Samosa with Gram Flour Filling

In every family, there are some traditional snacks and savory items that are certain to be made on festive occasions. It’s like these delicacies are must and rest is as per your wish.

In my family, on Diwali dry gram-flour-filled samosa is a kind of compulsory snack and it has to be made. It’s spicy, crunchy and goes very well with other festive food preparations. While I love potatoes and peas filled spicy samosa, this dry samosa is my husband’s favorite.

Dry gram flour filled samosa

If you compare this dry samosa with the ready-made store one, there is big difference in taste. Store ones have less filling with thick outer crust of refined flour. Moreover filling is loaded with too much of spices with not much taste of gram flour. However, if you ever make these samosas at home, I’m very sure you will forget the taste of store ones.

So, here is the easy step-by-step process for samosas with dry gram-flour filling.

Ingredients for samosa dough (for outer crust)

  • Wheat flour: 1 cup
  • All-purpose flour: 1 cup + ½ tbsp
  • Oil: ¼ cup
  • Salt: 1tbsp

Ingredients for filling

  • Gram flour (besan): 2 cup
  • Oil: ¼ cup
  • Salt: 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Black salt: ½ tbsp.
  • Amchur (dry mango powder): 2 tbsp
  • Heeng (asafoetida): 1 pinch
  • Roasted cumin seed (jeera) powder: 1 tbsp
  • Red chili powder: 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Black pepper: ¼ tbsp
  • Garam masala: ½ tbsp

Procedure for samosa dough

  • Sieve together both the flours (leaving aside ½ tbsp) and salt.
  • Add oil and fix well with fingers.
  • Add water in small amount and knead the dough. Texture of dough will be firmer than chapatti dough.
  • Cover the dough with damp muslin cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Procedure for gram-flour filling

  • Heat oil in heavy bottom skillet.
  • On low flame, roast gram flour in it. It will take approximately 15 minutes for the mentioned quantity. Pleasant fragrance of roasted gram flour will indicate that it’s time to take it off the flame.
  • Add salt and other spices and mix well. Filling is ready. You can taste the filling and adjust its taste according to your choice.

Samosa dry gram flour filling

Procedure for filling and folding samosa

  • In a bowl take ½ tbsp of remaining flour and add 2 tbsp of water to make a thick paste. This paste will be used to seal the edges of samosa.
Dry samosa folding process
Samosa filling and folding process
  • Divide the dough into roughly 15 small balls of equal sizes. Roll each dough ball into oval shape chapatti and then cut it along the center (image 1).
  • With help of finger apply paste on edges (straight as well as curved) and join the edges to make a cone. Add spoon full of filling in cone and gently press the edges to seal the samosa (image 2, 3 & 4).
  • Now make two more folding on corner edges to give a proper firm shape (image 5).
  • Repeat the same filling process for each samosa.

Procedure for frying

  • Heat oil in heavy bottom skillet and deep fry samosa on medium heat till they turn golden.
  • Drain them on an absorbent paper and samosas are ready to be served.

Dry gram flour filled samosa

You can serve them with green mint chutney and tamarind jaggery chutney. These samosas taste wonderful with garlic chutney as well. Store in an air-tight container, and you can easily enjoy these delicious samosas for 15-20 days.

Moong dal tikki and chana dal pakora are also good tea time accompaniments. These snacks are easy to make and taste wonderful.

I know reading the whole process may sound little time-consuming and tedious snack. But trust me, once you make these samosas you will look forward to making them again. You can have this wonderful snack option with tea or coffee as well.

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Sugarless Healthy Peanut Laddoo

I wanted to make a healthy prasad on Navaratri, so was thinking what to make. I had already made healthy ramadana (Amaranth laddoos) and easy-to-make coconut laddoos. Peanut chikki was also made as prasad, so this time I wanted to make something with no added sugar (only natural sweetener) in it.

Few days back my daughter’s pediatric had suggested to give her peanut and jaggery laddoos as these are healthy and good for growing kids. So, it was in back of my mind to try peanut laddoos.

Therefore, the idea of making peanut laddoos popped up. However, I wanted to try this recipe without sugar and jaggery with only natural sweetness of dates (khajur). However if you want you can add some jaggery for additional sweetness.

Sugarless healthy peanut ladoos

The combination worked really well and laddoos turned out to be super yummy. This Navaratri week itself I have made them thrice. Due to its brown color, my daughter also enjoyed it assuming it to be some kind of homemade chocolate balls. 🙂

These laddoos are nutritious bite-size snack option. Being full of protein and instant source of energy, you can easily call them power-pack laddoos.

These laddoos can be made with just five minutes of cooking with only four ingredients required. So, here is the list of ingredients for these yummy laddoos:

Ingredients

  • Roasted Peanut: 1 cup
  • Dates puree: ½ cup
  • Desiccated coconut: 2 tbsp
  • Milk: ¼ cup

Procedure

  • Soak seedless dates in milk for 2 hours. Grind (in mixer) to make its puree. If you have dates with seeds, just remove seeds before grinding and make paste of it. If dates are dry you can soak them overnight in water or soak them in milk and keep them in refrigerator.
  • After roasting peanuts, remove their skin by rubbing between hands. Grind them and make a coarse powder. It’s perfectly fine if there are some small peanut pieces left in the powder.
  • In a heavy bottom skillet, bring together peanut powder and dates puree. Keep mixing on low heat. In 10 minutes you will notice mixture leaving sides of skillet and is ready to shape.
  • Bring it off the flame and let it slightly cool down (it’s too hot to shape laddoos). Apply small amount of ghee on your palms as it will prevent your skin from burning. With help of spoon divide mixture into equal parts.
  • Now by placing each individual portion between your palms, shape them into balls.
  • Spread desiccated coconut on plate and roll each ball on it. Dry coconut gives these laddoos a nice texture.
  • After making all laddoos, transfer them to a container and keep them refrigerated. They stay good for 15 days.

Sugarless healthy peanut laddoos

Since I made these laddoos as Prasad, I have put few holy basil (tulsi) leaves before offering to God. According to Hindu practice, while offering prasad to God we add few holy basil leaves as well.

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How to make ramdana (Amaranth) ladoo?

Ramdana the super seed is called by many names. In most part of India, it’s called Ramdana meaning god’s seed or Rajgira that means royal seed.

In English it’s called Amaranth which is derived from Sanskrit. In Greek, it means immortal.

amranth-ladoo

Is Amaranth a grain or a seed?

Amaranth is actually a seed from its plant and not a grain like wheat or rice. It’s a native crop of America and migrated to India long back and made its place in our fasting foods.

ramdana- seed

Health Benefits of Amaranth

It is full of protein and calcium and that’s why no doubt it’s called by such wonderful names. Rajgira is a good source of amino acids and is rich in iron, magnesium and Vitamin A, B and C too. It contains an amino acid named Lysine which is an important amino acid.

Loaded with various minerals and essential vitamins, ramdana ladoo can be taken by pregnant ladies doing fast. It easy to digest and keeps one satiated for longer period of time, making it perfect choice on fasting days.

How to pop amaranth seeds?

In market these seeds (light in color and weight) are easily available. You can even get popped and ready-to-use versions, but it can be easily popped at home too.

Keep these seeds in sun to get rid of any moisture. Heat a heavy bottom skillet and add one tbsp seeds at a time. Cover the seed with soft muslin cloth, pressing them gently.

pooping-amranth-seeds

Since these are very light they jump while popping, you have to be swift while heating these delicate seeds. If heated for long time they can get burnt.

Once popped, immediately transfer to different vessel. Repeat the process and roast as much required. Popped amaranth seeds look like this – soft and light.

popped-amaranth

Rajgira laddoo

It a simple process. All you need is popped rajgira and jaggery or sugar. You can even read how to make healthy peanut chikki. I usually make jaggery rajgira laddoo and chikkis, therefore sharing process for same.

Take rajgira and jaggery of equal weight. I took 250 gm each rajgira seeds and jaggery.

How to make jaggery syrup for rajgira laddoo?

Put jaggery on heavy bottom skillet on medium heat and add ¼ cup water. Jaggery will melt and start boiling. Let it smear on low heat and keep stirring.

Pour a drop of this syrup in a bowl of water. If the drop maintains its round shape, then it means syrup is ready. If the drop falls flat at bottom of the bowl, then it still needs to be boiled for few more minutes.

Syrup gets ready in approximately 10-15 minutes. Syrup making process is same like in gulab-jamun, jalebi or chandrakala. It’s just that for laddoo syrup’s consistency is kept thick.

Making rajgira ladoo

Once syrup is ready, take it off the flame and pour in popped rajgira (or ramdana) seeds in it. Mix it quickly and syrup will blend evenly throughout.

Now, before making ladoos apply some ghee on palms. This will protect your palms from heat as it’s quite hot at this stage.

To maintain purity of fasting, I use home-made ghee. Post on how to make ghee in microwave can be helpful to you as in this post I have shared easy process that I follow to make ghee at home.

Put a spoon full of it in between your palms and give it round ball shape with gentle hands. Don’t press too much or laddoos will become hard on cooling. You need to be super quick in making laddoos, because on cooling it will be difficult to give them shape.

amaranth-ladoo

You can even make ramadana chikki with this mixture. Just apply some ghee on a big plate and flatten this mixture on plate. Give square impression with knife and cut on cooling.

Store rajgira laddoos in air tight containers to keep them crisp. They remain good even for two months. I make them in large batches to last for a month but they don’t last for too long in my home. 🙂

Have them with milk or munch them on go. Kids are usually found of this laddoos and are good snacks option.

So, don’t forget this wonder food after Ganesh-chaturthi or Navaratri. Include it in your regular dietary plans to benefit from this King’s grain.

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How to Draw a Mandala in 6 Easy Steps?

Drawing a mandala is just like meditation – so relaxing and rejuvenating. Creating a mandala layer by layer is so fascinating and intriguing.

Mandala is a combination of repeated geometrical and organic patterns.  You can choose any shape and detailing of choice. Just keep in mind that while drawing mandala maintain symmetry of patterns.

I know one can get intimidated by seeing a mandala and may find it difficult to draw a mandala pattern. However, trust me if you know the process, it’s quite easy. No special training is required to draw a mandala.

It can be drawn on any medium (like paper or canvas), along with basic stationery requirement.  So, in this post I am going to show the flower mandala I drew on a thick A4 size white sheet.

Stationary required:

  • 1 white A4 sheet
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Fine tip pens (I have used 0.7 and .10 tip-size pens)
  • Circle stencils (optional)
  • Ruler
  • Compass
  • Coloring pencils (as I’m sure you would be tempted to add color to mandala you have drawn)

Process

Step – 1

First divide the sheet horizontally and vertically along the center. This gives perfectly symmetrical and consistent drawing.

With the help of compass or circle-stencil make 3 concentric circles (circles with common center) for reference. Center of circles must coincide with the intersection point of lines drawn in previous step. As you can see, this will divide each circle into four equal parts.

Essence of Mandala art lies in different intricate patterns drawn inside concentric circles.

Step – 2

I started by filling the area between inner-most and middle circles first. Here, I have drawn a flower with ten petals.

How to draw mandala - step 3

I first drew top and bottom petals along the vertical dividing line with the line bisecting both the petals. This will help you in figuring out the exact space left in each quadrant. In this drawing, space for just two petals was left in each quadrant. So, I filled the space with two more petals in each quadrant.

Tip – Dividing the page helps in better allocation of space and gives a perfect symmetrical drawing with less effort and rework.

Step – 4

Next, I added four pairs (one inside each) of petals (with vertical and horizontal guiding lines bisecting them) between the outermost and middle circles. Then I filled empty spaces in each of the four inner petals with three teardrops.

How to draw mandala - step 4

Step – 5

Let’s proceed to the next outer layer. In this layer, I added eight quartets (one inside each other) of petals.

How to draw mandala - step 5

Again follow the same rule. First draw outermost petals in each quadrant to get a judgment of available space. For this I first drew three petals but it looked too cramped, so I went ahead with only two petals. Since two looked fine, drew similarly in remaining quadrants too.

Tip – While drawing repetitive patterns (with bigger shape containing the next similar smaller shape), always draw outermost shape first and then the next inner one. This saves time and effort on repeated work.

For example, if you go the other way, i.e. draw the inner shape first and if not enough space is left for next outer shape, then lot of rework may be required. So, always start with the biggest size and then proceed to next smaller inside shape.

I always follow this technique even while drawing intricate Indian folk art, like Madhubani painting.

Step – 6

In the last layer of this beautiful mandala, I drew eight petals. An eight-petal lotus mandala is considered sacred in many cultures (like Hinduism and Buddhism). If you do some research on flower mandala, you will come to know how common eight-petal pattern is.

How to draw mandala - step 6

Here also, follow the same process of first drawing four petals on dividing line. This will give you a fair idea that only one petal can be adjusted in the space remaining. Then add the further detailing inside each petal.

Step – 7

After completing with mandala drawing, make it permanent with a fine-tip black pen. You can even use sketch pen or any marker pen for the same. After completion of pen work, erase the pencil lines. Finished mandala will look like this.

How to draw mandala - step 7

You can leave at this point, but how about coloring it? 🙂

How to color a Mandala?

There is no such rule on how to color a mandala. Just follow your heart! Drawing requires brain and heart, while coloring is just the work from heart. It’s often said, colors filled in a mandala reflect your state of mind.

Colored Mandala

In happy state obviously your hand will reach for brighter colors (like red, yellow and orange colors). While in peaceful and calm state you may reach for shades of blue and green.

I’m so used to adding bright colors in madhubani paintings, have colored this mandala too in bright color combination. Have a look at this colorful Ganesha madhubani painting.

So, color it the way you want. After all, you have created it with so much effort. You can even take multiple copies of the mandala you have drawn, and fill each of them with different color combinations.

I sincerely hope this tutorial was helpful to you. You may also like to read how to make a personalized name-plate.

In case of any doubt or confusion feel free to ask me, I will be more than happy to help you. Your question will also help others trying to draw a mandala. If you think something more needs to be added here please do let me know.

From here you can start creating your own mandalas and may be some day I will see your mandala coloring books. 🙂

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How to make immunity-booster Masala Chai?

I am from a family of tea-lovers, and I myself is a big-time tea-buff. Before marriage, I used to have 3-4 cups of tea daily. However, gradually due to my husband’s opposition and acidity problems, I realized one cup of evening tea is more than sufficient.

Masala Chai

So, I decided to have just one cup of tea which should be of my liking. I am so particular about my tea that I always make it myself. I very rarely like tea made by someone else.  Call me cynical, but even if I am visiting someone at tea-time, I usually have my tea at home before going.

I always try to enhance the flavor of my tea and that too in a time-saving manner. That’s why, one fine day I thought why to grate ginger and crush cardamom every day. Won’t it be better to take a shortcut without compromising taste? So, this led me to come up with home-made tea masala.

I pondered what all can be added in tea-masala and gathered all dry ingredients available at home and made fine powder of it. Trust me it turned out really good. It’s more fragrant and is required in small quantity compared to stale ready-made ones. I really love my masala chai with spicy samosa and moong dal tikki :-).

It’s really simple and you can adjust the proportion of ingredients according to your liking. Information gathered about health benefits of mint leaves while writing mint drink and mint chutney posts made me try mint leaves in tea too.

Since these days I am very fond of mint tea, I increased the amount of dry mint leaves. Let me tell you, mint in tea tastes really good as it adds subtle flavor of mint in tea.

When affected by sore throat or cold this kadha (kahwaa)  works wonders for me. It’s so soothing to have a hot cup of kadha. It also provides some relief from body pain caused from cold.

So, here is the list of ingredients I have used. If by chance you don’t have any that’s perfectly fine. Since it’s monsoon time, I have added dry tulsi (holy basil) and cloves as they act as immunity-booster providing protection from cough and common cold.

Making-masala-tea

Ingredients

  • Black peppercorns: 1 tbsp
  • Cinnamon (dalchini) sticks: 4-5
  • Black cardamom: 4-5
  • Cloves: ½ tbsp
  • Green cardamom: 1 tbsp
  • Dry mint leaves: 1 tbsp
  • Dry tulsi (holy basil): ½ cup
  • Dry lemon grass: ½ cup
  • Dry ginger powder (saunth): 2 tsp

Procedure to make Chai-masala

  • Cut lemon-grass strands into small pieces and crush tulsi leaves too.
  • Take all the herbs and spices and grind to make fine powder.
  • You will get an aromatic tea-masala ready to make masala-chai.
  • Store it in an air-tight jar to keep its fragrance intact. This tea-masala stay good for more than 6 months at room temperature. So no need to store it in refrigerator.

Chai-masala-powder

Procedure to make Indian Masala-chai

  • To make one cup tea I normally take ¾ cup milk and ¼ cup water in a small saucepan.
  • Bring it to boil and add 2 tsp tea-powder, 1 tsp of sugar and ½ tsp chai-masala.
  • Cover it and brew it on medium flame for 10 minutes.
  • Take it off the heat and strain it directly in your favorite tea cup.

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Kids Craft Idea – Key-holder

Keeping kids busy is a necessity and what could be better than keeping them occupied in doing something creative. Naturally, all kids are creative and they love creating something. They also enjoy seeing their creation displayed.

Therefore, a key-holder is a wonderful craft idea for kids, because it can be a nice household utility as well. So, in this post I’ll explain the procedure to make a key-holder that even your can make.

Key holder

Things required

  • Hard-board (or thin ply-board of 2mm-3mm thickness) cut-out
  • Hooks for holding keys
  • White M-Seal used for art and craft
  • Acrylic color
  • Baby talc
  • Adhesive (Fevicol)
  • Bowl to make paste
  • Fork
  • Coloring brush
  • Varnish
  • Rolling pin
  • Knife/cutter
  • Water
  • Rough cloth

Process

  • You can use hard-board of any size. I had this rectangular piece with me, so went ahead with it. You can get different (shapes and designs) hard-board cutouts at any art and craft store.  I opted for ‘Om’ symbol because it blended well, and fixed it (with nails) to rectangular hardboard piece.

Key holder hardboard cutout

  • Screw-in the hooks at appropriate position (as shown in above image). My husband helped me in this task. You can get these screws at any hardware store and get it fixed there.
  • Now the fun part for kids begins. First you’ll need adhesive and baby talc.

Key holder adhesive and talc

  • Mix 2 tbsp talc and approx 1 tbsp adhesive (e.g. Fevicol) to make a thick paste. Add just few drop of water to dilute this paste. Spread this paste all over the hard-board. Let it dry slightly for around 10 minutes and then create textures with help of a fork. Ask your child to make any random pattern or texture. Leave it overnight drying.

Key holder base coating

  • You can get white M-seal (used for art and craft work) from any craft store. In India, it’s popularly known as Shilpkar (from Fevicryl). To use Shilpkar, mix the resin base and hardener in equal proportion to form even dough. Sprinkle little amount talcum powder on hands to avoid sticking.

Key holder white mseal

  • Switch-off the fan while working with M-Seal because it hardens very quickly. Additionally keep it covered under its wrapper to protect it from drying. Kids do take time to make shapes from it.
  • With the help of rolling-pin, roll out some dough. Use knife/cutter to cut out one square and triangle shape from it.

Key holder dough-work

  • Apply some glue and stick the shapes on board to make a hut. You can get your your kid to add further detailing using the same dough. To form border, dough is now shaped like long tail and pasted on edges of board with the help of glue.

Key holder dough-work

  • After completing the m-seal work, let it to dry for approximately 2 hours. IF you are intrested in m-seal craft have a look at personalized nameplate.
  • Next is coloring stage which kids are really excited about. First, color the background and then proceed to fill color in foreground. Add detailing (keeping in mind kids’ comfort) with a small brush. In this project, detailing was added in the hut.

Key holder coloring-work

  • Leave it to completely dry for 10-12 hours and then apply varnish. Varnish works as a shield from wear and tear. With a coating of varnish, you can also clean it regularly with moist cloth.

Key holder varnishing

So, the key holder is finally complete and can be used to hang keys. Your child will be glad to see his/her creation being used for such a wonderful purpose.

If you like recycling and gifting personalized gifts you will surly like to know how I painted these glass bottles and turned them into vases.

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Ignore the Meaningless Noise

Last night while discussing day’s happenings with husband, a thought came to mind. There are so many noises around us but we react to only those that concern to us directly.

positive-wordsFor example, when we walk on road or are in any marketplace, we get to hear so many sounds. Like, horns of vehicles, conversations among people and endless buzz, but do we respond to all those? Certainly not!

We respond to only those voices that “we think” can affect us. So, why do we react to all the unpleasant and useless talks of people around us? Instead, why not consider these gossips or unproductive talks that bog us down as just a noise worth ignoring.

Why to waste premium space of our mind by storing unpleasant thoughts! Yes, our brain is no less than a high-end, prestigious neighborhood where trash-like things have no place. That’s why we must make a conscious effort to keep our mind free of garbage thoughts. Otherwise, it is no better than demeaning our exceptional mind space by allowing rubbish thoughts to live inside.

This is the way I try to keep myself unaffected and focused on my work and goal. I stay away from superficial talks. I consider all negative and meaningless talks as just a noise. I pretend I’m “listening”, but in reality I just “hear” those conversations.

I let my ears do their job, but keep the doors of my mind totally shut, as I cannot let its precious space to be occupied by rubbish.  When I am not absorbing what I’m hearing, then obviously I won’t react to the conversation.

Focus your energy in creative and constructive work without consuming yourself in aimless gossips. It’s better to be alone doing things you enjoy than sitting in conversation you find meaningless.

That’s why I occupy myself in Zentangles or intricate Madhubani paintings whenever I am free. Playing with my creativity gives me peace and I am able focus on my goals.

So, watch yourself and be careful of what you are letting your mind to absorb. Shut the doors of your brain when people around you question your conviction. For me, dreams are like projects. Just like, completion of any project depends on how well it is executed, fulfilling of dreams depend on how much effort you put in to bring it to reality.

Therefore, as the project leader of your dreams, it is up to you whether you are distracted by external noises or remain passionately focused on completing your project – your dream. Take responsibility of your dreams and actions, and don’t let disturbing talks affect you.

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How do you keep yourself motivated and focused on your goals?

Kesariya Daliya – Bulgur Wheat Dessert

Before writing about this dessert (kesaria daliya), I had to search for the English term for daliya. It was really confusing as it’s called by so many different names. It’s called bulgur-wheat, broken-wheat and even cracked-wheat. So, I finally came to a conclusion that all are one and the same.

Raw bulgur wheat

I also came to know, in Turkey bulgur wheat is usually par-boiled, dried and then sold in market. In India as well, bulgur wheat is widely used in food preparations and is easily available in stores – though not par-boiled, it’s just raw wheat cracked in small pieces.  In most of the preparations, it’s par-boiled and then the recipe is further processed.

The popularity of bulgur wheat is due to the fact that it is full of fiber and protein, making it quite healthy. Its low glycemic index (GI) makes it a must for weight-watchers. Low GI foods slowly release energy in body which results in reducing food carvings and keeping full for longer duration.

Although, I’m not an expert to talk about food to be taken for weight loss, my family’s healthy eating habits makes me naturally aware of nutritious value of food that we eat.

In this post, I am going to share a dessert made of bulgur wheat. It’s the specialty of my mom who makes it often. However, I must admit that till my college days I always avoided this dish, because I didn’t like the taste of bulgur wheat during those days.

In those days mine favorite Indian desserts were Chandrakala and jalebi with rabdi.

Therefore, one day my mom fooled me and made me try this for the first time by saying, it is sweet boondi of a different kind. Though I suspected, she somehow managed to convince me to eat it, only to disclose later that it was actually kesaria daliya.

Since then, I have developed a taste for it and whenever I make this dessert at home, I still remember how I got fooled by my mom. That’s why I suggest when you make this dish for the first time, don’t disclose about it and let your family guess it. 🙂

So, here is the process of making this dessert.

Ingredients:  Serves 4 people

  • Bulgur-wheat: 1 cup
  • Sugar: 1 cup
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Milk: 1 tbsp
  • Saffron: few strands
  • Almond flakes: 1 tbs
  • Pistachio flakes: 1 tbs
  • Cardamom powder: 1 pinch
  • Water: 4 cup

Procedure

  • Add ghee in heavy bottom skillet and roast bulgur wheat on medium flame for 5 minutes.
  • Add 3 cup of water in the same skillet and boil roasted bulgur on low flame till it gets par-boiled and water gets evaporated.
  • In a bowl, soak saffron strands in 1 tbsp warm milk and cover the bowl. After 5 minutes rub the saffron strands gently by fingers to get a nice color. Use this saffron extract to enhance color and flavor of the preparation.
  • In another skillet take 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar and put on medium flame. Let the sugar dissolve, add saffron extract and par-boiled bulgur wheat in it.

Bulgur wheat in sugar syrup

  • Cover the skillet and keep it simmer on low flame for 15 minutes. Stir in between so that bulgur wheat evenly absorbs the sugar. It will turn tender after cooking in sugar syrup. Take it off the flame when sugar is absorbed completely.
  • Add cardamom powder, almond and pistachio flakes.

Bulgur wheat dessert

Serve it immediately (when warm) to confuse your folks with every bite they have. They will keep guessing while finishing the bowl of tasty and healthy kesaria daliya!

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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.

Ingredients

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

Procedure

  • 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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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.

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).