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Monday, September 28, 2015

Ministrone Soup on Saturday Night

Zuccini, cabbage & celery
We had minestrone pasta soup on Saturday night. Quite a heavy soup and one bowlful can be quite fulfilling. You can always take extra helpings if you are hungry enough.On the side you can have nicely buttered bread slices.Here are the pictures of the process which are quite self explanatory.We added generous quantities of cheese to the soup as per requirement. Salt & pepper too as needed.The soup was super delicious.
Beans Carrot & Cabbage
Tomato Puree & Pasta
Lo & Behold - Ministrone Soup

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Maroon Fencing & Gate

Here are some pics of a maroon fencing around our tile roofed sit out as well as maroon colored gate. The fencing is a typical Kerala (South India) design and is termed in vernacular Malayalam language as "Charupadi". On the inside we have granite slabs for seating around 8 persons comfortably - for confabulations, conferences or coffee meets. Traditionally charupadi is constructed out of wood. But this one is from cement and given a wood like finish.
The Maroon colored Charupadi
The matching maroon gate

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A `Magic Ayurvedic Potion

Dashamoola Jeerakadyarishtam is a liquid Ayurvedic medicine. It is mainly used in after-delivery care of the mother. This product contains 5 – 10 % of self generated alcohol. The alcohol, along with water acts as media for the herbal active principles.
Ingredients: It is a combination of equal parts of two medicines – Dasamoolarishtam and Jeerakarishtam.
Dashamoola – group of 10 roots, which are mainly used in inflammation (edema and pain) Jeeraka means cumin seeds, which are very useful post delivery. It improves digestion strength.
Uses: It is prescribed to the mothers, after delivery. It is also useful in rheumatoid arthritis, Sprue, diarrhoea, lack of appetitie, gastritis, diseases of stomach and intestines It improves appetite.
Dose:    15 – 20 ml, once or twice a day, before or after food, as directed by Ayurvedic doctor.
Dasamoolajeerakadyarishtam - An Ayurvedic syrup prepared by Arya Vaidyasala Coimbatore
Exhaustive list of around 65 ingredients comprising fruits,roots, herbs & other additives
Our daughter who lives in the US had both her deliveries in America. My wife had carried two bottles of this Arishtam for each of the deliveries. It had miraculous effect in post delivery health recovery. After the second delivery our daughter had severe gas problems which subsided completely after a few doses of this amazing syrup. A bottle of this Arishtam is always available at home primarily for treating indigestion or gas problems. We visit our doctor only if if the Ayurvedic Syrup fails to weave its magical effects. 
This syrup has a high shelf life as you can see from the label above. A bottle of syrup prepared in April 2015 has an expiry date of March 2025 !

Monday, September 14, 2015

Millet or Ragi Dosa

Health Benefits:
Some of the best health benefits of millet include its ability to protect your heart, protect yourself from diabetes, improve your digestive system, lower your risk of cancer, detoxify the body, boost respiratory health, optimize your immune system, increase your energy levels, and improve your muscle and nerve health.
 Although there are many different varieties of millet grown around the world, the most commonyl cultivated is Pennisetum glaucum, also known as pearl millet.  In terms of history, millet likely originated in Africa, but then spread through Asia and the Middle East as early as 10,000 years ago, as it seems that millet was already quite spread out by that point in ancient history. Their reliability to survive harsh conditions made them the perfect crop, and they are still preferred for that reason today.
These small grain plants are primarily produced in India, who cultivates over 8 million tons every years, followed by a number of larger African countries and China.Millet can be used as a traditional cereal, but can also be used in porridge, snacks, and other breads, as it is very high in starch, like most other grains. Millet is also a very good source of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds that can significantly boost human health in various ways.Millet is gluten-free, so Celiac sufferers can turn to millet as their source of grains, instead of wheat. In terms of basic food staples that are praised as the simplest and most valuable additions to diets around the world, millet provides the most energy, as well as the most fat and B-vitamins.

Dosa made from Millet is not only healthy but very tasty too:

Method: Mix finely powdered millet and rice in equal ratio.Add finely chopped onions & green chilies and nicely minced coriander leaves & curry leaves and make the batter. Salt to requirement. The dosa to be made in a non stick pan. Eat with a variety of chutneys. Awesome !
Millet Atta - readily vailable in supermarket
The Millet Dosa Batter
Dosa frying on the pan
Ready to eat dosa

A BRAIN TEASER

If you can answer this simple maths puzzle you can consider yourself a maths wizard:
Bill takes the underground train to work and uses an escalator at the railway station. If Bill runs up 6 steps of the escalator, then it takes him 82.5 seconds to reach the top of the escalator. If he runs up 14 steps of the escalator, then it takes him only 62.5 seconds to reach the top.

How many seconds would it take Bill to reach the top if he did not run up any steps of the escalator at all?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Amazing Powers of Mango Ginger

Raw Mango Ginger
Mango ginger (Curcuma amada Roxb.) is a unique spice having morphological resemblance with ginger but imparts a raw mango flavour. The main use of mango ginger rhizome is in the manufacture of pickles and culinary preparations.In Ayurveda, Mango-ginger is used in treatment of skin itching, wounds, cough, respiratory illness, hiccups, fever, inflammations, ear pain and in vitiation of all tri-dosha. It has also many therapeutic properties and is especially useful in digestive complaints. Its use gives relief in abdominal gas. It promotes appetite and improves digestive strength.
Similar to ginger it is expectorant and gives relief in cold and cough. Its use is also recommended in liver inflammation, joint pain, rheumatism and inflammation due to injuries. The rhizomes are made into paste and applied on sprains, bruise, and skin diseases.
 In arthritis, Mango-ginger is used along with Moringa (Moringa oleifera). For this purpose, 200g bark of Moringa is ground and boiled with water. Due to evaporation of water a paste is prepared which is collected and mixed with 100g Mango-ginger and 100g Maricha powder/ black pepper powder. This paste is applied on the joints.
Today we had mango ginger pickles for lunch and dinner: Preparation: Sliced mango ginger mixed with salt lime & cut green chilli.This makes a simple but awesomely tasty pickle, You can eat with curd rice or with uppuma or even eat raw. Deelliicciioouuss !

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Power of Turmeric

THE POWER OF TURMERIC: A few days ago I woke up to find a marble size absces on my right lower chin. My initial reaction was to go see a doctor.He would have probably prescribed an antibiotic for three days along with anti inflammatory & antacid tablets. That would have made the absces disappear but also considerably disturbed my digestive system.
Instead I decided to turn to an age old Hindu practice of applying turmeric.Turmeric is said to possess anti septic anti inflammatory as well as curative properties. Applied turmeric paste for two nights consecutively and the abscess has considerably reduced in size.Probably should disappear completely by tomorrow.
Turmeric has been used successfully by Hindu practitioners ever since the Vedic period and now being rediscovered all over again by western scientists. They have been even trying to patent this. Anyway I saved around Rs.500/- by not going to a doctor ! Did I do the right thing ?