Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Akki Roti

Here's my recipe. Had a great Breakfast.


1. Rice Flour - 3/4 cup
2. Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup
3. 1 Onion, finely chopped
4. Curd, slightly sour - 1/2 cup
5. 2 Chillies slit and sliced into small pieces. Keep the seeds.
6. Salt to Taste
7. A pinch of Jeera
8. Cooking oil 1/2 teaspoon
9. A few drops of ghee (Clarified butter)

In a mixing bowl put in the rice flour, coconut, salt, chillies and jeera. Mix well with your hands (wash your damn hands before you enter the kitchen and no shoes allowed). Add the onions and continue mixing. Slowly add in the curd and continue to mix. Make sure that the dough starts to bind and does not run. If it starts to become too much of a liquid, add a bit more rice flour. Mix nicely until the dough has bound well.

Now comes the cooking part. Make a small ball out of the dough. It shouldn't be too large a ball otherwise the roti will end up becoming too thick. The thicker the roti, the longer it will take to cook and less likely that it will end up being crisp.

Take a flat pan and add a little (couple of drops) of oils to the center. Put the ball of the dough in the pan, and slowly start pressing it down to make a nice pancake. Be sure to use your fingers to press it down. That will give the roti its characteristic ridges. Make the pancake as thin as possible without leaving in gaps. Turn on the gas to low and cook for about 5-10 minutes. Keep the pan covered while cooking (optional).

The edges should brown as it gets done. Flip the roti over (be careful, as it will break quite easily), and put some nice ghee on the cooked part. Turn off the gas and flip it back over again. The ghee will now cook into the Akki Roti and gas is saved!

And Voila! Its done. Serve with a nice dollop of Green Coconut Chutney and a heart attack inducing slab of Butter.


1. Eva ishtyle. Replace the curd with water. This will make the Akki Roti crisper!. Also, another tip. If you use a Wok instead of a flat pan it will be easier to make the pancake. Warning from Theo - The Akki Rotis are crisper this way but not as tasty :-). However, as Eva has reminded me this morning, I used to eat this type of Akki Roti every time she made it without a single complaint or murmur. So, there!!!

2. Aware-Kallu. I don't know what the English word for this magical bean is or what's biological name, but essentially its a Bean that's available in Bangalore in the winter. Steam the AKs, cool it down and mix it into the dough right before you add in the curd.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

And the number 1 training method is

to back your car into the garage every day.

If you want to be a better driver, then you should back your car into the garage. Proven method. Couple scratches and broken mirrors later, you will be a better driver.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

1 in 5 humans are

Scientific American has a very interesting article about Aliens on Earth. link (via).

That got me thinking about Aliens, Humans and our attempt to contact or check for them contacting us. Do I believe that aliens exist? Well... There are Billions and Billions of stars out there. To assume that there is only 1 star out of those billions that has the "right" to hold life, seems a bit conceited. Its a different question if there is "intelligent" life out there. Again, to assume that we are alone (though I know plenty of humans who fit the description - alive but unintelligent), is very conceited.

If we look at all the alien type movies, one thing strikes me as really odd. They portray alien life forms in black and white terms only. Aliens are either super-intelligent, or extra dumb, they are peaceful or extermely violent, they are good looking or grotesque.

Keeping this in mind, lets look at the Voyager Gold Record and Pioneer Plaque. Both of them contain what can be considered as informational or even peaceful items. Yet history tells us that people are violent, weird and bloodthirsty. Consider, European Colonialism. It had its good points and bad points. It made many Europeans very rich and yet there were others who tried to bring good.

I guess the same would apply here as well. If intelligent life contacts the earth surely it will have its peacemakers and rabble-rousers, its pioneers and its jokers, as well as its leaders and its thieves. Painting them as Two-Dimensional essentially contradicts "intelligence".

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Damn! He's Back

I'm NOT a fan, but damn! the guy is great. One year out of F1 and MS tops the timesheets on an official F1 test.

Ferrari want Schumacher's help for next year's car, which will have standard electronics i.e no driver aids.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Oops! They did it again

NDTV and their carbon copies CNN-IBN and Times Now! have a way of irritating me. Its reached a stage, where I don't consider them news channels any more. Their news sections are fluffy and their editorial pieces are poorly researched. I don't think they plan to be about news. In most of their programming, they appear arrogant and ill-informed. A long way from the BBC indeed. Unfortunately, I don't get the BBC (My ^(&@#$ing cable operator) and so, I have to turn to these half-baked morons. Some of their stuff is ok, but its always with a tidbit that makes you cring in horror. Sort of like having to eat fish with a lot of very sharp and very dangerous bones.

NDTV Goodtimes
had a show for Diwali by Marut Sikka where he presented a number of yummy recipes for deserts. All was fine, until very end of the show, when he proclaimed - Diwali is the New Year for Hindus and so, Happy New Year.

That's a load of crap. It may be New Year for *some* of us, but not *all* of us. Down south some of us celebrate the new year in Spring. Its known as Ugadi for the kannadiga hindus. Other parts of the south don't have it on the same day, but they too have festivals welcoming the new year in Spring. So, when you are chef, stick to cooking. If you want to mention a fact, then research it.

Another problem that I saw recently was an interview of Anil Kumble. The piece was about his new role as the Indian Test Captain. Again most of it was fine, except for the beginning, where the reporter what's-her-name literally said that Anil Kumble was born in obscure part of Bangalore known as Jayanagar. I may be biased, but Jayanagar is probably the best planned middle-class residential layout in Bangalore. Its not the pretentious part of town and neither is it where the rouveau riche live. To call it obscure is just poor journalism.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Buckle up

"This is your captain speaking. We are approaching Bangalore Airport soon. Please buckle your seat belts as we may be experiencing some Diwali Firecrackers." Huh?

I was at the club on Thursday evening. There's a nice rooftop restaurant, where one can order a drink, have some snacks and take in the view. What made it really nice on Thursday, was the fireworks for Diwali. Some of the rockets were spectacular, while some were ordinary, and yet others just damp squibs.

But that's not what I was thinking.

As I was enjoying myself, I noticed the wind shift direction and blow gently from the East. Within a few minutes, I noticed the first one. Airplane, that is. Coming in to land from the West. That got me thinking. I saw some cool fireworks in the sky and with the plane above them, I started wondering if the plane could ever be hit by one of those.

Planes can get hit by birds at takeoff and landing and that's why they seem to take a lot of precautions. I'm not sure what would happen if a Diwali rocket bursts near a plane. I don't think a rocket will go higher than 20 stories, and the only place where a plane would be lower than 20 stories would be near the runway.


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