HomeFood & DrinksPaan (Betel Leaves): The After-Dinner Sweetener Goes FashionablePaan (Betel Leaves): The After-Dinner Sweetener Goes Fashionable

Paan (Betel Leaves): The After-Dinner Sweetener Goes Fashionable

Image Credits: Instagram/fervilares

I learnt how to make paan from my eldest aunt. Every Sunday, she would open her big silver box, take out the freshly washed paan leaf, break the stem and hand it over to me. As I chewed on the stem, I would watch her lovingly smear a hint of slaked lime paste, sprinkle betel nut that she’d chop herself (she had a special nut cutter for it), add some black cardamom and fold it in gently before popping it in her mouth. She would make one for my grandmother too. That was their Sunday after-meal regime. Sometimes, if my grandmother felt generous, she would pick the smallest leaf from the box and give it to me. It was the best digestive on the planet, they would say.

I grew up in a family of paan-poppers, but no one else was allowed to touch my aunt’spaan ka dabba. The others had to source their customised paans from the local paanwala– some meetha (sweet) and some saada (plain). Plus, there were other requests too – less lime, more nuts, a little sweet, etc. The kids were of course, never given any.  Oddly, we never quite picked up on the habit either, which is why I ate my first meetha paan when I was probably in college. I had discovered the gulkand (the rose petal preserve) by then – a sickly sweet mix that I had read was good for health.

Who would have thought that the paan would eventually become inspiration for nouveaufood that had nothing to do with the original betel leaf!

My first experiment with a non-paan paan was at an Indian restaurant called The Pink Poppadum in Bengaluru about five years ago. They served something called a paan shotat the end of our dinner. It was possibly a blend of sweet paan leaves, cardamom seeds, ice cream or cold milk, and gulkand. I hated it. The idea of having to drink something that deserved the customary chewing, felt like I was betraying an age-old practice. But in little time, paan shots began to appear on the menu of upscale Indian restaurants across the country. Celebrity chefs by then had created their own recipes of paan shots too.

Today a paan shot will probably be considered too basic, given the various kinds of experiments that are going on with the betel leaf and its essence.

There’s of course the paan kulfi, which I have been told has been available in Mumbai for generations. I remember standing near Chowpatty at a local kulfi shop, waiting in queue to try one. By then, my fascination for paan had waned. But it was more about trying something new that I had heard so much about. The slightly granular texture of the kulfidid capture the essence of the paan well, definitely way better than the paan flavoured ice cream I came to eat much later in Bengaluru again. In fact, Pabrai’s at HSR Layout in the city serves a paan ice cream which reportedly has 17 different ingredients includingmulethi (an ingredient that’s good for a sore throat). Rumour has it that one can even find a paan gelato (did I just hear the Italians groan?), though I am yet to find one.

Image Credits: www.foodiye.com/Nishant

Chai Point in Bengaluru, which is the saviour of most chai addicts at work, offers something called a paan kulfi shake. It’s a simple recipe of blended kulfi flavoured withpaan syrup.

Talking about drinking paan, the Novotel Bengaluru had come up with a cocktail called the Swadesh Videsh Paan. It was a giddy mix of white rum, Bailey’s, betel leaf, gulkand, andmeetha paan masala. I am pretty certain that for those who like their cocktails sweet, it would have been a massive hit.

Given that the paan is considered to be one of the best after-meal treats, it was only a matter of time that it got into the dessert books. La Folie Patisserie in Colaba Mumbai makes a decent paan gulkand macaron. I am not sure if it will remind of walking the streets of Varanasi, but it tastes good, provided you can handle the sugar rush.

And then there’s the paan mousse at SpiceKlub in Lower Parel – a ‘fusion’ restaurant. Making the most of molecular gastronomy (and in this country, it often means using liquid nitrogen to its maximum) this dish comes with a paan leaf wrapped around mousse, and then frozen with liquid nitrogen. So, there’s a lot of smoke when it comes to your table, but very little fire.


Vivendi increases Gameloft Bid for the second one Time

Vivendi Raises Gameloft Bid for the Second Time

French media institution Vivendi raised its unsolicited bid for mobile video video games maker Gameloft forthe second time on Thursday, including strain on the founding Guillemot family.

Vivendi, led through billionaire Vincent Bollore, elevated its gentle offer to EUR eight a percentage from EUR 7.20 previously, it stated in assertion. This values Gameloft at approximately EUR 680 million ($761.eight million), in comparison to 610 million formerly.

Vivendi has received 29.37 percentage of Gameloft’s shares and 26.forty seven percent of its ballotingrights to this point, it said. It released its bid in February and has concurrently constructed up a 17.7percentage stake in Ubisoft, Gameloft’s larger sister organisation.

each moves are taken into consideration adversarial by means of Guillemot family, which founded the 2agencies and manage their respective forums.

Vivendi, which has refocused its commercial enterprise around time-honored music group and pay-television enterprise Canal+ institution, desires to re-input the video games commercial enterprise to enhance its role within the content and media region, having disposed of Activision snowstorm in 2013 tolessen its debt pile.

Gameloft misplaced an appeal to droop Vivendi’s smooth provide in advance this month, French markets regulator AMF stated, setting may additionally 27 because the closing date for a bid.

The video game maker had filed a request to suspend the bid in order that a separate criticismassociated with the takeover offer by using Vivendi might be tested. That second prison manner is stillongoing.

buying and selling in Gameloft was formerly suspended on Thursday following a request from AMF. it’s going to resume on Friday, it stated.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: Apps, Gameloft, Gaming, Vivendi

10 Web Design Terms You Need to Know


Web Design can be a very intimidating venture for those who are new to it. It contains language all on its own. Whether you are creating a website on your own, or working with a Web Developer, this list of 10 Web Design terms will help you better understand the process and create a clearer line of communication among those working on the project:


A graphic placed around a website, usually at the top, for advertising. They can be static images, text, or animated. Banners are great to draw attention to special offers and promotions on your website.

Domain name:

A domain name is a name that identifies a computer or computers on the Internet. These names appear as a part of a Website’s URL. For example, in www.itvibes.com – itvibes is the domain name.


HTML stands for “HyperText Markup Language,” it is the language used to create and format web pages.


A hyperlink, or link, connects one web page to other web pages either on the same website (internal linking), or web pages located on another website (external linking).


JPEG stands for “Joint Photographic Experts Group,” JPEGs are flexible types of photo files that can be made smaller for websites.


Navigation refers to the menus, links, icons and buttons on your site, along with where they are and where they take a use

Outbound link:

Outbound links are links that take you to an external website.


PDF stands for “Portable Document Format,” they were first developed by Adobe. PDF’s include a document with text, fonts, graphics, and other information needed to display it.


PNG stands for “Portable Network Graphics.” It is an image format ideal for compression and displaying images on the web. They can be edited for millions of colors, as well as transparent backgrounds.


The number of pixels in an image

The further in depth you go into web design, the more complex it becomes. However, with an understanding of these important web design terms, you are placing yourself in a position to be able to understand basic web design aspects. For more information on web design and development, contact us today!


Solid support for Apple in iPhone encryption fight

Apple loses patent suit, faces $862-mn fineNearly half of Americans support Apple’s decision to oppose a federal court order demanding that it unlock a smartphone used by San Bernardino shooter Rizwan Farook, according to a national online Reuters/Ipsos poll.

46% of respondents said they agreed with Apple’s position, 35% said they disagreed and 20% said they did not know, according to poll results released on Wednesday.

Read more from our special coverage on “APPLE ENCRYPTION”

  • NYC police: Apples encryption technology hinders criminal probes

Other questions in the poll showed that a majority of Americans do not want the government to have access to their phone and Internet communications, even if it is done in the name of stopping terror attacks.

The responses to the privacy questions in the poll are similar to results from a 2013 Reuters/Ipsos poll, showing a consistent desire on the part of Americans to keep their phone, Internet communications and other data private.

Most of those polled also feel that unlocking Farook’s phone would set a dangerous precedent that authorities would use to force the company to unlock more phones, a claim that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook made in an open letter to customers last week.

When asked if the government would use the ability to unlock phones to “spy on iPhone users,” 55% said they agreed, 28% disagreed and the rest said they were not sure.

“I don’t believe in giving up our right to privacy in order to make people feel safer,” said Steve Clevenger, a 55-year-old real-estate appraiser from Wheelersburg, Ohio, who took part in the poll and is supporting Apple.

“The government overstepped its bounds with the Patriot Act and they are likely to do it again,” he said, referring to a 2001 law that eased federal investigators’ access to people’s communications and financial records.

When asked if the U.S. government should be able to look at data on Americans’ phones to protect against terror threats, 46% agreed, 42% disagreed and the rest said they were not sure.

The government has said Apple must help because there is no way to get at the data on Farook’s phone without the company engineering a special software solution. Apple executives have refused, saying it is an onerous request that puts the security of its customers at risk.

Mike Kostrzewa, a 69-year-old retiree from Fairfax, Virginia, said he believed Apple should comply with the court order. “If a person has nothing to hide, there is no reason they should be afraid of the government looking at specific content with a warrant,” said Kostrzewa, one of the poll’s respondents.

Younger Americans are more likely than older Americans to agree with Apple’s stand. Of those between 18 and 39 years old, 64% agreed with the company’s decision to oppose the court order. That is nearly twice the percentage of older people who are supporting Apple.

The poll results reflect a deep sense of skepticism among Americans about the security of their information, said Ipsos pollster Chris Jackson.

Privacy concerns have grown in response to revelations about U.S. government surveillance programs as well as a constant stream of high-profile security breaches that compromised consumer records including credit cards numbers, email logins and medical information, he said.

“People are very distrusting of everybody, but Americans actually trust Apple a bit more than the government on some issues,” Jackson said.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll shows that large numbers of Americans want to keep their phone records, text messages, emails and other Internet activity private.

For example in this month’s poll, 69% said they would not give up email privacy even if it would help the government foil foreign terror plots and 75% said they would be unwilling to give up text-message privacy for the same reason.

Opinion on whether Apple is right is divided by political party lines: 54% of Democrats agree with Apple, while only 37% of Republicans support the company.

Donald Trump, front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, last week said he would boycott the company’s products until it unlocks the phone.

Democratic U.S. Representative Ted Lieu on Tuesday asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to rescind the unlock order.

“There is this tension: Americans want terrorists to be prosecuted, but in the context of issues about security and privacy, it becomes a much more nuanced discussion,” Jackson said.

On Monday, Pew Research Center said its polling found that 51% of Americans believe Apple should unlock the phone and just 38% support the company’s refusal.

The Pew question provided less information about Apple’s concerns and mentioned that the FBI’s need is “an important part” of their investigation. (pewrsr.ch/1RiI8dB)

The Reuters/Ipsos poll question on the same issue stated the company’s position, which is that complying with the request would set a precedent that would require it to provide similar assistance in future cases.

The online survey was conducted Feb. 19 to 23 with more than 1,500 U.S. adults, as Apple and the government made public statements to sway public opinion in the high-stakes case. It has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.8% points for all respondents.

FBI spokesman Christopher Allen declined comment on the poll results. Apple did not respond to requests for comment.


Amazon to Start Air Delivery Network With Leasing Deal

Amazon to Start Air Delivery Network With Leasing Deal

Amazon.com Inc said on Wednesday it had signed a deal to lease 20 Boeing 767 wide body freighter aircraft to handle more of its own deliveries in the United States.

The deal comes at a time when the world’s biggest online retailer is offering ever-faster, and increasingly free, deliveries for millions of online orders.

Amazon, which relies on carriers like United Parcel Service Inc and FedEx Corp to deliver most of its packages, spent $11.5 billion on shipping last year.

In a bid to assume more control over its supply chain and reduce costs, Amazon has rolled out thousands of trailers and launched a programme that uses contract drivers to deliver fast orders.

But analysts said the long-rumoured plan to build its own air fleet posed little threat to the leading delivery companies.

“This is an incremental negative for FDX and UPS as it will likely remove some higher yielding express freight and parcel volume from each of the respective networks,” RBC Capital Markets analyst John Barnes wrote in a client note.

UPS, the world’s No. 1 package delivery company, operates about 240 large planes while FedEx has a fleet of about 370, Barnes noted. FedEx and UPS shares were down about 1.5 percent.

FedEx said on Wednesday the announcement was not a surprise and called Amazon a valuable customer.

“We work closely with Amazon and have been aware for some time about their need for supplemental air capacity related to inventory management,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, senior vice president of integrated marketing and communications at FedEx.

The leased planes will start to go into operation on April 1, Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Cheeseman said in an email.

Amazon has been testing deliveries by drones but has not said when they would be in service.

The duration of the leases will be five to seven years, lessor Air Transport Services Group Inc said.

As part of the agreement, Amazon has the right to buy up to 19.9 percent of ATSG’s stock over five years at $9.73 per share.

ATSG’s stock soared almost 27 percent to a record high of $14.90, before paring gains to about 16 percent.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: Amazon, Boeing, Boeing 767, FedEx, Internet, United Parcel Service