Some people are dumb and then some are dumber. Always one way or the other.And then there are some who will not only act dumb but also tell the whole world about their "dumbness" as if that was the one thing the world wanted to know. In reality, the world could care less.
But I fall in the last category. I like to talk about my very own dumbness because I think it might act as a pep pill for anyone who is having a dumber time.When you have just tagged your boss on an office party picture he wasn't invited at and then unfriended him on FB; when you are feeling all time low because you just asked your daughter's teacher about her husband and she says she recently divorced to which you say "Good for him"; you desperately need some one dumber than you.
I do that for you; that is social work for me. Listen on.
Now remember the giveaway I had on my blog some time earlier ? Miri of Peppermill Recipes won it. On her suggestion I made the promised donation through GiveIndia (an excellent way to donate by the way) and then went on to FlipKart to order the book for her.
Click, Click, Click and Ka-boom. What did I do ? I clicked on "Cash-on Delivery option" that Flipkart has. And when did I realize that ? When I saw it right on the Order Status. By then the book had been put into a packet, bubble wrapped and was waiting at some book warehouse facility, spic, span and ready to be shipped.The carrier guy had been informed to extort the money from the receiver which in this case was Miri, the winner, ta-da.
So here I was gifting a "gift" to someone and asking "her" to pay for it. Perfect.
I balked, screamed and then went into action like Yoda. I e-mailed flipkart, I wrote on their Facebook wall, I held press conferences (okay, not that one). Also I mailed Miri telling her not to cough up any money to any unknown person knocking on her door with a book, any book. Flipkart got back politely, saying they will cancel the order. I breathed deep.
The next day, I got a mail saying, "The book has left Delhi and will be at the given address by so&so". "Hello ? Is this the new meaning of the word CANCEL?". I hyperventilated and this time wrote the choicest words on their wall, in the e-mail and also picked up the phone. I can be fierce at most times.
Finally Flipkart said they are holding the book(whatever that means) until any further notice from me. Sounded like a court injunction. Two days later my order status showed cancel. Three days later I again shipped the book and this time I made D double check and clicked on the Credit/Debit payment options.
What Miri had to suffer on her end for this trauma I do not know. She might have laughed at my "dumbness" with her spouse over a cup of chai. She never told me. All she said is she enjoyed the book, once she got it that is.
Oh, and the other winner Usha probably got a wind of the scam because she didn't want a "gift" she said. Instead she asked the gift money to be donated which was a lovely gesture on her part. Thanks you girls.
And I actually like FlipKart, even now.
This Vegetable Biryani is from Miri's blog.Everything is almost same as hers including the Parampara masala except that I did it in the microwave. I did not cook the rice before hand as is customary. I made the masala, vegetables, etc. and then I fried the rice for couple of minutes. In a big microwaveable bowl, put everything together, added water to rice in 2:1 ratio and zip,zap zoomed it.
It was delicious, the best I have ever made at home. It would have been dazzling with the fried onions she has but ahem..., umm.., I actually ran out of ummm.. onions. There I said it.
Vegetable Biryani in Microwave
Original Recipe -- Check this for measures etc.
Heat about 2 tbsp ghee or oil in a heavy bottomed pan.Add 1 onion thinly sliced , saute till nice and brown. Reserve half of the onions for garnish.
Since I ran out of onions, I had to do without it.
In the same pan, add
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp garlic paste
2-3 green chilli made into paste,
lightly fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add 1 medium tomato chopped or pureed and fry for about 5 minutes till tomato is mushed and there is no raw smell
Add 1/4 tsp red chilli powder and 2 tbsp Parampara biryani masala. With a sprinkle of water fry for 2 minutes.
The Parampara definitely brings out the real taste.
1 tbsp chopped mint leaves and
3 tbsp coriander leaves
I added dried mint
Add the chopped vegetables( cauliflower, carrots, peas, beans, potatoes) and saute for couple of minutes. I added about 1&1/2 cup of frozen mixed vegetables.
Lower the heat and add 1/2 of yoghurt and salt and mix well. Cover & Cook for 5-7 minutes till veggies are just tender. Remove the masala and put in a deep microwave bowl.
Meanwhile wash 2 cups of rice and soak for about 15-20 minutes
In the same pan heat 1 more tbsp oil/ghee. temper oil with
2 Bay Leaf 4 cardamom
2" stick of cinnamom.
Add the rice which has been washed and drained
Saute the rice for about 3 mins at medium heat.
Put the rice over the masala, and mix gently. Add 1 tbsp of melted ghee. Add water, double the amount of rice. Add salt & sugar to taste.Heat few strands of saffron in 2 tbsp of milk and add that.
Now put in the microwave and select the option your MW has for rice. Mine has a button called "Rice" and that is it, your model might be different. Cook the way you would cook rice in your microwave. Also add water as you usually do for rice.
When done, fluff rice with a fork, garnish with the fried onions and serve immediately.