There’s nothing like a power-packed start to the day! Especially during the monsoons, when waking up could be a sluggish affair! And what better way than a filling breakfast! Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day by many, and rightly so. Not only does it break your fasting period (8 hours of overnight sleep), but it is also meant to give a boost to your energy levels and ensuring your body is supplied with other essential nutrients to carry you through the day. It has a greater influence on our metabolism cycle than any other meal.
Spices add to the flavour of life. It is the contribution of these ingredients that gets our taste buds in the right mood for food. They have been storehouses of health benefits and have helped use boost our immunity with essential nutrients. These ingredients are one of the reasons we keep craving for food. These ingredients are our very own spices. These spices are an integral part of the Indian cuisines for various reasons. While some of these spices come from the Indian subcontinent, the others have their origin in different parts of the world.
There’s a bottle of ginger-garlic paste lurking in every Indian home-cook’s kitchen. Many Indian recipes start with a basic process of roasting onion, garlic and ginger, along with whole spices in hot oil.
In India, turmeric or haldi has long been used in cooking, Ayurveda, cosmetics and as a colouring agent. Keep reading to know more about the advantages of this super spice and for some interesting ways to incorporate haldi into your daily diet to #SpiceUpYourHealth.
Navratri, as the name suggests is a festival that lasts for nine nights. It is most popular in the northern and western parts of India. In 2020, Navratri will commence on 17th October and end on 25th October.
Navratri is celebrated in worship of the nine avatars of the Goddess Durga. It concludes with Dussehra, a celebration of the victory of Lord Rama over Ravana, symbolizing the victory of good over evil. It is said that Lord Rama prayed to the Goddess Durga before going into battle with Ravana.
Pumpkin or kaddu as it is known in India, is a popular vegetable, grown during the summer and monsoon season in India. This bright, orange-coloured vegetable is widely used in both savoury and dessert dishes. It is even consumed raw as a juice and in salads.
In the West, pumpkin may refer to ‘Cucurbita Pepo’, a winter squash that is orange in colour. It is seen as a vegetable by most but actually is a fruit as it contains seeds. In North America, pumpkin is prominent during the times of Thanksgiving and Halloween and an important part of the culture.
This unassuming vegetable may not have a glamorous avatar in India as it does in the west, but it is an integral part of Indian cuisines featuring in many dishes. Its scrumptious taste makes it versatile element which can be incorporated easily, and its nutritional profile ensures that it is healthy for the body
While Navratri is popular in the northern and western parts of the country, Durga Puja is most popular in the east of India, and is celebrated with great fervour among the Bengali community.
Significance of Durga Puja
The celebration of Durga Puja marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasur, or the victory of good over evil. The ten-day long festival is celebrated with a number of offerings, pujas and prayers. It ends with Vijay Dashami, marking the day the goddess reunites with Lord Shiva, her husband after defeating Mahishasur. The Durga idol immersions held on this day, symbolize her return. Women bid the goddess farewell by sharing sweets and applying vermillion or sindoor on each other.
Across the country, the ten day long, Ganpati festival is usually celebrated with prayers, processions and prasad. Though the current pandemic necessitates us refraining from large gatherings, there are no restrictions on having a grand culinary celebration at home!
Like any festival, food forms a big part of Ganesh Chaturthi traditions. Various sweet and savoury dishes are offered to please Lord Ganesha. These are known as prasad. After the offerings are made, they are served amongst devotees, and are considered a sort of blessing. Here we’ve put together some recipes from across the country for you to try.