Thursday, January 26, 2017

The truth about Jallikattu and Spanish Bullfight

Jallikattu, Spanish Bullfight

Who said Jallikattu and Spanish Bullfight are somewhat of the same nature? In reality, both are far different from each other. Let’s have a deep understanding of both these sports so we can understand the difference between these two sports:

The Jallikattu is a bull taming sport which is typically practiced across certain villages in South Tamil Nadu and followers of the sports claim that it is an integral part of Tamil Culture. In ancient times, it was called as Yeru-thazhuvuthal which means bull embracing. Another name Manju Virattu signifies bull chasing. It is carried out on Mattu Pongal Day, 3rd day of Pongal celebrations.
The term Jallikattu has derived from Tamil words “Salli” or “Jalli” symbolizing Gold or Silver coins and “Kattu” means bag. So, the coins are tied to bull’s horns which are also the prize money for the winner. The sport involves releasing a bull into a public arena and the players must hold onto the hump of the bull for some particular time or distance before they can be declared as winners otherwise the bull wins. Whatever is the variant the aim is to bull hugging. The bull that wins is used as a stud to service numerous cows and preserve the native breed. This ancient sport is believed to have been practiced some 2500 years ago. The Jallikkattu game has become more competitive and not just about the coins but people bet big money on the bulls as well.
On the other hand, Spanish Bullfight is an integral part of the Spanish culture and custom which is indeed cruel and notorious in nature. The bullfight is composed of 3 separate acts; The Picadors, the assistant matadors, and the kill. At the end of these 3 acts, the creature is mercifully released by death. The bull is not an aggressive animal. But to make the bull aggressive, it is tortured. The ears of the bull are stuffed with wet newspapers, Nostrils are blocked with cotton, eyes are filled with Vaseline to blur vision and even genitals are pricked multiples times. Due to such horrendous abuse for continuous two days before the bullfight; he’s angry, weak, half-blinded and mentally destroyed animal. After witnessing this sheer horror, only the hardened and heartless people would consider a second visit.
Here are other points to be considered which give you more insight about the two:
In Jallikattu, the bulls are brought up with utmost care and the aim is to identify the best breed for mating. Also, no harm is done to the bull. In fact, participants are not allowed to use any kind of weapons, sticks, or tools. On the other hand, Spanish bullfight is only for entertainment where the bull is tortured, blinded and abused before it dies a painful death at the hands of matadors, all for the sake of showing bravado.
We have observed there can be no comparison between the two sports. Jallikattu is neither cruel towards the bull nor it is remotely similar to the Spanish Bullfight.
So, we should welcome the efforts taken by the youth, students and the people of TamilNadu to remove the supreme court ban on this sport. And yet, the results are fruitful!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ways to maintain friendship after marriage

Maintain friendship post marriage
Post Marriage, every one of us might have come across this dilemma - how to balance both i.e. our married life and maintain a cordial relationship with our good old friends. Often, we complain that so and so a friend has changed after marriage and not giving due importance to the friendship.

Since, after marriage everyone’s life, gets changed with the arrival of new family member and relatives in the house. It becomes important to nurture the new relationship; attention should also be given to maintaining friendship with your good friends so that they also don’t feel neglected.

Let’s have some look at the nine innovative ways to maintain friendship post marriage…

Prioritizing: As we grow older, our responsibilities increases and often we have to prioritize things. After marriage and kids, chances are there we might not be able to give enough time to our good friends which we once used to give. We might not be able to hang out with them like we did in our School/College days. However, good old friendship survives for the lifetime with the help of little coordination and communication. A little bit of prioritizing, understanding and time management will help us to manage family life along with our friendship.   
   
Arrange Get-together to maintain friendship: Organize School/College Reunion party or any such planned get-together. This is the best way to meet all your pals at once and know about their life events and share your life experiences with them.  
Organise Picnics, Camps, Short trips with family: Many times we can organize picnics or camps with families and friends. This way we can share and devote time to both our family and friends. These way families also bond with each other and get to know one another. Soon, friendship also evolves among them and they no longer feel left out and more they will rejoice in each other’s company.    
Phone Calls, Chatting: In the case when you’re unable to meet every other weekend, then stay in touch with your old friends through phone calls or chats or social media like Facebook. Share photos, events and messages with each other on WhatsApp groups and stay connected. This way you’ll able to maintain both favorably and conveniently.     
Get together during the marriage, festivals: Festivals and Celebrations are the reasons to enjoy and share quality time with family and good friends. Whether it’s your birthday or promotion party, try to invite your old friends and make them part of your celebrations. Also, meet up them during festivals like Christmas and New Year with family.
Invite home for lunch, dinner, Parties: After taking your spouse into confidence, invite your pals and family over lunch or dinner. You can always help your spouse in preparations and welcome your guest. This way you’ll able to spend quality time with your partner and your spouse also won’t feel loaded. Another thing is that your spouse will always be willing to have your friends and family home for such parties.
Going Shopping, Movies: Female friends can arrange for shopping, movies or one-day picnics. Whether it's grocery shopping or festival shopping, it can be always fun if you’re going with your best pals. Further, you can organize kitty parties or tea & snacks parties when your husband is on the duty.
Support during difficult times: Be with your good friends at the time of grief or loss. Your support and caring presence will help him/her cope with the pain and begin to heal. It strengthens the good relationship in the long run and the friendship gets locked for the lifetime.
Make new friends: It may be possible that over the years our old friends go with the new paths in their life and we’re all together on different paths. The chemistry and bonding might have vanished over the period of time. Go on make new friends – new couple or new mom/dad who can relate with you at present stage of your life. Make common friends so that your spouse is also part of your friendship and not left out.

So post marriage, don’t isolate yourself, make friends, do fun-filled activities and have a blast.

How do you maintain friendship post marriage? Share your valuable tips with us.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Sweet Pongal Recipe:Easy to cook at home

Sweet Pongal Recipe


Today is my favorite festival and I prepared sweet pongal. It is a traditional dessert of Tamilnadu made with rice and jaggery.From cashew to cardamom, rice and jaggery, the preparation of sweet Pongal are too tempting for anyone to resist. Just as the name says, the Pongal festival is celebrated by preparing Pongal (a sweet dessert) at home. Marking the importance of harvest and to worship the Sun God, the Pongal is prepared with newly harvested rice along with ghee, jaggery, cashew nuts and more.

Sweet pongal also known as Sakkarai pongal or Chakkara pongal is prepared at everyone’s home in Tamil Nadu during Pongal festival.

Here is how I prepared the sweet pongal

Cooking time: 60 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

Raw rice - 200 grams
Jaggery- 400 grams
Water - 2 cups
Milk - 1 cup
Elachi - 5 pieces
Cashew - 10-15
Ghee - 100 ml
Saffron ½ gram

The method of preparation:

  • Take a thick bottom pan
  • Boil water and add washed raw rice to it
  • Allow it to boil and add 1 cup milk
  • Keep stirring to avoid the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan
  • Once the rice is cooked, add jaggery (Broken jaggery)
  • Keep stirring it continuously
  • Add a pinch of elaichi and stir it for 20 minutes
  • Add the cashew (You can fry them in ghee) and also the saffron strands
  • Keep stirring it for 10 minutes and pour enough ghee.
  • Tasty sweet pongal is ready now.

Here is another exciting sweet pongal recipe
Sweet Pongal Recipe

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 people

Ingredients:

½ cup of Rice (Kolum rice if possible)
¼ cup of Moong dal
1 cup of jaggery (grated)
2 tbsp of cashew nuts
2-3 tbsp of raisins
¼ tsp of cardamom powder
¼ cup of ghee
½ cup of ghee for making jaggery syrup

Initial preparation of sweet pongal

Take the rice and dal. Dry and roast them in separate vessels till they are hot. Do not wait till their color changes while frying them.
Take a pressure cooker and add 2 ½ cups of water to it and pressure cook them.
Mash the mixture and keep it aside.

Method for sweet pongal recipe

  • Take a pan and add ¼ cup of water in it. Heat till the water is hot and add jaggery in it.
  • When the jaggery gets dissolved in the water, filter the water.
  • Take a pan on medium flame and heat 1 tsp of ghee in it and add boiled jaggery water in it.
  • Take 1 cup of water in a cup and place 1 tsp of jaggery syrup in it. If the syrup dissolves in the cup, leave the water on a medium flame for few minutes.
  • When the syrup dissolves in the cup, it is now time to add the preparation of sweet Pongal in it.
  • Now add the mashed rice and dal to the water. Cook and mix well for few more minutes.
  • When everything gets well mixed and blended, add the cardamom powder to it.
  • Take 1 tsp of ghee and fry the cashew nuts in it. When they turn slightly golden, decorate them on the well-cooked mixture of rice and dal.
  • Fry the raisins till they grow thick in ghee and spread it on the mixture along with the ghee used to fry.
  • Cook the mixture on low heat for few more minutes and serve when it’s hot.

Out of the two Sweet pongal recipes, the first one is my all time favorite.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Homemade Chicken Zafrani


Restaurant food is my inspiration!
Yes, I need outside food at least once in a week to keep my taste buds alive!

Recently, tried the Chicken Zafrani at Punjabi Dhaba which inspired me to try a homemade version of it. I used the ingredients easily available at home.

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes Cooking Time: 45 Minutes
Marinate Time: 2 hours Cuisine: Punjabi
Taste: Spicy Serves: 2

Ingredients

Boneless chicken - 250 gms
Milk - 250 ml
Curd - 100 ml (50 ml to marinate and 50 ml for cooking)
Ginger garlic paste - 30 grams
Bay leaves - 2-3 leaves
Onions - 2 large
Almond - 25 grams
Cashew - 25 grams
Saffron
Ghee
Turmeric powder
Red chili powder
Garam Masala
Salt

To Marinate:

Wash the chicken pieces and marinate it with turmeric powder and curd and leave it for 2 hours
You can add vinegar too (but I used only curd)

To Soak:

Soak the Almonds in water for 2 hours and peel them.
Soak the cashew in water/milk for 30 minutes

Step 1:

Boil the milk and keep it aside
In a separate bowl, pour 3-4 spoons of hot milk to soak the saffron strands

Step 2:

In a pan, add some ghee and saute chopped onions for about 5 minutes (I added half spoon of sugar and salt to it).
Saute till the onion releases a nice flavor
Remove it from the flame and keep it aside

Step 3:

In a mixer, add the peeled almonds, cashew, and onions and to make a paste.
Add milk instead of water and make a thick paste.

The actual cooking begins now: Homemade Chicken Zafrani

  • In a pan, add ghee (as per your preference) and add some bay leaves
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and cover the pan for 2 minutes
  • Now, add the chicken pieces and leave it for 10-15 minutes  (Stir it occasionally)
  • Add curd, chilly powder, garam masala and salt and saute for 2 minutes
  • Now, add the milk and bring it to boil
  • Add the onion. Almond, cashew paste, and cook for 15 minutes
  • Finally, add the saffron dipped in milk to the gravy and leave it for 1 minute
  • Remove it from the flame and serve it hot

I served this rich tasty Chicken Zafrani with Chapatis however, it goes well with any Indian bread varieties.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

7 tips to help you buy a smartphone


7 tips to help you buy a smartphone

The Smartphone market is an extremely competitive one. With Manufacturers coming up with a new device every other week, the choice of buying a new smartphone can be very confusing for the average Joe. Here are a few handy tips, in no particular order, to simplify the tech mumbo jumbo and help you to buy a Smartphone for your needs.


Here is what you should look for before you buy a smartphone:


1. The Display: Look for the Resolution and size of the display. The higher the resolution, the better the screen will be to look at. Size is subjective. Some people a small screen for single hand use while some want a larger display to enjoy movies and photos on the go. Also, pay attention to the Display type. Display type can be LCD or AMOLED. IPS LCD will give accurate colors, while you can choose a phone with AMOLED display if you like punchy colors and high contrast.

2. The Processor: The increasing pixel count in a smartphone display also means that the processor will have to be that much powerful to drive the display and keep refresh rate of the screen high so that the Smartphone feels snappy. Choose a processor with higher Clock speed and more cores for a fast experience. And oh, did I mention games will also run smooth?!!

3. The Memory: Both RAM and Internal memory. RAM is the memory the processor uses to do calculations and keep the phone running smoothly and Internal memory is the memory which is used to store the operating system and applications. Just buy a smartphone with the maximum of both of these that you can afford.

4. The Camera: The smartphone camera is the Tool for upping your social media game. Look for “Megapixels” and “F-stop”. Higher the Megapixels, the more the detail in your photos and Lower the F-stop number, the better the camera will perform in Low light situations. If you are into Selfies or a die-hard Selfie addict, there are smartphones with same megapixels in the front as the main back camera and front firing Flash.

5. The Battery: The best of displays, processor and camera are worthless if the battery runs out before you call it a day. buy a smartphone with a bigger “mAH” (mili Ampere Hour) number. If you are always near a socket you can get by with fast charging tech. Look for terms like turbo charge or dash charge.

6. Protection: If you are a person who has clumsy hands or forgets to remove your phone from the pocket before a dip in the pool, then this one is important for you. Look for displays with Corning Gorilla glass for shatter and scratch resistance, While IP or Ingress protection will save your phone from a splash or a quick dip for a few minutes.

7. The Operating system: Some Manufacturers update the operating system of their smartphones more frequently and for a longer time than other manufacturers. If you are security conscious or just want the latest operating system, choose the manufacturer with proven track record of updating their smartphones.

While choosing a Smartphone it is important to be clear about the priorities and expectations in a budget. We hope these tips will make your choice a lot easier by giving insights about things that matter the most to you and help you buy a smartphone.

In 2017, all phones are expected to have a panic button? Do you know how it helps? Click here to read more.