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Showing posts from January, 2013

The power of Herbs

Last time we talked about spices and their historical importance. We saw how spices were one of the main finds of the Age of Discovery. We also saw how two great men of that time were joined by destiny through an unseen thread woven along continents they sailed across looking for spices. Today, let us talk about herbs, which are a close cousin of spices. The array of herbs is as varied as that of spices, and both of them are added to enhance the flavour of the dish and induce medicinal properties. A basic difference between herbs and spices is that spices, as you know, are derived from the roots, bark, stem, seed or fruit of a plant; whereas herbs are the leaves of a plant which are used fresh or dried. Another contrast between herbs and spices lies in their flavour. Herbs are subtle whereas spices have a pronounced flavour. Fresh herbs are great for garnishing your dish whereas spices are hardly used in their fresh form. They are usually roasted and then used in cooking. Also herbs …

A chance at a new life- My entry for Get Published contest

Protagonist This is Maya’s story. She is a bubbly young girl who comes from a middle class family background. She has vibrant dreams and is also ambitious to a certain extent. She carries strong ethos and has a very clear sense of duty, being the eldest of 5 siblings.
Situation/ Context  Maya and Vibhor married for love. An unfortunate death in one of the families leads to a prolonged engagement period. Life, which was supposed to look better once they were together, has different plans for them. Vibhor gets transferred and a pregnant Maya decides to carry on with her job. She lives with her mother-in-law while her husband lives in a different city, managing to come home once in two months. Stress and various distances take a toll and Maya’s child is born with autism.
Now Vibhor has been transferred to a new city. Is this the opportunity that life is giving them to work some magic back in their lives? Will Maya be able to take care of her child and marriage in this new environment? Will s…

Spices from across the globe

What is aromatic, has various properties and is most commonly used in the powder form? The colours may vary and so could the amount used or the time of addition but spices are one of the most prominently used ingredient to add and sometimes hide certain flavours in dishes across  various cuisines. The mention of the word ‘spices’ might bring to mind the sweet fragrance of cardamom, fennel or the pungent taste of asafoetida or clove. If you go back in time you will be surprised to know that the use of spices was associated with magic, religion, preservation and even medicine earlier on. The story of spices is one fraught with adventure, exploration and the  discovery of new lands and their conquests. Through your history books you must have come to know about the spice trade and its importance in the evolution of cities like Alexandria. Spices found mention amongst the elite items on the list of any trader worth his name. This list generally included important and valuable stuff like …

Magic goodies from the market

Last time we talked about the goodness in some of the produce that is amply available during the winters. The list of such healthy foods available during winters does not just end here. Let us take another round of the vegetable market and see what else is available and what goodness do they hold.
Mustard: Though imprinted on our memories by the efforts of late Mr Yash Chopra, Mustard or sarson does more than providing beautiful background for film songs. Mustard leaves make for a wonderful vegetable in the months ranging from November to March. It is rich in phyto-nutrients which aid in prevention of many diseases. This leafy vegetable belongs to the Brassica family, the other members of which include cabbage and broccoli. The mustard leaves are rich source of anti oxidants boosting body’s immune system. It is also rich in Vitamins A, C, E and K aiding eyesight, healthy skin and mucous membrane. Mustard is low in fat and sodium content and is an excellent source of folic acid. The mu…

Goalie

I am feeling inspired right now. Maybe it has to do with the fact that dinner or school are not on my mind. Anyway I have stolen an hour and besides many other things that I want to accomplish in this one hour, I also want to write down my goals for the year 2013. This is the first of its kind, me setting goals, so applause please. Without much ado here are goals  that I would like to achieve before the NYE.

1. Write: I had almost stopped writing. Writing for pleasure that is, so I am setting a goal of writing minimum of 500 words everyday. In addition to that I will look harder for opportunities for doing columns in newspapers, magazines, e-zines.

2. Read: As I summarised my year 2012, I realised that I had hardly read a thing. I won 5 books in various contests on twitter but I have not yet read them all. Also I have been at The Last Mughal for a very very long  time. I intend to finish it within this month. Also the fact that I want to make a place for myself as a story-teller I com…