Like most children, my 6 year old girl often has some stories to share with me at the end of her school day. It usually is about someone’s birthday or something interesting they did at school or her friends’ outfit, shoes, hairdo etc. On some days there are more serious stories and some days with no stories at all.
One day, she comes back home, hands out a sheet of paper and says “these are some goals our teacher helped us to come up with. We will be working on them over the coming months and she would give us small presents if we meet them”. I was amazed to see a tiny tot talking about goals and was curious to know what she meant by the word ‘goal’? She said that a goal is something one has to keep in their mind all the time and work on it until it is completely done. What a simple and beautiful definition! She didn’t stop there and continued to share an example to make sure I got it right. “I will start every sentence with an upper case letter; this is a writing goal for me”.
That was really thought provoking. It also reminded me that goals can be as small and simple as the example she gave me. We always want to do so much for our career, family, hobby, society and for our own selves, but do not normally think about translating all of them into goals. We tend to focus on the bigger priorities of the day letting other small yet important ones fall through the crack.
Exercising regularly, feeding family with healthy food, staying in touch with friends and family, making frequent blog posts, keeping things organized are examples of some of my priorities that often get impacted depending on how the day/week turns out to be. Health, hectic days at work, kids’ activities, errands to run and unexpected turn of events always come handy as excuses, but who loses at the end?
Don’t you think it makes a lot of sense to translate all such priorities into goals? It is not just a task of writing them down as goals, but to keep them in mind all the time and work on them until they are done. I’ve started to practice this since a few weeks and I’m realizing that it not only helps you to stay focused on your priorities, but also to experience a more accomplished day/week. A week’s goal cascades down to a day’priority that in turn organizes your schedule which ultimately results in a better utilized day.
Try starting your day with this question, “what do you want to accomplish today?” Make a list and chase every item to its closure. I’m sure you’re going to get more out of your 24 hours than anyone else. The feeling that you get looking back at your day and the little wins you’ve had along the way is beyond words can say. Rock it!
Now to the recipe that I’ve been wanting to share with you since long. Looking at restaurants use the same base/sauce for pretty much every curry, I was tempted to create this curry paste.The idea is to make life simpler and easier than to claim that this is THE sauce for every curry. I have used this sauce to make curries for paneer tikka masala, malai koftha, paneer butter masala, chana masala, kadai paneer etc. Authentically, each of these curries have different ingredients, taste and flavor. But on a busy week night or a big party night, the taste, flavor and texture of the meal get more attention than its authenticity. Would you agree?
Stay tuned for recipes that’ll use this paste as a base to make different curries.
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Inactive Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Yield: about 1 cup curry paste
1 1/2 cups diced onions
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
5 whole cashew nuts
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1 pinch orange-red food color (optional)
1/2 tsp sugar
Sauté onions in oil under medium heat until cooked. Add tomatoes and sauté until they turn mushy and cooked. Turn off heat and let it cool completely. Meanwhile grind cashews into a fine powder.
Transfer the onions and tomatoes into a blender. Add cashew powder, garam masala, chili powder, coriander powder, cardamom powder, food color (if using) salt and sugar and blend to make a smooth paste.
Heat the butter in a skillet and add the ground paste. Cook under medium heat for about 10 mins. The paste would have turned reddish orange in color. Turn off heat. Let the paste cool completely before refrigerating or freezing it.
1. Try using Kitchen King Masala instead of Garam Masala for a different and subtle flavor.
2. You can use Kashmiri Mirch (red chili powder) instead of regular chili powder and avoid using food color.
3. This recipe gives you one cup of thick curry paste that you can use twice or to make two curries (to serve four).
4. The paste acquires additional flavor/texture from the curry ingredients. For example, the cream added for Malai Koftha and green peppers added for Kadai Paneer gives you two different curries with varying taste, flavor, color and texture.