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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Updated 11:28 a.m.:

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill R...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Simple traditions from New Delhi

 Image from article Simple traditions from New Delhi

Gitika Baveja wrote her first two cookbooks in India after watching some of her young female friends leave their family homes for marriage without much background in cooking and housekeeping basics.

Now living in the United States, Baveja has written an English-language book of recipes for the Bay Area community, because "you spend a lot of money on (restaurant) Indian food, and it's not satisfying enough for the people I know."

Baveja wrote, photographed and self-published "Indian Flavors to Savor" (Morris Press Cookbooks, 2006), from an apartment off Homestead Road at the junction of Los Altos, Sunnyvale and Cupertino.

"When I was growing up, I would sit for hours on a ledge in the kitchen watching my mother cook, enamored. Now, when I eat in a restaurant, I come home and try the dish my way. It's just a passion," she said.

Baveja, who works in the high-tech industry, said, "My work is more stressful. When I come home and cook (in the evening), it's relaxing."

Her cookbook focuses on northern-style dishes, seasoned by Baveja's upbringing in New Delhi.

"In the north, we are also very cosmopolitan. I'd make a lot of Western dishes even when I was in India," Baveja said.

Most of the recipes are intended to take only 15-20 minutes to prepare. The book incorporates healthful spins on traditionally guilty treats, like an olive-oil version of halwa, a sweet that typically relies on rich dairy products.

"There is a misconception that Indian food is very fattening," Baveja said. She described the dishes Westerners are likely to encounter in American-Indian restaurants as filled with butter and cream, more like wedding dishes than everyday fare in India.

"If you put two cups of butter in, people will like it," Baveja said. But she seeks to offer an alternative in her cookbook: a guide to the Indian cooking techniques that infuse flavor without resorting to fat.

"It's satisfying to share knowledge and recipes," she said.

She is interested in leading cooking classes at some point to teach trickier techniques, such as tempering dry spices in a hot pan. Novices have occasionally filled a kitchen with billows of spicy smoke when tempering goes awry. "Indian Flavors to Savor" offers a crash course in such techniques in its first pages, in addition to a plethora of hints crucial for the novice cook: when to add garlic to a skillet, how to balance unfamiliar spices and on which ingredients it is OK to "cheat" and use the canned. With a guide to cookery terms and an English-Hindi introduction to Indian spices, Baveja tries to entice even the most timid chef to an experiment with curry.

"It's really a misconception that Indian food is spicy. You need to know your tolerance level. The food isn't spicy if you don't make it spicy," Baveja said.

Her potato cutlets, subtly flavored with the homemade spice mix garam masala, coriander powder and a hint of red chili, have the crispy, panfried flavor of comfort food. She adds large pearl tapioca to the cutlets, which lends a delicate, surprising substance and texture to the potato patties. They are eaten dipped in a sweet, salty cilantro and mint chutney, which adds a vibrant color and a bite of fresh, raw herb flavor to the side dish.

Baveja's masala tava salmon is lightly coated in spiced rice flour and panfried, resulting in tender, fragrant fish inside a crisp, rich crust, pungent with a hint of mango powder. Her chickpea curry is a standout beginner's dish, low on fat and smoldering with an earthy, sweet, chopped ginger, onion and tomato base.

For more information about "Indian Flavors to Savor," e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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