Pinterest Told Me To Make: Rhubarb Strawberry Lemonade

Rhubarb Strawberry Lemonade

I have more than 100+ recipes pinned on my Pinterest Recipes Inspiration board.
They all sit there – as eye candy. The boards are usually full/ brimming with ideas but never are they implemented.I have really never attempted to make them.

I am sure that is the case of most of us who spend all our free time pinning. Doesn’t matter if its arts/crafts, style, home or food related.

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Murgh Makhani or Restaurant Style Butter Chicken

Murgh Makhani Butter Chicken

We had friends visiting one Friday evening. They were in SF only for the evening and we had them over for dinner.

We ordered take out food as I was not up for cooking for so many folks. But I baked us a cake.The cake as luck would have it didn’t turn out well. It was nice and soft out of the oven but then fell flat and was dense. It was weird. Soft and dense.

To salvage it, I decided to serve it with some whipped cream. As in store bough whipped cream. You know,cool whip makes everything seem better.

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Cherry Blossom Festival @ Japantown

Northern California Cherry Blossom

Last weekend, while Vipul was in Japan, Varun, Dad and I visited Japantown in SF.

Handling an active 3 1/2-year-old and a new-born is a challenge. When the energy is not channeled, it leads to the said preschooler wanting to play with the baby, singing loudly near the baby waking the baby up from his nap (which he finally does after hours of nursing and fussing), which agitates the baby leading to loud crying, time outs and more crying.

The best way to prevent this cycle and drama that goes with it was to take him out for an hour or so.

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Ambat Tikhat Kolambi – Hot and Sour Shrimp Curry

Hot and Sour Shrimp curry

My mom is a pure vegetarian. But she knew we loved fish and shrimp and she used to cook 3- 4 “non vegetarian” dishes for us. Shrimp pulav, fried pomfret, stuffed surmai and fish curry.

She had learnt them from her best friend, right down to the salt and seasonings as she couldn’t taste test it.

Hot and Sour Shrimp curry

Every Sunday morning (or at least every alternate Sunday morning), Mom’s best friend would call. The kolin or the fish monger would come to their house. My mom would have told her to buy fish or shrimp for us. The call was to arrange pickup. Mom used to make me go downstairs to pick up the parcel. Her friend’s son used to come half way and sheepishly hand me the carefully wrapped parcel. I used to sneak it in averting the gaze of my “pure vegetarian” neighbors. 

It was not as scandalous as when my grand mom used to visit and we literally used to scrub down the kitchen to remove any traces of non-vegetarian food smell in our house from cups, spoons, plates etc.

Hot and Sour Shrimp curry

It’s thanks to this and my mom’s best friends recipes that I had some insight into some yummy seafood. Green chillies, freshly ground coconut, kokum. Fresh seafood.

Vipul is in Japan this week for work.While I know he will love food there, before leaving, he wanted to have his fill of Indian food. I made him mom style hot and sour shrimp curry.

If you have ever been to Gajalee, you will know the kind of curry that I am talking about. The heat of the curry is mind-blowing. And the sourness of tamarind and kokum adds a different dimension. This is coastal Maharashtrian cuisine at its best! Coconutty, spicy and with fresh seafood!

I made this for Vipul before he went to Japan for a 10 day work trip. To remind him what good Indian food he will miss while he is stuffing his face with sushi/sashimi/soba/udon/ramen.

Hot and Sour Shrimp curry

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CashKaro – It Pays To Send Gifts to India!

This post is sponsored by

That said,  all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are 100% my own and based on my personal experience with the product. 

Mom and Dad are here since February. They will be here for another couple of months to help out with the baby.

When they think I am sleeping, I hear them talk about Pari- my neice in Mumbai. They miss her. They tell Varun stories about her. My technophobic mom is learning to Skype just so she can see her grand-daughter. There are a few Varun’s toys that she likes and wants to take back for Pari. Or if she is out an about or sees me browsing children’s sites online she points out things that Pari will love.

So, I thought I will send something to Pari as a gift from grandparents. I had a couple of items on Flipkart and (both sites that we have used extensively while we were in India) shopping cart which I never checked out due to various reasons ( lack of sleep being mainly the most vital!).

Procrastination paid off, as I learnt about CashKaro- India’s No.1  cash back and coupons site.

What is CashKaro?

On the same lines as Bing Cashback, CashKaro works with various retailers ( Jabong, FlipKart, Myntra, BabyOye,,, Goibibo amongst 500 + other retailers); to provide cash back on products/services shopped on those sites. In other words, as a consumer, we get paid to shop online. We get the same discounts/offers etc that are available on these sites and plus we get a 5 – 10% cash back (varies based on retailer/ product) or additional discount coupons for future use.

How does CashKaro work?

There are 3 parties involved in working of CashKaro – the retailer(like Myntra, Jabong, etc), consumers (like you and me ) and  the publisher – CashKaro. CashKaro is a platform that publishes retailers offers on its website. It becomes another marketing channel for the retailers. Every time Myntra gets a sale from CashKaro, they pay CashKaro a commission and from this commission, they give us consumers a portion back in terms of cash back. A portion is retailed as revenue for them. This model benefits everyone – especially us consumers. We would have paid to shop on FlipKart or Goibibo anyways. Getting money back is cherry on top! After all, who doesn’t like to be paid to shop :)

For this system to work, we have to visit the retailers site via CashKaro site. That way they know which discount/offer we are trying to avail. We conclude the transaction on the retailers site (including the payment/shipping-delivery etc). The order confirmation and shipping/delivery emails are from the retailer.

Within 72 hours of transaction completion, you will see that the cash back is posted to your CashKaro account as “Pending”.

Once the retailer pays CashKaro, they pay us.

And then you can cash out the balance as a check or a bank deposit.

My Experience

  1. Create an account:

I created an account for CashKaro. That was fairly easy process – select a username/email/ password and you are set to go. Alternately, you could use your Facebook ID to join. It saves the hassle of remembering yet another password.

  1. Browse for Offers:

We were looking for a gift for my baby neice. I checked out the deals on Amazon, BabyOye, Myntra etc. had a blanket upto 7.5% cash back on any products so I decided to shop there.

The site itself is fairly easy to navigate. You can see the Retailers list and choose to “View deals” offered by each of them.

Sponsored CashKaro

Once you know the deal/offer that you are interested in, you click on the big blue button to activate the offer and visit the retailers site.

Sponsored CashKaro

In our case, I showed mom how to activate the offer.

3. Payment and Delivery:

Once on amazon, I browsed as usual, added the items to my cart and checked out/paid using my account. I did use Cash on Delivery option just because I know that is very popular payment method in India.

The item was delivered to my brother by amazon successfully and I got an email confirmation of delivery.

4. Cashback Tracked

Within 3 days, I saw an email pop up confirming that my cash back is tracked and added to my account as pending.

Note-  It will take another 8 – 10 weeks for the cash back to be “actually” paid into my account.

Would I Use It Again?

Definitely, why not?

I have a huge family in India. With birthday’s, anniversaries, festivals I am usually sending a gift or two home. If I get paid to do the same, its all the more reason not to forget an anniversary or a birthday!

Also, discount codes on popular restaurants, flowers, chocolates, it makes it easier (on the wallet) to send a gift home!

Give a try. You may like the savings too!

Psst: Sign up using my Cashkaro Referral Link. I will get a % of cash back as referral bonus. You don’t need to use a referral link to use CashKaro but if you do use it, it helps tiny bit to help defray cost of hosting this site :)

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