Saturday, 29 December 2012

Tips from the kitchen of an Indian Homemaker

Today’s Tips

1. In Winter season, usually we suffer with cough and cold. A drop or two of eucalyptus oil add to water for steam inhalation gives excellent relief in common colds.

2. A tsp. each of ginger juice and honey to be warmed and taken just before sleeping, to bring relief from severe cough. Repeat every night for a week.

Beauty Tips :

1. Many of us having dry skin problem, this problem will be more during winter. Here is the best natural recipe for dry problem. Add 50gm of papaya paste with 5tsp. of olive oil and apply for your affected dry skin. Apply this recipe twice a day for getting smooth skin naturally.

2. Grape juice is rich in acids. Acids have the ability to tighten the skin. Mix 10ml of grape juice and 1piece grated potato and put in a white clean cloth. Tie a knot and keep this grape potato bag on your eyes for about half an hour. You can do this simultaneously for both eyes.

Festivals of India in the month of December


Christmas celebration in Agra
Being a British colony until 1947, many British traditions stayed on in India. Christmas is a state holiday in India, although Christianity in India is a minority with only 2.3% of the population.  Sincere devotees attend the church services. In many of the schools that are run by the Christian missionaries, the children actively participate in the programs. Also in many non-religious schools, there is tradition of Christmas celebration.

A vendor sells Christmas hats in India.
Christmas is also known as Bada Din (the big day). Commercialization and open markets are however bringing more secular Christmas celebration to the public sphere, even though it is not widely celebrated as a religious holiday. Days before the festival, markets take a colorful look as they are decorated with traditional Christmas trees, stars, images of Santa, balloons and festoons. Gift marketers too create many goods for Christmas and support them by launching advertising campaigns through newspapers, radio and television.

Park Street in Kolkata decked up for the festival.
Customs for Christmas celebrations vary in the vast expanse of India. These variations are largely because of the local cultural influence. In South India, for instance, Christians light clay lamps on the rooftops and walls of their houses, the same way as Hindus decorate their homes during the Diwali Festival. Besides, in several states of India a popular custom is to decorate banana or mango tree instead of traditional pine tree. In northwest India, the tribal Christians of the Bhil tribe go out night after night for a week during Christmas to sing their equivalent of carols the whole night through. In Mumbai, which has one of the largest Roman Catholic communities in India, there is a tradition to depict nativity scenes and decorate home with big stars.

Christmas in Goa:



Most exhilarating celebration of Christmas can be seen in the vivacious state of Goa. A large number of domestic and international tourists flock to the beaches Goa during Christmas festival to watch Goa at its cultural best. One can also regale in the best of Goa music and dance during Christmas festivities. Catholics in Goa participate in the traditional midnight mass services locally called Missa de Galo or Cock Crow as they go on well into early hours of the morning. The Carnival, preceding Lent, is the most important event at Goa. This is similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Flavors of India

Vegetable Polao


·         Flavored Rice (Basmati, Gobinda Bhog etc.): -                           250gm.

·         Carot:-                                                                                         1piece

·         Beans (slice in fine pieces):-                                                   5-6 pieces

·         Peas:-                                                                                          1/2Cup

·         Cashew nut:-                                                                       10-12 pieces

·         Raisins:-                                                                              15-16 pieces

·         Bay Leaf:-                                                                                    2pieces

·         Refined Oil:-                                                                                    1Cup

·         Ghee:-                                                                                  2 tablespoon

·         Sugar:-                                                                                    2 teaspoon

·         Salt:-                                                                                            to taste

**For Garam Masala:

·         Green Cardamom pods:-                                                                4pieces
·         Black Cardamom pods:-                                                                 1pieces
·         Cinnamon:-                                                                                  2-3 sticks
·         Cloves:-                                                                                       4-6pieces




  1. Rinse rice well twice at least and soak in water for 30mins set aside.
  2. Grind  the Garam Masala and keep aside.
           3.   Heat ½ cup of oil in a thick bottomed vessel. Fry the vegetables and keep aside.     
  1. Heat the remaining oil. Add the bay leafs and the rice and fry for 3-5min.
  2. Now, add the fried vegetables, cashew nuts and raisins and mix well.
  3. Then, add salt, sugar, four cups of water and stir well. Cover and cook until the rice is done on slow flame. Stir once a while and may add water after rice will half done if need.
  4. Off the flame when the rice is well cooked and sprinkle the grinned garam masala and the Ghee and cover for 5 min.
8.   Serve hot with any Curry dish.

* It is test best when serve with Chicken Red Curry (26.11.2012) or Mutton Curry (30.10.2012) or Fish in Red Curry (26.08.2012) or Aloor Dam (will publish within next month).

** Garam masala: 

Garam ("hot") and Masala ("mixture") is a blend of ground spices common in North Indian and other South Asian cuisines. It is used alone or with other seasonings. The word ‘garam’ refers to intensity of the spices rather than capsaicin content.

The composition of garam masala differs regionally, with wide variety across India. Varying combinations of these and other spices are used in different garam masala recipes in accordance to region and personal taste,  and none is considered more authentic than another. The components of the mix are toasted, and then ground together.
A typical Indian version of garam masala is:

  • black & white peppercorns
  • cloves
  • cinnamon
  • black & white cumin seeds
  • black, brown & green cardamom pods