Guest Post: Vegetable Korma With Onion Pilaf

The lovely Sonal Gupta, from SimplyVegetarian777, read the results of what you wanted, and created a luscious meal fit for a fancy vegetarian dinner party. I’m drooling right now, and reveling in gratitude.

Thank you, Sonal! I would gladly make this dish and share it with my friends and family for a special occasion.  Your photos are stunning!

If you’re not already familiar with some of the spices and terms Sonal uses in this recipe, visit her page and you will be as enlightened as I was when I first discovered her amazing descriptions.
Sonal:  Hello!  I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me an opportunity to meet with your friends, audience and family through a guest post.
It’s been an immense pleasure for me to have met you through the blog, a writer who writes from her heart (loving your The Dreaming ), a Reiki Master, a compassionate person and a good friend! I am sure there are more adjectives that I can use here to describe you.

Now, I am bringing a vegetarian dinner party menu for the readers that includes a curry and a rice dish. I hope they enjoy it as much as my family did.

Vegetable Korma and Onion Pulav
Sonal 3
Vegetable Korma
Korma is a Moghul dish, which traces back its origin to 16th century when Moghul rulers traveled to India. To be precise, it has it’s roots from Turkish Cuisine, where it is called Kurmah, which means braising of meat with a gravy or curry. It then got adapted in India and has lots of regional versions, from the use of cream, coconut milk, yogurt and / or nuts paste.
Sonal 2
Serves : 6-8
Kitchen Equipments Required : Chopping board, knife. microwave safe bowl, a hard anodized pan or non stick pan, stirrer,  and blender.
Ingredients :
Cauliflower : 1 cup, chopped into 1-inch pieces
Peas : 1/4 cup
Potato : 1 medium, chopped into 1-inch pieces
Carrots : 1/2 cup, chopped into 1-inch pieces
Green beans : 1/2 cup, chopped into 1-inch pieces
Paneer or Extra Firm Tofu : 1 cup, chopped into 1-inch pieces
Korma Paste 
Cashews : 2 tbsp, soaked in 1/4 cup of warm water for 10-15 minutes.
Coconut shreds, dried : 1&1/2 tbsp, unsweetened
Milk powder : 2 tbsp. Vegan friends can use 2 tbsp of almond milk or soy milk.
Onion : 1/2 cup, chopped roughly
Tomato : 1, very small
Ginger : 1 small piece
Garlic : 2 small pods or 1 big.
Spices and others
Oil : 2 tsp
Bay leaf : 1
Cinnamon stick : 1 small
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala : 1 tsp – 1&1/2 tsp
Red chili powder : 1/4 to 3/4 tsp, as per taste
Salt : to taste
Water : 1&1/2 cups
Cilantro leaves for garnish.
Method :
Prepping the Vegetables
1. Make sure that all the vegetables are the same size.
2. Take a microwave safe bowl. Add all the chopped vegetables. Cover it partially. Microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes until they are par boiled and not soft.
Making the Paste 
Take a blender. Add all the ingredients mentioned under Korma Paste and make a fine paste until there are no lumps or pieces left.
Making the Curry
1. Take the pan and heat oil in it.
2. Reduce the flame and add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick to it. Sauté for a few seconds and then add the korma paste to it. If it is too thick, add little water and stir. Add turmeric powder, salt, garam masala, and red chili powder to it. Stir.
3. Cook on low flame while stirring often. After 7-8 minutes, the paste will thicken and come together. We are not browning the paste. We are retaining its delicate yellow color.
4. Now add steamed vegetables to it. Add 1&1/2 cups of water and mix well.
5. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes on low flame until everything looks married well.
6. You may add some raisins and cashews to it, if you like.
The curry is ready to be served with Naan or Onion Pulav / Pilaf!
Onion Pulav / Pilaf
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This is such a simple, flavorful and aromatic rice preparation that goes well with any curry or as is! I hope you will enjoy it.
Serves : 6 to 8 people
Kitchen Equipments Required : Chopping board, knife, heavy bottom sauce pan with lid, stirrer,  and fork.
Sonal 4
Ingredients :
Basmati Rice : 2 cups, cleaned and soaked in just enough water to cover these for 15-20 minutes.
Onions : 1&1/2 cups, peeled, washed and chopped thin into slivers.
Oil : 1/2 tbsp
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp
Bay leaf : 1
Cinnamon stick : 1 small
Sugar : 1/4 tsp
Green cardamoms : 2-3
Black pepper corns : 6-7
Cloves : 3-4
Garam masala : 1/2 to 3/4 tsp
Salt : 1 tsp
Water : 2&1/2 cups
Method :
 Sonal 5
1. Heat oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Once it becomes hot, lower the flame. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, green cardamoms, cloves and black pepper corns. Sauté on low flame till cumin seeds crackle.
Note: Keep your face back since cloves can be notorious and jump out.
2. Now add sliced onions and sugar to the pan. Stir well. Cook on medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions become pinkish golden. It takes about 7-8 minutes. The sugar helps in giving onions a good caramelized color.
3. Now drain the water from the soaked rice and add the rice to the pan carefully. Add garam masala and salt. Stir well and sauté for 30-45 seconds like that.
4. Add water. Stir and close the lid. Cook on low flame until the water evaporates. It will take approximately 10 minutes. Switch off the flame. Let it stand covered, without touching it for another 7-8 minutes.
5. Open the lid and let stand for 2-4 minutes. Now take a fork and fluff it gently. This gives you a great texture and beautiful looking rice.
Serve it warm with the Veg Korma.
Sonal 1
Sonal @ simplyvegetarian777


Updated Guest Post & Audio Book Giveaway: Khafra K Om-Ra-Seti. Congratulations, Audio Book Giveaway Winners!

Fellow author, and attendee of the Book Marketing Challenge this past summer, Khafra K Om-Ra-Seti, has written a post for us today covering the major topics in his book.



Global Economic Boom and Bust Cycles: The Great Depression and Recovery of the 21st Century

Khafra has provided us with a sample of the book.  You can listen to it here:

Thank you, Khafra, for bringing us your important research about vital economic cycles.

Image of Khafra K Om-Ra-Seti


by Khafra K Om-Ra-Seti

The looming economic crisis confronting the world in 2014 is massive and has the potential to severely cripple the global economic system. With each passing day, the economic drama gets elevated with more suspense and uncertainty. There is a tremendous amount of confusion and disagreement (even among experts) as to what is going to happen next? What is the ultimate solution to Europe’s sovereign debt problem? Is America facing an economic catastrophe of its own? Will global wars, extremist’s ideologies and terrorism (we now have a terrorist group called ISIS or ISIL that controls significant economic and financial wealth) bring about economic ruin and collapse. Will “Peak Oil” and the shrinking supply of other natural resources derail the global economy? These are some of the issues discussed in Global Economic Boom and Bust Cycles: The Great Depression and Recovery of the 21st Century, a book that looks deeply into the collapse but also evaluates the significance of the Information Age Revolution and its role in the transition and subsequent recovery era.

This book presents five case studies of boom and bust cycles, providing chronicles of the events as they happened. The reader is presented with significant factors that gave rise to the boom periods and the subsequent bust fallouts. The author makes the case that the journey traveled through these boom and bust periods helps us to better understand the historical paradigm that now dominates the global economic system. What emerges from the historical data examined over the past century and what forms the foundation of much of my thesis is what I call the Grand Convergence Theory, the confluence of a diversity of economic forces bringing about a manifestation of creative destruction and global economic collapse.

Here are some of the major themes covered in this publication:

(1) Grand Convergence Theory: The confluence and convergence of a number of major macro-economic forces heading on a collision course towards a global meltdown greater than 2008. It was recently reported that former Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, stated that “September and October of 2008 was the worst financial crisis in global history, including the Great Depression.” And he should know because he was on the front lines and played a major role in keeping the global economy from falling into another devastating Great Depression.

(2) Secular Bull and Bear Markets: Boom (or Bull cycles) and Bust (or Bear cycles) are in general periods of rising and falling markets. Long-term Boom and Bust Cycles are called secular markets, lasting anywhere from 12 to 20 years. Short-term Boom and Bust periods are considered cyclical, lasting 3 to 5 years or less. Most cyclical Bull markets last about five years. The cyclical Bear market of December 2007 to June of 2009 (According the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research), has gone on record as lasting 18 months. So these periods will come in various shapes and sizes. It’s also important to note that during a secular bull or bear market, cyclical bull or bear markets will occur. The big question in 2014 is whether we are in secular bull or bear market? My analysis follows the train of thought that we are at the tail end of a secular bear market that is being driven to an apex by a cyclical bull market (in America) that bring about a massive meltdown in global markets.

(3) The Mother of ALL Boom and Bust Cycles: Every great BOOM cycle is always followed by a massive BUST cycle. We are now living in the time of the “Mother of all boom and bust cycles”. This publication covers five major boom and bust cycles, and provides a narrative of each period taking the reader up to the time of the “Great Meltdown of 2008”.

(4) The Federal Reserve System (the FED) and global Central Banks: The massive money printing since 2009 by the FED and other central banking institutions around the world, has created a recovery in America that is based more on stock market valuations than on the general economic well being of the nation. The overall impact of this massive creation of money printing has (in my opinion) created the illusion that we have entered a new “Secular Bull Market”, despite the fact that we are still in an era of the “deleveraging of debt” and the demographic reality of over 75 million baby boomers moving into retirement years. In addition, since the 2008 meltdown, the middle class in America has been decimated. With the FED (in 2014) orchestrating the “tapering” of its “Quantitative Easing (QE)” bond operations, the Wall Street crowd is convinced that current Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen will backstop any major declines in the stock markets. Short term interest rates are not expected to go up until the middle of 2015, so there is confidence in this current rally. Thus, the FED is exerting massive influence in the extension of our current cyclical bull market.

(5) The Information Age and Technological Revolution: In 2014, and over the next five years, we will enter the next phase of the technological revolution that will bring into existence massive exponential developments and productivity gains. In the short run, more jobs will lost than created. The most profound impact of this period will be the speed at which things will change and the exponential nature of the end results. Much of it will seem like science fiction and many people will not understand the full implications of these massive changes. All of this will set the stage (or be the main foundation) for the next secular global bull market.

(6) CHINA, a new global superpower. The economic rise of China is clearly a game changer in the arena of global economic development and geopolitical power.

(7) JAPAN: Since 1990, Japan has been in a deflationary environment (well over two decades). This extraordinary “Secular Bust Cycle” followed (in a grand historical pattern) one of the 20th century’s greatest Boom cycles. Extraordinary wealth was created during Japan’s economic, financial, scientific and technological rise in the 20th century. A major part of Japan’s prolonged

deflationary decline is attributed to its aging population, as many Japanese workers are entering their retirement years and are saving more and spending less.

(8) The EUROPEAN UNION (EU): The sovereign debt crisis is leading the EU into a Japanese-style deflationary era. The EU appears to be the epicenter of the next major bubble bursting crisis.

(9) AMERICA: The United States of America, one of the most successful nations in the history of the world, is now entering (in 2014) a period that will end an era of economic, political and military global dominance. There is clearly a new multi-polar world order emerging, and this cannot be suppressed or derailed. There are very serious developments taking shape in the developing nations (particularly among the BRICS nations of Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa) to create a competing currency system challenging the “dollar” in its role as the global reserve currency. In July 2014, the BRICS announced that they have established a $100 billion Development Bank and a reserve currency pool worth over another $100 billion dollars. This new Development Bank will provide monetary resources for infrastructure and development projects similar to what the IMF and World Bank have been doing since the end of World War II. In the known history of the world, no one nation has been able to sustain a dominance over the entire world for an expanded period of time. When a nation goes beyond its time limit of hegemony, it goes into a period of decline and collapse. The most recent global example of this is the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. America’s debt is rapidly approaching $18 trillion and this nation has to borrow billions of dollars every single month in order to continue functioning. This is clearly not sustainable which is why America has to cut back on its global designs before it is too late!

(10) The Concentration of Extreme Wealth and Great Depressions: There have been many writers that have talked about the massive impact of the concentration of extreme wealth and the emergence of economic depressions. In the early 1990s, Dr. Ravi Batra, author of, “The Great Depression of 1990”, stated that “wealth inequality is a prerequisite for manias and bubbles. The greater the inequality or concentration of extreme wealth, the bigger the bubble and the painful its eventual bursting”. A more recent discussion on this topic is presented by author Thomas Picketty in his book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” (March 2014), which goes into great detail and historical analysis (covering 20 centuries of data) supporting his thesis of income inequality and the global concentration of extreme wealth. We live in the age of the “billionaire” and the massive concentration of wealth which will ultimately play a significant role in bringing about the next major global economic meltdown at the end of our current secular bear market. And after this massive secular bust cycle, extreme wealth will play a major role in initiating the next global economic secular boom market. The major point being made here is that extreme wealth is a major catalyst in orchestrating and initiating both bull and bear markets.

Update:  Congratulations to the five audio book winners.  You will receive your prizes directly from the author:

Felipe W.

Rob A.

Justin S.

Kevin C.

Ivy R.




Khafra’s contact information and links:

Khafra K Om-Ra-Seti

Author and Publisher



Free Audio Book Sample:

Youtube Book Trailer:

Youtube Audio Book Sample:


Fax: 866-369-1008


Gina:  As always, thank you for reading.

Guest Post: Please Welcome HL Carpenter

Gina:  I am excited to introduce you to HL Carpenter, a mother/daughter writing team.  I asked them if they would share some of their warmth and imaginative stories with us, and they accepted.  I first met these lovely ladies during the Book Marketing Challenge.  I’ve read happily along with their blog posts and newsletters long enough to know that they have a lot up their sleeves.  They’ve prepared a lovely post for us today.

HL: Gina, thank you for making space on your blog for us, for introducing us to your readers, and for giving us this opportunity to showcase our work.

Gina:  Having the two of you visit my blog is a thrill.  You are my first guest posters, and that feels really fitting.  I enjoyed reading your excerpt from Dream Stealer.  Thank you for being a part of my author journey.  It means a lot to me.

Building a Walkway????????????????????????


by HL Carpenter

We’re building a walkway here in Carpenter Country.

As is often the case, the initial inspiration came from a whimsical image. The idea tickled our imagination and took hold as related details, descriptions, and designs caught our attention. We began to plan.

We visualized a bend just ahead, around the drooping hibiscus; another beyond that, past the sweetly scented jasmine. Perhaps we’d flank the walk with a curvy white bench placed in the shade of the oak, beside the lush pink azalea.

With the general layout in mind, we set to work. We gathered supplies, cleared the ground, leveled the dirt. We hoed and raked and excavated. Dust rose, coating sweaty skin. The gardening gloves darkened with soil. Lizards fled and earthworms were relocated to a safer home.

The prep is finished and the walkway is now growing in two-by-two sections, each fitting with the one before. There have been a few detours—Shouldn’t the heritage rose be highlighted? Wouldn’t the delicate blueness of the plumbago make an attractive side trip?

Construction mishaps occur too. Despite our care, some of the stones are rough and some sections of the path are uneven. We adjust, correct, persevere. There’s always room for change, for welcoming the inevitable and appreciating the serendipitous good fortune that arises with acceptance.

Yet we must also keep the final goal in mind. When the path is complete, when the elemental building blocks of water and aggregate and sand and sun fuse, we want the resulting stones to be strong. Though the path is uniquely ours, others will walk this way. Our journey is theirs.

And theirs is ours.

Gina: The story about building the walkway is an example of what I look forward to in their newsletters.  Now, you can learn more about them from their bio:


Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter writes sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.

Gina:  Their latest release is Dream Stealer.  Please enjoy an excerpt:

Dream Stealer Cover final

Dream Stealer (ebook) – Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?

Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult fantasy

Rating: Sweet, clean (no offensive language; no explicit love scenes)

Suitable for: Ages 10 and up

Length: Novelette (8,400 words; 33 pages)

BUY LINK: Amazon

Dream Stealer is a middle grade/young adult novelette of approximately 8,400 words. It’s the story of Fancy Moonstruck. Fancy is supposed to steal dreams. It’s what her family does for a living, and now that she’s fifteen, the job is hers.

But it’s a job Fancy would rather not have. She knows first-hand what dreams mean to the dreamer because she dreams of her mom, who died five years ago. Losing her dream would be like losing her mom all over again. That’s a pain Fancy doesn’t want to inflict on anyone.

But the rules are clear: Steal a dream—or lose her own.

G-Rated excerpt from Dream Stealer

Another moment and the dream will be gone.

The winter sea breeze brushes my hair from my face, its cold caress as light as the layer of fear I wear like my dark hoodie, and as soft as my shallow breathing. In the way of every good thief, I take care that the whispery puff of my breath is the only sound I make.

Though I’m not touching the fleeing dream, it kisses my mind, sticky as a spider’s web. I stand still, wide-awake in the hush of the two a.m. darkness, staring at the pulsing silver sliver. The external details are breathtaking: the shivering tendrils of longing; the filaments of hope, quivering like the strings of a harp. They float through the window of the ramshackle beach cottage where Mrs. Hooper sleeps, reaching upward with fog-thin fingers, anchored within her heart, searching for the sky.

Mrs. Hooper’s dream is one of love-longing, and I peek inside as it sways above me, though I’m not supposed to. The Dream Buyers pay well for dreams of love-longing, and they pay especially well for dreams untouched by us Stealers.

Even so, I can’t stop myself from lingering inside the dream. I spend precious seconds there, warming myself in the heat of Mrs. Hooper’s longing for the love of her son, before drawing back into the chill of the night’s reality, and my work in it. I fumble to release the dream catcher, which dangles from my belt on a leather cord, then grasp the handle of the delicate, tightly-woven net. I focus on the hours of practice runs I went over with Dad. I need only reach out now, and my very first dream-stealing excursion will end in success.

And I will keep my family safe.

I must do this. Yet I hesitate. Dad says Mrs. Hooper will never miss her dream. Is it possible he’s wrong? I dream a similar love-longing dream myself, every night, and I know what it means to me—the same as this dream must mean to Mrs. Hooper.

If I’m right, I cannot take it from her.

I must take it.

I must…

LorriHelen for Web

Author Links

Our home on the web is We’re also on Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, and we have an author page on Amazon.

Blog Post Image Credit

Image courtesy of HL Carpenter


Gina:  As always, thank you for reading.