Art for sale.

After creating art for almost 7 years, I finally mustered the courage to put up my artwork for sale. Watching other artists on Instagram do it gave me the feeling that I could do it, should do it. Also, earning from my art has been a dream since quite some time. Having quit my job to look after my family, it’s been a long-standing wish to start earning again. It changes the mindset a whole lot when a homemaker becomes financially capable!

So, without further ado, I share some of my ink artworks and mandalas I made this year. The artworks are original—they are my ideas and not a copy, neither an inspiration from other’s artworks.

They are drawn on A4 size sheet (21 cms X 30 cms), 185 GSM water colour paper, using ink pens and coloured pencils. 

Do share your opinions with me and if you would like to buy a piece, then do feel free to drop me a mail.

 

Mandala in ink.
The Queen.
Mandala in ink
Pawn
Mandala in ink
The Rook
Mandala in ink
The Bishop
Mandala in ink
The Knight
Ink Art
Horse.

5 reasons why you must replace sugar with jaggery

What did you resolve to do for your health in the new year? I know about friends, who promised to exercise more, and others who resolved to eat healthy. And, there are some who vowed to stay off sugar for better health and hence opted for a healthier sweetener–JAGGERY.

Benefits of Jaggery

There have been discussions and arguments on whether jaggery is, indeed, better than sugar, or, if it is really a healthier option.

It really depends upon the processing of the sugarcane juice that decides which is better–sugar or jaggery.

Sugar and jaggery are both prepared from sugarcane juice. However, in the case of sugar, it goes through a longer process wherein charcoal is introduced to help get rid of the extraneous particles. This refining process robs the sugar of all its nutrients.

In the case of jaggery, once the sugarcane juice has been boiled, the resultant thick paste is poured into moulds to give it a solid shape. This process retains the nutritive value and gives jaggery an edge over sugar.

Let’s take a look at how nutritions jaggery really is.

5 reasons to replace sugar with jaggery:

  • Jaggery is full of antioxidants and helps not only treat minor ailments, but is also used to strengthen the immune system and keep infections at bay.
  • A piece of jaggery eaten after meals aids digestion. It helps find relief from constipation by activating the digestive enzymes in our body. Digestive enzymes break down proteins and fats and assist in their digestion.
  • Jaggery works as a great detoxifying agent by flushing out toxins from the liver.
  • A small piece of jaggery eaten everyday may also help deal with mood swings, menstrual cramps and abdominal pain during menstruation.
  • Jaggery works as a better energy booster as compared to sugar as it is also full of minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper as well as B vitamins. Sugar, on the other hand, has zero nutritional value. It is considered to be a source of “empty calories” and is shunned by health and fitness freaks.

 

However, one needs to limit their intake of jaggery, especially those suffering from diabetes as it does contain a lot of calories (383 per 100 Gms).

So, go ahead and swap the sugar with jaggery (in powder form) in your coffee or tea to boost your energy and mood.

Benefits of Jaggery

Or, consume a piece of jaggery with raw peanuts to keep your joints healthy.

Benefits of Jaggery

Or, eat a piece of jaggery after meals to aid digestion and also as a dessert if you are on a weight management program.

But, do so in moderation, because as you know, too much of something can be bad for you!

 

Benefits of Jaggery

The lessons I learned from 2020

The year that was 2020

 

The year 2020 will go down in history as the mother-of-all disasters. At least, as far as I know!

The only blessing is the number of lessons it’s taught us. We have learned to look at everything with a fresh perspective and with a whole lot of wisdom we wouldn’t have had, otherwise. We do take everything for granted, don’t we? So, we did need these lessons. Although, not at the cost of our lives!

To say that 2020 has been a trying year, would be an understatement.

Full of uncertainty, of fear and panic, of disappointments, of anguish, depression, and hopelessness. But, it’s also been an eye-opener for us all, despite all that we have been through

We did begin the lockdown period in March doing everything to keep our spirits high. But then, as time started to pass and the horrid reality began to sink in, we realised it’s going to be much worse, much more difficult to fathom and live through.

My anxiety hit me hard initially. But, I am grateful for my art that saw me through it all. And, for my writing that helped me shut out the noise and focus on just creating to maintain my mental balance.

Today, as I look back at the year that 2020 has been, I would like to only focus on what it taught me.

Maybe it’s this positivity that has seeped into me through the difficult days. Not that I am always positive. There are days when my mindset is in a state of utter despair; days when I see no light at the end of the tunnel; days when I wish the world would come to an end and we would be saved from the suffering.

But, there are also days when I force myself to focus on the positive, see the rainbows amidst the greys, the hope amidst all the despondency. Maybe today is such a day.

So, here’s what I learned from this year.

Lessons from 2020

THINGS I LEARNED FROM 2020:

Life happens when we are busy planning life.

However much prepared we are for the worst, when the worst does come knocking at our doors, we aren’t prepared enough.

We will have to endure the adversity, live through it, breathe it every day, as long as it lasts.

Nothing lasts forever.

“This, too, shall pass” needs to be our mantra to help see us through the dark nights.

It helps to focus on the moment. It’s pointless thinking/planning about the future. The present is all we really have. The future’s just a mirage.

You learn to connect with yourself during times of distancing. And, it is liberating, indeed!

Only our closest few friends will stand by us through thick or thin. Even if they are a thousand miles away.

You learn to choose your battles and trivialise that which doesn’t warrant a dispute.

Silence is golden. Lack of communication and socialising can be a blessing, at times. It gives you the space and energy to meditate on that which is enlightening.

Things rarely go as planned. Go with the flow. Take just one day at a time, one moment at a time, and give it your best.

Things do work out, eventually. Be patient, even if that is the toughest thing to do.

Necessity is the mother of all inventions. Think about all that you devised during the lockdown, and you will know what I am talking about.

Health is the real wealth.

After good health, money is everything, even if some believe otherwise. It buys life-saving medical treatment, it buys necessities, and also the happiness that you get from doing all the little things that you think money can’t buy.

Even if we feel nothing is working out in our favour, there will be one thing that does. Be grateful for it.

Be grateful for everything that works, and also everything that doesn’t.

Happiness lies in the simple things. We need just those basic, simple things to survive. Simple food, simple lifestyle, simple thoughts. Nothing complicated.

Whatever’s destined to happen, will. Nothing and no one can stop that from happening.

Accept life as it is and find ways to smile, and things to be grateful for.

 

 

I wonder what the new year has in store for us. I am not expecting any magic. Although, miracles do happen, but it’s best if we don’t have high expectations, right?

I just wish to stay open for whatever’s to come my way in the new year. Embrace whatever comes my way–good or bad–and learn to live with it, be grateful for it and learn something from it that will make me a better version of myself.

I sure am proud of myself for the way I dealt with these past ten months. Yes, I did falter here and there, but all in all, I turned out a better person than the one at the beginning of the year. And, for that, I am thankful for 2020.

How about you?

I am sure you must have learned a lot from 2020, too.  Do share in the comments at least one of the lessons that helped you look at life from a new angle.

Thank you!

 

 

 

Easy Rajma Recipe

In the past few months, we all have found ways to make life simpler, isn’t it? What with uncertainties and complications abound this year, it helps finding ways to make things as simple and doable as possible. Like, making simple meals, with as little ingredients as possible; finding ways to spend more time with the family, de-cluttering our homes, and recycling and reusing to reduce expenses.

I did it all, too, and learned a lot in the process. Most of all, I learned that simple things hold the most importance in our life; that we don’t need too much to survive, just the basic stuff should suffice, and that we should to be thankful for every little thing life brings our way.

And, on that note, I am going to share with you all a very simple Rajma recipe shared by chef Ranveer Brar on YouTube.

I liked it because it doesn’t need too many ingredients, or too many complicated steps to follow. I made it a few times following this recipe and I just loved it. I am sure you will like it, too.

I made changes in the quantity of some of the ingredients, and I also edited some ingredients as per my preferences and have shared it below.

SIMPLE RAJMA RECIPE:

INGREDIENTS:

Rajma – 2 cups, soaked overnight and cooked

Tomatoes – 3, large,  finely chopped

Onions – 3, large, finely chopped

Ginger – 1 big piece

Garlic – 8 to 10 cloves

Green chilli – 1

Turmeric powder – 1 tsp

Red chilli powder – 1 tsp

Coriander powder – 2 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1 1/2 tsp

Ghee – 2 tbsp

Salt – To taste

Coriander leaves – For garnishing

METHOD:

Wash and soak the rajma in plenty of water overnight.

Next morning, cook the rajma in pressure cooker ( I cooked for 15 minutes).

Easy Rajma Recipe

Finely chop the tomatoes and onions.

Easy Rajma Recipe

Finely chop garlic and ginger.

Slit the green chilli in two.

In a pan, add the ghee and let it melt. Ghee brings the perfect flavour and aroma to the Rajma, so do use it instead of oil.

Once the ghee heats, add the cumin seeds. Once they change colour, add the chopped  ginger-garlic and green chilli.

Saute it for a minute and then add chopped onion. Saute till golden brown.

Add chopped tomatoes and after sauteing it for a while, add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder.

Easy Rajma Recipe

Mix it all well and fry it all thoroughly, till the oil separates. It takes quite some time, but it’s all well worth the effort.

Then, mix the rajma into the gravy, mix well, and add salt. Add some water and mix it all well.

Allow it to cook and merge together beautifully.

asy Rajma Recipe

Finally, garnish with chopped coriander and switch off the gas.

Serve hot with chapati or steamed rice.

Easy Rajma Recipe

Isn’t it really simple?

I love such easy recipes: Not very complicated, they get cooked quickly, and I can rush out of the kitchen sooner!

Do try it out and let me know how it turned out.

Do remember to use ghee to cook it in 🙂

Easy Rajma Recipe

4 excellent benefits of Moong Sprouts

Have you tried the sprouted moong salad? It’s an easy-to-make recipe and beneficial for our health in a varied ways.

The moong beans are a type of legumes that are native to India. These are not only used in salads, but also curries, dosas and chillas. 

So, what is it about these tiny beans that brings not just taste to our recipes, but also increases their nutritional value?

Benefits of eating sprouted moong

Moong sprouts are packed with nutrients which help our body fight ailments.

The sprouting enhances the nutritional value, provides antioxidants and thus helps detoxify our body.

These are also used to help tackle weight issues.

Let us take a look at their benefits.

BENEFITS OF EATING SPROUTED MOONG:

BEST PLANT-BASED PROTEINS:

The protein content–14.2 grams/cup–of sprouted moong are perfect for those who follow a strictly vegetarian diet.

Proteins are called the building blocks of our bones, muscles and skin.

Proteins play an important role in creating and maintaining the cells of our body.

They are needed for building and repairing of tissues.

They help in supplying nutrients to our body,

They help in recovery after an injury.

They build lean muscles and reduce muscle loss.

Proteins are also required for digestion, and hormone regulation

Proteins, in combination with fibre, keep you feeling fuller for longer which helps in weight loss, too. And, moong sprouts which are rich in proteins and fibre do just that!

Benefits of eating moong sprouts

Isn’t this the number one reason why we need to include sprouted moong to our daily diet?

A moong salad made with a cup of raw or steamed sprouted moong, chopped tomatoes and onions, freshly grated coconut, some green chillies, coriander and lemon juice is a healthy way to begin your day.

It will keep you feeling full right till your lunch time. And, that means, you won’t reach for those calorie-dense fried snacks to ruin your health.

Try this salad today!

HIGH FIBRE CONTENT AIDS DIGESTIVE HEALTH:

Moong sprouts are high in fibre–15.4 gms/cup. These contain a soluble fibre called Pectin that helps regulate our bowel movements. It assists in smooth and faster movement of food through our gut, and this in turn, helps keep our digestive health in excellent condition.

Moong sprouts are also high in resistant starch. This is similar to the soluble fibre in function. It nourishes the healthy gut bacteria and promotes digestive health.

The carbs in moong sprouts are easier to digest, which means lower chances of flatulence, as opposed to other sprouts.

IMPROVES RESISTANCE AGAINST INFECTIONS:

Regular consumption of moong sprouts strengthens the immune system.

Its Vitamin B 1, Vitamin C and Vitamin B 6 content helps the body develop resistance against infections and diseases.

The antioxidant from Vitamin C helps protect our body from free radicals, which could otherwise attach to healthy cells and cause disease and damage to our body.

MOONG SPROUTS FOR EYE HEALTH:

Vitamin A is required for healthy eyes. And to assist this nutrient in its function, our body requires proteins. Moong sprouts being high in proteins work with the Vitamin A for healthier eyes and better eye sight.

The high content of the B vitamins in moong sprouts ensures proper functioning of our eyes.

 

HOW TO SPROUT MOONG BEANS:

Sprouting moong is very simple.

Thoroughly wash the moong, and leave it to soak in enough water overnight.

Strain through a sieve or a colander the next morning, wash it again, and drain the water.

Tie the moong in a clean, cotton cloth or place them in a colander. Place the colander on top of a vessel so that any remaining water can drain away.

Benefits of eating sprouted moong

Keep it covered for a day so that it gets the warmth it requires to sprout.

Place it in a clean, dry area in your kitchen.

Once the shoots appear, tie the sprouts in a clean, dry cloth and place it in an air tight container. You can refrigerate it for a few days. Consume it within few days as long as they are fresh.

CONCLUSION

If you are averse to eggs or poultry which contains high amounts of proteins, you can switch over to moong sprouts for the best plant-based protein source.

If you wish to reduce excess weight, switch over to moong sprouts instead of store-bought diet snacks. Reduce your weight the healthier way.

If you wish to maintain good health, start having sprouted moong every day!

 

Pin it for later!

 

Benefits of eating sprouted moong

 

%d bloggers like this: