If all days were weekends..

As my title suggests, my weekend was so fantastic that I secretly wish all my days are all the same as the weekends. Family breakfasts, yummy lunches after a good cleaning of the house, weekend chores, kids running back and forth, angry partner or might as well be hungry partner! ha, days like these are so cherishing, and l so enjoy days like this. on Saturday, we just lazed out, made our favourite breakfast ‘the English breakfast’ but a pinch of Czech added to it. i totally love the eggs and baked beans with the typical Czech style ‘cheleba’. it tastes so out of the world for me. having the mother in law go do the weekend grocery shopping just clicked a tick on my to do list for the weekend. after everyone settled back after the morning session, kids were playing with their balloons that they got for free at the Mall over the Friday visit as I am getting a new account for my telephone services since my partner switched his services. where my partner goes is where I go kind of situation.

Since my MIL did not tell us what time she would head back home after her grocery shopping. by the time the clock ticked 1pm, kids were hungry, so I had quickly get my lazy ass up and cook a quickie, but it did turn out to be really delicious, cooked chicken with spinach Rice, and the Czech Moravian Rose we had with the meal was so outstanding. It had fresh notes, sweetness and a amalgamation of red and white wine. simply loved it! we later met with my partners brother in law for a few beers at the old pivorvarsky dum.

The next day was just as exciting as the first one, we went for a 30 kilometres of bicycle ride across the meadows of Czech republic, enjoying the last sun that is left out before the autumn begins next month. I really love exploring the tiny old villages with beautifully carpeted summer grass and to watch the swans and tiny ducks swim in the tiny ponds across the roads. At the end of our adventurous trip I couldn’t do one uphill so I had to pluck out the not so ripened pears and apples just to give me the energy to reach home. and we wrapped up this energised day by visiting my partner’s best friend’s home in yet again a beautiful classic Czech style village.

what do you readers think, when you want all your day’s to be just another day of a weekend?

Happy Reading!

My office

I haven’t been on my laptop for almost a week at least not visiting my word press website. usually my thoughts screen in my head while I am travelling the metro urging me to type out those words into the tiny screen on my Iphone. very unusual of me to write something in such a manner but I did put my words the right way in the 35 minute journey I take back and forth the office. I really want to practice more writing and bring out my thoughts to the viewers.

So a normal person in 3 days at office would clearly understand the ethics the office follows. and I think I need to ease out a bit more at office. the office mates are so welcoming and really helpful. I am so happy I chose this place to start of my career in Czech Republic. amazing cute looking boss, and I was not the only one who thought he looks like Justin Timberlake but the rest of them think the same too. sometimes, it could get a little hard to concentrate but I have just grown more respect towards him. He is a very encouraging person, though my first two call taking was totally rubbish he still appreciated my effort. I have hope that he will guide me and help me to achieve the KPI’s I need to achieve each day.

And the office mates, they are so cool I cant compare them to any other office colleagues I worked with. we got a Indian girl who lived all her life in Czech, speaks excellent English and nothing with an Indian accent, I am 100% sure me and her are going to pull of an amazing friendship too. Then, I have the next supervisor to my boss, Scott, the big brother of the team, he is so helpful, I am amazed by his teaching and patience level, I look at him as a mentor, a person who will help me move forward my career at my work. though he reminds me of my ex boyfriend, I would like to leave that behind. also, we have the funniest train collector, Dave, he has his own website selling toy trains. so you want some, let me know so I could refer you to him, then we got a person called Duncan, yesterday was the first time I met him, I learnt he is a nice family man with two daughters so I am sure we would have a lot of parenting talks with each other in future. and now that’s my team, and we got sales right next of us from where we sit, Chris, the crazy New Yorker. he is a friendly, crazy and nice. then I met Mark, who started his day one along with me, the rest are some of them I still need to know about.

There is a really unique tradition at the office where, a newbie saves a customer from leaving the company, the retention team would have to press a bulb look alike horn to notify the rest of the team. I was so flushed when my boss told me to press that, but he was so generous he brought it to me and asked me to press it, the instant I did press, the whole team clapped hands and praised me! I am still smiling typing this. the moment was unforgettable.

I really hope my days will be achievable and that I could use all my experience and skills to make my career more fruitful and driven.

Hope you all liked my post today. and looking forward to sharing more of my amazing experiences with you all!

Happy Reading!

Athens with friends -part 2 

I know I haven’t been able to write more to my readers. We have moved back to Prague, with a loaded car, a dog cage , a brown Labrador, 20 month old infant, thankfully my husband bought me the tickets to fly back a day before he was due to arrive in the Czech Republic.  So, in my previous post I have shared with you all on the first day events of our friends arrival to Athens and how amazing it was to see the Acropolis, we also did see the monistaraki square, I say where all the business happens. My friend hesitated to go to the fish market as the stench was unbearable. 

Nevertheless, We did not miss the oppurtunity to see the vegetable market and the tiny streets around. They kept telling me what a incredible guide I make with a 20 month old daughter strolling around the city and showing the historical place was a moment I cannot forget. 

The events on the second day was just as much exciting as the first day. We saw the famous plaka. Almost explored the entire area with all the sophisticated streets, I even discovered an incredible old yet vintage art gallery owned by an famous artist- . His place was worth seeing for for the artist lovers. And as the day fell over and night approached, we all went to a roof top restaurant at the hotel Athens Gate situated at the 8th storey to view the incredible 360 degree view of the Athens! With the lights lit up as the darkness fell over, we had the best view of the Acropolis at night! It is a view that you could never forget! 

And thus winding up our Athens tour which lasted 4 days, with amazing people, great food, lots of red wine and a beautiful story to tell share. and since this was my last week at the Athens I honestly enjoyed to the best and will always cherish the memories I made with the land of history, heritage, culture, sea, sand and Greeks! 

Looking forward to a new beginning to start back at home – Prague! With a lot to look forward to, a working new mom! 

Stay tuned for more stories. It doesn’t mean my travel has stopped. There is a lot I am waiting to explore. 

Athens with Friends -part 1. 

Last week in Athens has left me with so many mixed feelings. As I earlier mentioned in my last post that my friends are visiting me. And they have finally arrived here yesterday. We set our journey to receive them at the airport on the half empty highways at half past nine with excitement in our hearts.

The room I arranged for both my friends, one named Klara the young blonde energetic woman who is here to enjoy her summer and the other an English teacher in her mid fifties. She has been a dear friend and my only friend when I moved first to Czech Republic. Anyway, the room I found through airbnb had a fantastic authentic Greek feel to it and I loved it. 

The owner being a Greek was pleasant, sweet,and an highly educated woman in her late fourties! She in fact did an fabulous arrangement for her guests to have an comfortable and extravagant stay in the heart of the city of Athens. I must say I was very much pleased and contented. 

When I met my friends the day next day, they were really happy that I arranged such a wonderful stay for them. And like a holiday planned, we set out today to do some heavy sightseeing in almost thirty eight degrees Athens. We had a heart warming breakfast and set out our day by foot to Acropolis! The one monument you cannot miss whilst your stay at Athens.

So now they are out there doing all the study and enjoying the historical monument while I wait at the foothills of the Mighty Acropolis, having the oppurtunity to write a post and share my final week events with my dear friends in Athens. But unfortunately to my awe, I forgot to put in the micro card to my camera hence I promise to share you some pics along with my journey. 

So stay tuned, though the days are few, the journey is long! 🙂 

Au-revoir Hellas.

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It has been seven months exactly since we moved to Greece. I have never imagined, I would come live here. I did not arrive as a tourist and how they say once they return from their holiday on how they fell in love with the country, instead I have a different vision to how I fell in love with this land. And now the time has come to bid good bye to this wonderful nation, filled with so much history, really nice down-to-earth people, the amazing places, the sea, the sand, the crystal clear beaches and the picturesque landscape.

Little did I know about this country when I first arrived to Athens. Like everyone else. I even forgot to do some of the research before arriving here. I came here early January, right after celebrating our Christmas with family back in Prague. My husband told me the news when we were still busy settling into our new apartment we moved back then in Prague. And how much I would like it here in Greece. At the beginning I wasn’t fully convinced but after living here for seven months. He was right! He was damn right! I did just not like it here but loved it here.

Athens was so incredible, the small alleys, tourists filled Taverna’s, living in the heart of the city was such a plus point for a person from a different country. Athens has got it’s own touch to living in Greece. Tourists often miss seeing Athens but it has got some feel to it. and today writing this post has just made me even more melancholy towards leaving this place. recollecting the events during this seven months only makes my heart heavy.

I still remember telling my partner, how much I wanted to visit Santorini and Mykonos. however, I din’t end up visiting neither of those places. but I did enjoy the best part of the Greece, the Venetian history filled places. Corfu, was breathtaking. at the tip of the north of Greece almost lying on the side of Albania, this place had a authentic Greek feel to it. soon after that visit, we were at Kefalonia and Zante. every place has its own aspect to Greece. Kefalonia was filled with rocky huge mountains and when you reach the tip of the mountain, from the distance you could see the amazing crystal green waters below which will always remain in my memories. I can hardly find words to describe Zante, this was an love at first sight, Island. Over all, Though I did not get to visit where all the tourists usually visit, I saw the real authentic Greece. and now, I am almost in tears, in having to miss this amazing haven.

(Go check out my guest post about the Ionian Islands where I detailed on the Islands I mentioned in the above paragraph in a dear friend’s blog : Oh! Fernweh)

The one thing that will always remind me of Greece is the amazing food. blessed with agriculture, Greece has the freshest produce you could ever get in Europe. Greeks love their food and cannot live without it and so cant I! 🙂 The most missed food would be the famous Pita Gyros. By far, my most Favorited food since I got here. But I cant put away the rest of the food. Greek food is the best food after my very own Indian food. and the fresh fruits and vegetables produce I usually buy every Friday at the farmers market. I am going to surely miss that. My little daughter used to get all thrilled and excited to see the vendors at the market and to say Yasu (Hello), waving her tiny hand. And I have got just one last Friday for the market.

And since the summer began with it’s full heat, our weekends were spent at the sea most of the time. I would never forget the first time my daughter touched the Mediterranean Sea with her tiny feet. I am going to definitely miss the sea, sun and the sand. I was lucky to experience the 3 S’s once again after being in Maldives for 5 years.  I can keep writing a huge described post of how many things I would miss in Greece. but for now, I am just excited for the next week as my Best friend from Prague comes to visit me here in Greece for 5 days before my travel chapter in Greece ends!

This will be the last holiday until Christmas, so I am going to soak up all the Greek sun and enjoy to the maximum before heading back to home, Prague to begin a new chapter of my life!

How do you like your coffee?

I am a coffee person! I got like ten different variety of teas on my Kitchen counter, all neatly arranged but my hands reach out to the coffee whenever I want to make a hot drink. My mornings, be it any day has to awaken my senses with a strong cappuccino. Though I always desired to have a professional coffee maker which I cannot afford one at this moment, I try my best to make my coffee as how i get it served at a cafe. Honestly, after moving to Greece, I started to grow more love towards this aromatic drink than ever before. Greeks love their coffee, be it hot or cold. They usually drink filter coffee early mornings but as the heat grows in the afternoon, they love their Freddo. Never knew that a thing such as a Freddo ever existing before getting here. One may say its just a Iced coffee but I would say it has got more to it than just coffee served cold. It has chunks of ice cubes, with strong espresso on which they pour a thick whipped cream which has got the taste which is out of this planet . and this particular coffee won my heart rather than the rest of the coffees I ever tasted before.

Anyway, back to my love for my coffee, I love it with two spoons of sugar, one spoon of instant coffee, and a good amount of milk. without this my mornings are  never mornings..so now tell me all you coffee lovers out there.. how do you like your cup of coffee to be?

Kachchi gosht ki Biryani

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Kachchi Gosht ki Biryani

My love for Biryani goes back to a few years ago, before leaving India to work in Maldives. Coming from the Land of Nawabs, Hyderabad, I always had the immense adoration towards it from the time I first tasted it, which I still remember and it had gotten more aged like the wine, when I left India, which only made me crave for it and forced me to learn to master the art of this recipe. I remember eating a lot Biryani as a child, for every occasion be it marriage, Christmas, new year, Easter, birthday, you name it! It is by far considered the food of rich in India. coming from a cultured heritage and a long known tradition of Indian food, the recipe I am going to share with you will surely inspire you to try out your own hand at this delicious recipe. This recipe is lets just say a family traditional recipe passed on to my mother and from her to me but with my own twist added to it. 🙂

Since, I currently live in Greece, i was able to gather all the ingredients that I need for this recipe, without further ado, I pushed myself to prepare this one pot meal. People often say that cooking a recipe with so many spices and flavors is a tedious job, but the recipe I am about to share you would only leave you with a delicious, mouth melting Biryani. but, I would recommend a bit of patience when it comes to certain stages of this recipe such as gathering all ingredients, marination and especially the cook time.

First, I would like to let you know, this recipe is a ‘Kachchi’ meaning its raw and cooked on a layered form allowing it to take time and cook in its own steam known as ‘Dum’. This recipe calls for fresh ‘mutton’ meaning goat meat, marinated in spices overnight to tenderize the meat and cook the meat faster than its required time. I say do not rush, if you rush, you would just mess it up, take it like a therapy. It will only help for a final fascinating result. So, Let’s begin our therapy, but carefully follow every bit of the recipe to produce the best Biryani you ever tasted:

For the Meat:

I used Mutton as this recipe calls for goats meat.

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Butcher’s Fresh Goat Meat

Note: Tsp = Teaspoon Tblsp = Tablespoon

Ingredients:

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Spices for Biryani

Mutton –  1 Kilogram

Salt – 1 Tsp

Coriander powder – 2 Tsps

Roasted Cumin – 1/4 Tsp

Garam Masala – 1/2 Tsp

Red Chilli Powder – 3/4 Tsp

Black Pepper – 1/2 Tsp

Cumin Seeds (Jeera)  – 1/2 Tsp

Cardamom – 4 Pods

Cinnamon Sticks – 1 Inch

Bay Leaves (Bit Crushed) – 2 Leaves

Cloves – 4

Green Chillies (Crushed) – 5

Ginger Garlic Paste – 3 Tblsps (Must)

Lemon Juice – 4 Tblsps

Mint Leaves (Do not Chop) – 5 Leaves (Must)

Coriander Leaves – 8 Leaves

Greek Yoghurt (or) Thick hung curd – 5 Tblsps

Fried Onions – 3 big Onions chopped and fried in oil.

Ghee (or) ground nut Oil – 5 Tblsps

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Incorporation of Spices for Marination

Ensure to wash the meat twice. place it in a clean bowl which preferably has a lid to close, ensure to gather all the ingredients together in order not to miss any. Place all of the above ingredients along with the meat and mix well, preferably with your own sanitized hands.  Add the oil/ Ghee and Mix until it looks like the below mentioned picture, and store it into a refrigerator for a complete marination of up to 8 hours.

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Marinated Meat
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Refrigerate for 8 Hours

For the Rice:

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40% cooked Basmati Rice

Ensure to use quality Basmati Rice for that fall apart grains once cooked. you don’t want to eat a soggy and sticky riced Biryani.

Ingredients:

Rice – 500 grams

Salt – 1 Tblspn

Fresh water to Boil.

Wash the rice thoroughly, I recommend thrice for the removal of extra starch and Soak the rice for approximately 30 minutes so that the rice can cook faster and elongate it’s size while boiling. Bring the rice to boil. remember when placing the rice to cook, that’s when you add the salt. the moment you see the water boil, pull out a spatula, bring out a few grains of rice and break the rice grain into two. if it breaks immediately, it means its cooked 40%. remember the rice has to be cooked only 40% and the rest 60% would be cooked in the skillet with the meat and the rest of the ingredients. Immediately drain the water and set aside the rice.

Assemble / Layering:  

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Layered Biryani ready to be DUM

Ingredients:

Boiled eggs:  3 (Optional) but taste Yum!

Fried Onions : a handful

Mint Leaves – 5 leaves

Saffron infused milk – 3/4 cup

Ghee (or) Groundnut Oil : 4 Tblsps

Must Have:

Heavy based Pot

Aluminum foil for DUM

In the heavy based skillet, add a Tblspn of Ghee and spread the marinated meat evenly without having any space. then, add another 2 Tblspns of Ghee on the top of the spread marination then, layer the rice and spread it evenly once again ensuring that there are no gaps and lumps. Place the 3 boiled eggs on top of the rice. Sprinkle the fried onions, spreading it across, Add the Mint leaves, then, sprinkle the Saffron milk around the prepared dish. Once that’s done, add the last tblspn of Ghee over.

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Saffron Infused Milk
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Pure Greek Saffron
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Heavy based Pot

Now, what i am going to say is very important and this is where the moment of truth appears for the dish, Cover the pot with 2 layers of Aluminum foil and then place the lid on top of the pot and wrap around the lid another layer of aluminum foil to ensure that the steam wouldn’t escape the pot while the dish cooks. this is called the ‘Dum’. Turn the gas on to high, Place the pot on the burner and let the dish cook for over 10 mins on high flame and then reduce it immediately to a low flame and let it cook for about 30 minutes. I used a timer and suggest you do the same. once the dish has cooked passed 40 mintues in total. turn the gas down and remove it off the gas and let it rest on the kitchen counter for 5 minutes before you open the pot.

Once you have opened the pot, take a fork and gently fluff the rice, the aroma that fills the house is so pleasing and trust me you would be so satisfied with the cooking.

You may serve the biryani with soft melt in mouth chunks of meat with either, Baigan ka Bartha ( A dish comprising of Brinjal/ Aubergine), Mirchi ka salan (A dish prepared with chillies) a must have Dahi Raitha (Yoghurt based Chutney) and some fresh cut lemon and circled onions.

Bon Appetit!