Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mayonnaise Hair Treatment

Mayonnaise for hair? Absolutely! I tried this treatment few years ago and it always yielded great results. Over the last year I have lost quite a bit of hair and ever since have been trying to get it back to its old state. I think the stress of 'adult' life really gets to you and you start losing hair because back when I was in grad school, I didn't eat nearly as healthy as I do now. I used to flat-iron the shiz out of my hair. All that wear and tear really did a number on my hair I guess. I went out for a stroll today and usually I end up going to Trader Joe's at is only a mile from my apartment. I found this giant jar of mayonnaise for $3.99 and the ingredients made me really happy.

Canola oil, eggs, apple cider, lemon juice? All great, great, greaaaat for hair! I think the ingredients in this mayonnaise are far better than the ones you find in your mega mart. I came home, and couldn't wait to apply this to my hair. I applied about 2 tablespoons to my entire head, from root to tip.
And then I put my hair up into a bun. I punched holes into a plastic bag and wore it over my head for 2 hours (you could use a shower cap). Just stay away from your couch or furniture that might get stained as this thing does get a bit drippy after sometime (because of the oil).
After washing my hair, it felt softer and shinier. I find it much easier to wash out than oil. And don't worry, your hair won't smell like eggs or vinegar afterwards (provided you use a fragrant shampoo and conditioner). I use Follicure shampoo and Neutrogena Triple Moisture Daily Deep Conditioner. Why no sulfate/silicone free shampoo and conditioner you ask? I tried those...the everything-free, 'green' shampoos and conditioners and they just didn't work for me. My hair turned into this horrible knotty and limpy mess. I wanted to love them but unfortunately, my curly, frizzy locks needs silicone for that slip and detangling. More on that in another post. For now, loving this mayo treatment all over again.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Turmeric fried Salmon and Red Lentils with Bottle-gourd

Today was gloomy and sunny, in patches. One minute the sun's peeking out, the next its hiding behind thick layer of clouds. Usually in Bangladesh, with weather like this, people eat khichuri with egg and pickle. But since we had khichuri last night for dinner, I decide to make dal and fried fish.


Atlantic salmon fillet- 1.5 lbs
Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
Garlic powder- 1tsp
Black pepper powder- 1tsp
Salt- 2 tsp
Oil for frying

This sounds really bad but I can't eat most bangladeshi fishes. Most of them have a lot of bones in them (tiny ones) and here they are found in frozen blocks that date two years back. I like eating fishes local to a particular area or country. When I am in Oman, I eat fishes that are local there. Obviously, when I am in Bangladesh I eat the local fish there (the ones with one central bone). Usually in Bangladeshi culture, we cut fish into small to medium sized pieces and coat them in turmeric, salt (and sometimes other spices) and fry them. Sometimes we leave them like that or prepare a separate sauce with onions, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro, etc. and toss the fishes in them.

To begin, wash the fillet and cut into desired number of pieces. Sprinkle pepper and salt evenly on both sides.

Sprinkle turmeric powder on all the pieces evenly on both sides.
Sprinkle a dash of garlic powder on both sides (skimp on garlic powder as too much can cause the oil to burn quickly)

Let the fish sit for 1-2 hours.
Fry in a pan, starting with skin-side up for 4-5 minutes, depending on thickness.
Turn and fry on other side for 5 minutes.

The skin is so crispy and delicious and the fish itself is flaky and buttery.  Serve with some plain basmati rice.

Quick tip: While frying fish, if it sticks to the bottom of the pan, fry an egg prior and your fish won't stick to the pan.


Red lentil (masoor dal)- 2 cups
Bottle-gourd (lau)- 1 medium chopped
Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
Red chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
Garlic- 3 cloves
Onion- 1 medium chopped
Dried red chillies- 3
Oil for tempering

I forgot to take initial pics, but basically all you do is rinse the red lentils under running water 3-4 times to get rid of any grit or sand. Then with twice the amount of water, boil the lentils with salt.
After about 20 minutes, add the chopped bottle-gourd.and turmeric and chilli powders. Let it boil for another 10 minutes.

While the lentils are boiling away, prepare the tempering. In a small pan, add oil and dried red chillies.

Add the chopped onion and brown.
Add chopped garlic. I know it got browner than required, but for tempering, its ok. It imparts a nice roasted flavor to the dal.

   Quickly add the tempering to the dal.

Boil the dal for 5 minutes for the flavors to incorporate and turn the stove off.

Tastes so good with some plain basmati rice. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday cooking with hubby: Mutton curry & Chitol Fish Kofta

So, today were the Oscars, and hubby and I decided to stay in and veg out in front of the TV. However, after nibbling on some itty bitty snacks, we got hungry for some real food, so we decided to cook. I made mutton curry and he made chitol fish kofta, which is basically fish cakes made with minced fish. The fish he used is chitol fish (clown knifefish), which is native to Bangladesh. I made mutton curry in basic curry style.



Mutton - 2 lb
Onion - 1 large onion
Cinnamon- 2 sticks
Cardamom- 4 pieces
Red dried chilly- 4
Fresh ginger paste- 1 tbsp
Fresh garlic paste- 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
Coriander powder- 2 tsp
Red chilly powder (reshampatti)- 1 tsp
Tomato- 1
Oil - 3 tbsp
Salt according to taste
Water as required

Wash mutton in a large bowl under running water

    Pat mutton dry with kitchen towel to drain excess water.

    Heat a pot, add oil. Add cinnamon, cardamom, dried red chillies and chopped onion. Caramelize.


 After onions have browned, add ginger and garlic pastes and brown slightly.

   Add turmeric powder.
    Add coriander powder.
   Add red chilly powder.
    Mix everything well. 
   Add mutton
Mix well
Add salt according to taste. I added less than a tablespoon.
    Turn the heat on medium and cover with lid. Let it sit like that for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
    After 30 minutes, add two cups of water. 

   Add chopped tomato.

Cover and simmer on medium heat for 1.5 hour (check if mutton is cooked).

   Transfer in serving dish.



Chitol fish, minced - 1/2 lb
Onion- 1 small onion chopped
Cilantro- 4 sprigs, chopped finely
Green chillies- 2, chopped finely
Spring onion- 1 sprig, chopped finely
Garlic- 2 cloves
Ginger- 1/2 inch
Red chilly powder (reshampatti)- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder- 1/4 tsp
Black pepper- 1/2 tsp
Salt according to taste
Egg -1 large
Oil for frying

   Take minced fish in a glass bowl

   Add chopped onion
    Add chopped chillies.
    Add chopped cilantro.

Add grated garlic.

   Add grated ginger
    Add chopped scallion.
Add salt, black pepper and cumin powder
   Add red chilly powder.
Add turmeric powder
    Add garam masala powder.

 Add mixture to mortar, and pound with pestle

Transfer to bowl.
Shape into flat cakes.

    Beat one large egg
Coat the fish cakes in egg.

Shallow fry in hot oil.

Cook on each side for 6-7 minutes, depending on doneness

Finally, its done! It was delicious, hubby did a great job!

We had vegetable khichuri (rice, lentils, broccoli  and cucumber salad along with the mutton curry and fish kofta. Recipes for those another day. Dinner was delicious :)