aa KITCHEN QUERIES: 2008
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SHORT HISTORY OF MEDICINE

500 BC

Dr, I have tooth-ache.

Have this root !

500 AD

That root is heathen, say this prayer !

1500 AD

That is superstition, have this potion !

1800 AD

That potion is snake oil plus spices.

Take this pill !

2000 AD

That pill is ineffective, go natural. 

Have this root !

TIPS FOR DIVINE COOKING

Secret behind the great cooks, great moms, great wives !!! 

Whatever you cook, however you cook, add this divine ingredient. 

After you finish your cooking

Add a generous amount of LOVE!!!!!

TIPS- what does it mean in cooking???

To cook and serve when your dear ones are hungry, be it common bread or an expensive caviar, it will be relished with equal awe!!

Understand the preference of your dear ones.

Understand the craving!!!

Avoid routine dishes. 

Voila, you have the power.

But, not to forget to serve them with love.

FRESH "N" FRUITY


Apples are a good source of fibre. The pectin in apples is a soluble fibre, which helps in the management of high cholestrol. And the skin of the apple contains antioxidant flavanoids and poly phenols, phytochemicals that can reduce free radicals damage and help prevent oxidative diseases such as cancer and heart ailments.

High in beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, apricots are excellent for skin and respiratory conditions. Dried apricots are good for constipation and fluid retention.

Fresh or dried , figs are very high in fibre, and they also contain significant amounts of minerals like potassium, which is good for replenishing water due to sweat loss, calcium and iron.

Cherries are best eaten when they are fresh, cooked or bottled. A good diuretic and great for joints, they are rich in vitamin C

The Fat Is In The Frier..... Stop Recycling

Research shows that cooking oil gets worse for your heart the more often it is reused. Everytime you reheat the oil , it produces more polar compounds- chemical by- products creating during the heating process, doubles the risk of high blood pressure. Three days of repeated use; that's what it usually takes for a dangerous level of polar compounds to accumulate.

DID YOU KNOW THAT: 

                                              A mixture of honey and sesame seeds eaten regularly prolongs youth and beauty ???

Yes, it is recommended for women's beauty, as the sesame seeds are rich in Mn, Cu and Ca and also contains Vitamin B1 and Vitamin E. They have anti oxidant and anti cancer properties. The nutrients of sesame seeds are better absorbed, if they are ground or pulverised before consumption. Whereas, honey's natural anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties and its ability to absorb and retain moisture helps to protect the skin from sun's rays and rejuvenate depleted skin.

Know your ayurvedic skin type :


Vata skin is usually dry, thin, delicate and cool to touch, it gets dehydrated easily and is very sensitive to dry windy weather. Ageing is faster here and it tends to be dry, rough and flaky. 

Skin care:


  Include whole grains, organic milk and green leafy vegetables in your diet.
  Drink lots of lukewarm water for internal hydration
  Healthy fat such as ghee or olive oil can be included in your diet for added lubrication.
  A warm oil massage is excellent for keeping skin lubricated.
  Use a gentle, moisture balancing cleanser and splash your face with plenty of water.


Pitta skin type tends to be fair, sensitive, soft, warm and of medium thickness. It tends to be more prone to freckles and moles than the other skin types.

Skin Care:


  Avoid hot, spicy foods and an excess of deep fried foods. 
  Stay away from harsh, synthetic cosmetics
  Sweet, bitter and astringent taste, as found in sweet, juicy fruits,  rose petal preserve
  and cooked greens, is what you will thrive on.
  Eat lots of sweet juicy fruits and have some rose petal jam in cool milk everyday, as rose is             considered to be cooling for mind, body and emotions.
  Body massage with coconut oil 
  Protect your from sun, use gentle, natural skin care products for cleansing and  moisturising.
  Provide added lipid support, such as facial skin oil , every other day.

Kapha skin tends to have all qualities of water and earth- it can be oily, thick, pale, soft,cool and more tolerant of the sun.Ageing is slower and forms less wrinklesthan the other two types.They will have dull complexion, enlarged pores, excessive oil, blackheads, pimples, moist types of excema and water retention.

Skin care:

  A diet that is warmer, lighter, less oily, and free of heavy and hard to digest foods.
  Eating more bitter, astringent and pungent tastes help stimulate digestion and balance
  kapha skin.
  Avoid too many sweets and fried foods, they add to the oiliness in the skin.
  Excercise everyday to improve circulation. A daily warm oil massage can also help.
  Eat plenty of organic vegetables and fruits to help cleanse the body from within.
  Cleanse your skin twice a day, exfoliate with a mud mask atleast once a week. 
  Cook with warming spices such as ginger and black pepper to stoke the digestive fire.

Combination skin can be Vata- Pitta that is both dry and sensitive, Kapha- pitta skin is oily and sensitive and Vata-Kapha skin that is generally dry with some oily zones.

Skin Care:

  •   A person with Vata-Pitta skin would follow te recommendations for PItta skin in summer and Vata skin in winter
                            
      The Kapha-Pitta skin would follow the recommendations of Pitta in summer and Kapha in winter
  •  Vata-Kapha type would be best servedby following Vata guidelines, with extra cleansing of theoily zones.


  •  
    Besides following the diet for your skin type, following foods are terrific skin-enhancers:
      
     Leafy green vegetables, easily digested proteins such as paneer, milk, tofu, sunflower seeds,  foods high in zinc and beta-carotene rich foods such as carrots and sweet cherries.
  • Almonds and walnuts support the skin with their protein and lubricating fat content.
  •  Some skin friendly spices include turmeric to nourish the first four layers of the skin. Cumin to    get rid of the body of ama. Black pepper to cleanse the channels and fennel to balance the  transformational ability of the skin.
  •  All anti oxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, such as pomegranate, apple, pear, and bitter, green    leafy vegetables are also excellent for the skin.
  •  Eat only fresh, whole and organic foods.
  •  Stay away from packaged, canned, frozen, processed foods.
  •  Effect of stress on skin:

    Mental stress results in drying of the skin and formation of wrinkles and stress lines.
     
    Emotional stress results in acne, sun sensitivity and other Pitta based problems.

    Physical stress causes the drying out of skin moisture and rough, aged skin.

Lettuce leaves turned brown--------- UNSAFE??


               No, its not a health issue and does not indicate a loss of nutrients. Still, most people find brown lettuce unappealing and will want to cut off the discoloured parts.

Browning usually results from oxidation caused by exposure to air when the leaves have been bruised or cut.Bacteria and fungi can also cause browning, but these are not a health hazard. 

  • Select lettuce that looks fresh (not wilted), since it will taste better and last longer.
  • To reduce browning at home, keep lettuce in the coolest part of the refrigerator, away from high- ethylene- producing fruits (such as apples, pears, peaches, bananas , tomatoes and melon), the chemical which is a ripening agent and aids browning .Keep it dry.

MINT - fresh 'n' green

  • Mint, one of the most used herbs in cooking is the easiest to grow. You don't require a garden for this. All you need is some fresh mint and a really large tray of good fine soil. 
  • Take some fresh young mint leaves with healthy roots .Trim  them into short sections and press them into the tray of moist soil.
  • Cover the cuttings with a layer of compost and they will soon start to grow.

Some mint tips : 

  • Add a few fresh mint leaves to pineapple  juice or lime juice.
  • To cure stomach aches, put dried mint leaves in boiling water and when it cools ,drink it .
  • Powdered mint leaves can be used to whiten teeth.
  • Mint tea is a strong diuretic. It also aids in digestion.
  • Mint chutney spread over bread along with butter makes a yummy sandwich
  • Mint Chutney :Mint leaves  -  2 cup, Coriander leaves -  1  1/2 cups, Green chilly -  1, Ginger,chopped-  1/2 tsp, Lime juice-  1/2  tsp, Salt                                                                  Put all the above ingredients in a blender ,to make it into a paste. Mint chutney is ready.  You can have it with dosa , idli, roti or with any snack.                     -  

A LAND OF TOMATOES


When selecting tomatoes at the market , use your nose . Smell the blossom (not the stem) end.Select tomatoes that are round , full and feel heavy for their size ,with no bruises or blemishes . The skin should be taut and not shriveled . Store fresh ripe tomatoes in a cool , dark place, stem-side down and use within a few days. Refrigeration is the enemy of the tomato as it nullifies the flavour and turns the flesh mealy. (The culprit is a compound called Z-3 hexenel , which gives the tomato its scent and taste). If you must refrigerate the tomato , take it out before an hour before using it to let it return to room temperature to revive any lurking Z-3. To freeze , rinse and dry thoroughly . No peeling or blanching is required. Once thawed ,the skin will easily slip off. They willbe perfect for cooked dishes and will retain more of that fresh flavour , rather than the cooked , canned flavour .

More about tomatoes!!!!

The Mighty Tomato can help to fight cancer . Studies show that consuming a diet rich in tomato -based foods , decreases the risk of prostrate cancer.Lycopene , an antioxidant nutrient , found in large amount in tomatoes , may be responsible for this possible protective effect Nutritionists and other health professionals have long advocated the cancer preventative  benefits of a diet high in vegetables and fruits .Researchers suggest that tomato-based foods may be especially beneficial regarding prostrate cancer risk .Ofcourse, cancer risk is due to many factors and diet is only one of them . At this point it is too early to conclude that any food can prevent cancer .

WHERE SUGAR HIDES


           Sugar - lots of it - is lurking in products you'd never suspect. Most product labels list sugar content in grams - and there are roughly four grams of sugar per teaspoon. Be aware that the total sugar content that you end up consuming doesn't always mean added sugar. The natural sugars in products such as yogurt are also included in the total count .Read product labels carefullyand look for the  '-ose' words- glucose , fructose , sucrose , lactose and maltose .In the end , they all spell SUGAR .

How to break the (added) sugar habit

How to break the (added) sugar habit.

To wean yourself off unnecessary sugar,try the following :

  •  UNSWEETENED CHOICES. It's easy to pick a jar of processed food , say peanut butter ,without realising that the manufacturer has added a lot of sugar. For foods such as these , which taste great naturally, be sure to look for unsweetened or slightly sweetened alternatives .' If you can't resist Coke , have Diet Coke'.  - 200ml of Coca cola has 86 calories with 21 g sugar; whereas a 200ml Diet Coke has 0.9 calories and no sugar.
  • EAT MORE FRUITS .With its natural sugar , fruit is a great way to indulge your tastebuds while cutting back on added sugar . An apple , for instance , contains only 18 g of sugar; but a chocolate bar contains about 40 g.
  •  

CALORIE WATCH :                                                           

  • Your meals should have low fat intake and lean protein variety with lots of low fat dairy products.                                                                                                                                      
  • Resist in-between meals and especially late-night snacking. If you must, have healthy , low calorie food at hand.
  • Eating smaller, frequent meals and avoiding second helpings keeps the body sugar level and metabolism up, and controls the appetite. 
  • Say no to soft drinks and alcohol
  • Drink lots of water.

Curd Made In A Jiffy

Curd can be made at any place with just a little milk and an edible acid like vinegar or yeast.
It is not only filling ,but also healthy.It is rich in calcium and proteins.It also relieves constipaton.It goes easy on our stomache as it does not contain complicated molecules like lactic acid.Since it is fermented , it aids digestion.

HOW TO PREPARE THICK CURD
  • Boil milk completely without adding water.
  • Leave it to cool to room temperature and remove the cream formed on top.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of curd to the milk and stir it well.
  • Leave it to stay for 8 hours.Refrigerate it for 1 hour for better results
*Donot disturb the bowl while the curd is setting .

SILKY WHITE ROTIS

Tired of Rotis ? Can't have Dosa ? Don't want Idli ?
No wheat , no oil , something easy on stomache , but can't have rice ?
TRY RICE ROTI !!!
Ingredients :
Finely powdered and roasted rice flour - 2 cups
Water - 4 cups
Salt
Preparation :
Boil the water in a vessel and add salt . Add the rice flour to the boiling water , stirring continuously . Remove from fire as soon as all the water gets absorbed by the flour. Leave it to cool. Now make a soft dough out of it . Divide it into lemon sized balls and flatten it to make it into thin rotis . Cook them one by one like how chappathis are made.
* NO OIL
Rice rotis go well with any spicy curry .

Sweet somethings - two easy-to-bake ideas to fill your home with joy



  BUTTER COOKIES

  Butter                -      1 cup (200 g)

  Flour                  -   2 1/4   cups

  Fine sugar         -   1 cup

  Egg                     -  1

  Vanilla essence -   1 tsp

                                         Preheat your oven to 390 deg F (200 deg C) . Mix sugar and butter together . Stir the remaining ingredients into the mix . Place dough in cookie press . Form desired shapes in ungreased cookie sheet . The dough can also be shaped by hand , or rolled out and cut into desired shapes . If the dough is rolled out , make the dough a little more firm by adding a little extra flour . Bake until set .It takes about 9 to 12 mins.Remove the cookies immediately from the cookie sheet .

CARROT CAKE

Flour                                         -        2 cups

Eggs                                           -         3

Vegetable oil                         -        1 cup

Sugar                                        -        1  1/2  cups

Shredded carrots                -         3  cups

Coarsely chopped nuts     -        1  cup

Baking soda                           -        1  1/2  tsp

Nutmeg powdered              -         1/4  tsp

                                                                            Preheat the oven to 350 deg F (180 deg C) . Grease a round cake tin and dust it with flour . Mix sugar , oil and eggs till it gets smooth . Sieve the flour and baking  powder together and add it slowly to the mix . Beat for one minute . Stir in carrots and nuts, along with nutmeg powder and vanilla essence. Now, pour it into the tin and bake . Check if done by inserting a long wooden pick in the centre of the cake - the pick should emerge clean . Allow it to cool and invert it onto a plate .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

THE ART OF COOKING .


Most of the newly wedded,rush to the book store to grab the latest cook book in town. Their only wish at that moment would be to become a good cook,always appreciated by the family and friends. Some books would do wonders, but some????? Certain minute details might not be included in these books,which would not be a problem for an experienced cook,but for a beginner,it is a problem.So, it is always better to choose the right book for the apt person.Apart from the books, the person involved should have genuine interest in the art of cooking!

GOOD MORNING TEA !!


To prepare a good cup of tea is something which many of us always try hard and end up making it taste different each day. Every morning ,we happen to see someone or the other making a fuss about the tea. It is mostly about the excess milk or no flavour.Some people would be expert cooks, but when it comes to making a cup of tea, it would be a TRAGEDY!I suggest a 2:1 ratio of water and milk, or if the milk is to be reduced,2 1/4: 3/4 would be perfect .The above ratio makes 3 cups of tea for which 3 teaspoons of tea leaves can be added once the water and milk boils .Donot allow it to boil further.Sugar can be added as desired
THAT MAKES A GOOD CUP OF TEA WHICH MAKES YOUR DAY REFRESHING!!!

A pinch of cardamom and ginger in my tea is my favourite.

**Tea or coffee contains calories which gets converted to fat. It is better to have tea or coffee not more than 2 cups in a day . People who are  addicted to it can have it without milk and sugar

 
DID YOU KNOW THAT:
1. adding a pinch of sugar while cooking green peas helps in retaining its green colour.

2. to make soft and yummmy scrambled eggs,add about 3 teaspoons of milk to an egg
.

3. to avoid breaking of eggs , while boiling , immerse the eggs into boiling water.

4. while preparing kheer , add sugar only after the rice is cooked well ,  or else, the time taken to cook the rice can be delayed.

SOME POTATO FACTS:


a) if the salt added to the curry is more, you can add a piece of potato into it and cook.Excess salt will be adsorbed by the potato.

b) while chopping some vegetables, the stains caused can be removed by rubbing a slice of fresh potato over it.

c) discoloration of chopped potatoes can be avoided by immersing it in cold water .

d) mud stains can be removed from clothes by soaking in potato stalk.

TO PREPARE CRISPY FRIED POTATOES,

                  Cut the potatoes into very thin slices and wash them well in cold water

to remove the excess starch in it. Remove from water and dry it well with paper

napkins or a towel , so that the excess moisture on the potato slices can be

removed. Heat oil in a frying pan (low flame) and drop the slices one by one.Fry

it  till it turns golden yellow. Add salt and serve.             

                To make french fries ,  the diced potatoes should be boiled in water till it is cooked upto 70./. Then , fry them in oil .