Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Irresistable Icecream!


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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Silly Saturday: Smoking IS Injurious!


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Friday, June 15, 2012

Microwave Bhindi (Okra / Lady's Fingers)

As I have mentioned before on my blog, I like to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen! I recently discovered that using a microwave oven can considerably cut down the cooking time for our day-to-day vegetable dishes. So here's one more snappy recipe.


The above is a picture of 'bhindi' (okra / lady's fingers / gumbo) that I cooked in my microwave. Well okay... not ALL the cooking was done in the microwave. I don't like to use oil inside the micro oven because I'm pretty sure that cleaning all that grease from inside it will be a very tedious process. So the dish was made partly in microwave and partly using conventional gas cooking. Here's how I made it...


INGREDIENTS:

250 grams 'bhindi' chopped in pieces (serves 2)
1 large onion chopped in big pieces
1 tbsp mustard oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chillie powder


METHOD:

  • Put the chopped 'bhindi' in a micro-proof container with a lid, and micro on P100 for 4 minutes.

  • Alongside, heat the mustard oil in a fry pan (on traditional gas burner), add the cumin seeds, let them brown and then add the chopped onions and saute till golden pink.

  • Take the cooked 'bhindi' out from the microwave and add to the fry pan. This is what it looks like at this stage.

  • Add salt and turmeric powder, mix well, cover and let it cook on low flame for a minute.

  • Remove cover, add the red chillie powder and coriander powder, and stir fry on high heat till it gets a slightly roasted appearance.

  • Serve hot.


With traditional gas cooking, it takes about 12-15 minutes to make this recipe. The 'bhindi' loses its fresh green color and there is always the risk of it becoming too soggy, which I totally hate. But with microwave cooking, the cooking time is cut to about less than 6 minutes, and the dish looks green and tastes fresh & crispy!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Book Review: It’s your move, Wordfreak! by Falguni Kothari

Review-Your-Move-Wordfreak-Falguni-Kothari

It’s your move, Wordfreak!
Author: Falguni Kothari
ISBN: 978-8129119377

Buy from amazon: It's Your Move, Wordfreak!

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It’s your move, Wordfreak!, by Falguni Kothari is a typical Mills-n-Boon-style contemporary love story, based on the highly clich├ęd concept of online dating. The only *new* element in the story, perhaps, was that the author used the current fad of online gaming in place of the usual chat rooms and dating sites.

Blurb from It’s your move, Wordfreak!:

Wordfreak and Worddiva hit it off right from their first online Scrabble game. Playing game after game every night leads to fun and flirty chats and a cerebral attraction so potent that it sizzles the broadband connection between them. The Scrabble-crazy duo cultivate their perfect relationship—a virtual one. A bond where the past doesn’t matter and neither do their names. A bond forged by cheesy words and raucous laughs.

But this simple and uncomplicated equation is shaken when Alisha Menon, parental-divorce survivor and successful divorce lawyer meets Aryan “Save-the-Planet” Chawla on a blind date. As reality intrudes on their online idyll, the rules of the game change forever. Soon, the two realise that some words cannot be taken lightly.

Can the real Wordfreak and Worddiva spell love in capital letters or is the game of life a deal-breaker for them?


The plot:

The blurb led me to believe that the story will contain some intellectually stimulating word battles over an online board of scrabble. However, that was not the case. It’s your move, Wordfreak! begins with a blind date between the two lead characters, Alisha Menon and Aryan Rajaram Chawla, after apparently five months of online scrabble games. That last bit is provided as mere "background info" in the book. (Disappointing?)

After that first blind date, it's all "standard formula" packaging -- good looking characters, glamorous work profiles, love at first sight, loads of mush and sex, dash of humor, more sex, ghosts from the past, fights, male ego, and did I say sex? In short, your regular teenage romance "love-hate-love" kind of story.

The characters:

Alisha Menon (or Worddiva) is a successful divorce lawyer based in Mumbai. Tall, dark and slim, she looks fragile, though comes across as a mentally strong and dependable person. She's a practical, no-frills woman, who is not too fond of dressing-up and partying. Aryan Rajaram Chawla (a.k.a Wordfreak) is just the opposite. He's a Page-3 celebrity architect who builds eco-friendly "green" homes for other Page-3 celebrities in Mumbai! He's tall, fair and handsome, and is a complete "fashionista"! Both are rich. Both have "the hots" for each other. Both have unresolved past issues that disrupt their rosy relationship. How they leave their pasts behind is what the book is about.

It’s your move, Wordfreak! is an extremely mushy book with a totally predictable storyline. All the characters in the story are so 'goody-goody' that I was reminded of Rajshri productions' movies! (Remember Dulhan wahi jo piya man bhaye, Hum aapke hain kaun, Hum saath saath hain?)

That being said, the characters do come across well. The "fight" mode of strong-headed Alisha and the "flight" mode of not-so-strong Aryan. The effervescent shopaholic Diya (Alisha's best friend) and the wise perceptive Nanu (Aryan's grandmother). Falguni Kothari shows a plausible grasp of human behavior and the various dynamics of relationships.

Writing style was smooth, easy and witty, though it felt a little under-utilized. Maybe the plot was just too simple for her writing potential.

Also, the copy I received had really poor paper quality, so that the print was showing through the sheets.

My rating: 2.5 out of 5. It’s your move, Wordfreak!, by Falguni Kothari, may appeal to teenage girls or to Indian adults who've just started reading English fiction. I found it really difficult to complete the book.

Disclaimer: This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. I received a free copy of this book for reviewing, but that has, in no way, affected my rating and opinions.


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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Silly Saturday: To-Do-List


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Friday, June 8, 2012

Delhi IndiBlogger Meet

FINALLY! I get to attend an IndiBlogger meet! In fact, not just one, but TWO IndiBlogger meets... on the same day! Been waiting for this day (and the coveted IndiBlogger T-shirt... pic below) for almost 2 years now! :D :D :D

So then, I'll be in Delhi on the coming Sunday. If any of you wants to join in, here are the links for the 2 meetings:

1. Dove All Women's IndiBlogger Meet at New Delhi [10/06/2012 at 10:00]

2. The Spice Mobiles IndiBlogger Meet at New Delhi [10/06/2012 at 15:30]

The first one is only for female bloggers, but the second one, hosted by Rajiv Makhni, is for both males and females.

See you guys in Delhi then... all those of you who can make it! Cheers! :D

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