22 Aug

Organic Food: The new health wave!!

benefits of organic food

google.co.in: Benefits of Organic Food

Organic food: A Healthier Way of Life

Now-a-days there is a movement where people are “going organic” as they say.  The definition of organic food can be complex to understand hence we will make it simple for you. Food which is grown using farming practices that do not include the use of harmful pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers as well as not using radiation to process foods. Studies have shown that one’s health maybe at risk when you consume processed foods as they may cause various health problems such as cancer, diabetes, stimulate fast ageing etc. Benefits of organic foods are enough to compel you to choose them over conventionally or normally grown products.

Benefits of organic food:

  • Organic food is tastier – Various researches have shown that food which is grown organically is tastier or has a more enhanced flavor. This is primarily because products such as fruits which are normally grown are grown with a preference to size and appearance as against flavor. This causes its size to increase but diluting the same amount of flavor.
  • More nutritional value – As stated that conventionally grown products are more focused on size & looks; this also causes dilution of nutrients such as vitamins, proteins, sugars etc. So you see, every bite you take of an Organic fruit or vegetable, the more amount of nutrients you consume as a result.
  • Safely Consumable – It is well known that conventionally grown fruits have certain amounts of chemical residues remaining from pesticides and insecticides. These chemicals accumulate on the surface of the fruit and worst inside it. This results in almost impossible attempts to remove these chemicals completely. Such pesticides when accumulated in body can cause various forms of cancer; fasten the ageing process, poisonings, whitening of hair and various other health conditions. To avoid such accumulation over time, organic products which are free from such chemicals are best for your body and should be preferred.
  • Environment Friendly – Using pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers causes a lot of harm to our environment. Although conventional farming practices increase the yield in the beginning, in the long run they decrease the productive capacity of the soil due to leaching etc. They also change the pH of the soil making it more acidic. Extensive use of fertilizers in the long run causes salts in the soil to increase enormously rendering the soil useless for farming. This also has a negative impact on the neighboring flora & fauna.
  • Healthier option – As Organic Food doesn’t contain any chemicals it is obviously a healthier option. Studies also show it contains more nutrients in it which are also not damaged by further processing. Processing that use radiation to remove bacteria and increase shelf life may also affect the nutrient content in the products. Organic products aren’t processed further after growing with radiation etc to increase shelf life.
  • Healthy Livestock – Animals which are grown on an organic diet and which are not given antibiotics and steroids for their weight gain are healthy. Such meat is healthy and chemical free for consumption. Research has shown that animals which are given antibiotics for rapid growth can cause antibiotic resistance when consumed by humans. This may even lead to weak immune system. The steroids present in conventional poultry can lead to various ill effects on health as they may completely alter your hormonal balance leading to various problems including physical abnormalities.

Hence by looking at the above benefits of organic foods, it is clear why going organic is a healthier option even if you have to pay a little bit more of money.  You will be able to keep a check on the various health related problems & thus saving money and pain of health care in the long run.

This article is contributed by http://healthlogist.com/

20 Aug

Why Organic Farming is better!!

Advantages-Organic-Farming-800x445

Organic Farming: google.co.in

Many people are unaware of the benefits of organic products and the advantages of organic farming. Before talking about its advantages, let’s get to understand what Organic Farming is.

Organic Farming

While it is not new to India as it is practiced since ancient times, the term organic farming was introduced in later 20th century to define farming practices which are carried out without the use of pesticides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers etc.

Organic farming promotes a natural way of farming and production of crops by using organic fertilizers and simple techniques. It was introduced as a healthier alternative to conventional farming techniques. It was thought to be healthy because it didn’t involve application of harmful chemicals and post harvest processing such as radiation etc. It also involves use of farming methods such as crop rotation to maintain the nutrients in the soil especially nitrogen content.

Some advanced methods such as biological pest control are also used and naturally available pesticides and insecticides such as pyrethrin can also be used. Which methods and techniques of organic farming are allowed and which are prohibited are set by respective countries. They may vary from country to country.

Below we will be talking about advantages of organic farming

  1. Poison free farming – When you are doing organic farming or supporting it by buying organic products, you are actually support the health of your loved ones and also of numerous workers and farmers in the field which cultivated your healthy products. They don’t use synthetic pesticides or insecticides, and in such way you won’t be exposed to harmful chemicals and they too will be healthy. Many studies have shown that farmers or workers which are exposed to high concentration of such synthetic chemicals may face drastic health problems such as cancer with immediate health issues such as vomiting, dizziness, and convulsions etc. Also, major positive point of organic farming is that it rejects the use of genetically modified crops. These crops are genetically edited to give higher yield by inserting parts of DNA of bacteria or other organisms into the desired crop and hence form part of a never ending debate with respect to hoe healthy they really are. This is done to produce high amount of harvest or fight insects or pest etc.
  2. Well regulated – In most countries it’s not easy to put an “ORGANIC” tag on the farm harvest and market it as organic food. Most countries have strong regulations and control over the things that define a produce as organic. Governments give standardized methods to follow and investigations are conducted keep the farming practices for organic in check. Hence you can be relaxed about what you are eating is healthy and produced in a well regulated environment. You aren’t being cheated when you buy “organic” products that are certified.
  3. Environment friendly – The practices which are adopted in organic farming are also environment friendly. Not using synthetic pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers is good for the environment. The food chain which is linked to primary producers remains healthy till the top. Hence it also ensures that there is no bio-magnifications of the synthetic chemicals in secondary consumers and the neighboring insects and animals won’t be harmed. It also ensures that the farming soil remains healthy by the use of crop rotation techniques and no use of synthetic fertilizers.
  4. Economically Viable – When you eliminate the use of pesticides and all other chemicals in farming techniques, you also decrease the cost associated with them. Synthetic chemicals and also post harvest processes are very costly to operate. They take time, money and labor to operate. After all this in long run they also spoil the soil. This also can be avoided by organic farming techniques.
  5. Life stock management becomes healthy – The animals which are used for their produce such as milk, and meat etc, get healthy left over organic harvest to eat. Hence such animals remain healthy and toxin free. Their produce too doesn’t contain the chemicals which may harm you after consuming their meat or milk.

These are but a few of the many advantages that are achieved from Organic Farming.  Supporting and consuming its products will surely help you to remain fit and healthy.

Article contributed by http://healthlogist.com/

19 Jan

Eating Organic Fruits & Veggies boosts immunity

organic

 organic

You are what you eat! 

When you eat organic foods, you provide your body with vitamins, minerals, filtered water, and much more. These provide us with vital foundations for health. Most food sold in stores is grown with pesticides or other toxins. These chemicals have been proven to adversely affect health. In some cases they cause death. They also pollute the Earth and have been associated with mass animal deaths. Your choices make a huge difference in the quality of your life. What you eat builds and maintains your body.

 While typically picking up the weekly fruits & veggies, we should look for foods that contain particular vitamins and minerals to boost our immunity. There are foods that can boost immunity and, in some cases, even fight infection. Go4fresh recommends the following fruits & vegetables, which contain nutrients that help keep your immune system healthy and ready to fend off illness.

Organic Caulifower & Broccoli

Rich in vitamins A, C and E, contains disease-fighting phytochemicals. Many of the health experts recommend including cauliflower in your regular diet, as they are rich in fiber and minerals. These vegetables have various health benefits, like protect against cancer, reducing oxidative stress, and etc. Cauliflower & Broccoli contains “Sulforaphane”, which is considered to be the most important nutrient. This nutrient will boost the liver’s ability to flush out and detoxify all the carcinogens which will damage the cells in our body.

cruciferous-vegetables

Organic High Prana Organic Pumpkins and Root Crops 

Vitamin A is the most important nutrient our body requires. This nutrient keeps our eyes healthy and also promotes bone growth. One more important fact about Vitamin A is that, it acts like an antioxidant and fights against diseases  to keep our immune system strong. Pumpkin is also known as the lifeforce fruit with high prana,  and has a large amount of Vitamin A Root crops like carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, beet greens are the rich sources of vitamin A and have many nutritionals and health benefits. Pumpkin is the best food which has fewer calories and it is rich in vitamin A.

Pumpkin-Amir209-248

Organic Carrots

Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene, which gives them their bright color. One of beta carotene’s jobs is to support the body’s mucus membrane, which lines the respiratory and intestinal tracts, making it harder for bacteria to enter the bloodstream and cause trouble. For a healthy diet, enjoy raw carrots along with cauliflower, broccoli, and other veggies as an appetizer. You can also pickle them or steam and puree them with some broth for a rich soup — a soothing meal when you’re sick.

red carrots

Organic Fruits for vitamins & minerals

Fruits are the powerhouse of essential minerals and vitamins. Fruits with more number of antioxidants enhances you immune system. Citrus fruits are considered to be the best sources when it comes to boosting our immune system. As they are a great source for Vitamin C which produces infection or disease-fighting antibodies, which prevents the entry of most of the viruses.

strawberries

Fruits like oranges, strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, grape fruit and guava are considered to be rich in antioxidants which will promote healthy immune system.Guava is a fruit which is an excellent source of skin-healing Vitamin C.

guava

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These are the foods for healthy immune system. Having these foods in you diet will give you loads of nutrients, minerals and antioxidants. These acts like a formidable armour and strengthen to your immune system. Maintain a diet chart which includes all these foods in proper proportions. You can also prepare few simple healthy recipes with these foods by making it more tasty and healthy.

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08 Jan

Sulphur Free Sugar for a future healthy life!

sugar

sugar written

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today we live in a FAST world! Hectic  lifestyle,  stress and less me-time has led to unhealthy eating habits. Ready-to-eat food packs are on the rise and fast food eating is rampant.

 

Often our eating habits allow harmful chemicals to enter our body and cause short-term and long lasting effects in the body converting into chronic diseases.  The more processed food we eat, the more the intake of chemicals, sugar, fats, etc.

It is imperative to know the constituents of what we are eating so that we make an informed choice.

How do we figure out a healthy mix of food and what to eat?

One such product is Sugar. 

fruits

According to Ayurveda, the best form of sugar intake is in fruits. However, in today’s diet choices this may not be possible for all, especially for urban families. Therefore, eating sulphur free sugar in small quantities is one step towards a healthy diet.

sugar

 go4fresh.in prescribes a healthy option and a sulphurless sugar option.

What does it mean?  

The white sugar we currently consume is processed with sulphur dioxide.  The consumption of sulphur has multiple ill-effects on our health.To avoid long-term diseases, it will be better to consume sulphur free sugar.

Scientific evidence:

Ill-effects of sulphur on our body

Sulphur dioxide can lead to bronchoconstriction (the narrowing of the airways in the lungs). All the respiratory passages, from the nose to the terminal bronchioles are kept moist by a layer of mucus that coats the entire surface. The process by which the mucus is transported from the lung is known as mucociliary transport. Several bronchial disorders including bronchial asthma and cystic fibrosis are associated with an impairment in mucociliary clearances and consumption of food containing sulphur dioxide are basically responsible for inhibiting mucociliary function.

The formation of acid due to the presence of sulfur dioxide also increases the viscosity of cough.  As a result, it becomes very difficult for asthmatic patients to expel the cough produced in the air passage.

Air flow in air passages can get restricted due to factors like:

  • An inflammation or excessive production of mucus due to an allergic reaction
  • Irritation caused by mechanical friction of air

Sulphur dioxide is considered an allergen and can cause reactions in certain people, especially those sensitive to asthma.

Food products with sulphur content

Sulphur dioxide is permitted in a wide range of foods including dried fruits, breakfast sausages, sugar and burger meats. Sulphur dioxide is also used as a preservative for food products to extend their shelf life and to prevent growth of undesirable microorganisms. It is also used as an agent in the preservation of browning reaction of food products.

Sulphur normally exists in sugar and food products containing sugar in the form of sulphur dioxide. Most of the loose sugar we get has not been refined using a sulphur-free process. The more the sulphur dioxide content in sugar or food products containing sugar, the more is the risk of inhibition of mucociliary function causing bronchoconstriction.

 To live a healthy life, we should avoid food with sulphur content. Always buy sugar refined using a sulphur-free process so that you are assured that it is safe to consume. Check food labels before you buy any confectionery.

04 Jan

Yummilicious Carrot Dessert Halwa!

carrot red

gajar-ka-halwa

 

 

 

 

Winter is in full swing! What better way to enjoy this holiday season?

Relish delicious, healthy and juicy Carrots….

Turn your carrots into everyone’s favourite dessert! Yes, we’re talking about the absolutely delicious and tempting- Gajar ka Halwa. We have  a recipe that’s  healthier and just as yummy!

Ingredients:

1/2 kg carrots

3/4 cup jaggery or palm sugar

1/2 cup cashews 2 pods of cardamom (you can also use a pinch of cardamom powder)

A pinch of dried ginger powder Almonds, pista and raisins to garnish

How to prepare:

First, clean and peel all the carrots.

Remember to cut off the tops.

Cut each carrot into four pieces, and steam them until they’re firm, but soft all the way through

(15 minutes should be enough).

carrot red

 

Simultaneously, melt the jaggery or palm sugar with a teaspoon of water.

Grind the cashews and cardamom pods into powder.

Now, take the steamed carrots and shred them in a bowl.

grated-carrots

Add the jaggery/sugar syrup, cashew-cardamom powder and the ginger powder to the carrot bowl.

Mix really well.

Garnish with dry fruits  for  6 servings.

gajar halwa

If you want to serve hot, then serve instantly. If cold halwa is what everyone enjoys, then refrigerate for some time!

Enjoy with love and laughter!

29 Dec

Comfort Winter Veggies & Fruits!

On a beautiful wintry day, pull out your vegetable cart and enjoy a healthy treat!

 Go4Fresh  recommends a selection just for winter which will build your immune system & keep you away from the sniffles.

Carrots

carrots

 

 

 

 

 

 

This vegetable has the highest amount of carotene when compared to other fruits and vegetables. In addition it is an excellent source for vitamin B, C, D, E and K. You can eat them raw or cook them as you wish.

Oranges 

oranges

 

 

 

 

 

 

This fruit is the best source of vitamin C and helps your body fight against germs and gives potassium, minerals, folate and fiber. Above all it is low in calories.

Apples

apples

 

 

 

 

 

All of us know that “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Well, you can have this fruit at affordable price during winter and opt it as your midday snack and enjoy the benefits.

Fenugreek Leaves
fenugreek

 

 

 

 

 

In India fenugreek leaves are known ‘Methi’ which is loaded with vitamins and minerals along with lots of fiber and phytonutrients. It helps in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar level along with many more and overall health benefits.

Spinach

spinach

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spinach leaves are one of the healthiest vegetables in the world. It contains flavonoids and carotenoids which are antioxidants along with lots of vitamins and minerals. It is rich in vitamin A, C and K and contains omega-3 fatty acids. If you want to get the complete nutrition, avoid boiling or cooking it too much.

Peas
peas

 

 

 

 

 

This vegetable is rich in Vitamin – K and contains essential B – Complex vitamins. It has all necessary minerals along with folic acid and ascorbic acid. It is not just eaten after being cooked with other vegetables, but you can have it raw in salads and add it to soups. It provides you with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.

Radish

raddish-leaves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radishes are available in abundance during winter season. They are pungent or sweet in taste and provide you with potassium, lots of roughage, folic acid and ascorbic acid. You can either cook it in your way or even eat raw.

Beets 

beets

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beets can be consumed throughout the year, but they are the best ones during winter season. It contains compound that help prevent heart and liver diseases and also helps enhance the blood flow to brain.In winter the body metabolism is low and so it is advisable to take fruits and vegetables that are low in calories and have dense nutrients. Also, experts are of the opinion that eating seasonal fruits and vegetables is healthier because the nutrient contents vary when grown in off-season.

In winter the body metabolism is low and so it is advisable to take fruits and vegetables that are low in calories and have dense nutrients. Also, experts are of the opinion that eating seasonal fruits and vegetables is healthier because the nutrient contents vary when grown in off-season.

Check out selection of  Go4Fresh

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healthy is new happy

 

 

 

 

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14 Nov

How Foods Are A Good Substitute to Medicines

eat

The father of Western medicine Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Was he implying a day would come when we would actually use food in the same manner as medicine to combat disease? We are a pill popping people. Even for minor concerns, we resort to medication without taking into consideration its adverse effects. And sometimes it is self-medication which can be really dangerous. Can we really turn to food for healing? Can food combat and prevent diseases?Here is How Foods are a good substitute to medicines

A good example of health benefit provided by the food industry is Iodized salt. Deficiency of iodine can lead to thyroid problems. Pregnant women lacking iodine can give birth to mentally retarded children. Low thyroid levels can lead to weight gain, mood swings and listlessness. The simple solution is to use iodized salt in your cooking. It brings great health benefits at a very low cost.

Let us look at other similar sources of food which can boost our immune system and lead us on the road to recovery during our illnesses. Foods that are easily available which help us to manage and prevent illnesses.

 

ginger

Ginger

In India, ginger is widely used in cooking. Adrak ki chai is very popular with Indians. Ginger helps in digestion and calming an upset stomach. Pregnant women are advised to chew ginger for morning sickness. Travel sickness and nausea too can be combated with this humble root.

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Yogurt

This probiotic food can do wonders to your body. It is easily digested, so is used to treat diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and urinary tract infections. Skimmed milk yogurt also aids weight loss.

 

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Garden Cress

Garden Cress is referred to as Halim in Hindi and Aliv in Marathi. It is a rich source of folic acid, calcium, and iron. Kheer prepared of the seeds is good for lactating mothers. It increases the production of milk. Garden cress is also good for anaemic patients. It increases the hemoglobin count. During constipation, it acts as a laxative.

Cinnamon sticks on a white background

Cinnamon

This spice can really add spice to your life. Cinnamon helps in the treatment of diabetes and high cholesterol by lowering blood sugar and bad cholestrol,nausea, diarrhea, and muscle spasms. Cinnamon is used in cases of fungal, bacterial and viral diseases. It has properties to cure right from the common cold to cancer. A small pinch of cinnamon powder mixed with honey taken on an empty stomach in the morning works the best.

 

Turmeric

Turmeric

Our humble turmeric has enormous healing properties. It’s a spice with a powerful medicinal compound called curcumin. In ancient times it was applied on wounds to prevent bacterial infection in wounds. While it adds color to food it also helps in digestion, gas and bloating. Turmeric is beneficial in preventing liver diseases as it stimulates bile production, which improves the body’s ability to digest fats. Turmeric is also used in beauty products. A paste of turmeric, gram flour and yogurt applied regularly to the face gives you glowing and flawless skin.

garlic

Garlic

The sulphuric compound, present in garlic, called Allicin has vast healing properties. It is very useful in preventing heart diseases. It lowers LDL Cholesterol and the plaque deposits formed on the walls of the veins in your body. It boosts your immune system and helps fight cold, cough and chest infections. Garlic has levels of iodine and is extremely beneficial in curing hyperthyroid symptoms.

So the next time you are ill instead of popping a pill turn to these natural foods which heal without any adverse reaction. They are available in your kitchen and are also light on your purse.

 

23 Oct

Foods that can help deal with asthma during diwali

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Foods that can help deal with asthma during diwali

6293_asthma

Diwali will soon be here. This joyous festival can be a pain to those allergic to
dust and smoke. Cleaning of the house and bursting of fire crackers have
enough pollutants or allergens to trigger an attack if you are asthmatic.

Besides these factors, pollen from flowers and incense used during Diwali can
also cause severe asthma attacks. But why is it that while a non-asthmatic
does not react, an asthmatic person reacts violently to the same triggers? The
airways or bronchial tubes allow air to go to and fro from your lungs. But, the
inside walls of an asthmatic are swollen or inflamed. These airways get more
swollen and narrow when something triggers your symptoms and as a result,
the muscles around the airways can tighten. This makes it difficult for the
person to breathe, causing symptoms such as wheezing (a whistling sound
when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing. Severe
asthma attacks may require emergency care and they can be fatal.
Besides doctors’ prescriptions to tame the symptoms a slight change in your
diet may help you to deal with the attacks better. Healthy eating or smart food
choices also help you breathe easier and have an enjoyable Diwali.

Hot Liquids

Hot liquids like tea, coffee, soups or even hot water can provide great relief
from asthma symptoms. Tea, especially green tea, is very good for asthmatics.
Tea contains antihistamines suitable for asthmatics. Histamine is the chemical
that your body releases during allergic reactions and tea helps fight it. Also,
beverages that contain caffeine help in bronchodilation. Soups, especially
those prepared with beets and carrots, reduce allergy symptoms and rid you
of accumulated mucous. Beets are packed with magnesium, which opens the
airways of the lungs by relaxing the muscles around the bronchial tubes.
Carrots, on the other hand, are a rich of source of the anti-asthma vitamin
beta-carotene.

Flax Seeds

Easily available flaxseeds are loaded with asthma-alleviating minerals such as
potassium and magnesium. These seeds also provide the recommended daily
intake of selenium. Flaxseed is the best plant-based source of omega-3 fatty
acids. These essential fatty acids can fight asthma due to their anti-
inflammatory properties. You can consume flaxseeds by roasting them slightly
and sprinkling them on your bowl of cereal and salads.

Banana

Bananas, the poor man’s fruit, may help you ward off asthma attacks. Regular
consumption of banana lowers the chance of developing asthmatic symptoms.
Bananas are one of the best sources of pyridoxine, commonly known as
vitamin B6. Pyridoxine helps in the production of molecules that help relax
bronchial tubes.

Ginger

Filled with anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is another powerful anti-
asthma herb that works at clearing up your air passage and controlling
inflammation. Ginger does not cause any adverse effects and can be safely
added to your food and beverages.

Turmeric

Used since ancient times to fight many diseases, turmeric helps dilate
constricted blood vessels and relax tight muscles. It also reduces the
inflammation in swollen lungs which causes shortness of breath and tightness
in the chest.

Garlic

Garlic is beneficial in asthma due to garlic’s ability to inhibit the activity of
certain enzymes that generate inflammatory substances. Garlic is also rich in
Vitamin C that can promote histamine breakdown and reduce histamine
release in the body.

These are some foods that help in managing and preventing asthma attacks
during the festival season. The best part about these foods is that they can be
easily added to your daily diet. Strictly avoid food or anything you are allergic
to. Always keep an inhaler handy and if your symptoms persist, go see a
doctor immediately.

 

Photo Courtesy : Google

16 Sep

4 Fun Twists To The Traditional Modak You Should Try This Ganesh Festival

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As the auspicious time of welcoming our beloved God Ganpati home comes closer, we can’t help but reminded of our favourite food- modak. Soft white steamed dumplings keeping together the sweet explosion of jiggery and coconut. There’s happiness in every steamy succulent bite. Now, as much as we may love the traditional style of making modak, we couldn’t help but conjure up ways to add a fun twist to it! So, here are 4 Fun Twists To The Traditional Modak You Should Try This Ganesh Festival

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Couscous (Rava) modak

Here’s a light and healthy spin on the traditional sweet fare. If you’re a sweet lover who’s trying to get healthy, this is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. The best apart about couscous is that there are endless ways of experimenting with it. You can sauté the couscous with dry fruits and then mix it with a little bit of honey. Add as a stuffing, and enjoy your own genius!

Almond modak

Don’t like the coconut filling that’s there in the usual modak? Don’t worry, we’ve found you an alternative- and a healthier one at that. Say hello to almond modaks- healthy, absolutely easy to make and just as yummy, here’s how you do it: Blend almonds in a food processor till it’s coarsely grounded. In a pan, heat the ground almonds with jiggery until it has formed a uniform mixture. Add cinnamon and other dry fruits as per your choice, and allow the mix to cool. Add this filling to your modak dumpling dough and proceed with the steaming process as usual. Thank us later!

Paneer modak

This one’s for those who don’t have a big sweet tooth and have been shying away from modak all their lives! First, fry paneer, onion, spices and the like together. Then, stuff it inside the dumplings. Enjoy!

Mawa modak

Make your modak a classic dessert. Put together a mix of gulkand and mawa and stuff it in the dumping, instead of the traditional filling. Serve with rabdi. People will keep coming back for more!

If you explore a little more, you’ll find more and more new fillings to experiment with. Don’t hesitate to steer a little away from tradition and get creative in the kitchen! Your innovative modaks will be remembered by everyone who has it for years and years to come! Enjoy!

Have a wonderful and blessed festive season!

12 Sep

Pola Festival

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India is often described as a land of many religions and languages, but it might as well be described as a land of festivals that throw a perennial effect on the heart of people’s lives in India. There’s a festival to acknowledge and celebrate each and every aspect of life, in each and every part of the country.

One such festival is Pola.

Pola is the festival celebrated by farmers exuberantly throughout the state of Maharashtra, in the Hindu month of Shravan (that usually coincides August). It falls on day of Pithori Amavasya (new moon day) in Shravan. The festival marks the day when farmers worship their bulls and it is only from the next day that ploughing and sowing of fields starts.

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Deifying Bull
On the day before Pola Festival, farmers remove ‘vesan’ (the rope) from the nostrils of their bull. Thereafter, they apply a paste of turmeric powder and ground nut oil, on its shoulders. Finally, the bull is given a hot water bath and served with khichadi, made of bajari. On the day of the festival, the bull is taken to the nearest river or pond and given a thorough bath. The farmers then paint the bull’s horns and put colorful ornaments over it. Lastly, an ornamented shawl is put over its body and its neck is adorned with flower garlands. After decorating the bulls, the farmers worship them. Evening time is reserved for taking an enthusiastic procession of all the beautifully adorned bulls in the area, through the streets.

 

Celebrating Pola

Simultaneously, we see farmers play instruments like drums, bugles, lezims (a typical Indian musical instrument), etc. In some of the villages, even fairs are organized as a part of the celebrations. The major attractions of these fairs comprise of competitions and outdoor games like volleyball, wrestling, kabaddi, kho-kho, etc. In towns and cities, instead of worshipping bulls, people worship their statues, either wooden or earthen. Last but not the least, Pooran Poli (a sweet dish) adds the perfect flavor to the festivities.

Pooran Poli is a sweet flatbread made by stuffing the dough with the paste of split Bengal gram, jaggery and cardamom. The dough balls are rolled into chapattis and served hot after roasting in ghee with katachi aamti. Pooran Poli is powerhouse of various nutrients and helps boosting digestion.