Showing posts from September, 2010

A zimple pulao

Apologies to the malayalis all over the world, but it really is zimple. ;) Ingredients: 1. Chopped onions - 1 2. Chopped green chillies - 4 3. Ginger & garlic paste - 1 teaspoon 4. Chopped tomatos - 1 5. Cardamom - 3 6. Bayleaf - 1 7. Star anise - 1 8. Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon 9. Soya nuggets - a dozen 10. Chopped carrot - 1 11. Grean peas - 100 gms 12. Vegetable oil - 4 teaspoon 13. Salt - 1 teaspoon (or to taste) 14. Basmati rice - 2 cups Recipe: 1. Heat the oil in a kadai. 2. Fry the onions, bayleaf, star anise, cardamom and green chillies for a few minutes. 3. Add the ginger garlic paste. 4. Add the tomatos. Add a cup of water and continue to stir. 5. Add the carrots, soya nuggets and peas. 6. Add turmeric powder and salt. Continue stirring until the vegetables are softened. 7. In an electric cooker, add 2 cups of rice and water. Add the above mixture and start cooking the rice. 8. As in most electric cookers, let the ri

Capture the moment

I have been using an SLR camera (Nikon F55) for the past 8 years. Alas, always in the programmed modes (like indoor, landscape etc). I tried reading books and magazines to pick up the basics of manual photography but never could. I suppose it's a bit like music, you need to learn from a teacher (I may be a geek but, no amount of computer based trainings are match for a person!) I finally went manual after attending one day basic SLR workshop by Photography on the Move ( ). The class was taken by Vaibhav Mehta ( ). I learnt the basics of - shutter speed, aperture, depth of field, lighting and composition. You can check out my flickr photostream for my first hand at "true" photography (photos on the right). The beauty is, once you go manual it doesn't matter what camera you are using. It is your skill as a photographer that will define the picture. The camera just becomes a tool. As they say

Tech - From clunky to elegant

Here is my review of the latest versions of the free Ubuntu operating system. I have been playing around with open source operating systems like Ubuntu, SUSE for the past few years. The latest release of Ubuntu is amazing. I have a Acer 5738Z laptop at home. It had a Windows Vista originally which was horribly slow. I have now configured it as a dual boot with Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.04. The Ubuntu installed far more smoothly than even Windows! Ubuntu picked up all the drivers. All the hardware from bluetooth, wifi, graphic cards. On the other hand, with Windows 7 the DVD drive stopped working. I had to dig various Microsoft KB articles to finally fix the issue. With Ubuntu, one gets all the standard software for home use like - Open Office, Firefox, Music and Video players, Thunderbird etc. The Spreadsheet tool in Open Office can go upto a million rows. I created a spreadsheet with 1 million rows x 40 columns and system kept going on! Adding new software is easy using the U

Fastest and hottest chutney from the East!

This is the recipe for an indian chilli chutney. No cooking required. Ingredients 1. Red Chillies (round or long stemmed) – 10 to 15 2. Garlic cloves – 3 to 4 3. Salt – 1 teaspoon (or to taste) 4. Tamarind paste – 1 teaspoon (or to taste) Instructions 1. Boil 100 – 200 ml of water. 2. Soak the red chillies in the boiled water for 5 to 10 minutes. 3. Remove the red chillies after they are softened. 4. Grind the red chillies, garlic cloves, salt and tamarind paste in a small food processor container until it becomes a coarse paste. 5. Suitable for idli, dosai or uppuma. Serve with oil if required. Tip: Keep aside lots of water to drink when you eat this! Happy cooking and eating.