Thai dragon chilli pickle

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Pickle with a fiery kick! Here is what you need:

2-3 cups of thai dragon and Tabasco chilli peppers

equal amounts of ginger and garlic (peeled)

2 cups vinegar

2 cups mustard oil

1/2 cup freshly ground mustard seeds

3 heaped tablespoons of coriander seed

salt to taste

jars for storing

Chop the ginger and garlic with one cup vinegar in a food processor.  Heat mustard oil in a pan and start frying the ginger garlic until well roasted. Add the mustard powder and coriander powder and salt and keep frying. Grind the chillies with a half cup vinegar and add to the pan.  Keep frying and add the salt and fry a lot. Add the last half cup vinegar. Fry for a bit and then let sit until cooled down. Put into jars and store in fridge. Have to figure out if this can be preserved. If anyone has tips on that please do let me know.

Rajesh Khanna – the end of a legend!

The man who mesmerized women of all ages for almost a decade, got letters from them written their own blood, and caused mass hysteria wherever he went, Rajesh Khanna, is the subject of this documentary:

BBC reporter Jack Pizzey managed to get exceptional access to Rajesh Khanna and the result is this fascinating documentary – Rajesh Khanna – Bombay Superstar. Continue reading

Playing catchup with films I missed – Fincher’s Dragon Tattoo, Sherlock Holmes A Game of Sahdows, We Bought a Zoo and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy!

Traveling in interesting. While I usually detox from the net while traveling, airplanes give me a chance to catchup on films I missed seeing in theaters. A long trip to Rome and back was so much fun (more on that in one or more separate posts), and also gave me a chance to see so many films. Here is what I caught up with:

1. Girl with a Dragon Tattoo: The Fincher version was no doubt edited for airplane viewing (though came with many strict warnings for parents) but it was a pale shadow of the original Swedish version. It did not help that Daniel Craig pouted his way through the film as Mikhael Blomkvist and either was unable to portray, or did not have the script direction to portray, the inner demons that plagued Blomkvist. Rooney Mara was not an adequate replacement for Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander. But the film is recommended viewing for those who shun subtitled films, and are either unable to or reluctant to see the original. I know we were not supposed to sympathize much with the prickly Lisbeth, but the vulnerabilities in her and her inner strength never came through in this version!

2. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Tomas Alfredson’s adaptation of the stunning spy novel by John le Carre (his second best after The Spy Who Came in From the Cold) is highly recommended. Smiley has just been “retired” from the Circus, as we learn that there is a Russian mole in the outfit. The book (as all le Carre books) was not a thriller by any means, but the movie manages to thrill in ample measure, ably helped by an awesome cast of Gary Oldman (as Smiley) and Colin Firth, John Hurt, Ciaran Hinds etc. A complex tale, perhaps better appreciated upon second viewing, or by those who have read the book, highly recommended.

3. Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows: Only Robert Downey Jr. can make one NOT DETEST the turning of a cerebral detective into a buffoonish action hero. Ably assisted by Jude Law as Watson, the duo are again on the hunt to thwart the evil schemes of Dr. Moriarty and save the world from ruin. Noomi Rapace has a bit role and does well.

4. We Bought A Zoo: Based on the real life story of a man who bought a zoo to escape from the tragedy his wife’s death, this is a heartwarming tale, perfect for curling into a blanket and watching on a rainy day. Damon does well as the ordinary man you cannot help admire and like, and Scarlett Johannson manages to hide the oomph and portray an animal expert working at the zoo. Damon has this amazing ability to portray the ordinary, the action hero (Bourne series) and the skewed and crazy too (Talented Mr. Ripley, The Informant). Recommended if you want warm and fuzzy and feelgood!

Easy baked tofu and veggies – a healthy low carb meal!

Tofu Bake


Two packs of extra firm tofu cut into 2 inch by i inch by 1 inch pieces, you can set these between paper towels to drain
Continue reading

Asli Naqli – Dev Anand and Hrishikesh Mukherjee

Added today after spending a long day listening to Dev Saab’s songs and celebrating his life!

It is hard to imagine that Dev Saab is gone. But then he lived for me as a perennial heartthrob in his films of the 50s, 60s and 70s! And no one can take them away from me. Long conversations all day today were about his songs, beautiful songs, but also about the second phase of his career. I simply want to adore the Dev of the Black and white films, I want to fall in love to the tunes from his films and I want to go on a long road trip with my iPod playing HIS songs. Rest assured Dev Saab – you will never be forgotten, the films, the music, the memories will live on.


Asli Naqli (1962) – Hrishikesh Mukherjee picked the evergreen Dev Anand (almost 40 then) to star opposite a very beautiful and very young (21 yrs) Sadhna in this film. Continue reading

Clockworks, Automata and the Silents – the magic of Hugo!


A dazzling array of gears dissolved into the streets of Paris, and a single gear turned magically into a roundabout, and just like that for me Hugo went from the realm of near animation to reality. The teeming Gare Montparnasse is well endowed with clocks that all keep working on precisely oiled and turned gears. Continue reading

Lessons learned from Ra.1, or whither Ra.2?

Amitabh Bachchan acted in Ajooba in 1991 (almost 22 years after his debut) and that, along with other misfires, marked the end of his thriving career as a superstar. Continue reading