For a few of us chai is just an excuse for gupshup. One might want to simply go for a long drive and sip on a hot beverage in this season.. Lovely weather, drizzling & the cool breeze perfectly compliment each other. Just the thought invokes the desire in you.. I can really go for one cup of tea now …;)
I dunk my biscuits & brun maska and enjoy chai the most. I would say quite a few Bombay-ities including my besties love this practice. Pakoras with chai is a humble combination.
The consumption doubles up during the monsoon season to keep us going.
This beverage is almighty with its aiding properties.
One can simply brew them when you are on the go..
Here are my favorite, dip-dip, on-the-go Tea options
For Slow metabolism – Green Tea
Sleepless nights – Chamomile
Nauseous – Ginger Tea
Stressed – Lemon grass
Detoxifying helps rid us of all the impurities in our system; it is critical to our current lifestyle. Our body stores toxins because of unhealthy eating habits & unhygienic food. So eliminating the toxins becomes imperative for one to become beautiful not just from within but from outside also. We are what we eat & drink. Above-mentioned infusions are for beautiful & healthy you.
My all time favourite and I don’t miss it for the world unless am travelling is my regular chai.
Here I boil water with ginger & lemon grass and reduced to 1 cup followed by 1 tsp of tea powder & milk. Since I don’t add sugar, I add jaggery powder straight to my cup to avoid splitting.
For most of you adopting the jaggery flavour might take time however, you can add sugar to the same & enjoy. I have switched to jaggery many years back since it’s a healthy form of sweetener & I any day prefer it over sugar. Besides, it has helped me maintained my weight over the years. Jaggery is a super food packed with essential nutrients, aids digestion, prevents blood diseases, improves the metabolism, treats chronic cough, is good for your skin & above all delays the sign of aging, What else does a woman want ..;)
I seriously think we should thank the Chinese emperor Shen Nung as Tea was accidently discovered by him. While he was siting beneath a tree his servant boiled drinking water, some leaves growing nearby blew into the water. The emperor, a renowned herbalist, tried this infusion, which was accidentally invented. As a result of this we now have tea. A Buddhist monk first introduced tea, in Japan.
These are many hearsay stories. But drinking tea is known to have started in China many centuries ago.
During our schooling, in history class we all might vaguely remember the mention of Tang Dynasty. It was during this time that tea became the national drink of China.
A writer called Lu Yu wrote the first book entirely about Tea when it became a favourite beverage. Tea drinking has become vital part of Asian culture.
Did u know, in the 17th century, because of its popularity & high tax on tea not everyone could afford it which led to smuggling of tea into Britain as it was strongly desired. Later the taxation was regularized for all to sip a cuppa.
Tea bags were another accidental invention by Thomas Sullivan in the nineteen hundreds when he sent tea in silk bags to his clients & they steeped the tea without taking it out of the bag! India & China exported tea extensively to England during the 1900s as it became the nation’s favourite drink.
In India & almost all Asian homes the first thing we offer to our guest is tea. This tradition reflects gratitude, humility, which appends warmth to the guest.
Different countries have different ways to infuse the beverage. My favourite is Adrak wali chai (Ginger tea). I simply adore my cup of tea & love to sip it at leisure.
It irritates me when I am disturbed while enjoying my tea. Yes, it sounds crazy but it is indeed one happy moment. I am very particular when it comes to my tea because I prefer it a certain way.
Only tea lovers will understand what I am saying here. It adds the zing to the beginning of the day.
Hope this amazing health beverage brings makes a big difference not just for your palate but for a beautiful & healthy you.
Cheers to hot chai…
Jackfruit is in season and much has been said about the sweet treat. But we are going to pay tribute to its meaty avatar, which is in the truest sense a desi superfood, the RAW JACKFRUIT.
Jackfruit is loaded with nutrients including Vitamin C and other antioxidants. These nutrients help flush out toxins and are even believed to help us in fighting cancer. The vitamin C boosts our immunity.
There is high fiber content in jackfruit, especially in the seeds, this aids healthy digestion and an effective excretion keeping the gastrointestinal tract clean and healthy. It therefore prevents constipation.
The high fibre in jackfruit helps you feel full faster and you remain satiated with a smaller quantity of jackfruit for longer than other carbs like refined flour.
Jackfruit is rich in both magnesium and calcium. In women specially, deficiency of magnesium and calcium at a later age can cause osteoporosis. Eating jackfruit will keep your bones healthy because it is rich in these minerals.
Jackfruit has a very low glycemic index. It has an unusually high ratio of insoluble fibre content. This means that it releases glucose into the body at an extremely slow rate, by which time most of it has passed through the digestive system.
Most importantly has a high satiating value, which keeps you full. A much ignored fact being that it is 80% of water and vital to keep hydrated during the summer.
Jackfruit is loaded with minerals, vitamins and antioxidant properties. Jackfruit is packed with vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 along with B12 and folic acid may help reduce the rick of heart diseases.
A lot has been said about the meaty character of raw Jackfruit. It is also known as “the vegan meat”. When cooked right, raw jackfruit texture tastes like that of pulled pork. It is meaty and chunky, it can be used in Biryani, kebabs, tacos and vegan burgers as a healthy, vegetarian meat replacer. This largest tree fruit is very versatile, you can eat it raw and cook it like a vegetable, you can also eat it ripe as a fruit. As a fruit, it stinks a bit, but one can get used to that. Jackfruit is eaten fried like chips in Kerala, it is also dried and ground into flour and used along with wheat flour to make healthy bread.
This recipe will surely satisfy your hunger for meat without actually having to eat mutton or pork. This is a classic vegan spin on the Pork Vindaloo, You can eat it with pac or even stuff it in tacos.There is just something special about pulled pork and Jackfruit is the perfect substitute to achieve this texture as it separates into long juicy fibres that are flavour neutral and soak up any flavour that it is cooked in. This recipe is going to leave you wanting for more.
|jackfruit cleaned deseeded||0.5||kg|
|onion chopped fine||1||large|
|red wine vinegar/ goan vinegar||0.5||cup|
Pretty often these days you will get raw jackfruit already cleaned. Make sure to keep the seeds aside. These can be soaked overnight and boiled and added to other curries. Cut the jackfruit into wedges from the center, outwards so that we can achieve that wonderful pulled pork consistency.
First, measure all the spices, roast it over a low flame for 4-5 minutes or until you get the aromas of the spices. After the spices are roasted, let them cool down. Meanwhile, chop one onion, fine. Prepare the ginger garlic paste or you can purchase a ready-made one. Blend the spices in a spice grinder to a fine powder.
Over a heavy bottom pan, heat about 3 tbsp of oil, add the onions, saute, then the ginger-garlic paste cook until light brown in colour, now add the powdered masala, about 2 tbsp of it. The rest you can save for later, now add the jackfruit pieces, just about cover with water and let the jackfruit simmer for 8-10 minutes. When the jackfruit is cooked, take the pieces out into a wide bowl or a plate and use a potato masher to lightly mash the jackfruit without breaking it completely.
In the pan, add the red wine vinegar to the remaining gravy and reduce the gravy until it becomes slightly thicker. Check for salt. After the jackfruit is pulled thoroughly, add it back into the gravy and let it cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is fully cooked and absorbs all the delicious spice flavours. Serve it with pav or as a pickle on the side of a main dish.
A much awaited monsoon brings immense thrill & excitement to everyone, right from the kids to the oldies. The happiness we feel when we embrace the first showers is immeasurable after the sultry hot summer. It spills freshness all around. It makes everything around so beautiful & green; an absolute pleasure for our eyes. Every being on the planet comes back to life and our spirits are at their peak.
I call it a ‘time to rejuvenate’…
Undoubtedly with the change of the season come flavors of the season.
No, I am not talking about that irresistible adrak wali chai with pakoras but soups to warm our soul!!!
As the weather takes a 360 degree turn, my throat becomes sore and my craving for hot liquids goes to the top of the list. For me, apart from relieving my sore throat it works as a great appetizer too. I love soups, I prefer it over any mocktail, soft drinks or any fizzy sugary drinks that come loaded with unnecessary calories. Believe me you can simply elude extra sugar each time you step out for a meal, it makes a lot of difference in the long run.
Soup is a versatile dish, which can be made with broth by adding any kind of meat, sea food, veggies or herb. Many soups are had for their health benefits as well as for the flavor and its revitalizing effects.
Asian soups bring flavors from the world on one table; from Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, China, Mongolia, Vietnam to the Philippines boast some amazing soups.
One can eat soup as a meal. I personally experienced this on my trip to Thailand.
What I observed is that people here start their day with their staple diet, a bowl of rice or some kind of soup with noodles & greens in it.
No matter what time you walk in any shops or malls you will see them truly savoring their meal to the core. They give importance to their meals and find no shame in taking time to savour it fully. No wonder every few meters you will find a food cart.
I have tried some simple Homemade soups which can be quickly made with any ingredients available at home, and the best part is that one can innovate with them as per the availability and stir up a delicious pot of soup.
This is a simple clear soup with few ingredients but will burst with flavor
Salt & pepper
Simply sauté the finely chopped ginger, garlic & chilly in a wok. Then add in the chopped veggies. Sauté it for a min then add the chicken or veg stock depending upon your choice, then add salt & pepper, a dash of vinegar is optional.
I had added a tastemaker in my second variation which was good too but optional and garnish it with loads of cilantro just when your are about to serve.
And all it takes is 10 min. This soup is detoxifying. My husband doesn’t have a palate for veg soups but on my insistence when he tasted, vhe loved it and asked me to get one bowl for him too… 😉
Some other few favourite soups which I make often are
1 whole chicken with bones
Available herbs at home Basil, thyme, parsley
Salt & pepper
5-6 cups of water
Add everything together into the big pot, cover & simmer it on low for an hour or so. Once all the ingredients are well infused with flavor gently remove the chicken on the pan. One can shred few pieces & add to it or serve it just as it is. Add some noodles too. It might get easier to convince little children for one bowl as I work this trick on my son as he is fond of noodles. This whole hearty soup made with fresh ingredients is simply delicious & excellent for cold & sore throat.
Paya soup known as ( Lamb Trotters ) I simply love it! It’s a fantastic soup packed with nutrients (calcium) & high on flavor.
Lamb trotters (Well washed & thoroughly cleaned)
Ginger – 2 inch
Garlic – 10 cloves
Green Chilies- 5-6
Chickpea flour-1 tbsp. (optional)
Coriander leaves- sprig
Salt & Pepper- as per taste
1 tbsp. oil
Blend ginger, garlic & chilly paste and sauté in oil for a minute then add the lamb trotter’s bones to the pressure cooker & cook it for 5 whistles or 15 -20 min.
Once the pressure is released in another pan sauté lengthwise, finely sliced onions for 3 min then add the stock, trotters,1 tsp chickpea flour (optional) to the stock in a bowl first to prevent any clumps and then to the soup. Add salt & pepper. Garnish it with coriander leaves & serve hot.
Also adding little turmeric in the beginning & chopped curry leaves adds extra zing to the soup that’s how my mother would prepare.
When the bones are sautéed with ginger garlic chilly paste in oil it releases a fantastic aroma and the juices are well infused which brings out the best in a bowl.
A well noteworthy tip is including any sort of clear broth which is flavoured with a few spices and with your choice of veggies & meat, this will bring wholesome nourishment to your soul & body, which is very satisfying and packed with nutrients.
I hope you find these simple homemade recipes fun and easy to make. Now don’t waste any time, quickly indulge in making some hot soups with love and warmth, and serve it hot to your loved ones on a rainy evening.
Wondering how to make this protein powerhouse called Amaranth a part of your daily meals? Don’t sweat it, we found 10 easy peasy recipes you can make with Rajgira in just 10 minutes! Amaranth will get you from Fat to Fit without burning a hole in your pocket this summer. It is a vegan protein powerhouse, which is cheaper than quinoa and loaded with vitamins and minerals. Read our article about the Benefits of Amaranth and 5 ways to cook with it everyday!
For now, here are some recipes that you might like.
Rajgira flour or freshly ground grain – 2 cups
salt according to taste.
Ginger, grated – 1 inch piece
Sesame seeds (til) – 1 tsp
Green chillies, – 2 ,finely chopped
Potatoes – 2 , boiled and mashed
Yogurt – 2 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp + for applying on parathas
Fresh coriander leaves -2 tbsp ,chopped
Place ragjara flour in a bowl, I was not sure about the freshness of store bought flour, so made my own flour in a blender. The grain looks like a poppy seed. flour smelled like amaranth leaves. Mix in salt, ginger, sesame seeds and green chillies. Add mashed potatoes, yogurt, one tablespoon of ghee and coriander leaves. Knead into a semi-soft dough using water. Cover and keep the dough aside for an hour. Divide into small portions. Roll into balls. Dust with flour and pat into a round diskette on a dusted surface. Heat a tawa. Shallow fry the parathas on both sides applying ghee as required. Serve hot with yogurt. Amaranth or rajgara parathas with yogurt was our lunch today.It was a tastey and wholesome lunch :).You can also substitue yams for potatoes in this recipe.
1 cup amaranth grains (optionally toasted)
1 small onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 large tomato chopped
Any other vegetables of choice such as peas, beans, potatoes
1-2 green chilli chopped
1 small piece of ginger chopped
a few curry leaves
1 tsp dry split yellow peas(channa dal)
1 tsp white gram or moong dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 cup cashews or as desired
1-2 tbsp oil
1-2 tsp ghee or butter
Add oil to the pan. Add cashews, channa dal, moon gal and mustard seeds and fry till lightly brown. Add curry leaves, green chilli, ginger and onion and fry till the onion turns translucent. Add the rest of the vegetables and lightly fry. Add salt and 2.5 cups water and bring to a boil.
Set flame to medium low and continue cooking until the vegetables soften. Add the amaranth seeds and continue cooking until all the water evaporates and the grains are cooked, adding water if necessary. Add the ghee and mix well.
Serve hot. Makes 4 helpings.
200 grams mung beans
100 grams amaranth
2 carrots (medium)
1 beets (medium)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon ginger (fresh grated)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 lime juice
1 garlic cloves (crushed)
3 tablespoons coriander leaves (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons mint leaves (finely chopped)
2 handfuls peanuts (chopped)
For the compote
8 dried apricots
2 green tea bags
1 red skinned apple
4 tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds
For the porridge
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup brown rice
1 cup urad, whole or split, with black peel intact
1 cup amaranth
1 tsp salt
Instructions: Soak rice, urad dal and amaranth for 8 hours or overnight. Blend into a smooth batter, add salt, cover and leave in a warm place to rise for 8 hours or overnight. Batter should double in bulk and form bubbles. Use the batter to make pancakes or waffles.
½ cup loosely packed dried mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup ﬁnely chopped shallots
1 cup amaranth
¼ teaspoon. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (substitute ajwain), plus more for garnish
1 cup dried oyster mushrooms
2 cups boiling water plus 2 1/2 cups cold water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cups amaranth
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoons sherry (Substitute Port Wine)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or to taste
Put the dried oyster mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and pour the 2 cups of boiling water over them. Let the oyster mushrooms soak until tender, 10 to 15 minutes, then lift them from the liquid and squeeze any excess liquid into the bowl. Finely chop the oyster mushrooms. Reserve the oyster mushrooms and the liquid separately.
In a heavy bottom pot over moderately low heat, warm 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil. Add the onion and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly golden, 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the amaranth and stir to coat it with the butter and oil. Slowly add the reserved porcini mushroom soaking liquid, leaving any grit at the bottom of the bowl. Add the 2 1/2 cups cold water, cover the pot, and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking occasionally. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, push any seeds clinging to the side of the pot into the liquid, then reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste. Remove the pot from the heat and let the amaranth stand, covered, 5 to 10 minutes.
While the amaranth is simmering, in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the reserved porcini mushrooms, along with the fresh sliced mushrooms, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the soy sauce and sauté until the mushrooms are softened and juicy, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the sherry (or port wine) and continue to sauté until the mushrooms are tender, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Remove the pan from the heat then stir in the thyme. Cut the remaining 4 tablespoons butter into small pieces, add it to the pan, and stir until melted. Spoon the amaranth onto plates or into soup bowls and top with the mushroom mixture.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup bell peppers (red, green, yellow)
Juice of 1 lemon
4 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp mustard paste
2 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
6 Tbsp. amaranth seeds
Olive oil spray
Pinch sea salt and pepper
2tbsp raw amaranth (3/4 cup once popped)
125g coconut yoghurt (1/2 cup)
60ml coconut cream (1/4 cup)
Mango turmeric layer:
1 large mango
1″ fresh turmeric
½” fresh ginger
Heat up deep medium size pot and lower the temperature to medium. Add 1tbsp of amaranth and stir or toss continuously until most of the grains have popped. It’ll look white once ready and only takes few seconds, don’t let it start to brown. Scoop into a bowl and repeat with the next 1tbsp of amaranth. You will need only 2tbsp for the recipe, but I recommend to make more and save some for later. It’s messy and expect some of the amaranth to come out of the pan. You could use lid if you like, but I find it’s difficult to keep an eye on it once covered. Experiment with what works best for you.
To make the coconut layer simply whip coconut yoghurt with coconut cream and set aside.
To make the mango layer, peel and slice mango, turmeric and ginger. Add everything into blender with the cinnamon and blend until smooth. Taste if it’s sweet enough for you, if not you can add 1tsp of your favourite sweetener.
To assemble prepare 2 small serving glasses. Spoon 2tbsp of amaranth into the glass, top with 2tbsp of coconut yoghurt and 2tbsp of mango puree. Repeat with another layer. Top with coconut flakes or any other toppings of your choice.
1 cup red lentils
½ cup amaranth
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 onion, diced
2 Tbsps ground flax seeds + 3 Tbsps water (or one large egg)
½ cup breadcrumbs (GF)
some sliced black olives (optional, but recommended)
salt and ground pepper, to taste
Much has been said about the miracle grain quinoa, but we don’t need to look so far for the ideal super grain when our humble Amaranth is double the power at one fourth the price! Let’s face it healthy foods are becoming increasingly expensive so before we delve into the awesomeness of eating Amaranth let me tell you, this is something that you and I can buy without worrying about next months rent. Read More here..