Saturday, September 12, 2009

BBQ Bulgur

I haven't really been on this space for sometime now. However, I'm still active on the food blog scene though I haven't commented on any of your posts, even those that I loved. I've surely bookmarked them for the umpteenth time hoping to make them soon :) I was wondering why I hardly seem to blog nowadays, and why I hardly seem to want to go around commenting. I realized its tiring. A's stopped doing it. He's tired of the 'you comment- only then I comment back' world of food blogging. And frankly, so am I. We didn't start this blog to receive comments. A cooks rather well, he is an inventive cook, while I play the supportive role. I cook fairly well, support him by eating his food by not being overly worried about what I put into my mouth which will affect my waist (I know I should be :P) Anyway, we cook fun stuff almost everyday because of his never ending enthusiasm and imagination. Sometimes, we're just too tired to take pictures, post them, write a post around it... not because we don't want to do it, but because thankfully, we stopped where we started - to cook for the blog alone. And not for ourselves. I keep in touch with several food bloggers through Facebook or Twitter and its way easier to hold a sane conversation there than just comment on the blogs. Also, its not a question of gratitude, its a question of keeping up with the number of food blogs.

This is again not just the reason why I haven't come down to your blogs. I respect the effort you guys put in and by first hand experience know what it is like. I admire some of you for having full-time jobs, kids, other issues and still garner the energy to blog about what you're passionate about: food. I was weary of the blogs, the food, the comments. Especially the false ones. We are not really old in the blogosphere, but that doesn't make us new either. I've noticed that there is a mad rush to comment on every post of every blogger's and discover more and more blogs just to make sure they come back to yours. There is a mad rush to say: 'nice recipe' or 'great click' for everything. See, one could see these as encouraging comments, but at the same time, I personally find it way more encouraging when I understand why you think this is a nice recipe and how I can improve the picture (especially when its not the best). Oh yes, I've been guilty of doing the same and that is why this post comes so late. Sometimes, I don't know what to say about some recipes. I'm not and will not expect everyone to post only stuff that I've never done before or tried before or stuff with exotic ingredients. But I'd like the comments I receive on my site to be genuine, to be respectful of my efforts and help me do better. Tell me why you think this is a great recipe. Tell me how my pics can improve. I'm someone who believes food should remain looking like food and not as a painting. And some of us achieve that balance between homeliness and great photography not bordering on artificiality. I'm still striving for the same and only ask for support and not blind admiration for nothing. I will not promise to find every recipe of yours great and every picture of yours brilliant, but I promise to keep an eye out for you, admire your effort and remember that at the end of the day, our blogs are just a chronicle of our memories with food, our passion and most importantly something we chose to do out of love and not for competition.

After losing several regular readers after that longish first part of the post, let me resume with the recipe for those that are still hanging on to say: great recipe ;) hopefully! A's fallen in love with bulgur. Literally. He wants to eat it everyday now. For lunch and dinner. (Thank God, he's not a breakfast person) I used to love bulgur, but thanks to A, I've become jaded with the idea of bulgur and couscous. Either way, this is a recipe we tried long back and loved it. This is one of the very few ways I enjoy zucchini. Zucchini type of veggies are not my faves. They are very much A's faves. I have no idea how I married this guy. To come back to the recipe:

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Ingredients

Zucchini - 1 medium sized - cut into discs
Potato - 1 medium - cut into chunks

For the barbeque rub

2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cayenne pepper/red chilli powder
1 tsp vinegar. We used Rice vinegar
1 tsp Olive oil

Bulgur - 1 cup soaked in hot water (I have no measurement, really. Make sure to cover the bulgur though) - season with salt, lemon juice and olive oil while soaking in water itself.
2 tsp Vegetable oil
1 tsp red chilli powder or cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried herbs.
1 Jalapeno/green chilli, diced

1. Mix all the ingredients for the rub and rub on both sides of the zucchini and let it sit for 15 mins.

2. In a skillet, add vegetable oil and let it get hot. The pan should be searing hot. Then arrange the marinated zucchini slices on the pan ( we used a cast iron pan) and let it get brown on both sides.

3. In the meantime, microwave the potato chunks with little water until they are fork tender. Drain the potatoes and keep aside.

4. Once zucchini is done, remove them and keep aside. Add the potatoes to the same skillet, add salt and let them roast until tender. They shouldn't be falling apart.

Note: The zucchini lets out water while marinating. Don't throw this away. Use that water while charring the potatoes. Adds a wonderful flavour.

5. Heat a tsp of oil, add the jalapenos/green chillies. Saute the bulgur (which by now should have absorbed all the water) with some red chilli powder and any herb you like in the same pan. We used dried oregano. Serve warm with the charred veggies!

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Simple ain't it? Since I'm not a huge zucchini fan, I added a couple of more potatoes for myself, but after I tasted the zucchini, I'm a convert now and have tried several zucchini recipes on my own now! Frankly, I'm always skeptical of A's experiments and this time around, thanks to his bulgur obsession, I didn't want no part of it. Yet again, I was proved wrong and I regretted adding more potatoes to the veggie mixture!

Do try this. Its really simple and the flavours shine through. I don't really have a sophisticated palate like some, so flavours are categorized into: I love this, I like this, I can manage to eat this and I hate it. This fell into the 'I love this' category. For once, I could identify what went into the barbeque like rub than just gorging on the food.

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P.S. - I don't know if I've made myself clear with this post. Again, the intention is to make a lot of things clear in my own big head. And to reiterate to myself why I blog in this space and why I need to continue to push through with my opinions without worrying about the number of followers I lose or gain or the number of people who will stop visiting me. Thanks for listening. Really.

42 comments:

rads said...

What? No one's commented at all? N, now look what you did! You drove even the good genuine ones away. BUt see, am here, and am no food blogger, so I guess I don't count :-p

Neways, how one earth did you get that zucchini to pop up like that on that snap? Pls do tell. Looks like one mischievous floating mocking charred zucchini. :|

..and btw, the reason why we blog, remains the same even outside of food blogging network. We write and do things for ourselves first, which is very evident. No?

Soma said...

first to the recipe & then the 1st part of the post:-)

I love zucchini, & I am probably the only one in the family who loves the zuke family esp. when they are simply brushed & grilled or pan grilled like this one. i eat them just by themselves or in salads with quinoa, barley, brown rice, bulgur anything! Love the glaze in the potato!

I post what we eat, don't usually pick the fancy ones to post..so if the readers paid attention, will see that thru' summer it had been more salads & lite s... I am grateful to all who really come & comment at a salad of cucumber & tomato:-) I agree with you "comment & I come thing"... & it really should not be this way.. also it should be understood that it is not an obligation, & blogging is not paid for neither is commenting.. you do it only when you like something or get time. I have been missing out commenting in a lot of blogs.. & wonder really how everyone manages to come by when i post every other day:-)..

Guys the main reason of blogging should be pleasure, something you enjoy doing, not hearing "Wooohs & waaaas" from others!! That is the least of my concern, while i do appreciate who take their time & interest to come by.

Please don't stop blogging about atleast somethings you eat guys, i enjoy your posts & recipe.. don't have to cook for the blog, just blog what you cook. .for that is what you are right?!! hope to see another post soon again. & sorry for hogging this space.

Sig said...

Oh N, you have said it so well! I used to comment on many blogs before, mainly as a way of keeping in touch. With so many of us around, there aren't that many "wow, I've never seen that before" recipes, so sometimes a bland "looks good" or "sounds great" is all I could muster. It was the equivalent of "hi" in the blogging world. But even that has become so darn hard these days and as you said I get to keep in touch with many food blogger friends through facebook. So I have lost all the motivations to comment :)
I still read many blogs on my phone whenever I can, waiting in the doctor's office, waiting in traffic lights etc. It is much easier to do that without commenting :) I have seen that the number of comments on my posts have gone way down, but the number of readers really hasn't; except when I don't post anything for a while.
So anyway, what I really wanted to say was, keep posting, don't worry about the number of comments or even the content of the comments. Some folks just want to say hi, its their way of keeping in touch by saying Nice Click :) Enjoy blogging!

Nags said...

That was some beginning to the post N, especially after a long-ish break.

I am glad you have spoken about your realizations and you have re-aligned your priorities. As I am sure I have said countless times before, blogging is for you and not the other way around :)

I do agree a little bit with Sig when she says people say nice click as a way to say 'hi'. Honestly, I accept and appreciate every single comment I get, even if its 'great recipe' or 'lovely clicks' :D

Now, about the pics, I think you are getting the macro shots really well these days. I wish I could find affordable bulgar and couscous in SG, but so far, no luck..

Aparna said...

So you are back and I can see from the first part of the post you're feeling better. ;-)

Blogging, just like everything else, has its pros and cons. The thing is to decide what you're blogging for and find your comfort zone and then stick to it.

Now the bulghur and zucchini. Don't get the first one here and the second one isn't a favourite with anyone. :(
So I keep trying to disguise zucchini in bread, avial, kootu and what have you!

Varsha Vipins said...

I really understand what you say in the 1st para N n guess I go with all that Soma said..Blogging is something we all do for our joy..:)
Now..I am no huge zuccini fan but I love those macro clicks..:)

sra said...

N, frankly, when I began my blog, I'm sure I too was guilty of 'lovely picture' kind of comments - not just to let other people be aware of my blog but because I genuinely liked it, though some may have come across as false to those people, I don't know. Of course, some times it was just to say Hello, but in a more food bloggy way. That it's often a quid pro quo is uavoidable, esp. when one sees it as a question of reciprocation. If I left 5 comments in someone's blog, and saw her in everyone else's but mine, the signal would be clear to me :). Having said that, there have been cases where people that I didn't think were reading my blog made the first move and we've struck up a friendship. I do agree some comments are boring to read, unimaginative and maybe aimed at building traffic, they amuse me and are dispiriting sometimes, esp when you think you've done a masterpiece of a post :) but I wouldn't be too affected or judge them too harshly. After all, we write for ourselves, no one is bound to comment about us or give us meaningful comments, as disappointing as that realisation is! :)

And social networking has become a place for me to forge a different, more multi-faceted relationship, with the virtual friends I like.

I love large, fat, meaningful and complimentary comments, so please go and comment in mine now. :-D

Arch said...

U said it girl ! I started blogging less than a year back and not exactly the most popular blogger, and I know I did go visiting blogs and commenting randomly on some posts hoping they would then visit my blog...Some events, I loved the idea and participated, some I did just to get a few eyeballs...but over the last few months, I started feelign really foolish about it..There are some blogs I follow very loyally, because I like the writing style, the food and the pics on it and have now stuck to just these...
Now my blog is for me, just to help me not down recipes that I try...the good part is I enjoy the photograph part of it...There are a few blogger and non-blogger friends who let me know once in a way that they tried something out and that really makes my day !

U've made that zuchhini look wonderful, really !!
And is bulghur the same as broken wheat or dahlia ? I have started using that a lot for dinners now to cut down on the rice intake...

Vani said...

I understand the post is about self-realization about why you blog and what you'd like to see happen. For many of us, it's a personal space where we write what we want to write. If people commented that's fine. If not, that's fine too. It's different for different people. For some, it is about getting more comments and traffic onto their site. That's fine too. One blogger friend was saying the comments on her blog declined after she stopped commenting but her traffic is much more so she is happy. So traffic did matter to her. Another urged folks to leave comments and she responds to each one and visits everyone coz she loves the interaction. Yet another is totally into SEO techniques and technorati rankings etc. Many use FB as a promotional tool for their blogs. And that's fine as well. To each his own, right?
And "nice recipe" or "great clicks" sometimes can mean just that. Also, I do appreciate anyone who took time to leave a comment.
And finally, great clicks, N!! (ha ha.. you know I HAD to say that!!) ;)

Jaya Wagle said...

Ok, I am a 6 months old to the blogosphere and even I got caught up in the "come to my blog" race by leaving comments with at those (bloggers) who seemed to be leaving comments in just about every other blog. And they did come, but very soon I got tired of their "Wow, that looks yumm" comment. It was so clear they just cruised down to the bottom to leave a copy paste comment.
Now I visit blogs I like and leave my comments if it provokes me, speaks to me or intrigues and interests me. I am tired of the rat race and just happy to write what I wanna write.
So I am totally with you sister. It is a thrill to read a cogent, sensible comment after coming across atrocious ones like "Come visit my 50th post" or "why haven't you visited me in a while. Guess you are too busy for my blog and not the others." Talk about shameless self promotion. If you have a good blog, people will visit, leave a comment or just come visit regularly. Get a grip bloggers. You don't need to get 100 followers in three months...
Ok did I just rant on your rant post? Sorry, come visit my rant on my blog... Shameless self promotion? You bet!

Siri said...

I came here seeing your comment on Sra's blog and was curious to know what your were referring to! I agree with you on this that there is a rat race going on for comments, traffic, hits etc

But at times, it so happens to me that after reading a post, I feel so absorbed into it that the only words come out of me are - 'Interesting post XXX', becoz it was genuinely interesting!

..and I HAVE to mention about 'some ppl' spaming you with event announcement & roundups.. I keep wondering why would they do that..I haven't even sent an entry to it! when I started to blog, there was a certain element of joy and fun to get to know new friends who do what you do!. All these seems extinct these days! Sorry for filling up your comment space with my own rant.

..I am a huge fan of Zuchini and yet to try bulgar.

~ Siri

Cham said...

Ha ha I thought u were dieting N :)
Blogging should be fun, post it when you can. I always like your rant sorry the way u write up :)
Is "A" an upma person? u mentionned he likes to have for lunch to dinner!
Cheer up and don't bother to trace me....

indosungod said...

N, I guess most bloggers including myself get caught in the commenting rat race at some point or the other and stop when we realize it is pointless.

Blogging is mostly fun and that is what it should be I guess.

Vibaas said...

Blogging can be tiring. I just came back from a long break and have decided to do it at my leisure. Like you said, i dont cook for the blog anymore either. I think the honeymoon period is over and i dont have the enthu to take pictures of each and everything i cook :-)

Regarding comments i'm guilty of saying nice recipe or great click too sometimes..not as a lipservice..it's just that sometimes i run out of words but i say that when i really like waht i see :) and i dont know about the mad rush. Atleast i cant cope up with visiting all the blogs and commenting on them :-)

I have not tried bulgur yet, but sounds interesting. Now i'm all into healthy diet and i could add it to my todo list :)

A_and_N said...

Thanks a lot for the insightful comment, all of you! I've always blogged for fun, and hardly thought of comments. That is probably the reason why I post what I want, say what I want and post whenever I want.

And I understand the logic behind regular comments from all your ideas here. Fair enough :) I understand now!

Bong Mom said...

I hear you and understand you and you are very true about the "YCIC" phenomenon. Bottom line, you blog for your own love of writing/cooking/shooting/eating whatever. Commenting, just don't bother unless as you said you want to be in touch or have something to say. But sometimes you do get to know people through comments and that can be nice.

We do cook a lot of Daliya, not Bulgur though. That piece is popping out right at me !!!

Sush said...

Let me comment on the dish first. I have neither tasted the bulgur nor zucchini, so cant comment much on them :) The dish looks tempting though.
Now coming to the first part, I started blogging just an year back & the goal for me was to treasure my dishes. Also, thought if it could be of any help to others. Slowly, I was also carried away by the mad rush of commenting, cooking for events (honestly I have never done that), sending dishes for the events, waiting for comments etc, etc. My hubby interfered at the right time & reminded my goal. My goal was not to attract comments but enjoy what I am doing. I still have the same zeal to blogging but not much for commenting, he he..Also, as I have said in many of my posts before, I donot blog hop much. I restrict myself to very few blogs.

Arch said...

Hey, let me know how it turns out...you can skip the chana dal, and add a little more coconut. I quite often forget to soak the chana dal, so I just skip it and its still very tasty !

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A very healthy and tasty dish! I really like bulghur!

Cheers,

Rosa

Indhu said...

Hey.. nice post... I do agree with your observations.. but I also agree a little bit with what Nags has mentioned - "nice click" is a way of saying hi...
and btw, love your recipe collection.. .you know what? whenever I see your post on my reader, I immediately click it just to see what ingredients you guys have used.. - you come up with interesting combinataions and I love that :)

Miri said...

Came here through Arch who is a good friend - was refreshing to read your post and also the various views from the comments on this post.

I agree, I blog about what I eat because thats who I am and thats what my blog is about. If i start trying to do icing and decoration all of a sudden in an attempt to grab eyeballs - it will only show up in my posts and people will not be able to connect, because thats not me!
But as someone commented - to each his own. Glad you found what your "own" is! :)

Miri

Kitchen Flavours said...

Sometimes I feel....As fast we r getting addicted to this blog world so fast r we loosing the interest....Coming to the drool worthy recipe..looks yum..love those huge pics....very appetizing....

Anita said...

Alright...as long as you were only thinking aloud...

Nice recipe, btw. :) I really do like zucchini - especially grilled (pan fried, whatever). Of course, you can't compare it to grilled potatoes.

I don't cook for the blog, but I do take pics for the blog, which can be a chore sometimes. So, sometimes, I just cook and eat - no pics, no post. Which is fine - the regulars are always around. And I really enjoy their comments - especially when they talk about everything but the post!! :D

Btw, there's time - as much as you need! ;-)

Jaya Wagle said...

It was good to read ur comment on my post and thanks for visiting both the blogs. JAYASPACE has become a catchall for my rants, cooking, motherhood stories and pottery progress. I do not blog at Desisoccermom as much, just because it is too much of a chore to maintain two at a time.

Priya said...

Am relatively new to this blog. Came here by accident while googling for a recipe with specific ingredients and visit now occasionally because I liked your lighthearted and sunny style of writing and cooking.
This post was a departure from your usual style. I don't have a blog, so can't pretend to understand all the politics of food-blogging. But really it seems like you should do it only because you enjoy it and if you have blog-fatigue, take a break until you feel like coming back and then do it only as time permits - even once a month. This is your space and you are the queen. You get to make the rules. There will always be readers....or maybe not. But who cares, thats not why you're blogging anyway.

Cakelaw said...

I stayed with you for the whole post, and certainly empathise with some of your sentiments. I have to say that when life is busy, I find it very hard to blog, as in any downtime, I just want to do nothing!!! It's nice to have you back. These veges look devine, and I have never tried bulgar, so these are a couple of things for me to try and remember to try. (Memory is like a sieve these days - old age??)

Dibs said...

yes ...same here. I find it simpler to read and move on, rather than comment on every post I read! The fun in blogging is the the whole experience. Comments encourage of course ...but at times all you have to say is 'it looks good' or "nice recipe' and there is actually nothing more to say ..so I have stopped those comments, and am not worried I dont get comments back!

and hey ..your bulgur dish & snaps "looks good" (seriously!) ;-)). I have however of late become a lazy cook, and look for quick dishes, and have moved from bulgur to instant cous cous!!

Sunshinemom said...

I feel the same as you do at this stage about the unsaid comment clause:). Though it feels good it is tiring esp. when you have so many other things to do! I still love those longish once in a while comments that tell me things as they are and help me improve and talk about stuff other than food too:). It makes the visitors more human somehow!

Oh! I am saying the truth when I say the zucchini looks good here:)

musical said...

You articulated so well some of the reasons why i lost interest in blogging!

On another note, roasted vegetable and bulgur/rice/couscous=one of my favorite pairings! Never added sugar though in the bbq rub, may be it's time to try :).

pelicano said...

Hello. This is my first time here (I think), and I relate so well to the first part of your post! I took an 8-month vacation from my blog, and in that time I re-connected to what my intentions were in the first place, and I regret nothing- despite my having lost several regular followers. So keep up the good work! :-) I like your integrity.

As to this dish and why you married your husband: I can't help you there. :-D But actually, although I tend not to like sweet dishes, it looks so good, seems easy, and I bet I would win votes of approval from a few finicky eaters here at home with it.

sangeeta said...

came in here from jayaspace...thank to her for this...but i agree on everything...blogging is for mt own pleasure....n food blogging is about the real food ..which we eat daily n about cooking techniques...nobody unfortunately points that out....those stale comments are now getting too much...

about the recipe...i love veggies served this way on a bed of burgul, daliya or couscous....have many versions of this in my archives( sorry for self boasting, if it sounds one...but what to do if i like my food the way you do)...
and you know your pics are meant to salivate some innocently hungry people...:)...so i am not praising that either..:)

veda murthy said...

Initially when i started blogging i loved all the comments that came my way. But a break in between when i say a break i mean (stopped blogging and stopped commenting on other blogs)i genuinely did not find the time to go thro other blogs. The comments stopped too. I felt out of sight is out of mind. But there were some friends who really wrote to me by mail enquiring abt me and that felt good! But i have realised the whole point of blogging. Its a place for my memories of my grandmother. i m doing it for her and for me ! so i will do it when i wish to and when i find the time. I thank all those who come to my blog and give their opinions.

U have a lovely recipe here N:-) and why you think so...its bcoz i love zuccini...and i keep finding different ways to incorporate them in my food. i love to use them in pastas.

DEESHA said...

I so agree with what you've said here & you have said it soo well. Yes, I too hate the 'You comment & then I comment' kinda thing .. Yes, its very tiring to comment on each & every recipe .. I sometimes do not even comment on the ones that I really like. After I have started commenting less on other blogs, comments on my recipes have also reduced so much .. But I guess its alrite. as long as someone reads a recipe & is inspired to try it out, my job is done.. This blog was started with a lot of passion .. so I will not be extremely worried if the no. of comments are going down .. I seriously love your blog Nandini .. Do write regularly. & who cares about very very good photographs .. I seriously love your rants

Deepika said...

First time here. You've revealed a whole new dimension of the blogosphere to me. And here I was thinking that I was isolated in my physical world. Looks like the blog world too has aspects I'm totally (and maybe blissfully)unaware of.

Recently I came across an interesting post on another site called Blogging Without Obligation. It's a first for me, though maybe others have already seen it. Check it out:
http://www.tartx.com/blog/?page_id=233

I guess we all need something like this to keep us from overworking.

A_and_N said...

Thanks a ton, all you guys!

K said...

First time here and I loved the way you have expressed your thoughts. I too felt that a lot in the blogospere. But now taking it easy and comment when it is really genuine and i do want to say something. I read most of the blogs even today and would like to keep in touch with all the blogger friends I have made so far. But time constraints dont permit commenting on each and evry post of each and every blogger. And can see the 'you comment, i comment' thing happening with me too!:)

That tip of closing the lid and boiling the bulgur is something i really needed! I am gonna try that out the next time:)

Bharti said...

hey...great recipe ;-)!
Long time..I think the same way as you. I honestly have no idea why I blog but I like to think because I enjoy it and a select few near and dear ones actually look forward to my posts. But if it gets too much, I won't push myself. It's supposed to be fun. not my day job.

Mini Baker said...

love your blog! I just found it and I'm so glad I did! all these veggies look delish!
I'll be back often :)
-Mini Baker

VS said...

Hey girlie
You have written it so well. I totally understand your view.

Great post dear! Enjoy blogging and have fun munching those delicacies.

Anita said...

There's a lot of comments here! :)

Bulgur I haven't tried but zicchini I love especially grilled such as here. Potatoes are/i> good!

I do look forward to hearing from my readers what they thought about the post - it is encouraging. But, only if they have taken the time to read the post first! I cannot remember the number of times people will just scan and then ask a question that is already answered! "Nice recipe, will surely try!" is a joke that Manisha and I have shared too often! :-)
But, as you observed, if you don't have the time to go back to those blogs to leave 'return-comments' they soon move on and leave you well alone!
In fact, one should be careful about leaving thoughtless comments; they can get you into serious trouble! ;-)

Sophia said...

Thank you for sharing this recipe, one favorite of the whole family. I'll try this over the weekend!

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