Category Archives: City Life

A Recipe To Cook Raan At Home

Raan

Cooked leg piece-Raan

How To Cook A Raan At Home

Serves 4 persons

Marinade

Ginger Paste 2 Tea Spoons Heaping

Garlic Paste  2 Tea Spoons Heaping

Curd 400 gms Strained ( with as little water in it as possible)

Rum 1 large peg

Kachri Powder 2 Tea Spoons

2 Tea Spoons Red Chillie Powder

Salt ½ Tea Spoon or to taste

Masala

Ghee 150 gms

Oil     150 gms

Saabut Garam Masala ( 4 Doda, 1 ½ inch Dal chini, 5 Big Tej Patta, 20 Kali Mirch,

10 Cloves, 4 Small Ilaichi)

Oninons 4 large minced

Red  chillie powder 2 tea spoons heaping ( or to taste)

Corriender Powder 2 tea spoons heaping( or same proportion as the red chillies)

Turmeric ½ Tea Spoon

Salt -One Tea Spoon (Not heaping) or to taste.

Sour Curd 200 gms ( or lesser in proportion to the red chillies as this much curd is needed to take the bite out of the red chillies)

Garlic Paste 2 Tea Spoons

Ginger Paste 2 Tea Spoons

2 green chillies minced

1 leg piece Mutton ( 750 gms. to 1 Kg)

Wash the leg piece and prick it with knife thoroughly. Mix the marinade ingredients & apply them to the raan. Put it in your fridge overnight.

When preparing the mixture for the marinade make sure that it is not watery. You should  get rid of the water in the curd by tying it in a thin muslin cloth.

Heat the oil in a cooker till it is smoking & add the ghee. Add all the Saabut Gram Masala fry in oil for on low heat for a moment. Add the onions & fry the onions till they are brown.

Add red chillies, dhania, turmeric & salt with some water & fry till oil sepatrates.

While adding the curd ensure to stir the mixture on high flame till the masala comes to a boil. Keep the flame on low heat and keep frying the curry till it takes the color of deep oily red chillies.

Add the Garlic paste and the ginger paste & green chillies to the curry and cook some more.

Pre heat the oven at 300 Degrees and assemble the marinated leg piece and the masala in the oven tray & put it the oven.

Once the oil starts bubbling set the temperature to 150 degrees and cook till done. If you wish you can turn the leg piece a couple of times as the oil will settle at the bottom of the tray & may not cover the leg piece.

It can also be cooked in a Cooker on a slow fire.

Serve with hot  chapaties.

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Why Love Jaipur?

Teej

Teej Festival

Living in Jaipur is as difficult or as easy as living any where else but here are some reasons why you will fall in love with Jaipur.

In the twelve months of a year you get to experience a whole gamut of  weather in Jaipur. There is hot summer, cold winter, hot & humid monsoons & the season when the winter just drifts in. Just when you are thinking I have had enough of this heat or cold or the rains the seasons change, and life goes on.

And with the change of season the eating habits also change. What food! In the monsoons you eat choorma dal baati in some picnic spot in the lap of the Aravali’s which are covered with solid green because of the rains. If you do not have time for a picnic a spot of rain & people are flocking the sweet shops for their favourite snack like samosa, pyaz ki kachri or mirchi bara or if they are watching their weight then they are sipping a hot cup of tea or a cup of coffee at the CCD. In the winters they are eating lal mans or khichda or drinking hot rabri. In summers they drink lassi & eat different varieties of mangoes which keep changing as the summer progresses.

Jaipur is a heaven for the photography enthusiast. Jaipur has it all. Besides the concrete jungle it also has monuments,huge forts, mountains, an artificially maintained fresh water lake, ancient havelies, temples, bazars, palaces, festivals, friendly people, flowers,birds & photography accessory shops.

Jaipur is doing its best to catch up with the four metropolitan cities of New Delhi,Mumbai,Kolkata & Chennai but life is still laid back & the distances are not what they are in the other metros. You can still drop by a friend for a drink or dinner an evening.

The festivals Jaipur celebrate around the year make sure that there is no ennui in the life of the people of Jaipur. Some major festivals are, holi, deepawali, raakhi,teej,gangaur and makkar sankranti.

If you thought all of the above would keep the people of Jaipur busy enough around the year, you would be wrong, because there are the Jaipur weddings! Some people just go to court to get married but others have such weddings that people from all corner of the world come to Jaipur to get married in a Jaipuri wedding.

These are some of the top reasons to love Jaipur. If you think otherwise please list your choices here below.

Elephants Are The National Heritage Animals Of India

Jaipur Elephants

Elephants of Jaipur

Who does not know about the elephants of Amber? We have seen them at the foothill of the Amber fort waiting for their turn to give us a ride up to the Fort. We have seen them around the city in marriage processions and the yearly Teej & Gangaur processions & we have seen them perform at the Elephant Festival at Holi time. But do you know elephants have been declared the ‘Heritage Animal of India’ in October 2010 by the Environment Ministry of India.

60% of Elephants in Asia live in India where they have been part of the human existence for times immemorial. There are about 27,000 elephants in India. And about 3500 are in captivity. The intention of this welcome measure is to take active & concrete measures to  protect the tuskers and the environment they live in and to count them.

 

The Flowers Are Back!

Sisodia Rani Ka Baagh

Sisodia Raani Ka Baagh,Jaipur,Rajasthan,India.

No two ways about it Jaipur is in the middle of the monsoon. Though the rains are taking there own sweet time to come as and when they see fit. A couple of days of rain and the rain lily is in full bloom. Pink, yellow, white, big or small the rain lily leads the riot of color which is going to follow. The Aravali mountain range, guarding Jaipur for all these centuries, has a solid cover of green, which is going to last till after the monsoon has left Jaipur. The people of Jaipur & the tourists are thronging the three Forts, Jaigarh, Nahargarh & Amber, during and after the showers. During the summers the people were eating to live, now they are living to eat, choorma-dal-baati & other rajasthani delicacies. No weekend goes by which does not see a ‘Goth’ in a picturesque locations surrounding Jaipur. The plant nurseries of Jaipur are chock- a- block full of  various plants in anticipation of the huge demand by public. The people usually plant trees during monsoons as they take root relatively easily. Also, others would like to replace the plants which did not survive the harsh summers.

So if you were thinking of going on a picnic, planting a rose garden or visiting folks in Jaipur, then now is the time!
Pink Rain Lily

A Pink Rain Lily in full bloom

Yellow Rose

A yellow rose in full bloom.

What’s Cool In This Heat?

As I write this post it is well above 42 Degrees Centigrade out side. My FM radio says the roads are deserted. The ceiling fan in the room is just throwing more hot air around  the room. This post is about all the cool things you can do, only in summers, when the mercury in the thermometers is raising northward. It might not be the most pleasant of   seasons but it has its uses. Imagine how you would define cold if there was no heat. The heat of the summer brings the rain bearing clouds of monsoon to India.

Here is a list of lesser known reasons to appreciate the summers you might not have considered before.

Amaltas In The Central Park-Jaipur

Amaltas In The Central Park-Jaipur

This is when the Amaltas, Gulmohar & Bougainvillea are gloriously in full bloom. However much might the heat be these trees are lush green & ever willing to shade you from the ever hot sun.

Cleaning and getting the air-cooler functional for the summer is a yearly ritual. In the dry heat of Jaipur where even the AC fails, the cooler keeps life bearable.

This is the season when you can take long afternoon siestas without any guilt.

The days start earlier and you can go for long walks in the nearby parks & gardens.

You have perfect excuse to wear minimum clothes. Cotton clothes in summer are a rare luxury.

You can store water in buckets to have bath with later when the water is colder & nobody will laugh at you.

There are hardly any mosquitoes around. Aside from heatstroke etc. this is a healthy season.

You get to MAX on watching IPL cricket at the beginning of the summer.

Now a days you can even go boating on the Man Sagar Lake.

You get to go swimming & enjoy pool side parties and freak out at the rain dances.

If you like to gamble you can bet on all aspects of the coming monsoon.

You can relish cool water from surahi or matka.

You do not see many flowers in summers but Water Lilly does bloom gloriously just now.

If you like mangoes all through summers a different variety of  mango is available in the market for your pleasure.

At no time is a glass of beer more welcome than on a hot afternoon.

In these health conscious days drinking sherbet might be out of fashion but I am very partial to sherbets in summers. They can cool you off better than a carbonated drink.

You can write a whole post on the wonders of having chach/lassi/ butter milk & curd in summers. You ought to try the meethi lassi in a kulhar on the M.I.Road at the Lassiwala next to Charmica to know what I mean.

You can have Paani Patasi with Iced-water on the Link Road next to Sarogi Mansion.

You get to drink iced tea & mint tea in summers.

This is the season when the whole family gets together to make mango ice cream in a bucket at home.

You get different types of melons to eat to cool off.

I hope reading this post took your mind off the heat for some time!

If you can think of some more cool things to do this summer please feel free to list them here.

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Paneer Masala

Here is a simple recipe to cook Cottage Cheese Masala ( Paneer Masala) for two.

Time Taken : 40 Min.

200 gms Paneer ( Cottage Cheese)

2 Medium Onions Minced

1 Medium Tomato Minced

2 Green Chillies Minced

1 Tea Spoon Garlic Paste ( Heaping)

100 gm Fresh Curd

100 gm Butter

100 gm Fresh  Cream

2 Table Spoon Refined  Soya Oil

1 Tea Spoon Red Chillies Powder ( Heaping)

1/2 Tea Spoon Coriander Powder (Dhania)

1/2 Tea Spoon Salt Or to taste

1/4 Tea Spoon Turmeric Powder

Pour the oil in a Wok and heat it to little short of smoking point and add the onions. Fry the onions on low heat till they are transparent. Add the minced tomato. Fry some more till the tomatoes are cooked. Add the red chillies powder, dhaniya powder, salt,  turmeric powder & some water to cook the mixture. You might have to add some more water once or twice to cook the mixture thoroughly. Add garlic paste & minced green chillies & cook some more. Add the curd and bring the mixture to boil. Making a point to keep string the mixture till it is boiling. Cook the mixture till the whiteness of the curd is gone and redness of the chillies is in the masala. Now stir in the butter. Add the milk cream and cook some more. Now cut the paneer in small pieces and add to the masala.

If you wish you can add a  chicken cube to the masala.

Serve it with crisp plain  parathas cooked in oil or butter-as per your taste & choice.

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Viratnagar

Beejak Ki Pahari,Viratnagar

Viratnagar is about 86 km from Jaipur on the Jaipur-Shahpura-Alwar route. You have to turn for Viratnagar at Shahpura on Jaipur Delhi Highway.

But why Viratnagar? Who goes to Viratnagar? You might ask.

A little time invested in visiting the sights this town has to offer will pay rich dividends, you will see.

Viratnagar  has been a witness to a lot of history being made. According to the excavations done around this town people have been living here since the prehistoric times.

Accorading to the Mahabharat,King Virat founded the city Viratnagar, and the Pandavs spent thirteen years of ‘Agyatvas’(exile) here. This is the city which saw much wheeling & dealing to broker peace to avoid the great war of Mahabharat. Ancient travelers have mentioned their visits to the city. The river Banganga flows near by, a fair is held here every year.

Beejak Ki Pahari
Beejak Ki Pahari,Viratnagar

This serene site is in the lap of the Aravali mountain range. On a ridge under a rock shaped like a Cannon there is an ancient Hanuman temple.
Hanuman Temple, Beejak Ki Pahari,Viratnagar
And there are remains of a Budhist Monastry & a Budhist Stupa shrine from the Mauryan times. This site was found in work done in 1935-36. This is a protected site of ASI.
Budhist Ruins on The Beejak Ki Pahari,Viratnagar

In recent development work done here a cement shelter has been built at the foot of the hillock.

Ganesh Mandir and the Local Museum. The museum has some relics of great importance and antiquity from the Ashokan period.
Ganesh Temple above the museum,Viratnagar

Viratnagar

A stepwell on the way to Panch Malla Mahal badly in need of restoration.

A Stepwell,Viratnagar

Panch Mala Mahal. Raja Man Singh had this imposing structure made.  Emperor Akbar used to stay here on his way to the Ajmer shrine.

Panch Mala Mahal,Viratnagar

I think he has seen a lot of tourists pass by this palace.

Panch Mala Mahal,Viratnagar

The paintings on the domes of the chatries of the palace.

Fresco in the Panch Mala Mahal,Viratnagar

Shri Shri 1008 Digambar Jain Nasiyan.

Shri Shri 1008 Digambar Jain Nasiyan,Viratnagar

Shri Shri 1008 Digambar Jain Nasiyan, Mughal Gate,Viratnagar

Shri Shri 1008 Digambar Jain Nasiyan, Mughal Gate,Viratnagar

Maybe the ghost who walks was here! This is his mark.

The Phantom's Cave

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Science Park

An exhibit in the Science Park of Jaipur

An exhibit in the Science Park of Jaipur

The Science Park of Jaipur is located in the Shastri Nagar colony of Jaipur on a parcel of land measuring  over three acres.

Besides  interactive scientific models it also has powerful telescopes, a planetarium, an IT Gallery show casing the advances in computers & some nifty soft-wares , a traffic park where you can ride in a Golf Cart & learn how to stay safe on roads & a huge  model of a Dinosaur & a small play ground.

Their weekly off is on  Monday. During summers they are open from 8.30-11.30 & again from 16.30-20.30 in the evening. In winters they are open from 9.00-12.30 & 15.00-18.30. Their Contact No is 0141-2304654.

The Traffic Park Exhibit At The Science Park Of Jaipur

The Traffic Park Exhibit At The Science Park Of Jaipur

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JKK Gifts Jaipur With A Rajasthani Museum

The Alankar Museum at The Jawahar Kala Kendra(JKK) showcasing  Rajasthani art & cultural artifacts  is now open to the public.
Ground Floor At The Alankar Museum At The JKK

It is a timely and creditable effort to collect all the artifacts just now before they disappear forever from  apathy on our part. When  you visit the museum you might think what is so special about this artifact I have one like this at home. But you might discard it tomorrow due to space constraints or vastu advice or because you were getting a good bargain. You are under no obligation to preserve it. Furthermore the curator has gone to great effort to collect all artifacts one might find in say for example a Rajasthani Kitchen. That fact helps you visualize what a Rajasthani kitchen in the days gone by looked like and what utensils were used and how they used them.
1st Floor At The Alankar Museum At The JKK

The museum is on two floors. The ground floor has been used to display blue pottery,stone & wooden carvings & paintings. The upper floor has been used to display rural life & agricultural artifacts. It showcases a rural kitchen also with everything you might find in a rajasthani kitchen.
Wodden Furniture At Alankar Museum At The JKK

Even if you think you know everything about Rajasthani stuff you ought to give this museum a  visit because you will find long lost friends here. You will wonder whatever happened to such & such thing you had used everyday for years. Or you might realize that the thing you have been using for the past n no. of years is now a priceless collectible.
Lock

Furthermore, if you are stuck for ideas on how to decorate your home or what to buy to take home with you, you ought to give this museum a visit,too.

According to the curator, Mr.Abdul Latif Usta,the museum  had a budget of Rs.6 lacs only & you can see it has been put to good use.
Wine Trolley At The Alankar Museum At The JKK

It is open from 10 am to 5 pm.

Entry fees is Rs.20/- only per pax.

Still Camera Fees in JKK is Rs. 50/- per camera.

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The Salt Lake of Sambhar

Sambhar,SaltLake

About 65km from Jaipur the city of Sambhar with the salt lake & the migratory birds it attracts and the holy places of Shakmbhari Mata temple & Devyani Tank is an ideal spot for a day trip excursion out of Jaipur.
Sambhar,SaltLake

Sambhar Lake is the largest salt lake in India. It has produced salt for more than 700 years. Three small towns of Nawa, Sambhar & Gudha are located on the banks of this lake & all are engaged in producing salt. The salt produced from the Sambhar Lake water is much more salty than the salt produced from ocean water & it comes in three different colors, ordinary white & pink & grey.
Sambhar,SaltLake

In 1876 this area was connected by narrow gauge train. Trains were a boon to this area as the lake is spread over an area of 190 sq km. The trains not only connected the area effectively but also were a big help in shifting the salt from one place to another.You can see these trains or trolleys in use even today.
Sambhar

A.O.Hume, the founder of Indian National Congress (INC), was the first commissioner of Sambhar Salt. He was also a keen ornithologist.
Sambhar,SaltLake,Salt Museum

There is a detailed report on the method of salt production in a historical account written during the time of the rule of Aurangzeb. Abul Fazal has also mentioned Sambhar in accounts written by him.

The Circuit House of Sambhar was built by the British in 1880. There is a salt museum housed in a heritage building nearby, also.
Sambhar

During the monsoon the fresh water of the rains attracts a lot of migratory birds. But they fly away once the weather starts getting hotter and the lake water starts becoming salty.

You should take packed lunch and lot of water and cold drinks with you. You can get ice and softdrinks at the Sambhar Bus-stand, also. If you like eating dhaba food, the dhabas at the Nawa bus-stand are a good option. Sambhar is also famous for its feenees, a sweet dish.

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