A quick recipe from a techie’s kitchen
Even before I start: I am not trying to say or prove that I have it all. Nor do I have it all. (Though, I would love to!)
Could be because of my experience with blogging which started during those pre facebook days (also called orkut days), though I am very active on social media (mainly as an observer) I am very careful with my social media handles. I do keep a tab on the political updates on twitter. Friends from work places, I connect with them on a particular profile on FB. For my regular social blogs, I have another FB profile, to which I usually add only friends whom I am sure, I will not lose despite my strong views. All my professional contacts are on linked in. My personal pictures with my family, I post them on instagram too, very often.
I am sure that all of us do this — scanning through our own profiles and see how interesting it looks. I too do that sometimes and recently I did that & I realised that most of my profiles project that I am a very boring person. :D (Let me put the blame on the way I segregated my social media handles.) This is a minor attempt to see whether I can do any repair to the damage I already made! Lol
Wanted to write something here for a change, on a topic on which I usually don’t post on my linked in or my medium account. This time, it is going to be a food related post. And like my favourite food blogger, Maria (who has a very popular food blog namely Maria’s Menu), I am also writing a long post before I post my recipe.
“Do you cook? How do you manage your time while you have to handle your kitchen and your career both”
Lot of successful women get irked by this question. Nor do they like this question being asked to someone successful. I totally understand the feeling and the intention behind this concern.
Honestly, I feel that, lot of women like me who belongs to a generation which is used to seeing our mothers owning up the kitchen might have struggled a lot in their career & marital lives because the entire responsibility of planning and executing these cooking tasks are on their shoulders. (btw, my dad who is a doctor(an anaesthetist) cooks, I mean he cooks regularly. My brother who is a techie in the US, he cooks too.) I hence feel that it is important that sometimes it might be of help to hear how other women manages similar pressures.
When it comes to me, I owe a big thanks to a lady by name Ritx Chaxxxxxx… who used to be a manager at Infosys while I was thinking of quitting my job since I was not able to manage my life and career both. (Ofcourse, cooking was the culprit. My son was not even born then!). She first told me this sentence. “We all don’t cook”. It was very relieving to hear that from her. This was somewhere in 2008 and global communities like Women in Tech and STEM were not very active then.
I was not sure whether I will be able to give up my regular cooking, but, after my conversations with her, I felt that someone is finally acknowledging the fact that cooking is not something which you can manage “just like that”.
Those days, the very thought about the fact that I might transition to a lady who is going to not cook daily for my family used to haunt me & stress me out.
The first half of my story ends there when I finally decided to quit Infosys. Reason: I could not give up cooking! (I don’t regret this decision. Not because I am regressive. But, because in hind sight, at that age and with that minimal exposure to the world outside, what I did was just right.)
Now coming to the recipe part:
So, did I give up cooking? The first time I gave up cooking was when my son was struggling with a skin condition called atopic dermatitis. Those sleepless years, I just could not cook. Our start up was in its budding (withering as well) stages and if I had to focus on it, I could not do everything together. We decided to hire a domestic help who could help us with the cooking. We used to call her Mini Aunty since our son used to call her so. Big thanks to Mini and my partner, they together helped me come out of this “I have to do the cooking on my own, if I have to be a good mother/wife/daughter feeling”.
The day I felt liberated from the kitchen, I remembered the lady PM from Infosys, who first put it in mind that it is perfectly ok if you don’t cook at home. If I remember correctly, she had two kids then and she looked younger than me! (These days, we keep talking about women supporting women at work. I experienced it with her, almost a decade back. A tight hug to you, Ritx)
If at all, I have any role models in IT, who are into technology, it is Ritx Chaxxxxx and Jexxx Jaxxxx, who was another PM who used to be at the onsite from our team. (I have never met her.) The way they managed work and their career, I still have that huge respect for them. (I have nothing against, women who are not married and still have a successful career. I also have nothing against, women who opted not to have kids. Also, I am making it very clear. I am not trying to sound condescending here.) The reason, these women influenced me is because we had personally interacted and we were all working in the same teams. (Edit: Oh yeah.. How did I miss her name? I have Katherine Kuan also who is an inspiration!)
Why is this recipe special:
Today I prepared some Rava Laddus for my son. Thanks to what they call it the “acquired taste”, he loves this sweet now. When I first prepared this, he was just 3 or so and he just showed no interest to even taste this sweet. While he was reluctantly sharing one laddu with his friend today, I was recollecting how this recipe had became a special one for me.
Once my son was diagnosed with this skin problem which I was talking about earlier, we decided to give up on the kitchen and hand it over to “Mini Aunty”. I had almost stopped cooking for almost two years or so. We used to have whatever Mini used to cook for us. It was when I decided to cheer myself up one day that I decided to cook again. I quickly went through Maria’s Menu. Her blogs can instantly bring you back to the highest of your spirits. The way she presented Rava Laddu was what made me to try this recipe. She said that this recipe is for those who do not want to spend too much time in the kitchen. And that made me to step into the kitchen after a long time.
It was an instant hit. Even today, when I feel low or when I feel that some good food can instantly cheer me up, I make this.
(Ingredients are all usually available in most of the kitchens.
My Rava Laddu Recipe:
Honestly this is not my recipe. It is Maria’s recipe. I made few alterations based on the original post made my Maria on her blog.
1 cup of rava (I used roasted rava).
1 cup of sugar (maria says 0.75 cups or 1 cup. I used one cup. yeah, I have a sweet tooth)
cardamom — 3 (I powdered it along with the sugar)
3/4th cup of grated coconut.
1/4 cup of warm milk (we might not need this full amount)
5 or 6 cashews
1.5 table spoons of ghee
1. Powder the sugar and cardamom and keep it aside
2. Grind the cashews with the milk. (We might not be able to make it a smooth paste)
3. Roast the coconut in half the quantity of ghee and keep it aside. (3 to 4 minutes under a low flame should be enough)
4. Roast the rava in the remaining ghee.
5. Mix roasted rava, roasted coconuts and the sugar plus cardamom mixture properly.
6. Add the cashew plus milk paste prepared to this mixture gradually and try rolling the laddus and make small balls out of them.
(The full amount of milk will not be required and hence as soon as we can shape the rava laddus, we can stop adding milk)
1. Maria uses raisins and cashews. I usually don’t keep a stock of raisins in my kitchen, but I have cashews since I follow Marias Paneer recipes and hence I didn’t go with the usual roasting of cashews and raisins way.
2. Maria recommends 0.5 cup grated coconut. I loved the juiciness which the roasted grated coconut imparts to the laddu and increased the quantity a bit.
And… We are done with the recipe. :)
I can guarantee that including the cleaning, it is not going to take half an hour for the entire preparation.
To conclude, as a casual blogger, my thoughts about kitchen is that after I learnt to delegate my kitchen related problems, I feel really good. (Unlike regular professionals, I have no one from the family, who can support me on this) In my case, the decision was definitely not easy. It was stressful & it took years for me to learn to manage this. But, last four or five years has been really smooth when it comes to this “kitchen” stuff.