Sunday, April 24, 2011

Review of Blue Spice Lunch Buffet @ Koramangala

This Friday we decided to try the lunch buffet of the Blue Spice restaurant at Koramangala. The restaurant is situated just opposite to the Koramangala Indoor Stadium. When you will go from Forum towards NGV , at the dead end take left and you can see the restaurant next to Pinto and Esha furniture shop. I guess the restaurant has hardly 40 sitting capacity ( I felt there was space crunch for the buffet). The buffet price was INR 199 per person plus taxes. First we were given a chicken garlic soup which was ok. Next we went to the buffet corner to get the shock of our life......there were hardly 10 items in the buffet corner including veg and non-veg , too few items for a buffet at this price!!!!!!
They had only chicken pepper in the name of starter which was not boneless , hence I did not like it at all. Then in main course they had kept a little amount of daal makhni , a paneer curry , gobi manchurian ( which was the only  thing I liked) , veg pulao , chicken biriyani , and a chicken dish with 4 small pieces left into it....huh. And there was no desert kept in the buffet corner ( which was served to our table at the was a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a small bowl of rice kheer). The welcome drink was the only good thing there. I felt the food was the left over items. It was totally disgusting and a total waste of money for me. In the same price I had nice buffet at Taste of Rampur which had a lot of options and some tasty dishes.
I will never recommend this restaurant for buffet. The a la carte was expensive.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Daal Vada recipe

 It is a famous South Indian snacks.

Ingredients :

1. Chana daal (soaked in water for 3 hours)- 1 cup
2. Coconut (scrapped)- 1 tbs
3. Green chilly- 2
4. Onion- 1
5. Roasted jeera (cumin)- 1 tbs
6. Jeera powder- 1 tsp
7. Black pepper powder- 1 tsp
8. Salt to taste
9. Asafoetida (hing) powder- 1/2 tsp
10. Oil

Procedure :

First drain the daal and blend it roughly in a mixer and keep it in a bowl. Now add all the other ingredients except oil in the mixer and blend it for a minute. Mix everything in the bowl well. Make small idli shaped vadas and keep them in the freezer for half an hour. Now heat oil in a deep bottom pan and deep fry the vadas on medium flame. When the vadas will turn dark brown in color, remove them and keep on paper napkin to remove excess oil. Serve them hot with coconut chutney or green chutney.

Tawa Fried Reshmi Kebab @ Home

This is a unique technique to make your kebab without an oven!!

Ingredients :

1. Chicken pieces (medium size)- 4
2. Curd (hung for 30 minutes)- 3 tbs
3. Roasted chana daal- 1/2 cup
4. Green chilly- 2
5. Roasted jeera- 1 tbs
6. Butter- 1 cup
7. Egg- 1
8. Salt to taste
9. Ginger- garlic paste- 1 tbs
10. Lemon juice- 2 tbs
11. Oil
12. Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
13. Kasuri methi- 2 tbs
14. Chaat masala- 1 tsp

Procedure :

First marinate the chicken with lemon juice and ginger-garlic paste for 1 hour. Grind roasted chana, green chilly and roasted jeera together. Now mix curd , grounded mixture , 2 tbs oil , garam masala , kasuri methi , chaat masala , salt in a bowl and add the marinated chicken pieces to it. Keep this in the refrigerator overnight. Now add a cube of butter in a flat surfaced pan and add the chicken pieces to it. Keep on adding butter as needed. Cook the chicken pieces from all the side. Keep the gas on a low flame. Separate egg white in a bowl and whisk it properly. Now after 2 minutes of cooking ,  brush the kebabs with this egg white and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes till they get a dark brown and crunchy surface. Serve them hot.
(This kebab cooking need a lot of attention as you will have to keep on adding butter so that the kebabs do not get burnt)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

U.S. Business Visa (B1) Experience

The documents that my husband carried for his B1 interview are :

1. Port of entry letter
2. HR letter (cover letter)
3. Passport
4. IT return of 3 years
5. Salary account statements (6 months)
6. Salary slips (3 months)
7. PAN card
8. Social security number card (not necessary but in case if you have this then carry it with you)
9. Travel itinerary
10. Visa interview letter , HDFC blue receipt , confirmation page

His interview was very short. He was asked about his company name and what did the company do , where did he go in the U.S. when he was given J1 visa and he was issued his B1 visa!!

For a more detailed procedure from the visa application stage to interview please check here: US Tourist Visa (B2) Experience

Do check out our H1B and H4 visa experiences.

U.S. Tourist Visa (B2) Experience at Chennai Consulate

Before going for my U.S. tourist visa interview at Chennai Consulate I was going through different interview experiences of people , but I could not find a detailed description of the whole process anywhere, like from filling up the form to the interview stage. Hence, I am writing the details of my  experience here. First, I went to the HDFC bank and deposited the visa fee (in my case it was INR 6960, including HDFC service charges) by cash (one can pay by DD/cheque also) at the visa counter and filled the receipt ( Do carry xerox of your passport as you will need to submit it ). The bank returned me 2  receipts , one pink and one blue receipt with bar codes pasted on them.  Then, after two business days which is the activation time taken after depositing  visa fee, I filled form D-160 online through the U. S. visa website At the end I printed my application form and the confirmation page. Next I took my appointment online and printed the appointment letter.

As I applied for a tourist visa and my purpose to visit U.S. was to accompany my husband while he was going for a business trip, I carried the following documents with me on the interview date :

1. Husband's B1 visa copy
2. Flight itinerary
3. My passport and husband's passport
4. Marriage certificate , wedding album , wedding invitation card
5. 6 months Bank statement
6. Acknowledgment letter and confirmation letter of interview
7. HDFC bank blue receipt (pink as well although that was not needed)
8. Educational certificates
9. Declaration letter from my husband stating that he will bear all my expenses
10.Husband's port of entry letter , company's HR letter , salary slips (6 months) , salary account statements

This is just a small list. You should carry every possible documents to support your visa application.
On the interview date I reached the consulate at 8:30 am, half an hour before my scheduled interview. I stood in a queue for another 30 minutes and then was issued a token at the entrance. After security check I entered in a hall where many people were waiting for their documents verification. I waited for another  20 minutes and then my token number was called at a counter. There I gave my passport, HDFC blue receipt, interview letter and confirmation letter. All these documents were kept in a pouch and I was asked to go to another counter where I gave my finger prints. Next I was directed to go to the adjacent building. There was a big hall with lots of sitting arrangements and few counters. When my token was called , I went to the specific counter and greeted the interviewer with a smile. I was asked for my husband's visa copy. Then the rest of the interview questions were like : purpose of visit, name of husband's company, when we got married , have I traveled outside India before, any child or job etc etc. No other documents were asked to be shown !!  And I was told that for some rules and regulations I was not given the visa :(( On my insistence the interviewer told me that she could not find enough ties in India for which I would come back (though I wasn't asked anything about my ties and I told her in the beginning that I am a housewife and dependant on my husband)!!  I thanked her and came back. Later, we realized that it might be the case that my husband has returned from the U. S. just 15 days before (after a month long trip) and again we are traveling for another 2 weeks , which made her suspicious that my husband might be working in U. S. or is in search of a job there for which I am going with him. God knows whatever is the reason but one thing is for sure these interviewers are very moody and its mere luck if your visa application is accepted or rejected.

My husband applied for B1 visa and he got it easily. Read his list of documents and interview questions here :
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