Friday, August 14, 2009

Sudhanshu's Yumm Cabbage Koftas


For koftas (about 18 to 20 medium sized koftas)

  • 5 peels of a cabbage
  • 2 small bowls (katoris) of besan (chickpea flour)
  • 2 tsp of ajwaine
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp of red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp of coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to fry

For gravy

  • 1½ large onion finely chopped (preferably yellow onion)
  • Ginger-garlic paste made from 3 cloves of ginger and ½ inch piece of ginger
  • 2 tomatoes purée
  • 1 green chilly finely chopped
  • ½ tsp of mustard seed
  • A pinch of asafetida
  • ½ tsp of turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp of red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp of biryani masala
  • 2 tblsp of oil
  • Green coriander finely chopped and lemon wedges for garnish
  • Salt to taste


For Koftas:

  • Shred the cabbage very fine.
  • Mix shredded cabbage, red chilly powder, ajwaine, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt and besan in a bowl and add water.
  • Please make sure that you add water slowly and mix to a smooth paste (there should be no lumps in the paste). The paste must be neither too thick nor to runny. (40% more runnier than Fevicol :-) )
  • Take a handful of shredded cabbage at a time and mix it in the besan batter such that the cabbage gets coated with besan.
  • Ensure that the oil is piping hot.
  • Make small balls and deep fry.
  • Fry till golden and then drain on a paper tissue.

For the gravy:

  • Heat the oil in the pan and put mustard seeds, asafetida, chopped onions.
  • Fry till the onions are golden brown.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and green chillies. Fry for 1 minute.
  • Add tomato puree and red chilli powder, turmeric powder and biryani masala.
  • Cook and stir till the puree reduces to an even consistency.
  • Add ½ cup water and salt to taste.
  • Simmer for 3~4 minutes.

To Serve:

  • Add koftas to the gravy only when you are ready to plate else the koftas will soak up all the gravy.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander / lemon wedges.
  • Enjoy with rice or phulkas.

Bon Apetite!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pink panties, pubbing and wo'man-handling'!

Every one of any standing (or no standing) in India's social fabric has made a hue and cry about the pink panties, pubbing and "woman"handling incident. Rightly so! I agree that whatever happened in Mangalore was downright disgusting! But, the question is whether all of this has impacted Ram Sene in any way what-so-ever? The answer is a resounding YES!

Organizations like Ram Sene which a majority of the India society least cares about, could forever remain under the radar. And it serves them very little by remaining in the shadows. Incidents, such as these, make them (in) famous and bring them into national reckoning. Well, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! And more so as the elections are round the corner, it gives them a significant impetus!

 Acting in a cowardly manner against women, who were merely enjoying themselves, in a perfectly peaceful and law abiding manner, is a heinous crime! Well, the so called cultural police (Ram Sene) should first look inwards, do they even realize that being physically aggressive with women is NOT a part of the Indian culture? Or is it something that they would like to conveniently ignore for gaining notoriety and limelight? Who knew Muthalik before this incident and who cares? And by being totally irresponsible, and uncouth they have brought shame to India, leave aside the thought of upholding Indian values and culture!

Well, there are news columns after news columns that are being written about Taliban and how it is oppressing Muslim women in the name of religion. What Ram Sene has done in Mangalore is much the same. We as a society should ban such quasi-organizations that are completely rudderless and mere opportunists. I ask of Ram Sene, what have they done for the upliftment of the girl child in India, how many girl children have they educated, how many have been made financially independent? Indian culture and values speak very highly of women and give them the highest status in the social fabric and Ram Sene, could only think of robbing the same women of their honor!! If we do not act now, such organizations could fan the religious and cultural fanaticism that could eat away our social fabric forever!

Let’s all rise!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sports and politics is not a cocktail!

Sports and politics don't mix but sports have been used, over years, as a means to highlight political issues. Is this right? Can the politicians not refrain from using sports as a platform for political gains?

Sports in its unadulterated form is a means of enjoyment, a celebration of physique, acumen, will power, determination, team work and ability. Let it remain that! Let it provide smile to the billions and not a frown!

I believe that geo-political issues should have been kept out of the Olympics journey this year. Olympics is a tradition, an event that every athlete looks forward to, its an opportunity for a sports person to leave an everlasting imprint on this world- and it comes once in four years. Let it be a white canvas that it deserves to be for each one of the athlete. Lets not paint it blood red!


Quiz 2: Simple 5

Another set of 5 simple questions…get cracking and refrain from googling…

  1. The first of these popular ads was run during the World Series in 1997. It was created by McCann-Erickson. Actor Billy Crudup has been the voice in the US market; in the UK, actor Jack Davenport is the voice. Name the company and the ad campaign.

  1. The current incarnation of A is the result of a merger between Confinity and Both companies were located on University Avenue in Palo Alto. Confinity's website was initially focused on reconciling beamed payments from Palm Pilots with email payments as a feature and's website initially included financial services with email payments as a feature. Identify A.

  1. What is the term for the largest ships capable of transiting the Suez Canal fully loaded, and is almost exclusively used in reference to tankers?

  1. Identify the picture of the geographic entity taken from space shown above (I am looking at the specific water body nearest to the two land masses which is the focus of attention)

  1. This person exploiting several loopholes in the banking system siphoned of funds from inter-bank transactions and bought shares heavily at a premium across many segments, triggering a rise in the Sensex in early nineties. When the scheme was exposed, the banks started demanding the money back, causing the collapse. Identify this person.

Answers in a week.

Please use the comments feature to respond.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Quiz 1: Simple Five

  1. Who introduced cinema to India by unveiling six silent short films at the Watson's Hotel in Bombay, namely Entry of Cinematographe, The Sea Bath, Arrival of a Train, A Demolition, Ladies & Soldiers on Wheels and Leaving the Factory?
  2. This lethal agent was first used in WW1 by Germany prior to the Third Battle of Ypres. The Germans marked their shells yellow as a means of identification. Identify the agent?
  3. This company came into existence in 1945 as M/s Bachraj Trading Corporation Private Limited. It has a plant in Pantnagar in Uttaranchal among other plants elsewhere in India. It made it to The Forbes Global 2000 list for the year 2005. Name the company.
  4. What is common to the following airlines: Asiana Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways.
  5. Once bonded, a male and female of this species tend to live their whole lives together as a monogamous couple. During the mating season, June to March, the pair call to each other at night, and meet in the nesting burrow every three days. These relationships may last for up to 20 years. Their eggs can weigh up to one quarter the weight of the female. Usually only one egg is laid per season. Although it is about the size of a domestic chicken, it is able to lay eggs that are about six times the size of a chicken's egg. Identify the species.
Answers in a week's time.

Please post your responses in the comments

All the best!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Charity at work!!

I really appreciate the good work done by Adam Gilchrist, Australian cricket team's wicketkeeper, for a charitable cause recently during a test match. He donned pink wicket keeping gloves and took catches that contributed money for the charity that he supports. It is a noble cause. But was it easy for him because he is a celebrity and people are ready to back him up. Will it be equally easy for commoners like you and me to do this? Well, the answer is yes! It is easy, provided we have the time and a desire to do a good deed!

I would love to hear from you what you have been able to do, ways in which we can help. Here’s one from my side – if you pay USD 400 for an XO laptop (100 dollar laptop project), you get one and the other one is donated to a child in an under-developed nation that could help the child in the education process!

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Staff augmentation - is it worth it?

Staff Augmentation works well for starters but is it wise to stick to it during the long course? Well, if you have a very small capacity to plan for then by all means, go for it.

Staff Augmentation works really well if there are only a handful of resources that need to be managed. Work could be assigned to and tracked fairly easily for these resources along with your own work. Staff Augmentation also helps if the size of the projects that you typically engage on are very small - both in terms of the team size and the duration. These projects use up less than 5 members and are less than 2 elapsed months in duration. Your project is as good or as bad as the resource that you decide to bring on board. Don't blame the staffing agency for the failure or the success, blame the model!

Beyond a certain threshold (35+ resources or 5 medium sized projects), it makes sense to go for project based ownership driven model of outsourcing. It takes away the pain of staff augmentation overheads of short-listing resources, interviewing, risk of whether the resource will really work out or not, tracking the time sheets for these resources among other tasks. The risk is owned by the consulting vendor. You can sit back and manage the outcome / deliverable. You really do not care if there is resource turnover in your project, the consulting vendor is on the hook for delivering the goods. These days Tier 1 vendors have an elaborate set of metrics that could be tracked for a project which give you a fair measure of the health of your project. If you see red, a phone call to the top management of the consulting vendor is all it takes for corrective actions and investments to fall in place and lo behold! the project is back on track! It is not always this easy but life is less stressful. If the project fails, then the vendor is to be blamed! The only thing that you need to manage (and manage really well) is the expectation of the business users. Business users will need to adapt to the concept of not always having people responding to their queries right away, they will have to learn to follow some processes, learn to sign-off on deliverables (and later learn that sign-off means a sign-off), learn the hard way that requirements cannot be changed at their beck and call, it takes money to add or change requirements, well the list is long...So long as you are able to manage the business users, you are on your way to success!

The other factors are that it is a cost effective option, there could be learning that is cross leveraged across projects, knowledge could be created in a common repository and over a period of time your organization could benefit from the structure and process regimen being followed by the consulting vendor (you will never reap these benefits with staff augmentation - there is no incentive for a staffing vendor to do this for you).

Staff augmentation may look easy and less of a trouble, but friend, look beyond and there lies takes courage to take the first step (you know what, every Tom, Dick and Harry is doing it, so just do it). And most importantly, please make the vendor successful as your success lies in the success of the vendor. It takes some effort initially but the end results are worth the effort! Come on board and enjoy the ride!