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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Khoya Kaju

If anyone is talking about rich and sweet North-Indian gravy, it definitely is "Khoya Kaju" to me!!! I'm not-at-all into sweets, but made this on my hubby's demand :) And even I enjoyed this time, may be 'coz of some funny memories attached to it! 

I still remember the day we had it together at "Baawarchi" restaurant, back in India... It was a dinner-date just before a few days of our wedding! He ordered so many things at once and we found that manager was surprised with a long order... Huh, my hubby told him that this gal eats a lot!!!!!! :(

Anyways, back to the recipe... You might not have tried making it at home, but it's quick and easy version! It's never too late to experiment... :) 

Serves: 2


1 cup Cashews
1/2 cup Paneer (crumbled)
2 Onions (medium)
1 tbsp Melon Seeds (Magajtari)
1 tsp Poppy Seeds (khus-khus)
1/2 cup Lukewarm Milk
1 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
2-3 tsp Sugar
A pinch of Turmeric powder
Salt, to taste
1 tbsp Ghee

For Garnishing --

5-6 Fried Cashews
2 tsp Fresh Cream


- Soak 3/4 cup cashews and melon seeds in hot water for 10 mins. 
- Drain water and grind it with poppy seeds to make a smooth paste.
- Roughly chop onions and grind to make a coarse puree of it. Keep it aside.
- Heat 2 tsp of ghee in deep-pan and saute remaining 1/4 cup cashews (roughly chopped) till it's crispy and golden brown. Saute cashews (cut into half) to be used for garnishing too.
- In the same pan, add remaining ghee and heat on medium-high flame. 
- Add ginger-garlic paste along with onion puree. Cook it for 3-4 mins.
- Add white paste (cashew one) and mix well.
- When it starts releasing ghee from the sides, add milk, sugar and all spices. 
- Turn off the heat and add crumbled paneer into it. Mix well.
- Transfer it to a serving bowl and garnish with fried cashews n fresh cream.
- Serve with Lachcha Paratha!!! :)


- Khoya (mawa) can be used to replace paneer or even fresh cream can be added instead.
- Cashews and melon seeds retains color white if soaked in hot water!

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Beetroot Soup

"Beetroot Soup", a traditional soup prepared for Xmas evening supper in Eastern-European countries. A deep pink-purple and highly refreshing "Borscht" is just so healthy and yummyyyy.... 

A month back, we got to taste it at a friend's place, who originally belongs to Poland! And his beautiful wife cooked and served it with steamed mushroom dumplings "Pierogi", which I found to be very similar to ravioli :)  

Definitely, beetroot dominates the complete dish with very delicate flavors of its natural sweetness. I must say, a worth-trying soup even for those who don't prefer beetroots... :)

Makes: 2 servings 


2-3 Beetroots (1 Can, if not fresh)
1 Onion (medium)
1/2 tsp Minced Garlic
3 cups Vegetable Stock
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1/4 tsp Black pepper powder
Salt, to taste


- Take vegetable stock in a deep-pan and add roughly chopped beetroot and onion along with rest of all ingredients.
- Bring it to boil on high heat and then simmer it for around 20 mins on medium heat.
- Strain the soup into a bowl and discard the veggies.
- Serve hot!!!


- Mushroom dumplings (Pierogi) to be served with this healthy soup!
- Homemade bread croutons goes well too :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lachcha Paratha

A crispy, flaky and layered paratha, the best accompaniment to any North-Indian gravy!

"Lachcha Paratha" - I know a name itself restrains you from trying it out! Pretty much a normal process with a few additional steps for getting those beautiful looking layers... But it's not as tough as you feel... only that it needs a right technique and practice to make it...

Here I have posted the first technique of my "Lachcha Paratha"...

Makes: 8-10


2 cups Wheat Flour
1 tbsp Oil
3/4 cup Lukewarm Water
Salt, to taste

Wheat Flour, for dusting
1 tbsp Ghee


- Take wheat flour and salt in a bowl and mix well.
- Add oil and mix to get crumbly texture of it, which will make paratha flaky.
- Knead a soft dough using lukewarm water and keep it aside for half hour.
- Divide the dough in 10 equal balls.
- Take one and roll out as big and thin possible.
- Generously apply ghee on it and sprinkle wheat flour over it.
- Fold it from edge-to-edge (pleating technique) like shown here:

- Cover all prepared balls with plastic wrap and let it rest for an hour.

- Roll out a paratha size and pan-roast with oil drizzles.
- Serve hot with any Indian Gravy or just a spoonful of pickle!!! :P


- Oil can be used to apply on surface, if you don't prefer ghee!
- Combo of wheat flour and maida can be used too, so adjust your proportion...
- Addition of garam masala, hing and kasuri methi will enhance the taste a lot.

... 2nd and 3rd techniques of "Lachaha Parathas" will be posted soon.. :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Beetroot Tikki

Not liking Beetroot??!!! No worries... I've got a great option for you to include this powerful antioxidant in your food. I had a can of beetroot sitting idle in my freeze for a few days, so thought to try making something pinky in my kitchen... Yet, my intention was to keep the taste of beetroot over-powering in anything I make.

You might make faces if you're not a beetroot-fan, I'm sure... but believe me, pink beetroot stains on apron are worth-to-have if you're trying this yummy 'n' healthy appetizer!!! :)

Makes: 6


1 Beetroot (medium)
2 Boiled Potatoes
1/2 cup Shredded Cheese
1 tsp Gram Flour (besan)
1 tsp Cashewnut powder
1/4 tsp Black Pepper Powder
Salt, to taste
Oil, to shallow-fry


- Peel the beetroot skin and parboil them for 3-4 mins. Drain water and roughly cut it into pieces.
- Grind them coarsely in a mixture jar (with no water) and transfer it to a mixing bowl.
- Add all the other ingredients and mash them well.
- Heat some oil in flat-pan and shallow fry tikkis till crispy outside.
- Serve hot paired up with yogurt dip!!!


- Cut into slices and parboil them for 2-3 mins. Sprinkle a little salt n pepper and enjoy as a salad!
- Try a "Beetroot Shorba" before meal... (Recipe will be posted soon)
- Roughly chop and grind along with carrots, add a pinch of chat masala and a glass of fresh juice is ready :)
- Add a little of beetroot paste in strained yogurt and dip is ready to be served with bread slices!

Sending it to Sowmya's Healthy Diet- Lunchbox and Priya's Versatile Recipes, Archana's Kitchen:

Sindhi Aloo Tikki

I always like bugging people around... But the best is when I keep asking about their secret recipes! I didn't much try my hands on Sindhi Cuisine before. But since I got to taste 'Sindhi Kadhi' from one of my aunty's neighbour (I'm always available if it's about tasting :P), I thought of trying few more of her traditional recipes! 

Here is something that you will definitely love as an appetizer... "Stuffed Aloo Tikki", Sindhi Style :)

Makes: 10


4-5 Boiled Potatoes (big)
2 tsp Cornflour
1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
A pinch of Turmeric Powder
Oil, to shallow-fry
Salt, to taste

For Stuffing--

1/2 cup Chana Dal
1/4 cup Grated Paneer
1 tsp Dried Anardana (Pomegranate seeds)
1/2 tsp Ginger-Green Chillies paste
1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/8 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Amchur
2-3 tsp Chopped Coriander leaves
2 tsp Cooking oil
Salt, to taste


- Soak chana dal in water for around an hour. Pressure-cook it for 3 whistles and keep aside.
- Heat oil in pan and add cumin seeds, hing. Once it crackles, add ginger-green chillies paste and saute well.
- Add boiled chana dal along with grated paneer and all spices.
- Mix well and cook for around 3-4 mins. Transfer it to some bowl and cool it down to room temp.
- Take all the ingredients of outer layer in a bowl and mash them well.
- Divide the mixture as well as stuffing into 10 balls.
- Take one and spread it on palm to make puri size. Put a stuffing ball inside and cover it with potato mixture from all the sides. 
- Make a smooth ball and flatten it to give a tikki shape.
- Heat some oil in flat-pan and shallow fry tikkis till crisp and golden-brown on both sides. 
- Serve hot!!!


- Can be served as an appetizer with Green Chutney...
- Great if it's a part of "Chhole Chaat"!

Sending it to Akila's Kitchen and Pari's Event  @ Nivedhanam:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mund Daal Dhokla


1 cup Mung Daal with skin (Green)
1/4 cup Urad Daal
1/2 cup Yogurt
1 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1/2 tsp Fruit Salt (Eno)
Salt, to taste

For Tadka--

3 tsp Cooking oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp Sesame seeds

For Garnish--

2-3 tsp Chopped coriander


- Soak mung daal and urad dal in water for around 1-2 hours. 
- Drain water and then grind it to make a batter by adding water gradually as required.
- Transfer it to a big bowl and add yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, green chillies into it.
- Mix well and make a smooth batter. 
- Add fruit salt into it and whisk it for a while, which will help making a batter fluffy.
- Grease a steamer plate or big thaali with 2-3 drops of oil.
- Pour this mixture in it and spread it evenly. 
- Steam it* for around 20-25 mins on medium-high flame.
- Then, let the plate rest for 10 mins and cut into a diamond shape. 
- Heat oil in tadka-pan and add mustar, cumin seeds. When it stops crackling, add sesame seeds and immediately pour this mixture on dhokla pieces. 
- Garnish with chopped coriander and serve it anytime :)


* Usually, a steamer is used for this dish! But alternatively, boil 4-5 cups of water in a big broad-pan. Keep something flat as a base to support and arrange a thaali (with dhokla batter) on it! 

- This dhokla tastes yummy with a pinch of 'pickle masala' mixed in oil!!! :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Dal Takatak

Yesterday, it was 3rd time in series when we had beans/lentils dish in our dinner!!! Seems like a season of lentils is back in my kitchen... Actually, I love having protein as a side/main dish or as a salad, if nothing else... But wanted to present a change to my taste-buds, so tried making a variant of very popular 'Dal Fry' and 'Dal Tadka' :)

And believe me, it was super-duper yummy!!! It accompanied paratha so nicely... I didn't even think of having pickle on my plate... :P

A dhaba style "Dal Takatak" with amazing aroma of desi ghee! Give a punch to your simple 'Ghar ka Khana' with this rich, quick and protein-packed dish...

Makes: 3-4 servings


3/4 cup Tuver Dal
1/4 cup Chana Dal
2 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1/4 tsp Chopped Green Chillies
1/4 cup Chopped Onions
1/4 cup Chopped Tomatoes
1 tbsp Ghee
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
A pinch of hing
1/8 tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp Red chilly powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
2-3 tsp Lemon Juice
Salt, to taste
Water, as required


- Soak both dal in plenty of water for an hour. Pressure-cook them in salty water for 4 whistles.
- Heat ghee in deep-pan and add cuming seeds, hing. 
- Once it crackles, add chopped onions along with ginger-garlic paste and green chillies.
- Saute it for a min and when onions are translucent, add chopped tomatoes and cook for 2-3 mins.
- Add boiled dal mixture and all the spices into it.
- Mix well and cook it for 5-7 mins more. Keep stirring in between to maintain a medium-thick consistency  (add some water at this stage, if required).
-  Turn off the heat, mix lemon juice and transfer it to a serving bowl.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and cream before serving!


- Serve as a classic combo of "Dal Takatak" with Jeera Rice!
- Alternatively, can be served with paratha and a veggie side dish...
- I'm a little generous at times while using ghee for making special desi dishes!!! You can adjust it according to your diet and  taste... 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Rajwadi Khichdi

Serves: 3-4


1 cup Rice
1 cup Tuver Dal
1/2 cup Potatoes (cut into cubes)
2 tsp Onions (chopped)
1/2 cup Veggies (I used carrot,cauliflower, corn, capsicum)
1/4 cup Green Peas
1 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste (optional)
2 tsp Ghee
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
A pinch of Hing
1/4 tsp Red chilly powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1/8 tsp Turmeric powder
1/8 tsp Pickle Masala
Salt, to taste


- Soak rice and tuver dal together in water for around an hour.
- Heat ghee in pressure-cooker and add cumin-mustard seeds with hing.
- Once it splutters, add all potatoes, onions, veggies, ginger-garlic paste and green peas. Mix everything well and cook it for a min.
- Add soaked rice-tuver dal in it with around 2 cups of water and stir everything once.
- Pressure-cook it for 4 whistles and let it cool down for 10 mins before opening the lid. 
- "Rajwadi Khichdi" is ready to serve... :)


- We call it Vaghareli Khichdi with all veggies in simple language, but one of our special friends is used to call it "RAJWADI"... so the credit goes to him :)

- Best to be served with "Yogurt Tadka"!!! Recipe for the same will be posted soon... 


Tired of having Tacos all the time??!!! Try out this variant of the same... Fusion of Mexican-Italian.. Of course, with an Indian touch! :) If you are looking for yummy and healthy options that can be prepared quickly after a tiring day at work, this can serve a purpose... 

Kids are definitely going to love this colorful looking "Tacozza"...!!!

Makes: 4


2 cups Boiled Kidney beans
1/2 Chopped Onion
2 Garlic cloves (Minced)
1/2 cup Chopped Tomatoes
1/2 cup Shredded Cabbage
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1/4 tsp Chilly Flakes
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Tobasco Sauce (or Red chilly sauce)
4 tsp Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)
Salt, to taste


- Heat olive oil in a pan and add onions, garlic into it. Saute it for a while.
- Add boiled kidney beans along with salt, oregano and tobasco sauce.
- Mix it well and cook for around 3-4 mins.
- Mash the mixture with PavBhaji Masher and transfer this 'Refried Beans' to another bowl.
- Take soft taco shell and spread a thick layer of refried beans evenly over it.
- Put your choice of salad, cheese and sprinkle dried oregano on top.
- Bake in pre-heated (180 degrees) oven for around 7-8 mins (or until cheese melts).
- Serve hot!!! 


- Boiled Kidney Beans: Soak kidney beans overnight in plenty of water. Drain and rinse it in morning and pressure-cook for 4 whistles. 
- I used very less amount of cheese, but you can adjust it according to your taste.
- Taco shells can be prepared and stored ahead of time, so it's quick for anytime biting...
- Tacozza can be folded into half to get the feelings of Tacos!

Linking this recipe to Riappyayan and Guru's Cooking:


Recipes by Friends & Family...

Here are few pics of different dishes cooked by my friends & family members... Post a comment to request any of these recipes and we will get back to you at the earliest!!! :) The other way is to post an email and you will receive that recipe soon... 

If you have pics of your yummy dishes, share them with 'SJ's Food Court' by an email... Happy Cooking!!! 


                           Mexican Bhel - by, DJ                              Thin Crust Pizza - by, Tulsi

                               Kheer - by, Shalvi                                   Cheese Mac - by, Shalvi

                        Dry Manchurian - by, Tulsi                        Lilwa Kachori - by, Mumma

                        Supreme Nachos - by, Shrey                     Puri of Panipuri - by, Mumma                       

                         Puri of Panipuri - by, Kiran                       Cheese Fondue - by, Riddhi

Bharwan Tikki - by, Ushamasi

Chilly Paneer - by, Dipali

Italian Sizzler - by, Tulsi

Dum Biryani - by, Shalvi

Veg. Clear Soup - by, Jalpa

Nargisi Kofta - by, Mumma

Malai Kofta n Rajma Kebab - by, Drishti

Apple Cinnamon Cake - by, Shraddha

Menduwada - by, Shalvi

Tomato Chutney


2 Riped Tomatoes
1/4 Onion (medium)
2 Garlic cloves
1/2 tsp Ginger-Green Chilly paste
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Lemon Juice
2 tsp Cooking Oil (I preferred Olive Oil)
1/8 tsp Red Chilly Powder
1/8 tsp Cumin Powder
1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
A pinch of Hing
Salt, to taste


- Put the tomatoes in hot water for a few mins and peel them.
- Take peeled tomatoes, onion and garlic in a mixture jar and grind them coarsely.
- Heat oil in pan and add cumin seeds, hing.
- Once it crackles, add tomato mixture and then all the spices and sugar.
- Mix well and cook it on medium heat for 3-4 mins.
- Turn off the heat and transfer it to a bowl.
- Add lemon juice and mix well. It's ready... :)


- Onion and garlic can be eliminated for a jain version.
- Can be served with any sort of parathas.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mix Veggie Paratha

A heavy breakfast or full-meal or a tiffin-box!!! Healthy and yummy parathas always work... Too many of them you might have tried - Aloo Paratha, Gobhi Paratha, Radish Paratha etc. etc.

Here is a combo of all ;) "Mix Veggie Paratha" - Pick your own favorite veggies and try it out...

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Makes: 8 nos. 


For Dough --

2 cup Wheat flour
2 tsp Oil
Salt, to taste
Water, as required

For Stuffing --

1 Boiled Potato medium-size
1/2 cup Shredded Cabbage
1/4 cup Finely chopped Capsicum
1/2 cup Boiled mix of Corn, Green Peas and Carrots
2-3 tsp Finely chopped Onion
1 tbsp Chopped Coriander
1/4 tsp Garam Masala
1/4 tsp Red Chilly Powder
1/4 tsp Coriander Powder
1/4 tsp Amchur


- Take wheat flour, salt in a mixing bowl. Make a soft dough by gradually adding water in it. 
- Once the dough is formed, add oil and knead it for around a min. Cover it with lid or cling wrap and keep it aside for 15 mins.
- Take all veggies of stuffing in a big bowl and mash them well. 
- Add spices and salt and mix it again. Divide the mixture into 8 balls and keep it aside.
- Make 8 balls out of dough as well and again divide each of them in 2 smaller balls.
- Take 2 at time and roll both of them separately to 3" in diameter and put a ball of mixture onto one.
- Arrange another over it and press it gently on sides to remove air bubbles and seal the sides.
- Roll it again to make chapati size. Make sure mixture is not popping out from sides.
- Drizzle a little oil and place a paratha on hot flat-pan.
- Cook it equally on both the sides for total of 2-3 mins. You will be able to see brown spots on the surface. Follow the same process for rest of all parathas.
- Grab one straight from the pan and enjoy :)


- Mango pickle or Tomato chutney goes very well with it.

Varieties of "Stuffed Parathas" will be posted very soon... :)

Chilly Paneer

Just a few days back, I realized I make repeated recipes with Paneer, so thought to make something different for a change this time... Starter or a side-dish!!! And I came up with a very popular Indo-Chinese variety, "Chilly Paneer"... I love the taste of fresh paneer and hot chillies coated with thick and a little sticky gravy, but I have to have hot chilly sauce replaced by sweet chilly sauce. 

A quick cooking on high-flame makes you try it again n again... :)

Preparation Time: 10 mins 
Cooking Time: 4-5 mins
Makes: 2 servings


150 gm Paneer
1/2 Capsicum (medium)
1/2 Onion (medium)
2-3 Green chillies (cut into long strips)
1/2 cup Spring onion (greens)
1 tbsp Spring onion (whites)
1 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
2 tsp Soya sauce
1 tsp Red chilly sauce
2 tsp Cornflour + 1 tbsp Water
1/4 tsp Black pepper powder
1/4 tsp Chinese 5-spice (optional)
2 tsp Oil
Salt, to taste


- Cut the paneer, onion, capsicum into cubes and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a deep pan and add ginger-garlic paste. Saute it for a while.
- Add Spring onion whites (chopped) along with green chillies, capsicum and onion cubes into it and mix well. Cook it for around a min or two, but make sure it remains crunchy.
- Add paneer cubes as well as all the condiments and spices.
- Make a slurry of cornflour and water in a separate bowl and add it into pan.
- Mix everything well, add salt only if required!
- Turn off the heat and sprinkle spring onion greens over it. Mix well.
- Transfer it to some bowl and it's ready to eat :)


- As I said previously, I avoid using Aji-no-moto in any of the chinese dishes. You can use a pinch of it to enhance the flavors.
- Soya sauce itself is salty, so be careful when you are adding salt into it.
- I prefer sweet chilly sauce over the hot version of it, just 'coz I can't have much of spices in food!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Kumbhi/Khumbi Pulao

Kumbh means Mushrooms... A variety of rice with marinated mushrooms - "Kumbhi Pulao". You might have heard this name if you're following 'Turban Tadka' show, but this is totally SJ version... 

If you love mushrooms, you can't resist yourself adding this 'Tandoori' dish in your North-Indian menu... :)

Makes: 2 servings

1 cup Basmati Rice
1 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1/2 cup Green peas
8 Button Mushrooms (trimmed & washed)
1 Onion (medium)
2 tsp Chopped capsicums
2 tbsp Ghee (Clarified butter)
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
A pinch of Hing
Salt, to taste


- Take tandoori marinade in a bowl and add 7 mushrooms (each cut into 4 pieces) into it. 
- Coat them well, cover with a lid and keep in freeze for half hour.
- Soak basmati rice in water for around an hour and boil them along with green peas (85%) in salted water. Drain and rinse with cold water and keep aside. 
- Heat ghee in heavy-bottomed pan and add cumin seeds, hing. 
- Once it crackles, add ginger-garlic paste and saute it well. Then, add marinated mushrooms along with capsicum and saute them for a min. 
- Add cooked basmati rice, salt and mix well. Cover with a lid and cook it for around 3-4 mins.
- Turn off the heat and transfer it to a serving plate.
- In the same pan, add remaining 1 mushroom (sliced) in it and cook it for a few seconds.
- Garnish the plate with sliced mushrooms on top and sprinkle caramelized onions* on the plate.
- Serve hot!!!


* Caramelized Onions: Cut onions in thin strips. Heat 1/2 tsp of oil in pan and add onions. Sprinkle a little salt over it to make it crispy. Roast it till dark brown in color. Transfer it to some bowl and keep aside.

- I have had this variety before cooked in a "Kumbh" - a kind of pot, so I call it Kumbhi :P

- Mushrooms will release its juice which will liquidize marinade a little. But add left-over thinner marinade along with mushrooms to make this "Kumbhi Pulao" more flavorful. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Tandoori Skewers

"Tandoori Kebab" is one of the most popular "North-Indian Appetizer". A spicy and smoky vegetarian kebabs can make anyone drool just by a glimpse of it...

I love making any food that is tagged as "Tandoori" :) An easy and must-try thing for sure... And believe me, that smoky aroma will not go out of your kitchen that easily, n every time you enter - it will tempt you to plan grilling soon :P


1/2 Potato cubes
1/2 cup Purple yam cubes
1/2 cup Capsicum (dice-cut)
1/2 cup Dice-cut tomato (make sure to remove pulp)
1/2 cup Dice-cut Onions (layers separated)
1 cup Tandoori Marinade

2 tsp Lemon Juice
Chat masala


- Take all the ingredients together in a bowl and coat them well with marinade.
- Cover with a lid and keep it in freeze for at least 2-3 hours.
- Place them on skewers on your choice of sequence or uneven!!! :P
- Arrange them on grill rack and grill them on high for around 20 mins. Make sure it makes tiny black (burnt) spots on veggies for the best smoky look!!!
- Keep turning sides of it in between 2-3 times to grill them evenly.
- Drizzle lemon juice and sprinkle some chat masala over it!!! And It's ready... :)


- It's better to marinate all the veggies before skewering them, in order to get more flavors absorbed.
- Those who doesn't have tandoor or griller, can use grill pan or flat-tava for the same purpose.

Sending it to: Akila's Kitchen EventIndian Delights and Samachuruchikalam - Gayathri's Cook Spot:

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