Monthly Archives: July 2013

My latest addiction

I have to admit that from time to time I get addicted to certain types of food and I over eat them. I had a phase where I used to eat milk chocolates, green tea, hazelnut chocolate, sour candy, hajmola, cheesballs and so on daily.

Currently I am addicted to two things. Wasabi peas and lemon grass tea.

Wasabi peas

I am sure everyone knows what wasabi is. Wasabi, also known as Japanese horseradish, is a plant whose root is used as a condiment and has an extremely strong flavour. Its hotness is more akin to that of hot mustard than that of the capsaicin in a chili pepper, producing vapours that stimulate the nasal passages more than the tongue.

I had wasabi peas before occasionally but lately I have been snacking on them both at work and at home. I have even made AS addicted to these peas but he hates it when it goes to his noses :).

Wasabi peas are green peas that have been roasted and coated in a mixture of starch, sugar, salt, oil and wasabi. They may also contain artificial colouring, depending on the brand. The peas coated in wasabi are very crunchy little snacks with a distinctly sharp, fiery flavour.

Today I ate way too many wasabi peas but they were so good.   I know most people think that they are awful, but for those of us who love wasabi, it’s a real treat.  The only problem for me is that they are impossible to stop eating. As I am typing this post, I am munching on them.

When I Googled for its benefits I found out that they are not a healthy option. But I hope it is not too bad. I am really trying hard to stop eating them. If you like heat but have never tried wasabi peas, give it a go. You can either find them in the Asian section of your grocery store or any traditional Asian markets.  Let me know if you get addicted or just hated it.

Lemongrass tea

While talking to my parents the other day, they told me that they are growing lemongrass and eating them which compelled me to Google its benefits. I was amazed by the results. As I can’t grow them I decided to go for lemongrass tea instead and I am so happy to have discovered it. I had always loved lemongrass in Thai food and was happy to adopt another healthy food in my diet.

First of all, it smells amazing and it looks like green tea. But the best thing is the benefits. Here are some of the benefits for those who want to try it:

  • If suffering from insomnia, a cup before bedtime causes relaxation and promotes a restful night of sleep.
  • It is also known to relieve nausea and is an aid in digestion.
  • Drinking a cup after a large meal will take away that full feeling and will aid in digesting the food just consumed along with helping to remove unhealthy food additives, chemicals and excess fats.
  • It also aids in the relief of constipation, keeping the bowels working properly and removing toxins to keep the body healthy and energetic.
  • Acting as a natural diuretic it is known to keep the kidneys and bladder working properly.
  • Its powerful antioxidant benefits help to keep the liver and pancreas healthy and it is also known to help keep cholesterol levels normal.
  • People of ancient times knew the benefits of Lemongrass when suffering with coughs and colds. Drinking this tea helps relieve those symptoms as well without having to use store bought products that can sometimes have side-effects.
  • This tea is also a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. If drank regularly, studies have shown that it helps prevent the outbreak of acne and keeps the skin healthy due to its anti-bacterial effects. It can also relieve aches and pains and helps to reduce fever.

As it is winter here, lemongrass tea is definitely helping to keep me warm.

Do you have food addiction? Do you like Wasabi peas? Do you like lemongrass?

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

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Our Story : Kochi ceremony – Part 14

This is a continuation of my previous post. Please read the previous posts here, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 , Part 6 , Part 7 ,Part 8 ,Part 9 , Part 10 , Part 11 , Part 12 and Part 13

AS and I were glad once the initial meeting with our parents was over. We had lots of time in our hands as AS decided to stay in Nepal till mid Feb since one of his cousins was getting married while I extended my leave and decided to quit a semester at the university. At that time, I had been teaching at a university and every semester went for 3 months. I decided I would stay in Nepal till the end of March so I would have enough time to spend with AS and my parents. I had never had a long leave in my life and when I talked to my boss, she was alright with that.

So, our days were passed just meeting, going out to different cafes and restaurants and going to explore places like temples and gardens and other tourist sites around Kathmandu. Both families had no objection now with us spending so much time together. AS visited my home more often and vice versa.

However, as always, our fun had to come to end because I got an email for a new job. I had applied for a few jobs before I had left Sydney thinking to change jobs. One of the places emailed asking for suitable time for an interview. Initially, I wrote back that I was in Nepal and I am OK to do phone interview if they were happy with that.

I got a replied that they would like to do that so we arranged a phone interview. So the date and time was set. I was very nervous about this interview as I had never had a phone interview before. When they called, the line was so bad that I thought no matter what I said they won’t understand the answers properly. But fortunately, they liked me during the interview and I was asked for second face to face interview.

I was extremely happy about it all as I really wanted that job but I wasn’t sure if I was going to get the job for sure so before replying, I asked AS and my parents for advice. All of them told me that I should go for the interview and if things didn’t work out, I can always come back to Nepal. I replied to the job that I am available for interview in early February as I knew it would not be possible to hold the interview any later.

When this was going on at my end, both the families were a bit worried about us. Because if I get the job, I may not be back for over a year and once AS leaves, he may not be back for a while as well. So, they decided that we need to make our relationship official so the Kochi ceremony was planned.

Kochi means “to fix” in Newari. It is a ceremony where groom’s family officially asks the bride’s family for the bride’s hand for marriage to their son. So, close relatives of both the family met so his family can ask my hand in marriage from my family.

I have always said this and believe that marriage in Nepal is not only between two people but between two families. And ceremonies like this, makes it really important that both the families are happy about the reunion otherwise imagine the mood during ceremonies like this.

Our relationship went from cruse mode to race mode. Everything seemed to happen in fast forward. It seemed like we both lost control and were just going with the flow.

So the Kochi venue was fixed in one of the cafés nearby. I was super stressed as I had to meet all his relatives. Even though we said it was going to be a small gathering, it ended up with around 20 people.

As usual, I was also stressed about my dress, hair and makeup. Luckily I had bought few Kurtas already so I had a set I could wear during the ceremony. I wasn’t even sure what was expected of me as I had never gone to anyone’s Kochi ceremony. Not living in Nepal for a long time, it was hard for me to remember the traditional ceremonies in depth.

Finally the day for Kochi arrived. From the morning, I was bit tensed but AS was there telling me everything will be all right. So I went to the café with my parents and some uncles while my other uncles were going to meet us there.

When we reached the café, AS’s side of the family was already there. After the initial introduction, we all sat down and we ordered food and drinks.

As you know, Kathmandu is not a big place so it happened that some of my relatives already knew some of his relatives. It made it easier for everyone to break the ice and everyone was talking and enjoying each other’s company. There was a kind of positiveness and happiness in the room and everyone seemed to be enjoying the occasion. Looking around the room, I was satisfied that my fear was not justified and things would be fine.

I was sitting between AS’s mum and his aunt. They of course had many questions form me and I just answered in my best possible manner. I saw AS was sitting will my uncles and he and was enjoying his food and the conversations. After a while, it didn’t feel like there were two different family but they seems to be like friends who knew each other for a while.

During the conversation, from time to time, someone would share a joke or some old incident lifting everyone’s mood up. I was just happy looking around the room and thanking god that things were going better than hoped.

After both families were comfortable with each other the eldest member of AS’s family officially asked my hand in marriage for AS. It felt all so unreal to hear the formal speech and my dad accepting the proposal formally as well.

It was decided that a small engagement ceremony was to follow and was announced to everyone.

Do you have similar culture in your country?

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

Go to Part 15

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Different looks of Prabal Gurung for Target collection

This article was published in +977 (a Nepalese Lifestyle Magazine in Australia) in June-July 2013 issue.

blog

If you are following the fashion world, I am sure you are familiar with Prabal Gurung,  the Nepalese born American designer who has dressed famous ladies like Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge, Zoe Saldana, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lawrence, Demi Moore, Emma Watson, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried,  and Sarah Jessica Parker to name just  a few.

On February 2013, Prabal Gurung collaborated with Target and launched a collection based  on the theme “LOVE”. The collection was a big hit with some of the favourite pieces running out on  the first day. Unfortunately, Target Australia did not carry the collection, which means we were left out.

Luckily, we managed to purchase a few items from his collection from the USA and have styled our pieces in different looks.

Prabal Gurung For Target Cardigan in Meet the Parents Print

Boho chic: For this look, we paired the cardigan with a black maxi dress and belted it to cinch the waistline. For accessories, we just went with a pair of black sandals, silver necklace and a mini shoulder bag to keep things simple and casual. This look is very bohemian and adding the printed cardigan elevated a simple black maxi dress making it boho chic.

Casual edge: For this particular look, we tried to put together a causal and laid-back style with a bit of an edge.  We simply paired the cardigan with a very basic yellow tank top and black skinny jeans. To add some edge, we accessorised with a pair of studded ankle boots, cross earrings and a big crescent pendant. Again, adding this printed cardigan injects life to this otherwise very plain style.

Girlie girl: For the third look, we tried playing the colour pink and girlie silhouette. We basically put the cardigan buttoned up and tucked inside a flared black skirt. To emphasize the waistline, we used a skinny belt in neon pink which also adds a girlie touch. To make this look even more feminine, we went with a pair of pumps in bubble gum pink and a statement necklace with pink accents. It’s a very fun and girlie look.

Prabal Gurung For Target Dress in Meet the Parents Print

Colour Burst: For the first look, we used some key pieces from Prabal Gurung(PG) collection. We styled this PG black & white floral printed skater dress with PG heels in similar print and PG clutch in lolita print. This cute clutch injects some colour to this otherwise monochromatic outfit; we also added some fun statement necklaces in yellow and pink for that extra punch of colour.

Frosty: We tried adding some glamour to this dress with frosty silver pumps and clutch. For some drama, we added a chunky pearl necklace. This look is perfect for girl’s night out or that romantic dinner date with your partner.

Lady in Red: Adding some structured pieces like this red blazer and wedges gives this dress a very formal and sharp appeal. This outfit can be worn to work or anywhere where you want to polished and formally dressed.

Casual Chic: We did a fun experiment by turning this dress into a flared skirt. For this look, knitwear is worn over the dress making it appear as a skirt. We finished off the look by adding pair of black tights, ankles boots and a scarf in bright yellow colour. This look is very casual, comfortable and chic; great for walking around or running errands.

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Methi Kerau

Methi is fenugreek seeds and kerau is dried green peas.  Methi kerau is one of the popular foods in every Newari Bhoj (feast).  I wasn’t a huge fan of this while growing up but these days I love it and it is very good for health as well.

To make this recipe, you need to soak both Methi and Kerau for around 5-10 hours or overnight if you plan ahead. This is a very easy recipe.

methi kerau (1)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of methi
  • 1 cup of green dry kerau
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 2 inch on fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt to taste

Steps

  • Pour vegetable oiliIn a pan, (I used pressure cooker) and fry turmeric powder and dry red chilli.

methi kerau (2)

  • Add soaked methi and kerau and fry for 5 minutes.

methi kerau (3)

  • Add cumin powder, coriander powder, chili powder, crushed fresh garlic and ginger, and salt and fry for few more minutes.

methi kerau (4)

  • Add ½ cup of water and boil for a few minutes and Methi Kerau is ready to be served.

methi kerau (5)

P.S: This dish will be slightly bitter but if you want to take out the bitterness , boli the methi in water and wash it couple of time afterwards before cooking it.

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Aroma festival at The Rocks

Every year, there are many street festivals in and around Sydney. Starting with the Aroma festival this year, I know that there will be more in the coming days and our weekends are going to be fun for the next few months.  Last Sunday, me and hubby decided to join thousands of Sydneysider at the annual festival for lovers of coffee, chocolate, tea and spice; the Aroma Festival at The Rocks.

Aroma festival at The Rocks (1)It was a sunny day for a winter afternoon but it was still a bit windy. When we reached Circular Quay we could smell the coffee miles away and there were so many people enjoying the sun and the coffee.

This is the first time that I went to the Aroma Festival at The Rocks because as I told you before I am not a huge coffee drinker but I have heard so many good things about the festival that we decided to go this year. It was said that, this year, there are more stalls, more coffee, and more ground to cover at the festival. The festival is spread out starting from the wharf outside MCA museum, all the way up to Kendall Lane, then stretching all the way down Hickson Road reserve under the Harbour Bridge.

Aroma festival at The Rocks (9)

Everywhere we could see there were families enjoying the festival and every stall had a long queue. Most coffee stands had more than 20-30 people lining up, and food stands had around 20+ so it was hard to decide which stall to queue at.

Aroma festival at The Rocks (8)

After going around for a while we decide to go to a food stall and had our chicken wrap and lamb and rosemary roll as both of us were starving. We had to queue for 10 minutes or so just to get those. We really want to have this big hot dog but there were so many people in the line that we decided to go to the shortest line there.

Aroma festival at The Rocks (3)

The event organiser has even put their creative skills to the test and set up this massive Dame edna mural by using 1000 cups of Grinders coffee in four different colour tones. The mosaic, believed to be a tribute of Dame Edna, is set to break a new Guinness World Record after Aroma’s previous record was ‘pipped’ by a coffee-roasting festival in Hawaii. It is so impressive viewed from the top level platform at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Aroma festival at The Rocks (2)

For those of you who don’t know Dame Edna, she is a character created and performed by Australian Dadaist performer and comedian Barry Humphries, famous for her lilac-coloured or “wisteria hue” hair and cat eye glasses or “face furniture,” her favourite flower, the gladiolus (“gladdies”) and her boisterous greeting: “Hello, Possums!” As Dame Edna, Humphries has written several books including an autobiography, My Gorgeous Life, appeared in several films and hosted several television shows (on which Humphries has also appeared as himself and other alter-egos).

There were lots of freebies like tea samples, packet of fair trade tea bags, artificial sugar, chocolates but to get most of them, you had to like their Facebook page on the spot. I reckon that is a great way of marketing.

Aroma festival at The Rocks (6)

There were more coffee varieties than I could remember and there were also a lot of talk about Fairtrade and sustainable coffee at the festival to ensure a better deal for producers and workers by investing back in the local community.

Apart from the coffee, chocolate and sweet treats were also a highlight this year with so many varieties to choose from. There were some great looking cupcakes, Tea leaf readings, coffee cup candle workshops etc. along with huge cups with which you could take photos.

Aroma festival at The Rocks (5)

Also for coffee fanatics, there were gadgets on display in a few stalls. From industrial size coffee machines, to a hand held espresso maker, you can try and buy whatever you fancy.

At a few different spots, there were bands playing music and people were enjoying their coffee and music.

Aroma festival at The Rocks (7) Aroma festival at The Rocks (4) We were there for around 2 hours and there were simply so much to try and taste.

Looking forward to welcoming Spring and many more street festivals 🙂

Take care everyone

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

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Locked out

You know how sometimes unfortunately situations are very funny; this is what I am sharing here today.

One of my friends was telling me how he was locked out outside of his apartment the other day. It was late at night and he was wearing his short shorts and t-shirt. He decided to go and throw the rubbish out down the chute. So grabbed the keys from the back of the door and went to throw the rubbish. His rubbish chute is only 10 steps away. On his way back, when he tried to open the apartment, he realised that the key he had picked up was the ones for his work not the ones for his home.

It was late at night and he didn’t know what to do. He was not really dressed to go out of the building but he didn’t have any choice. His sister had a spare key but he didn’t have his phone on him. So, he had to go out to the corner shop in his short shorts. Luckily, the woman behind the counter didn’t see him walk in but saw him once he was at the counter and could see his top half only.

He had to request to her to use her phone so he could call his sister so she could let him in with the spare keys. She was kind enough to let him make the call. He joking with us that if the lady had seen him in only his short shorts, she might have called police instead.

After that he had to wait outside the apartment building and wait for his sister. It took her another 30 minutes to get there and finally he was inside.

I am sure that was very unfortunate for him but he was laughing when he told it us.

It reminded me of the time when AS locked us out. It was a hot summer day and we were getting ready to go to swim in the pool. So, I was in my bikinis and he was wearing his swimming shorts. I had towels and as we walked out from the apartment, I asked AS if he had the key, as I wasn’t carrying my keys. He tapped his shorts’ pocket and said yes he did. I told him to take the key out just to check but he said it was OK so we went to pool area. As it is a security building, we need a key to get in the pool and the AS realised that he had picked up our gym key instead of the apartment key.

Lucky for us, my brother and SIL were to join us for a swim so they were there and had a phone with them. We called the locksmith and waited 45 minutes outside the apartment in our swimmers for him to show up. Finally, he did and opened the place within minutes but it cost us $120.

Nowadays we both laugh every time if I ask AS to make sure he got the house key.

 Please share your locked out story or anything similar.

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Lamb choila

Buff (buffalo) choila is very popular with Newars in Nepal. As we can’t get buff here, we make choila with lamb. Here is the recipe and it is very yummy.

Ingredients

  • 500gm lamb steak
  • 2 small green chilies
  • 5 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 2 inch of fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (Methi )
  • salt to taste

Steps

  • Heat a non-stick frying pan and sauté the lamb until cooked.

Lamb choila (1)

  • Cook on both side and make sure, the lamb doesn’t get burnt.
  • Once both sides are golden brown, repeat the process with all the lamb.
  • Make sure the lam is not overcooked otherwise it will be tough and chewy.
  • When you are doing this in batches, make sure you cover the cooked lamb in a container so it doesn’t become dry. This will also make the choila juicy and tender.
  • Once all the meat is cooked let it cool down for a few minutes, slice the lamb into small pieces diagonally into 1 inch size pieces so it looks better for the presentation. Put all the meat in a big bowl.

Lamb choila (4)

  • Slice fresh chilli into small pieces.

Lamb choila (3)

  • Make a paste in the pestel and mortar using fresh garlic, fresh ginger. If you don’t have fresh ginger and garlic, you can use readymade paste but fresh always tastes better.

Lamb choila (2)

  • Then add this paste along with sliced fresh chilli, chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, chili flakes,  and salt into a bowl with the lamb. Mix it well.

Lamb choila (5)

  • Now add turmeric powder.

Lamb choila (7)

  • Heat up the pan, add oil and fenugreek seeds and fry it till it turns dark brown. Make sure it doesn’t burn and turn black otherwise it will have a bitter taste.

Lamb choila (8)

  • Pour the oil over the lamb and mix well.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander and lamb choila is ready to be served!

Lamb choila (9)

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