I feel like calling myself a supermarket hopper. I frequent different modern retail outlets (supermarkets, hypermarkets etc.) looking for something interesting that makes daily chores easy.
Ready to Eat items are only an occasional relief. Both from the price and taste perspective they can not be eaten on a regular basis. They are more of a substitute for occasional restaurant food.
Recently I discovered potato powder from a brand call Veg-it. This is dry potato powder, in which you only have to mix water to get potato mash. And I must confess I am loving it. Suddenly making aaloo paranthas and samosas at home is so much easier and faster. Boiling and mashing the potatoes is the most boring and lengthy part of preparing these dishes otherwise.
Another discovery a while back was Good Life brand of milk from Nandini. They are not substantially costlier than the normal milk packets, but they don’t need boiling. For someone like me, who is not a regular milk consumer, but does not like getting embarrassed when someone visits and there is no milk in house for a cup of tea, it was an answer to all milk prayers. I can keep the supply for several days/weeks. Until the pack is opened, it does not even need refrigeration. After opening it too, just refrigerating it is enough. No boiling required at regular intervals! Wow!
One thing I would really be happy to get somewhere is a dough maker. For atta, maida etc. That’s one time taking chore, for which I have not found a suitable solution. This is what my ideal dough making machine will do. You put in atta or maida or anything else with which you have to make a dough. Then put water in a separate compartment. You should not have to worry about the exact quantity of water. You specify what the stuff is (atta or maida or something else) and what is the purpose of making the dough (dough for making pooris needs to be harder than that for making rotis). Alternately you can specify how hard or soft you want the dough to be by rotating a knob (or though some other equally intuitive arrangement). Then the machine figures out the right quantity of water to be mixed, makes the dough and gives you a way to easily take it out and clean the machine. A more intelligent machine would not have the pre-set ratio of dough material and water. Rather it would incrementally mix the water and then test if the hardness of the dough is right – that would be closer to how the humans do it. It may even allow you some manual adjustments of the quantity of water. This would be helpful in situations where different brands of dough material have slightly different physical properties.
Beyond the cooking chores, another thing I am looking for is some device to clean the keyboard of laptops and desktops easily. There are several wipes, sprays etc. that are in the market to clean the screen, but there is nothing I could find in Bangalore that would help in cleaning the keyboard. There are some brushes, but that’s not enough. Ideal device would a powerful enough, but a handy vacuum cleaner. Otherwise, there are aerosol sprays that can help clean the dust, but I have been unable to locate them in Bangalore. They can not be brought in the flights; so can’t even get it from the US 😦 I did get a vacuum cleaner from ebay India, but it was wonderfully ineffective. It is powered by USB and yeah – USB can’t give enough power. I wish they had made something usable powered by electricity, rather than something cool powered by USB and totally useless! Anybody has found something in Bangalore for this purpose, please do let me know.
And hey, one gadget I would like to acquire is this – http://iball.co.in/inner/show_product_details2.asp?catid=26&pid=77. But am just resisting…