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Talcott Mountain / Heublein Tower

Talcott Mountain is the backdrop of the offices of this location where I work. Driving past yesterday I saw the colors were in full bloom and stopped by first to take the snapshot of the mountain from afar. Then I decided to take an impromptu hike up the mountain and eventually up the tower. Little did I know that I would find so much beauty from top. I wonder why I hadnt hiked up the three years I had worked in this locaiton.

View of the mountain from afar:


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Haider – A Film Review

Another masterpiece by Vishal Bharadwaj based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet; thus completing his trilogy of movies based on Shakespeare’s best plays (2003 hit Maqbool based on Macbeth, 2006 hit Omkara based on Othello). A very powerful movie, although at times a little slow, he did portray every character strongly. Haider shows a spinoff of feud between Norway and Denmark in the form of India– Pakistan fight for Kashmir. Along the political fight, the personal vengeance of Haider progresses well in the movie.

Shahid Kapoor as Haider (parallel with Hamlet) shined well while Tabu as Ghazala (parallel with Gertrude) played perfectly the role of a devoted mother and an incestuous wife. Kay Kay Menon fitted easily into Uncle Khurram’s (parallel with Claudius) role with Shraddha Kapoor into Arshee (parallel with Ophelia). The chemistry and timing between the characters was perhaps the key for the viewer to be able to sit thru such a slow play.

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Imagine Main Street Runners ART Parade

Every  year I see something different done to the decor of the downtown of the city I live in. This year it was two ART projects brought by Imagine Main Street: 1) ART Bench Project 2) Runners ART Parade. Very innovative and interesting art work from some really talented artists.

Being a runner myself, I appreciated the artwork depicting running. It was thrilling to see someone considering an athlete for their piece.

Here are a few works of art that I came across in the Runners ART Parade category, starting with my favorite.

Together We Are Run by Kathleen O'Neil: A very unique idea again. And true to the spirit of runners, doesnt matter who you are or where you are from or what color / gender / race you are, we all become one when we run. I simply loved this a lot.


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Imagine Main Street ART Bench Project

Every  year I see something different done to the decor of the downtown of the city I live in. This year it was two ART projects brought by Imagine Main Street: 1) ART Bench Project 2) Runners ART Parade. Very innovative and interesting art work from some really talented artists.

Here are a few works of art that I came across in the ART Bench Project category, starting with my favorite.

Stop and Sit a Spell by Christine Kurmaskie


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Tri–Color Idli

This year for Independence Day I made tri–color idli to celebrate the event. I am so pleased with myself.



Six big ladles of Idili Batter
1 Tomato
1 Red Chili
½ cup Cilantro
1 small Green Chili
A little Ghee
A little Oil

1)      Divide the Idli Batter into three parts (two ladles per part)
2)      For Orange Color: Chop Tomato into chunks. Sauté the Tomato along with Red Chili for a few minutes in a little oil to eliminate the raw taste. Once it cools grind it into a smooth paste. Mix this with one portion of the batter.
3)      For Green Color: Chop the Cilantro into small pieces. Sauté it a little along with the Green Chili and  a little oil. Once it cools grind it into a smooth paste. Mix this with the second portion of the batter.
4)      Now in one tray of the Idli molds, fill with the Tomato paste filled batter. In the second tray fill it with Cilantro paste filled batter. In the third tray fill it with the regular batter.
5)      Steam cook them for 15 minutes. Cool and remove from the molds.
6)      Arrange them in the form of the flag. I used a flower for the center Chakra. Voila! Tri–color Idli is ready to admire first and then eat next!!! J

Cruisin' on the Main Street – Part III

Some fun license plates from the event.....

A 1931 Model "A" Ford – The flyer on the car said that it was a 13 1/2 year project for it to be nationally recognized. Not sure what it meant...but I liked that tag below the license plate.


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Cruisin' on the Main Street – Part II

Here are some more stuff from the Cruisin' on the Main Street event from this past weekend. (For part I click here)

Who killed all the gator? Oh wait, it's Shrek. A 1974 Chrysler Swinger, look at the license cool is it!



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Cruisin' on the Main Street – Part I

This past weekend we had a vintage / antique car show on the Main St of our town. Last time I went to such a show was back when I was in Milwaukee and it was a smaller set of cars than what I saw here. Surprisingly though there were many Fords, Dodges and Chevrolets.

Here are a few sights from the same:

A 1932 Ford Pickup. What charmed me about this was the tyres...simply cool.



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Ben and Jerry's Visit


A couple weekends ago I took my parents to visit a cousin of mine who lives up north in Vermont. One of the sights to visit on my list was the Ben and Jerry's factory in this location. It was a cute little factory with a tour, a store and a of course a scoop shop. Although we werent allowed to take pictures of the facility during the tour, I was marveled at how much it takes to make one scoop of icecream. It was incredible to know that. Since we were on a weekend there, we couldnt see the icecream actually being made though. All in all we had a wonderful time. Here are some of the sights from the place.

Mom and Dad posing as Ben and Jerry inside the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough carton cap.


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Ocean's 11

This 1960 classic movie was the original Oceans movie that starred five of the Rat Packers; Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Joey Bishop. This paved way for the Oceans Eleven created in 2001 and its subsequent sequels Oceans Twelve (2004) and Oceans Thirteen (2007).

The story is about the eleven men belonging to World War II 82nd Airborne who are recruited by Danny Ocean (portrayed by Frank Sinatra) and Jimmy Foster (portrayed by Peter Lawford) to rob the five casinos of Las Vegas ((Sahara, Riviera, Wilbur Clark's Desert Inn, Sands and the Flamingo) on New Year's Eve. They plan this whole heist with military precision ensuring to dot every "i" and cross every "t".

On New Year's eve with the expert rewiring done by the electrician, Tony (portrayed by Richard Conte) in their group cause the electric tower to blow up, giving them opportunity to rob the casinos and dump them into hotel dumpster. They get picked by Josh Howard (portrayed by Sammy Davis, Jr.). All seems to be going according to the plan. However, right around the time when they are cheering each other, Tony dies of a heart attack while he's getting back to the gang. This raises suspicion in the police's mind which comes as first hurdle to the gang.

While they are figuring out how to not get tangled with Tony's death, Duke Santos (portrayed by Cesar Romero) who is engaged to Jimmy Foster's mother and holidaying in Vegas learns of the heist. Santos being a retired and reformed gangster gets upset that someone planned this heist and got away with it right when under his nose. So, he meets with the casino owners, promises them to recover their money but for a price.

Santos getting involved becomes the second hurdle to the gang.In his investigation to find where the money is, he finds out Danny Ocean and Jimmy Foster being in Vegas. He figures out the entire plan when he learns that Tony Bergdorf belonged to the 82nd Airborne. Duke Santos then confronts the gang demanding a 50% share of the robbed money.

Desperate to keep the money for themselves they decide to hide the money in Tony's casket so when Tony's wife comes to take it the money would go back with her. This would enable them to escape paying Santos and at the same time give them a chance to dig it out of Tony's grave later. However, their final and real trouble was about to unveil.

Their plan backfires again when the funeral director who was responsible to handover Tony's body to his wife suggests her that a cremation would be a better option. Tony's wife agrees unaware that there is a loot hidden in the casket. The closing scene of the movie shows all the remaining gang members walking out of the funeral home, behind them the marquee at Sands Hotel list their names as headliners.

That is a shorter synopsis of a very enjoyable movie. It amused me
thoroughly and the Rat Packers charmed me all over again. A successfully plotted heist went down the drain only because of a split of a moment decision by someone who was not connected directly to the heist. How ironic can it get! Every single frame of the movie was worth watching without blinking your eye. Believe me, you don't want to blink your eye. **A happy laugh**

If you get a chance do watch it.

Noodle Fried Rice

Recipe for Noodle Fried Rice:

1) Pressure Cook a cup of Rice. Separate the rice with a fork and keep it aside for cooling.
2) Open a packet of Maggie Noodles (I used Maggie Noodles as I had those at home. One could use a cup of any noodles). Soak it in cold water for 20 mins.
3) While noodles are being soaked, in a pan heat two teaspoons of Oil. Add 1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds, 1/4 tsp Urad Dal, 1/4 tsp of Cumin Seeds, a few Curry Leaves, a pinch of Turmeric and a pinch of Asafoetida
4) Stir a little for the spices to get fried. Add 1 Green Chilli chopped, a clove of Garlic chopped and one small Onion finely chopped.
5) Once the Onion is pinkish in color, add 1/2 a cup of Vegetables (I added Potatoes, Peas and Carrot. One can add whatever vegetables you want) and Salt.
6) Stir well till Veggies are cooked. Add the Noodle Masala that comes with the Maggie noodles packet (If you dont have the Noodle Masala, you can use any Biryani Masala. Just use 1/4 spoon), 1/4 spoon Coriander Powder and stir well.
7) Drain the noodles and add them to the cooked Vegetables. Stir well till the Noodles get coated well with the veggies and spices.
8) Finally add the cooked Rice. Stir well.
9) Serve with a dash of hot sauce or chips.


Classic Wednesdays this time had the 1959 epic historical film, Ben-Hur airing. I didn't want to lose the opportunity to watch it this time, especially for the famous chariot race. Boy, oh Boy, was I in for a surprise! It was not just the chariot race that made the movie famous. Based on the 1880 book of the same name written by Lew Wallace, the Tale of Christ, was beautifully portrayed from a third party's point of view.


As always the movie opened with an introduction by this same speaker who opened for every classic movie in this theater. He quoted the following tidbits, obviously researched on internet or elsewhere: Astonishing to hear that this was a $15 Million budget movie. More than 200 camels and 2,500 horses were used in the shooting of the film, with some 10,000 extras. However, the movie became famous for its 9 minute chariot race and the 7 minute prelude that was played even before the movie started and was played again during intermission. The movie won 11 Academy Awards, a record that was broken by Titanic in 1997 and Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King in 2003.

It was not only an epic movie, and considered now "culturally, aesthetically and historically significant" movie; it left a very deep impression on my mind. For days I couldn't forget the movie or remove it from my brain after watching it. Here is my modest review on such a majestic movie.

Movie opens with a narration of how all the Jews are ordered by Caesar to move back to their place of birth, counted and taxed. And during this narration the birth of Christ is shown as well. And moves on to the two primary characters of the movie, Judah Ben-Hur and Messala. Judah is a wealthy Prince and merchant in Jerusalem living with his mother Miriam, sister Tirzah and loyal slave Simonides. Messala, childhood friend of Judah, returns to Jerusalem a tribune, the new commander of Roman Garrison. Messala is blinded by the glory of Rome and its power. Judah is faithful and devoted to his Jewish people.

Upon Messala's arrival to Jerusalem Judah meets him to reinforce their childhood friendship. The scene what charmed me was the way both of them throw the spear at exactly the same point on the wood above the entryway, in a manner of showing off something they did as kids. Interesting to note that the frame of the entryway is shaped like a cross.
Back at his palace, Judah comes to know of Simonides preparing for his daughter, Esther's arranged marriage. He gives her freedom as her wedding present. In a sweet moment both of them express their love for one another even though she will be married off soon. Two lines are spoken that drive in the meaning so deep that cannot perhaps be said in paragraphs of words.

           Judah Ben-Hur: If you were not a bride, I would kiss you goodbye.
             Esther: If I were not a bride, there would be no goodbyes to be said.

Primary idea behind Messala meeting Judah comes to light when he asks Judah's help in finding the names of the people who are against Rome. Judah refuses which angers Messala. Shortly after this confrontation while watching the parade of the new governor of Judea, Valerius Gratus, accidentally a tile falls from the roof of Judah's home and frightens the horse which almost kills the Governor. Messala attacks Judah in his home and captures Judah, his mother and sister even though he knew they were innocent. Messala's thought is that by capturing the city's wealthiest man and a childhood friend he hopes to drive fear into Jewish hearts againts Rome. Another powerful stream of lines flow between Judah and Messala when Judah escapes from prison and confronts Messala of the injustice.

Judah Ben-Hur: [after he is sentenced to the galleys] May God grant me vengeance! I will pray that you live until I return!
Messala: [ironically] Return?

What follows after is how Judah survives as a galley slave, comes out of it alive, transforms into a Roman prince, becomes an exceptional charioteer and returns to Jerusalem to take his revenge and also find his family. In the process, he reunites with Esther, comes to know where his mother and sister are thrown away into leper colony, saves them and also takes his revenge on Messala by defeating and killing him in the chariot race. Yet, his heart does not stay in peace not his nights give him sleep. Esther pleads with him to go see this man from Nazareth whose sermons bring peace to mind and heart. Finally he ventures there along with his family and Esther only to find this man being crucified. After witnessing the crucifixion, Ben-Hur returns home to his family to find his mother and sister cured of leprosy. His final words to Esther "I felt His voice take the sword out of my hand." shows that finally he is at peace and hatred vanished from his heart.

An amazing performance by everyone in the movie. Even in death Messala does not waver to taunt Judah one last time.

    Messala: [with grim satisfaction] Look... look for them... in the Valley... of the Lepers! If you can recognize them!
     [Judah doubles over with grief]
     Messala: It goes on. It goes on, Judah. The race... the race... is not... over!

Even is hardship Esther does not shun away Judah though she understands that he is turning into Messala himself. Instead with her determination and patience she heals him and also brings peace to Miriam and Tirzah. As a Prince, as a slave and as a charioteer, Judah reigns the screen all thru the movie.

Apart from the Chariot Race and the 7 minute prelude / interlude, I particularly liked the scene where Quintus Arrius, Roman Consul, makes the 200 rowers (galley slaves) row with gradually increasing their pace with the commands "Battle Speed", "Attack Speed" and "Ramming Speed". A solid 5 minute scene that is very well pictured. I cant even imagine how the slaves in real had managed to do that.

I totally loved the movie, even though it was approx 3 hrs 45 minutes. A totally spell-bounding motion picture, I must say! Dont miss a chance to watch it if you get one.
While cursing my food from the bagel place and waiting for my temper to cool down, I pursued around me when this restaurant across caught my eye.


Actually what caught me were the little chairs made completely of tire rims. And that led me to explore the restuarant further and take pics. Very very interesting theme for a car lover.

prashanthchengi, premkudva, ebony_nivory, chandrahasa: What do you think of this place?

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One thing that I found surprising and pleasant, if may say, was this lady who was welcoming everyone who was coming in to the women's restroom. Her exact words were, "Welcome to Ladies Washroom! Stall is empty and clean. Please go." and never without a smile.  She had been contionuously telling this. And indeed that restroom was maintained really really well and smelling pleasant too. I was charmed by her attitude, work and everthing. I came to know that her name was Anne and that she does this every minute of her duty. When I asked her, "Why", her answer was "No one should come to restroom and leave unhappy. Like everything else in life, this should also be a pleasant experience. I took  her permission to take her pic and wanted to talk more but the time was so busy that I did not want to take her away from her work. I did leave a tip though appreciating her work. Impressive indeed!


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Traveling to west coast my transit stop was Charlotte, NC this time around. Walking from terminal to another I came across these miniature airplanes hung over the roof of the cafe and flying around. Loved it so much. I believe I saw a similar one in Detroit airport (If I am not mistaken).


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Life thru the Eye of My Lens: 02/25/2014

02/25/2014: To a friend who found her Mr. Darcy through talks over ball. I wish them many more wonderful times ahead!


Life thru the Eye of My Lens: 01/30/2014

01/30/2014: Where it all started - Lifelong friendships, memories, relationships and many more were made here. A walk into the memory lane!!!

01302014 Where it all started

Poornam Boorelu / Poornalu

Finally after several failures I could get this dessert successful when I made it this time. Only thing is what am I going to do with all these now. **Satisfied Smirk**

Finished Product:


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Rava Idli with Sambar

Every time I bring home the ready made Ravi Idli mix it always ends up getting infected with this little black bugs that keep creeping up in rice, flour and varieties of dals (pulses). It came to a point where in I stopped buying the ready made mix cause it was infecting other items too. **Sigh**

Yesterday I was craving for eating idlis so much and since no ready made mix, I decided to make it from scratch. Last time I had the box with the mix I had read the ingredients, which are pretty much what I usually have at home. So I thought why not try the same. And here you go, yummy Rava Idli made from scratch served with Sambar and Pickle. Now, I can make another style for my friend who loves idlis. :)

PS: I was so proud of myself that I thought I invented a new recipe. Well, a quick google search showed that the recipe is already online and all I did was re-discover it. Oh well, I am still proud. **Grinning foolishly**

Rava Idli from Scratch

Ingredients for Rava Idli: (For 12 Idlis)

Semolina / Rava (Coarse) -  2 Cups
Yogurt / Curd - 3 cups or as required
Cilantro / Coriander Leaves - a few sprigs chopped finely
Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp
Salt per taste

For Seasoning:

Urad Dal - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida / Hing - a pinch
Green Chilis - 3 thin long ones chopped finely
Curry Leaves - 3 to 4 chopped finely
Cashewnuts - 10 to 12 chopped finely


1) In a flat pan, heat 2 to 3 tsps of Oil. Add Mustard Seeds and when splutter, add Curry Leaves, Asafoetida (Hing), Urad Dal, Cashewnuts and Green Chilis.
2) Stir well and let it fry for a minute.
3) Add the Semolina / Rava to the seasonings. Fry the Rava till it becomes light brown and emits a pleasant aroma. Keep it aside to cool.
4) In a bow add Yogurt and whisk it well. Add the Yogurt to the seasoned Semolina.
5) Add Salt, Baking Soda, Cilantro Leaves also into the seasoned Semolina. Mix all the ingredients into a semi-thick paste.
6) If the batter is not appropriately thick enough, add a little more yogurt or some water and mix well.
7) Leave it aside for 15 to 20 mins.
8) Now grease the Idli plates with ghee. Add spoonful of the batter into each moulds.
9) Pressure cook the Idlis in a cooker without whistle for 15 mins.
10) Remove from flame, cool and remove the idlis off the moulds.
11) Serve with Sambar and Mango Pickle. Can serve with Chutney powder too. Unfortunately I didnt have it at home this time to serve it.

PS: Link for Recipe for Sambar:

O Children..

Musical Notes
Over the weekend I was having a movie marathon of Harry Potter series. During the Deathly Hallows Part 1, this cute little scene between Hermione and Harry where he tries to cheer her up with a dance to the song "O Children" in the background. The song isnt that catchy yet was very sweet. Never heard it before so went on you tube to check the song out. Very interesting melody.

I call it interesting because of the raunchy, sinful and redemptive lines. Didnt seem it would be apt for a movie as such as Harry Potter that dealt with magic, potions and mythical creatures. If one observes closely this song has so much sadness and ill-wills of the world packed in. Yet the music is simple, words are plain and melody is haunting. I have mixed feelings about this song cause at one glance it gives you way from all the hell you are facing and another glance it curses you back for the life you are in. Well, certainly a dark song.

Video of the original song sung by Nick Cave and Bad Seeds Band.

And the scene from Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1:

Lyrics of the song:

Pass me that lovely little gun
My dear, my darting one
The cleaners are coming, one by one
You don't even want to let them start

They are knocking now upon your door
They measure the room, they know the score
They're mopping up the butcher's floor
Of your broken little hearts

O children

Forgive us now for what we've done
It started out as a bit of fun
Here, take these before we run away
The keys to the gulag

O children
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice
Rejoice, rejoice

Here comes Frank and poor old Jim
They're gathering round with all my friends
We're older now, the light is dim
And you are only just beginning

O children

We have the answer to all your fears
It's short, it's simple, it's crystal dear
It's round about, it's somewhere here
Lost amongst our winnings

O children
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice
Rejoice, rejoice

The cleaners have done their job on you
They're hip to it, man, they're in the groove
They've hosed you down, you're good as new
They're lining up to inspect you

O children

Poor old Jim's white as a ghost
He's found the answer that was lost
We're all weeping now, weeping because
There ain't nothing we can do to protect you

O children
Lift up your voice, lift up your voice
Rejoice, rejoice

Hey little train! We are all jumping on
The train that goes to the Kingdom
We're happy, Ma, we're having fun
And the train ain't even left the station

Hey, little train! Wait for me!
I once was blind but now
I see Have you left a seat for me?
Is that such a stretch of the imagination?

Hey little train! Wait for me!
I was held in chains but now I'm free
I'm hanging in there, don't you see
In this process of elimination

Hey little train! We are all jumping on
The train that goes to the Kingdom
We're happy, Ma, we're having fun
It's beyond my wildest expectation

Hey little train! We are all jumping on
The train that goes to the Kingdom
We're happy, Ma, we're having fun
And the train ain't even left the station


Quinoa Pongal Stuffed Roti

Today was left-overs day for me in my magical place, the Kitchen. Left-over Quinoa Pongal and Wheat-Flour Dough made today's cut for me to experiment in creating a delicacy for my dinner. I used the traditional way of stuffing a Roti (Indian Bread) this time along. Turned out to be a pretty good experiment, as always! **Smug Grin**

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prashanthchengi and deponti: Will this go well with your Brinjal curry? **Happy Grin**

Ripe Banana Curry

Ripe Banana Curry: Have you ever heard of a curry with a Ripe Banana? I havent heard till a few days ago. Was browsing to see if I can make something easy, simple and quick with Bananas that is not a Custard, Fruit Salad or a Shake, I came across this recipe. I have to say, "It is so easy, even a caveman can do it!". **Quirky Laugh** This post is specially dedicated to my "Novice Chef", shanthala and my "Veteran Chef", prashanthchengi. Enjoy cooking, guys! :)

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30-Minute Meals Day

30-Minute Meals Day: After a long day at work (7am to 7pm), I came home dog-tired, sleepy and hungry. Easiest escape would be to order a Pizza or warm a frozen dinner. However, I resorted to my usual favorite place in my home - My Kitchen. I have told this several times to lots of people, but it is true. Cooking is a great destresser for me. Something coming out of the Kitchen always brings a smile on my face and a satisfaction to my soul. Given my hungry stomach I made my dinner today in Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meals style. Yes, I cooked the Curry and the Rotis in 30-minutes (including preparing fresh dough for the Rotis). Doesn't this plate look inviting? How can one not get satisfied then, I ask! **Winning smile**

Items on the plate: Two rotis (Whole Wheat floured Indian Bread), side of Paneer Mixed Vegetable Curry and a cup of home-made Yogurt sprinkled with home-made Chutney Powder. Oh yes! the cursed fried Samosa from yesterday's scare. He he, couldnt resist from putting it there.


Recipe for Paneer Mixed Vegetable Curry:

1) In a pan heat 1 tsp oil. Add 1/4 tsp Urad Dal, 1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds, 1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds and a pinch of Turmeric.
2) Once the spices are heated, add 1 medium Onion chopped finely and 1/4 tsp of Ginger-Garlic paste. Stir a little and let the Onions turn pink.
3) Add 2 cups of frozen mixed Vegetables. Stir and simmer on medium flame till the vegetables are semi-cooked.
4) Add 1 medium Tomato chopped finely, Salt per taste, 1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder, 1/4 tsp Coriander Powder and stir well.
5) Cook till all veggies are cooked well.
6) Now add pieces of fried Paneer. Stir, simmer till Paneer gets cooked.
7) Remove from flame.
8) Serve with Rice or Roti.
Another delicacy with left-over curry from my very own kitchen. I had left-over Green Papaya Curry that I was bored to eat for two continous meals. So, what do I do. Mix it with Wheat Flour and voila! There is my stuffed roti for dinner.



1) In a blender, grind 1 cup of left over Green Papaya Curry into a rough paste. Just two a quick two rounds of blender, stop after two rounds and that coarser should be enough for the stuffing.
2) In a large bowl, pour the ground curry mixture, a pinch of Salt, a little bit of Red Chili Powder and 2 cups of Wheat Flour. I used Durrum Atta that we get in Indian Stores.
3) Mix all the ingredients well. Add enough Water and knead it into a soft dough.
4) Now make the dough into small golf ball size balls. Roll each into a flat Roti / Tortilla.
5) Heat a flat large pan. Shallow fry the Roti on both sides.
6) You can smear a thin layer of butter on either side of the Roti before serving. However I prefer mine warm without butter.
7) Serve with Curd or Pickle or Raita.


Okra Tomato Rice

Another experiment in kitchen that I thought I pulled it off my hair. However, when I did a quick google search (after preparing the dish), realized that it was more of a discovery rather than invention. Alas! **False Sighing** **Foolish Grin**



1) Pressure cook 1.5 cups of Rice. Once cooled fluff with a fork to separate individual rice grains. You can use Basmati or regular Sona Masoori. I ran out of Basmati so used Sona Masoori.
2) In a small flat pan heat 1/2 tsp Oil. Fry 1/2 cup Okra pieces chopped into thin slices till they are brownish on the edges. Keep them aside.
3) In a large flat pan, heat 1 tsp Oil.
4) Add 1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds, 1/4 tsp Jeera (Cumin) Seeds, 1/4 tsp Urad Dal, a pinch of Turmeric, a few Curry Leaves and a pinch of Hing / Asafoetida.
5) Once the spices fry, add 2 long Green Chilis chopped into thin slices. Stir a few minutes.
6) Add 1 medium Onion chopped finely and 1/4 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste. I normally make the paste from fresh Ginger and Garlic (two cloves of Garlic and 1 1/2 inch Garlic). However today I used the store bought version.
7) Stir till Onions are tender. Add 1 small Tomato chopped finely.
8) Keep stirring till all the contents are cooked well.
9) Now add Salt per taste, 1/4 tsp Curry Masala and the fried Okra pieces/
10) Stir well. Add the cooked rice, stir well till all the ingredients mix well.
11) Remove from flame. Serve hot with either Curd or Raitha or Pickle or Chutney.

Dish-A-Day: 11/30/2012 - Besan Ladoo

Prologue: Go here.

11/30/2012: Besan Ladoo - A dessert that seems complicated to make but is actually easy when actually tried. ;)

11302012 - Besan Ladoo
1) In a heavy bottomed pan, add 1 tsp of Ghee. Fry a few Cashewnuts and add them to a mixing bowl.
2) In the same pan, add 1 cup of Besan or Gram Flour and roast in medium flame. Once you notice a fine aroma, remove from flame and pour into the mixing bowl.
3) Add 3/4 cup fine powdered Sugar and 1/2 cup (or as needed) melted Ghee to the mixing bowl. Do not add too much Ghee or the dough will become too thin.
4) Mix all the ingredients with spoon as they will be hot.
5) When it become warm, make them into medium sized balls with your hands.
6) Leave for an hour and serve them for a delicious dessert or an after-dinner snack.

Dish-A-Day: 11/29/2012 - Microwave Cake

Prologue: Go here.

11/29/2012: Microwave Cake - Had tried this a few years ago. Again was reminded when a friend sent me an email that she had tried this. So I tried again to see if I could still make it. Not bad, it still comes good.

11292012 - Microwave Cake

3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
4 tblsp Cocoa
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 cup flour
1) Mix together oil, milk, sugar, eggs and vanilla essence. Beat well.
2) Sift cocoa, baking powder and flour.
3) Fold lightly with the mixture made in step 1 above.
4) Put the contents into a microwave container. Dont forget to add sufficient butter or oil to the dish (a little more than what goes on a baking tray, a microwave dries the food faster) to get the cake out easier.
5) Put in the microwave for 6 minutes on high.
6) Turn the bowl upside down and drop the cake onto a cake platter.
7) Cut into small pieces and serve.

Dish-A-Day: 11/28/2012 - Dove Chocolates

Prologue: Go here.

11/28/2012: Dove Chocolates - I love these chocolates just because of the messages that they come with. Some are sweet, some are funny and some of them sometimes tickle a few memories in my brain. :)

11282012 - Dove chocolates that I love purely because of the hidden messages.

Dish-A-Day: 11/27/2012 - Naughty Nurse Beer

Prologue: Go here.

11/27/2012: Naughty Nurse Beer - A friend who hadnt had beer till now was challenged to taste during the happy hour that we had for the project that was completed successfully in October. He tried the flavor called Naughty Nurse at the restaurant that we went to. He managed to complete it and still stay sober at the end.

11272012 - Naughty Nurse
Prologue: Go here.

11/26/2012: Francis Coppala Wine - Did anyone of you had the honor of drinking a Francis Coppala Wine? I had the chance to taste one during the long weekend. Red wine which was a little bit sweet and a little tart. Later on I thought I should got a bottle for myself to take home. Oh well, I will have to look for it around where I live later.

11262012 - Francis Coppala Wine

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