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World Cup Trivia

World Cup Trivia

Spices in Indian curry by Jitu Patel

India, the land of the spices, has been the nerve center of the spice trade for a long time. It is this spice trade that led to the invasion of India by other countries as well as the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus. The spice history is long and quite complicated, so rather than get into it I have decided to give a short note on some of the major spices found in India. I have listed them all below with some of their usages.
Spices, something that none of us can go without these days, have ruled over the minds and hearts of men and women for quite a while now. Even today, spices would be perhaps one of the foremost things that most of the world would associate with the sub-continent.
Here is my list of some of the top 10 spices from India
1. ASAFOETIDA:
Asafetida also known as 'the devil's dung' is known for its pungent odor. It originated in the Americas but, in the recent past, seems to have made its home in the sub-continent. Asafetida is prepared from the sap of a plant which is later dried into a grayish resin like substance. Asafetida is quite hard and often has to be broken down with the help of a hammer or any other substitute.
Usages - It is used as a condiment and flavoring agent in cooking. It gives that special flavor to the Rasams and Sambars of Southern India. Generally it is sauted in oil or ghee and then added to the dish, be it a Dal or a Rasam. One should take care to store Asafetida in air tight containers to avoid your kitchen from smelling like the Devil's dung!

2. CUMIN :
Cumin is widely used in Indian kitchens, mainly as a flavoring agent and as a condiment in certain dishes. Evidence of Cumin usages have been found to date from the second millennium B.C.
Usage - All Curries and Dals have cumin in them in small quantities. Cumin gives these dishes an aroma that serves to enhance the dish further. It is used in the beginning of the preparation of the dish and as the flames heat the cumin seeds, it starts to give off its flavor. Cumin can also be used in the powdered form but for stronger aroma, it is best to use the seeds as they are.

3. CURRY LEAF :
Curry leaves are as essential to Indian cooking as bay leaves are to European ones. The curry leaves as well as the oil that is obtained from are highly prized not just as a flavoring agent but also for the medicinal properties of the oil. You might find it interesting that Curry leaves have nothing to do with the colloquial word 'curry' that is widely used in the western world as a generalization for spicy Indian dishes.
Usage - Curry leaves are used as a flavoring agent mainly in Southern India. These aromatic leaves are best used when they are fresh. They are generally used to flavor a dish right at the end of the preparation. The leaves are crushed by the hand to help release the flavor.

4. PEPPER :
Pepper is known as the 'King of all spices' and with reason. This is one of the spices that were responsible for making Indian spices famous during the medieval times. Pepper is derived from the berries of the pepper tree, and they come mainly in two varieties, black pepper and white pepper.
Usage - Black pepper is slightly different in taste from White pepper, one hits the tip of the tongue where as the other one hits the back of the tongue. The black pepper is the dried berry, whereas the white pepper is just the seed alone. They are used to flavor a variety of dishes from soups to the main courses.

5. CINNAMON :
Cinnamon is a spice derived from the bark of an evergreen tree. Cinnamon is native to India and as such, its uses range from that of a flavoring agent to a medicinal agent. Cinnamon oil can also be prepared from this bark. The Cinnamon is used both as a condiment as well as a flavoring agent and is light-yellowish brown in color.
Usage - Cinnamon stick is used in Indian cooking for the preparation of Pulao (also spelled Pilaf at times), Biryanis and certain curries. While using it to cook Pulao, one should saut the Cinnamon stick in a little bit of oil until one can feel the aroma wafting high. Cinnamon is also used in traditional medicine to treat toothaches as well as bad breath.

6. CORIANDER POWDER:
Coriander also known as Cilantro is a herb with a fresh, sweet aroma. The Coriander powder also known as Dhania powder is an essential item in almost every single Indian household. It is used as a flavoring agent in dals and curries. It imparts the dish with its unique aroma of freshness. The coriander seeds are first dried up, grounded into a powder form after which they are stored in dry packets.
Usage - The coriander powder is used in Curries, Rasam and Sambar. One of the unique abilities of this spice is to make the dish seem 'lighter'. The Coriander powder is used in the beginning of the preparation of the dish so as to impart is flavor to all the ingredients of the dish, whereas, Coriander leaves are usually sprinkled as garnish or finishing on top of prepared dishes.

7. BLACK CARDAMOM :
Black Cardamom also known as â€Bada Elachi†(Big Cardamom in Hindi) is well defined by the smoky aroma. It is widely used as a flavoring agent like its green cousin. The black Cardamom is widely used in cooking all the way from India to China and has found its place in a variety of dishes ranging from the erstwhile Biryani to the noodle soup.
Usage - Black Cardamom is defined by its smoky aroma and is not used in Sweets like the green cardamom. Instead, it is used primarily in the preparation of Dals, Curries and Biryanis. It has a strong pungent aroma which is better suited for the preparation of curries than a kheer. It is stored in the same way as the green cardamom and the pods are released just before adding it to the dish. The black cardamom is also used in the preparation of the famous Garam Masala, a popular blend of Indian spices, used in several North-Indian dishes.

8. GREEN CARDAMOM :
Green Cardamom is a small seed pod with black seeds in the shell. This is used primarily for flavoring anything from drinking water to a cup of Chai (Indian Tea). It is small in size compared to the other cardamom variety but packs quite a nice aroma inside its pod. The green cardamom is also used in medicine to treat infections of the teeth and the gums.
Usage - Green cardamom is used mainly as a flavoring agent and it is best stored in its pod itself. Typically the pod should be opened just before the green cardamom is to be added to the dish be it a Kheer or a glass of Chai. To get the best optimum effect, it is better to just crack the pod and add the whole thing into the dish.
9. SAFFRON :
Saffron is one of the most delicate spices in the whole world. It is derived by drying the stigma of the flower Saffron Crocos . This spice is used both as a coloring as well as a seasoning agent. This spice is also one of the most expensive ones and is valued greatly for its coloring abilities more than anything else.
Usage - Saffron is mostly used as a coloring agent in sweets as well as Kheers. It lends the Kheer a quaint yellow color and also imbibes it with the flavor as well. A few strands of Saffron are first taken and then grounded up in a bow with a small amount of milk. When the milk turns light orange, then it is ready to be added to the Kheer.
A special point of interest in Indian cooking, Saffron is always added at the end of the preparation of a dish. This is in contrast to the European dishes like the Paella, where the Saffron is added either at the beginning or half way through.

10. GINGER :
Ginger a perennial plant that adds its own bite to the food and is more of the stem than the root as is commonly believed. Ginger is found all over India and it has a pungent taste that is unmistakable. Ginger besides adding flavor to ones food is also known for its medicinal properties as well. Their medicinal uses range from being used in the preparation of many an Ayurveda drug to the ever famous 'Ginger tea'.
Culinary wise, Ginger has a place of its own. It is predominantly used in the grounded form in Indian cooking. It is used to flavor North-Indian curries as well as the South-Indian favorites - Rasam and Sambar.
Usage - Ginger is used as both fresh and dried forms. It is the fresh ones that give the bite to one's food. Ginger is utilized both in cooking and medicine. In cooking, Ginger is first grounded up and then used but there are a few Indian dishes where thin silvers of ginger are added up to the dish. Ginger is also predominantly used in Chinese foods as well.
Hope you find this listing helpful. Here's a piece of trivia for you to end this article - Did you know that India also has the only known 'Spice exchange' in the world? In fact, in the town of Kochi in Kerala, along the south-west border of the country, there is an exchange market that deals with one spice alone - Pepper. Trading goes on pretty much every day and it's quite interesting to watch. So the next time you are in Kerala, take a breather and pay a visit to their Spice Exchage.
Happy cooking!

Jitu Patel owns and operates India Oven Restaurant in Las Vegas. Visit Indian Recipes and Articles for more spicy articles.

Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/Spices-in-Indian-curry/302195

World Cup Trivia

Fun Things to Do in Toronto by Wisam Abdulaziz

Toronto, Ontario is Canada's largest city and business center. This lively city is filled upscale shops, quaint cultural communities, fine dining, and recreational and entertainment activities. There are many fun things to do do in Toronto that every member of the family enjoy, including the youngest children. If you are bringing your family to Toronto, below are a few fun things to do while staying in the friendly and vibrant city:

Interactive Adventure Parks: Both children and adults will enjoy experiencing an interactive adventure park. You will experience a variety of redemption games, arcade games, go-kart tracks, batting cages, outdoor mini-golf, as well as hundreds of attractions, simulator, rides, and bumper cars. As well, you can enjoy delicious meals, beverages, and snacks. Playdium is one example of a fun and exciting interactive adventure park.

Riverdale Farm: This farm is more than 7 acres of green space in downtown Toronto and replicates early 20th century Ontario farm life. The farm houses sheep, goats, pigs,cows, horses, chickens, and other farm animals. Riverdale Farm is in Old Cabbagetown, a attractively historic part of town. There are homemade items available for purchase at the historic Simpson House.

Ontario Science Center: The Ontario Science Center is all about hands-on science fun and learning. The Ontario Science Center has a IMAX theater, year-round exhibits, shows, and special exhibits. There are plenty of fun things for kids, teens , and adults to do.

Canada's Wonderland: Located about a 45 min drive outside of downtown Toronto, Canada's Wonderland is Canada's premier theme park. It contains many rides such as numerous exciting roller coasters,events, concerts, and educational programs.

Hockey Hall of Fame: The Hockey Hall of Fame contains exciting games and activities for the entire family. Special March Break events include: Mascot appearances, Olympic Medals display, autograph sessions, trivia contests, weekday Tales of the Cup fan forums, giveaways, and family games. There is a simulated rink where you can test your hockey skills.

Toronto Zoo: This zoo features over 5,000 animals. Watch the impressive Animal Show and explore: Splash Island, Zellers Discovery Zone featuring the "Kids Zoo", and the Great Barrier Reef Exhibit, and Sharks at Stingray Bay.

The Steelback Grand Prix of Toronto: This fun festival of international racers is held at Exhibition Place in the summer. You will see spectacular race cars and exciting off-track entertainment.

Royal Ontario Museum: The Royal Ontario Museum is Canada's largest museum of world cultures and natural history. Explore Ancient Egypt, dig for dinosaur bones, become a medieval knight in the CIBC Discovery Gallery, view the rare white rhino and a live coral reef.

Putting Edge: Putting Edge is an Indoor Glow-in-the-Dark Fun Center. There is a 18 - Hole Glow-in-the-Dark Mini Golf course and interactive Arcade games. The kids will love it.

Toronto's abundance of attractions, cultural diversity, theater, museums, festivals, art galleries, theme parks, kids interactive parks, restaurants, makes it a great city to explore with the whole family. You will never run out of things to do in Toronto, Canada.

Canadian company offering a large group of family entertainment attractions in Toronto. For Fun things to do in Toronto, visit our indoor playgrounds GTA, bowling alleys, go karting, batting cages and ask us for birthday party ideas.

Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/Fun-Things-to-Do-in-Toronto/1055271

World Cup Trivia

Unlikely Partners: BPO and FIFA! by jems hug

Who would have thought about BPO units having anything to do with football! After all, call center sectors are hardcore business enterprises and the FIFA World Cup is all about sports and entertainment. But if you belong to the 21st century, you can’t do anything to avoid the business process outsourcing industry, can you? True to its reputation of being omnipresent, the answering service agents are making the FIFA World Cup 2010 tick like the parts of a Swiss clock! Thanks to the relentless efforts of dedicated inbound call center employees working round the clock, visitors, fans and tourists are enjoying their stay in South Africa.

The tourism department of South Africa knew that the FIFA World Cup would be a logistical battle. With 9 weeks for the event to get underway, the department recruited a 25-member call center team. The aim of the inbound call center team was to provide all kinds of support for the football fans coming to the country to watch matches or just on a holiday. The BPO firm handling the project knew that the number of calls would shoot up as the tournament drew close. They were receiving some 100 calls every day. When the gala sporting event kicked off, the call volume went up to 1000 calls per day!

The call center managers realized that they had to inject more manpower to deal with the onslaught of eager FIFA World Cup Fans. The workforce went up to 50. The helpline numbers were flashed across the internet and distraught fans were encouraged to call the numbers for information on lodging, matches and transport conveyances. There was a definite pattern in which the inbound call center agents wanted things to progress. They were trying to place a method on this madness. Enquiry centers of this nature were just what the doctor ordered. Fans called up eagerly for information related to anything they got stuck with.

The South African FIFA World Cup committee was also interested to promote the event on the social media. The call center employees created Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. Fans and football freaks could post their queries on these pages. The inbound call center employees managing the accounts would answer those. The FIFA committee realizes that social media is the new-age way of promoting the event online. Generating revenue for the tourism and hospitality industry was also a primary driving focus for these efforts. Because the FIFA World Cup is a world event of this magnitude, fans across the globe would be interested in trivia as well, if not anything else!

Language was another issue that the call center units had to address. They had initially planned to offer their answering service facilities in 5 different international languages. However, as the calls started tumbling in, the inbound call center team decided to include 2 more languages into their oeuvre. The BPO agents now have more on their plate than they had bargained for. But they are not complaining. They would feel themselves rewarded when the curtains come down on this event without any major goof-up.

We offer a wide array of call center and BPO services. To check out more on our outbound call center services, check out our website.

Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/Unlikely-Partners--BPO-and-FIFA-/789128

World Cup Trivia

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