Posted in Cooking is Fun!

Oats Cake

Here’s a healthy version of cake. No maida, no sugar and no guilt!!

Dry ingredients:

  • Quick Oats – 3 cups
  • Cocoa Powder – 1 cup
  • Baking Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Baking soda – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon powder – 1/4 teaspoon

I used Quick Oats. Rolled Oats would work as well. The cinnamon powder is optional. Mix the above dry ingredients evenly.

Wet Ingredients:

  • Melted butter (unsalted) – 2 cubes
  • Honey – 1/2 cup or as sweet as you prefer
  • Egg – 1 (whisked)
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1/4 teaspoon

Mix the above wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and combine to form a homogenous mixture.

Smear the cake pan with butter. Dust with Oats powder. Another easier way to avoid preparing oats powder is to just save some dry ingredient that we just prepared and sprinkle the same onto the cake pan. Remove the excess.

Transfer the mixed batter into a cake pan. Tap it a few times. Place it on low rack.

Pre heat microwave at 180 degree Centigrade. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown or until it is completely cooked. Insert a toothpick and it should come out clear without any batter sticking to it.

Make sure to cool it on the rack for about 15 minutes before serving.

Posted in <3 for books

The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown

This one came as a total surprise to my perception of Dan Brown’s Books.
The story revolves around Freemasonry and a hidden secret. Robert Langdon tries to decipher the hidden secret that has been guarded for generations by a family of Masons. The story starts off introducing a fierce villain and how he manipulates Langdon into believing and deciphering the hidden secret. The secret has the potential that can lead to “apocalypse”. Dan Brown creates a plot that sound very real and so very believable. He brings in interesting artifacts like Durer’s painting, Franklin Magic Square that are used to solve puzzles. The novel is thrilling and delivers an edge-of-your-seat suspense until you read two thirds of the book. But as you approach the end, when all the missing parts are explained, it just doesn’t seem to fit together.

The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown

As the story unfolds, the hidden secret which could potentially end the world if revealed, turns out to be something very obvious. The author doesn’t justify the necessity of hiding the secret, which is so easily accessible, behind unbreakable codes and protecting it through ages. However, he takes a lot of time proving that the secret could actually lead to disaster if fallen into the wrong hands. That was quite unconvincing.

The positive aspect of the novel is the plot that sounds so real. The Author uses the thin line between fiction and reality. His efforts in studying the elements of Freemasonry, The Architecture of Monuments, Holy books etc. bringing them into the story are commendable.

I truly enjoyed Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. May be it’s hard to write a series in the same genre. It is obviously not so easy to make a novel sound so real and at the same time make it a thriller. May be one’s expectation goes sky high after reading a good book like Da Vinci Code. You expect nothing less. However, I did have a great time reading as much as two thirds of the book and that is all that matters!

Posted in Cooking is Fun!

Pani Puri on a rainy day

Pani Puri has been almost everyone’s all-time favorite. I have missed it since almost a year. Today, I finally tried preparing it myself which was my long time desire! I used ready made puris. Making them myself will be an experiment for another day…

Here’s is my version of Pani Puri, real quick and easy. It turned out clean and hygienic and somewhat tasty. It however couldn’t beat the taste of the one sold on road-side. It missed the smell, dust and perspiration!! 🙂

Step 1: Ingredients for Preparing Pani.

  • Coriander leaves – 1 cup
  • Mint leaves – 1/2 cup
  • Green chilly – 3
  • Ginger – 1 inch
  • Tamarind juice- 1/4 cup
  • Lemon juice – half lemon
  • Spices: Red Chilly powder, cumin, pepper powder, chaat masala

Make a paste with coriander, mint, chilly and ginger. You can either use a mixer or a food processor. Add tamarind juice and lemon to the mixture. Dilute it with 2-3 glasses of water. Pass the diluted mixture through a sieve/filter. Add the dry spices – red chilly powder, cumin powder , chaat masala and pepper powder. Add some salt.

Step 2: For the Filling you will need:

  • White Peas 1 cup
  • Potato – 2 (optional)
  • Onion – 1
  • Coriander leaves
  • Spices: Red chilly powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, chaat masala, pepper powder

Soak white peas for about 5 hours or overnight. Boil it in a pressure cooker for about 5 min or until mashable/soft. You can boil potatoes and mash them. The stuffing is equally tasty even if potatoes are avoided. Add chopped onions and coriander. Add all the spice powders: Red chilly powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, chaat masala and pepper powder and mix it well. Serve them with onions.

Posted in Cooking is Fun!

Uddin Vada / Medu Vada

Medu vada or Uddin vada is made from lentils (urad dal) and is a fond breakfast item in South India. Chopped onions, coriander, curry leaves and green chilly is added to the lentil batter and is deep fried in oil until brown and crisp.

Posted in Home Garden

Experimenting with Succulents

The very idea of seeing a plant germinate from a seed and grow has always been very fascinating to me. Caring for plants is truly a great stress-buster.

My first ever plant from the Cactus & Succulent family arrived today. I have only had a few easy to grow plants. This is going to be a real experiment for me, with a lot of learning.

Graptosedum

This tiny beauty is called Graptosedum. I ordered this online due to the Covid situation. I haven’t bought a plant in months. Only now did I muster the courage to buy a plant online. Unboxing it to see these beautifully color leaves was pure Joy!

The succulents of Graptosedum family are known to have leaves that spiral around the stem and form a rosette on the top. It thrives in fast draining soil and in outdoors with enough sunlight.

Succulents are dessert plants with thick leaves that store water. They need very less water and lot of sunlight mimicking the desert conditions. They should be watered judiciously, only when the soil is dry. Once a week could be the ideal time to water them. Over-watering can kill them. During monsoons, a balcony or kitchen’s windowsill would be the best place to keep it.

This is what I know so far. I will write a follow-up post on what I learnt while caring for this one and also on how this plant is doing.

Posted in Cooking is Fun!

Chocolate Mug Cake

Comfort food

How to make a good Mug Cake:

Step 1: Choose a Mug of appropriate size. Keep in mind the amount you would be preparing and also account for the additional 1-2 inches for the cake to rise in the microwave.

Step 2: Always add all the dry ingredients first & mix them well and then add the wet ingredients. Add the following dry ingredients and mix them homogeneously with a fork or a spoon. The measurements stated below is only an approximate. Adjust them according to your cup size and the amount you wish to make.

  • Maida or all purpose flour (3 tablespoon)
  • Cocoa powder (1 tablespoon)
  • Sugar (2 table spoon) – Can be powdered or normal crystal sugar
  • Baking powder (1/4 tea spoon)
  • Baking soda ( a pinch)

Step 3: Now add the below wet ingredients and mix well. If you are not using powdered sugar, do give a good mix at this step to partially dissolve the sugar.

  • Milk (3 tablespoon)
  • Oil (1 teaspoon)

Finally: Pop the cup into the microwave for exactly 1 minute and see your cake rise.

Enjoy!

Posted in Python, Tech

Python 3.7 – Cool New features

Welcome back, to Python! It’s time to discuss the cool new features shipped with Python 3.7. Here are some of my favorites:

cobra-1287036_1920

  • Data Classes
  • Built-in breakpoint
  • Typing module
  • Importing Data files

Data Classes

What is it? A new decorator: @dataclass

What’s new? It eases writing special methods in the class, like __init__(), __repr__(), and __eq__(. They are added automatically.

Example:

from dataclasses import dataclass, field
@dataclass(order=True)
class Test:
…field1: str
…field2: str

The following does not need an implementation of __repr__() in the class:

>>> t = Test("abc","xyz")
>>> t
Test(field1='abc', field2='xyz')
>>> t.field1
'abc'
>>> t.field2
'xyz'

Doesn’t need an implementation of __eq__ to do this:

>>> t1=Test("abc","xyz")
>>> t==t1
True
>>> t2=Test("a","b")
>>> t==t2
False

Breakpoint

What is it?  A built-in pdb.

What’s new? Not a new feature but simplifies using the debugger. Eliminates the necessity to import pdb.

Example:
def divide(a,b):
…breakpoint()
…return a/b

>>> divide(2,3)
> (3)divide()
(Pdb)

Old way of importing pdb:

def divide(a,b):
….import pdb; pdb.set_trace()
….return a/b

Typing module13541540425_63372041e1

What is it?  Annotations and Type hinting

What’s new? Function Annotations intend to provide a standard way of associating metadata to function arguments and return values.

  • The annotations module and typing module provide hints on arguments and return value of a function.
  • Annotations earlier worked only with names available in the current scope. i.e. Forward referencing was not supported.
  • Annotations are now evaluated when a module is imported.

Example:  

Creating the file py37anno.py:

from __future__ import annotations

class Try:
…def foo(name: str) -> ‘salutation’:
……print(f”Annotations Example for you {name}”)

importing the annotations and typing module:

>>> from py37anno import Try
>>> from __future__ import annotations
>>> Try.foo.__annotations__
{‘name’: ‘str’, ‘return’: “‘salutation'”}
>>> import typing
>>> typing.get_type_hints(Try.foo)
{‘name’: <class ‘str’>, ‘return’: ForwardRef(‘salutation’)}
>>> Try.foo(‘Shilpa’)
Annotations Example for you Shilpa

Importing Data Files

What is it? An optimized, easy and organized API for working with data files in a Project

What’s new? Eliminates the necessity of hard-coding data file-names. The importlib.resources module helps in locating, importing and reading from the data file.

Example:

A file lorem.txt exists in the data directory of the project which also contains the __init__.py file

>>> import os
>>> os.listdir(‘data’)                                     #output: files in the ‘data’ directory
[‘lorem.txt’, ‘__init__.py’, ‘__pycache__’]

>> from importlib import resources
>>> with resources.open_text(“data”,”lorem.txt”) as f:
….print(f.readlines())
….
[‘”Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.” n’]

A note on installing python 3.7:

Creating a new environment:

conda create -n py37 -c anaconda python=3.7

Upgrade in an existing python environment to 3.7 in Anaconda:

conda install -c anaconda python=3.7