Dec 31, 2010

Mughlai Paratha

Happy New Year 2011

Wishing all my readers, mail subscribers, silent readers, blog followers, Facebook friends, Networked blog followers, Twitter friends, various food blog followers, different Facebook pages ( KAF friends, Mangalorean cuisine friends, Parsi cuisine & Maharashtrian cuisine ) & well wishers ... A Very Happy New Year 2011

Best Regards


Mughlai Paratha ( with egg coating )

Recipe credit - Tanushree Podder ( Author - Dishes & Desserts )

Makes : 4

You will need

200 g all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
85 - 100 g water ( to make dough )
1 beaten egg
Extra 1/4 cup flour
Extra 8 teaspoons oil


Sieve together flour, baking powder and salt. Rub the sieved flour with 1 tablespoon oil and slowly add water ( 85 - 100 ml ) to make stiff dough.

Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and shape them into round balls.

Roll out each ball into a thick flat round ( approximately 4 - 5 inches in diameter ).

Apply little oil, sprinkle a little flour and fold it into semicircle.

Again apply oil and flour. Fold in lengthwise. Roll it, press down and roll out again into a square of 8 x 8 - inch.

Brush the surface of each paratha with beaten egg and turn all four corners towards the centre.

Heat griddle and apply little oil. Put the paratha on it. Cook by adding oil around the edges.

Turn and fry the other side by applying oil.

When brown patches appear on both sides, remove from the griddle and serve hot with any Mughlai / North Indian dishes of your choice.

Dec 30, 2010

Pumpkin Ki Subzi with Kasoori Methi

Pumpkin Ki Subzi with Kasoori Methi

Serves: 2


Pumpkin pieces - 250 g
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Ginger chopped - 1 teaspoon
Garlic - 6 cloves, chopped
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Kasoori methi ( dried fenugreek leaves ) - 2 tablespoon
Tomatoes - 2, chopped
1/2 cup ( 100 ml ) water
3/4 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )
Jeera powder - 2 pinches
Pepper powder - 2 pinches


Heat oil in a wide pan. Fry chopped ginger and garlic till light brown.

Add pumpkin pieces and saute well.

Add red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Stir well for 2 - 3 minutes.

Add crushed kasoori methi leaves and chopped tomatoes. Saute for 2 - 3 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup ( 100 ml ) water and salt to taste. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes or till done and water almost dries up.

Sprinkle jeera powder and pepper powder. Serve as a side with Rotis or Rice.

Cake cutting tips

Cake cutting tips:

Heat a knife first before cutting a cake for crumble-free slices. To heat the knife, you can run the knife under very hot water then wipe dry with a clean towel.

Use unwaxed dental floss to slice through the cake ( great for the gooey or sticky cakes).

Alternately refrigerate the cake in mid zone of the fridge for a couple of hours and then slice them normally.

Dec 29, 2010

How to prepare Alu Tikki for Burger ?

How to make Alu Tikki for Burger ?

Maker - 6 Alu Tikkis

You will need

500 g potatoes, boiled and well mashed
1 onion, finely chopped
1 egg, beat well
50 g breadcrumbs
2 tablespoon tomato sauce
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper powder
3/4 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )
50 ml oil ( 1/4 - inch from the base of the flat frying pan )


Combine boiled and well mashed potatoes, chopped onions, beaten egg, breadcrumbs, tomato sauce and chilli powder with the salt and pepper in a bowl. Divide the mixture into 6 portions and shape each into round patties ( see the photo below ). 85 g potato mixture required for each tikki, 3 - inches in diameter and 3/4 - inch thick.

Heat oil in a flat frying pan. Reduce heat to medium and shallow fry alu tikkis till golden brown on both sides ( 8 - 10 minute for each side ). Alu Tikkis are now ready for burger.

Dec 28, 2010

Bateta Nu Shaak

Bateta Nu Shaak ( Spicy Potato fry - Gujarati cuisine )

A spicy side dish goes well with Rotis / Rice / Thepla

You will need

For the seasoning:

1 tablespoon oil
2 dried red chillies, broken into 2 pieces
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 pinches asafoetida ( hing )

Other ingredients:

4 medium sized potatoes, cut into 4 pieces each, without peeling
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
100 ml ( 1 cup ) water
1 tablespoon jaggery, crumbled
1 teaspoon tamarind paste or 3 teaspoon tamarind juice
Salt to taste ( or 3/4 teaspoon )
1 teaspoon chopped fresh coriander leaves


Heat oil in a wide frying pan / kadai. Add mustard seeds. When they begin to crackle, add cumin seeds and hing. Saute for 1 minute.

Add potato pieces and stir well. Add coriander powder and red chilli powder. Fry on a low heat for 2 - 3 minutes till the raw smell goes.

Add 100 ml water, tamarind paste / juice, jaggery and salt to taste. Mix all the ingredients well.

Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 20 - 25 minutes ( stir occasionally ) or until done and all the spice mixture well coated on potatoes and water dries up.

Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and serve as a side dish with Rotis / Rice / Thepla.

Dec 27, 2010

Baked Chicken Tikka

Baked Chicken Tikka ( no food color used )

Serves: 2

You will need

250 g chicken thigh, skinless and off the bone ( pick 8 tender pieces )
3 teaspoon butter
Mint / green chutney, lemon wedges and fresh salad for serving

1 st marination:

1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste 

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 nd marination:

2 tablespoon hung curd
1 tablespoon malai or Amul freshcream

1/4 teaspoon black salt
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder


Wash and clean chicken pieces and pat dry with a kitchen towel.

Preheat oven ( OTG ) at 200 * C or 400 * F.

Grease baking tray with 1 teaspoon butter.

Marinate chicken with ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice and salt. Keep aside for an hour.

Separately mix the 2 nd marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk till smooth.

Add the chicken pieces, along with the marinade into this mixture and keep aside for 3 hours.

Final preparation:

Arrange marinated chicken pieces on a greased baking tray and bake at 200 * C or 400 * F for 20 minutes or until 3/4 done and light golden color. You can also use the same marinade for grilling.

Remove from the oven and apply 1 teaspoon butter over chicken pieces and bake again for 10 - 12 minutes or until bright golden color.

Remove from the oven and apply 1 teaspoon melted butter evenly on chicken pieces.

Serve hot with fresh salad, mint chutney and lemon wedges.

Jeera Rice

Jeera Rice

Recipe credit - Chef Sanjay Thumma ( VahReVah )

You will need

1 cup basmati rice
1 tablespoon butter or oil
2 teaspoon jeera ( cumin seeds )
2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
2 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
1 green chilli, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )
2 cups water
2 tablespoon fried onion ( optional )


Wash and clean rice. Soak rice in 2 cups water for 45 minutes. Drain out water completely.

Heat oil / ghee in a pan.

Add cumin seeds ( jeera ) and fry till light brown in color and fragrant. Add chopped green chilli, mint, coriander and fry for 2 - 3 minutes. Add water twice the amount of measured rice.

Bring the water to boil add salt.

Add pre soaked rice, stir occasionally, cover with a lid and cook till done ( approximate cooking time 20 - 25 minutes, do not over cook rice and each grain should be separated ).

Sprinkle fried onion ( optional ) and serve hot with any gravy dishes of your choice.

Natural / Handmade Soaps

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Khadi Handmade Soap

Khadi Handmade Soap is a pure herbal handmade soap. This commercially handmade soap usually contains herbal ingredients. This handmade soap tends to be less eco friendly.

Khadi Handmade Soap manufacturers offer cost effective products. Khadi handmade soaps are made with natural oils. They also consist... high glycerin content. As such, they are better for the environment and are free from detergents or phosphates.

Available @ Landmark, FabIndia, Health & Glow in Chennai

Dec 26, 2010

Kadai Chicken

Kadai Chicken

Serves: 3 - 4

You will need

500 g chicken, cut into medium size pieces
2 teaspoon ghee / oil
1 onion, separate different layers of onion
1/2 piece green capsicum, deseeded and cut into thin fingers
1/2 piece yellow capsicum, deseeded and cut into thin fingers ( optional )
2 teaspoon shredded ginger
2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
100 ml water
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
1/2 teaspoon kasoori methi ( dried fenugreek leaves )
2 teaspoon extra coriander leaves

Kadai gravy:

1 tablespoon ghee
3 teaspoon garlic paste
3 teaspoon whole coriander seeds ( saboot dhania )
6 whole dried red chillies ( big size )
2 green chillies, slit, deseeded and chopped
2 teaspoon chopped ginger
4 tomatoes. chopped
2 teaspoon kasoori methi
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
3/4 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )


For Kadai gravy:

To prepare the kadai gravy, pound dry red chillies and saboot dhania to a fine powder in a mixer.

Heat a small pan. Add kasoori methi and dry roast on a low heat for 3 - 5 minutes until crisp. Remove from the heat and crush it into a fine powder.

Heat ghee in a kadai, reduce the heat to medium, add garlic paste and fry till light brown and raw smell disappears.

Add coriander - red chilli powder and saute for 1 minute.

Add green chillies and chopped ginger. Saute for 1 minute.

Add chopped tomatoes and fry until the ghee comes to the surface and well blended with all the spices.

Add kasoori methi powder, salt to taste and garam masala powder. Mix all the ingredients well and keep aside the kadai gravy.

Final preparation:

Heat ghee / oil in another kadai and saute onions till light brown. Add capsicum ( yellow and green ) pieces and saute for 2 minutes.

Add shredded ginger and saute for 1 minute.

Add kadai gravy and saute for 3 - 5 minutes until ghee separates.

Add chopped coriander leaves, chicken, 100 ml water, and adjust salt to taste. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 30 - 35 minutes or till done and gravy thickens.

Sprinkle garam masala powder and kasoori methi powder. Decorate with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with any Indian breads / pulao of your choice.

Basic recipe credit - Nita Mehta’s cookery book

Chingri Malai Curry ( Prawn malai curry - Bengali Cuisine )

Chingri Malai Curry ( Prawn malai curry - Bengali Cuisine )

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4 - 5

You will need

450 g large prawns, wash, clean and deveined
1/2 teaspoon salt
Coconut milk - 225 ml ( thin )
Coconut milk - 150 ( thick )
1 large onion, sliced
2 medium onions, grind to a paste
2 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon ginger - garlic paste
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoon cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms, powdered
1/2 teaspoon sugar ( or to taste )
Salt to taste
2 tablespoon pure ghee / oil


Wash, clean and devein prawns. Apply 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee / oil in a flat bottomed pan. Add sliced onion and stir - fry till it is golden in color. Set the onions aside,

Heat the remaining ghee , add bay leaf and the onion paste and cook well.

Add the powdered spices, ginger - garlic paste, turmeric powder and chilli powder along with the fried onions and cook over a low heat.

Add the salted prawns. Stir and cook for 2 -3 minutes. Then add the sugar, adjust salt to taste and thin coconut milk. Allow the prawns to cook on low heat for 5 - 6 minutes or till done / gravy thickens. Switch off the heat.

Pour thick coconut milk ( Do not heat again ). Mix well.

Serve with rice.

Dec 25, 2010

Vegetable Cutlet

Vegetable Cutlet

Makes: 8

You will need

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, finely sliced
3 potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 beetroot, boiled and mashed
1 carrot, finely grated
4 French beans, finely chopped or 25 g cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 spring curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
1/2 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )
2 brown bread / whole wheat bread slices
1/4 cup diluted maida ( make a light paste of 1 tablespoon maida with 2 tablespoon water. Mix well and make a paste )
1 cup ( 75 g ) bread crumbs
50 ml oil


Heat oil in a wide pan. Add finely sliced onion and fry till golden color.

Add boiled and mashed potatoes, beet root, grated carrot and chopped French beans or cabbage. Saute of 2 - 3 minutes.

Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder , salt to taste, and curry leaves. Mix all the ingredients well and stir on a low heat for 3 -4 minutes.

Sprinkle garam masala powder, cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes or till done and water dries up.

Allow this cutlet mixture to cool for some rime.

Add finely chopped bread slices. Mix well, make 8 thick equal portions and make desired shape and sizes ( or you can use a cutlet maker to get even shapes ).

Apply 1/2 teaspoon light maida coating on both sides of cutlet and roll in bread crumbs. Keep aside for half an hour.

Heat 50 ml oil in a frying pan. Reduce heat to medium and fry cutlets till golden brown on both sides ( 4 cutlets at a time ).

Serve hot with tomato sauce and fresh salad.

Spanish Omelette

Spanish Omelette

Recipe credit - Savvy cook book 2005

Time required -15 minutes


3 eggs
2 teaspoon oil / olive oil
3-4 mushrooms,diced
1/2 piece each,red and yellow bell peppers,diced
3 cloves garlic,chopped
30 gm cheese, grated


Separate the egg yolks and whites. Keep aside.

Heat the oil ( 1 teaspoon ) in a pan and saute the mushrooms, remove from heat and set aside.

In the same pan, saute the bell peppers with the garlic. Remove and keep aside.

Beat the yolks and pour onto a well- greased non -stick pan, and cook over a low heat.

Beat the whites till fluffy [ soft peak] and add it over the yolks.

Sprinkle the sauteed vegetables over the whites.

Top it with the grated cheese.

Cover with a lid ( or bake in an oven ) and cook on a low heat till the cheese melts, the edges become golden brown and leaves from the sides of the pan. Serve hot.

Dec 24, 2010

Our son's new XBOX 360 with Kinect

XBOX 360


It’s holidays now and our son is finding a lot of free time. So we’ve gifted him a new video game with a difference. This is more interactive, which means – unlike conventional video games, to play this, he has to get out of the chair and physically play the game. Therefore, he can have the fun of video game at the same time make him physically active.

This is similar to Nintendo Wii but unlike Nintendo, kinect does not require any gadgets to be used. So he is active and sweats out within the confines of our home - at any time he wishes. He is enjoying it a lot.

Available at Landmark and Croma show room in Chennai ( India )

Tawa Grilled Prawns / Spicy stir fried grilled prawns

Tawa Grilled Prawns

You will need

8 large prawns, clean and deveined
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
3/4 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper powder


Wash, clean and devein prawns. Drain out water completely and wipe with a kitchen towel.

Marinate prawns with salt, turmeric, Kashmiri red chilli powder and pepper powder. Keep aside for half an hour.

Insert a tooth pick (soaked in water) from the head to tail of each prawn ( This will prevent the prawns from curling during cooking ).

Heat oil in tawa or frying pan. Arrange marinated prawns and fry on a slow heat till golden color , while turning the prawns on both the sides so that the spice powders are well coated on the prawns ( Adjust heat low to medium and give enough time so that both the sides are cooked ).

Serve hot as a starter or try Spicy stir fried grilled prawns. Recipe below.

Spicy stir fried grilled Prawns

This is just a variation - stir frying tawa grilled prawns

Remove tooth pick from each prawn carefully

You will need

8 tawa grilled prawns
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 spring dark green curry leaves
1/2 - inch ginger, finely sliced
6 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil in a frying pan. Fry finely sliced onions till golden color and fragrant.

Add curry leaves, sliced ginger and garlic. Fry for 5 - 7 minutes on a low heat till you get a nice aroma of curry leaves and color change.

Add turmeric powder and saute for 2 minutes.

Add tawa grilled prawns and adjust salt and pepper to taste ( 1/4 teaspoon ).

Do not cover with lid. Fry for 5 - 7 minutes or until all the ingredients well mixed with prawns and fragrant. Serve hot.

Dec 23, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes: 12

You will need

All the ingredients should be at room temperature.

All purpose flour - 200 g
Baking soda - 3/4 teaspoon
Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
Egg - 1
Butter - 25 g
Sugar - 90 g
Vanilla essence - 1 teaspoon
Chocolate Chips - 30 g

Instead of adding chocolate chips to the dough, I have shaped the dough in the form of cookies and sprinkled / arranged chocolate chips on top.


Sieve flour, baking soda and salt. Sieve thrice.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy ( add 25 g sugar at a time ).

Beat egg well and mix with sugar - butter mixture. Make a smooth cream.

Add vanilla essence and sieved flour.

Preheat oven ( OTG ) at 190 * C or 375 * F.

Lay a piece of greaseproof paper on the baking tray.

Fold all the ingredients well and make a soft dough with the help of a spoon.

Apply little butter on your hands, roll into 12 equal balls and flatten them into round shape and arrange on greaseproof paper on the baking tray. Place each flattened ball 2 inches apart.

Sprinkle / arrange chocolate chips on top the balls and bake at 190 * C or 375 * F for 20 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Cool completely on wire rack.

Amul Latest Topical

Unaffordable escalating price of onions - Dec '10

Golden Fried Prawns

Golden Fried Prawns

Serves: 3 - 4

You will need

12 large prawns ( 250 g ) , cleaned and deveined
200 ml oil for frying

For the marinade:

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon wine or sherry or rum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the batter:

3 tablespoon all purpose flour
3 tablespoon corn flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon sesame ( white ) seeds ( optional )


Wash, clean and devein prawns. If desired you can let the tail remain and then marinate the prawns. Drain out water completely and wipe with a kitchen towel.

In a bowl, mix soy sauce, wine or sherry, salt, pepper and marinate the prawns for half an hour.

Make a smooth paste by adding flour, corn flour, baking powder, oil, salt, pepper and egg. Add just enough water ( 1 tablespoon ) to get a very thick batter such that it coats well.

Dip marinated prawns into the batter. Sprinkle sesame seeds ( optional ).

Heat oil in a frying pan. Reduce heat to medium and deep fry 3 - 4 prawns at a time till golden color evenly. Do not fry on high heat.

Serve as a starter with tomato sauce or chilli sauce.

Dec 22, 2010



Meringue Cookies are airy, sweet and crisp that seem to almost melt in your mouth

Makes: 18

You will need

1 egg white
2 pinches salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar
125 g sugar


Place egg white, salt and lemon juice in a clean glass or metal bowl (not plastic), and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until stiff.

Gradually, add sugar ( 25 g sugar at a time ), while continually whipping until the mixture becomes stiff and glossy.

The meringue is done when it is not runny and when you can hold a spoonful of it upside down and none of it drops off.

Preheat oven ( OTG ) at 150 * C or 300 * F.

Lay a piece of greaseproof paper on the baking tray.

Drop a teaspoonful of the mixture onto the baking tray. Repeat to create the individual meringues. Place each one an inch apart and bake at 150 * C or 300 * F for 20 minutes.

Once cool, the meringues are ready to serve or store in an airtight container.

Jeera Dal ( without onion & garlic )

Jeera Dal ( without onion & garlic )

Serves: 3 - 4

You will need

For Dal:

1/2 cup ( 50 g ) tur dal
2 1/2 cups ( 250 ml ) water
1/2 teaspoon cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 green chilli, slit lengthwise

For Dal:

Wash and clean tur dal and soak in 2 1/2 cups water for half an hour. Mix the soaked dal with water, salt, turmeric powder and oil and pressure cook for 15 minutes ( reduce heat after 2 nd whistle and cook for 15 minutes on a low heat ). Allow the pressure cooker to cool naturally.

Open the lid and boil again for 10 minutes on a low heat with 1 slit green chilli. Adjust salt to taste.

For Seasoning:

1 tablespoon ghee / oil
1/2 teaspoon jeera ( cumin seeds )
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/8 teaspoon amchur powder ( dry mango powder )
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves


Heat oil or ghee in a pan. Reduce heat.

Add jeera. Fry till golden color and fragrant. Do not fry till dark brown color.

Add coriander powder, amchoor powder and garam masala powder. Cook on a low heat for 1/2 minute.

Remove from heat and add red chilli powder and coriander leaves. Mix well for 2 - 3 minutes.

pour this seasoning over the hot cooked dal. Mix gently and serve with Roti / Rice.

Basic recipe - Nita Mehta’s cookery book

Dec 21, 2010

Crispy Chicken Lollipop

Crispy Chicken Lollipop. Best with Tomato Ketchup !!!

Makes: 10 chicken lollipops

You will need

1 packet chicken lollipop ( a packet contains 10 - 11 chicken lollipop )
150 ml oil for deep frying

1 st marinade:

2 tablespoon thick ginger - garlic paste ( fresh and homemade )
1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoon butter milk
3/4 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )

Mix all the above ingredients together.

2 nd marinade:

50 g breadcrumbs
50 g corn flakes ( lightly crushed )


Wash and clean chicken lollipops. Drain out water completely and wipe with a kitchen towel.

Marinate chicken lollipops with 1 st marinade, cover and keep aside for half an hour.

Lightly crush corn flakes and mix with breadcrumbs and marinated chicken lollipops. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Coat each lollipop well with corn flakes - breadcrumbs mixture.

Heat oil in a frying pan. Reduce heat to medium and deep fry chicken lollipops till brown color ( 3 - 4 pieces at a time and do not fry on high heat ). Drain and place on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil. Serve as a starter with  Tomato Ketchup or serve with brown / whole wheat bread.

Story behind Amul topical

Credit - Amul

The moppet who put Amul on India's breakfast table

Story behind Amul topical

50 years after it was first launched, Amul's sale figures have jumped from 1000 tonnes a year in 1966 to over 25,000 tonnes a year in 1997. No other brand comes even close to it. All because a thumb-sized girl climbed on to the hoardings and put a spell on the masses.

Bombay: Summer of 1967. A Charni Road flat. Mrs. Sheela Mane, a 28-year-old housewife is out in the balcony drying clothes. From her second floor flat she can see her neighbours on the road. There are other people too. The crowd seems to be growing larger by the minute. Unable to curb her curiosity Sheela Mane hurries down to see what all the commotion is about. She expects the worst but can see no signs of an accident. It is her four-year-old who draws her attention to the hoarding that has come up overnight. "It was the first Amul hoarding that was put up in Mumbai," recalls Sheela Mane. "People loved it. I remember it was our favourite topic of discussion for the next one week! Everywhere we went somehow or the other the campaign always seemed to crop up in our conversation."

When the Bruce-Lee film `Enter the Dragon' was released ( 1996 - 97 )

Call her the Friday to Friday star. Round eyed, chubby cheeked, winking at you, from strategically placed hoardings at many traffic lights. She is the Amul moppet everyone loves to love (including prickly votaries of the Shiv Sena and BJP). How often have we stopped, looked, chuckled at the Amul hoarding that casts her sometime as the coy, shy Madhuri, a bold sensuous Urmila or simply as herself, dressed in her little polka dotted dress and a red and white bow, holding out her favourite packet of butter.

For 30 odd years the Utterly Butterly girl has managed to keep her fan following intact. So much so that the ads are now ready to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for being the longest running campaign ever. The ultimate compliment to the butter came when a British company launched a butter and called it Utterly Butterly, last year.

On the Bollywood film 'KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA' based on the storyline of relationships - August '06

It all began in 1966 when Sylvester daCunha, then the managing director of the advertising agency, ASP, clinched the account for Amul butter. The butter, which had been launched in 1945, had a staid, boring image, primarily because the earlier advertising agency which was in charge of the account preferred to stick to routine, corporate ads.

In India, food was something one couldn't afford to fool around with. It had been taken too seriously, for too long. Sylvester daCunha decided it was time for a change of image.The year Sylvester daCunha took over the account, the country saw the birth of a campaign whose charm has endured fickle public opinion, gimmickry and all else.

On Athens Olympics 2004 - August'04

The Amul girl who lends herself so completely to Amul butter, created as a rival to the Polson butter girl. This one was sexy, village belle, clothed in a tantalising choli all but covering her upper regions. "Eustace Fernandez (the art director) and I decided that we needed a girl who would worm her way into a housewife's heart. And who better than a little girl?" says Sylvester daCunha. And so it came about that the famous Amul Moppet was born.

That October, lamp kiosks and the bus sites of the city were splashed with the moppet on a horse. The baseline simply said, Thoroughbread, Utterly Butterly Delicious Amul,. It was a matter of just a few hours before the daCunha office was ringing with calls. Not just adults, even children were calling up to say how much they had liked the ads. "The response was phenomenal," recalls Sylvester daCunha. "We knew our campaign was going to be successful."

For the first one year the ads made statements of some kind or the other but they had not yet acquired the topical tone. In 1967, Sylvester decided that giving the ads a solid concept would give them extra mileage, more dum, so to say. It was a decision that would stand the daCunhas in good stead in the years to come.

In 1969, when the city first saw the beginning of the Hare Rama Hare Krishna movement, Sylvester daCunha, Mohammad Khan and Usha Bandarkar, then the creative team working on the Amul account came up with a clincher -- 'Hurry Amul, Hurry Hurry'. Bombay reacted to the ad with a fervour that was almost as devout as the Iskon fever.

That was the first of the many topical ads that were in the offing. From then on Amul began playing the role of a social observer. Over the years the campaign acquired that all important Amul touch.

India looked forward to Amul's evocative humour. If the Naxalite movement was the happening thing in Calcutta, Amul would be up there on the hoardings saying, "Bread without Amul Butter, cholbe na cholbe na (won't do, won't do). If there was an Indian Airlines strike Amul would be there again saying, Indian Airlines Won't Fly Without Amul.

On Bill and Hillary Clinton.

There are stories about the butter that people like to relate over cups of tea. "For over 10 years I have been collecting Amul ads. I especially like the ads on the backs of the butter packets, "says Mrs. Sumona Varma. What does she do with these ads? "I have made an album of them to amuse my grandchildren," she laughs. "They are almost part of our culture, aren't they? My grandchildren are already beginning to realise that these ads are not just a source of amusement. They make them aware of what is happening around them."

Despite some of the negative reactions that the ads have got, DaCunhas have made it a policy not to play it safe. There are numerous ads that are risque in tone."We had the option of being sweet and playing it safe, or making an impact. A fine balance had to be struck. We have a campaign that is strong enough to make a statement. I didn't want the hoardings to be pleasant or tame. They have to say something," says Rahul daCunha."We ran a couple of ads that created quite a furore," says Sylvester daCunha. "The Indian Airlines one really angered the authorities. They said if they didn't take down the ads they would stop supplying Amul butter on the plane. So ultimately we discontinued the ad," he says laughing. Then there was the time when the Amul girl was shown wearing the Gandhi cap. The high command came down heavy on that one. The Gandhi cap was a symbol of independence, they couldn't have anyone not taking that seriously. So despite their reluctance the hoardings were wiped clean. "Then there was an ad during the Ganpati festival which said, Ganpati Bappa More Ghya (Ganpati Bappa take more). The Shiv Sena people said that if we didn't do something about removing the ad they would come and destroy our office. It is surprising how vigilant the political forces are in this country. Even when the Enron ads (Enr On Or Off) were running, Rebecca Mark wrote to us saying how much she liked them."

There were other instances too. Heroine Addiction, Amul's little joke on Hussain had the artist ringing the daCunhas up to request them for a blow up of the ad. "He said that he had seen the hoarding while passing through a small district in UP. He said he had asked his assistant to take a photograph of himself with the ad because he had found it so funny," says Rahul daCunha in amused tones. Indians do have a sense of humour, afterall.

From the Sixties to the Nineties, the Amul ads have come a long way. While most people agree that the Amul ads were at their peak in the Eighties they still maintain that the Amul ads continue to tease a laughter out of them.

Where does Amul's magic actually lie? Many believe that the charm lies in the catchy lines. That we laugh because the humour is what anybody would enjoy. They don't pander to your nationality or certain sentiments. It is pure and simple, everyday fun.

U.S. President Obama assures Indian P.M. Manmohan Singh of access to American Jihadi - Headley- April'10