01 May 2013

Recipes for Drumstick leaf Paneer and Drumstick leaf soup

The drumstick tree's leaves are its most nutritious part. See Drumstick at Wikipedia. They are particularly rich in Vitamin A, calcium, potassium, protein, apart from several other micronutrients. The leaves are commonly used in Indian recipes, particularly in the south. They are usually used whole or chopped. But one disadvantage is that they tend to clump together.

Recently, my wife Susan Mathius made two dishes which I couldn't find on the Internet: Moringa Paneer and Moringa Soup.

In both cases, the leaves are not used whole but scalded and pureed in a blender in the same way that spinach is used in Palak Paneer.

Here are the recipes.

1. Drumstick Leaf Paneer Curry

Paneer: 200 gms
Drumstick leaves: 2 cups
Onion chopped: 1 medium sized
Green chillies: 2
Garlic: 5 pods
Lime Juice: 2 tablespoons

Cut Paneer into cubes and shallow fry it and keep aside.
Boil drumstick leaves in a vessel for few minutes. Add salt. Let it cool for a while. Blend it in a blender and keep aside.

Put oil in vessel. Add chopped onions and fry for 3 minutes.
Add chopped garlic and fry for a minute. Add green chillies and fry for a while.
Add pureed drumstick leaves and let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add fried paneer and salt to it.
Transfer it to a serving bowl and add lime juice.

2. Drumstick Leaf Soup

Drumstick leaves: 2 cups
Tomatoes: 2 medium sized
Garlic: 4 pods
Green chillies: 2
Water: 2 cups

Boil drumstick leaves with 2 cups of water, garlic and green chillies for few minutes. Add salt and keep aside.
Blanch tomatoes and remove the skin.
Blend the drumstick leaves and the tomatoes in a blender. Heat the pureed drumstick leaves and tomatoes for 3-5 minutes.
Serve hot. Add salt and/or pepper if required.

Category: Miscellaneous

03 November 2012

About Aircel's 3G service in Thiruvananthapuram

A few days ago I bought an Aircel mobile connection for use in a data dongle. The 2G speeed was not very good, so I asked for an upgrade to a 3G. It was activated after a day. The speed was reasonably good, so I went in for a Rs 697 3G data package valid for 30 days. A day later I'm still on 2G, with no response at all to my complaint.

Aircel actually has no 3G service in Thiruvananthapuram; it operates through Tata Docomo. The mobile store keeper knew this but still sold me an Aircel card, probably because Aircel pays a higher commission.

Be warned.

Category: Miscellaneous

21 May 2012

What if everyone treated you like Tata-Docomo?

This is my experience with Tata-Docomo.

About five or six years ago (I am not sure when) I bought a CDMA phone from Tata-Indicom with an inbuilt SIM card. To tell the truth I did not have too many complaints about the service.

Then a few months ago the phone began to run down and eventually neither the speaker nor the microphone would work and all the phone could do was send SMS messages. So on 21 April I walked to a nearby Tata Docomo centre to try and get a new SIM card with the same number so that I could put it in another phone. The office was being mopped when I walked in and the cleaning woman looked at me as if I was something a hyena brought in. (I should have thought the office would be cleaned before it opened so that customers did not make a mess of it, but let that go.) When I put forward my request I was curtly told that SIM cards were out of stock and I had to go a couple of kilometres to the next centre. Not so much as a courteous apology. Well, I thought, if this is how Tata Indicom treated its customers I would take my business elsewhere.

I walked to the nearby office of another mobile operator and from there put in a porting request. I was told I would get an answer within 15 minutes to an hour. When that did not happen I went home and put in another request. This time I got an answer: "Dear Customer, Your Unique Porting Code xxxxx already exists and is valid upto 06-05-2012. Thank you." I forwarded this message to the mobile operator to whom I wanted to transfer the number. Later, however, I got another SMS saying: "Hi. You are not eligible for Mobile Number Portability. Continue enjoying TATA DOCOMO with Fantastic offers."

When the number was not ported I filed an online complaint with TATA DOCOMO on 30 April. I promptly got an automated reply saying: "We have received your complaint about your Tata DOCOMO number 9249868082. Your complaint has been registered with our customer service team. The Reference No. is 490085. You will be receiving a call from our customer representative, within 48 business hours, who shall attend to your complaint and provide a resolution at the earliest. It is our aim to provide you a satisfactory resolution as early as possible."

Of course there was no reply within 48 hours.

On 9 May I got an email saying: "Thank you for reaching out to the Tata DOCOMO Customer Care Team. We trust your complaint, docket no: xxxxx, has been addressed to your complete satisfaction."

When I wrote back saying that it had not addressed my complaint at all, I got a reply on 10 May: "Please be informed that your MNP port out request has been retained as you have delayed in contacting other operator for port in request within 7 days. Hence, request you to send the port out sms once again and contact the other operator with in the given time lines to get the number activated."

With so many contradictory messages being sent to me I obviously don't want to go through the whole rigmarole all over again. So I am stuck with a phone which is useless except for sending SMS messages.

Tata-Docomo has a television campaign going on now whose punch line is: What if everyone treated you like your mobile operator? My question of course is: What if everyone treated you like TATA-DOCOMO?

Just a few days into this experience I received a call from TATA AIG touting their insurance schemes. No prizes for guessing what my response was.

Category: Miscellaneous

24 December 2011

Korean joke in Hindi

South Korean: Mere paas Samsung hai, LG hai, Kia hai. Tere paas kya hai?

North Korean: Mere paas Dear Leader hai.

(Deewaar, otherwise known as the 38th Parallel)

Category: Miscellaneous

03 August 2011

Isaac Newton on declining to join Facebook

Q. What did Isaac Newton say when he declined to join Facebook or any other social networking site?

A. I see not what there is desirable in publick esteeme, were I able to acquire and maintaine it. It would perhaps increase my acquaintance, ye thing which I chiefly study to decline.

Category: Miscellaneous

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