Color Burst (Golden Trumpet)

Come end of March, the trees in the green belts of Chandigarh begin to flower. The first among these is the beautiful Golden trumpet ( Tabebuia chrysotricha).

Golden yellow flowers, like bellowing trumpets give the tree a befitting name. It loses most of its leaves during flowering as its a deciduous tree. The brilliant yellow of the flowers on almost bare branches makes for a striking burst of color against the clear blue sky!

Bhang Pakoras For Holi ! (Marijuana Fritters)

Holi Hai! Time for some masti and some fun. Its good to let your inner child awaken during a festival such as holi and indulge in some fried goodies such as Bhang pakoras. It will make you happy ‘guaranteed'( but of course eat responsibly- for your senses and waistline alike).

Recipe for Bhang Pakoras 

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Bhang (marijuana leaves)

Ingredients:

2 cups besan (chick pea flour)
2 large onions finely sliced or cubed.
one big bunch of bhang leaves,chopped.
one small bunch of methi (fenugreek) leaves.
2 large potatoes peeled and chopped.
3/4 cup or more water (can be adjusted).
7 or 8 coves of garlic peeled and mashed.
1/2 tsp ajwain (carom seeds).
1 tsp red chilli powder.
1/2 tsp anardana powder (optional).
salt to taste.
oil for frying (vegetable oil or groundnut oil is suitable).

Method:

Wash and chop the bhang leaves and methi. If fresh methi is not available, you may use dry leaves (kasturi methi). The purpose is just to add flavour to the dish. Make a thick paste of the besan with water, ensuring that there are no lumps. Add water gradually. The paste should not be too thick or too thin. It must not be a runny batter. Add all the ingredients to this paste and mix well. If need be add more water and again mix. If by chance mixture becomes too thin add some more besan. Heat the oil to a high temperature in a deep pan or wok. Drop small dumplings of the mixture into the hot oil with the help of your fingers and thumb.If you find this difficult you can also fill up the mixture in one table spoon and use another table spoon to slide it into the wok. Reduce heat to medium. Let fry to lightly golden brown but not fully done. Remove from the wok with the help of a strainer. Continue in small batches till all the pakoras are made. Now press each pakora lightly with a small cup (katori) to flatten it slightly and again deep fry till crisp and golden. Serve hot with mint chutney and tomato sauce.

The idea for second time fry is to make the pakoras nice and crisp. The health conscious people can also use the air fryer very effectively for the second time fry. The pakoras can be made a few hours in advance (only once fried) before your guests start coming for Holi.  Pop them in your wok or air fryer , when your guests arrive, and surprise them with the crispy delight!

Be responsible, be safe. Have a Happy Holi!! 

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Bhang Pakoras with Thandai

 

Awestruck at Natural history Museum,London

A permanent on the list of ’10 Best tourist attractions in London’ is The Natural History Museum, London. With its main entrance at Cromwell road, it is home to the tallest and biggest and rarest animals (or their replicas) in the world. When you reach the Blue Zone- Look up and see  blue whale model, seemingly swimming with the other cetacean skeletons and replicas suspended from the ceiling.

One may also gape in wonder at the sight of the slice of a giant Sequoia tree pitched on the wall. So, when one talks about big and huge, along with natural lines, be it in terms of the streamlined curves of the blue whale and other cetacean skeletons, mammoth elephants, or the shear beauty and architecture of the building itself housing all these treasures;one cannot think of a better place. Looking at the fine details engraved along arches and pillars on the entrance of the building is sure to leave one awestruck and speechless. But do you know the best part? There is no admission fee 🙂

This post is inspired by Day 7 (Big and Point of view) and Day 8 (Natural world and leading lines) of Photo101 Blogging U.

All pictures have been clicked by Anil Nanda and Ritu Nanda and may not be used without permission.

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Entrance to Natural History Museum, London
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Blue whale replica and other cetacean skeletons suspended from ceiling.

IMG_1297Blue whale replica and other cetacean skeletons suspended from ceiling.

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mammoth elephant

Photo 101:Big and Point of View

I really wanted to experiment today, so decided to photograph a huge tree, from different angles on my evening walk to Rose garden, Chandigarh. I have a huge tree fetish and will probably one day write detailed posts on the different types of trees in our region. For today, I’ll be happy just with these photos clicked from different angles and points of view. The first one is a long shot, while the second is of the same tree clicked crouching on the ground! The tree trunk appears slimmed down with the rose looking monstrous in comparison.Which one do you like more?

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Slimmed down !

The cover picture is a favorite, clicked in the famous Kew Gardens of London.

Nature Connect (Gloucester Harbor,Massachusetts)

Can there be anything more rejuvenating than connecting with nature? Especially during travel. Yes, especially during travel- far away from the city, far from the madding crowd, just to connect with nature. Steal a few beautiful moments to be with nature and then capture them with your lens so that they remain with you forever. Its one of my secrets to remain happy!

Today, I wish to share a photo gallery from our travels to the Gloucester Harbor, Massachusetts in USA. We had the good fortune and opportunity to drive along the prestigious area along the harbor, close to Gloucester’s Good Harbor beach. Though human habitation is pretty evident, the wide open spaces, lush grass, azure blue skies and clear sparkling waters of the Atlantic ocean provide an immediate connect with nature. Unspoiled and pure. A must visit place for the nature enthusiast! Let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

P.S: No filter, no edit – just auto correct used on a couple of them.
Photo credit: Anil Nanda and Ritu Nanda

Day 5: Photo 101 Solitude

Photo challenges are fun and great inspiration for new posts. Today’s inspiration is Solitude with the ‘Rule of thirds’.

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Alone and happy- Bulbul bird

Sticking to just a picture today, as I’ve already composed an earlier post on solitude in the form of a haiku poem 🙂 See link below

https://riturang.wordpress.com/2015/12/21/solitude-haikusenryu/ . The picture in this earlier post was clicked in Switzerland’s Lake Lucerne.

 

 

The Mighty Trummelbach falls, Switzerland

There are certain things which I always find quite imposing, towering and magnificent at the same time. These are so impactful in terms of their effect that they have the power to make one feel like a dot, a mere dot; minuscule in comparison. This is good for inflated egos at times because it puts you in your place. This the kind of feeling I get whenever I visit the mountains. Besides enjoying their majestic presence and enjoying the cool weather, when you look closely at their rugged raw strength, you realize how fragile you are. Add to that the roar of water from a gurgling waterfall and this is what you get- The mighty Trummelbach falls in Switzerland!

Located in the Lauterbrunnen valley, they are Europe’s largest subterranean water falls and are one of 72 waterfalls.The Trümmelbach Falls are the world’s only glacier waterfalls that are accessible underground by lift, galleries, tunnels, paths and platforms. They alone carry the meltwater of the glaciers from the Jungfrau down to the valley – up to 20,000 liters of water per second. The water carries with it over 20,000 tons of boulders and scree per year and causes the entire mountain to shudder and make a thundering noise.

OMG! So much water and so much force ! It has to be seen to be believed. It is one amazing experience of my Switzerland holiday that I treasure and is a joy to relive. Mind you, although a huge lift carries you up to the falls there are a number of broad, sometimes slippery and watery steps to climb to get good views. It is also a bit dark as you are actually tunneling through the falls. The Trummelbach falls are hidden in the ‘Black Monk’ mountains and are often called the ‘Cork screw’ falls due to the spiral nature of flow of the water. I hope you enjoy my pictures in this post.

Trummelbach Corkscrew falls, Switzerland
Trummelbach Corkscrew falls, Switzerland
Trummelbach Falls, Switzerland
Trummelbach Falls, Switzerland
Good luck charm! Spectrum at Trummelbach falls, Switzerland.
Good luck charm!
Spectrum at Trummelbach falls, Switzerland.

Busy Indian Street

We are fortunate to experience varied seasons in our country. Currently, we are enjoying spring in all its glory. The days are longer and warmer. The evenings are breezy and balmy. These pictures reflect the mood on a busy street in the market place. Ice-cream, milkshake and juice are welcome along with long walks!

 

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what does home mean to you?

Almost invariably, the word ‘home’ reminds me of the three little pigs story read in nursery school. Home is indeed a sanctuary where you live your dreams and happy children play. East or west home is the best.

Home for me is also a cozy corner, where one can curl up with a book and a piping hot cup of chai ! Do you agree?