Thursday, March 29, 2007

Chicken Casserole for JFI

Tomatoes, red glowing, colorful

"India is a land of colors". I have written this line as an opening statement for the "Holi" essay at school once every year till 5th grade, more if the essay was in the exams (after that I found better introductory statements) and read it innumerable times. The line remains etched in my mind, a part of my being. Never really paid attention to it, and it remained just another statement.

I missed my family, my home and lots of other Indian "ness" when I came here but never really missed "Colors of India". This land seemed colorful to me too, beautiful fall colors, the fresh clean green, the scrubbed blue sky, clean and beautiful.

I didn't miss the vibrant pink of saris in the crowded supermarket, the turquoise blue of the swirling chunnis in the workplace, the splash of canary yellow on the Asian paints billboards (btw did you know that the guy with the brush in those ads was known as Gattu ?) , the flashing gold of the bangles of the lady selling the veggies. No, I was happy with the subtle pastel colors until a sleep time chat session with the 3 year old.

Nudge, nudge she goes at the most opportune moment

"Yes darling" I say sticking to the neo-mother technique which insists you be sweet and calm and encouraging to the kid at all times even if you she nudges you out of slumber at 11:30 at night

"You know Didun(maternal grandma) says in Kolkata there is no bathtub, but there is a shower and she has many buckets too", the little one informs

"That would do fine" I say, not reminding her that on her last visit she would sit in one of those buckets filled with water and have a blast.

"You know Didun says, in Kolkata she has a pink bucket, a purple bucket, a green bucket, a pink mug and a red mug” she says all excited

"Wow really?? That’s nice, now close your eyes" I say, trying to sound cheerful at the vision of all those buckets lined up

"But we have to go to Kolkata with Didun, we have to get those pink, red and green buckets here and I want to bring the pink mug too", she insists.

Not happy with her sole dull blue bucket she craves for what but pink and purple buckets, something hard to find here and she knows they are there in India -- "the Land of Colors".

That made me sit up and notice how such vibrant colors in the most unexpected places influence us and I thank JFI for giving an opportunity to explore a color and taste each month. So this is for JFI Tomato hosted by RP of MyWorkshop and brain child of Mahanadi. Thanks RP and Indira.

This Chicken Casserole is a Tomato based dish I had learned long time ago from Sanjeev Kapoor, either from his web site or TV. However I had forgotten all about it for the last 2 years. Searching for a Tomato recipe, that would be different from my everyday Tomato dishes (have tomato, add tomato theory I follow) I thought of this but the site was no longer available except for a price. That would be a expensive JFI recipe I thought. But browsing through my old recipe book I chanced upon a Chicken Casserole which was almost what Sanjeev Kapoor had suggested and the memories came back. So I followed the recipe in the book almost but it was Sanjeev Kapoor whom I associate with this dish


Spicy Chicken Casserole

What You Need

Serves 3-4 adults if accompanied with other dishes. Serves 2 if you are greedy and hungry :)

Chicken ~ 1 lb cut up in small pieces. I used chicken breast
Red Onion ~ 1 medium chopped in large pieces
Baby Carrots ~ sliced in halves about 1 cup
Red bell pepper ~ 1 chopped in thin rings
Green Chillies ~ 3-4 chopped
Tomato paste ~ 2/3 cup. I used Hunt's Tomato paste.
Tomato ketchup ~ 1 tbsp. Use Maggi Hot&Sweet or some tangy ketchup
Ginger Juice ~ 2 tsp
Peppercorns ~ whole pepper corns coarsely crushed 1 tsp. If you don’t like the taste of this in your mouth you can ground them fine

Red Chilli Powder ~ 1/2 tsp or more
Bay Leaves ~ 2
Green Cardamom ~ 2
Butter ~ 1tbsp or more

For marinade

Vinegar ~ 1 tbsp
Ginger paste ~ 2 tsp heaped
garlic paste ~ 1 tsp heaped
Chilli powder ~ 1/2 tsp
Maida ~ 1 tbsp

Olive Oil

How I Did It

Marinade the chicken pieces with 1 tbsp of Vinegar, 2 heaped tsp of ginger paste, 1 tsp of garlic paste, ½ tsp of Chilli powder and a little salt in a bowl. Keep aside for half an hour or more.
Chop the onion, carrots and red bell pepper as said
Sprinkle 1 tbsp of maida on the chicken and mix it lightly
Heat Olive Oil or any other suitable oil in Kadhai/Frying Pan
Add 1 clove of garlic chopped.
As soon as you get the fragrance of garlic add the chicken pieces. Do not add all the chicken pieces together by tipping the bowl as this will add the remnant liquid too. You want to lightly brown the chicken and you do not want any water/liquid in there.
Lightly sauté (do not fry them up) the chicken pieces and as soon as they are lightly golden brown, remove and keep aside
In the oil add 2 Bay Leaves and 2 Cardamom
Add the onions and sauté till they are soft and pink
Add the sliced carrots and the bell pepper rings. Cover and cook till they are a little soft, not totally done but slightly soft
Add the green chillies and the ½ tsp or more of red chilli powder
Add about 2/3 cup of Tomato Paste and 1 tbsp of Tomato Ketchup and sauté
Add the chicken and mix thoroughly
Add 2 tsp of Ginger juice, salt and the crushed peppercorn
Add a little water, very little and let it come to a simmer and switch it off

Then Bake...
Heat Oven to 350F
Transfer the chicken along with gravy, veggies etc. to a oven safe bowl
Add butter and cover this dish and bake
Should be done in 15 minutes. Let it sit in the oven after that for some more time. That is what I did.
Best had by itself or with Chapati or Bread

Note: The dish looks beautiful with all the red & orange. You can add other veggies too to offset the colour and have more green veggies.
Next time I am going to increase the "hot" level as this was not enough for me, maybe the chillis lacked the required hotness
The peepercorns were lightly crushed, you may powder it if you do not want to bite into peppercorns in your mouth
You can make your own Tomato paste if you want
If you have the Tomato paste, this dish is quick to prepare

Trivia:There have been several legends about Tomato. A story goes that the lingering doubts about the safety of the tomato in the United States were largely put to rest in 1820, when Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson announced that at noon on September 26, he would eat a basket of tomatoes in front of the Salem, New Jersey, courthouse. Reportedly, a crowd of more than 2,000 persons gathered in front of the courthouse to watch the poor man die after eating the poisonous fruits, and were shocked when he lived.(Source: Wiki)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Papaya Tamarind Chutney

"I se Imli" for Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables this week!!! Imli or Tamarind or Tetul is not an integral part of Bengali cooking. If you knock at my doors on a random Tuesday and ask me for some Tamarind, you will have to go back home disgruntled as I generally don’t have any. But since I like sambhar I get some Tamarind paste off and on, so you still might knock and get lucky.

Tamarind however plays a special and coveted role when it comes to “tak” or “chaatni” for Bengalis. Ripe Tamarind mixed with little mustard oil, salt, sugar and a bit of chilli powder (the concoction commonly known as “Makha Tetul”) on a summer afternoon was something we used to drool over as kids and were allowed to have only occasionally. At my Mamarbari (maternal grandparents house) my Ma’s cousin sisters would make this and we would quietly devour it at the corner of the roof on a hot summer afternoon.

We also use Tamarind for making chutney or achaar but they are rarely if ever used in cooking.
I was pleasantly surprised when I saw “Ka(n)cha Tetul” or “Raw Tamarind” in my Indian Grocery store. Visions of “Tetul er tak” a light chaatni made with Tamarind mesmerized me and I brought them home. My Ma suggested we pair these up with Raw Green Papaya to make a chaatni and that is what I did. So heres "Pepe Tetul er Chaatni" or "Green Papaya and Tamarind Chutney". We usually have this chutney with lunch or dinner. Its sweet and sour with the Tamarind and little crunchy with the Papaya.


Green Papaya Tamarind Chutney

What You Need

Serves 4

Papaya ~ 1 cup. Unripe Green Papaya peeled and thinly sliced 1 cup. When you cut raw papaya make sure to peel the skin, and when you reach the part which has the white seeds remove the seeds. You should also remove the little hard skin at the centre

Unripe Raw Tamarind ~ 6 cut in halves. Remove the ends and then cut them in halves or more for bigger ones
Mustard seeds ~ ½ tsp
Sugar ~ Started with 1/4 cup but was a little too sour for us so added 1/6 cup more
Ginger Juice ~ 1 tsp


How I Did It

Pressure cook the papaya slices. Take care that they are just cooked and not very soft. I put them in a separator in my pressure cooker and put water only at the bottom of the cooker, none in the separator. If you want you can do away with this step and cook it later too, I wanted it quick so I pressure cooked.
Soak the halved tamarinds in water
Heat Oil
Add mustard seeds
As soon as they sputter add the tamarind
Saute for couple of minutes and add the papaya.
Add salt, water and let it cook. Add water depending on how thick you want your chutney to be.
When the tamarind has become soft add the sugar and the ginger juice
Let it cook and the chaatni thicken to your desired consistency. Usually I don't have it very thick

Tip: When you are cutting raw papaya make sure that you remove the seeds and the hard skin next to the skin at the core. I don't know what it is called but if not removed the papaya may taste bitter when cooked. This is for dear Sushma's MTC -- Monthly Cooking Tipology . Check details at her blog Recipe Source

Safety Moment: Women in India and South East Asia and other parts of the world have used papaya for contraception and abortion since long and this is proven by Medical research so be careful to have Papaya when you are expecting. Though small amounts of ripe papaya does not cause any harm check with your doctor for authenticity as I do not know more about this effect. This is for lovely Jyotsna's event Safety Moment. Check more at her blog CurryBazaar

Trivia:Women in India and South East Asia and other parts of the world have used papaya for contraception and abortion since long and this is proven by Medical research so be careful to have Papaya when you are expecting.Papaya is rich in an enzyme called papain and other proteins and used as a digestive medicine (Source: Wiki)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Pineapple Chaatni/Chutney

Indian Pineapple Chutney

I have been waiting to see "The NameSake" (author Jhumpa Lahiri)but now they say it released only in select theaters and none of the theaters in my area belong to this elite group. So I have to wait I guess till it’s on DVD. I have read the book and liked it immensely. I admit that "The Interpreter of Maladies" was better, the short stories more crisp and succinct but I like this one for a whole different reason. I like it because of the oneness I feel with Ashima. The book narrates the story of a young Bengali immigrant couple (Ashoke & Ashima) who immigrate to Boston for higher studies in the early 70's and then the story deals with their settling down in the US, the kids growing up here and with everything that an South East Asian Immigrant has to deal with emotionally

It’s been 3 decades since Ashoke & Ashima made their journey and USA has changed a lot since, for one it’s more open to Asian and South Asian people and culture. Specifically the state I am in is almost like the 29th Indian state ripped apart and placed in the wrong continent, ok almost. I don't have to mix Rice Krispies with peanuts, chili and mustard Oil like Ashima, I get Muri/Mamra and I can get a closer cousin to JhalMuri than she could (not like the JhalMuri in the Kolkata Local Train but close). And Yet I feel the oneness the closeness with Ashima, if she was my neighbor we would be best friends maybe.

Like her I am apprehensive to raise my daughter in a country I still don't know much about.
I have a gnawing fear of the day she might stop responding to me in Bangla, and her accent will be difficult for me to follow (Bangla or Bengali is the language we speak at home, no English there).
I am deep down worried that she will look forward to Christmas more than she will ever do to Durga Puja, a festival close to my hearts, a festival we would wait for with fervor as soon as Summers heat mellowed down.
I don't know how I will explain to her how I with my friends, wearing our Ma's yellow saree, would go puja hopping on the morning of Saraswati Pujo from one school to other as she goes around for "Trick or Treat" on Halloween.
I am at a loss thinking what should I tell my daughter when she goes to her first prom, I have nothing, no experience to share with her. There are so many questions I need to get an answer to before I can even explain to my daughter as she grows up here.

I guess I will figure out like Ashima did and she will too like Gogol.

But even though it has been 3 decades there are some things in the book so true about the bengali immigrant community that I can easily identify with it.

A typical lunch menu that Ashima prepares and Lahiri goes on to narrate is "lamb curry with potatoes, luchis, thick channa dal with swollen brown raisins, pineapple chutney, sandesh molded out of saffron-tinted ricotta cheese"

As I was re reading the book, the "Pineapple Chutney" struck me and that what it is going to be for this Sundays Lunch where couple of our friends are coming over I thought. Perfect for AFAM and perfect for a Bengali Lunch

For Maheshwari the gracious hostess of AFAM at Beyond The Usual, I prepared this in a small qauntity yesterday and its extremely easy and quick to prepare. Sweet, a bit spicy and rich yellow in colour this chaatni/chutney is perfect to complement any lunch or dinner menu

Pineapple Chaatni/Chutney

What You Need

Serves 4

Crushed Pineapple ~ 1/2 of a 20 oz can . I used Dole Brand Crushed Pineapple 
If using fresh pineapples, use 2 cups of pineapple chopped in small pieces
Dry Red Chillies ~ 2
Mustard Seeds ~ 1/2 tsp (not heaped)
Ginger Julienne ~ 1 tsp
Sugar ~ 1/8 cup
For fresh pineapple, more sugar will be needed, at least 1/2 cup
Lime juice -- juice from a quarter of a lime
Salt ~ according to taste
Mustard Oil ~ 1 & ½ tbsp

Bhaja Masla  ~ ½ tsp

How I Did It

Heat Oil in Kadhai/Frying Pan
Add mustard seeds and dry red chillies. Cover if you are afraid of mustard seeds dancing around
When the seeds pop add the ginger .
Add the crushed pineapple If using fresh pineapple add them instead of the canned.
Add salt and sprinkle turmeric powder.
Saute the pineapple for 4-5 minutes and then add about 1 cup of warm water.Also add juice of a quarter of a lime.
Cook the pineapple pieces for 5-6 minutes and then add sugar. Cover and cook till pineapple pieces have softened. This will happen very quick for the canned one. For the fresh this will take about 40-45 minutes.
Sprinkle a pinch of bhaja masla to finish

The movie review for The NameSake from SepiaMutiny -- Read the comments too, very interesting

Trivia:The Spanish explorers thought pineapple looked like a pine cone, so they called it "pina." The English added "apple" to associate it with juicy delectable fruits. South American Indians had a name for pineapple meaning "fragrant excellent fruit," which became the basis for its botanical name: ananas.(Source:here)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

MySpice -- Turmeric

Turmeric known as Haldi in Hindi and Halud in Bengali, is another spice omnipresent in Indian culture, not only in cooking but also as a part of various other rituals.
It is a member of the Ginger family and is native to South East Asia. The root is dried and ground to a fine bright Yellow Powder which is used extensively to flavor and color Indian curries. The Sanskrit word for Turmeric is Haridra which means “Yellow Wood” and that is what the dried root looks like. The spice has an earthy, bitter flavor, and it is added to Indian curries in a very small proportion as an excess of it ruins the taste

Turmeric is also used extensively in Indian rituals and signifies prosperity and fertility. In Indian Hindu weddings, applying turmeric paste to the bride and groom on the morning of the wedding is an important part of the wedding ceremony. In Bengali weddings its the grooms side who send this turmeric paste along with several other gifts for the bride on the morning of the wedding and these gifts are known as "Gaye Halud er Tatwa"

In the Southern Part of India, Turmeric is also a offered to married women as part of a ritual called “Haldi Kumkum”. Please correct me as I am not much aware of this ritual.

Why Turmeric Is Good For You

In Ayurveda Medicine, turmeric is considered to have numerous medicinal properties. It was considered as an antiseptic and antibacterial agent in India and was used for cuts and burns. It was also said to purify blood and my Ma insisted that a small ball of turmeric paste & jaggery (fresh turmeric was used for this and not the powder) eaten every morning would purify the blood and alleviate all stomach problems. Its another thing that the pungent taste of freshly grated or ground turmeric didn’t actually salivate my taste buds and so I would keep away from those tiny balls of goodness

Turmeric contains Curcumin which is anti-inflammatory and used for psoriasis treatment.Recent studies have shown that turmeric reduces cholesterol, blocks progression of neurological diseases like Alzheimers and works wonder in short

A very nice and appetizing way to include fresh Turmeric in my diet other than the powder which I simply cannot live without is something I learnt from M (not a Bong but a Marathi), a cousin of my cousin M. So say M1 is my cousin and M2 is M1’s cousin. Now M2 (an excellent cook) has been very kind and has fed me delectable food on two occasions, but stupid me has lost her number and since M1 has moved back to India, have never been able to call M2 since.
Now once when we were at M2’s for dinner she declared “I have to have green chillies with my meal, I love munching on them and I always do this”, saying which she took out a pretty flat container from the refrigerator where in there were sliced vibrant green chillies and slivers of bright orange carrot like thing floating in lime juice. Very happily I too took some of the chillies and the “orange” thing thinking all the time “why the carrot tasted different”. On finally giving voice to my thought, M2 said the weren’t carrots but juliennes of fresh turmeric and I was hooked.

Turmeric in Lime Juice

Since then I buy fresh yellow turmeric from the Indian Grocery Store when ever I remember to do so, peel the outer skin, cut them up in juliennes, slit some green chillies, squeeze some lime juice and let the slivers of turmeric and green chillies soak in the lime juice with a little salt.
Note: Alternately in a mason jar add 1/4th Cup Vinegar, 1/4th Cup Water, few whole peppercorns, mustard seed, red chili flakes. Salt and sugar if you need it. Add the julienned Turmeric and green chilies to it. 
Refrigerate them and they stay good for couple of weeks. As the days go by the pungent flavor of turmeric is mellowed down and they taste better. So if you do not like them on Day One give them a try couple of days later.
Have it with your meal as a substitute for the pickle or let the pickle be and have it as one more thing with your meal.

Turmeric Info source: Me and my family, Wiki & this

Update: From all the comments I wanted to make a few updates which I think would be useful for everyone
Shilpa of Flog&Rosbif said she doesn't like the "staining" part which is true. I forgot to say, chopping up the turmeric may stain the chopping board so put a plastic wrap on your chopping board and then chop. Hands can be cleaned with rubbing lime on them, and even simple soap & water is fine. But if you have a French Manicure...
Maheshwari of Beyond The Usual said they use Turmeric for removing odor of meat while cooking
KitchenFairy of Secret of Taste and Gini of Salt & Pepper said that turmeric paste was used for cosmetic purposes. Yeah applying turmeric paste on your face etc. is one of the many popular uses in India
Supriya of Spice Corner says even the leaves are used to make some dishes for Ganesh Chaturthi.
Sunita of Sunita's World said they have a custom similar to Bengali Weddings called "mah-halodhi"

This goes to Weekend Herb Blogging brain child of Kalyn's Kitchen and hosted this week by Becky of Key Lime & Coconut

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Chaal Kopi ~ a Cauliflower Dish

I have a tough life you know. After I have done my days share and fed the kid, read to her and am almost dozing off to sleep, she nudges me.
“Hmmmmmm”, I say
“Do you know what I want to be when I grow up?” the little one chirps.
I have no clue and this is not a good time to discuss career options I think, but who am I to decide anything

“I want to be a Painter, a Doctor, the One with the Hammer and also the Cleaning lady” she says very enthusiastically

Interesting combo I think and why not, this is a free country let her be whatever she wants to

“That’s nice”, I say and shut my eyes tighter only to be nudged again

“What do you want to be when You grow up?” she questions

I am being given a second chance here and what I really want to be is a billionaire lazing in a private island and enjoying good food and blogging about my high-falutin life maybe.
But that’s not what you tell a kid if you are the mother

“Painter”, I say deciding on a safer option
“But I am already going to be a Painter”, she argues
“Then You decide” I say, hoping to resolve the problem quickly

“You can be the Base Ball Player”, she suggests
Not my cup of tea that, so I say “But I don’t know to play Base Ball”

“You just have to wear a white cap and hit a ball with a bat, it’s easy, you can do it if you try” she says very knowledgeably

So I dream of how famous I am going to be hitting that ball and doze off to sleep thinking of Fame, Fortune and Fulkopi. Fulkopi in Bengali, Cauliflower in English and Gobi in Hindi that's G for Nupur’s “A – Z of Indian Vegetables” this week. Now don’t ask me why Fame & Fortune led me to dream of Fulkopi, ask Freud.

Chaal Kopi Or Cauliflower cooked in spices with a smattering of Rice is a very tasty and different dish. The rice is just that little bit and it’s the Cauliflower that dominates the taste. This recipe is from my Bengali Recipe Book and my Ma never made this. The dish is dry and goes well with rice or Chapati.


Chaal Kopi ~ Cauliflower cooked in spices with a smattering of rice

What You Need

Cauliflower ~ 1 cut into large sized florets. The large is the key here, do not chop into small fine pieces else they will turn mushy, see the pic.
Potato (optional)  ~ 1 large cut into large longitudinal pieces
Tomato ~ 1 medium chopped into small pieces, you can also used canned whole tomatoes
Green Chillies ~ 3 chopped or slit
Green Peas ~ 1/3 cup

For Masala
Cumin Powder ~ 1 tsp
Ginger paste ~ 1" grated
Turmeric Powder ~ 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp 
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp to sprinkle at the end

For Phoron or Tempering

Tej Pata or Bay Leaves ~ 2
Elaichi or Cardamom ~ 4
Cinnamon sticks ~1" thin stick
Dry Red Chili - 2 Dry
Coarsely bruise the above Whole Garam Masala

Basmati Rice ~ 1/3 cup soaked in water
Peanuts ~ 1/3 cups
Raisins ~ 10/15

Sugar ~ 1/2 tsp
Ghee ~ 1 tsp

How I Did It

Chop the cauliflower in florets as shown in pic
Chop potatoes and dunk in water, chop tomatoes & green chillies real small. 
Heat Oil in Kadhai/Frying Pan
Sauté the cauliflower florets with a little turmeric and salt till they take on a light golden hue. Remove and keep aside
Sauté the potatoes till they too turn a light golden and remove and keep aside
Sauté the rice and the peanuts and when you get that nice smell, remove and keep aside
To the hot oil add the phoron i.e. the Bay Leaves, Cardamom, Cinnamon Sticks (coarsely bruisely the cardamom & cinnamon sticks) 
When they start sputtering add the tomatoes & green chillies and sauté till the tomatoes are well done and are mushy
Add the Cumin Powder, Red Chili Powder and the Ginger paste and fry the masala till you see the oil separating from the masala
Add the peas and potatoes and mix well. Next, add the cauliflower florets and mix well so that the masala coats all the veggies
Now add the rice and the peanuts and mix
Add salt and ½ tsp of sugar and the raisins
Add water. I added about 1 and ½ cup to start with. Basically the veggies etc. should be partly immersed in the water, as they along with the rice need to be cooked. But since you do not want the cauliflower to overcook, be careful with the water and start with less to be cautious
Cook covered on medium heat and check in between, if needed add a little more water
Check to see that rice, and the veggies are cooked. If done add ½ tsp of Ghee. The recipe called for 1 tsp but I added only ½ tsp
The end result should be dry but do not overcook to dry off the water, so I again reiterate add water consciously
Sprinkle a little Garam Masala Powder if the cauliflower is not the freshest one and has a slightly pungent smell

Note for the Busy Mom: If you are cooking on a busy weekday, cut all the vegetables in this recipe before hand as in the previous day when you have no cooking chores. Remember to soak chopped potatoes in water else they develop a ugly black spot

Trivia:This dish has a prominent role in the movie Bend It Like Beckham—the film's DVD contains a featurette titled How to cook Aloo gobi., with the film's director making the dish. This led to the pickup line 'Why cook aloo gobi, when you can Bend It Like Beckham".

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Food etc.

The Trip : $XXX

The Room with A View : $YYY

The Restaurant: $ZZZ

Since you guys missed all the food, heres some more yummy Malaysian fare for you

Penang, a restaurant offering Malaysian cuisine is a big favourite of ours. The food is simply superb.
A couple of weekends back we went to Penang at West Windsor, NJ. This is the first time we visited the restaturant at this location. We used to frequent the one at Edison, NJ earlier but I must say this one has a much better ambience.

The service and the ambience was pretty good and the food very good and very nicely presented. This one also offered Thai, but we stuck to the Malaysian menu.

We started with some Roti Telur -- Indian Style Stuffed Egg Paratha with a chicken curry and Satay Ayam -- Chicken grilled in Skewers served with peanut Sauce

For the main Dish we ordered Ayam Rendang, Mango Chicken, Ikon Bilish -- made with anchovies and Pineapple Fried Rice

Ayam Rendang-- A spicy chicken curry cooked with onions, lemon grass etc.

Mango Chicken -- Chicken cooked with shredded mango in a sweet & sour sauce and served in Mango Shell

Fried Icecream-- The dessert was ok though the kids liked it

We carried some leftovers home and we enjoyed them all the more the next day. Say why ?? 'Coz we could lick our fingers and the plate !!!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Remove Plagiarism -- March 5th

Plagiarism -- much has been said about it and I am not going to reiterate.

But it hurts to see when the content and the pictures we so lovingly create and put up being stolen and used. Most of us bloggers, blog to vent their creativity, they find it as a channel to showcase their passion, to share what they love doing with million others.
We all know that Internet is open and we were always aware that our work could be used by others, after all we all use free icons, free javascrips, free information. But we do that only when it says that is for "FREE". We do not abuse the free availability of this information (though there are people who do so)

However when we bloggers want to protect our content and we state that explicitly in the copyright statements all we expect is the user to use that information but not to lift it straight off our web page. We want them to post a request in the numerous comments that we have, to ask our permission, to use the content if permission is given and in the manner the owner says and last but not the least to give due credits. This is not much to ask for, after all we are entitled to our creative copyrights.

If large organizations like Yahoo do not behave responsibly and lift contents as stated here, we can not expect much from small independent sites like etc. It would not do Yahoo much good if they rise up one morning to see an exact replica of their portal with their Logo, Design and Content stolen, right ? And that's why they have lawyers drawing up statements like
"Yahoo! respects the intellectual property of others, and we ask our users to do the same. Yahoo! may, in appropriate circumstances and at its discretion, terminate the accounts of users who infringe the intellectual property rights of others. "

So why don't they practice what they preach ?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Happy Holi

Rang Jama De,

Dhoom Macha De,

Holi Hai !!!!

Colourful Wishes to all of you on Holi