My Review on Jasminn By Mango (Hotel), Goa

vaHey friends! The title itself suggests that it is a hotel review this time. This is something which I’ve been waiting to write. When we first went to Goa in November 2015, we were searching for a hotel to stay at. We weren’t sure which one to take a chance with. We were four of us (mom, sister, hubby and me). We were going to spend the entire day outdoors. So, we didn’t want to stay at a place which is super expensive as we would not make use of any of the facilities (we were going to be back at the hotel for sleep only). I was browsing through a list of hotels on trip advisor and that is when I found Jasminn by Mango Hotels situated at Salcette, the southern part of Goa. The hotel matched our requirement and we decided to take a chance. We went for it.

We were really scared about how the hotel would turn out to be, since we had had a very funny experience the same year at Chennai. We were very particular about the hygiene and stuff. The road leading us to the hotel creeped us out further. It seemed very isolated. After we reached we realised that the hotel was quite appreciable. It looked very appealing. We were hoping that the rooms were neat and clean too. Believe me, it, really, was well maintained. We weren’t there the entire time, so we weren’t exposed much to their service, but, whatever time we spent, we felt the service was pretty good. We had a very nice and pleasant stay.

The next time when my husband and I planned our Goa trip we decided to stay at Jasminn. This was in February 2016. This time were going to stay for a week. We decided to negotiate for a good meal plan as we were sure we wouldn’t go anyway far at night as we had taken the bus to Goa. We hired the two-wheeler at the hotel for commuting. We spent a reasonable amount of time in the hotel as well; that is when we realised that their service was also very good, be it room service or housekeeping. The lunch and dinner at the Café attached to the hotel was delicious (though we found the breakfast to be very ordinary). We still remember the guy, Shriram who served us daily at the restaurant. He was so enthusiastic about his work that we were really impressed. He saw us daily for about six days and then, on the seventh day he got the chef to make Gajar ka Halwa for us as he realised that we were tired of their dessert options (it was either ice cream or gulab jamun). The other person about whom we have to mention here is the Guest Service Leader at Jasminn, Sherry. She made sure our stay was very comfortable and pleasant.

The third time we planned to go to Goa (that is, this year in January) we were sure about Jasminn. We were in for a shock when we realised that the hotel was full. We requested them to somehow provide us a room for a week. We, then, got in touch with Sherry. She, promptly, provided us with the best. This time our trip was more for relaxation, so we spent a considerable amount of time in the hotel. We made use of most of the facilities provided. We used the swimming pool and the activity centre (I guess, we were the first ones to use it). Sherry made sure that our stay with them for a week was a very pleasant one.

After being here three times, I can very confidently say that if you’re visiting Goa, do not hesitate to stay here. The location is amazing. It is very calm and peaceful. It is located in the interiors, which mostly houses the Goan residents. There is no commotion around you.

I would like to give a four-star rating for this place.

Planning to go to Goa anytime soon? Go ahead and book your stay here.

I will be back soon…

Till then, Cheers!!!

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My Recipe for a lazy weekend – Mixed Vegetable Uthappam accompanied with Tangy Tomato Chutney

img-20170215-wa0022Hi guys. I’m here a day earlier than expected! I have a busy day ahead tomorrow and unlike before, I’m going to keep my blog going no matter what. So, here I am. I have a lot of recipes which I need to share at the earliest (there are bright chances of me forgetting the ingredients or the method).  Weekends are the time of the week where you have all the time in the World to make breakfast slowly and peacefully without any rush. It might or might not be the case with most of you. It, definitely, is the case with me. Two weekends in a row now, I’m trying my skills at making uthappa. The whole idea of making the uthappa (or uthappam as it is popularly referred to as) popped up when I saw a variety of vegetables at home and some leftover dosa batter. I tried making it as healthy as possible by adding in a lot of ingredients. When you add in lots of veggies, it is one healthy and filling breakfast, with no need to munch on anything until lunch.

Mixed Vegetable Uthappam

Ingredients

2 cups Dosa Batter

1 cup finely chopped vegetables (capsicum, tomato, onion, fenugreek leaves, coriander leaves)

Finely chopped green chili and ginger (add this to the chopped veggies and mix well)

Chutney Powder (any locally available chutney powder)

Oil as per requirement

Salt – if required as the dosa batter and the chutney powder already has salt

Method

  • Heat the tawa
  • Sprinkle little oil and spread it evenly on the tawa
  • Add one spoonful of the batter (add as per the size you require)
  • Sprinkle the chutney powder and 1 spoonful of the chopped vegetables evenly (spread the veggies over the uthappam evenly)
  • Sprinkle little oil on the top and close the lid
  • After five minutes remove the lid and turn the uthappam upside down and cook it
  • Remove it from the tawa and serve hot

Note: For the dosa batter soak 2 cups rice with 1 cup urad dal in water. Add 1 tsp methi seeds to it and soak it for like 12-15 hours. Grind it into a fine paste and add salt as per requirement.

Tomato Chutney

Ingredients

3-4 ripe tomatoes – roughly chopped

1 garlic flake

½ tsp Methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)

1 tsp chana dal

1 tsp urad dal

1 small piece tamarind

1 small piece jiggery

1 pinch Hing

Dry Red Chili as per your requirement

Salt as per requirement

Oil for frying (about 1 tsp)

Method

  • Heat Oil in a pan and add hing to it and fry for a minute
  • Add the methi seeds and fry
  • Add 1 tsp chana dal and Urad Dal and fry until the urad dal turns golden brown
  • Add the red chili and fry well
  • Add the garlic and fry
  • Finally add in the tomatoes, tamarind, jaggery and salt and close the lid and cook for about 5-10 minutes
  • Remove it from flame, cool it and grind it into a fine paste
  • Add a tadka of mustard and curry leaves
  • Serve with rice, chapatti or dosa

This is my mom’s tried and tested recipe which I blindly followed.

I am sure you will try this out and let me know how it turned out to be.

See you guys soon.

Cheers!!!

My Review on Jeffrey Archer’s “Kane and Abel”

51s6elfbszl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Hi Friends, as promised I’m back on Thursday with a review. I had, very long ago, read Jeffrey Archer’s ‘Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less’. I found the book very amazing. Thanks to my BFF Geeta for introducing me to Jeffrey Archer. After that I always wanted to read more of his books, but somehow could not. Recently, I had the opportunity to see Jeffrey Archer live at the release of his book ‘This Was a Man’ at Crossword (one of the leading bookstores). It was, then, that I got really motivated and decided to pick up one of his books from my library. I picked up ‘Kane and Abel’. So here I am, to give the review of the book.

It is one such book which every book lover must read (something which I realised after reading the book).  The description and comparison of the two important characters in the book is something which I loved the most.  As the name itself suggests, the book is all about the two guys Kane and Abel. The book begins with Abel. It starts with him being left unattended soon after birth in the fields when one of the ladies feels bad and adopts him. She and her husband do not have sufficient money to take care of their own children, but still, she goes against her husband’s wishes and adopts Abel. She brings him up along with her other children, but Abel is not very happy about how things are with him from childhood. He has this best friend who is a Baron’s son and he always feels that he deserves to lead a life like him too. One fine day, the Baron himself comes to Abel’s parents and asks their permission to raise him as he sees a lot of potential in him. Since the parents are financially very weak, he is well aware that they will not be able to give him a great life. They agree to send him as he is himself very keen on going. That is when his new journey starts.

On the other hand, is Kane (his name is William Kane), the son of a rich banker, Richard Kane, the Chairman of Kane and Cobbot. The contrast in the lives of Kane and Abel is brought out really well. At the time when Abel is all frustrated and wants to run away from his poverty, Kane has all the riches of life. He is basically born with a silver spoon. There is nothing that he lacks in life. He is also a very smart kid. From a very young age he has a flair for financials, making it very apparent that one day like his dad, he will also head the Bank. His parents want to have another child but they are advised against it, as the doctor says that it is life threatening for the mother.

The lives turn bitter for both of them. The war is on in Poland. The Baron and his Castle is captured. The Baron’s only son and Abel’s best friend is killed in the attack. The Baron is almost dying and Abel as a small kid is clueless. Just when the Baron is about to die he calls Abel and instructs him to escape and save himself when a truth is suddenly revealed and the Baron is shocked (it is to be found out by yourself). He gives Abel his silver band. The Baron dies. Abel is taken away along with a few others. A tough life begins for Abel as he is captured and he knows that if he tries to escape he will be gunned down immediately. On the other hand, Kane, his mom and dad and his grand moms (yes, grandmoms – grand mom Kane and grand mom Cobbot) are all happy in their lives when a tragedy befalls them. Richard dies in a mishap on the sea. Everything is almost getting back on track just when Kane’s mom marries a guy Henry Osborne, who turns out to be the villain in their lives. From the beginning, Kane is not very happy about his mom’s remarriage but lets her go ahead since he is in the Boarding School and he knows that his mom is lonely. Osborne makes life hell for everyone as he is constantly taking money from his wife out of her late husband Richard’s estate. Kane doesn’t like it, but his mom is blind folded in love. He, then, forces her to have a child even though the doctors warn against it. She dies while giving birth and so does the baby. Kane, then, throws Osborne out of the house and begins his life afresh.

Here, on the other hand, Abel escapes from the Germans and lands in US after crossing a lot of obstacles and lands up as a waiter in a restaurant. He, from the start of his life, had been a very ambitious person who doesn’t settle for smaller things in life. He works so hard day and night, that he is observed by a man who runs a chain of restaurants at New York. He absorbs him as the Senior Manager of his restaurant. Immediately after that there are a lot of things that come up and the hotel goes into a huge debt. The owner jumps off the 17th floor in frustration as he couldn’t live up to the bank’s expectations. Abel is really fond of him, so he blames Kane for his death. He is hell bent on taking revenge when Henry Osborne appears out of nowhere in Abel’s life to help him take revenge against Kane.

The story keeps building with a lot of suspense and revenge drama. The story gets an addition of the next generation to it. It then, takes a turn when Kane’s son Richard falls in love with Abel’s daughter Florentina. Both Kane and Abel are furious about it. What happens in the due course? Do they get married or do the parents stop them from going ahead? What happens to Kane and Abel’s hate relationship? Will it ever end or will animosity prevail in the end?

To find out the answers to these questions you MUST read ‘Kane and Abel. It is one awesome book which you cannot afford to miss if you love reading (this is what I realised after reading it). The way Jeffrey Archer writes is something beyond perfection. In addition to that, what I love about this book was the way he has brought out the two characters. He has described them from the beginning of the book in contrast to each other. The circumstances in which they meet and how their hate relationship surfaces and lives all along.

Why are you still here, reading this when you can actually grab the book and start off.

See you soon . . .

Cheers!!!

Note: The image in this blog post is borrowed from google images.

Mixed Vegetables with thick Potato gravy- Recipe Time

20170201_094656Hey guys! Hope all of you out there are doing great!! I’m super ashamed of the fact that I always promise to blog often and then, just vanish into thin air. I’m sure most of you will not trust me when I say that this will be my comeback blog post, but this time, I swear, it will be. It really was some crazy two- three months. Starting today, I’m going to post every week.  Here I am today with a recipe which happens to be my own experiment. As always, the question that reels in most of our minds every morning, probably, is what new sabzi to make for chapatti? It was one such day yesterday when I was trying to figure out what to do with potatoes. I had a limited supply of potatoes which wasn’t sufficient for all of us. So, I decided to try out something different and I’m glad my hubby loved it. It is a proper North Indian gravy recipe.

Let’s quickly run through the recipe.

Ingredients

3 medium sized Potatoes – cut into cubes

3 medium sized Potatoes – roughly chopped

1 medium sized Tomato – roughly chopped

1 medium sized Capsicum – roughly chopped

200 gms frozen Green Peas

4 medium sized Onions finely chopped

2 flakes of Garlic

1 tsp Jeera

1 tsp Turmeric Powder

1 tsp Chili Powder

1 tsp Amchur Powder

¾ tsp Everest Sabzi Masala

1 pinch Sugar

1 tsp Oil

Finely chopped Coriander Leaves for garnishing

Salt as per requirement

Water as per requirement

Method

  • Cook the potatoes in a cooker in two separate vessels (the cubes should not get mixed with the roughly chopped ones) and keep it aside
  • Once it cools, take the potatoes which are roughly chopped and boiled and add garlic, ¼ of the finely chopped onions and ½ tsp chili powder and grind it into a fine paste by adding as much water as required
  • In a pan, take one tsp oil and heat it. Add Jeera to it and wait until it splutters
  • Add ¾ of the finely chopped onions along with little salt and fry till transparent
  • Add the tomato and fry until it becomes tender
  • Add the Capsicum and fry until it changes colour
  • Then add the frozen green peas and fry until it becomes tender
  • Add the boiled potato cubes, the ground paste and 1 tsp turmeric, ½ tsp chili powder, 1 tsp Amchur, 1 tsp Everest Sabzi Masala, Salt and Water as per your requirement (add water based on how thick you want your gravy to be)
  • Bring it boil
  • Garnish it with finely chopped Coriander Leaves

Serve hot with rotis or rice.

I’m sure you will enjoy this one. Boiled potato paste gives the gravy a thick base, making it an ideal accompaniment for Chapatti. You can add whatever veggies you find at home to make it healthier.

Why are you still here? Try this now!!!

See you guys again next week with something interesting..

Till then, Cheers!!!!