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News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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Enjoy a fresh Indian take on guacamole

Freshly made guacamole easily finds a place in Indian cuisine, swapping tortilla chips for crispy pappadums. The golden, crunchy rounds, often served as an appetizer here in California, are typically made of lentils, black gram or chickpea flour. At home, prepare a store-bought packet of pappadums by frying in hot oil, roasting on a gas stove or heating in the microwave oven.

My version of guacamole is reminiscent of a thick chutney that is not only delicious, but also loaded with nutritious monounsaturated fat. Avocados provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins and folic acid.

I also add curry powder and garam masala and give the dish a light tempering with mustard and cumin seeds. Some of the most common ingredients in curry powder include turmeric, fenugreek, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, mustard seeds, cayenne pepper and cardamom.

The key to making the perfect guacamole is to keep tasting as you add ingredients and adjust according to your palate.

A few useful hints: Use fresh, ripe avocados – if the avocado is very dark green (nearly brown), it’s probably too ripe to use and will get mushy once you open it. Red onions are the way to go, especially for Indian guacamole. Freshly chopped green cilantro, lime or lemon juice and green chili enhance the flavors, but you can omit the chili if you are afraid of spices. The curry powder and garam masala compensate well for the chili and provide great flavor while giving it the signature Indian zing and taste.

Serve this simple and tasty appetizer with a glass of crisp white wine to give your cocktail party that added pizzazz.

Gitika Baveja is author of “Indian Flavors to Savor: The Easy Home-Cooked Way.” For more recipes and to order a cookbook, visit flavorstosavor.com.

Indian Guacamole

• 1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and mashed with fork

• 1/4 small red onion, chopped

• Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped

• Pinch of salt

• Pinch of garam masala

• 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, or to taste

• 1 small tomato, seeded and diced (optional)

• 1/2 green chili, finely chopped (optional)

• 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

• 1/2 teaspoon black whole mustard seeds

• 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

In small bowl, combine chopped onion, garlic, cilantro, green chili and avocado. Give a generous squeeze or two from lime or lemon. Add salt, garam masala and curry powder. Stir, check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Heat oil in small saucepan, add mustard and cumin seeds and cover over medium heat until seeds pop, 1-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir into guacamole. Serve immediately with pappadums.

Note: Pappadums, or papad, left, are a delicious traditional Indian crispy snack available at Indian grocery stores; cook according to package directions. You can heat pappadums in the microwave for 1 minute – they taste as good as fried but are a much more healthful alternative. Pappadums are sold in different flavors – I prefer the plain udad lentil ones for this guacamole recipe.

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