This blog post has two stories of exceptional Toronto desis.
It’s winter and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has had some snow activity, including one a few weeks ago when Ma Nature dumped several centimetres of white stuff on unsuspecting folks, Remember that one? Creativity is when you take the raw ingredients nature throws at you and you turn it into a viral work of art.
Everyone, meet, Farah the Jatti aka Saddi Juliet, snowwoman extraordinaire.
Rotund Saddi Juliet was decked in wedding finery. She wore an eye-catching crimson dupatta, accessorized with heavy gold (fake, obviously) jewelry, including a necklace, earrings, and maang (forehead) tikka and even fake eyelashes.
Her creators? A couple of enterprising Brampton teens– Jassu Kingra, 19, Daljit Warraich Navi, 15, and Bini, 9.
It was Daljit’s first winter in Canada. She wanted to stack the packed snow into a winter-tradition—a snowman so that she could show off to her relatives in India. Except, the empowered girls decided Frosty the Snowman was passé.
There’s a hint of mystery to the whole exercise that will only likely be revealed when Brampton gets another substantial showering of snow (at least enough to build, I presume a desi “Jatti” a male counterpart). We can’t wait.
The desi snow-woman literally broke Twitter (84,000 tweeps “liked” her and hundreds of others showed love on Instagram and Reddit).
Art is art, even when it’s fleeting.
Here’s to the girls who warmed the hearts of everyone with their cool creation.
A Mother’s Love: This cookbook has South Asian recipes with a flavourful twist
Jasmine Dayal, I imagine, is always happy to swap the black robes—she wears to court as a lawyer— for an apron.
In her book, JD In the Kitchen: Indian Appetizers and Chutneys, released some months ago, Jasmine shares Indian appetizers with East African influences.
There are several familiar and some unfamiliar starters and entrees such as samosas, spicy crepes, beet and arvi bhajias, and others.
“As an experienced home cook, I have always loved collaborating in the kitchen with my mother, Shan,” Jasmine admits. “My mother is a creative and inspiring cook
and I learned my way around the kitchen by looking over her shoulder. It was a no-brainer to join forces with her to produce my first cookbook that reveals many of our family recipes. I cannot wait for everyone to get a taste of all the flavourful and delectable meals I grew up eating.”
Jasmine is also the founder of a lifestyle website JD in the Kitchen. Here you can check out recipes, learn about the spices that make Indian cooking bold and flavourful, and browse through an online store where you can buy her three books, yes, she has three of them, and some of the fresh spices she uses in her recipes.
JD in the Kitchen: Indian Appetizers and Chutneys, is a slim 81-page cookbook with recipes that are not elaborate. They are ideal for both novices as well as aspiring cooks.
Jasmine started JD In the Kitchen website, as a portal to shares her love for cooking. Despite juggling a hectic schedule, it appears Jasmine carves time to make meals for her family. What’s more, she’s generous enough to share the recipes.
Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Jasmine’s career as an articling student started in 2005 at Fireman Wolfe LLP. She became an associate at the same firm and is now a partner in the firm that now carries her name – Jasmine Daya & Co., Impressive no?
JD In the Kitchen: Indian Appetizers and Chutneys is now available on Amazon and on her website.
Here’s the recipe for the Ismaili Bhajia (featured above)
- 1 cup gram flour (chickpea flour)
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2-3 teaspoons of green chili puree
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch round slices
- Oil for deep frying
- In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the potatoes and oil to create a smooth batter.
- In a frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Note: There should be enough oil for the potato slice to sink to the bottom and become submerged.
- Take one potato slice at a time, dip it into the chickpea batter, coat well and then place it gently into the oil. Cook for about a minute and then flip it to cook the other side.
- Remove, place the Bhajia on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Enjoy it with green chutney (recipe in Jasmine’s book).