A Mixed Bag – A bit of everything under the sun

Archive for December 2008


Jalebis A lovely Indian dish that makes your mouth water every time you think of it, Jalebi is  surprisingly very easy to make. This recipe was taught to me by my friend Manisha and i’d like to share it with all. The key is to ferment the batter for at least 36 hours and you will have jalebis as good as they come in the stores.

Ingredients:

For the Jalebis:

3/4 cup All Purpose flour

1/4 cup Besan

1 tbsp Yogurt

1 cup warm water

3 cups oil

Orange food color (optional)

A pinch of Baking Soda

For the Sugar Syrup:

1 cup water

1 3/4 cup sugar

A pinch of cardamom powder

Method:

1. Add all purpose flour and besan to a bowl.

2. To this add a tbsp of yogurt and a little bit of warm water and mix thoroughly to form a thick batter. Make sure you do not add too much water. The jalebi will disintegrate if you do so.

3. Allow this mixture to ferment over a period of at least 36 hours. So if you are planning to make the Jalebi on a rainy Sunday evening, prepare the batter on Friday.

4. After 36 hours, add a pinch of baking soda, a little bit of water if required, just a pinch of food color and mix well. If the batter is too thin, you can add some more All Purpose flour.

5. Pour this onto a sauce bottle.

6. For the sugar syrup, pour 1 cup water into a pan and add sugar and cardamom powder. Heat this until all the sugar melts. The sugar syrup is ready.

6. Meanwhile heat oil on a low-medium flame and squeeze the sauce bottle in a clockwise manner to make the jalebis. Remember the wrong shape is the right shape.

7. Fry this until it is crisp. Take care not to let it brown.

8. Drain the excess oil and add this jalebi to the sugar syrup. Dip it in the sugar syrup for not more than 10 seconds and immediately transfer it to a plate. Do not place a paper towel underneath the jalebis. It will absorb the sweetness from the jalebis

9. Continue this process for the whole of the batter and serve the hot jalebis with some ice cream and there you go! This quantity makes around 15 jalebis.

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My friends will soon be starting guy-hunting and they wanted to know how to choose the person who will be right for you in an arranged marriage. There is no fixed formula for this and I say it is always an experiment of probability (I’m studying probability and I just had to bring this in!) where you don’t know what the outcome is until after the experiment is conducted. You will either be happy that you have met your perfect match or realize that you have made an error in judgment. This is true both in the cases of arranged and love marriages, because you never get to know a person until you live with him or her. (There are many who will disagree with me saying that you never get to know them even after that, but they will at least agree with my former sentence!).

But, don’t be discouraged. There are a few things which when realized will make one take sensible decisions and increase the odds of having a happy married life. I am no relationship expert, but I have learned a lot along the way and I’m happy to share hoping it helps.

What makes a good relationship?

1.       Love is not enough – Love is the most important ingredient in a relationship. But, remember it is not the only aspect that is required. During the first period, love is all one can see and all one needs. But as you progress, it becomes a process running silently in the background. Love must be a strong foundation, but it takes other things to raise the building.

2.       The other elements – A marriage, for it to sustain, requires trust, respect for each other’s views, friendship, freedom and above all the following one:

3.       Match your values – A good relationship requires as few adjustments as possible. It lasts only when you can be yourself in the relationship. For this to happen, it is necessary that what is important to you should be important for the other person. If these values are conflicting, you can’t expect a happy marriage.

Remember, I am not saying all your interests should match. It would be too boring if it was so. What should be the same are your ethics. There are a few things you absolutely can’t compromise on and if these are the same in your partner, that’s when both of you can be happy.

For example, if you are a person who stands for independence and the other person likes to dominate, one of them has to compromise. This is possible but only to a certain extent. You cannot change your basic values too much. So the perfect match here would be for the independent person to find a person who respects independence and for the control loving person to find someone who prefers to be controlled. All kinds of persons are out there and all you have to do is to find the best fit.

Finding what you want

But how do you know who fits you? There are ways to find out:

1.       Know yourself – Unless you know yourself, you can never know who you want. Block some time for yourself. Be relaxed, take some coffee or your favorite beverage (just don’t get drunk!), have a paper and clipboard with you and meet yourself.

2.       Find out who you stand for – Think about who you are as a person. If this feels too vague, let me explain. Think on these lines.

  • Are you a free bird or do you feel better when you are told what to do?
  • Are you an introvert or extrovert?
  • Do you think men and women or equal or that there are certain jobs for each of them and one cannot do the other?
  • Are you possessive? Do you like it when your partner is possessive or do you feel it inhibiting?
  • If you don’t like possessiveness, will you be willing to be as tolerant of your partner as well or will you be jealous?
  • Are you rational or emotional?
  • Are you diplomatic or are you straight forward?
  • Are you family oriented or want to live on your own?

Answer all these questions honestly and also explore other things that are not mentioned here. Write down what qualities you like, what you don’t like, what you can get along with and what you can’t. This step will go a long way in getting to know what kind of a person you want to marry. You should choose the one who thinks like you do

3.       Learn from people around you – You would have met a lot of persons in your life and you can draw a lot from the experience of being with them. These people can be your parents, siblings, friends, or just acquaintances. What they have in common is that, each of them has qualities you like and dislike. Think about each person and list what you like and don’t like. If these same qualities were in your partner, would you like it? This gives an important insight into how far you can tolerate in a relationship.

Finding out if the person is the one for you

This is the most difficult part. You can never know a person fully well, especially in a short span of time.  These are what you can do.

1.       Ask to spend time getting to know each other – Tell them that you do not like to decide in a meeting or two and that you would like some time. Chances are that the other person will agree too.

2.       Get comfortable – The first few meetings will always be to strike a good impression. So you will never know the real person. Use this time to just make the other person comfortable with you. If you start having tests for him, chances are that it might make him nervous and he may be too scared to reveal his true self. Enjoy each other’s company and get to know your common interests.

3.       See through pretensions – A person can never pretend for a long time consistently. Try to spot the pretensions. Many times, his words will be very different from his actions. Know if the person is just being charming to win you over. Don’t be floored.

4.       Ask what he wants in his mate – Usually when anybody is asked this, they give you vague general answers like having a good education, being caring etc. The reason could be that they might not have thought a lot about it. Try to get specific answers like the answers you gave yourself.  You will get a vague idea about whether you fit it or not.

5.       Now ask the questions you asked yourself – Once you are comfortable talking to each other, ask to see if he fits you. Don’t be judgmental. For if you are, chances are that the person will not answer correctly or he will answer what you like to hear. Make it fun and ask him to be as honest as possible. See if he has what you are looking for.

These are not fool proof, but provide a basic guideline. There will also be your family to help you with it. So have fun and enjoy the process. All the best!


Finding GPT Sites and what they are

I stumbled upon these out of sheer boredom. Sitting at home all day, i wondered if i could at least use some of the time to make a little money. And i entered a world of GPT sites. Well, GPT means “Get Paid To”. You earn money for doing simple things like click on ads, or taking surveys or signing up for an offer. I was cautious. I knew not all of them are legitimate. And of those that were, i liked some and disliked a few others. And what i like, i always like to share it with others.

How much can you earn?

These sites which i have listed below are GPT sites which give you half a dollar or a dollar or so for an offer you complete. Don’t be discouraged thinking that amount is insignificant. Remember, small things add up. And add up they do. Remember all the small amounts on your credit card which now have become too much to handle? Anyways, below  is the list of sites that i continually visit and make quite some amount of money. You can, on an average earn around 30$ a month on each of these sites. It is not much, but do it on three sites and you already have $100. All of them are 100 percent free. You don’t need to spend money everywhere. There are a few offers which require credit card. But you need not do them. You can always do the free offers.

How do they pay you?

The legitimate ones either pay you by check or by paypal. This is by far, the safest option. You don’t have to give your card information or bank account information anywhere.

Which are the good ones?

1. CashCrate

This is one of the simplest sites I’ve come across. There are no frills to it. You can go there and start earning money. As simple as that.

Features of this site:

1. Lots of offers to choose from. No fee for anything. You can always ignore the credit card offers

2. They have a minimum payout of $20 in a month. Meaning, you will have to make a minimum of 20 dollars for them to pay you. If you do not make $20 in that month, it’ll be carried over to the next month.

Pros:

1. It’s very reliable. If they say the payment comes on a certain date, it will definitely come to you that day.

2. There are quite a lot of offers to do and they  pay well.

Cons:

1. They pay only by check. This could be an advantage or a disadvantage depending upon you.

2. The payment will be only in the later half of the next month. For example, if you earn $20 in December, they will process your check on the 15th of January and you will get the amount only on 21st of January. This is not so bad, you only have to be a little patient. It is well worth the wait.

2. Treasure Trooper

TreasureTrooper This site has similar offers and is much more fun. Along with cash earned in offers, there are also chances of winning gold coins, pearl and platinum coins. You can buy fun stuff with them or trade one for another.

Features:

1. It is similar to CashCrate. The minimum payout is $20.

2. Payment method is by check or paypal if you have a paypal account

Pros:

1. The additional earnings in kind are good and makes it more fun

2. Paypal account makes it easier, at least for me.

Cons:

1. Like cashcrate, the payment is processed only in the last half of the next month.

3. PaidTheFastest

PaidTheFastest This has become my favorite website. The offers are good, they credit soon and the payment is under 24 hours. The payout is also very low. Just $3.

Features:

1. Minimum payout of $3. 2. Payment is via paypal.

Pros:

1. Low payout and they pay within a day. You don’t have to wait for one and a half months.

2. There are a couple of games where you can make extra money

3. There are a number of contests going on which keeps you motivated to earn more and more

Cons:

1. None that i can think of.

So that was my list. If i find myself consistently attracted to something else, i’ll definitely add it to the list. All the above websites also give you a 20% commission for getting referrals. So go ahead, have fun and maybe you can afford that Wii you wanted all along.