I Had The Last Laugh

DinnerRecently I was invited to attend a conference in a premier university in London. I had to present a paper on my research in my respective academic discipline. The conference was of an international level, having top academicians from all over the world. Naturally, where so many people gather, discussions of varied nature do takes place. And one of the common discussions in an international conference of economic development attracts slamming developing nations and their social and economic issues. Such discussions quite often change into ridiculing developing nations especially over a cup of coffee or during lunch or dinner times. It happens especially during breaks because then the participants do not have to speak on mic hence no obligations on their statements as any statement made out of the podium is unofficial.

And some intellectuals make full use of such refreshment breaks in making unofficial ridiculing statements. And I banged into such a group of professors who started ridiculing the social problems of India having no bases at all. But to their misfortune, they eventually started talking about poor quality of Indian food while praising the rice which was being served in their plates. They were going all gaga over the aroma and quality of the rice which they claimed was produced in Europe. To ridicule me more they called the chef, thinking they will succeed in their trick. But to their utter surprise and embarrassment, the chef said that the rice is Raindrops Basmati Rice, imported from India.

I had the last laugh. And thanked Raindrops Basmati Rice to show the world what we are in true sense.

Unique Restaurants of the World

201210151210031350273783001823100 Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Maldives

The world’s first aquarium-style underwater restaurant, set 16 feet below the surface of the Indian Ocean between a lagoon and coral reef. Those lucky enough to score one of the dozen seats can dine with the fishes, surrounded by clear acrylic and 180-degree, below-water views. Reached by a wooden walkway from the nearby over-water Sunset Grill, the $5 million restaurant serves a four-course contemporary fusion Maldivian menu.

dinner in the sky restaurant (3)Dinner In The Sky, Belgium

It’s not quite a restaurant, in a direct sense of the word, but the fact that during your lunch time you will not regret to dare getting involved in such an event. The fun here is practically guaranteed. The crane attached to it with a huge table is moving to any location and providing lunch in the air for 20 people. In addition, together with that you will have a serving staff including cook, waiter, security officials and animators. Fortunately, eating safely can be done while wearing seat-belts which means that you can even get drunk and falling down from the platform is unlikely to succeed. The main thing – do not drop down the cutlery. But for the toilet you will have to collectively walk because it is located on the ground.

The Ultimate Love

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We talk about love, we talk about different kinds of love, like loving your parents, loving your children, loving your husband or wife, having a love for a place or a thing etc. We also celebrate these loves on particular occasions like Valentines’ Day, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Any particular community or state Day etc. And we express our love through gifts, get-togethers, functions etc. But in all the things sometimes we miss to give due credit to a particular thing which appears in all of these celebrations i.e. food.

Food is something which plays an important role in any kind of celebrations or festivities. It is something which plays an important role in any kind of expressing love. A mother showers her love on her children by making special delicacies which the kids like the most. A lover cooks something exotic to impress his/her partner, devotees prepare unique delicacies for their deities and so on. Infact during off moods, it is famously said that when you are upset and depressed one should eat to recover since the opposite of Stressed is Desserts.
Keeping the ultimate love to its practical use, Raindrops Basmati Rice produces one of the finest and authentic basmati rice so that expressing love doesn’t loose its shine.

Milk Pitha (Bengali Dish)

Ingredients

  • 400 gm crushed coconut
  • 1 liter of milk
  • 8-10 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/2 liter of water
  • 200gm rice powder

Preparation:
1. Take 400 gm crushed coconut and mix it with 1 cup of milk and keep aside.

2. Take a non-stick frying pan heat for 1 min, then put the crushed coconut mixture (step 1) and 8-10 tablespoon of sugar mix it well. Cook till sugar releases water from the coconut. Coconut mixture is ready for pitha stuffing.

Nariyal-Pitha3. In a non stick frying pan put 1/2 litre of water and heat for 3-4 mins, then put 200gm rice powder into the pan and mix it well. Switch off the gas and put the rice mixture in a bowl and mix it well to make a dough with hand till it become smooth like chapati dough.

4. Shape the dough into small size ball and with each ball press it in the middle (dough) and put the coconut mixture (step 2). Close it tightly and press the edges lightly with hand.

5. In a big vessel put 3/4th of water and bring it boil. Put the pitha (step 4) into the water, after few mins. pitha will float on water and cook for 4-5 mins or till it is fully cooked check it with fork. Take out the pitha from water.

6. In another bowl put 1 litre of milk and bring it to boil till the milk become medium thick. Then put 8-10 tablespoon of sugar and cook for another 8-10 mins.

7. Put the pitha (step 5) into the milk and mix well.

Milk Pitha is ready to serve hot/cold as a desert.

The Secret Behind Becoming A Master Chef

545985_624265767588821_1508291951_nIdentity creation is a very difficult process when it comes to the field of cooking and that too if you are striving for recognition within the community of chefs. Since there is always a pressure of producing something authentic and creative, chefs most of the time within this confusion don’t take any chance or risk and end up making something same.

But there are some chefs who know it very well what to produce at what time with having a measurable knowledge of the reaction of the customers. Such chefs excel not only in their career but they also leave an unforgettable traces of their unique cuisines which makes millions of people enjoy their meals for generations.

But important here is to know what are those qualities which make a chef different from other chefs or people and subsequently make their innovative dishes so popular.

The answer is not very difficult to find if you have an eye to see the difference. And the difference is nothing but two things. Firstly one should have courage to innovate different types of dishes which have unique taste in itself and the second part of the answer is choosing right type of ingredients.

Innovation or creativity is something which comes from within and from experience but when it comes to the question of choosing right type of ingredients, nothing can better  produce unique cuisines than using Raindrops Basmati Rice in making a dish which in turn gets fame to you. And due to the same reason Raindrops Basmati Rice is a 100% 1st choice for master chefs across the world.

Egg Dum Biryani

 Egg Dum Biryani (3)-1

Ingredients
Basmati Rice – 3 cups
Eggs – 4 + 3
(4 Hard Boiled eggs + 3 eggs scrambled)
Saffron – a pinch (soaked in 2 tblsp of milk)
Whole Garam Masala
Shahi Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1 tblsp
Salt – as needed
Water – about 10 cups
Mint Leaves – handful

For Masala
Onion – 2 medium (chopped)
Tomatoes – 2 (chopped)
Ginger garlic Paste – 1 tblsp
Cilantro (Corriander Leaves) – handful (finely chopped)
Mint Leaves – handful (chopped)
Green Chillies – 3 or 4 (chopped/slit)
Yogurt – 4 tblsp
Lemon Juice – 2 tblsp
Ghee and/or Oil – 2 tblsp
Biriyani Masala – 1.5 tblsp
Salt – as needed

Preparation Steps

1. Hard boil 4 eggs, peel it and cut it into half lengthwise.
2. Sprinkle a pinch of biriyani masala, little salt and little corn flour on the eggs and shallow fry. Keep it aside.
3. Scramble the remaining 3 eggs with little salt and black pepper powder and keep aside.
4. Cook the rice in plenty of water (about 10 cups) along with 1 tblsp oil, shahi jeera, whole garam masala, salt and some mint leaves. (You can add a pinch of turmeric powder too if you want a bright yellow colour).
5. When the rice is 3/4 th cooked, drain the water and spread it on a tray to cool.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

Method
For making masala
1. Heat ghee and oil in a pan and add the onions and green chillies. Saute till the onions turns brown.
2. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute. Add the chopped mint leaves and cilantro.
3. Add the tomatoes and cook till it gets mashed up.
4. Add the yogurt, biriyani masala and salt. Cook this till you get a nice masala and the oil seperates from the masala.
5. Add lemon juice to the masala just before switching off.

Layering the Biriyani
The dum process can be done in a conventional oven or stove top. Take a tray or a big heavy bottomed vessel and do the layering as follows.
1. Grease the bottom of the vessel/tray with some ghee or oil.
2. Spread half of the cooked rice at the bottom. This will be the first layer.
3. Pour the egg masala over the rice as the 2nd layer.
4. Put the scrambled layer over the masala followed by the remaining rice.
5. Top this with the saffron flavoured milk, some ghee, some fried onions, finely chooped cilantro and mint leaves.
6. Arrange the hard boiled eggs on the top.
7. Cover with an aluminium foil and seal all sides so that the steam wont be able to escape.
8. Leave it in a 350 degree oven for half an hour. By this time the aroma of the biriyani will fill the house.
(If you are doing the dum on stove top, reduce the flame to the lowest setting and cook for about 20 mintes.)
9. Gently fluff up and mix the rice before serving. This way the masala and scrambled egg will be evenly distributed in the rice.

Serving suggestion
– Serve this biriyani with some raita and any non veg sidedish.
– This tastes delicious with some pickle and potato chips too.
Serves : 4-5

A Pricey Affair

pic5Since I got married to Rahul, my friends used to tease me saying, my relationship with my husband is a “Pricey Affair”. It sounds funny but it is true. Not because I gave truckloads of dowry for the marriage or I had to spent a big amount during my marriage but because Rahul is a financial professional, a bank manager. So naturally his vocabulary consists most of the terms which are linked to finance and accounts, and I being commerce graduate hence a “Pricey Affair”.
Though I have never faced any major problem in our marriage but certainly one month in a year really gives me jitters. March, the most dreaded month for the financial professionals, when they have to calculate, streamline and submit a year’s financial figures and on top of filing income tax papers of the office are certainly a daunting task.
And naturally after returning from the office, Rahul never used to keep a good mood and patient during this month. But this year there is a different story as I have found a trump card. That’s Raindrops Basmati Rice. Now using the finest of the basmati rice, I have started making such nice recipes that not only tastes good but also fills the house with an amazing aroma. The moment he comes back from the office, he just forgets the work related tensions and look forwarded to having dinner. Naturally, after a good dinner he becomes as sweet as he is during other months. And the funniest thing because of this is, again we have been referred to as a couple with “Pricey Affair”, but this time not because of his profession but because of our sweet relationship, even in the most feared month of the year, which is certainly priceless.
Thank You Raindrops Basmati Rice!

Ambassador of Solidarity

1346234402India-Japan-FlagCross Cultural Marriages are really an exciting affair. And especially Intra-Asiatic marriages where marriages are not just a ritual but a celebration where members of both the sides of the groom and bride participate in a generally week long festivities associated with the wedding. But these celebrations turn funny and hilarious when the two sides belong to different countries and subsequent different cultures.

And I witnessed the same in my marriage in which my husband’s side came from japan and we the bride side welcomed them at the epicentre of culture in eastern India – Kolkata.

I and my husband tried our level best to mediate the communication between both the sides but as obvious it was not possible for us to be present with them all the time. Since the wedding day was approaching, we feared a confrontation between the two sides as they couldn’t understand each other nor communicate. But surprisingly nothing of such hostility took place, which was feared by us. And the reason was surprisingly interesting.

Actually it was rice which came to our rescue. Since rice is the staple food of both the countries, both the sides were comfortable and happy at the eating table. Since most of the confrontations take place during the meals at any given wedding, this was easily avoided here due to the similar easiness and acceptability of rice in the main course menu. Japanese were quite happy to know similarity between Indian and their rice cooking methods. In fact both the sides happily exchanged recipes of rice dishes and enjoyed cooking it too. Really, never knew rice can be an international ambassador of solidarity and joy.

Bhel Puri

Rice is not only served in the main course meals but it has other varied uses as well. One of the most popular uses of rice in snacks is Bhel Puri. This snack is not only popular among all the sections of the society but also healthy if cooked in a proper manner.

Bhel Puri is not only good in taste but also serves as a good food item which increases digestive functioning. Due to its property of light on the stomach it can be consumed at any time during the day. This popular street food is prepared with puffed rice, an assortment of chutneys, peanuts and crushed papdi and sev. Indian_cuisine-Chaat-Bhelpuri-03

Bhel Puri Preparation:

In a wide bowl, add a tbsp each of green chutney and sweet chutney and a dash of garlic chutney (optional). Add 1 finely chopped onion, 1 finely chopped tomato, 1 chopped boiled potato, 1 1/2 tbsps chopped raw mango, 1/2 tbsp of chopped fresh coriander leaves, 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, salt to taste, 2 tbsps roasted peanuts and pinch of chili powder. Mix all the above ingredients well. Add 4-5 cups of puffed rice (murri/marmaralu/murmura/kurmura) and combine well. Garnish with crushed sev and papdi. Serve immediately.

Beyond Differences

rice_lead Social intolerance is a big reason for diverse tensions prevailing in modern societies. And it is a major social problem in developing nations especially where number of cast, class, creed and religion co-exist in a given and bounded geographical area. In fact this is a major hindrance in national stability, solidarity and national security.

Due to the same reason various governments, media and civil society organisations undertake many programmes, projects and interventions having an objective of securing solidarity among different communities. Since it is an important work which requires high level of skills and good dissemination of communications and information, interventions sometimes takes years to produce desired effect, since all the programmes designed are area specific.

But Raindrops Basmati Rice goes beyond these interventions in its approach towards attaining a better solidarity among different communities as raindrops basmati rice is the common ground where all the sections of the society, no matter to which caste, class or creed they belong to, meet. child_eating_rice

And it has happened because of the unique taste and fragrance of its rice, that the parent company REI Agro Limited has received love across the world. In fact, the trust of its patrons shows the deliverables of Raindrops Basmati Rice which has made REI Agro Limited World’s Largest Basmati Processing Company.

In a very simple yet powerful manner, Raindrops basmati rice has given an example to explain how solidarity and tolerance can be achieved through love of good food. So keep on eating and serving good food to spread love.