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Festival season is here. Here are a few recipes to wow your family and friends

With Raksha Bandhan starts the festive season. August 30 is Janamashthami and then Durga puja followed by Dussehra and then Diwali. Why not wow our family with these delicious but different recipes?



The present pandemic has made a chef out of everyone. Even those who never stepped into the kitchen are now master chefs
Source: The Anna Edit

The present pandemic has made a chef out of everyone. Even those who never stepped into the kitchen are now master chefs. From making pizza from scratch to baking cinnamon rolls to apple strudels to fancy cakes to restaurant-style pastas nothing is now not possible to make in a home kitchen. Of course, you need proper ingredients.

No party is complete without drinks and what better way to kickstart that with these rum cocktails — alcohol with most Indian. Whether it’s a classic rum and coke or a gourmet rum cocktail, a rum enthusiast will love these. So, get ready and keep your shakers and limes handy!

Jamaica Rum Punch


960 ml rum 

240 ml lime juice

240 ml grenadine

240 ml pineapple Juice

480 ml orange juice


In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Chill for at least two hours (ageing the punch increases the flavour). Avoid putting ice straight in the punch. Instead, fill the glass with ice, pour, and serve. Garnish with sliced lime, pineapple, or oranges.

Lemon mint iced tea with rum


2 quarts boiling water

8 Earl Grey tea bags 

2 cups fresh mint leaves

½ cup fresh lemon juice

½ cup sugar

1 cup rum (any, Indian too)


Remove the teabag tags and knot them together. In a kettle or a saucepan, bring two litres of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, take it from the heat and add the tea bags and fresh mint leaves. After steeping, pour the tea into a large pitcher, discarding the mint and tea bags. Refrigerate until cold after adding the lemon simple syrup. When the iced tea has cooled, add the rum into the pitcher. Pour your iced tea over ice and serve.

Classic Mai Tai


50 ml white rum

25 ml orange curaçao

25 ml lime juice, freshly squeezed

15 ml orgeat

25 ml dark rum

Garnish: lime wheel

Garnish: mint sprig


Into a shaker, add crushed ice, white rum, curaçao, lime juice and orgeat and shake for about 3 seconds. Pour the drink into a double rocks glass and pour 2 tablespoons of dark rum over. Garnish the cocktail with a slice of lime or a lime wheel and top with a mint sprig.

Rum swizzle cocktail 


2 cups crushed ice

30 ml dark rum

30 ml light rum

25 ml falernum

60 ml freshly squeezed orange juice

60 ml pineapple juice

15 ml freshly-squeezed lemon juice

3 dashes aromatic bitters

Orange slice, pineapple wedge, and cherry, optional for garnish


Crush ice halfway into a double old-fashioned glass. Combine the rums, falernum, and juices in a mixing bowl. Spin the shaft of a swizzle stick or bar spoon between your palms to vigorously churn the mix until the glass is icy. Add more crushed ice and a few dashes of bitters to finish. Serve with an orange slice, a pineapple wedge, and a cherry for garnish.

Jungle Bird


50 ml dark rum

22 ml Campari

50 ml pineapple juice

15 ml freshly squeezed lime juice

15 ml simple syrup

Pineapple wedge and leaves, for garnish

Cherry, for garnish (in season)


Pour the rum, Campari, pineapple and lime juices, and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker and shake briskly. With a single big ice cube, pour the cocktail into a large glass. To make a jungle bird look appealing garnish with a pineapple wedge decorated with cherry and pineapple leaves. Serve and have fun.

No meal is complete without dessert. Given the present pandemic, there is a stress on healthy eating. Remember, healthy doesn’t mean you compromise on taste. Here is a recipe that has several health benefits besides being tasty.

Jackfruit or kathal can be eaten as a vegetable and as a fruit when it is ripe. It’s a good source of fibre and has Vitamin C, potassium and minerals.

Kathal and Gulab shrikhand


800 gm dahi

200 gm ripe kathal — peeled, deseeded, and chopped

1 rose flower petals – dry; chopped

1 tsp rose water 1 tsp

75 gm sugar

30 gm gulkand30 gm rose syrup


Peel clean de-seed ripe kathal and chop. Make a fine puree of it. Wash and clean rose petals and chop. Hang yoghurt for two hours. In a bowl take hung yoghurt. Add chopped rose leaves, pureed Kathal and mix well. Now add sugar, rose syrup, rose water, and mix well. Keep in the fridge for an hour. Now remove the mixture from the fridge and transfer Shrikhand in clay pots garnish with Gulkand and rose petals.

Mango milkshake


 2 ripe mangoes

1.5 cups of cold milk

1 tbsp sugar

1 scoop of vanilla Ice cream

2 tbsp condensed milk

1 tbsp chopped almond



Wash, peel and chop mangoes into small pieces and discard the stone. Keep it in the freezer for 20 minutes so that we do need not to add ice cubes. Add milk, sugar and condensed milk to the mixer with chilled mangoes and blend it till it gets smooth and creamy. Pour the shake into the serving glass and garnish with a scoop of ice cream and almonds slivers.


500 gm breakfast sugar

1kg Mascarpone cheese

800 gm cream cheese

15 eggs

1 l cream ordinary

10 lemon rind

5 lemon’s juice

2-3 drops vanilla essence

Mandarin, for garnish


Smooth the mascarpone and cream cheese and mix it together; add eggs slowly to mix and make a smooth batter. Mix cream and sugar to dissolve. Add cream to the batter. Add lemon rind in the batter, add vanilla essence. Take out the juice of five lemons. Pour the batter it in the cheesecake bowl and bake it in the preheated oven at 150 degrees C on the double boiler for 45 minutes.

When baked keep it cool and garnish with cold lemon glaze and a slice of mandarin. For the base: Crush the cookies to make crumbs and add melted butter; take cheesecake mould put the cookies crumb to make a very thin bed of the cheesecake.

Keep it in the freezer for an hour to set it frozen.

For those who are looking for a totally healthy recipe to make, here is a quick and easy salad to enjoy.

Roasted beets, spring onion, barley and walnuts


300 gm beetroot

150 gm spring onion

50 gm barley

100 gm walnuts

50 gm rucola leaves (you can use any salad leaves)

5 ml lemon juice

1 ml extra virgin olive oil

5 gm thyme, rosemary

Salt, pepper, to taste



Soak the barley overnight. Boil for 15 minutes until cooked but not soft. Strain and add some olive oil to prevent sticking. Keep aside. Wrap each beetroot with the thyme and rosemary and a drop of olive oil individually in aluminum foil and roast in the oven at 175 degree C for 1½ hours or until soft. Remove from the foil and peel off the skin. Chop the green off the spring onion. Blanch the white bulbs in vinegar and salt for three minutes. Keep aside to cool.

Wash the rucola leaves and leave them in ice water to crisp up. Dry in a cloth or salad spinner. Mix

lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl for the dressing. Add salt and pepper. Cut the beetroot into large chunks. Add barley, toasted walnuts and spring onions. Toss with the rucola. Drizzle the dressing on top and mix the whole salad.

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What you need to know about Transient Ischaemic Attack

Winter is here. Therefore, it is important to diagnose Transient Ischaemic Attacks. This can help to identify a patient who is at risk for subsequent stroke and prevent the same



Transient Ischaemic Attack
Source: @Oklahoma Heart Hospital

An episode of stroke in any family is devastating. The sad part is that it can result in premature death and lifelong disability. In India, the incidence rate of stroke is estimated to be 119-145 per lakh. This means that there are 1.44 to 1.64 million cases of strokes annually. Unfortunately, when we do not heed the warning signs of stroke, we end up becoming victims of this devastating episode.

One such sign is a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) or a mini-stroke. The risk of stroke in the first three months after a TIA is 2-17%. About 33% of those with a history of TIA have a major stroke within a year if not treated. Hence, it is important to raise awareness about TIA so we can alert ourselves regarding the subsequent stroke.

TIA cause

When the blood flow to the brain cuts off for a short while (less than 5 minutes) it causes transient neurological symptoms. This is similar to observed in stroke but is rapidly reversible. This is known as TIA. TIA is also referred to as mini-stroke because it is like a miniature version of a full-blown stroke. It causes less damage but it sure needs emergency care without delay.

The difference

When an artery that is supplying blood to the brain gets blocked due to a blood clot, it causes oxygen starvation resulting in TIA. In a TIA, such a temporary clog is generally pushed along and is broken down. The normal flow of blood to the brain returns quickly.

Symptoms of a TIA usually subside within an hour (typically less than 15 minutes) but may last up to 24 hours in some cases. In an ischemic stroke, the brain goes oxygen-deprived for a longer period. This causes more damage and brings long-lasting effects that can be fatal and cause permanent disability or death.


Apart from the risks that are not under our control like age and family history, generally, women have a higher risk of stroke/TIA than men. Obesity, carotid artery disease, high BP, high cholesterol, Diabetes, and preexisting heart conditions are also found to increase the odds of stroke/TIA. Excess smoking, alcohol consumption, eating foods high in cholesterol, and using drugs such as amphetamines, cocaine and heroin can increase the risk.


We must attempt to remember the term FAST — Face, Arms, Speech, Time. These are seen if a person is having a TIA. These include:

The facial droop may be observed where the eyes or mouth may droop to one side. One may also experience trouble smiling.

Problems related to speech such as slurred, garbled, or difficult to understand. Also, one may find it difficult to gather the right words.

Weakness or numbness of limbs may be experienced.

There might be trouble lifting or holding up the arms.

One may also notice balance and coordination related troubles, blindness or transient blurring of vision, inability to move one side of the body, dizziness, confusion, and difficulties in understanding others.

Changes to make

After knowing about TIA, it is important to make efforts to have a better lifestyle and adopt preventive measures to reduce the risk of experiencing a TIA/stroke. These include:

  • Quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to second-hand smoke from tobacco.
  • Eating a healthy and nutritious diet that includes a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Having a check on the excessive intake of salt and fats
  • Exercising regularly
  • Keeping away from recreational drugs.
  • Maintaining ideal body weight.

Following the advice of the specialist and or timely treatment plan for heart disease, Diabetes and other health conditions can go a long way in managing TIA. A person can live a healthy life for a long time.


Diagnosis is generally established through a full body physical examination. Neurological tests and various imaging techniques (MRI, Angiography), medications like blood-thinners, anti-cholesterol medications with or without the use of minimally invasive procedures (carotid angioplasty/stenting) and surgical procedures (Carotid endarterectomy) may be advised depending upon the severity of TIA.

When the symptoms of a TIA strike one should get medical help immediately. It must be remembered that there is a lot of uncertainty about whether the blood flow will restore on its own or not. It is impossible to predict if one is having a TIA or stroke because the symptoms are more or less the same. Given the present pandemic, it can lead to blood clots in the vessels supplying the brain. This can subsequently progress to TIA and stroke.

Disclaimer: The article is meant only to create awareness among the people. For any treatment one must always consult a qualified and certified health professional.

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Top 5 online learning tools for your children

Today, parents re looking for overall development of their child. Let’s look at some of the tools that can help sharpen the child’s mind



Learning Tools
Source: @Pew Research Center

Technology has really changed the way we learn today. From a face-to-face tutor to a tutor online to offline classes to online, technology is playing a big role in the education sector. It is providing them with various opportunities.

Not only this, the benefits of e-learning are tremendous. For this reason alone, there has been an exponential boost in the use of online learning platforms.

Learning becomes interesting if the learner enjoys the process. There are many learning tools that make this process effective. E-learning platforms enhance children’s education. It helps them to engage with edutainment videos, fun-packed kits, innovative teaching, and several practical co-curricular activities.

These online courses have an attractive design, suitable graphics, animations, clear instructions and easy language that makes learning fun. The companies provide flexibility to the kids. They can learn at their own pace. Kids are rewarded once they compete in quizzes or chapters. This motivates them to study without outside pressure.

Let’s look at a few such companies.

Class Monitor

It is an Indore-based ed-tech start-up. It caters to today’s needs and provides world-class, comfortable home-based learning. This is an interactive way for early learners in India (0-8). Early childhood development is vital for developing socio-emotional skills. The firm offers fun-packed kits that let you play, teach and bond with your children.

The start-up provides effectively-researched early childhood education programmes blended with traditional and modern learning techniques. It focuses on developing your child fundamentally. It focuses on five core areas: Linguistic skills, logical thinking, sensory and motor skills, cognitive skills, and creativity. The firm’s hybrid early childhood programmes connect real-life learning experiences and hands-on activities with an app designed to help strengthen your children’s learning.


It’s considered to be a market leader in early childhood education. It transforms homes and classrooms into interesting collaborative activity spaces. The company has innovated the early education industry. It follows the e-commerce subscription model. All learning products and tools are intensively researched. The research center works with parents and early childhood teachers to create an ecosystem conducive to realising each child’s true potential.


It is one of the first early learning apps in India. It uses proprietary stories and song-based lessons to appeal to the youngest students. This interactive app aims to change the minds of young people by creating contextual and multilingual content.

This makes it easy for parents and children to identify with. With over 1 lakh-plus user and over 130 kindergarten subscribers, the firm is entering tier I, II, and III with its regional language content.

Kangaroo Kids

It is an online preschool that balances learning and development suitable for children 2 to 6 years old. Its programme aims to help young children develop critical skills in literacy, emotional intelligence, and social and physical development. The goal is to provide children with a safe and well-structured learning environment. This allows them to develop in a fun and exciting way.

They can explore their curiosity and learn at their own pace. Its unique curriculum helps children learn in a friendly environment while giving parents peace of mind.

Ocky Pocky

It is one of the first interactive English learning apps for preschool children. It has been created by Whizkids in India. It uses Artificial Intelligence/natural learning processes to help children meet their English learning needs. It provides feedback and allows children to build an early vocabulary base through voice, video, and vernacular. It is primarily for non-English speaking families.

Remember, a child learns the most in his first five years of age. In the first five years, experiences and relationships stimulate children’s development, creating millions of connections in their brains. A child’s brain develops connections faster in the first five years than at any other time.

It is therefore important to give the child the best that there is so that he has an all-around development. It will help him get the edge that this competitive world needs today.

Disclaimer: There are several other such platforms in the market today. The attempt here is to introduce a few of them and not to be considered as gospel truth.  Parents can choose whatever is best for their children.


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Job Portal

Looking to get recruited? Here are 5 newage technologies for recruitment

There are a few companies that are using newer technological advancements that can be used to solve hiring issues.




The present pandemic has made it tough for everybody looking for a job or for a fresher to get hired. It is just as tough for recruiters looking for the right man for the right job. But there are a few companies that are using newer technological advancements that can be used to solve hiring issues.

It is not just the people who are looking for jobs that find it tough to match their skills with the job. Even recruiters are constantly looking for skilled people to match the job description. Therefore, sourcing and acquiring top talent has always been essential and involves a lot of time and cost for the companies.

However, now, newer technological advancements have made it possible for recruiters in making better hiring decisions and thereby breaking the chain of traditional methods of recruiting. These technological innovations are helping recruiters to plan their hiring processes better and provide the best-fit candidates for the required roles. Several start-ups are using Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Analytics to meet the needs of companies.

Artificial Intelligence is one of the most disruptive technologies today. Its potential to evolve and enable innovations is now being leveraged by several industries across the globe, HR is no exception. Integration of AI is aimed at making life easier. This allows HRs to play an increasingly strategic role.

Here are 5 platforms that are leveraging technology to simplify the HR processes.


This is a SaaS-based HRTech and EdTech platform. The idea is to democratise job opportunities and empower college placement cells in Tier II and III cities in India. It is a technologically advanced two-way marketplace. It trains students and gives universities access to companies and startups. It connects corporates to over 18,000 placements cells across colleges and private institutes.

Today, there are several challenges. There is also a huge skill gap in students. The challenges faced by talent acquisition and campus recruiters make it tough to hire the right people. GetWork founders managed to recognise the potential of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to build this company as a solution and scale it up through college placement cells.


It was started in 2016. In the last five-six years, it has managed to create a peer-to-peer (P2P) networking platform. It brings together organisations and those seeking new career opportunities on one platform. The Delhi-based firm aims at building transparency and efficiency.

The entire process involves hiring the right candidate. Once the user identifies the companies they are interested in, the firm starts introducing them to peers in those organisations so that they can look out for an opportunity.

iXceed Solutions

This is a talent and workforce solutions services company. It is a service provider to Fortune 500 companies. It primarily focuses on these domains globally: Technology, IT consulting and Engineering Consulting.

The company uses Artificial Intelligence-based recruitment solutions. It creates an in-class experience for both clients and candidates. Its list of clients is impressive and hence those looking for a change in their job or freshers looking to get recruited should at least come here to check out the options. Some of their clients are: Infosys, HCL, Oracle, Mindtree and NIIT.


This was established in 2018. It is an online recruitment platform based on SAAS in the B2B space. It provides an online recruitment marketplace for recruitment agencies and independent recruiters to speed up the hiring process 10 times.

The platform connects specialised recruiters. They have the best track records for matching jobs. Multiple agencies working on a single job with a single point of contact makes hiring fast and efficient. This enables employers to hire accurately. It also saves them cost and time.

The firm helps in finding companies with the best candidates in the shortest time without any hassle of phone calls, emails, invoices, and agreements from multiple vendors.


This is another Delhi-based HR-tech start-up. It is an advanced hiring platform that uses Artificial Intelligence. This means that recruiters can hire top talent effortlessly. Getting the talent and the employer on the same page has never been an easy task.

This is so true in the present scenario of innovation and competition. With revamped technology, it is easy to find a suitable job or suitable candidate. Finding jobs or source talents has become much easier with the help of this firm.

There are several other companies that are in the business of hiring and recruitment. The idea here is to just give a sneak peek into a few of them and not to be considered as a rule of thumb.

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