A cool recipe for the hot summer.

A cool recipe for the hot summer.

Summer has arrived here, in Mumbai. The heat left me stunned when I went for my walk last evening, and today, it’s even hotter …it’s only going to get worse day by day.

Sigh.

As the season changes, it becomes important that we plan meals that help us stay cool from within. For, apart from staying indoors during the day time, wearing cool cottons and staying hydrated, it’s only the food that we eat that will provide us with the cool respite we crave during summer.

So, today, I decided to make myself a cooling pumpkin raita for lunch. It’s what mum prepares often and I love, immensely.

A cool recipe for the hot summer

 

PUMPKIN AND CURD RAITA

Ingredients:

Pumpkin – 200 gms

Curd – 1 cup

Finely chopped green chilli – 1

Salt – to taste

Sugar – a half a teaspoon

Ghee/Oil and cumin seeds – for tempering

Finely chopped fresh coriander leaves – for garnishing

 

Nutritional Value:

Pumpkin – Antioxidants such as beta carotene (found in orange coloured vegetables and fruits) that helps protect the body from cancer, heart diseases and age-related degeneration.

It contains Vitamin C, fibre and potassium that keep the heart healthy.

Curd: Has high protein and calcium content that keeps the bones healthy and the body energised through the day. It helps in better digestion thanks to the live bacteria and is good for the skin, too!

Method:

Wash the pumpkin thoroughly and slice off the skin. You don’t need to throw away the skin, but can use it to make this crispy chutney–my mum’s recipe.

Pumpkin peels

Chop the pumpkin in cubes and pressure cook for 10 minutes.

Once cooked, bring it out and allow it to cool.

After cooling, squeeze out the water of the pumpkin and mash it well.

Beat the thick curd in a bowl and add salt and sugar as per your preference.

Add the mashed pumpkin to the curd and mix well.

Cooling salad

Heat ghee in a tadka pan. If you don’t have/use ghee, use oil. Mum insists on using ghee as it tastes better and adds to the nutritional value of the pumpkin raita.

Crush half a teaspoon of cumin seeds in your palm and add it to the hot oil.

Allow the cumin to sputter and then add finely chopped green chilli. Switch off the gas and add this to the raita.

Garnish with coriander and serve.

The Vitamin A-rich pumpkin is low in calories and rich in fibre.

Curd is loaded with the good, gut-friendly bacteria and helps in digestion.

Combining these two gives you a recipe that’s good for your heart, your skin, your digestion and also helps you stay cool in summer!

The low calorie count of pumpkin and the good bacteria of curd make this pumpkin raita good for your heart, skin and digestion.
Pumpkin-curd raita

My lunch for today…

Do try out this cool pumpkin raita and let me know if you enjoyed it!

Love,

SHILPA…

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Taking tiny steps towards better health and a happier me!

Taking tiny steps towards better health and a happier me!

Time flies! Precisely why we need to make full use of every moment we get–every single moment of every single day.Some months back, I decided to change my phone habits and save the time I wasted on social media and use it to improve my productivity. What a perfect decision it was!Sometime back, I made some changes in my diet, too, and today, it does feel wonderful seeing how the changes are affecting my health and my lifestyle positively.So, here’s what I changed:

CHANGE IN DIET:

Earlier, my breakfast included a mug of chilled milk with a spoonful of Horlicks and an omelette with either chapati or bread.It was something I looked forward to, the moment I woke up. However, it was also something that gave me gas. Yes, milk does that to me….Sigh.So, to get relief from it, I switched to curd/yoghurt.Now, curd+banana+raisins+oats (I know, I know..OATS!!?? But, hubby got it for me, so I have to finish the stock, right?) has been my breakfast, ever since.I have also started having curd+rice for lunch, as opposed to no rice earlier. My lunch, which comprises of chapatis/ragi rotis, sabji, curd-rice, satiates me.No more hunger pangs within two hours of lunch!The curd keeps me cool, helps with the digestion and I no longer feel like my tummy is a gas chamber!The live bacteria (pro biotics) in the curd takes good care of my gut health. And, a healthy gut, is a happy me!Its high protein content ensures I have enough energy to face a busy day. I deducted rice from dinner, too, which now includes chapatis, sabji/dal, and a huge bowl of salad (cucumber+carrot+tomatoes).Makes me feel full, and yet, not uncomfortably full.MORAL: It helps having a light dinner!

CHANGE IN PHONE HABITS:

I did a post on my phone habits last year. I also did a follow-up post.Since the past two months, I have made furthermore changes in my phone usage.I switch on my phone wifi in the morning at 8.00 to check messages/mail etc and switch it off within 10 minutes.I check it again for few minutes at 11.00 and then keep it switched off till 1.30 pm.I use the Canva app on my phone to make images for Instagram and Pinterest after lunch for half an hour.Evenings are usually spent working on laptop, or talking to friends on the phone. So, by 8.00 pm my phone wifi goes off to sleep.The time I spend on social media has reduced substantially:INSTAGRAM: 15 MINS. (Set the timer on Instagram and it will remind you when your time’s up).FACEBOOK: 10 – 15 MINS.WHATSAPP: 5 MINS. (I’d rather talk than text).CANVA + PINTEREST: 30 MINS.GMAIL: 2-3 MINS. (it’s also on my laptop, so makes no sense wasting time there).Now, I have ample time to indulge in art, reading, blogging and planning.Also, it saves my eyes from strain.I have stopped watching TV during lunch time, too.I pay attention to the food in my plate and how good it tastes.TV viewing is for the evenings, for some time. That’s a lot less screen-time, right?MORAL: Use the phone judiciously and you will have mastered the art of Time Management!I keep an account of it all and intend to do a follow-up post on how well these changes help me in the long run.How about you? Have you made any changes lately? How do you feel about it all?Love,SHILPA…

Book on nutrition, by Rujuta Diwekar

Book on nutrition, by Rujuta Diwekar

 

INDIAN SUPER FOODS, by Rujuta Diwekar.

I received this book from my blogger friend, Ashvini Naik for a quiz on Instagram that I won. I wanted to do this post on the book ever since, but somehow it got delayed. Nevertheless, here it is, today. It is certainly not a review, but about a book that I found extremely helpful, informative and practical.

Rujuta Diwekar is a famous name amongst Indians for the health and nutrition tips she gives; lessons on diet that are easy to follow, make a lot of sense, and are inspired by the food habits of our ancestors.

I totally agree with Ms. Diwekar’s motto of eating what’s grown locally; eating every 2 -3 hours and eating all that you like, but, within limits.

In this book, Ms. Diwekar introduces us to 10 Indian Super foods that not only help in reducing weight, but help care for our overall health.

The foods she has discussed are:

GHEE: THE FAT BURNER

KOKUM (MANGOSTEEN): THE NATURAL ANTACID

BANANA: THE RECHARGER

KAJU (CASHEW): THE ANTI-DEPRESSANT

AMBADI (ROSELLE PLANT): THE STOMACH-SOOTHER

RICE: THE GRAIN THAT SUSTAINS

COCONUT: THE CALMER

ALIV (WATERCRESS SEEDS): THE BEAUTY PILL

JACKFRUIT: THE FERTILITY BOOSTER

SUGAR: THE ANTI-AGEING SECRET.

These are the ten foods she speaks about in a language and style that is so easy to understand and relate to.

She goes back to the times of our grandmothers and how they incorporated seasonal fruits/vegetables in their everyday diet to stay healthy.

How and why they insisted on avoiding certain foods in certain seasons as these harm not only our health, but also that of the Universe!

She has beautifully explained how, according to Ayurveda, one should not eat food that disturbs our personal constitution as well as one that disturbs the constitution of the Universe–a principle based on the understanding that what can cause harm to the human being, can also cause harm to the entire Creation.

She has also given tips on how and when to incorporate these super foods in our diet; ways in which these foods are used to manufacture snacks, health foods etc to be consumed by people when they need those nutrients the most.

She has cleared certain myths regarding foods like Ghee and Sugar–yes, the food stuff that is abhorred by the health fanatics.

Her very casual way of explaining makes one feel like she is having a chat with us, telling us what, how and why we ought to eat foods which will improve our health in such a way that we stay healthy–right from our gut to our skin, or from the inside to the outside!

I would suggest you read the book. Making certain changes in our diet based on Ms. Diwekar’s teachings is sure to restore your health and vitality and give you the body of your dreams!

Love,

SHILPA…

Indian Super Foods, a book by Rujuta Diwekar for every diet fanatic.

Herbs & Ayurveda to cure cough.

Herbs & Ayurveda to cure cough.

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Hello, people! How have you been? I was MIA on my blog for the past week or so. My winged babies chewed off the wire of my WiFi router…Yeah, that’s their favourite pastime–chewing wires–and, now that I have learned my lesson, I am going to get all the wires covered. Anyway, so, after we got a new wire and my wifi started working smoothly, I fell ill. Severe menstrual cramps, a UTI and fever…uff! I have never in my life suffered any such cramps, so I really felt like I was dying!

Thanks, though, for my gynaec friend who prescribed some meds and today I feel fresh as a lily! It helps to have doctor friends, isn’t it? Just one phone call and your issue gets sorted. So grateful for some really wonderful friends!

Anyway, today, I am sharing with you all some remedies for cough that I have tried and tested during the few times I have suffered from a terrible throat infection. And, no, this is not a sponsored post because of the syrup and Ayurvedic medicines I will be talking about (which, I am sure, many of you must have heard of, already).

First of, I would like to share the herbal drink I made for myself a couple years ago, when I had had a really bad cough. And, miraculously, my cough was cured in just a few days! So, do try it out, if you haven’t already. It works like a charm and is extremely soothing.

REMEDIES FOR COUGH:

HERBAL DRINK:

As you must be aware, our kitchen cabinets hold in them spices that not only add flavour to our food, but also have medicinal properties that help in curing some ailments. So, using a few of those spices we are going to prepare the herbal drink for our sore throat.

INGREDIENTS:

A glassful of water

Half a teaspoon of fennel seeds

2 – 3 pepper corns

2 cloves

A tiny piece of cinnamon

Half an inch of grated ginger

A few Tulsi leaves

1 spoonful of honey

Keep the water to boil. Then, add the spices and ginger and let boil for a few minutes. Switch off the gas once the water changes its colour and you get the aroma of all the spices. Strain in a glass, add a spoonful of honey, stir well and consume it when hot. Take your time, though, lest your tongue gets scalded!

Having this drink twice a day –first thing in the morning and last thing at night–will definitely cure that cough in a matter of a few days. You won’t need to visit a doctor who will prescribe some cough syrup and medicines that will only make you drowsy and cost you a lot of money.

Gargling with warm salt water, or turmeric water, helps, too. It does provide relief from the itchiness in the throat.

 

TURMERIC+SUGAR:

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and is an antioxidant used for its medicinal purposes.

Gargling with hot water mixed with half a spoonful of turmeric gives great relief to the sore throat.

Another way to use it to cure cough is to consume quarter spoonful turmeric and half a spoon of sugar before bed time. Chew thoroughly and then have half a sip of water. This will ensure an uninterrupted sleep. It’s something my MIL always believed in and now, so do I.

AYURVEDIC MIXTURE:

India is the birthplace of Ayurveda, as you must know. It has been used since ages to cure ailments without any side-effects, provided prescribed by a knowledgable practitioner. However, the mixture I am telling you about is something that has been passed down to me by my mother. It’s something she always prepared for us when we developed a sore throat during childhood. And, this, too, works…trust me.

AYURVEDIC MEDICINES:

1/2 a spoonful of Yashtimadhu (Licorice) powder

1/2 a spoonful of Sitopaladi Churna

1 spoon Honey

1 spoon Ghee

The Ayurvedic medicines are easily available at your local chemist.

Mix well all the ingredients in a bowl and have quarter of a spoonful (of half a tiny spoonful) every half hour or so. Also, drink the herbal drink twice a day and you will feel better soon.

ADULSA:

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Adulsa is a medicinal plant found in Asia and is used in Ayurvedic medicine, specially for cough and cold. You will find it at your local chemist. All you need to do is, add 2 spoonfuls of this syrup to a glass of warm water, add some honey and drink this twice of thrice a day. It not only tastes good, but will give you quick relief from cough and cold, and will not make you drowsy.

BENEFITS OF HOME REMEDIES OVER OTC COUGH SYRUPS:

The ingredients used in the herbal drink are all used in our everyday cooking. These are spices that are also medicinal in nature and have zero side-effects.

Ghee contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help cure not only dry cough but various other ailments. Did you know that adding a spoonful of ghee to warm milk and drinking this before going to bed can relieve you of constipation?

Honey, too, is antibacterial and helps in curing a throat infection.

Ginger has antibacterial properties that help fight infection and treat a sore throat effectively.

Tulsi leaves help fight infections and allergies.

Yashtimadhu, or Licorice, also has anti-inflammatory properties that help cure throat infections.

Sitopaladi Churna–an Ayurvedic medicine–is a commonly used cough remedy that has no side-effects. When added with Yashtimadhu, honey and ghee–all of which have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties–it’s the best cure for a sore throat.

The over-the-counter cough syrups and other drugs that people generally opt for when suffering from a sore throat or a runny nose, offer nothing except temporary relief and that, too, with side-effects. You feel drowsy all day and hardly find any relief despite consuming bottles of the syrups.

This being the season of coughs and colds, I thought of doing this post so that if any of you are suffering from a bad throat, do give these cough remedies a try. it’s all a matter of faith, really, which I am sure you will develop once you experience the benefits of these remedies as opposed to the OTC cough syrups.

The Ayurvedic products are all available online, so, if you fail to find these in the area you reside in, you can always shop online.

Do let me know if you found any difference after using the above tried and tested remedies.

Take care…

LOVE,

SHILPA…

 

Treat cough with herbal medicines.

A new eatery in the neighbourhood.

A new eatery in the neighbourhood.

 

To begin with, I wish to share with you all some good news. Sometime back, I had nominated myself for the Orange Flower Awards (a Women’s Web initiative) in the Wellness Writing Category. This Sunday, I was informed that I have been shortlisted from a massive 1600 nominations!

Isn’t that awesome? I still can’t believe it! It’s the first time in my life that I have found myself on the receiving end of such wonderful news and looking at the number of nominations from which I was shortlisted, it feels like I have achieved all I wanted to in life!

Umm..do I sound a bit too over-the-top ecstatic? Forgive me, if I do, but this feeling is something I haven’t experienced, ever!

Now, coming back to our flavoursometuesday, some days back, hubby took me to this new eatery which has opened nearby-SIZZLE HOUSE– at CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai. It’s owned by Aditi Limaye Kamat and according to me, heaven on earth for sizzler lovers!

Why?

We ordered the Paneer-cheese-corn bhurji, and, let me tell you, it was simply mind-blowing!

I just dived straight into it as soon as it arrived on my table, on a plate with two soft, fluffy, buttery pao (bread). It was only after a while that I remembered I had to click its picture to share it with you all!

The cottage cheese (my fav), the cheese (my fav) and the corn(my fav) …..umm….I just couldn’t have enough of it and wish I didn’t have to share it with hubby! I just dislike sharing my food with anyone, but when hubby has taken me on a dinner date, how can I deny him a bite from my plate?

Anyway, so, it was simply delicious and if you do happen to pass by Navi Mumbai, then do drop in at the place. I am sure you will love everything about it.

No, this is not a sponsored post, but just #flavoursometueday, where we share posts on food!

Sharing with you all some pictures of the place and the food I relished there:

That’s all for today!

If you have been to a new eatery, or tried a new dish, do share it on flavoursometuesdays. I would love to read all about it.

Love,

SHILPA…