Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Old Is Gold - Now It All Makes Sense

Like all teenagers, I was huge movie buff those days. I would watch and read anything and everything Bollywood. And I was blessed with a dad who fed my addiction with latest magazines every month without fail. My mom would comment sarcastically, 'your latest course book is here', and I will spend every minute reading up my 'course book'. 

Growing up, we spent most weekends watching reruns of dad's favourite oldies. And by the miracle of VCR, my dad was able to record and play and replay and replay of the replay all of his favourite songs, be it Brahmachari or Junglee style. Sometimes it was Love In Tokyo, at others Evening In Paris. We even went Around The World and back. There was a dude whose name was Joker, and Bobby was a boy totally in love. And how about Sangam, the classic story of a best friend stealing your girlfriend.

Ever since being married and becoming a parent soon after, all this interest just faded off, and I only keep up with the general updates. Otherwise most of the time, being the sinister know-it-all, I just brush off most news or gossips as publicity stunts or whatever kind of thing.

During the late 90s, Bollywood had romance back with a bang, in NRI style, mostly. And as time went on the trend slowly changed into what it is now. Typical masala formula films. Masala means a number of spice mixtures ground into a paste or powder for use in Indian cooking. Likewise a masala formula movie means, all flavours of romance, comedy and action put together into one film. 

It is the age of masala films, alright. At the same time the songs have evolved into an unexplainable state that it makes our senses numb and confused if we are meant to feel romance, comedy or action?

In the late 90s, this is how Bollywood expressed love

Now, it is with Gandi Baat (Dirty Talk)

Dirty indeed. Shahid Kapur's look is on the dirty side. I suggest he take some pointers from Ranveer Singh to brush off dandruff/fleas/dry scalp off his uncut hair.

The late 90s partied with love triangle such:

Now its not just a party, but a Hookah Bar party!

Remember the evergreen song?

The makers have come up with Ishqyaun Dishqyaun

However thanks to several non formulaic movies/songs, there are still few non-masala flavours for snobs like myself.

And at times, when I happen to hear my dad's favourite here and there, I think to myself, it is not so bad after all. If I never had overdose of it those days, it could have remained a favourite today.

Here are some that have earned my liking.

These days my kids have no problem watching the occasional Bollywood movies with us, singing to the tune of Challa  and dancing to Desi Boys and Main Senti but there will be a time when he thinks Challa is outdated and Chammak Challo is old fashioned. Heck, I did not even spell Desi Boys with a 'z'. 

This is the current favourite for the new age boys.

Old is Gold indeed. Including the 90s. And yet, I am not that old, or so I'd like to think.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mad About Masterchef Australia S5 - Cooking Tip-Off Challenge

Despite my busy schedule as a mother, one TV show that I never miss is Masterchef Australia S5. It gives me the best quality 'me' time, at the same time every cooking challenge inspires me to improve my own cooking for the hubby and kids. During the times that hubby and I watch it together, he gets excited with anticipation of what I might churn out next.

In case you are wondering, Masterchef Australia S5 airs on Lifetime, Astro channel 709, weekdays at 7pm and 11pm. Which is perfect for me as I get to catch it once the kids are in their slumber land. Masterchef time is ME time. 

This season has by far been the most interesting as there are the most number of Asian contestants ever, coming from different ethnic backgrounds. This means there is a vast variety of possible dishes and food presentations by contestants on the whole. At the same time as an Asian it is a proud moment to see our local dishes being in the center of attention, with our local Asian dishes being a household name in the show.  

Back home in my own kitchen, I get the Masterchef contestant feel when I try new or improvise existing recipes for my kids and hubby. It is especially rewarding when my effort gets well appreciated and gobbled down by my lovely audience. It is almost like having all three judges Gary, Matt and George give me finger licking reviews! All the more I get excited to perform better the next time.

For the Cooking Tip-Off Challenge, I would like to share a very special cooking tip of mine. I always prepare chicken stocks and freeze them for later use. And I am always on the lookout to multitask in any work that I do. Therefore whenever I am boiling chicken soup for my kids, I save some of the stock first, and then go ahead adding on seasonings for the soup of the day.

This is truly a life saver because it can sometimes be time consuming when making stock. The stockpot would hog the hob just to boil stock for two hours. With this tip, at the end of the stock boiling, you have yourself both flavourful and nutritious stock and soup. This is especially important for mothers like me who have picky eaters and choose not to chew on chicken meat, no matter how tender. Most of the times I cook pasta sauces, curries, and even dhal with chicken stock. Therefore all the goodness of chicken and vegetables from the stock are in the dish.

Here are the pictorial testaments by my kids, enjoying their dhal and various other gravies made from chicken stock:

I totally love this tip, and from the looks of it, my kids love it too!

If you are Malaysian and a fan of Masterchef Australia you can also participate in this Cooking Tip-Off Challenge by sharing your cooking tip on Lifetime Malaysia's Facebook page and tag #MCATipOff.


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