Sunday, 30 December 2012

Computer programmer

                        Mathematics and Technology
                                                                       I was basically an arts student. Since my father was a government officer and was on constant transfers to rural areas, I had access only to govt or small colleges which forced me to take up available arts course. I didn't mind as I loved language and literature. But I also had a lot of inclination towards my favorite subject maths. But unfortunately in those days, it was either pure science or arts.
But my craze for maths and technology continued. I strongly consider maths to be the mother of all languages. And its beauty of having only one correct answer had always fascinated me. And for me it had another philosophical trait too. That if you follow the formulas, go in the right path and work correctly, you are sure to get your result right. How apt when we apply it to our lives!......

Life Insurance

History of Life Insurance in India     

Life Insurance in India was nationalized in the year 1956 when a number of private companies were brought under the banner Life Insurance Corporation of India.Till the year 2000 when the insurance sector was privatized it held the monopoly of Life Insurance business in India. It has been most successful Insurance organisation in the world, recording highest number of lives covered, highest number of claims ansettled d lowest ratio of the outstanding claims in the entire world.

How to lose weight with Yoga and Kapalabhati Pranayama

                                       Healthy way of losing weight
The earliest memory of me checking my weight was when I applied for a job at the age of 18. I was 5.2" with a weight of 52 kgs. I had always been conscious of my weight since then, both from the point of looks and health, and have been steadily monitored it. Even after my two pregnancies, I had taken care to get back into shape once the children started growing up. But then suddenly I lost control. Though I was aware that I was putting on weight, as invariably happens once you near forty, I just could not control it. Suddenly one day my weighing machine showed 71 kgs and I panicked.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Tulasi - Basil - Festival of India
This extended festival of lights has always enchanted and enthralled me since childhood. Amma would say " keep some crackers for Tulsi Lagna" and we would obey, eagerly waiting for the D day. I would invariably ask amma whom Tulasi is getting married to and she would smile and say " Damodara i.e Krishna ". Then she would narrate the story. This is the story of Vrinda, the daughter of giant named Nemi and the faithful wife of demon Jalandhar. Being born in ocean, Jalandhar claimed supremacy over the ocean and all the treasures churned out  during Samudra Manthan. He declared war over Gods and could not be conquered because of the boon that he would be free from death till his wife Vrinda was chaste. Vishnu, in order to kill Jalandhar, assumes her husband's form and beguiles Vrinda. When she realises this, Vrinda cursed Vishnu to become a stone ( Saligrama ). Vishnu regrets his action and in admiration of her impeccable chastity and piety, transfers her into the sacred Tulasi plant and promises to marry her annually on this day of Kartik month. The story is registered in my mind along with the heavenly aroma and the taste of laddige prasada amma would prepare on that day. ( yeah, I will give your the recipe!.)
The Tulasi plant and Parijatha flower connected with our rich culture and vibrant heritage have always remained my favorites.  Parijatha with its divine and pristine beauty and Tulasi with her love for Lord Krishna and with the  her medicinal value have been on the top of my priority list of home plants. It has been my cherished  dream to have a big Parijata tree in my aangan along with rows and rows of Tulasi plant.
Alas!  I always proposed and thieves disposed. On many occasions whenever I chanced upon Tulasi seeds, plants or saplings at resorts, gardens and friends' houses, I would beg or borrow and bring them home. Living in a west facing house, I was always forced  to plant the seeds and saplings  on the compound in planter box.
I would squeal in delight when rows of saplings would take life. But invariably in a week or so, to my chagrin,  my saplings would start disappearing. I had  neighbors who would put up beautiful pots and plants on footpath without any problem and here I was losing every single sapling to these thieves. But like a never- say-die Trivikrama and Bhageeratha I  would go on and on with my efforts and face the same results!
As if this was not enough, I had this " Gow Matha ", always pulling out my little "babies", if by any chance left by those thieves with her long tongue right in front of my eyes, disregarding my shouts and threats. I am really dismayed by their attitude and judgement! I have seen in many areas, besides their huge gardens, these "RICH(?)" people will occupy footpaths with  mini gardens and these "holy cows" sitting by the side of these gardens lazily munching with semi closed lids, never daring to even glance at the plants. Is it fear of "RICH N POWERFUL"? Naah! Methinks she just loves the taste of our little angels,  put up with all the love of our heart and soul !
I would try to deter her with some prickly boundaries. No sir! She would care two hoots for such silly tricks! As a last resort one day I put some big glass pieces as boundaries for my planter boxes. Hey! Don't look so flabbergasted! Genuinely I meant no harm, just wanted my kids to grow! Don't take side with her, she was not as innocent as she looked. I stood there when she  arrived and we both stared at each other. She would look at me and then at the glass boundary and at the plants beyond ! Did I see a glint of amusement, sarcasm or was it an indulgent motherly look  at we selfish human beings  in her eyes? Whatever -  she decided not to pursue and left me alone with my plants since then.
Before I could heave  a sigh of relief and hope that all is well, this extraordinary incident happened.  One evening around 7.30, both myself and my husband Prakash were talking  in the balcony in the first floor. Suddenly Prakash looked down and exclaimed " Look! somebody is lifting your Tulasi pot!" This fellow beat everybody else in the game! Instead of plant, he had lifted the whole pot and before I could come out of my dismay and shout, he just coolly walked off !
I pulled Prakash's hand and dragged him down, pushed him on to  his bike and hopped behind him in my nightie.For  5-10 minutes we had totally lost any trace of him. But soon we could spot him walking in the next cross, holding the pot to his chest. As Prakash drove his bike by his side, I jumped from the bike, ran across and held him by the collar of his jerkin like a Jhansi Ki Rani!
All the anger and frustration towards my unknown thieves came surging as I gave him a sound  piece of my mind. So stunned was he at being caught and at my verbal tirade that he even forgot to close his open mouth. By this time a few passersby had gathered, who were both angry at his misdemeanors  and bemused at my histrionics and  heroism! Like a trophy I carried my Tulasi back home a midst much fanfare from my husband and kids. But since then I have almost given up the hope in the face of such onslaught by these "petty" thieves, and my dream of having my little rows of Tulasi has remained just that... A dream...

One day... May be one day.............

             LADDIGE          ( Groundnut and Hurigadale Laddu )


Ingredients :

Roasted and pounded Groundnuts      :    2 cups ( They should be pounded into big pieces,size of hurigadale  )
Hurigadale                                       :    2 cups
Jaggery powder                                :    1 1/2 cups
Ghee                                               :    1  cup                      
Elaichi powder                                  :    1 tea spoon

Preparation           :

In a thick bottomed kadai heat ghee and jaggery powder only till jaggery melts. Remove from the heat. Add elaichi powder, ounded groundnut, hurigadale and mix well. Wait till the heat recedes and then roll into laddoos.


Avarekaalu and Menthe Soppina Pulav

Ingredients   :

Basumati Rice                           2     cups
Ghee or Refined oil                    2     tablespoons
Avare kalu                                1     cup
Menthe Soppu                           1     bunch
finely chopped onion                  1
sugar                                        ½     teaspoon
salt to taste

                For Masala  :

                                        Green chillies                            5-6
                                        Pudina ( Mint ) leaves                a  few
                                        Ginger                                      1 small piece
                                        Garlic                                       2 cloves
                                        Cinnamon                                 1 tiny piece
                                        Elaichi                                      1
                                        Cloves                                      3-4
                                        Haldi                                        1 teaspoon

                   Preparation :

Nuchinunde and Sandige Huli

This is a royal dish generally prepared on the occasion of Devara Samaradhane 
before wedding and nuchinunde is also prepared on the occasion of Nagara 
Panchami. There is a wrong notion, rather hesitation to prepare it on other 
occasions with a feeling that it is a tedious process. Though it can be a 
little time consuming, with a little advance planning and  preparation one 
can enjoy this special dish on Sundays and holidays too. Why on a holiday? 
Because the meals would be so sumptuous and filling that one doesn't feel 
like working after eating this! So go ahead and enjoy! Happy cooking and 
happier eating!

Prep Time         :  30 Minutes
Cooking Time    : 30 Minutes
Ingredients :

For Nuchinunde  :  

1. Channa dal  ( kadale bele )                        :  2 cups
2. Tur Dal       ( togari bele )                          :  2 cups
3. Finely chopped sabbasige soppu                 :  1 bunch
4. Finely chopped menthe soppu  (fenugreek)  :  1 bunch
5. Finely chopped  Pudina  soppu    (mint)       :   ½ bunch
6. Finely chopped  coriander leaves                 :   ½ bunch
7. Green chillies                                             :  10 – 15 ( depending on your taste )
8. Hing powder                                               :  1    teaspoon
9. Haldi powder                                              :  1    teaspoon
10. Baking soda                                             :   a   pinch
11. Jeera                                                       :  2 tablespoon
12. Salt to taste

For  Huli   :

Monday, 12 November 2012

Deepavali.. With Besan Undi, Chakkli and chooda !!!
The festival of lights and stars is here again. Lights, sweet and celebration! Lamps painted with colours and decorated with glasses!

But the name deepavali painting  brings back another memory. That of my Amma painting the bathroom before every deepavali with white and clay mud.Then filling the water in HANDE with fresh water and decorating with delicate rangolis and diyas. Not only the  bathroom but the entire house was filled with beautiful intricate rangoli designs and light from the earthen diyas throwing wonderful rhapsody of light on the dark nights. What a wonderful way of celebrating and worshiping the elements!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Spinal Surgery

I am back! After a hiatus of almost one month, back with a better BACK !

Many a friends of mine always used to gush that I am their source of  strength, their inspiration, and their backbone! ( Hey! Promise. I am not joking, but telling this with utmost humility. Please read on!) What an irony! I myself did not have a perfect backbone! verbatim! Instead of sitting pretty and straight, my backbone had twisted a little. It was a manufacturing defect! From its normal ideal curve, a part of the spine  had twisted by 3.3 mm since birth. I used to have back ache since childhood and had accepted it as my alter ego. But three years ago a disk had slipped on the twisted bone.

You know how it is? Like you will be sitting on the ground in a crowded temple or bhajana mandir in sukhasana very close to each other. The person sitting next to you will put her knees on yours. It will be heavy and painful. Either you lift your leg or bear the burden. If you lift  your knee, you will have no place to put it back or else keep back on that person's knee who in turn will do the same to you! You are doomed either way!

Literally I ate tonnes of medicines - allopathic, ayurvedic, homeopathic - got massages, physio and naturopathy, did yoga, Reiki - you name it and I had done it to get a relief from my pain. Then I reached the dead end - a stage of extreme unbearable pain, when I prayed Lord Raghavendra to bless me with a permanent solution. When the pain further aggravated, I knew I had reached the end of the tunnel and there has to be some light at the end. Sure there was - in the form of Dr.Sujay Rao of St.Philomena's - a God unto himself. So confident was he and such a confidence he instilled in me that I 
underwent spinal correction operation on 10 th October. I am on my feet, though on a rest of two months.

I am extremely grateful to my family and friends who stood by me and who put me back on my feet. Thanks to God Almighty for giving me the courage and strength to undergo an operation of 7-8 hours.  

I could not help but  to reproduce the wise  words of a nurse at St.Philomina's who chided and consoled me when on my admission to the ward I had tears in my eyes. She said " Don't cry. If you cry you will have tears in your eyes which will blur your vision and you can't see Him " 



Tuesday, 18 September 2012


This is an in depth analysis and guide for the Nature cure hospital at Shantivana - Ujire - Dharmasthala - Karnataka - India.                  
Dhanyosmi! This was the overwhelming feeling I had about the noble souls who had envisioned and started this Nature Care Hospital for a holistic treatment. They had a vision, a noble cause and a yearning to serve and guide the society towards a healthy living.

I had first heard about the nature care hospital at        Dharmasthala way back  may be in 2006-2007 when my
friend Sujatha from Tumkur, who had been there for treatment narrated her wonderful experiences. She was all praises for the service oriented treatment meted
out there. It had always remained at the back of my          
mind that I should visit the place. Infact just a month back when we programmer friends at the monthly meet were sharing our health and stress woes, we were sort of planning that at least once we should skip this daily mundane and escape to Dharmasthala. I, in my wildest dreams, would not have imagined that exactly one month later when all my colleagues were attending the meeting, I would be here in Dharmasthala indulging in a holistic treatment for the body and soul.

Yes. That is what it is. I think there is a wrong notion that one should visit this place only when one has health issues or obesity problems. Contrary to this I feel that once one reaches 40, it is a place one must visit ( But of course, there is always heavy demand and one has to book the rooms very well in advance and generally, very healthy persons are not solicited, as they want to address the problems of the patients first.)
The accommodation in Ujire has been made to suits to all pockets and budgets. There is a general ward for Rs.300 per person per day, a special room at Rs.450 per day on twin sharing, Deluxe rooms on twin sharing at Rs.700 per day which has TV and AC. Then there are cottages which cost Rs.1250 per day per person,wherein the  occupants  have the advantage of having some of the massages and food in their rooms. The rent includes the room rent and food charges.For additional treatments they charge a nominal fee which works out to approximately Rs.1000 for
a stay of ten days, with two treatments per day.If one needs further treatments like acupuncture, physiotherapy, then it costs about another 50 rupees per day.
The procedure of admission is quite simple. The rooms can be booked over phone, but well in advance. Immediately on arrival, an in-house doctor will check us,   prescribe further clinical tests needed, if any, gives us a diet scheme depending on our body constitution and health problems. These notes will be recorded on a  card which will be updated everyday by the doctor visiting us. We are supposed to carry this card  for all our treatments, juices and foods.  

Well, talking about food, this could prove the ultimate boon or bane for our stay. Here is the real catch. Those who have a strong will power and self-control over their food habits need not worry. For weak minded, or those who love food        ( then, who would not!? ) this is a strict no-no. We are not supposed to carry any eatables from home. At the entrance gate itself the security will whisk us and take away any eatables found on us. Once we enter inside, other than the food provided by the staff, we will  get ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Forget tea or coffee, even milk is out of our reach. But if you have some funny bones, you will thoroughly enjoy the sights there at the dining area!

It will be a sight to watch how people used to indulge in sumptuous meals looking longingly at a hot chapati or a person weighing more than 100 kgs holding his cup of papaya gingerly and take half an hour to eat it or the girls who are officers back home in their towns, but are on juice diet at the centre pouncing on the plates of persons who are allowed rice.
There are  three varieties of diet foods provided here :  boiled diet, raw diet, and juice. The taste every day for every food remains just the same ( In fact I always wondered how could they prepare it exactly the same way everyday. If you have tasted it for one day, then you have tasted it for all days! ) The boiled diet consists of rice boiled with a little green gram dal, a few vegetables and just a hint of salt and pepper. A few boiled vegetables, which would be cucumber, ash gourd or sorekai – thats it!  - again with a hint of salt and pepper.
You have a choice of soup or buttermilk. Hello don't jump with joy. Soup means the vegetable stock of the above mentioned vegetables and buttermilk without salt or sugar ! Plus a cup of papaya or one apple.
The evening food will be the same type of vegetables with two dry chapatis instead of rice and everything else will remain the same. For raw diet, it is a salad of cucumber or carrot – I would rather not use the word salad because except the cut vegetables, it has no other ingredients – and on occasional lucky days you will find finely chopped apple or pineapple in it. No salt or khara ! And if the doctor thinks that it will be more food for you, they may just prescribe one apple or one cup papaya along with buttermilk or soup. Mind you, if you feel instead of buttermilk let me take soup – sorry madam, you have to get doctor's permission – who will be available in the dining hall - before taking the plate. Once you cross that point, even if you beg, it cannot be changed. Sorry.
And for those less fortunate souls, who are overweight,it is a glass of juice four times a day ! Don't feel so sad, at dinner and lunch time, they will 
keep the juice made from lime and honey and you can have an extra cup or two! Other than that if you complain of tiredness you are advised to drink lots of water. Don't worry, you will get used to it and in extreme situations, doctors are there round the clock to take care !

The food picture looks extremely bleak – is it ?  No that is not the case. If you feel you will not be able to sustain or feel weak, you can approach the doctor      next day who will switch over the diet from raw to boiled or increase the number of chapatis or fruits. But then forget about the weight loss ! But for the fortunate few who need not worry about the weight, there is a choice of ragi ganji at 9 am. and sprouts with cucumber slices at 4 pm, plus a cup of milk at 9 pm. BUT FORGET ABOUT THE TASTE, SALT AND SUGAR AND SPICES! It is the principle of the hospital that not only should you eat SATWIK food, but control your craving for food too.

The daily routine is : getting up at 5 in the morning, go for a walk, yoga and pranayama  from 5.30 to 7 A.M. At 7.30, it is juice – whichever the doctor has prescribed for you , it may be line and honey, carrot, ash gourd or bitter gourd.  Then back to rooms where everybody will sleep for a mud pack on their eyes and tummy for about 20 minutes. Immediately after, rush with your card to the treatment area where you will be given the treatment which your doctor has prescribed for you.
These treatments any day beat the best of spas' treatment. It includes a variety of water treatment like hip bath, spinal bath, cold or neutral water immersion bath, jet bath, whirlpool.... There are still many more. Or steam bath, souna, reclining steam bath, oil massage, mud bath, haldi pack... you name it and they have it. Essentially it is back to nature - an idea of treating us with five elements earth, wind, water, fire and the sky. I must never forget the attitude of the staff involved in the treatments. They always have a smile on their lips and a spring in their feet. They are virtuous  to a fault.

Each treatment is given with such a sincerity and dedication that you will feel like you are in the lap of your mother when the personnel share your pain with a sympathetic understanding and rejoice at your relief.
We were fortunate to be at this place on 15 th August and in the serene atmosphere on a bright and sunny morning we witnessed the flag hoisting and sang the National Anthem with a pride. After the ceremony we were no less than the school children when trays filled with some covers arrived at the venue. There was excitement all around and murmurs of laddoos, chocolates, sweets filled the air. You should have seen the face of all the recipients when they opened the covers and found that there were two dry dates and two tiny pieces of rock sugar in it! What a healthy way of celebration!

Though the entire building is spread over a vast area, a french architect has designed it so well that from every room, hall and window you can view a garden and rain.
If this is the photo of our bathroom window you can very well imagine how the entire building is built. The rooms, treatment and yoga centre are all a midst greens and gardens and throughout your walk from one end to the other, there is proper shelter so that no rain or sun can dampen or hamper your spirits.

There is a swimming pool, a gym,a hillock to walk and indoor games and library. But library and TV will be available only at free or rest time so that nobody misses the treatments or sessions. The yoga and pranayama are taught with utmost proficiency and personal care. 

There is a personalised treatment and care for every inmate and on the last day we would be given a follow up chart and advice for our treatment and diet back home. That day, we will be given passes to visit Sri Manjunatheshwara Temple which entitles us a direct entry to the sanctum sanctorum.

I have a greatest sense of gratitude towards Dharmadhikari Sri Veerendra Hegde, The Man behind this noble venture and when I had the fortune of meeting him at Dharmasthala, I made an humble request to him to start one such unit in our very own Bangalore. My joy knew no bounds when he informed me that the land has already been purchased on Tumkur road in Bangalore and the treatment centre may come up there soon.Amen!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

The Gowri festival  is fast approaching and THE sweet for this festival, of course, is obbattu. I had been following up with my mother,  many of my friends and relatives, and there are as many recipes. And there has always been that confusion over maida or atta, kadle bele or togari bele and akki hittu or kadle kai enne. Now I got the perfect recipe from my friend Padmaja, who over several experiments had arrived at the perfect, healthy and tasty recipe of obbattu. The method is simple and moreover if you have a sweet tooth, you can prepare and keep the hoorana ready in the fridge and make obbattu at a very short notice too. I tried it today and the result was mind blowing. Sure you would love to prepare it and enjoy!

Ingredients :

Maida                                           2  cups
Atta                                              1  cup
Turmeric  powder                           1  tablespoon
Salt                                               1  teaspoon
Groundnut  oil                                1  big cup                                              
Water to mix                                  1 1/2 cups
Kadale bele  (chana dal)                  2  cup
Togari bele  (Tur dal)                      1  cup
Pounded Jaggery (unde bella)         3  cup
Yalakki (Elaichi)pudi                       1  tablespoon

Method  :

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Recipes for Kids

Here I have given four recipes for your little darlings :
One main course - vegetable frankie - which children love and we are happy because they will be eating a variety of healthy vegetables. 
  • One Sweet : Remember, this hesarittu unde is THE BEST brain tonic. Give one to your child everyday and I bet he/she will score 100 in maths. I myself and both my children are proofs of this!  
  • One chat - Masala kallepuri - I am sure this is one chat you would love to give to your child and also fight to share.
  • One dessert - Double ka meetha - This deliciously rich dessert used to be  the favorite of  all the Nawabs. I bet you would be tempted to gobble but remember its richness and calories !

Saturday, 25 February 2012

We always think that we are living life on our terms, creating and reacting to the situations as we wish and that nothing drastic can happen to us, at least as long as we are careful.How far from truth it can be! He, up there, holds the strings of our lives and decides what should happen and when and pulls the strings and here we will be dancing to His tunes. We, both myself and my husband were quite disciplined in our food habits, exercise rĂ©gime and were under the impression that we had taken good care of our health.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Cooking is a creative art.. Like a painting, pottery poetry etc, raw materials go into it and a complete product comes out. While cooking one has to give weightage and importance not only to its taste but to its colors, textures, smell and presentation. It can be enjoyed only if it is taken as a pleasure You will get best results only when your heart is involved in it and you are marveled and derive pleasure while it is being created. In fact cooking and love for it is a gift from God.

Ingredients :
Bajra (sajje) or corn flour    1 cup
Rice flour                                       1 cup
Wheat flour                                    1 ½ cups of
Gram flour                                     1 cup
Green vegetables (palak or methi) 250 gm
Ginger                                            1”
Coriander leaves                          ½ bunches
Green chillies                                 7-8
Sugar                                             1 teaspoon
Pepper                                    1 teaspoon
Cumin powder                         1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder                     ½ teaspoon
Asafoetida                                ½ teaspoon
Coconut powder                      1 tablespoon
Onions                                   2
Oil for frying

Salt to taste

Method :

Ingredients :

Carrots                          100 grams

Potatoes                        100 grams
Cauliflower                    100 grams
Beans                           100 grams
Capsicum                      100 grams
Tomatoes                      2
Onion                            4
Garlic                            3 cloves
Ginger                           1 small piece
Butter                           1 Tablespoon

Cumin Powder               1 teaspoon

Black cardamom            1
Cinnamon                     3/4 inch
Cloves                          4
Poppy seeds                  1 Teaspoon
Sugar                           1/2 Teaspoon
Tomato Sauce               2 Teaspoon
Fresh Cream                 1 Teaspoon
Salt to taste

Ingredients  :

Potatoes                                       250 gm
Shelled peas                                 250 gm
Big tomato                                   1
Onions                                         2 medium size
Curd                                            ½ cup
Turmeric powder                          ½ teaspoon
Ground cumin seeds                     ½ teaspoon
Garam masala powder                  ½ teaspoon
Ginger piece                                 ½ “
Minced green chillies                     5
Coriander leaves sliced                  – handful
Chilly powder                                1 tablespoon
Salt to taste

Method :

Ingredients :

Mixed vegetables   2 cups
Onion                   1
Red chillies           5
Garlic                   4 cloves
Pepper seeds        1 teaspoon
Jeera                   1 teaspoon
turmeric               1 teaspoon 
coconut                ¼
jaggery juice        ½ tablespoon ( If you like sweetish taste )
tamarind juice      1 tablespoon
ghee                    2 serving spoon
salt to taste

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

This is King among the North Indian chats like pani puri, dahi puri, tikki puri and corn tikki.                                                                                            
Ingredients    :

Dry peas                                                    2 cups
Potato                                                        2
Onion                                                        4
Tomato                                                      2
Tamarind                                                   1 lime size
Jaggery                                                      1 lime size
Groundnut oil                                             1 tablespoon
Red chilly powder                                       ½ table spoon
Garam masala powder                                ½ table spoon
Pudina                                                       some leaves
Green chilly                                               2
Coriander leaves                                        finely chopped
Curry leaves                                             10-15 leaves
Jeera                                                        1 teaspoon
Black pepper                                             1 tea spoon
Om pudi                                                   1 packet
Ready made poories of masala puri
Salt to taste.

Prep Time :        30 minutes
Cooking Time : 10 minutes

Ingredients :

Onion                                                        4
Tomato                                                      2
Carrot                                                        4
Red chilly powder                              ½ tablespoon
Pudina                                               some leaves
Green chilly                                               2
Coriander leaves                              finely chopped
Curry leaves                                    10-15 leaves
Jeera                                                        1 teaspoon
Black pepper                                             1 teaspoon