29 October, 2006

Happy Halloween

It's Halloween! The spooks are flying 'n the ghouls are haunting everyone to a frightful fun time!


Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting, Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing, For a charmof powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
- William Shakespeare

Wishing You All a Bewitching Halloween!!!

Pav Bhaji

When I left India with me came one big carton of different masalas. Among them was one pack of Pav Bhaji Masala. I never tried making pav Bhaji back in India because in every nook and corner of any street you will find these Gaadiwala's or Fast food corner who are expert in making Pav Bhajis. But here...No such luck!!! So with the help of my mom on phone and direction from my hubby here some how I managed to pull it out. And this happened some 10 months back and that 1 pack of Pav Bhaji Masala got over loooooooong time ago. Till now I have lost the count of times we have cooked Pav Bhaji as our special treat for weekends. Now I can say that I too can compete with other Gaadiwala's when it comes to Pav Bhaji;)
Here is the recipe for making Pav Bhaji. You may have to go to a nearby Asian Indian store to get the 'Pav Bhaji Masala' that is the special spice to bring the flavor (Masala means spice). Pav is actually the buns. Bhaji is the vegetables cooked with spice.

Yummyyy...Pav Bhaji


Ingredients:
10 Pav (breads)
2 Large Potatoes
1/2 cup Green Peas
2 Carrots
1/4 Cauliflower
1/2 cup Beans
3 big tomatoes
2 Onions
1 big Capsicum
1/2 tbsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tbsp Red chilli Powder
50 gms Butter
2 tbsp Pav Bhaji Masala
1/2 tbsp Dhania/coriander Pwder
Salt and sugar to taste

Grind together:
2 Green Chillies
1/2 inch Ginger
6 flakes of Garlic


Pav Bhaji

Method:
Cut carrots, cauliflower and beans into small pieces and pressure cook with green peas.
Peel the cooked potatoes and mash.
Melt butter into a shallow pan, season with Jerra/cumin seeds.
Add onions and fry till it turns golden brown.
To this add ground masala and fry.
Mix finely chopped tomatoes and fry till it is mashed properly.
Add mashed potatoes, chopped capsicum, other cooked vegetables, salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder, dhania powder, pav bhaji masala and little sugar.
Pour just enough water to make it into thick garvy.
take two laddles or masher and mash the vegetables with then thouroughly when it is boiling.
when the garvy becomes thick remove from flame and serve hot with garnished with chopped coriander leaves.



To serve:
Cut pav/bun horizontally into half.
Apply butter and heat on tawa.
Put little masala inside and serve with little more masala on its side.
Serve finely chopped onions and lime pieces as accompaniments.


All time fav-Pav Bhaji

Tomato Omlette

It's a pure veggi Omlette - nutritious and healthy. Here is a recipe of Tomato Omlette which is a favorite breakfast of my family. It can be made in few minutes of time and what more...it tastes really good too.

Pure Veggi-Tomato Omlette
Ingredients:
1 cup of Plain flour/Maida
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Tomatoes, Finely Chopped
2 Green Chillies, Finely Chopped
1 spoon of red chill powder
3 tbsp Tomato Puree
1/4 spoon of jeera
Few Coriander leaves
Pinch of Cooking Soda
Salt to taste

Tomato Omlette
Method:
Mix salt, chilli powder, soda with maida.
Add all chopped onion, tomatoes, chillies and coriander leaves.
Heat little oil and add jeera. After jeera starts crackling mix it with the batter.
Add little water to make it a batter - batter should be in pouring consistency.
Heat the tawa pour little of the batter and spread it well - cook both the sides.
Serve hot with chutney, pickle or sauce.
Tomato Omlette

Sprouted Moong Dal Curry

Moong dal(whole or split) is used to make delicious dals and curries. Moong dal in particular is very easy to digest. They take on seasonings and spices very well. For me dal is a very comforting food just like any other rich foods.
Here is a recipe for simple and quick sprouted moon dal curry which I served with Jeera Rice for Sunday's Diwali Lunch. It's big hit with everyone now and I'm planning to cook it again very soon.

Sprouted Moong Curry


Ingredients:
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
2 cups Sprouted Moong dal(Green gram)
1 Onion, Chopped finely
1/4 cup Double Cream
Few Curry Leaves
2 tbsp Chopped Coriander leaves
2 tbsp of Lemon Juice
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil

Grind together:
2 Tomatoes
1 inch Ginger
3 Garlic pods
1 tbsp Garam Masala
2 cloves
1 inch Cinnamon Stick
2 Cradamom
1 Maratha moggu
1 tsp Amchur Powder
1 tsp Coriander/Dhania Powder

Sprouted Moong Dal Curry

Method:
Cook sprouted moong dal in pressure cooker and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add jeera and curry leaves.
To this add chopped onions and fry till it turns crisp.
Now add ground paste and fry in medium flame till oil separates from it.
Add cooked moong dal, cream, salt, lemon juice and cook till the gravy thickens.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with pooris/roties or rice.


Sprouted Moong Dal Curry ready to serve

28 October, 2006

Aloo Kofta

Last week we had invited one of our family friends for our Sunday Diwali Lunch. I wanted to cook something different than usual currys and subjis. After long brainstorming session with my better half and rejecting almost every suggestion from him at last I settled for aloo kofta.
Kofta’s has always maintained a special place in Indian cuisine, when it's good, nothing beats it, but even when it's bad, it's better than most of the other options.
Here is a very simple recipe, agian from my mom's kitchen. Well...Did I say simple recipe? Yup...its indeed. Try it and you will know how simple it is to make kofta's at home.


Rich Aloo Koftas

Ingredients:

For Koftas:
2 Potatoes
1 Carrot, finely chopped or grated
1/4 cup Green Peas
2 Green chillies, finely chopped
2 tbsp Gram flour
1 tbsp Garam Masala
2 tbsp Raisin
2 tbsp crushed Cashwew nuts
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Plain flour/Maida
Oil for deep frying

For Gravy:
1 Onion, Chopped
2 Tomatoes, Chopped
1 tbsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1/2 tbsp Kitchen King Masala(optional)
1/2 cup Cream
1 tbsp Butter
Salt to taste
Grind together:
1 Onion
2 Cloves
1/2 inch Cinnamon
2 Cardamom
1 inch Ginger
3 Garlic pods

Kofta stuffing


Method:
For Kofta:
Boil potatoes, peel and mash it. Add finely cut carrots and steam cooked green peas to it.
Mix it together with salt, chillies, gram flour, garam masala, cashwes and raisins.
Make into lime sized balls and coat them with think flour paste mixed with water.
Deep fry until they turn golden brown in medium flame and keep aside.

For Gravy:
Heat butter in a pan, fry onions until crisp.
To this add ground masala, garam masala, kitchen king masala, chilli powder and fry in medium flame till oil separates from it.
Add chopped tomatoes, cream, salt and enough water and allow the gravy to boil till it becomes tthick.
Gently slip koftas and boil for a minute.
Serve Koftas with rice or roties.

Mmm...Kofta...

Moong Sprout Kosambari

Kosambari is a popular south Indian dish. It's very common during festivals in Karnataka.

Colourful Kosambari

Ingredients:
1 Carrot, grated
1 Tomato, chopped
3 tbsp chopped Cucumber
1/4 cup Sprouted Moong dal(or just plain moong dal soaked in water for 1/2 hr)
2 tbsp Grated Coconut
1 Green chilli, finely chopped
Juice of half lemon
1 tbsp chopped Coriander leaves
Salt to taste

For Seasoning:
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Urad dal
1 tsp Oil

Kosambari

Method:
In a salad bowl mix all the ingredients.
Season the salad with mustard seeds and urad dal in 1 tsp of oil.
Mix well and serve.

Kosambari

Badam(Almond) Halwa

Badam Halwa is a traditional dish from the northern region of India delicacy that does full justice to the creamy texture and flavor of almonds.

Lip Smacking Badam Halwa

Ingredients:
1 cup Badam/Almonds
11/2 cups Sugar
30 gms Ghee
3-4 Cardamom
1/4 cup Milk
Few stings of Saffron

Badam Halwa

Method:
Soak the Badam for 1/2 hour in hot water and peel the skin off.
Grind them to smooth paste with milk and keep it aside.
Take sugar in a kadai, add some water to it and boil it until you get a thin string.
To this add ground paste and mix it well.
Then add the ghee little by little and stir it well. Keep the gas in medium flame.
After 8 minutes switch off the gas and remove the kadai from heat and keep on stirring.
As it starts getting cold it will become solid.
Then spread it in a plate and sprinkle almond flakes.

Badam Halwa

Tip:
While stirring, the halwa will become thick and it will come along with the spatula you are stirring with without sticking to the bottom, that is the sign for the halwa being done.
If stirred for a longer duration, you will be able to enjoy delicious almond barfi pieces.

26 October, 2006

Tukkudi

Tukkudi as we call it in Mangalore, has always been my favourite 'any time munching itty bits'... I never tried to make it until now. This is a very simple recipe and takes just over 10 minutes of your time. As the temperature is falling to single digit, its a great snack to cook and store and its a must-must with a hot 'n strong cup of coffee...

Tukkudis
Ingredients:
1 cup Plain flour(Maida)
1 tbsp Red chilli powder(acc to taste)
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin seeds
1 tsp Ghee(optional)
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Tukkudis -a small bites
Method:
Mix the above ingredients with a little water and knead into a soft dough.
Divide dough into equal parts and roll out into thick chappatis.
Cut with a cookie cutter or knife into small diamond shapes.
Deep fry in oil over slow flame till light golden brown.
Drain well and keep aside till cool.
Store in clean, dry containers.

Panasa Thonalu

Panasa Thonalu is a South Indian sweet dish which i found in food blogger buddy KrishnaArjuna's Blog. Its such a simple dish and can be prepared when you dont have much time and your friends are about to bang your door. The ingredients used are same which I use to make Malpuri (Soon I will Post). You can always try giving different shape to this sweet and give your own name.
Panasa Thonalu
Ingredients:
Maida(all purpose flour) - 2 cups
Ghee(clarified butter) - 4 tbsps
Water - enough for kneading the flour
Oil - For frying
For the Syrup:
Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup

Panasa Thonalu
Method:
The syrup making process: Mix the sugar and water in a skillet and let it sit on medium heat stirring it every couple of minutes. In about 20 mins the syrup should be ready. Its always recommended to prepare syrup ahead of time.

Mix the maida(all purpose flour) and ghee by adding a little water . Knead the dough for a few minutes(consistency should be similar to chapathi dough). Cover the dough with wet kitchen towel and let it sit for a half hour.
Take walnut sized balls of the flour and roll them flat like a roti(shape doesn't matter). Make a few slits lengthwise keeping the ends intact. Now roll each of the rotis into a bundle and slightly press the ends so that they would look similar to the one in the following picture.. and there, you have a panasa thona! Repeat the process for the whole dough.
Heat oil in a kadai and when the oil is hot enough. Fry the panasa thonalu till they turn light brown. Take them out of the oil and drain the oil on a paper towel. Transfer them immediately into the sugar syrup.
Let the pananthonalu cool off a little bit before transferring them into a storage container.
Panasa Thonalu

18 October, 2006

Jeera(Cumin) Rice

Jeera is the second most important spice in Indian cuisine (after coriander). It was first cultivated in Ancient Egypt and the Romans used it as we use pepper.
In Indian cuisine, cumin is an important ingredient in most curries, pilau rice and certain breads. When mixed with ground coriander, it forms the basis of most curry powders and masalas. Cumin is a spice that can be used whole just as it can be used ground and often a mixture of both forms is required in several recipes. The seeds are also used in snacks and appetisers and when dry roasted, cumin is an essential flavouring in the Gujarati drink lassi.
Here is the simple recipe to cook Jeera Rice. I often prepare it with some curry as side dish.

Jeera Rice served with Mushroom Masala

Ingredients:
2 Cups Basmati Rice
2 Tbsp Ghee
1½ Tbsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
½ Cup Milk (optional)
1 inch Cinnamon Stick
3 Cloves
3 Green Cardamom
1 Bay Leaf
Salt to taste

Jeera Rice

Method:
Soak rice in water for half an hour and drain.
Heat ghee in pressure cooker and add cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cloves and green cardamom and saute it for a minute. Add jeera or cumin seeds to the spices.
Fry till jeera starts sizzle and then add washed rice.
Fry rice for about 2-3 minutes till it’s covered with ghee.
Add salt, milk and 3 and half cups of water and mix well.
Close the lid and pressure cook rice for about 10-15 minutes.
Serve hot jeera rice with any curry of your choice.

Jeera Rice


Did you know?
Cumin is said to keep lovers faithful and was often used in love potions. It has been used as a condiment in England since the 13th century and was a taxable import into London from 1419. It has also been used by Ayurvedic practitioners.


Masala Dosa

One thing which I missed the most during my hostel days was Big M...Yup, its my Mom's speciality dish...the crispy, tasty, wonderful Masala Dosa. My mom is the best cook(better than MTR:) when it comes to masala dosa. Everytime I went home on short leave from hostel, I was always embraced with big hug from mom and big plate of Masala dosas. For me its a King of all Dosas. I can never match the special taste of mom's cooking but I'm getting used to cooking well for my standards:) Here is my humble recipe for preparing quick and easy and also tasty masala dosa. Oh...I got the big thumbs-up from my Hubby too;)



Masala Dosa with Red Chutney


Ingredients:
For Dosa:
2 cups Rice
3/4 cup Urad Dal
1/4 cup Moong Dal(Green Gram)
2 tbsp Methi Seeds
1/2 cup Poha
Salt to taste

For Poato Curry/Bhaji:
1 big Onion, sliced thinly
3 medium Potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
1 inch chopped Ginger
1 tsp Termaric Powder
2 Green Chillies, slit
Fresh chopped Coriander leaves
Salt to taste
For Seasoning:
1 tbsp Mustard
1 tbsp Urad Dal
2-3 Dry Red Chillies
Few Curry leaves
Pinch of Hing

For Red Chutney:
1/2 cup Coconut
1/2 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
2-3 Dry Red Chillies
1/2 inch Ginger
1/2 tsp Tarmarind Paste
Salt to taste

Masala Dosa

Method:
For Red Chutney:
Grind all the ingredients in a mixi/food processor to smooth paste adding enough water and keep it aside.

Dosa with Red Chutney


For Potato Bhaji/Curry:
Take little oil in a pan and add all seasoning ingredients and fry till it starts spluttering.
To this add sliced onions and chopped ginger and cook till onions turn translucent.
Add slit chillies, mashed potatoes, salt and little water and mix them well.
To this add termaric powder and chopped coriander leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes mixing well.
Remove the pan from gas and keep it aside.

Dosa with Potato Bhaji


For Dosa:
Soak rice, urad dal, moong dal and methi in water for 4-5 hours or over night.
Grind all the ingredients with Poha, salt and enough water to smooth paste.
Its recommended to keep this batter to stand overnight.
Next day heat the tava/pan and put little ghee/cooking oil.
Spread the batter on tava and spread the red chutney evenly.
Cook it till the dosa turns brown and crispy.
Add a tsp of Ghee on top of it and a 2 tbsp of Potato bhaji/curry.
Fold the dosa in middle and serve hot.

Crispy Masala Dosa ready to serve


13 October, 2006

Moong Dal Vada

As I was thinking what to make for evening snack, got this recipe from my Atte. She got this recipe from one of her potluck party friend. Voila!!! Now its a big hit with my 'much' better half. Its such a simple recipe yet tastes great. They are crispy outside and soft inside.
Moong Dal Vada served with Tomato Sauce


Ingredients:
1 cup of Moong dal(Yellow)
1/2 cup Maida/Plain flour
1 tbsp Rice flour
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
Few finely chopped Coriander leaves
1 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Cumin/Jeera seeds
1 inch Ginger, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Ingredients


Method:
Soak moong daal in water water for 1-2 hours.
To this add all the ingredients usuing as little water as possible.
Make small balls and press them little.
Deep fry them in oil.
Fry them in medium flame till they turn golden brown.
Serve them hot with tomato sauce or any chutney.

Moong Dal Vada

Gobi/Cauliflower Uttappa

Dosa and idli are the main breakfast dishes in South India. Uttappa is another version of dosa with your choice of vegetable topping. When I was a kid Amma used to make it for me and my sis with all 2 big eyes, button nose and 100 watt smile with different vegetables and they used to be our favourite tiffin item to school. It not only used to be a big hit among our friends but also a very nutritive food highly rich in proteins. Its good for growing children and people of all age low fat nutritive food for calorie conscious and diet freeks.

Gobi Uttappa served with Tomato Cutney


Ingredients:
1 cup Raw Rice
1 cup Par Boiled Rice
1/4 cup Dehusked Black gram
1 tbsp Red gram Dal
1/2 tbsp Fenugreek/Methi seeds
Salt to Taste.
Few Cauliflower florets, chopped finely

Gobi Uttappa

Method:
Soak all ingredients in water for 3-4 hours.
Grind then to smooth paste adding salt and enough water.
Allow to ferment till next day.
Heat a tawa/pan and spread a laddle full of batter into thick circle.
Sprinkle finely chopped cauliflower on top evenly.
Cook both sides in medim flame till they turn golden brown.
Serve hot with sambhar/chutney/pickle.

Onion Uttappa

Here is another way of making uttappam with urad and moong dal. I have used onion for Topping. You can also try using grated carrots, cauliflower, tomatoes etc.


Onion Uttappa served with Green Tarmarind Pickle
Ingredients:
2 cups Rice
1 cup Urad dal
3 tbsp Moong dal (yellow dal)
2 tbsp grated Coconut
1" ginger
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 green chilli, chopped finely
salt to taste

Onion Uttappa
Method:
Soak rice, urad dal and half ground moong dal in water overnight or in warm water for 2 hours.
Grind the soaked rice and daal with grated coconut, ginger, salt and water to smooth batter.
Let the batter ferment overnight or for 7-8 hours.
Heat the tava/pan and put little ghee/cooking oil.
Spread the batter on tava and add chopped onion and chillies on top of uttappa immediately.
Cook it till brown on bothsides applying oil.
Serve hot with any chutneys or pickles of your choice.

Gobi Manchurian

In every small or big cities and towns in India you will find Chinese fast food centers present in its every nook and corner. I’m not sure when and where it became so popular but people even today are still hooked to manchurians, be it chicken, mushroom, gobi or even Indian version of Paneer manchurian. Most of the times I remember going to restaurants for dinner Gobi Manchurian used to be my favorite dish for starters. First time I tried cooking it when I was in my early teens and till now I’m not bored of it. Thanks to my hubby who is as big foodie (or bigger) as me and its one among his vast section of favourites.

Gobi Manchurian


Gobi Manchurian
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients:
Small head of Cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tbsp Coriander leaves, finely chopped
Oil for deep frying
Salt to taste

For Batter:
1 cup Refined flour/maida
2 tbsp Cornflour
1 tsp dry Red Chilli Powder (adjust acc to taste)
1/2 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
Salt to taste

For Sauce:
4-5 Spring Onions, thinly sliced (Keep greens sepated from white)
1 cup Capsicum/Bell pepper, diced(any colour)
1 inch Ginger, chopped finely or grated
3-4 large cloves Garlic, chopped finely
2-3 Green chillies, finely chopped
4 tbsp Tomato Sauce (I used Maggi Hot & Sweet Tomato Ketchup)
1 tbsp Soya Sauce
1-2 tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce (Optional)

Gobi Manchurian

Method:
Preparing the Base Sauce:
In a pan take little oil and fry chopped garlic and chillies for a minute over mdeium heat.
To this add whites of spring onions, ginger and capsicum and saute till onions turn translucent, about 2-3 mins.
Add tomato sauce, sweet chilli sauce and soyasauce(if you want it to be more spicier add chilli sauce)and stir well. Switch off the flame and keep it aside.

Preparing Batter and Gobi for Deep Frying:
Wash the cauliflower florets in water with a little salt dissolved in it.
Make a little thick batter with cornflour and all purpose flour dissolved in water. Mix in red chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste and salt to taste.
Coat the florets with the batter and then deep fry at medium flame till they turns golden brown.
Drain them in paper towel to remove excess oil.
Add these fried cauliflower florets with the sauce you have prepared just before serving and mix well.
Garnish them with chopped coriander leaves and greens of spring onion and serve hot.


Gobi Manchurian


Notes:
Same recipe can be used to make paneer and mushroom manchurian.
By adding little more of cornflour mixed in water you can make more gravy with gobi manchurian and serve it as a side dish with chinese fried rice.

12 October, 2006

Veg Fried Rice

There are many ways of cooking fried rice. Me n K usually like ours simple and with lots of greens in it. For me food not only should tastes good but it should also look inviting. I love fried rice because of its presenatation:), thats will colourful veggies which look like precious stones. Red pepper loooks like ruby, carrots like coral, green peas and spring onion like sparkling emeralds... They are the feast to one's eyes... The method I cook veg fried rice takes less than 15 minutes. Its a quick recipe when you are short of time or feeling bit lazy and want to eat some good food too:)

Bowl of Veg Fried Rice


Ingredients:
2 cups Long grained rice
3 tbsp Oil
2 Capsicums/Peppers (I have used half each of green, red, yellow and orange)
100 gms Beans Finely Chopped
2 Carrot Finely Chopped
1/4 cup of green peas
100 gms Cabbage Finely Chopped
2 Spring Onions Finely Chopped
2-3 Green Chilies cut lenghtwise
1 tsp Ginger Chopped Finely
1 tsp Garlic Finely Chopped
2 tbsp Soya Sauce
3 tbsp chilli Dippping Sauce/tomato sauce
Salt & pepper to taste

Veg Fried Rice


Method:
Pick, wash and soak the rice in enough water for 10-15 minutes and drain.
Boil water, add rice and little salt.
Cook uncovered on low heat till rice is tender.
Take care not to overcook the rice. Each grain of rice should be separate.
When rice is done, drain and add some cold water and drain again using a large seive and set aside.
Heat oil in a kadhai/large pan and add chopped garlic and ginger.
Then add all the chopped vegetables and stir fry.
Cook for 3-4 minutes.
Take care that vegetables are not overdone, they should be crisp.
Mix salt and pepper to taste.
Add the cooked rice and mix well. Now mix the soya sauce and chilli sauce to it.
Cook the chinese fried rice for 2-3 minutes and serve hot.


Bowl of Crystals


Variations:
Try useing different vegetables.

11 October, 2006

Onion Bajjis(Pakoda)

“Life is an onion and one peels it crying”

-French Proverb quote


Onions

Autumn is moving towards winter... Im starting to feel the chill in the air. Sun is playing i-spy with me. I'm still looking for him... I know he is there, up in the black clouds hiding from me... Have anyone seen him? Let him keep hiding. Im sure he cant resist the spicy, delicious smell of Onion Bajjis im gonna make... Mmmmm.... They smell great...and tastes superb!!! Oh... There is he... Peeping from that big black cloud... Ha ha ha... I know he will be out and bright in no seconds... He cant resist the competition with the lovely golden yellow of bajjis. Oh... Where are they? There were 8 of them...now all gone:)




Onion Bajjis(Pakoda)


Ingredients:
1 big onion, sliced thinly
1 tsp ajwain seeds
1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
2 tbls fresh coriander leaves, chopped finely
1 tbls of red chilli powder
1-2 green chillies(optional)
1/4 cup of besan(Gram flour)
Salt to taste
Little water
Oil for deep frying

Ingredients


Ready for deep fry


Method:
Mix all the ingredients(onions-salt) adding little water at a time
Take spoonful of mixture and deep fry in oil in a medium flame till they become crisp and golden brown.
Serve hot with tomato sauce or any chutney with tea.


Golden Onion Pakodas

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