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Festival season is here. Here are a few recipes to wow your family and friends

With Raksha Bandhan starts the festive season. August 30 is Janamashthami and then Durga puja followed by Dussehra and then Diwali. Why not wow our family with these delicious but different recipes?

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The present pandemic has made a chef out of everyone. Even those who never stepped into the kitchen are now master chefs
Source: The Anna Edit

The present pandemic has made a chef out of everyone. Even those who never stepped into the kitchen are now master chefs. From making pizza from scratch to baking cinnamon rolls to apple strudels to fancy cakes to restaurant-style pastas nothing is now not possible to make in a home kitchen. Of course, you need proper ingredients.

No party is complete without drinks and what better way to kickstart that with these rum cocktails — alcohol with most Indian. Whether it’s a classic rum and coke or a gourmet rum cocktail, a rum enthusiast will love these. So, get ready and keep your shakers and limes handy!

Jamaica Rum Punch

Ingredients:

960 ml rum 

240 ml lime juice

240 ml grenadine

240 ml pineapple Juice

480 ml orange juice

Method:

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Chill for at least two hours (ageing the punch increases the flavour). Avoid putting ice straight in the punch. Instead, fill the glass with ice, pour, and serve. Garnish with sliced lime, pineapple, or oranges.

Lemon mint iced tea with rum

Ingredients:

2 quarts boiling water

8 Earl Grey tea bags 

2 cups fresh mint leaves

½ cup fresh lemon juice

½ cup sugar

1 cup rum (any, Indian too)

Method:

Remove the teabag tags and knot them together. In a kettle or a saucepan, bring two litres of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, take it from the heat and add the tea bags and fresh mint leaves. After steeping, pour the tea into a large pitcher, discarding the mint and tea bags. Refrigerate until cold after adding the lemon simple syrup. When the iced tea has cooled, add the rum into the pitcher. Pour your iced tea over ice and serve.

Classic Mai Tai

Ingredients:

50 ml white rum

25 ml orange curaçao

25 ml lime juice, freshly squeezed

15 ml orgeat

25 ml dark rum

Garnish: lime wheel

Garnish: mint sprig

Method:

Into a shaker, add crushed ice, white rum, curaçao, lime juice and orgeat and shake for about 3 seconds. Pour the drink into a double rocks glass and pour 2 tablespoons of dark rum over. Garnish the cocktail with a slice of lime or a lime wheel and top with a mint sprig.

Rum swizzle cocktail 

Ingredients:

2 cups crushed ice

30 ml dark rum

30 ml light rum

25 ml falernum

60 ml freshly squeezed orange juice

60 ml pineapple juice

15 ml freshly-squeezed lemon juice

3 dashes aromatic bitters

Orange slice, pineapple wedge, and cherry, optional for garnish

Method:

Crush ice halfway into a double old-fashioned glass. Combine the rums, falernum, and juices in a mixing bowl. Spin the shaft of a swizzle stick or bar spoon between your palms to vigorously churn the mix until the glass is icy. Add more crushed ice and a few dashes of bitters to finish. Serve with an orange slice, a pineapple wedge, and a cherry for garnish.

Jungle Bird

Ingredients:

50 ml dark rum

22 ml Campari

50 ml pineapple juice

15 ml freshly squeezed lime juice

15 ml simple syrup

Pineapple wedge and leaves, for garnish

Cherry, for garnish (in season)

Method:

Pour the rum, Campari, pineapple and lime juices, and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker and shake briskly. With a single big ice cube, pour the cocktail into a large glass. To make a jungle bird look appealing garnish with a pineapple wedge decorated with cherry and pineapple leaves. Serve and have fun.

No meal is complete without dessert. Given the present pandemic, there is a stress on healthy eating. Remember, healthy doesn’t mean you compromise on taste. Here is a recipe that has several health benefits besides being tasty.

Jackfruit or kathal can be eaten as a vegetable and as a fruit when it is ripe. It’s a good source of fibre and has Vitamin C, potassium and minerals.

Kathal and Gulab shrikhand

Ingredients

800 gm dahi

200 gm ripe kathal — peeled, deseeded, and chopped

1 rose flower petals – dry; chopped

1 tsp rose water 1 tsp

75 gm sugar

30 gm gulkand30 gm rose syrup

Method:

Peel clean de-seed ripe kathal and chop. Make a fine puree of it. Wash and clean rose petals and chop. Hang yoghurt for two hours. In a bowl take hung yoghurt. Add chopped rose leaves, pureed Kathal and mix well. Now add sugar, rose syrup, rose water, and mix well. Keep in the fridge for an hour. Now remove the mixture from the fridge and transfer Shrikhand in clay pots garnish with Gulkand and rose petals.

Mango milkshake

Ingredients

 2 ripe mangoes

1.5 cups of cold milk

1 tbsp sugar

1 scoop of vanilla Ice cream

2 tbsp condensed milk

1 tbsp chopped almond

 

Method:

Wash, peel and chop mangoes into small pieces and discard the stone. Keep it in the freezer for 20 minutes so that we do need not to add ice cubes. Add milk, sugar and condensed milk to the mixer with chilled mangoes and blend it till it gets smooth and creamy. Pour the shake into the serving glass and garnish with a scoop of ice cream and almonds slivers.

Ingredient                                               

500 gm breakfast sugar

1kg Mascarpone cheese

800 gm cream cheese

15 eggs

1 l cream ordinary

10 lemon rind

5 lemon’s juice

2-3 drops vanilla essence

Mandarin, for garnish

Method:

Smooth the mascarpone and cream cheese and mix it together; add eggs slowly to mix and make a smooth batter. Mix cream and sugar to dissolve. Add cream to the batter. Add lemon rind in the batter, add vanilla essence. Take out the juice of five lemons. Pour the batter it in the cheesecake bowl and bake it in the preheated oven at 150 degrees C on the double boiler for 45 minutes.

When baked keep it cool and garnish with cold lemon glaze and a slice of mandarin. For the base: Crush the cookies to make crumbs and add melted butter; take cheesecake mould put the cookies crumb to make a very thin bed of the cheesecake.

Keep it in the freezer for an hour to set it frozen.

For those who are looking for a totally healthy recipe to make, here is a quick and easy salad to enjoy.

Roasted beets, spring onion, barley and walnuts

Ingredients

300 gm beetroot

150 gm spring onion

50 gm barley

100 gm walnuts

50 gm rucola leaves (you can use any salad leaves)

5 ml lemon juice

1 ml extra virgin olive oil

5 gm thyme, rosemary

Salt, pepper, to taste

 

Method:

Soak the barley overnight. Boil for 15 minutes until cooked but not soft. Strain and add some olive oil to prevent sticking. Keep aside. Wrap each beetroot with the thyme and rosemary and a drop of olive oil individually in aluminum foil and roast in the oven at 175 degree C for 1½ hours or until soft. Remove from the foil and peel off the skin. Chop the green off the spring onion. Blanch the white bulbs in vinegar and salt for three minutes. Keep aside to cool.

Wash the rucola leaves and leave them in ice water to crisp up. Dry in a cloth or salad spinner. Mix

lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl for the dressing. Add salt and pepper. Cut the beetroot into large chunks. Add barley, toasted walnuts and spring onions. Toss with the rucola. Drizzle the dressing on top and mix the whole salad.

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Lifestyle

6 indoor plants and their upkeep

While almost all green plants can be kept indoors, some plants need more attention than others. Here best indoor plants for home in India.

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best indoor plants for home in india
Source: @Safer Brand

While almost all green plants can be kept indoors, some plants need more attention than others which can be cumbersome if you have a busy schedule. But that doesn’t mean you can’t surround yourself with greenery. Let’s look at some best indoor plants for a home in India.

Rubber tree plant

It is fairly easy to maintain but is fussy when it comes to the amount of water it needs. Here is what you need to know if you have this plant. Rubber plants are rainforest specimens. While they need consistent moistness, they don’t want it to be soggy. Ensure that the pot the plant is in has adequate draining holes.

Use a dish under the pot lined with pebbles to catch extra water. This will keep the roots from sitting in water but provide the humidity as the water evaporates.

Croton plant

Its beautifully patterned leaves can brighten any space. Now that the rains are here in full force, it is important to ensure that you take care of all your plants. Overwatering can lead to root rot. An important thing to keep in mind is that the pot is well-drained. There is moisture in the air, overwatering will harm the plant. Croton also needs at least six to seven hours of sunshine but excess heat will damage its leaves. Try and keep the plant either East or West facing to make sure that the leaves don’t lose their colour.

English Ivy

It looks pretty and while it may look like it is an easy plant to look after, it is not the case. Like any other plant, this plant too will rot and its leaves will turn brown if you overwater them. Before you water it, check the soil. If it is moist, don’t water it. Make sure that the soil is loose and is kept in a well-drained pot. The plant grows in bright light but it is away from direct sunlight. It is a beautiful plan that can be kept inside the home; potting it in a hanging basket is an excellent way to enjoy the beauty of this plant.

Fern

The delicate curled leaves that unfurl into long, lacy fronds look pretty. Go into the forest and you will find ferns carpeting the floor. They also make a great houseplant. They can grow in any kind of pot — clay to hanging baskets to ceramic and don’t require full sun to thrive.

But Indian weather is different. A plant that may live happily in any other environment needs a lot of care here. They love moisture. During the rainy season make sure you don’t overwater the plant or the roots will rot. You can even spray water on the leaves to lock the moisture in. You can keep this plant in the bathroom or even the kitchen.

Green Aralia

One of the most important things to keep in mind if you have a green aralia is that it has to be kept away from cold drafts and windows during the winter months to ensure that it thrives. It needs a feed once every other month during the spring. During the summer months, the plant needs liquid fertiliser. However, be careful if you buy this plant; it is mildly toxic to humans and pets. Ingestion can lead to gastrointestinal irritation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

They are best as landscape plants. While watering aralia which is indoors, deep water is only when the soil is nearly dry. One of the most important things to keep in mind if you have a green aralia is that it has to be kept away from cold drafts and windows during the winter months to ensure that it thrives.

Pitcher plant

It is not always possible to ensure that the plant that you bring is going to live. Hence, it is important to take care of it properly. Let’s take the pitcher plant. So how does one take care of it if one wants to keep it indoors even if it is a carnivorous plant?

Depending on the species, some require full sunlight and those that originate in the floor of the rainforest may need filtered light. It requires moist soil, and keeps the potting soil moist, but not soggy. Allow the pot to drain thoroughly after watering and never let the pot stand in water or the roots will rot.

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Lifestyle

Mother’s Day 2022: Significance, history, and importance

Being a mother is a full-time job and gets no appreciation-one day where their worth is truly appreciated. Here’swhy we celebrate mothers day.

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why we celebrate mothers day
Source: @TOI

Most of us know that Mother’s Day is celebrated every second Sunday in May. But did you know why we celebrate mothers day? The whole idea behind Mother’s Day is to honour the mother of the family, to celebrate motherhood, maternal bonds, and the important role that they play in shaping society.

Why we celebrate mothers day?

It is said that the need to celebrate this day arose in the 1900s. Back then a daughter – Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis – to honour the sacrifices made by the mothers made for their children started this holiday.

It is said that Jarvis organized the first Mother’s Day service of worship and celebration at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia, the US which serves as the International Mother’s Day Shrine today.

Did you also know that different countries celebrate this day in different months? Some countries celebrate this day in March. Mother’s Day in Egypt is celebrated on March 21, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. In Georgia Mother’s Day is celebrated on March 3.

In some countries, the date is adopted to signify religion, like Virgin Mary Day in Catholic countries. Other countries selected a date with historical significance. For example, Bolivia’s Mother’s Day is a fixed date, commemorating a battle in which women participated to defend their children. Or in Russia where it is celebrated as International Women’s Day instead of Mother’s Day.

In India, the concept of celebrating Mother’s Day is new. This could be because we have traditionally been respectful of our mothers and have been revering them for generations.

We didn’t need to set a single day aside for them. But then, we (Indians) tend to ape the West and what the West does needs to be done back home.

Irrespective of how and when Mother’s Day is celebrated worldwide, children go out of their way to make this a special day for their mother. Lunches, treats and gifts are part and parcel of this day’s celebration.

What can you do? Here are some mothers day 2022 gift ideas

For the foodie mom

If your mother is a foodie a last-minute gift can be a meal subscription box that speaks to your mom’s interests. The subscription boxes are becoming popular across India as they select the finest and latest products every month and ship them across to their clients.

As a gift, you can opt for ingredients, or complete meals, including gourmet food and global cuisine. Innovative subscription boxes share recipes and exquisitely packaged boxes that can be used as a collector’s item.

If your mother is all about fitness

If your mom has been looking to shed some weight, a gym membership is a great gift! There are several gyms in each city that offer membership. This would help your mother work.

If your mother is all about looking good

A woman’s body goes through many changes, and protein is quintessential to cope with it. One can gift herbal products to the mother for that perfect skin that will keep her young at heart forever!

 

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Lifestyle

5 health benefits of dancing, you might not want to miss

You see it on TV or in films. But did you know that the art form has several benefits of dance movement therapy as well? Read on

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benefits of dance movement therapy

Dance is the purest expression of emotion. World over, dancing has a different meaning for different people and cultures. But there is one thing that is common across the board — it is an expression of one’s emotions through movement. These movements are not always graceful or beautiful and most people don’t even understand them, it’s tough to see a perspective on one’s dance.

What Dance Symbolise:

But dancing is extremely therapeutic. Dance therapy can use various hand movements and creative expressions to promote socio-emotional, cognitive, and somatic integration.

This is based on the idea that the body and mind are inextricably linked. It aids in self-expression, resulting in a shift in an individual’s overall functioning.

One has to remember that dance movement therapy isn’t just for dancers, and it’s certainly not a dance class. A dance lesson emphasises style and form, whereas dance movement therapy does not. In the latter, people aren’t judged on how well they execute the steps or how they appear while dancing.

 

In dance movement therapy, people are encouraged to communicate their feelings and thoughts while moving during dance movement therapy sessions.

Dance treatments are used in a variety of settings, including health, education, and social services, in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

It may be recommended as a primary service or as a complement to other forms of ongoing treatment, rehabilitation or education. The therapy can be short- or long-term. Engaging an individual does not require any dance skills or training just the willingness to move. The focus is on the therapeutic process.

Here’s how it can help

Help differently-abled

Dance therapy can help individuals, with different abilities, capacities and life conditions since it works with their bodies at that particular phase of life.

Benefit kids with autism, ADHD

People with developmental, medical, social, physical, and psychological problems benefit from dance movement therapy.

It has been used to assist persons with learning impairments, and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, and ADHD, among others.

Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, mobility disorders, sensory processing disorders, trauma, and even violence prevention are just some of the conditions that can be treated.

Dance movement therapy can help those who are battling communication challenges, body image issues, chronic pain, and adjustment issues.

Communication tool

As language is not a barrier to movement, it can be used in individual, couple, family, and group therapy forms with people of different ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds.

Leads to self-awareness

Self-awareness, self-perception, confidence, producing a sense of peace, relational talents, and mindfulness are all benefits of dance therapy. It has been shown to reduce pressure, anxiety, and nerves, as well as feelings of disengagement and body strain.

Faster recovery

Dance movement aids in the learning of how to transform nonverbal movements into insights that can be applied to one’s recovery process.

Each one of us can move, each one of us has a movement language — we call it body language. All of us can dance! The idea of this therapy is getting aware of your body, feeling, accepting, and working on yourself.

People in dance movement therapy are not required to start dancing as soon as the music starts, unlike in a dance class. It’s all about the journey, not the destination!

Disclaimer: The idea of this article is to create awareness and is not meant to be followed without a doctor’s proper advice.

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