Khaman Dhokla – visual recipe
Gram flour – one cup
Semolina – one cup
Curd – 4 spoons
Eno (Regular) – one small packet (5gms)
Mustard seeds – two tea spoons
Asafoetida – half a tea spoon
Oil – two tea spoons
Green chilies – 2 to 3
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Salt – according to taste
Mix gram flour, semolina and curd. Add water till you get a smooth runny mixture. Add Eno and salt to this.
Take a pan and grease it with few drops of oil. Pour this mixture in it.
Take a cooker / steamer, add water to it and place the pan in it. Cover with the lid (remember to remove the cooker whistle) cook for 20 mins on a slow flame.
In a small pan heat oil and add mustard seeds and chilies. Add asafetida powder in the end and turn off the flame.
After the khaman dhokla is done (poke it with a knife, if the knife is clean after you pull it out then the batter is cooked well), remove it and add the tadka and garnish with coriander leaves.
You can eat it with tamarind chutney, green chutney or with curd as well.
Stuffed Tomato Snack
This is a quick and easy snack. You can also use it as a starter. I’ve tried some stuffing , you can try and make many many variations with it. So much fun!
Firstly, slice off very thin slices from the top and bottom of the tomatoes. Then cut the tomato into two pieces. Scoop out the centre carefully. It would look like this:
Now the tomato is ready to be stuffed.
I’ve tried out three themes for it, as I said, you can make many different varieties with this.
Mr. Tomato goes to Italy
Carrots – chopped into small pieces
Spring onions – finely chopped
Garlic – 4 cloves, chopped
Milk – 5 spoons
Cheese- one cube
Oil – one teaspoon
Heat the oil in a pan. Add garlic spring onions and carrots to it. After a min, add milk to it. Turn the flame off after a few seconds. Add grated cheese to this, and after it begins to melt, mix well. Add a pinch of salt. Let this mixture cool down.
Stuff this in the tomato and sprinkle some pepper powder over it and serve.
Mr. Tomato goes to China
Garlic – 5 cloves
Soya sauce – One teaspoon
Oil- 1 teaspoon
Pepper powder (as per taste)
Salt (as per taste)
Chop cabbage, carrot and capsicum into thin, long slices.
Heat the oil in a pan and add garlic and the chopped vegetables to this. Mix well and let this cook on a high flame for a couple of minutes. Then add salt according to taste and pepper powder. Add soya sauce to this and mix well. Let it cook for a minute. Turn off the flame and let this cool down.
Stuff this in the tomato and serve.
Mr. Tomato goes to India
Boiled potato – cut into small pieces
Amla – cut into very thin slices
Ginger – finely chopped
Tomato sauce – 2 teaspoons
Coriander for garnishing
Mix together all of these ingredients.
Stuff this in the tomato and garnish with coriander and serve.
Both of them craved for a touch.
He looked at her. He could see the longing in her eyes.
It was hard for both of them to fight the sweet desire that had overwhelmed them now.
Before she could blink, he lunged ahead… and grabbed the last piece of the cake.
- 55Fiction by Gayatri
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Tempted by cake? Check out our easy to make Eggless Chocolate Coffee cake visual recipe HERE.
Eggless Chocolate Coffee Cake
I just loveeee making this cake.
White flour (Maida) – one small bowl
Powdered sugar – half the amount of flour
Apple – one, medium sized
Cocoa powder – 4 teaspoons
Cream – 2 teaspoons
Milk – one small cup
Eno (regular) – one small packet of 5gms
For the icing:
Cream – 4 teaspoons
Milk – two teaspoons
Milk powder – 4 teaspoons
Powdered sugar – one teaspoon
Cocoa powder- 2 teaspoons
Instant Coffee powder – one teaspoon
For the icing:
Mix cream, sugar, milk powder and milk in a small bowl. Then use the double boiler method to cook it ( heat water in a vessel, place the small bowl with the mixed ingredients on it).
Stir very carefully, the bowl should float properly. After the cream melts, turn off the flame. Then mix in the cocoa powder and coffee powder. Let the mixture cool down.
Keep it in the freezer for an hour.
For the cake :
Take the flour, Eno (its as effective as simple baking soda), sugar and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl.
Grind the apple along with cream- the mixture should be smooth. Add it to the mixing bowl. Then carefully add the milk while gradually whipping all the ingredients. The batter should turn be of a thick dripping consistency.
(Incase you are planning to avoid the icing, just add the coffee powder to this batter)
Take a baking dish, grease it well with a drop of butter or ghee.
Dust the dish with some flour. Make sure you cover the whole area.
Pour the batter in this. Spread it carefully.
Now you can bake the cake in an oven or you can cook this in a pressure cooker as well, just remember to remove the whistle and make sure that the cooker is completely dry.
Place a flat stand / base inside the cooker and keep the dish over it. Cover the cooker lid and remove the whistle. Cook the cake on a small flame for 45 mins.
Inorder to check if the cake is done, just use a knife to gently poke the centre of the cake, if it comes out clean then that means that the cake is ready.
Turn off the flame. And remove the dish. Let it cool down completely. Now cover it with a plate and carefully turn the baking dish upside down and pat its base. The cake would drop down. Turn it over again. It will be soft and fluffy.
Take the refrigerated icing mix and cover the cake with it. Keep the cake in the fridge for 15 mins and then cut it.
Done! Have your cake and eat it too.
Undhiyo – visual recipe
I like winter coz I get to eat Undhiyo in this season only. This is a traditional Gujarati dish, with a unique blend of vegetables like yam, sweet potato, brinjal, peas, etc. The key to cooking this dish is to make it on a slow flame.
I have modified this dish a bit by avoiding the gatta (small balls made up of gram flour and fenugreek leaves, steamed and then stir fried). But will be including the ingredients from it in the recipe to maintain the taste.
Potatoes – 3 medium sized
Green peas – one small bowl
Yam – two medium sized
Sweet potatoes – 3
Flat Paes (Papdi) – 6
Garlic – 15 cloves
Ginger – one medium sized
Green chillies – 4
Coriander powder – one teaspoon
Cumin powder- one teaspoon
Asafoetida – half teaspoon
Red chilli powder- half teaspoon
Turmeric powder- one teaspon
Gram flour – 2 teaspoons
Dried Fenugreek leaves (chopped) – one teaspoon
Oil – half tablespoon
Grind green chillies, garlic, ginger and coriander into a smooth paste.
Peel potatoes, sweet potatoes and yam. Cut them into large chunks and then make cuts halfway on the pieces in order to stuff them with the green paste.
Place the stuffed potatoes in a vessel and sprinkle some salt on them.
Cut the flat peas lengthwise and apply the paste over them and place them over the potatoes.
Make layers with stuffed yam, stuffed brinjals and sweet potatoes. Sprinkle salt over them.
Finally add green peas at the top and spread the remaining green paste on them. Cover the vessel and let the vegetables marinate for 45 mins.
Afterwards heat the oil in a large pan. Add asafetida and the marinated vegetables alongwith ajwain to it. Mix well. Cover the pan. Let it cook on a slow flame for 15 mins. Stir at regular intervals.
Then add turmeric powder, cumin and coriander powder and half a cup of water and mix well. Let the spices come together and after 5 mins add some salt (according to taste).
Add red chilli powder, gram flour and dried fenugreek leaves to it, mix well. Cover it and turn off the flame after a minute.
Garnish with coriander leaves. Undhiyo can be eaten with roti accompanied by a glass of salted buttermilk.
Brinjal Gravy – Visual Recipe
Medium sized Brinjals – 4
Roasted Groundnuts – 3/4th cup
Garlic paste – two teaspoons
Onions – 2
Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
Red chilly powder – 2 teaspoons
Oil – 4 teaspoons
Water – 1 cup
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Cut the brinjals in half. On each piece, make cross cuts till about halfway.
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the brinjals and cover the pan. Let it cook for a few minutes. When the brinjals are near done, add finely chopped onions and garlic paste to it.
Let it cook till the onions turn golden brown. Then add a pinch of asafetida, cumin powder, coriander powder and chilly powder to it.
Coarsely grind the roasted groundnuts and add them to pan. Mix well. Then add a cup of water and stir well. Let it cook on a small flame till the gravy is thick . Turn off the flame, the oil will start to separate as the gravy cools down. Add salt to taste.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve with bajri roti or with rice.
Maha Flow of Events – The week that was
Editors note: The scam that dented Army’s image and cost Ashok Chavan the CM chair. Well, politics is no stranger to scams, what with Telecom minister A Raja defiantly holding on to his ministerial berth, thanks to coalition government number game and many other scams that rot the system and nation. But as of now, the Adarsh Society scam took a toll but will the public forget the issue with this or the entire scam be unearthed and those involved punished? Sadly, the similar cases in the past gives us a sad story.
Anyways here is a series of toons sketched by our own Gayatri to highlight the issue. Uncorrupted strokes of the maha flow of events.
Banavasi is a small yet significant town in Karnataka. The first time I went there, all I knew was that there were some really nice old sculptures. Second time around, I knew no better. But thankfully I had a very knowledgeable companion with me. I was told that Banavasi used to be the capital during the Kadamba dynasty. This lush green town is rich in both beauty and culture.
The main attraction is the Madhukeshwara temple, built in the 9th century by the Kadambas. The structure is monolithic and is beautifully carved. The other rulers of Banavasi went on adding structures to the main temple. But we will come to that later. Although I am not much of a ‘temple person’, this place sure had a certain mystic calm about it.
The Shiva temple has a huge stone Nandi placed at the entrance, its more than 8ft tall. There are many ornately carved pillars and there are stone benches, with a central circular floor, giving the feeling of a ‘sabha’. It is said that a very famous dancer Shantala used to dance here (she later on married a Hoysala ruler – another dynasty which made many wonderful monuments and even has sculptures inspired from her).
The area surrounding the temple has many idols of nearly all the main deities. There is a vertically half idol of Ganesha, signifying his bachelorhood stage and it is believed that the other half is in Varanasi. There is a five-hooded Naga sculpture dating back to the 2nd century. It has an inscription in Prakrit (the old language). There is also a very unique idol there, unique because when you see it in the morning, the face looks childish, in the afternoon it looks like an adult and in the evening – that of an old man! I saw it in the evening. Buddhism and Jainism influences can also be found in Banavasi.
Outside the temple, you will also find a huge rath minutely carved ofcourse. Those ancient people wouldn’t have it any other way.
The river Varada flows nearby. There are also many beautiful ponds in Banavasi. Pampa, the first Kannada poet and also the court poet of Chalukyas, stayed in this town and wrote many verses praising the beauty of Banavasi.
It is said, that during the reign of Samrat Ashok, Banavasi was a learning centre for Buddhist monks. Banavasi finds a mention even in the Mahabharatha. In 1st centaury A.D. Greek geographer Ptomlemy mentioned Banavasi as ‘Banousi’ in his famous book. I was told that recently a 5th century copper coin was discovered here with an inscription in the Kannada script, one of the oldest such coins ever discovered.
There are many artisans in this town who make sandalwood sculptures, Yakshagana masks, etc. “Kadambotsava” – a cultural festival is organized by the Govt. every year featuring folk dancers, drama troupes, classical musicians and art exhibitions.
It was quite a pleasant second visit, I hope I get to see the ‘unique’ idol in its childish face stage when I visit Banavasi again.
Moment of Surrender
‘Don’t worry, will reach home in 5 mins’, I kept on telling this to myself. Today was definitely hard on me, not that I had any better days since last year. But everything would be fine once I go home … back to my sacred space.
Can hear Bono sing “Moment of surrender” on the radio… aah! the story of my life!
Finally I am home. ‘Home’ – I don’t even know if I can call it that now. Things have changed… a lot. I feel a pang in my heart as I look at my brother’s picture on the table.
No, I need to stop thinking about all of this.
I know what could help me. I open the drawer and reach out for it. This would help me sail through.
Soon I am transported to my perfect world. A world which actually existed till a year ago.
‘Colorful, wonderful world’ I say aloud. My twin used to say this a lot. My sacred space reminds me of him… the times we spent together.
I shake my head, no this is not working right, I need more. I reach for it again.
I can feel my pain fade away.
The room is turning dark. Very dark.
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -
He was already dead by the time the ambulance arrived.
For the city, it was just a case of drugs overdose.
For his parents, it was their second loss to 26/11
She was scared.
He came close to her, she felt the puncture wound, he started taking in her blood.
She was aghast, but his handsome face eased her pain.
She was prepared to face the outcome of this unavoidable ritual.
He looked deep into her eyes, said “come tomorrow to collect your blood test results”.
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