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. 






        Today We are celebrating Bengali New Year. It usually falls on the 14th or 15th of April every year. First day of the month, Boishakh, is known as “Poila Boishakh” where Poila means the very first. Each Bengali living in Bengal or outside Bengal, celebrates this day with great gusto and fervor. This year it falls on 14th of April and it’ll be the Bengali year of 1423.
        For me also this day is as special as for other Bengalis. Every Bengali waits for this day just like they wait for Durga Puja with similar excitement and enthusiasm. In past days, the preparation used to include cleaning and painting the house exterior, decorating the houses with a traditional alpona or rangoli and obviously a lavish spread to enjoy the day with family and friends. But in today’s busy lifestyle, painting or giving an alpona is not possible for many families, but cleaning was and still is an integral part of Bengali New Year celebration. Cleanliness not only brings wealth and prosperity to our home but also needed to maintain a healthy and hygienic life. Cleaning our home also includes our kitchen which obviously needs an extra attention. On the onset of summer, cockroaches tend to appear more and contaminate food and utensils which can cause food poisoning, diarrhea etc. Making kitchen cockroaches free is a dainty task as they tend to hide in dark and damp places like sink outlet pipe, under the cylinder, under the fridge and under the dustbins. To get rid of them, I use Godrej LAL HIT(red one), a product from Godrej, its deep reach nozzle helps to reach every nook and corner of my kitchen, even in places where cockroaches hide and make our kitchen dirty. Not only before the new year, I spray Godrej Lal Hit once a week to keep the cockroaches out of my kitchen forever. It's equally important for a healthy lifestyle just like having healthy food. Bengali New Year is just round the corner, so my cleaning spree is going on in full swing nowadays.
           After cleaning the house, I decorate my house with earthen pots and diyas and with fresh flowers to give it a festive look. Visiting a nearby temple is must for me to start a new year with God’s blessings. It’s a tradition for Bengalis to wear a new cloth on this day and I make sure to gift a new cloth to my kids, husband, parents, parents-in-law and off course one for myself. Every year, I plan for a get-together with our close relatives in my home where each family brings a Bengali delicacy and together we enjoy a lavish spread and have a quality time together. 

This year I planned to make a Bengali Vegetable Pulao and Kasha Murgir Mangsho(Chicken Kasha) for all. I’m going to share the recipe with you all. 


Veg Pulao
Ingredients :
Basmati Rice : 500 gm.
Mix Vegetable : carrots, green beans, capsicum, cauliflower etc.
Ginger : 1", grated
Cumin seed : 1 tsp.
Onion : 1, thinly sliced
Turmeric Powder : 1 tsp.
Salt and black pepper powder to taste
Oil : 1 tblsp. + Ghee : 1 tblsp.
Bay leaves : 2
Cardamoms : 3-4 nos.
Cinnamon : 2 sticks
Cloves : 3-4 nos.
 
How To :
  • In a big pan, add water and washed rice and put it on heat. Add 1 bay leaf, cardamoms, cinnamons and cloves. Add a pinch of salt and let it cook till rice are almost cooked. Drain all the water from rice and then spread it on a big plate. 
  • In a pan, add just a little oil and saute the mixed veggies till they are just done, but not over ccooked. Remove from hear and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add 1 tblsp oil and 1 tblsp. of ghee, temper with a bay leaf and cumin seeds, immediately add grated ginger and turmeric powder, add the fried vegetables and mix well. Now carefully add rice little by little in the pan and mix well with everything. Add a pinch of salt and then again add next portion of rice. Mix well everything. Lastly, season with black pepper powder to taste. 
  • Your Veg Pulao is ready to serve. garnish with fresh coriander leaves if possible. 
Serve it with any kind of fish, chicken or mutton delicacies. Pair it with a salad and you are good to enjoy a lavish meal.

Chicken Kasha or Kasha Murgir Mangsho
This is a dry type of Bengali style Chicken curry with potatoes where a thick gravy coats the chicken and potato pieces and it's a beloved chicken dish of Bengalis. This typ of chiekn curry perfectly pairs with any pulao or any kind of Indian flatbreads like paratha, naan or chapathi.

Ingredients :
Chicken : 750 gms.
Yoghurt/curd : 1/2 cup
Onion : 2, medium, thinly sliced
Ginger-garlic paste : 2 heaped tblsp.
Green chilli paste of 2 chilles
Tomato ; 2, big, finely chopped

Turmeric powder : 2 tsp.
Red chilli powder : 2 tsp. or as per taste
Cumin powder : 2 tsp.
Coriander powder : 1 tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil : 2 tblsp.
Bay leaf : 1
Cardamom : 2-3 nos.
Cloves : 2-3 nos.
Cinnamon : 2 sticks(1")
Roasted Garam masala Powder : 1 tsp.( roast  cardamoms, 3 cloves and 1 " stick of cinnamon on a hot tawa till fragnant and grind them to powder)


How To : 

  • Wash the chicken pieces and drain the water properly so there is no water left. In a big bowl, take curd, all the spice powders, 1 tblsp. ginger-garlic paste, green chilli paste and 1 tsp. salt, mix everything well. Marinate the chicken pieces in this spice paste for at least an hour. 
  • Heat oil in a pan, fry the potato pieces adding a pinch of salt and turmeric powder till they are golden brown, keep aside. In the same oil, add bay leaf, and cardamom, cinnamons and cloves, when they start to splutter, add sliced onion. Saute till they got transparent, add 1 tsp. of sugar and continue stirring till onions turn golden brown. 
  • Then add 1 tblsp. ginger-garlic paste and chopped tomatoes. Saute again till tomatoes turn soft. Add the marinated chicken and mix well with the onion-tomato paste. Chicken can release a little water at this moment. Cover the lid and let it cook till all water evaporates. continue stirring till oil seperates the masala. 
  • Add fried potato pieces in the curry. Add about 1 cup of warm water in there and cover the lid. let it cook till chicken and potatoes are cooked. Lastly, open the lid and add the garam masala in there and mix well. Cook till gravy dries up and nicely coats the chicken and potato pieces. Chicken kasha is ready to serve.

 Wishing everyone visiting this space and to all my readers a very Happy Bengali New Year or Shubho Nababarsha 


You can know more about Godrej Lal Hit, here "
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Twitter :  https://twitter.com/HITKPKD
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Disclaimer : This post is in association with  Godrej Lal Hit 








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