Friday, November 27, 2015

Chudua or Chuda

Home made Chudua or Chuda
If you sit with a bowl of Chuda, you cannot stop until it is finished. It is light and tasty. Just the right Tea time snack.
This savory snack is very easy to prepare. Have have a bunch of ingredients, though several of them are optional!
Ingredients:
Poha or beaten rice - 1/4 kg.
Puffed rice - 1/4 kg. 
Cornflakes - 50 gms.
Sabudana or Sago flakes - 50 gms.
Putana dal or fried Bengal gram - 50 gms.
Groundnuts - 100 gms.
dried red chillies - 4 nos.
curry leaves - a bunch
Salt - to taste
Rayi or Mustard seeds - 1 tsp.
Jeera or Cumin seeds - 1 tsp. 
Thinly sliced dry coconut - 1cup
Oil - for frying
Turmeric is optional - 1/4 tsp.
Method:
Take a big dish to hold all the ingredients and be able to mix them well. 
Dry roast lightly the puffed rice and put them in the dish. 
Take enough cooking vegetable oil in a frying pan to fill it half way. and heat it. 
I use the sieve shown in the photo below to fry some of the ingredients.


Place a handful of poha in the sieve and place the sieve in the oil. Make sure poha does not fall into oil. It will time consuming to fish out small ingredients from oil. Fry it and drain the excess oil and put it in the dish. Repeat until all the poha is fried. Poha fries very fast. Be careful you don't burn them.
Next fry the ground nuts and add them to the dish. Ground nuts take longer to fry. 
Fry putana dal and add to the dish.
Fry curry leaves and next fry sliced dry coconut strips. Coconut burns very fast, so take care.
Also fry corn flakes and sago flakes and add to the now fast filling dish. Add salt. to the fried stuff. 
Take 2 table spoons of this heated oil in a small frying pan and add Rayi and Jeera and red chillies and when they are fried add the whole mixture to the big dish.
Now mix them well. Make sure all the ingredients are distributed evenly. 
Your chuda is ready to eat. Store in an air tight container; or some of the ingredients will become soggy.
You can vary the proportions to your liking. You can also add other ingredients of your choice including thinly sliced potato chips.
Enjoy Chuda with evening tea. Kids love it.    

Re-fresh the Residence


Monsoon season is over; IFFI (International Film Festival of India) is going on in Goa. The government buildings and the public spaces get a face lift every year. Thanks to IFFI; Panaji looks fresh and sparkling around this time of the year! 

How will it be if the residential buildings too got same refreshing done once a year? How can you refresh your residence, be it a bungalow, a row house or an apartment?

I have listed a few ideas here and will be exploring them individually in the subsequent blogs (hopefully!).


1. Add a small green wall to the facade: 
Green wall can change the facade dramatically; adds freshness, brings a smile to the face. 

2. A new colour scheme: 
If the house is looking rundown and old, it is time a fresh coat of paint. What better than to go for a different and may be bold colour scheme! I notice a lot of folks paint the house in the same (old) colours. Look around, may be new colours / finishes / textures have come into the market. Explore and experiment or take expert advice.

3. Make the much needed repairs:

Once a year at least, take a good look at the building, both interior and exterior. Repair the chipped edges / surfaces, fill the cracks, close the gaps, and replace the tiles, or anything else that needs fixing. The building looks like new, simply because a new building does not have faults.

4. Cover up the faults beautifully:

Since the repairs are happening why not add some aesthetic value to the building! Maybe some beautiful coloured tile cladding where the wall is developing cracks, or a Mangalore tile roof covering over the water tank or staircase, or Chinese Mozaic over the top of compound wall? 

5. Make an feature wall:

Tired of the same old facade? Don’t want alter the elevation? Ok. You can convert an existing wall into a feature wall or accent wall. It is like adding spice to a boring recipe. 

6. Use a water feature:

Adding a water feature is a great way to refresh the residence. Water adds life to the surroundings. It diverts attention from the old. Water is dynamic, transparent, and tranquil.

Where visible from outside, add a water feature such as a fountain, a small waterfall, a shallow pond, a sculpture and a sprout etc. They can be used in the interiors too, in the form of a aquarium, fish pond, or a waterfall.


7. Add a new building feature:

Did you always wanted a pavilion on the terrace or a gazebo in the corner of the front yard or a covered walkway from the gate to the main entrance or a sloping roof instead of an ordinary flat roof? If you think you waited long enough, go for it. It will change the appearance of the building completely!


These are just a few of the ideas that you can use to refresh your residence to make it look new / fresh / lively / attractive!
If you know of some more, please write to me. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Murukulu


Putana dal   Muruku form

Murukulu (in Telugu language), is a savoury dish. It is a great tea time snack. A pre-requisite is that you need a muruku form. Use the disk shown in the photo.

Ingredients:

Rice flour - 4 cups
Roasted Chana dal or roasted Bengal gram flour - 1 cup
Chilli powder 1/2 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Jeeta - 1.5 tsp
Ginger garlic paste (optional) - 1/2 tsp.
Oil - for deep frying

Method:

Mix rice flour, dal flour, salt, chilli powder, ginger garlic paste, and 2 tbs. of hot oil. Add enough water to make a stiff dough. 
Heat oil in a frying pan. Take enough dough into the press, and slowly make the muruku onto a flat spoon with holes and drop it slowly into the oil. Turn the muruku around a couple of times; when it is fried to a golden brown, take it out of the oil.
Store them in a container. Will last for several weeks.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Shopping Bag

 
This is my sketch of the bag


 

I needed another shopping bag and time for rummaging in my stock. Found these materials bought for some such purpose. Did some easy maths, and came up with the following sizes:
Bag -
Length - 14"
Height - 14"
Width - 3"

Pocket - 7"x6"

Handles - 18"x1"x2 nos.

Flap / Strap 2" wide

Wooden button

Some backing material for the side strip. 

Attached the pocket to the front piece. Then,stitched the front and back pieces to the side strip. Gave backing / lining to the side strip for extra strength; the seems are turned in; attached the handles at 4" from the centre. Finally, stitched the flap to the back piece and  button to the pocket.