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Uncategorized

Snip snip…

Snip snip...

(Photo of a baby girl at her ‘mundan’ ceremony). This was a prompt on a lovely Facebook group that I am fortunate to be a part of. This is what I came up with (an attempt at Haiku).

‘Snip..snip.. Curly locks fall gently to the ground.
Baby girl, you have no choice!
The first of many sacrifices.’

Categories
Thought and Reason

Five tips for effective social media strategy

I spent much of Christmas tweeting and re-tweeting posts on micro-blogging platform Twitter in the hopes of winning a Sony Tablet or iPhone (none of which came my way, in any case!) But yes, the use of social media was extraordinary!! What was more interesting was the fact that retailers did not ‘PUSH’ their products by ‘Selling’. To the contrary, they ‘PULLED’ a huge audience by ‘NOT selling’ but ‘engaging‘ the vibrant online buyer community!! Apparently, research has also proved that products recommended by friends/acquaintances on social networks fare better than those that aren’t!

Social Media platforms

There is no denying it. Social media is here to stay. So all you lovely entrepreneurs and independent retailers, please do consider these points in your strategy:

Don’t just sell!

1) Back to basics – Integrate your social media channels to speak in one voice. It should brandish your USP (unique selling proposition) that can be as simple as ‘hand-made jewellery’ or as exotic as ‘Himalayan rocks’!

 

2) ‘Engage’ and ‘brainstorm’– As a customer myself, I would be annoyed if a retailer used social media to ONLY Sell. Simple community engagement initiatives like seeking feedback/opinion using Polls and posting pictures of not just celebrities but even the common man endorsing their brand make you endearing!

‘Brainstorm’ with your audience – they are a storehouse of ideas! For example, hold a Twitter contest to solicit brand TAGLINES, thereby ‘engaging’ customers with more than a mundane sales pitch.

3) ‘Extra’s  – Can you use social media to offer that ‘little something extra’? For eg., a Facebook offer of 20% discount or ‘Cash on Delivery‘ could be a deal breaker.

4) Financial and non-financial targets – Let’s face it. You are not running a charity. Ensure to set targets, eg, 500 new Twitter followers.

5) Don’t stop –Most retailers/small scale entrepreneurs do not have the bandwidth to persist with social media initiatives. But do keep the buzz going. Cross-posting a Blog post a week could do the trick.

Social Media strategy is not to ‘sell’ but to ‘Engage’. Speak the voice of the customer, and they will look after you!

Categories
Food and recipe

Cheese n Tomato Swirly Buns

I wake up each day, wondering what to pack in my child’s lunch-box! I prefer non-messy finger-foods, but they aren’t always filling. My Little Prince hates sandwiches, and you already know about my exceptional roti-making-skills! Therefore I often resort to jam-triangles (er, a fancy name for two slices of bread with jam spread inbetween them and cut diagonally into two halves), or rolls (again, paratha rolled like a cigar (oops) along with fresh fruits/vegetables/salad and a tiny pot of Yogurt.

So when I saw some cute little tomato buns on display at the Bakery section of a superstore, my heart skipped a beat! They looked (and tasted delicious!) and were rather filling too. Inspired by the lovely chefs I know I decided to come up with a recipe to make these on my own.

Those of you who know me, also know what a ‘fantastic’ cook I am (Hick! Please take that with a bucket of salt!). And this recipe (Ahem… my own, by the way :-)..pulls collars up!) is so utterly easy, that even a Baking-Duffer like me cannot go wrong. Seriously!

When my little prince tasted the Swirly Buns, he said ‘Mummy, these don’t look like the store ones, but they taste quite similar’ J Good enough for a first attempt, huh?

I hope you do try it!!

What I think you need to have:

1) For the bread/roll:

2.5 cups of flour, 1 cup of warm water, 1/2 spoon sugar, 1 spoon salt (I prefer my food a little less salty, but feel free to add more if you wish!), 1 tablespoon Del Monte EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). 1 tablespoon of butter (I can’t measure out xy.z gms for nuts 😉 but again, feel free to add more if you like), 3/4 spoon dry-active-yeast (I bought the yeast that you add directly to the flour, and not the one that needs preparation. So if you are using yeast that needs to be proofed, then do follow the instructions on the pack 😉

2) For the cheese n’ tomato spread/filling:

I believe life is too short to waste time making tomato sauce from scratch!!! Blanching tomatoes, peeling and grinding them.. argh..takes the pleasure out of cooking doesn’t it?! So do take the smarter way out and use good quality ready-made store-bought pasta sauce. Like Del Monte pasta sauce (You can use any of the Del Monte range, but I prefer tomato-garlic – which translates to ‘Siliciana‘), Grated cheese, a handful of Dried herbs, and if you want, a few drops of milk for  basting (you could use egg, but I chose to go completely veggie on this one). I actually found the Swirly Buns go a little soggy if you baste them. They turn out light and fluffy if you don’t baste them. Up to you of course!

What I think you should do:

As always, mix all the ‘bread’ ingredients in a bowl, knead into a soft dough and leave it covered with clingfilm for about 20 mins until it has doubled in size. Then knock down the ball of dough, and roll it out into any shape. Rectangles would be nice though. (I got 2 big size rectangles for this quantity of flour.) Now slice these into thin LONG strips. Or make one medium length strip, and slit it into two halves (length-wise) to make it one looooong roll.

Onto each strip, spread some Del Monte pasta sauce, throw in some grated cheese and dried herbs. Now roll it inwards like a circle. Once you get a cute little Swirly Bun, top it with a generous spread of pasta sauce, more grated cheese and a pinch of dried herbs again.

OPTIONAL: Brush with a drop of milk or egg-wash if you like, but certainly don’t let them get soggy! I didn’t brush/baste it, and it turned out great anyway!


Now the dear husband decided to try his hand at the Swirly Buns and made an interesting variation, of Italian Pasta + Swirly buns 🙂 He included a few bites of lovely little Tomato+Basil Tortellini  and a dash of Pesto and made this huge dinner-roll 🙂 that tasted awesome.

Cheese n Tomato Swirly Buns and in the Right-hand top corner, the pasta Swirly Buns 🙂 ready to go into the oven.

Pop these pretty little Swirly Buns into the oven (180 degrees, 20-25 mins). And voila! You have an amazing-looking-and-tasting batch of Swirly Buns!!!

Take a look at these babies!!!

And on the inside…

 

The Swirly Buns are good to eat hot or cold! Pack these rolls into your kid’s lunch box for a lip-smacking snack 🙂


They make a nice accompaniment to soups as well. Or WTH, just munch on them while wasting time on Facebook 😉 😉

I think the shelf-life should be quite good. Unfortunately, I never get to find out, as they get polished off the day I make them!!

(PS: I am sending this as an entry to the Indiblogger Del Monte contest) (https://www.facebook.com/worldfoody).

Categories
Thought and Reason Short story Incidents Awards

Long overdue – Bagful of peanuts and more

This happened a couple of months ago, and I only remembered to write about it now (thanks to my friends on an online community).

Remember the innovative ‘Blogsplash’ conducted by Fiona Robyn (author of ‘The Most Beautiful Thing’)? My contribution to the Blogsplash was a little story about a touching incident that took place on my last trip to India. I’m very glad to say that of all the entries, mine was chosen as the top entry!

I’m very happy about this, particularly because it was the gesture of one humble man that has moved people (across the globe) to tears. Please do read it. Here: https://writerzblock.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/a-bagful-of-peanuts/

God bless such simplicity and humility. Need I say more!!

Once again, thank you Fiona for conducting the event, and many thanks to the One and Only: Shail for inviting me to it. It was a learning experience.

(Comments disabled. Thank you all so much for your warmest wishes :-))

Categories
Thought and Reason Incidents

Satyameva Jayate or SMS Jayate?

Picture this scene – A picture-perfect dutiful daughter-in-law decked in all her finery, casting pensive looks, while trying to outwit her wicked mother-in-law and bhabi-sa’s plots to entangle her in controversy. Add to it a jilted lover, a current husband (usually categorically abusive or passive and lovey-dovey!) and a motley collection of uncles/aunties, not to forget the endless fights and tears – Voila! You have an Indian television soap that is bound to rake in TRPs and some moolah for the next couple of years.

Now what hits Indian television with a breath of fresh air, nay, a powerful gust of wind is Aamir Khan‘s new programme ‘Satyameva Jayate‘ (meaning ‘Truth alone triumphs’). I don’t remember being ‘hooked onto’ television in a really long time. The last programme I watched religiously was ‘Hum Paanch‘! So one can imagine what a huge TV-serial-fan I am.

However, after hearing rave reviews on Facebook about ‘Satyameva Jayate’ and reading this particularly intriguing post by Raamesh, curiosity got the better of me, and I tuned into good ol’ Youtube to catch the first episode, that talked about female foeticide.

First of all, let’s give credit where it is due. Aamir and team have done a great job of

* Researching the topic on hand, gathering verified statistics about the gravity of the problem, and highlighting facts that hit you in the gut! For example, the fact that in some parts of India where female foeticide/infanticide has resulted in a very low sex ratio, women are being ‘bought’ to be wives and are being ‘shared’ and treated like a commodity by the men in the family!

* Getting real-life witnesses on board to come and share their experiences. Like Harish Iyer for example (who also featured in the very impactful and gut-wrenching CSA Campaign last year) who shared his painful past about child-abuse.

* And quite literally, doing a pious job of ‘trying’ to spread awareness about topics that are rarely discussed and often swept under the carpet. Yes, we are all quite aware of these issues (like female foeticide and child sexual abuse), but it is not a topic of everyday conversation. Neither do we take any aggressive action against it!

Edited to add: Take a look at this article that talks about the national child helpline being flooded with calls seeking help against abuse!

Kudos to the Satyameva Jayate team! I would any day have this on my TV, as compared to the barage of nonsense in the form of ‘family soaps’!

But what I found rather unsatisfactory about the programme was the ‘action items’.

The first two episodes have followed identical patterns. Aamir writes a petition to the government, Invites people to send SMSes to support the cause (proceeds go to charity), he solicits charitable contributions (again, this is matched by a big corporate, who ultimately get more publicity through the show!) And ofcourse, leaves us with an impactful dialogue about ‘change has to begin with YOU this MOMENT!’ 

I think this is a great start. But having said that, doesn’t this seem too lame and Bollywood-ish?

For instance, will the written petitions TRULY impact government policy? If yes, then Aamir and team, please – take a bow!

But if not, then it becomes a farcical piling on people’s collective emotions (more of guilt than of anything else!) and meagre monetary contribution that could easily be achieved from alternate means! For example, the Rs.3 crore that Aamir is rumoured to be charging per episode! Or perhaps a portion of the money that Reliance has pumped into IPL!!

The show makes it very easy for people to ‘contribute’ by sending an SMS. ‘Female foeticide’ / ‘child abuse’ –  no problem! One little SMS saying ‘YES’, and we have done our bit! We are also rid of guilt! Guilt of what crime??! Nobody knows. 🙄 Simply send that SMS and get back to party-ing!

I’m intrigued by this new wave of ‘SMS-Charity’ culture. To be fair, it is ‘some’ contribution to society in place of ‘nothing’. Not too bad, actually. But Imho, a barrage of SMSes may not successfully bring about social change! I think we need more solid action!

Also, it will be very interesting to find out if the money raised after each show is MEASURABLE?

On another note, I have no clue why Sri Devi gets a ‘standing ovation’ from the audience???!!! She is an actress, for God’s sake! Not a humanitarian!!! If anybody deserves a standing ovation, it is the ‘victims’ who dare to come out in the open and speak about their very painful experiences!!!

Ok, I am in technically no position to criticise the show. I haven’t sent that SMS saying ‘YES’ yet. And neither have I donated any money online.

But tell you what? These are my 2 cents on how one could make this show more impactful.

1) Get those Criminals!

Don’t interview only the victims. Get hold of the perpetrators of the crime! Instead of asking the victim to describe the abuse/his emotions, focus on the abuser instead. If he refuses to appear on the show, try to catch him in a separate sting operation. And no discreet black masks for the abusers, please! Question and shame him in front of the country, so that neither he nor abusers like him continue this horrendous crime of child abuse! Talk to convicted criminals and show what sort of punishment is meted out for such crimes. Instil Fear (in the minds of potential criminals) and Hope (in the minds of victims/their families). And if the punishment isn’t sufficient, then interview the Judge who issued the ruling and find out WHY he/she did not think such gross crimes deserved more severe punishment. In short, SHAME the criminals, NOT the victims.

I have written about this in my earlier post on Aruna Shanbaug. We (media and masses) insist on shaming the victims and making their life hell, instead of grabbing the criminals and ensuring they don’t repeat their crime!

Some really strong action like this would take the show from a lame-Bollywood-entertainer to serious investigative journalism and an agent of social change!

2) Bollywood-crazy country!

We are a cricket and Bollywood-crazy nation, and we have no qualms about it! I’m sure Sri Devi increases TRPs of the show, and the organizers must need it, so the show makes complete business sense (in addition to social sense!) But for heaven’s sake, rope in some useful people on the show – police, politicians, judiciary .. invite a top Judge for example. Someone who is in a position to actually influence change in the country! Or if inviting a Bollywood celebrity, atleast get him/her to contribute say, a portion of the crores of rupees from his/her next film, to the same charity that the show is patronising!

3) Charity begins at Home!

Sending one little SMS and raising money for charity is quite creative. But honestly, charity begins at home. I would rather have Aamir try to influence the minds of the immediate audience, so they commit to something small but local, for example, sponsoring private education of their maid’s child! Or perhaps, teaching their servant-maid to read/write English. You see, these are the little things that will help our country grow.

4) Replace lifeless writ petitions with real-life commitments!

Instead of merely writing a petition to the Government, invite senior politicians to the show and hand over the petition in front of the country. In short, try to get any form of commitment in front of the public eye! It may or may not manifest in public policy change. But hey! Its worth a shot!

So people, enough of my criticism and rant. I honestly feel that the show is a great initiative, and at the risk of sounding repetitive, I would any day have this show on my TV.

But having said that, please feel free to share – what YOU would do, if YOU were producing ‘Satyameva Jayate’?

Categories
Thought and Reason

The Virtual world – Virtual or Real?

With many of us living a parallel life ‘online’, one wonders if this throbbing, invisible world is really virtual anymore?

I remember reading a chapter on ‘the Internet’ when I was in school, and quietly dismissing it thinking it was too ‘theoretic ’. I could not have been more wrong!!

Right from my cute 8-year-old neighbour in Chennai till 70-year-old retired school teacher aunty, almost every single person I know is alive and kicking in the Virtual world (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_world).

Facebook FeverFacebook, Twitter, Google wave (and many more!)… ‘being online’ is not merely a part of life, but a basic necessity for many! Facebook discussions, for example, are so real that I often find myself pondering the entire day about a single thought floating around somewhere in virtual space. Some people go so far as to claim their life has improved with being able to instantly gratify their need for friendship! We are so involved with the online world that it begins to affect our day-to-day life. We do things, go to places so we can tell the world we have done it. We argue, we strive desperately to show we are right, we eagerly seek approval.. and all this from a community that we do not ‘see’ but only ‘read’.

Media Mania (pic courtesy Hindustan times)

There is this nagging urge to make a strong online presence. It could start off with a completely useless discussion on New Year resolutions that you know will not see the light of day! Or RT-ing anything that Big B, Junior B, or Beti B say (or gurgle, as the case may be). Or even reading a controversial article and throwing barbs at the authors hiding behind a shield of anonymity.

One thing is certain – no matter what form our online participation takes, it is certainly assuming gigantic proportions. Statistics indicate that many Facebook users spend more time on Facebook than face-to-face with friends.

Basically, we do not live in one single world any more. There is this invisible, pulsating virtual world all around us, drawing us deeper and deeper each day.

I wouldn’t say it is a vice, though. Let’s take a look at the incredible benefits of our virtual world:

  • Pretend to be friends with @SrBachchan and go ga-ga about Beti B’s name
  • Find love in chat-rooms (Sure, that makes a great story to tell your grandkids!)
  • Golu (Pic courtesy Wikipedia)

    Valiantly keep Indian culture alive. Especially all those lovely NRIs living in the ‘aasum You-Yes-Yay’ who post photos of exotic Golu and drool-worthy Paniyaram!

  • Say NO to dieting and exercise. I mean seriously! All you need is Photoshop. And tada!! You have a . Throw on a pair of dark glasses, Copy-Paste Santorini in the background, and notice how easy it is to get ‘liked’ without the Kolaveri of sweaty gymming.

    Instant makeover (Pic courtesy home-make-over dot info)
  • Keep a watch on the better-half! You wonder why his SMS reads ‘stuck in boring office party’, when he is simultaneously ‘tagged’ realtime with some hotties via ‘HTC Wild fire for FB’ 😉

Keep an eye on that teenage cousin who wears two-plaits and goes to a girls-school, and quietly tip off her mom when some weirdo with spikey hair comments ‘Dat Pic Lukng Hawt’. Whatever, dude!
Find out what your retired dad is upto these days (even if you don’t really want to). Dirty Picture at xyz Cinema with abc’. Gulp! Shouldn’t Zuckerberg think of introducing an upper age limit on FB users?

  • Free campaigning for events and functions. All you need is an IIT/IIM based story, and Voila! you are the next Chetan Bhagat, and FB is under a deluge of your ‘book launch’
  • Forge great friendships and even greater enemies!
  • And best of all, you get all this for FREE!

All the same, we suddenly have many lurking dangers!

  • Trading Facebook for Treadmill. Er.. not a great idea, really!
  • At the risk of an anti-climax, most of those porn videos that you think are ‘Chi..chi!’ and then click when nobody is watching, are actually spam and could contain viruses. What is worse, the bleddy link does not even play a video afterall!!
  • Attack by virtual trolls. There seem to be an increasing level of aggression and barbed attacks by anonymous trolls who trade subjectivity for offensiveness. Actually, getting to watch a fight for free should go under ‘merits’ of social media, but then, it isn’t always pleasant, is it?
  • Identity theft – This is more common than we think. When I saw my mum receiving FB notifications, I wondered how a lady who refused point-blank to turn on a computer, suddenly got so tech-savvy. Duh! Someone had stolen her ID!
  • Mc Merry!!! (Pic courtesy www dot overgroundonline dot com)

    There is just no privacy! You can’t lie to your organization or school. Like, for example, you cannot bunk school and go to Inox or McDonalds, because somebody is always watching.

  • And what is worse… those annoying/boring/nevertheless curious folks you desperately try to avoid in real life, keep such close watch on you, its like having a personal Bodyguard
  • And on a serious note, considering the amount of time and effort you invest into social media, you really cannot estimate the value of ‘return’. Unless you consider ‘3 hrs per day on FB = 5 kgs gain p.a’.

Evidently, all these merits and demerits of the virtual world are quite tangible. Increasing awareness, thoughtful discussions, resultant mood swings(!), friendships, enemities, losses (of time) and gains (of weight!) are all real.

Can we still confidently draw the line between the online world and the real one?

Do we know when exactly a Facebook campaign suddenly gains huge momentum, facilitating a mass-protest in a country (eg., Egypt protests organized through Facebook and microblogging site Twitter)?

Pip pip Pippaaaa! (Pic courtesy telegraph dot co dot uk)

Why! We even saw a bunch of ‘real’ people who witnessed the Royal wedding and promptly went on to create a Facebook page for ‘Pippa Middleton Ass Appreciation Society’. The page has 241,492 fans!

We did not see this coming (And I don’t mean Pippa Middleton).

We did not realise when or how the virtual world became an integral part of the real one. When being ‘online’ changed from a one-off indulgence to a gnawing daily necessity! When the power of the online world began to threaten that of the real one. Or when thoughts floating around online started influencing mind-sets in the physical world.

What do you think? Is the Virtual world really virtual anymore? Or is it so real that it poses social and even political dangers to society?

Pic courtesy: Wikipedia

Perhaps we should ask Kapil Sibal!

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Cross-posted on the nri dot com)

 

Categories
Incidents

On polling, (not) begging and more

BlogJunta is holding Indian Blogosphere polls, across several categories. What was interesting was that the blogs that have been shortlisted are mostly of good quality. And many of these, I haven’t had the opportunity to read until now. So, I am looking forward to enjoying these blogs going forward.

I’m very grateful to BlogJunta for having shortlisted my blog in the Fiction category. Really grateful. Such recognition is really very encouraging.

What I ‘dare’ to call 😉 my ‘collection’ of short stories can be found at this link. My favourite 55-ers are here.

After experiencing recent blogging contests in Blogosphere, I am rather disillusioned by the way most polls work. Unfortunately, having a large friends-network in Blogosphere often scores over true writing potential.

This time, I’m not campaigning for my own blog. I hope you will vote for the blog that deserves to win.

I hope you will use your wise judgement and NOT vote for someone only because he/she is your friend, or a friend’s friend, someone who is just popular.. or perhaps someone who simply begs well!!

For once, may only the best blogs win.

To vote, kindly head over to the Facebook poll page by clicking this link.

🙂

Categories
Incidents Thought and Reason

Disappearing toddlers

Some of my newest friends on Facebook were ‘toddlers’ just a few years ago. And look at them now. Gorgeous and handsome teenagers! Where has the time flown??

One moment, we were all kids, playing hide-and-seek behind moss-covered white-washed buildings. Our parents were young and strong, and would yell at us, telling us to ‘finish our homework’ otherwise they would ‘kill us’. The babies of the apartment complex would suck their thumb, being carried around by their mommies, as they hung out the clothes to dry in the hot sun. Like somebody has pushed a fast-forward button, all of a sudden, here we are. Mommies and daddies ourselves, shouting at our kids now, ‘to finish studying before we kill them’ 😉

Every time I visit home, the ‘kids’ have grown some more. Every time, I make the same mistake of asking them ‘which class are you in now?’ and they give me a look that says ‘Duh! I’m doing my Engineering’ or ‘Old hag! I’m working, didn’t you know?’ 😈 Kids who once ran around the complex in just a little white banian and chaddi 🙂 (Aww, how cute!!) now put up pictures in the most gorgeous attires, making me wonder – When did they grow up?

But do you know, what the scary part is? If they have grown so much, then .. er .. gulp .. have I grown older too???? The thought psyches me out. Honestly, I don’t think a day older than 20. Now, if only we were blessed enough to ‘look’ as young as we ‘think we are’…. ah, won’t that be bliss.

So, here on this cheery note, I wish you a wonderfully happy new year. Also chanced upon this awesome post, please do read!!

http://www.sapphyr.net/largegems/dancelike.htm

‘The truth is, there’s no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when?’

Categories
Incidents Thought and Reason

Another non-post

Now where do I begin? Its just been so long. There are a hundred thoughts running criss-cross in my mind. Every incident, every emotion – turns into fodder for a new blog post, that I have very sadly, neglected to follow up on! So here are some tidbits…

1- What the heck is Arundhati Roy thinking?! While most people simply do not think, some successfully think crooked and turn into politicians. Others choose not to think at all, and turn into PMs. Some others think radically different, and make inflammatory speeches. I wish everyone who supports ‘Azaadi’ for Kashmir, actually charts out a ‘What Next‘ map as well. Where does Kashmir go from there?!!! By the way, I liked God of Small Things, but it was too dark, a little confusing and altogether depressing.

2- I was very upset to read that ‘….The United States has no stronger partner when it comes to counter terrorism efforts against the extremists who threaten us both than Pakistan’. Sad. Very sad! My pro-Pakistani friends, please, don’t bother to ‘try explaining’ things to me.

3- I read this post at IHM’s blog and also the original post at TBG’s blog. Now I have never been a ‘feminist’. Atleast not the sort of feminism they show on TV. In my own way, though, I firmly believe in independence and space – as a matter of birth right – for any human being, man or woman! And if Indian society dictates that women MUST be in the kitchen, ‘enjoying’ doing ‘her’ activities, then that is ridiculous. Every woman is an individual first and only then a wife or mother or daughter-in-law. If she is denied this basic right, whether explicitly or in unspoken words and behaviour, then there certainly is something wrong!

4- For those of you who have not yet read this, please do click on Greatbong’s post and Khamba’s post on the latest Super Hero: ‘ArnabMan‘.

5- For those of you who did not watch Rakhi Ka Insaaf, shame on you. You missed something profound. The audience screamed ‘Rakhi Rakhi’ and the woman meted out justice, by asking the lover to marry the woman he has been having an affair with, with absolutely no consideration of the fact that this man was already married and had 4 children!! Rakhi had better join Muthalik. Together, they can get every couple in India married. Again, read Greatbong’s hilarious post on this.

6- And for those who have not been following our one and only Sultan Bhai, he’s been flooding Facebook with his Rajini wisecracks. This latest one steals the show:

Basketball player: I can spin a ball on my finger for 2 hrs… can u..??
Rajnikanth: How do u think the earth spins…??

Which reminds me that I am one of the very few people who has not yet seen Enthiran!!!

7- We have two new additions to our family – They are called Andy Juju and Radar Chichi. Who are they? Any guesses, anyone??

8- The weather has suddenly changed from ‘bright, sunny and hot’ to ‘grey, windy and cold’. Brrr….

Anyway, I leave you with a beautiful picture… a place that everyone must visit, atleast once in a lifetime!!!

Categories
Food and recipe

Friday Feast – Palak in a Jiffy

I hate cooking. Period.

Therefore, if at all I try a recipe, it just HAS to be something really quick and easy. So is this recipe for Friday Feast… Palak (paneer or aloo, whatever!)

Step 1 – Very very very roughly -Chop palak (spinach), onion and tomato (separately)

Step 2 – Cook these individually (i.e. palak in one pan, and onion/tomato – together with a little ginger-garlic paste in another) on a medium-high flame for about 5-7 mins.

Leave it to cool.

Do whatever you like for 15-20 mins. Check your Facebook status, Leave some spam comments on other peoples’ blogs, Tweet if you like… just enjoy.

When you are back:

Step 3 – Grind onion/tomato mixture first. Heat a teaspoon of oil in pan, throw in some jeera, a bay leaf and the ground mixture. Grind the palak, add that too.

Step 4 – Add all the powders you have in your kitchen – salt, chilli, haldi, dhani, jeera, garam masala – just whatever you like, really 😉 Don’t bother too much about quantities and proportions. You like it salty, add more salt. Like it spicy, add extra chilli or pepper powder. Its YOUR recipe, so cook it the way you want to!!

Let it simmer for 3-4 mins.

Step 5– Optional – Add either soft paneer, fried paneer (yummyyyyy ;-)) or boiled potato. I chose boiled potato simply because it wasn’t as fattening as paneer!

And the best part, eat this with roti or some really yummy aloo paratha.

That utterly drooolicious paratha, btw, is the easiest thing ever! Gets done in less than a minute!!! All you have to do, is dial lunchbrunch.co.uk and order it home 😉 (Thanks, Kanagu, for that awesome tip ;-))