Sunday, 19 October 2014

Thulasi Kashayam | Holy Basil Tea for Cough and Cold

This was the post that was supposed to to have been featured first in this the theme -Home remedies for BM #45, Week 3 mainly because this recipe was the one that gave me a sort of confidence to stick on to home remedies even after tons of medicines failed to do their jobs.

I was suffering from a haggling cough for almost a fortnight and the antibiotics did not seem to work. I was so fed up that I gave up on those meds and made this concoction. And the result was definitely something that I was happy with!

Since then I have been making this and giving my kids when ever I see the first signs of cold and cough.And surprisingly the kids don't mind taking this instead of the meds.

If you have a Holy Basil plant in your garden , then that's all you need along with a few kitchen staples.



I used:

Holy Basil leaves /Thulasi - a handful
Ginger- a 2" piece
Pepper- 1 teaspoon
Ajwain / Carom seeds-1 teaspoon
Palm sugar / palm candy to sweeten the concoction



Wash the thulasi leaves and discard the twigs.Use only the leaves.
Using a motor and pestle make  a coarse paste of all the ingredients except the sweeter .
Bring to boil 2-3 cups of water and add the ground paste and simmer till it reduces to 3/4 its original quantity.Remove from heat. Strain and add the sweetener.


Sip this while it is still hot so that it is more effective. This can be had in small quantities throughout the day.


Note:
  • Sometimes I add honey instead of palm candy and the kids love it this way.
  • Do not add sugar as it is really not a good substitute. Use honey / palm sugar / palm candy

Disclaimer : This is not a medical advice. This remedy has worked for me. If symptoms persist consult your physician.



Bon Appetit...



Saturday, 18 October 2014

Oma Water | Ajwain Water | Home Remedy For Stomach Problems

 I am back with another home remedy and this time it is for the tummy.One of the tried and tested remedy for an upset tummy / flatulence/ indigestion /nausea is this simple concoction made using Omam / Ajwain / Bishop's weed. It is really very effective and can be given to kids in small doses of 5- 10 ml,adults can take 1/4 cup of this 2-3 times a day.This is my second post for the theme -Home remedies for BM #45, Week 3, Day 2.



Roast 1 tablespoon of ajwain / omam in a pan for a minute till aromatic. Add 2 cups of water and bring to boil.Simmer till it reduces to 3/4th the original quantity. Stain and serve.


If you find the taste over powering, dilute it by adding some water.


Disclaimer : This is not a medical advice. This remedy has worked for me. If symptoms persist consult your physician.



Bon Appetit...



Friday, 17 October 2014

Vetrilai Rasam | Betel Leaves Soup

Of late I am wondering how bloggers find time to write lengthy posts! In a recent past [and present] I hardly write a paragraph after which I move on to the recipe. I just don't find time to write those lengthy posts that I used to enjoy writing.Some years back, I used to write so much that I began to think if people actually had the patience to read all that I write before going to the recipe.

Things changed over time and recently a few things are at play here and those may be the reason for the small posts.

Now, where do I start? Okay...Got it! Let me start with blaming all those online stores that flaunt beautiful props for sale! I know I won't be buying them anytime soon, but I love to gaze over those plates, cups and bowls. As for the food props, I am all into going to the store, looking at it and then buying it. Even though the size of the dish / cup is mentioned on the online store, I somehow like to have a look, feel it in my hands and then buy.

A few months back, my neighbor cum friend cum food blogger and yours truly went prop hunting and spend more than half a day buying the best deals and discussing what all we could use those props for! After a nice lunch, we went home satisfied beyond imagination.Now, this I don't get when I buy stuffs online.

Then there are those books that I browse online.No, not reading but browsing the online store for deals on books which I can order.And its not just for cook book. The online store's delivery guys know me so well because I keep ordering ever so often!

Now, you might wonder- why does she not buy them in a regular book store just like how she buys her props? Books are a totally different thing! I like to read the reviews of the buyers before buying the book. I do need to get my money's worth right!

And the third reason may be directed towards all those wonderful and drool worthy blogs that have such awesome pics that really wants me to grab the dishes off the screen!I keep ogling at the styling and the gorgeous food on display that I lose track of time.

Yes, the blogs that have those lengthy posts are another reason too. I read them and then start wondering why I don't write like them!

Of course, I have to bring in Lil Dude's contribution to the scenario. From the moment he wakes up till he falls asleep, I literally have to be with him keep running behind him. He is a busy guy who loves to dismantle anything and everything and keeping an eye on him at this point is very essential. And then he loves climbing on the table, the windows and what not! So got to be there are well , just in case he slips. Then the routine meal times, bath, story telling, playing all follows that keeps me busy .

Amidst this chaos,Lil Angel does need me . Sending her to school, packing lunch , cooking and all that too is in the agenda for the day.And did I miss the poor guy at home who puts up with me and my crazy cooking and buying spree.

Okay, back to the topic...So when Lil dude takes his noon nap, I hurriedly finish up a few chores and get back to my dear laptop.

Now the cycle starts.I am not writing it down.You can read this post from the beginning and this is one vicious cycle!Sometimes I am too tired or even bored to look at the laptop that I just sit and relax with a book or watch one of the series on Star World. My latest favorite is House MD not to mention Masterchef Australia. I really don't mind watching the runs and re runs too any number of times.

So the result is- as I was telling you at the start of this post- I am still wondering how people find time to write a lengthy post!!

And just now I realized that this post is definitely a little better that my previous posts and I did find a few minutes to write this!!!So.... YAY!

And if you are a regular here you would have guessed this post would be a little lengthy as soon as I start with lines like - I can't find anything to write , or why can't I write a lot and stuffs like that! I really surprise myself more that I can believe it when I can't find a topic to write and yet those posts have a lot of stuff- useful or otherwise.

Now before you decide to skip this post, I will take you directly to the dish of the day....

The dish of the day is with Betel leaves / Paan Leaves as it is also known.There is already a Vetrilai Poondi sadham / Betel leaves and Garlic flavored rice and here is another recipe with this herb...




 Here are some amazing medicinal / health benefits of this leaf....

  • It is an anti oxidant.
  • Helps curing scanty urination
  • Reduces inflammation in the body
  • Increases the secretion of breast milk and hence this is given to new moms.
  • Studies indicate that it has anti diabetic properties.
  • It relieves constipation[when applied dipped in castor oil as a suppository] 
  • Eliminated bad breath
  • Cures bleeding gums
  • A decoction of betel leaves is said to cure leucorrhea
Owing to these properties, our ancestors have incorporated this herb to be a part of the daily diet. In olden days, it was a habit for many to take a few betel leaves after lunch. Even today no function or festival is complete without offereing betel leaves to the guests who come home. In weddings, there is always a large tray of betel leaves placed in one corner of the dining hall so that guests can help themselves with a few of these after a heavy lunch.

Apart from all these, betel leaves are used in home remedies.Here are a few that I have heard of.
  • Castor oil is applied on the betel leaf and the leaf is warmed gently over a tawa. The warm leaf is placed on the chest of a child suffering from cold.Doing this is said to help clear the chest congestion
  • A concoction of betel and tulsi Holy basil/ his said to be a good remedy for cold and coughs.
  • Betel extract / juice given in small doses is said to relieve flatulence / gastric problems.
  • Betel leaves are sort of mandatory for pregnant women and lactating mother even now as they help with the digestion and milk secretion during those days.
So when it was time to come up with some Home remedies for BM #45, Week 3, Day 1, I chose to make a simple rasam / soup with betel leaves.

This soup is good to sip in when suffering from cold and cough or even when one is suffering from flatulence / indigestion/ an upset tummy. It can also be mixed with rice and taken on any other day just for its taste and to enjoy the health benefits.

We get betel leaves in every nook and corner around here but some people love growing this at home. I clicked this picture last year at SIL's place.


I am sure you are now eager to go on to the recipe...

I used:

Betel leaves- 2 , size of your palm ,chopped
Tomato- 1, large
Tamarind extract-2 tablespoons mixed in 1/2 cup hot water
Pepper- 1 teaspoon
Garlic-3 cloves
Cumin seeds- 1 teaspoon

For tempering
Ghee- 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard seeds- 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin sedds- 1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida powder- a large pinch

Coarsely crush the garlic , cumin and pepper using a motor and pestle. Chop the tomato and puree it.Yes, no need to blanch the tomato just juice it up.


Heat a pan and add the tamarind paste, tomato juice,turmeric powder and  bring the mixture to a boil. Add the ground paste and do a taste check.Add more water if the mixture is too sour. Let the mixture boil till the raw smell of tamarind goes off. Add the chopped betel leaves and salt to taste.
Simmer for 2 minutes and remove from heat.


Heat ghee for the tempering. Add cumin and mustard. When it pops, add the asafoetida powder and remove from heat. Pour this over the rasam and serve as a soup / side dish  to steamed rice.


 We had it as a soup. It tasted great with a side of roasted pepper pappad....

Note:
  • Add betel leaves according to how spicy you want.Also some varieties are very spicy than the rest.So check and use.
  • I did not add the regular rasam powder as I have added cumin-pepper mixture.
  • Also I did not use the coriander and curry leaves that is generally added to rasam. I felt they might over power the flavor of betel leaf
  • Do not use oil instead of ghee. Oil does not bring out the authentic flavor of the rasam.

And tomorrow, I will be back with a very simple home remedy for ..... Well, I will leave it is suspense...Do come and check in tomorrow...

Bon Appetit...