Naveen

Fenugreek Leaves Salad (Methi Hasi Palya)

Methi Hasi Palya
Methi Hasi Palya

Fenugreek leaves are used in variety of dishes in Indian cuisine. In few recipes, they form base and in some other they are just used to give distinct flavor. In any case, they are of great nutritional value and if cooked in appropriate way, they become part of healthy diet. Needless to mention, healthy dish can be a tasty one too. In this category of ‘healthy and tasty’ dishes, this Fenugreek Salad(Methi palya) has remained our favorite for quite some time now.

We have learnt this from a close North Karnataka friend’s family. This friend of mine, hardly likes our traditional dishes, due to his inherent dislike for coconut. However irony is we like everything that is made in their kitchen! Their cuisine has fewer dishes but each dish is made to perfection. Generally in any North Karnataka thali, its a practice to serve few Fenugreek leaves by side. But this dish goes extra mile, as its leaves remain raw and crunchy. The dish by itself is very tasty and competes for top spot on their thali, along with traditional Ennegaayi, Kalu, Mirchi Bajji and Gurellu powder. Just because leaves are not cooked, its always referred as Hasi Palya(raw side-dish) in their home.

We have learnt this from them and in this version, we have made one modification. Please refer to Notes for as authentic version as theirs.

Pictorial:
Wash and spread methi on a paper. Chop them.
methi hasi palya1 methi hasi palya2
Grind onions, coriander leaves, chillies, curry leaves, garlic.
methi hasi palya3 methi hasi palya4
Make the seasoning and then add the paste to it. Let it cool to room temperature and then mix with methi leaves.
methi hasi palya5 methi hasi palya6

Fenugreek Leaves Salad (Methi Hasi Palya)

Fenugreek leaves salad with a dressing of freshly ground spice paste
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 3 -4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bunch of fresh Fenugreek leaves
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt as desired.

For tampering:

  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds jeera
  • 1 tbsp urad dal
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

For grinding:

  • 3 green chillies
  • 6-7 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 2-3 strands coriander leaves
  • 3-5 Curry leaves

Instructions
 

  • Cut and separate roots of Fenugreek bunch, wash leaves, drain and spread over either a paper or dry cloth. This step is very important to get crunchy texture to dish. We need to ensure we get leaves, without any water.
  • Chop onion and grind ingredients mentioned above, into smooth paste. No need to add water while grinding.
  • In a thick bottomed vessel heat oil and add ingredients mentioned. Fry them till they start to splutter.
  • Add paste prepared earlier and fry till raw smell goes off and oil starts separating. Ensure turmeric is added bit later, to avoid burning.
  • Allow it to cool. Add 1 tsp of salt or as desired.
  • Chop Fenugreek leaves and mix with earlier mixture. Its advisable to mix when you are about to serve to retain freshness of Fenugreek leaves.
  • Serve at this stage along with rice and curry or Jowar roti and Ennegaayi.

Notes

Instead of grinding onion in to paste, you may shallow fry finely chopped onion along with other ingredients for tampering. This may require little more oil and hence we have used onion, while grinding.

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Venkat Chicken Gravy

Venkat Chicken Gravy
Venkat Chicken Gravy

In Object Oriented Programming word, whenever there is clash between names, programmers prefix it with another name to make whole phrase unique. If there is a clash between function names, prefixing with object names them unique in that space. If there is clash between different objects of different classes, concept of namespaces comes to rescue. Prefixing with namespace resolves clashes when it comes to compiling. We do see this at many places in real life too. This generation of people at Kodkani used this so effectively to identify persons when there is such ‘identity crisis’. When my grandfather was alive, at my native there were multiple ‘Ram Annas’ working at different places. The Ram Anna who was working at post office was called ‘Post Ram Anna’. The other Ram Anna who was having shop called ‘Aangadi Ram Anna’(Aangadi means shop in Konkani/Kannada). There were multiple Mukund annas too. The one who lived in Aachari Hittal(an area in Kodkani) was called ‘Achari Hittal Mukundanna’, the other elderly person lived close to barron land and hence was referred ‘Bena vailo Mukundanna’. Such a simple concept was perhaps adopted while implementing compilers later!!

This recipe name must be quite puzzling. But this is how it is referred in my house as this recipe comes from a friend Venkat who is ex-colleague. He generally does not like eating outside his house and had invited us to his house once. This dish was prepared at his house and we liked and asked the name. He said for us chicken means this is it. When we say there is chicken today, it means it is only this chicken. We took recipe from him and in fact from his wife and prepared few times. It was liked by everybody. However as we prepare variety of chicken gravies and for us it is one amongst many gravies, we had to give a unique name – now over the years for us ‘Venkat’s chicken’ means it is this chicken gravy. This new brand was born few years back but recipe was perhaps established one at his place but certainly new to us.

Pictorial:
Take the garam masala ingredients.
venkat chicken gravy1

Dry roast all the garam masala ingredients and grind to a powder.
venkat chicken gravy3 venkat chicken gravy4

Take gravy ingredients.

venkat chicken gravy2
Fry onions, chilies. Add the chicken.
venkat chicken gravy5
 venkat chicken gravy6
Add the spices.
venkat chicken gravy7 venkat chicken gravy8
Add the ground spice. cook for sometime and then coriander leaves.
venkat chicken gravy9 venkat chicken gravy10

Venkat Chicken Gravy

Venkat Chicken Gravy

Chicken is cooked in a flavorful gravy prepared by grinding fresh spices and coconut to make this spicy and tasty chicken gravy.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 -5

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 kg Chicken
  • 1 cup grated Coconut
  • 2 tb spns Ginger garlic paste we always prepare paste fresh and never use readymade paste
  • 1 chopped medium sized onion
  • 5 Green chillies
  • 2 tbl spns Red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tbl spn Turmeric powder
  • 4-5 strands Coriander leaves
  • Salt
  • 4 or 5 tbl spns Oil

For Garam masala powder:

  • 4 tea spns Coriander seeds
  • 1 tbl spn Poppy seeds
  • 2 pieces 2 inch Cinnamon
  • 5 Cloves
  • 2 Cardamom
  • 2-3 Peppercorns

Instructions
 

  • Heat 4 tbl spoons of oil in a pan.
  • Add chopped onion and slit green chilies, shallow fry them.
  • Add cleaned and washed fresh chicken to bowl. Fry for 10 minutes under light flame
  • Add salt, turmeric powder, stir it and leave for 5 minutes.
  • Add Ginger-garlic paste, chilly powder.
  • Cook it for 5 minutes.
  • Add water as per gravy requirement (until chicken pieces are immersed in water upto another 1/3rd of content, as gravy thickens later)
  • Cook until water gets bubbles.
  • Dry roast Garam masala ingredients mentioned above along with grated coconut and make powder. Add to the mixture above.
  • Add salt and bring to boil.
  • Add chopped coriander leaves.
  • Cook it for 5 minutes and stop the flame (once the gravy turns thick).
  • Serve with bread or rotis.

Notes

We always prepare ginger-garlic paste fresh and never use ready-made paste. We feel that gives a better flavor.
If you like to have slight variation, try adding Gongura leaves to get different taste and flavor. You may want to soak few Gongura leaves in hot water for few minutes, blanch and rinse them with normal water and add, while preparing this dish.
Add coriander leaves.
However this is not part of Venkat’s recipe and we did not want to dilute ‘brand Venkat’.

 

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Spicy Drumstick Fry

spicy drumstick fry
I  recollect a colleague of mine from Northern part of India telling that in their menu,  he had never seen drumstick. When he along with his friends hired a cook, he prepared a drumstick curry with rotis. These bunch of friends apparently told cook, if at all you prepare anything with this vegetable, we are going to find replacement for you. I pity – not the cook but this bunch of friends as they fail to explore potential of drumsticks. One can make several dishes out of drumsticks. They are healthy and tasty. This spicy drumstick fry is invention of my wife – Its simple, quick to prepare, healthy and tasty. A typical side dish that fits well in today’s fast paced life. If there are kids in family, they have strange liking for drumsticks and nothing like it.

Pictorial :
Cut, peel drumstick and put it in water. Cook them with a pinch of salt.
spicy drumstick fry1
Heat oil, add seasonings and all spices.
spicy drumstick fry2spicy drumstick fry3
Add the cooked drumstick and mix.
spicy drumstick fry4 spicy drumstick fry5

Spicy Drumstick Fry

A simple spicy and healthy sidedish prepared with fresh drumsticks
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 -3

Ingredients
  

  • 2 drumsticks
  • 2 tea spns coriander powder
  • 1 tea snp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tea spn turmeric powder
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 8-9 leaves curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • Oil
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Cut drumsticks approximately in two inch pieces. It’s a good practice to make incision and peel off from other side. Soak these drumstick pieces in water for around 10 minutes to remove the
  • bitterness.
  • Take out these drumsticks and discard the water. Cook drumsticks in water with pinch of salt for around 10 mins. Discard water and keep it aside.
  • In a pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves, allow them to splutter. Add asafoetida, chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder and salt. Fry for 2 mins on low flame. Ensure nothing gets burnt.
  • Add cooked drumsticks to this and fry for another 5 mins. 2 tsps of water can be added so that spices are coated evenly to the drumsticks.
  • Serve the spicy drumsticks with hot rice as side dish.

 

 

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Gadbad

gadbad
There are only few dishes/recipes which are associated with place so well such that they become synonymous with that location over a period of time. Ask anyone from Mangalore to Goa coastal belt, which is the most revered ice cream of that region – response cannot be anything other than “Gadbad”. If answer is different, perhaps they are not from this coastal region!!

This ice-cream was ‘the option’ when we had our cousins visiting us during childhood. The procedure to prepare being laborious, we always chose to visit Kumta to relish. In those days, there were few options- one on car street and other being near bus stand. However today there are many more options, oldies still being favorites.

In Hindi language Gadbad means ‘mistake’. In Konkani or Kannada it loosely translates to ‘in hurry’. Apparently the name originated because workers at ice-cream parlor could prepare this in hurry by mixing and matching ingredients, that are available to them…easily!!

For a very long time, I had been asking Shilpa, why there is no ice cream on this site. So, when I had to choose one, Gadbad was my very first choice – the ice cream that I liked all through my life, the name which many have admired and acknowledged their love with a smile(if they know what it means) , the preparation which is not very different from sundae varieties available with several brands in major towns. However after trying ice creams across many countries, this humble preparation from my native region of India still stands as favorite. It is available in any ice-cream parlor of even a Tier2 town of this region, sitting in menu cards, so gracefully. At Kumta’s ‘new Simla ice cream parlor’, in month of May 2014, this just costed Rs 30. A royal serving, but a humble preparation that would contain almost everything that is in ice cream parlor!!

As mentioned earlier, this is not a unique recipe by itself, but the way it is served makes it unique. The contents will always have 3 flavors – rose or strawberry being one, pineapple or mango generally being another and vanilla being there almost every time. Along with these go- easily available fresh fruits of coastal region, tooty-frooty(ready made jelly made up of Papaya) , rose syrup and crowning glory would be a cherry. It is served always in a tall glass with much longer spoon and it is this part which makes it such a brand and so special. As per a Kannada weekly, this was invented in Mangalore and became a cult over a period of time in surrounding region. No more details are available on origin of this.

Though name loosely translates to ‘in hurry’, if someone is planning to prepare at house, this ice cream neither can be prepared in hurry nor one can have it in hurry!! However it is so delicious that you would not worry about efforts that go in!! While preparing at house, I have ensured to the best possible extent, to use natural ingredients. Ready-made ingredients are used only when alternate option was not available. As it is mango season, I decided to use mango ice-cream as one of the options, rose ice-cream as another choice as rose syrup was available and also because of its eye catching color in overall presentation. Vanilla ice cream is prepared using easily available ice-cream mix.

Procedure for overall ice-cream preparation with refrigerator:
Vanilla ice-cream:
Ingredients:
Weikfield Freeze Ice cream mix powder
½ litre of milk

Method:
Empty the contents of packet in ½ litre of milk
Heat to boil for 2 minutes with constant stirring till it becomes homogeneous mixture
This mixture is cooled and poured into container.

Mango ice-cream:
Ingredients:
2 cut mangoes or mango pulp
2 ground cardmom powder
½ litre of milk
2 tbl spn fresh cream
2 tbl spn of sugar

Method:
Boil milk and bring to room temperature
Mix all ingredients
Blend well to get homogeneous mixture
Pour above mixture into container

Rose flavored ice-cream
Ingredients:
2 tbsp Rose syrup(ex. FineLife’s Rose sharbat syrup)
½ litre of milk
2 tbsp fresh cream
2 tbsp of sugar

Method:
Boil milk and bring to room temperature
Mix all ingredients
Blend well to get homogeneous mixture
Pour above mixture into container

Common procedure to make ice-cream using refrigerator:
gadbad1 gadbad2 gadbad3

Select coolest position for deep fridge (freezer). Keep the same in at least ½ hr before keeping ice-cream containers.
Leave containers in deep fridge for around 2-3 hours.
Take them out, blend them separately using a blender.
Ensure you take out froth if any, as that crystallizes. You will not get desired texture if you leave froth as it is. Keep them back in deep fridge.
Repeat above procedure at least 3 times, till you find desired texture so that you can scoop out.
While keeping it for the last time, either close the containers with lid or with plastic sheet. This is to ensure it does not freeze.

It is advisable to leave sufficient head-space so that freezing can be avoided. You may also prefer freezing bags instead of regular containers.

Warning: Keeping glass Containers in deep fridge is unsafe, as glass may break.

Ingredients for garnishing:
Fresh cut fruits – banana, mango, pomegranate
Dry fruits – grapes, cashews, pista
Tooty frooty, cherry and rose syrup

Method for serving:
gadbad4 gadbad5 gadbad6

Take a tall glass. Place a scoop of rose flavored ice cream.
Add fresh cut fruits.
Add scoop of mango ice cream.
Add dry fruits.
Add vanilla ice cream.
Garnish with rose syrup and Tooty frooty.
Top it up with a cherry.
Serve with long spoon so that one can reach bottom of glass easily!!

gadbad

 

 

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Beetroot Salad (Beetroot Kosambari / Kosambir)

beetroot salad
Some of these kind of recipes are not “Aayis recipes” in strict sense. These kind of dishes are quick to prepare and very helpful for office goers when they return and obliged to cook. They are ready almost in no time. It is non-traditional in the sense, perhaps invented as per need but quite healthy as no oil involved and no cooking needed. In other words, perhaps these kinds of dishes will become ‘Aayis recipes’ of next generation!! This one comes into our family from one of our cousins and off late a regular side dish.

Ingredients:
4-5 green chillies
One beetroot (approx 1 cup grated)
A bowl of curd(yogurt)
2 onions
Salt

Method:
beetroot salad1
Slit green chillies, chop onions, add half tea spoon of salt and mix well.
beetroot salad2
To this add grated beetroot. Mix curd and serve. For few minutes you may keep in refrigerator if required. However any dish that has salt and raw chopped onions is likely to leave out water. So it is best to serve once you mix.
This goes well with dal rice.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 10mins

PS: – If you do not like raw onions, leave it out and add a seasoning could be added to the above to give it a different taste. To make the seasoning, heat a little oil, add mustard, when it starts popping, add urad dal, curry leaves and little asafoetida. Pour this over the salad.

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Zunka (Pitla-Patal version of Zunka)

zunka
Zunka is a popular Maharashtrian dish and it is also very popular in Karnataka-Maharashtra border area. Though I got exposed to several dishes when I was studying at Belgaum, this Zunka is something I could never appreciate till I got married !! The dryer version of Zunka has a texture and husky smell of Chickpeas flour(Besan) which kept me away from this.
The credit of making me like this dish goes to Rashmi, my wife. When she decided to prepare this for first time, I remember telling her, there are very few dishes on earth that I don’t like and Zunka is definitely one of them. However my opinion got changed when I tried this ‘watery version’ of Zunka. The texture and taste of this is quite different from traditional thick one and perhaps that results in a different appeal. But please note that thicker version is more popular and if you visit restaurant and order for this, you are most likely to get the traditional one(and this is not that version).

Ingredients:
4 tbl spns besan (bengal gram flour)
1 cup chopped onions
½ cup grated coconut
1 tea spn mustard seeds (rai/sarson)
1 tea spn cumin seeds (jeera)
A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
5 slit green chillies
1/2 tea spn turmeric powder (haldi)
2 tbl spn coconut oil(or olive oil or any other oil)
Few curry leaves
Salt and water to taste

Method:
zunka5

Mix besan in half cup of water and stir to ensure no lumps are formed and keep it aside(Most important step to get consistency and uniform taste).
zunka1 zunka2 zunka3 zunka4
Heat oil in a thick bottomed vessel, add mustard seeds.
When they start spluttering, add asafoetida, curry leaves, pinch of turmeric powder and green chillies. You may add 1 tsp of crushed ginger(not added in pictures) and jeera and fry for a minute.
Add onion and fry till it becomes translucent stirring occasionally.
Mix earlier dissolved Besan to this.
While stirring, add a cup of more water. This is desired to get right texture and especially if you don’t like smell of Besan flour.
Add salt as desired. Add grated coconut.
Aayi's Recipes
Bring it to boil and keep stirring till gravy thickens. Do not attempt to dry out additional water. The real skill and perfection of this dish lies here.
Serve hot with rice or jawaar or baajra rotis. Pictures shown here are with rice rotis.
This dish has to be spicy and milder version may not go well with rotis.

PS: There are various other versions of this in terms of ingredients and texture. You may use red chilli powder instead of green chillies or along with them. You may add crushed garlic. Instead of opting for semi-gravy texture, you may go for thick paste.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 20mins

Update: Thanks to comments from readers. I have updated post to bring in more clarity between Zunka and its ‘sibling’ Pitla. In my family and amongst my relatives this version is known as Zunka. However I did cross check with some of my Marathi speaking relatives and they clarified that patal(thin) version of Zunka is known as Pitla. Since this is more of Maharashtrian dish, I would give due credits while naming. Hence I have updated the title as well.

 

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Dill Leaves Idli (Shepi Idli)

shepi idli
There are many recipes that are passed on from one generation to another generation. However there are few out of them, which are not liked by this generation… at least at my house. None of my immediate relatives like smell of Shepi(Dill leaves) and hence this one is hardly prepared and would have lost from our contemporary radar but for my wife. Now this one is prepared by my wife for breakfast and she brings this recipe in, from her mother. I do like this dish but not my parents or any other immediate relatives. I have heard from Aayi that some of our relatives who are contemporaries of my grandfather still prepare this. But at my ancestral house, as no one liked, it was never prepared. This may also because Shepi(dill) leaves are not easily or regularly available in coastal area. We do prepare this now at Bangalore, when we don’t have guests. So over a period of time, a breakfast dish has become sort of ‘temporary’ instead of staying contemporary!!! This will have strong smell(and for me it is fragrance!!) and I wonder why Dill leaves have not won many Dil(hearts)s !!!

Ingredients:
2 cups dill leaves
1 cup rava
4 tbl spn jaggery
1 cup thin poha(flattened rice)
1 cup fresh/frozen grated coconut
Salt to taste
Method:
shepi idli1

Soak poha in water for couple of minutes. Do not leave it in water as it becomes soggy. shepi idli2 shepi idli3
Mix all ingredients except rava. Grind them to make smooth paste.
Mix rava and ensure that no lumps are formed.
shepi idli4 shepi idli5
Pour in to idli molds and steam for 20 minutes(or microwave for 5 minutes).
Serve with chutney or chutney powder.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 30mins

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Misal Pav

misal pav
I have been requesting my brother to post some recipes here for last 8 years. He is a complete foodie – who loves to eat, loves to cook. Finally he agreed and here is his first post here. This is also the 1000th post on this blog (yayy!!!). Now over to my brother Naveen. – Shilpa

To give a brief but much deserved break, from several years of relentless work of Shilpa, I decided to contribute to this site with few and really few recipes, she has missed so far. As I am her brother, all her relatives by birth, whom she owes credits of learning so many wonderful recipes, remain my mentors as well.

I tasted this Misal Pav first, at my Pachi’s house in Balgaum several years back. Apart from its appealing way of serving on dining table, it redefined my understanding of usage of left hand. At my house, left hand is never used while having food and that is what we were taught. Misal pav is first dish that I saw everyone using left hand, for holding Pav in left hand(Pav also means foot but here I mean bread Pav).

Right hand is used for spoon, either for having Misal or for helping with farsaan(a namkin), coriander leaves or chopped onions. This fiery Kolhapuri recipe is at its majestic best when gravy is spicy and hot.

Though this dish is very traditional and a regular one at breakfast, recipe presented here is not in its most authentic version. Nevertheless, its a shortcut to that perennial bliss called fiery Misal Pav.

Apparently Pachi has learnt this from one of her friends from Kolhapur. Apart from her house, I have also tasted this dish at few restaurants in Belgaum, Opal restaurant of Kolhapur and Rajvardhan foods in JP Nagar of Bangalore. If you have never tasted this, dare to taste this, only with few glasses of water readily available. Believe me, you will cherish this taste and its associated style for a long time.

Ingredients:
8 pairs of pav buns
Butter to roast Pav
1.5 cup Matki(Moth beans)
2 Potatoes
2 Tomatoes
3 tbsp Chilli powder
Salt

For masala:
1/2 Coconut (approx 1 cup) grated
3 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds(jeera)
6 cloves
1 star anise (badam phool)
1 inch cinnamon (dalchinni)
1 tbsp white sesame seeds (til)

For seasoning
2 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of hing(asafoetida)
1 tsp chili powder
10 cloves of garlic

For serving
One large onion finely chopped
1 cup farsaan(mixture or namkin)
1/4 cup chopped Coriander leaves
1 Lemon cut into small wedges

Method:
misal pav1

Wash matki till you get clear water, soak and keep it overnight.
Next day drain the water and leave it moist for another half day to get sprouts.
misal pav2
Pressure cook matki and potatoes for one whistle.
misal pav3 misal pav4
Fry coconut and other ingredients for masala, grind them in to paste.
misal pav5 misal pav6 misal pav7
In a pan, heat 2 table spoon of oil. Add mustard seeds and once they start spluttering add pinch of hing. Then add crushed garlic. Fry garlic till it turns brown and then add chili powder. Ensure that none of the ingredients get burnt. Then add chopped tomatoes and fry.
Add parboiled matki along with its boiled water and chopped cooked potatoes.
misal pav8
Mix coconut masala and stir well. Add salt and cook for around 10 minutes on low flame.misal pav9
Pour sufficient water and bring it to boil. If you do not see red color on top, prepare for separate seasoning.
Heat a table spoon of oil and add a spoonful of chili powder. Pour this over curry to get fiery authentic look. If you are health conscious use very minimal quantity of oil while preparing dish however garnish with oil seasoning towards end to get that appearance of ‘kat‘.
Serve with pav, coriander leaves, farsaan and onions.

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 45

PS: As mentioned earlier, this is authentic dish but recipe is not authentic. Here traditional goda masala  or garam masala is not used. Ingredients for garam masala are used in least possible quantity. Also in traditional version, Usal and Kat are prepared separately and mixed only just before serving. However if your focus is on end result, you have same Misal pav with this recipe and irresistible dish in much shorter time.

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