Yeah.. the workplace now resembles a russian warzone.
Scant respect for ethics and total emphasis on results!
This is how the russians work.. and if we need to make them happy.. then we better do the things they like and more importantly do it like they like it.

This apart, mom and dad haven't been home since a couple of weeks.. so its me and Tina all alone!
Its always delightful to be on your own.. everytime this happens, you discover a new facet to yourself.
This time its cooking.

Now, i have been a non-entity in the kitchen till I was 25-26 maybe.
The only thing I knew to cook was Maggi ( which most Indians would know ).
The tryst with cooking took shape in Apr-May 2008 or thereabouts.
There was a colleague in Moscow, who used to come over and that's when i started learning the basics of cooking.
At the end of the trip I could make rookie dishes like bambino vermicelli, egg bhurji, dal (it was a super spicy andhra variety dal) and rice.
Nothing much to be proud about.. but still, the seed had been sown.

Much later, whenever I got a chance, I tried my hand at small experiments.
None too extraordinary, but I always managed to be kind of above average.

With 3 ladies in then house, my kitchen stint was always a non-starter.
Tina herself never got enough chances to enter the kitchen, poor me stood no chance.
And then, there is also a thought that I could end up making a fool out of myself!
Tina is light years ahead of me, when it comes to cooking.. so I prefer to remain in the shadows. :)

But, this time around, I thought why not try something different.
How long will I sit on the couch and watch Tina make all those yummy dishes... all this when I knew the abc of cooking.
My help never went beyond fetching vegetables from the refrigerator or washing utensils. :P

Now, then Divya was here for a couple of days too, that was when I decided to do a little something of my own..
A colleague from office was coming for lunch too.
That day I decided to make chhole :) and believe me they did not come out bad at all...
That day served as a further inspiration... and I was only too glad from there on to try my hand whenever possible.

The coming Thursday I made some more chhole, this time to be had with puri. So they had to be be a semi gravy kind and bingo.. they turned out exactly like that.
Tina was thrilled and so was I :D

Then today, I tried out Rajma chawal.
The planning from the onion paste to the tomato pulp to all the masalas were all planned and there was Rajma in front of us in about a hour and a half!

Satisfying and refreshing!
Another one of those feelings that money cant buy!

Was so thrilled that I told her in the late evening to watch a movie and not get up from the couch...
meanwhile I went, made some noodles and did some extra garnishing over the Rajma chawal that we couldn't finish in the day.
Got a green chilli too to enhance the contents of the dish :)

It was a wonderful weekend.

Will leave you with some pics of the chhole :
And now, some for the rajma