"If my hips were smaller, I could easily slip into size 30 jeans !"
"This orange saree is so pretty. I wish I were fair enough to wear it ."
Doubts, doubts and more doubts. I wish we women had a genie who could appear by magic during moments like this and make us slim/tall/fair/whatever. But since that seems so far fetched a true friend will just about do. Someone who tells us stuff like "Hey no problem . Just buy the next size" or "This looks so nice on you. The orange actually compliments your burnished skin tones.".
But since it is emotionally taxing for another person to continuously address our insecurities, every women needs to learn to love herself irrespective of shape, size or skin color. Because only then will you be allowing your inner beauty to shine through. Beauty that is sublime and yet radiates from within. The kind of beauty that transcends the passage of time and is able to reach the core of even the most hardened of souls. The kind of beauty that has the power to transform. To bring about a change in the way we perceive and act.
This women's day is yet another occasion when we can help it happen. By appreciating and helping ourselves. Not by merely sprouting mere rhetoric but actually reaching out and helping other women in every possible way that makes a difference. However small.
Dedicating this 'Zero oil Matar Paneer' recipe to all the women. Not because they need to lose weight in order to meet someone's approval. But because they need to stay fighting fit. For, whatever be our position in life or society, women never have it easy.
Read on for the recipe -
Preparation Time - 20-25 mins (plus 5-7 mins standby)
- 200 gm Paneer / Cottage cheese
- 1 medium sized onion
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- 1 inch ginger
- 1 mediun sized tomato
- 1 cup green peas
- 1 inch cinnamon
- 1 green cardamom
- a tiny bit of mace
- 6-7 peppercorns
- a pinch of fennel
- 2 pinch cumin seeds
- 1-2 dry red chili
- 1 tsp kasuri methi
- 10 raisins ( else add 1 tsp honey just before taking off the flame )
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup milk (optional)
Preparation - Take all the ingredients except for the paneer, kasuri methi and milk in a pressure cooker. Add 1 cup water and a little salt.
Close the lid and cook for 2-3 whistles on medium flame.
Remove and keep aside till steam escapes. Open lid and drain the excess liquid into a cup . Once cool, puree the solids.
Add a small cube of paneer ( 1 inch ) to the blender jar and give another quick buzz.
Heat a wok. Transfer the puree to the wok along with the green peas and let it cook till any raw smell goes off (takes about 5 mins).
Add the reserved liquid and the milk to the wok. Rub the kasuri methi between your palms before adding them to the wok. Let the gravy simmer for 4-5 mins .
Add the paneer cubes. Switch off the flame immediately and let it stand for 5 mins before serving.
Taste great with Indian breads or steamed rice.