Little things matter. That first cup of tea in the morning should have one and half teaspoonful of sugar. The coffee on my way to the lab must be pipping hot and smildly bitter. The bedside lamp must be dimly lit, before I really decide to turn in. Saturdays must be unhurried. The morning bowl of cereal should have hints of unpredictable bits of sweetness in it--cranberries, raisins. The New York Times better be there to go through cursorily. I can go on...apple cake once a month at the local Starbucks....These little things make or break the day, week, month, year.. and major decisions (or procrastinations) involved in those time spans. Yet, it is amazing, how little attention we pay to those very small things. I , of course, DO. And today I am going to write a post about a few things in the food world that demand major attention from me. You may (or may not) be surprised :)
1. Ginger tea:
This is NOT CHAI. This is a 'strong' tea that I crave every single evening. But I don't 'brew' it because of the time it takes to make and so-very-tired-me is not really up for it--except during holidays and weekends. But this variety of tea is one of the most common choice of beverage for commuters in India. It gives an instant boost of energy and the sugar helps bettering the mood in general. So here is how I do it
For one big cupp'a tea
1 cup of milk-- use whatever you regularly take.
2 tsp of strong tea-- I take Assam. If you are using tea bags, I would say go with 2-3 of those bags ( I use three) and take off the paper at the end. You can now simply use the bags as ' 1 tsp of loose tea'
3 tsp of sugar or to taste. But this tea tastes way better when sweet.
Half a tsp of freshly grated ginger. I have also used the same amount of dried ground ginger. But fresh has an edge. Definitely.
Pour the milk in a pot and boil-- till its bubbling. Careful! it will tend to bubble over. When you see that coming..just take the pot off the flame for a second or two. Place it back and keep doing this till you see that all the bubbling-over has gone away. This happens as the milk is releasing all the gases trapped inside it. Nothing scary. Now,when its bubbling steady, add the tea (loose or bags), sugar and ginger. Let it go on for another minute. Do not go more than a minute. The tea will start to taste bitter.
Strain in a big mug and have it with....
2. Ramen noodles :
Okay I am a FAN of this. And I would have it every single day...had it not been so high on all the bad ingredients that we are not even supposed think about :). But I have to have it once a week-- usually Saturday morning works for me. And here is the thing--Many of whom seemed opposed to the idea of ramen noodles and would not say one single good thing about it till their dying breath-- ended up asking for more after they had the version I made. So buckle up
1 packet of ramen noodles. You can use any flavors--I like chicken, Asian, shrimp.
get an assortment of colorful veggies ad chop 'em' up
1 green chili pepper
1 tsp of paprika
half a tsp of ground black pepper or lemon pepper
half a tsp of grated ginger.
1 cup of water or better chicken broth.
Heat water in a pot. Bring it to boil. Add the ramen noodles and the spice pack that comes with it. Let the noodles be almost done. See, boiling the noodles with the spice pack allows more infusion of the flavors (if you can at all call it that) into the noodles. So its just a step more than boiling it in hot water. Next when you add your 'super' spices, thier flavors will only be enhanced. Add your veggies, green chili, and let it go for a minute or so. Add the paprika. And let it boil for another couple of minutes. Add water if you think its going dry.
In another skillet, scramble the eggs.
Pour the noodles in a big bowl and stir in the ground black pepper and cilantro. Add the scrambled eggs. Have it with a hot beverage-- like ginger tea on a crispy, lazy, fall morning. You will know what I am talking about :)
Happy eating and maybe not that healthy living--but who cares for a day! :)