In this scorching summer heat, yogurt plays the role of a savior for my family, keeping our body cool from inside and helps to keep our digestive system in track in this humid hot summer season. So, I use yogurt in different ways during this season throughout the day, like making a yogurt sandwich/a big spoon of yogurt with my cereal for breakfast or making some lassi for afternoon or eating with rice in lunch and even using yogurt in my salad dressing.

    
      often make this yogurt sandwich or popularly known as "Dahi Sandwich" for breakfast. They are very nutritious, loaded with vegetables and totally fat free and hence a guilt free, nutritious and healthy breakfast option for everyone.

You Need :
Bread slices : 4 or more
Carrot : 1, shredded
Capsicum/bell pepper : 1, finely chopped
Tomatoes, deseeded : 1, finely chopped
Ginger : 1/2 " piece, finely chopped
Green chilli : 1-2, chopped
Yogurt/sour curd : 2 heaped tblsp.
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander leaves : finely chopped, a handful
Mustard seeds : 1/2 tsp.
Oil : 1 tsp.

How To :
  • Put the yogurt/curd in a fine cloth, hold the cloth tight and squeeze the water as much as possible. Take out the curd from the cloth and take it in a wide bowl, add all the ingredients except mustard seed and oil.
  • In a pan, heat 1 tsp. oil and temper with mustard seeds. when seeds crackle, take out the pan and pour the tempering into the curd mix. Mix it well. Your sandwich filling is ready.
  • Now fill between two breads and then grill it on a sandwich toaster or toast it over a tawa/pan. 


Enjoy with a hot cuppa of tea or coffee on breakfast.



    On 7th May, 2016 it was the day when Golden Tulip Hotel, a mid-scale 4 star business hotel launched their Kolkata branch at the heart of city, Salt Lake, sactor-1. It is very conveniently located just 10 kms from the airport and 5 minutes walking distance from City Centre 1, Salt Lake shopping mall and activity hub. It is a business hotel with 55 rooms, well suited for travelers to Kolkata. It is a part of The Louvre Hotels Group, the 8th Largest Hotel Chain with over 1100 hotels in over 47 Countries with 7 brands. 


The hotel was inaugurated by quite a few eminent personalities from Bollywood and Tollywood like Mahima Choudhry from Bollywood, Saheb Bhattacherjee, Ridhima Ghosh, Swastika Mukherjee, Hina Panchal from Tollywood and off course by Mr. Ashish Mittal, MD of Golden Tulip, Kolkata. 


During the inauguration, Mr. Mittal said, “The hotel with its refreshing decor, gracious hospitality and warm ambience combines to form a memorable experience for the guests. It’s just ideal for hosting social & corporate gatherings while food lovers in search for the real flavours can satiate their taste buds here.

Now about Golden Tulip :

Golden Tulip Salt Lake City Kolkata, stands out for its elegant 4 star accommodation and breath-taking views in the heart of the city. Whether one is traveling for business or leisure, you can relax and enjoy the highest standard of international hospitality in exquisite surroundings. It is conveniently located in close proximity to the International Airport. 

Gold Finch - Meeting Rooms : An ideal venue for hosting Social gatherings, events, conferences, board meetings, an exhibition, launch parties, corporate parties, kitty parties, special theme functions and more. It has a rare mix of old-world hospitality in its theme and decor and is loaded with modern hi-tech facilities. In it one can get numerous combinations and possibilities of space and seating arrangements, accessibility to most modern audio-visual equipment, creative menu options, and of course themes which make business a pleasure at Golden Tulip Kolkata not usual but extraordinary. Can cater upto 300 people.
Noir - Open Air Lounge : Situated on the 8th Floor Terrace alongside the Jacuzzi Pool, with breath taking views of the City’s Sky line covering the Salt Lake area. Ideal for Special & Private parties. 

Deluxe RoomsRooms with required amenities, King Size beds with 12” mattress for comfort, Rain showers, HI Speed wireless internet access , Satellite TV channels, Direct Dialing phone services, minibar, tea/coffee maker, individual temperature controls.

Executive  Rooms : Rooms signed in a modern contemporary style with required amenities, King Size beds with 12” mattress for comfort, HI Speed wireless internet access, Multilingual international TV Satellite channels, minibar, tea/coffee making facilities, individually controlled air conditioning, sound proof windows and safety lockers in room.

Suite Rooms : The Suite Rooms come well equipped with all the business class features & facilities, Multilingual international TV Satellite channels, minibar, tea/coffee making facilities, individually controlled air conditioning and safety lockers in room, Complimentary newspapers and periodicals, High-speed Wi-fi connectivity, Complimentary slippers, Complimentary airport/railway station pick-up or drop, Executive writing desk with business kit, complimentary bottles of packaged drinking water, Herbal toiletries, Complimentary shoe shiner.  

Club Deluxe Rooms  : Exclusive Rooms on Club floors are designed in a modern contemporary style with required amenities, comfortable beddings, shower, wireless high Speed internet access, satellite feed with deluxe TV channels, direct dial phone service, minibar, tea/coffee making facilities, individually control air conditioning sound proof windows and safety.


Club Executive Rooms: Exclusive Premium Rooms on Club floors offering a breath taking View of Salt Lake City, designed in a modern contemporary style with required amenities, comfortable beddings, bathtub, shower, Speed wireless internet access, satellite feed with multilingual  international  TV channels,  minibar, tea/coffee making facilities, individually controlled  air conditioning, sound proof windows and safety box in room. 

Club Suite Rooms: The Suite Rooms on Club floors provides separate living room with a dining area and a bedroom with breathtaking views of the Kolkata skyline covering the Salt Lake City. The room is well equipped with all the business class facilities, Multi-channel color television with satellite TV, In room temperature control, In room tea coffee maker, Individual digital in-room safes, mini bar, Complimentary newspapers, High-speed Wi-fi connectivity, Complimentary slippers, Complimentary airport / railway station pick-up or drop, Executive writing desk with business kit, complimentary bottles of packaged drinking water, Herbal toiletries, Complimentary shoe shine.

GUESTROOM FEATURES:
o   Blue tooth connectivity in Executive & Suite Room Categories
o   In room temperature control
o   High-speed Wi-Fi  connectivity
o   Individual digital in-room safes
o   Executive writing desk with business kit
o   Complimentary bottles of packaged drinking water
o   Herbal toiletries                                                       
o   Air conditioning with individual control units
o   LCD TV with 24 hour local and satellite programs
o   Tea and coffee making facilities
o   Personal Mini-bar
o   Hair dryer
o   Iron and ironing board (available on request)
o   GYM
o   Daily newspaper
o   Car & Travel arrangement

The Coffee shop "Anti Pasti" is open 24 hours for both in house guest and outside patrons. The restaurant offers wide choice of buffet breakfast and multiple options of Cuisines for lunch and dinner. Our Specialty Hookah Bar "Thrilophalia" located on the 7th Floor has a fantastic view of the city and is open for early sun-downers to late nightcaps.


Anti-PastiMulticuisine Restaurant 24x7: Located on 3rd floor is open all day offers wide choice of buffet breakfast and Multiple options of Cuisines for lunch and dinner for both in house guests and outside patrons. The buffet breakfast features variety fresh Beverages, cold cuts, cereals, breads, egg preparations, salads, apart from Indian and international hot dishes. A la-carte menu for lunch and dinner consists of Indian, Oriental and Tandoor favorites apart from snacks.

Thrilophalia: the signature Hookah Bar, located on the 7th Floor with fantastic views of the city. Open daily for early sun-downers to late night caps, with a wide variety of Select Beverages from Fruit Juices, to the latest international concoctions and Mocktails.









 
   Lau, as we call it in Bengali, in other parts of India, it is known as Lauki or Dudhi, is very low caloric vegetable and very low in fat. Because of its high water content, it's very cooling, calming, diuretic and easy to digest. Therefore, it's a great summer food. It is rich in iron and also has vitamins C and B complex. It is high in fiber, thus very effective for light, low calorie diet, people with digestive disorders and constipation. If you are planning to loose weight, add it to your diet daily.


Bottle gourd has many healing powers, even though it is not so popular in Western World, but it is widely used in India. Bottle gourd is valuable treating Urinary disorder, balancing Liver Function, treating High blood pressure and heart disease, treating Insomnia and other nervous disorders and many more. Ayurveda, the traditional Indian Herbal medicinal system, suggests bottle gourd juice once daily early in the morning helps treating graying hair, stomach acidity, digestive disorders and ulcers. During summer, consume this Bottle Gourd Juice to cool yourself from inside.
 
Today, I'll share a very simple lauki/lau recipe from bengali cuisine, which is called "Lau Ghonto"
Another, from the same bottle gourd peel, "Lau er Khosa Charchari". One bottle gourd, two recipe. Bottle gourd's peel is equally delicious and nutritious. So to consume the nutrition form the peel, try this dish, you'll be amazed. 
 
LAU GHONTO :::

 Ghonto, is a cooking style in Bengali cuisine, where vegetables (cabbage, gourd, radish etc.) are chopped or grated very finely and cooked with a tempering(like, jeera/ panch phoron) and very few ground spices. Non-vegetarian ghontos are also made, where fish or fish head are added with vegetables. The famous Murighonto is made with fish head and cooked rice. 

You Need :
Lau/lauki : 1 ( medium/big)
Dry red chilli : 1
Bay Leaf : 1, optional
Cumin seeds/jeera : 2 tsp.
Turmeric powder : 2 tsp.
Green chilli : 1 or 2(chopped)
Salt to taste
Sugar : a pinch
Oil : 2 tblsp.
Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

How To :
  • Peel the whole gourd. Don't throw away the peels. In Bengali cuisine, we have many delectable dishes made from it, like crispy fries(lau-er khosa bhaja) or charchari from it.
  • For cutting the vegetable very fine, first cut the gourds in round rings. Take 3 or 4 rings at a time and  chop them as finely as you can. Continue with the other rings. 
  • Heat oil in a pan, temper with broken dry red chilli, bay leaf and cumin seeds. When chilli turns dark and seeds crackle, throw chopped up gourds. Stir for a while, water will come out. Wait for water to dry up. When water evaporates, add salt, turmeric and green chillies. Mix well, stirring for few minutes.
  • Add very little water and in medium flame let it cook. Gourds cook very fast. Check the seasoning. When all the water evaporates and gourds are quite soft and mushy, remove from heat. Throw chopped fresh coriander leaves, mix well and serve with hot steamed rice.

Lau-er khosa Charchari :::


It's a great dish, made from peels of bottle gourds and pumpkin. This dish, I've tried from Sharmistha's blog Cook-a-doodle-doo. I had no idea of this dish , until She shared her mother's recipe. Instead of throwing all the highly nutritive peels of gourd, we can dish out a great simple relish. To make any dish with peels, do not peel but cut with little flesh on with a sharp knife. I recommend all to try this dish who loves bottle gourd. 

You Need :
Bottle Gourd Skin : chopped, skin of a large bottle gourd
Pumpkin : 1 small bowl, chopped lengthwise & thinly
Whole dry red chilli : 1, broken in half
Kalojeera/Kalonji : 1 tsp.
Green Chillies : 2-3, as per taste
Turmeric powder : 1 tsp.
Mustard paste : 2 tsp.
Grated Coconut : 2-3 tbsp.
Coriander leaves : finely chopped
Oil : 1 tbsp.

How To :
  • Finely chop the skin of bottle gourd. Steam the chopped skin after adding a pinch of salt. Drain the water and keep aside.
  • In a wok, pour oil and temper with Kalo jeera/kalonji and whole dry red chilli. Add the sliced pumpkin, saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the steamed bottle gourd peel. Add salt, sugar and turmeric powder.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water and cook on medium flame for around 7-10 minutes or till the veggies are done. Add the mustard paste and grated coconut. Mix well.
  • Lastly, add fresh coriander leaves and remove from heat. Serve with dal and plain rice. 


 
 

Lassi is a popular and traditional Indian drink, originated in the state of Punjab. It is made of Yoghurt with water, salt, sugar, pepper and flavoured with spices. Lassi can be sweet or salty. Different flavours of lassi are also made using different seasonal fruits. Lassi is enjoyed chilled with ice cubes during hot summers and it's a real thirst quencher. It has the goodness of yoghurt and we all know that yoghurt has many health benefits, starting from helping in digesting food to burning body fat. In this previous post of mine, you will get to know three lassi recipes and several health benefits as well. 

Addition of cucumber, yogurt, mint and coriander leaves takes this humble lassi to a all new level. I can't tell you how refreshing this drink is, you have to try it to believe me. Almost no addition of sugar make it more guilt free and healthier option in this scorching summer heat.



You Need :

Cucumber (big) : 1, peeled and chopped
Yoghurt/dahi/curd : 1 cup
Chopped mint and coriander leaves : a handful
Black Salt : 1 tsp.
Sugar : 1 tsp.
Ginger : 1/2 inch, chopped finely
Green chilli : 1/2 to 1(to taste), chopped [optional]
Chaat Masala or roasted cumin powder to garnish

How To :
  • Peel the cucumber and chop in squares. In a blender, take the cucumber, ginger, green chilli, mint and coriander leaves and salt. Blend till smooth. 
  • Now add the curd or yogurt in it and blend well. As cucumber releases lot of water, so there is no need to add more water. You can add a little water in it if you want.
  • Your Cucumber Lassi is ready to indulge in a jiffy.







     Bottle Gourd is mainly a summer vegetable but it is available all year round in India. Even though it is not so popular in Western World, but it is widely used in India. Bottle gourd has many healing powers, it is valuable treating Urinary disorder, balancing Liver Function, treating High blood pressure and heart disease, treating Insomnia and other nervous disorders and many more. Ayurveda, the traditional Indian Herbal medicinal system, suggests bottle gourd juice once daily early in the morning helps treating graying hair, stomach acidity, digestive disorders and ulcers.

Lau, as bottle gourd is known in Bengali, in other parts of India, it is known as Lauki or Dudhi, is very low caloric vegetable and very low in fat. Because of its high water content, it's very cooling, calming, diuretic and easy to digest. Therefore, it's a great summer food. It is rich in iron and also has vitamins C and B complex. It is high in fiber, thus very effective for light, low calorie diet, people with digestive disorders and constipation. If you are planning to loose weight, add it to your diet daily.

There are varieties of ways we cook this vegetable. Here are some I already blogged :
 Today I'm going to share another delicious recipe where we add yellow lentil or Moong Dal in finely chopped bottle gourds and very few delicate spices and create a flavourful, delicious and a filling vegetarian side dish which goes well with freshly made hot rice or even with rotis. So, let's move on to the recipe...........................


You Need :
Bottle gourd(medium) : 1, peeled and cubed in small pieces
Yellow lentil/Moong Dal/split green gram dal : 1/2 cup, washed and dried
Tomato : 1/2, chopped
Green chilli : 1-2 nos.
Ginger(grated) : 1/2 "
Dry red chilli : 1 
Bay leaf : 1
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder : 1 tsp.
Red Chilli powder : 1 tsp.(optional)
Cumin powder : 1 tsp.
Oil, mustard oil preferably : 1 tblsp.
Salt to taste
Ghee : 1 tsp.
Fresh coriander leaves to garnish

How To :
  • Wash the moong dal or yellow lentil  very well, then spread on a paper kitchen towel to soak the water for 10 minutes. Heat a griddle or tawa, roast the dal on medium heat till they are reddish brown but not burnt, stir continuously otherwise dal gets burnt quickly. When you get the roasted aroma, take out from heat and keep aside.
  • Cook the dal : in a big pan, boil water to cook the dal, add roasted dal, a pinch of salt and turmeric powder and cook till dal looks soft but retain its shape and not mushy. when done, drain and keep aside.
  • Cook the bottlegourd : Heat oil in a pan. temper with bay leaf, dry red chilli and cumin seeds, when seed crackle, add chopped tomatoes and green chillies. When tomatoes are soft, add grated ginger and turmeric, red chilli and cumin powder one by one and mix well. Cook the spices adding 1 spoon of water.
  • When spices are cooked, add chopped lau or bottle gourd, mix well with the spices. Add little water, as bottlegourd can release some water. Season with salt. Cover with lid and cook till bottle gourd is half done. Now add cooked green gram or moong dal in the bottlegourd. Mix well and again cook covered till moong dal and bottlegourd both are cooked. 
  • Lastly, add ghee in it and mix well, cook for another 1 minute. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves. 



Serve it with piping hot rice and any kind of dal(lentil soup).














 
As a mother of small kids, it's a challenge for me to find a healthy and filling snack for the kids or for the whole family. When I go for grocery shopping, I always look out for healthy snacks which I can happily pack into my kids' lunchbox or for evening snacking with tea for us. There are few healthy snack brand available in the market nowadays which are so tasteless that kids' just not like them after one bite. And finally, I end up making some for my family. But in today's busy life, it's impossible to  always have time to make even the snacks at home.
Few weeks back I jumped with joy after I got a mail from Snalthy because my prayers got answered finally. If you are wondering what is Snalthy, then it's a snack brand who are making single serve snack packets which are oil, chemicals and preservative free.They wanted me to try out their new initiative. Their brand name and tagline, "Snacks Made Healthy" made me interested to try their products. Without wasting time I said yes and they sent me 12 packets of different varieties of snack packets which included cookies, chips, rusks, crackers and many more.


  Snalthy is a brainchild of three buddies who used to eat junked foods often and one day they realized that they are doing something wrong and started to experiment with healthy snacking ideas. After 1000’s of trials in last 2 years, healthy, tasty & nutritious recipes with all natural ingredients and zero added chemicals are developed that are first of its kind in India. Snalthy has a huge variety of healthy snacks ranging from Baked Chips & Sticks, Cookies, Biscotti, Bars, Toffee, Crackers, Rusk, Brownie Thins, Macaroon Drops, and Millet Porridge.

All the snacks come in limited calorie (Less than 180 Calorie) single serve air tight pack with nutrition in every bite that satisfies instant hunger, and also to make it a most value for money snack. The price for this snacks ranges from Rs. 98 to 210 with a variety of combos. These packs can fit in kids snack box, backpacks, car dashboards, travel pack, office worktables and lots more.


The facts that Make Snalthy, a "Healthy" snack for your family ::
  • Sourcing : The raw materials are sourced only in India mostly from farmers.
  • Recipes : Nutritionist crafted recipes with Nutrition in every bite with all natural ingredients and zero added chemicals.  Snalthy do not use Refined / Bleached flour (Maida), Refined white sugar, Hydrogenated fat (Vanaspati), Baking powder, Baking soda, Emulsifiers, Artificial colours, Artificial flavours, etc., which are commonly used in other snacks.
  • Preparation : Products are made in-house hygienically from scratch with state of art production unit
  • Cooking : Baking, roasting, toasting and seasoning are adopted . No oil frying or re-use of oil. 
  • Taste : Snalthy brings you authentic healthy snack with its original taste in a convenient way to your door step. 
  • Package : Limited calorie (Less than 180 Calorie) single serve air tight pack with nutrition in every bite that satisfies instant hunger 
  • Affordability : 60 different variants of snacks at an affordable price range from Rs.98 to Rs.210 along with a variety of combos 
Here are some of the snacks they sent me :


Cookies and Rusk :
Almond and Cocoa Almond- both the cookies are made of whole wheat flour and tasted very nice, my teenage daughter specially loved these cookies. Mixed seed rusks are also made of wheat flour and a combination of watermelon seed and flax seeds. The taste was also surprisingly good.
 
                 From top : Garlic Bread Sticks, Salted Baked Potato chip and Spinach Crackers(left)

Chips and Crackers : 

Garlic Bread Sticks are good, very crisp but garlic flavour was less prominant. Baked potato chips are good, quite addictive made with rice flour and Spinach crackers are made of a combination of wheat, ragi, rice and kambu (unknown to me) flour and has a flavour of Spinach, onion and green chilli. By texture these are quite crispy and tasted good, too.

                      Crispy Mexican Chips(left) and Crispy Methi Crackers(right)

These crispy Mexican chips are made of potato and rice flour, therefore has a crispy texture, these are very addictive and has an interesting Mexican flavour. Methi Crackers were are made of wheat, ragi and Kambu flour combination and has flavouring of methi, onion and green chilli. They are quite crispy and tasted good.


Sticks :
Salted Apple sticks are made of a combination of wheat, rice and corn flour and tasted good, it has no sugar but a very less amount of salt, which doesn't taste salty at all. My 8 year old sons loved them and finished within a minute. Orange banana Sticks have similar combinations of ingredients with orange and banana in it and are sweetened by just the right amount of honey. I have liked these a lot, even the kids. Both apple and orange banana sticks will be winners among kids that I'm sure.


Last but not the least, Sesame Raisin Bars will be a hit among adults which has a good dose of dates and Raisin in it and a shower of black and white Sesame seeds. These reminded me of Dates laddoo I make with sesame seeds on top. A pack of these Sesame Raisin bar will definitely provide one adult with their daily dose of fiber. And the Caramel Toffee, I kept totally for myself and didn't share with anyone at all, as I am the most Caramel lover in my family. And I must say it was a treat for me. 

Verdict as a whole : 

 I liked all the snacks, all of them are quite different from what we get in the market. After being made with whole grains, all the snacks tasted really good. No evidence of excessive salt and excessive sweetness in any of the snacks, just like we as a mother would love to give our kids and family members. I would recommend all my friends and relatives and the visitors and followers of this blog, who are reading this post, to at least try these snacks for once and judge yourself.


Ordering and Delivery :
Snalthy snacks are prepared on the day of order placed through web and are delivered at door step with minimum lead time anywhere in India with no compromise on taste and freshness of the snacks. Snalthy also has monthly subscription option at special price. Snalthy is the one point where you can buy all healthy snacks for everyone in your family according to their taste and need. Buy it once or subscribe for your convenience.

Order in the web www.snalthy.com  or Call  @ +91 80155 80150 or Mail to  @ info@snalthy.com.

Finally, I want to thank Snalthy for such an initiative of serving healthy snacks to our society.Also thanks a lot for sending me these yummy and healthy snacks. 




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