cook, heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a wok over high heat. Fry small batches of the beef till done – in India, this is important, since the final cooking in the stir-fry will be short, and you don’t want to take any chances with meat not cooked out of its wits. Remove from wok and keep covered.
  4. Wipe down wok with a paper towel.
  5. Add 1 tbsp corn flour to the reserved sauce and whisk until smooth.
  6. Heat the remaining sesame oil in the wok over high heat. Add the veggies and sauté for one minute. Add the reserved sauce and bring to a simmer. Season with ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Cook until sauce has thickened, about one to two minutes. Add the fried beef back to the skillet with the vegetables and sauce and continue to cook, for about one minute. Taste for seasoning.
  7. Serve over rice garnished with spring onions – if you can wait that long :)


MAIN PHOTOGRAPH: SUBBOTINA/ 123RF

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