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Bye Bye Brazil! 
Aug. 20, 2012 6:39 am 
Updated: Aug. 29, 2012 7:58 am
I just arrived home this weekend after my amazing summer in mom at the airport said "I was expecting you to have put on weight after Brazil as usual but you haven't"..... SUCCESS
After splurging on delicacies from all over the country, and after many nights spent partaking in the national favorite drink - beer - this was pretty good to hear.

And not to mention, I now know how to cook for myself pretty satisfactorily, while on a budget.  More success.... I can't wait to go to grad school (where I'm headed in a month) and wow everyone with my exotic brazilian delicacies....(well, the simplified versions anyway).

I brought back a nice foodie souvenir from Brazil - an electric churrasqueira (barbecue grill).  Along with it, to recreate the authentic Brazilian flavor, I also snuck in my luggage a few cans of guarana - a soda made with extracts of guarana, a natural energizer with a significant amount of caffeine (its also used as an ingredient in Red Bull).   In case anyone is curious, Guarana is usually available at Brazilian stores or restaurants, at least on the east coast (in Little Brazil in New York or in Newark, NJ).  

All in all, I had a great time, learnt lots of cool new stuff (not only recipes but just about the country itself), and I'm now full of 'saudades' (Portuguese for "longings" - though it doesn't quite translate as well to English) of my favorite city in the world, Rio de Janeiro.

guarana (the sugar free kind)
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Aug. 29, 2012 7:58 am
Great job PJ! Have fun at grad school! As for Rio - something tells me you might be back there again:)
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New Delhi, Delhi, India
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Princeton, New Jersey, USA

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May 2012

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About Me
I am a student of economics and sociology, and one of my favorite things to study about any culture is their food and the role that food, meals and food-related practices play in daily life.
My favorite things to cook
Anything baked - and sweet things. I am recently turning very health conscious, so I have been enjoying experimenting with power smoothies lately. An all time favorite, and very versatile food to prepare, in my opinion, is eggs.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My father has one specialty dish - the biryani - for which he is famous amongst family and friends. Apart from this he does not step into the kitchen. My mother, who till now refused to enter the kitchen, has found a new hobby in baking. I am said to have inherited my love for meddling in the kitchen from my grandmothers (probably both sides).
My cooking triumphs
Once stranded in a heavy thunderstorm on top of a hill (in Rio de Janeiro), with very few ingredients in the house (milk, tomatoes, onions, rice, some spices) I managed to whip up an Indian Paneer curry. People in the house were very impressed by my ability to turn milk into indian cottage cheese (as much as I would like to claim it was my talent, it really is a very simple trick).
My cooking tragedies
There have been several, many involving cakes that were burnt at the top and raw inside. Most of these occurred when I was way younger, about 10 or 11, and a lot of them can be attributed to my unwillingness to follow the temperature guidelines (or perhaps I was mistaking fahrenheit for celsius....also a possibility).
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