Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Ninja Boys, Cowabunga!

You guessed it right, we watched the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles last weekend.  The movie event was a deja vu for both of us parents. As kids we remember having our journeys to those big cinema halls to watch movie at RM3 per person.  

The boys have been building up their anticipation since a year ago when they got their TMNT figurine toys, and then subsequently our collection of McDonald's toys from the happy meals. And then a few weeks ago my brother got them this TMNT gears, all hell broke loose!

They even shot a mini video of them banging the things in the house with their TMNT gears!

Back to the movie event, the hall was totally full. First I thought to myself, 'Wow so many kids!' And then I thought again 'Wow so many kids and so many kids-at-heart'. For those of us who grew up watching and idolising the pizza eating ninja turtles in 80s, this movie is no less than a walk at memory lanes. Families came to catch the movie with their little ones. Creating new memories for the kids, and reliving their own!

The boys were fully geared up with TMNT fever long back. Several months ago I taught them the TMNT theme song I grew up listening. Even though this new version does not have the song, my boys can sing 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, heroes in a hard shell, TURTLE POWER!'

If you are kid from the 80s, you would know what I mean, and in case you are still wondering, this is what I mean.

Those days TMNT was the only place you can see Dominos Pizza, when you had Pizza Hut all over the country. However this new version of TMNT shows Pizza Hut instead. 

The graphic details of the computer generated turtles were awesome, and the action was simply wow. Just a little complain that Master Shredder should have been given more importance in his true form and less hi-fi costume, because it was turning out to be more of a transformer than a master villain with super skills and scar-ful face. I expected a revelation of Shredder's scary face during the climax.

Nevetheless, the kids, and us kids-at-heart totally loved the movie! Waiting for the sequel to come back with a bang!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Accidentally Perfect, The 'Glorified 'Briyani' Rice Recipe

Since I have been prepping overnight, one-dish or slow cooked meals for our weekday dinners, I had to rack my brains to provide meals with balanced nutrition and variety nonetheless. 

One such solution is making briyanis and pulaos, or rather what I prefer to call glorified rice. This is because I just use the regular fragrant rice instead of basmati, but with the correct sautee and spices it can have the aroma and extra vegetables in it as a briyani would have.

This morning I was rather gung-ho about making my glorified rice. However being the blur sleepy-head, I can barely recall being much awake in the wee hours of the morning that I cooked. I did the sautee, added washed rice, water and some milk. And then I accidentally turned it off, thinking I was turning the kettle off.

I came down almost 2 hours later (that is how long it took to get ready and wake the kids up from their Monday morning slumber, yes Monday blues) to see the lights on the rice cooker indicator totally turned off.

The first thing that came to my mind was, my rice cooker gave up on me. Then I noticed the socket, and realised it was my own doing that turned it off. Disappointed, I quickly opened to check the condition of the rice. 

To my delightful surprise, my glorified rice had cooked to fluffiness perfection! Each grain perfectly separated and cook as basmati rice would be. Of course the top layer of rice was a little hard, so I just gave it a quick stir and left it on 'warm' settings for 10 minutes. 

I remember making one pot dishes with rice, which always had a slightly browned and hard base. I bet this would never have this problem. In fact with the correct seasoning, this would also emulate fried rice without the stirring!

The highlight of my day, accidentally perfect rice! Now I know the trick to fluffy rice, and whenever I am not pressed for time, I would prefer to cook rice this way, it even saves electricity!

By the way, if you are wondering how to cook this briyani aka glorified rice the normal way, here is the recipe:

You Need:
3 cups of fragrant rice
Evaporated Milk
2 cups of diced vegetables, I used onion, carrot, zucchini, corn and green peas,
some cumin seeds
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp ghee

Method:1) Turn the rice cooker on with an empty pot
2) Put the ghee, and once its hot enough, sautee the cumin till fragrant.
3) Add the vegetables, cumin/coriander powder and let it sizzle a bit.

4) Put in the wash rice. Add water and milk to the sufficient level as how u would cook rice regularly. I used about 2 tbsp of milk only. Cover and let it cook.
5) Serve it fluffed with curry or any similar gravy.

You can use basmati rice by all means, just put sufficient water as basmati rice requires more water to cook. I don't like the dry texture, and fragrant rice scores better with the kids due to the aroma.

Happy trying!


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