Have you noticed, what happens to you when you are angry? Something in you shrinks and you become so closed. And when you are happy something in you expands. The more joyful your are the more you expands.What is this something that expands and contracts? It is the mind that is expanding and contracting. When we are angry the mind contracts and we get limited to ourselves. And when we are happy we expand and our mind becomes broader. 

There is nobody in this world who have not experienced anger. Anger is a natural phenomenon occurring throughout our daily routine for one or the other reason. Anger is not an external thing that can be thrown out of the mind. Anger is something which is present in every living being. It is a state of mind when one goes away from the very own self. It is not our nature to be angry. We are full of love and joy. So, when one walks away from the very own self, then anger arises.We cannot predict or control our words and feelings whenever we are angry. 
We usually get angry for the small and little things that we go through each day. Mind is like a pendulum. It always swings between thoughts that make us miserable. So we should realize this fact and manage not to stuck in a place. Move on. Life is like a jungle. It has thorns, flowers, fruits, seeds, leaves and many other things. Even though a thorn pains us for a while, just pick away the thorn and roll on, Life is still moving and get the taste of the fruits and the seeds along the way. Have a holistic approach. Be simple and relax. 


Now, don't think that being angry is something wrong and you are committing a great mistake. No. See in the ancient scriptures there are saints who curse and get angry on the drop of a hat. So, even the enlightened saints used to get angry at things. So by getting angry it is not like we are committing a sin. Only thing is understand the consciousness and the state of mind at that particular time. Dont allow the anger to gulp you as a whole. Love of an ignorant person does harm and anger of a saint always do good. 


Anger mainly arises due to the perfectionist state of mind. We want everything to be perfect. Leave some room in your mind for the imperfections. The world is much greater and just adjust our mind and give space for the imperfections. We ourselves are not perfect, then how can we demand the world to be perfect? By knowledge, wisdom and meditation the anger can be overcome. Life becomes much more simpler and lighter by practicing meditation regularly, and through proper knowledge, wisdom arises. 


In Bhagvad Gita, Lord Krishna says to Arjun," Arjun, fight but not with anger or hatred". In Bible it is written," A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control". Quran says," Whatever is begun in anger, ends in regret". 
Dont blame yourself saying " Iam getting angry" all the way. Just go on. Nothing is gained all of a sudden.It takes time to create a habit. So, just move on, gradually and naturally anger can be brought under control. As it says " Make your smiles cheaper and anger costlier. Expand more and love for all beings emerges naturally.
--Sivaprasad.U


( Pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy-Ph.D)

A few weeks back, my very close friend visited me from Chennai. We were colleagues earlier and our friendship has just grown over the years. She and me share our date of birth. I don't know if it is to do with the DOB, but we think alike. We do have our share of disagreements, but give and take, we share a very beautiful friendship.

So a few years back, she asked me what gift I would want, and I told her I wanted a nice cake stand. Over the years, we moved to different cities but she had the thought in her mind. She kept telling me at many instances that she is still waiting to gift me a cake stand. So this time, while she visited, she got me this beautiful cake stand. I just loved it!!! Its so beautiful :-) Don't you agree??? And what makes it beautiful is that its a gift out of pure friendship, respect and love. Thank you my friend :-) I love you :-)

I decided to make this beautiful chocolate truffle cake to garnish this beautiful cake stand!!!


Serves 12

Ingredients:
2 cups flour,
¾ cups cocoa powder,
1 ½ tsp baking powder,
2 tsp baking soda,
A pinch of salt,
1 cup milk,
1 tsp vanilla essence,
2 cups powdered sugar,
½ cup oil,
2 eggs.


Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a 9 inch cake tin with butter paper. Grease the paper and the sides of the pan well.
  2. In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt together and set it aside.
  3. In another big bowl, add the sugar, eggs, milk, oil and vanilla essence and beat with an electric mixer for about two minutes. 
  4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients slowly two spoonfuls at a time.
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  6. Allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the ganache:

1/2 kg dark chocolate
250 ml fresh cream, (I have used Amul fresh cream)

Method:

Bring the fresh cream to a light boil. Add the chopped chocolates, and mix well. Mix until there are no lumps. Allow it to come to room temperature before you start frosting the cake.


To Assemble:

In a small bowl, mix 4 tbsp of powdered sugar and 1 cup of water until the sugar completely dissolves. At this stage for flavoring you could add 1 tbsp of dark rum or coffee decoction as per preference. Place the cake on a chopping board. Slice the cake horizontally into 3 equal slices. Place the first slice on the serving plate or cake board. Sprinkle the flavored sugar syrup evenly on this. Top it with a nice layer of ganache. On top of this place the next slice of cake. Repeat the same process again. Finally cover the top and sides with ganache. Decorate with florets and sprinkles. Keep this in the fridge for 2-3 hours before serving.


Cut into equal portions and serve chilled.

Enjoy :-)
In September I challenged myself to blog one recipe a day, and my Blogging Marathon #1 was a success. Now, here I am, with my next event. As the name says, this event is for all kinds of Soups and Salads that you can think of.

I realized that I have very less variety of soups and salads in my recipe collection. What better way than to conduct an event, and get a host of ideas in Soups and Salads. I intend to try out a lot of them during this event.

While discussing this event with my dear friend and an outstanding blogger, Arundati from  Escapades, we decided why not co-host this event. So here we are :-)

For the whole month of November, we will be blogging a recipe, tips and tricks or ideas around the theme of Soups and Salads.

If you would like to join us in this marathon for the entire month it would be awesome!

If you cannot do the entire marathon, and would like to send in a recipe, just jump in! Here are the details:


  • From November 1st to November 30th, 2013, post any dish that can be classified as Soups or Salads, on your blog
  • The dish can be sweet or savoury, Vegetarian or Non Vegetarian
  • Link back to this announcement and to Arundati's announcement
  • Send in your entries to cookingepisodes@gmail.com with subject as Soups and Salads Event


  • Do use the event logo in the post
  • All the updates will be on our respective FB pages as well, so like us to stay connected! Foodie In Me and Escapades
  • Multiple entries are encouraged  (:))  And it would be fine if you want to link up your past posts to this event. Just make sure you update your post with this announcement post link, mention the hosts, and add the logo.

          Email Format:
            Subject: Soups and Salads Event
              Name
                Post URL
                  Recipe Name
                    Picture of your dish (High resolution picture. Try and send 2 pictures).

                      Last date to send in your entries will be November 30th, 2013.
                        Last but not the least, have fun participating in this event :-)
                        They have come to assist you through a difficulty;to provide you with guidance and support;to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.They may seem like a godsend, and they are.They are there for the reason you need them to be.
                        Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

                        Some people come into your life for a SEASON,because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.They may teach you something you have never done.They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

                        LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
                        Thank you for being a part of my life,whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.

                        — A poem by Brian Andrew "Drew" Chalker
                        There is a legend of a man who was lost in the desert, dying of thirst. He stumbled on until he came to an abandoned house. Outside the dilapidated, windowless, weather beaten, deserted shack was a pump. He stumbled forward and began pumping furiously, but no water came from the well. Then he noticed a small jug with a cork at the top and a note written on the side: "You have to prime the pump with water, my friend. P.S. And fill the jug again before you leave." He pulled out a cork and saw that the jug was full of water.

                        Should he pour it down the pump? What if it didn't work? All of the water would be gone. If he drank the water from the jug, he could be sure he would not die of thirst. But to pour it down the rusty pump on the flimsy instruction written on the outside of the jug?

                        Something from inside told him to follow the advice and choose the risky decision. He proceeded to pour the whole jug of water down the rusty old pump and furiously pumped up and down. Sure enough, the water gushed out! He had all he needed to drink. He filled the jug again, corked it and added his own words beneath the instructions on the jug: "Believe me, it really works. You have to give it all away before you can get anything back."

                        That's why Giving is important..!!!
                        It's a known fact that most Bengalis live to eat and not the other way round, and most of them have grown up licking their fingers to Kosha Mangsho's velvety gravy and biting into the juicy pieces of the meat, cooked lovingly by their grandmothers and mothers.

                        In Bengali, 'Kosha mangsho' means slow cooked meat. You will need ample patience to prepare this delicious chicken curry but once you are done with the cooking, you will never forget the lip-smacking taste. The taste in the dish flares up from slow cooking and the perfect blend of the spices. Traditionally, a little sugar is added and caramelized to get the beautiful and attractive brown color of the curry.


                        Serves 4

                        Ingredients:
                        1 kg chicken, curry cut, washed, cleaned, and drained,
                        4 medium sized onions, coarsely grated,
                        1 medium sized onion, finely chopped,
                        1 large sized tomato, grated,
                        2 whole red chillies,
                        1-inch stick of cinnamon,
                        3-4 whole green cardamom,
                        2 bay leaves,
                        2 tsp garlic paste,
                        1 tsp turmeric powder,
                        2 tsp red chilli powder,
                        1 tsp sugar,
                        3 tbsp oil, (Use mustard oil if possible to bring out the authentic flavor)
                        Salt to taste,


                        Method:
                        1. Marinate the chicken with a little turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt, and about 2 tsp of oil and set it aside. 
                        2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the sugar, and the whole spices. Once the sugar caramalizes, add the chopped onions. Mix well and allow it to be golden brown.
                        3. Add the coarsely grated onion and ginger garlic paste and mix well. Add a little salt to help the cooking.
                        4. Once it starts getting brown, add the tomato and mix well. Allow the oil to seperate.
                        5. Now add the chicken pieces and mix well. Add a little turmeric powder, some more red chilli powder as per taste, and salt as per taste and mix well.
                        6. Add very little boiled water to help the chicken cook.
                        7. Cover with a lid and allow it to simmer. 
                        8. This is a semi-dry recipe. If you fancy a nice runny gravy, add boiled water as per taste. Adjust the seasoning.
                        9. Garnish with green coriander and serve hot.

                        This is an absolutely stunning dish. Serve it with hot steamed rice or paratha's. I can bet you will keep licking your fingers.

                        Check out another chicken recipe here.

                        Enjoy :-)
                        Simple food on some days are the best. Its comforting and reassuring. Cooking lady's finger can be quite tricky. They really get gooey if not cooked properly. There are so many variations to cooking lady's finger, but this one is loved the most at home. 


                        Serves: 4
                        Ingredients:
                        300 gms lady's finger, washed, dried, cut into 1 inch pieces,
                        1 large onion, chopped finely,
                        1 large tomato, chopped finely,
                        1 tsp ginger garlic paste,
                        1 tsp mustard seeds,
                        1 tsp cumin seeds,
                        1 tsp turmeric powder,
                        1 tsp red chilli powder,
                        1 tsp amchoor or dry mango powder,
                        1 tsp garam masala powder,
                        2 tbsp oil,
                        Salt as per taste


                        Method:

                        1. Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and allow it to crackle. Add the onions and fry until golden brown in color.
                        2. Add the tomatoes and ginger garlic paste and fry well. Add the turmeric and red chilli powder and mix well. 
                        3. Once the oil separates, add the cut lady's finger pieces and mix well. Add salt and mix well.
                        4. Do not cover the pan. Allow the lady's finger to cook on its own for some time. 
                        5. Once cooked to satisfaction, add the dry mango powder and garam masala and mix well.
                        6. Garnish with green coriander and serve hot.


                        Serve this with hot steamed rice or roti's. They taste delicious.

                        Enjoy :-)
                        Spaghetti Kitchen And Bar - located in Hosur Road, Koramangala, Bangalore has introduced their latest service offering Gusto D'Italia, unlimited lunch and dinner buffet. Gusto D'Italia in Italian means "come and feed yourself to your hearts content". I was invited to do a review for this special lunch and dinner buffet introduced on 24th of September, 2013. A regular ongoing event, they have more than 30 varieties of Italian cusine in their menu which includes, soups, starters, risottos, pastas, pizzas, and desserts.


                        Apart from their regular a la carte menu, introducing an all Italian unlimited buffet is really one of the firsts in Bangalore. The buffet is very economically priced and they are really a great value for money. With the number of food items included in the menu, I'm sure you will be happy and satisfied with your meal. There is something for all in the menu.


                        Spaghetti Kitchen also have other offers going on like the Miller Time Bonus which is a steal. They introduced the Martini Festival in August and have received a huge response. Across their outlets in India, they sold more than 25000 Martini's from the time this offer was introduced.


                        The veg and non veg starters were really delicious. I loved the Parmesan Cream Cheese Potatoes and the Mushroom Risotto.


                        The Butter Garlic Prawns were outstandingly cooked to perfection. Panko Crusted Chicken Tenders were great too.


                        I love all kinds of desserts. Do try the La Cassatta, its awesome!!! I loved their Tiramisu too.


                        Spaghetti Kitchen has a beautiful ambience. That is the very first thing that caught my attention as soon as I walked inside. It feels like you are in Italy. The blue colored walls and beautiful nick knacks here and there, really are a feast for your eyes. The large French windows, allow a lot of natural light in and it really brightens up the place. The bright colors bring out so much excitement and positivity within you. Its calm and serene music in the background, really relaxes you and helps you enjoy the great food.

                        Feast your eyes with some beautiful pictures of the place.

                        The buffet area

                        The seating area

                        Some table props

                        Beautiful decor all around the restaurant

                        Chef Bill Marchetti is the Corporate Chef - Italian Cusine for Spaghetti Kitchen. He gave a live pasta cooking demo for all the visitors in the resturant. He gave some very good tips of how to cook pasta. He showed us how to prepare a Pesto. He taught us Fettuccine con Pesto, Spaghetti Amatriciana with Bacon, and his signature Penne Vodka.

                        Chef Bill Marchetti

                        Penne Vodka was truly drool worthy. I even loved the Fettuccine con Pesto too. I didn't taste the Spaghetti Amatriciana with Bacon but I am told by other visitors that it tasted heavenly. Chef Bill is such a down to earth person. He made sure everybody ate well and tasted all the varieties.

                         Chef Bill Marchetti teaching us the basics of Italian cooking

                         Some of the dishes we cooked and all queued up to taste

                        That's me with Chef Bill Marchetti...doesn't he look like Chef Santa Claus :-)

                        Rating: (1 to 5, 5 being the highest)

                        Food: 4
                        Ambience: 5
                        Service: 4
                        Cleanliness and Hygiene:
                        Value for Money: 5
                        Must Try: Penne Vodka, Parmesan Cream Cheese Potatoes, and Butter Garlic Prawns
                        Must Miss: Long Iced Tea

                        Verdict: 

                        This is a great place to dine with your family and friends. Gusto D'Italia buffet is a great value for money and the food is really very good. 


                        Location In Bangalore: 

                        SPAGHETTI KITCHEN – KORAMANGALA
                        No 1, SJR Primus,
                        1st Floor, Adjacent to Raheja Arcade,
                        Koramangala,
                        Bengaluru – 560 095.
                        Tel No: (080) 4116 0500 / 4099 0500

                        Click here to check for All Over India locations.

                        Disclaimer: This is not a paid review. I visited the Spaghetti Kitchen And Bar outlet in Kormanagala and personally tasted the items listed above. All pictures are clicked by me. Please ask first.