There are certain things about which we cannot do or change anything as per our own choice but it when it comes to health , I believe that it is totally in our own control. Our well-being depends upon us only as nobody could do anything for us in this matter. Healthy life style and our food choices make us what we are and what we look. I was reading a topic on cancer as 4 February 2015 was World Cancer Day. I read about the stories of people who have faced this deadly disease, their pains, their psychological conditions, financial burdens and all that. I felt that why people ignore their health and their body as it the only thing that is ours. only ours! How can anybody neglect health? I understand that in this cut throat competition, stress level remains to high to earn money and maintain a life style but why health is not included in the so-called pattern of maintaining a lavish style? I heard it somewhere that first people ignore health for money and afterwards spend that money to maintain health.

We should take care of ourselves . It is our prime duty to listen to our body and be very careful of what we consume. The deadly disease like cancer, nerves shrug by its name only and the people who face it, how difficult would have been for them to pass through it. Now the question arises which is the best possible way to prevent a Disease like Cancer. Prevention is always better than cure. Believe it or not, but when the opposition in question is an adamant disease like cancer, everything you need to prevent or treat it is right inside Indian Kitchen. We are blessed with such herbs and spices that can avert the multiplying of malignant cells in the body that gradually mature into insurmountable cancer cells. Following are the spices which have Cancer-fighting properties.
Turmeric One of the most recognizable of all the Indian spices. Turmeric is an anti oxidant and it is not only great for fighting disease like cancer, it also aids in the prevention of diabetes, allergies and internal injuries. It’s not difficult to reap maximum benefits of this spice as it is easily available and using just a pinch of it daily helps solve the purpose. Usually it is mixed in warm milk or added in dishes to get a robust flavor and color.
Saffron Cancer progression is retarded with Crocetin, a carotenoid dicarboxylic acid present in saffron. This compound has the potential to reduce the size of cancerous tumors by 50%. It’s very expensive no doubt but its benefits can be enjoyed by ingesting only a few of its threads. It’s widely used in Indian traditional drinks and sweet dishes.
Fennel– Fennel contains Anthole that enables the spice to resist the invasive and adhesive qualities of cancer cells. Fennel does this by suppressing those activities that are regulated by enzymes and that encourage cancerous cells to multiply. This spice do contains a plethora of other antioxidants and phytonutrients as well.
Cumin– It is Popularly used as a digestive aid. People usually do not know that it is a powerful antioxidant too. These seeds contain thymoquinone which helps reduce the spread of the cells that can cause colon cancer. It can be used in various form in different dishes depending upon the flavor we want. It tastes excellent in roasted form.
Cinnamon– Just half teaspoon of cinnamon powder added to meals every day is enough to keep cancer risk away. It is a natural food preservative, a source of iron and calcium. It’s very useful in reducing tumor growth.
Parsley– Other than garnishing qualities, parsley is actually a potent cancer-preventer too. An oil found in parsley called Apigenine, has been proved to inhibit cancer growth by preventing the extension of blood vessels that supply fuel to a growing tumor.
Ginger- It can be called an excellent Immune system booster with generous amounts of both Vitamin A and Vitamin C. This makes it potential to keep cancer cells away.
Basil- Basil’s antioxidant, antimutagenic, antitumorigenic, antiviral, and antibacterial properties can help to cure cancer. The word Basil is derived from the Greek word “basileus”, which means “king”.
Garlic – Regular intake of garlic has been found to be associated with the reduced risk of certain cancers like cancers of the stomach, colon, esophagus, pancreas, and breast. Garlic Boosts Immune System. It has strong antiviral properties. In Russia, garlic was known as “Russian Penicillin” due to its abilities to effectively treat infections. It’s a strong anti fungal and anti viral which helps to keep diseases like cancer at bay.
There are many more spices and herbs which hold the qualities of preventing cancer. These above given spices and herbs are readily available in kitchen. We can take the benefit just by adding a little amount of them in our daily diet.

Invite your soul for dinner

Eat for your soul

Total health is not only being physically fit, it involves well-being of mind, emotions and senses also. Ayurveda, a traditional Hindu system of medicine is based on the idea of maintaining body systems through diet, herbal treatment, and breathing techniques. As per Ayurveda the food we consume nourishes all of the aspects of health, not just physical well-being only. Our emotions directly affect the quality of food. Cooking or eating in angry or stressed mood turns the qualities of food into poison and if food is cooked and ate in a harmonious atmosphere, on the other hand, turns the food into nectar. Pleasant fragrance, soothing music, tidy place, smiling faces of friends and family, makes mealtime nourishing for mind, emotions, senses and spirits. Sometimes eating in silence with total focus on food can turn the meal into a feast, no matter how simple it is. Relishing colors, textures, aromas and flavors in an eating experience is optimal for health. Only balance and a little effort is required to cultivate good eating habits. Thanking providence for the food that is served, practicing deep breathing for a couple of minutes before starting a meal, sitting quietly for a few minutes after a meal, are small little things, but they add up to good health and longevity. Life is a combination of healthy foods, yoga, exercise, massage, and a positive attitude. It’s all about how much committed we are towards our health and how much dedicated we are for care of our soul along with our physical body and mind. Eating for the soul means listening to that little voice inside that knows what healthy foods generally are and the effect it will leave on our body and soul.
My soul is dark with stormy riot,
Directly traceable to diet.
~Samuel Hoffenstein

On This Mothers Day

Bhookhe bachon ki tasalli ke liye,
Ma ne phir der tak pani pakaya……………
(words from the gazal of The Legend Jagjit Singh)

It was 8.45 pm and I was driving. Admist street lights, in medium traffic, I was busy thinking about my work and probably car was being driven robotically by me. Traffic lights turned red and like others I stopped my car in my lane. As the car stopped, thoughts in my mind took a halt too. Suddenly I thought of changing radio channel and started surfing for my favourite 103.1 fm, the moment channel catches signals, a famous gazal by Master Jagjit Singh broke the silence and monotony of my car, it allured the atmosphere! These were the lines which touched me the most. After listening to these words, I was thinking about mothers and greatness of the mothers in whole.
Ma, Maiya, Mother, Mata, numerous could be he names of the soul, who gives us birth and takes care of our upbringing. The moment we open our eyes in this world, she is the one who presents herself for us. All our needs are catered by her without any demand in return. I remembered a beautiful excerpt from the book, “When God Created Mothers” and the whole story flashed in my mind.

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”
And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?” She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts…all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands.”
The angel shook her head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands…. no way.”
It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”
That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. God nodded.
One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”
God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently, “Get some rest tomorrow….”
I can’t,” said God, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick…can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger…and can get a nine-year old to stand under a shower.”
The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed.
But tough!” said God excitedly. “You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.”
Can it think?”
Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.
Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.
There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.”
It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “It’s a tear.”
What’s it for?”
It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”
You are a genius, ” said the angel.
Somberly, God said, “I didn’t put it there.”
― Erma Bombeck, When God Created Mothers

Thande Thande Dahi Bhalle

Recipe of Dahi Bhalle

  • Ingredients
    For Bhalle:
    1 cup urad duli dal (split black gram)
    Pinch of asafoetida(Hing)
    Salt to taste
    Oil for frying
    1 chopped green chilly
    Little chopped ginger
  • For filling
    2 tsp chopped cashews
    2 tsp raisins
    1 small tsp grated coconut(optional)
  • For Dahi
    2 cups thick yogurt
    ½ cup milk or water
    1 tbsp dry roasted cumin powder
    3-4 tsp black salt
    1-1/2 tbsp powdered sugar
    tsp grated ginger
    1 tbsp Sweet Tamarind Chutney
    Few pomegranate seeds (Optional)
    Chopped coriander for garnishing.
  • Method
    Soak dal for 2 hours in water and keep aside.
    Then take out extra water and add all the ingredients of the bhalle except oil and grind it into a mixture.
    Mix all the filling ingredients in a bowl.
    In a wok heat oil for frying.
    Now take a tablespoon of the mixture on your palm and then flatten it out. Apply a drop of oil or water on your palm before putting mixture on palm, otherwise it will stick to the palm.
    Place some filling in the centre.
    Now with the help of water close the sides of the mixture on the hand. It should look like a half-moon.
    Place them in the hot oil and fry then till golden crisp.
    Now dip them in normal water for few minutes.
    Beat the yogurt and add milk or water to get pliable consistency of curd and add sugar to it.
    Mix it well with a fork and add black salt and roasted cumin seed powder. Mix it again. Put grated ginger also.
    Keep it in fridge for some time.
    Gently squeeze water from the bhalle and place them in a serving bowl and pour mixed curd over them.
    Sprinkle some cumin powder and some sweet tamarind chutney.
    Garnish with coriander and pomegranate seeds and serve immediately with sweet tamarind chutney.

Almonds as Power Packets & Recipe of Almond Milk

pm_almonds2111I remember those childhood days when Dad used to give me 5 blanched almonds daily as the first thing to eat in morning. Sometimes I used to say, I don’t want it and he always smiled and responded calmly, It’s the best thing to have. It’s eye shaped nut and It will keep your eyes strong to study more and it will keep your bones healthy to play more. As a child it was a daily routine for me to have almonds empty stomach but now as a grown up I can well understand the value of this routine that my dad followed to make me eat almonds daily, more than my routine of eating them. Today I wish to thank him. Thank you dad!

Childhood days are left far behind. Now there is no one to run behind for overall take and care of our health. Specially in the time we all are surviving , it becomes more important to take care of our health in order to face this competitive era. Exercise, good nutrition, healthy food are some of the essential facts which can keep us healthy and strong. All the foods we consume have their own nutritional value. Here I am talking about nuts. Eating nuts as part of diet is a sure shot way towards a better health. Nuts are nature’s way of showing us that good things come in small packages. The eye shaped bite size almonds are powerhouses packed with heart-healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Everybody would agree that almonds are tasty and nutritious. They hold a strong position in most of the cuisines. They are widely used in dishes, salads, desserts and drinks too. They serve as a great snack also. Other than these qualities they are easy to store, easy to pack and carry.
It has been proven that regular intake of almonds reduces the risk of heart attacks. It helps down to lower blood cholesterol levels and protects artery walls from damage. The phosphorus content in almonds help to build strong bones and teeth. They nourish our nervous system and work excellent for brain. Almonds provides healthy fats and aid in weight loss. There are numerous benefits of including almonds in our daily diet. so why to wait? Include them in your diet and take a step towards a healthy you!

How to make almond milk at home

I usually make almond milk at home. Its easy and can be used in cooking also to give that rich, pliable and soft texture to dishes like Butter chicken and mushroom curry. It’s very easy, just follow the following steps;

1. Boil water and turn the gas off when it starts boiling.
2. wash almonds and add to the boiled water. cover the pan with a lid and wait for 30 minutes. This process is called the blanching of almonds. Overnight soaking of almonds will also give the same results.
3. After 30 minutes, drain the water. Don’t throw drained water away. It can be used to water the plants. Peel all the almonds.
4. In a blender add three cups of water along with the almonds. Blend till smooth paste formed.
5. Strain the milk using a juice strainer of tea strainer or a muslin cloth.
6. Milk will filter down and the almond pulp will remain on the strainer. Squeeze out remaining milk by pressing the pulp with a spoon.
7. It is advisable to blend the left pulp with one cup of water again and strain as before or add a cup of more water to already strained milk. Blend it again and then strain.
8. Press with the spoon again to squeeze all the milk from the pulp.