Dark Knight

There are many incomplete sketches in my sketchbook and I blame it on the lack of classroom knowledge on sketching. Like say this "dark knight" concept, I had picturised it long time back but I did not know how to implement it as I cannot draw just out of my imagination, I need to have an object or a picture in front of me to see the light and shadow areas. So most of the times, I scribble a rough sketch to record the concept and the idea behind it and just leave it at that and spend time sketching from a photo or already completed painting.These blank pages are the ones I wish had gone missing when someone else is skimming through the sketchbook.  Today I chose to complete one such sketch, used my own hands as template. Would have preferred a nice slender hands with long fingers instead of the stout ones nevertheless quite happy with the outcome. By next two weeks will try to complete atleast 4 more of such. 
The original idea has the red bangle and the title was different too, but with this title I have half a mind to colour the bangle so leaving it as The Dark Knight! 
After a month of completing this I have changed my mind. Red bangles it is!!!  And there is a queen too..:) 
Dark Knight saving the queen! 
Now it is COMPLETE! 

Bisi Bisi gasa gase paysa/ hot drink from poppy seeds

The authentic karnataka restaurant in Bangalore,MTR/Maiyyas, serves this hot-gasa-gase-payasa in a silver cup. Wiki too says about this poppy drink -  "In Karnataka cuisine, Gasagase Payasa (Kannada: ಗಸಗಸೆ ಪಾಯಸ) is very popular in southern part of the South Indian state of Karnataka. It is a liquid dessert made out of white poppy seeds, jaggery, coconut and milk."
Until recently they had only one outlet and that was on lalbagh road. A very old building where lunch is served in batches based on FIFO basis. The couple of times I ate there with my friends, I had had this poppy drink in silverware so after marriage when I took my hubby and inlaws to the place, I had raised their expectation about food, poppy drink in silverware, I was eagerly waiting for the silvercup and to my disappointment it was grape juice in a steep cup. VR made great fun of me that day and said that I had imagined all the silverware stuff. However I learned later that the silver cups are served only in the first batch and the later batches get only steel cup! When MTR opened Maiyya's in Jayanagar, I was surprised and overwhelmed to see them serve  gasa-gase-payasa in silvercup for all and at all times. My mom  makes this gasa-gase-payasa which was an absolute tasty drink that induced sleep. I do not understand the concept of 'heat' in the body, which she referred a lot. If you have boils on forehead, irregular headaches, 'moving' back pain(like now if the back pain is on the left of your waist, tomorrow it could be on top right shoulder), 'gas'-issues then she would say "Heat jalla"   "Tampu Korka" <  To make cool > ! And the whole menu for a week is changed. Garam masala items is reduced, red chilly based gravies are cut off, fries off, Tamboli and kadi is seen more often. More importantly Ukda-tandla paej  and gasa-gase-payasa are the star attractions. I am yet to understand this 'heat' and 'cold' concept but I know why we feel drowsy after having this drink. After all it is a derivative of opium.  After today's lunch I drugged myself and VR. :)

Hot poppy drink for a good siesta on a cold afternoon
Poppy seeds: 3 table spoons
Cloves - 2
Cardomom powder-  a pinch OR 1/4 tea spoon
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Milk - 2 cups
grated coconut - 2 tea spoons
water - 1/2 cup +
can make 2-3 cups

For this preparation we need to dry roast the ingredients. Heat a pan , add cloves and poppy seeds. keep stirring until the poppy seeds starts to splutter. cover the pan.  Add grated coconut and fry for another 2  minutes. now let the mixture cool down and then grind to a smooth paste.
Mix the ground paste with milk,water and sugar and dilute it to a drinking consistency and heat the whole potion to desirable temperature for drinking.


I did not dilute the drink a lot and so you can see the dense pulp settled at the bottom. It is fun to bite on the titbits of this seed while drinking
  • Make sure not to heat the potion for long(should not be boiled) as the coconut will curdle the milk.  It should be just hot enough to drink. You can even drink it cold but  traditionally it  is served hot. 
  • Use a pan with a lid. Poppy seeds splutter out a lot.
  • Instead of coconut you can add nuts too. Since I did not have coconut here I toasted hazel nut, cashew nut and almond (1 each) in the above recipe.

Plum Blossom

Another colour+ another wash + youtube search + copy cat= a nice cute painting + lots of joy!
Chineese painting is simple but the quality of the end result depends on the type of brush , paper, the technique and confidence in each stroke. I do not have any chineese brush or ink or anything chineese but for the chinaware bowls stashed farthest back in the cupboard for being so delicate. So to make this, I used a normal round brush with the tip slightly pointed . Plum blossom is actually light pink in colour but since I had this sheet washed with faded peach-orange I used a mix of crimson and purple to get a darker shade of blossom, which would stand out against the background.
I referred to this ChineeseCalligraphy's channel for painting this one.

Fluke wash > Artistic art

I tried my hand at painting with a double loaded brush and it was a disaster.
My notes on double loading
1. It is best to use thick paints like gouache or acrylic
2. Tubes are better as you can place the colours next to each other. No half pans as you drain out getting the pigment on the pallete.
3. Nice wide flat brush is a must
 I generally keep a roll of toilet tissue near the painting area as named by VR, I'm a bit clumsy and I often drop or spill things. Today when doing the double loaded wash I realised the roll was empty and so I took this kitchen roll to dab the excess paint from the sides of the washed sheet and voila!! I had the nice design of the kithen towel on my washed paint.

Thrilled with this tissue effect, I made a fresh wash of ultramarine blue on a new sheet and dabbed another kitchen towel and I have this nice paisleys etched on. Not a perfect wash as I was more keen on dabbing the tissue yet the results are amazing. I might not be able to do any painting on these sheets but I intend to do some sketches or a doodle.

Sabbasige Saru and Palya / Dill leaves gravy(Bassaru)and side dish

There is no vegetable that I do not like and especially I love green leafy vegetables and I still wonder how I have myopia inspite of eating healthy food. Everytime I visit the Indian grocery store here in Brussels I pick a bunch of Methi leaves, Dill leaves and coriander leaves. I make Methi rice and methi paratha and with Dill leaves Basdsaru and Sabbasige vada.
My grandfather's house is a village and the locals there make dishes out of the variety of leaves found just around there. I have eaten and relished all the kinds of chutneys and kadis/tamboli which mom makes. everytime she visits grandpa's place, she takes 'tippi', the talktaive, pan chewing neighbour who does all the chores at my grandpa's palce, and gets lotsa variety of leaves,berries and fruits. And for one week we are served all sorts of chutney, Tamboli(chutney + water + seasoning).
Mom makes this gravy with coconut and this time the coconut I got from the Indian store was spoilt. So I slightly changed the recipe and it was delicious.

Method for Bassaru :
Dill leaves : one bunch / chopped - 1 cup
garlic - 3 table spoons
Cumin seeds - 1 table spoon
Onion - 1 cup
cashew nuts- 4/5
coriander powder - 1 tea spoon
tamarind pulp- 1/2 tea spoon
pepper powder - 1 table spoon
greeen chillies - 3
sprouted green gram - 1 cup
Black eyed beans - 1/2 cup
Pressure cook sprouted green gram, black eyed beans and chopped dill leaves together. Add more water so that the stock can be used for the gravy. Once cooked, drain the stock and keep aside.
Heat oil, add cumin seeds, slit green chillies, crushed garlic. Add the cashew nuts. Once the nuts start changing colour add onions, salt and fry till golden brown. Add pepper powder, coriander powder. Let it cool and then make a paste. Add the paste to the stock, add tarind pulp , adjust salt and bring the potion to a boil. Garnish with coriander leaves if required.
Can be had with rice or ragi mudde.
Also you can reserve half a cup of water for the palya.

Ingredients for Palya:
mustard seeds- 1 tea soon
crushed curry leaves -1 tea spoon
Urad dal - 1 tea spoon
Boiled Potatoes : 1 or 2
green chillies - 3
cherry tomatoes
Garam masala - 1/2 tea spoon
while pressure cooking the pulses, keep 1/2 potatoes in the top tray if needed.
Heat oil, add mustard seeds and once they splutter add urad dal.once golden grown, add slit green chillies.Add sliced onions and fry till they turn translucent. now add the drained vegetable dump, boiled potatoes(peeled and diced) and mix well. add water if it is too dry. you can retain a bit of the stock and add to this istead of water. adjust salt. cover and simmer for 10 minutes. add garam masala and cut cherry tomatoes. these tomatoes need not be cooked and by adding this in the last the dish looks colourful. they have a sweet and sour taste which goes along well with the palya.
Garam masala is optional as the cooked dill leaves itself gives a nice taste and aroma.

I cook in the night and hence the pictures are quite hazy and dull. It does not reflect the great taste it had..:)

Kindle Case

There is no reasoning for the prices at which some of the items are being sold. A kindle whole costs 140$ and the kindle case costs 50$.  A case that is 1/3 price of the item itself is too expensive and hence we did not order for the cover when we purchased a kindle. So VR suggested if I could make something out of knitting wool. I googled and found lotsa types of knit covers from very simple ones to complicated ones and I joined the bandwagon of Knit lovers.

My second knitting project and I'm happy the way it has turned out.
Yarn :  Rapido for beginners from PhildarNeedles:  UK #7 . already had it.
Crochet needle . set of 4, different size,
Fancy Button.
Next time I'll try to make more snug fit type so that there is no need of button.

Brussels in colour

After bearing months of grey and black and its shades, spring is the much awaited season which brings along loads of green wilderness, long day light hours , beer-barbeques and parties in the backyard garden. But there is so much of colour around even before the onset of spring. Here is a photo blog of Brussels Metro stations, graffiti , random arts and more.
Graffito along the side walks near the Chappelle

All are one!

Watch out!!

Jazzy escalator with wooden laminations

Art at one metro station

View from the Atomium

Valentine specials

Art at Heyzel Metro station

the new spring collection!! love the vibrant collection of colours

Wonder what is inside.


Need more colours then you definitely need more Europe!

Necessity, need, want eh??

Necessity WAS the mother of invention. Not any more! How can you categorise the newest designer wear, e-reader , Luxury cars, Ferrari  racing car, IPad , Super sleek - paper thin laptop as necessity? all of these(and many more) are luxury items. We do not really need them as we can survive and very well be happy without them, although the 'need' of it keeps throbbing within you. I will not deny that the e-reader kindle what we recently purchased is an invention of the greatest minds; however we did not really NEED it. It was on my good-to-have items list and I gave hundred reasons to ourselves justifying why I need to own it and if I did not have one then how badly our reading habbits would be crippled and how boring the everyday journey to office would be. As a matter of fact I haven't read any book in years and a point to be noted is that reading puts me to sleep. Also the journey to office is only half an hour and most of the time I would not be able to read it as the trains are extremely crowded in rush hours and even if I tuck it in the bag, chances are that kindle might crack. So I am in possession of a highly risky , highly priced, highly delicate commodity which was not a necessity.
Kindle probably will be helpful for people who love to read, ofcourse, and where there is not enough place to stack the books they have read already. Well even they can give off books or circulate amongst friends, donate to the library to make space. Best Idea would be to join a competetive circulating library who have the latest books. Yet they need the kindle.
Say kindle is a necessary item, who can explain designer wear. Want want want!
All our 'needs' are fulfilled and only 'want' is wanting.
So the 'want of luxury' is the mother of invention these days.

LunchBots Giveaway for Twisted Recipes @ Scatter The Batter

If you have got lucky anytime, by adding 'some' ingredient to a familiar dish and got a lip smackingly surprising outcome, then write about it at Scatter the Batter and you might be lucky to win the compact lunchBot giveaway.


Olive green, lemon yellow, mint green , lime fresh colours are instant mind freshners. From the entire palette of colours I love these shades, in fact all the bright hues that is a derivative of mixing green and yellow. Now since I have learnt to 'wash' my sheets before painting on and the job is so cool that I wash 3 -4 sheets at a time. I have done couple of sheets with this mint green, lemon yellow and olive green. I cannot really clearly accurately .. ly ..ly ..differentiate these but I know that the dried paint will belong to the green-yellow family. I feel like framing them just right away.
I really should learn to stop overdoing a painting. I tried to add effects and I was just spoiling the whole picture and had a hard time un-doing it! I really should get myself a wacom!
After painting this I made ginger, pepper and honey flavoured tea. Yes! I sprinkled a pinch of pepper powder in my tea and it was awsome!

Green - Tea.. Pictorially!
This is with the help of Henri Li's tutorial.

Clearing up stock - PIZZA

I am a grocery shop junkie! everytime I visit the stores I end up buying more that what I had to buy and only regret it when I have to carry it back all by myself. Yeah! I'am a nice wifey who doesnt like to bother her hub on weekends.I do grocery shopping on fridays so that for the weekend VR gets a wide variety of options for his meals and there is enough stock for all that he wants and second because the store where I go, gets fresh stock on friday. Though I buy vegetables only once a week sometimes it lasts for more that that and sometimes they go waste as well. Yeah! it is painful to throw things away but I prefer it to be stashed in the bin rather than in the belly. So last week I decided not to buy anything until I have finished up all the perishable items. Hade made egg fried rice lastnight so the last 2 onions and leftover halves of capsicum got over. Potatoes were over in the beginning of the week itself.
All I am left with is 1/4 pack of paneer , half can of corns, little cheese and 3 tomatoes. And all this can be in only one dish ... pizzzaaaaa. So making pizza for tonight. Moreover since it is friday I dont have to pack lunch for VR ...so this is perfect for friday nights.
So tomorrow VR and me both will go for grocery shopping! Yeah! can't be a good wife all the time. At times we have to nag, crib and send men for grocery shopping. It is our RIGHT! :)
Crispy juicy pizza

Neither do I have a pizza stone nor a baking tray. So the only option for me was to grill the base first and then top with the sauce and toppings. I got this tip from Shilpa of aayis recipe.
All the steps below looks complicated but it doesnt involve much hard work. But I threw the dough on the grill and squatted in front of the oven for the entire baking time.Curosity! Phew!

Ingredients for the base:
All purpose flour - 3 cups
garlic - 1 table spoon
water - 2/3 cup+
olive oil  - 2 table spoons
yeast  - 1/2 sachet  (instant yeast)
salt - 1 tea spoon
sugar - 1 tea spoon

Ingredients for the sauce :
tomatoes - 3
oregano coarse powder- 1 table spoon
basil - 1 table spoon
salt - 1 tea spoon
sugar - 2 tea spoons
olive oil - 1 table spoon

marinated paneer - 1 cup .
sweet corn  - 1/2 cup
cheese - pasta cheese (1 cup+) or mozarella

Marinade for paneer
salt -1 pinch
cumin powder  - 1 tea spoon
coriander powder - 1 tea spoon
curd - 1 table spoon
mix all the above ingredients in a bowl and add diced paneer and mix until the paneer is coated well.
Keep aside for half an hour. If you are keeping it for longer then refrigerate it and remove it half an hour before baking the pizza

Method :  for the base
heat 1 tea spoon of olive oil in a pan and add the crushed garlic. fry till golden brown.
Mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast together then add the roasted garlic and water and knead well. It should be softer than the chapathi dough that means it is a bit softer and stickier than the chapathi dough.
Apply olive oil as coating ,cover it with wet cloth and keep aside for an hour. The dough would have raised and would be double in volume.

Dough when initially mixed

Dough after the first rise.
 Now punch the dough and knead again very gently for a minute. apply olive oil, cover it with a wet cloth and set aside for another half an hour.

Method : for the sauce
heat oil and add crushed garlic and once the raw smell goes add chopped tomatoes, salt and sugar. cover it and let it cook until tomatoes are all mashed up. now add oregano and basil.

pizza sauce

Method:  for pizza

grease the grill , place it in the middle rack and preheat the oven to 250 C for 10 minutes.
meanwhile take a small ball of the dough and flatten it with rolling pin. thickness should not be more than 1 cms for this type of grilled pizza. brush the dough with olive oil and place in the oven directly on the rack. after 6 minutes flip it around. after another 4-5 minutes remove it from the oven. then spread the pasta sauce evenly. spread cheese and then throw some corn and paneer cubes on it. Place it back in the oven for another 8-10 minutes at 250 C and 4 minutes at 150 C(until all the cheese is molten).
Spinkle pepper powder/ chilli flakes.

  • We can make pizza without stone or tray.
  • For the sauce onions and capsicum can be added
  • Place an allumium foil/ cooking sheet on the base of the oven to avoid any droppings on the oven floor.
  • Mozarella cheese definitely gives a better flavour for pizzas.
  • Pizza base can be prepared without garlic.
Oven settings: 
Oven rack in middle rack throughout

Preheat :  Heat from top and bottom , 250 C , 10 minutes.
Pizza base baking: heat from top(Broil), 250 C, 5-6 minutes for each side.
Pizza with the toppings baking: Broil mode , 250 C for 10 minutes , heat from bottom and top at 150 C  for 3-4 minutes. the second part is to make sure that the pizza is completely done both at the base as well as toppings.

Other sites referred for making this: vahrevah

Paneer paratha

I had made paneer paratha last saturday and it came out just too good. I generally dont over eat and my appetite is that of a pigeon, inspite of that the fact that my BMI is on the edge of the upper cut off is a matter of concern  though. Yet I managed to overstuff myself that day as it was too deliciuos and it did not need any accompaniments.

Ingredients for the stuffing:
Paneer  (Indian cheese)- grated - 2 cups
mashed potato - 1/2 cup 
ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tea spoon
coriander leaves - 1/4 cup
mint leaves  - 2 -3 leaves
garam masala powder - 1 tea spoon
coriander powder - 1 tea spoon
cumin powder - 1 tea spoon
paprika powder - 1 tea spoon
salt - to taste

dough: for the outer covering :
Wheat flour

For the outer covering mix all the ingredients and knead it like chapathi dough and keep aside for atleast half an hour. Mix all the stuffing ingredients and keep aside for 10 minutes.
Take small balls of the dough and flatten it with a rolling pin  make sure that the sides are thinner and the centre is thicker relatively. you can do it with a hand too.  place a spoon full of stuffing at the centre of this flat dough and cover it up. Roll the stuffed ball in dry wheat flour and flatten it with the pin. do not make it very thin. fry it on the hot tava like chapathi by applying oil on both the sides while frying. you know it is cooked when both sides get the golden brown patches.

VR loves potato in everything. In maggi, in potato curry, chicken curry, any green vegetable stir fry. So evertime I use the pressure cooker for cooking rice only , I steam 1 or 2 potatoes and stack in the refrigerator and use it up within 2 days. I had a small piece of cooked potato left and I used it up in this paratha stuffing and no regrets about it.

  • Mashed potato is optional but I like to put it because helps bind the stuffing together and it gives rich flavour to the parathas.
  • Sugar is optional. I like my paratha to get that spicy and with a tinge of sweetness.
  • You could use finely chopped green chillies instead of paprika powder for the spice quotient. I dont like to get them in my mouth while eating hence skipped that.
 This week I had boiled sweet potato instead of potato. I used this in place of the two ingredients - boiled potato and sugar. It came out very good!

No use of having a new 'page'! huh! Last resort > import blog

I wanted to link my recipe blog with this one and make my blog look more like a website with two different tabs. Art and recipes. However Blogger doesnot support that and by default all the posts are published on the default blog. there is no way you can categorise the posts by pages. This second page is very static although in that page you can provide link(s) to your other blogs. I had this for a while and did not like it at all. Too many clicks to reach the recipe site! Hence decided to merge the posts and imported the foodie blog onto this one itself. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...