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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Movie Review : Bajirao Mastani

Like Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movies, this movie too has marvelous and grandeur sets. This movie is based on the historical novel ‘Raau’ authored by N. S. Inamdar, a Marathi novelist. This romantic story is about the Maratha warrior Peshwa Bajirao and his second wife Mastani. Ranveer Singh as Bajirao looks like a warrior walks like a warrior and talks like a warrior. I must say one of his best performances. Priyanka Chopra as Kashibai, Bajirao’s first wife looks very attractive and does justice to the character. She has less scenes but her acting impresses much more. Neither Deepika Padukone’s looks nor her acting impresses. On a classical song while dancing her face expressions are very poor. The weakest point of the movie is that her face expressions more or less remain the same throughout the movie. Milind Soman is a great surprise. He acted in at least one movie. Tanvi Azmi as Bajirao’s mother acted very well. The rest of the actors also leave their impression on audiences.

The aaina mahal set is amazing and its reflection in Kashibai’s room’s curtain is quite impressive. The war scenes look real. The scenes created with graphics and the characters are blended too well that everything on screen looks real. Music and songs are melodious. The background music is pleasing. Costumes are attractive and eye catching.


First half is gripping and the second half is ok type and climax is bit weird, too lengthy and too slow. If the end has been changed the movie would have been far better. Even then it is a must watch on BIG SCREEN!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Rs. 500 less from ATM withdrawl

On 8th Nov, 2015, I went to ATM of HDFC bank located in the society where I live. I used SBI Bank card to withdraw Rs.10000/-  and to my utmost surprise only Rs. 9500/- came out. In place of one thousand note there was one five hundred rupee note. Five hundred rupee was inserted between the thousand rupee notes. I noted the number of that ATM branch and called the mobile number mentioned on a slip attached to the ATM as there was no security guard. The person on phone suggested me to file a complaint in the bank whose card I used to withdraw money. I complained to the customer care of SBI bank as I used SBI card to withdraw money regarding the refund of Rs. 500/-. But my complaint was rejected saying that the 'ATM transaction was successful'. I felt cheated.

I request you to be careful while withdrawing money from ATMs. If any of you have faced the same problem and wish to file a case in consumer court then you can contact me.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Book Review : The Bestseller She Wrote

In less than 24 hours, I finished the novel ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian. Because of my busy schedule it took me additional hours to read it otherwise the book is so gripping and interesting that it can be read in merely 4 hours. I find the time to read it because of the personal touch from the author who sent me a signed copy of this novel. What to say more that the author is so humble that he dedicated this book to the readers!

This book is dedicated to all my readers. Especially those who glimpsed their reflections in its pages.

Aditya Kapoor, paperback king had everything name, fame, money, good job and nice family till he met Shreya, young ambitious management trainee from IIM Bengaluru who wished to be a successful author like him. Lots of events took place when their worlds collided and the story moved with a fast pace taking interesting and breath holding turns. It is a story of love, trust, passion, lust, betrayal, rejection and redemption.

Some of the lines that I liked from this novel are as follows:
  1. I don’t say anything doesn’t mean I don’t notice.
  2. I hate it when people don’t give a book its due respect – most of all, people who are, or want to be authors.
  3. He has over 8000 books lying all over his house – on shelves, packed in cartons, some even warehoused. So much so that when you walk into his house you may feel like you’ve walked into a bookstore.
  4. Someone once said, “Find what makes you happy and go for it with all your heart. It will be hard, but I promise it will be worth it.”
  5. A book is an expression of an author’s creativity. Do not demean it by calling it a “product”.
  6. There has got to be a difference between peddling a bar of soap and selling a book. A book is a lot more personal, a lot more involving.
  7. And as far as marketing my books is concerned – it’s simple. If I spend a year writing a book, I will leave no stone unturned in making sure that everyone knows about it, and buys it. I don’t mind my books adorning bookshelves as long as the bookshelves we are referring to are not in bookshops, but in people’s homes.
  8. If after reading my book, you hate it, please write to me. I can’t refund your time, but to make up for it, I will gift you ten books of your choice. Think of it as kind of a money-back guarantee.
  9. Oh …oh…oh…Stop, stop, desi John Green! Stop dreaming. It’s not easy to write. Even if you write rubbish, it takes time, effort and skill. Do you realize that?
  10. Then why is your face looking like a roasted brinjal?
  11. Over the last few months she had read and re-read all his books. And here he was, a couple of feet from her, breathing the same air.
  12. I was living the lives of the characters through your book. That’s the level of association it created.
  13. I was not reading the story. I was living it.
Ravi Subramanian, the author is an banker who has written books like ‘If God Was a Banker’, ‘I Brought the Monk’s Ferrari’, ‘Devil in Pinstripes’, ‘The Incredible Banker’, ‘The Bankster’, ‘The Bankerupt’ and ‘God is a Gamer’. He has won lots of awards like The Golden Quill Readers’ Choice Award for ‘If God Was a Banker’, The Economist Crossword Award Book Award in 2012 for ‘The Incredible Banker’ and The Economist Crossword Award Book Award in 2013 for ‘The Bankster’ and The Economist Crossword Award Book Award in 2014 for ‘The Bankerupt’.

I strongly recommend this book for those who love books and for those who want to be an author.  


I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Cooking classes at Gourmet High Street

It was fun to attend cooking classes by celebrity chef at Gourmet High Street, Leisure Valley, Gurgaon. I learned the Sugarkraft by Chef Swati Jain and chocolate gol-gappas by Chef Saransh Goila.

For SugarKraft the theme was Christmas, I and my team prepared Christmas tree, Penguin, Snowman and other decorative items like bells, leaves, flowers etc with sugar based products which have edible colors. The pieces are glued together using edible glue. Muffin decorations made by our team won a prize. In the end of contest Chef Swati Jain gave away the prizes.

I prepared a dish with chocolate for the first time and preparing gol-gappas was an awesome experience. I was in Foodies team. We prepare the chocolate gol-gappas and decorate it with dry coconut powder, for filling we caramelized the peanuts and cut strawberries in small pieces. For liquid which is to be filled in gol-gappas we took vanilla ice-cream and milk. Mixed them and serve them with vanilla pod and strawberry pieces. The ready dish was very pleasing.

Chef Saransh tasted our dish and liked the caramelized peanuts very much.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Gourmet High Street Gurgaon

I participated in a contest on Facebook and won a free pass to Gourmet High Street, Leisure Valley, Gurgaon. I went there on 4th Dec, 2015 and first time saw the world famous Chef Sanjeev Kapoor who is owner of Food Food channel, hosts program named 'Khanna Khazana' and one of the judges of MasterChef India. 

I got the chance to click a photo with Chef Ranveer Brar, Judge of MasterChef India and host of TV shows like Snack Attack, The Great Indian Rasoi, Homemade, The Breakfast Express etc.

I also got the chance to meet the Chef Vicky Ratnani who is the brother of famous photographer Dabboo Ratnani and his famous TV shows are Vicky's World, Vicky Goes Veg, Vicky Goes Foreign and Do It Sweet. 

Mummy Ka Magic famed Amrita Raichand who is also an actress and I can be seen in this photograph.

Model, actor and Chef Aditya Bal who is reviving the lost recipes of India in the program 'Lost Recipes' on EPIC channel. I am great admirer of his culinary skills. Before taking up cooking profession, he was a model and acted in movie named 'Mashooka' in 2005.

It was great experience to meet all these Chefs personally whom I had admired watching their cookery shows on TV.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Snack Party with Karisma Kapoor

I was highly disappointed on seeing the results of photos clicked by a blogger friend. Two were blurred and one was with my eyes closed. I was feeling low as I came all the way from Gurgaon to meet Karisma Kapoor in the ‘Snack Party with Karisma Kapoor’ which was organized in Hotel Sheraton, Saket, New Delhi by Indiblogger and McCain. I was standing next to Karisma Kapoor on the stage but not a single click was worth to be put on a social networking site and to boast about it. I desperately wanted a nice photograph with her. During the whole program my mind was busy, distracted and not able to enjoy the surroundings because of the poor results of photographs with Karisma Kapoor.

In the end, there were snacks. I couldn’t enjoy them much as I wanted a photograph with Karisma Kapoor. The organizers gave four packets of different McCain products with a cook book. That too couldn’t bring a smile on my face. As I was leaving the hall, one of the organizers called me and said that you could collect your photo frame from the reception desk. I turned back halfheartedly to collect it. But my joy new no bounds on seeing a perfect photo framed in it. That was the biggest surprise of the day! The photographer standing right in front of the stage took the photo perfectly. Everyone was smiling, not blinking and looking straight into the camera making it a best click. I was smiling not only in the photo but in real as well. 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Orange Lozenge

I love to experiments with food. I have tried out Aloe Vera veg, Pumpkin seeds veg, no oil tinda with Italian flavors, gol-gappas filled with sprouts, fried gavar ki phalli, cucumber cake, banana spinach smoothie and raabri prepared from channa flour which are all off beat recipes. This time I decide to try out a new dessert recipe. Dessert is a course generally used to conclude the main meal. In dessert there can be many foods such as cakes, pudding, tarts, pastries, ice creams etc. Because of natural sweetness and distinct flavor fruits are generally added in the desserts. I give a twist in a dessert recipe and make an eggless cake which is sweet, sour, salty and hot as well. For sweetness instead of sugar I use Sugarfree Natura, for sourness I use orange juice, for saltiness of course salt and for hotness I use green chilies. I add coconut powder for wonderful texture and nice taste whereas mint for its refreshing flavor and cool taste. I name it as 'Orange Lozenge'.

I have a sweet tooth. I am always searching healthy options for sugar because sugar means more calories, lethargy, hypertension and much more. This time I try SugarFree which means freedom from more calories and lifestyle disorders like diabetes and obesity and saying yes to much healthier life. Sugar Free Natura is a low calorie substitute made from Sucralose which is derivative of sugar. It is 600 times sweeter than sugar and is idea for cooking and baking due to its heat stable properties. It is approved by WHO, USFDA & FSSAI and it absolutely safe to use. It is ideal for person like me who is weight watcher and health conscious.

Preparation Time – 10 minutes
Cooking Time – 8 minutes

Ingredients
All purpose flour – 1 cup
Malai (Cream) – 1 cup
Curd – 1 cup
Desiccated coconut – 1 cup
Orange juice – 1 ½ cup
Grated orange rind – 2-3 tea spoon
Butter – ½ teaspoon
Salt – ½ teaspoon
Green chilies – 2
Mint – 5- 6 leaves
Finely grated almonds – 2 table spoon

Method
  1. Sift all purpose flour with baking powder.
  2. Mix dry coconut powder, Sugarfree Natura, and salt in it.
  3. Extract the juice from fresh oranges and sieve it. Throw the pips and use the fresh orange juice for preparing the dish. Mix orange juice and grated orange rind gently in the dry mixture.  
  4. Grind green chilies, mint leaves with curd. Mix malai and curd lightly in the mixture without lump formation.
  5. Grease the sides and bottom of baking dish with butter.
  6. Pour the mixture in baking dish and sprinkle finely grated almond over it.
  7. Cook it in microwave for 8 minutes.
  8. On cooling cut them into pieces. Serve them.

Taste – It is a light, moist cake with a tender crumb. It melts into the mouth giving the relishing taste of coconut and orange with a flavor of mint. It is sour and sweet, salty and hot.

Now, I can satiate my sweet tooth without compromises.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Jaipur - Drive, Design and Connect

Jaipur is my favorite city which is also known as ‘Pink City of India’. It is the capital city as well as the largest city of Rajasthan, a northern state of India. It was founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amer. He shifted his capital to accommodate the increasing population and to meet out the scarcity of water. He planned the city according to the principals of Vastu Shastra. Jaipur is considered as the first planned city of India. It has three gates, eastern gate is known as Suraj Pol, western gate is called Chand Pol and the northern gate faces the old capital. Most of the buildings were constructed on the basis of rules of Shilpa Shastra. To welcome Prince Edward and Queen Victoria, during the reign of Sawai Ram Singh this city was painted pink. Many of the avenues, main buildings and complexes were remained pink giving it a distinct appearance of ‘Pink City’.

Jaipur is well connected by road with Delhi, capital city of India and Agra the main center of attraction of India through Golden Triangle. It is a connecting city between Delhi and Mumbai on National Highway No.8 and between Bikaner and Agra on National Highway No.11. National Highway No. 12 links Jaipur with Kota. It is well connected with other tourists’ places of Rajasthan such as Udaipur, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. Inside the city it has good connectivity with wide roads and quite good number of broad streets interconnecting each other. Road network follows a definite hierarchy as most of the roads run east to west or north to south. Even through rail Jaipur is well connected to the major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai. Jaipur has the metro service for better connectivity within the city. Jaipur International airport is well connected with national and international flights. It also provides air cargo services.

The places of tourist attractions are Jal Mahal, Hawa Mahal, Lakshmi Narayana Temple, Jantar Mantar, Amer Fort, Diggi Palace, Nahargarh Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Albert Hall Museum, City Palace, Vidhan Sabha, Garh Ganesh Temple, Sheela Devi Temple and Kale Hanumanji’s Temple. Sisodiya Rani Bagh, Ram Niwas Park and Kanak Vrindavan are decently maintained parks in Jaipur. Gardens at Amer Fort are also major tourists’ attraction.

It is the major hub for arts and crafts like blue pottery, marble work, handicrafts, antique furniture, jewelry, bangles, carpets and metal works. This city is famous for typical Rajasthani dishes like dal batti churma, missi roti, bajre ki roti, gawar phalli ka saag, gatte ki sabzi, papad ki sabzi and lahsun ki chutney. Sweets like gevar and gujia are liked by everyone. Laal Maans and safed manas are relished by non-vegetarians from all over the world. The snacks like pyaz kachori and mirchi bada are the specialties of Jaipur.

The road side greenery, unique architect and its landscapes make Jaipur one of my favorite cities in India for a nice drive.


Dear readers, I am participating in #madeofgreat Zonal War by Tata Motors and Indiblogger. Hope my zone wins! :)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Exercise for thyroid patients

These days thyroid problem is increasing especially in young ladies. The medicine(s) which doctor prescribed are a way to keep this disease under check. To cure it some yoga exercises are to be done at least three times in a day. One of the most effective exercise of thyroid is Ushtraasana.

Sinhasana doesn't look pleasing but it gives extremely good results to thyroid patients. If you hesitate to do it in public, do it when you are alone at home.

Watch these videos. These exercises are very easy to do. Share it with your friends and relatives so that maximum number of patients can be benefited with these yoga exercises.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Unzipping the jeans

I was paying the bill of track suit and socks that I purchased from a reputed store of one of the esteemed malls. The cashier was taking more time in doing all the necessary formalities. To pass the time I looked around. I found a cute chubby kid standing near a male mannequin and keenly observing it. He raised his hand towards the zip of the jeans that mannequin was wearing. His hands were small couldn't reach there. He raised his ankles and balance his body on the toes. Now, his hand could easily reach the zip. To my surprise, he opened the zip. He made a face. Disappointment could be clearly seen on the little face on finding 'Nothing' inside! 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Marriage is a compromise

A husband updated his status on social networking site as

'Marriage is a compromise. Marriage means to make lots of adjustments and sacrifices such as watching 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo' together with wife. I can't stand Salman Khan's movies and this movie has double! The whole movie I was thinking when it will end and it won't!'

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Beautiful bird houses by Chandrika Shubham


I compiled the collection of photos of bird houses / nest boxes designed by me. I am preparing these bird houses from the past one year and sold many bird houses to different stratas of society. These bird houses are for small, medium and large sized birds.
In two-in-one and three-in-one different pairs can make their nests. Even possible that two or three different species can share the same house. These bird houses are made up of water proof solid ply. The ply is durable, long lasting and remain unaffected by rain, sun and other harshness of weather. Birds love to make their nest in wooden houses in comparison to metallic houses. If you are interested to give home to a pair of birds as there are not much trees left where they can make their nest then you can email me at chandrikashubham@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A fan of Sunny Leone

“What is your name?” I asked a kid who was playing alone.
“My name is ------------  ------------.” He replied.
“Sorry, I didn’t get it.”
He spoke horribly unclear that I couldn’t make out what he was trying to say. He told me his name at least 8 times before I could decipher his full name was Manan Gupta.
“In which school do you read?” I asked.
After he repeated the name of his school twice I could only understand that he was speaking three words and first word is Kamla. On five times more repetition I could make out that third word is Academy. Now the riddle was to solve the second word of the jumble. I guessed as school which turned out to be wrong. Then I guessed kids and bingo! Now, I could decipher his complete name of school.
“I can sing a song if you make a video of mine.” Looking at my newly bought mobile he said.
“Ya, sure! Go ahead.”
This is what he sings and I couldn’t make out what he was singing.

I asked him to repeat. This time I could understand only one word as ‘Chaar’ meaning 4. When I decipher the song what he was singing I burst out laughing thinking that he is big fan of Sunny Leone.

Dear readers, after seeing these videos you can very well guess how difficult it must be for me to decode what he was saying as well as singing! :)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Laughing Yoga

As we all know laughing is the best exercise. It cures a lots of diseases like thyroid, tension and depression. It also helps in keeping a check on anger and other negative emotions. Laughing heartily can decrease the frequency of getting cold and cough. This exercise should be done once a day. Do this exercise and feel the positive change in your life! :)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Solo Sailing – Truly Inspiring

I came in contact with large number of people to meet my professional demands. I love to talk, gossip and laugh with almost everyone. But most of the talks, gossips and chitchatting I do not remember. Some I do which are inspiring, knowledgeable and witty. Only once-every-gazillion years, I encounter someone who leaves a lasting impression on my mind; someone who is undeniably #madeofgreat. I am talking about Commander Abhilash Tomy who is the first Indian, second Asian and seventy – ninth in the world to complete a nonstop solo circumnavigation under sail that too unassisted. He was honored Kirti Chakra, the nation’s second highest peacetime gallantry award.
During Sagar Parikrama -2, Abhilash Tomy went for the epic voyage of 23100 nautical miles crossing Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans in 151 days without touching any port and without any outside assistance from November, 2012 to March, 2013. He travelled from West to East rounding the three ‘Great Capes’ Cape Leeuwin in Australia, Cape Horn in South America and Cape of Good Hope in Africa. Fighting with waves of 10 meter height and wind speed more than 100 kmph was an extremely difficult task. Battling with chilly winds was an intense test of physical stamina. Solo-sailing involves great physical strength, mental endurance and technological know-how. The voyage not only includes beating the rough waves of sea but also to fight the solitude and the imponderables of life at sea.
I was one of Abhilash Tomy’s thousands of followers who were keeping up with his remarkable journey on social networking site. I was awed by his adventurous trip as well as by the fact that he was alone, all by himself in the oceans for 151 days. He had no human to company him. Only bugs, sea creatures, dolphins and birds were his companions throughout his journey. It was extremely difficult to stay alone for so many days without losing mental strength and physical stamina. I have never been alone for a single day then what to say of 151 days! This time span seems to be very lengthy to me. 
During the last days of his voyage, he was facing the problem of shortage of drinking water as he was left with only 15 liters of fresh water because of contamination of drinking water with diesel. One such day, I commented on his Facebook status and asked, “What will you have in the lunch today?”
He replied, “I have ordered large sized pizza with mushroom, capsicum, corn and olives with extra cheese toppings which will be delivered any time from now.”
I really liked the way he replied me with a tinge of humor. I appreciated that he kept the things on light side in spite of all the difficulties he was going through. I was truly inspired by the way he was happy and cheerful even after facing all those difficulties and hardships of living alone on a boat in the vast ocean. I learnt from him that the sense of humor should not be lost even in extreme cases of hardship, loneliness and arduous situations.
He was sailing day and night. On boat, he worked for two hours and then took rest for an hour. He was not sleeping at a stretch but in spurts. That’s how he sailed continuously without any break. Through meditation he was able to maintain his courage, determination and mental strength. He was my inspiration behind my book on meditation namely ‘Japa Meditation – The Easiest Way to Calm the Mind’ in which I explain the age old deep philosophical teachings in a humorous way and complicated problems were sought out in a light-hearted manner.

What drives us from within is what makes us great! What do you think of Tata Motors’ association with Lionel Messi? Dear readers, answer this question to grab Amazon gift voucher of Rs.750/-.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Movie Review : Prem Ratan Dhan Payo

Salman Khan in double role in ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ is a visual treat for Salman Khan’s fan. Salman Khan looks handsome in some scenes and quite mature in the rest of the scenes. His acting is good as a common man but not as a king. This movie is entertaining and engaging. All masala - drama, action, songs and romance are in good proportion. Like all Sooraj R. Barjatya film’s it talks about family values, morals and traditions.
Sonam Kapoor played the role of a princess of Mithila. She looks beautiful, innocent and graceful just like a princess. Her smile, her hand gestures and body movements all are Royal. She acted and danced well. In one scene, she is having her meal while wearing goggles on the dining table which look a bit odd. In a romantic scene, she looks very beautiful with white flowers in her hair and blue saree.
The romantic scene in the garden is beautiful and in the kitchen is awful. Emotional drama, a few songs and some silly scenes are the weakness of the movie. Some scenes are shot in Jaipur. If you have ever visited Jaipur then the places are easily recognizable. Sheesh Mahal set up is attractive. The end is easily predictable. The king gets his family and the common man gets his love.
The chemistry between Salman Khan and Anupam Kher is interesting and enjoying. Swara Bhaskar as Salman Khan’s sister has acted well. Armaan Kholi after Big Boss atleast has a small role to play as a villain in this movie. Neil Nitin Mukesh is handsome like a prince but his acting is not much like a prince.

Though entertaining but only one time watch movie, yes of course with the family!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Best Hotels in Manesar

A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you've been taking. - EARL WILSON

Most of the people go for holiday on weekends but I am different. I love to go on vacation on weekdays. Yup, you read it right! In the middle of the week!! The best part to have a holiday in mid week is perhaps not so much relaxing myself on a comfy bed in a luxurious hotel as to see my colleagues’ busy working in the office. I always want to be away from the hustle and bustle of life, business, noise and crowd. To have change in my routine, to have some moments of my own, to rediscover myself, I always yearn for a vacation right in the middle of the week. Chilling out in a luxurious hotel room, watching television, eating delicious food or wearing loose colourful T-shirt and pajamas all day without any disturbance from phone is the best part of one day vacation.
For spending a day vacation, these three are my all time favourite hotels in Manesar which is just 25 kilometres away from Gurgaon whenever I wish I can drive on butter like smooth Highway to rejuvenate myself.

  1. Fortune Park Orange
This hotel is conveniently located right off the National Highway No. 8 and it is one of the finest hotels in Manesar with modern amenities. It is surrounded with lush green lawns and offers elegant decor to enhance the stay of the guests.
The tastefully furnished decor of the hotel immerses the senses. The warm colour colours of the interiors and the lavish furnishing always make my stay enjoying. Comfy bed and beautifully furnished rooms makes the stay more comfortable.

I can pamper my inner self to rejuvenate my tensed nerves by taking steam and spa bath at the hotel itself. I can have a refreshing dip in the swimming pool. Neptune is a perfect place to unwind and relax with drinks.
Fortune Deli is a contemporary outlet serving mouth watering delicacies and a wide range of light snacks, cakes, pastries and my all time favourite chocolates.
Orchid is a multi-cuisine restaurant serving delicious meals. The contemporary interiors, warm hospitality and elegant accommodation make this hotel one of my desirable option. A perfect place to spend a day!

  1. Best Western Resort Country Club
The lush green environment set in the most picturesque surroundings make Best Western Resort Country Club a perfect place to spend one day holiday. What to say more it has earned many International Awards for Excellence in Quality & Standards for its facilities.

In this hotel, I love to spend a lazy afternoon while relaxing in hammock enjoying the chirping of birds. I like to spend time with nature and confront it in all its wildness totally away from the virtual world.
The picturesque view of trees, shrubs, beautiful flowers and a wide variety of birds are its main attractions. I can read, write and meditate in the serene environment. I can indulge in leisure activities both indoor as well as outdoor. It leaves its guest rejuvenated with the tranquil surroundings.

  1. Heritage Village Resort & Spa
It offers an elegant and comfortable decor making it a perfect holiday destination.
To relax, the resort offers state-of-the-art indoor fitness facilities.
The hotel has a variety of restaurants such as Barahandi, a village-style eatery that serves up local delicacies and Surya Mahal, a restaurant that serves Mughlai cuisine. This hotel is a gorgeous step over!


A break from the boring and monotonous daily routine is what one yearns for! Let’s break the routine to have a vacation on weekends and have it right in the middle of the week!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Daily Workout

What a busy life, we all have! And we did all the activities from morning till evening but we can’t find time for our exercise routine. We put a cut there as it is the easiest to do and in the long run most harmful to do. Like breathing, eating and drinking is important so is exercising for our body. We have to find a few minutes to keep ourselves in perfect shape and health. Here are some exercises one can do when one wish to do exercise but have less time.

  1. Exercise for whole body – With this exercise the whole body is warm up. You can start from three per day and slowly and gradually can increase it up to 100 per day. A quick way to remain fit. My advice is not to start with more than ten per day as the muscles will stretch and will result in fatigue and light pain in body. Go slow like a tortoise to be a winner.
  2. Exercise for waistline – Easy exercise to reduce fat around the waist.
  3. Exercise for stomach – Those who want to reduce fat around the stomach, can do these workouts daily. Those who have back pain are advised not to do these exercises as there is forward bending in it.  

Do these exercises daily to stay fit! :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Simple tips for baby’s skin care

Have you ever touched a newly born baby? Do you want to touch that soft skin again and again? A newborn’s skin is too soft, sensitive and delicate. To maintain that softness parents must give special attention and care to baby’s skin. Parents should keep in mind the following points:-
  1. Only baby products should be used on baby’s skin. No adult products should be used as they can harm baby’s sensitive skin as adult products contain irritants and allergens. Powder and lotion should be avoided on baby’s skin until and unless recommended by the doctor.
  2. Do not bathe the baby too frequently as it can results in loss of natural oils that protect the skin which may further lead to the attack of allergen or eczema. Bathe the newly born baby once or twice a week. Baby clothes should be made up of tightly woven cotton fabrics. The cotton material is soft and good for baby’s sensitive skin. It is comfortable and durable. Wash the new outfits of baby before the baby wears them as they can harm the sensitive skin of the little one. Baby’s clothes should not be made up of synthetic materials or their blends. Parents should avoid fancy clothes and accessories for babies as they may harm baby’s sensitive skin.
  3. Laundry items should be selected cautiously for washing baby’s clothes as they may cause irritation to baby’s sensitive skin. Fragrance and dye free washing agents should be selected. Baby’s clothes, bedding and blankets should be washed separately from family’s laundry. Try to rinse the baby’s clothes an extra time to remove laundry residues.
  4. These days, markets are flooded with different types of brands of diapers. Parents are advised to select the diaper for the baby very cautiously. The diapers should be soft and good absorbent. Pampers brings you the softest ever Pampers Premium Care Pants. Its cotton-like softness is #SoftestForBabySkin and allows it to breathe, thus keeping baby’s skin soft and healthy, and your baby happy. Change the diapers frequently. Diapered area is sensitive area needs extra care. Cleanse the area not with wipes but with cotton balls and a bowl of water.
  5. Protect the skin of newly born from the weather and insect bites. Whenever parents go out with the baby, they should cover the baby properly according to the weather. In summers, cover the baby’s head, arms and legs properly to protect the baby’s skin from the hot winds. Baby’s clothes should be of light colour as light colour reflects heat. In winter, cover the baby’s head with cap or scarf, hands with mittens and feet with socks. Put the mosquito net around the baby when he is resting and sleeping. It will protect the baby’s skin from mosquito bites.


Parents should try their best to keep baby’s world soft and safe.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Care for baby’s soft skin


You have just become a parent? Has no experience how to take care of soft skin of baby? Here are some pints to take care of your baby’s skin so that it remains soft and silky for longer time. The most important point to remember is protect the baby’s skin from harsh weather like hot sun, dry air, cold wind and hot wind. The skin of baby is very soft and it is irritated very easily. If not properly cared then some babies may develop redness and rashes, making the baby uncomfortable and unhappy.
Here are some tips to keep the baby’s skin soft, flexible and comfortable.

  1. Use natural diapers for baby. Select the brand very carefully. Pampers brings you the softest ever Pampers Premium Care Pants. Its cotton-like softness is #SoftestForBabySkin and allows it to breathe, thus keeping baby’s skin soft and healthy, and your baby happy. Do not use wipes. They can make the sensitive skin red. Use cotton balls and a bowl of water to clean baby’s diaper area. Do not forget to change the water of bowl regularly.
  2. The clothes of the babies should be soft preferably of cotton material. Cotton fabric is a good absorbent and soft to touch. Hence, it absorbs the precipitation and makes the baby comfortable. The clothes should not be too tight as they can harm the skin. The tight clothes with elastics can cause rashes on baby’s soft skin. The baby’s clothes should have strings or Velcro tapes so that the clothes can be easily changed without pulling and pushing of clothes with the soft skin of babies.
  3. Parents should plan outdoor activities in morning or evening to avoid sun and heat exposure to baby’s sensitive skin. When ever go out with a baby in harsh weather protect baby’s skin with proper clothing. During summers, keep away your baby’s skin from direct exposure to sun by covering baby’s head with a cotton summer cap and baby’s body with loose fitted clothes made from tight woven fabrics. This will protect baby’s head and body from hot winds and direct exposure to sun. Summer attires of baby should be light in colour as light colours reflect more light and heat whereas dark colours absorb more light and heat. In winters, cover all the sensitive area of baby like head, nose, throat and ears with woollen caps, scarves etc. Do not forget to cover the baby’s hands with mittens and baby’s feet with socks.
  4. Daily massage baby’s skin with oil to keep it moist and soft. Massage to relax baby’s body. Massaging gives an opportunity to bond with the baby. Avoid using soaps while bathing a baby. If you wish to use then select the brand of soap very cautiously. Avoid soaps with fragrance.
  5. Give the baby to drink lots of liquids and make sure that baby is not dehydrated. Dehydration will worsen the baby’s skin problem.


These points will help you in making the world softer and safer for babies.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Chatpat Jhatpat McCain

While returning home from my office, I picked up my cousin from his school as my aunt was out of the town to attend a conference. The distance between his school and home was hardly of 10 minutes by walk even then at least ten times he repeated ‘I am feeling hungry’. Hungry kid! As soon as we reached home, I throw my bag in the cupboard and rushed in the kitchen to cook something for him. I got up late in the morning and like other days I couldn’t find time to do some preparations for lunch. Thank God! I have McCain packets in my freezer. I took out an already opened packet of McCain Smiles as he liked them very much. I quickly prepared them according to his taste buds.

Apple McCain Smiles
Ingredients
McCain Smiles – 4
Apple – 1
Tomato – 1 small
Butter – 1 tablespoon
Tomato ketchup – 1 ½ table spoon
Curry leaves – 5– 6
Powdered white pepper – ½ teaspoon
Red chilli pepper flakes – ¼ teaspoon
Salt to taste
For Garnishing
Coriander leaves – 2-3
Method

  1. Cut the apple slices lengthwise.
  2. Apply butter on upper side. After that apply a thin layer of tomato ketchup. Sprinkle salt, chilli flakes and powdered white pepper on it. Microwave it for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Cut the tomato in semicircle and remove the seeds. Chop curry leaves finely.
  4. Take out 4 smiles from McCain packet. Quickly make the tomato cut outs as smiling lips of smiles and fill the chopped curry leaves in the two holes on smiles with a help of toothpick. Spread a thin layer of butter with a help of knife on it.
  5. Microwave them for 3- 4 minutes.
  6. With a help of broad edged knife place the apple on the plate then put the smiley in the centre of the apple.
  7. Place the coriander leaves in between the smiley and apple which will look like its’ green hat.
  8. Beautiful and delicious smiles are ready. Serve hot.

“Did you wash your hands?” I asked him seeing him in a different dress.
“I not only washed my hands but face also.” He replied.
“Food is ready. Take it.” I handed over the plate to him.

“Beautiful flowers are blooming in the balcony garden. So, I will eat in the balcony. Today, my teacher told the students to spend more time near nature than on laptop, mobile and tablets.”
I arranged his table and chair in the balcony and asked him to have McCain snacks there. I returned in the kitchen to finish other chores. A few minutes passed, he came running to me with the empty plate in his hands.
“You finished it so quickly.” I asked with a surprise in my voice. “Did the plate fall off?”
“No. As I was about to eat Apple McCain smiles, a crow came from nowhere and sneezed it from my little hands before I could put it in my big mouth. I got scared and pushed my chair backward. Another crow, must be its close friend came and took away another piece from my plate.”
“Put this plate in the sink. Wash your hands. I will give you the two remaining ones.”
A big smile appeared on his face. “You have more.”
“Yup! Will you like to eat them near the nature or .......?”
“In front of T.V!”

After finishing those he said, “I am feeling hungry.”
“Oh! My God!!” I uttered. “I am damn tired.”
“My left side of stomach is still empty as the crow took my share. You can touch my stomach and feel. It is still empty.”
 “Your favourite smiles are finished. There were only four pieces left in the packet which I have already cooked for you.”
He opened the freezer, took out a fresh packet of McCain French Fries and said innocently. “I will eat it.”
I prepared this recipe for him.

McCain French Fries in Peanut Sauce
Ingredients
Roasted Bengal gram powder – 1 table spoon
Peanut powder – 1 tablespoon
Coconut powder – ½ tablespoon
Powdered white pepper – ½ teaspoon
Mustard seed – ¼ teaspoon
Dry red chilli (crushed) – 2
Dry thyme – ¼ teaspoon
Dry rosemary- ½ teaspoon
Garlic powder – ½ teaspoon
Chopped curry leaves – 10-15
Sour buttermilk – 1 to 1 ½ cup
Butter – 1 table spoon
Olive oil – ½ table spoon
Canola oil – for frying
Salt to taste
For garnishing
Chopped basil leaves – 7-8
Sliced tomato – 1 small
Method
1. Heat canola oil in a pan and deep fry McCain French Fries in it. Take them out in a plate and keep aside.
2. Take coconut powder, peanut powder and roasted Bengal gram powder in a bowl. Mix them well. Add buttermilk slowly so that lumps are not formed. Add salt and powdered white pepper to it.
3. Heat butter in a pan. Add olive oil in it and mix them well.
4. Add mustard seeds when they start to splutter then add curry leaves and crushed red chillies.

5. Pour the already prepared mixture into the pan and stir it. Heat it to the boil.

6. Add garlic powder, thyme and rosemary in it. Reduce the heat. Gently put the fried French Fries in it and mix very lightly.
7. Take out the French fries in a plate.
8. Garnish it with basil leaves and tomato. Serve hot.



“This is more delicious. From now, McCain French Fries in Peanut Sauce will be my favourite!” He declared this with a beaming face.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Bonding

These days, not only younger generation but older generation is also caught in the clutches of smart phones. Everybody spend more time in virtual world then in real world. My cousin who was only five years old was always busy playing video games like ‘Snake’ and ‘Angry birds’. His eyes were always fixed on the screen while taking his meals or drinking milk. Like my youngest family member, my grandmother was always busy on the phone. Whole day, she chatted with her friends, relatives and even next door neighbours. I had to wait for several minutes if I wanted to talk to her. Similarly, my aunt was always busy in dealing with business enquiries on phone. In her free time she preferred to listen to her favourite songs with the ears phones than conversing with family members. I desperately wanted my family members to break the shackles of digital world and came together to enjoy the beautiful moment’s life has given us.  
I saw the advertisement of Kissanpur on T.V. I ordered tomato seeds online and downloaded the ‘Tomato Growing Guide’ from Kissanpur website. I arouse the curiosity of my cousin by explaining him that Kissan tomato ketchup which he liked so much is made of tomatoes. Moreover, we would be growing those tomatoes in our house. He opened his mouth in amazement.

We together sowed the seeds in the moist soil and placed the container on the refrigerator. My cousin at regular intervals climbed on the chair to watch it. He was the first to notice the first sapling of tomato. He was so excited and happy. Now, he wanted his eyes fixed on the tomato plant while eating and drinking milk.

When all the saplings came out, I put the pot in sunlight as they now required sunshine for the whole day. I went out of the town for three days to attend the marriage of my close friend. When I came back, I was surprised to see my grandmother watering plants along with my cousin. They both were enjoying each other company and I too joined them.

The plants grew up to the height of 6-8 inches I put support to the plant by adding a stick around it. The tiny flowers of tomatoes were very beautiful and we loved to watch them blossom. The fruits appeared and their size increased. The colour of fruits started changing from green to red.

One day when I was in my office, my cousin was in his school and my grandmother was in temple attending a spiritual lecture on that day, devastating hailstorm came. I was feeling that our efforts to produce tomatoes would fail. The storm was so strong that it would destroy the tomatoes. When I came home, I rushed to check our tomato plants. I was quite surprised to see them swinging happily in cool breeze. My aunt came smilingly and told that she put a temporary shed to protect the tomatoes from hail storm.

On that night, all family members experienced the ‘Real Togetherness’. We sat near our tomato plants, watched them in full moon light. Red tomatoes were shining brightly. After that, my family started spending time with each other, watching stars, moon, clouds and tomato plants.


Thanks Kissanpur for bringing my family together! :) 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Ravana Dahan


Today, while passing through a road, I came across these artistic faces and realized that the preparations for the celebration of Ravana Dahan were in full swing. On Dussehra, these faces will be mounted on the huge bodies stuffed with hay and fire crackers of Ravana, Kumbhakaran and Meghnad . The person playing the role of Lord Ram will target them with flaming arrows and will burn them to ashes depicting the end the evil. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Healthy Halwa

Today, I prepared Navratri special - Bottle gourd and cashew-nuts halwa. Many people cooked giya ka halwa in these days as it is liked by many in the fast days. I opted for more healthier option shakar (powdered jaggery) instead of sugar in it.

Ingredients
Milk - 1 1/2 liter
Bottle gourd - 1 big size
Malai (Cream) - 100g
Powdered cashew-nuts - 25g
Powdered cardamoms - 7-8
Powdered jaggery - 300g
For garnishing
Musk melon seeds - 1/2 table spoon

Method
1. Boil milk, cream, grated bottle gourd, powdered cashew-nuts and cardamoms together till it thickens. Stir it continuously.
2. Add jaggery and mix it well. Stir the mixture continuously till it leaves ghee and the sides of the pan.
3. Take it out in a bowl and garnish it with musk melon seeds. Serve hot.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Pranayam (Breathing Exercises)

Pranayam means control of breath. It calms the mind and provides more oxygen to the brain. The most common pranayam are bhastrika, kapalabhati, jalandhara bandha, uddiyana bandha, mula bandha, anuloma viloma and bhasrika. I am teaching pranayam to my students from the past nine years. In these two videos, I explained the procedure of doing pranayam. 

Dear readers, you can daily watch these videos while practicing breathing exercises and be benefited from them.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Eyebrows of a cow

I find this very funny that somebody painted the eyebrows of this cow. I must say 'Height of Creativity'!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Begun Bhaja

Today I tried begun bhaja, a delicious n delightful recipe of Bengali cuisine. One of my close friend who is a Bengali shared the recipe of begun bhaja. Her method was to deep fry sliced egg plants and then sprinkled it with salt and spices. I gave a twist to it to make it more crispy and tasty. And my recipe is like this .....

Ingredients
Egg Plant - 2
Rice flour - 1 table spoon
Red chillies - 1/4 tea spoon
Black pepper - 1/4 tea spoon
Mango powder - 1/4 tea spoon
Roasted cumin seeds - 1/4 tea spoon
Salt to taste
Desi ghee for shallow frying

Method
1. Sliced the egg plants in half circles. Wash them in water thoroughly.
2. Rub the rice flour on both the sides of the egg plant slice gently.
3. Shallow fry them in a pan.
4. Sprinkle the spices on it and serve hot.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Unique colour of mushroom

After rains, mushrooms come up anywhere and everywhere in gardens or in wild. It is so common. Most of the time the colour of mushroom is white, offwhite or light brown. I noticed this grey colour mushroom growing in the park of my society. I found this colour somewhat uncommon so sharing with all of you.

Dengue and papaya tree

Aftereffects of dengue on this papaya tree can be seen very clearly. I noticed it during my evening walk. This tree is not diseased with dengue. But the people tore it's leaves because papaya leaves juice is considered good for curing dengue. It is the best home remedy that one can afford free of cost if there is a papaya tree in their surrounding. :)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ace, King, Queen and Joker

I won an interesting quiz or a lucky draw I do not know. But the interesting thing is that I participated in a competition organised by Delhi Book Club on their Facebook page in which one has to suggest the name of the authors as Ace, King, Queen and Joker of the pack. According to me it was like this -

ACE - RAVINDRANATH TAGORE
KING - W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM
QUEEN - PEARL S. BUCK
JOKER - CHETAN BHAGAT

And according to you who out of numerous authors you have read is Ace, King, Queen and Joker of the pack?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Movie Review : Talvar

Talvar movie is based on Arushi murder case which took place in 2008. Meghna Gulzar has handled this sensitive topic brilliantly by keeping the viewers engrossed throughout the movie. An extensive research on this unfortunate incident has been done to do the justice with every angle of the case.

Irfan Khan as Ashwin Kumar has acted well as the investigating officer of CDI (Central Department of Investigation). Tabu has a small role as Ashwin Kumar’s wife. Neeraj Kabi plays the role of Dr. Ramesh Tandon. Konkona Sen Sharma as Nutan Sharma and Dr. Ramesh Tandon’s wife looks natural on screen. The rest of actors played their respective role very well.

The best scene in this movie is when the investigating team are presenting their view points and facts to support them. If you love to watch crime investigation then this movie is a must watch. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Exercise for back ache

Dear readers, here is my first video on yoga. In this video I am explaining how to do exercise which helps is reliving back ache. This is the best exercise for back pain. Do it regularly and say good bye to back ache.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Medicine for meditation?

Actually, I am taking medicines for meditation that's why I forget the things so frequently." Mrs. 'A' told me this in Hindi except the word 'MEDITATION'.
"MEDITATION!" I was shocked. "I am doing meditation for more than fifteen years. I have read the works of varied saints and authors on meditation but never heard about the medicine or injection for meditation."
She said these words in Hindi. "No....... Actually .....what we call it............." She pondered for a while and then said, "'DEPRESSION'."
I repeated, "DEPRESSION! You are taking medicines for depression!!"

Should I laugh or cry on her 'Angreeze'?

Friday, August 21, 2015

Speed

I can’t imagine my life without internet. These days, internet is a multi-faceted tool which can be used in various settings of life for doing enormous things. Now, it is the time to use high speed internet.  Internet connection with superb speed is what one desires!
Airtel 4G has unbelievable speed and is more reliable. With this speed I can view more pages, send more emails, watch more videos, download and upload more content and can do much more.

1. Business - My working efficiency has increased with the high speed of internet connection. Now I can do my business more effectively and more efficiently. I can communicate better with my clients. I can do conference calls with them without any interruptions. I can transfer files and upload documents related to business speedily. I can now work from my office, home and in travel. I mean I can work from anywhere with 4G internet connection. Fund transfer, purchasing shares, online investment in mutual funds, loan repayment and viewing my account balance can be done from anywhere and at any time. I can promote my products online faster through various social media sites. Faster marketing will yields good profits!
2. Bill Payments – I can pay my electricity, telephone and mobile bills faster without any interruptions.  Without any break in net connection I can do net banking, pay my insurance premiums, transfer money to third party and can make contributions to charity. It saves my time.  
3. Learning – I can now learn new things more effectively and efficiently than ever before. I can surf the net faster. I can research faster. I can learn faster. With my eyes affixed on computer screen, even a single blink time seems too long to wait for the data to download or a webpage to open but with the unbelievable speed of Airtel 4G internet connections I can browse and download without wasting my precious time even for a fraction of second.
4. Online buying – I can view variety of products which can be surfed in less time while doing online shopping. I can compare prices of the products before buying with ease. I can buy grocery items, clothes, fashion accessories, jewellery and other products with fast speed.
5. Social - With a high speed internet connection I can very easily stay connected with my parents, relatives and friends.  I can communicate with them online with social networking, chatting or instant messaging. I can communicate faster online with the persons who share the same interest with me. World is becoming smaller with fast speed internet connection.
6. Entertainment - Super entertainment is available with just one click. Now, I can easily watch uninterrupted television shows, movies, music videos and slideshows. I can download songs and book a movie ticket in much less time.
7. Travel – I can explore city maps to reach my destinations and can search the famous places with a lightning speed.
8. Blogging - I can do much faster blogging.


Dear readers, with 4G internet connection you can load my blog faster and of course you will be able to read more posts in less time. :) 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Penne Rigate in balle balle style

I was in a dilemma what to cook in lunch as my cousin, Lavi and her husband was visiting me. My cousin is a fan of North Indian food especially Punjabi food. Chhole bhature, gujiya, mango shake and spicy tomato and garlic chutney are some of her favourites. Her husband loves to eat Italian food. Pasta in white sauce, pasta salad, dip made up of basil leaves are his all time favourites. To make both of them happy, I tried Penne Rigate in balle balle style fusing the two different ingredients, flavours, food and culture together to create something new. This is what I prepared! And of course how I prepared!!

Penne Rigate in balle balle style

Servings – 4- 6 
Preparation Time – 15 minutes and overnight fermentation period and soaking time of chickpeas
Cooking Time – 45 minutes

Cook Penne Rigate
Ingredients
Del Monte Penne Rigate – 55g
Del Monte Olive Oil – ½ teaspoon (for cooking)
Del Monte Olive Oil – 1 teaspoon (for tossing)
Salt to taste

Method
1.   Boil water in a pan. Add salt and olive oil in it. When it starts boiling add pasta and cook it uncovered for ten minutes in an open pan. Keep a timer for exact timing.

2.   During the first few minutes, starch come out of the pasta, making it sticky. Stir it continuously and gently.
3.   Take out a pasta piece and bite it. It should be ‘Al Dente’ meaning it should be firm to bite. It should neither be crunchy nor too soft. It should appeal to the teeth.
4.   Remove the pan from fire. Drain the cooked pasta immediately into a sieve and transfer it into a pan containing cold water. Drain it again, toss it with olive oil and keep it aside.


Yellow sauce
Ingredients
Mango pulp (Neither raw nor fully ripe mango medium size) – 150g
Milk – 250ml
Cream (Malai) – 40g
Corn flour – ¾ table spoon
Refined Wheat Flour (Maida) – ½ table spoon
Raw turmeric – 1 small piece
Grated cheese – 50g
Butter – 7g
Mango Essence – 2 drops
White pepper – ½ tea spoon
Salt to taste

Method
1.   Melt the butter in clay pot on low-to-medium heat. Add refined wheat flour to it. Stir it continuously with a wooden spoon to avoid any lump formation. Add 175ml milk and cream to it. Stirring continuously bring it to the boil. Add grated raw turmeric for colour.

2.  After one minute, reduce the flame and add cheese, salt and white pepper. Mix 25 ml milk and corn flour. Allow it to cook for few more minutes so that it becomes thicker than white sauce.
3.   Remove from fire and stir it for some more time to avoid any thick layer formation on the top. The clay pot retains the heat for more time, preserves the nutrients and aroma. The milk recipe cooked in clay pots tastes delicious.
4.   Blend mango pulp and the remaining milk in the mixer. Add the mixture and mango essence in the sauce on cooling and mix well. The sauce is ready. Keep it aside.


Chickpea Boiling
Ingredients
Chickpea – 25g
Dry Indian Gooseberry (Amla) – 3-4 slices
Cloves – 1
Peppercorns – 2-3
Bay Leaf (Tejpata) – 1 small piece
Cinnamon (Dalchinni) – 1 small piece
Black Cardamom (Kali elaichi) – 1-2
Ginger – 1 small piece
Baking soda – ¼ teaspoon
Turmeric – ¼ teaspoon
Salt to taste

Method
1.   Soak chickpeas over night. Put them in pressure cooker. Add salt and turmeric powder.
2.   Take a cotton cloth of a size of handkerchief. Put all the condiments and spices in it. Fold it making a triangle and roll it and tie a knot.

3.   Put it in the pressure cooker so that it is immersed fully in water. Add the baking soda and stir it. Close the lid. Place it on high heat.

4.   When pressure is reached turn heat to low and allow the steam-release rocker to rock twice. Remove from fire and wait for pressure to decrease. Open the lid.
5.   Squeeze the bundle into the soup to drain out all the flavours from it. This soup with Indian flavours will be used in cooking penne.

Penne in Yellow sauce
Ingredients
Red bell peppers – 2
Red chillies – 2-3
Basil leaves – 25 leaves
Butter – 7g
Del Monte Olive oil – 1 teaspoon
Garlic – 6 cloves
Onion – 2 medium size
Chickpea soup – 3-4 table spoon
Oregano – 1 ½ tea spoon
Thyme – ½ teaspoon
Rosemary – ½ teaspoon
White pepper – ¼ table spoon
Salt to taste
Garnish
Del Monte Pitted Black Olives – 6-7
Basil leaves – Remaining leaves

Method

1.   Melt the butter in a pan. Add olive oil. Mix them. Saute finely chopped garlic, onion. Add chopped half of the basil leaves and diagonally chopped red chillies in it. Do not overcook them.
2.   Add chopped red bell peppers. Saute them. Add boiled chickpeas and soup. Mix yellow sauce and obtained the desired consistency of sauce. Add salt and other spices.
3.   Add pasta and stir it very gently. Remove from fire and garnish it with chopped olives and basil leaves.


Penne Salad
Ingredients
Cherry tomatoes – 8-9
Chopped Cucumber – 70g
Chopped Carrot – 60g
Chopped Radish – 30g
Chopped Red bell peppers – 20g
Del Monte Penne Rigate Boiled – 3-4 pieces
Lime juice – 2 teaspoon
Del Monte Olive oil – 1 teaspoon spoon
Honey – 1 teaspoon
Radish leaves small sized – 3-4 leaves
Coriander leaves – 20g
Dry Mint – ¼ teaspoon
Black pepper – ¼ teaspoon
Oregano – ½ teaspoon
Parsley – ½ teaspoon
Salt to taste

Method
1.   Mix oil, lime juice and honey in a glass bowl. Add chopped ingredients in it. Add finely chopped radish leaves and coriander to it.
2.   Slice pasta piece into three parts cutting it diagonally symmetrical to its edges. Sprinkle spices and toss them gently.


Triangular stuffed n puffed bread
Ingredients
Barley flour – 10g
Refined Wheat Flour (Maida) – 100g + for rolling bread
Curd – 20g + 20g = 40g
Roasted capsicum – 2
Boiled Pasta – 10g
Butter – 1/4 teaspoon
Canola Oil for frying

Filling
Ingredients
Del Monte Pitted Black Olives – 30g
Boiled Sweet Corn – 30g
Grated Cheese – 30g
Raisins – 12-15
Garlic – 2-3 cloves
Chilli flakes – ½ teaspoon
Dry Parsley – ½ teaspoon
Dry Thyme – 1 pinch
Dry Rosemary – 1 pinch
Basil leaves – 10 -15 leaves
Del Monte Olive oil – 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Method
1.   Heat olive oil. Sauté chopped garlic and basil leaves in it.
2.   Saute coarsely crushed sweet corns and olives in it. Add cheese. Add spices and salt. The filling is ready.
3.   Mix half quantity of curd and barley flour. Leave it overnight to ferment.
4.   Remove the skin of roasted capsicum it will easily peel off if the oil is applied on the outer surface of capsicum before roasting. Grind it along with the remaining amount of curd.

5.   Take the refined wheat flour in a bowl. Add butter and salt to it. Rub it nicely in the flour. Knead the dough using fermented barley flour and capsicum blend.
6.   Make small balls of dough. With the help of rolling pin, roll it more lengthwise then width wise. Place the rolled out dough on the triangular mould.
7.   Place the filling in the lower part or base portion.  Move the wet finger very lightly on the three sides of the mould so that it seals well and the filling doesn’t come out. Do not fill it too much that it touches the sides of the mould. It should be sealed properly else it will mess while frying.

8.   Flip the top end over the bottom one. Press it gently. Trim off the extra dough from the edges and mix it in the rest of the dough. Open the mould and very gently take out the stuffed triangular piece.
9.   Deep fry them in oil till golden brown. Take them out on the paper so that paper absorbs extra oil.


Basil and peanut chutney
Ingredients
Basil leaves -15g
Peanut – 15g
Roasted and unshelled Whole Bengal gram (Bhuna hoya channa) – 10g
Pistachio – 2-3
Curd – 40 - 50g
Green chillies – 2
Garlic – 2 cloves
Ginger – 1 small piece
Salt to taste

Method
1.   Roast peanut in a pan. Rub it gently between the palms and skin will peel off. Blow off the skin.

2.   Grind Peanut, Bengal gram, pistachios into a fine powder.

3.   Grind basil leaves, garlic, green chillies and ginger using a small quantity of curd.
4.   Add salt. Mix them together.


Tomato and Garlic chutney
Ingredients
Country Tomato – 150g
Garlic – 6-7 cloves
Carrot – 30g
Red chillies – 3
Ginger – 1 small piece
Onion – 1 small size
Red chilli powder – ½ teaspoon
Butter -7g
Oregano – ½ teaspoon
Thyme – 1 pinch
Dried parsley – 1 pinch
Cloves -1
Roasted cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
Fennel seed powder – ½ teaspoon
Sugar – 3 teaspoon
Black salt – ½ teaspoon
Salt to taste

Method
1.   Grind tomato, garlic, onion, carrot, red chillies and ginger to make a fine paste. Add red chilli powder to it.

2.   Heat butter in a pan. Pour the mixture in it. Stir it till the water gets evaporated.

3.   Add grinded clove and roasted cumin seeds to it. Add oregano, fennel powder, dried parsley, thyme, black salt to it. Add salt. Do not add salt in the beginning as the quantity of mixture will decrease.


White balls
Ingredients
Paneer (chhena) made from cow’s milk– 15g
Refined Wheat Flour (Maida) – a pinch
Salt to taste

Method
1.   Rub the paneer with the heel of the palm so that it is mashed well.
2.   Add refined wheat flour and repeat the process till the palm become greasy.
3.   Make the small ball by rolling the small portion between the palms.

4.   Boil water in the pressure cooker. Add salt in it.
5.   Slide the balls slowly into the salty water. Close the lid. Place it on high heat. When pressure is reached turn heat to low and allow the steam-release rocker to rock twice.
6.   Remove from fire and wait for pressure to decrease. Open the lid. The balls will swell and become soft.

Plating
Spread the penne. And garnish it with fresh basil leaves. Put the salad and puffed and stuffed triangular bread. Make the line of green chutney and end it with a dot of red dip. Put the white balls on the red colour.


There were big smileys on the faces of my cousin and her husband on seeing the smiley on a plate. They both liked the idea of combining Indian and Italian recipes very much. On tasting, they both said, "Perfect". 
"Please believe me, I prepared the pasta for the first time." I shyly said.