Why eat out when you can make lip-smacking PavBhaji at home!

April 23rd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :1036

Come weekend and all we can think of is to sleep in, order out and simply while away time infront of a movie. Thinking of actually making a sumptuous snack may seem like too much of an effort, but it’s actually not! A little bit of chopping, some sautéing, and voila! You’ve created a family favorite dish. Why eat out when you can make lip-smacking and easy-to-conjurePavBhajiright at home!

Ingredients:

Potatoes – 1/4 kgs

Cauliflower – 1/2 or cabbage – 200 gms

Green peas – 100 gms

Capsicums – 2

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Tomatoes – 3 big

Onions – 2

Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp

Dhania – 1/2 tsp

PavBhaji Masala Powder – 1 tbsp.

Butter – 50 gms

Garlic paste – 2 tsp

Salt to taste

Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp

 

Method:

1. Slice all vegetable into pieces other than potatoes and peas.

2. Cook vegetables, potatoes, peas. Do not cook capsicums.

3. Peel off and mash the potatoes keep aside.

4. Cut onion and tomatoes perfectly.

5. Warm butter in a shallow pan, fry the onions and garlic paste. Add tomatoes and chopped capsicums, fry till it is mash properly.

6. Add mashed potatoes, other cooked vegetables, salt and all the spicy powders and add little water.

7. Cook and mash when it is boiling.

8. When the mashed gravy becomes hard thick, add a blob of butter, sprinkle chopped onion and coriander leaves.

9. Serve hot with buttered pav bread with lemon peices. (Cut bun horizontally into half. Put butter on a tawa and melt. Apply inside and both outsides).

13 Ways to conserve water in the Home..

April 16th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :1468

Water conservation has become an important practice in all regions, even in areas where water seems plentiful.In addition to saving money on your utility bill, water conservation helps protect against water pollution in nearby lakes, rivers and local watersheds.

One can ensure water conservation at one’s own home quite easily. Simply be mindful of your surroundings! Here are a few tips to help you with the same…

1. Check out faucets and pipes for leaks

A small leak from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons.

2. Don’t use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket

Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, five to seven gallons of water is wasted.

3. Check your toilets for leaks

Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color starts to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired quickly. Most replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to install.

4. Use your water meter to verify for hidden water leaks

Read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read just the same, there is a leak.

5. Put plastic bottles in your toilet tank

To cut down on water waste, put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. Or, buy an inexpensive tank bank or float booster. This may save ten or more gallons of water per day.

6. Insulate your water pipes.

It’s easy and inexpensive to protect your water pipes with pre-slit foam pipe insulation. You’ll get hot water faster plus avoid wasting water while it heats up.

7. Take shorter showers.

One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.

8. Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush

There is no need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.

9. Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads

Automatic dishwashers and clothes washers should be fully loaded for water conservation.

With clothes washers, prevent the permanent press cycle, which uses an added 20 liters (5 gallons) for the extra rinse. For limited loads, adjust water levels to match the size of the load. Replace old clothes washers. New Energy Star rated washers use 35 – 50% less water and 50% less energy per load. If you’re in the market for a new clothes washer, consider buying a water-saving frontload washer.

10. Reduce use of kitchen sink garbage disposal units

In-sink ‘garburators’ require lots of water to operate effectively, and also add significantly to the volume of solids in a septic tank which can lead to maintenance problems. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing food waste.

11. When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing

If your have a double-basin, fill up one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you have a single-basin sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a panful of hot water.

12. Don’t let the faucet run while you clean vegetables

Just rinse them in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water. Use a dual-setting aerator.

13. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge.

Running tap water to cool it off for drinking water is wasteful. Store drinking water in the fridge in a safe drinking bottle. If you are filling water bottles to bring along on outdoor hikes, consider buying a LifeStraw personal water filter which enables users to drink water safely from rivers or lakes or any available body of water.

 

Easy Tips to Sell Your House Faster

April 10th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :1378

The housing market can be hard, but there are a few easy tips that will make your home appear more attractive and can bring increase your market value. You just have to be willing to put a little elbow grease into it. If you’re anxious about your home’s selling value, try these tips out before you list it.

Here are some things that may need your attention or the help of a reputable contractor:

•           Doorways. Examine all your entry systems carefully. Look for sagging screens, cracked glass, squeaks, and aging or broken aluminum parts. Think about giving your doors a fresh coat of paint.

•           Walls. Look for nail pops, holes and dents. Patch and paint where essential

•           Roof. Check for missing shingles and have replacements installed where required. Also check the gutters. Remove any leaves and other debris that may have accumulated. .

•           Toilets. Make sure all toilets are still secured firmly to the floor and don’t rock when you sit on them. Anchoring nuts tend to corrode over the years. Replace where necessary.

•           Faucets. Inspect all faucets, including those in the laundry room and other areas. Do you have one that drips? If so, repair or replace it.

•           Cabinets. Kitchen and bathroom cabinets get damaged and worn in spots over the years. There are many great scratch repair products on the market that can make cabinetry look almost new.

•           Decks and gates. Any loose boards? Rickety stairs? Sagging gates that you have to lift in order for the latch to close? Buyers will notice. Get them fixed.

A QUICK GUIDE TO FIRE SAFETY FOR YOUR HOME

April 5th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :2873

SMOKE ALARMS

  • Have a working smoke alarm outside each resting area, inside each resting area, and on each level of your home.
  • Check smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Do not change the battery if you have a lithium battery. The alarm will discrete a periodic “chirping” sound when it needs a new battery.
  • Install smoke alarms away from air vents.
  • Install smoke alarms on the ceiling or wall, at least 4 inches from the corners.
  • When attached to walls, smoke alarms should be between 4 and 12 inches from the ceiling.
  • Never disable smoke alarm batteries.

GET AWAY PLANNING

  • Develop a fire get away plan with the members of your household and practice often.
  • Know two ways to leave from every room in your home.
  • Make sure that safety bars on windows can be opened from inside your home.
  • Feel closed doors. If hot, use another exit.
  • Discover a place to meet outside in case of fire. Never re-enter a burning building.
  • Escape first. Then call 9-1-1 for emergency assistance.

FIRE SAFETY

  • Be sure your stove and small appliances are off before going to bed.
  • Keep clothes, blankets, curtains and other combustibles at least three feet from portable heaters.
  • Place portable heaters where they will not tip over easily.
  • Have chimneys cleaned and inspected annually by a expert.
  • Clear the area around the hearth of debris, flammables and decorative materials.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Always use a metal fine mesh screen with fireplaces and leave glass doors open while burning a fire.
  • Keep clothes, towels and other combustibles away from stove burners.
  • Never leave cooking untreated.
  • Check for frayed wires and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • Never overload electrical sockets.
  • Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children
  • Never leave cigarettes unattended.

 

Homemade spider repellent

February 19th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :1604

Unnecessary spider infestations in the home, yard or garden can be eliminated with homemade repellents made from a few easy-to-find ingredients. In addition, a few simple steps may be taken to prevent spiders from making a home where they’re not welcome.

Most varieties of spiders cause no threat to humans and are in fact advantageous, as they help keep the insect population under control. Despite this, many people hate or fear spiders and consider their presence in the home an unnecessary nuisance. Spiders can be repelled without the use of pesticides. Spiders avoid a wide number of natural oils taken from plants, herbs and fruits, including citrus fruits, lavender, peppermint, citronella, cinnamon, tea trees and cloves. Pure forms of these oils may be purchased at health food stores, and most are inexpensive.

Place a few droplets of any of these oils, in any combination, into a spray jar. Add a squirt of liquid detergent and fill the bottle with water. Apply the mixture on cobwebs, around doors and windows, around the lawn and garden and on any surfaces where spiders reside. In addition to having a pleasant fragrance, this mixture is nontoxic and safe to use around children and pets. The combination of coconut oil and white vinegar also makes a successfuls pray for repelling spiders. As oils may stain or lead to spots, test the mixture on a small, hidden area of carpets, curtains or paddedfurniture before spraying the entire surface.

 

 

 

How to surprise your cat with a new home

February 8th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :1434

When people move house the experience for some individuals can be quite uncomfortable, while others find their new surroundings stimulating. This can be likened to a cats experience when moving house, depending upon their personality some will relish their new territory while others may exhibit behavioural problems while trying to adjust.

If your cat has trouble adjusting to a new home, he may engage in house-soiling, excessive grooming or not grooming altogether, excessive meowing, destructiveness or self-mutilation activities like tail biting. Other symptoms of anxiety may include depression, loss of appetite, hiding or aggression. Some simple planning will help prevent your cat from becoming stressed by a complete change in his environment.

If you have the opportunity, take your cat with you to your new house before the furniture arrives. Lay a trail of catnip from one room to the other so he can follow it as he explores. Clean up the catnip once he has finished so it remains a special treat. Leave his carrier open in one of the rooms so he can get into it if he chooses. Give him some treats so he associates something positive with the new environment. If he has a favorite bed, take that as well so he will recognize something familiar. Make certain doors and windows are secure so your cat doesn’t accidentally escape – he won’t know where he is.

Once you move, assign one room as your cat’s. Put him in the room with his food, water, litter box, toys, scratching post and comfortable belongings. Place something with your scent such as a worn t-shirt in the room. Leave a radio turned on to a soft-music station. The room will become your cat’s safe zone if and when he needs to get away. Once you move, you will have lots to do, unpacking and putting away your belongings, but spend time with your cat in his room. Have two ten to fifteen minute play sessions each day. Over the course of two to three weeks, allow your cat to come out of the room to explore the rest of the house. Once again, create a catnip trail for your cat to follow throughout the house. When he is finished exploring, return him to the room and clean up the catnip. When your cat appears comfortable in the new space, allow him free run of the house. Move his belongings to their new locations a few steps at a time so he always knows where they are.

GARAM MASALA POWDER RECIPE

December 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :1508

I have never thought before on making my own garam masala. But things changed when I saw this recipe in a library book I borrowed, it was so simple to try. And I tried. I am glad that I tried. Because now a days a lot more aroma in my dishes. I am not sure about the recipe if it is authentic, but I can assure you, this smells great and if added in place of store bought masala, it does a magic.  From a home where they say No to  garam masala, to making my own garam masala powder at home now

Ingredients

Coriander seeds – 1/4 cup
Elachi/ cardamom – 2 tblsp
pepper – 2 tblsp
Cloves – 2 tblsp
Fennel seeds – 1 tblsp
Star anise – 3 – 4
Cinnamon – 4 sticks (1 inch)
Nutmeg – A quarter or half
Bay leaves – 2

Method

1. Gather all the ingredients. Dry roast over medium flame with constant stirring to ensure even roasting.

2.Cool down and powder it well in a mixer.

3.Sieve it through a big metal strainer to make sure to eliminate any big pieces.

4.Store in an airtight container and use it for all your garam masala needs in your kitchen.

 

From Granny’s Kitchen- Kanni Manga Achar

November 19th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :2205

The best moments of our childhood were probably those spent at our garndaparent’s home. And we often remember grandma’s home as the place where we got amazing pickles. Made with the love and patience that only our grandmas are capable of! Especially the Kanni Manga Achar that granny made just for us. As time pass by, many things have changed. But our mouth still waters when we think of our grandma’s Kanni Manga Achar. There is no need for wistful thinking any more, because it’s a simple recipe that you can make at home, and will help you reminisce your childhood and bring more colour to that of your children’s!Kannimanga Achar

What you need for this:

1 Kg of sour variety of tender mangoes in bunches.

250 grams of salt

Water enough to immerse the mangoes. Please make sure that water is boiled and cooled to room temperature

50 grams of Mustard seeds

4 heaped table spoon of red chilly

Perungaya Podi( Asafoetida powder) – bit for flavour

2 table spoon of vinegar in case the mangoes are not sour enough

2 table spoon Mustard seed oil

How to make:

Wash the mangoes but do not separate them at this stage. Let the bunch be intact as it will preserve the milky sap (Chona). Shake off the excess water and place them on a clean white dry cloth. Pat them dry. Snip the mangoes and make sure that every mango had at least a centimetre of its stalk along with. After this, stack them in a clean dry jar. If you can get hold of Bharani (traditional earthen pot used for preserving pickles), nothing like it. Get a 2 litre bharani and stack the mangoes in them. Add salt to the mangoes. Shake well. Close with its lid and tie a white cloth around the neck. After 3 days, open the bharani and shake well and let it rest again. Perform the same action for next 5 days. After 8 days you can see the mangoes have shrunk and lost their green colour.

On the 8th day:

Heat the mustard in a dry pan. Turn off the flame after heating; do make sure you don’t roast them. Now heat up the chilli powder. You have to constantly stir while heating. Add asafoetida and mix well. Powder the mustard seeds. Slowly stir in the powered mustard seeds, chilli powered and asafoetida to the mangoes. Mix it well.  Now you can add vinegar if your mangoes are not sour enough. After this, add mustard seed oil to the mix which will act like the preservative. Boil and cool the oil to room temperature before adding it to the mix. Now your Achar is ready. Keep it in Bharani itself because somehow Bahrani makes it taste better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Design Advice

May 16th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :4350

There are a lot of things to be taken into consideration while redesigning your kitchen.

Kitchen Design

Let’s start by looking at a few of the issues you should think about prior to starting your design.

Considerations

Unless you happen to be a millionaire, you need to think in terms of longevity.  Not only should your kitchen design be functional and user friendly but it needs to be equipped to last for at least 10 to 15 years. So make sure you think about what you really need from a kitchen and invest in the best quality materials you can afford.

You can actually learn a lot about what you need from your new kitchen design, by looking at your existing layout. For instance, does a lack of space for food preparation annoy you? If so, perhaps this is something you’ll look to rectify. That’s just one example. Remember, be critical of your old kitchen to make your new one even better.

You might also ask yourself ‘do I have enough storage?’ There’s nothing worse than not having somewhere to store all you bits and bobs. Conversely, there’s such a thing as to much storage and you don’t want your kitchen to be full of unused cupboards and draws that eat up much-needed space.

Taking the time to address each of these considerations and think about each small point, will benefit you greatly when designing your new kitchen.

Kitchen design tips

The first thing practical thing to do is take accurate measurements and draw up a floor plan being sure to mark where any existing doors, windows, power points and pipes are. Not only does this give you an excellent idea about the space, but it will help suppliers, fitters and any other professionals you consult.

One big decision to make is whether or not you want to drastically change the layout of your kitchen. Bear in mind if your thinking of moving your appliances this could lead to moving power points and pipes which will inevitably hike up your costs.

A good money-saving tip is to keep all waterborne appliances such as the sink, dishwasher and washing machine close together as this will make the plumbers job easier and cheaper.

If you’re determined to design a kitchen that functions with military precision, you may also want to consider what designers call ‘the work triangle’. This is a term for the grouping of your major appliances (conventionally the sink, oven and fridge) in a triangle formation, making it a more efficient work space.

How To Build A Simple Kitchen Desk?

April 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Views :4558

Materials Needed:

  • Cabinets (we used two wall cabinets at 30″ x 12″)
  • 2x4s for the base
  • 1×4 primed and painted to cover the toe kick
  • Butcher block counter top
  • Circular saw
  • Screw gun and 3″ screws
  • Tape measure
  • Speed square and a T-square
  • Miter saw
  • Finish nailer and nails

Kitchen Desk

Step 1:

Use 2x4s (sitting up on edge) to build a base for the cabinets to sit upon. The base should be about three inches set back from the cabinets in front, and one inch on each side. Secure the base to the wall studs using 3″ screws.

Step 2:

Set the cabinet boxes on top of the base. If there is an electrical outlet on the wall, measure and cut out a hole in the back of the cabinet before you install it. Secure the cabinet boxes to the wall studs and the base using 3″ screws. Attach the cabinet doors to the cabinet boxes.

Kitchen Cabinet

Step 3:

Cut the 1x4s to size to cover the toe kick on the sides and front of the base. Miter cut the corners for a clean finish. Nail into place.

Villa project in Trivandrum









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