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Monday, February 24, 2014

LED and Fireflies

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 From Twinkling of Fireflies to LED - more on Green Light,the Millennium Light!


Twinkle Twinkle little stars. NOW I WONDER WHERE YOU ARE??  Leave aside stars; on a clear night in urban India you do not even get glimpses of fireflies nowadays. Vanished! Magician – Artificial Light Pollutant. Lighting professionals all over the world are relentless in their effort to relive the olden days of mystical star gazing experience on clear nights. The solution lies in LED as light source in general lighting. Reason being it is a tiny light source and thus can be optically controlled in a highly effective manner. Imagine a stadium lit by LED floodlight or all major thoroughfares in a city lit by LED streetlights. No untoward upward light, no glare, no pollution. LED is here and has progressed at a furiously rapid pace since the dawn of this millennium. Recently, scientists inspired by the twinkling of fireflies have modified LED to make it almost one and a half time more efficient than the original. Fireflies are bioluminescent insects and the organs on their abdomens flash light in order to attract their mates. A chemical reaction in photocytes (specialized cells in fireflies) creates light. This light is then emitted through cuticle( a part  of the insect’s exoskeleton).Mismatch in light travel which is slower in cuticle compared to air normally dims the glow as a proportion of light is reflected back into the photocytes. Researchers observed that specimens of fireflies found in Latin America and the United States have unique surface geometry of cuticles. The jagged scales resembling factory roof improve light extraction manifold and minimize internal reflections. This discovery led scientists to develop effective LED coating which could produce more efficient and brighter light output.



http://www.led-professional.com/technology/light-generation/scientists-mimic-fireflies-to-make-brighter-leds/inspiration%20for%20a%20GaN%20LED2.jpg/image_large
This image taken from LED Professionals show:
The misfit scales(bottom right) found on the lantern of the Photuris firefly (top right) are the inspiration for a GaN LED, coated with a "factory-roof" pattern (left) that increased light extraction by more than 50 percent




Credits: The article was originally released on the www.osa.org website.
Reference: LED Professionals.

 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Wazwan in Kashmir - more on GREAT TASTES

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Great Tastes - Wazwan


Where better to fall in love with wazwan than in Kashmir? In October this year I visited this beautiful valley along with my wife for the first time in my life. Through all the breathtaking natural beauty, the rolling green mountains and valleys and snow peaked horizons, my focus, my greatest love, never waivered from the fantastic culinary tradition of this mountain state. Many things combined to create the mouthwatering wazwan Kashmir is so rightly famed for—from the Mughal past, where Emperors commissioned some of the most romantic baghs (gardens in the world), made as the earthly template of heaven, and were also incurable gourmands who searched far and wide for great chefs and gave them their one-point agenda: create exceptional dishes. Kashmir’s wonderful climate, which allows the growing of a mind boggling variety of beautiful nuts, fruits, vegetables and spices, including saffron, the world’s most expensive spice, played an equally crucial part. And of course, not the least, the wonderful chefs who continue to carry the tradition forward with their immaculate mastery and love for wazwan. It is courtesy these chefs that this blog features recipes of some of the wazwan dishes we enjoyed during our stay (and later recreated and experimented with at home).Wow! Believe me it was a grand success.

The recipes are often long and involved, so you need a fair bit of time to make them – but every bit of that time and effort is worth it. All the recipes are on the basis of 500gm of mutton, which can be substituted with 750-800 gm of chicken.

 Rogan Josh




Mutton Rogan Josh

Rogan Josh and Rice

Ingredients:


Mutton----1/2kg
Hing (Asafetida) – 1/4 teaspoon
Cinnamom (darchini)- 2 pieces (1” each)
Clove (labanga) - 5 pieces
Black cardamom (boro elaich) - 3 pieces
Whole black pepper  1/2 teaspoon
Juice of one whole large onion
corriander powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Ratan Jote  - 1 teaspoon
Kashmiri Mirch powder – 2/3 tsp
Hung Curd   250gm
Fennel  powder - 1teaspoon
Ginger powder - 2 teaspoon
Vegetable oil – 1 tablespoon
Method:

Boil 500 gm mutton in roughly 500ml water till soft and keep the stock and the mutton separately aside. Put a large pan on the gas and add oil. When the oil is hot (but not smoking) add the whole garam masalas and black pepper. When the spices start popping, add the meat and then slowly add the onion juice. Stir fry on low heat. When meat becomes almost dry and the onion juice has been completely absorbed, add hung curd, coriander powder, cumin powder, fennel powder, asafetida, ginger powder, Kashmiri chili powder and ratanjote.Keep frying on slow heat and when the mutton again becomes almost dry, add salt to taste and two pinches of sugar. Pour the entire mutton stock and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes.
Bon appetite!



 Kashmiri Chicken Curry

Kashmiri Chicken Curry and Rice we  had at Prince,Pahalgam.  On the left of Chicken curry is Mutton Kati, another Wazwan dish.

Ingredient:


750-800gm chicken
Chopped Onion – Finely chopped from 2 medium sized onions.
Whole dry Red Chilli – 3-4
Kashmiri Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
Garlic chopped - 6 /7 flakes
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Cloves – 6/7 pcs
Cardamom – 6/7 pcs
Cinnamom – ½ pcs
Cashew nuts – 50 gm
Almonds – 25 gm
Hung Curd – 150/200 ml
Coriander leaves – approx. 1 sprig

Method :


Grind cashew nuts and almonds with the curd till it forms a paste. Marinate the chicken pieces for about half an hour in the paste. Fry the chopped onions in a kadai till it starts browning. Then add the dry red chilis, chili powder and all the other ingredients except the marinated chicken. Saute for a 3-4 minutes and then add the chicken. Sauté till the chicken pieces take up a deep brownish hue. Then add around 2/3 cups of water, and add salt to taste. Simmer in low heat for about half an hour. Garnish with Coriander leaves.
Bon appetite!

 Gushtaba 


Mutton Gushtaba at Adoor's,Lal Chowk,Srinagar. The ball is cut into four segments.

Ahdoors-a famous Wazwan restaurant located at Srinagar





Inside Ahdoors restaurant








Gushtaba garnished with coriander leaves




 
Ingredients:


Finely minced mutton – 1/2kg
Kashmiri Garam Masala- 2/3 tsp
Kashmiri chili powder – 2/3 tsp
Fennel seed – 1tsp
Ginger powder – 1 tsp
Whole black pepper – 2/3 tsp
Cardamom – 4/5 pcs
Coriander powder – 1tbsp
Khoya – half cup
Hung Curd – half cup
Milk – approx. one cup
Ghee – 2 tbsp

Method:


Make a smooth paste with the Kashmiri chili powder, fennel powder, ginger powder, coriander powder, garam masala, minced meat, a little curd and ghee. Then form balls of around 2 inch diameter. Heat the ghee and add Khoya, curd, garam masala and salt to taste. Pour the milk after sometime and then add the Koftas. Simmer in low heat till the liquid evaporates partly. Each Gustabha meat ball is quite large in size and soft after it is cooked.Suggest slice each ball into four equal segments to savor it with plain rice or tandoori roti or naan.
Bon appetite!


Rista
Mutton Rista at Gulmarg. The size of Rista is almost same as a standard Nargisi Kofta

Ingredients:


Ratan Jote – 1 cup
Saffron soaked in water – approx. one cup
Kashmiri Chilli powder – ½ tsp
Ginger powder – 1 tsp
Cardamom – 4/5 pcs
Fennel powder – 2tsp
Cinnamon sticks – 2/3 pcs
Cloves – 3/ 4 pcs
Hing – roughly a pinch
Bay leaves

Method :

Make around one inch balls from minced meat after mixing cardamom powder, a little salt and one tsp ginger powder. When the oil gets heated, add all the ingredients except the koftas, saffron and ratan jote. After a few minutes add the keema balls and stir fry gently till the Koftas turn reddish brown. Then add saffron soaked in water and a cup of Ratan jote. Add salt to taste and simmer on low heat for around ten minutes. The Koftas after cooking should have a characteristic rubbery bite in contrast to Gustabha where the meat balls are soft and melts in the mouth. Best served with plain rice or roti.
Bon appetite!