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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?

More cars behind the cut...Collapse )
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!


More behind the cut....Collapse )
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).


More planes behind the cut...Collapse )

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:


Recipe behind the cut...Collapse )

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**

Detailed steps of the Roti...Collapse )

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! :)

Recipe is behind the cut with pictures. Collapse )


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

Dish-A-Day: 11/25/2012 - Fresh Fruit Plate

Prologue: Go here.

11/25/2012: Fresh Fruit Plate - I was amazed that the B&B folks served us fresh fruit every day morning instead of canned or frozen. I was really impressed by the service at the hotel. Would love to go back again sometime in Summer too.

11252012 - Fruit at the breakfast...ffresh fruit with RS at Lenox, MA - day 5
Prologue: Go here.

11/24/2012: Another scrumptious breakfast at the B&B hotel that we stayed. The way I ate there I would have out at least 3 pounds in my weight in those 4 days. Yet, I did not leave any crumb on my plate and so didnt my friend. :)

Breakfast: Almond Pancakes, Home Fries, Apple Crisp and Egg-Cheese-Tomato Quiche.

11242012 - Day 4 at Lenox, MA
Prologue: Go here.

11/23/2012: Bombay Bar and Grill Lunch Feast - The day after Thanksgiving after spending time on Black Friday sales, we ventured around to look for a good place to eat. Surprised to see an Indian Restaurant in such a small town. We took the opportunity to try the food there. Here is what we ended up eating
Chicken Tikka Masala with Roti and Rice; Chicken Vindaloo with Roti and Rice. There was no more room to try any desserts after such a heavy lunch.

11232012 - Bombay Restaurant at Lee, Ma

Dish-A-Day: 11/22/2012 - Happy Thanksgiving

Prologue: Go here.

11/22/2012: Happy Thanksgiving - The B&B hotel that we were in had this scrumptious breakfast the following morning that included Fresh Fruit, Blueberry Pancakes, French Toast and Egg. What a way to start Thanksgiving!

11222012 - Scrumptious breakfast at Day 2 in Lenox, MA - Fruit, Pancakes, French Toast - Happy Thanksgiving Day with Amazing breakfast and company - with RS

Dish-A-Day: 11/21/2012 - Baja Pizza

Prologue: Go here.

11/21/2012: Baja Pizza - Start of Thanksgiving weekend with this Baja Chicken Pizza at Betty's Pizza Shack, a local pizza corner in Lenox MA, for dinner. Per the restaurant's menu, the Pizza contains Barbecued Chicken Breast, Maui Onions, Roasted Red Peppers, Barbecue Sauce, Mozzarella and Cheddar Cheeses. I must say I hadnt liked it so great, but not bad.

11212012 - Baja Pizza from Betty's Pizza at Lenox, MA, dinner on our first night there..with RS

Dish-A-Day: 11/20/2012 - Treats from India

Prologue: Go here.

11/20/2012: Treats from India - My friend RS came back with goodies when he came back from his short visit to India. Boondi Laddoo is another of my favorite sweets that although I dont know how to make or ever tried, I always try to buy them on and off. What a timing for the arrival of the sweets when the craving was at peak! Thanks, RS!

11202012 - Treats from India by RS...mention as a dear friend from India

Dish-A-Day: 11/19/2012 - Gongura Curry

Prologue: Go here.

11/19/2012: Gongura Curry - This tart leafy vegetable can be made into several dishes. One of them is this easy Curry

11192012 - Gongura Curry


1) Pluck the leaves of Gongura and mince it to small leaves.
2) In a cooker, put the leaves, 1/3 cup of Moong Dal, 2/3 cup of Chana Dal and pressure cook it with enough water.
3) Once the leaves are cooked, set the cooker aside for pressure to release.
4) In a pan, heat a little oil. Add Mustard Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Chana Dal, Urad Dal, Asofoetida, Curry Leaves and minced Garlic Cloves.
5) Once all get slightly brown in color, add minced green chillies. Fry them a little while.
6) Add finely chopped onions.
7) Cook till the onions are half-cooked. Add the cooked leaves and Dal from the cooker.
8) Add salt and red chilli powder if needed. Mix well and simmer for about 5 to 10 mins.
9) Curry is ready to have it with either Roti or Rice.
Prologue: Go here.

11/18/2012: Baby Corn Manchurian - Baby Corns are my favorite veggies that I eat them just boiled or sometimes make them into these yummy Manchurian. As always recipe is easy although looks lengthy.

11182012 - Baby Corn Manchurian


1) Parboil Baby Corns in water and little salt and keep them aside. If using canned, just microwave for 3 minutes.
2) Mix 2 cups Maida (All Purpose Flour), 1 Cup Corn Meal (Corn Flour is used usually, but to give a grainy texture I used Corn Meal), Red Chili Powder (per your taste), Salt per taste, Soy Sauce, Ginger Garlic Paste and Water into a thick batter.
3) Dip Baby Corns into this batter and deep fry them in hot oil. Strain from Oil and keep aside.
4) Cut 1 small Onion, 1 small Green Bell Pepper into lengthier pieces. Cut a few Green Chillies, Garlic, Ginger and Coriander (Cilantro) into small pieces
5) Fry Green Chillies, Garlic and Ginger in a little oil. Now add Onions and Green Bell Pepper pieces, saute them. To this add, Soy Sauce, Chili Garlic Sauce and Salt per taste. Fry little.
6) Now add fried Baby Corns into this mixture. Saute for a little while. Baby Corn Manchurian is ready.

Dish-A-Day: 11/17/2012 - Zucchini Daal

Prologue: Go here.

11/17/2012: Zucchini Daal - One more dish that we can make with Zucchini is this spicy and yummy Daal. Easy recipe like any Daal recipes that I have posted so far.

11172012 - Zucchini Daal


1) Pressure cook 1 cup of Toor Daal, add 2.5 cups of water, 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste and pinch of Turmeric (Haldi).
2) Peel and Cut 2 medium sized Zucchinis into 1/2 inch pieces.
3) Chop 1 Onion into fine pieces.
4) Add a little oil in the tava. Once oil is heated up, add the Onion pieces.
5) Fry Onions for a little, then add Zucchini pieces. Fry them until Zucchini and Onions get cooked well.
6) Add the cooked Daal to the pan. Mix well.
7) Now add Red Chilli Powder, Salt, Turmeric (If needed) and little Dhaniya Powder. Mix well and leave it on stove for a few mins.
8) Serve hot with Rice or Roti

Dish-A-Day: 11/16/2012 - Onion Pakora

Prologue: Go here.

11/16/2012: Onion Pakora - Fall is giving way thru to Winter. On such cold evenings what better than have fun with some yummy hot and warm Onion Pakoras.

11162012 - Onion Pakora


1) In a mixing bowl, add 1 cup Besan (Gram Flour (, Salt per taste, Red Chili Powder per taste and Water.
2) Water should not be too much, enough to make it into a dry paste.
3) Heat 5 cups of Oil in a deep pan.
4) Now add 1 medium Onion chopped into long thin slices. With your fingers mix a few Onions with the batter and put them into the heated Oil.
5) Deep fry them on both sides. Strain the oil once they fry well.
6) Put them into a serving bowl.
7) Garnish with Chat Masala, Black Salt and a pinch of Sugar.
8) Enjoy them hot with Tea or just like that.
Prologue: Go here.

11/15/2012: Diwali Potluck at work - We had a Diwali potluck on the last day of Diwali at work. People from two departments gathered around with loads and loads of food and yummy desserts. Amazing to see so many varieties and surprisingly every one of the dishes had completed. Not a single crumb left at the end of the potluck. :)

11152012 - Diwali Thanksgiving Potluck at work - gorgeous food

Dish-A-Day: 11/14/2012 - Tiramisu Cake

Prologue: Go here.

11/14/2012: Tiramisu Cake - One of my favorite desserts that I often crave to eat and bring it home from either restaurants or bakeries. I however had made it from scratch at home more than once a few years ago. Here is the
link to the same recipe. It does seem to be a lengthy one, but it is easy to make and yummy to eat at the end. Do try it out.

11142012 - Tiramisu Cake

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