Archive | July 2015

210. Mysore bonda

We usually prepare aloo bonda. just for a change, we can try this mysore bonda.

Ingredients needed :

maida – 1 cup

rice flour – 1/4 cup

butter milk – 1 cup

cooking soda – 1/4 tsp

salt – 1/2 tsp

green chilly – 2

ginger – 1 inch length

coconut – 2 tsp

kalamirch – 1/2 tsp

coriander & curry leaves – one small bunch

Method of preparation :

For this, we have to take  maida,  rice flour,  cooking soda,  salt in a vessel. Add  green chillies(finely chopped) and a small piece of ginger(chopped in thin slices). Then, add  jeera,   coconut(chopped pieces), some curry leaves and corriander leaves chopped finely. Crush  kalamirch(milagu) and add. Mix everything well and add one cup of buttermilk or curd slowly. We should not use water. Stir well  and keep the batter for one hour. Heat cooking oil in a kadai. Take water in a bowl and after wetting hand with water, we have to take vada size  batter in the hand. Put it in the oil. The bonda itself will take round shape. We have to cook it well in the medium flame. When the bonda becomes crispy with light brown colour, we have to take it out from the oil. The taste is very nice and it is easy to prepare. We can prepare this mysore bonda for parties, as it won’t consume much time.

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209. Don’t judge a book by its cover

We may think somebody as great person. Only the appearance or dress or the way he speaks makes us to think so.   The appearance only attracts our mind. Those who look decent and speak in an impressive manner are liked by all. We see only the surface but don’t know the things inside.

We may consider somebody as an average person and we won’t entertain if he comes to us to share something. The beautiful and shining objects capture everybody’s mind. Our expectation may be wrong when we go deep. While buying a book we should not see the title, appearance and material of the book.

The content is more important. Similarly, we should not judge anybody by his appearance. Those who are good in all aspects will look simple. They won’t come forward to attract anybody. In a party or gathering, people are interested to talk to persons who look good or speak well.

When an ordinary person comes, nobody pays attention. He may be talented but because of his  calm nature or ordinary look, people think that he doesn’t know anything.  We should not assume things but we should understand. Before criticizing    anybody we should analyse well. We have to correct ourselves atleast now by judging anybody correctly..

208. People’s President

abdul kalam

In India, many people  are not interested even in knowing  the name of the President.  But, our former President Dr. A.P.j. Abdul Kalam  found a place in every Indian’s heart by his good deeds. He was the only president who brought many common people to the Rashtrapathi Bhavan.

After completing his tenure, he had only 2 suitcases of his personal belongings with him. Usually the belongings  of former president would have required many lorries to carry the things. The nation honours him for his simplicity. Every Indian would  have shred tears on hearing the news of his death.

His engagement with common people, especially children made  everybody to consider him as a close friend, philosopher and guide.  The Missile man of India was the most respected person of the country by raising the image of India in front of big countries of the world. He played a crusial role when India tested its nuclear weapons in Pokhran.

This vegetarian bachelor has not undergone any training in abroad. While meeting the youngsers he used to listen to their speech carefully and respond. In one meeting with school children, power went off suddenly. He stood in the middle of the hall and asked the children to surround him. His lecture and interaction with 400 children continued, without the requirement of the current.

He has donated his lifetime savings to a trust named “Providing Urban Amenities to Rural Areas”. When he was a president, in spite of his busy schedule, he used to write reply and thank cards in his own handwriting.  In a function he refused to sit in a big chair and asked the authorities to put a similar chair like others’.

While working in DRDO, a scientist could not keep up his promise of taking his children to an exhibition. Knowing this, Dr.Abdul Kalam took the children with him to the exhibition. There are many more interesting real stories about him. Indians feel very proud to own such an outstanding personality.

207. Book review – The curse of the dark forest

I am a book lover.For a writer, writing is an outlet to build his legacy.   I am very much pleased on reading the short story written by Suklesh Rao. The title “The curse of the dark forest” has created anxiety and excitement to read the story immediately.

The story justifies the title very well. Five young school boys studying in IX standard go for a trekking expedition through a dark forest along with their teacher. All the other boys are frightened to join the trip as there was a myth that whoever enters the dark forest will never return. They miss the  van driver, conductor and teacher on the way.

The brave five boys face lot of problems and left alone many times in the forest. The suspense and thrill travel throughout the story which make reading of the story more interesting.

The happy ending pleases us and gives us a feeling of reading a good story.  The thrill and suspense make us to sit and complete reading of  the book at one stretch. It is a real treat to readers of all ages. We become children on reading such stories.

I hope you will also enjoy. Suklesh is the  son of my niece Sujatha. I wish and bless Suklesh to continue his journey of writing and give us many more treats. .

206. Learning hindi is essential for Indians

In most of the states of India, people learn hindi in addition to  their regional language. People from south, especially from Tamil Nadu, keep away from learning hindi. Those who have not learnt hindi in school or college, should try to learn on their own.

Those who are going on transfer to North India from South are compelled to learn hindi. What about others?  While going for North India tour,  they have to depend on the guide or somebody else, throughout their journey. Some people say that English serve as a link language better than hindi. Will it work out everywhere in India?

The elite people can speak stylishly and fluently in English in India but what about the common people? They understand only hindi. The South Indians who are going to foreign countries  for studies or work, could not communicate well with North Indians and there also they are using English for communication.

Atleast all the children in India should be taught hindi. The elder people have lot of opportunities to learn hindi. They can try to speak in hindi a  few sentences daily with the children at home. For doing any business in India, knowing hindi is a must. So, please start learning hindi.

205. Maintaining healthy skin

Our outer surface of the skin is seen by others. If we keep it healthy, we get confidence to move freely in the society. The outer skin performs lot of works for us like protecting from outward changes in the atmosphere, dirt, bacteria and ultra violet rays of the sun.

People in India should be very careful in protecting the skin against these factors as the temperature will be very high in summer. We should try to keep the outer skin soft without any breaks. Just like other parts of the body, skin also needs a healthy diet. We all know fresh fruits and vegetables only can save us from all the problems.

We have to  take 2 litres of water,  cut fruits or fresh juice(without sugar), vegetable salad and cooked vegetables daily. We have to spend time to wash the skin atleast twice a day. At home, we can avoid putting cream or face powder. While going out, of course, we have to use them a little. Before going to bed, it is better to wash them away.

The skin should not be get exposed to sunlight for a long time. Taking a cup of green tea will help to get a healthy skin. I used to apply packs using neem leaves, thulasi, milk cream and multhani mitti. Sometimes I take pieces of carrot, tomato, papaya, 1/2 tsp besan(kadalai mavu), one tsp curd and grind it to a paste. I apply this  on face, neck and hands & wash after half an hour.

I don’t know whether my skin becomes healthy but I get freshness by doing this. Take steps to maintain your health in your own way.

204. White pumpkin salad

When we ask for  a small slice of white pumpkin in the market, they will give a big slice only. After preparing sambar or kootu, half slice will sleep in the fridge. When we use it after 4 or 5 days, while cooking it may turn brown and spoil our cooking. So, for using left out pumpkin immediately, I tried white pumpkin salad, the recipe of which I want to share with you. It is very simple.

Ingredients needed :

pumpkin – 100 gm

curd – 1 cup

aval(poha) – 1/2 cup

green chilly – 2

salt – 1/2 tsp

pomegranate – 1/4 cup

capsicum – 1/4 cup

cooking oil – 1/4 tsp

mustard – 1/2 tsp

asafoetida – 1/4 tsp

coriander leaves – one small bunch

Method of preparation :

Remove pumpkin seeds and skin. Cut it into small pieces and just grind in a mixie with  green chillies. Put it in a bowl and add  curd. . Add  washed and cleaned poha(aval) into it. Add  salt, corriander leaves, pomegranate and thinly sliced capsicum. Season  mustard and asafoetida in cooking oil and add to the salad.  No need to say that it is very healthy and cool. Please try.

203. Simple tomato soup in my style

There are many methods to prepare soup. I don’t like to use instant powder to prepare soup. My all time favourite is tomato soup. I will tell you the recipe.

Ingredients needed :

tomatoes – 4

small onions – 5 or big onion – 1

garlic – 2 leaves

ginger – 1 inch slice

salt – 1/2 tsp

butter – 1/2 tsp

elaichi 2

lavang – 2

jeera – 1/2 tsp

mirch – 1/2 tsp

corn flour – 1/2 tsp

red chilly powder – 1/4 tsp

turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp

cooking oil – 50 gm

bread slices – 2

Method of preparation :

Grind  tomatoes,  onion, garlic, ginger, red chilly powder, turmeric powder,  elaichi, lavang, salt, jeera and black pepper nicely with water. Add 2 more cups of water. Mix  corn flour  in water and add. Heat it in a pan till it boils and switch off gas. Add  butter.  Our tomato soup is ready. Cut  slices of bread into small pieces and fry in cooking oil. Store it in a closed jar.  While serving, reheat tomato soup  and put 4 or 5 bread pieces. The aroma and taste will be excellent. We can drink this tomato soup atleast once in a month for its health benefits. It is a very good starter for the party. In the winter season, it gives a soothing effect to the tongue.

202. Home schooling

The formal settings of private and public schools need not be followed in home schools. The parents or trained tutors can educate the children at home. Many parents and children hate the formal school structure in many countries. Getting up very early and rushing to school with less eating or no eating, spoil the health and mind of young kids.

Many fed up and frustrated parents are ready to seek a solution to regular school system. In a class of 50 students, the teacher cannot teach to the needs of all the children, as the grasping power varies from child to child. Many children are self-learners and have the capacity to explore things.

In normal schools they  are restricted from doing such things. The blossoming of creative activities is cut in the bud.  A   big question in front of parents is “What about board exams?”. National Institute of Open Schooling and international General Certificate of Secondary Education are conducting exams equal to board exams which are valid.

Now the parents can chart out a time table for studies and passion of the children. The parents while teaching themselves should get well equipped in all the subjects and should be ready to face any queries of children. The children should often be taken tours to learn the different things, culture and atmosphere.

The scope for learning outside the textbook should be given to all children. But, such children are losing the opportunity of  learning some good things from teachers  and having good time with the children of their age group.  But, the concept of home schooling has to be welcomed.

201. What happened to the economy of Greece?

Many European banks and the governments of other countries had lent money to Greece to take care of economic problems in the country. Greece is not capable to repay the money with interest. So, there is a sudden decline in normal functioning of the country.

The European Central bank suddenly decided not to give any more money to Greece, as the bank could not get agreement from Greece for delivering money. Since there was limited money left in the banks in Greece, the Government decided to shut the banks. The common people worried very much as they could not draw money from their bank accounts.

It is said that the total debt of Greece to other European countries is about 323 billion Euros. In 2008 economic crisis hit all the countries and countries like Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece are very badly affected. If Greece reaches the position of no money, the countries who lent money to Greece will also be affected.

Few years before, all the other countries felt that Greece should stop spending more money. But, Greece people started protesting against increasing tax and putting restrictions on spending money. Now, European Union has made Greece to agree for a deal to tackle the huge money problems.

The European Union has agreed now to lend 86 billion Euro over 3 years to solve the issue, by putting lot of conditions to increase tax and cut down expenditure in Greece. It is a lesson to all the countries in the world.