Thursday, November 15, 2007

Diwali Special - Badusha

I have started writing more culinary blogs these days. May be I am improving my cooking skills or my knowledge in other areas is very very poor :-(.

For this Diwali, I first thought of making Adhirasam, the traditional Diwali sweet of tamilians. But unfortunately, my trial version of it failed in a disastrous way. So I was thinking of some other alternative.

Every time I think of making something new, I call my friend Ruba. There is this difference between a good cook and a great cook - how much they understand cooking. What is there to understand in cooking? There are so many things. I understood this after I came to know Ruba's cooking skills. She would not stop giving the recipe. She also gives so many tips which might sound silly. But when you follow them, your recipe would turn out great. This time, she asked me to try Badusha. By the way, how badusha got this different name???

Maida Flour - 1 cup
Butter/Ghee/Dalda - 1/4 cup
Baking Soda - Pinch
Water - 3 glasses
Sugar - 2 1/2 glasses...oooooooh...Try to forget the word 'Calorie' for sometime.


Mix Maida with Ghee. Add a pinch of baking soda. Prepare a nice dough little thicker than chapathi dough. Leave it for 1/2 hour. Then make small balls. Press in the middle with the thumb. This should give you the typical shape of badusha. Meanwhile, add sugar to water in a big bowl and put it in stove. Let it boil for 20 mins.

Heat oil and then start frying badusha. Keep in medium heat and allow till the badusha turns golden brown thoroughly. Only when the flame is medium, the badusha gets cooked in all sides.

Take them out and allow to cool. Allow the sugar syrup to cool. Then put these badusha in sugar syrup. Turn them and allow them to soak in syrup completely for 2-3 mins. Take out and leave them outside until the sugar coating forms on the surface of badusha.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Spinach - Broom of the stomach

I hit upon Spinach everytime I read an article about health. There is a famous French proverb that describes Spinach as 'The Broom of the Stomach'. It is also called as 'The Vitamin Vegetable'. Spinach deserves all these praises. It improves our health in so many ways and protects us from many diseases.

Here are a few good things about Spinach:

1. Protects against breast, prostate and ovarian cancer
2. Vitamin K in Spinach helps maintain bone health
3. Good source of Calcium and Magnesium
4. Good Source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C
5. Provides cardiovascular protection
6. Smarter brain
7. Better eyesight
8. Good source of Iron

and the list goes on and on....

Spinach Dhal:
Toor Dhal
Chilli powder
Turmeric Powder

Cooking Method:
Add turmeric powder, asafoetida and garlic to toor dhal and pressure cook for three whistles. Then in a pan heat oil and fry onions till they turn golden brown. Then add tomatoes. Fry till the oil comes up and add Spinach. Fry till Spinach becomes a paste and then add dhal to it. Add Chilli powder and Salt. Cook for 5 mins. Serve with rice and chapathi.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Adnan Sami's drastic weight loss

I could not believe this!!! Corpulent Adnan Sami has lost so much weight!!!. He has lost nearly 90 kgs. It seems that he was suffering from many health problems because of his obesity and doctors had warned him very severely. So he worked out and dieted vigorously. Read this article to know more -

Friday, October 19, 2007

Chettinad Chicken

Bored of usual chicken curry and fry, try this out! 'Chettinad' not only adds glamour to the recipe name, but has a very spicy chettinad flavor in it.


To marinate:
Chicken - 8 Drumstick pieces (cut the pieces)
Lime Juice - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder

To grind:
Red Chillies - 3
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
Fennel seeds - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 2 tbsp
Poppy seeds - 2 tbsp
Black Pepper - 2 tbsp
Cinnamom - 2
Cardamom - 3
Clove - 3
Mace - 2
Dry grated coconut - From Fresh coconut - 5 tbsp

Bay Leaf - 2
Onion - 2
Tomato - 2
Ginger - lil
Garlic - 5
Chilli Powder - 2 tbsp
Mint leaves

Cooking Method:
Wash Chicken thoroughly. Marinate by adding lime juice, turmeric powder and salt to it. Leave it for 1/2 hour.

Slightly roast the ingredients given in "To Grind" section without oil. Roast it for 3 minutes until the aroma comes out.

Have the pan ready with oil. Put bay leaves and then onions. When the onions turn golden brown, add ginger garlic paste. When it is ready, add chicken. Mix it for 3 minutes. Then add tomato, chilli powder, the ground masala powder. Mix well and add necessary water. Close it for 5 minutes. Take the lid and mix well. Boil it until you get your desired consistency.

Serve with Rice or Chapathi.

Groceries in Tamil

Everytime I look for receipes online, I struggle to find the tamil name for groceries. I found this link today which has the translation of all important spicy ingredients in Tamil. Check it out!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bush - Very Funny

A big queue is waiting outside heaven. An agent is checking out their qualifications and deciding whether to allow them inside or send them to hell.

The first among them says that his name is Albert Einstein. The agent asks him to prove himself. Einstein requests for a slate and a chalkpiece. Then he proves his relativity theory as E = mc² (energy and mass are equivalent and transmutable). The agent admits that he is Einstein and allows him into heaven.

The next in the line introduces himself as Pablo Picasso. When he has been asked to prove himself, he requests for the same slate and chalk. He starts drawing one of his finest works. The agent gets totally amazed and allows him inside.

Next in the line, there is a man who is trying to get people's attention right from the beginning. He tries to rush inside heaven. The agent controls him and asks for his identity. He says that he is George Bush. The agent tells him to prove that. Bush asks him how. The agent says that he has to prove the way Einstein and Picasso did. Bush replies him,
"Ok! But who is this Einstein and Picasso?"

The agent is shocked and says,
"Only one person could be this much brilliant and no doubt that it is you, Bush".
He opens the door wide and allows him inside.

I just got a chance to read this in 'Kumudham'. This is a joke and a very nice joke.

I saw a documentary called 'Fahrenheit 9/11' about the 9/11 attacks. Michael Moore is the maker of this and he presents a critical look at Bush's presidency during the attacks. After watching the documentary, I could no more say that Bush is funny. Watch it and you could understand why!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Have you ever thought why?

I wanted to write about Ilayaraja for a long time. But I was not confident how to express 'what and how' I feel about his music. So I did not take any chance of writing about him. Even, I was not able to answer if someone asked me "why do you like him?". There are so many reasons, but I was not able to tell even one. May be it is because of my poor music knowledge or whatsoever.

Now, I found a solution to these. If someone asks me about Ilayaraja, I am just going to forward a link. Want to know that link???. Here it is.

My brother forwarded me this blog link last week. The author of the blog is Hawkeye. Not only this post, but the blogger has written so many posts in different topics. His writings has a depth in it and they are very well analysed and written. He has written a post about our Ilayaraja too. The author has explained very nicely about Ilayaraja, his talents and his works. I am very proud that a Tamilian from a remote village is reaching all these musical heights. Go thru this when you get time.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

"Planes,Trains and Automobiles" to "Anbe Sivam"

"Anbe Sivam" is one of the scintillating movies of our Ulaga Nayagan Kamal Hassan. The movie has a very meaningful story line in it. The name of the movie itself tells the moral of the story "Anbe...Sivam" means "Love is God". People who are being kind to others and who can express their love are the real gods. The screenplay of this movie is done by Kamal and the direction by Sundar.C. I guess Sundar.C is just the namesake director as each and every scene of this movie shows that it has Kamal's hands in it. Okie..lets come to the topic. Why am I talking about this movie now???

Yesterday, I was watching an English movie of my favourite comedian Steve Martin. 'Planes,Trains and Automobiles" is the name of the movie. To my surprise, the movie was not so good. I was very upset about it because I love to watch Steve Martin's comic actions. But as the movie was going on, something was coming into my mind and was disturbing me on and off. It was giving me a strange feeling that I already watched those scenes already. I tried to dig out my memory to find the reason behind this strange feeling and Anbe Sivam came into my attention . is.

Right from the first scene where Kamal meets Madhavan in airport, the flight cancellation, going for alternatives like car and train, staying in a hotel room together...hmm...all those were inspired from this movie. Also the emotional touches where Madhavan hates Kamal in the beginning and then understands Kamal...were all similar to this movie.

But definitely, I would not say that it is a copy because these two movies have nothing in common about the actual story line or the moral of the story. Kamal has just taken few things from this movie like the way how two strangers come acrosss each other accidentally and start liking each other inspite of so many differences between them. Thats it!

The purpose of my post is not to say that Kamal has copied this from that. But to say the truth that Anbe Sivam is far far better than the original movie. Whatever things Kamal has taken from the English movie, he has improved it, shaped it and polished it. As I was pointing earlier the original scenes were not very good. But Kamal has given his heart and soul for every tiny portion of the movie and that has come out as our "Anbe Sivam". Hats off to him!

So this post is to say...
"Guru vai minjiya sishyan" nu solra maari...original version ai minjiya kamalin Anbe Sivam

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"Kozhukattai - Recipe"

Sep 15th is Vinayagar Chathurthi. I know the things that come into your mind now...kutti Vinayagar idol with the beautiful umbrella (kudai :-)), sundal, vadai, payasam and our very favourite kozhukattai.

I tried doing kozhukattai for the first time yesterday. Luckily they came out very well. So here is the recipe:


Rice Flour
Grated Coconut
Powdered Cardamom

Boil water for some 20 mins. Add little salt and oil to the rice flour. Add water slowly and keep preparing dough with the rice flour. The consistency should be in such a way that you should be able to make the outer kozhukattai layer with it perfectly. Keep the dough aside.

For preparing the poornam, you need jaggery and grated coconut. I prefer not to use the frozen coconut. Fresh coconut tastes better. Boil very little water and to that add jaggery. Let it boil for sometime. When the jaggery gets dissolved in water completely, add the grated coconut and cardamom. Stir for sometime and switch off the stove when the poornam is ready.

Smear your hands with oil and prepare kozhukattai layer with the dough. Keep little poornam inside it. Close it. Prepare all the kozhukattai. Keep them in idli plates and pressure cook them.

Tasty Tasty kozhukattai ready!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

"Life is beautiful" are right. It is the Italian film that am going to talk about in this post. This is my most favourite movie. Friends, if anyone of you have not seen this movie yet, please watch it as soon as you get a chance. This is worth it.

I am really surprised that I liked an Italian film so much than any Indian movie. The story of this movie is the real hero. A gist of this movie for people who have not seen it and for those who are not able to recollect the complete story:

This movie is written and directed by Roberto Benigni. He happens to be the hero of the movie too. When I started watching the movie, I was wondering "Oh! Is this guy the hero? what kind of movie is this?" - the same reaction that comes from me when I watch new tamil heroes (Son of this old hero or that famous director` and who look totally unacceptable). But after I saw this movie, I started researching about how many awards this guy got. Yeah...he is mind-blowing.

The story starts with hilarious things that Roberto(Guido in the film) does to attract Dora. Guido is a jew but Dora is not. Finally, Guido succeeds in his attempts and steals Dora from her rude fiance during her engagement. They are living happily and Dora gives birth to Joshua, the sweet little boy.

Guido and Joshua are being taken to the Nazi concentration camp. Dora demands to join them and she is permitted to do so. This is where the real Guido character starts to demand our attention. In order to keep up Joshua's spirits, he makes up a story that the whole camp thing is a competition and the prize is going to be a tank. The way he covers up things everytime to please the little Joshua is the best part of the film. He manages to make Joshua believe that the whole camp thing is a game. Finally when Americans come to liberate the people in the camp, Guido makes Joshua hide in a box saying that this is the final test for the tank and goes to find Dora.

Did the family remain alive after the Americans liberation attempts or not is the climax of the story.

Do watch the movie!!! I was so touched by the movie and the character of Guido. It reminds us of our parents who has sacrificed so many things for us. They are the sole contributors of what we are now. Hats off to them!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

"Warm up before you work out!!! "

I have heard this advice from so many people including doctors, physiotherapists, my husband and my sister. But I never took it seriously, until that day.

Literally, I was not doing any sort of physical exercises for years. Cycling and walking were means of commutation during my school and college and they have been keeping me fit and healthy those days. But after I started working, only stepping up 2 staircases were my physical activity for a whole day. And I was working as a software engineer, I need not explain my job's effect on my health. Even though I was aware of it, I did not take any steps to work out. I resigned my job and moved to US after wedding. One fine day(very bad day for me :-(), I went to play racquet ball with my husband. I was playing after some 8 years. I did not even think of warming up. I just happily went to the court and started playing. After some silly shots, I took the game seriously and tried to play a good game. So I was stretching my legs and running here and there. Obvious that I lost the game to my husband.

I was perfectly fine with my leg. I was wondering that I was able to play better after so many years and I was telling some silly stories about my childhood games to my husband proudly. Told him that I was a good athlete those days and only because of it I could play better after so many years. Things started when I woke up next day morning. I could not move/lift my leg. I could not get up from bed. I initially thought it is some sort of sprain. After sometime, I somehow got up and tried walking. I was able to walk and it was much better after some 2-3 hours. But when I tried to sit, I was having such a terrible pain that I could never imagine in my life. I thought that it will become better in 2-3 days. Even after a week, I was not able to sit for even 5 mins. I was perfectly fine walking and doing all other activites. But I did not take it seriously. Since I was not working, I just passed the time without sitting. After a month, it did not get any better.

My husband was totally scared and we went to doctor. He checked it up and guessed that it could be muscle tear and said that it would heal itself in some 6-7 weeks. If it doesn't, then he asked us to go for physiotherapy. I waited for 2 months. I was able to sit for nearly 1/2 hour, but I had a little pain always. When I travelled to India, I had a very tough experience sitting in the flight for 9-10 hours continuously. I did not go for physiotherapy immediately. Trying to be smart, I started following some tactics to live with the pain. Time went by and I was not getting better. So nearly 5 months after that incident, I was scared that it could be some spinal cord problem since I heard the same from couple of my friends, I went to physiotherapist. For some 4-5 sittings, she was not able to identify the reason behind my pain. But she was sure that my hip muscles were very tight and when the nerve behind those muscles try to do some activity, it was giving me that pain. So she gave me some exercises to stretch those muscles. But I was not getting much better. Meanwhile, I started working out regularly doing Treadmill and stuff. Also, in the 6th sitting or so, she found the exact exercises to stretch the muscle that is giving me the problem. So I started doing those exercises and was working out regularly too. In 2 months, i.e., feeling very much better and I feel like it is 90% recovered. My physiotherapist said that she needs only one more sitting and we could stop with that. The worst part in my pain is I was not able to sit in our new reclining couch since we bought it. I was very upset about it. And now...I am sitting in our couch (it is not new anymore :-)) and typing this blog for nearly 1 hour without any pain.

Sorry for boring you with my story but I wanted to stress the importance of warming up. So friends...

Warm up, warm up and warm up before working out/playing/doing any strenuous activity

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"Gushy Voice of Yuvan Shankar Raja "

First, I thought of writing a post about Ilayaraja. But there is no one as far as I know who is not aware of the great maestro. A salute to our tamil music genius! Listen to the starting music of the song “Kanne kalaimane” from Moonram pirai. I am pretty sure that you might have heard it million times. But do it one more time for me. That music is more than enough to speak about our music king. There are crores of tamilians who started liking music because of Ilayaraja and only because of him. I am one among them. I started liking carnatic, western and all different varieties of music only after listening to Ilayaraja’s songs. His music has the power to bring out emotions and the most surprising part is his music is very simple. If you listen to the song “Neeyoru Kathal sangeetham” from Nayagan, the background music is all a very simple beat of tabla. But it makes the song so rich. How and why? That is Ilayaraja. See, I started talking about him and it would continue for pages. This is why I don’t want to write about him. This post is about Yuvan. So let’s talk about Yuvan.

Yuvan Shankar Raja is a little genius of the maestro Ilayaraja. He is also a great musician. This post is not about his music composing, but about his voice.

Listen to the songKanave kalaigirithe from Azhagai irukkirai bayamai irukkirathu before continue reading this post.

“Ithu thana kathal ithu thana
Anu anuvai sagum vali thana”

When he sings these lines, I cannot believe that he is just singing this song. The words seems to be pouring from his heart.

“Tharayil mothi mazhai thuli sagum
Viralinai thedi imayodu kanneer kayum
Valikkinra bothum sirikkiren naanum
Unakkaga naalum theigiren”

These beautiful lines get their complete meaning when they come out in Yuvan’s voice. That too, the last line…”Unakaga naalum theigiren” , as the meaning of this line says, his voice fades out gently and kekkara naamum apadiye antha kural la mayanguvom.

Next song which is going to talk about his voice is “Yedhodha yennangal vandhu” from pattiyal.

“Viralilla malargal ennai vanthu varudiyathe
Kaalilla katru than ennai vedi thadaviyathe
Siragilla megamum ennai ennai mothuthe
Nagam illa iravugal ennai mattum keeriyathe”

I am really surprised that a tamil song can be sung in such a stylish way with correct pronunciations. I like the way he says the word “iravugal’. We can feel the pain of love when he sings these lines.

Next song is "Indha kathal" from Satham Podathey that we are gonna talk about. But this song is not fully sung by Yuvan. Adnan Sami is the main singer. Listen to it! I am not going to write anything about it other than mentioning that it is too good. Enjoy listening to it!

Friday, June 29, 2007

"Then and There" - The simple key to success

This time, I am trying my hand at philosophy. I am going to tell a very small story to explain the success key.

I went to meet a friend, who is a very successful career woman. I was sitting in her office and having some personal talks with her. She received a phone call in the middle. It was some personal call for her and they had asked her to deliver some information to her mother. As soon as she completed the call, she picked up the phone again, called her mother and gave her the information. I was very surprised to see that. Because we were in the middle of the chat and the information was not that important. In that situation, I think most of us would have ignored that phone information or would have planned to convey the information at leisure. I believe that is human mentality. So her act was a total shock to me. But I did not show my feelings to her. She continued our discussions. In about 2 minutes, her manager dropped in and discussed about some critical issue and he left. After that, she set up a meeting with her directors that afternoon. Then again she got a call from some orphanage asking for donation. She told them that she will be delivering a check to them that day itself. After she finished her call, she wrote a check and called her personal secretary and asked her to deliver that check to the orphanage. All these took some 5-10 minutes. So she conveyed her apologies to me for breaking our discussion and then continued our chat. I was totally amazed and I asked her why she is completing all her tasks as she is in a rush. Her answer to my question is the key to success that she gave me. Her golden words below:

"You could have noted that there are hundred things happening around me in few hours. I myself could not remember things that happened to me after sometime. Because of this, there are chances to miss much important information and there are chances to miss important guidelines and fail to do critical tasks in time. If I would not have conveyed the phone information to my mother, she would have got very upset that I am not giving her importance. So it may affect both personal and professional life. But to complete tasks like what I did, will simplify our life. It will save lot of time, money and improve relationships. You might have noted that I have set up a meeting with my directors to discuss a critical issue. All it took me is one minute to set up that meeting. I triggered the chain. It takes off from there and activities would be going on by now. People would be collecting all the information to discuss in the meeting. If I would not have done this, I might have forgotten the whole issue ending up in bigger problems. Or if I get a chance to remember it sometime in the evening, it is too late to set up that meeting. The same is in the case with the orphanage. The check would reach them very fast and would be very helpful to them. In that case, why to delay? To explain it simply,

"Do it then and there"

This is the secret of my success".

All of us know the advantage of doing things then and there, but we never implement them practically. But after listening to her, I started practicing it and finding it very useful. You could also try it if you are not doing it before.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


This is my first blog. I was planning to write a blog for a long time. But I was not sure what to write. When I got my new laptop couple of days before and started exploring it, I decided "Hmmm…My first blog is going to be about Vista" because I fell in love with Vista. Vista is giving me a scintillating experience which I was dreaming right from the day I started using computer. The look and feel of Vista is awesome.

The things that I like the most in Vista:

  1. The folder view

    If it is a document folder, it shows the folder containing excel sheets, word docs inside. If it is a picture folder, it shows a couple of pictures in an angular view. This view is amazing.

  2. Switching between windows:

    When I click on the 'switch between windows' icon on the task bar, it shows all the windows in a slanting position one below the other. You should experience yourself to find out the sheer pleasure in viewing it.

  3. Search in Start Menu:

    I just ask this question to myself again and again…How they can think of all these cool things. There is a text box in the start menu in which you can search for your documents, settings, control panel, power options and all the system contents. You need not explore the whole system to change the system settings, to find a file or to search anything in the machine.

  4. Gadgets:

    You can set up whatever gadgets you need on your desktop. This includes Clock, CPU Usage, Stock, weather, etc. Why to go to a website to find out all this info…just have a look at your desktop. Isn't it superb?

    To get a gadget, click on the Windows sidebar icon on the taskbar. Click on the '+' to add a gadget. This will list all the available gadgets.

  5. Windows Calendar and Contacts:

    I used to maintain all my appointments, tasks in Outlook. But I need to open outlook if I need to get a reminder for my appointment or task. But Vista comes with a Calendar which reminds you of your tasks, appointments and the only requirement is to have your machine switched on. Doctor's appointment, friend's birthday, bill payment….don't worry, your machine will remind you.

    There is Windows Contact to maintain all your contacts phone number, email ids, address, etc. The most exciting thing in this is there is a family tab in this calendar. In this you can add all the family members of your friend/relative and their anniversaries, birthdays and the all the other important things about them.

  6. Other cool stuff:


    Go to Start Menu and type 'Personalization'. Go there and set the color, display, desktop background, screen saver, sound and all the other things you want in your machine.

    Sticky Notes:

    You can create notes by drawing and voice recording. You can use the Sticky Notes accessory to write and store short notes, phone numbers, and other reminders. You can place sticky notes directly on your desktop as quick reminders or in any OLE-enabled program, such as Word, to add electronic comments or reminders to your documents.

    Works Task Launcher:

    You can manage all the tasks of your family in this. To plan your daily tasks or trips or expenses…use this.

    There are so many utilities like the above. But I am not familiar with all. I have listed the things that I got a chance to look into.

    Explore Vista and make your life simpler.

    Bugs L

    I listed all the useful stuff in Vista. But there is also a bug that I found. Power and Volume icon on the task bar suddenly disappears. This happens very often with no reason. I was not able to find why it happens. I tried going to Task Bar properties – Notification tab. Under the System Tray, these two icons are unchecked and disabled. So I was not able to select them. I tried logging off and logging in. Once I do this, these icons become enabled in the notification area and I selected them. This solves the problem.

There is another problem in Vista that I recently found. It is about the CD/DVD drive. I was inserting CD/DVD in the drive and was trying to play it. But the drive was not getting detected. I searched in google and came to know that there are so many people who are facing the same issue. There was one solution given in the below link

This worked perfectly fine. The solution is to do some delete in the registry editor. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Go to start and type "regedit" without quotes

2. Open the registry editor. Click on the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE available on the left menu bar.

3. Then go to edit menu. Click on the find and type "Filters". There will be a number of keys opening in the right side of the editor.

4. Look for two keys named "LowerFilters" and "UpperFiltes". These two keys have to be deleted. Before deleting, take a backup of all the details of these two keys (in case if they are needed in future). Then delete them by selecting them and pressing the delete key. Confirm deletion.

These steps make the drive work.