Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mal Seh'n Kino

Recently, I got to see an Indian movie in a theatre called Mal Seh'n Kino (Let's see cinema in English) in Frankfurt. It was a special show on a weekday. We were initially reluctant, but then decided to give a try. We were in the theatre, only surprised to find that we were the only Indians there. All others were Germans and they all gave us a "friendly" smile :-). The movie was 'Peepli Live'. I just find no special words to describe how good the movie was. It shows the sheer reality of life - the life of a farmer in a remote village in India. The movie has a very heavy, strong theme. It revolves around a farmer and his family, who is forced to take a decision to end up his life to pay up his debts. What happens following this "decision" is the story. But, the way it was directed is awesome. Throughout the movie, we enjoy it completely until the end, only when we are given the message. It is a sort of black humour, but you don't actually feel sorry for the state of things. It is rather the acceptance of reality that matters.

In my opinion, Peepli Live is eligible for an Oscar. Mal sehen ;-) A must watch !!

Friday, November 12, 2010


This is my first blog about my travel experiences. Though I dont travel a lot, I love travelling absolutely. It is a way of getting out of the routine normal daily life. Everyone of us, in one way or other, is victim to the set norms and unwritten rules of daily life. We get hardly time to relax ourselves, both in body and soul. Once we get time off our work, some would like to be at home and just idle away; but some would tend to grab the backpacks and get away. Given an option, I would like to fall into the second category.

This year has not been very eventful. Almost every holiday this year was on a weekend. Due to this and for other reasons, we didn't travel much this year. But, finally got a chance in October. We had a company-wide Workshop arranged in a little town in south-eastern Bavaria (Chiemgau region) and I just coupled it with a small 2-days outing in the weekend that followed.

One of the fountains in front of the Herrenchiemsee
Bavaria is a state in the south of Germany, called 'Bayern' in German. It has a culture of its own and stands quite apart from the rest of Germany. We had our workshop arranged in a small Bavarian town called Bernau, situated in a picturesque landscape, sorrouded by the Bavarian Alps. We started our day relaxed. A short tread from our hotel took us to the moors. Later that afternoon, we went to visit the Chiemsee. It is the largest lake in Bavaria and consists of two main islands Herreninsel (translates to Male island), Fraueninsel (Female island) and another small Krautinsel. A boat trip of about 20 mins took us to the Herreninsel. After a small walk around the island, we visited a palace Herrenchiemsee, built by a Bavarian King Ludwig II, inspired by the Palace of Versailles in France. The tour around the palace took no more than half an hour, but every room inside was elaborately decorated and worth admiring. The island also has an age-old monastery, which we didn't have time to visit.

The next day, we went off to a nearby hill called Kampenwand, which was highly recommended by some of my colleagues. We went by cable car up the hill. The day was refreshingly sunny and the view from above was fantastic. On one side of the hill, we could see the entire Chiemsee with all the three islands, another lake Simsee at a distance and the little towns and fields in the neighbourhood. On the other side, lay the beautiful valley with the snow covered Alpen peaks at a distance. We trekked around the hill a little, though many were involved in light and serious mountain climbings on the stony rocks over the hill. We just enjoyed seeing them climb. We then had baked potatoes for lunch in one of the Bavarian restaurants there. Late in the afternoon, we got down and it was time to return back home. On the whole, it was a wonderful small relaxed picnic to be remembered for ever. :-)

Monday, November 08, 2010

Paruppu Paayasam

It is a festive time in India. Diwali and Bakrid on their way… But, here in Germany, winter is on the start. It is mid-autumn here and the temperature drops everyday. The trees shed their leaves off rapidly and prepare to get themselves into their dormancy. The sky is gloomy and so is the mood too sometimes. This makes me miss my own country more. Nevertheless, just the thought of Diwali in India brings a little cheer and the best that could be done is to treat ourselves a sweet. So, here comes a simple South Indian yet delicious kheer.

I’m not a great cook.I’ve tried my hands at cooking mostly after my marriage. (Ya, it’s kinda disclaimer, he hee) So, here I’ve tried to follow my mom’s instructions and the result was amazing. Hope you enjoy too.

Preparation Time: 30 Min
Serves: 5 – 6

Things you would need:

Moong Dal – 1 ½ cup
Adai – 1 cup (a kind of rice noodles)
Water – 3 cups for daal
Jaggery – 200g
Water – just to immerse the jaggery
Cashews – 10
Raisins – 10
Coconut – a one inch piece, cut into very thin slices
Ghee – 2-3 Tbs
Salt – ½ tsp


Add water to jaggery in a vessel, heat it until jaggery gets dissolved. Filter it to remove any impurities and keep this dissolved jaggery(thin paagu) warm.
Cook the daal along with water and salt. When the daal is half-cooked, add the adai to it. Wait until the daal is completely cooked and the adai has got just soft. At this stage, add the dissolved jaggery to it and simmer for 2-3 mins.
Heat the ghee in a small kadai and roast the cashews, raisins and coconut until the coconut slices turn slightly brown. Now, add these to the paayasam. That’s it.

  • Care should be taken not to let the adai over cooked. The adai must be edible, but still the adai flakes must be clearly visible. When it is overcooked, the paayasam becomes cloggy.
  • When using roast cashews, they can be added directly to the paayasam.
  • This paayasam tastes best, when served warm. Can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days and it is enough to heat it up a little, before serving.