Showing posts from November, 2014

Important points to follow in Personal Finance

Important points to follow in Personal Finance
One is never too old to set one's finances right.From my learning of the Dynamics of Personal Finance, the following points are very important:

A. Know your ‘Average monthly expenses’.
B.Always remember the difference between an Asset and a Liability. Buy Assets. Never buy a liability (believing it is an Asset).

C.Multiple sources of income is the way to becoming rich; however small, those sources of income may be.

D.Diversify; Diversify; Diversify! Diversify your investments. More the diversity, lesser the risk.

E.Saving / Investment in the following order:
·Emergency cash (anywhere between 3 months to 12 months expense money), 
·Life insurance,
·Medical insurance (of the earning member),
·Money for dependent’s (parents’ and / or children’s) needs,
·Fixed Deposits in banks,
·Bonds (other than FDs in banks),
·Equities (Stocks / Mutual funds),
·Real estate etc.

F.Pay yourself first. Save first from the income, and then pay others.

G.Have a good tax co…

Trek to Siddha Parvat in Bhatti, Sanguem, Goa

Dt: 16-11-14

Trek to Siddha Parvat in Bhatti, Sanguem Taluka, Goa
It turned out to be another memorable trek with Eco Treks! I am glad I talked myself into going! 

Siddha Parbat is in Sanguem Taluka, in South Goa. So, about hundred of us eager trekkers started on our south Goa journey on a bright November 16th. Morning at 7.30 am. We travelled for a couple of hrs. and reached the entrance gate to the Siddha Parvat. By now we were on the ghat roads. Someone pointed a huge mountain in front and said we have climb it. I could not see a trail leave alone a path!

Entrance gate
As per the schedule, we were served breakfast of Pav bread, peas curry and Ragi sweet: of course as much tea as we want! After we partook the hot food, there was the usual round of introductions by all. 
Introductions going on
The newcomers / first timers are welcomed with hearty clapping. The trek in-charge discharged a few instructions, and we all started walking / climbing at our own pace. There was no flat ground anyw…

Toor dal with Methi (fenugreek) leaves

Methi (Fenugreek) leaves Toor dal with Methi (Pigeon peas & fenugreek leaves) Toor dal with methi leaves
Toor dal / Arhar dal (Pigeon Pea) - 1 cup.            Methi leaves (fenugreek) – 1 small bunch Salt – to taste Turmeric (Haldi) - pinch Green Chillies – 2 nos. Mustard seeds & cumin seeds (Rayi & jeera) – ½ tsp Curry leaves – a few         Oil for seasoning (tadka) – 1 tbs   Method 1: Wash and separate methi leaves.Add methi leaves, Haldi, chopped green chillies to dal in a pressure cooker. Add 3 cups of water and cook for 2 or 3 whistles or until dal is cooked soft.When cooled, mash the dal to a coarse paste. Put salt into the dal mixture and cook it on stove without lid. When it is done, remove from stove.Heat oil in a sauce pan (kadai), add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves. When they start spluttering pout the oil over the dal.This dal can be eaten with rice or roti.

Suji (semolina) & Atta (wheat flour) Halwa

Suji & Atta Halwa:
This is a very easy recipe to make; very wholesome, healthy and tasty too. Try it with small quantities initially.
Ingredients: ·Atta (wheat flour) – 1 cup    ·Suji (Rawa / semolina) – ½ cup ·Water – 6 cups ·Ghee (clarified butter) – 2 or 3 tbs. (more is better) ·Sugar – 1 cup ·Dry fruits (assorted) for garnishing
Preparation: ·Chop and fry dry fruits in a tsp. of ghee and keep aside. ·Heat ghee in a frying pan and roast atta and suji until golden brown. ·Add water and let it cook. Keep stirring to make sure it does not stick to the base.

Brinjal & Tomato Chutney

Brinjal & Tomato chutney
Learnt this recipe from my mother. Those days, there were no Mixer / grinders. We had to grind the chutney in the stone pestle. That job was mostly mine. I watched my mother prepare the ingredients, the proportions etc. also what goes in which sequence. That is how I got the hang of chutnyes from a young age.
Ingredients: Brinjals –250 gms. Tomatoes – 250 gms. Green chillies – 6 – 8 nos. Rayi (mustard seeds) & Jeera (cumin seeds) – 2 tsp. each Curry leaves -  a few Salt – to taste Oil – 4 tbs. Garlic pods – 8 nos. Tamarind – 1 lemon size
Method: Chop tomatoes, brinjals, green chilies into 1 cm pieces. Soak tamarind in half a cup of water. Heat 1 tbs. oil in a frying pan; add 1 tsp. each rayi, jeera, 4 garlic pods, green chillies. Fry then to a brown colour. Drain the oil and put into mixer. Add salt to it. Make a fine powder. Add tamarind and make a smooth paste. Into the pan, put chopped tomato and cook until done. Let it cool. Add the tomato to the mixer and blend …

Tomato Chutney (sweet)

Tomato chutney (sweet):
This tomato chutney, which is sweet, can be served with any savory snacks or rotis.
Ingredients: Tomatoes – ¼ kg. Oli – 2 tsp. Sugar – 6 – 7 tsp. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp. Rayi (Mustard seeds), Jeer (Cumin seeds), Methi (Fenugreek seeds), Kala Jeera (Black cumin seeds) – together 1 tsp. Green chilli – 1 no. Hing (Asafotoeda) – 1 pinch Haldi ( turmeric powder) – ¼ tsp. Salt to taste
Preparation: ·Chop tomatoes roughly. ·Heat oil in a pan, add Rayi, Jeera, Mustard seeds and a pinch of Hing. ·Put the chopped green chilli when the above start spluttering. ·Add chopped tomatoes. ·

Tomato Chutney cum Pickle

Tomato chutney cum Pickle:
I learnt this recipe from my dear friend Meena. This is a chutney but tastes like a pickle. It is a south Indian recipe and quite hot & spicy. Tastes best mixed in rice and donot forget to add ghee!
Ingredients: Tomatoes – ½ kg. Oli – 1 small cup Tamarind – 1 small cup Chilli powder - 1 small cup Salt – 4/5 ths. of a cup Methi (fenugreek) powder – ½ tsp. For garnishing – 2 tsps (together) of rayi (mustard), methi (fenugreek) seeds Dry red chillies – 4 nos.
Preparation: ·         Chop tomatoes roughly. ·         Heat 2 tsp. of oil in a frying pan, and add chopped tomatoes. ·         After the tomatoes are cooked for 3 to 4 min, add dry tamarind flakes. ·         Cover the pan and pour water on the lid. ·         Cook until tomatoes and tamarind are done. ·

Your views or Balconies

If you are staying on the ground floor and have  adequate space all round for plants, lawns etc. you are very lucky. Those of us who stay on the upper floors do not have such a luxury. 
But we have the option of BALCONIES! and I love them. Balconies can be big, small, narrow, deep or even wide. They sometimes are so big, they can be called ‘Terraces'. A balcony can double up as a sit-out or dining area when the weather permits, or a play area for children, or a study, or an open sleeping area during summer. If the living area extends into the balcony, the balcony becomes part of it. In a high rise apartment, it can be converted into a garden. Whether high rise or not, a balcony connects the rest of the house with outdoors or to the nature.
The balcony is your private open area, on par with open courtyards, front yards and back yards. The activities that can be performed in a balcony depend on many factors such as the area of the balcony, the seasons, location of it in the ho…

Trek to Mhadei river crossing after Kumthal village, Valpoi

We were going on a trek after 6 months. We were going to cross Mhadei river after Kumthal village. It was exciting thinking about heading into the hills with forest all round, and getting into the cool waters of Mhadei river! The date was 26th oct’14. As the day come closer, I got busy planning what to wear and which swimsuit to take etc. Two days before the due date, effect of Cyclone Nilofer hit Goa and it rained non-stop. All the well laid plans went for a toss, and had to settle for plastic sandals, old trousers, rain gear and umbrellas! So much for anticipation! The day started out cloudy but dry and there were nearly 100 of us eager trekkers in 3 mini buses! We travelled for one and half hours and stopped in an open place for breakfast. Breakfast is the standard fare of Eco treks, Pav, Alsane curry with coconut gravy and tea. As always it was hot and very tasty. After having second and third helpings, we introduced ourselves and tell what we like about Eco treks etc.
Breakfast tim…

Brinjal & Cucumber Chutney

Brinjal – 250 gms. Cucumber (the type which is almost round and sour) – 250 gms. Green chillies – 6 nos. (a few more if you want the chutney to be more spicy) Cumin seeds – 2 tsp. Mustard seeds – 2 tsp. Black gram (without skin and split) – 2 tsp. Curry leaves – a few Garlic pods – 8 nos. Tamarind – lime size. Oil – 3.5 tbsp. Salt – to taste


Clean and cut brinjal into roughly 1 cm. cubes and leave them in water. Check whether cucumber is bitter. Discard if it is bitter and use another which is sour. Cut the cucumber into half sm. cubes. Make sure you retain the juice from the cucumber while removing some of the seeds. Chop green chillies into 1 cm. long pieces. Clean and soak tamarind in half a cup of water. Heat 1 tbsp. oil into a frying pan, and when it is hot, add cumin, mustard, garlic, black gram, a curry leaves, to it. Wait until they start spluttering and light brown in colour. Take the pan off the stove. Once cooled, remove the spices from the pan and put in the chutney …