I recently went on a ladies-only trip or girl-friends trip, whatever you call it. Ok, I'm not sure whether you can call it a “girl-friends” or “friends” trip, because I went with my Amma. She is one of the first few persons that I call when I'm happy, sad, irritated, angry, frustrated etc; there is one thing I’m sure about – we can spend a decent amount of time together and enjoy it, before we start getting on each other's nerves ;)
Didn’t I tell you about my recent India trip? Well, I also managed to go to Singapore during that time. Amma and me, were planning a trip for sometime, to be precise it’s been 4 years of planning since her retirement. We started off with Switzerland, since she wanted to go someplace where there is snow. Every time when we call or when I go to India, Switzerland trip was mentioned and discussed, but nothing happened.
Two months ago, when I was talking to her, she told me about how some of her friends were going to Singapore on a conducted tour. That's when I asked her, whether she wanted to go to Singapore and from there it took off. I know we took a 90 degree turn from a cool place to a hot n humid place :)
We are not the ‘conducted tour’ kinda people, we want to go on our own, with our own plans and pace. I’ve visited Singapore earlier with Jose and found it a tourist friendly place. Jose did the planning and bookings, and I enjoyed the trip. This time I had to manage everything by myself, from flights, to hotels, to itinerary, to everything you need on a trip…
I was excited about making a trip on our own and was all set for the “D-Day”. Got into the flight, had our dinner and then I just went over the “things to do” list in my mind. Suddenly I had a panic attack.
Taking a local phone connection, was the item that set me on fire! You must be thinking, what's there to worry about taking a phone connection. Well, though I've come a long way from “Charles Babbage” era of computer, I'm still no “BFF” with technology. I'm yet to figure out the real reason for my technology aversion – whether it's because I'm incapable of understanding it or whether I just dont want to understand it. I only know one thing, the moment I hear some tech related stuff, my mind just shuts off and it wanders off on to other things…
So… what were we talking about, phone connection. Yep – these days taking a phone connection is a bit challenging for people like me. There are so many plans out there… data only plan or data with talk time and then comes 2 MB, 3 MB, 3G, 4G and what not.
Since Jose was also traveling and out of reach, I had no other choice than to figure it out myself.
I only had one prayer while landing in Singapore; “Lord please have mercy on me, so that the person standing at the phone store is a kind and patient soul”.
My prayer was answered, because the lady at the counter was very patient and helpful. Considering the dumb questions that I asked, including asking her to download “what's ap” on my phone, you cannot blame her for her occasional looks which can be translated as “ethu pattikkad ninnannu ningal varunne” (which village did you guys come from!). Honestly after getting the phone connection, I felt like a little school girl who got a star for her homework ;)
So coming back to our trip, it was a good one. We roamed around the place from morning till night. The first two days, Amma enjoyed trying out the different types of food, but by third day, she was like, it’d be nice to eat Dosa for breakfast :) I think what she liked most about Singapore was its public transport system, especially MRT. She also liked how the women there walks around so freely in shorts, with nobody passing rude comments or ogling at them.
Anyways, just like the variety of phone connections, the humble salad has also become more complex today. You've such a wide variety of salads, with different elements, textures, components, flavours etc; Before I started cooking, the only salads I knew was Sallas/Challas (pickled onion with green chilli and tomato) and Raita (onion and tomato in yogurt)! Fast forward to present day, I even go to certain restaurants just to have their salad.
I was first introduced to a different variety of salad by Jose's mom. Mummy makes some kind of salad every other day and I love all her salads. It's nothing fancy, but with ingredients you've readily available at home. I got this recipe from her.
This salad is so filling, that you can have it as your main meal, especially if you are watching your weight. It's very refreshing and healthy too. These days, whenever I make Chana, I make sure to cook some extra chana to make this salad.
Here is the recipe…
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup Cooked chana (chickpeas)
- 1 medium Onion (chopped)
- 1 small Cucumber (chopped)
- 1/3 cup Pomegranate seeds
- 1 tbsp Coriander leaves (chopped)
- 2 tbsp Yogurt (whisked)
- 1 tbsp Mayonnaise (optional)
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- In a deep and wide bowl, combine cooked chana, onion, cucumber and pomegranate seeds.
- Combine whisked yogurt, mayonnaise and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the chana mix and stir well.