Sunday, June 22, 2014

"Sweet"ness in Life

I'm not a Sweet tooth person but once in a while everyone needs their fair share of sugar in veins to keep the spirit high! I don't have a big list of my favorites but still a little making and baking won't hurt anyone :) sharing few cakes/sweets recipe which I occasionally try!

1) Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Upside down cakes are always glamorous, since you can see the fruity goodness showing off on the top. Decorate with Cherries and serve with a scoop of our Classic vanilla ice-cream.

Ingredients

½ tsp-Yellow Food Colour (optional)
200 g-Maida (all purpose Flour)
100 g-Butter
6-Pineapple Slices
1 tsp-Baking Powder
1 tsp-Soda Bicarbonate
1/2 tsp-Pineapple Essence
1 tin (400g)- Sweetened Condensed Milk
5-6 tbsp-Sugar for caramelisation
1 cup (150 ml)-Aerated Soda



How to make

Preheat oven to 180° C. Grease the cake tin/dish. Arrange the pineapple slices at the base. Heat sugar in a pan till it melts and becomes brown. Pour this hot caramel over the pineapple slices and keep aside.

Melt butter, cool slightly. Add the condensed milk and beat well, add the essence. Sieve together maida, baking powder and soda bicarbonate. Add some maida to the milk mixture and then add some aerated soda and mix well. Repeat, alternatively maida and aerated soda till both are used up.

Pour batter over pineapple slices in the cake tin/dish and bake at 180°C for 45 minutes or till cake is done. Remove from oven, loosen the sides of cake using a knife and immediately turn onto a plate.


2) Vegan Banana Pancakes

Serve with maple syrup, sliced fruits or dusted with powdered sugar for a soulful desert experience.
Ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour (you can replace up to 1/2 a cup with whole wheat)
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp baking powder
1 cup mashed bananas (1 large or 2 small)
1 cups rice, soy, coconut or almond milk
3 Tbsp oil


How to make

Pour the flour, salt, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and baking powder in a large bowl and combine. Mash the bananas. Mix in the bananas with milk.  Stir until combined. Let the pancake batter sit for 5 minutes before using. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.

Heat a large pan with 1-2 Tbsp of the oil over medium heat.  Once the pan is hot add a 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake.  Cook until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pancakes. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Remove pancakes and place on a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. 

3) Lime Pie

This light, limey pie has a cheesecake feel to it and is the perfect summer dessert. 

Ingredients

1/2 tin (200g)- Sweetened Condensed Milk
100g /15 biscuits-Low Sugar Biscuits
6 tbsp-Butter Melted
1/3 cup (50ml)-Lime Juice
1 cup (150ml)-Fresh Cream



How to make

Crush the biscuits finely, add the melted butter and mix well. Press this onto a greased shallow glass dish/loose bottom pie dish and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Whisk the condensed milk and lime juice together until thick.

Whip the cream till soft peaks form and fold into the condensed milk mixture, gently mix till combined. Pour onto the chilled biscuit layer and freeze for 1-2 hours or until set. (Optional: Swirl the green colour through the cream mixture to get a marbled effect).

4) Apple Crumble

Serve warm with chilled vanilla custard sauce. What makes this recipe extra yummy is the combination of the apple crumble with the vanilla custard sauce. 

Ingredients

Apples - 500gm (about 2-3 medium-sized apples)
Wheat flour / atta - 1 cup
Salted butter - 100gm + a bit for greasing
Sugar - 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp
Salt - a pinch
Lemon juice - a few drops (optional)
Cinnamon stick - 1 (optional)



How to Make

Wash peel and chop the apples. Add a few drops of lemon juice to prevent browning. Mix in 2 tbsp sugar and cook on low heat until soft and mushy. Set aside to cool. Mix salt and 2 tbsp sugar with the flour. Lightly mix in the butter without kneading until you get a mixture that resembles bread crumbs.

Grease a pie dish/cake tray with butter. Lay the cooked apples evenly. Add the flour mixture evenly on top and press down gently. Sprinkle sugar on top. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 25-30 mins.

Vanilla Custard Sauce
Blend vanilla flavoured custard powder with 1.5 cups of milk and 4 tbsp sugar (to taste). Cook on a low heat until pouring consistency. Cool, chill and serve with warm apple crumble.

Thanks for reading

Mugdha

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

ECONOMY without ECOLOGY

A war between ecologist and economist is not a new topic. People spend their money to purchase cars and air conditioners, talk about celebrities and new movies, chat about others affairs but when it comes to environment they skip the route. Since few days NGOs are in news for their role of "A Threat To Economic Development". If you support Animal treading, deep water boring, throwing garbage in rivers and stuff like that, please stop reading immediately. I'm here to talk about NGOs (In their favor)! 


NGOs (Non government organizations) are part of our system (I should say broken one as conditions are worst these days). They play a vital role in helping people in a variety of ways. Not only by looking after the helpless, distressed and deprive people, but also contribute to maintain green societies in India. In order to preserve and enhance greenery, local as well as International NGOs are working by distributing plants/seeds to common people, maintaining green covers, cleaning rivers, saving wildlife and what not.

Few days ago I had a chat with one of my friend from West Bengal, what she admits that temperature is quite high in that area as compare to other parts of India. The reason of the temp. rise is due to mining. We can adjust with temperature rising issue; if we have lots of coal to produce electricity which help running air conditioners, irony it is.



Increasing the green cover in urban areas is getting less and less priority as trees become the first casualties of road-widening and other urban development projects. But this ignorance of the importance of trees is not just amongst civic authorities but equally amongst citizens also. The problem is people avoid the most important thing which is the reason life is not able to grow on other planets that is Oxygen! NGOs (if not all) are helping to keep the balance between fresh air and pollution. I m not against development or electricity but keeping focus on Solar energy is more convenient way. 


Public if can't afford solar panels can help in growing green belt around home and city periphery! That's what NGOs are doing at larger scale. If people talk about funding, I saw NGOs with funds but it is quite less as compare to the scams happening around us. Consider this post as a support. Will do a sequel with more documentations. Before going against all the NGOs consider their work and efforts!

Forest cover is reducing and rivers are turning into garbage flow. Period! Please support those who are working for environment! Help Environment! Help your self! 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Indian political system: functioning anarchy

Before writing this post, I did a Youth Poll and select top 10 comments; written as it is, in their own words, at the end of the post! This post is just to give a short intro about Indian Political System (minus last 2 paragraphs). Hope you enjoy it!

Indian political system is quite new, recently developed and in words of ethical thinkers quite corrupt! Politics and concerning parties dates from India’s Independence (1947) and proclamation Constitution of India in 1950; biggest democracy as they name it!


In contrast to the constitution of Japan that has seen no amendments; the constitution of India is a much-amended national document. The last amendment is to insert Article 371J in the Constitution in 2013 which is to empower the Governor of Karnataka to take steps to develop the Hyderabad-Karnataka Region. Arising from disagreements between the Parliament and the Supreme Court or under pressure from political interest groups, each constitutional amendment has had implications for India’s politico-social system.


A political system is, a set of institutions, crowded by interest groups (such as political parties, trade unions, lobby groups) and provides dynamics of interaction among those groups. Foremost, it consists of the members of a social organisation (group) who are in power; also of interdependent components and peripheries of the milieu with which it interacts. Theoretically, a political system is regarded as the way a government makes policy and organizes administration. A political system, if sound, ought to ensure the maintaining of order and harmony in the society and provide institutions for addressing grievances and complaints of citizens at large.


The Lok Sabha, the most important element of India’s political system, modelled on the British House of Commons, is the Lower House of the Indian Parliament. The Rajya Sabha or the Council of States too is partly modelled on the British House of Lords or Upper House of Parliament but India’s federal system of government has many features similar to federalism as practiced by the United States.


The Head of State in India is the President, mostly a ceremonial position derived from the concept of constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom. The President can return a Parliamentary Bill once for reconsideration and, in times of crisis such as a hung Parliament, President’s role becomes pivotal. The President can declare a state of emergency.



The head of the government is the Prime Minister, appointed by the President on nomination or election by the majority party or coalition of political parties in the Lok Sabha. The Prime Minister has to be a member of either House or get elected within six months if not a member at the time of appointment. The Ministers are then appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.


Though not mentioned in the Constitution, political parties are a most vital element of the Indian political system. India has been changing from a highly centralized. one political party-dominated system to an increasingly discrete polity with regional parties pulling in different directions. Political norms have been declining and politics in India is much rougher and much more corrupt than in the democracies of Europe and North America. Likewise, Judiciary and bureaucracy are steeped in corruption.


Unfortunately, the Indian political system has been unable to incorporate the multiple stakeholders of the complex Indian society. As a result, after 60+ years of Independence, our experiment with democracy is in peril. Currently, Indian democracy finds itself reduced to the ballot box, vote banks and populism. A constitution can provide only a framework; it is its institutions that infuse life into a democracy. The Indian political system was expected to produce accountable governments, conscientious ruling elites and democratically aware citizens. All this has not happened and as Galbraith’s put it, Indian democracy is a functioning anarchy.



Youth says:


"OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM IS LIKE A ROTTEN APPLE AND IF A GOOD APPLE WILL BE KEPT IN THE BASKET IT WILL ALSO GET SPOILT. SO WE MUST COME TOGETHER AND CREATE A NEW SYSTEM THAT IS UNBIASED, NOT CORRUPT AND OVERALL INTERESTS EVERYONE AND SHOULD BELONG TO NONE AND STILL BELONG TO EVERYONE.
By sumita , BUSINESS MANAGER

Creating a total new system will  be a very risky task. It should be always better to be by being in the system change the system 
By George Varghese, Proprietor

I completely agree with kejriwal an idea for a better India but does not know how to do it
By ZH Nirmall, 10th student 

We've already seen what 'Arvind Kejriwal' tried and actually ended up doing! Creating a new system would end up in crap, as you're ignoring the fact that the system, we've been in, is quite powerful and can surely overthrow the upcoming. Let's see what Modi can do.
By Shubhradeep Majumdar, B.Sc student

THE BEST WAY TO is to follow the footprint laid by Arvind Kejriwal. Arvind Kejriwal is a highly educated person wants to remove the corruption from India. CORRUPTION IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF EVERY EVIL. VOTE FOR AAP......VOTE FOR KEJRIWAL
By sunil kumar, PROGRAMER, INS

Creating a new system without first trying everything possible to remove the flaws from the existing system would be a total waste of time and resources.
By Vandana Varma Azad, Freelancer, Teaching/Education

Instead of just cribbing the political system, use the power of vote and ensure right and effective people become part of system. This will ensure better governance.
By A. Rawat, B.Com student, IGNOU

Each and every educated youth must fight corruption, only way to fight corruption is come forward and Vote.100% Voting is the only way to fight Corruption. Youth must take a strong stand NO giving Bribes to anyone.
By vijaya shanbhag, Owner, Divyajeevan Designers

After being the part of the system you can know the actual flaws. So, i think for reconstruction of a new & better system it is essential to be the part of the system.
By Anubha Jain, partner, e-Solutions

Modification in the system is better than to make a new system. 
By Siddhartha Gourab, B.Tech/B.E. student

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Delhi: Foodie's Paradise

India is about experiencing different types of food and Delhi certainly has a lot to offer. The magic of delhi is in its small by-lanes. Sightseeing is an integral part of any visit but Delhi is different, you just don't explore the place but you experience it. Here’s a list of food that you must try...

The “Parathe Wale Gali” literally means “The Paratha Lane” or the “lane of fried bread” is situated in the famous Chandni Chowk area of Delhi. These “parathas” are strictly vegetarian and has no onions or garlic. A must visit if you are going to Delhi and certainly not to miss if you are a foodie. Nearest metro station is Chandni Chowk and while you are there don’t forget to eat “jalebis” at the famous Jalebi Wala shop. 




If your stomach is strong enough, I suggest trying out India’s most famous street dish called the “chaat”. This particular dish is so popular that most of us Indians will walk out of the house just to have a plate of chaat from the local street vendor. Chaat is (usually) made of chickpeas with chillies and other hot spices. You think of a spice and it’s in it. Tamarind sauce is a classic ingredient of chaat that gives it that tangy taste. Chaat will also have dried ginger and pepper, coriander leaves, onions, dried noodles, and aloo tikkis or samosas. If you love Indian food, you’ll love the chaat.


Some of the most popular sightseeing places in Delhi are big in size. This means that you will have to do a lot of walking around. Delhi’s Red Fort for instance or the Raj Ghat (memorial to Mahatma Gandhi); they are big and you will have to do a lot of walking. Undoubtedly, some of us will get hungry and would like take a little break. In this break you can try the traditional Indian tea (we call it chai) and with it you have to try some ‘pakoras’. Pakoras are basically battered fried snacks a bit like potato cutlets. They can be of different types; paneer, corn, cauliflower, onions etc. My favourite have always been the onion pakoras. You’ll find them as starters in many Indian restaurants. But many of us just like to have it on its own with tea of course. Pakoras really enhances the flavour of tea.



The great thing about India is that you don’t have to go very far to find a street food stall or a small restaurant – most of the time, it’s usually round the corner. Just feel free to take a look at their menu. One dish that is equally popular in Delhi is “Masala Dosa”. I suggest you try this Southern Indian dish. It’s light and will certainly keep hunger away till lunch or dinner time. Made of stuffed potatoes and other vegetables and served with coconut chutney and sambar (lentils and vegetables added to it), the masala dosa makes a decent snack or a meal if you have more than one whichever way you look at it.



Will update more for my foodie friends :) Thanks for reading!