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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Winner of the Vegetarian Library Collection Cookbook Giveaway is....

Time flies fast..

Really fast..

I mean it..

I know I am irritating you with unnecessary text before announcing the winner of the cookbook giveaway hosted here. But, I hope you will read this before you scroll down.

This was the first cookbook giveaway I hosted on this blog and it has been a great experience. Although, I didn't spend much time publicizing the giveaway (I know I should have dedicated a little more time to it), but I received a decent 59 valid entries for the same. I thank everyone who took their time and participated in the event.

I went for a simple method to choose the winner. I prepared an excel sheet with all the entries. I numbered all the entries from 1 to 59. Then I prepared chits for those numbers and did the honor of choosing one. Does it sound primitive? Well, I am not really very proficient in the more sophisticated online tools and hence, I chose this only.

Now that I am done with my chit chat, can I have the drum roll please! The winner of the Sanjeev Kapoor's Vegetarian Library Kitchen is....number '50' of the list. This number belongs to..

Congrats Priya on winning the giveaway.. I will mail you soon to get the Indian postal address where the cookbooks can be sent.

Thank you everyone for participating. Stay tuned as I have some more events and giveaways in the pipeline.

Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Michhami Dukkadam

Today is the auspicious occasion of Jain Samvatsari. On this auspicious occasion, I ask for your forgiveness if I have hurt you knowingly or unknowingly by words or action, “Micchami Dukkadam”


“I grant forgiveness to all living beings,
All living beings grant me forgiveness.
My friendship is with all living beings,
My enmity is totally nonexistent.”

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mango Yogurt Delight - A New Take on Aamarakhand

Mango Yogurt Delight - A New Take on Aamarakhand

My younger sister who is enjoying her time at home is quite excited about trying new recipes these days. For the couple of days I was there some time back, she pestered me to teach her something new. So, you see I had to play my part of being an elder sister. But, she made my task even easier. She told me exactly what she wanted to learn and one of her requests was learning how to make Aamarakhand. My mom had bought a large local mango and set a good quantity of yogurt to set the stage.

Making Aamarakhand is one of the simplest Indian desserts. The only tricky part is making the hung yogurt. It is time consuming but quite simple. So, if you are going to make this dessert, plan it in advance. While I was preparing to make this dessert, I decided to give this dish a new look. That's when the idea of making a trifle struck my mind. Lets see how I made it.

How to make hung yogurt?

Take a large sieve and line it with muslin cloth. Pour the normal yogurt over it and let it drain. You can keep the whole set up in your refrigerator over night. The yogurt will reduce to half its original quantity. If you are in a hurry, you can tie a knot in the muslin cloth and hang it on your kitchen sink tap. The whey will strain out leaving behind nice thick yogurt.

Recipe for Mango Yogurt Delight:

Serves 4:

400 ml hung thick yogurt ( made from 800-900 ml normal set yogurt)
4-5 tbsp powdered sugar, adjust to taste
A few strands of saffron soaked in 2 tsp warm milk
Powdered cardamom, about 1/4 tsp

300-350 ml fresh thick mango puree
2-3 tbsp sugar, if needed

A few pieces of mango flesh and chopped pistachios for garnishing

If I were to make normal Aamarakhand, I would have stirred all the ingredients. Here, I went for layering instead. In 4 individual short glasses layer the yogurt mixture and mango purée alternately. Keep the yogurt mixture as the top layer. Garnish with mango pieces and pistachios. Keep in refrigerator till needed. Serve chilled,

**You can increase or decrease the quantity depending on the glass size. The one I used was a larger one and served good for two people.

Thank you for stopping by. Cheers!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Land of the Seven Rivers by Sanjeev Sanyal

Land of the Seven Rivers by Sanjeev Sanyal

I have been reading this book for the last two weeks. I went slow, read a few pages at a time. This is the sort of book that needs slow reading. I am not saying it is a heavy read, but I would definitely say that it is brimming with information of events on the various events in history of India that eventually had a geographical significance. Hence, one should take their time to grasp and understand it. I should apologize to Think WhyNot Group, who send me the review copy of this book as I took more than the due time to read and review this book.

India has been known throughout the history as the land of seven rivers. The tag line of the book says - "A Brief History of India's Geography". That itself is intriguing. Indians have bad memories of the partition which resulted in the creation of our country along with our neighbours. Various regions of the country are still under territorial dispute with the neighboring countries. Major ethnic groups are asking for division and creation of states for themselves. Hence, a knowledge of India's historical geography is a must for all Indians.

The blurb asks interesting questions.

Did ancient India witness the great flood? Why did Buddha gave his first sermon in Sarnath? How did Europeans map India?

It is very possible that these questions never crossed our minds, but they are sure to ignite your curiosity once you come across them. The author delves deep into our history to find answers about our geographical history. He talks about Indus Valley Civilization, the Mauryan empire, various dynasties that ruled the country, the British rule, partition, and much more. He also talks about the battle of Kurukshetra. The geographical history of our country is very much entwined with the political history and hence, one cannot segregate events into a particular category. The political events in history always had a geographical consequence and the author dwells on them to understand its significance. He also dwells on the tectonic movements of the earth's land that has over ages changed the geography of the world.

The book is full of interesting takes on the geographical changes that finally shaped India's destiny. You will feel enlightened once you have read it. Having said that I must add that the information in this book can be overwhelming at times. If you, like me were never very strong in the subjects of history and geography, then you might have to re- read parts of the book in order to understand it properly.

About the Author: A Rhodes Scholar, an Eisenhower Fellow, Sanjeev Sanyal is a global strategist in India's largest banks. He juggles between India and Singapore for work. He was named Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum. His first book, The Indian Renaissance: India's Rise After a Thousand Years of Decline was published by Penguin in 2008.

Thank you for stopping by. Cheers!
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