Fried Maggie Noodles & Reading, Activities Update

If there is one meal which defines my good old college days back in India, it would be this fried maggie recipe. Nights used to be super cold at my residential college campus and since our girls hostel had a 10pm curfew, the kitchen staff used to host a post-curfew canteen every weeknight to fuel all the eager students for their late night studying. 

The canteen didn't have too many options, but it served us just fine! I remember braving the chilly nights wrapped in multiple shawls to get to the canteen for the pleasure of a steaming hot mugful of tea and a hot snack - which on cold nights would almost always be this plate of freshly prepared steaming hot fried maggie.

The recipe is super simple and I know it by heart because the cooks used to prepare to order right in front of us. I highly recommend using Maggie Masala packets (available at Indian grocery stores) and no substitutions - as much as possible to retain the authentic taste.

To make fried maggie, boil the maggie noodles per the package directions, just don't add the masala yet. Meanwhile chop half cup of veggies into small bites (1 carrot, few peas) and 6-7 small cubes of paneer (Indian cottage cheese). You can skip paneer and add sliced mushrooms instead, but paneer is an excellent companion to the maggie noodles to provide texture.

Heat a little oil (2 tsp or so) in a hot pan. Fry paneer pieces for a few mins until slightly browned on the edges. Then add veggies and fry for another minute. Add spice masala that came with the maggie packet and mix well. Then add the boiled noodles and mix everything well. Remove from heat and serve hot with a side of hot tea. Enjoy!

Reading & Activities Update:

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My reading has slowed to a crawl of late.. and when I read, I found myself reaching for my comfort books, the tattered copies of the well read and beloved books like Jane Austen collection, Agatha Christie or Jhumpa Lahiri books. 

However, I discovered an excellent new author recently (courtesy of the local library for featuring this author in an international celebration week) - Sujata Massey - I read her The Widows of Malabar Hills, which is a very light mystery set in 1920s India, very much like an Indian Agatha Christie (another favorite author!). The lead character is Ms. Perveen Mistry, Bombay's first woman lawyer. The book is a chronicle of her personal and professional ups and downs in a vibrant Bombay of British India along-with a delicious mystery she is tasked with on the side.
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After finishing that, I continued with the second in series, The Satapur Moonstone, and it didn't disappoint!

After those I picked a sizzling mystery, purely because the excerpt looked great, and it turned out to be a surprising page turner. Lisa Jewell's Then She Was Gone.

Now I am onto a book I have been waiting to read for a while, Barack Obama's A Promised Land . I am not too far into it but thoroughly enjoying it so far!

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On the activities front, winter holidays means lots of free time, both for me and the daughter! This holiday break is all about jigsaw puzzles for us. We never really got into puzzles seriously, but I am really enjoying solving puzzles with my daughter this break. We went from 100 pieces, 200 pieces, 500 pieces, to our ultimate goal of solving 1000 piece puzzle during Christmas. As they say, life after-all is a game of jigsaw puzzles where a player must keep playing until all the pieces of the life fit in place, just so :)                           We have also been taking long walks wrapped up in sweatshirts, scarves and mittens and spending the afternoons making various newspaper crafts - all inspired by the New York Times' At-home section. We made a bunch of recycled paper bows to wrap up gifts and some festive snowflakes to decorate the house. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Until next time...