Oct 31, 2009

Kadala Curry

Kadala (Chick Pea) Curry

Serves: 3


150 g black Chana ( Kadala or Chick pea )
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

For the coconut paste / masala:

1 cup (75 g - 100 g) grated coconut
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
3/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper powder
2 tablespoon water ( reserve 1/4 cup for water for diluting coconut paste )

Prepare a smooth paste from the above ingredients in a mixer and keep aside.

For the seasoning:

2 teaspoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin ( jeera ) seeds
8 small onions ( chuvannulli / shallots / sambar onion ) or 1 onion, thinly sliced
1 spring curry leaves

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. When they sputter and cumin seeds, sliced onion and curry leaves. Fry on a low heat for 7 - 8 minutes or till golden brown and a nice aroma of small onions.


Wash and soak black Chana ( Kadala ) in 3 cups water for 6 - 8 hours or overnight. Pressure cook with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder for 25 - 30 minutes (reduce the heat to medium after 3 rd whistle and cook for 20 minutes. Allow the cooker to cool naturally). Reserve 1/4 cup stock.

In an another bowl, mix boiled chana / kadala, reserved stock, salt 3/4 teaspoon (or to taste) and extra 1/2 cup (100 ml) water. Cover with a lid and cook on a medium to low heat for 5 - 8 minutes.

Add ground coconut masala. Mix well and dilute with 1/4 cup (50 ml) water. The consistency of this preparation should be medium thick; not too watery. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 8 - 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once done, add seasoning to the curry; mix well . Serve with Puttu / Idiyappam / Chapati etc.

Oct 30, 2009

Westside Now Open at Ampa Skywalk Mall, Chennai

Favorite Shopping Destination


Men’s Wear
Women’s Wear
Kid’s Wear
Home Furnishing

Ampa Skywalk Mall
Nelson Manickam Road

Tel# 2374 6973

Store Timings: 11 am - 9 pm

Oct 27, 2009

Whole Wheat Dosa & Tapioca Curry ( Govva Polo & Kappya Humman in Konkani Cuisine )

Whole Wheat Dosa (Gothambu Dosa in Malayalam / Govva Polo in Konkani Cuisine)

( Whole wheat dosa is generally considered an inferior cousin of our regular dosa. Though it is cheaper and easier to make, many are not fully aware of its virtues like nutritious value ; as it provides a wholesome meal which is also easily digestible. A couple of changes will make this dish a very interesting one:

Take care to mix the dosa batter to even consistency without lumps. This improves the even spreading of dosa.

Add seasoning as detailed below; while making this dosa. This will add a special flavor to the dosa.

Consume the dosa when it is hot / warm. Once cold, this won't be tasty).

Makes: 4


1 cup whole wheat atta (whole wheat flour)
1 cup + 3 tablespoon water for mixing ( adjust water as per wheat flour - some need more / less)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cooking oil

For seasoning:

1 teaspoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin ( jeera ) seeds
1 spring curry leaves


For Seasoning:

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter add jeera leaves and curry leaves. Saute for 1- 2 minutes. Keep aside.

For Dosa / Polo batter:

Mix atta and salt. Add water to make a smooth batter; just like dosa / polo batter (batter should neither be too watery nor too thick - one can use mixer also to mix the atta and water to make it smooth). Add the prepared seasoning to this batter. Mix well. Keep aside for half an hour ( if in a hurry, one can proceed to make the dosa straight away).

Dosa / Polo Preparation:

Heat dosa tawa. Apply little oil and pour one ladleful of batter so that it spreads in a thin , even layer.

Cover with a lid and cook on a medium heat till the upper crest is cooked.

Take the lid off and remove the dosa from tawa carefully.

Flip over dosa and cook the other side. Once cooked, remove the dosa.

Prepare dosa from the remaining batter in a similar way. Serve hot with coconut chutney / tomato chutney/ sambar / humman.

Tapioca Curry ( Kappya Humman in Konkani Cuisine )

Serves: 2


1 cup cubed and boiled tapioca pieces ( drain off the water which is used for boiling)
2 teaspoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin ( jeera ) seeds
1 green chilli, slit lengthwise
1 spring curry leaves
3/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida ( hing )
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon grated coconut ( optional )


Heat cooking oil in a kadai. Fry mustard seeds till they pop. Add cumin seeds, green chilli and curry leaves . Saute for 2 - 3 minutes.

Add tapioca pieces, red chilli powder, turmeric powder , asafoetida, water and salt. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 10 - 15 minutes or until the gravy thickens slightly. Sprinkle grated coconut (optional). It’s an excellent side dish with dosa / upma/ chapati .. Humman can be prepared in a similar way with potato also.

The Tapioca Humman can be consumed as a main dish also for snack or an evening meal. Steaming Tapioca Humman is our favorite when it rains during tapioca season. It is a food rich in starch / carb - hence one has to watch the carb intake while adding tapioca to the menu.

Oct 26, 2009

Kerala Fish Curry / Meen Curry ( with coconut paste )

Kerala Fish Curry ( with coconut paste )

Serves: 3 - 4


350 g Black Pomfret ( Aavoli ) / Seer fish (Nemmeen / Ayakkura), cleaned and cut into thick pieces ( The slicing is different for frying and fish curry . Some prefer to skin out the fish - in which case the fish should be skinned). (Marinate fish pieces with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder for 1/2 hour )

15 small onions ( chuvannulli / sambar onion / shallots ) thinly sliced or 1 full onion, thinly sliced
1 - inch piece ginger, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 green chillies, slit lengthwise
1 spring curry leaves
5 kudampuli ( kokum ) ( soak kudampuli in 1/2 cup water with 1 teaspoon salt for 1 hour )
1 1/2 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )
1 cup water (1/2 cup water to cook with kudampuli and fish pieces, remaining water for coconut paste )
2 teaspoon cooking oil

For the coconut masala / paste:

1 cup coconut (75 - 90 g), grated
8 whole red chillies ( soak whole red chillies in 1/4 cup water for 1 hour. Reserve water to grind the coconut paste)
1/4 teaspoon methi seeds ( uluva / fenugreek )
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Make a smooth paste of above ingredients in a mixer. Keep aside.


Heat oil in a kadai / meen chutty ( earthen pot ). Fry sliced onions, chopped garlic, ginger, green chillies and curry leaves till golden color.

Add kudampuli along with 1/2 cup water. Mix well.

Add fish pieces and salt to taste. Arrange the fish pieces very carefully. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 8 - 10 minutes. ( There will be a color change in kudampuli and fish pieces). Stirring / disturbing the fish slices during cooking is not required as the cooked fish pieces may break.

Add coconut paste and adjust the thickness with 1/2 cup water. Mix very gently/slowly with a flat spoon. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 10 - 12 minutes or until done / you get a nice aroma. Serve with rice. Other accompaniments - Prawns pepper fry and fish fry / boiled tapioca.


One can add 1/2 cup of coconut milk to this preparation ( when it is done ) - which - not only reduces the spiciness / but also increases the taste. Need to adjust salt in this case. The down side is extra fat / calories.

Another variation is to make it more spicy adding more chillies for those who like very spicy fish curry.

Oct 22, 2009

Go Kiss The World - Inspirational Speech by Subroto Bagchi

Reproduced below is an inspiring speech by Subroto Bagchi.

Really inspirational and touching. Please read to the end. It's worth the time spend. Also make your kids read it too.

I delivered this speech to the Class of 2006 at the IIM, Bangalore on defining success. This was the first time I shared the guiding principles of my life with young professionals.

I was the last child of a small-time government servant, in a family of five brothers. My earliest memory of my father is as that of a District Employment Officer in Koraput, Orissa. It was, and remains as back of beyond as you can imagine. There was no electricity; no primary school nearby and water did not flow out of a tap. As a result, I did not go to school until the age of eight; I was home-schooled. My father used to get transferred every year. The family belongings fit into the back of a jeep - so the family moved from place to place and without any trouble, my Mother would set up an establishment and get us going. Raised by a widow who had come as a refugee from the then East Bengal, she was a matriculate when she married my Father.

My parents set the foundation of my life and the value system, which makes me what I am today and largely, defines what success means to me today.

As District Employment Officer, my father was given a jeep by the government. There was no garage in the Office, so the jeep was parked in our house. My father refused to use it to commute to the office. He told us that the jeep is an expensive resource given by the government- he reiterated to us that it was not ”his jeep” but the government’s jeep. Insisting that he would use it only to tour the interiors, he would walk to his office on normal days. He also made sure that we never sat in the government jeep - we could sit in it only when it was stationary.

That was our early childhood lesson in governance - a lesson that corporate managers learn the hard way, some never do.

The driver of the jeep was treated with respect due to any other member of my Father’s office. As small children, we were taught not to call him by his name. We had to use the suffix ‘dada’ whenever we were to refer to him in public or private. When I grew up to own a car and a driver by the name of Raju was appointed - I repeated the lesson to my two small daughters. They have, as a result, grown up to call Raju, ‘Raju Uncle’ - very different from many of their friends who refer to their family driver, as ‘my driver’. When I hear that term from a school- or college-going person, I cringe.

To me, the lesson was significant - you treat small people with more respect than how you treat big people. It is more important to respect your subordinates than your superiors.

Our day used to start with the family huddling around my Mother’s chulha - an earthen fire place she would build at each place of posting where she would cook for the family. There was neither gas, nor electrical stoves.The morning routine started with tea. As the brew was served, Father would ask us to read aloud the editorial page of The Statesman’s ‘muffosil’ edition - delivered one day late. We did not understand much of what we were reading. But the ritual was meant for us to know that the world was larger than Koraput district and the English I speak today, despite having studied in an Oriya medium school, has to do with that routine. After reading the newspaper aloud, we were told to fold it neatly. Father taught us a simple lesson.He used to say, “You should leave your newspaper and your toilet, the way you expect to find it”. That lesson was about showing consideration to others. Business begins and ends with that simple precept.

Being small children, we were always enamored with advertisements in the newspaper for transistor radios - we did not have one. We saw other people having radios in their homes and each time there was an advertisement of Philips, Murphy or Bush radios, we would ask Father when we could get one. Each time, my Father would reply that we did not need one because he already had five radios - alluding to his five sons.

We also did not have a house of our own and would occasionally ask Father as to when, like others, we would live in our own house. He would give a similar reply,” We do not need a house of our own. I already own five houses”. His replies did not gladden our hearts in that instant.Nonetheless, we learnt that it is important not to measure personal success and sense of well being through material possessions.

Government houses seldom came with fences. Mother and I collected twigs and built a small fence. After lunch, my Mother would never sleep. She would take her kitchen utensils and with those she and I would dig the rocky, white ant infested surrounding. We planted flowering bushes. The white ants destroyed them. My mother brought ash from her chulha and mixed it in the earth and we planted the seedlings all over again. This time, they bloomed. At that time, my father’s transfer order came. A few neighbors told my mother why she was taking so much pain to beautify a government house, why she was planting seeds that would only benefit the next occupant. My mother replied that it did not matter to her that she would not see the flowers in full bloom. She said, “I have to create a bloom in a desert and whenever I am given a new place, I must leave it more beautiful than what I had inherited”.

That was my first lesson in success. It is not about what you create for yourself, it is what you leave behind that defines success.

My mother began developing a cataract in her eyes when I was very small. At that time, the eldest among my brothers got a teaching job at the University in Bhubaneswar and had to prepare for the civil services examination. So, it was decided that my Mother would move to cook for him and, as her appendage, I had to move too. For the first time in my life I saw electricity in homes and water coming out of a tap. It was around 1965 and the country was going to war with Pakistan. My mother was having problems reading and in any case, being Bengali, she did not know the Oriya script. So, in addition to my daily chores, my job was to read her the local newspaper - end to end. That created in me a sense of connectedness with a larger world. I began taking interest in many different things. While reading out news about the war, I felt that I was fighting the war myself. She and I discussed the daily news and built a bond with the larger universe. In it, we became part of a larger reality. Till date, I measure my success in terms of that sense of larger connectedness. Meanwhile, the war raged and India was fighting on both fronts. Lal Bahadur Shastri, the then Prime Minster, coined the term “Jai Jawan, Jai Kishan” and galvanized the nation in to patriotic fervor. Other than reading out the newspaper to my mother, I had no clue about how I could be part of the action. So, after reading her the newspaper, every day I would land up near the University’s water tank, which served the community. I would spend hours under it, imagining that there could be spies who would come to poison the water and I had to watch for them. I would daydream about catching one and how the next day, I would be featured in the newspaper. Unfortunately for me, the spies at war ignored the sleepy town of Bhubaneswar and I never got a chance to catch one in action. Yet, that act unlocked my imagination.

Imagination is everything. If we can imagine a future, we can create it, if we can create that future, others will live in it. That is the essence of success.

Over the next few years, my mother’s eyesight dimmed but in me she created a larger vision, a vision with which I continue to see the world and, I sense, through my eyes, she was seeing too. As the next few years unfolded, her vision deteriorated and she was operated for cataract. I remember, when she returned after her operation and she saw my face clearly for the first time, she was astonished. She said, “Oh my God, I did not know you were so fair”. I remain mighty pleased with that adulation even till date. Within weeks of getting her sight back, she developed a corneal ulcer and, overnight, became blind in both eyes. That was 1969. She died in 2002. In all those 32 years of living with blindness, she never complained about her fate even once. Curious to know what she saw with blind eyes, I asked her once if she sees darkness. She replied, “No, I do not see darkness. I only see light even with my eyes closed”. Until she was eighty years of age, she did her morning yoga everyday, swept her own room and washed her own clothes.

To me, success is about the sense of independence; it is about not seeing the world but seeing the light.

Over the many intervening years, I grew up, studied, joined the industry and began to carve my life’s own journey. I began my life as a clerk in a government office, went on to become a Management Trainee with the DCM group and eventually found my life’s calling with the IT industry when fourth generation computers came to India in 1981. Life took me places - I worked with outstanding people, challenging assignments and traveled all over the world.

In 1992, while I was posted in the US, I learnt that my father, living a retired life with my eldest brother, had suffered a third degree burn injury and was admitted in the Safderjung Hospital in Delhi. I flew back to attend to him - he remained for a few days in critical stage, bandaged from neck to toe. The Safderjung Hospital is a cockroach infested, dirty, inhuman place. The overworked, under-resourced sisters in the burn ward are both victims and perpetrators of dehumanized life at its worst. One morning, while attending to my Father, I realized that the blood bottle was empty and fearing that air would go into his vein, I asked the attending nurse to change it. She bluntly told me to do it myself. In that horrible theater of death, I was in pain and frustration and anger. Finally when she relented and came, my Father opened his eyes and murmured to her, “Why have you not gone home yet?” Here was a man on his deathbed but more concerned about the overworked nurse than his own state. I was stunned at his stoic self.

There I learnt that there is no limit to how concerned you can be for another human being and what the limit of inclusion is you can create.

My father died the next day. He was a man whose success was defined by his principles, his frugality, his universalism and his sense of inclusion.

Above all, he taught me that success is your ability to rise above your discomfort, whatever may be your current state. You can, if you want, raise your consciousness above your immediate surroundings. Success is not about building material comforts - the transistor that he never could buy or the house that he never owned. His success was about the legacy he left, the memetic continuity of his ideals that grew beyond the smallness of a ill-paid, unrecognized government servant’s world.

My father was a fervent believer in the British Raj. He sincerely doubted the capability of the post-independence Indian political parties to govern the country. To him, the lowering of the Union Jack was a sad event. My Mother was the exact opposite. When Subhash Bose quit the Indian National Congress and came to Dacca, my mother, then a schoolgirl, garlanded him. She learnt to spin khadi and joined an underground movement that trained her in using daggers and swords. Consequently, our household saw diversity in the political outlook of the two. On major issues concerning the world, the Old Man and the Old Lady had differing opinions.

In them, we learnt the power of disagreements, of dialogue and the essence of living with diversity in thinking.

Success is not about the ability to create a definitive dogmatic end state; it is about the unfolding of thought processes, of dialogue and continuum.

Two years back, at the age of eighty-two, Mother had a paralytic stroke and was lying in a government hospital in Bhubaneswar. I flew down from the US where I was serving my second stint, to see her. I spent two weeks with her in the hospital as she remained in a paralytic state. She was neither getting better nor moving on. Eventually I had to return to work. While leaving her behind, I kissed her face. In that paralytic state and a garbled voice, she said,“Why are you kissing me, go kiss the world.” Her river was nearing its journey, at the confluence of life and death, this woman who came to India as a refugee, raised by a widowed Mother, no more educated than high school, married to an anonymous government servant whose last salary was Rupees Three Hundred, robbed of her eyesight by fate and crowned by adversity was telling me to go and kiss the world!

Success to me is about Vision. It is the ability to rise above the immediacy of pain. It is about imagination. It is about sensitivity to small people. It is about building inclusion. It is about connectedness to a larger world existence. It is about personal tenacity. It is about giving back more to life than you take out of it. It is about creating extra-ordinary success with ordinary lives.

Thank you very much; I wish you good luck and God’s speed. Go! kiss the world.

( Subroto Bagchi is a co-founder of MindTree Ltd., an international IT consulting company. He is the author of the book, Go Kiss the World: Life Lessons for the Young Professionals.

Apart from this, he is also known as a great orator and writer. Subroto has written hundreds of articles on management and technology issues in leading newspapers and magazines. He has lectured at management schools and industry platforms the world over and been featured on PBS, CNBC and BBC World.

Subroto was born in a small town called Patnagarh in the state of Orissa, India in 1957. He holds a degree in political science from Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, India.

In 2008, Subroto's second book "Go Kiss The World" was released by Penguin, India. It is partly a memoir and partly instructional, in that he writes about how he developed his life principles and values. The title of the book is the last sentence his mother spoke to him while on her deathbed ).

Information & Photo Credit - Wikipedia & The Hindu Business Line

Oct 19, 2009

Assorted Milk & Pure Ghee Sweets from Sri Krishna Sweets, Chennai

Can one think of Diwali without sweets?. My answer is NO. Next Question - What comes to mind when one think of sweets in Chennai?. Yes – It is Sri Krishna Sweets ( Well ! – I have high regards to other sweet shops like Sree Mithai, Adayar Ananda Bhavan, Parwathi Bhavan, Ganga Sweets etc to name a few: - but Sri Krishna Sweets stands out).

I wanted to buy the assorted collection from the shop. But milling crowds and serpentine queues discouraged me from venturing to the shop. Today – post Diwali – I had my go. Better be late than never.

Here are some pictures for you.

Assorted Milk Sweets

Assorted Pure Ghee Sweets

Sri Krishna Sweets
Chintamani Road
Anna Nagar East

Tel# 26191222 /42020302

Landmark - Near Tanishq, Anjappar & Mc Rennet Cake Shop

For Home Delivery Just Call 1860 425 2000

Oct 16, 2009

Diwali / Deepavali & Crackers

Its one more Deepavali. Deepavali is a time to celebrate. It is the celibration of victory - good over evil, and light over darkness.

In Chennai, Deepavali means festival mood all around and crowd in shopping areas like T.Nagar, Purasaiwalkam & every shopping avenue one can name. People buy new clothes, gold, consumer goods, sweet meats and last but not the least - Deepavali crackers. Finding parking space is a nightmare.

We and our son enjoy Deepavali in its whole spirit. Though we have shifted purchasing clothes and other things to seasons when shoppers are less, Deepavali sweets and crackers are inevitable during the festival.

This year also we bought a few crackers. We always enjoy the sight of his face lighting up with joy when he lights them along with his friends.

Happy Deepavali all of You.

Oct 13, 2009

The Hindu Young World Quiz Competition 2009

The Hindu Young World Quiz competition 2009 was held yesterday in Chennai. My son also participated as part of his school team. While he didn't make it to the top, he too had his share of success as part of audience later and was able to answer a few questions.

I consider this as a big achievement as there were as much as 1500 students ( with nearly 750 teams) to participate in the event. Moreover this was his first competition outside the school. Earlier he was selected and participated in Bourvita Confidence Academy's Public Speaking Workshop, at Lady Andal's School here (1 among 4 students selected from his school and 1 among 100 from Chennai).

He wants to achieve more in future - inspired by this small but inspiring success.

Dear son Aditya, we are proud of you and wish you all success.

These are the gifts

Cash of Rs 100/ from The Hindu

Penguin Year Book 2009

Gift Hamper from Reynolds pen, Cherry Blossoms & Dukes Biscuit

Gift Coupon from Mahavir Optics (Rs500/ ) & Silicon World ( Rs1000/ )

Sweet box from Sri Krishna Sweets

Kanchipuram / Kanjeevaram Idlis

Kanchipuram / Kanjeevaram Idlis


500 ml idli batter
2 teaspoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 green chillies, finely chopped
A pinch of asafoetida ( hing )
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon fried cashew nuts
1 tablespoon ghee


Heat 2 teaspoon cooking oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they crackle add finely chopped green chillies, asafoetida and fried cashew nuts. Remove from heat and add ghee. Mix well. Pour this over the idli batter and mix thoroughly Pour into idli moulds and steam cook for 7 - 10 minutes. Serve with coconut chutney / tomato chutney.

Oct 3, 2009

Kerala Fish Curry Meals at Hotel Kalavara, Kawdiar- Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala Meen Curry, Kuthari Choru & Pappadam

Beef Fry

Hotel Kalavara
9/19, Behind Tennis Club,

Landmark - Near Saraswathi Nilayam & Fab India