Category Archives: LEARNING

Sankranti Sweet Recipes

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Come January,  14th or 15th every year is  a festive treat to the eyes  and the taste buds.  On one of these days, India celebrates Makar Sankranti, welcoming the transition of the sun into the zodiac sign Capricorn.  It also marks the onset of the beautiful spring season.  And the most important of all reasons to celebrate this day is the beginning of the harvest season.

Sankranti festival is of great cultural significance all over India.  We can see markets brimming with display of new and harvested vegetables and fruits, sugarcanes, groundnuts, spikes of fresh wheat, rice and jowar (sorghum) seeds.  Garlands of yellow /orange chrysanthemum and marigold flowers brighten up the market area; that marks the new beginning of yet another auspicious year.

The food attraction of the day is the special festive meals offered in pooja to the Lord.  The important thing to note is a little of all  the newly harvested grains and vegetables are used in the cooking on Sankranti Day.  No festival is complete without sweets and here we share for you, some mouth-watering  traditional  Sankranti recipes made in different parts of India.

  1. Puran Poli of Maharashtra

Bengal Gram – 1 cup
Wheat Flour – 1 cup
Maida Flour – ¼ cup
Jaggery (Gud)– 1 cup
Ground Spices from:
Cardamom Seeds – 1 spoon
Fennel Seeds – ½  spoon
Pepper – ½ spoon
Cinnamon – 1 small piece

Filling (puran) : Boil Bengal Gram (chana dal) in water. Strain the water.  Now add jaggery and boil the chana dal again until it blends well and softens. Let it cool down. Mix all the spices and grind them into a fine powder.  (you can heat them dry lightly in wok before grinding to help grind faster).  Now grind the cooled chana dal and the spice powder in a mixer to make a coarse powder filling.   Make small round balls of the filling and keep aside.

Poli (outer dough): Make normal dough by mixing wheat flour, maida flour, 1 pinch salt and water.

Make round balls out of the dough.  Roll a ball little. Give it a cup shape and put the filling inside.  Now close the filling by stretching the dough over from all sides.  Roll the ball again to make a roti.  Cook this roti both sides on the tawa by adding ghee on all sides.  Your hot and steaming Sankranti puran poli is ready.

  1. Sweet Pongal or Chakkara Pongal of TamilNadu

Rice – 1 cup
Moong Dal – 1/5 cup
Milk – 1 ltr
Jaggery – 1 cup
Ghee – ½ cup
Cardamom Powder – 1 spoon
Cashewnuts – 1 tablespoon
Raisins – 1 tablespoon

Boil milk in a bronze pot called vengala paanai in Tamil.  Put rice and moong dal in the milk and let it cook.  Keep stirring until it mashes well.  Now add the jagerry into the boiled rice and keep stirring until it blends well with the rice to give a brown colour.  Add half the ghee to the sides of the pan.  Season cashewnuts and raisins in the rest of the ghee and pour it on top of the dish.  Add cardamom powder.  Your chakkara pongal or sweet pongal is ready.

  1. Til Laddu/TilGud Chikki of Maharashtra, UttarPradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh.

Sesame seeds (Til) – 1 cup
Jaggery – 2/3 cup
Peanuts crushed – 1 table spoon
Ghee – 1 teaspoon
Dry Ginger powder – 1 pinch

Roast the sesame seeds until they pop into pinkish brown color.  Let it cool.  Boil jagerry in a pan with ½ cup water and a spoon of ghee.  Let the jagerry caramelise into hard consistency.  The test is when dropped in cold water it should harden immediately. Remove from flame.  Add this caramel to the cooled til(sesame seeds) .  Add the broken peanuts and dry ginger powder.  Mix all thoroughly .  Now apply some ghee in your hands and make small round balls of the mixture.  Your til laddu is ready.  The same mixture can also be flattened on to a plate and made into rectangular chikkis.  Make sure to cut the mixture with a divider.  Alternatively a mixture of fried peanuts, jagerry, roasted til, sugarcane pieces and puffed rice can be made which is simple and nutritious. (Ellu Bella in Karnataka)

Make your Sankranti special this year with one of these traditional recipes.

Wishing you a happy Makar Sankranti!!

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Bring joy to your teacher, Sep 5th

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The Upanishads hail of learning as follows:

AchArya poorva roopam, antEvA uttara roopam, vidyA sandhi:, pravachanam sandhAnam, iti adhi vidyam.

The teacher is the prior form, The pupil is the latter form, learning is the junction and the instruction given by the teacher is the catalyst. This is quality education.

On September 5th, Teachers’ day, let us remember all our teachers who have been our guiding light in our life.  Guru is “one who dispels darkness of ignorance”. “Gu” means “darkness of ignorance” and “Ru” means “one who removes”.

Teachers can do wonders in the life of a student more than a parent . On 5th of September we celebrate teachers day to pay our respects to them. Parents give birth to a child whereas teachers nurture their talents and shape his/her character to make their future meaningful. Let us never forget or ignore them; instead always respect and love them. Teachers spend their entire life molding thousands of children in their life time and that’s why teaching is indeed a noble profession.  A little extension in fact, every day we also keep learning from  parents, our grandparents, co-workers and friends.

If you really agree with our sentiments on teacher’s day, how about taking efforts to update your mobile contact list with your teacher’s phone numbers?  How about calling them or surprising them this teacher’s day with a bouquet of flowers or some plants.  Sure the day would be the happiest for your teacher.

Share your joys and respects with your teacher with Teachers’ Day Gifts from  You can choose from a variety of ideas like:

Momento:- See the joy on your teacher’s face by gifting her this cute photo frame. You can put your photo or a group photo with all your  friends in her batch.

Pens and Diaries:- Dear students, this is  a classic way to show your teacher, the pioneer one who introduced you how to read and write in this world. Gift them with the premium pens available at Pen, a pinnacle of perfection and class moulded into an exquisite writing instrument that bends and curls on the premium notebook that serves the desire of the perceptive individual who aims for the best.

Sheaffer Roller Ball Pen

Latest Gadgets:-You can always surprise teachers with the latest brands of electronics available to you at Every person likes to exhibit  trendy gadgets. brings you the latest electronic products.   A onetime click and capture of loveable memories will mean much to your loved ones –   A camera might not be a bad idea.”!!!  You can find plenty of brands in gadgets from First-class mobiles to the latest smart watches available online  with the best deals and offers.

"Apple iPod shuffle 2GB 5GEN"

Unique gifts for matchless teachers: – Get interesting with bouquets,  chocolate truffles, greeting cards and desktop accessories.

Home décor:- Articles such as a wall décor, clocks or mini furniture.

Aakrati Brass Decorative Bell Yellow, Pack of 1

Real Indoor Plants:- Or go green and gift your teacher some indoor plants so she remembers you every time she  waters it.

Nurturing Green Indoor Plant Golden Pothos Ceramic Pot RedSo don’t forget to call and wish your teacher on September 5th.  Happy Teachers’ Day

International Yoga only on 21st June?

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It is a matter of pride for India that Yoga has been accredited internationally.  We are celebrating the International Yoga Day for the first time today, the 21st June 2015.  Surprisingly the International Yoga Day coincides with the summer solstice.  So it is symbolic of a great change.

For the first time in Indian history we saw a Prime Minister doing yoga with the people of India at Rajpath, Delhi.  Thousands of people sat there on yoga mats and performed guided yogasanas.   Sure it is a good beginning and India has done its part to create the awareness of Yoga and its benefits.

But what next?  Is yoga only for 21st June?

It would only be beneficial if we are able to practice it regularly.  Taking time off is a great difficulty today.  But if we should be true to our conscience, we could probably still find time say around 15-20 minutes in the early morning.  Doing even basic Asanas can help stretch out muscles and release stiffness.    Simple pranayama can control our breath, open up energy channels throughout our body and calm the mind.

But if you have not yet started, enrolling in a yoga course to begin with, would be essential.  Learning from a master in yoga is important because he can guide you with appropriate positions when you envisage difficulty.  And then you can have a handbook of Asanas for yoga that help you  during your practice at home.

As our PM put it right, “yoga is for a tension free world”.  So let’s spend time with ourselves and engage our kids too in this process for “kids are the future of India and their quality would define India”.

10 Tips to Shop Online Like a Pro

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Online shopping doesn’t just simplify the buying process, it also digitizes the entire ‘window shopping’ experience. The web makes it much easier to browse through the multitudes of products available in any given category, and then shortlist what you like into a convenient little wish list or digital shopping cart. When you’re satisfied with your eventual selection, you can finally click that rewarding Proceed to Checkout button.

Of course, even the web today has become unfathomably cluttered with products, and everywhere you look you see banner ads and special promotions and offers. One bad experience – either a false promise, a product different in person that the pictures shown, or a delivery gone horribly wrong, and you’re right back to doubting the efficacy of online shopping.

Although in general post online shopping experiences today are quite convenient and straightforward, it helps to keep the below tips in mind during your e-commerce experience:

Separate Email ID

If you want to stay up to date with the latest deals and offers various e-commerce portals are offering, you need to subscribe to their mailers and newsletters. You might not want to clutter your primary mailbox with so many e-commerce mailers, so you can consider creating a separate mail ID altogether, which won’t take you very long at all.

This will help you catch up on the best offers online, which are thrown up literally by the day. You’ll be one of the first to receive notifications of these sales, and can then plan your shopping accordingly. This separate mail ID also serves as your account profile on these various sites, so as you shop more and avail additional benefits, you won’t have to go scurrying around trying to find your login information.

Hit the Sales Sections

Discount sales shelves are usually the busiest places in physical retail stores, and it’s a similar scenario online. Often, you’ll find a dedicated Sales or Discounts tab listing all the best deals, and it’s a breeze to search through these discounted products online. Everything is neatly organized, and search filters help you can quickly find a piece that appeals to you.

Coupon is King

Always try to find those time bound coupon codes that carry major benefits. Just beware of deals that urge you to make multiple purchases for a relatively small benefit. Spend a few extra bucks for shipping instead of spending more money on things you might not really need just to get free shipping.


Go All Out

Online shoppers feel that certain items, like bathing suits, shoes, and jewelry, should not be purchased online. But sometimes online is the best place to shop for these products.As for shoes and jewelry, ordering online allows you to see how these accessories fit in with the rest of your wardrobe – which you have ready access to at home. Just be sure to check whether the return policy is different for these specific items.

Fragile! Handle with care

Delicate items, for example designer watches for women might require special handling, so check the different features of the product online in the description tab. The handling of the product and assurance of safe, delicate delivery are important when shopping online. You should have the right to refuse delivery and receive a no-questions-asked refund on fragile items.

Review the Reviews

When you’re unsure, it is always wise to read reviews of the product when shopping online. These indicate what other shoppers felt about their shopping experience, and whether the product they expected was delivered as advertised. Previous customers will provide you with more realistic details about the quality of an item. Of course, occasionally you might come across a review left by a competitor, unless you see a recurring pattern, treat overly critical reviews with a pinch of salt.

Return Policy

Online shopping can often be a bit risky, as you don’t usually get to physically try on and inspect your items before purchasing them – although many online shopping sites these days are experimenting with trial clothes. This makes the return policy especially important. If it is not explicitly clear on the site, call the company first to get details.

One size never fits all

All online shops have their own versions of sizing charts. Though you probably know your standard size, it’s helps to see where you fall on that site’s unique chart. Clothing sizes and fits can vary greatly from brand to brand, and without trying clothes on it’s difficult to tell which will fit best. The closest you can come is to match your measurements to those recommended on a chart.

Be Pennywise with your Cart

With online shopping, it is way too easy to get carried away! The best process is to simply go with the flow when you’re browsing. Add everything you like to your shopping cart and then remove whatever seems excessive later. By compiling your shortlist in one single place, it’s much easier to compare and decide what you really need. Also, when you see that massive grand total, you’ll automatically want to scrutinize everything once again with a critical eye and remove things you don’t really need.

Seek till you drop

The biggest benefit of online discounts is that you can compare similar items at many different stores to find the best discount available. Resist the urge to order the first product you see – you may something nearly identical at another retailer. Spend that extra time searching your favorite sites to make sure that you’ve chosen the best piece, at the best price. helps you browse different deals on a vast selection of products, listed on various e-commerce portals, all at once. Think of it as a streamlined shopping search engine. You can search by item, color, price range, and more, then scroll through all the options available for purchase. Shopping online has never been so easy, affordable and fun!


Comparing deals online

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Shopping has been around for centuries. And it isn’t restricted to women as might have been suggested popularly. In fact, in the beginning of time, people would barter as a means of transacting. It’s significant, therefore, when online wallets are now gaining prominence. But before we get to wallets, in a later blog post, it’s interesting to look at online shopping behaviour and trends.

As is the case with the normal user journey at a store, online shopping, too, has an interesting side to it. Bargaining is at the core of customers in the sub region. What’s unique is that while customers prefer to walk the loyalty route with a trader or local business, bargaining for the best price is a self-claimed right. The concept of a fixed price then, seems like the deprivation of an essential right to many.

It isn’t surprising then that most visitors spend most part of their visit to the local mall window gazing. The probability of bargaining prices falls drastically in a mall as compared to the local kirana store.

Online shopping is no different. Whether you buy from Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Indiatimes Shopping, pepperfry, fabfurnish, Zivame, babyoye, paytm or any of the other popular ecommerce sites, we all have the obsession to save every penny. Every paisa, to be particular. How does one compare the best deal online then? Let’s say we want to compare the best deal across 10 ecommerce sites. When was the last time you visited a page of flipkart, made your purchase and exited the site? Seldom, right?

Shopping online. Image courtesy: HuffingtonPost
Shopping online. Image courtesy: HuffingtonPost

That’s the key. On an average, a user visits around 4-6 pages while visiting an ecommerce site. Let’s stick to 5 for convenience of calculation. That makes it 50 tabs open on your browser. Unless you’re a machine that would be very convenient to you. Only, you aren’t!

That’s where CValue brings about the much needed change. Simply visit from your desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device. If you use Chrome or Firefox, you can install the plugin as well. CValue scans through over 4 million records (as of writing this) to get you the best price from across 15 ecommerce sites so you’d never feel you missed out on the best deal, ever.

Understanding the move online

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We’ve all come a long way since the advent of internet in 1990. Back then, the internet was more of an academic tool that was directed primarily at research and intellectual study and collaboration across prominent American institutions.
A year later, however, the internet opened up to commercial use. Soon online banking and the first online pizza shop was opened by Pizza Hut in 1994! That’s a good 21 years ago.

Amazon 1994 homepage in 1994. Image courtesy:

The emergence of online transactions called for better security and the result was SSL and secure sites for financial transactions.
The biggest advantage of online shopping has been convenience. But beyond that, what’s far more significant is the great deals made available to us. What stands out though is that the minimal structure of an ecommerce business, resulting in the benefit being passed on to customers in terms of a lower price.
While Pizza Hut opened the first pizza store online in 1994, the more relevant ecommerce entities we are relatively familiar with such as Amazon opened in 1995, followed by eBay a year later in 1996.
Through the years, the online medium has transitioned and the banking system has sought to keep up with the pace of adoption of online transactions. The result has been online banking and more recently mobile banking systems.