Tuesday, 18 November 2014

5 Awesome facts that you never knew about Pigeon peas

tuvar lilva/togari kalu/green pigeon peas

Can any Indian cuisine be without Pigeon pea? Not at all, Piegon pea is used not only in Indian cuisine but also in other cuisines as well. 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Proso Millet


Millets may look small but includes immerse health benefits. They are one of the oldest foods know to us. They has short growing season and grows well in dry regions too.

Proso millet is one among the millet varieties which is garbing its popularity for its health benefits and gluten free nature.

Indian names of Proso millet are Barri (Hindi), Panivaragu (Tamil), Varigulu (Telugu), Baragu (kannada)

Nutritional value of Proso millet : Protein  12.5 (g), , Minerals 1.9 (g), Fibre 2.2 (g), Iron 0.8 (mg), Calcium 14 (mg) source wiki

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Little Millet

little millet

Little millet is smaller in size comparing to other millets and has a dull colour. 

Indian names of Little millet are Samai (Tamil), Kutki (Hindi), Sama (Telugu), Same (Kannada), Chama (Malayalam)

This little millet has the ability to grow well even in adverse climatic conditions. Little Millet is best suited for Diabetic patients, helps in reducing fat, helps in relieving constipation, helps to cure stomach related problems and good for bones and mucles.

Little millet is rich in fibre and protein.

Nutritional value:  Protein :7.7 (g), Fiber : 7.6 (g), Minerals :1.5 (g), Iron : 9.3 (mg), Calcium :17 (mg)

We can prepare variety of tasty dishes with Samai, like Samai uthappam, Millet masala Dosa, Samai rava upma.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Barnyard Millet

Barnyard millet

Barnyard Millet are tiny white coloured grain which has loads of health benefits. This Barnyard millet is the fastest growing millet. 

Barnyard millet is rich in Calcium, Protein, Phosphorus, Fibre and Iron. So it is best suited to control Diabetes,  Heart related problems and Anaemic. Also it works as antioxidant and improves body metabolism. 

The other Indian names of this Barnyard millet is Jhangora (Hindi), Odalu (Telugu), Kuthiraivali (Tamil), OOdalu (Kannada). 

If you see the nutrient content in Barnyard millet-- 11.2 (g) Protien, 10.1 (g) Fiber, 4.4 (g) Minerals, 15.2 (mg) Iron, 11 (mg) Calcium.

Many healthy recipes can be prepared using this Barnyard millet and it works as better alternative for polished white Rice. Barnyard millet can be cooked as rice, as pongal, upma, idiyappam, etc. The recipe which I tried is Adai, click here to get the recipe.

Thursday, 28 August 2014



Omavalli leaves/ Karpooravalli/Doddapatre soppu/Sambrani soppu/Mexican mint is a commonly used leaves as a home remedy for cold and cough. These thick oval shape leaves has strong flavour and this plant is grown in a small pot in our home garden. 

Whenever I have cold I will pluck two leaves and wash and chew them for immediate relief. You can boil these leaves with tulsi leaves and have it as kashayam. Inhaling vapour of water boiled with karpooravalli leaves helps to relieve nose congestion.

 I got a kashayam recipe for my kid and give this kashayam on the day of head-bath to prevent him from cold. 2 Omavalli leaves, 1 pod Garlic and 1 betel leaf (remove the middle stalk). Crush the above ingredients and boil it in 1/4 cup of water. After straining the kashayam is ready.

I have also seen chutney, rasams, and bajjis made out of these leaves. 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Kohlrabi/Knol-khol/Nool kol

kohlrabi-knol-khol-nool kol

Kohl Rabi/Knol-khol/Nool kol (Tamil) also called as German Turnip is packed with loads of nutritional value and has less fat content. As you can see the picture above, it is greenish white coloured vegetable.It is used to prepare variety of dishes in Indian cuisine

I have tried parathas with this veggie and came out so well, click on the pic to get the recipe.

Noolkol Paratha

Always select the tender ones to get tasty and healthy dishes.
Its nutritional value are

Rich in anti oxidant
Low in saturated fat and cholesterol also high in fibre
Contains B-complex groups 

C rich veggie
Rich in beta carotene

Health Benefits are

Fights cancer
Clears digestion problem
Increases immunity
Stabilizes blood pressure
weight watchers friend

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Medicinal uses and health benefits of Manathakkali keerai/Black Nightshade

manathakkali keerai

Manathakkali Keerai (Tamil)/ Black Nightshade (English) is a fantastic green which should be consumed regularly.

I still remember, whenever I get mouth sores my grandma used to give 2-3 leaves to chew in empty stomach. Its pretty hard to eat them raw for their bitter taste but it had miraculous effect in curing my sores.

The plant has white flowers and green berries and they turn to purple colour after they ripe. I cant resist my self from plucking these purple colour fruits fresh from the plant and eat them as it tastes good.

Important health benefits of Manathakkali keerai are

  • it helps to heal mouth and stomach ulcers
  • improves eyesight
  • reduces urinary infections 
  • helps to cure constipation

Manathakkali keerai can be used to cook as keerai kootu and its green berries are used to prepare vathal. This manathakkali vathal is one of the menu in post pregnancy diet (pathiya sapadu) for lactating mothers.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Top health benefits and food recipes of Amla/Nellikai/Indian Gooseberry

Top health benefits and food recipes of Amla/Nellikai/Indian Gooseberry
Amla/Indian Gooseberry

Do you know that "Amla is 20 times Vitamin C rich than an orange?"

Indian Gooseberry/Amla/Periya nellikai contains high amount of Vitamin C than any other fruit or veggies.

Remember our childhood days when our granny used to give raw Amla or Sugar coated amla candy to chew????? But sadly, nowadays we are ready to eat burgers and pizzas and are neglecting this amazing nutrition rich fruit.

Indian Gooseberry/Amla/Periya nellikai gains high privilege in Ayurveda. A better example is Chyawanprash in which Amla is the main ingredient.

Amla based food recipes:

Amla needs to be included in our daily diet to achieve immerse health benefits.  Some of the common Amla based ready made food that are available at supermarket or online are, Amla juice, sugar coated amla candy, honey dipped amla and sun dried amlas.

Apart from above, you can buy fresh amlas and try few interesting recipes at home. They are

1) Amla raita

amla raita

2) Amla pickle

amla pickle

3) Amla rice

amla rice

How to prepare Amla juice at home?

In season, the market is flooded with  fresh Amlas  that you can buy and store it in fridge. These Amlas stay fresh for a week's time when refrigerated.  Buy few fresh amals and try this juice at home.

  • De seed few of the Amlas and grind to fine paste. 
  • Add enough water to dilute the concentrate.
  • Mix honey or unrefined sugar
Your Fresh Amla juice is ready, consuming them regularly promotes healthy living.

How to select Fresh Amlas?

When you buy fresh Amlas, care needs to be taken in choosing them
  •  Always choose fresh and tender ones with no cuts or blemishes on their skin
  • Go for fresh ones than the frozen ones.

Top Health benefits of Amla/Nellikai/Indian Gooseberry:

Nutrition rich Amla not only enhances immunity level but also increases your life span. Let us have a look at top health benefits of Amla
1) High vitamin C of Amla boosts your immunity level. When your immunity level increases then automatically your body starts gaining enough strength to fight against virus and germs. 
2) Antioxidants are important for your body since they fight against free radicals, a main cause for ageing. Amla is an antioxidant agent which helps to maintain your youthfulness. 
3) Want to achieve lustrous hair the you should definitely include Amla in your daily diet. Since amla promotes hair growth also prevents hair fall. Amla based ayurvedic hair oils are available, try using one after consulting an ayurvedic physician. 
4) Vision problem is not a common one among old people but also spreading among children too. This power fruit Amla improves eyesight and cures all eye related problems like itchiness, redness, watering of the eyes, tired eyes, etc. 
5) Amla regulates acid levels in stomach, hence cures acidity and digestion problems. 
6) Amla Strengthens Respiratory system and fights all the respiratory related problems like cold, sore throat, bronchitis, cough etc. 
7) Amla is a blood purifier and increases haemoglobin count.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

All about HorseGram

Horse gram is also called as Kollu in tamil. As you see this is a brown colour flat shaped lentil with loads of nutrients packed in it. 

This lentil is recommended mainly for weight loss as it reduces the unwanted fat, you can consume it as sundal or Rasam. There is a famous saying that "illaithavanaukku ellu kolluthavanukku ellu" that means give "Sesame seeds" to one who wants to gain weight and give "Horsegram" to one who wants to reduce weight. 

Horsegram is rich in Iron, Vitamin C, Protein and fibre. It is so good for controlling Cholesterol, Blood pressure and Sugar levels as well, also another important factor is its antioxidant properties.

Women with menstruation problems are recommended to consume Horsegram but pregnant women are not advised to consume Horsegram.

Horsegram is boiled in water and consume to regulate fever. Also regular intake helps in regulating digestive system. 

Sprouting Horsegram is more beneficial.To sprout this lentil: Soak it overnight, next day drain water and transfer it to a cotton/muslin cloth and wrap it. Next day you might see small sprouts budding out. You can add these sprouts to salads and make many tasty dishes which are healthy as well. Try this Sprouts Horsegram sundal, I am sure you will love it.

Thursday, 22 May 2014


Pirandai (Cissus Quadrangularis) is also called as "Vajravalli" in Tamil (meaning: It makes your body strong). It is a creeper variety with more stems and less leaves. 

Choose the tender stem and scrap off the angular edges and nodes to make thogayal or chutney. The juice of pirandai is mixed with dough in making appalam. Be careful in handling this pirandai as it might cause itchiness. It is better to apply some sesame oil before touching this plant. 

It grows in any climate and you can plant it in a small pot, doesn't need much water also. You can cut the stem and plant it, and pirandai will start growing.

It is loaded with vitamin C and calcium and so good for bones.  Pirandai helps a lot in faster healing in fractures. Also regular consumption of pirandai thogayal helps with joint pains and especially for knee pains.  This magical herb is used extensively in Siddha medicines.

My grandma used to make pirandai thogayal at least once a week and stayed strong even at her 80s. Including these medicinal herbs in our diet helps us with better health and there is aslo a famous saying "Unave Marunthu" that means "Food it self is a medicine"

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Interesting facts and Amazing health benefits of Storing water in (mud pot/clay pot/earthen pot/Man paanai/Mudka)

Storing water in (mud pot/clay pot/earthen pot/Man paanai/Mudka)

Oh what a relief if we drink mutkas/mud/Clay pot/man paanai stored water after a tiring work on a sunny day. 

Peep on Madka water/Man paanai water/mud pot water/earthen pot water interesting facts that one should definitely know.

How does the water stored in mud pot remains cool??????

 I have always wondered, "how come the water stored in mud pot remains cool even if you place the mud pot in a place where it has sunshine?". 

The mud pots have minute pores and when the water is stored in these pots, a small amount of water keeps oozing out. This oozed out water, gets evaporated after absorbing the heat of stored water. This process is continuously happening, giving us the end result of cooooooool mudka water.

Ever experienced the refreshing flavour when you drink matka water???? No, then you should definitely try once.

Why do we need to drink water stored in mud pots?

 Storing water in mud pot is an age old tradition, also a best and natural alternative for refrigerated water. 

Many prefer to drink fridge water for an immediate thirst relief, especially during summer

Do you know that drinking fridge water will often prone you to catch cold and cough, sometimes even fever??? 

Health benefits of drinking clay pot water:

Let us now peep into health benefits of drinking water stored in earthen/clay/mud pot.  
  • Water stored in mud pot acts gentle on your throat, and is good for your health.
  • Clay pot retains the minerals of water and provides a healthy drinking water
  • Clay pot has the property of altering the water coolness depending upon the climate or weather conditions,  hence it acts gentle on your body.
  • Plastic stored water adds harmful chemicals to water when stored for a longer duration or when exposed to sun, but clay pot water never transfers any harmful chemicals instead is filled with essential micro nutrients and healing elements of earth which are naturally good for your health.
  • Clay's alkaline nature neutralises the acidic nature of water and hence giving us a PH balanced water. 
  • Drinking clay pot water maintains testosterone levels on contrary to plastic stored water which reduces these levels. 

The other advantages of mud pots are, 

  • No electricity needed
  • Has natural appealing mud colour and will not discolour over time 
  • Bio degradable
  • Requires less maintenance cost
  • Easy cleaning and doesn't require any technicians 
  •  Never produces harmful bi products when these clay pots are produced by potters.

Storing water in (mud pot/clay pot/earthen pot/Man paanai/Mudka)

How to clean the mud pot and store water in them?

First time: 

After you buy the mud pot, the first step is cleaning. 
Use a scrubber to scrub off mud and wash it well with water.

When you store water, first boil the water and cool it to room temperature then store it in mudka. In addition to boiling, it is best practice to filter the water before storing.

Also cover the mudpot with a plate to avoid dust or insects getting into water. You can either use a stainless steel plate or even a mud plate too.

Generally, the mudpot/mudka is kept on a heap of sand also a wet cloth is covered over it for additional cooling. 

If you cant keep it over sand, just keep it over a wide mouthed container that it collects all the oozed water. Don't forget to discard this collected water frequently.


Regular storage of water in mud pot leads to scum accumulated at the bottom. 

So, it is a good practice to scrub and clean the clay pot after every use in order to avoid dirt and scum getting accumulated. After cleaning, dry the pots and then refill it.
Never attempt to use any detergent for washing of mudka, since this might get absorbed and released in stored water which is definitely harmful for your health.

When to replace the old mud pot with new one? 

If your mud pot starts leaking or if you see visible cracks, then it is better to replace it with a new one. 

Generally, a mud pot can retain the coolness for one year and might slowly lose its cooling capacity. When you feel that mud pot is not giving you enough coolness, then it is the right time to switch to new one.
These inexpensive mud pots are eco friendly and decomposes easily. Unlike plastics, when discarded, the mud pots never create any harmful side effects to mother nature 

Where do I buy mud pots? 

It is available with all road side vendors, especially during summer you can see more of these mud pots sold by them. 
There are lots of varieties in different sizes and shapes are available in the market. The traditional ones, pots with taps, jug type mudpots, surahi type mudpot and many more. 

Even mud pot water bottles are available for our convenience. You can always choose the one that best fits you.
To conclude, these mudpots are not only eco friendly but promotes the growth of pottery business too.

Are you ready to grab a Mudpot/Mudka for your home?????

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Nungu/Palmyah Fruit/Ice apple


Nungu (Palmyah fruit/Ice apple) is a seasonal fruit which resembles a transparent jelly. This fruit is our natures gift during summer season in India and gets its place into the local market only during that season. 3 jellys are packed inside the black fruit which is cut on the top to take the jellys out. The road side vendors who sell it knows the technique to take out the jelly with out breaking.

 Tender nungus are very good for health and the over ripe one should be avoided. Nungu comes with white outer cover which has bitter taste. Many prefer to remove it and eat but nutritionists suggest that it needs to be consumed with outer cover to achieve full benefits. This fruit is loaded with many vital nutrients and gives a big no to fat.

In my childhood, I have seen vendors selling these nungus in palm leaf which is like handmade fan. They will keep the nungus inside the leaf and close it and tie it ....no plastics. Also I have seen them selling pathaneer (a fermented juice made from palm tree), many prefer to drink it to cool the body from heat.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling ?.....What does that mean? Why do we do that?.etc.
   I am sure you will be having loads of questions like this. I will first start off with my own experience. Me and My husband shifted to this cold place and often our uninvited guests were cold, cough and nasal congestion.  I wanted to find a solution for these but in a natural way with out taking allopathic medicines.

 I came to know about OIL PULLING from my friend who had been practicing it and gained many benefits. I too had same questions that are going on in your mind. Here are the answers
oil pulling
What is Oil Pulling?

  Oil pulling is a harmless and easy procedure that has to be followed on a routine basis in the morning on an empty stomach.

How to do Oil Pulling?

I will give you the steps to follow for Oil pulling

1) Immediately after waking up on empty stomach pour one tablespoon of Sesame oil (also called gingelly oil) into your mouth.

2) Swish it around in your mouth so that the oil touches teeth, gums and all parts inside your mouth. 

3) Make sure you don't swallow it and do it gently.

4) Oil will start getting watery and turn white colour.

5) This will happen in around 20 mins and that is it, your job is done and time to spit it.

6) After spiting rinse the mouth with warm water.

The process is over and now you can brush your teeth.

What are the benefits of Oil Pulling?

1) It boosts oral health that means your gums will be strong and will have white teeth.

2) It prevents Bad breath

3) It removes toxins from our body.