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Thai Style Noodle Salad

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thai style noodle salad

Have been in a blog funk for a while now and i realised that most of the things that i found pleasure in, I have abandoned….and the newer interests I have picked up do not end/ begin with food and so there is less to write here. With all the other stuff that’s going on, meals are the last priority right now. It helps in weightloss if food is not the focus of your life… I’ve learnt that much over the last 6 months from K.

Losing my food pictures because of a crashed laptop also meant that i was more heartbroken than i wanted to admit. It also stripped me of a bank of pictures that i could post here to keep the blog posts coming.

We went on a holiday recently to the Land of the Thunder Dragon – Bhutan. I had friends from college who were Bhutanese and they kept telling me to visit. It has taken 11 years to finally get there and I am glad we finally went.  K’s work has kept him so busy that we hardly manage to spend time together during the work week. Deadlines drive me crazy and bring out the zen like calm in him. Which is ridiculous because he is the one chasing those damn deadlines! I just watch from the sidelines, am supportive and try to be as gracious about giving up our time together. So this was a welcome break. And what a beautiful break it was.


Bhutan is gorgeous. Period. Its green, the climate was chill but pleasantly so for this time of the year and it is spring time, which means Cherry blossoms are in full bloom all over the country. They take your breath away even if you are just walking down a village road. the people are wonderful, humble and amongst  the most self respecting i have ever come across. The children are picture perfect and you feel like sticking a camera in every face you see. The houses, hotels and every other building is similar to look at from outside due to the building regulations in place to ensure they continue to build  the model of the traditional building structures, which use a lot of wood, intricate carving and paintings. the monasteries are beautiful and either nestled next to an icy glacier fed river or clinging precariously to the side of a sharp cliff. And if you think the V king is handsome…. you should see his father!

Choose to drive in the mountains, visit the monasteries, trek through the country or get lost in the colour and essence of a cultural festival. You can also choose to get a massage and soak in a hot tub, the water is heated by placing red hot stones in another compartment of the tub. It was surreal and just the relaxing holiday we wanted.

The food – is heavenly. fresh, comforting and has a homemade quality, just what is needed in a cold country. I was apprehensive about  the availability of vegetarian food, but was pleasantly surprised. Although on the bhutanese vegetarian menu there are mostly only three variations of their famous cheese curry (with chilli, potatoes or mushrooms) with red rice, its all washed down with the best dark rum and coke i’ve have ever had.  indian, chinese and continental food is easily available at most places. the restaurants in thimpu and paro can serve you almost anything you want, from lebanese to thai cuisine.

We went to this lovely thai restaurant called Baan Thai in Thimpu and the food there is so outstanding that it compelled us to return to have our last meal there before we left Bhutan. Its tricky to order vegetarian Thai food, because almost everything calls for shrimp paste and fish sauce. This restaurant has excellent service and is very quick by Bhutanese standards and each dish from the red and green curry, sauteed spinach with chilly and glass noodle salad was outstanding.

Landing back home into 38 degrees C from 0 degrees when we left bhutan has left me craving for cold meals. I tried to make some version of the noodle salad and it was so refreshing for a hot summer afternoon. Its pretty easy to put together and since i substituted ingredients for whatever i had on hand, i would say this is a very adaptable recipe. the sharpness of the lemon and chilli dressing, refreshing crunch of the chilled vegetables and the starch provided by the rice noodles made for a complete meal.

Thai Style Noodle Salad (Serves 2)

1 cup cooked rice / glass noodles (I used rice noodles, soaked a handful in boiling water covered with a lid for 3-4 minutes, drained and immersed in cold water till needed)

1 cup peeled cucumbers sliced like matchsticks

1/2 cup peeled carrots sliced like matchsticks

1/2 an onion sliced fine

1 medium sized tomato, halved and sliced

2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves or thai basil (i did’nt have this on hand) rinsed and shredded

2 tablespoons fresh spring onions, green parts only

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons fresh lemon / lime juice

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder

salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)

In a bowl add all the ingredients for the dressing and mix till the sugar is dissolved, taste and adjust. Add the chopped veggies and mix well. Add the cooked noodles and toss. garnish with green onions and fresh coriander leaves. Let stand in the fridge for atleast 15 minutes to allow the flavours to meld. Serve chilled

Can garnish with some toasted sesame seeds or toasted crushed peanuts, i forgot as i was eager to dig into it.

shopping info :

in hyderabad, you can buy the rice noodles and glass noodles at spar, hypercity, qmart or ruci and idoni

 Edited to add: Its been eons since i linked to any blog event. This salad is off to Fun in the Sun, the summer event at Tickling Palates who is celebrating four fab blogging years!

popular picture?

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harabharakabab

after the tryst with DC, i did a little search of my food pictures to find that this particular one of the hara bhara kabab is quite popular. attractive enough for it to be used, not once, but twice without permission.

A blogger called hitchwriter, used the same image and when i wrote asking why my picture was used without permission, removed the picture after saying he frequently uses google images. then there’s a site called reciperita who has not replied nor removed my picture despite writing in 3 times. the owner of the site deleted my first comment on the site.

i found an edited picture and the exact recipe of my kalonji aloo on this site…. i’ve left a comment there…. let’s see…

What next? how can one keep tab of where pictures and copy is being used without permission? its irritating and disgusting and totally such a drain on my time.

Deccan Chronicle uses images without permission……. post updated with the reprinted picture and response from DC editor

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DC dutifully reprinted the picture. Not quite acknowledging they “used” it without permission, but a picture with my name credited. here it is….

dcpicturehere’s what happened………….

hara bhara kabab

I’d been reading about images and content being used in print media without permission, taken from blogs, online resources and especially pictures taken from online photo sharing sites. at Diwali i noticed pictures from two fellow bloggers being used in the Times of India supplement, i intimated the bloggers and they will take whatever action they deem fit. This morning, I was quite shocked to see one of my pictures being used in the TV guide supplement of Deccan Chronicle in a recipe for Hara Bhara kabab, taken from my flickr stream.

harabharakabab

While I am quite flattered that one of the largest circulated english dailies in India thought my picture was worthy enough to print, i am absolutely shocked that they do this without any attempt to seek permission to use the image, compensate and credit the owner of the picture.

I wonder if the editors even know of this practice, or are actually endorsing it. I’ve written to A T Jayanti who is the editor of DC in hyderabad. Am awaiting her response.

there is a blogpost by Twilight fairy that talks of how she dealt with her pictures being published without permission. the issue has since been solved, thanks to her following up of the matter.

Update: the editor of DC was quick to respond. Jayanti wrote back with thanks of bringing this matter to her notice, saying there was no explanation for having used the picture and the “young team” knows it is plagiarism and they know its unethical (pray then, if they know it is, why do they do it?). Also with her sincere apologies, has promised to republish the picture in the next edition of TV Guide with credit given to me.

Everyone said this was normal for newspapers to take pictures off the internet and use them and that i shouldn’t make much of it, and just let it be. I am glad for the fact that I didnt. The question in my mind is this, is an apology enough? Plus lets just see if they keep their word and actually republish the picture with credit to me….

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