Sambhar-A south Indian recipe.

Sambhar-A South Indian recipe

 Ingredients

 Tuvar Dal                   : ¾ cup( Split red gram).

 Vegetables                  : Any one of these

                                      (Lady’s Finger, Small bulb onions, drumsticks, radish.)

 Red Chillies               : 4 to 5 ( as per the spiciness you desire)

 Coriander seeds       : 2 Tb spoon

 Fenugreek seeds      : 1  table spoon(( 1/2 for seasoning & 1/2 for grinding)

 Coriander leaves      :  A little for sprinkling.

 Coconut                     : ¾ small cup

 Salt                            : as per taste

 Mustard seeds           : 1 tea spoon

 Tomato                     : 5 small or 4 big(cut into 2 pieces)

 Tamarind water         : 3 Tb spoon.

 Turmeric powder   : ¾ tea spoon.   

 Lemon                      : ½ juice                                                                           

 Method:

      1.First boil the tuvar dal (Split red gram) till well cooked.

     2. Then cook the vegetable with Tamarind water, cut  tomatoes ,turmeric powder, salt  as per taste & a little water.

           If it is lady’s finger, then first fry it in little oil before cooking .

    3.  Mix 1. & 2. & keep aside.

    4.  Then take a little oil in a pan & fry the red chillies, coriander seeds &

         half of the fenugreek seeds till it turns pinkish in colour.

    5. Then grind the above fried spices with the coconut in a mixer & add it to 3.

    6. Mix it well ,If you want it a little bit more sour ,then add half of

        lemon juice.

    7. Then do the seasoning; that is in a little oil put the mustard seeds

        & the remaining fenugreek seeds till it crackles.

    8. Add the seasoning to the sambhar prepared, & sprinkle some coriander leaves on top.

        This is usually eaten with rice or with idlis& dosas(which are rice & urad dal pancakes).

        (Urad dal is split white gram or lentil).

         Hope you all try it out & do give me the feed back.

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Holi …festival of colours in India—-just have a look…..

Today ,is the festival of Holi ,a full fledged observed holiday in India….

With shops closed & children as well as adults busy playing the game of colours on each other….I just like the simple red powder, called as gulal to be applied on me….the other colours ,all mixed, or rather u can call it cross breed are a pain for the eyes….& the balloons filled with dirty water thrown on anyone by anybody just bugs me…

The beauty of the traditional way of playing Holi has been lost somewhere…..How I long for it….But times are changing & I have to move with the times …I ve to bear the balloons & the cross breed powders along with the changing times….

But ,one thing that hasn’t changed are the mouthwatering delicacies served ….I can gobble just all of them at one go……So what, if one is diabetic ?…..that worry can be kept aside for a day….as these are little joys that keep us going on in life……

The afternoons ,that is after 2 pm ,the pin drop silence on the roads is as peaceful as an holiday in some far away place….the people have taken a retreat…..maybe to have their grub & to wash off their multi coloured faces …..

The local railway stations, the bazaar ,always busy with no space to inch forward ,is empty today…..hawkers having a nap, & some playing cricket on the deserted roads,making the most of what time can offer…..

In the evenings one can usually see an ocean of people in malls & other  shopping places…..what with so many discounts & offers that has been advertised……cinema halls showing a housefull board & hotels having a long queue outside…..as is very common even on normal holidays or sundays….

Interesting….all festivals are meant to be like this, to be enjoyed, to be crazy….

Or else ,they cannot be termed as festivals, isn’t it ?

Holi-the festival of colours in India.

One of the major festivals in India is Holi which is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun,which is the month of March as per the Gregorian calendar. Holi marks the arrival of spring, the end of winter & the beginning of summer. It is also the season of hope & joy.

On the eve of Holi, people gather & light small bonfires at crossroads. This lighting of bonfires is called as Holika dahan. Holika was the sister of demon King Hiranyakashyap. He wanted everyone in his kingdom to worship him but his own son ,Prahlad worshipped Lord Vishnu.An enraged Hiranyakashyap asked his sister Holika to kill Prahlad as Holika had a boon which made her immune to fire if entered alone. But Prahlad was saved as Lord Vishnu was pleased with the extreme devotion he had towards Him &  Holika was burnt to ashes as she entered the fire with Prahlad. This signifies the victory of good over evil.People apply this ash on their forehead as this ash is believed to protect them from all evil.

There are many other stories ,too in connection with the festival of Holi.

Lord Krishna used to play Holi with His beloved Radha & all other gopis , & this ritual is still practised in the cities of Mathura , Vrindavan & Barsana, which are the places associated with the childhood of Lord Krishna & Radha.

The next day is the actual day of colours. Shops & offices remain closed & people have a blast pouring coloured water on each other.There are songs & dance & mouth watering delicacies served. 

In the evening, people exchange greetings & sweets. People of all communities ,come together & there is a feeling of oneness in the air.

( I wanted to post photos …The photos are being uploaded but cannot be viewed after posting…So sorry, )

 

Clean up

“Please throw away your unwanted things’……How many times have we heard this sentence? But we still cling on & on……

One day, I opened my cupboard & the things started just falling out…..This was expected…..Since a very long time ,I was just putting off the cleaning business ….Not because ,I didn’t wish to do it but just ’cause of time constraint….So today was the day…

The old clothes had heeped up, small accessories like combs,perfumes ,scarfs,gloves,had all piled up….& there was this lovely ,used up,twenty year old suitcase which was the apple of  my eye,for quite some time….It had served me for a very long time & I didn’t wish to part with it….. But ,today I wished to give it a new lease of life….

I put off ,all the things which I wished to discard into this faithful suitcase & packed it straight away to a children’s home & an old age home nearby……

My joy knew no bounds when I saw the happiness on their faces when the things were being distributed….They held my hand tight ,blessed me for no feat of mine…..I kissed them, tears trickled slowly…. How careless are we, I thought to myself……If only, I had done this earlier…..If only I had not kept on postponing it……

But this was a lesson to me…Now ,every six months , my cupboard gets a clean up….

Now this taught me a new lesson ,too…Our mind ,too is just like the cupboard…full of unnecessary thoughts…..If we just clean it up daily, how stress free our lives would be…..There would be less ailments & more of joy all around….Isn’t it ? Just give a thought to it, my dear friends……

Beautiful quotes.

  1. Remember the 3 R’s,  –Respect for self, Respect for others & Responsibility for all your actions.
  2. Don’t overlook life’s small joys while searching for the big ones.
  3. Do the right thing,regardless of what others think.
  4. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  5. Remember that how you say something is as important as what you say.
  6. Spend your time & energy creating, not criticizing.
  7. When there is a hill to climb, don’t think that waiting will make it any smaller.
  8. There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.
  9. Be concerned with living wide than living long.
  10. Be happy with what you have while working for what you want.

 

Compiled from various sources.

Gujarat, Gir forests,India.

DSC00066 DSC00051 DSC00062 DSC00057 DSC00055 DSC00054 DSC00053 DSC00052Gujarat, Gir forests,India.

There are only two places in the world where lions can be found….Africa & Gir forest in Gujarat, India.
I had a wonderful experience visiting the Gir though I could spot only 1 lion during the three visits in the forests.
The government accommodation at Sneh Sadan was wonderful though we have to do the booking 15 days in advance by way of fax.
All in all a lovely experience.

Rewinding the clock of life

It is a sad thing that sometimes ,knowingly or unconsciously we get influenced so easily by the opinions of other people. Just when I look back I feel Life could have been so much different if I had been firm with my gut decisions. Even trivial decisions like wearing a particular dress I have been conscious of ‘ oh My God, what will she think of this dress? It’s better if I don’t wear it’ . People often said that u r living in a society ,& u have to consider their views too. For eg: Learning dance ‘ What r u going 2 do learning this?It is a sheer wastage of time’ .& sometimes if I decided to do some odd course ,immediately the reaction of people around me ‘ Graduation is a must.These courses won’t provide u a penny’ .Sometimes I feel that more than half of my life has been spent according to the views of other people. It is really funny but now I have decided to repurchase my brain & just try things which will give me satisfaction. I know some people have lived life their own way . I admire such people.Hats off to them. I feel there is always plenty of time to mend ourselves. I m just going to do that. Be positive & go by what ur conscience tells u.

Anger

How many times have we heard this statement , “Please control ur anger, ….it is not good for ur health…….”……..Yes, anger completely changes our personality ,& within a matter of seconds, everything seems to be completely destroyed…….
 
But ,if anger is not demonstrated, it builds up within……the resentment goes on growing………We may remain calm for a few days, months….then ,one fine day, it bursts like a balloon ,unable to bear the stretch…..Here then, the intensity with which it comes out will be greater ……the resentment & hatred stored in the sub conscious mind all these days…..will come out in the form of fiery words …….nothing will seem to stop us as we go on & on continuously till everything is emptied out…….our pressure rises , & we feel completely drained out…..
 
After everything subsides & calms down ,comes the stage of deep thinking & repentance…..We start repenting…we feel that the situation could have been dealt in a different way…..But, we find that it is too late to make amendments…..What has happened cannot be undone…….
So, why does this happen ?……
 
Sometimes ,we have to stay with people having completely different mindsets……two completely opposite poles…..our views doesn’t agree with theirs, even if put across in a gentle,mild way…., So we remain silent ,to maintain peace…..We very well know that this silence is only to maintain the outer peace ,but ,there is no other option, too…..the tussle going on within us is growing day by day……we feel helpless…..
 
So, is it necessary to control ourselves even when we know that the opposite person is wrong? We can do it but it may be taken as our weakness,…… The opposite person takes us for granted ,& as there is no retaliation ,he takes the utmost advantage of the situation…..
 
Or, if we r perfectly sure that we r on the right , then is it not better to speak out our mind , though this may mean causing hurt to others…..In this way ,the resentment that is being built up within can be avoided to a certain extent…..though it may cause a substantial damage to the relationship…….
 
Or , is it necessary to go on spreading unconditional love in order to maintain harmony & peace……….This love , though unconditional, cannot be called true love…….because however hard we try , there still remains some bitterness within……So, where bitterness is there ,how can true love exist?
Or ,shud we avoid the company of such people ? If they r strangers ,it will be fine …..but, if they happen to be our near ones……this cannot be possible ……
 
Or, is it necessary to just accept the situation we r in & allow things to take its own course….This is very really very difficult in the initial stages…….for anger ,doesn’t give us the time to think …….. it just explodes ….& trying to suppress our emotions & to remain just a witness in such situations may also prove disastrous to our health…..
 
So, what is the best way to control ur anger?

The adopted child.

I saw her lying
Still & silent
I picked her up gently
Hugged & caressed her.

An innocent smile
Lit up her face
Looked at me beseechingly
As if to say
“Please take me home”

I nodded in assurance
Pressed her against me
Felt her warmth.

A voice ,deep within
Whispered to me
“Leave her…….and
a part of you
will be left behind”

I listened to that voice
Held her tight,and
together we walked
The beautiful path of life
Sharing our joys & sorrows.

Suddenly ,as if to awaken me
A forceful voice
Shook me,
“Mamma,what are you thinking ?”

I opened my eyes & saw
A young, beautiful girl
With that same innocent smile
and that beseeching look
Standing in front of me.

I took her in my arms
caressed her,
Her child like face
lit up with joy.

Looking into her eyes
I said
” I was just thinking
about you, MY CHILD”