Recipe - Vagherela bhaat (spicy curd rice)

I've been cooking food since a couple of years now, ranging from a full Indian menu to a simple one-off filling dish. This is my first attempt at noting down a recipe on a blog!
This is a 20 min simple recipe, for spicy curd rice, or Vagherela bhaat as we call it in Gujarati.

Ingredients (serves 2):

1 cup basmati rice2 tbsp sunflower / vegetable oil1 tsp mustard seeds1 tomato1 finger chilli4 tbsp plain / greek yoghurt1 tsp chilli powder1/2 tsp turmeric powderPinch of asafoetida powderSalt to tasteFreshly chopped coriander (to garnish)


1. Take one cup of rice, add three cups of water and cook it on medium flame.

2. Cook it until it looks like this:

3. Take 2 tbsp vegetable / sunflower oil, 1tsp mustard seeds and put it on low flame; let the mustard seeds splutter.

4. Add 1 finely chopped tomato, 1 green finger chilli (optional) and cook it a bit on low flame.

5. Add 4 tbsp plain / greek yoghurt, 1tsp red paprika powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, a pinch of asafoetida and cookin…

Movie review - Spiderman - Homecoming

Marvel has come out with yet another awesome movie, now with my second most favorite (a close second to IronMan) in the Marvel multi-verse - Spiderman. It was a very fresh and modern reboot of Spiderman, with a brilliant performance by Tom Holland! It is aptly named, "homecoming", and they couldn't have welcomed back the super hero in the Avengers space in a better way!
I will give the movie a solid 8.5 / 10. It was an entertaining movie throughout, and I found myself rooting for the 15-year-old Spiderman the entire time! The movie hit all the correct notes for me (more details below).
Spoiler alert: If you haven't watched the movie, and care about spoilers, stop reading now!

+1 - No background story
We all know how Spiderman came to be. We have seen it in two movies! This movie doesn't focus on that part, which gives it a lot of room to develop the character of Peter Parker otherwise! No more uncle Ben's sad accident or the accidental spider bite which turned hi…

My jab at sketching!

First of all, survive a new year.

Sketching, or in general, any form of art is not my cup of tea. All my life, everyone else has done that on my behalf. My sister drew birthday and anniversary cards for my parents, and all I had to do was to go cry in front of my mom to have my name written in the 'from' section of the card. In school, all my journal diagrams were done by friends or mom. I think, I am just too lazy to write or draw. Lucky for me, I can just get away with typing for weeks at stretch now.

Anyway, back to the point. God hasn't really given me much of a right brain, hence, I'm horrible at drawing, to say the least. But by the virtue of my left brain, and hours and hours of training, there is one thing which I can make really well. The Scenery. If you have taken a single art class in Indian Education System, I'm sure you know what I am talking about. Biswa explains it perfectly -

It's so true to the core. It's so deeply ingrained in me, that…

What is it like to grow up in a typical Gujarati household?

(Cross posted on my Quora profile)

I have written this post from a general Gujarati household perspective. However, there is a huge bias towards how I was brought up. So, please don't generalize it to all Gujjus.

And comments are welcome! :)


Breakfast or school tiffin includes thepla, khakhra, fafda-jalebi, poha and upma. My mom would rarely give me something which is not homemade (bread, etc).Lunch has a typical north Indian meal but has its own unique taste and texture. Thin rotis, sweet daal, a couple of vegetable curries, curd / buttermilk, and a farsan (Gujarati snack, generally fried). Farsan can include patra, dhokla, bhajiya, gota, etc.Evening snacks can have either of the farsan.Dinner is usually light, and depends on the household. Some might have lunch menu all over again, or otherwise simple stuff like khichdi, vesan, etc or non-gujju food like pav bhaji, idli, dosa, etc.Mango is given supreme importance in summers. A Gujju must eat mango properly for those two months…

Old poem

I was cleaning my Google Drive a couple of days back, and found this poem, which I wrote in VII grade. This doesn't necessarily mean that I write better now. :p

That was my first and last attempt at poetry. Here it goes.

The plight of Earth
Started with a blob of nebula
involving thousands of celestial phenomena
A gift of God to nature
which took long to mature

No land no sea only fire
I was like this, can you admire?
Full of lava and hot matter
Which left everything to shatter

This continued for millions of years
which wet God's eyes with tears
His tears were not in vain
As he sent them to me in the form of rain

As more time progressed
my surface got significantly improved
It became cooler
And contained inorganic minerals as proved by Miller

Life in the form of bacteria appeared
Followed by which, complex ones emerged
And then the grace of God and water
made more and more of them to appear

Ultimately the most dangerous one came
which only cared for their name and fame
Neither dino, nor chimpanzee nor…

The Other Side

First of all, Survive a new year :)

When I was young, one of the 'moral giving childhood stories' included a very simple story. You have got a white cloth. Make a noticeable black dot at the center of it and show it to people. Most of them will notice the black dot and ask questions about it. Not many will care about the white portion. All that matters is that small black dot which grabs the attention. It has been a long time since I posted last and there have been many events which tempted me to write about them, most of them bad / negative. The FB Comment Arrest, The Delhi Rape Case, subsequent mindless statements by Indian politicians and religious leaders, etc (a lot of black dots, though :-/). There were numerous protests, media panel discussions on such topics. But today I am not gonna write about them. Today its about those stories which are missed by a large chunk of people. The positive ones. I am, by no means, saying that people are wrong in thinking about negative as…

The Great I(IT)ndian Dream

Disclaimer: This post is heavily biased towards IITs and IITians in general. Go ahead only if you are interested. Anyways I have already got your page view if you are reading this. ;)

    Another thing off my head. This post is inspired by a recently raised question on Quora about IITians' contributions. Btw if you are interested in something else than "aww.. so cute <3" pics and statuses on Facebook, and want to indulge / read good moderated discussions on all the topics you could imagine, Quora is the place to be. Anyways that's for another day, back to the topic. Here I go.

    When someone asks you, where do you study, and you say IIT, following are the major classes of responses you get.
- They dont give a fuck. They just treat you like a normal guy from a good college.
- They confuse it with ITI or some private institute located far away, where you unfortunately had to take admission (possibly with donation) because you didn't get it into a local college.
- T…

Religion 2025

"Religion is a collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values." "If one person has an imaginary friend, he is crazy, but if many people have the same imaginary friend, its called religion". Yes, both are kulted (copied). First one is from wikipedia and second one is from the dinosaur-asking-questions meme. I just needed a formal start before I can punch in my views. Here I go.

Being from an above-average religious family, this topic has always had a place in my head. I was also raised to have faith and belief in the concept of God and its worship. But as I grew up, started going to school / college and getting exposed to more than a home ecosystem, my faith kept on declining. This should be a case with almost everyone of my generation. Our parents were a part of older India, a closed one. Their definition of respect included not to argue / question their adults. But we were born in…

HelloWorld : Things in my head

Hello World

For the people who are too lazy to open my bio or if I havent updated it yet ;), I am Smit Mehta, a CS undergrad at IIT Madras, India. Besides many things, I really love typing. Yes, you read it correct. You can always invite me for a race in typeracer. Just ping me with the link to the race. Apart from sharing my views on stuff, blogging is just an another excuse to type more. My blogs can tend to have a bias towards IITs, IITians, Gujarati stuff and Computer Science.

I have been wanting to write a blog from last three months, but there is always a bunch of pending assignments (excuses?). Hence today, I swear an oath in the name of the Old Gods and the New that I will write a blog post every Monday, well except when my quizzes / endsems / very big assignment submission / some other excuse isn't there. Well it is already Tuesday now, but I can forgive myself for the first post.

This is the helloworld post for the coming series of blogposts of my Things in my head. Well ge…