Monday, March 31, 2014

Aloo Paratha

alooparatha.jpg

It was Aloo Paratha for dinner today.
Here is how I made it:

1. Prepare chappathi dough.
2. Pressure cook potatoes.
NOTE: Do not forget to put the cooker weight(pressure regulator on top).
3. Take the pressure cooked potatoes, take off the peel, and mash them well.
4. Switch on the gas stove. Place a thick bottomed vessel.
5. Pour some oil and add jeera and omam.
6. Add the mashed potato and mix well.
7. Put the required amount of salt and  a pinch of turmeric(haldi/manjal).
8. Add garam masala to the potatoes and mix well. Let it all cook well. Switch off the gas stove.

The stuffing is now ready!

9. Divide the stuffing into balls and stuff it into the chappathi.
10. Flatten it well.
11. Switch on the gas stove and place a tava.
12. Toast it well in high flame.

Aloo Parathas are ready!!! I made onion raita as side dish. It was very tasty!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Baigan Bharta

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Hi! Today I did my favourite Baigan Bharta. It is quite simple. Here are the steps:

1. Take a baigan(eggplant).
2. Apply oil all over it.
3. Prick holes on the outer layer of the baigan.
4. Switch on the gas stove. Roast the baigan well in low flame. Switch off the gas stove.
5. Let the baigan cool down.
6. Grind masalas into a fine powder and keep the powder ready.
7. Grind chopped tomatoes, small onions, garlic, and ginger into a fine paste and keep it ready.
6. Now, peel off the outer skin of the roasted baigan.
7. Cut them into small pieces and grind them into a paste.
8. Switch on the gas stove. Place a thick bottomed vessel.
9. Pour some oil.
10. Add chopped onions and fry well.
11. Add the baigan paste to the fried onions.
12. Put a pinch of turmeric(haldi/manjal) and also the needed amount of salt. Mix.
13. Let it cook well.
14. Add the tomato, onion and garlic paste to the baigan.
15. Aso, add the ground masalas. Mix well.
16. Add a little amount of water and cook well.
17. Add karipaththa leaves.
18. Switch off the gas stove after sometime(2-3 minutes).

Baigan Bharta is ready!!! We had it with chappathis and it was very good. My mother roasted the baigan as I couldn't do it. Rest all I did with the help of her instructions.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sambar

sambar.jpg

Today’s dinner was dosa, and I did sambar as a side dish.

Here is the recipe:

1. Take a bowl full of water. Soak some tamarind for 5 minutes.
2. Take 1 cup of pasi paruppu(moong dal) and put it in a big bowl. Add chopped radish, carrot, potato and capsicum to the moong dal. Aso, add a pinch of turmeric(manjal/haldi).
3. Pour ample water.
NOTE: Pour water at the bottom of the cooker. Also, do not forget to put the cooker weight(pressure regulator on top).
Pressure cook with 4-5 whistles.
4. Take a thick bottomed vessel and add some oil.
5. Put mustard(kadugu) and fry.
6. Pour the tamarind water and add karipaththa leaves on the fried mustard.
7. Add sambar powder. Mix well.
8. Put the pressure cooked moong dal and vegetables in this and stir.
9. Add the needed amount of salt.
10. Let it cook well for a few minutes.

Sambar is ready!!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Adai

adai.jpg

Hi! Adai was today’s dinner. Making Adai from the batter is simple. But, there is a definite process for the batter to be made.

Here is how it is:

1. Take boiled rice, urad dal, channa dal and toor dal.
NOTE: For every two cups of boiled rice(puzhungal arici), add one cup of channa dal(kadalai paruppu), ½ cup of urad dal and ½ cup of toor dal.
2. Soak them in a bowl of water. Leave them soaked for two hours.
3. Take the soaked rice and dals, and grind it into a batter using grinder.
NOTE: You can add chillies and grind according to your preferences.
4. Add the necessary amount of water.
5. Grind it for 15-20 minutes.
6. Transfer the batter into a clean container.
7. Add the needed amount of salt.
8. Add karipaththa leaves to the batter.
And the batter is ready!!!

After this, making Adai is very easy.

(i) Switch on the gas stove.
(ii) Place a tava.
(iii) Spread the batter in a circular shape.
(iv) Add drops of oil around the circle.
(v) Take it off carefully from the Tava and invert it.
(vi) After all sides get roasted, take the Adai off the Tava again carefully, and serve!

Adai is usually eaten with Avial, a type of side dish with mixed vegetables. It is also eaten with butter, or jaggery.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Palak Paneer

Palak and Panneer.jpg   

I did Palak Paneer as side dish for chappathis.

Here are the  steps:

1.Light the gas stove. Boil a bowl of water and keep it aside.
2. Place a thick-bottomed vessel on the gas stove.
3. Pour some oil. Put the paneer cubes and fry deeply.
4. After frying, put the paneer cubes in the hot water.
5.Pour some more oil in the thick bottomed vessel.
6. Add mustard(kadugu), jeera, omam, green chillies, and fry well.
7. Add chopped onions and tomatoes to the above.
8. Add the required amount of salt and a pinch of turmeric(manjal/haldi). Mix well.
9. Close the thick bottomed vessel and let it cook.
NOTE: Keep the gas flame low.
10. Take a few small onions(I took 5-6), tomatoes, garlic and ginger, and grind it into a smooth paste using mixer.
11. Add this paste to the the onions and tomatoes and mix well.
13. Take chopped Palak and wash well.
14. Put the palak in mixer and grind this into a fine paste(add a few drops of water if necessary).
15. Add this Palak paste to the gravy.
16. Mix well and let it cook.
17. Allow all the ingredients to blend together.
18. Finally, add the fried paneer(without the water) to the rest and mix.

Palak Paneer is ready!!!
Palak Panneer.jpg

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Kadalai Paruppu Payasam


Payasam pic.jpg
Today’s special is Kadalai Paruppu Payasam! I did it with the help of my mother’s instructions. 

Here is how to do it.


1. Light the gas stove.
2. Take a thick-bottomed vessel and put some ghee in it.
3. Add cashews, almonds and raisins to the ghee and fry them well. After frying well, switch off the gas stove and transfer these into a cup.
4. Take a plate. Put the needed amount of pasi paruppu(moong dal) and kadalai paruppu(channa dal). 
5. Turn on the gas stove. Fry the paruppu dry in a vessel until they turn golden.
NOTE: Ghee or oil SHOULD NOT be added while frying.
6.Add water to the fried paruppu.
7. Take a cooker. Pour some water at the bottom. Place the plate containing pasi paruppu and kadalai paruppu inside the cooker. Close the cooker.
NOTE: Do not forget to put the cooker weight(pressure regulator on top).
8. Pressure cook the paruppu mixture(I let it stay on until 4 whistles).
9. After the paruppu mixture is ready, take the same thick-bottomed vessel, and add the required amount of jaggery to it. Add water and mix it well with jaggery. Make a solution of water and jaggery.
10. Add the pressure cooked kadalai paruppu and pasi paruppu to the jaggery solution. Mix well.
11. Add the necessary amount of water.
12. Add elakkai(cardamom) powder. Stir well.
13. Switch off the gas stove.
14. Add the fried cashews, almonds and raisins to the payasam.



Kadalai-Paruppu Payasam is ready to be eaten!




Monday, March 24, 2014

You Can Name It

Hello! This is my first step into the kitchen. I did the side dish for the chappathis, today. I am penning this down so that I can refer to this in the future.

Before starting to prepare the dish, pressure cook urad dal and sprouts. Also, chop onions and tomatoes. Keep these ready before doing the rest.
Here are the steps:
1. Take some oil in a thick-bottomed vessel.
2. Put some mustard, jeera, chillies and omam, and fry.
3. After these get nicely fried, add chopped onions and tomatoes, and fry them deeply once again.
4. Add salt and haldi(manjal/turmeric) to the above mixture and mix it well. Allow the mixture to cook well.
NOTE: Keep the gas flame low.
5. Take the pressure cooked urad dal and sprouts, and smash them well. Pour some water on the smashed mixture and mix well.
6. Add the smashed mixture to the fried onions and tomatoes. Mix all well.
7. Add the needed amount of salt.
8. Add karipatha leaves and coriander leaves to the side dish. Mix well.
9. Switch off the gas stove.
10. Take a small measure(we use something called karandi to measure the amount) of the dal and cool it completely. Add few drops of lemon juice in the dal and mix well.
11. Mix this dal with the rest of the dal.
And, the dish is ready to be served! It is very tasty!
I don't really know what to call it. So, You Can Name It!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Agony And The Ecstasy

The Agony and the Ecstasy (novel)
The Agony and the Ecstasy (novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Title: The Agony And The Ecstasy

Author: Irving stone

Main Characters: Michelangelo Buonarotti, Ghirlandaio, Grannasi, Bertoldo, Contessina, Lodovico, Lorenzo, Piero, Lionardo, Duccio, Jacopo, Soderini and Tomao

Michelangelo Buonarotti was one  of the greatest sculptors ever known. He first received training from Ghirlandaio. Ghirlandaio trained Michelangelo in art and painting. After a few years of training in Ghirlandaio’s workshop, Michelangelo realized that he wanted to be a sculptor and not a painter. But Lodovico Buonarotti, Michelangelo’s father, was ashamed of Michelangelo for taking interest in sculpting and painting. The Buonarotti family were proud moneylenders, and felt it below their dignity to be in other professions, especially sculpting.

Sculpting was considered a lowly job. But Michelangelo’s world revolved around sculpting. Michelangelo convinced his father, took leave from Ghirlandaio, and joined the sculpting school of Bertoldo- the only alive master of the art of sculpting. He trained under Bertoldo for a very long time, and soon became a part of the Medici family. Before Bertoldo died, he chose Michelangelo as his heir- the next master of sculpting.

Michelangelo started working under Il Magnifico Lorenzo de’ Medici. He completed his first marble structure- the Madonna and the child. Lorenzo, deeply impressed by Michelangelo’s talent, presented him a lot of money, gifts and prizes. Il Magnifico also invited Michelangelo to stay with the Medici.

Michelangelo went to his father and handed over all the prize money. Crazy old Lodovico, mad about money, sent off Michelangelo to work on his next sculpture and earn more money. Michelangelo stayed with the Medici and earned many more prizes from Il Magnifico, all of which he sent to his family.  

All was well, until the day when Lorenzo died a sudden death. There was total chaos in the palace of the late Il Magnifico. Soon, Piero, Lorenzo’s son, was declared the next Il Magnifico.

Michelangelo and Piero had never been on good terms, and to seek revenge Piero chucked Michelangelo out of the palace, into the streets. Michelangelo was denied even a place in an obscure corner, to sit and sculpt by himself. Michelangelo was too dignified to go and beg Piero for a place to work.

After many months of misery, he found a place to set up his workshop and bought marble. But he couldn’t start sculpting. Michelangelo wanted to study anatomy of human body so that he could bring life into his sculptures.

He cut open dead bodies and studied them carefully. After that, Michelangelo was the master!

He created many wonders for the world. He was the architect of the dome of St. Peter’s. He was the creator of David. He was the painter of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling. He created the tomb of Pope Julius II. He created the Dawn and the Dusk in the Medici Chapel in Florence. He created many other sculptures in Florence and Vatican City. Finally, Michelangelo created his final works in his studio- Porta Pia and Santa Maria delgi Angeli in Rome.

Michelangelo breathed his final in St. Peter’s church. But he had already made his final wish to his faithful apprentice, Tomao- he wanted to be buried in Florence, his home.
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Monday, March 10, 2014

Digital Fortress


Title: Digital Fortress
Author: Dan Brown

Main Characters: Susan Fletcher, David Becker, Ensei Tankado, Numataka, Greg Hale, Strathmore, Midge, Jabba, Soshi, Chad Binkerhoff, Leland Fontaine, Rocio, Phil Chartrukian, Hulohot and Megan

Description Of One Of The Main Characters: Phil Chartrukian is Sys-sec(system-security) in the NSA(Nation Security Agency) Crypto. He is very loyal to the director, Leland Fontaine, and loves his job dearly. When he figures out that there is a virus in the TRANSLTR, the code breaking machine of NSA Crypto, he gives up his life during the attempt to save it. He gets shot by Commander Strathmore.

Whom I Like And Why: I like Ensei Tankado very much. He is an extremely brilliant man with computers and codes. He creates the great Digital fortress- a code completely unbreakable even for the TRANSLTR! He is amazing. He was born disabled due to the bomb blast in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He raises three fingers, one of them bearing a ring with mysterious inscriptions, when he dies.

Whom I Dislike And Why: I hate Strathmore. He is a ruthless murderer and a heartless man. He doesn’t hesitate to kill anyone. He is the head of Crypto. He kills Phil and Greg Hale, and also kills himself in the end.

Setting/Theme Of The Story: Susan Fletcher is very happy until she receives two phone calls- one from her fiancé, David Becker, telling her that he is off to Spain as he has to do urgent, important things; and the second from her Commander, Strathmore, asking her to immediately come to the Crypto as there was an EMERGENCY.

Susan immediately goes to the Crypto, and Strathmore explains the situation to her. The TRANSLTR, the greatest code-breaking machine, has not been able to break the code of the late Ensei Tankado. The hightest time TRANSLTR had ever taken to break codes was three hours. But this code didn’t break even after eighteen hours of work by the TRANSLTR. Ensei Tankado was  declared to have died from a heart attack. Just as he breathed his final, Ensei Tankado had pushed three fingers into the air, one of them bearing a ring with mysterious letterings, to inform something to the public. The people had assumed it to be the ring and one of them had taken it off.

Meanwhile, in Spain, David, who was sent by Strathmore, goes in search of the Canadian who had taken the ring from Tankado. But the Canadian had given it off to a girl named Rocio. With the help of the Canadian’s description of Rocio, he finds the girl. But she had given it off to a young punk. Rocio describes her and hints to David as to where the young girl had gone. David sets about searching for the young punk, Megan.

But Strathmore has other greedy plans. He wants to marry Susan, and wants David dead. So, he sends a man named Hulohot to kill David. Hulohot kills all the people David meets to ask about the ring. He had killed Ensei Tankado, the Canadian and Rocio. He also kills Megan, the young punk from whom David gets the ring. David is unaware that he will be the next victim.

At the same time, Midge, the woman who checks the progress of TRANSLTR, gets alarmed when her data shows that TRANSLTR hadn’t been able to break a code for 18 hours! She informs Jabba, the head of Sys-Sec and also the director of NSA, Leland Fontaine. But they don’t believe her.

In the Crypto, Strathmore informs Susan that Tankado had partnered with a man named North Dakota and that North Dakota’s email ID was:
Susan finds out a wrong information that Greg Hale is North Dakota. When she tries to contact Strathmore, she suddenly hears a gun shot. Phil was dead. She assumes that Greg had shot Phil but in reality it had been Strathmore who had done it. She gets terrified and goes back to her terminal only to see Greg Hale dead too. Susan, soon, gets to know that Strathmore is the culprit. All this time, the TRANSLTR heats up to a dangerous extent.

Midge gets extremely tensed in the NSA main office and studies her data again. This time she calls Jabba to show that there was some kind of virus. It also meant that Strathmore had bypassed the Gauntlet, the safety filter of the TRANSLTR. Even worse, Jabba discovers  that it is a worm and not a virus. They fail to contact Strathmore.

Strathmore had signed a billion dollar deal with Numataka promising him to give the ring, but he cuts the deal off. At that point, Susan understands that NDAKOTA was a perfect anagram of TANKADO! She feels miserable.
Strathmore, too guilty to continue living, takes his own life. Susan manages out of the Crypto and goes to the NSA main office. She narrates everything there.

Becker is followed by Hulohot everywhere. Finally Hulohot shoots David and David falls. Assuming that David is dead, Hulohot goes off. But it is just a flesh wound and David recovers. He contacts Susan and they all try to figure out the passkey which would stop the attacking worm. Tankado had shown number three and the letterings in the ring said it was a prime number. Putting two and two together, Susan finds out that the passkey is number 3. They enter it and the worm stops. All the files in the databank gets recovered. They relax. But they all accept one thing- it had been a real DIGITAL  FORTRESS.

Numataka realizes that Tankado is his own son whom he abandoned, and feels guilty for doing so.