Bidding goodbyes…

Tags

,

As 2015 is coming to an end, there are lot of things that are going in my mind right now. For one I have a sense of complete gloom and there is no eagerness whatsoever to bid 2015 and welcome 2016. 2015 had been a pretty awkward year for me. Yes awkward! It started on a bright note with me getting a job as an Editor in so called fashion magazine Haut Monde. However, the euphoria of that job didn’t last long, as the head of the company didn’t have funds to pay for the salary. Result was me being jobless again. I started looking for a job again meanwhile I started working on my food blog culinary delites.

And then my dad suffered a major brain haemorrhage in July from which he never recovered and breathed his last on Christmas Eve this year. For six months he was comatose, I lived with a hope that one day he will open his eyes but that hope died with him. There is not much to write for 2015 and there is no excitement for 2016. Anyway wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

FunFoodsby Dr. Oetkerbrings the Mexican Twins to your home

Tags

, , ,

cheesydipFunFoods by Dr. Oetker, a leading purveyor of western cuisine in India, adds the mouth watering Cheesy Nacho dip to its current range. Available in a 275gm pack, Cheesy Nacho dip, along with Salsa, the tomato based Mexican dip, will bring the ultimate Nacho eating experience from the cinema halls to your home. Consumers will see their favourite Salsa in an all new avatar, as both have been packaged in a convenient wide mouth jar, for a hassle free dip and eat experience.

With the addition of the Cheesy Nacho dip with a slight Jalapeno flavour, the Mexican twins by FunFoods are here to add cheesiness and tanginess to your Nacho eating experience!

Whether you are watching a movie with family or a cricket match with friends at home, these Mexican twins make sure you don’t go hungry! Bring home the crispy Nachos, dip them in FunFoods Cheesy Dip and Salsa and indulge your palate with the best of Mexican flavours.salsa

Priced at just Rs. 99, the 275gm pack of irresistible Cheesy Nacho dip and 300gm pack of Salsa dip will be available at all retail outlets. So grab the Mexican twins now and make your regular Nachos sumptuous!

About Oetker Group and Dr. OetkerFood Division

Oetker Group is a German conglomerate with six different business divisions namely food, beer and non-alcoholic beverages, sparkling wine, wine and spirits, shipping, banking and other interests. With about 25,000 employees, it is one of Germany’s largest family owned diversified industrial groups with a turnover of Euro 11 Bn. (approx.). The Oetker Group globally consists of more than 400 companies and has substantial interests in the food sector since 1891. Dr. Oetker is the market leader in Frozen Pizza, Home Baking and Muesli categories in Europe and is present in more than 50 countries across the world. The company enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide and has always been characterized by the highest standards of quality, taste and guaranteed (baking) outcome. The F&B division accounts for more than 50% of the revenues, with the annual turnover of the Food Division of Euro 2.6 billion as of 2014.

About Dr. Oetker India

Dr. Oetker India, established in 2007, is a leading manufacturer of branded packaged food products with a focus on western food products. Dr. Oetker acquired Delhi based FunFoods Pvt. Ltd in December 2008 which has been present in the country since 1983. FunFoods is the market leader in mayonnaise, Italian sauces, sandwich spreads, salad dressings and peanut butter apart from being present in Chinese sauces, Mexican sauce & dips, milk shake mixes, cakes and dessert toppings. With state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and Pan India sales network, it currently has 57 products on the retail shelves. In 2015, FunFoods by Dr. Oetker embraced an umbrella branding strategy with Dr. Oetker as the parent brand and FunFoods as sub-brand, thereby complimenting its range of products with new packaging which offer an international style and appetite appeal.

The company also manufactures customised products for some of the biggest names in the food service industry like Yum Restaurants (Pizza Hut, KFC), Subway, Domino’s Pizza, Costa Coffee, Chillies, Krispy Crème, and prominent hotels all over the country.

Author Interview: Ravi Dhar in a Candid Chat with Swatz Says

Tags

, ,

Tell us something about your book? When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?

RD: Well, the book is right before you and is for you to critique. As D H Lawrence once said,‘Trust the tale, but not the teller.’ All the same, I would like to add one ‘pre-script’ that the book was conceived as an act of homage to the millions who die barbaric deaths in a world becoming increasingly and violently intolerant for various reasons. Appropriately enough, the protagonist of the novel is named Siddhartha. This is the first book of the trilogy, Date with Destiny.

I have not become a writer today. I have been a writer for over two decades. I used to write poems then. In fact, my first poem was published way back in the 1990s in Indian Express, Chandigarh Edition. Since then I published my poems in literary and poetry journals in India and abroad. One of my poems was published in the Journal of English Literary Club, University of Peshawar, Pakistan.

Your first book Orphans of Storm seems to be your personal memoir. Is it a personal memoir or have you taken the incidents from your real life and created a fiction out of it?

RD: It is wrong to read a writer’s life into his/her works, though the tendency persists ever since writing began and works came to be reviewed. I belong to that school of literary criticism, which believes that a work of art is a world unto itself, though not denying its social, political and humanist commitment. Yes, the writer weaves a world out of experiences that (s)he comes across in his/her life as also in the lives of those (s)he comes across, but then (s)he makes them pass through the prism of his/her imagination to create a VIBGYOR effect of his/her making.

In your acknowledgements you have mentioned everybody’s name except your wife? Why so? Don’t you think she played an important part in your success?

RD: Well, to this I can say only one thing: I have been separated from my wife for over a decade.

Would you like to see your book to be made into a movie? If yes who would you want to play the lead roles and why?

RD: I think the book should make a good movie and better still, a TV serial. I would like to see Anupam Kher in the role of Nund Pundit, Ali Fazal as Siddhartha, Sonam Kapoor as Rita and Richa Chaddah as Vineeta. With his robust body build and a highly emotive histrionic capability, Anupam Kher would be able to bring alive the towering character of Nund Pundit. With his pensive looks and sharp features, Ali Fazal would be the ideal choice for Siddhartha’s character. There is a Bengali charm about Sonam Kapoor’s persona which should bring to life the bubbling and seductive character of Rita. The stocky and saucy persona of Richa Chaddah would fit the character of Vineeta.

How long does it take you to write a book? Do you write every day or as and when the inspiration strikes?

RD: It took one year for me to write this book. Writing is a passion. When you create a world, you do not remain detached from it. Rather, you are like an invisible participant in the lives of your characters. At times you drive the story ahead and at times the story drives you ahead. When such an interaction happens, how can the writer not feel inspired. Rather, as you write, you yourself are keen to know what is going to happen next in your characters’ lives. So, you would like to write on on and on. Unfortunately, a writer has to support himself and his family too. So, the economics of mundane existence tears him apart from his work. That’s how it has been with me, writing whenever I could snatch time off my busy schedule.

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

RD: As I said earlier, this is only the first book of the trilogy that I have planned. This book is like the first of the three movements in an Italian sonata. In this book I wanted to show the process of maturation of the central character, Siddhartha, as to how he emerges out of his schoolboy world of idyllic idealism into the brash and cruel world of adulthood. I feel I have been successful in doing so, going by the response my readers have given me.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

RD: As I have to steal time to be able to write, I do so when I am all alone in my room in the evening and when I am through with all my work, whether for my office or for my family. And then I begin with meditation and prayer, which helps me to centre myself and connect to the mother of language, Silence.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

RD: My father, my mother and my elder sister have been fabulous story tellers. As a child, I used to be always anxious to hear a tale, especially the stories of Hatim Tai, Rustam Sohrab, Poshmal, and Nagraj. When I went to school at Nagrota, I was blessed enough to have a wonderful library, which had a treasure trove of books on Greek mythology and British and European fiction. Ever since then, I became an avid reader.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

RD: I must appreciate this question of yours for its incisive thrust. I enjoy playing with language at the lexical as well as the syntactic levels, especially when the situation demands it. Also, I enjoy using hidden allusions to literary works of the past. ‘December is the cruellest month of the year…’ so goes my novel, a variation on Chaucer in The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, and T. S. Eliot in The Wasteland. It helps to place the book in the context of the works by other writers.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

RD: I like to meditate and practice Integral Yoga.

What does your family think of your writing?

RD: They are very supportive and appreciative.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

RD: I got a glimpse of the creative process. All on a sudden, the paradoxical statements of The Gita came alive, like for instance, ‘I am good, I am Evil. But I am neither Good nor Evil.’ As you create protagonists and antagonists from your imagination, they are in a way a part of you. And yet, you are neither the protagonist nor the antagonist, as you transcend both. Also, as you narrate, you often deviate from the intended line of narration as the story creates a logic of its own and characters create destinies of their own, which you cannot deny lest you should seem phoney to your own self. Here you have the puzzle of karma and free will laid bare before you.

Share with us the journey of becoming a published author.

RD: It took me two years to get this book published. Initially, one reputed publishing house considered it. The editor there offered very constructive suggestions. She asked me to revise the ending. Initially, I was apprehensive if that would be right. But, once I got down to doing so, I thoroughly enjoyed the process and felt that the book was richer thanks to her inputs. But, unfortunately, the final publishing decision there got delayed and mired in marketing hassles and I decided to pull back and search once again. Then, Blackbuck happened. One of my students suggested that why not approach them. And I did. And that’s how the book happened to see the light of the day.

Do you believe in self–publishing or do you prefer the traditional method of publishing?

RD: I prefer the traditional method of publishing as self-publishing would be too time consuming and taxing for me.

What are the four important things you take care of while writing a book?

RD: Firstly, I try to keep the canvas small enough so that I can complete it in a reasonable period of time. Secondly, I narrate a story that would weave in themes that are close to my heart. Thirdly, I take care that the story takes precedence over the themes. And finally, even as I narrate the story I marry the metonymic motion of the tale to its metaphorical vision.

What is your favourite genre and why?

RD: My favourite genre is the poetic drama. I am one with T. S. Eliot when he says that the best poetry is dramatic poetry and the best drama is poetic drama. The beauty of poetic drama lies in its ability to marry metonymy with metaphor. While the metonymy is revealed in the action dramatized, the metaphor is revealed in the poetic symbolism of the dialogues. This, I believe, is the key to profound literature like that of Shakespeare and Eliot in the West and Kalidas and the epic-poets in the East.

Some Quickies:

Your favourite book:

RD: Shakespeare’s King Lear

Favourite author:

RD: George Bernard Shaw

Favourite pastime:

RD: Singing Indian and Western soulful numbers

Favourite sport:

RD: Football

Favourite colour:

RD: Purple

Favourite outfit:

RD: Formal

Favourite poison:

RD: Pure Poison

Favourite beverage:

RD: Kehwa (Kashmiri Green Tea)

Your style:

RD: None. I am a plain man.

Childhood memory:

RD: Being hounded by my peers for a natural disability

Person you admire the most:

RD: My father

On a deserted island you would like to be marooned with:

RD: My soul mate

Books are to be just read or digested as well (your opinion on the statement):

RD: Books shape our lives. How can one be so callous as to just read and forget them? They need to be fully digested and integrated into our consciousness.

I is for Ingredients!

Tags

,

I for Ingredients! Quite important in cooking! We all use this term in our day to day language but how many of us can say that we know what is the exact meaning of ingredients is. So here we go Ingredients according to Wikipedia is defined as a substance that forms part of a mixture. For example, in cooking, recipes specify which ingredients are used to prepare a specific dish.

Ingredients forms the crux of any recipe, as the right amount of ingredients can taste the dish to the next level whereas incorrect proportions can mar the taste of the dish. So keep your Is dotted and your ingredients properly measured!

Happy cooking and happy wolfing everyone!A2Z-BADGE-000 [2015] - Life is Good

D is for Desserts and Dry Fruits for a Diabetic Person

Tags

Fourth Day of the challenge and the letter is D! D is for desserts and dry fruits. How boring you all must be thinking. And why not? Everyone knows about desserts, their varieties and even the recipes. Dry fruits what is there to write about them, but then here is the twist – D is not just for desserts and dry fruits but it is the D for Desserts and Dry fruits for Diabetic patients.

Almost half of my family is diabetic including the hubby and incidentally all of them are fond of sweets and I have a tough time in controlling their sweet cravings so here’s what I do when they want to have sweets, because I know that when you deprive someone of something they will go for it clandestinely, so better to give them desserts and dry fruits that are healthy for a diabetic patients.

Usually the doctors say that you can have whatever sweet you want to have but in moderation. So what is the key to enjoy your favourite desserts and which dry fruits help you in keeping your sugar levels in control let’s read! First we will talk about desserts. While preparing desserts for a diabetic patient keep in mind that crystallised sugar that we most commonly use is the worst enemy of them, so avoid using it while making desserts. In addition avoid using sugar free pills or powder or any such powder, as that will affect your heart. No, I am not trying to scare you just stating the facts to you. Instead use natural sweeteners like fresh fruits, jiggery and honey while preparing desserts for a diabetic patient.

When I had planned this post I had no idea that I will do it this way but as I wrote the other three posts this one made more sense. Since there are diabetic patients in my family, I did little more research on diabetes friendly desserts and I found that one can still enjoy their desserts if one follow certain guidelines like restricting it for special occasions and eating in moderation. There are numerous sites from where you can pick up diabetes friendly desserts’ recipe and let your family enjoy their sweet craving. Here are some of the links that you may try:

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_diabetic_dessert_recipes

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20307087_2,00.html

I am sure if you search the Internet you will find many more such recipes. Now coming to dry fruits for a diabetic patient, there are such no restrictions on eating dry fruits for a diabetic patient but the only condition is to remember to eat it in moderation. Nuts are supposed to be rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals thus quite good for both a healthy and a diabetic person. Overnight soaked almonds are good for a diabetic patient and so are raisins soaked overnight in water but since raisins are little sweet in taste and flavour, they should be consumed in moderation. Here are more links for diet tips for diabetic patients.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/top-15-diabetic-diet-tips-for-indians/articleshow/20063520.cms

http://www.everydayhealth.com/diabetes-pictures/best-fruits-for-diabetes.aspx

With the hope that this will help you in learning more about diabetic person’s diet!

Happy Wolfing Everyone!

10906349_649504775171826_7677867764049809640_n

A quick and healthy cooking option from USHA

This Valentine’s Day surprise each other with the wonderful gift of love from USHA! Yes, not just her or him but each other, as USHA brings you a quick and healthy cooking option – Halogen oven. Acclaimed as a smart choice oven for a healthy and active lifestyle – halogen oven – with its revolutionary techniques can cook 40 percent faster than any traditional method with less oil, thus ensuring healthy cooking and of course eating. So this valentine’s day bring home this smart cooking option and get ready to woo your loved one.

We are sharing one recipe as well for you to prepare and enjoy this Valenitine’s Day

Vanilla Cherry Cake

Ingredients

½ tin condensed milk (milk-maid), ½ cup milk, approx.

½ cup (75 gm) white butter, 3 tbsp. powdered sugar

100 gms. (1 cup) maida, ¼ cup cornflour

½ tsp. level soda-bicarb, 1 tsp. level baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla essence, 2 tbsp. cocoa powder

A big baking tin of 7-8” diameter

10-12 glace cherries – cut into thin round slices, 1 tspmaida

Method

Grease and dust a round cake tin of 8” diameter. Sift Maida with corn flour, soda-bicarb and baking powder. Keep aside. Mix sugar and butter. Beat till very fluffy. Add milk-maid. Beat well. Add 3-4 tbsp.Maida and mix well. Add half the milk. Beat well. Add essence.

Add the remaining Maida and the milk beating well after the addition. Beat well for 3-4 minutes till the mixture is smooth and light. Mix cherries with 1 tsp.Maida to coat dry fruits. Add half of the cherries to the batter and mix well. Pour the batter in a greased and lined tin.

Sprinkle the left over cherries on the cake to cover it well. Put the cake tin on the low rack in the USHA Halogen Oven. Press cake mode. Set the temperature to 150°C and time to 40 minutes and press start to bake. When the beep comes, check with a tooth pick. Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes in the tin. Remove from tin on to a wire rack.

You can cut and make decorate it as you wish like cupcakes or serve with ice cream. Perfect and easy to make Vanilla Cherry Cake for your Valentine is ready.

About the oven: USHA Halogen Oven uses a unique air fry technology to cook the food. The oven is a perfect blend of technology, elegance and utility. Multifunctional, it can replace 9 different kitchen appliances to bake, grill, deep fry, and roast or defrost. The smart digital panel presets to set the time and temperature for the large variety of delicacies from across the world. A circular filament filled with the inert Halogen gas, lights up to create a powerful, intense heat for cooking. This heat is equally distributed inside through the fan inside, ensuring uniform cooking perfected by the preset controls of the digital panel. Unlike in a microwave where the infrared rays excite the water and fat molecules instead of real heating, in a halogen oven the heat is intense and dissipated well resulting in better cooking.

Priced at just INR 8995, the oven comes with 12L capacity and 1 year warranty.

Book Review: God is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanian

Tags

, ,

Awesome was my reaction as I finished reading the last line and awesome was the word that escaped my lips, as I shut the book close and wondered about the characterisation, the narrative and the narration and this is what came to my mind – story –superb, characterisation – clear and concise, narration – fast paced, and entertaining!

Yes, it was quite entertaining for someone like me who doesn’t understand the world of gaming or banking this was a book that cleared my doubts. And I thought to myself that it was good thing I selected this book for reviewing, because I know for sure that if I was at a bookstore I wouldn’t even have picked this book! No don’t get me wrong the book is amazing, it is just me who didn’t like to read any fiction related to gaming, or banking (both go over my head, frankly). But then when I saw the book on Blogadda and read the synopsis at the back I thought let me give it a try.

So here I am – after reading the book, which I must emphasise here is a fast paced page turner I found three things: 1 The book is about banking but in a revolutionary manner or rather I should say in a more digitised manner with the introduction of BITCOINS – the new currency with which you can buy or sell anything over the Internet without opening an account in any bank. 2. TOR or The Onion Router is the next big thing in the world of Internet that can be used both negatively as well as positively. 3. The world of gaming is not that dull after all there are various levels of planning, designing, testing and execution before we can even play our favourite games online or our phones. 4. Politicians and hi-profile people are human beings with same needs but more greed and are always hungry – for power that is!

The book takes us from Washington’s Congress to New Delhi’s finance ministry, the beaches of Goa to the corporate boardrooms of Mumbai. From hidden identities to clandestine affairs, the drug peddlers to the experienced and seasoned programmers, Ravi Subramanian has built a world where a reader gets involved like one of the characters and it gets difficult to judge who is right and who is wrong.

The world where the value of money is nothing and the digital money BITCOINS rule the roost, where everything is make believe and you can’t trust anybody because everyone wears a mask – mask of sophistication! The story starts from two high profile rival company CEOs meeting each other to discuss some fiasco and then they are joined by the Senator. And from here goes viral (as is the term used in Internet and gaming language) and the reader is hooked onto it. From there the reader travels from the luxury of his/her home to all the cities in the USA, beaches of Goa (enjoys a rave party there) and then comes back to Mumbai for some serious work.

Though this is my first book of the author Ravi Subramanian, I can clearly vouch for the fact that he is going to be the best thriller author in the coming years. In all the years that I have read thrillers (mostly by John Grisham that are courtroom drama), this is the best one I have come across by an Indian author and I can proudly say that Indian authors and writing has definitely come out of age and is making its impact in the international market. Pick up this book if you love reading! Believe me you will not be disappointed!

Williams sisters targetted by Russian Coach

Tags

, ,

It is so shameful and hurting when the people sitting at influential seats throw insensitive and racist remarks and then backtrack by saying that it was all a joke. I am referring to this news where the popular Russian coach first called Serena and Venus Williams as ‘Williams Brothers’ and then said that they were scary to look at. However, when he was issued a ban from the women’s tennis he backtracked from his statement saying that he was just joking.

JOKING!!! REALLY!! Mr Tarpischev were you joking when you questioned women’s gender and said they are scary to look at. You were joking when you unabashedly called them Williams Brothers — even a person who doesn’t know much about sports and tennis knows about Williams Sisters.

My Concern

My concern is not what he thought or called them (he is just one of those patriachs whocan’t the success of women sportingly) my concern is about people sitting at influential positions throwing racist remarks so casually in their conversations that a normal human being feels it is fine to use those remarks in daily use. Thus spreading the disharmony, resentment and a perfect ambience for a war to break-out. Women all around the world are being targeted for their colour, physique and what not. I wonder when we will have a world free of racism and gender inequality?