Friday, March 27, 2009

Gear up for Earth Hour

Once again the world is gearing up for earth hour and no of people & cities participating is ever increasing. It seems it has caught on in India too. While Amir khan is the face of earth hour campaign, Software giant Infosys has come in it's support too. More than that, this time awareness among people is far more than last year. So, hopefully we will see more participation this time. I don't know if the earth hour will change everything bad happening to earth. But I am sure about one thing, that it will not do any bad either and sure it will save some precious electricity in the process. So, I will be switching off my lights on earth hour and I urge you to do it too.

Earth Hour: Saturday, 28th March, 8:30pm - 9:30pm


Thursday, March 12, 2009


Remember what you used to do while attending a boring lecture? Not sure about you but I filled my notebook pages with random graffiti and I was surprised to find such a long Wiki page on Graffiti. But of course there are people filling Wikipedia for everything they can or can't think of. Perhaps that is more constructive use of their time.

But when I got really bored with the dull and drowsy atmosphere of working, I don't know how but I started scratching in my notebook and gave birth to this interesting character. In the picture you can see the various stages of evolution of this fellow. [Click to enlarge]

Final avatar at the top, below are different stages of evolution

This avatar was born in process of giving a facial shape to the following letters from my name V, K, U, M, A and R. I am not sure if you could figure that out from the picture.. but I like this character, especially with the @ eye. If I could fine tune the shape, I plan to use it as my online avatar. So, I can certainly use help/comments from the artists & creative minds out there.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Mutton Masala/Curry recipe

This is kind of strange that I have been cooking for over two years but never even attempted any Mutton recipe. So, I decided to change it. I made up my mind to make mutton masala for Sunday, but didn't know which recipe to try. As in, the recipe used back at home is good but that doesn't include marinating the meat, which I knew softens and flavors the meat. So I decided to mix both. It was on an experimental basis, but it turned out to be really good. After preparation the mutton was really tender and the spices were nicely absorbed by the meat. Resulting in an aromatic and spicy Mutton masala with great taste and left a nice after taste. Here is the recipe which I tried. I will write the exact amounts & steps which I used.

Ingredients for marination:
1) Mutton: 750 gm (cut into medium sized pieces)
2) Onion: 400-500 gm (thinly sliced 5-6 medium sized onions)
3) Yogurt: 2 tbsp
4) Salt: As per taste
5) Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
6) Chilli powder: 1 and half tsp
7) Coriander powder: 1 tsp
8) Pepper powder: Half tsp
9) Cumin powder: Half tsp
10) Ginger paste: 1 tsp
11) Garam Masala powder: 1 tsp
12) Fresh coriander leaves: Two hand fulls.

Ingredients for cooking:
1) Chilli powder - 1 tsp
2) Garam Masala Powder: 1 tsp
3) Clove (5), pepper(10), Black(3) & Green(4) cardamom, cinnamon (1 stick) and any other garam masala ingredient you can find. (It's just for the rich taste & aroma)

Clean the mutton properly, you can optionally add turmeric to it while cleaning. Put the meat in a vessel big enough to hold the meat for marination. Preferably prepare puree of coriander leaves. Other wise simply chop them as finely as you can. Then use your palms to rub the leaves applying pressure while you are spreading it on mutton. Gently mix the coriander with meat. After it's spread properly, add yogurt and mix it well. Now put salt & all the spices and mix it well. Once all the spices are mixed cover the vessel and put it in refrigerator for at least one hour.

When you think the marination is ready, heat up the cooking oil & put the sliced onions with half tsp of salt. From now till end, when you are stirring you can keep the flame on medium, but after that cover the frying pan & put the flame on low. When the onions turn golden (should take 10-15 mins), take out the marinate vessel and pour the mutton and juices in frying pan. Now mix it well with onions, cover the pan and let it cook on low flame for 30 minutes. But keep stirring it every 5 minutes or so to make sure mutton is cooked evenly.

Now add 1 tsp each of chilli powder and the ingredients of garam masala to it and fry it for 15 minutes. By now the mutton & spices must have cooked well, for gravy add some water (as needed) and salt to compensate for the water (if needed). Bring it to boil and let it cook for another 10 minutes, so that the gravy is well blended with spices & the mutton absorbs it as well.

Now the Mutton masala is ready, serve it with rice or bread. Another way of cooking is to fry the mutton for 10-15 minutes. Then put the whole mix into pressure cooker and wait for at least 5-6 whistles. This is the quicker way of cooking but I like the flavor from slow cooking better.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Google crawls into your Inbox

So finally Google broke the Internet barrier and crawled into perhaps our most personal devices, yes our cell phones. This is an important step by Google because not everyone could have Internet access on their cell phones to try and search Google. So they come to you, providing you with services which are sure to make you use them. Don't know about others, but this looks like a sure shot formula to increase their reach in Indian market, where GPRS penetration is still very low.

For India the number to use is 9-77-33-00000, on which you can send a simple text message containing a command and you will get back your results via SMS. You only pay your standard carrier charges for the transaction. Finding latest Cricket scores, Movie listing / schedules, Train & train ticket information, local business listings are just among the few services they are offering already. I tried the cricket scores, sent CRICKET INDIA to the number and got back the India vs New Zealand scores in a couple of seconds. I am sure we will see more players going this way, offering services over SMS without premium charges. But Google has taken the lead and I am loving it.

You can check out Google Mobile SMS for details on services offered by them.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Irony of Airtel's Unfair "Fair Usage Policy"

Less than a month ago I was all praises for Airtel broadband service. I didn't know my celebrations will be short lived. Although the customer service & speed of Airtel broadband still remains the same, I was disappointed to read Airtel's new Fair Usage Policy and certainly felt cheated. According to this if a user of an unlimited plan exceeds a certain download limit, his speed will be halved for that billing period. However he will have to pay the same rental for the remaining duration.

Coming out with draconian & repressive policies seems to have become the norm these days. The Facebook issue hadn't even fizzle out yet and now Airtel does a repeat.. thanks to the power of internet we have been able to educate our fellow netizens in order to protect our rights. To this regard an online petition has been filed and number of people signing it is rising fast. I have done my part by signing the petition & spreading the word for it. Hope we can create enough noise to be heard by Airtel.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pink Panther 2 and Post 91

Pink Panther 2 poster (image src:

I wasn't really inclined to watch the latest Pink Panther, esp because of the hue n cry over Mrs. Aishwarya Rai Bachhan and bad rating at IMDB. Nevertheless I succumbed to the charm of Inspector Clouseau and watched it anyway. Personally I found the movie entertaining to say the least. Steve Martin has done a good job in portraying a clumsy, stupid & yet sharp police inspector. I laughed out loud at many times in the movie & yeah against all odds & predictions Aishwarya was there throughout the movie. I believe people who didn't like the movie were the original Pink Panther movie(of the 60's) fans. But I hadn't seen that and so had nothing to compare and that was good as I could enjoy the movie as it was. Another good thing was, the run time was only 92 mins and thus no extra junk was crammed in it. So, after tickling my funny bone it was time for some

The bar at Post 91

It was a sea food festival at Post 91, a multi-cuisine, buffet concept restaurant in Koregaon Park at the end of Lane 7. The buffet contained 3 veg & 3 non veg starters, 3 veg & 3 non veg main course dishes, a live sea-food grill counter, chicken & veg biryani, salads, breads, a mind boggling collection of 9 desserts and the best part, unlimited beer (Kingfisher Blue), mocktails & soft drinks. The buffet was good, but the food didn't compare to the buffets I had at Barbeque Nation or Sigree. So, I would have to say the food was average, although there were some dishes which really stood out. Like in the starter prawns preparation in spicy gram flour was very good. In the main course Mutton rara was amazing, mutton was tender and prepared in a thick spicy gravy. Highlight of the buffet was the live Seafood counter, you could select from king fish, pomfret, crab, squid & tiger prawns and they were prepared on the hot plate in your choice of spices, sauce & optionally wine. We feasted on king fish preparations, tried the wine one also, it was superb.

Live Seafood Grill counter

Spicy King fish grill prepared with wine

Assuming seafood counter was there because of seafood festival, next best thing were the Desserts. A total of 9 deserts, all western but all of them made you want more. I tried one piece from each and wished I had appetite for more.

Desserts table

Strawberry Mousse cake

Lemon & Honey tartlets

Butterscotch mousse cake

The decor & ambience were also very good, they had mixed corporate designs with chic decor and dim lights to create a pretty feel good effect. They also had DJ playing music, which wasn't loud at all. There was also the option of open air seating with candle lights.

Me with Kingfisher Blue (its my favorite beer now)

In the budget of Rs. 500 per person (inclusive of taxes), this buffet with good food, nice ambiance along with unlimited drinks was real value for money and you couldn't ask for more to spend a nice evening.

Post 91, Koregaon Park Lane 7, Phone nos: 020-2610 9191, 09823138187

Post 91 pics courtesy Birenderjit Singh


2019 - heavily influenced by "Minority Report" ?

Microsoft business division president Stephen Elop unveiled, what Microsoft predicts to be the future in 10 years from now i.e. by year 2019. In this video, its shown that touch screen interface would be the next big thing.

Watching the video gives you dejavu of Minority Report. Going by the research & advancements in the multi touch UI designs now a days, this video looks quite believable or rather achievable now. So, if this is indeed the future, then there is one thing for sure, We will have a tough time adapting to all those hand movements & gestures to get things done in style ;)


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