Interesting facts about Ireland

  1. The Harp
    Ireland is the only country in the world to have a musical instrument as it’s a national symbol. You can visit some of the oldest harps in the world at Trinity College in Dublin.
  2. Newgrange
    Newgrange, which is classified as passage tomb or possibly an ancient temple, is 5,000 years old making it older than the ancient pyramid of Giza and Stonehenge
  3. Postal Codes
    Ireland is one of the few countries in the world, and the only country in the EU, that does not have postal codes (with the exception of Dublin city). However, the country is in the process of designing and implementing a nation-wide postcode system for 2015.
  4. Wearing Green
    Green wasn’t always associated with St. Patrick. In fact, historians say that St. Patrick’s color was light blue. According to this Time post, wearing green came about after during the 1798 Irish Rebellion when the clover became a symbol of Irish nationalism.
  5. Snakes
    St. Patrick didn’t really chase all the snakes out of Ireland as the legend suggests. Scientists say Ireland has never had any snakes on it’s green shores. So, what did he chase out? Pagans.
  6. The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade
    The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in the United States, not in Ireland. In 1762 (technically, it was called the colonies at this point), Irish soldiers serving in the English army celebrated the day by marching through New York City streets. Today, the parade is an official city event.
  7. Muckanaghederdauhaulia
    That is the name of a small village in Connemara in Co. Galway. It is the longest place name in English with 22 letters. Try saying that 5 times fast…or really just once is hard enough.
  8. Eurovision Champs
    Ireland has won the Eurovision Song Contest seven times, more than any other country.
  9. Halloween
    Not to confuse you with too many holidays, but you can thank Ireland for Halloween. Over the centuries the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, a harvest festival that celebrated the end of the summer, and All Saint’s Day merged to later become the Halloween as Americans know it.

Here are top interesting facts regarding Finland

Finland is a Nordic country in Northern Europe famous for its surreal natural beauty and unique culture. Finland is one of the world’s happiest countries, where the citizens enjoy a high standard of living and peaceful life. Many interesting facts about Finland are highlighted below.

1, There Are More Than 3 Million Saunas In Finland
The Finnish sauna is an integral part of the culture in Finland. There are over 3 million saunas for the country’s 5 million inhabitants. A sauna in Finland is a place to relax and socialize with family and friends. For Finns, a sauna is a necessity, and in the past, most Finnish women gave birth in a sauna.

2, Finland Is the Only Home of the Endangered Saimaa Ringed Seal
A highly threatened seal species, the Saimaa ringed seal is found in Lake Saimaa, Finland. Only about 380 individuals of the species live in the lake today. The seals began inhabiting the lake when the land rose and cut off the lake from the sea after the last ice age. For about 9,500 years, this species of seal evolved separately and is one of the few freshwater seal species living today.

3, Finland Celebrates a ‘Day for Failure’
Finland celebrates failure on the 13th of October each year. The first such day was held in 2010 by Finnish university students. It soon became very popular and attracted big names in Finnish society. Today, many famous politicians, artists, media personalities, and others support the Day for Failure and share their own stories of failure and how they overcame the problems. The day is celebrated to allow people to open up about their problems in life and gather encouragement from society and others who have suffered similar fates but still managed to persevere.

4, Finland Is Europe’s Prison-Break Capital
While Finland is praised for its progressive “open-prison” system, it also suffers from drawbacks of the system. In Finland, prisoners are allowed to circulate in the surrounding community during the daytime. They can study, work, or shop like other free individuals. Such a system is considered to be cost-effective and is also believed to lower reoffending rates. However, the system also makes it easy for prisoners to escape. Finland’s prisoners have an escape rate of 1,084 per 10,000 inmates, which is the highest in Europe.

5,Finland Has One of the World’s Most Powerful Passports
Individuals with a Finnish passport can access 175 countries around the world without a visa. It is the worlds third most powerful passport, after those of Germany and Singapore.

DJI Osmo Mobile 3

Compatibility: Smartphone (62 to 88mm width) | Stabilization: 3-axis | Weight: 405g | Dimensions: Unfolded: 285 x 125 x 103mm, Folded: 157 x 130 x 46mm | Battery life (approx): 15 hours

The Osmo Mobile’s spring-loaded clamp effortlessly accommodates even the largest phones, and its gimbal arm can rotate through 90 degrees for seamless switching between landscape and portrait orientation.

Construction is plasticy, but the Osmo still feels like a quality product, and the nicely sculpted ergonomic handle is comfortable for prolonged use. Comfort is further helped by the low 405g – 80g less than the Osmo Mobile 2 – which is all the more impressive given this new Osmo now has a hinged gimbal arm so it folds smaller for transportation.

There are few physical buttons, but the Osmo is crammed with features. Not only will it automatically detect when you intend to pan and tilt the camera and smooth this motion while still very effectively ironing out unintentional twitches, you can also choose between modes like Walk and Sport to adjust the intensity of the stabilisation. There’s even an option called Active Track, whereby the gimbal will automatically track a moving subject for you, with customizable tracking sensitivity.

Much of this functionality is accessed via the free companion DJI Mimo app that connects your phone to the Osmo via Bluetooth. This also enables you to zoom your phone’s camera using the physical zoom slider on the gimbal handle.

Amazing battery life
Strong but lightweight foldable build
Effective, highly customizable stabilization
Initial app set-up and connection takes time
No camera-swapping while recording

Prices Known
Note: Prices may vary by time,location and specs used.

DJI Inspire 2

Weight: 3440g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 30MP | Battery Size: 4280mAh | Range: 7 km

Soundly knocking its predecessor off the top spot is the highly impressive Inspire 2. With a sleek metal composite bodywork upgrade, it’s a much more attractive piece of kit. What’s more, with more advanced object avoidance technology you don’t have to worry about that beautiful body getting scratched by you accidentally clipping a tree.

You get more than 25 minutes of flight time out of the twin-battery arrangement, and the ability to swap camera lenses means that professional photographers and videographers have complete control over their images and 5K video.

The fully-featured smartphone app and dedicated remote control make this drone incredibly easy to control, but make no mistake, this is a professional piece of kit.

Amazing build quality
Good battery life
Plenty of features
Quite pricey

Prices Known
Note: Prices may vary by time and location

Kerala Idiyappam with recipe

It is basically rice noodles served with sweetened coconut milk. Traditionally it is a time consuming process wherein the rice is soaked, ground , sieved and then idiyappam is made. Nowadays idiyappam flour is readily available in the market which has made this one of the easiest recipe for a hearty breakfast or a quick dinner. It is also special enough for any parties. Since idiyappams are very easy to digest, it can be given to infants, old people or sick people.

In south indian homes, usually a big batch of rice flour is made at home. I will share the procedure for making this soon. This flour is used to make puttu, idiyappam and kozhukattai. Nowadays, you can easily find idiyappam flour in supermarkets. You can also make other variations of idiyappam like ragi idiyappam, millet idiyappam, atta idiyappam etc. Idiyappams need a special equipment to make them. It is called the murukku press. You can steam the idiyappams in specially designed idiyappam plates. As a substitute, you can also use dhokla stand or idli plates for making idiyappams. It is usually served with sweetened coconut milk or just some grated coconut with sugar. In Kerala, the grated coconut id added on top of the idiyappams while steaming itself.

Recipe for Kerala Idiyappam
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 3

Rice flour/ Idiyappam flour – 1 cup (You can also use the same recipe with ragi flour, millet flour etc)
Water – 1.5 cup app.
Salt – as needed
Oil – to grease the idli plates
Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup

Bring the water to a boil. Add 1 tsp of oil and some salt to the boiling water. Add this water to the rice flour little by little and mix it. You may or may not need the entire water. It usually takes between 1 1/4 cups of water to 1 1/2 cups depending on the quality of the flour.Cover and let it rest for 5 minutes. When it is warm and comfortable to handle, knead it to form a smooth dough.Grease the idiyappam press. Add little of the dough to the idiyappam press.

Grease idli plates or the idiyappam plates with few drops of oil. Press some of the dough onto the idli plates/ idiyappam stand. You will get noodles out of the dough. The above image shows idiyappams made using iidiyappam stand while in the below image, the idiyappams were made using the idli plates.Add some grated coconut on top (optional). Steam for 8-10 minutes over medium high flame.Once done, wait for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a hot box to keep it soft until ready to serve.

Kerala Kappa Biryani recipe

Recipe For Kappa Biryani

Tapioca (Kappa) – 1 big / 2 small
Beef – 1 lb (0.5 kg)
Onion – 1 small (chopped)
Tomato – 1 (diced)
Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
Green Chillies – 3
Chilly Powder – 1 tsp
Pepper Powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1 pinch
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Dry red chillies – 3
Curry Leaves – 1 spring
Cilantro – for garnishSalt – to taste
Coconut Oil – 1 tbsp

Method To Prepare Kappa
Take a stock pot and bring plenty of water to a boil.Add salt, a pinch of turmeric powder and tapioca (kappa) to the water.Boil it for 5 minutes or until the kappa pieces are tender. The tapioca (kappa) pieces should be just tender when pierced with a knife and not start becoming mushy. So do not overcook.

To Prepare Beef Gravy
Heat coconut oil in a small pressure cooker and splutter the mustard seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves.Saute the onions till it turns golden brown.Saute the ginger garlic paste, green chillies and tomatoes.Add the beef pieces, chilly powder, coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, pepper powder and required salt.Saute everything for a minute.Add little water and pressure cook for 2 whistles or until the beef becomes tender.

To Make the Biryani
After the pressure is released, open the cooker.Switch on the flame and let it simmer till most of the liquid evaporates and very little gravy is left.At this stage, add the boiled tapioca (kappa) pieces and mix gently. The kappa pieces should hold its shape nicely.Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover with a lid and let it cook for 5 minutes.The juices from the beef gravy will be nicely absorbed by the tapioca (kappa) pieces.Finally open the lid, add some finely chopped cilantro. Kappa biryani is ready to serve. Server hot.

Kerala Ari Pathiri with recipe

Ari Pathiri or Ari Pathil is a flat bread made with raw rice flour. It is a specialty of the muslims from the Malabar region in Kerala. These rice rotis are very soft and thin, hence it is also called Ari Nice Pathiri. It is usually served in Kerala with some spicy non-veg curry. Actually rotis made of rice flour is enjoyed in many Indian states. It is known as Rice Roti or Tandalachi Bhakri in Goa and Maharashtra. In Gujarat, it is known as Chokha na Rotla and in Bangalore and Mysore it is referred to as Akki Roti. Chaawal ki roti is also made by the Biharis and enjoyed with some sabzi. It is also made in Bangladesh known as Ruti Pitha or Chaler Pitha.In all the places, the process of making these rotis is the same. It requires a little practice to make these but they are so tasty. So I encourage everyone to do try it.

It is a good variation to making regular rotis. The white color of the rotis are very eye appealing. Be sure to try out and enjoy with any side dish of your choice.Coming to the Malabar pathiri, there are many variations also that are made. Some of the popular variants are meen pathiri (stuffed with fish), erachi pathiri (stuffed with meat), masala pathiri and nei pathiri. It is made by the muslims during Iftar after the Ramadan fast.Today I am sharing the step by step recipe of making the plain pathiri.

Recipe for Malabar Ari Pathiri
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 2

Roasted Rice flour/ Pathiri flour – 1 cup
Rice flour – about 1/4 cup (for dusting)
Water – 1 cupSalt – to taste (about 1/4 tsp)

Take the water in a bowl and bring it to a boil. Reduce the flame to simmer and add the salt. Slowly mix in the rice flour.Once all the flour is mixed, switch off and cover with a lid. Let it for about 5 minutes. The rice flour will get cooked with the steam inside.Remove the dough onto a clean surface or a large plate. When the dough is still warm, wet your hands and knead it nicely like a chapatti dough. It is important to knead it when it is warm ro make a soft and pliable dough.Make small lemon sized balls with the dough.Roll it out using a chappatti rolling pin or with pathiri (roti) press. Use little rice flour to prevent it from sticking while rolling. Heat a griddle(tawa) on high heat and then reduce the flame to medium. You need to cook the pathiris on medium flame for best results.Transfer the rolled out pathiri gently to the hot tawa. After just 20-30 seconds, flip the rotis. It takes very little time to cook. Cook the other side for another 30 seconds. Repeat the flipping once more.Using the back of a spoon or a folded paper towel, press gently on the pathiri for it to puff up. Unlike wheat rotis, you don’t want to get brown spots on these rotis. Remove it from the griddle and enjoy.Detailed Steps to make Ari PathiriI use the regular roasted raw rice flour made at home. You can use store bought pathiri flour or idiyappam flour or rice flour and make this. Take 1 cup of rice flour and equal quantity of water. Some varieties of rice flour may need 1/2 cup more water. So keep some hot water handy.

Thenga Chammanthi with recipie

Thenga Chammandhi is a very old recipe made in every house in Kerala and southern part of Tamilnadu (Kanyakumari District). I remember my grandma making this chammandhi almost everyday in her ammikallu (Grinding Stone), forming it into a ball and storing it in a dry coconut shell. It is like a pickle and a must have at least in a small quantity.

Coconut – 1 cup
Dried red chilies flakes – 4-5
Pearl onions (Sambar Onion) – 4
Garlic – 2 cloves
Tamarind – size of a small lime (refer notes)
Salt – to tasteCurry leaves – 3-5 leaves

Take all the above ingredients in a blender or small mixie jar.Pulse and grind it to a coarse paste without adding any water. You may have to mix it once or twice in between the grinding process. The moisture from the onion and coconut will be sufficient for grinding.Adjust the ingredients to your taste. Usually it is made spicy, with tamarind to add the right amount of sourness and enough salt to balance everything.VariationA variation of this is also made in Tamil Nadu known as Thengai Thogayal and in Andhra known as Kobbari Pachadi. In Thengai Thogayal, 2 tbsp of urad dal is roasted in 1 tbsp of oil along with the dry red chilies. It is then ground coarsely with grated coconut, tamarind, curry leaves, and asafoetida. No onion or garlic is used here. For Kobbari Pachadi, 1 tbsp of channa dal and 1 tbsp of urad dal are roasted and ground along with grated coconut, dry red chilies, asafoetida and tamarind. I have tried all the variations and it all tastes good.

Kerala Avial Curry with recipe

Avial is a dish that originated in the kerala cuisine. As the name indicates, avial is a ‘mixture’ of vegetables cooked with coconut. It has a combination of vegetables making it very nutritious.In Kerala, avial is the first side dish served during any sadya. In Tamil nadu, Adai Avial is a popular breakfast combination. Avial has its own variations in different parts of kerala, Tamil nadu and Udipi. In Tamilnadu, avial is made with yogurt and is little more watery as compared to the Kerala avial. No turmeric is added and hence it is white in color.

Recipe For Aviyal
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3

Vegetables of your choice – about 2.5 cups (cut into 2″ pieces) {You may make Avial with whatever vegetables you have on hand. The vegetables I have used are Ash-gourd – 1/4 cup, Brinjal – 1/4 cup, Raw banana – 1/4 cup, Green beans – 1/4 cup, Carrot – 1/4 cup, Drumstick -1, Cucumber – 1/4 cup, Raw Mango – 1/2, Potato – 1, Cluster Beans – 1/4 cup . You may also use Yellow Pumpkin, Yam, Banana Peppers, Parsnip, Chayote Squash, Kholrabi etc.}
Curry leaves – 2 spring
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt – to taste
To grind
Coconut – 1/2 cup (grated)
Green chillies – 4
Small Onion – 2-3
Garlic – 1 cloves
Tamarind – blueberry size/
Sour Curd – 1/4 cup
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp

Cover and cook all the vegetables for 5 minutes with turmeric, salt and 1/2 cup water in a kadai.In the meantime grind coconut, green chillies, small onions, garlic clove, cumin seeds and tamarind coarsely. If you are adding curd, do not add tamarind while grinding.When the veggies are half cooked add the ground mixture to it and mix everything well. If you like your avial semi solid, add another 1/2 cup of water at this stage.Continue to cook on low flame till the veggies are fully cooked. Carefully mix everything occasionally with a flat spoon to avoid the veggies from sticking to the bottom.The vegetables should be tender but still hold its shape. At this stage turn off the stove.Drizzle some fresh coconut oil and some curry leaves on top and keep covered till you are ready to serve. (Alternatively, you can make a tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves in some coconut oil and add to the avial.)If you haven’t added tamarind while grinding or raw mango along with the vegetables, you can mix in beaten curd at this stage. Tasty avial is ready to be served.


Fish Curry with recipe

When we say Fish Curry, a different picture comes into each ones mind. It depends on the place they live and the way they grew up tastng fish curry. In my house this is the fish curry that I make often and my family associates fish curry with this. All other types I specifically name them like Kerala Fish Curry, Karutha Curry, Fish Molee etc.Though we call it as just fish curry, this is actually Varutharacha Meen Kuzhambu. The word varutharacha itself means roasted and ground. Here grated coconut is roasted and ground to a smooth paste. Fish pieces are cooked in a gravy of this roasted coconut, tamarind pulp and other spices. The colour and taste of this curry is very inviting.This fish curry with roasted coconut has a thick gravy. It goes well with rice, roti, dosa or puttu. It is the first curry that I learnt and prepared after marriage.

Recipe for Varutharacha Meen Kuzhambu
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6Ingredients
Fish fillets – 1/2 kg (cut into pieces)
Tomato – 1 (diced)
Tamarind juice – ¼ cup (squeezed from lemon size tamarind)
Turmeric powder – ¼ tspRed Chili powder – 2-3 tsp (to taste)
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Green chilly – 2 (slit)
Salt – to taste
Cilantro (Coriander leaves) – for garnish
Optional (Split drumstick or pieces of raw mango can be added along with fish fillets)
For Tempering
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
Fenugreek Seeds – 1/4 tsp
Shallot Onion – 1 (chopped)For roasting & grindingCoconut (grated) – 1/4 cup
Pearl Onions – 4-5
Garlic Cloves – 3
Curry leaves – 4 leaves
Red chilies – 3
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp