Femina Women Awards

I have mentioned before that one of my favourite magazines growing up and even today is Femina. It introduced me to many inspiring women from all walks of life and when they contacted me to write a short note to you all about their L’Oreal Paris - Femina Women Awards in association with Rasvihar for the most admired and loved women in art, music, education, business, film and various other fields, I immediately agreed.

There are many women I admire especially in my world of food blogging. Their work, creativity and talent never ceases to inspire and motivate me. I am sure in many other fields there are many such terrific women who deserve attention and recognition for the incredible things they do and I look forward to meeting some of them through Femina. 

The Logo and Trophy for the awards which will be held on the 22nd March, 2012 at the ITC Grand Central, Mumbai, have been inspired by the Tangram: a puzzle made of seven pieces of a square that can be rearranged in an endless array of forms celebrating the many and myriad facets of women with their tagline, ‘For All The Women You Are’.

Are there any women in your lives, your neighborhoods, your role models that you find inspiring? You can nominate people you admire by going to their face book page here for their reader's choice awards. 

bailey's & nutella cold coffee

If you know me then you know that I cannot be trusted around a jar of Nutella. My other two loves include Bailey's Irish Cream Liquor and coffee. So I decided to combine the three into my ultimate just-a-little-bit-naughty-treat which I should have posted on valentine's day when I actually made this ( just for me while T was at work!) but am remembering to post only now, coincidentally just in time for St. Patrick's day next weekend!

St. Paddy's day as it is now known , originated in Ireland and is also widely celebrated in the US. Now I am used to the multitudes of people dressed in bright green- a colour associated with St. Patrick along with shamrocks, the three-leaved plant that was used by St. Patrick to explain the Holy trinity-  God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as One. (Yes I did just look up the significance of shamrocks on wikipedia.) Apparently it is also a day of celebration when the Lenten rules are lifted so most people make full use of that as an excuse to go get drunk silly! I am taking it as an excuse to indulge in some Bailey's nutella cold coffee.. yum! 

This dreamy drink really doesn't need a recipe. I just spread some Nutella (you could also use melted chocolate. Melted white chocolate tinted green?) inside a champagne glass using a butter knife. Then I used a cotton bud to draw out a heart. You could draw a shamrock but that would be trickier. If you use a wider glass it should be easier.
And hey maybe you could even write stuff- just remember to write the  letters reversed as they will be seen from the outside of the glass. If you mess up- no issues, just spread the chocolate and start over. This was just done for prettification. You being much saner than I, can just mix in the nutella with the coffee!

I then filled my pretty nutella glass with some coffee that I had made with milk but wished I had made with condensed milk instead ( Hot coffee + 1 teaspoon of condensed milk and then let to cool) and chilled in the fridge.  Once chilled stir in a dash of Bailey's to the cold coffee. Stop here or add some toffee icecream. 

Drink up, twirling the glass so that some of the nutella gets mixed with the milk. When you are done you have all that nutella to lick up with a spoon!

A very happy Holi to my Indian friends who celebrated it yesterday and happy Purim too! And for those who are just happy that the weekend is here- have a good one my friends!

Other Bailey's spiked treats:
Bailey's Macaron Mactails
Low Fat chocolate and Bailey's truffle mousse from Alice Medrich 
Swan shaped puff with Bailey's maple mousse  

Here's also a super easy no yeast no knead Beer Bread 
And a bright green Spinach chicken curry that you can also make vegetarian by making it with paneer or chickpeas instead of the chicken 

muthira horsegram lentil and crushed garlic curry

Muthira curry instantly takes me back to the dining table in my grandmother's home in our little village deep in lush green Kerala. Dancing paddy fields, canoes floating down the river and the young, laughing faces of my cousins come to me with every spoonful.

Whenever we were all visiting, my aunt and grandmother would prepare a feast for us. After many rich and heavy meals we would begin to crave the simple and light muthira curry my grandmother makes by simmering the tiny cooked lentils with chilli flakes, crushed shallots and garlic that has been lightly browned  in hot coconut oil and turned fragrant.

We would devour it by the bowlfuls on its own or as usually served, with rice and pickles and a simple vegetable stir fry. After hours of running around her little farm or playing it the large sand pit in the kaiyala or courtyard we would run back into the house, our tummys growling as we ransacked the kitchen to mop up any muthira curry leftover from lunch with slices of soft bread!

 A simple and comforting lentil curry that is made everyday across homes in Kerala, from very few, simple ingredients. If you have never tried cooking Indian food, this delicious basic lentil stew is a good place to start.

This post is part of my Kerala cooking basics series over at The Kerala Kitchen. so head on over there for the recipe and the basic "formula" to cook most lentils

I am also sending this to The IndianFoodPalooza a wonderful celebration of Indian cooking!