Bappi Lahiri takes Indian Music “International”

Oscar and Golden Globes awards for music composer Bappi Lahiri

Music maestro Bappi Lahiri continues his National & International nomination spree by getting nominated for two films at Oscars 2017 & Golden Globes Awards for -“Best Animated film- Moana” & “Best Film- Lion”

The first time in the history of Indian Music Fraternity that a music composer & singer “Bappi Lahiri” is associated with “Two Oscar nominations & Tow Golden Globes Awards for the films “Moana & Lion”

 He says that music affects the way we live. Our thoughts, our joys and sorrows, the way we think and the way we dance; all of it moving to the unending melodies and patterns of the soundtrack of our lives.

With some of the finest pieces of music work to his kitty,  music icon Bappi Lahiri feels overwhelmed with the musical association in the film Moana & Lion which has been nominated at Oscars & Golden Globes Awards where he has lend his melodious voice for songs in each films This year has bought the best gift for me. I feel 2017  is a big blessing of my long journey  in  musical life. I thank God, my parents, my family and all my fans all over the world “

Music Composer, Music Director, Singer, Actor & Record Producer thanks his friends and family members after his historical nomination “I feel proud to glorify our country on International platform. Not just me, the entire team of Moana, Lion are over the moon. For me it’s not about the win, it’s about recognition & appreciation. I hope the best person wins

“India is making its way to Hollywood not just in the field of entertainment & performing arts but everywhere. There is a feeling of acceptance and acknowledgment which feels nice” adds Bappi Lahiri.

Viewpoint on : A Muslim family moving to America?

Here is a question from an online forum answered by our Editor.

My wife doesn’t want to move to the USA because she’s afraid of racism. What should I do to convince her?

I want to build my startup in the Silicon Valley.

If you want to know what kind of racism she’s afraid of… we are Indian Muslims.

Googled image of “Citizen Khan”

A Muslim family moving to America? Your wife is probably right in voicing her concerns. Here are a few facts to think about:

  • As an outsider to a new community, one might encounter some element of “racism.” This does not necessarily have to do with religion, but could be due to parochial mindsets, pre-conceived notions of accent, language or other factors.
    • As others have also mentioned, the Bay Area and Silicon Valley is among the most liberal parts of the country. You and your family will not face much “racism.”
  • The bay area is home to a vibrant Desi community, and also has several mosques and Islamic community. (list of mosques).
    • You and your wife will find a welcoming community and find new firends!
  • The new President has proven that he can walk-the-talk, when it comes to his “promises” on immigration and border control.
    • We can only speculate on other Executive Actions that the president might or might not take

Bottomline: As an entrepreneur, you are willing to take risks. The risk of moving to a new place is par for the course. Go in with your eyes wide open, and explore the opportunities.

5 Healthy Berry Pancake Recipes That Will help You Lose Weight and Make Your Skin Glow

Why choose berries instead of any other fruit? Well, the most obvious answer is because of their taste. Strawberries are no. 1 best-tasting fruit on the planet, followed by the rest of the berry cousins: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries… Also, the color. In pancakes, it ranges from pale pink to deep blue and purple, depending on how you use them. Pure beauty.

But the key reason for choosing berries is their healthiness.

Strawberry Pancakes

Strawberries are full of anti-inflammatory antioxidants. They contain anti-aging flavonoid antioxidants (anthocyanin and catechin), which are responsible for lowering the risk for various diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Other health benefits of strawberries include better vision, neurological health, better skin health, and ability to prevent inflammation.

Besides being full of dietary fiber, strawberries are low in calories and low in sugar. however, you can always spoil their healthiness and combine them with some (or plenty of!) Nutella? Oh, yes! Add them to the batter (chopped) or simply on top of the pancake stack. The choice is yours.

Blueberry Pancakes

 

Blueberries are one of the most powerful antioxidants on the planet! They are also rich in vitamins C and K, as well as manganese. Their health benefits include fighting cancer, weight loss, and younger skin.

I have tried combining blueberries with many different ingredients, and I am struggling between the chocolate/blueberry and almond/blueberry combo. But why choose one when you can have them both in one blueberry-based recipe? Almond Blueberry Pancakes with Chocolate Ganache. If there is a recipe that is healthy and decadent at the same time, this must be it.

Blackberry Pancakes

 

In the botanical world, there is one golden rule: the darker the fruit, the more powerful its antioxidant properties. Blackberries are rich in bioflavonoids and Vitamin C, similar to spinach, raisins, and grapes. Besides making your skin glow and protect you from various types of cancer, blackberries are great for the stomach – they help reduce intestinal inflammation, soothe hemorrhoid problems and alleviate diarrhea.

Berries and lemon go hand in hand, so add some lemon juice and zest to the batter and top with fresh blackberries or blackberry jam.

Raspberry Pancakes

These berries contain phytochemicals, responsible for their dark color and their numerous health benefits, which include preventing cancer, heart disease, and weight loss (did you notice that all berries include weight loss on their list of benefits?)

You can add them chopped to the batter, but I have a bit different offer – add them in the form of preserves on top of peanut butter pancakes. P & J sandwich in a pancake recipe right there!

Mulberry Pancakes

I think that mulberries are quite underestimated berries, always in the shadow of their more widely used relatives. Mulberries are filled with nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin, potassium, phosphorous, iron, and calcium, plus dietary fiber, phytonutrients, resveratrol, anthocyanins, lutein…

Add juiciness by suspending a handful of mulberries over the pancake batter while cooking and use some more on top of the stack, together with melted butter. They will contribute some tanginess and wake you up quickly and efficiently if you eat them for breakfast!

 

Desi satire: As Trump calls for ‘Buy American’, NRI couple searching for an alternative to MDH masalas

Our editor came across an interesting satirical article. Very topical for the times we live in!

As Trump calls for ‘Buy American’, NRI couple searching for an alternative to MDH masalas (Source: Fakingnews)

California: NRI couple Shyam and Jyoti who are settled in California for last seventeen years are charged up after hearing the electrifying speech by new US president, Donald Trump. They want to honor what Donald Trump has asked everyone to follow, “Buy American and Hire American”.

Even if America becomes great again during Trump’s presidency, hiring Americans will remain a distant dream even for a well-to-do couple like Shyam and Jyoti.

However, both feel buying only American brands would not be that difficult for them. They have started making a list of items they purchase every month. The ones that come from India like MDH masalas, they have started exploring if they can find a suitable alternative American brand for the same.

“I looked at my cupboards, it is filled with American brands like GAP, US Polo, Tommy Hilfiger. In between I found few old Lux Cozi underwear which I threw in the dustbin,” said Shyam who was working from home to watch Donald Trump becoming POTUS (President of the United States).

Shyam while listening to ‘chod aaye hum wo galiyan’ in his iPhone 7 said, “When I came here in 1999 during the height of Y2K boom, initially it was tough for me to adjust to this new American lifestyle. Luckily many Indians stay here in Bay Area. The supermarkets here sell everything you get in India, plenty of Indian restaurants, so getting Indian food was not a concern for me.”

In between Jyoti came with two plates of Chole Bhature for us. She reminded Shyam, the MDH Chana Masala is over, do not forget to buy it next time you order grocery online. That got Shyam in to a catch 22 situation. MDH is a well-known Indian brand known, he searched in Google, did not find an alternative American brand.

Being a born foodie, Shyam does not want to sacrifice his favorite Chole Bhature for McD burgers. From now on he is planning to follow a new twisted principle, ‘Buy American and Buy Indian’ looking at item by item. However, he is confident Trump will make a difference, soon new MDH (Massachusetts Di Hatti) will be produced here.

NRI Q&A and Advice: As a US citizen living in India, should I apply to college in the US for undergraduation or post graduation?

Recent NRI Q&A from online forums answered by our Editor:

As a US citizen living in India, should I apply to college in the US for undergraduation or post graduation?

For a bachelors degree, it really depends:

  • Have you got admission at a top-ranked Indian institution or college – IIT or a top liberal-arts college (like St Stephens, BHU, AMU)? If yes, the answer is obvious
  • What is your financial situation? Fee at a top-tier school/university can be really high. (link – The Priciest Ivy League College Will Cost You $63,000 a Year) Can you (or your folks) afford to pay hundreds of thousands $$s in tuition, boarding and other expenses?
  • Your personal aspiration? Ask yourself.

For a Masters degree, the world is your oyster. Follow your passion!


What are the pros and cons of raising kids in America for Indian American parents?

My wife and I moved to India this summer with our 7 year old , primarily to be closer to my aging parents. Our son spent over six years – through first grade – in the US, and we had been making annual trips to India.

So, here is a bit of musing on raising “Indian American” kids in India (flip this for a response to the question)

  1. America is a melting pot and people from literally all corners of the world continue to migrate and call it home.
    • While immigrants bring their distinct cultural identity along, they are expected to be “American first.” It is expected that we think and act like an American, albeit a brown American.
    • Kids growing up in India acquire mannerisms, accent and usage of English distinct to South-Asia (nothing wrong in this)
  2. India is changing, and cities in urban India are loosing the distinct cultural identities. Why do I say this?
    • Kids are as comfortable talking about the latest American sitcoms (or cartoons) as they are about Desi episodes. My son loves Kris and Bal Hanuman as much as he loves the escapades of Oggy and the cockroaches
    • This “westernization” continues through childhood and by High school, kids (whose parents can afford to) begin finalizing plans to “go abroad” for higher-education
  1. Most public schools focus on academics and little else. The daily grind of commuting to work and school in India leaves little time for other activities like learning music or art.
    • Taking the child to a music class or Bal Vihar in an hour-long Uber/Ola ride after he gets back home at 4 or 5 PM is neither practical nor fun for the parent or child
    • Parents in India have to invest a lot more effort to ensure some “cultural induction” for the kids. One can argue this is similar to the additional effort parents in the US put to take their kids to Violin Class (or a Gujarati class) an hour across town every week.
  2. “Indian Values” This is perhaps the most overrated issue constantly discussed by Desi parents in the west.
    • The fact is that the values and mores many of us grew up with in India in the seventies, eighties have changed.
    • Indian Millennials are as “globalized” or “westernized” as their peers in America or England.
    • Middle class in urban India is struggling with some of the same challenges we see in the west – Youngsters moving in to live together, promiscuous relations etc.

So, what do I think of all this? My son enjoyed his time in the US. Although he sometimes misses his old school, he has begun to enjoy his new school; making, new friends, learning new languages like Hindi, Kannada, and Tamil are a big plus.

Actress and stars celebrate 68th Republic Day with great pride

 

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Garamchai.com team wishes our visitors NRIs, PIOs and global Indian Diaspora a very happy 68th Republic day
Actress Smita Gondkar celebrates 68th Republic Day with great pride

Where on the occasion of  68th Republic day all Indians hold their head high, Marathi Actress Smita Gondkar a proud Indian too celebrates this momentous occasion with a great democratic spirit and same enthusiasm as she does every year.

Actress Smita Gondkar

Further sharing her experience Smita Gondkar says, “From flag hoisting to dancing on patriotic song is all what I always use to enjoy the most on Republic Day in my childhood but while growing up slowly and gradually I understood the true importance of this Day. It gives me an immense pride and happiness that I am an Indian and I belong to a country where there is so much unity,Traditions and diversity. The Indian Army and Soldiers  work round the clock 24/7 to protect our country. Their Sacrifice is something which can never be explained in words. They are the one because of whom we all live a safe joyful life. The giving and helpful nature of  Indians makes me fall in love with India every time as I celebrate this Day.”

About: Smita Gondkar is an Indian actress who works primarily in Marathi and Hindi films. Smita also featured in the famous Marathi music video, ‘Pappi De Parula’. Smita Gondkar was working in USA with Disney Cruise Line alongside people from 55 nations. Smita is also a professional stunt biker.

Link to her official website


Actress Jyoti Saxena gears up in the spirit of 68th republic day

“Republic day is a very important festival in India. I am very proud to be the citizen of India. At this day, I unfurl the National Flag of India and sing the National Anthem I salute the flag and soldiers to show my heartily respect for our republic country. It is celebrated all over the country by all peoples in good manners and also they express their love unity to each other by wishing happy republic day to each other” says Actress Jyoti Saxena who feels that India has developed a lot and counted among the powerful countries.

Jyoti Saxena

“Together with some developments, some drawbacks have also arisen such inequality, poverty, unemployment, corruption, illiteracy, etc. We need to take a pledge today for solving such problems in the society to make our country a best country of the world” adds the actress and wishes the fellow citizens a patriotic 68th Republic Day

Check out Jyoti Saxena’s Facebook page

NRI investments in housing set to almost double to $11.5 billion this year from 2013 level: Report

“It is believed that the new change in government has infused new sense of confidence about the prospects of Indian economy,” said Kanika Gupta Shori, COO and co-founder, Square Yards.


Also check out NRI Q&A: Is investing in land in India by NRIs a good and logical decision?


The Narendra Modi-led government has given a significant boost to the confidence of the non-resident Indians (NRIs), with their investment into the primary residential real estate market expected to almost double this year.

About $11.5 billion of investment by NRIs is expected to come in the new home or primary residential market across top 8 major cities in 2017, against $6 billion in 2013, according to a report by real estate transaction platform Square Yards.

“It is believed that the new change in government has infused new sense of confidence about the prospects of Indian economy,” said Kanika Gupta Shori, COO and co-founder, Square Yards.

Over 20% of NRI investment in Indian real estate comes from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), followed by other major NRI populated countries such as the USA and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Other countries such as Canada, the UK, Singapore & Australia also source of substantial NRI capital inflow in Indian realty.

“A depreciating Rupee against the dollar and other currencies have added further impetus to the rise of momentum of NRI investment into the Indian real estate,” she said.

Read rest of the article on Economic Times Reality

NRI Q&A: What are the pros and cons of raising kids in America for Indian American parents?

Response by our editor, Mohan follows

My wife and I moved to India this summer with our 7 year old , primarily to be closer to my aging parents. Our son spent over six years – through first grade – in the US, and we had been making annual trips to India.

So, here is a bit of musing on raising “Indian American” kids in India (flip this for a response to the question)

America is a melting pot and people from literally all corners of the world continue to migrate and call it home.

  • While immigrants bring their distinct cultural identity along, they are expected to be “American first.” It is expected that we think and act like an American, albeit a brown American.
  • Kids growing up in India acquire mannerisms, accent and usage of English distinct to South-Asia (nothing wrong in this)

India is changing, and cities in urban India are loosing the distinct cultural identities. Why do I say this?

    • Kids are as comfortable talking about the latest American sitcoms (or cartoons) as they are about Desi episodes. My son loves Kris and Bal Hanuman as much as he loves the escapades of Oggy and the cockroaches
    • This “westernization” continues through childhood and by High school, kids (whose parents can afford to) begin finalizing plans to “go abroad” for higher-education

Most public schools focus on academics and little else. The daily grind of commuting to work and school in India leaves little time for other activities like learning music or art.

    • Taking the child to a music class or Bal Vihar in an hour-long Uber/Ola ride after he gets back home at 4 or 5 PM is neither practical nor fun for the parent or child
    • Parents in India have to invest a lot more effort to ensure some “cultural induction” for the kids. One can argue this is similar to the additional effort parents in the US put to take their kids to Violin Class (or a Gujarati class) an hour across town every week.

“Indian Values” This is perhaps the most overrated issue constantly discussed by Desi parents in the west.

    • The fact is that the values and mores many of us grew up with in India in the seventies, eighties have changed.
    • Indian Millennials are as “globalized” or “westernized” as their peers in America or England.
    • Middle class in urban India is struggling with some of the same challenges we see in the west – Youngsters moving in to live together, promiscuous relations etc.

So, what do I think of all this? My son enjoyed his time in the US. Although he sometimes misses his old school, he has begun to enjoy his new school; making, new friends, learning new languages like Hindi, Kannada, and Tamil are a big plus.

8 Ways to Incorporate Fruits in Banana Bread Recipes

We occasionally share recipes of interest with our readers. Here is one:


Sure, banana bread is great, but fruit banana bread is even better. The reason? It is healthier, fresher, and richer. You can incorporate any kind of fruit in any form:

  • Whole (berries)
  • Slices and dices
  • Mashed and pureed
  • Grated
  • Flaked
  • Dried
  • Caramelized
  • Preserves
  • Syrups
  • Juices
  • Zest
  • Fruit liqueurs

Here are some suggestions how to incorporate a few of them:

Pureed and Mashed Fruit Banana Bread

Pumpkin is the fruit that comes in the form of puree to make best banana bread recipe rich and autumn-y. Pair it with spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove. You will also find that all pumpkin recipes also involve vanilla and can be mixed with nuts and chocolate. I recommend preparing a classic pumpkin banana bread and top it with vanilla bean glaze made with vanilla bean paste, heavy cream, sugar, and salt.

Mashed avocado brings softness and creaminess to the banana loaf. Mash 2 small avocados combine them with either blueberries or chocolate chips.

Sliced and Diced Fruit Banana Bread (plus Examples with Caramelized and Grated Fruits)

Dice an apple or a pear (one cup). You can add them to the batter complemented with cinnamon, but they are even tastier when you caramelize them with butter, brown sugar, cornstarch and add them on top of each slice. Well, this version is not exactly healthy, but it is certainly delicious.

Besides apples and pears, you can add any fruit you wish- peaches, apricots, pineapples, mangoes…

If you don’t like feeling the fruit chunks, especially when the apples and pears you use are very fresh and hard, you can also grate them into the batter.

Whole Fruits Banana Bread (and a Preserves Example)

When I say whole fruits, I mean berries. And by berries, I mean any berry that comes to mind – strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry… Add them to the batter or prepare some homemade jam to use on the side, for instance, my favorite strawberry jam.

Combine strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to boil. Boil, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (use a food thermometer to check this).

Flaked Fruit Banana Bread

Flaked fruit = coconut flakes. Mix their unsweetened version with any other (overripe) fruit you have in your cupboard and you will get an instant tropical flavored banana loaf. I have also combined it with chocolate and nuts. Tastes perfect every time. But I think the best combo is the coconut-pineapple, especially the recipe that calls for pineapple-rum glaze made with pineapple juice, rum extract, toasted coconut, and powdered sugar. All these ingredients appear in the batter as well.

Dried Fruits Banana Bread

I am sure that the first fruit that comes to mind when hearing “dried fruit” are raisins. One cup of raisins into the butter will suffice, and they are best to mix with nuts, especially walnuts.

However, my favorite dried fruit to use in banana quick-bread is the apricot. I don’t really like fresh apricots, but I adore them in banana loaves. Also, my dislike for the fresh version always leaves me with dying ones ready to reuse in my favorite sweet treat. It is best if you combine them with bourbon, butter, vanilla, brown sugar, and cinnamon and use them as a topping.

Fruit Syrup Banana Bread

You can use any kind of fruit (strawberries, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit, peaches…) to prepare easy homemade syrups to use as toppings and sides for banana quick-breads. Syrups can also be used as sweeteners if you want some extra fruity flavor in your loaf.

Here is how to prepare a syrup. Combine 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 1/2 cups fruit, frozen or fresh, or squeezed fruit juice in a sauce and allow the mix to simmer for about 25 minutes or until the fruit softens and starts to fall apart. Remove from heat and pour the mixture through a strainer. Let it cool and store in the fridge.

Juices and Zest Banana Bread

Any type of acidity makes batter-based goods fluffier, softer, and airier! Add at least a tablespoon of lemon, lime, or orange juice to the batter. Or add it in a cup of milk to create homemade buttermilk.

For extra tanginess, add 1-3 tablespoon of zest to the batter, or mix it with some maple syrup and vanilla and pour it on top of the bread slices. This is sure to wake you up instantly in the morning and is especially delicious when served with a cup of coffee or tea.

Fruit Liqueur Banana Bread

If you type “fruit liqueur” on Google, you will get a list of amazing fruity liqueurs. Even their names will make your mouth water: Amarula, Curacao, Hesperidina, Lichido…Now imagine using them in your favorite sweet treat. Add 1/4 cup any type of liqueur to your recipe to create an unbelievable depth of flavor. Mix it with chocolate chips, and compliment with some vanilla.

4 Chicken Appetizer Recipes that Will Make Your Party Unforgettable

We occasionally share recipes of interest with our readers. Here is one:


The world of chicken appetizers is a fun world: skewers, balls, rolls, wraps, sliders…all made with chicken! They are perfect for all sorts of casual get-togethers for friends and family, from New Year’s parties to kids’ birthdays. Chicken appetizers are so versatile, but they all have in common two important attributes – easy and simple. In addition, they are light, which makes them ideal for parties that involve alcohol, mingling, and dancing, allowing for a minimum mess!

#1 Skewered Chicken Appetizers

Why go for regular chicken appetizers when you can have ones with an Asian twist? The twist comes from the marinade which involves pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, fresh garlic, and fresh grated ginger. Prepare this the night before and all you need to do the following day is to arrange the chicken slices on the skewers, sprinkle some sesame seeds, and cook on a grill! Oh, yes, I am talking about caramelized pineapple! To enrich this dish additionally, reserve the marinade, simmer it and mix it with some peanut butter! Even better, caramelized pineapple in a nutty sauce!

#2 Slider Chicken Appetizers

Mini sandwiches a.k.a. sliders are the best way to save your leftover chicken meat from the day before. Or, you can make them from scratch. the recipe I like is made with chicken nuggets, only this time they are baked instead of fried, in order to make the, less fatty. The nuggets are marinated in buttermilk and hot sauce for at least 3 hours, then dipped in flour, eggs, and panko bread crumbs (in that order). Finally, they are baked on a baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes. Originally, this recipe uses waffles instead of bread, but it is a matter of preference and convenience. Bread won’t spoil their taste at all. As for the add-ins, the suggested combo is bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, and tomato slices.Yum!

#3 Cheeseball Chicken Appetizers

OMG, I love these cheeseballs! They are perfectly cheesy and moist and no matter how big a batch you make, you won’t settle until you eat them all. I mean, you will literally get out of bed to finish them off. You will need an all-purpose baking mix for this chicken appetizer recipe. You can buy it from the store, but it is even better to throw it together at home (everything tastes better if made at home). Just combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a food processor and mix for about 20 seconds. Add some shortening and mix until the mixture is paste-like.

To form the chicken cheese balls, combine this baking mix with ground chicken meat, 2 tablespoons Salsa Picante hot sauce, 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, salt, and pepper. Form 2-inch balls, and place on a lined sheet pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.

#4 Wrapped Chicken Appetizers

I was hesitating between chicken wrapped in lettuce or chicken wrapped in bacon and I decided to go fully decadent with the latter. I know, these wraps high-calorie and probably not so healthy, but I justify myself with the fact that they are small, so you can control how much you eat. If you manage to restrain yourself.

Slice the chicken into cubes and wrap them in bacon. Roll each wrap in a mixture made with brown sugar, chili powder, and cumin. Bake until brown and crispy. Very easy and ultra-delicious!