Diwali Sweets – To eat or not to eat?

Most of us have grown up eating many homemade delicacies made by our mothers, aunts and other ladies, in our case dad and husband too. Indian food and festivals are inseparable. My mom used to have specific delicacies on festivals. She never made anything mismatch to that season of the festival. Say for example, for Nagpanchami ( It is a festival where we pray to the Snake God) she used to make naivedhya of Sakhar Bhat ( Sugar Saffron Rice). On the last day of Ganapati, that is on Ananta Chaturdashi, she used to make Banana Pachadi ( Kelachi Koshimbir) which she used to call as “ Anantachi Koshimbir,” these things were seldom repeated as may be those festive days would be perfect weather-wise to have this all. After her, I have never seen anybody so thoughtful with regards to food. Come rainy season and we used to refrain from Brinjal, Onion completely, and Garlic, the simple reason would be that rains make the digestion sluggish, if we eat something like onion, we would need a good digestive power, as the winter approach, the digestion gets back to normal and after Diwali, we can actually start eating Brinjal, Onions, and Garlic. There is a specific day called “ Tulasi Vivah” when one can start eating everything. Diwali sweets were made well in advance and were allowed to be eaten only on the Abhyangasnan Day ( Narakchaturdashi) the tradition which continues till date.

Why this much thought in eating?

Because our food science is very well advanced and it is as per the season. Seasons affect the gut and digestive power of the stomach. If we eat as per the digestive power, we are never to fail. I totally believe in eating seasonal food. Diwali is meant for eating. Good food and Good times equal Diwali. Diwali Palaharam is a matter of great interest across India. With the talks of diet and nutrition in place, life has become difficult.

How the supply in the market changes our perception of food.

7 to 8 years ago, PepsiCo introduced oats in India. The campaign was making India heart healthy. The campaign was successful and slowly other companies like Britannia, Kellogg’s also rushed to bring in the most healthy cereal of the world “ Oats.” Looking at the facts, it is apparent that slowly with these types of campaigns India has become 200 crore market for cereals which is nothing but packaged food presented wonderfully and advertised really well. Same goes with other packaged goodies such as Wafers, Noodles and so on. The question on my mind is why would we give up our food and go ahead to eat something which does not even taste a bit like Indian food. The answer is the power of ADVERTISING and BRANDING.

How colors, advertising, branding, and campaigns change the food scenario?

Nobody branded Poha, Upma, Idli, Dosa the way we are bombarded with Pizza, Noodles and Masala oats advertisements. Same goes with Diwali Snacks. After Navratri, you can watch Cadbury advertising about how to gift Chocolates ( Cadbury Chocolate Pack) this Diwali to your loved ones, neighbors and so on. I mean really? When did the warmth of homemade ladoo, murukku, shankarpali was replaced by something made in the factory with many other products with loads of preservatives?

Oats Chivda, Ladoo Without Sugar and Gluten Free Chakli

There cannot be Chivda without Poha, Corn Poha, or Sabudana Poha period. There cannot be ladoo without sugar ( palm sugar or jaggery are good replacements of sugar), and there cannot be chakli without gluten as Chakli wouldn’t happen if there is no Gluten in the mix. So, the gist of all the above is, as we always say, eat in moderation. Have those long walks every day consistently to feel good and fit.
No million dollar company can be worried about your heart, and it’s health though they claim. Ultimately, you are the only person who knows your body and its needs. So, eat homemade, think homemade and seasonal. Whether should you have all the sweets? Please have as you wouldn’t get the warmth and thought with which it is conceived and made.

Happy Diwali.

A New Beginning and A New Experience

A new beginning is very exciting, it becomes more meaningful when shared with family and friends.

As our dear blog readers you all are our extended family members and we could not wait further to tell you about our new venture and the kind of experience it has been since last month.

Around a month ago, I had severe headache radiating to right shoulder to fingers. It was so severe that I could barely talk. One such afternoon when all the pain was getting settled, I went to Shrilekha’s place over a tea. We stay just a couple of KM apart so occasional tea is always welcome besides we consider it as a quick huddle over looming matters.

As we were discussing different things, Shrilekha being her usual very enterprising self came up with a thought that Chennai has very poor quality of Phulkas and we should certainly do something about it.

There was no further thought before we decided that we should do Phulkas.

Initially it just started with Phulkas and slowly, as per the demand we started serving dinner. Word of mouth was our main ally when it came to spreading word. We cannot thank enough to our friends who spread the word so quickly. As we were doing dinners which included One gravy and Phulkas, we slowly started getting requests for lunches too. All office goers needed a home cooked lunch, so that requirement was fulfilled. Recently, we completed one month of this endeavour called “Joshi Caterers”

The main mission of this venture is to reach out to people who need home cooked food. As people love pizza, they also love to eat Puran Poli. It is just about the right taste and on time delivery.

Most of the customers which we came across never ate outside because one can not eat food without onion garlic outside. Similarly, food we should eat when we are fasting like Sabudana Vada or Sabudana Khichadi is never served in any restaurant in Chennai.

We served it and people liked it very much, we are so grateful to each of them who encouraged us with their amazing feedbacks.

Having home cooked food is a bliss. I was outside for 8 long years of my life and I have always felt the dearth of good home-made food so much so that in the last 2 years I started cooking on my own. Even if there was food, it was not made with quality ingredients which is even more harmful to the body.

As every business has its challenges, we too come across some difficulties every now and then. But when priorities are set right and as a team when we work towards getting a solution it all falls back in place.

Apart from Shrilekha and Me, there is a team of 5 people who are constantly working at making this experience better with every delivery. Our families have been extremely encouraging, without them we could not have pulled it up.

Meal planning was being done at the micro level and now it is done at Macro Level. We think and plan all our meals carefully so that they are nutritious and include seasonal varieties of vegetables.

I would always say that nothing can be accomplished without collaboration.

My people Khaleel, Kamakshi, Vignesh, Murali Mama, Mr.Joshi have been an integral part of the whole process. They encouraged us to take a step ahead and are with us in this satisfying yet challenging journey. Deliveries and procurement is entirely looked after Khaleel, Vignesh and Murali Mama. Culinary doubts and issues are quickly sorted by Baba. Kamakshi is an efficient cook and an amazing help. These people are my people and as a close knit family would stand by each other in the ups and downs of the life, they have been there just behind us as pillar of strength.

Well begun is half done..the journey so far was satisfying and god willing, it would be so in future.

 

The Art of Doing – Nothing

The Art of Doing – Nothing

The past week has been tremendously busy. Family gatherings, celebrations, functions and the overdose of love and affection from all sides. Sometimes I crave for such time as it is immensely satisfying. With a lot of parties come a lot of food, late night dinners, zero workouts and I often land in a Topsy Turvy Land which is not very familiar at all. I have said many times in my posts that routine is my paradise, how so ever boring it sounds it is the truth. So how do I get back to my routine is the real key to better productivity. I feel everything happens as a part of a cycle and to start, we certainly need to halt at some point. For me, that point is La Dolce Far Niente, which literally means the sweetness of doing NOTHING in Italian.

Recently I read a book called “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert and for the love of “Julia Roberts” watched the movie with all my heart where “La Dolce Far Niente” term is pretty elaborated when she travels to Italy as a part of her expedition. Since childhood, doing nothing is my fantasy. Being a child I practiced it very well and was being called lazy many a times. But they never knew the real bliss of a person like me who knows how to do NOTHING. 🙂

Have you ever wondered how your day would be if you take time out for “La Dolce Far Niente”?

Doing nothing needs equal efforts as running on the treadmill because it requires a great determination to stop the urge which makes us do something or the other all the time.

We usually crave for weekends and small gateways to relax, what if we infuse these moments of “La Dolce Far Niente” in our routines just to sit back and stare out of that window, with zero intention and zero thoughts…that way it would certainly become a meditation of sorts where you connect with yourself on a deeper level.

Workouts make me happy, but doing nothing makes me happier so I am going to infuse my time of sweet nothings into my routine and see whether that scale really budges 🙂

What would you do to do nothing? Would love to know.

The article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by HealthWealthBridge.comFashionableFoodz.com and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.

3 Amazing Benefits of Triphala Choorna

3 Amazing Benefits of Triphala Choorna

How many of you have heard about Triphala Choorna and the benefits of Triphala Choorna? My father used to take it quite regularly. His hot favorites are Harada Choorna and Triphala Choorna. Some days before, I had a severe gastric issue as I ate 4 pods of freshly brought jackfruit. I was uncomfortable and started having chest pain so much so that I could not sit, walk or do anything. My sister who was working with me asked me to take a lemon water concoction to ward off any bloating or acidity. I had a better idea instead. There was Triphala choorna bottle hanging around since 4-5 months. We hadn’t used it. I immediately gulped down one spoon of Triphala choorna with warm water and Voila!!! My chest pain was totally gone. I was feeling lighter and better.

What is Triphala?

Triphala is a combination of three fruits named Amalaki (Amla), Haritaki (Harada), Bibhitaki (Behada). Harada choorna is also very popular for keeping the digestive tract sane. Harada as we say in Marathi also helps to control intermittent coughing.

Amalaki ( Amla): Helps manage pitta and natural functions of the liver as well as immune system

Bibhitaki (Behada):- Supports respiratory system. It is an amazing anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

Haritaki ( Hirada):- Has a great effect on all three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha). It is a detoxifier and helps maintain weight. It also aids the healing process.

Benefits of Triphala:

Improves eyesight: Yes, this is an out of the box benefits but my dad usually tells me to wash my eyes with Triphala water. He says it will help ward off the tiredness of the eyes due to longer exposure to the computer screen.

#improveeyesight #eyesightimprovement

Boosts your immune system: Amalaki or Amla helps boost the immune system. It aids blood circulation by cleaning digestive tract.

Makes your skin glow: Well, this is a by-product of getting your digestive system clean. As the digestion is back on track you are bound to be blessed with glowing skin.

There are many benefits of Triphala but what worked for me the best is its cleansing property. It is not like you hog on and then take Triphala to ward off the evils of bad food eaten at the equally bad time. It is about creating the harmony in the body which reflects on your face.

A very simple and effective product of Ayurveda which you should give a try. What do you do when you face the digestive system issue? Do you approach Ayurveda or you trust Allopathy? Would love to know. 

The article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by HealthWealthBridge.comFashionableFoodz.com and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.

 

My connection with super soft roti – Indian Flatbread

My connection with super soft roti – Indian Flatbread

Roti, the normal version of the Dramatic “Roti, Kapada Aur Makan”, or The “Do Waqt Ki Roti” has been in my life since the day I was born in the central part of India.Super soft rotis are a norm in all Indian households.I was born in Nagpur to father who belongs to the Marathwada region and mother who belonged to Vidarbha region. Both regions still have only one thing common which is Roti. The way they make it and the way they eat it both differ.
I was brought up in Bhandara which is a total Paddy belt like Namma Tamil Nadu. I am lazy by nature and thankfully I am a daughter-in-law of Tamil Nadu where I don’t have to make 30-40 rotis every single time. I mean morning and evening, the way my mom used to do. Nagpur is changing day by day, as most of the people have a lady who comes home exclusively to make rotis so that the lady of the house does not exert on that part. This is such a liberty which was not there when my mom was alive.
I still remember her bangles used to tinkle when she used to make roti early in the morning around 5.30. She was working in the bank so before she set out for work, she always made sure that her family has enough good food to eat. As she left for her heavenly abode, I and my sister promptly took her place. Those were the days when we used to make 50-60 rotis when the guests were around and 30-40 when there were some and 10-20 when only we three were at home. It was a norm and we could hardly do anything about it.

As I got married, I could not make rice properly, but who was worried? I could make fluffy fulkas without much fuzz. I could make Three/ Four Fold chapatis, Puran Poli, Paratha and everything with the glutenous whole wheat flour.

What makes the Roti Super Soft?

Selection

Well, the wheat grains are carefully chosen from the wholesaler and ground at a local flour mill. The flour then is brought home and kept aside open to cool down.

The Storage

Then it is kept in a steel dabba preferably, my mom used to have 10 kg dabba exclusively for Atta, I have 5 kgs. That type of storage makes it happy is what I feel. In the humid environment like Chennai, it has to be kept very carefully to protect from moisture.

The Kneading

Normal kneading with ample water does the trick. Dad tells not to pamper the atta and keep it aside once it is bound. In 10 mins, we can knead again to a proper consistency.

And Lots of Love 🙂 

Recently I have got the Pearl Millet, Ragi and Jowar atta just to reinforce my roti making prowess. Well, I really faired well with Pearl Millet Roti which is called as Bhakri in Marathi. I got a certificate from my dad that he has taught me well 😉 

Here is my attempt.

 

The article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by HealthWealthBridge.comFashionableFoodz.com and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.

5 Super Food To Swear By

5 Super Food To Swear By

Weight and food have inverse proportion in my life. I could not couple both of it successfully. Some way or the other my resolve gets dissolved 😉
Trying to figure out whether strength goes well with food. So far it does. No matter what is the weight or the BMI, good food equals good energy and hell a lot of good work throughout the day. It is always good to have food which is sustainable instead of having something which you can not have on daily basis. India is known for the variety of foods. While being at home, it is just not possible to avoid food which is hygienically made to taste amazing. My quest to find some super awesome foodstuff has just started and here are some gems.

Rice:

We as a South Indian household eat rice regularly. I have been on and off it since last few days, but I have realized that there is nothing which calms my stomach like rice.
I am talking about boiled rice which is brought from our farm. This rice has been processed but to the lowest level and brought for consuming. We cook it with the old traditional south Indian way in which we take out the excess water from the rice. We do not use cooker for rice cooking, and it has served the best. As a North Indian now, I have started liking the “Vedicha Sadam” which is nothing but rice made without a cooker. Rice is a super food, I have told the reason already. I suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) eating rice has calmed my gut down, and now I can be without any medication. As a Maharashtrian, my staple food was always rice, dal, and ghee which stands true till date.

Bajra:

This is pretty new to my kitchen, but South Indians use it quite often concerning Kanji or Ambil ( In Marathi). Bajra roti is used in Maharashtra especially in the western parts of Maharashtra. Bajra roti with ghee and jaggery is the staple food of many Maharashtrians. As I researched its nutrients, I found out that a 100 gm of Bajri has approximately 67 gms of carbohydrates and 12 gms of protein which is the highest among this food group. Bajra Kanji, Roti or Khichadi is a must have in the summer. In Maharashtra, the central part we have Jowar or Sorghum for making stew and roti called as Bhakri.

Ragi or Nachni:

The goodness of ragi is to swear by. We gave Ragi Sattva which is the purest form of Ragi to my daughter during 5-9 months of her age which were the formative years. She never had cerelac or similar food. Ragi is again an excellent source of protein and carbohydrates. 100 gms of ragi contains around seven gms of protein. As my dad tells, ragi helps in reinforcing the strength of bones and is a must-have for ladies of all ages. Instead of any store made health drinks, Ragi kanji one time a day would be a great thing to do.

Jowar :

Sorghum or jowar has a special place in my heart. My grandma used to make amazing Jowar Rotis or Bhakris for all of us when we were young. My dad usually tells me to amp up my food with a Jowar Roti. Grown up with the goodness of Jowar he feels that I lack a proper eating habit ( while saying that he has turned a blind eye to my BMI). But yes whatever he says has a meaning, so I have successfully incorporated Jowar in my diet at least two times a week.

Kulith or Horse Gram :

I am not used to this grain, but it is used in most of Maharashtrian as well as Tamil cuisine. In Tamil cuisine, they make a tamarind stew called Kozhumbu, and in Maharashtra, they make a different kind of curry with Horse Gram Powder. We can also use it as a salad coupling with other salad greens. Have you used any of these grains in your daily food? If yes, then please let me know how. Would love to know more.

The article is written as part of the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018 by #Instacuppa conducted by HealthWealthBridge.comFashionableFoodz.com and AllAboutTheWoman.comand should not be repurposed, republished or use otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2018 is not responsible for any infringement caused.