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Showing posts from January, 2011

Winds of change

Sekhmet, the daughter of the powerful Egyptian god Ra is known as the protector of good and destroyer of evil. According to mythology, blazing desert winds are supposed to radiate from her body.

A sudden gust of wind seems to be sweeping across the middle east.


First was the swift "jasmine revolution" which caused a change of the ruling government in Tunisia. Political commentators were quick to note that there was a potential for the change to sweep across the middle east. Looks like change is imminent in Egypt (at the time of writing the blog). It now remains to be seen, what will be the effect on the remaining countries. So sudden has the change been that some of the major countries have not had a chance to respond.

There are some people who have attributed these changes to the latest avatar of the internet namely, social networking and all. But, I think at the most, the internet and increased communication has a marginal impact.

The real reason seems to be that the peo…

A rustic pizza

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This recipe is a bit of a cheat. I don't make all the ingredients, especially the pizza base and the sauce. But, it's good for a quick week day dinner or weekend too if you are feeling lazy.


It's also a great way to make kids eat vegetables they don't like, like spinach, broccoli etc.





Ingredients:

1. Sliced Red and yellow bell peppers - 1 each

2. Cut onion rings - 1

3. Crushed black pepper - 1 tablespoon

4. Basil - 1 teaspoon

5. Oregano - 1 teaspoon

6. Rosemary - 1 teaspoon

7. Pasta / pizza sauce - 2-3 tablespoon

8. Olive oil - 2-3 tablespoon

9. Salt - 1 teaspoon (or to taste)

10. Pizza bread - 2

11. Mozarella cheese - 10 slices

12. Corn - 1 cup

13. Cut spinach - 1

Recipe:

1. In a pan, heat the olive oil.

2. Add the bell peppers, corn, spinach and onion. Saute for a few minutes.

3. Add the rosemary, oregano, basil and black pepper and saute for a few more minutes.

4. Add the pasta/pizza sauce and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

5. Lay the vegetables in top of …

Fish as you like

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Here is a simple recipe for fish.

I just seems to have fallen in love with fennel seeds. They taste and smell great. They are great for preventing flu!




Ingredients:

1. Cumin seeds - 1 tablespoon

2. Fennel seeds - 1 tablespoon

3. Pepper corns - 1 tablespoon

4. Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon

5. Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon

6. Water - 1/4 cup

7. Seer fish (Indo-pacific Mackerel) - 2 fillets

8. Vegetable oil - 3-4 tablespoon

9. Salt - 1 teaspoon (or to taste)

Recipe:

1. Grind the pepper corns, cumin and fennel seeds in a food processor.

2. Mix the above powder with turmeric, chilli powder and salt with some water.

3. Coat the fish fillets on both sides and let it marinate for 15-20 minutes.

4. Add the oil in a pan and heat it.

5. Shallow fry the fish until they are brown on both sides. It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes.

6. You can have the fish with mint or mayonnaise dip.

Tip: If not Mackerel, try this recipe with salmon.

Happy cooking and eating.

A staple chutney

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This is a chutney which goes well with any south indian dish like idli, dosa, upma etc. It has been a life savior on many weekdays when I need to make a quick dinner. I think my fastest time was around 10 minutes!




Ingredients:

1. Chopped onions - 1

2. Chopped green chillies - 1

3. Chopped garlic - 4

4. Chopped tomatoes - 1

5. Mustard seeds - 1 tablespoon

6. Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon

7. Chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon

8. Vegetable oil - 3 teaspoon

9. Salt - 1 teaspoon (or to taste)

10. Chopped coriander / curry leaves

11. Asafoetida powder - a pinch

12. Broken urad dal - 1 teaspoon

Recipe:

1. Heat the oil in a kadai.

2. Add the chopped onions, mustard seeds, broken urad daal and green chillies and fry for a few minutes until the onions are golden brown.

3. Add the chopped garlic and asafoetida powder.

4. Add tomatoes and fry until everything is mashed.

5. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt.

6. Let the dish cool and grind into a thick paste in the food processor. Add some water…

A bean I love

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I usually hate beans, but there is one which is a favourite. It's called Rajma in India, otherwise known as red kidney beans. A great dish to be had with both rice or chappatis. It is a famous Punjabi dish which is found in Indian restaurants in India and all over the world.




Ingredients:

1. Chopped onions - 1

2. Chopped green chillies - 2

3. Ginger & garlic paste - 1 tablespoon

4. Chopped tomatoes - 1

5. Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon

6. Fenugreek seeds - 1 teaspoon

7. Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon

8. Chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon

9. Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon

10. Rajma powder (from MDH or Everest) - 1 tablespoon

11. Vegetable oil - 4 teaspoon

12. Salt - 1 teaspoon (or to taste)

13. Chopped coriander

14. Cooked Red Kidney beans / Rajma - 1 Cup

Recipe:

1. Heat the oil in a kadai.

2. Add one of the chopped onions, cumin, fenugreek seeds and green chillies and fry for a few minutes until the onions are golden brown.

3. Add the ginger garlic paste.

4. Add tomatoes and a cup of water. Cl…

A dish for all seasons

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Rasedar is a quintessential bengali dish. Perfect for a dinner with chappatis and quite easy to make.




Ingredients:

1. Chopped onions - 2

2. Chopped green chillies - 2

3. Ginger & garlic paste - 1 tablespoon

4. Chopped tomatoes - 1

5. Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon

6. Fenugreek seeds - 1 teaspoon

7. Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon

8. Chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon

9. Vegetable oil - 4 teaspoon

10. Salt - 1 teaspoon (or to taste)

11. Cauliflower cut into florets - 1

12. Chopped coriander

Recipe:

1. Heat the oil in a kadai.

2. Add one of the chopped onions, cumin, fenugreek seeds and green chillies and fry for a few minutes until the onions are golden brown.

3. Add the ginger garlic paste.

4. Grind the remaining onions and tomatoes into a thick paste.

5. Add the cauliflower florets to the kadai and fry them.

6. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt. Continue stirring until the cauliflower is softened.

7. Add the onion and tomato paste to the cauliflower.

8. Add about a cup of water to the …

Tech - No more raw deals

A quick look at some of the new deals sites sprouting all over the world.

Prologue
As the internet evolved, one of the major industries to exploit it was retail. One of the initial hypes was around the internet only sites such as Amazon and Ebay. These sites are still holding steady and expanding into more countries and services (such as Amazon Web Services). Once these sites started succeeding, the brick and mortar retailers were quick to jump the bandwagon. Some of them like Tesco have been very successful, it's online grocery is now one of the leading in the world.


Main Story
Adding to the mix has been Google. They initially debuted Froogle which morphed into Product Search and the latest avatar is Google Shopping. They are even trying their hand at designer shopping, check out boutiques.com (beta at the time of writing this blog). It includes designers like 7 for All Mankind, Oscar de la Renta, Diane Von Furstenberg and others. It features a unique "visual" search.


In a…

Tech - A surprise from Motorola

At the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, one of the hottest (odd isn't it sometimes people use coolest) gadgets to be reviewed was the Motorola Atrix 4G smartphone.

Specifications
The phone itself is quite powerful. It's one of the next generation of smartphones with a dual core processor (NVIDIA Tegra 2). This is the same processor powering the Adam tablet from Notion Ink. This chip is a new class of chips called SOC (System On Chip) where there are dedicated processors to handle CPU, video, audio etc. More about it here. The RAM will be 1 GB. The screen is a 4" HD screen. And the other usual suspects such as GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi, you get the drift. When it ships out, expect minimum Android 2.2 or perhaps 3.0 (if it is ready by then). I think the phone may start shipping out by either the 1st / 2nd quarter of this year.

Killer Feature
All the above features already are getting it rave reviews. Added to this is the really cool feature (there …

Tech - Power of Search

That Google has become like a de-facto search for everyone is known. Here is nifty way to customize it to suit your needs.

Google has a really cool service called Google Custom Searches. This is a completely free service where one can customize the google search. Of course, there is an enterprise version too available for companies (which is based on a subscription model).
Some of the features are
Specify the list of websites to be searched forAuto complete featureAdd custom synonymsIndex custom websites instantlyAdd filtersModify the look and feelMonetize the search with AdSenseI am trying to create some custom searches which might be useful. Feel free to try any of these and let me know your feedback. I am already hooked! I have created a search for shopping (called "Shopping Search"), you can see it on the menu on the right. I will add more custom searches as I go along.

Tech - Three little letters - C E S

The Consumer Electronics Show just recently concluded at Las Vegas, USA. CES is the annual show of all gadgets and new products. This year, the unanimous winner was Android (and therefore Google by extension).

Also, amazing was the sheer number of tablets, smartphones, smablets (smartphone+tablet), tabbook (tablet+netbook), smartbook (smartphone+notebook)! The last category might particularly appeal to the road warriors. Check out the Motorola Atrix 4G, a cool concept.

Another cool tablet to finally be unveiled was the Adam from Notion Ink. This is a startup based out of Bangalore, India. Finally, they got some fair and balanced reviews. The Pixel Qi display technology used in it is a key one to watch out for. It has the qualities of both an LCD and the E-Ink. Check out this article.

For more details, you can go to 2011 International CES, January 6-9 or a host of other websites / Google search.

Lastly, an interesting search trend for CES. The spikes are quite regular and it's inte…

Let there be light!

So said, Hellmuth Conz. He is a German who has made India his home for the past many years. I recently attended a studio photography workshop conducted by him. It was organized by Photography On The Move (POTM).

A photograph is nothing but capturing light. It's the light that illuminates the object or scenery. We were able to learn the importance of having the right light conditions to take a photo.

Here is what I think is my best photo from the workshop. Feel free to drop your comments here or in Flickr.

Lastly, happy new year to everyone.