Blood diamond and some other diamonds…

by Sunita on February 11, 2008

When it comes to catching up with movies, I’m a bit late nowadays. So, it was fitting that I only recently happened to watch the wonderful and thought provoking “Blood Diamond“. Most of you must have seen it already, but for those who haven’t, here’s a synopsis-

“Set in Sierra Leone, BLOOD DIAMOND explores the role of diamond trading in the African civil war of the late 1990s. Narrowly escaping death when his village is invaded by Revolutionary United Front (RUF) militia, fisherman Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) is enslaved at a diamond mine and has his family taken away from him. When he discovers an unusually large stone he buries it, knowing it might be his only means of retrieving his family. While Vandy is imprisoned, white African diamond smuggler Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio) overhears an angry RUF leader shouting at the farmer about the missing diamond. Seizing the opportunity, he gets Vandy out of jail, then offers to help find his family in return for half the stone’s worth. United by a common goal, the two men clash over drastically different values, but manage to stick together in pursuit of the prize. Meanwhile, Archer crosses paths with intrepid American journalist Maddie Bowen (Jennifer Connolly), whose obsession with uncovering the truth about conflict diamonds lands her in the middle of the bloody action. As the three embark on a dangerous journey filled with close calls, unlikely bonds form that threaten to change Archer’s unfeeling ways. Meanwhile, a subplot involving Vandy’s beloved son shows us the horror being done to and by child soldiers at the hands of the so-called freedom-fighting rebel forces. Addressing a serious subject with passion and skill, director Edward Zwick delivers impressive action sequences that feel horrifically real without seeming excessive. No one can argue against BLOOD DIAMOND’s noble intentions .To most viewers, the film is likely to provide a disturbing and educational insight into a world many know little about “(from here )

The story of a simple man with a loving family, whose life is turned upside down… whose quite young son, nursing ambitions of being a doctor someday, lands in the hands of rebels and is forced to cradle guns instead of a pen…but a man, who still refuses to give up and still nurtures hope in the midst of despair…”when peace comes, this land will be a paradise” says Solomon.

Both Hounsou and Di Caprio have given stellar perfomances. I simply love this new Caprio, shorn of his chocolate faced image. The acting of both men really sends shivers down the spine. The movie , inspite of it’s length, does manage to keep one entertained throughout…well, provokes more thought, and I could really feel the myriad of emotions running through the loving father and husband- desperately trying to retrieve his family, especially his now rebel son- as well as the feelings of the worldly and scrupulous diamond smuggler who has also been a victim of circumstances.

After a long time, this is one movie that has really left me shaken. The next morning, I gave my children a tighter hug than usual, feeling probably relieved that they were safe…but, nonetheless , wondering as to what about those who are still victims of such internal strife…what about those mothers who long to give their children this tight hug…

The hoarse laugh of a dying Leonardo is the epitome of the meaninglessness of a precious stone in the face of death… As I glance upon the expensive, glittering diamonds in those brightly lit shops, I can’t help but wonder as to the blood of how many people must have been shed before they made their way into the glitzy showcases.

In January 2003, forty nations signed “The Kimberly Process”…an effort to stem the flow of conflict diamonds. But illegal diamonds are still finding their way to market. It is up to the consumer to insist that a diamond is conflict -free.

On another note, chocolate is the bane of my life. I am addicted to them. Well, it’s not that I can’t go through the day without a bar or two… no, I’m not that kind of chocolate lover. But put a box in front of me, and I can hardly keep away. I’ve tried keeping them out of sight, but then, I always know where they are, so, you see, it’s of no use anyway. On trips to the supermarket, I find it quite challenging to stop myself from making one to the confectionery aisle.

When the children crave for something chocolaty, I try to sermonise as to how it’s not good for them. Of course, I really do mean it when I say so, but then, probably, I try to save myself as well…for , I know, once I make something, with that ingredient, I won’t be able to stop myself from devouring them.

But, if I’ve been have been good for a while, I really look forward to the li’l ones asking for a chocolaty treat…which means I can treat myself as well ;-)

The following brownie diamonds were made on one such day…

…and we all enjoyed them a lot…they were nutty and soft..the melt in the mouth kind…ahhh heavenly! If you’re planning on making these, please try to use fair trade certified chocolates…every little bit of care on our part ensures a better deal for those due to whom we are able to enjoy these goodies.

If you’re still there, here’s the recipe for these brownie diamonds.

What’s needed-

4 eggs
4 tblsp brown sugar
100 gms plain chocolate, melted and cooled a little
3/4 C wholewheat flour
1/4 C cocoa powder
1/3 tsp baking powder
3 tblsp of oil
2 C nuts of choice( I used cashews), roughly ground

Topping(optional)-
cream, sugar, a little cocoa powder

How to-

  1. Pre heat the oven at 170 deg C and line and grease an 8 inch square baking dish.
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar.
  3. Sieve together the flour, baking and cocoa powders and mix with the egg mixture.
  4. Add the oil and mix well.
  5. Add the melted chocolate and mix well.
  6. Fold in the nuts.
  7. Tip the mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread out evenly.
  8. Place the dish in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for approximately 18 minutes or till very little sticks to a toothpick when inserted through the centre( do not let it dry out too much).
  9. Cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes and then peel off the parchment.
  10. Transfer to a rack and cool completely.
  11. Cut into square or diamonds to serve
  12. If you want to go on with the topping, just whip together some cream, a little sugar and cocoa powder till thick and pipe it or just spread it on the top( I have not given specific measurements the topping…use according to your preference)

These were really yummy…and needless to say, satisfied my cravings as well!!!

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shilpa February 11, 2008 at 2:59 pm

Beautiful post Sunita.
I have seen blood diamond. Was too shaken by the movie :( . Do watch Tare Zameen Par if you get it somewhere. Its a gem.
I am not a choco lover, but these brownie diamonds look too good…

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2 AnuZi February 11, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Chocolate!!!!!!! I would love to be on some choco sugar high on this cold monday morning. Pardon me while I drool away ;o) BTW I agree with your choice…Blood Diamond was an excellent movie and as Shilpa has suggest so is Tare Zameen Par.

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3 sunita February 11, 2008 at 4:12 pm

shilpa, thanks…I found the movie quite disturbing too…will keep your recommendation in mind :-)

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4 sunita February 11, 2008 at 4:18 pm

anu, I can be on a chocolate high any time ;-) …and, see what I mean by being a bit late…all of you have already watched it :-D

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5 Rachel February 11, 2008 at 4:23 pm

Saw the movie.did hit a nerve!

I am a diehard-fan of leonardo-di caprio and anything chcolatey!!!

This goes into my to-make list!!!

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6 Richa February 11, 2008 at 5:03 pm

u keep the box out of sight, but obviously know where it is….lol
so there’s no choc escape, is there?
lovely treats….

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7 Archana February 11, 2008 at 5:07 pm

lovely. These brownies look great. And I love the Movies Blood Diamond. Very disturbing!

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8 Asha February 11, 2008 at 7:38 pm

Although he is great actor, somehow we can’t come to like that “boyish man” in my house. Trisha calls him decrapio!!:D
I saw that movie in HBO, really sary what people do for that stone. I have stopped buying jewelry altogether now,waste of money anyway.
Now, I could easily buy some of those Diamond brownies though!:)))

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9 Mansi Desai February 11, 2008 at 7:40 pm

I loved the movie and your brownies Sunita!:)

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10 sunita February 11, 2008 at 7:56 pm

rachel,the movie really does, doesn’t it…do give these brownies a try :-)

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11 sunita February 11, 2008 at 7:57 pm

richa, no escape at all :-D …thanks.

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12 sunita February 11, 2008 at 7:58 pm

archana, thanks…glad you dropped by :-)

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13 sunita February 11, 2008 at 8:01 pm

asha, I too wasn’t a fan of DC, but really loved his work in this particular movie…really moving, isn’t it…

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14 sunita February 11, 2008 at 8:02 pm

Mansi,thanks… glad you do so :-)

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15 Happy cook February 11, 2008 at 8:14 pm

These are indeed diamonds. You do make such bautful things. I am also a chocolate lover and i too hide the chocos so that i can’t take them, but then i know were it is so i some how get to the hidding place ;-)
I too wached the movie. I didn’t feel good about it.

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16 Suganya February 11, 2008 at 8:16 pm

You have a spot soft for cashews :) . Those little white pecks are lovely.

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17 musical February 11, 2008 at 8:30 pm

“Blood Diamond” is an amazing movie, the story leaves you numb! The other diamonds must have comforted a lot after the movie!

Brownies rock, any day, anytime!

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18 sunita February 11, 2008 at 10:35 pm

happy cook, thanks…I concur with you about the movie.

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19 sunita February 11, 2008 at 10:39 pm

suganya, thanks…actually Dinesh is the real lover of these nuts…never lets them go out of stock,so I have them at all times…not that I mind.

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20 DK February 11, 2008 at 11:13 pm

They look beautiful Sunita :)

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21 KayKat February 12, 2008 at 1:49 am

Ok, I totally skipped reading about the movie (don’t want no spoilers :) ), but I spent enough time drooling over your damn brownies! Why do you have to tempt a fellow chocolate freak this way??

*drool*

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22 Namratha February 12, 2008 at 2:12 am

The brownies look adorable Sunita. I enjoyed Blood Diamond too.

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23 Kalai February 12, 2008 at 2:13 am

I wonder why I’m suddenly craving brownies…?! Gorgeous. Haven’t seen the movie yet, but planning to.

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24 Kevin February 12, 2008 at 2:44 am

Nice looking brownies!

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25 Nags February 12, 2008 at 3:45 am

they sure look good, Sunita. I am craving for some baked goodies too, but am out this weekend, so don’t know when I can do that!

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26 Red Chillies February 12, 2008 at 3:54 am

I have not seen “Blood Diamond yet. I don’t think I will be able to sit through it. But your brownie diamonds look delicious.

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27 Shella February 12, 2008 at 10:22 am

Your post inspires me to see the movie, n the brownies look heavenly.

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28 sunita February 12, 2008 at 2:15 pm

dk, thanks, glad you dropped by :-)

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29 sunita February 12, 2008 at 2:16 pm

kaykat, :-D D…so you’re a choco fan too eh?…would have definitely shared with you if you were nearer :-) …but till then, drool ;-)

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30 sunita February 12, 2008 at 2:17 pm

namratha, thanks…they were really rich…and the movie was really something, wasn’t it :-)

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31 sunita February 12, 2008 at 2:18 pm

kalai, :-D …now go on and make some :-) …do watch the movie if you can :-)

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32 sunita February 12, 2008 at 2:20 pm

kevin, thanks…glad you like them :-)

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33 sunita February 12, 2008 at 2:22 pm

red chillies, thanks…but give the movie a try…you won’t even realise how you sat through the whole of it :-)

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34 sunita February 12, 2008 at 2:23 pm

shella, thanks…do watch the movie if you can…really touching :-)

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35 bee February 12, 2008 at 4:22 pm

3 tblsp oil? you kidding me, right? gorgeous brownies.

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36 Mike of Mike's Table February 12, 2008 at 5:26 pm

I haven’t seen the movie (yet). The brownies look really rich–yum! :o

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37 SMN February 13, 2008 at 7:10 am

Very tempting post Sunita.. i can eat browine any time and how much ever i can stuff..thank u so much for the recipe..and nice spice for this month..

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38 Sia February 13, 2008 at 11:11 am

now i have watch that movie after reading gr8 review from u suni. just few weeks back watched the kite runner and tare zameen par. both are really well directed and have become my favs. its good to see some meaningful movies these days than same old running around the three and jumping from 100th floor dramas!
ur brownie diamonds seems like simple one which even i can attempt;) beautiful pics as usual..

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39 sunita February 13, 2008 at 11:50 am

bee,thanks…no kidding here :-)

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40 sunita February 13, 2008 at 11:51 am

Mike, thanks..and do watch the movie if you can :-)

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41 sunita February 13, 2008 at 11:53 am

smn,thanks…glad you like the current theme :-)

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42 sunita February 13, 2008 at 11:57 am

Sia, yes, do watch the movie…very gripping…and of course,you can make the brownies :-)

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43 Gretchen Noelle February 13, 2008 at 2:37 pm

These look like they would satisfy my cravings also! Just wanted to let you know that I have tagged you here.

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44 Dhanggit February 13, 2008 at 2:46 pm

sunita your photos are spectacular!!definitely a must brownie recipe!! i did see the movie too but i didnt finish watching it, for it made me soo upset

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45 sunita February 13, 2008 at 4:36 pm

Gretchen, thanks…as for the tag,I have already done a tag about 7 random facts about myself, and I haven’t got anything else to add to them :-) …but thanks anyway for thinking about me :-)

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46 sunita February 13, 2008 at 4:37 pm

dhanggit, thanks…we did love the brownies a lot…as for the movie, most of the time I was cluching Dinesh’s arm too hard.

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47 mycookinghut February 18, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Looks yummy!! I love the first photo! Very good DoF!

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