USHA Big Fat Goan HAT 2015

11049554_10156103683190251_4279534687597190249_nUSHA INTERNATIONAL sponsored ‘USHA Big Fat Goan HAT 2015’

USHA International, sponsored the ‘USHA Big Fat Goan HAT, the first ever Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Goa. Approved by Goa Tourism, it was a three day tournament slated between November 6th -8th 2015. Tournament started with pool games at Manderem Beach on 6th-7th November and finale was played on 8th November at Miramar beach, Goa.

2Usha Big Fat Goan Hat’15 was a 5 on 5 person game that was played in a beach format with two end zones. There were 100 international and national players and about 7 to 8 under-15 kids were competing in the tournament. Being a HAT tournament, players had registered individually and then grouped into teams. The tournament consisted of 24 teams of 4 to 5 players each. All the competing teams first played 7 Round Robins in pool stages. Further, top 4 teams played in the finals for the winner title of Usha Big Fat Goan HAT 2015.

Usha strongly believes in the brand ethos ‘Play’ and thereby supports and promotes a wide array of sports initiatives across the country which includes the Mawana Marathon, Ultimate Frisbee, Golf (junior and ladies), IPL, cricket for deaf and football.

1Ultimate, a global sport recognized with the international Olympic association, blends perfectly with the Usha brand ethos ‘Play’. Usha has been associated with ultimate for more than four years now.

The new age appliances from the company, like Infiniti Cook Halogen Oven, slow juicers, on the go blenders, air coolers with ionizers and many other appliances also represent Usha’s commitment to promote a fun, active and healthy lifestyle.

Cook Royally: Subz Dum Biryani

Halogen OvenFestivals in India are a time for meeting and greeting, which invariably means a lot of guests. That in turn translates into ‘lunches’ and ‘dinners’. And there is nothing like sharing a meal of home-cooked exotic Subz Dum Biryani.

Brimming with flavours, spices and assorted vegetables the Subz Dum Biryani makes for a delicious full-filling meal. Its unique flavor, aroma and taste are derived from its namesake cooking technique – ‘Dum’ meaning ‘slow cooking’. But count not the seconds, minutes and hours of toil for the technologically advanced Usha Halogen Oven will help you cook this prized recipe in a blink without compromising on its uniqueness.

The right way to cook this dish is to place the ingredients inside a earthen pot and seal it tight with dough to prevent the steam from escaping, which allows the spices to give the rice an enchanting mouthwatering aroma and flavor, reminiscent of royal Mughal Kitchens.  But in absence of time and in lieu of an entourage of chefs from the royal kitchen, the Usha Halogen Oven is the perfect kitchen appliance to cook it easily at home. Its unique enclosed shape ensures that steam is trapped inside it, infusing the various flavours into your Briyani. While the aforementioned technological innovation doesn’t only do this fast, but does it with a simple touch of button retaining not just the aroma and falvour but also the nutrients present in the vegetables – making it the perfect Subz Dum Biryani.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

Rice

  • 1½ cups basmati rice
  • 4-5 chhoti illaichi (green cardamom),
  • 2 tej patta (bay leaves), 5-6 laung (cloves)
  • 4 tsp salt, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 10 cups water

 Vegetables

  • 2 thin carrots – cut into cubes, 20 french beans – cut into 1″ pieces
  • ½ of a small cauliflower – cut into very small florets (1 cup)
  • 2 onions – chopped
  • 3 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp salt

 Mix together nicely

  • 1 cup curd
  • 1 tbsp mint – chopped finely, 1 tbsp coriander – chopped finely
  • 1-2 drops kewra essence, ¾ tsp salt
  • Crushed spices together
  • ½ tsp shah jeera (black cumin), seeds of 2 moti illaichi, 1 dalchini, 2-3 blades javetri (mace)
  • Other ingredients
  • 2 tbsp melted ghee and 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 onions – sliced and deep fried, a few mint leaves
  • A few strands kesar – soaked in 1 tsp hot water
  • 2 tbsp melted ghee
  • To seal
  • Aluminium foil and dough

Method:

  1. Wash rice several times. Strain. Let it be in the strainer for 30 minutes. (do not soak).
  2. Boil rice in 10 cups water with all ingredients till rice is a little chewy and not fully soft. Strain. Now spread rice in a big tray on a cloth. Remove whole spices from the cooked rice and discard them. Mix 1 cup cooked rice with kesar to colour the grains. Now mix this coloured rice with the white rice.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp ghee and 2 tbsp oil. Add chopped onions to the pan, stir till golden.
  4. Add half of the crushed spices. Stir for 30 seconds on low heat. Add 3 tsp ginger-garlic paste. Mix. Add red chilli powder. Add salt. Add vegetables and bhuno for 2 minutes. Cook covered on low heat till vegetables turn crisp tender. Do not overcook.
  5. Remove from fire. Let it cool down. Add the curd, stirring continuously. Mix well.
  6. To assemble the biryani, take a handi. Grease it. Spread ½ of the rice in the dish. Spread vegetables along with curd over the rice. Spread remaining rice. Sprinkle remaining crushed spices and 2 tbsp of melted ghee over the rice. Sprinkle some mint and crispy fried onions. Cover with foil.
  7.  Seal foil with atta dough. Put the dish/handi on low rack in the halogen oven. Press speed up mode and set at 120°C for 20 minutes. Press start and give dum to biryani. Serve hot.

Health, Wealth & Rasgullas!

A few years back a study conducted by Consumer Voice, a NGO supported by the ministry of Consumer Affairs, found Canned Rasgullas to be a Health Hazard. Times of India ran an article stating “If you think canned Rasgullas are a better option than khoya-based sweets this Diwali, think again.” (http://goo.gl/sieNZZ)Rasgulla

This Diwali keep your family healthy by making your own Rasgullas easily with the Usha Electronic Pressure Cooker (EPC), which is also engineered to preserve essential nutrients in your food. If you think this is going to be a hassle, think again, because the Usha EPC is efficient, fast and saves time leaving you with hours and hours to have fun and join in the festivities. The EPC’s electronically controlled precision cooking system and variable food cooking options will also allow you to cook various other festive dishes with ease. Talk about having your Rasgulla and eating it too!

Ingredients: (Servers 10 -12 persons) keep-calm-and-eat-rasgulla

  • 1 liter toned milk, 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp flour (Maida)
  • 2 pinches baking powder

Syrup

  • 1¼ cups sugar, 3 cups water

Method:

  1. Boil the milk. Add vinegar and immediately switch off the gas. Add 1 liter bottle of water to cool the chhena. Strain. Put tap water immediately. Spread the chhena on the kitchen cloth for about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Mash the chenna with the palm till smooth. Add maida and baking powder and mix very well.
  3. Put water and sugar in the Usha Electric Pressure Cooker. Set the knob at mark 3. Cook without covering. Wait till the syrup comes to boil.
  4. Make small balls of the chhena mix and put them in the sugar syrup and cover the lid. Pressure cook till knob turns to keep warm mode. Switch off the USHA EPC and wait for the pressure to drop by itself.
  5. Remove Rasagullas with the syrup from the cooker and transfer to a bowl and refrigerate. Serve chilled.

And get ready for healthy snacking!

Kitchen Vastushastra Explained

The USHA Kitchen

The USHA Kitchen

Lately there has been a resurgence in ancient Indian philosophy from a very scientific point of view. Take for instance the myth of Dashaavatar where the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu can be viewed within an evolution perspective, as Homo Sapiens moved from Matsya (the fish), Kurma (the amphibious tortoise), through Narshima (half man-half beast),  Rama (the ideal Man) and finally to Kalki (the destroyer of beings – resembling Darwin’s struggle for ‘survival of the fittest’). Similarly Vastushastra or the ancient Hindu doctrine of temple architecture is today being used more and more to plan out living spaces. A huge treatise in itself, of which we will only discuss the kitchen in this post. However, even as we take our first baby steps into the world of Kitchen Vastushastra let me warn you that things have changed – people live differently today. And with new lifestyles old ways innovate with style. So switch on to a New Life With USHA. 

USHA COOKTOPS: Vastu dictates the cooking stove to be at South-East

USHA COOKTOPS: Vastu dictates the cooking stove to be at South-East

Let’s begin with the most basic kitchen appliance, the Cooking Stove / Cooktop. Vastu dictates that it should be at the South-East and shouldn’t be too close to the wall. The former is simple space logic, having a stove at the South-East allows people to store both kitchen utensils and grocery/ingredients along the South and West for easy access. As the ancient laws also dictate that storage units for essential commodities like grains, pulses spices and other non-perishable commodities should be stocked along the South or the West direction. Regions where sunlight wasn’t really necessary – as most ancient kitchens windows were in the East, giving the previous farming communities early access to sunlight.

USHA HOODS, enable you to place your cooktop at any distance from the walls

USHA HOODS, enable you to place your cooktop at any distance from the walls

As for the latter reason of avoiding stoves too close to the walls was because during those days most homes were built with combustible materials; and people were just being cautious.However, today with the emergence of Hoods and new building materials this rule has almost become redundant in most urban homes.

USHA WATER DISPENSER: Store water towards the North East

USHA WATER DISPENSER: Store water towards the North East

The ancient Treatise also instructed people to build their kitchen sinks and store their Drinking water towards the North-East of the Kitchen, this was to ensure that the early morning rays killed the germs thereby keeping the water purified. Similarly fruits and other perishable materials were stored by the water for the very same reasons, which today could be replaced as a place for our Juicers.

USHA JUICERS: Keeping fruits by the window if not inside a Fridge makes sense

USHA JUICERS: Keeping fruits by the window if not inside a Fridge makes sense

Other Cooking Utensils were to be stored next to or near the cooking stove for convenience, in ancient times it could have meant pots and pans, as they were frequently used. For us it would mean our Ovens and Fryers, which would help us to keep a lookout on things – if we happen to be cooking more than a single dish at a time using various different appliances.

USHA FRYER: Appliances located close will help you watch-over your dishes

USHA FRYER: Appliances located close will help you watch-over your dishes

That’s some science titbits behind the glorious art of Vastu, but as we had mentioned earlier, times have changed and with our modern USHA appliances you can place anything, anywhere as you like; as long as you add logic and a little style to it.

USHA HALOGEN OVEN: Happy Cooking!

USHA HALOGEN OVEN: Happy Cooking!

Thinking of rearranging your kitchen? Go ahead and Play with USHA kitchen appliances – Jaw-dropping both in style and the delicious recipes they can cook up.

To Explore More Appliances Click Here

Sound of Silence

No, we are not here to philosophically muse about the Sound of Silence, nor wallow in nostalgia in the namesake Simon and Garfunkel song. But for a start, let the music be our master and draw us in with the lines: “And the vision that was planted in my brain / Still remains / Within the sound of silence.”

Gavin Francis in search of silence

Gavin Francis in search of silence

We are here to contemplate landscapes of silence with doctor, author, traveler Gavin Francis. The Edinburgh born Scotsman who finds the dark streets of his native land a little more quiet than that of India or Bhutan, if not for all our barking street mongrels. Francis spent about six months in India, time he admits not enough not only to see the country but to experience its silence.

He yearns to go over pathless seas like the ancient pilgrims did on leather boats, unsure where the shifting shores lie. To go on roads that are unaware of their beginnings and ends, for they know not the turns a traveler might take. His first foray into the world of silent spaces led him to the Laplands and to the lost islands that float between Scotland and Greenland. Silence called out to him from further North and seduced the doctor into a writer. Thus his first book True North came into being.

The universe conspired next and turned him into a traveler in search of a silence that is born of the land and drop from the sky. He walked under constellations and city lights across hemispheres North and South, searching for places where there are no markers of the passage of time. This pilgrim of silence found his alters in strange lands, each promised a certain degree of silence but never an everlasting one. Till silence whispered again subtly from the frozen South (on a lighter note the religious subtext is not at all intentional and no puns are intended).

Deep South, Antarctica called and Francis rushed into the very abyss of silence, which can only be comprehended, if lived, not read or visited. For Gavin Francis’ experience in Antarctica read the blog-post: A Love Letter to Antarctica. Remote and cold he recounts his experiences with penguins, ice, silence and months of nights, followed by months of daylight – he had finally lost all the markers that denote the passage of time. To watch him recount his experiments with silence watch the video below.

 

We met Gavin Francis at Usha presents Mountains Echoes 2014, the Bhutan Literary Festival. It was exciting and nice to listen to his adventures, almost like an old Victorian travel yarn; but it all sounded so cold. We only wished we had met him earlier, to gift him one of our Electric Kettles, at least he would have got his coffee warm and nice. After all, “How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup…”  (Virginia Woolf)

USHA ELECTRIC KETTLE 3217 for that Warm Cup

USHA ELECTRIC KETTLE 3217 for that Warm Cup

To Know More Click Here

Melon Juice: The Fountain of Youth

Why can’t Melons get married? Because they can’t-elope!

Musk Melon or Kharbuja, is popularly known as Cantaloupe in the Western world; ever since their seeds from the East were first planted at the Papal Gardens in the Italian city of Cantalupo during the 16th century. Jokes apart and history aside, if you are trying to lose weight than the Cantaloupe is a must for your menu!

For the health conscious a daily glass of Musk Melon juice is great for the body and eyesight. But best of all it helps you to fight aging with its high content of Vitamin C, which drives away free radicals and barbarian viruses responsible for damaging your cells. Ergo, you have found your own private Fountain of Youth in the USHA Juicer!

So here is the secret recipe:

Untitled-1 copyIngredients

  1. 1 Musk Melon
  2. Sugar as per required (brown sugar is a great option as it would deepen the colour and give a caramelized flavor to the juice, using honey would make it more healthier)

Method – Preparation in 5 minutes.

  • Rinse the Musk Melon in water.
  • Then slice them into long pieces.
  • Remove the peel and separate it from the flesh and remove seeds.
  • Add musk melon to your juicer / juicer mixer grinder with sugar and ice cubes.
  • Enjoy refreshing juice. Enjoy life!

Before we sign off here is another piece of advice: Always buy evenly shaped melons, which do not bear any cuts and bruises; and select the heavy ones, they make the best juices.

The USHA Fountain of Youth

The USHA Fountain of Youth

To Know More Click Here

The Spirit of Coffee

Our story begins in the mountain kingdom of Bhutan where people believe that, their is a Coffee Spirit! An occult being of element and air which can only be appeased by coffee! People take this custom seriously, religiously offering cups of coffee after coffee in various ritualistic forms to this airy being. Such beings that once walked the past, seems to have evolved with time – either just inside our heads or in themselves is debatable!

USHA Coffee Machines, to help you keep the magic alive

USHA Coffee Machines to help you keep the magic alive

Animism has been evolving over time as part of our culture and one cannot throw it away as utter mambo-jumbo because their very roots literally lie in nature itself. Arising from the trees, the elements and the world around us animism has a very conservative aspect to it. The slogan ‘Save the Trees’ could as well be an animist one. It puts forth a love and respect for nature in a ritualistic form rather than a scientific one – the belief that we can save ourselves by saving and appeasing the world around us, sounds like a very 21st century concern, yet it did exist when Shamans spoke to the stars and trees, and the trees spoke back.

LOTR Trees

The Living Trees from LOTR

Deep in our primal selves the sub-conscious still retains and respects the values of animism – the Box Office, talking walking trees from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy are a proof to that. Tolkien once wrote “…The first men to talk of ‘trees and stars’ saw things very differently. To them, the world was alive with mythological beings… To them the whole of creation was ‘myth-woven and elf-patterned’. And mark these words from yet another popular Television series The Game of Thrones “But there are some who still keep to the Old Way, worshiping the faceless gods of the Children of the Forest and the First Men.” The point being that animism has survived in various forms, hiding quietly beneath surfaces in our words and deeds. What is the plural for Magpies? A tidings of Magpies. Another point well made, shall we say?

As part of our culture, animism is so seamlessly and unconsciously weaved into our daily lives that it cannot be ignored, though often and always overlooked. Today’s Magic is tomorrow’s science, similarly yesterday’s superstition is today’s tradition, of which animism has become a part.

To learn more about the Coffee Spirit and other Himalayan animistic beliefs watch the session Wild Spirits: Animism in the Himalayas, where experts Sangay Wangchuk, Kunzang Choden in conversation with Manju Wakhley discuss the value systems, their merits and issues at Usha presents Mountain Echoes 2014