Tag Archives: lifestyle

Healthy and Tasty Khandavi

Its an amazing dish. Super easy to make and healthy too. Its almost no oil except for the small amount used for the ‘tadka’, which you can omit if you wish. But the tadka is like the feather in the cap so I would go for it, using very small quantity of vegetable oil or substitute it with a good quality olive pomace oil. Khandavi is an Indian Gujarati dish made with besan (chick pea flour) and curd. Both of these are very healthy ingredients. The best thing I like about it is that it can be made ahead for any small get together with a couple of friends and is best enjoyed at room temperature (Store in fridge if you intend to use it next day). Further it can serve as an anytime snack or food. Hey , it should be an ideal snack for the festival of ‘Holi’! O.K. so enough of talking for now. I’m sure you’re getting a wee bit impatient. Here goes the recipe:

Ingredients for Khandavi:
1 cup besan
1 cup curd
2 cups water
1 level tsp salt
1/4 level tsp turmeric
1 pinch asafoetida (hing) which is optional
Paste of 1/2 inch piece ginger and one large green chilli

Ingredients for tempering (tadka) and garnish:
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
10- 12 curry leaves
chopped coriander leaves
1 to 2 tbsp fresh grated coconut or paneer (optional)

Method:
Mix together all the ingredients for the khandvi into a smooth paste. There should be no lumps. Pour this mixture into a heavy bottom sauce pan or wok and cook stirring continuously on low to medium heat till the mixture thickens but is still spreadable. This should take about 10 to 12 minutes. Taste a little to check that the rawness of the besan is not there. Take about 2 ladle fulls of the batter and spread evenly into a thin layer (approximately 4 mm thick) onto the back of a large steel tray, or baking tray or even kitchen counter. You may need several plates depending on their size. Let cool for 5 to 6 minutes. Meanwhile prepare tempering by spluttering the mustard seeds in the hot oil. Add the roughly chopped curry leaves and switch off the gas. Now using knife cut the khandavi layer into equal sized strips (about 1and 1/2 inch width) and loosen the edge with knife. Roll starting from one end and arrange into serving dish. Garnish with the tadka and grated coconut or paneer (cottage cheese). I like to add a dash of red chilly powder too. Enjoy the healthy almost no oil and gluten free Khandvi.

Note: 1. In first attempt, usually the layers turn out a bit thick.
2. If curd is not sour,add 1 tbsp lemon juice, for better flavour.

Source: Healthy and Tasty Khandavi

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Musings On Money- Do You wish For More?

At the breakfast table, my son reads out some recent news from his Iphone – “Just eight individuals, all men, own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population, Oxfam said on Monday in a report…”Oh really? who are they? I ask goggle eyed unable to suppress my curiosity.”The eight individuals named in the report are Gates, Inditex founder Amancio Ortega, veteran investor Warren Buffett, Mexico’s Carlos Slim, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Oracle’s Larry Ellison and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.” he continues to read.Astonishment apart this piece of news really set me thinking, entering into the age old debate (with my own inner self) on how much money is enough. There is always a  constant tug of war between our needs and wants. People often console themselves by saying that love is the utmost important factor in life and money ranks a poor fourth or fifth place maybe, if we were to do some rankings.  The Billy Graham quote we held as a gospel truth since childhood begins to rhyme in my head,When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.How true! But the desire to earn or possess more money is omnipresent for many of us poor mortals, isn’t it? And I’m not even talking about people below poverty line here. I’m thinking about ordinary middle/upper middle class folks. we always keep wishing for a better house, a better car, a raised social stature, all of which come at a price; that of being a rich person. But is having loads of money the real meaning of being rich? I get an answer from author Mitch Albom’s book Tuesdays with Morrie. “You don’t need the latest sports car, you don’t need the biggest house….. You know what really gives you satisfaction?What?Your time. Your concern.”

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Source: Musings On Money- Do You wish For More?

Open Door To Happiness: The Nature Connect

George Santayana, the Spanish -american philosopher, poet and novelist had rightly said- ‘The earth has its music for those who will listen’. We are all so caught up in our everyday mundane activities or work schedules that we often fail to notice the the abundant beauty of nature which surrounds us. Rather than popping pills for hypertension, break free from the vicious clutches of house chores for an hour or at least a few minutes everyday and choose a path that leads to peace and joy. All you need to do is take the first step. Be determined and step out and take a walk in a beautiful park or lake side. Listen to the earth’s melodious music and be healed and addicted to the soothing goodness for life. Well, I did just that yesterday and went for a long walk to the beautiful Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh (India). I was rewarded with clean fresh air, a spring in my step and some beautiful sunset pictures. This coming new year if you have to make a resolution, open the door to happiness- by embracing nature. Click on the following link to see those beautiful pictures.

Source: Open Door To Happiness: The Nature Connect

Open Door To Happiness: The Nature Connect

George Santayana, the Spanish -american philosopher, poet and novelist had rightly said- ‘The earth has its music for those who will listen’.

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We are all so caught up in our everyday mundane activities or work schedules that we often fail to notice the the abundant beauty of nature which surrounds us. Rather than popping pills for hypertension, break free from the vicious clutches of house chores for an hour or at least a few minutes everyday and choose a path that leads to peace and joy. All you need to do is take the first step. Be determined and step out and take a walk in a beautiful park or lake side. Listen to the earth’s melodious music and be healed and addicted to the soothing goodness for life. Well, I did just that yesterday and went for a long walk to the beautiful Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh (India). I was rewarded with clean fresh air, a spring in my step and some beautiful sunset pictures. This coming new year if you have to make a resolution, open the door to happiness- by embracing nature.

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Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh

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Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh

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Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh

These pictures were clicked with an Iphone 7, and they came  out so good that no filter has been used.

George Santayana quote picture source: Buzzfeed.com

Faces (A Tanka Poem)

There are faces

And there are masks that people wear

Being politically correct

Happy faces, sad faces, pretentious faces

Hiding true self to inner confines.

(A tanka consists of 5 lines and 31 syllables.

Each line has a set number of syllables see below:

Line 1 – 5 syllables

Line 2 – 7 syllables

Line 3 – 5 syllables

Line 4 – 7 syllables

Line 5 – 7 syllables)

Cover picture source:Typorama

Addicted to My Phone? Sorry, I Refute This Charge!

An ode to my friend,(my lovely mobile phone) in the form of a prose poem:

My phone is my notebook, my postbox, my gaming station, my book stand, my news reporter and my business supporter! My phone is also my camera and my pictures album folder. My phone is my banker,my meeting place with friends and a place to look up the latest trends. The device even doubles up as my vanity mirror and my music system. My phone is my dictionary and spelling corrector, it can teach me to strum the guitar and teach me mandarin if I want. Its also my magnifying glass you bet! Use your imagination and you’ll know how. It takes me to far off places and is a small doorway to the big bountiful world which I can hold in my fist or my pocket. The big bonus is that it can also be used to make calls! Yes you heard that right.I can also make calls. I need all these facilities in my life, so when my phone is my true friend indeed, when in need, why do people call it phone addiction? It’s not just a phony phone after- all; its much more!

Tomorrow If I Die

Sometimes I may be foolish

In what I speak or how I act,

As I don’t measure my words

Or think to act age appropriate.

I take merry go round rides

And jump on trampolines!

Sometimes I may love to dress up

and wear makeup,

And at other times, stay barefaced and plain

as per my wish.

Often, I follow my whims and fancies

And care not for critics.

For tomorrow if I die,

I have no regrets!

Book Review: The Lowland

When I picked up this book, The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri, it was with a mixture of awe, apprehension and determination. This was because I was about to read a book by a Pulitzer Prize winning author for the first time.(Correction there- because actually this was the second. The first being Gone with the wind, which I had read long long ago, without being conscious of it being a Pulitzer Prize winning book at that time). The Lowland was also long listed for the Man Booker Prize and these awards to my mind gave the book a superior air.But surprisingly right from page 1 to the last page (page no. 340), I remained hooked to the book and so I was compelled to write its book review as soon as possible. It is a tale that begins in Calcutta (or Kolkata) and unfolds across continents and covers 4 generations. Primarily a story of two boys who live in Calcutta during the time of the Naxalite movement. They live along with their parents in the swampy lowlands. The author beautifully describes their growing up years from school days to youth and dwells deep into their similarities and differences. The bonding between the two brothers as well as their complexes is brought to life. You remain hooked to the tale of the different paths in life on which they eventually walk; in a narration that’s fluid, gripping, and a command over language that is nonpareil. There being absolutely no clue at all as to whats coming ahead, you are curious to quickly  find out and continue to flip page after page becoming a part of the whole scenario.

The characters are finely sketched to the minutest details. It is as if the lead characters, Subhash, Udayan and Gauri are living and breathing people whose lives are unfolding right before your eyes. They keep secrets from one another, but their individual thoughts, fantasies and feelings are laid thread before the reader in a brutally honest description. Revealing anything more of the story-line would in deed be a huge spoiler, so I wish to desist from that. Please read the book if my review inspires you enough.

Yes, there is some negativity in some of the characters etched. But towards the end of the book, we do see hope emerge and one character shines with his selfless and unconditional love. Needless to say , I’m now a fan of Jhumpa Lahiri ! And the next time I pick a Pulitzer Prize winning book, it will be not be with awe but a lot of excitement and expectation 🙂

P.S- My next pick is ‘To kill a mocking bird’ by Harper Lee, a 1961 Pulitzer prize winning book.