Tomato Juice – The Splash of Red

Hot weather somehow diminishes my appetite and I don’t feel eating much in lunch. That’s why, in summers I prefer having glass of cool healthy home-made drinks (like – tomato juice, sattu drink, mint drink etc.).

Tomato Juice

A little bit of munching accompanied by a glass of fresh tomato juice refreshes me. The best thing is, it gets ready in almost no time. In fact, it’s pretty simple to make and feels really refreshing gulping down a glass of tomato juice.

Frankly speaking, I frequently make this healthy and tasty drink in summers just because it’s so easy to make. Otherwise, we ladies hardly put extra effort for ourselves. We keep exploring varieties for our kids and family, but when it comes to ourselves, we tend to delay things.

So, why not bring down the temperature this summer with something tasty as well as healthy. I am sure your family will also love the splash of tomato. It’s nutritious, so you’ll not have guilt feeling of taking extra calories.

Tomato Juice Benefits

In fact, tomato is full of vitamins and minerals. Regularly having tomatoes give healthy skin and great lustrous hair. Tell me which woman in the world would not like to have glowing skin and shinning hair!

Believe me, fresh tomato juice is loaded with health and taste.


Fresh tomato and mint

  • Tomatoes: 4-5 big size
  • Few mint leaves
  • Roasted cumin seed (jeera) powder: 1 pinch
  • Black salt: 1 tsp
  • Few ice-cubes


  • All you need to do is take some fresh tomatoes, roughly chop them, add few mint leaves and crush them in blender.
  • Sieve the juice, and add black salt (according to your taste) and a pinch of roasted cumin powder. No sugar or water required but some ice cubes are definite welcome.
  • Healthy tomato juice is ready to be served.

Tomato juice to be served

Don’t throw the pulp residue

I don’t like to waste anything, and always to try to reuse things in a healthy way. That’s why I don’t throw away residual tomato pulp which is high in fiber.

I use it in vegetable preparations (like – aloo tamatar ki sabzi). Just sauté this mixture in oil, add the regular spices and add some boiled potato in it. And you have the tasty potato sabzi with subtle mint flavor.

You can even make tomato chutney of this residue. All you need is, fry the residue in oil, and then add salt and turmeric powder. Take it off the flame after 5 minutes and then add tadka of mustard and curry leaves.

So, I think I have given enough reasons for you to try this healthy juice. It will make you look gorgeous while stimulating your taste-buds. 🙂

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Parwal ki Mithai

I guess this Indian confection is a rarity and you won’t find it easily in sweet shops, unless you happen to be in Bihar or Varanasi. The process of turning a vegetable into a tasty sweet course requires some effort. But this mellow comfit is worth the effort and time it takes.


My mom makes this every year in summers when pointed gourd (parwal in Hindi) is available in plenty in market. I asked its recipe every summer but somehow never make it. My husband is not found of pointed gourd so whenever I mention him I’m going to make Parwal ki Mithai he would say why you have to make something that I don’t like. He always wants me to make sweets that he is fond of, like jalebi or gulab jamun. 🙂

However, last week when my mom visited me, I asked her to make it in my kitchen. To me, biting this dry sweet felt ambrosia, I missed this indulgence so much. My husband’s reaction was – “OK, I will only have the filling”. But, to my delight he had it completely without leaving the outer layer of parwal.

If you are getting tempted to make it this summer, here is the process to make this not-so-common sweet!


Pointed gourd (parwal): 250gms

Sugar: 1cup

Water: 1 cup

Ingredients for Stuffing

Mawa: 1cup

Sugar powder: ½ cup

Cardamom powder: 1tsp

Almond and pistachio flakes: 1 tsp

Muskmelon seeds: 1tsp


While buying parwal choose of bigger size. As it allows more mawa filling in it, making it more tasty. Wash and peel the outer layer of parwal and make a vertical cut.


Scoop out the inside seed filling and keep it aside. These seeds are of no use in this recipe.


Take 1 cup of sugar and equal amount of water in heavy bottom skillet or pan. Drop the parwal in it and let it simmer on low flame. Keep checking in between. In approximately in 15 minutes, parwal will get soft. To check if it’s done you need to observe it carefully. Surface of parwal will become shiny, indicating it’s time to take them out of sugar syrup.



Take them out and drain excess sugar syrup from them. Now proceed to prepare the filling for these shinning beauties.

Procedure for Stuffing

Roast mawa on medium flame on heavy bottom skillet. Roasted mawa increases the shelf life of dry sweets. In around 5 minutes, take it off the heat and add sugar powder and rest of the ingredients. Mix well and stuffing is ready.


Stuff each parwal with a spoonful of mawa filling, and press gently by your fingers.

At this stage they are soft and delicate. So, place them in refrigerator for 1-2 hours and they’ll become firm. If store this sweet in refrigerator, it can easily last for 10 days.


Even if you don’t like parwal go ahead and try this sweet as after getting boiled in sugar syrup there is hardly any taste of parwal in it. You will find its taste closer to chandrakala (dry sweet which has similar mawa-filling).

Additional info:

One may add green color in sugar syrup or boil parwal in water with a pinch of baking soda to get greener parwals. However, keeping health in mind, my mom forgoes both these beautification steps. Still parwal ki mitahi that she makes is amazingly delicious.

Here I have shared exactly how my mom makes parwal ki mithai. If you happen to make this sweet following this recipe, and you like it then credit goes to my mom. However, if by any chance (although very unlikely), you don’t like it, it’s my fault. As I got you into making it by sharing tempting pictures. 🙂

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Your Glory Lies in Your Struggle

I had read the story of lord Ram in my childhood and it stayed with me forever. The essence of the story was, glory of lord Ram lied in his exile and not as a king in Ayodhya. Had he remained in Ayodhya, he would have been just another king.

Glory in Struggle
Digital art by Sumit Agrawal (my husband).

His struggle in exile set an example for others and his patience, ethics and principles inspired many. The lesson I learned from this story is – even a king can face biggest of hardships in life, but it is his determination to overcome the storm-like difficult phase that makes him worth worshiping.

That’s why, whenever I get surrounded by bumpy phase in life, I recall story of Lord Ram. It gives me immense amount of inspiration and vigor to overcome the low phase in life.

Actually, all of us face some or the other struggles in life. It’s just that we have to find the opportunity in difficulty. After all, world remembers the fighters, not losers. World is inspired by fighters, not losers.

In my opinion, a tough phase in life is nothing but a lesson that life teaches us. The sooner we accept and learn from it, quicker we emerge stronger and winner.

Lot of people follow the principle, “winners don’t make mistake”. However, if you’ll ask me, I’ll say “winners learn from their mistake, so be proud of your failure because that is what leads to success”. This is the principle that never lets me down.

I see so many people passing through difficult times in personal and/or professional life. Mental breakdown, depression etc. have become so common among our generation. My only advice to them is to be patient and follow the above principle. It can be applied to all aspects of life (be it personal, family or professional) and it’s really very comforting.

Here, I would like to share my example when I wanted to have a baby. Trying for pregnancy and every month waiting for a positive result takes lots of patience. I know as I have been through it.  Actually, at one point in time, I felt as if every women around me is capable of getting pregnant, except me!

However, then I realized, only being patient will turn one negative line on testing strip into two positive lines (all ladies trying for pregnancy will relate to what I’m talking about), and this finally happened.

So, all my friends around, be brave and calm. Accept the hardship with a smile on face. Try converting stones into milestones, and you will find the life full of positivity. Hardships will glorify your life and write the new chapters in your book of life.

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Thank You! It’s 100

I had promised to update you all with the good news, and here it is. has achieved the first milestone of 100 blog subscribers, and it’s all due to the readers of I am feeling really very happy and excited! This first 100 will always be very special to me. 🙂


I’m enjoying what I’m doing these days, with always learning new things. Earlier, I was least interested in clicking pictures.  However, in company of some great photographers, I’m striving to learn just by observing their work.

Now, I love taking photographs, clicking pictures of food and paintings that I make. This has developed an inclination towards photography and I’m keenly learning with both my eyes wide open.

The other best thing that happened since inception of Bhaili is, now I’m reading a lot. I have always been an avid reader, but somehow didn’t manage the time to sit and read a book. However, my blogging life has once again brought back that spark of reading.

I remember when I was writing first post here, it took me almost 5 days to write a small post. It appeared as if I was running out of words and at one point thought blogging may not be an easy thing. Of course it’s not easy, but then it’s not that difficult as well. After reading posts of some influential writers, I can confidently say that now I can easily write a post. 🙂

Another big thing that happened is, blogging has given me an opportunity to virtually meet so many wonderful people. Interacting with them is so much fun with a great learning curve. Frankly speaking, WordPress is a wonderful place to be, with fellow bloggers helping each other to grow and sustain.

All this was possible because of dear readers like you. You encouraged me by your Likes and feedback. You made me more confident and made me aware of so many more possibilities here. Many thanks to you! I’m happy and hopeful that together we will make even better.

Do visit and like Bhaili’s Facebook page to get regular updates. You can also find me on Pinterest. You may also subscribe to this blog by entering your email-id in EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION section (top of the right-hand column for desktop-readers and bottom of screen for mobile-readers).

Thank You Readers! It’s 99

When I’m writing this post, it’s reflecting 99 WordPress followers and it’s so thrilling. It feels like someone very near is expecting and I could receive the good news any time now. Yes, I’m expecting the good news of achieving the milestone of first 100 blog followers. I know it’s going to be soon. 🙂

I’m writing this to thank you dear readers. It’s you all that gave me this joy. I’m really enjoying blogging, and the best part is interacting with readers. When readers leave a comment it’s so rewarding. When I get new “follows”, it feels like – “yes I’m doing good work”.

So readers keep showering your love. I will share the good news as soon as I get it. 🙂

Healthy Mint Drink in 5 Minutes

During my school days, once I and mom visited her friend’s place and there I tasted mint drink (pudina sharbat) for the first time. It was a hot summer afternoon and after drinking, it felt really refreshing.

Mint Drink

I still remember, that day I had indigestion problem and was not in mood to have anything. However, on aunt’s assurance that it would sooth my tummy, I gave it a try. And let me tell, it was so relieving.

I loved it instantly and its sweet and sour taste remained with me forever. That day I came to know mint leaves are full of antioxidants, helps in digestion process and beat acidity along with other health benefits.

Sattu drink is another healthy (also helps in weight-loss) option for hot scorching summer.

So, next day I tried to make this drink at home. I added paste of mint leaves in lemonade, but couldn’t replicate the same awesome taste. I experimented further by adding roasted cumin seeds powder, but that zing (which I had experienced the previous day at my aunt’s place) was still missing.

Finally, after trying so many things I gave up and asked my mom to ask her friend for the recipe. Thankfully, aunt was gracious enough to share the process.

Contrary to its so many health benefits, this drink is quite simple to make. All it requires is bringing together all ingredients and just a little more work.

That’s why in summers it hardly happens that I don’t have mint leaves in my refrigerator. It’s so handy when you want to serve your guest with something delightful in hot weather. I have served this wonderful drink to my several guests and it has never happened that they have not asked its recipe. So amazing is its taste!

In summer women are tangled with acne and oily skin, and that is when mint helps in cleansing skin and making it free of pimples. So, if you are satisfied with just few of these benefits (it has many more), include mint leaves in your daily diet (like – mint chutney). Search further if you need more reasons! 🙂

So, here is the simple recipe of this fabulous summer drink.

Ingredients (makes 2 glasses)

Mint Drink ingredients

  • Mint (pudina) leaves: 1 bunch
  • Lemon juice: 2tbsp
  • Honey/Sugar: 1tbsp
  • Black Salt: 1tsp
  • Few ice-cubes
  • Water: 2 glasses


  • Grind mint leaves, sugar (sweeten according to your taste) and lemon juice in a mixer and make a paste of it. Strain the paste and add water and black salt.
  • Add some ice cubes and serve immediately.

P.S: Make it just before serving otherwise it will not taste that fresh.

Mint drink to be served

So, instead of unhealthy, full-of-preservatives ready-made drink, treat yourself and your guests with this healthy cool mint drink. Go green and be healthy!

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Mint Chutney – The Punch of Pudina

Mint chutney is so popular and common in India that it is made in almost all homes. It does great work of spicing up even a simplest of meal. It has health benefits as well, because mint (pudina) leaves are full of anti-oxidants and helps curing indigestion and stomach related ailments.

Pudina Chutney

Pudina chutney is very easy to make and can be made in no time. All you need is taking all the ingredients and grinding them fine to make a smooth paste (chutney).

I remember, in my childhood days this mint chutney was made on sil- batta (grindstones). Actually, my grandma didn’t liked the taste of chutney made in blender and preferred pudina chutney made on sil-batta only.

Truly speaking, I completely agree with her because taste and texture of any chutney definitely enhance when made on sil-batta. It’s just that, our generation is not sturdy enough to perform such heavy-duty daily chores. We prefer doing workouts in gym instead of performing simple but calorie-burning day-to-day activities. 🙂

Coming back to mint chutney, I have come across many ladies missing the benefits of this herb by not even making it in blender. Do you know this green herb can work wonder for your skin too?

Mint leaves have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which cleanses and keeps skin less oily. This means clean and acne-free glowing skin.

Additionally, its anti-bacterial quality helps in fighting oral infections too. So, beat bad-breath by including pudina chutney in your meals.

In summers, you will always find this chutney in my refrigerator. It becomes handy to have a dollop of chutney with snacks or meals. You can enjoy this spicy and tangy chutney with hot samosa or healthy moong-dal tikkis etc.

I also like the combo of green mint chutney and red spicy garlic chutney on hot plate of steamed vegetable momos.

So, here is the recipe for mint chutney – or should I say Pudina Punch 🙂


Pudina Chutney ingredients

  • Mint leaves: 1 bunch
  • Coriander leaves: ½ cup
  • Green chilies: 5-6
  • Raw mango pieces: ½ cup
  • Ginger: ½ inch
  • Cumin seed: 1tsp
  • Black Salt: 1tsp
  • Salt: 1tsp


  • Take mint and coriander leaves, green chili, ginger, cumin seed and raw mango pieces and grind to make fine paste. In case raw mango is not available you can add lemon juice. Adjust the sourness according to your taste.
  • Add salt and mix well.
  • If you have to store it for a week or 10 days, then transfer the chutney in an air-tight jar.

You will have to admit that pudina chutney adds life to any food preparation. So, enjoy the healthy benefits of this chutney and add a punch to your life :-). Also, don’t forget to try cool mint drink to beat the heat in a healthy way.

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Healthy Sattu Drink

We usually give lot of importance to fancy and popular drinks. So, I thought why not write a post about something regional and not-so-talked-about drink.

I’m talking about Sattu drink- local drink of Bihar in India. It’s a common sight in Bihar with street vendors selling cool Sattu drink in summers.

Healthy Sattu Drink

Sattu is basically a flour made from roasted bengal gram whole. With soaring temperature in North India during summers, this fibrous and nutritious drink becomes quite an effective tool to beat the heat.

It’s a regular practice in Bihar to have a glass of Sattu on empty stomach. Truly speaking, it’s no less than a desi-detox that improves the digestive system and helps in beating prickly heat.

In summers, with my appetite going down, I usually prefer to have something light (but filling) for breakfast. This is when a cool glass of Sattu comes really handy. It keeps me light and full till lunch. No doubt, it helps in weight loss too.

It’s called poor man’s meal, as it keeps full for long duration and it’s quite reasonable when compared with its so many health benefit. One can make it easily and have it on the move.

You may also like to know about another popular and healthy preparation from Bihar called Farra.

Dry Sattu powder is easily available in stores in Bihar throughout the year. Earlier it was a common practice of making Sattu at home. I remember it being made even at home – my grandmother giving instructions and supervising the process.

However now a days, this healthy food can be also found in lot of stores in metro cities (especially with good population of people from Bihar) across India.

How sattu powder is made?

Bengal gram whole is first soaked in water for 4-5 hours. After removing it from water, it is spread on cloth to dry for some time.  Then dried gram is roasted in hot sand and finally fine powder is made.


People have it in different ways – like sweet drink with milk, sattu paratha, spicy sattu drink etc. Many a times, I add a spoon full of sattu in my daughter’s glass of milk. In my opinion, it’s an Indian health drink with full of energy and other benefits.

However, I like its lip-smacking spicy version. So, here I’ll share the recipe of easy to make tasty sattu drink.

Ingredients for 1 glass of Sattu Drink

Sattu Flour

  • Sattu: 4 tbsp
  • Salt: 1/4 tsp
  • Black salt: ¼ tsp
  • Roasted cumin seed power: ½ tsp
  • Finely cut green chilies: ¼ tsp
  • Minced onion: 1 tbsp
  • Lemon juice: ½ tsp
  • Chopped coriander leaves: 1 tsp
  • Chopped Mint (pudina) leaves: 1 tsp
  • Cold Water: 1 glass


It’s quite a simple process with just the mixing of all ingredients required.

  • Take Sattu in a bowl and add half glass of water.
  • Stir and blend to make a paste free of lumps.
  • Add remaining water and all other ingredients and mix everything.
  • Add salt and lemon according to your taste.
  • Your drink ready for serving.

Sattu drink ready to serve

So, check if this nutritious food is available in your nearby store. If not, then if you are fortunate to have a friend from Bihar, ask her/him to bring Sattu for you. If that is also not possible, you can also make sattu at home. Give it a try – you will forget all fizzy drinks in front of a glass of cool Sattu!

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Drip Watering in Terrace Gardens

Water is precious and in summers scarcity of water makes it’s even more sacred. When people are struggling for water for their daily requirements, it becomes our moral duty to save water in every way we can.

Drip watering in terrace gardens

This summer, I wanted to add some more plants on my terrace, but my husband’s concern was adding more plants will further increase the usage of water.

So, I asked him, “is there any way that we have more plants without increasing usage of water?” I already have made a practice of using left-over water (after cleaning vegetables) to water plants. But, any other idea to save water could have definitely helped.

Next day my husband brought few empty disposable saline water bottles. My first reaction was, “what these are for?”  In the past, he had used mineral water bottles to water plants and even tried his hand at making compost at home. He is always up with such eco-friendly ideas. So, I was wondering what he is up next with saline water bottles.

He was all smiling reading expression on my face and said, “Now you can add more plants”. He told me that he went to a nearby hospital and requested the staff to give him some disposed saline bottles which they readily gave him.

He had this innovative idea of using saline bottles to water plants. At first, I was not very convinced of using saline bottles at home because it looks quite weird. However, soon I realized it’s a very effective method involving minimum use of water while keeping plants fresh even in scorching hot summer.

Since this was my husband’s idea, I’m handing over to him to explain this innovative method of watering plants in any terrace garden.

Underlying Principle

This method of watering plants is nothing but drip irrigation in its elementary form. As the saying goes, “Water the Roots and Enjoy the Fruits”, in drip irrigation roots of plants are watered drop-by-drop.

It’s the roots that actually absorb water from soil and transport it to upper body (stem, leaves and flowers) of plant/tree. So primarily, just by watering roots, water needs of whole plant/tree can be satisfied. Below are few of the benefits of drip-watering:

  • This requires substantially less amount of water without impacting health of plants. In the conventional method, there is lot of water loss due to evaporation from the surface of soil. In hot weather condition, evaporation losses would be no less than 25%-30%.
  • In this method, since roots receive continuous supply of water (drop-by-drop), leaves and flowers don’t wilt even on hot days. On the other hand, if you are using conventional method of watering in morning, you would have noticed that due to hot weather, most of the times plants literally droop by evening .

Note – Surface of the soil may appear dry, but inside of it remains moist from where plant roots absorb water.

How to implement this in your garden?

It’s a very simple procedure with the only difficult part being sourcing of empty saline bottles (along-with tubing). However, you can go to any nearby hospital and request the staff to give some used saline bottles. These used bottles are any ways of no use to hospitals and they send these for recycling.

You can even tell them the objective behind these bottles, and I am sure they’ll be more than happy to help you. This was my personal experience when I requested the hospital staff for few bottles.

Now, after getting the bottles, first step is to thoroughly clean them with warm soap water. But, before that, just make a couple of inch slice-cut at the bottom of bottles (as shown below). This will enable easy-cleaning of bottles and it will be also used for pouring water in them.

Drip Watering - Bottle Opening

Hang the bottle and insert one end (inlet) of the tube inside the bottle (as shown below).

Drip Watering - Tube inlet inserted in bottle

Pour water in bottle and check that flow is proper through the tube. Ensure that flow-control slider is functioning properly (i.e. increasing and decreasing the water flow).

Now, dig a 2 – 3 inch deep and narrow hole in the soil and insert the other end of tube (outlet) in it (shown below). This will allow water to directly reach roots.

Drip Watering - Tube outlet inserted in soil

How to monitor?

You can manually change the flow (drop-by-drop) of water depending on the outside weather. For example, on hot days you can slightly increase the flow, while at night you may reduce or completely switch-off the flow depending on the external weather.

Another thing that I must mention is that sometimes due to formation of air-pockets in the tube, flow of water may completely stop (even if flow-control slider is at max flow level).

In this case, take out the outlet of tube from soil, clean it and shake the tube so that stagnant water in the tube passes out.  After letting the water to flow for few seconds, insert the outlet back in the soil.

Finally, I would like to say it’s quite an effective and economical method of watering plants in home gardens. This method can be even more useful for plants that consume more water.

Although, picture of saline bottles hanging in garden may not be that attractive, but nothing else matters as long as plants remain healthy with water being saved.

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