Monday, 24 October 2016

Bhrigu Mahesh, PhD: The Witch of Senduwar - Book Review

Let me start this post with a small question - How would you like to read a book that is in lines of Sherlock Holmes crime solving methods,with Dr. Watson by his side except that it is set in a typical Indian condition?

To answer this question, let me review the book - Bhrigu Mahesh, PhD: The Witch of Senduwar by Nisha Singh.

First, about the author :

Nisha Singh is a crime fiction enthusiast who has written short stories for several publications.She enjoys reading and watching movies and currently resides in Uttar Pradesh.

Now to the story line....

The detective thriller is set in a village called Senduwar. This is a place where nothing much happens and there is no excitement or entertainment what so ever. But then there is a sudden gold rush when a boy ,Malthu,discovers some pieces of gold supposedly a lost treasure at an abandoned site that is said to be haunted by the spirit of an angry witch. The boy soon dies under mysterious circumstances close to this site and the people of the village start believing that the spirit of the witch has killed him since he disturbed her resting place.

Several years later,Bhrigu Mahesh, a detective visits his hometown and an elderly lady-Malthu's mother, seeks out his help to clear the mystery behind the death of her son.

The detective solves the mystery in his style and unravels a lot of mysteries and secrets and finally is able to restore peace  in the small village.

There are stories within this story. A small girl who sacrifices herself in order to bring out the truth about her father and also help the villagers, the legend of the witch Jiyashree,a trail of lies and murders....

My thoughts on the book....

Well, the book reminded me of Sherlock Holmes mystery solving style. Here Bhrighu Mahesh has his unique way of solving the crime and with him is his friend Sutte who is like Dr.Watson, following him around, asking questions and trying to understand what Bhrighu Mahesh is up to.

Though Bhrighu Mahesh is super intelligent and extremely talented, he still fears his aunt Nirja Masi who lives in the village and finally he is able to overcome this mind block.

Sutte, who narrates the story, is in awe of his friends crime solving abilities and the methods that he uses -the physiological approach!

There are so many characters in this book - right from the witch of Senduwar - Jiyashree who was supposed to have concocted a potion that would make the one who takes it,act according to the givers wishes and words!And then comes the girl, who in the middle of a storm, runs away from home with a prized possession ,buries it in a spot where she knows it will be found and then kills herself.

Then comes our hero - Bhrighu Mahesh,a detective with the Police department who does not mix and mingle much with the others and has risen to fame by solving his first case in a unique way! He leaves the department when his colleagues and superiors fail to see the effectiveness of his methods and instead of acknowledging it, mock him and leave him feeling gutted.His friend- Sutte,a journalist who shadows Bhrighu Mahesh,who tempts him to visit his village after all these years.

Then comes Jayathi Devi, her dead son Matlu, her husbands side of the family, the seven suspects, the Zamindar of the village,Ghanshyam Singh and a host of others!

The story undergoes several twists and turns and at one point when you almost conclude whom to suspect, you are in for a surprise when Bhrighu Mahesh puts it the other way and eliminates the person as the suspect!

Finally, when you come to know who the real person is behind the murders , you will be totally shocked!!!

The narration is carried out by Sutte in a very effective manner and the plot is very good. Finally not only does Bhrighu Mahesh solves the mystery but also turns the garden of witch Jiyashree's into a place that no one will ever fear to step into!!!

The only thing I found on the downside in this novel is the lengthy narrative / the huge paragraphs of description! It drags a bit in places and at a point I was even tempted to skip a page or two.This creates a lull in the thrill..

Apart from the typos where the dates of the crime is mixed up,[13th June / 14th June] and the very lengthy description, this book is a good read, something  from the regular genre,that will take to the heart of the village and let you think and solve the crime with the Indian Sherlock Holmes - Bhrighu Mahesh.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Until nest post...

Monday, 3 October 2016

Puffed Lotus seed - Beets Kheer

 A while back, Vaishali gave me this huge pack of Phool Makhana and I have been trying out some recipes with it. I still had a bit left so thought I will use it up in making dishes with it. I planned some for last month's mega marathon but as it always happens, I changed in the last minute.

I have a post here which details all about this ingredient and also there are some recipes with Phool Mahkana / puffed lotus seeds that are easy to make and good to eat as well.

This dish is for Srivalli's Spicing your Life - Kids Delight event Anniversary party. I thought it will be apt to take over a dessert for the celebration.

Today's dessert is a change from the regular Mahane kheer. To add color and to amp up the nutrition, I have added grated beetroot and I have replaced white sugar with unrefined cane sugar. Also the color and the puffed lotus seeds will add the the visual appeal.

I used

Phool Makhana - 2 cups
Grated beetroot-1/4 cup
Milk-2 cups
Unrefined cane sugar - 3 tablespoons / to taste
Chopped cashew- 5
Ghee 2 teaspoons, divided

Heat a little ghee in a pan and put in the phool makhana.Roast it till crisp and transfer onto a plate and keep aside.In the same pan heat the remaining ghee and add the broken cashewnut. Roast till golden brown.Drain and keep aside.

There will be some ghee remaining in the pan and we can use that up to saute the grated beet root. Add milk and simmer.

Once the milk comes to a boil and the beetroot is cooked, add the unrefined cane sugar , roasted lotus seeds and mix.Simmer for a couple of minutes. Switch off the heat and add the cashew nuts.

Serve warm / chilled

  • The kheer thickens after a while.Keep a little extra milk handy to add later before serving.
  • You can also add grated carrot instead of beets.
  • Use any sweetener of your choice

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#69

Friday, 30 September 2016

Instant Dosa/ Uthappam Using Leftover Rice | Recipes with Leftover Rice

When there is no more dosa batter in the fridge and yet you crave for some crispy dosas / soft and fluffy uthappam, you can satiate your taste buds with some instant dosa / uthappam made with left over rice and a few other ingredients added to the mix!

I used:

Leftover / cooked rice- 2 cups
Rice flour- 1/2 cup
Whole wheat flour - 1/2 cup
Yogurt / curd- 1 cup
Salt to taste

Finely Chopped onion
Finely chopped coriander

  1. In a mixie jar, take the cooked rice. Add a little water and grind to a smooth, thick paste.
  2. Transfer it into a large bowl.
  3. Add rice flour, wheat flour and salt.
  4. Put in yogurt and mix. Add water little by little and bring it to a dosa batter consistency.Set aside for 10 minutes.
  5. Mix again and make dosas/ uthappam on a hot griddle.
 Here I have prepared onion uthappam...

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68