Friday, June 12, 2009

Fluvuku Mariyadhai !

I would like to quote Superstar (originally arjun) at this point “ Kanna panniga dhan kootama varum – singam singlea dhan varum”

The topic is none other than the much hyped Swine Flu(SF). There are about 1500 cases in Australia with Victoria alone with over 1000 cases. It has made people ...ahem ME paranoid. When a McDonalds branch was closed in one of suburbs following SF, we were frantically researching the internet to make sure it wasn’t the one where our little mighty toddler had her weekend treat the previous day. Since then we haven’t visited any Mcdonalds or any of these fast food places and little one is pretty much putting up with my cooking.

Anyway last week when i was hit by this terrible flu and little girly had cold/fever for like 2 weeks , we got scared. Hubi was non stop googling the symptoms of SF. This made us more paranoid as the symptoms are not very different from normal flu, so we decided to take the next step - visit the local hospital. Hospitals are actually better than seeing your GP, you get to meet an actual paediatrician, but the trouble is the waiting period. I have waited for several hours in the past. But we took the challenge. Stood in the queue for 10 minutes to be seen by the triage nurse, who usually does the initial assessment and then let you join the mob of waiting patients. It takes 2-4 hours of waiting before you are called inside !

Anyway the nurse gave one look at me and my girl, and the minute we said we had flu like symptoms, she came back with 2 face masks, and got us to sit in a special room and not the normal waiting lounge. We were very excited to be let inside straight away with the fancy masks and we took family photos(hehe) in the mobile camera. 5 minutes later a pedeatrician walked in to check on the little girl. Then doc confirmed it was swollen tonsils for the kid and I was asked to go to the adult clinic. When hubi went to get the floor plan for getting to the clinic ( it was a pretty huge hospital and you could get lost without a proper floorplan) , the nurse panicked and backed off. She said "no no stay there " and sent the floor plan through another nurse. She was not willing to come anywhere near us.

Anyway after 30 minutes wait in the adult clinic, an initial assessment by the nurse, then by the doc came theSWAB kit. They told me that the swab sample was to be taken from the back of the nose and not the throat. I was like ‘Wouw….do you really think I have THE flu’. After 5 minutes of beard scratching discussion between the doc and nurse, they decided they could let me go without any terrible sample taking process ( No! they did not say I was a ‘medical miracle’ like in our movies). This process cost the hospital/ government – 5 face masks, 3 pairs of gloves, and 3 aprons - just to decide that i do not need a test !
Yenna kodumai sir idhu !

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bongu Samaiyal - II

This one is for you amigo and all you bachelors who first decide what to eat for dinner, then go to the supermarket and buy the ingredients and then cook( unlike me who will decide based on the energy level and ingredients left over in the fridge)

So this is the cous cous & stew recipe. I make this when I am tired of eating rice for dinner. This is healthy because of the high fibre in the cous cous and the stew is just vegetables / meat and lots of water. I use a small chunck of every vegetable I have at home. For 4 adults I would add half a carrot, 1 small potato, 1/4th cauliflower, 1/4th brocholli, a handful of frozen peas, some beans and ½ kg of chicken (optional)


Cous cous – buy any brand from the supermarket ( you will find it along with the pastas)

For Stew
A few vegetables ( carrot/ beans/ cauliflower/ potato/ brocholli/ peas/ zuchinni/ chokoes)
Tomato – 2 (you can use ½ tin diced tomato instead)
Green chillies - 2
Chicken stock / vegetable stock - 200 ml
Any meat – 500 gms ( I used chicken) - Optional

Cinnamon sticks – 2
Cloves - 3

Cooking Instruction:

1. In a large deep pan add about 3 table spoons of oil / butter ( for elite ones)
2. Add cinnamon sticks, cloves and onion and fry till the onion is transparent
3. Add slit green chillies
4. Add diced tomatoes ( or tin)
5. Add the chicken ( brown the chicken in a separate pan if you want) *
6. Now add vegetables
7. Mix them well
8. Add the stock and let it boil for few minutes
9. Now add enough water to cover the meat and vegetables
10. Add salt, close lid and let it boil
11. Keep adding water until the vegetables are quite soft and the meat is cooked to soup consistency

You can cook this for over 30 minutes if you want and wait till you get the right consistency – like a thick soup
If you are like me ( hard pressed for time) , mix a small teaspoon of corn flour/rice flour with little bit of water and pour into this. Stew thickens in the next few minutes

Cooking cous cous.

The instructions would be in the box. Here is what I do
1. In a pan boil 1 cup water with a teaspoon of oil and salt
2. When it boils, turn off the gas and add 1 cup cous cous
3. Cover the pan and let it stand for 5 minutes
4. Add a spoon of butter/oil and run a fork through it.

Try this and let me know how it turned out !