Dal Makhni Lentil burger with Chicken Curry Mayo

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 

I have been following Masterchef Australia since quite a while now. So when Knorr India came up with a contest that gave a chance to meet the judges, and attend a #knorrmasterclass, I went all in! The pre-requisite was to use any new Knorr Easy chef Indian masalas in a dish. So I promptly ordered mine from Bigbasket as instructed. What I came up with is a Dal Makhni Lentil Burger (using dal makhni masala) with Chicken Curry Mayo (using chicken curry masala). I’ll go straight to the recipe.

 

Dal Makhni Lentil Burger with chicken curry mayo

Portion size : 1

Serves : 1

Cooking time : 30 minutes

Preparation time : 7 hours

Utensils/Equipment – 1 pressure cooker to cook the Black Urad dal, 1 pan for making the lentil patty, knife for chopping, 1 cutting board, 1 utensil to soak dal overnight, 1 pan for making the lentil mix, 1 mixer for bread crumbs

INGREDIENTS

Black Urad dal – ½ cup
Onion – 1, finely chopped
Knorr Dal Makhni masala
Knorr Chicken curry masala
Butter – roughly 2 tbsp & some for frying
Mayonnaise – 4 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Bread – 1 slice
Jalapenos, Red paprika, pickled Gherkins, iceberg lettuce, tomato – for garnish

MeThod:

1. Soak Black Urad dal overnight. Next morning pressure cook it till the grains are soft (roughly half hour for patty, 1 hr if you want actual dal)

2. In a pan fry some onions in butter. If you use the masala you dont need to add anything else, but I added a little onion for texture in the patty.

DalMakhniLentilBurger-1 3. Add the dal, half packet of Knorr Dal Makhni masala & just 2 spoons of water to mix it all well. Sprinkle some salt, but this masala already has salt, so be careful about how much you add. Let it cool and mash it completely.

DalMakhniLentilBurger-2

4. Pulse one slice of bread in a mixer and add these bread crumbs to the lentil mash for increasing binding.

5. After the mix is mashed, shape into patties and fry in some butter for added makhni flavour.

DalMakhniLentilBurger-3

6. Now prepare chicken curry mayo, by taking the mayonnaise in a bowl and adding a few pinches of the chicken curry masala. Mix very well so that the masala is completely absorbed well into the mayonnaise & u dont taste it as separate granules.

7. Heat the burger bun. Take the lower part, spread some of the chicken curry mayo, place some iceberg lettuce on to it and a dal makhni patty.

DalMakhniLentilBurger-4

8. Garnish with red paprika, chopped jalapenos, slivers of pickled gherkin & slices of tomato. You can add more mayo if desired. Voila! Enjoy!

DalMakhniLentilBurger-13

Here’s a composite image of all the elements of this dish.

DalMakhniLentilBurgerWithElements

I must say it was quite tasty ESPECIALLY the chicken curry mayo. Dal makhni flavours anyway go so well with butter chicken & chicken curry. So go ahead try this protein packed very filling Dal Makhni Lentil Burger with Chicken Curry mayo and let me know how it turned out!


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Want to time travel? Visit Haveli Dharampura

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

If you have ever read Enid Blyton’s “The Faraway tree” series, you would remember how a different land used to come on top of the tree every time the trio of lead characters visited the tree top..and they would have fun, be mesmerised with the magic and then come back to their own land. How cool would it be if you knew some place where if you open the door you enter a different world, you partake, you enjoy and then you go back to your own world. Well now there IS one such place. Let me introduce you to Haveli dharampura.

Set in the bylanes of chandni chowk, ensconced in gali guliyan, where the lanes are so narrow, you can only walk – lies an old world land. As you enter the haveli’s heavy set doors you step into a different world. The world of squalor, grime and zillion electric cables tied in to precarious knots is left behind on the outside. What you face is a glimpse of the way nobles and courtiers used to live in Delhi, not so long back. The architecture is a pleasing and unique mix of Hindu, Mughal and colonial influences. You first encounter a verandah with a fountain in the centre, as is typical of many Indian havelis.. a central courtyard with a garden or fountain which used to cool the entire house built around it. The three storeyed haveli can be seen fully from here and well.. from all floors as well. Beyond the varandah is the Baithak or drawing room which now hosts the restaurant – Lakhori. Named after the bricks that the haveli is built with, it serves a cuisine with Mughal and Jain influences.. The same which evolved into the Chandni chowk food that everyone rushes to grab a bite of every now and then.

The entrance to Goel Sahab ki Haveli! The Verandah with the fountainA picture of the dilapidated look the Haveli bore before resurrection A seating room next to the restaurant

The day I visited this old world gem, I met Vidyun Goel the hostess and was treated to a sumptuous collection of dishes from an elaborate menu. Here are some of them. In ascending order of appearance these are – cucumber chaat canapes, palak patta chaat, murg ke paarche, golgappe, galouti kabab, kadak roomali masala, dahi bhalla, Berry’s delight, aloo gobhi mattar deconstructed, kadai chicken (served in a roti), mutton korma, paneer parantha with kashiphal kee sabji, makhane kee kheer, mango kulfi and paan kulfi both wrapped in a chocolate shell .. There was so much more to nibble at that somewhere I quite forgot to take pics and just immersed myself in the gastronomic experience.

Food at Lakhori

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The three storeys of the haveli above the ground floor, have 13 fully furnished rooms – the 14th was converted into a spa. These rooms are divided into Jharokha Rooms, Diwan E Khas Rooms, and Shahjahan Suites. If I am not wrong they are named after various gates of Delhi – the old city. The rooms have the vintage old world feel but are fully equipped with all modern amenities and most importantly, well, modern bathrooms :). As dear readers may note, one may live in this land for a while before retreating to one’s own world. But it wasn’t always like that. Built around 1887 AD, the haveli rooms were divided and subdivided by their owners into nearly 64 rooms! The restoration that took about 8 years, 45 lakhs, 50 specialised masons and labourers was a slow and painful journey with no precedent. Finally we see it restored to its old world glory and the ambience quickly takes us back to an era we haven’t actually ever seen. The credit of all this goes to heritage lover & MP Mr. Vijay Goel, his son Siddhant Goel & their entire family. I hope that other havelis in that area follow suit and somehow manage to do the same because the government is also offering them restoration assistance funds.

Glimpse of the rooms

Apparently the previous owners had a dream that there was a safe in the basement under the ground.. they dug up that precise spot and lo and behold! There indeed WAS a safe under the ground! They claim that it was empty but then who knows what *really* happened when this tijori was opened 🙂 . I wish my dreams told me about buried treasures!

Underground Tijori!

Here’s a look at the views from the top floor .. you can see all the floors from every floor. Makes me miss the old world architecture where you could see all the family members and talk across floors. You can also see Jama masjid from the terrace. There’s another rooftop restaurant at the terrace called the “baradari”. The terrace has a new piece of architecture built into it borrowed from the Rajasthan havelis. The panorama shows the view from the absolute top with Vidyun also in the picture.

View of all the floors from the top floor Jama Masjid viewed from the haveli  The rooftop restaurant Some rajasthani architecture

View from the roof of the haveli & Vidyun in the panorama

 

Apart from being a heritage hotel the Dharampura haveli also has a lot of exciting things for its guests. It houses a tiny art gallery with images from the olden times of Chandni chowk. It will perhaps showcase exhibitions of modern artists too. Apart from this they also have a tiny library section with a cosy seating area next to it. They have a shisha room as well and of course there’s the spa. And did I mention that they also have an elevator? It sure is much needed.

Art Gallery & library seating

 

The magic of the old world would not be complete without the kathak performances that have been started now. They are organised every Friday, Saturday, Sunday along with a fixed dinner menu. Unfortunately I haven’t witnessed any, but can only imagine how breathtaking it would look. There are other activities for the guests, like Kabootar baazi (pigeon flying) and patangbaazi (Kite flying).

Pigeon flying - a popular sport in chandni chowk

A view of the balcony at the haveli and the narrow lane and a different world it looks upon.

Balcony at the haveli Narrow lane and a different world outside

 Here’s a glimpse of the “Now an Then” provided by the folks at Haveli Dharampura

Now and then - provided by Haveli Dharampura

Now and then – provided by Haveli Dharampura

There are just a handful of heritage hotels in Delhi but all of them are from the colonial era from what I know. Haveli Dharampura has, by far the oldest heritage in Delhi! Being in the heart of THE delhi, it has a unique advantage for travellers, who want to explore Delhi and don’t want to be located very far from the centre of attraction. These walls have seen lot of centuries, exchanged hands with a lot of owners and under all that plaster and paint lies the soul of a haveli that lives on and has been witness to many stories. You must go and have a conversation with it some evening.

 

Contact info:

2293, Gali Guliyan, Dharampura, Delhi-6

Tel.: 011-23261000, 011-23263000

E-mail: info@havelidharampura.com
reservations@havelidharampura.com

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Oats Poha

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 

It was with a lot of surprise that I reacted when I learnt from a friend, that there’s one brand of Oats available in India that has customised the oats to substitute various Indian staples. So when Bagrry’s India contacted me to try out some of their products, I agreed pronto. They have Oat substitutes for Atta, poha, sooji, and rice among other things like regular oats. AFAIK there’s no other Oats brand that provides “customised for India” variants. I have tried some of their products and quite liked them.

I am sharing a recipe that I tried some time back. I made the Oats Poha using the “Oats for Poha” variant of Bagrry’s

Oats for Poha

Oats Poha with bagrry’s “oats for poha”

Portion size : 2

Serves : 1

Cooking time : 20 minutes

Preparation time : 10 minutes

Utensils/Equipment – 1 large pot or saucepan for boiling peas & beans, 1 pan for making poha, knife for chopping, colander to drain veggies and Poha, 1 cutting board, 1 bowl to soak oats, 1 pan for roasting peanuts

INGREDIENTS

Bagrry’s Oats for Poha – ½ cup
Plain poha – ½ cup
Onion – 1, finely chopped
Peas – ¼ cup
French beans – ¼ cup diced
Peanuts – ¼ cup
Dry Red chillies – 2-3
Curry leaves (green) – few
Mustard seeds/Rye – few
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric – a pinch
Chilli powder – to taste
Coriander powder – ¼ tsp

MeThod:

1. Soak Bagrry’s Oats for Poha in a bowl. The original recipe says 3-4 minutes, but I soaked them for 10 minutes. Drain water and keep aside

Soaked Oats

2. Wash normal poha, drain it and keep aside

Soaked Poha

3. In a pan add oil and heat it on a high flame for 2 minutes. Now add mustard seeds, dry red chillis, curry leaves. Let the mustard splutter a little bit.

4. Add onions and saute. Meanwhile boil peas and french beans till they are somewhat cooked but not fully cooked

5. After a while, drain the peas and french beans and add to the pan. Stir continuously. Simmer down the flame and cover with a lid till the vegetables are cooked.

6. Now add Oats for Poha and all the spices. Mix well.

7. Now add plain poha and mix well so that all the spices evenly coat the poha

8. Cook on medium flame for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile roast the peanuts on a tawa for 4-5 minutes and then let them cool.

9. Once cooked, add the lemon juice to the poha, sprinkle some peanuts and serve

Oats Poha is ready!

Here’s the recipe in recipe card format.

I must say it was quite tasty unlike what I really expected. It was very filling as well. I felt less guilty because of replacing at least some part of my white grain consumption with oats. 🙂 Go ahead and try the recipe and let me know how yours turned out!


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Inside Out Genovese Pasta At The Beach 2

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

I love Basil. Which is why I have untamed Basil bushes growing in my lawn. It’s a cousin of our very own Holy Basil (Tulsi) but tastes very different. Apart from garnishing anything with basil, the best thing to make with it is Basil pesto.

Pesto is a sauce originating in Genoa in northern Italy and traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil, pine nuts blended with olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. There are many variations to this. You can add a dash of other herbs that go with basil or replace pine nuts with walnuts or even almonds. You can also make it without any nuts and it’ll taste really good even then. The word pesto comes from the past participle of the Genoese word pestâ  which means to pound, to crush, in reference to the original method of preparation, with marble mortar and wooden pestle. Anyway, enough with the history behind it. Pesto tastes wonderful and is typically used in Italian pasta recipes. A very classic Italian recipe is Genovese pasta, that originated in Genoa, where potatoes and long French beans are added to pasta and then tossed with generous amounts of basil pesto. It’s very quick and easy to make and is made with veggies like potatoes and beans which are staple to all households! I’ve made it earlier as well, as shown in the instagram image below.

 

 

Today’s main course: genovese pasta- spaghetti with basil almond pesto, long green beans & cubed potatoes 👌#moi

A photo posted by Twilight Fairy (@twilightfairy) on


 

So on this fine sunday I decided to give the Classic Genovese pasta – a twist. Instead of the pesto and the veggies being on the outside of the pasta, I decided to put them INSIDE the pasta. Hence the Inside Out Genovese Pasta. (The twist to this recipe doesn’t end just there). I figured that the best shape for this dish, which is easily available in India would be Conchiglie (Sea shell shape). So off I went to the local gourmet store and bought myself a pack of Del monte’s conchiglie pasta. It’s a good pasta for stuffing things as well as eating like regular pasta. It also coats well and holds shape. And since creating food is akin to creating art, I decided to play out a seaside scene with my food, sitting far away from any beach and sans any seafood. Hence came into existence – the ‘Inside Out Genovese Pasta At The Beach’.

DelMonte Conchiglie

 So here are the detailed steps.

MeThod:

1. In a large pot or saucepan, put water to boil. Add some salt. Put the Conchiglie shells in it and cook al dente or as per what you like (I like them properly cooked). Drain them , Pour a dash of extra virgin olive oil on them and keep aside. Ideally the pasta and the potatoes and the beans can all be cooked together in one pan but in this version of the Genovese pasta, since we’ll be stuffing the shells, it is important to cook the pasta and the veggies separately.

DelMonte Conchiglie pasta in raw and cooked form

 This image shows the uncooked pasta with the cooked pasta in the background to give an idea about the relative size.

 

2. For Basil pesto, in a blender blend the nuts with the garlic and parmesan. Then add the basil, dash of balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil (as per your health concerns) & churn into a sauce. Season with salt and a little pepper. Put aside. Even if you make extra you can use it later, as a dip or just as a spread in a sandwich.

Basil in my lawnA cup full of packed basilBasil pesto

 

3. Peel the potatoes, and then dice into very small half inch cubes. The size should fit into a piece of pasta.

Take the trimmed beans and similarly, chop them into half inch pieces. Classically in a Genovese pasta , the beans are barely halved in size and sometimes not even halved. Readers can try that version as well. It would just mean not stuffing the shells.

Trimmed beansDiced potatoes that fit into the pastaChopped beans and potatoes

 4. Again take some water in the earlier pot or saucepan, add some salt and put to boil. Put the potatoes first, since they’ll take longer to cook and we want crunchy beans. After 5 minutes, add the chopped beans. Cook for 2–3 minutes until the beans are cooked but are still crunchy. The potatoes should be cooked thoroughly.  Since they have been diced into small cubes, it will not take that long. Drain both veggies in a colander.

5. Take a pan, heat up some olive oil in it and add a generous pinch of thyme. To this now add the potatoes and the beans. Toss quickly and add some salt and pepper. Keep in mind that there is already salt in the pesto as well as the Conchiglie pasta. Keep the mixture aside.

6. In a pan, heat up 1 or 2 hot dogs or frankfurters or sausages. Whatever is available and as per your appetite.  I used chicken pepper sausages in this example.

 

For the elaborate plating for the ‘scene at the beach’:

7. Take a dish in which you wish to do the plating. Take one shell at a time and put a piece of bean and a cube of potato or just few pieces of one vegetable as per your choice. There’s no set formula, and it can be a random mix as well. After this you have to put the basil pesto inside the shells. You can either use a small spoon or use a piping bag or icing gun if you are more comfortable with that. I used a small spoon. You can also choose to put the pesto first and veggies later. It can be an interesting mix of stuffed shells. These will, as is apparent, be the sea shells in your beach scene. You can stuff as many shells as you want. The quantity in the image below is only for representation of the beach scene.

 

Stuff each shell with pesto, potatoes and beansA plate full of stuffed shells

8. After you have taken several shells (as per your appetite) and stuffed them, and aligned them on a plate, take a slice of bread and spread some basil pesto on one side. Toast in a toaster or bake this bread till it is brown and crisped completely. I used the air fryer here for the same result. Once this is done, break the crisped toast into pieces and crush into powder in a blender. This will be the (flavoured) sand at the beach. Pour the sand in one corner of your seaside scene.

Seaside sand created with toasted bread

9. Take the cheese block and a cookie cutter in a star shape and cut out a star piece. After this you can try your artistic skills and slice off more cheese to make this star look more like a starfish with slender tentacles. You can place this starfish anywhere in the seaside scene.

A starfish cut out of cheese

10. Take the cooked sausages (or hot dogs) and after leaving 1 – 1.5 inches on the top, slit the rest into 2. Then slit into 2 more. Then slit the individual 4 pieces into 2 each. The resultant 8 pieces will be the legs of the octopus. Stick 2 peppercorns into the top portion of each sausage to make eyes. You might have to poke a tiny hole with a knife if they don’t stick in. Your octopuses are ready!

Place the octopuses anywhere on the seaside scene we have going.

Slicing a sausage for making an octopus Octopuses made out of chicken sausages

11. For the final touch, You can also sprinkle some of the pesto toast sand onto the shells. Your sea beach scene is complete! If you wish, you can splash a little extra virgin olive oil in this dish too.

The final dish with the beach scene complete with sea shells, sand, octopus and star fish!

Instead of serving bread on the side as is typical with pasta dishes, I’ve used the bread as sand. Instead of adding chicken to the dish while cooking, I’ve used chicken sausages for octopus. You can also omit the sausages if you are a vegetarian. All in all, this is a healthy wholesome meal made with commonly available ingredients.

Here are some closeups of individual elements of this dish.

DelMonte-21 DelMonte-22

 

 

 

DelMonte-25DelMonte-23

 

 

 

 

 

DelMonte-24DelMonte-20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voila! Enjoy the Inside Out Genovese Pasta

 Tip:

1. You can also leave the plating portion of this recipe and just toss the pasta together with the potatoes and beans and basil pesto.

2. For a variation, you can also add a dash of vodka into the pesto instead of balsamic vinegar.

3. Leftover pesto sauce can be stored in a jar. Add some extra virgin olive oil on the top to avoid oxidation.

4. Leftover pasta can be put in muffin cups, layered with grated cheese on top & baked. A quick to-go handy bite is ready!


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Hostgator is Post-Traitor

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Here’s why you should never use hostgator’s services. They are post-traitors. They lose mail data. And then you can never get it back. In short – they can not be relied upon for hosting your data, which is precisely what their job is.

I have been using Hostgator since 4 years now for my professional photography domain www.priyankasachar.com. I started with the US servers after which my account was shifted to India servers following their expansion into India just a month after I signed up.

Since then, my experience with HG has been a living hell! Their India team is the most unprofessional team I have EVER seen for ANY service, full of incompetent duds who know nothing, pass personal comments and now they have gone and lost 6 MONTHS OF MY MAIL DATA with the following solution – “Now it can not be retrieved”.

I have raised issues several times with hostgator in the last 4 years of my painful journey and have even received calls from their US branch thanks to the unprofessional behaviour of their India support staff. I thought that with time, things will improve with the India operation because they might just be having teething troubles. However I was being impractically hopeful! Their team was AS PATHETIC 4 years back as it is TODAY.

Right after shifting to India servers, they lost a lot of my professional mail data (of 2 weeks) in June 2011 because their servers marked my mail account as a “demo account” for some stupid reason. This caused me huge losses not just in terms of the overseas opportunities I lost, but also in terms of my repute. All my clients considered ME unprofessional because I wasn’t responding to their mails, instead it was HG that was unprofessional by dropping mails and I had no idea that mails were getting dropped! Now HG has lost 6 WHOLE months of my mail data and the previous incident of June 2011 seems minor in comparison because at least then, I was able to retrieve mails from the server & get back to those who had tried contacting me and pick up pieces of my reputation somewhat, bit by bit. Currently they say that “Nothing can be done about the data loss”!! How pathetic is this organisation that loses professional data (unheard of) – the very data they are supposed to be hosting and then their employees have the gall to say that nothing can be done about it!

For the purpose of this post, I will look past the various issues I’ve faced over the years including loss of mails in June 2011, difficulties faced during account transfer to India, hosted images not showing on the site, the site being too slow, various downtimes, global outages over the years, unavailability of SSH multiple times, Google adwords credit NEVER given till date, harassment at the time of renewal for 3 years in 2012, unprofessional behaviour by Indian staff, unavailability of their tech support senior people during all this time, etc – and – get to what all I have faced just THIS year.

1. On 11 Jan’15 I realised that my site had been down on 10th and decided to upgrade the wordpress software & plugins to the latest versions. I kept trying to upgrade and I kept getting server timeouts and other errors. I thought it was something to do with my internet service provider. Little did I know that it was HG all this while! I couldn’t even access it via SSH or FTP! Ultimately when I contacted HG – following are the issues I faced:

a) NO contact information available on their website. Raising support ticket fetched no response. Live chat was offline even though the website screams 24/7/365 support!! What a rubbish claim. No contact number mentioned for support requests – only for billing and abuse. Their Toll free number wasn’t mentioned anywhere AT ALL. I was ironically, fortunate enough that my past miseries with HG had made me store their toll free number in my phone and I used it after I got no response whatsoever from even their twitter handle!! Why do they even have twitter presence when the duds maintaining it get back to people AFTER THREE DAYS!! This is how pathetic HG’s accessibility is – to even get heard at the basic level.
b) I managed to call the toll free number which after great difficulty and very long holding times, connected me to someone who put me on hold and then the call was disconnected! And this wasn’t the only time this happened for me to think that it was an exception! I talked to 5 different people mostly because the tollfree number just disconnected multiple times! I must say that the technical support staff is MOST incompetent EVER. They do not know even the basics of what they are talking about.
Firstly, my website’s ports had just been blocked out of the blue – with no notification or email or sms or anything at all! With the amount of marketing spam these guys send, could they not have autogenerated an email which alerted me to the issue? The customer instead has to DISCOVER the issue first – time does not matter here, then bang her head against incompetent tech support staff and THEN get to the point where the issue is disclosed to begin with! I was told that there was some malware on my site which is why my site’s ports had been blocked!
Here’s what I found on running a 3rd party check on my site:

Which means that HG has some beyond imagination parameters based on which malware is detected! Whatever it was – was NOT SO life threatening that my entire site had to be blocked due to some reason and that too WITHOUT NOTIFYING ME!!
c) Ultimately I had to tell their staff to at least fix SSH access which was previously working, so that I could at least upload files I wanted, into my hosting account and fix the malware issue. Even that had been disabled. Sadly their tech support staff was absolutely unaware of what I meant. One had no idea of how to enable the port used for SSH. The other told me to use putty instead! This was in spite of my sharing screenshots of the SSH command issued on terminal (In Mac OS). When I told her that I am on Mac OS and that putty was only for windows she started arguing with me! Instead of putty on Mac OS, one needs to run the SSH command from the terminal (app in Mac OS). Ultimately she consulted someone senior and came to the same conclusion that terminal has to be used. and FINALLY she managed to enable the port. It took me ALL day to get this mess sorted.
d) With every passing issue, I managed to unearth newer ones! this just shows how PATHETIC their tech support staff is and how unimportant PROCESSES are to hostgator! Now that my site was supposedly infected with malware which was mind you, NOT detected by any other malware detection software in the world, except for the one on HG, I was supposed to run a malware check through cpanel each time after changes, to see if the malware had been finally removed or not. In order to do this, I had to login to cpanel. I logged in only to realise to my horror that the credentials I had been using for years did not work – AGAIN NO NOTIFICATION for any resetting of the same had been sent.
e) I finally got my password for cpanel reset (do i need to add how difficult that was?) and then realised that “change password” option was NOT in cpanel at all! I AGAIN called their pathetic tech support staff and landed with another dud, who now told me that the very round about way of resetting one’s cpanel password, was NOW through the billing account! SERIOUSLY? AGAIN, so much marketing spam and these guys could not deem it fit to send ONE mail that mattered? One informing their customers that NOW they have to go through this roundabout way for changing the cpanel password?!! And to think that I wasted so much time trying to figure our where the hell that option went! I was told that this was for our own security and benefit. Well could the dumb unprofessional hacks i.e. HG’s tech support staff not think of sending a mass mail informing everyone about this so called benefit? If they are doing such a great service to their customers, why not brag about it? Refer to the numerous amount of marketing spam comment again.
f) Finally, i managed to change my password for the billing portal, then accessed it, changed the password for my cpanel, then accessed THAT and finally fixed the problem on my website which if you ask me – WAS NOT THERE TO BEGIN WITH. Also, their tech support staff was very very rude to me in this time frame and this one particular person was constantly muttering an exasperated “oh god!” under her breath. When I mentioned that the tollfree no was still NOT listed on their website she said “if you can google it what is the problem?”.. Their staff seems to have been trained to find faults with their customers rather than fix their issues! Appalling! I fixed my issues and thought that was the end of it but the next day my passwords did not work YET AGAIN and I had to reset them YET AGAIN. However this time I knew the elaborate process – no thanks to tech support staff. Why could these people not have sent ONE mail about how this worked now?!! Priorities much? What will I do with all the crappy marketing mails if I am already an unfortunate customer of theirs? What matters more to existing customers is what my data is going through at their hands! and needless to say that even the marketing spam is useless because all deals apply ONLY to new accounts and not existing ones! So why even send the stuff to existing accounts? Why the laxity in sending mails that matter? And How dense and rude does the support staff have to be in each call? Not to mention the average holding time of at least 20 minutes if you call them.
2. I had thought that HG would at least learn *something* from all this mess that they had created but I was so SO wrong! Also, I was dealing with a knee injury and consequent surgery + physiotherapy in this timeframe, so I let these incidents go without reporting them officially, even though I had been urged to do so by HG US twitter handle. On 27th May one of my clients alerted me that she had sent me some mails, some days back. which I never received and I fired up my mail client and realised that I had not been receiving ANY MAILS since the last 6 months+ ! I have put a forwarder on my mail id hosted by HG and even though the forwarder was working fine there were no mails received from the time period of 8th Dec 2014 to 27th May 2015 on my mail server in question!

a) I called up HG immediately and (after being on hold in 4 different calls due to their pathetic tollfree service, finally connected and) spoke to a tech support person, who pretty much like previous encounters with their unprofessional staff started blaming ME for not having reported this issue earlier! Excuse me but how is the onus of this on the customer? Then she went on to ask me WHAT I was doing in the past 6 months and if this was a professional id , I should have been checking it more frequently! Flabbergasted at this personal investigation, I even asked her what business she had asking me such personal questions! Seriously, do these guys not record ANY calls? Do these people not train staff on mere basics?
b)  I had dislocated my kneecap in december, fractured it, ruptured one of my ligaments as well, and had to undergo surgery followed by intense physiotherapy to fix these issues and was bedridden for quite some time. This summed up my time from all these lost months. So excuse me, the customer, for not being able to live up to the high standards that HG has for everyone except the quality of their hosting, processes or their support staff. I had placed my faith in HG and thought that if I make whatever changes I have been asked to, post server migration, at least the rest would function fine and wouldn’t need my intervention, especially if I have other things to deal with (surgery and post-op rehabilitation). Clearly that faith was wrongly placed. Once the tech support person, got to know the reason for my absence, she was quite apologetic but she wasn’t sure about retrieval of mails.
c) Since 27th May, several people have written to me in context of this support request and the ONLY answer they have repeatedly given to me in these 2 whole months, is that the mails can not be retrieved because that server has been shutdown. SO? how does that concern me? They should have retrieved mails from backups. How to fix this issue is the tech support staff’s problem! The mails have NOT EVEN BEEN BOUNCING. My clients told me that the mails have been sent and yet I did NOT get them. They did not get any mailer daemons. So they have gone SOMEWHERE. The last time this happened in 2011, the duration was 2 weeks and the mails had been retrieved. This time the duration is MORE THAN 6 MONTHS!! And their staff says “Nothing can be done”. Well who the hell is responsible for this mess?
d) At the time of their server migration on 8 december 2014, the mail that was sent to all customers did NOT mention that mail settings had to be changed! Yet this is what ultimately had to be done to even get my mail to start working again! This is what was sent. No mention of mail anywhere.

e) Why could an automated mail not be sent for the mail server changes required? Was their tech staff sleeping all this while? What caused this major oversight? In fact I was told by their staff that they had been fixing problems as and when they came in!!! THIS is beyond shocking! As can be seen by the previous examples as well, Hostgator as an organisation, WAITS for their customers to first DISCOVER that there’s an issue, then to discover WHAT ISSUE and THEN they bother to fix it – not without personal comments & incompetence! This is the most unprofessional practice I have ever seen. Not to mention that the likelihood of people discovering problems at a point when nothing can be done, is rather high. And this is not for the first time with HG either. This is after having seen various service providers in the business because I have been maintaining several websites since a decade now! As showcased in the 11 Jan incident, Hostgator has NO processes whatsoever. And this is a wordlclass MNC we are talking about. They just put the onus of all problems on their customers. Even for basics like changes in login details and password resets and mail server changes!
f) Most importantly, WHY is the staff busy making stupid excuses now to justify the data loss which in turn is an unheard of thing! If a server is being phased out , there are backups, there are processes, there is documentation. There is absolutely NOTHING that Hostgator has here.
g) I have been exchanging mails with their idiotic India staff over this issue, since 27 MAY 15 now but to no avail.

The way their staff has been consistently unprofessional and technically incompetent, the way my experience has been over the last 4 years, needless to say I am not going to stick around with hostgator anymore. In this day and age, these guys are inaccessible be it social media channels or other traditional channels put up by them as their forefront. HG india twitter id got back to me after 3 whole days of the whole fiasco on 11 Jan. HG US twitter id however got back to me immediately. Why are the standards not same for both? Why are they even trying to run the HG India twitter id if the people handling it don’t operate as often as the social media world requires them to? Just shut it down. I would in fact, recommend shutting down Hostgator’s ENTIRE India operations because THIS PATHETIC an experience after shelling out so much money is not anyone’s cup of tea. In fact my local hosting service with no multinational operations has proved much better for the rest of my sites. At LEAST they don’t lose my data and then make stupid stories about it.

I would like to hear their Senior management’s comments on this. My hosting with Hostgator expires in 2 days. Knowing how unprofessional they can be, I won’t be surprised if they do nothing for the next 2 days, after which this issue will sort of become a moot point for them. But then there is consumer court for issues like this.
I don’t trust these people anymore. And going by my experience of last 4 years, neither should you. If you have faced any issues with your hosting provider, please share in the comments.


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube