Deshadan Mountain Resort- Sheer waste of Money

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Being our second visit to Munnar, we wanted to stay far from the maddening crow of the town .Munnar city centre is little crowded and concentrated. Hotels there are cheap but since we wanted so stay a little closer to nature so we chose hotel “Deshadan Mountain Resort” which is a little far from the city centre. Transportation is not an issue as the resort arranges for a  pick up from Munnar Bus stop  at an extra charge of Rs 500. The Resort is the highest resort in Munnar situated at a distance of 7 Km from the main town. The road to the resort is fairly good except for the last 1 KM stretch when the roads are pretty bad and steep.

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part-of-the-resort

 

We had taken a valley view room. The view from the room was breath taking but nothing else  about the room was worth the amount of money that was paid. The rooms were very basic. The bed sheets were torn and even on repeated complaining they failed to provide us with proper bed sheets. The staff were pretty rude.

We were quite taken aback when we were informed that we would have to choose from the menu that had been set for buffet for the dinner. The options that were there for the buffet was pretty bad. The breakfast was even more let down. There was very less options to select from for breakfast.

We enquired about few local site seeing places around. They were unable to provide us with adequate information.

Over all the resort was a total let down. With the amount of money that is paid, it is definitely not worth a penny.

 

 

 

 

Dahi Vada – Tangy & Spicy Yogurt Dumpling

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Dahi Vada a quintessential street food in most parts of India, is a favourite among all generation of people. Easy to make, this dish makes its way to most household’s festival menu.

These are great as a side dish for a formal dinner, appetizer or served as a chaat.

 

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Ingredient:

For Vada:
1/2 Cup Urad daal
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
Oil to fry

For Dahi :

  • 2 cups Dahi (yogurt)
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 1-2 green chilies chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp Roasted cumin(jeera)powder
  • Red chili powder to taste
  • A pinch of black salt

Procedure:

 

For Vada :

  • Clean, wash and soak the daal overnight or 7 – 8 hrs.
  • Separate the water and grind them together into smooth paste without water or if necessary then very little water. The paste should be coarse and not fine.
  • Take out the paste in a bowl and then beat the mixture for 10 – 15 minutes till the mixture becomes fluffy. This will make the vadas soft.
  • Add salt, cumin seeds, hing and baking powder.
  • Heat oil in a pan for frying and drop small balls of batter in the oil with the help of a spoon. The flame should be medium. Do not put more than 8 – 9 balls.
  • Fry till golden brown.
  • In a bowl fill 2 cups of warm water with 1 tsp salt and put the vadas in it. Let them soak for 1/2 hr.
  • Meanwhile prepare the dahi.

 

For Dahi :

  •  Beat the curd smooth and put in a bowl.
  • Keep in refrigerator for an hour to get chilled.
  • Before serving add salt, red chili powder, sugar and roasted cumin powder to the dahi .
  • Serving – Squeeze out the vadas from the water and in a deep dish arrange the vadas and pour dahi over them.
  • Pour sweet  imli (tamarind) chutney and green chutney.
  • Garnish with coriander and slit green chillies.
  • Serve the dahi vadas chilled.
Sweet tamarind chutney:
  1. soak tamarind in water overnight or for 4-5 hours in a small bowl or pan.
  2. with your hands, squeeze the pulp from the tamarind in the same bowl or pan.
  3. strain the pulp and keep aside.
  4. heat oil in a small pan.
  5. lower the flame & add dry red chillies and let them crackle.
  6. stir and add the strained tamarind pulp
  7. cook for 2-3 mins.
  8. add the jaggery and salt and cook for 4-5 mins more.
  9. the mixture would thicken.
  10. let the saunth chutney mixture cool.
  11. when cooled, store the saunth chutney in an air-tight dry jar or container.

 

Gold Souk- Gold Lover’s Paradise

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I have been wanting to write this post for a long time but somehow could not get time to do so. 4 years after visiting the world’s notorious Gold Souk, the images of the place are still vivid in my memory.

Unlike anything you have seen in the world, Dubai’s Gold Souk is a market that showcases seemingly endless amounts of gold jewellery. With over 300 jewellers on site to accommodate all your gold related needs, the streets during the day are swarming with visitors from all around the world enjoying the spectacle of wall-to-wall gold, and course, the souk’s phenomenal prices. At first sight you will be tempted to believe that all the items on display could possible not be of gold but they yet indeed are.  Bargaining is the key and you could always get yourself a good deal by bargaining on the making charges. Whether or not you’re ready to buy, a stroll through the dazzling Gold Souk is a must. The stores also offer platinum, diamonds and occasionally silver, and the government keeps tight control over the quality of all the merchandise, so rest assured that your purchases will be genuine. If something in the window catches your fancy, be sure to barter — persistent protest capped with a walkaway will get merchants to drop their asking price by as much as half.

Note that the price of gold fluctuates daily just like the Stock Market, so it is best to look up prices at your hotel just before heading out to the gold souk.

Dubai_Mall_Gold_Souk_2 It's all 22 carat gold. You can also get Western and Indian styles. gold gold-products-in-gold-souk-dubai gold-souk Gold-souq (1)

 

Central Market Kuala Lumpur

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Going to KL and not shopping for handicrafts would be a crime in itself. KL Central Market is a shoppers paradise and all tourists visiting KL should pay a homage to this place..

Central Market started off as a humble wet market in the heart of the city centre back in the 1940s. It has evolved a great deal since then and now it stands firm as the landmark which symbolizes all the culture and heritage of our multi-racial country. You will immediately notice that the theme of the market is based solely on the various cultures in Malaysia. The shops here are divided based on the groups of races. Representing each of the races in Malaysia are the Straits Chinese, the Lorong Melayu and Lorong India. The Central Market is full of stalls which sell handicrafts which are all locally made. You can purchase batik, songket, wood carvings, souvenirs, accessories and much more here. If you get tired or hungry in the midst of all the shopping, do not fret. There are myriads of eating places where you can dine at and take a rest.

But be aware the things on display are highly over priced and even a person with strong bargaining power would fail to get a good deal out of these shop keepers.

Here’s glimpse of all that this place has to offer…

 

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Namma Bengaluru’s Own Hop On Hop Off Service

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If you want to visit tourist spots and malls at one go in Namma Bengaluru, hop onto a Volvo bus. From the first week of March, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) will introduce a Bengaluru Rounds Hop On Hop Off service. The ‘Hop-On, Hop-Off‘ service is yet another innovative idea implemented by BMTC, a convenient service to empower tourists and enable quick and comprehensive tour of Bangalore city.

Seven buses with conductors and drivers will take commuters to 40 tourist places, including shopping malls.

While BMTC will charge Rs 250 for adults, Rs 150 for children, kids below five years of age can travel free. Along with the ticket, commuters will be provided a brochure which will have brief information of the tourist places and their pictures. As the bus goes past the tourist spots, the conductor will educate commuters about them.

 

Bus

 

l.No. Places Sl.No. Places
1 Kempegowda Bus Station/Majestic 12 Gurudwara at Ulsoor
2 Tippu Palace 13 Ulsoor Lake
3 Bull Temple 14 Commercial Street
4 Gavigangadhareshwara Temple 15 St. Mary’s Basilica Church
5 Lalbagh West Gate 16 Fun World/Snow City
6 Freedom Park 17 Lumbini Garden/Nagavara Lake
7 Nehru Planetarium 18 ISCKON  Temple
8 Vidhanasoudha/High Court 19 Orion Mall
9 Cubbon Park/ Museum and Art Gallery

/Bal Bhavan/UB City

20 Sankey Tank
10 MG Road Metro Station 21 Mantri Mall
11 Garuda Mall

 

Pick up & Drop off points

Sl.No. Places
1 Corporation
2 Vasanthnagar
3 Mekhri Circle
4 Hebbala
5 Sadashivanagar PS
6 Yeshwanthpura
7 Malleshwaram 18th cross

 

SL.No. Places Departure times
1 Kempegowda Bus Station/Majestic 0830,0900,0945,1010,1040,1115,1150,1155,1230,1255,1340,

1405,1435,1510,1630,1645,1735,1800,1830,1905,1950,2100

2 Tippu Palace 0845,0915,1000,1025,1055,1130,1205,1245,1310,1355,1420,

1450,1525,1610,1645,1715,1750,1815,1845,1920,2005,2115,2135

3 Bull Temple/Ganapathi Temple 0855,0925,0930,1010,1035,1105,1140,1215,1255,1320,1405,

1430,1500,1535,1620,1655,1725,1800,1825,1855,2015,2125,2145

4 Gavigangadhareshwara Temple 0830,0905,0935,1020,1045,1115,1150,1225,1305,1330,1415,

1440,1510,1545,1630,1705,1735,1810,1835,1905,1940,2025,2135,

2155

5 Lalbagh West Gate 0840,0915,0945,1030,1055,1125,1200,1235,1315,1340,1425,

1450,1520,1535,1640,1715,1745,1820,1845,1915,1950,2035,2145

6 Corporation* 0840,0915,0945,1030,1055,1125,1200,1235,1315,1340,1425,

1450,1520,1535,1640,1715,1745,1820,1845,1915,1950,2035,2145

7 Freedom Park 0830,0905,0940,1010,1055,1120,1150,1225,1300,1340,1405,

1450,1515,1545,1620,1705,1740,1810,1845,1910,1940,2015,2100,

2210

8 Nehru Planetarium 0845,0920,0955,1025,1110,1135,1205,1240,1315,1355,1420,

1505,1530,1600,1635,1720,1755,1825,1900,1925,1955,2030,2115,

2225

9 Vidhanasoudha/High Court 0850,0925,1000,1030,1115,1140,1210,1245,1320,1400,1425,

1510,1535,,1615,1640,1725,1800,1830,1905,1930,2000,2035,2120,

2230

10 Cubbon Park/ Museum and Art Gallery/Bal Bhavan/UB City 0900,1015,1040,1125,1150,1220,1255,1330,1415,1435,1520,

1545,1615,1650,1735,1815,1840,1915,1935,1940,2010,2045,2130

11 MG Road Metro Station 0830,0905,0940,1020,1045,1130,1155,1225,1300,1335,1420,

1440,1525,1550,1620,1655,1740,1820,1845,1920,1945,2015,2050,

2135

12 Garuda Mall 0840,0915,0950,1030,1055,1140,1205,1235,1310,1345,1430,

1450,1535,1600,1630,1705,1750,1830,1855,1930,1955,2025,2100,

2145

13 Gurudwara at Ulsoor 0845,0920,0955,1035,1100,1145,1210,1240,1315,1350,1435

,1455,1540,1605,1635,1710,1755,1835,1900,1935,2000,2030,2105,

2150

14 Ulsoor Lake 0850,0925,1000,1040,1105,1150,1215,1245,1320,1355,1440,

1500,1545,1610,1640,1715,1800,1840,1905,1940,2005,2035,2110,

2155

15 Commercial Street 0855,0930,1005,1045,1110,1155,1220,1250,1325,1400,1445,

1505,1550,1615,1645,1720,1805,1845,1910,1945,2010,2040,2115,

2200

16 St. Mary’s Basilica Church 0830,0900,,0935,1010,1050,1115,1200,1225,1255,1330,1405,

1450,1510,1555,1620,1650,1725,1810,1850,1915,1950,2015,2045,

2120,2205

17 Vasanthnagar* 0830,0900,0935,1010,1050,1115,1200,1225,1255,1330,1405,

1450,1510,1555,1620,1650,1725,1810,1850,1915,1950,2015,2045,

2120,2205

18 Fun World/Snow City 0840,09100945,1020,1100,1125,1210,1235,1305,1340,1425,

1500,1515,1605,1630,1700,1735,1820,1900,1925,2000,2025,2055,

2130

19 Mekhri circle* 0840,09100945,1020,1100,1125,1210,1235,1305,1340,1425,

1500,1515,1605,1630,1700,1735,1820,1900,1925,2000,2025,2055,

2130

20 Hebbala* 0840,0910,0945,1020,1100,1125,1210,1235,1305,1340,1425,

1500,1515,1605,1630,1700,1735,1820,1900,1925,2000,2025,2055,

2130

21 Lumbini Garden/Nagavara Lake 0830,0855,0925,1000,1035,1115,1140,1225,1250,1320,1355,

1440,1515,1530,1620,1645,1715,1750,1835,1915,1940,2015,2040,

2110,2145

22 Sadashivanagar P S * 08:30,0855,0925,1000,1035,1115,1140,1225,1250,1320,1355,

1440,1515,1530,1620,1645,1715,1750,1835,1915,1940,2015,2040,

2110,2145

23 Yeshwanthpura * 0830,0855,0925,1000,1035,1115,1140,1225,1250,1320,1355,

1440,1515,1530,1620,1645,1715,1750,1835,1915,1940,2015,2040,

2110,2145

24 ISCKON Temple 0900,0925,0955,1030,1105,1145,1210,1255,1320,1350,1425,

1510,1545,1600,1650,1715,1745,1820,1905,1945,2010,2045,2110,

2140,2215

25 Orion Mall 0905,0930,1000,1035,1110,1150,1215,1300,1325,1355,1430,

1515,1550,1605,1655,1720,1750,1825,1910,1950,2015,2050,2115,

2145

26 Sankey Tank 0830,0915,0940,1010,1045,1120,1200,1225,1310,1335,1405,

1440,1525,1600,1615,1705,1730,1800,1835,1920,2000,2025,2100,

2125,2155

27 Malleshwaram 18th cross  * 0830,0855,0925,1000,1035,1115,1140,1225,1250,1320,1355,

1440,1515,1530,1620,1645,1715,1750,1835,1915,1940,2015,2040,

2110,2145

28 Mantri Mall 0855,0930,0955,1025,1100,1135,1215,1240,1325,1350,1420,

1455,1540,1615,1630,1720,1745,1815,1850,1935,2015,2040,2115,

2140,2210

Malpua- The Bengali Pancake

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Malpua is one of the easy to make Bengali sweet dish.All you need is maida(flour),sooji(semolina),sugar, milk and cardamom powder, funnel seeds for flavor.It is almost like making pan cakes only deep fried. Cook and store them in a jar and you can enjoy them as dessert or snack.

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Ingredients

For Malpoa:

  •  Maida – 1 cup
  •  Sooji / Semolina – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Mouri / Fennel Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Milk (according to thickness)
  • Chopped coconut
  • Khoya Kheer Or Mawa grated 1/2 cup
  • Baking Powder 1/4 teaspoon
  • White oil to fry

For Sugar Syrup:

  • Sugar 1 cup
  •  Water 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom pods 2-3
  • Saffron Strands 5-6

Steps to Prepare

For Syrup:

  •  Take a saucepan and add all the ingredients under the heading of syrup and bring mixture to a boil. After boiling 5 minutes off the oven and let the syrup cool to the room temperature

For Malpoa:

  •  First mix all the dry ingredients(maida, sooji, khoya kheere, sugar, salt, mouri, baking powder & coconut) together in a bowl.Now add milk to make a batter not so thik not so thin like pancake batter .
  • Keep the mixture in room temperature for about 15 minutes. Then take a flat non stick pan and heat oil and pour one big spoon at a time and fry the both side till golden brown.

Now soak each “Malpoa” into the sugar syrup at a time for 1-2 minutes and take it out from the syrup and place on a plate.

Serving Tips

Serve “Malpoa” hot or chilled.