Monday, July 24, 2017

Curry Puff – Fulfilling Snack – Recipe

PATTIES AND PUFFS
Yummy Snacks for Brunch and Tea
By
VIKRAM KARVE


When I was a small boy  in the 1960s  and later  in the 1970s  I sometimes lived at my grandfather’s place near Madiwale Colony on Tilak Road in Sadashiv Peth Pune.

Come Sunday morning – and I was off to Hindustan Bakery on Bajirao Road – to get a few packets of their famous patties for breakfast 

(In Pune – Patties is spelt Pattice)

You had to get there early – otherwise the patties would be over – and you had to go all the way to their branch in Shaniwar Peth to get the coveted delicacy which we all hungrily devoured for Sunday breakfast.

Sunday Breakfast meant Hindustan Bakery Vegetable Patties.

Hindustan Bakery Vegetable Patties are inimitable, superb to taste and matchless in quality – they taste divinely lip-smacking and are wholesome yet not heavy on the stomach, and I haven’t quite tasted a similar veg patty anywhere else.  

Those days – Veg Patties were available only on Sunday mornings. 

Now – I think they make them everyday – so they have lost their exclusivity. 

Of course  many other bakeries in Pune – like Santosh Bakery on Apte Road, New Poona Bakery in Budhwar Peth and Green Bakery near Shanipar who also made patties  but there was nothing to beat the patties of Hindustan Bakery.

Like I said  these days – the delicacy has lost its exclusivity – since veg patties are available in plenty every day  and also – the quality doesn’t seem as it was in the past  probably due to mass production.
 

CURRY PUFF

Well  I wish I could tell you how to make vegetable patties  instead – I will give you the recipe of my favourite tea time snack – the curry puff – a non-vegetarian version.

You will need the follwing ingredients:

1. Curry Powder 

(I use Ship Brand Madras Curry Powder which comes in its distinctive green coloured tin)

2. Quarter kilo (250 gms) of boneless chicken cut into small pieces

3. Four large boiled potatoes cut into small pieces

4. Two finely chopped onions

5. Some boiled green peas and finely chopped carrots

6. Maida (flour)

7. Two Eggs

8. Oil

9. Salt, seasoning and spices.

Heat oil in a pan  add finely chopped onions and fry till translucent brownish – add the boneless chicken pieces – and stir fry – till the chicken is cooked.

Now add two large tablespoons of Curry Powder  the boiled vegetables (potatoes, peas, carrots)  and salt to taste  stir – till dry – for about 4-5 minutes.  

Remove from flame – and keep aside the Curried Dry Chicken.

Make a smooth dough by kneading together the Maida (flour), Eggs, Oil, Seasoning (salt, pepper, chilli powder to taste) and Water. 

Let the dough stand for some time.

Now roll the dough  and stuff in the curried dry chicken  making tikki shape – or samosa shape – or any other shapes of your choice (I prefer semi-circle karanjis). 

Finally – Shallow Fry the Curry Puffs till crispy crusty golden brown.

Curry Puff is a hearty satiating wholesome tasty snack ideal with high tea or cocktails. 

Curry Puffs are good for Brunch too.

Happy Cooking and Happy Eating. 

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This recipe is based on my improvisation. You are requested to do your own due diligence and use ingredients/cooking method as per your discretion/style.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

I wrote this recipe long back – and  I have also posted the recipe online earlier a number of times in my foodie blogs inculding at urlhttps://karvediat.blogspot.com/2013/06/yummy-fulfilling-snacks-veg-patties-and.html

Saturday, July 22, 2017

“Alcoholic” Teetotaller – Humor in Uniform

Humor in Uniform

STORY OF THE “ALCOHOLIC TEETOTALLER” 
Hilarious Memories of My Navy Days
A Fictional Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

The Navy is a great place – and – I am sure – so are the Army and Air Force. 

You come across all types of individuals.

During my long service in the Navy  I met a number of unforgettable characters.

How can I forget the unforgettable “Alcoholic” who was a Teetotaller – who I encountered during my glorious IAT Pune days. 

So – Dear Reader here is a story about an “Alcoholic” who was a Teetotaller – a most interesting character I came across long back – more than 32 years ago – in the 1980’s – yes – believe it or not – I indeed met an unforgettable character  ‘An “Alcoholic” Teetotaller Colonel’.

Now – Dear Reader – before I tell you this hilarious memoir – let me give you a backdrop.

JACK OF ALL TRADES – AND MASTER OF ONE

In the Navy – “regimentation” requires that you have to obediently do everything that they tell you to do.

Also – in the Navy – an Officer is supposed to be a “Jack of all Trades – and Master of One”

The one “Trade” in which you are supposed to be a “Master” is your professional job at sea and ashore (what they call “core competency” in the corporate world and industry) – but beyond that – you can be tasked with anything and everything – including “bum jobs”.

So – in addition to your professional “tradecraft” (your primary duty in which you are supposed to be a “Master”) – in the Navy – you are given a lot of “bum jobs” (euphemistically called “secondary duties”) – which you are supposed to perform to the best of your ability.

For civilian readers uninitiated with life in uniform – let me explain that in the Army, Navy or Air Force – you can be asked to do any “bum job” – which can include almost anything and everything – irrespective of your qualifications or specialization.

Hence – during my career in the Navy  I had to do a lot of “bum jobs”.

Yes – I have performed “bum jobs” ranging from running poultry farms, piggeries and milk dairies, managing catering and liquor bars in wardroom officers’ messes, running officers’ clubs, administering schools and libraries, doing Audit and Accounts, conducting a wide range of so-called “welfare” activities – and – organizing all sorts of Events – ranging from Sports Tournaments, Social Parties and Dance Balls – to Navy Melas (fĂȘtes and carnivals) and Fleet Family Days – you name it – we did it.

As I said before – these “bum jobs” were in addition to our professional duties – and we were expected to excel in both our professional and extra-curricular duties (bum jobs).

And  by the way – in the military – you have to do all this extra work for free.

Unlike Civilians – who are paid extra duty pay – or are given overtime” money – for such extra-curricular tasks – in the Navy – you do not get paid for all the “bum jobs” you do.


“CHAIRMAN – CSD CANTEEN”

The story I am going to tell you happened more than 32 years ago – in the mid 1980’s.

I had just assumed my new appointment as Teaching Faculty in IAT Pune as a newly promoted Lieutenant Commander.

My primary job was “instructional duties” – to teach, guide and conduct a post graduate course leading to a Master’s degree in Engineering.

Of course – those days it took 11 years of commissioned service to become a Lieutenant Commander – unlike today – when you see greenhorns who haven’t yet fully grown their whiskers – strutting around wearing two and a half stripes – thanks to the benevolent Ajai Vikram Singh Cadre Review (AVS 2006).

The Institute of Armament Technology – or IAT – as it was called – was a unique institution whose Faculty was composed of Officers from the Army, Navy and Air Force – and there was also a peculiar species called “Scientists” – who were civilians.

The irony was that most uniformed service officers on the IAT faculty were more highly qualified than the “scientists”.

(In keeping with our penchant for changing names – IAT was later renamed DIAT Deemed University – and I believe it is now called MILIT – but it is still remains the same lovely place nestled in its sylvan surroundings in the verdant hills of Girinagar near Pune).

But let me get back to the 1980’s  when this story happened.

I was sinking my teeth into my new appointment  when I was summoned by my boss  who ordered me in typical Navy peremptory style: 

“Take over the CSD Canteen immediately. You have been appointed Chairman CSD Canteen.”

Before you get ideas that I was being elevated to a prestigious assignment as a “Chairman” – let me explain.

This was no great appointment.

This was a “bum job” – a sundry duty that I had to do in addition to my primary job.

And the high-sounding “Chairman” meant nothing – it was IAT parlance for what we in the Navy called “Officer-in-Charge”.

And – I was being appointed “Chairman” CSD Canteen – because I was most recently joined faculty member without a “bum job”.

If you are familiar with Army or Military Life – you will know that a CSD Canteen is a “departmental store” for all kinds of provisions and liquor which are available at discounted rates.

I took over as “Chairman” CSD Canteen – and  in typical Navy “Carry on Chief” Style  which I had learnt and successfully implemented on board ship – I adopted a “hands off” policy – 100% delegation – so  I delegated everything to the Canteen Manager (an Air Force Warrant Officer) – and let the Manager run the Canteen.

MILITARY LIQUOR QUOTA

If you are familiar with Military Life – you will know that the only unique and worthwhile perk you get in the Defence Forces is concessional liquor aka “CSD Liquor Quota”.

In the Military – ‘Rank Has Its Privileges’RHIP – so this Liquor Quota also varies with rank – on the cardinal principle: 

“The Higher your Rank – the more Booze you are required to Drink”.

Frankly speaking – the only “attractive” item in the “Liquor Quota was Rum – which was heavily “subsidized” 

Yes – Rum being a “soldier’s and sailor’s drink” – was heavily “subsidized” – and was sold very cheap. 

As far the other liquor like Beer, Whisky, Brandy, Gin, Vodka etc were concerned – there was hardly any significant difference in price between “military rates” and “civil rates” – at least in those days.

So – Rum was in high demand.

I dont know why – but the monthly quota of Rum was restricted to 6 bottles – whereas there was no restriction for other types of booze – subject to the maximum quota.

I noticed that most Military Personnel drew their full “Rum Quota” – and they did not bother too much about whisky, brandy, beer etc


RUM QUOTA RESTRICTION

One morning – the Canteen Manager came to my office and wanted me to take a decision.

I tried to bullshit him.

“What decision…? I told you that you have my full authority to take whatever decisions you like to run the CSD canteen…” I admonished him.

“Sir – this is a very sensitive issue. As “Chairman” – you will have to decide, Sir…” he said.

“What is the matter…?” I asked.

“I got a call from the CSD Depot Manager that there is going to be no issue of Rum for the next 2 or 3 months…” he said.

“Why…?” I asked.

“Sir – there is some pricing and taxation dispute – so – till that is sorted out – the distilleries are not going to supply Rum to the CSD…” he said.

“Is the problem only for Rum…?” I asked.

“Yes, Sir – we can draw as much Whisky, Brandy, Gin, Beer etc as we want – in fact – the CSD Depot Manager said they are overstocked with these Liquors – but there is going to be a shortage of Rum for the next few months…”

I put on a “thinking look” – as if I were doing some profound calculations in my mind (after all – I was an Officer).

Then – I said to the Canteen Manager: 

“Restrict Rum Quota to only 2 Bottles a Month.”

“Yes, Sir…”

“And – as far as other types of booze is concerned – whisky, brandy, gin, beer etc  let them have as many bottles as they want – no limit…” I said.

“Yes, Sir…”

“Good – this is a good opportunity to get rid that horrible whisky which no one wants – the one that tastes like country liquor – tell the staff to push sales of that cheap whisky in lieu of Rum…” I opined.

“Yes, Sir…”

“You can go now…” I said.

“Sir…?”

“What…?”

“There are some hardened Rum Drinkers who will create trouble – they will insist on their full quota of Rum…” the CSD Canteen Manager said.

“Hardened ‘Rum Drinkers’…? If anyone asks for more than 2 bottles of Rum just send him to me…” I said.

“Yes, Sir…” the CSD Canteen Manager said, looking relieved.

“Do you know what I will do with these hardened rum drinkers…? I will send each one of these chaps who want more than 2 bottles of Rum to the MI Room and ask the Medical Officer to certify that he is a “Rum Alcoholic” – and  only those who get the “Rum Alcoholic Certificate”  we will give them extra bottles of Rum... I said – and I smiled at my own brilliant idea.

“Yes, Sir…” the Canteen Manager said, smiling.

“Okay – now just go an implement my orders strictly – only 2 bottles of Rum Quota every month. That solves your problem – isn’t it…?” I said.

“Yes, Sir – if we restrict Monthly Rum Quota to 2 bottles – we have enough Rum Stock for 3 months – and by that time  the issue should be resolved…” the CSD Canteen Manager said.

“Excellent – now make sure my orders are implemented strictly with immediate effect – no exceptions – do you understand…?” I said firmly.

“Yes, Sir…” the Canteen Manager said – he saluted and left my office.

In the evening – during our customary jog-cum-walk – I told Doc (our Medical Officer) regarding the “Rum Alcoholic Certificate”.

Doc laughed and said: 

“If anyone comes to me for the “Rum Alcoholic Certificate” – I will fill up an AFMS-10 Form for “Alcohol Dependence and send the bugger to the Psycho Ward for Rehab…”


The “ALCOHOLIC TEETOTALLER”

That very evening – there was a party in the Officers’ Mess – and I was summoned by the Dean – a Major General.

“The ‘OC Adm’ seems to be annoyed with you. What is all this about ‘Liquor Quota Restrictions’…?” he asked me.

“Sir – only ‘Rum Quota’ has been restricted…” I said – and I told him the whole story.

Now – the Dean was one of those rare Generals with a sense of humor - so he smiled and said to me: 

“Do you know why the ‘OC Adm’ is annoyed with you…?”

“No, Sir…” I said.

“Well – ‘OC Adm’ sent his ‘batman’ to collect his Rum Quota of 6 bottles – and when the ‘batman’ returned with only 2 bottles – the ‘OC Adm’ rang up the Canteen Manager – and your Air Force Warrant Officer told him to get a “Rum Alcoholic Certificate” from the Medical Officer. Well – this had made the ‘OC Adm’ furious. He is a senior Colonel  why don’t you just give him what he wants…” the Dean said.

“Aye Aye, Sir…” I said.

Sometime later – emboldened with Dutch Courage after I had imbibed a few drinks – I saw the ‘OC Adm’ in conversation with the ‘Dean’ and a few bigwigs.

I saw a steward carrying a drinks tray.

I motioned the steward to follow me.

We walked up to the ‘exalted’ group.

I looked at the ‘OC Adm’ and said to him: 

“Sir – what are you drinking – I have got some Rum for you. I was told that you are a hardened rum drinker…”

I ordered the steward: 

“Jaldi – ‘OC Adm’ Sahab ko Ek Large Peg Rum do…” 

(Quick – Give ‘OC Adm’ One Large Peg of Rum…) 

Accordingly  the steward served one large peg of rum to the ‘OC Adm’ .

“What is this nonsense…? I don’t drink Rum. In fact – I don’t touch alcohol – I am a strict  “Teetotaller – don’t you know this…?” the ‘OC Adm’ said angrily to me. 

“Sir – if you are a “Teetotaller – why do you want your full quota of 6 bottles of Rum – won’t 2 bottles of Rum do…?” I said to the ‘OC Adm’, tongue-in-cheek.

The Dean gave me a stern look – so I quit the scene immediately.

Within a few days – at the behest of the ‘OC Adm’ – I was sacked as CSD Canteen Chairman.

I was delighted.

Who wants to waste his time doing a thankless “bum job”…?


PS:

Do you think this is a true story…?

Or – do you think I am spinning a yarn…?

Well – why don’t you ask some of the ‘protagonists’ – or someone who was in IAT Pune at that time…?

And – do you think I am capable of doing what I did in the story – especially after topping up with a generous quantity of alcohol…?

Why don’t you ask some of my coursemates…?

There is saying in the Navy: 

“If you want to know the true character of an officer – ask his coursemates...”

Cheers..!!!

Have a Good Day…!!!

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

Revised re-post of my story THE “ALCOHOLIC” WHO WAS A TEETOTALLER written by me 2 years ago in 2015 and posted by me Vikram Karve online earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve Blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/10/humor-in-uniform-alcoholic-who-was.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2016/03/humor-in-uniform-rum-quota-story-of.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2016/05/humor-in-uniform-tale-from-my-iat-pune.html  etc

Thursday, July 20, 2017

How to Enjoy a Dual Life – Online and Offline

SOCIAL NETWORKING  ONLINE and OFFLINE RELATIONSHIPS
HOW TO LIVE A DUAL LIFE AND ENJOY THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Thanks to the advent of the internet and advances in technology  you have an opportunity to live in two worlds:

1. The Real World
 and
2. The Virtual World 

You can also have two identities:

1. Your online identity in cyberspace
and
2. Your physical real-world offline identity in real space 

You can live a dual life by maintaining two lives  one in real space and one in cyberspace.

1. ONLINE LIFE (in cyberspace)
and
2. OFFLINE or REAL WORLD LIFE

You can have two kinds of relationships:

1. Virtual Relationships
and 
2. Real Relationships 

You can have two kinds of FRIENDS and friendship:

1. Offline Real flesh-and-blood Friends
and 
2. Online Virtual Friends
 
Internet is a great tool for social networking. 

Internet enables us to live two lives and enjoy the benefits of instant interaction and friendships across the globe and facilitates us to enjoy the best of both worlds.
 
It is good to have the best of both worlds  the real and the virtual  as long as you maintain a balance. 

Yes  like you try to have “work life balance” – you also must have a “real-world versus virtual-world” balance in order to enjoy the best of both worlds.

How do you do this...?

Well  here is one of my favourite Mulla Nasrudin stories which exemplifies this aspect:

WHEN A HORRIBLE WOMAN STARTS LOOKING BEAUTIFUL
A Mulla Nasrudin Story
Retold By
VIKRAM KARVE

Mulla Nasrudin bought a beautiful house at a picturesque place far away from civilization high up in the hills. 

From time to time – Mulla Nasrudin would suddenly pack his bags  he would leave the city  and – he would go away to his house in the hills.

He would disappear for days  sometimes for weeks  sometimes for months.

And – just as suddenly as he used to disappear  he used to suddenly unpredictably return back to the city without any warning or notice. 

When asked the reason for his erratic and whimsical behaviour  Mulla Nasrudin explained:   

“I have kept a caretaker woman up there in the hills to look after my house. 

She is the ugliest woman - horrible, repulsive, hideous, and nauseating. 

Just one look at her – and you will feel like vomiting.  

When I go to live there  at first she looks horrible. 

But slowly, slowly  after a few lonely days  she is not so horrible. 

Then after some more desolate forlorn days  she does not look all that ugly – and she does not seem so undesirable. 

And – as more and more time passes in lonesome seclusion  a day comes when I start seeing some beauty in her. 

After I spend some more time in that lonely desolate place  far away from civilization  a day suddenly comes – when I start finding beauty in that ugly woman.

She starts looking desirable and I start getting attracted towards her.

The moment I start finding that horrid woman desirable – I know that it is time for me to escape from my virtual world in the hills.

The day I start feeling attracted to the hideous woman means enough is enough.

I have lived away from the real world for too long.

Now  even this horrible revolting woman has started looking beautiful. 

I may even fall in love with this ghastly ugly repugnant woman – and that may be very dangerous for me. 

Enough is Enough.

Enough of the virtual world.

It is time to get back to the real world. 

So I pack up my things and rush back to the city...” 


MORAL OF THE STORY

Dear Reader: 
 
Has your Virtual World, your cyber space, your online life, started looking a bit too “beautiful”…?  
 
Are you spending more time in cyberspace, social networking and interacting with your “virtual friends” rather than having face-to-face interactions and communication with your immediate “flesh and blood friends” in real space...?
 
Is there an imbalance between your online life and offline life...? 

Are your virtual relationships overwhelming your life...?

Are your online relationships taking precedence over your real life offline relationships...? 

Is your online identity becoming more important to you than your offline identity...?
 
Are you losing touch with reality...?
 
Maybe  it is time for you to return back to the Real World. 
 
Of course  when you get saturated and bored spending too much time in the real world – and you start feeling suffocated with relationships in the Real World  you can always go back to the virtual world – which is like your alter ego.

Like Mulla Nasrudin  you can  and you must – enjoy the best of both worlds.

You can alternate and switch over between both your lives  online and offline  just like Mulla Nasrudin does between the city and the hill-station...!!! 
 
Social Networking gives you a lot of pleasure and satisfaction  and internet a great tool for building relationships. 

In fact – after my retirement – I have more online friends than offline real world friends.

Online Social Networking is a boon for people who are lonely in the real world.

It is good to have two identities and live a dual life  offline and online  and enjoy the best of both worlds  the real world and the virtual world  as long as you maintain a balance between your two lives  one in real-space  and the other in cyber-space.

Like in the “inspirational” story I narrated above – in case you are spending most of your time online in the virtual world  it is good to come back to the ground reality of the real world from time to time. 

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This story is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. This story and all stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story/stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)