Lipsmacking Mint peas pulao , sweet potato sticks

Mint peas pulao

We all love pulao. Though it is mildly flavoured compared to its counterpart biryani this dish sure does top it to favourite food lists of many especially the vegetarians and people who prefer mild flavours.

The mint peas pulao is actually a variation of my mint rice with cooked peas being an additional ingredient.

Cooking is all about experimenting. I love adding in new ingredients to existing dishes. When you succeed you have a brand new dish. Voila !!

At the same time you need to be careful while experimenting. The ingredient that you chose to add or substitute shouldn’t overpower and spoil the dish on the whole.

For the same mint rice, I cannot add peanuts . But I can alternate the peas or chhole or chickpeas. So experiment but know how and what.

This mint pulao is made with seeraga samba rice variant. The grains are much shorter but the aroma and flavours are to die for. Also you would require more quantity of rice than basmati because of the size.

Mint pulao recipe

Ingredients

To grind

  • Mint leaves 1 cup
  • Chilli -2 long
  • Poppy seed -1 tbsp
  • Small onions-3-4
  • Ginger -1′ piece
  • Garlic – 2 pods
  • Cinnamon -1′ stick
  • Cloves -2
  • Elaichi-1
  • Star anise -1
  • Bay leaf-1
  • Coconut shredded- 2 tbsp

The whole spices must be soaked in hot water for about 15 mins before being grounded.

  • Seeraga samba rice -1 cup (200 GM’s)
  • Oil as required
  • Green peas -100 GM’s
  • Salt as required
  • Ghee – 2 tbsp
  • One potato boiled and cubed

Method

  • Soak the rice for 30 mins.
  • Grind the paste and keep ready.
  • In a cooker add ghee and oil.
  • Add in the ground paste , green peas and cubed potato.
  • Add little salt, stir and cook for 5 mins until raw smell goes off.
  • Add soaked rice mix.
  • For 1 cup of rice add 1 cup of water.
  • Adjust salt and cook for 1 Whistle.
  • Cook in simmer for 3 mins and turn off.
  • Release pressure, fluff with fork and add ghee.
  • Mix ghee and serve hot with raitha.

Sweet potato sticks

An absolutely perfect side for mint peas pulao. This can be made spicy or just mild depending on your need. This is also a healthy snacking option. Did you know that this can also be offered as snack post 9 months for baby.

Ingredients

  • Sweet potato -3
  • Salt as required
  • Oil for shallow frying
  • Chill powder -2 tbsp
  • Cumin powder -1 tbsp
  • Chat masala-1 tbsp
  • Corn flour to coat the sticks

Method

  • Boil the sweet potato for one whistle.
  • Peel skin and cut into sticks or strips
  • They would be damp so quickly add in corn flour and the spice excluding chat masala.
  • Leave aside for about ten minutes.
  • Heat oil in a pan
  • Add the sticks and fry till golden brown.
  • Take out cool and add chat masala

Lipsmacking sweet potato sticks is ready to be eaten with mint peas pulao or even as snack.

You could also try the same recipe with raw banana, yam and potato. Like I said substitute and play. I’m sure you will definitely keep this recipe safer. Kids will definitely bug you for this snack.

On a healthier note, you could choose to bake the sticks instead of frying them.

I’m taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.

Desi style pasta – no onion no garlic

Desi style pasta

We all know that pasta is an Italian dish. Be it the white bechamel or the red arabiatta, the flavours are mouthwatering and definitely would make you want more.

Garlic and herbs like oregano , basil take the level of taste to another world. They can taste bland but rich and flavourful with cheese and nutmeg.

But did you also know that you can make it in am Indianised way. Yes no basil, no oregano just Indian spices that can make mouthwatering pasta .

I did come across a lot of recipes named desi style pasta. It was navratri, a no onion no garlic time for us. Dinner options were making my head spin. I need a filling, lipsmacking dish that doesn’t require much effort or time. I also remembered the code no onion no garlic.

I had some uncooked pasta in the pantry waiting to be picked. So I decided to fulfill its wishes. That packet of pasta would be dinner tonight.

So here goes my desi style no onion no garlic pasta.

Ingredients

  • Pasta -200 GM’s
  • Salt as per taste.
  • Olive oil – 3-5 tbsp
  • Tomato chopped – 2
  • Capsicum chopped -1/2
  • Chilli powder-2 tbsp
  • Pepper powder-1 tbsp
  • Sugar -1/2 tbsp
  • Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
  • Tomato sauce -1 tbsp make sure you get the no onion no garlic variant
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing
  • Water to boil pasta
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Method:

  • Boil the water required for cooking pasta with a tbsp of salt and tbsp of olive oil.
  • Once water starts boiling add in pasta and cook till Al dente.
  • Drain and cool the pasta. Make sure they don’t stick to one another.
  • In a pan add 3 tbsp of olive oil.
  • Add chopped tomatoes,and sugar.
  • Cook until tomato is mushy.
  • Add chilli powder, coriander powder and pepper powder.
  • Cook for 3-4 mins until raw smell of spices go away.
  • Add chopped capsicum.
  • Cook closed for 2 mins.
  • Adjust salt. Add tomato sauce boil for a minute.
  • Add in the cooked pasta. Give it a mix.
  • Squeeze half a lime and turn off gas.
  • Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.
  • This can be served with just hung curd.

This pasta is spicy cause we use chilli and pepper powders together. As a variation instead of the three powders you could also add sambar powder.

The spice of the chilli and pepper, tanginess of tomato, sourness from lime make the pasta taste absolutely lipsmacking. You only need curd for a side. But of you are someone who loves spicy food, then you should definitely try this out.

Most importantly this has no onion no garlic so you can also make this during festivals or when you’re breaking a fast.

I paired this with capsicum and mushroom tempura and paneer capsicum stir fry. These again do not have onion and garlic. Do let me know.in comments if you’d want me to share those recipes.

I’m taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.

Things you never knew about facial massage and rollers

Facial massage

What is a facial massage?

A facial massage is a technique, that can be done manually by hands or with helps of facial roller available in the market. The technique involves gently massaging the facial skin.

Why facial massage?

A facial massage helps in increasing blood circulation, destressing and decreasing puffiness. The result of which is a smooth glowing healthy skin.

Typically the face has over 40 muscles, so a massage is great for resolving sinus issues , decreased puffiness with lymphatic drainage. The excess fluid us diverted to the lymph nodes later flushed with the toxins out of the body.

Manual facial massage

Manual facial massage involves applying slightest pressure while massaging the facial muscles with hands. It’s one of the most simplest way to having a healthy skin.

How to do facial massage with hands?

  • Make sure you wash your face and your hands are clean.
  • Take a little amount of cream or serum you use in your palms.
  • Apply gentle pressure to massage face.
  • Massage lymph areas under the ears and side of neck.
  • Smooth the lines on forehead.
  • Use fingers to massage eye area and slide along temples.
  • Use only light strokes.

Directions to use in facial massage

  • Chin to lip.
  • Nose, nostrils and lips to cheekbones horizontally. To be precise along the smile lines.
  • Massage neck from bottom to chin vertically.
  • Eyebrows to forehead.

Massaging with facial roller

Facial rollers

A small roller pin like tool with rollers of different sizes on both ends. It’s used in facial massage and can be made out of gem stones.

Typically these rollers are used to distribute the facial care products over the face evenly. Also guarantees a deeper absorption into the skin.

Facts about rollers

  • Facial rollers cannot slim the face. Removing puffiness can temporarily make it appear slim.
  • Facial rollers can contour your face when using them up at an angle. Pushing the movement by down the ear.
  • They help flushing out the toxins, by stimulating lymphatic drainage. This achieved massaging in a particular direction.
  • Since it helps in destressing, it helps you in changing your mood.
  • Most importantly helps in deeper absorption of skincare products.

How to Massage using facial roller?

  • Generously apply serum or moisturizer. Lubrication is key else the roller might tag skin. This could even result in wrinkles.
  • Roll up from the neck. No back and forth movement.
  • From the jawline to ear. Apply gentle pressure on both sides.
  • Forehead to the temples. This should be done only in upward direction.
  • Horizontal over the eyebrows. Use it flatly.

How often and how long?

A facial roller can be used daily typically for a few minutes to get destressing benefits.

Types of facial roller

  • Jade
  • Rose quartz
  • Amethyst
  • Obsidian
  • Metal
  • Teak wood

Jade and rose quartz are most commonly used rollers. Jade and metal are cold natured materials. So in order to have a cooling effect they needn’t be stored in refrigerator.

Rose quartz can withhold temperature, so for cold massage you can store the roller in refrigerator.

Jade is soft in terms of fragility with respect to quartz, hence quartz can last longer without breaking if accidentally dropped down.

Jade isn’t smooth in terms of stone texture, which helps in contouring due to the natural friction present.

Of all the rollers mentioned above , amethyst is said to give the skin purifying effects and also effective in treating acne.

On a concluding note, a facial roller is a good investment for healthy looking skin.

I’m taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.

Skin exfoliation – How to and how not to. #myfriendalexa

Exfoliation

What is exfoliation ?

Our skin sheds dead skin cells on a periodic basis, removal of the dead skin cells from the topmost layer is called exfoliation. This removal is done by using granular products or chemicals. Each one of these has its own effects.

Benefits of exfoliation

Exfoliating the skin by removing the dead skin cells results in clearer and brighter skin. Skin exfoliation helps to unclog pores and remove the dry flaky skin that is caused when skin doesn’t shed completely. There is no use of applying skincare products on skin that is not exfoliated. Only when the dead cells are removed, it paves way for good absorption of skincare products.

Breakouts can be minimised when you do not have any clogged pores due to regular exfoliation.

Reduction of fine lines, sagging are what we want to keep skin healthy and for anti-ageing. Collagen is the key for the spotless and younger looking healthy skin. This protein helps in skin elasticity. If you need glowing skin, collagen is the secret ingredient behind it. Long term exfoliation, helps in increasing collagen production the natural way.

How often to exfoliate ?

If you are person with normal skin, you should do this thrice a week.

But if you have acne-prone skin, it is best to do it everyday. This should be done before using your cleanser since that will not completely remove the accumulation.

If you have sensitive skin, stick to exfoliating once a week.

When to exfoliate?

The ideal time would be morning, since at nights the skin goes to the repair and rejuvenate mode. This can soak up all the benefits. Make sure to use a good moisturizer post exfoliation.

Types of exfoliator

Manual exfoliators which can be the scrubs available OTC or DIYs at home. They can be abrasive so you must be careful while choosing them.

Chemical exfoliators are those with AHAs, BHAs and salicylic acid. They’re chemicals with acid which react with skin to remove the dead skin accumulation. They give you a uniform exfoliated look compared to the manual one’s.

Don’ts of exfoliation

1. Exfoliate very often if you have normal skin. Twice or thrice a week should be fine.

2. Exfoliate broken or irritated skin. Especially if you have shaved or waxed.

3. Use random exfoliators that you get.

4. Rub the skin or use rough motions to exfoliate.

5. Use body scrubs for face. They are harsher and apt only for body. The facial skin is delicate and requires specific product.

Do’s of exfoliation

1. Pick the right exfoliator that suits your skin.

2. Apply moisturizer generously post exfoliation.

3. Exfoliate in the morning and stick to the time. Not alternating day and night.

4. Invest in a good gentle scrub if you place to do it daily.

5. Wash off with cold water and pat dry.

DIY scrubs at home

  • Salt scrub – One tbsp of salt, half a tbsp of almond, coconut or sesame oil and 2 drops of essential oil.
  • Sugar scrub – One tbsp of salt, half a tbsp of almond, coconut or sesame oil and 2 drops of essential oil.
  • Oatmeal scrub – Two tbsp of oats, two tbsp of sugar, one tbsp of oil and 2 drops of essential oil.
  • Coffee scrub – Two tbsp of coffee powder, two tbsp of sugar, one tbsp of oil and 2 drops of essential oil.

These are readily available ingredients at home that can help you with exfoliation and also ones with which you can alternate. If you find any irritation or redness post exfoliation discontinue using it.

It is widely said that chemical exfoliators are better since they are less abrasive. The acids react with the skin and peel of the dry and flaky skin. But these exfoliators need to sit on the skin for a longer duration for the reaction to happen. However in a physical exfoliator do not rub and perform circular motion for more than three minutes.

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Image source : pixabay.

Review of I hate my curly hair

BLURB :

I tug till my head’s black and blue!
But nothing can tame
This wild, curly mane!

Curly haired girl does everything she can to straighten her stubborn curls-after all, everywhere she looks she sees heroines with smooth, silky hair. Then one day, a big bully comes along and everything changes! A humorous tale of self-acceptance. And of hair, lots and lots of glorious curly hair!

REVIEW :

Having read her first book dare eat that. This book is a complete contrast and is aimed at a different age group.

The author Divya aka ‘baal ki dukan’ had struggles with her unruly and very much curly hair. I’d definitely trade mine to have curly hair now.

This book is from the point of view of a four year old girl, who absolutely hates her curly twirly hair that coils and twists.

She feels it’s so unfair for someone to be blessed with curly thick hair that makes it unruly, frizzy and unmanageable.

Being called names like noodle, poodle this girl has tried everything she can to get those curls straight. From stretching it with books, glue, oil and what not the poor thing has tried to set right the unruly mane.

A sense of sadness surrounds her when she watches girls with long straight silky hair on TV and that’s something she doesn’t have.

Being bullied and laughed at for all her hair struggles, she tries hard not to cry.
But an incident changes her while thought and she starts feeling proud and happy to sport those lovely twirly whirly curls. Taking similarity to favourite heroes from books who are brave and adorn curly hair. She feels unique and is finally happy to have accepted herself as the curly haired girl and so does the bully friend.

The illustrations by @rujuta.td are brilliant and absolutely cute to look at.

A recent obsession of my daughter to grow long hair right after I narrated #rapunzel . She now wants curly hair post we finished reading this book.

A very fun and engaging read this book can reread as many times just to teach kids self acceptance and joy of reading.

BOOK DETAILS

Format available: Paperback and ebook

Price : paperback 244 ebook 156

Publisher : puffin books

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Divya, often called ‘ baal ki dukaan‘, struggled with unruly, thick, curly hair for over two decades before she realized her hair looks best when it’s left uncombed! She loves using her curls to hold the numerous pens, pencils and paintbrushes she needs while she’s writing, doodling or working. She gets her best creative ides when she’s hanging upside down, doing anti-gravity yoga. If you’re in Bangalore, you might spot her (and her distinctive curls!) with her husband Vivek. Their quest to eat bizarre foods from around the world features in her first book, Dare Eat That. Follow her at: http://www.divyaanand.in

Do check what Arti has to say about restaurants open in Delhi And what Debidutta has to say.



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#BlogchatterA2Z X what to and what not to teach your toddler

Hello there!!. Hope your day is going on well. Today is the day we would have to take a look at traits in X. But since X doesn’t have any direct words I chose to use traits starting with eX.

What to teach

Experimentalist – A person is termed as an experimentalist when they are keen on conducting experiments. They seek results achieved through their experiments far superior than theory. They are people who would love to try out new things.

Expressionist – A person is termed as an Expressionist when they chose to express their inner emotion in the form of art instead of external reality. This particular art could be any way of expressing their inner emotion. It could be music painting or anything that is peculiar to that person.

Extemporal – A person is termed to be extemporal when they do or say something spontaneously. It’s something like an impromptu.

Exuberant – A person is termed to be exuberant when they are full of energy. Such people burst with enthusiasm and keep great company. They are always welcome in a gathering.

Exultant – A person is said to be exhibiting exultant emotions when it’s a moment of pride combined with joy and enthusiasm. The person exhibits high-level of enthusiasm on accomplishment of triumphant victory.

Expert – A person is termed to be an expert when they are well-versed in a particular field. They have a high level of knowledge in the particular field.

Exhibitive – A person is said to be exhibitive when they are capable of expressing their talents. They are capable of demonstrating or illustrating what they know of.

Exemplary – A person is termed to be exemplary when they are the highest level that can be thought of as role model. They stand as a positive form of example. They could be ideal role models who can be imitated.

What not to teach

Exaggerative – A person is said to be exaggerative when they maximise the intensity of a normal occurrence of an event. Sometimes it’s make the narration unbelievable or too good to be true kind.

I could not think of more negative traits in ex. Please do feel free to let me know through comments I had missed any and you would like me to add it up. See you all tomorrow with traits in Y.

#BlogchatterA2Z W what to and what not to teach your toddler

Happy Monday folks. Hope you enjoyed your Sunday break. With just few more days for this challenge to end I’m really liking the spirit, that makes me want to complete it. Let’s take a look at the traits in W for today.

What to teach

Warm-hearted – A person is termed to be warm hearted when they are sympathetic. They are kind and friendly too. Their behaviour creates a trust and bonding through reciprocation.

Welcoming – A person is termed to be welcoming when they are friendly and polite. This behaviour is exhibited towards guests or new person known to them . It makes the receiving person happy and makes them feel accepted.

Willing – A person is said to express their willingness when they are ready to do something. They are very eager to get the task accomplished. Such people are eager to help and do not think of any consequences.

Wise – A person is termed to be wise when they exhibit good knowledge and judgement. This is more prominent as people age. They are always sought when we need solid advice .

Well groomed – A person is termed to be well-groomed when they are neat and tidily dressed. They are usually expected by others. Such people are always welcome to gatherings.

Watchful – A person is termed to be watchful when they are usually alert or vigilant. Such people usually have a close watch around the surrounding happenings. Such people are usually attentive to details.

What not to teach

Wayward – A person is termed to be wayward when they are disobedient. Such people are difficult to control due to their behaviour . They are headstrong and misbehave in an unpredictable manner.

Wooden headed – A person is termed to be wooden headed when they act by lacking intellect. They act in a weird stupid manner.

Withdrawn – A person is termed to be withdrawn when they do not wish to communicate with others. Such people do not prefer company. This behaviour usually arises when people are sad and dejected.

Wishy washy– Usually a term given to a person when cannot make up their mind. They do not stay with one decision. Their decisions are not firm and clear since they keep changing.

#BlogchatterA2Z V what to and what not to teach your toddler

We’re down to the weekend break after today. Let’s get to know the traits in V that we should be and what we shouldn’t be teaching our toddlers.

What to teach

Valiant – A person is termed to being valiant when they possess or exhibit courage. They are usually brave and determined when it comes to difficult situations.

Vivacious – A person is termed to be vivacious when they are lively which makes them attractive. They are naturally fun to be around and keep the surrounding environment alive. This is especially suited to the female gender.

Valuable – A person is termed to be valuable when they are good contributers. The knowledge and skills they possess determines their worth.

Virtuous – A person who exhibits high moral standards is termed to be virtuous. Exhibiting this trait helps in promoting individual greatness.

Venturesome – A person is termed to be venturesome when are willing to take risks at difficult circumstances. Such people are daring to try out risky decisions to solve problems.

Versatile – A person is termed to be versatile when they are capable of adapting to many situations. Usually referred to as the versatility, this is a much needed trait to be possessed during modern times.

Vigilant – A person is termed to be vigilant when they have a careful watch about dangerous situations. They make decisions easily and are capable of taking care of themselves.

Visionary – A person is termed to be a visionary when they think ahead and make plans about future . They are always ready with the big picture for the future.

What not to teach

Vengeful – A person is termed the be vengeful when they want to take revenge. Their thoughts and actions are always towards planning for a revenge.

Violent – A person is termed to be violent when they involve themselves into physical force. Such people use their force to control the situation.

Vulnerable – A person is termed to be vulnerable when they could be easily hurt. The hurt could either be physical or emotional. They can be easily influenced. This is usually termed to be a weakness.

Enjoy your weekend break and see you all again on Monday with traits from W. Happy Sunday.

#BlogchatterA2Z U what to and what not to teach your toddler

U being a very important letter in the alphabet has a lot of negative traits that I know of than positive traits. So let’s discuss what to and what not to.

What to teach

Understanding – A person is termed to be understanding when they are capable of being aware of others feelings in a sympathetic way. It takes an open heart to understand what others feel.

Upright – A person is termed to be upright if they are honest in what they express. Such people have high moral standards and express what is right and do what they say.

Upstanding – A person is said to be upstanding when they are trustworthy and honourable. They behave in a good and a moral way. They have a high reputation for being honest. They are straightforward in what they express.

What not to teach – This by far is almost negative terms of the traits which we saw in the other alphabets we have discussed till now.

Unsympathetic – A person who shows no sympathy or does not care about others feelings.

Unsystematic – A person who is not organised and does not do things accordingly. They do not follow the guidelines and do things as they please.

Untrustworthy – A person who is not capable of being trusted . They do not keep up their words and are usually betraying.

Undependable – A person upon whom we cannot rely on. A person who cannot be depended upon or doesn’t keep up to his/her words.

Unfriendly – A person who is not easily approachable or someone whom we cannot seek help easily from. They are usually rigid in their behaviour.

Unapologetic – A person is termed as unapologetic when they do not regret or acknowledge. Whatever be the circumstances or situation such people do not care about.

Ungrateful – A person who doesn’t express gratitude and acknowledge. Such people are never welcome. They are usually prone to criticism for their actions.

Do let me know if you would like me to add anything more.

#BlogchatterA2Z T what to and what not to teach your toddler

T being the 20th alphabet has traits from being thankful and tolerant to being timid and tough to handle. No matter what they learn on their own some practices must begin being taught at home. Let’s take a look at what to and what not to teach in T.

What to teach

Thankful – A person when termed thankful is being genuine to express gratitude. It’s an expression of being pleased and relieved. It is a positive trait and could be practiced at home starting from being thankful for the little things around us.

Thoughtful – A person is termed as being thoughtful when they are considerate about others. It could be like caring for the welfare or offering to help others. Such people make the world a better place to live.

Tolerant – A person is termed to being tolerant when they accept people who are different from them and adjust to situations where they aren’t comfortable. They are usually broadminded. They show strength that they can live with other people’s differences and perspectives.

Trustworthy – A person is termed to be trustworthy when they could be relied upon and are honest. They are responsible and say only what they are capable of doing. It is the most important trait that helps in building strong relationships.

Tactful – A person who owns skills and strengths to handle and make decisions. They are sensitive and not rude. They criticise without hurting the other person. They put forward their thoughts in such a way that they empathic others.

What not to teach

Timid – Being timid is when a person is shy to express their thoughts. They usually lack the courage and confidence to express. It is very easy to get them frightened. Such people have low self esteem and feel inferior.

Tyrannical– A person is termed to be tyrannical when they control and exercise their power in a cruel way. Being tyrannical- is evil and not a good behaviour.

Troublesome – A person is termed to be troublesome when they cause annoyance or being disliked by others. They usually cause problems or difficulties for others.

Trickster – A person is termed trickster when they cheat or deceive people. They play tricks and usually exhibit rule breaking. They are clever and get what they want usually.

Tameless – A person who cannot be tamed and are usually arrogant. They cannot be controlled and usually do not listen when being adviced or given opinions.

Do let me know if you have any more traits in mind please feel free to include in comments. See you tomorrow with traits in U.