Tuesday, 6 May 2014


Shawarma, an Arabic dish is very popular in the middle eastern countries.
Have you ever tried this dish ?

Large chicken slices marinated in a mixture of special shawarma spices are arranged on the vertical rod of the shawarma maker grill intermingled with layers of fat. Sometimes a lemon or big onion is hooked on top of the meat for more flavor. The rod with meat is slowly rotated in front of the gas flame to cook it evenly. The grilling takes place slowly. The juices together with spices percolate through the meat imparting wonderful flavor to the dish. Pieces of meat are shaved off using a long knife and is mixed with tomato. The outer layer of Shawarma bread is peeled, a little garlic paste is smeared, chicken pieces with tomato is stuffed into it along with lettuce, french fries and slices of marinated cucumber. Sometimes the outer surface of the bread is smeared with oily fat and the whole thing will be shown in front of the flame before wrapping.

The accompaniments include green chilly marinated in vinegar or red chilly paste, cucumber, radish or carrot marinated in vinegar.

There is lot of variety in the preparation of Shawarma. Recipes also differ. Chicken or beef is used commonly to prepare it. It's quality, the spices used and the culinary expertise of the chef all matter in the yumminess of this wonderful dish !


Bought this today from the mall. Yummy ! Together with green chilly marinated in vinegar it was simply delicious :)

I consider these shawarmas special. Tasted these when in Dubai last year. Enjoyed with red chilly paste and sulaimaani ( black tea ). Awesome !
If you ever visit Dubai you may try shawarmas from the hotel in front of Bur Dubai bus station. The bus to Dubai Global village comes in front of this hotel. Good hotel !

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Monday, 5 May 2014

Google plus post picture, pixels matter now

I have enabled the 'share automatically' option to Google plus when I post something new in my blog. Immediately after clicking the 'Publish' button once I finalize the post another window will open to share it with Google plus. Here I noticed a problem with my post picture some days ago. Instead of the picture that I have posted in my blog post my profile picture was getting displayed in Google plus ! Same problem happened when I posted the video upload link in a blog post. Noticed this problem with some other bloggers too.

The reason for this was the image pixels. To reduce the image size load bloggers were using small sized images in blog posts. If the original images were large it were reduced both in size and pixels and posted to ease upload, reduce page loading time and for quick layout settings. I was also doing the same, re-sizing the pictures, reducing both the size and pixels using photoshop or picmonkey to limit the storage size. Blogger gives us free Google drive storage space of 15 GB, as you all know. Google plus photos of size bigger than 2048 x 2048  pixels occupy storage space as well as Gmail attachments. Click on Accounts under Google profile, check data tools, manage storage plan and have a look at how much storage we utilize.

Recently Google made changes to enable users to upload high resolution images to Google plus in tune with other social media. So if we would like to see our post image to appear in Google plus window our images should be of high pixels. What is the minimum pixel size required is still not clear though. The image with high resolution will be displayed in Google plus post, if we share it automatically.

Now I am using 1000 pixels images and my post images appear in Google plus, no problem. The image size in kb or mb doesn't seem relevant. So use high pixels for your blog pictures and you will see your post pictures clearly in Google plus instead of your profile picture or the picture having better resolution than your post picture in all the posts ! When using high resolution images you will see serrated lower edges signifying a larger picture in Google plus posts.

If you do not want to show pictures then just hover your mouse over the right hand side of the post that you see on Google plus post. The drop down menu shows many options like edit the post, delete the post etc. Click edit the post and there is an option to remove the picture. If we remove the picture only the post text will be displayed on Google plus and no images.

Likewise when you post text only and no pictures in blog post your profile picture may get displayed automatically if you have enabled post to Google plus automatically. Edit the post and remove the picture to display only the text in Google plus. Better not to enable share to Google plus automatically; do it manually after publishing a post to design what and how to share.

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Sunday, 4 May 2014

Beautiful Global village, Dubai...amazing pavilions of participating countries

A very welcoming entrance !

Beautiful Austrian pavilion !

An amazing perfume shop in Global village, exotic arabic perfumes in attractive bottles !

Tagine ( Tagin, Tajin, Tajine ) a traditional cooking vessel, conical and dome shaped, popular in countries like Tunisia, Morocco and other north African countries. Other beautiful ceramic items are also seen. A paradise for shoppers ! Awesome Dubai !

Many South American countries also participating !

There was a demonstration of Shaolin martial arts on the stage just behind the palm tree. Wow, thrilling !

Cookies, yummy !

Magnificent pavilions !

Fireworks, dazzling !

Fireworks illuminating the desert sky !  

Candy store from the Netherlands ! 

Far eastern countries :) 

Indian pavilion was huge ! Seen stalls from almost all states showcasing their unique products ! 

Malaysia and South Korea. Interesting :)

Moroccan pavilion is where I tasted Moroccan tea ! Already blogged about this exotic drink :) 

Singapore was nice :)

Spain was also spacious.

Tunisia - so many interesting things to see !

Beautiful Philippines :)

A video of the cultural show http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO-Fkh083_w

These are only a fraction of the huge event. The pictures were shot in 2013. I heard this year it was huge !


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Saturday, 3 May 2014

African dancers at Dubai Global village, amazing video !

Published this video on YouTube !

Awesome video of dancers from Africa performing on the world cultural stage in Dubai Global village.

Those who have visited Global village, Dubai might have seen beautiful cultural performances from different countries on the arena over there. This video was recorded in 2013. Thrilled to see their performance.

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Thursday, 1 May 2014

The amazing health benefits of drinking water

Today's post is about the amazing health benefits of drinking plain, pure water ! 

As you all are aware water constitutes about 55 - 78 % of the body weight depending upon the body constitution of different individuals. This simple fact illustrates how much human body values water everyday. 

Are you providing enough water to your body everyday ?  

An adequate intake (AI) of water for males is about three liters ( 3 L ) (roughly 13 cups), a day. The AI for females is 2.2 liters (about nine cups), a day, according to the Institute of Medicine. 

This is total intake of fluids in all forms including beverages. This recommendation is for adults. For children the quantity is different.

We lose water from our body mostly through urine, sweat, bowel movements and breath. This normal loss should be replenished by adequate intake of fluids for the smooth functioning of the body. Dehydration makes our body tired and weak succumbing ourselves  to diseases. It is this vital water that helps in flushing the toxins out of the body. Water helps in the smooth functioning of all systems in the body. Water carries all the important nutrients to the cells in the body. So any decrease in the water level in our body can have serious health consequences. But the negative effects of dehydration develop slowly. Also it is difficult to prove that water deficiency is the direct cause of health problems. It is reported that humans have great tolerance to dehydration and thirst is felt in a vague manner as a result of which we tend to postpone / drink less / inadequately resulting in health problems. Proponents of 'water therapy' claim that chronic dehydration is the root cause of all health problems. Passing dark colored, concentrated urine denotes a dehydrated state.  

Now ask this question again:

Are you providing enough water to your body everyday ?  

'Usha paana chikitsa', ( 'Usha' means in the morning, 'paana' = drink and 'chikitsa' is treatment ) is mentioned in Ayurveda, the science of life, the traditional system of medicine in India. Water therapy was popular in ancient India. 

Water therapy involves drinking water first thing in the morning after getting up even before brushing teeth. It is advised to drink 1.5 liters of water. If it is difficult to drink the whole at a stretch, drink 4 or 5 glasses and wait for some time and drink again the rest. After one hour have breakfast. 

As you know after intake of a large quantity of water like this people urinate more and can expect good bowel movements. 

Initially it may be difficult to do this but with practice this becomes easy. People with hypertension, gas problems, kidney aliments and heart disease have to be careful if planning to do this. Always seek your doctor's opinion before doing water therapy.

Avoid alcohol intake, take enough fruits and vegetables, do mild exercises and provide adequate intake of fluids rest of the day as recommended.

Proponents of water therapy claim that this is effective in curing constipation, normalizing high blood pressure, controlling diabetes, arthritis, prevention of kidney stones, acidity and dyspepsia, aids weight loss etc. etc. It is difficult to prove scientifically all these claims but there are lot of people who will vouch for the miraculous cure they have had. Many report better health and general well being !

Whatever, always supply the adequate, recommended intake daily. Take more fruits and vegetables. Fruits like watermelon, tomatoes, oranges etc. have high water content.

Pure drinking water has become a rarity now-a-days. Water quality standards and the chemical components that are used in the manufacturing of plastic bottles are always topics of controversy. Leaching of these chemicals into the water that it contains is a great concern. And this makes us look for labels like 'BPA' free :)
The testing standards differ in different countries. 

So are we sure we are drinking quality water ? Is it pure ? 

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