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Jaangri

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Jaangri or Imarti or Jaangir is a close relative of Jalebi. Many people assume they are the same, but they are not. While Jaangri is made of urad dal, Jalebi is made from maida and needs overnight fermentation. And, of course, they taste different.

When I saw Harini’s recipe for Jaangri in Blog Bites #2 roundup, I knew I had to try it. I love Jaangri and I didn’t know it was so easy to make. When Nupur announced the third edition of Blog Bites, I decided to try Harini’s recipe for this event. Since the theme of Blog Bites #3 is adaptation, I will explain what change I have made to the original recipe. I did not use food color, but used some saffron to get the color. Simple, huh? This adaptation is more out of necessity – I didn’t have any food color handy and didn’t want to buy either because honestly, how many recipes do you know which call for food color?

Jaangris Ready!

Jaangri
Makes 8-10 pieces

Ingredients

Urad Dal, 1 cup
Rice 1/4, cup
Sugar, 1 cup
Water – Just enough to immerse the sugar
Saffron threads, 8-10
Oil for frying

Method

1. Soak Urad Dal and Rice for 3-4 hours. Drain all the water and transfer to a mixer pot. Grind them finely with as little water as possible. Don’t be impractical and not use water at all – your mixer will curse you. Add a few drops of water at a time until grinding becomes a possibility.
2. Take a thick enough plastic cover and cut a small hole in one corner. You are basically making a cone. If you are familiar with mehndi cones, you know what we are trying to do here. I am sure you can use a cloth for this, but I haven’t tried that method.
3. For the sugar syrup, place sugar in a thick bottomed vessel and add enough water to immerse the sugar. Add the saffron threads to it and heat this. Keep stirring in between and once you get one string consistency, take it off the flame.
4. Heat oil in a wok. Pour some batter into the cone and when the oil is really hot, squeeze out the batter through the hole and try to shape it like jaangri. I know it is easier said than done. Make two rounds at the center and draw petals around it. Fry on low flame till it is golden brown.
5. Dunk the jaangri in the sugar syrup and take it out after 3-4 minutes.
6. Serve the jaangri hot.

Jaangri being fried

Notes

1. You can start with the sugar syrup first. Keep it on low flame so that when the jaangris are fried, your sugar syrup is ready.
2. If you find that the batter is too watery, add some rice flour to it to salvage it. I know it will alter the taste, but altered jaangri is better than no jaangri, right?
3. The sugar syrup should be hot when you put jaangri into it, so you might have to reheat it in between.
4. Since we are not using food color, jaangris will not be as orange as you see in the stores. They will have a mild golden color.
5. Jaangris I made turned out really tasty. The only problem I had with this was they lost their crispiness after a few hours. Store bought jaangris are not soggy, but mine were. I have no idea why and if anyone of you has a clue, please let me know. The next time around, I want to make perfect jaangris!

I am sending this to Nupur’s Blog Bites #3.

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Written by A

May 5, 2010 at 9:17 am

An innocent remark

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The Thackeray vs. Bachchans saga is back to bite us again. Just when Raj Thackeray was barred from making any public speeches and just when peace was prevailing, Mrs. Jaya Bachchan had to go out and put her foot in the mouth.

For those of you who don’t know (and that is possible only if you have not switched on the television even for a minute in the last few days. Every channel is doing a special on this and you couldn’t have missed it otherwise), Jaya Madam was on stage for the music release of her son’s movie ‘Drona’ and she went ahead and said ‘Hum UP ke log hain, hum Hindi mein baat karenge. Maharashtra ke log hume maaf karde‘ (We will talk in Hindi because we are from UP. Maharashtrians, please excuse us). Raj Thackeray promptly took offence and demanded an apology. Madamji did give an apology saying ‘it was an innocent remark’. Any fool worth a 2-cents brain can make out that her statement was anything but innocent. Her remark was intentional and was uncalled for. All she had to do was say a few good things about her son and his movie and go back home in peace. But no, she had to take a dig at Mr.Thackeray.

While these big stalwarts taunt one another and nurse their egos, they forget a very important thing – that they are in the public eye and anything they do affects the common man. Jaya can get away with this statement. She can be safe in the comfort of her house with police protection. What about those pani-puri thelewalas and taxi drivers and paanwalas? Those non-Maharashtrians have to bear the brunt of Jaya’s ‘innocent remark’.

No, I don’t support what Thackeray is doing. What happened to the common people on the streets of Maharashtra was definitely wrong. Mumbai is the commercial capital of India and you can’t expect only ‘Marathi’ speaking people to stay here. Asking for boards to be put up in Marathi or to make teaching Marathi compuslory in schools – all that is fine. But beating up paanwaalas is not the solution.

That being said I don’t think Bachchans are any better. The Bachchan family has made Mumbai their home for decades now. They earn their name, fame and money in this city. Still, UP is so close to their heart, Big B goes and does an ad for his beloved friend Amar Singh saying ‘UP mein dum hai kyun ki jurm yahan kam hai’. If you can have such undying love for your state, why do you object to Thackeray’s views? And after you saw the massacre that took place just a few days ago, you had to make that statement?

I don’t know who will have the last laugh in this war. But those who are crying are the movie producers and distributors. And the common man. So, Jayaji, next time you make ‘an innocent statement’, think about those innocent people on street who have to suffer because of you.

Written by Anaamica

September 10, 2008 at 6:16 am

Posted in Events, Opinion

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Mehta case

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I have been following Mehta’s case on news lately. For those who don’t know, Niketa Mehta is pregnant and the foetus is found to have a congenital heart defect. The Mehtas do not want the baby and want to get it aborted. India’s abortion law does not allow this because Niketa is beyond the permissible 20-week in her pregnancy. Mehtas are challenging this law and want to be considered as an exception and let the foetus be aborted.

The high court dismissed their plea. It says aborting this foetus amounts to mercy killing. If the child was born and then found to have this heart defect, one wouldn’t kill it, right? How is it any different if the child is in the womb? I completely agree with the case ruling but what bothers me is the abortion law itself.

The abortion law says a mother can abort her foetus if she is under 20-week in her pregnancy. If she is beyond that, then she is allowed to abort only if pregnancy poses a threat to her life. What doesn’t make sense to me is this 20-week line. Who decided this and on what basis? As far as my little medical knowledge goes, the foetus’s heart starts beating in the 8th week of pregnancy (Correct me if I am wrong) itself, if not earlier. From then on, the foetus is alive – with a heart beating fast and furious. So, whether you abort the baby in your 15th week of pregnancy or 22nd week of pregnancy, it still amounts to mercy killing.

Secondly, doctors recommend an anomaly scan in the 22nd week of pregnancy. This is where the Niketa’s baby’s heart defect must have surfaced. If our law wants to give the freedom of abortion to parents, then either extend the 20-week border to 24 weeks so that parents can get the anomaly scan done within that time or doctors should recommend the anomaly scan before 20 weeks.

J J hospital gave the first report stating that the chances of baby being handicapped are high and then later denied it by saying it was a typo! Who on earth believes this? Even if this was a typo, the Mehtas would have discussed the situation with their doctor before filing a case, right? You just don’t read the report and decide on the spur of the moment that you want to fight the law? The story of Mehta’s case is becoming messier by the day.

I really wonder how this lady decided on the abortion. Didn’t she question her own decision whenever she felt the baby’s kick in her womb? Didn’t she clutch her tummy and cry and ask herself how she can kill her own baby? Did she sleep with a clear conscience the day she decided to get the abortion done? Is she sad that they cannot abort the foetus? Or is she happy that her baby’s chances of having a normal life are more?

Written by Anaamica

August 6, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Posted in Events, Life, Opinion

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Bangaloreans

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While the nation is still recovering from the twin bomb blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad, Bangaloreans don’t realize the gravity of the situation. Many live bombs were discovered in Ahmedabad and Surat which would have caused grave damage if they weren’t diffused. The inensity of the blasts in Bangalore was lesser and the casualties fewer compared to previous blasts in other parts of the country. Does that mean the situation is any better in our city?

Today’s newspaper carries a news about an ICICI employee who made prank calls about bomb blasts. His call was traced and he was arrested. If he is proven guilty, he can be sentenced to three years of imprisonement. What was this guy thinking when he made that call? Hasn’t he witnessed the panic on people’s faces as bomb blasts were reported? Didn’t he see that woman who helplessly died for no fault of hers? Hasn’t he seen the gruesome and disturbing photos of Ahmedabad blasts? Doesn’t he feel a shiver up his spine thinking about what future may hold for us? What if scenes of Mumbai bomb blasts are repeated here? Will he be alive to laugh at his prank? Would he make this prank call if his own kid was in that school in which he claimed to have found the bomb? This kind of disgusting act coming from an educated and responsible person is shameful.

Did we hear of such prank calls elsewhere in the country? Does that mean we Bangaloreans are any less responsible compared to other people? So far Bangalore has been lucky in terms of economy (thanks to software industry), weather, natural calamities and terrorist activity. Just because we Bangaloreans didn’t witness incidents similar to Mumbai bomb blasts, Godhra carnage, floods, earthquakes and Mumbai rain calamity, we need not be indifferent to such things.

We all saw how helpful Mumbai people were to one another during the rains. People offered food and shelter for total strangers. Any such incident in Mumbai and you know you can rely on others. People of Gujarat are uniting to fight terrorism. If such an incident happens in Bangalore, can we expect the same from our fellow citizens? No, because we are still working on handling people making prank calls. Shame on all of us. It is time we introspect and figure out why are we so different from the rest of the country and what we need to do to be more responsible towards ourselves and our fellow folks.

Written by Anaamica

July 31, 2008 at 6:43 am

Posted in Events, Life

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Do good unto others

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We had a tiff with our parking lot neighbor the other day. We moved to a different house in the same apartment and hence we have been allotted a new parking space. We parked our car and two wheelers in our allotted space only to wake up the next day to a knock from the security guy saying the neighbor has complained that we are parking in her area. That was a shock, because we were very sure we weren’t doing any such thing.

We went to the parking area to get the matter sorted out. The lady walked in after a few minutes and started explaining to us that our two wheeler blocks her way. She ‘requested’ that we park it the other side, so that she can enter her parking area through OUR parking area. That is when it became clear to me that the lady went and ‘complained’ to the security because she wanted to make a ‘request’. Hmmm. I lost my cool and before my husband could say ‘Ok, we can park it that side’, I said ‘No, won’t do’. The lady, arrogant as she was, walked away with her nose high up in the air.

Later, I thought about the incident, and though I felt guilty for not helping her, I felt the lady deserved it. She wanted a help from us, she should have come to us and made a request. Instead, she goes to the security, shouts at him, creates a scene and then doesn’t even say PLEASE! Her mom definitely left out the lesson on politeness in her childhood. I could have helped her if I wanted to. If she hadn’t rubbed the wrong way, I would have definitely helped.

Then I read today’s Speaking Tree. After reading this I felt I lost an opportunity to follow ‘Be good to others even if they are bad to you’.

When I think about that snotty lady, I feel what I did was right. When I think ponder over it when I face myself in the mirror, I feel I should help her. To help or not to help? Just one of the many dilemmas that I face in this journey called life.

Written by Anaamica

July 15, 2008 at 7:40 am

Posted in Events, Life

Citibank and its so called customer service

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We all have heard enough about how banks come up with creative ways to cheat customers. Be it hiding the annual fee clause from the customer or sending an unasked for, unwanted credit card to a customer AND charge an annual fee over it! Yeah, these banks put any artist to shame. I am just adding two more things to the never ending list of Citibank’s tricks.

1. Suvidha account points redemption

I had accrued quite a few Suvidha usage points in the last year. Before I could redeem those, they lapsed in March. When I called the customer service, I was given a prompt answer that points lapse in March. Why wasn’t I informed about it before hand? No answer. I pledged to take revenge by redeeming the points next year. So, this year, promptly in March, I redeemed those points and was left with a few ‘chillar’ of 20 points. I was expecting these to lapse by the end of the month, but guess what, they didn’t lapse. Another phone to their customer service and I am informed that the leftover points after redemption are carried forward. This is insane! Unredeemed points lapse but left over points are carried forward? Who made this rule? What is the logic behind this?

2. Debit card renewal fee

We have all heard about lifetime free credit cards, but did you know that Citibank will charge an annual fee of Rs. 99 on your debit card from July 2008 onwards? I was given this wonderful news when I called to order a debit card. I asked the customer care executive what is the logic behind offering free credit cards and not free debit cards? He obviously did not have an answer so I answered for him. Customers can survive without a credit card, but they cannot access their account or use the ATM without a debit card. Citibank knows this well and hence can take advantage of this by charging an annual fee on debit cards. The customer care executive was really shaken by this and asked me to complain “if I am not satisfied with this situation” by sending a mail to indiaservice@citicorp.com.

My mail may not result in the wakening of the Citibank executive’s conscience and the eventual cancellation of the debit card annual fee, but I surely will send a mail. If you care about your 99 bucks which Citibank is snatching right under your nose, then you too send a mail. Remember, it is not about the money.

Written by Anaamica

July 11, 2008 at 12:22 pm

Posted in Events, Life

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Work is worship

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We all know how government offices work. But have you ever called a government call center? I did. For the past two weeks, I and my husband have been calling the BSNL call center every day. Yeah, you read that right. Every Single Day.

We have BSNL broadband connection which was working just fine. Except for the frequent outage on weekends, it was fine. One fine morning, it refused to connect. Authentication failure, apparently. There was no reason why it should just stop working.

We called their call center the first day. It took us around 15 minutes to get through the terrible music and speak to a human. He made us go through the standard procedure – reenter all data and reboot the modem. When that didn’t work, he promptly told us that the server is down. The same thing repeated the next few days. Thus started the saga of get back home from work, dial the number, listen to the wonderful music, finally get through the call, explain the problem, do the standard procedure and realize the server is down and then hang up.

I gave up and almost decided to dump BSNL and go for Airtel. My husband has a lot of patience than me and kept trying. Two days back, may be it was my husband’s luckiest day, our call was answered by a person who knew what he was talking about. He told us that all usernames which have underscores and hyphens in them have been disabled. That made sense because there was no reason why the connection should stop working one fine day. He said he has to create a new username for us, but couldn’t do so now because the server was down. He asked us to call the next day.

So… we called yesterday and our luck apparently ran out and our call was answered by some moron. We told him about this username thing and he had no clue what we were talking about. No matter how we tried to explain, he just refused to create a new username and even said that usernames can be created only at the local exchange. My husband asked him to handover the call to the person who answered our call the previous day. That guy gave some lame excuse that the other person was not available or some such thing and we hung up.

We sulked and sighed and finally decided that we are going to say bye-bye to BSNL. That’s when our phone rang. Guess what? It was the same guy who told us about this username problem. He took the trouble of looking up our number and calling us. He even created a username and again guess what? It worked! Ecstatic is not the word, but I will use it anyway. We couldn’t thank him enough and asked him if there is any way we can let his supervisor know about this wonderful deed. He gave us an email id where we can send a thank you mail, but I don’t think anyone is going to read that. So here I am, thanking our angel and our saviour from the bottom of my heart and my husband’s heart.

This post is not about how BSNL just decided to change all usernames without informing the customers or the customer care staff. It is not about how incompetent most of the call center staff are. This post is about that one person who stands out from the rest of the crowd because he cares about his customers, takes his work seriously and thus made a difference in someone’s life.  Vinod Kumar B R, if you are reading this, you retained a BSNL customer. More importantly, you taught us what is the meaning of ‘work is worship’ and made us realize that we should apply the same thing at our work place, and also that we can leave a mark in this world and make a difference no matter who you are. Thank You.

Written by Anaamica

April 16, 2008 at 10:58 am

Posted in Events, Life

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