Poori – Recipe

Wheat flour (1 Cup)

Mix wheat flour with a pinch of salt. Add water and make dough, make sure it is not watery nor dry. Since this is for poori some would add a pinch of baking soda. I refrain from it.
Knead the dough and let it sit for 15mins. Cover with a wet cloth.
After 15mins make small balls out of dough. Using chappati maker slab or kitchen slab with roller, make flat small circles of the small dough balls.
In a pan add oil and heat it. When the oil is sufficiently hot take one at a time and fry it. The tendency is to fluff up and which is how it should be. After putting the flat pressed dough into oil, you could press with ladle slightly.

Poori goes well with channa masala or potato mix or dal.


Chappati – Recipe

For the amateurs like me who are not bothered about the shape of chappati, this recipe is for them. Making chappati is an easy task and would take about 30mins or less of cooking time.

Wheat flour (1 cup)
Tamil: கோதுமை மாவு
Hindi: गेहूं का आटा
Czech: pšeničná mouka

First mix wheat flour with a pinch of salt. Add required amount of water and mix into a ball. For taste you could add butter or oil when making the dough. Knead the dough and make it soft. The dough should not be watery nor too dry. Cover it with a wet cloth of place a lid and close it tightly.Leave it for 10mins. Now take small pieces from the dough and make it round balls.


With a roller and a flat base like kitchen slab or the one shown below, make it into flat circles. (Do not worry if the shape is not exactly a circle) Use a bit of wheat flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the slab.


On stove heat frying pan and once the pan is hot put the circled flat dough and fry on both sides. Once both sides are fried you could add a little oil over it or ghee, butter would also taste good.


Chappati’s go well with any side dish like potato fry, scrambled egg, aloo gobi masala…

ஓமப்பொடி Chakli – Recipe

ஓமம்  (in Tamil) अजवाइन  (in Hindi) Bishops Weed or Carom Seeds has a good digestive property.
Omapodi is an Indian snack.
Preparation Time: 45mins
Besan/Bengal Gram Flour – 1/2 Cup
Omam – 1 tea spoon
Red Chillies – 2

To make this you would need something like below:
Grind the ajwain seeds with red chillies using a blender or mixer grinder.
In a bowl add 1/2 cup besan, pinch of asafoetida, grounded mixture, salt to taste and knead into dough by adding water. Make sure that the dough is not watery or too thick.
Leave the dough aside for 5minutes.
Heat oil in a pan. Simultaneously roll the dough  into balls and put into the omapodi maker. Once the oil is hot, squeeze the dough via the omapodi make into the oil. Fry till it turns golden brown and then turn it over and fry the other side. Make sure you do not make it black and then it is edible.
Put it in a container and drain the oil. Once it coools down, transfer to an air tight container.

Enjoy this snack with nice cup of masala tea on a rainy day.

Carrot Coconut Soup – Recipe

Carrot coconut soup recipe is a Thai style soup more suited to our style of consumption. Some extra ingredients could be added or removed based on individual preference,

Cooking Time: 30mins
Carrot – 2
Onion – 1
Red Chillies – 2
Coconut milk

Peel the carrot and cut it into cubes. Peel the onion and cut it into small pieces. Grate the ginger.
Take a pan and add 2 table spoon of butter. Once the butter splutters, add cut onion and grated ginger and red chillies. Fry till raw smell of onion goes off. Now add the cut carrot and mix well. Follow this by adding coconut milk or grated coconut. Add 1 cup water to this and some salt for taste.
Boil the mixture till carrots become tender and soft. Let it cool for few minutes. After that put the contents into blender or mixer grinder. Grind it well.
Put the grounded mixture to the pan. Boil it once. If required add a bit of salt and water.

The carrot coconut sup goes well with bread.

Adai – Recipe

Adai is a typical Indian (Malayali/Tamilian) dish, made similar to dosa. For simplicity for other countries similar to pancake but not tasting anywhere close to pancake.
I made a small change compared to how they make it typically in South India. I used mixed pulses for higher protein content.

Mix pulses (1/2cup)
Red lentils (2 spoons)
Yellow lentils (2 spoons)
Rice (1/2 cup) {Not jasmine rice because it has flavor}
Red chillies (2 – 3 in number)
Green Chillies (1 – 2 in number)
Spinach leaves (1/4 cup)
Onion (1 big)

Wash the pulses and rice. Soak them in water for 3 – 4 hours. Warm water would be good.

Cooking Procedure:
After the time of soaking, grind pulses and rice together with red chillies, green chillies and required quantity of salt. Make sure that the grinded mixture is neither watery nor a thick paste. If required you could add additional salt after grinding.
Now cut onion into small pieces and add to the grinded flour along with cut spinach leaves. Mix the contents.
Take a frying pan and preheat on the stove. Once the pan is hot, take a ladle or two of  flour and pour on the pan. Swiftly spread it to make a circle. Make couple of holes in between. By the outer circumference of the circle add little oil and also into the holes made. Once it is cooked, it would come up slightly. At that time use a flat ladle and turn it around. Make sure it is cooked on both sides. Then take it out and store in hot pack case. Clean with a spoon on of water and the flat ladle.
Repeat the procedure for next one and the next till the flour gets over.
You could make bigger adai or smaller depending on your interest.

Adai goes well with avial. Click here for recipe of avial.

Driving License – The final process (4)

Read part 3 here.
The examiner is happy you are happy, the examiner puts his signature on the paper and a seal. Now you are ready to apply for the license (Ridicky Prukaz) at Magistrat office, Kounicova 67 , Brno.
Take a token and go to the counter. At the counter the person would explain to you what are all the documents to be submitted. You would also be given a form which would make it easy at each office to explain.
1. Resident Permit Card
2. If the resident permit card is nearing expiry and you have submitted the documents at the foreign police, then provide your passport.
3. Your passport should have a bridge visa stamping
4. You would need to provide a verification letter from the insurance company. This is a 5mins work at the insurance office. If your insurance is with VZP, then go to their office Benesova near Grand Hotel. The letter is provided free of charge.
5. Check your house lease agreement, if it is older than 6months, you would need a signature from your house owner that you are indeed staying here. There would also need to be a statement mentioning the same.
6. If you are married then your wife/husband has to provide an authorized letter that she/he is residing with you. This verification is possible at Czech Point in Ceska Posta. I normally prefer the main office near Hlavni Nadrazi. The Czech Point is located in the first floor. The cost of getting it authorized is 60CZK and they would provide the stamping.
7. If you are married then marriage certificate is required.

Do remember all the documents should be in Czech language only. Take all the documents along with the form provided earlier and submit the same along with paper signed by the driving examiner.
Once submitted you pay a fee of 200CZK. They would give a receipt of payment and a small slip which mentions the date you had submitted the documents.
You could check online for on what date you would get the driving license. Usually the license should be available in the office within 10 days of submitting the documents. The maximum time limit is 21days. On the date mentioned in the website, take the following:
1. Resident permit card
2. Passport if in case required
3. Receipt of payment of 200CZK
4. The small slip they gave you at the counter after submitting the documents

They would verify the details and give you your driving license (Ridicky Prukaz). They would take your signature on the form which confirms that you have taken it.
Check your license verify the details for:
1. Your name
2. Your address
3. The license would be valid for 10years
4. Behind the license would be mentioned what all vehicle categories you could drive (AM, B, B1)

Now you are ready to drive. Happy driving.


Driving License – The Examination (3)

Once the learning is complete, the driving school arranges for examination with the authorities. The examination is in two parts, one computer test and then driving test.
Once the date is arranged for, you make payment of 700CZK at the Magistrat office, Kounicova 67 , Brno-Stred. Carry the receipt on the date of computer test. The computer test is conducted on 4th floor at Sumvaska 35, Brno-Stred. If you need an English translator then you would need to pay 2000CZK to the translator.

Once the details are verified of payment and resident card and passport and the form from the driving school, the computer test begins. This test is in two parts. First part is identifying shapes, objects, numbers, alphabets in midst of colour arrangements. Once this part is cleared, you would be able to take the main test. The total marks for this second part test is 50 and 42 is the cut-off/clearing mark.
If you have followed the instructor during driving and read through the manual provided by driving school then it is fairly easy. The reading manual is also available online/offline.
The result of the test is available once you click on submit. The green light indicates that you have passed the test.

Now that you have cleared the computer test, you are qualified to take the on-road driving test. You would assemble at Sumavska 35 along with your instructor. The examiner would verify the details and you proceed to the parking lot from where the test begins.
The initial part of questions about the vehicle. You would have to explain the internals inside the bonnet, the different lights, the mandatory equipment’s that should be there in the vehicle. There could be some additional questions too.
Then you get into the vehicle and start the driving. From the time you sit inside everything is monitored. Mirror’s adjustments, switching on of lights, usage of indicators… The examiner would then give directions on where to proceed, like turn left, turn right, follow the main road, park the car behind, park next to, follow directions to city. Be attentive to the examiner and also to the other vehicles on the road and to the sign boards on the road. It is important to maintain speed limit and also change gears when required.
The duration of this test could vary, normally it is around 20mins – 25mins. If the examiner considers you as “dangerous” on the road you would be asked to stop immediately.

One tip is, if you are tensed the probability to make errors is higher.
Like the examiner told me, “If the examiner is happy you can be happy”!

Driving License – The Learning (2)

Read the initial process here. (Click the link)

The learning is the most important part especially for people from countries where the driving is on left side of the road, like in England.
The first step is to sit on the other side and to ensure driving on right side of road. One point I always kept in mind, now and before is that the while driving, the median on the road is always next to the hand on the door.
In Czech Republic like other countries in European Union, rules are very similar. Make sure to read the road signs and understand what they mean. On a junction if there is a sign board with letters “STOP” do stop for few seconds with best view of all directions.
Another most important is the speed limit in residential zone. Thirdly, beware of public transport. If there is a tram you give priority to the tram. Fourth is the bus, keep an eye for the indicator before overtaking when it is standing at the stop. Fifth is entering into and exit at circle/roundabout.
Maintain speed limit at all times on the road. Do not be smart if the road is empty! For all other rules, the instructor from driving school would teach you and also share the full content.
Learn to park the car.

Sometimes we may it is not required, but still learn the internals of the car like how to check engine oil, brake fluid, the water for windshield viper. Then the lights in the front and back. The breakdown kit and the tyre size and air volume to be filled.

I took couple of classes to get used to first looking at the signs on the side of the road. Later I started to recognize the sign boards and what they mean.
In my case since I took classes from AutoSkola Real, Brno, the instructor Rene Foral was very helpful and patiently explained the rules. He also ensured that rules are followed along with other tips.

By the rule, it is mandatory to take 14 classes before appearing for the exam. Each class would be 1.5hrs duration. If extra classes are required, the driving school would help in that.

Happy learning.

Earth Hour – A bit for environment?


One day every year every single country every state every city every family, switch off all power units to observe Earth Hour and to do their bit for a better world.
Imagine the amount of posts on social media and number of people reading it, sharing it, adding self data to it. We want to tell the world we observed Earth Hour and wait for “likes” and comments on social media. If you do not observe the hour then you could be attached to social stigma.
Some essentials that we have got used to cannot be switched off for all practical reasons.
Also, in some countries where the power generation does not meet the country requirements, the government would switch off power irrespective of Earth Hour.

There is a simple method every one could observe every day or once every week or once every month. This could be a conscious effort in your family and could influence friends and relatives too.

What can you do?
1. Choose a day
2. Switch off power
3. Switch off your mobile devices.
4. For that one hour spend the time like you would spend your time when in natural surroundings.

What to do after switching off?
1. Do nothing
2. Have a chat with your partner
3. Meditate
4. Think and let your thoughts flow
5. Have a candle light dinner

What you save would be helpful for the planet, for you and for future. Think about it.
If you can do it, d it.



Driving license -The initial (1)

This post is for non-Europeans who want to obtain EU license in Czech Republic (city Brno). I cannot explain about other countries at present.

In a foreign country when there is a necessity to drive a car, host country license works for few months after which a new one is to be obtained.
If one is a new driver it is normally not a problem to learn the rules and the style.
If one is already a driver in host country then there are mix of problems:
1.Driving style would have got influenced by local factors heavily
2. Driving rules could be different though the basic ones remains the same.
3. The signboards indicating different signs could be more (especially if one is from India)
4. Compared to driving in host country, driving inside city may not be stressfull.
This link could be a good reference to start with.

The best option is to take a course with driving school. The driving school would have a website and all the reference materials (eTest). Many of from non-EU countries do not speak Czech language properly or have been learning and still not feel comfortable to take the test in Czech.
Taking this into consideration, I joined Autoskola-Real, Brno. I recommend this school for expats and Rene Foral is good in explaining and also teaching. It is mandatory to take 14 driving classes before the examination. The material link to e-course (e-Kurz) on their website is very helpful.
It is also mandatory to get a certificate from your doctor in Brno. The form for the same would be provided with driving school or the doctor would have one. The doctor would  test eye vision and give a book. This book contains colours and patterns. From within these colours and patterns one would have to find numbers, images and others.