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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Egg Dosa

Evening times are turning out to be quite trying for me as my toddler is getting increasingly fussy about his afternoon snacks. If it is too light, he gets cranky after 1-2 hours. And he is not too fond of heavy stuff like paratha, halwa or puri either. So, I have to come up new ideas every two days. Hence, I introduced the egg dosa on his menu. I usually roll it up like a chicken roll and add loads of ketchup to it. He liked it very much and keeps asking for it again and again.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 10 mins

Ingredients -

  • 2 cups dosa batter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium sized onion (finely chopped)
  • 1-2 green chili ( finely chopped, omit for kids)
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder/karam (omit for kids)
  • chopped cilantro
  • tomato ketchup 
  • 4 tsp oil
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Break the eggs into a bowl and add 1-2 pinch of salt. Whisk it gently.

Add salt to batter and adjust the consistency if required.

Cooking - Heat a flat tawa or dosa tawa on medium flame. 

Pour 1 cup batter and spread it outwards in a circular motion. After a minute, spread half of the egg all over the dosa. Reduce flame and cook till the egg is almost cooked.

Sprinkle onions, green chilis, red chili powder, cilantro and ketchup over the dosa. 

Fold it or roll it up and remove from the tawa.

Serve hot !!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Masoor Dal ka shorba (Red Lentil Soup)

Lentil soups are much more filling and nutritious (protein rich) as compared to the vegetable variants. Hence, they are indispensable when one is trying to lose weight or maintain proper blood sugar levels as in the case of diabetics. One can use the regular dals like moong dal, toor dal and masoor dal for preparing a wholesome and richly flavored soup.

But Masoor dal ka shorba happens to be the current favorite. Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 20-25 mins

Ingredients -

  • 4 tbsp Masoor dal (red lentil)
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 dry red chilis
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 7-8 black pepper
  • 2 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • a pinch of turmeric

Preparation - Wash and soak the dal for 2-3 hours.

Chop the onion and tomato into medium sized pieces.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Throw in the broken chilis and spices. Fry till fragrant.

Add the onions and tomatoes. Stir fry for 3-4 mins.

Add the dal along with 3 cups water and turmeric . Close lid and cook for 4-5 whistles.

Keep aside till steam escapes. Open the lid and use a hand blender to churn up the contents of the pressure cooker. (Be careful as the hot liquid might spill and burn one's hands)

Strain into a saucepan. Adjust the consistency and add salt. Bring to boil and let it simmer for 2-3 mins.

Pour into soup bowls and serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tamatar aur Dhaniya ka Shorba

It is quite chilly these days and I am constantly in search of something warm to sip on. After endless cups of tea, masala chai, green tea and coffee, I realize that I still need something more and in greater quantity. And the first thing that comes to my mind is a humongous bowl of steaming soup. Whether homemade or straight from a packet, I love my soup when I am on a diet or whenever the mercury takes a drop. And that kind of translates into every other day as it is 'de rigueur' given the fashionably thin folks of Bangalore and the balmy weather of this city.

This is my current favorite and I keep making it at home or ordering it at restaurants. As is the custom at my home (however silly it may sound), it must be done to death before I move on to the next 'Big' thing.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients -

  • 5-6 medium sized tomatoes
  • 4-5 tbsp chopped coriander stems
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 dry red chili
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 9-10 peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 tsp oil
  • 2 tsp freshly chopped cilantro
  • freshly ground pepper for garnishing
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.

Thoroughly clean the coriander stems to remove any sand or mud .

Cooking - Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Add the red chili, bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon. Saute for 20 seconds before throwing in the coriander stems. Fry for a minute before adding the tomato pieces.

Add 3-4 cups water and salt to taste. Close lid and cook for 3-4 whistles.

Allow steam to escape before opening the lid. Take a hand blender and puree the tomatoes.

Pass through a strainer.

Transfer to a saucepan and place on the flame. Add the sugar and adjust salt if needed. Bring to a boil.

Pour into bowls and garnish with cilantro and freshly ground pepper .

Serve immediately.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Product Review : Saby' Barbee Benefit Chai Masala

The monsoons are bearing down on us and I am forced to spend most of my time indoors. The absence of sunlight and the dampness that accompanies the rain also brings on a host of seasonal complaints like cold, cough and indigestion. Hence the desire to curl up with a good book and a cuppa of steaming hot chai. Mind it, I am not talking about the very austere English tea in bone china cups but the very aromatic brew steeped in Indian spices and served in those earthen kulhads.

And since I am very particular about my 'chai', I always end up making my own spice mix. Hence, when I received the samples of Saby's Barbee Benefit Chai masala, I was a bit skeptical about it. And it remained unopened on my kitchen shelf for a week. But one day I was down with a sore throat and feeling too ill to brew my own concoction. I picked up one of the samples and read the instructions. It seemed simple and I gave it a try. And loved it.

Ingredients -

  • mint
  • black pepper
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • mixed herbs

The brand claims the following benefits -

  • Weight loss
  • Relief from joint pains
  • Fortified with Calcium and Iron
  • Relief from cold and cough
  • Stress relief
  • Digestion

My opinion - It provides relief in case of cough, cold, stress related headache and aids digestion. I did not experience the weight loss benefits as I tried it for 2 weeks only.  However, the spices used have certified weight loss properties so I am sure that it would aid weight loss in the long run.

Instructions for use - In your tea, with or without milk . Or even with plain hot water.

How I like to have it ? I add 1/2 tsp to my regular tea ( skim milk and no sugar ) towards the end.  Let it boil for a minute before decanting. Stir in 1/2 tsp of honey. Sip with pleasure.

Disclaimer - Samples provided by Saby's Barbee Mania and Food Bloggers Association Bangalore. However the opinions are the author's own.

You can buy it on Paytm .

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Discover Create and Shop with Limeroad !!

Grrrr !!! I hate the Sale season. Don't get me wrong but I just can't stand the offline types any longer . Queuing up to find a parking spot, then rummaging though loads of stuff to find something of one's own size and finally queuing up for a trial room, I managed to spend 4 hours and ended up picking up just two kurtis. And in the process I had to skip the Sunday brunch with my pals.

So, when Limeroad announced a Buy 1 Get 1, I had to give it a try. And ended up buying some fabulous stuff from the comfort of my recliner within an hour of the commencement of the sale. Even when I was confused about the size ( sometime despite the help provided by the size chart one is undecided whether to pick a particular size or the preceding/succeeding one ), I was not too worried as they have an easy return policy which I had availed on an earlier occasion. Everything was delivered within the next 10 days and I loved each one of it.

But that is not all. Love their website which allows one to put together various looks or scrapbooks as they prefer to call it. And you earn points every time you create one. One can also explore and buy from various scrapbooks created by others. And if someone likes your scrapbook and makes a purchase, you get additional points. Now that sounds too good to be true. But it is.

This is one of my scrapbooks which earned me additional points -

These are some personal favorites -

Buy here

buy here

Buy here
Buy here

And I love all the scraps that I created with the evergreen saree. I am planning to pick one of this for the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations ( picked up ones in white and yellow as these are considered auspicious )  -

Buy here

Buy here
Buy Here

Summing it up, here are the High's and Low's of shopping with Limeroad -

High's -

  • Great collection including stuff that you won't find on other websites.
  • All possible payment modes available
  • Easy return policy
  • Shop for an entire look instead of buying just one product
  • Earn even as you create and shop
  • Great bargains during the Buy 1 Get 1 sale ( every 2-3 months )

Low's -

  • The delivery times is usually 7-10 days which I feel is a bit on the higher side
  • COD attracts an extra charge of Rs 79 which is quite steep

Whatever be the occasion, you are sure to find something at Limeroad. So, get on-board and join in the fun !!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The 15 Minute Meal Series - Post 3

Continuing the 15 Minute Meal series that enables you to enjoy fresh home cooked food, I have put together another really easy to prepare meal consisting of flavoured rice (using brown rice), soya and kala channa subzi, karela ka bharta and a papad chura/salad .

How to do this in 15 mins -

1. Overnight preparation -  Soak the kala channa for 8 hours minimum. Wash and cook with salt, turmeric and just enough water for 3-4 whistles.

Open the cooker once steam escapes. Transfer into a food grade plastic container and refrigerate overnight.

Take one bitter gourd and 2 medium sized potatoes. Wash and cook together in a pressure cooker with just enough water for 3 whistles.

Open the cooker once steam escapes. Transfer into a food grade plastic container and refrigerate overnight.

Additionally, one can also peel the garlic and chop the onions, cilantro and green chilis.

Soak the brown rice overnight.

2. Making the kala channa and soya subzi - Put the soya chunks into boiling water for 5 mins.

Heat 1-2 tsp oil in a wok. Add jeera and green chili tempering. Add chopped onions followed by GG paste. Fry for 2 mins.

Drain the soya chunks and wash 2-3 times with fresh water. Squeeze out water before adding to the wok. Fry for 2 mins

Add chopped tomato, red chili powder, garam masala and cook for another 2-3 mins. Add the boiled channa along with the boiled potato (peeled and cubed). Cook for 2 mins.

Transfer to a pressure cooker along with 1 1/2 cups hot water. Adjust salt. Close lid and cook for 2 whistles on high.

3. Cooking rice - Heat a oil in a cooker. Add 1-2 green chilis, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp cumin seeds and 2 garlic cloves. After 30 secs, add about 2-3 tbsp chopped coriander stems and saute for a min or two. Add the washed brown rice and water. Sprinkle some grated mango ginger on top. Close lid and cook for 2 whistles.

4. Kareley ka Bharta - Take the bitter gourd, remove the seeds and mash it. Add the boiled potato to it, add chopped green chili, salt, a bit of mustard oil and cilantro. Mash together.

Heat 1/2 tsp oil in a tadka pan. Add some pancha phutana (panch phoran) and 1 broken red chili. Once it gets spluttering, add some chopped onion and crushed garlic. Fry for 1 minute before pouring it over the mashed bittergourd and potato. Mix together.

5. Papad ka chura - Roast a papad on flame. Crumble and add some amchur, red chili powder, chopped onion and cilantro. Toss together. If you like, add some thinly sliced cucumber and tomato to it.

Chef's Tip - Start with the rice and the kala channa and soya subzi. Once the rice cooking is underway and the tomatoes are still being cooked, utilize this time to prepare the bharta. By the time the subzi goes into the cooker, the rice will be done and you can prepare the tempering for the bharta. Roast the papad just before serving the meal.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Food Review : Tandurust ( Delivering Healthy Food in Bangalore)

When I first moved to Bangalore, the thing that stuck me was the levels of health consciousness among the folks of this IT hub. Every other person was running a marathon, riding a cycle to office, playing tennis, swimming and trekking over the weekends, stuff that would have been unthinkable in Hyderabad. And the differences between the two cities turn even more stark when one looks at the food. It is not uncommon to find folks who carry health food in their lunch box. A brown rice pulao paired with raita, a wholesome sprouts salad with one or two slices of brown bread, quinoa upma, oats upma, and sometimes even plain oats steeped in boiling water. Stuff that made me feel positively uncomfortable about the post pregnancy weight I carried.

But cooking and carrying healthy food from home may not be an option for bachelors, families where both spouses are working and  in quite a few cases where the awareness about healthy eating is low. This is where Tandurust steps in. It strives to provide 3 meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) to working/housebound individuals in the vicinity of Bellandur, Marathahalli, Sarjapura,Mahadevpura, electronic city, ITPL and Koramangla in Bangalore.

According to their website and the discussions that I have had with Sudhanshu Sharma, who is the brains behind this concept, they use a combination of good quality ingredients coupled with the right cooking methods. This is what the website claims -

"We use healthy and nutritious ingredients like whole grains, legumes & pulses, green vegetables and flax seeds among others to prepare our food. We practice healthy cooking in order to retain nutrients. Our three meals plan (breakfast-lunch-snacks) meets 50-80% of the daily nutrition requirement of a person. Our food is packed with essential macro and micro nutrients like complex carbs, protein, omega 3 fatty acids and other PUFAs & MUFAs, high dietary fiber content and micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals)."

Please visit their website HERE  for more information and subscribing to their plans. 

Coming to one of the meals I have tried, it came neatly packaged in a plastic tray with a spoon and an extra sachet of salt. It included 3 multi grain rotis, a serving of brown rice, palak tofu, whole masoor dal, raita fortified with flax seeds, and salad. Wholesome, filling and with the right mix of carbs and proteins.

Pluses - 

  • Hygienic packaging
  • fresh and good quality ingredients
  • low of fat and high on fiber
  • Suitable for everyone including diabetics and women trying to lose weight post pregnancy 

Minus -

  • Taste is a little on the bland side which might be a concern for those with South Indian taste buds.
  • Personally I felt that price is also on the higher side. But for folks who depend on meal substitutes, this might work out to be a reasonable option.
  • Limited area of delivery

Overall, it is a good option for lunch/dinner for folks who are inclined to eat and live healthy. They are constantly experimenting and improving their fare and one can expect a better menu in the coming months.

Click to add a blog post for Tandurust on Zomato

Monday, July 13, 2015

Pasta in Creamy Cauliflower Sauce (Low Calorie Recipe)

If pasta in a creamy white sauce is the stuff that your dreams are made of, then you do not have to skip it while on a weight loss regimen. Substitute the fattening cheese with some cauliflower and low fat milk and you have an equally delicious sauce at hand.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 cup Delmonte elbow pasta
  • 2/3 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk
  • 1 tsp Figaro EVOO
  • 2-3 chopped garlic flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • dash of freshly ground pepper
  • salt

Preparation - Boil the cauliflower florets till tender. Strain and transfer to blender. Buzz to a coarse paste and then add the milk. Buzz to a smooth consistency. 

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add chopped garlic and fry till it gives a fragrance. Add the pureed cauliflower, add salt and let it simmer.

Simultaneously, boil water in a large saucepan for the pasta . Once the bubbles start coming, salt it.

Wait for water to come to a rolling boil before you add the paste. This way they wont stick to each other.

Keep checking on your pasta . Once it gets to the al-dente stage (10-12 mins), remove from flame and drain off the pasta water while saving about 1/2 cup of it for thinning the sauce, if required.

Transfer the pasta to the saucepan containing the white sauce. Adjust consistency and cook for 2-3 mins.

Serve with a dash of pepper and parsley.

5 Minute Caramel Popcorn (Kid's favorite recipe)

Easy to make and an instant crowd puller, this easy popcorn recipe has become my go-to dish during b'day parties and small get togethers. All it takes is a packet of instant popcorn in plain/salted flavor and some regular ingredients from the pantry.

Read on -

Preparation time - 5 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 packet of instant popcorn (Act II)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp water
  • handful of peanuts
  • 1-2 drops vanilla essence / 1/2 tsp orange rind / few drops lemon juice

Cooking - Take the water, sugar and butter into a large pan and put it on medium heat.

At the same time, prepare the packet of instant popcorn in a microwave or pressure cooker,

Allow it to boil, then reduce flame just as the sugar starts caramelizing. Add peanuts and flavour of your choice. Throw in the popcorn and stir for 1 min.

Keep aside till it cools down as it will be very hot.

Serve immediately or keep in a airtight container.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Sugar Vs Honey ?

Image courtesy - awakentheabswithin.com

Honey without a doubt. But if you happen to be addicted to the white stuff, it is important to know how it affects your overall health. Apart from the weight gain that predisposes one to diabetes, a study published by Stanford Medicine in the spring of 2013 found that "increased sugar in a population's food supply was linked to higher diabetes rate, independent of obesity rates."

The very perception of sweetness is a highly personal thing. For example, if you have spent a year or two outside India, probably in the States or in Europe, the first thing you notice when you land in India is the unpalatable sweetness of everything from the tea to the sweets brought in by your relatives. Even the much loved 'Gajar ka halwa' made by your mother may turn you off as being too sweet. This means one can alter one's consumption of sugar without missing out on all those favorite foods.

Ok. It is tough at the beginning. And as a foodie turned health freak and veteran food blogger who is very much focused on eating healthy, I can vouch for it. But what if instead of banishing sugar, one has an option to substitute it with something much healthier ? That is exactly what the Dabur Honey Diet proposes to do. It helps your weight loss by ensuring that you take a regular balanced diet with a little bit of tweaking to keep those extra calories at bay.

Image courtesy - cvseventh.com

The smart diet is one which keeps those hunger pangs at bay while ensuring that one's energy levels do not drop. Studies confirm that depriving the body of food can lead the brain to assume that one is going through a period of starving. This results in lowered metabolism and higher fat storage. Plus diets that require one to survive on a single ingredient for days altogether are highly probable to lead to a serious nutritional deficiency.

Image courtesy - Daburhoney.com

Hence smart choices like switching to Dabur Honey are important. Moreover Glycemic Index (GI) of honey is lower than that of refined sugar which means it wont spike one's blood sugar levels, an important factor when trying to lose weight. The processing done for honey is minimal which is why it retains its vitamins, trace minerals and other useful compounds.

Honey can be substituted for sugar in one's tea, lemonade, smoothie and milkshake with ease. Taking your cornflakes/cereals with milk ? Try honey instead of sugar. Or even the Overnight Oats with honey. Those delicious kormas and butter masalas take on a better flavour with honey as compared to sugar. Have a weakness for desserts ? Try a fruit salad tossed in honey and coated with taosted sesame seeds. Or even a Shrikhand that has honey instead of sugar.

Chef's tip - Add honey right at the end of the cooking process to get the maximum benefit out of it.

This post is written for Dabur Honey .

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Staying Connected with the UC Browser

Image courtesy - sportskeeda.com

With cricket being elevated to the status of a religion in India, hardly anyone wants to miss out on even a single minute of the play. Who knows which sixer/four or even a single run might be recorded as an epic moment in history. And God forbid if you did not capture that match winning/losing catch that everyone is talking about. Also, the cricketing action is not even considered as action if you do not watch it live. Recordings are no fun as they do not have the nail biting suspense associated with them.

But fret no more if you have to catch that all important match that clashes with something equally important on the personal/work front. And do rack your brains as you dig up a suitable excuse for cancelling or postponing the latter. All that you would need to do is download the UC Browser on your mobile to stay connected with the game. Employing the cloud acceleration and data compression techniques, this browser actually compresses the web pages before sending to the user. In lay man terms, it directly translates into faster downloading speeds and that too at lower costs (thanks to the data compression).

With the user friendly interface of UC Cricket, one can check for the latest updates ( live scores, videos , option to read commentaries and even ball by ball updates to be specific) on UC Cricket while carrying out regular tasks like driving, checking emails, working out and a thousand other day to day activities. Even all those housebound ladies who are caught up with dropping/picking their kids, doing the cooking, supervising homework and a zillion other tasks, this is the way to remain connected to your favorite game. As the browser also supports simultaneous downloads and saves pages for offline reading, you can help answer the kids homework related queries while saving those recipes for a later read.

And it can certainly make life less painful. Whether it is that incorrigible colleague's birthday celebration, the pompous cousin's wedding, the know it all Auntyji who has been trying to marry you off since the day you turned 21 or basically anyone that you would love to avoid, leverage your UC Browser to keep the dullness out of such moments. Caught up in a dreadfully dull meeting with the boss ? Take a toilet break and spend a few moments catching up on the match updates (OK..I admit that one has to be a little discreet about it). Much awaited first date with that special someone clashes with that do or die match ? Now you can enjoy both with your UC Browser. And if he or she turns out to be cricket buff, you will have something handy to impress them with. On the other hand, it can turn out to be life saver if things go the other way.

Image courtesy - ucweb.com

Moreover, if are too busy to keep track of all the games that are being played, a situation that is inevitable during the IPL season, you can choose to set a reminder on this browser. What more can a cricket buff ask for ??

This post is written for UC Browser .

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Dal and Palak Soup

Heart warming and healthy, soups are the way to go whether you are following a weight loss regimen or suffering from any malady. Sometimes, it can be just the balmy weather conditions that attract one to a glorious bowlful. And this is one of the easiest soups that I have ever come across.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -

  • a fistful of yellow lentils / toor dal
  • 1/2 cup shredded baby spinach
  • 2-3 tsp carrot juliennes (optional)
  • 1 tsp ginger juliennes
  • a dash of pepper
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Wash the baby spinach, drain and keep aside.

Cooking - Wash the lentil and transfer to a pressure cooker with 1 1/2 cup water and a pinch of salt. Cook for 3 whistles. Keep aside till steam escapes.

Slightly mash the lentils. Transfer the contents into a saucepan. Add some more warm water to bring it to the desired consistency. Bring to a boil and adjust the salt.

Add the shredded spinach and carrot. Boil for 2-3 mins.

Sprinkle ground pepper and ginger juliennes just before turning off the flame.

Serve hot.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The 15 Minute Meal Series - Post 2

Continuing the 15 Minute Meal series that enables you to enjoy fresh home cooked food, I have put together another simple meal consisting of rice, toor dal, aloo palak, bitter gourd - raw banana tikkis and peanut vada . While the peanut vada was made as I was feeling indulgent, I would ideally substitute it with a kachumbar or a tomato-cucumber salad.

Read on how this can be done in 15 mins -

1. Overnight preparation -  Take one bitter gourd, a raw banana and 2 medium sized potatoes. Wash and cook together in a pressure cooker with just enough water for 3 whistles.

Open the cooker once steam escapes. Transfer into a food grade plastic container and refrigerate overnight.

Wash the palak/spinach and chop it into medium sized pieces. Saute with a little oil, some chopped onion, 2-3 garlic flakes and 1-2 green chilis for 3-4 mins. Grind into a smooth paste once it cools down. Store overnight (can stay fresh upto 4-5 days).

Wash and soak the peanuts overnight.

Additionally, one can also peel the garlic and chop the onions, cilantro and green chilis.

2. Cooking rice and dal - One can cook the rice and dal together in the same pressure using a separator to save time or use two separate cookers. Additionally add some chopped onion, crushed garlic, a small piece of ginger, green chili, finely chopped tomato, 1-2 cloves, salt and turmeric to the dal while cooking.

Take the bitter gourd, remove the seeds and mash it. Add one of the boiled potatoes (peeled ofcourse) to it, add chopped green chili, onion, salt, a bit of mustard oil and cilantro. Mash together and shape into tikkis (flat discs) .

Strain the peanuts and transfer to a mixer jar. Add some chopped onion, 2-3 garlic flakes, coriander stems, green chili and salt. Buzz till you get a mixture that is coarse but can be molded.  Shape into flat discs.

3. Take a large skillet. Drizzle with oil. Place the bitter gourd-raw banana tikkis on one side and the peanut vadas on the other side. Cook for 2-3 mins till small brown spots appear. Flip over and cook the other side as well. Cooking everything together saves time.

At the same time, heat another wok. Add some oil followed by broken red chili, cumin and mustard seeds. Once it starts spluttering add some of the peeled and diced potato. Sprinkle salt and red chili powder. Saute for 1-2 mins. Throw in some onion which has been cut into big chunks. Saute till translucent. Add the spinach paste along with 3-4 tbsp water, a pinch of garam masala and just a little bit of butter. Cook for 2-3 mins more.

Your delicious and healthy meal is ready !!

If you looking for any specific recipe, please leave a comment on my blog or FB page and I will be happy to respond :) !

Unleash the Monsoon Magic !!!

It has been sometime since I did a style post. Maybe nothing interesting crossed my path or maybe I was just being lazy. But the magic of the monsoons has brought in some inspiration with it. Or it could be just the primal avatar of nature which has unleashed something inside me. Well, I have this sudden urge to go out in the rain and feel the fury of those falling droplets. Some poets may describe it as a caress but that is just a matter of perception.

And the first thing that I have to take care of is my outfit so that I do not end up looking like something that had been swallowed and then spitted out by a storm drain. Yeah, it is the age of selfies and one cannot risk being captured in a downy attire. So, even if you have to get drenched, do it in style. However, it is time to stop looking at our Bollywood beauties and their rain drenched song sequences for inspiration because it is no fun being bogged down with a six yard long piece of wet fabric.

Bright colors. Short hemlines. Fabrics that dry easily. Waterproof and minimal makeup. A bright umbrella/raincoat. Sturdy gum boots if you have to slosh your way through dirty water. A pair of good old flip flops for other times. A rainproof bag that can also accommodate a change of clothing. That's the checklist to go for.

Personally, I do not consider my monsoon itinerary complete unless I have paid a visit to the beach during the rains. The roiling sea, the wet sands, the water reaching out in both direction to touch each other, something about the meeting of the forces of nature has that irresistible quality that draws me to the sea. I always prefer fuss free clothing that is also an extension of my maverick self. So that is what I picked up to make a style statement even as I take a stroll down the beach. And believe me, I picked up all of it within an hour from the comfort of my living room. Yes, it is Limeroad.com that helps me put together an awesome look even without venturing out of my home. So, girls say bye-bye to hunting though the malls/streets looking for that elusive pair of shoes / bag / statement neck-piece to go with your dress.

Buy this look at Limeroad.com.

The clothes are breezy and flowing while the colorful bracelet adds a touch of craziness. The funky rubber flipflops complement the chilled out attire. A functional backpack for all that extra stuff and I am good to go.

Do let me know your comments. ( Now that you know where to find some magic when you need it !! Happy shopping !!)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Kellogg's ke sang kushi ke paal

Image courtesy - itbusiness.ca

Ever wondered how your kid is the first one to decipher your smartphone or figure out a problem with the laptop ? Yes, the kids of today are much smarter and wired differently than most of us. A recent study reports that even one year old toddlers can use an iPad and by two years of age, they develop 'moderate ability'. This generation has the unique ability to adapt to technology as a fish takes to water. While we as parents feel quite proud about it and are eager to listen to their tech talk, we must never forget that there is much more that needs to be a part of their upbringing.

While I certainly encourage my kid to spend time with gadgets, I try and involve him in multiple activities that will also help him on the physical and spiritual front. Most kids enjoy a session of football, basketball or cricket. I, my husband and my kid even play cricket in the corridor of our apartment while taking alternate turns at batting, bowling and fielding. It bolsters physical development, improves their motor skills and is beneficial in the long run. I firmly believe that healthy habits are best inculcated when young and the distractions are fewer. I also encourage him to visit temples, listen to mythology and learn simple chants like the Gayatri Mantra and Hanuman Chalisa which encourages him to gain a healthy curiosity about religion.

Making him learn to love books, even though he prefers Kindle to paper (unlike me), is another habit that I am trying to instill in him. Nothing can stimulate our mind better than a good book. There is much that one can learn from the works of others as even the simplest of fairy tales have morals in them. We love the bond that we share when reading a story book together. While it does get a bit irritating when he starts asking a lot of questions instead to accepting everything that I read to him, I understand that it is good for him and try to answer as much as I can. And in a way, it also helps me improve my patience levels.

And last but not the least, we love sharing with him stories of our own childhood days. With so much having changed in the last two or three decades, he finds it hilarious when we mention the big boxy black and white TV sets we had. And he thinks that we were nuts to go out and buy separate cassettes for each movie when the songs can be downloaded on one's phone with a simple tap. Sometimes we end up rolling even as we share these moments.

This post is written for Kellogg's Chocos.

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Cracked wheat (daliya) and Vegetable Soup

I am still continuing the healthy diet/weight loss recipes series this week. Trying to discover new ways to cut those excess calories from a meal while still providing finger-licking nourishment has been challenging. This week I came up with a delicious soup with the goodness of carrots, sweet potato, tomatoes and cracked wheat. Blame it on the balmy weather of Bangalore but I am craving for loads of soup these days !

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -

  • 2 tbsp cracked wheat / daliya
  • 1 small carrot
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1/2 tsp sugar or honey (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • a dash of pepper

Preparation - Lightly roast the cracked wheat.

Peel and dice the carrot and sweet potato.

Cooking - Cook all the vegetables along with 1 cup water in a pressure cooker for 2-3 whistles. Keep aside till steam escapes.

Strain the vegetables and puree them. Use the vegetable stock to cook the cracked wheat in the same pressure cooker for 3 whistles. Keep aside for steam to escape

Pour the puree into the pressure cooker. Add 1/2 cup warm water, sugar/honey and salt. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 2-3 mins.

Serve with a dash of coarsely ground pepper.

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