Tuesday, January 14, 2020

How I Lost 17 kgs Without Going To The Gym

You might be shocked by the title, but it’s the truth. It is not some click-bait to some slimming tea rubbish, but a real-life experience that I would like to share. I have been repeatedly asked by many of my friends and acquaintances as to how I achieved this feat. So, for the benefit of everyone, I’m sharing my personal story and along with that my weight loss success story.

My Journey

I’ve always been an overweight kid. Tall and chubby, but it wasn’t in-your-face obvious. As I grew up, in my teens, I’ve always been at the receiving end of comments like: “You don’t look fat because of your height. “
“OMG you’re 90 kgs???? Ohhhhh….Because you’re ‘heighted’, your weight doesn’t show! Lucky!”
Frankly, I never felt “lucky”. What am I supposed to feel? Happy – that my weight doesn’t show? Or sad – that I was using my height as a crutch to hide my excess, unhealthy weight?

I never really cared for my weight till my dad pointed it out that I had excess and it could be detrimental to my health. He himself was overweight and borderline obese therefore he made matters right by gymming regularly and going on a strict diet. He told me about his own experience. Then again, I was in my teens, I didn’t take him seriously. Though I went to the gym during college on his insistence,  I used to eat junk all the time. Though I did lose some weight over a period of time, it all came back and some more when I stopped gymming.

Then a few years of work, then marriage happened and then during the last month of my pregnancy, I was at my highest ever – 113 kgs!!!! (Cue gasp)

At that point of time I was so wound up having a baby that little else mattered. Being a new mom, after all, isn’t a piece of cake. But thanks to regular breastfeeding and looking after my kiddo round-the-clock, I lost some weight again. My weight was in the 80s.

This yo-yo happened till I joined a new workplace in 2016. For a year, all was good. Only in 2017 did my weight increase steadily thanks to the stresses of being a working mom and unhealthy eating habits. Eventually my bad habits caught up with me. In 2018 when I contracted dengue was when I realised that my health had taken a beating. Sitting on the hospital bed, I was feeling that I had really hit rock-bottom, even though dengue is not really a serious disease, but it had made me feel worse. Even after 2 days in the hospital, I felt weak and drained out. After recovering completely, I still felt uneasy and not completely myself.

I knew that something was amiss. My weight was a whopping 92 kgs! My BMI was in the OBESE category! I checked my cholesterol charts – it was BORDERLINE HIGH.

Now I was a woman who had recently turned thirty – in the prime of her life – I just couldn’t digest this fact. I realise my future was bleak if I had to start popping cholesterol pills from such a young age. Now I truly realised the gravity of what my dad had said to me years ago – “Health is something that you cannot buy.”

Staring at the results, I made a silent promise to myself – I will do something about this every single day, no matter how busy I am.

And till date, I have kept that promise to myself.

It is during the course of this, not weight-loss, but I would like to call it ‘wellness’ journey that I’ve learned that it is a lifestyle change and NOT JUST A DIET.

From November 2018 to Mid-March 2019, it was a tough few months for me as I had to fight the urge to say F this s#!t and go back to my old ways again, but then I didn’t. I didn’t because I just couldn’t break that promise to myself. I just couldn’t. And the results started showing in just a few weeks!

Reasons behind my weight gain

Sedentary lifestyle – I was sitting more than 8 hours a day in my office. Although I used to walk to work (about 1.5 km to and fro), my work involved sitting at my desk for long hours. I barely used to cross 2500- 3000 steps in a day.

Little or no exercise – Like most women who work in the kitchen, I was under the impression that housework is my cardio. And I was so wrong. I was piling up the pounds!

Poor eating habits and binge eating due to stress – I confess, I am a foodie and I love to indulge in new cuisines and used to frequent restaurants. So my fondness for food can partly take the blame for this. I had poor eating habits and being a working mom, I was constantly stressed out how to manage taking care of the house, my kid and work place commitments. I used to gorge on fast food like burgers, greasy sandwiches, samosas and brownies from the office canteen and mall food court. My main weakness was salt rather than sugar, so anything deep fried and salty like French fries and KFC fried chicken was my Achilles heel.

Believing certain weight loss myths - I was constantly under the impression that you can eat whatever you want as long as you exercise hard. Long back when I used to go to the gym I believed in this wrong notion so much, that on some days I used to put my heart and soul working out for 30 mins, but then immediately after reaching home I would eat all the wrong foods with a vengeance.

Lack of will power – My diet made me sluggish and lazy, that I tend to put off any physical activity, forget exercise. I couldn’t believe that once an active teenager was now a sloth.

Just like I did, you too need to discover the reasons behind the weight gain and why you haven’t challenged yourself.

Key Reasons why I chose to change my lifestyle

Borderline cholesterol – The moment I saw my report, it was like the earth beneath me shook. Learning that my cholesterol levels were borderline was a rude wake up call, but a necessary eye-opener. Before this I was under the impression that I can carry this way for the rest of my life, but was in for a shock when I saw the report say otherwise. I certainly did not want to be a 30 year old in the prime of her life popping cholesterol pills. No siree! This was the turning point when I knew I had to do something about this, and it was now or never.

Low energy levels – After getting home from work, I never felt like doing anything. Didn’t want to play with my kiddo either. That was a cause for concern.

Back pain – Being tall, I used to slouch a lot. And with the excess weight on my body, back aches were my constant companion, in my workplace, at home and everywhere I went.

My kid – The chief nudge that I pushed me to challenge myself was my kiddo, who adored me and looked up to me. If she saw me eating junk and being inactive, she would do the same. She too would grow up to lead and unhealthy lifestyle – I could not digest this fact. What kind of role model would I be to her?

Women’s Health – We Indian women do everything for our significant others, kids and the entire family. But we neglect out health in turn and push it to the backburner. Looking at all the women in my life validated this point. But I knew that I was the only one who could take charge of my health and look after myself. Sure, your spouse will in case of emergencies, but avoiding a health scare is your responsibility. And I don’t want the burden of osteoarthritis, spondylosis and osteoporosis – common illnesses that plague Indian women - with me in my old age.

So, now that I have mended my ways and have zapped people with my weight loss results, I would like to share the changes I made in terms of my diet and lifestyle to lose 17 kgs of weight in 6 odd months.

The Regimen I Followed To Lose 17 kgs in 6 months

Upon waking: (Usually between 6.30 am and 7.30 am)
1 glass of lukewarm water + juice of ½ a lemon
Breakfast: (Usually between 8.30 am and 9.15 am)
1 teacup of ginger tea with less sugar + Upma/ Poha (1 katori) OR 2 set dosa + 1 katori veggie sambhar OR 2.5 steamed idlis + 1 katori veggie sambhar.

Mid-morning snack: (Usually at 11.00 am)
2 seedless dates OR 1 banana OR 1 cup papaya

Lunch: (Usually between 12.30 pm and 1.00 pm)
1 katori steamed white rice + 0.5 katori dal/ kadi/ ambat/ coconut curry preparation + 1 katori green vegetable preparation (e.g. ladyfinger, tendli, beans, bottle gourd/ dudhi, snake gourd, etc.) + 1 roasted urad papad

Evening snack: (Usually between 4.30 pm and 5.00 pm)
1 cup Tulsi Green Tea + 2-3 tablespoon roasted black chana + 1 tablespoon roasted unsalted peanuts. If still feeling hungry, then 1 katori kurmura

Dinner: (Usually between 7.30 pm and 7.45 pm)
2 chapatis + ½ katori green vegetable preparation + 1 katori green salad OR carrot and beetroot koshimbir.

Approximate Total calorie intake: 1600 – 1700 Cal

Note 1: Yes, my diet looks a little low on protein, but there are days in a week when the veggies are accompanied by soya nuggets preparation OR eggs OR chicken preparation.
Note 2: You WILL feel hungry if your stick to this diet and start having a light and early dinner. DO NOT GIVE IN TO YOUR CRAVINGS. Just drink water. It is going to be a tough first 10 days, then your body will adjust to the diet.

Workout: Between 3.30 pm and 4.00 pm – HIIT OR brisk walking in the park OR bodyweight exercises. Duration: 30 mins to 45 mins.

For HIIT exercises I followed on the Seven app (Android and iOS) and Bowflex workouts on YouTube. No equipment required, just some space and you. Best for rainy days and days when you don’t want to step out.

Brisk walking: 3 – 5 km

Bodyweight exercises: Squats, push-ups, lunges, burpees, etc. Check videos by BeerBiceps.

Total calories burned: 300- 400 Cal

A word of caution: 
The above diet and exercise that I’ve followed worked perfectly well for me. It may or may not have the desired effect on your body. Importantly, consult your doctor/ physical trainer whether you can follow such a regimen given your existing medical conditions/ history.

Over the months, I've learned through this journey is that a lifestyle change is the only way to maintain the lost weight. So following a daily diet that is sustainable in the long run is the key.

In the end, it is all about your determination, perseverance and commitment to improving your health that shows. 

My next blog post will be about the weight loss hacks that I swear by.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Product Review: The Pink Box India - A Monthly Period Subscription Box

It's THAT time of the month.
Is it? Maybe? Not yet.
Regardless, periods are what women experience almost every month. Making your periods relaxing and stress-free is the newly launched service - The Pink Box.

Here's my lovely Pink Box from The Pink Box India.

My Pink Box - Adorable, isn't it?

What is The Pink Box?

The Pink Box is your one-stop shop to find your menstruation essentials. Basically, it is a monthly period subscription box, where once your subscribe, can get all your necessary essentials during your period. So, you can log onto their website and enter your details (date of period, when you want the box, etc) and customise your box as you wish. Whether you use tampons, pads or liners, you can get your sanitary essentials to use during your periods.

What was in my Pink Box?

To know what was in my box, check out the Unboxing Video of my Pink Box:

Take a peek into what all is in store!

All about what all I got:

  1. Sanitary Napkins of my choice (1 Pack each)
  2. Grannary Whole Grain Chips, Sweet Chilli with Lime & Herbs flavour (1 Pack)
  3. Snackible's Sea Salt Pita Chips with Chocolate Dip (1 Pack)
  4. Only Leaf Chamomile Green Tea (2 Packs)
  5. Organic India's Tulsi Green Tea (1 Pack)
  6. Karmic Green Tea, Lemon and Honey Flavour (1 Pack)
  7. Suma Detox Soap, Tea Tree (1 Unit)
  8. A motivational bookmark with Dr. Suess' quote 
  9. A monthly word search sheet
  10. A health tip

How much did I pay for the box?

To try out their services, I signed up for a single box and paid Rs. 400 for it, including shipping. Though they did not accept payment via credit card when I purchased the box, but do accept payments through money wallets like PayTM and using UPI.

My Verdict:

The delivery was on time, as per the date I selected. I loved the snacks, the choice was perfect for a snack lover like me. I am yet to use the soap, though it smells divine. 

I would've liked if they mentioned the benefits of the products/ ingredients (chamomile, tulsi, etc.) for women specifically during periods. I would also like to see menstrual cups, biodegradable napkins and other sustainable products on offer.
Indeed value for money and worth a try. I am thinking of opting for a longer subscription soon.

Have you bought this box yet? Have you tried a service similar to this? Let me know in the comments section!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Lesser-Known Restaurant Deals That You Are Missing Out On

We all know that time of the month. When we are desperately awaiting the paycheck and itching to read those three magical words: 'Salary is credited'. Also the times where all you can do its gobble down home-cooked food when you really want is a huge-ass burger with warm Apple Pie but you can't as there is just too much month left when you are at the end of your money.

But believe me, the seasoned foodie that I am, there is certainly a way to have your cake and eat it too. Come to think of it, the restaurant business has cut-throat competition, with each of the players vying to grab the eyeballs and the palates of the customers and in turn their share of pockets. Having said that, restaurants will also throw in some benefit towards the hungry food lovers by means of a good deal and try to lure them in.

We all know the blissful joy the happy hours bring as well as the generosity that a BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free) offer from a Zomato Gold subscription throws our way, but there's more to take advantage of.
*rubs hands in glee*

Coming to the point of this post, which are the restaurant deals in Mumbai that you need to keep and eye out for? All of them are from the most popular restaurant and eatery chains having their presence across most major metropolitan cities like Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Let me list it down for you:

Theobroma Patisserie

Desserts first, please. This gorgeous patisserie run by Chef Kainaz Messman and her sister Tina is loved and cherished by all, whether you are eight or eighty. A high-end patisserie, but rightly serve quality fare made with the choicest ingredients, be it the cream cheese on the Red Velvet Cupcake or the chocolate chip chunks in their Chocolate Brownies. The brownies certain give most other bakeries a run for their money. My personal favourite its the Philly Cheesecake - one bite says it is fit as 'food for the Gods'.

What's the deal? 
BOGOF on one item every Monday. Certain a 'sweet' way to welcome the Moan-days.

More details please:
Every Friday/ Saturday Kainaz puts up a Facebook post on the Theobroma page informing the sweet-tooths of the country of the new item with the BOGOF offer. Like the page and choose to be notified first if you FOMO.
Valid only on dine-in/ take away.

Average cost for two: 
Rs. 500 plus taxes and charges.

What's better than one red velvet cupcake? Two two red velvet cupcakes, of course!

1441 Pizzeria

Unlike the myriad of pizza chains across the country, 1441 Pizzeria is all about savouring the Italian experience. Right from making your own pizza to taking a tour of their kitchen, you can enjoy a slice of Italy whilst being geographically in the country. With the complimenting ambience to boot, their unlimited toppings and cheeses are much talked about across the five outlets in Mumbai. 

1441 Pizzeria:
Gourmet Pizza with Unlimited Toppings before it goes in the oven

1441 Pizzeria:
Gourmet Pizza with Unlimited Toppings ready to eat!

What's the deal? 
This one's for the pizza lovers.
1441 celebrates Happy Hours where you can make most of these 2 deals:

Buy a 11'' Classic Pizza and get dough balls complimentary
Buy a 11'' Gourmet Pizza and get a Margarita Pizza complimentary

More details please:
Valid from Monday to Friday from 3 pm to 7 pm.
(Perfect for a late office lunch.)

Average Meal for two:
Rs. 1000 plus taxes

California Pizza Kitchen

Also fondly known as CPK, this chain brings the classy vibes of the sun-kissed Californian shores and showcases it in their food and drinks. You can also relish a lot of Tex-Mex specials but the piece-de-resistance is the Tiramisu. The indulgence might burn a gaping hole in your pocket, but read on the next part to know how to avoid it. 

What's the deal? 
There are two offers to point out:
1. Happy Hours all through the week from 4 pm to 8 pm

2. Women's Special on Thursdays - one specifically for the ladies dining in

More details please:
Specifically on Thursdays, women diners can enjoy flat 50% off on their bill (food only).

Average Meal for two:
Rs. 2000 plus taxes.
(Bear in mind, they do levy a 5% service charge)

Perfect venue to round up your girlies and have a good Californian indulgence.

This list does not end here, will be adding more good deals and updating the list.

Disclaimer: The above eateries have the deals as ongoing ones with no defined expiry date. Take full-on advantage of it, I know I have, so it is indeed tried and tested. Still, there is no harm in checking with the restaurant staff if they are still adhering to the offers or not.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

What does the Godrej Food Trends Report 2018 say about Healthy Eating and Indian Super Foods?

The food, beverage and the hospitality industry are, in many ways, very interconnected. And these sectors are constantly evolving, so much so, it is hard to keep up. You often see trends in one industry overlapping the trends in another. And speaking of trends, there are several that have emerged over the years.

Many of these evolving trends are here to stay, while others are still finding ground. So what are these trends? Godrej, the consumer goods conglomerate, along with Vikhroli Cucina and A Perfect Bite Consulting has researched the myriad of interesting trends across industries and have composed the Godrej Food Trends Report #GFTR2018.

Source: http://www.vikhrolicucina.com/upload/content/images/food-trends-2018-book.jpg

This report categorises a number of trends across the food, restaurant, beverage, home kitchen, and health and nutrition categories. You also get to read about revered chefs and food writers, the likes of Chef Ranveer Brar, Chef Rakhee Vaswani, Kunal Vijayakar, Chef Thomas Zacharia, Vir Sanghavi, Chef Kainaz Messman Harchandrai, Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal, Kalyan Karmarkar, and Dr. Nandita Iyer, talking about the trend of their choice.

One of the trends that is here to stay

Having skimmed through the entire report, the Health and Nutrition Trends section was one that caught my fancy. Given that most of us and others we know are grappling with various lifestyle diseases, with obesity, diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol being the usual suspects. Although these diseases have been prevalent in the country for a really long time, the rate at which citizens are being affected by these conditions is nothing but alarming.
Having said that, a good majority of them are understanding the need for adopting a healthier lifestyle with a balanced and nutritious diet, exercise and reducing stress. Health-conscious citizens are switching to healthier alternatives of the traditional foods eaten regularly at home. The Healthy Eating and Diets Trend makes a stark mention of this facet.

The importance of Indian Millets and Superfoods

Not only is the focus on replacing carbohydrate-rich ingredients like cauliflower, zucchini and millets being welcomed as a replacement for rice, wheat flour and whole wheat flour, but also being termed as a more healthier, low-glycemic alternatives to the staples.
Local millets and Indian superfoods will be all the rage in 2018. Importance is being given to the nutritive value of amaranth, jowar, bajra and ragi over wheat, maida and rice. In fact, they are also being widely used in global recipes in the form of salads, soups, appetizers and desserts as well. At the same time, with the popularization of the Golden Latte (the American version of Haldi ka Doodh), turmeric has been reinstated as an Indian superfood in a brand new avatar. Moringa leaves (drumstick) and wheatgrass must not be left behind from this list of Indian superfoods.

How to incorporate these foods into your daily diet?

Some of the best ways to feature millets like jowar, bajra, ragi and amaranth are to prepare items like idlis, dosas, paranthas and porridges. Instead of just having turmeric powder, incorporate the root in milk. With the help of a julienne peeler, zucchini can be made into zucchini noodles or ‘zoodles’ which will not only look colourful with other veggies like carrots and beetroots when made into a tossed salad. Keto dieters swear by cauliflower ‘rice’ by now, which is grated cauliflower tossed with spices.

In conclusion

Healthy eating is certainly here to stay, there is no doubt about that. The recipe or the ingredients may change, but being health-conscious won’t.

Do take a look at the Godrej Food Trends Report 2018 and tell me your favourite trend.

'This post is a part of Godrej Food Trends Blogging Contest hosted by Fashionable Foodz in association with Vikhroli Cucina and should not be re-purposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. Godrej Food Trends Blogging Contest, Fashionablefoodz or Godrej is not responsible for any kind of infringement.'

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Restaurant Review: Stacks and Racks, Malad West

If you're like me who goes bonkers over burgers, you'd love to visit this place in Malad West. I'm talking about Stacks and Racks, a local restaurant in Malad West serving mouth-watering American, Mexican and Continental fare at pretty pocket-friendly prices. 

This review is based on my multiple visits to this venue when I was craving some good ol' American comfort food. I kept going back there for more, because I truly love their food!

I'm just gonna put all the photographs of the food first so you get to know why Stacks and Racks is awesome!

Apple Pie A La Mode
Trust me when I say a visit to Stacks and Racks is incomplete without indulging in a perfectly crumbly warm Apple Pie with a scoop of Vanilla Ice-Cream on the side.

Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Poutine
Canada's favourite snack/ appetizer - the Poutine - is nothing but a fancy version of the humble French Fries topped with condiments and garnish. But, let me tell you that this one with Bacon and Cheddar Cheese in gravy sauce is truly delicious! I can make a meal out of this one. If you don't eat Bacon (but, why?) then you can check out the Vegetarian and Chicken versions.

Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Poutine with Chocolate Milkshake - The  Best Appetizer Combo

Another shot of the Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Poutine, I can't get enough of it

Louisiana Chicken Wings with Tartare Dip
On a friend's recommendation, I tried the Louisiana Chicken Wings. It was perfectly cooked with the right amount of spice but had a tangy after-taste. So, I personally don't recommend it but can be tried once.

A bottle of chilled Chocolate Milkshake
I could sing paens of this milkshake if I had to. They blend it perfectly to give you that chocolate-y goodness in every sip. I'm glad they don't put some cheap sugary crap masquerading as chocolate syrup in the milkshake.

Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Veggies
On one visit, I was feeling like indulging in something healthier than burgers and poutines, I opted for this delicious Main course. Perfectly cooked Chicken, goes wonderfully with the peppery sauce and mashed potatoes. Special mention for the lightly seasoned veggies that had the perfect crunch.

Cuban Chicken Sandwich

If you're in the mood of a quick, non-messy bite to eat, then this sandwich is a perfect choice. It's quite filling too!

Another shot of the wonderful Apple Pie Ala Mode. The guys at SnR tell me it is made with a lot of love by one of the owner's mother.

The Naughty Sheila Burger - Chicken

Nothing 'naughty' about it. It was a good bite, but the patty lacked a bit of seasoning in my opinion. The smokey sauce made up for it.

That's my experience.

Have you been to this restaurant?
What has been your experience like?
Lemme know in the comments.

Until then, happy eating!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

7 Unusual Delicacies Eaten Only In India

Travelling around the world brings in a lot of experiences. And in these experiences you may have discovered the unique delicacies native to the land. In all probabilities, you may have tasted some with a taste that is familiar to the food you eat back home and then there are others that are simply unforgettable! The melting pot of cultures that India is, features a long list of bizarre delicacies for the fearless foodie in you. Of course, a meat-eater's list is longer with weird yet staple dishes like Red Ant Chutney and Dog Meat making the cut, however, let me take you on a gastronomic journey of 7 such vegetarian delicacies that veggie eaters can devour.

1. Bhaang Ki Chutney - Uttarakhand

Bhaang Ki Chutney -
Image Source: https://calmlycookingcurry.blogspot.in/

Natives of Uttarakhand, particularly the Garwahli and the Kumaoni are proud of this delicacy made of roast bhaang (hemp) seeds If you are still in the dark as to why this chutney is bizarre, it is because of the use of a plant that is famously associated with the hallucinogen Marijuana. Though, contrary to the popular belief, the seeds are not psychoactive. I fact, it it said to have the perfect amount of protein thanks to the balance of fatty acids, fibre and amino acids. Undoubtedly, it as a chutney makes for a tasty treat and goes well with Bhaag Ke Pakode. Yes, it exists. Read on.

2. Bhaang Ke Pakode

Bhaag Ke Pakore -
Image Source: http://www.indianfoodrecipesonline.com/bhang-ke-pakore/

Pakode or fritters are perhaps every Indian's favourite tea-time snack. Come Shivratri and Holi and you'll find this fried snack being prepared in the homes of many North Indian households. Now, you may expect it to be as strong as the Bhaang drink, but in fact it is not. The batter is same as you make for making regular pakoras, added with the paste of the cannabis leaves. I also came to know that Bhaag Gujiya are also prepared

3. Pyaaz Ka Halwa

Pyaaz Ka Halwa
Image Source: http://ramyasrecipesandcrafts.blogspot.in/2013/12/onion-halwa.html

Onion in a sweet dish? Who would've thought! Pyaaz ka Halwa or Onion Halwa is a made by frying onions in butter and then cooking on sow heat with milk and sugar. So basically, it is like Gajar Ka Halwa, but with onions instead of carrots. If this seems intriguing and something you'd like to try out, you can check out the recipe here.

4. Gulab Jamun Ki Sabzi - Rajasthan

Gulab Jamun Ki Sabzi
Image Source: /www.morethancurry.com/

The favourite dessert of most Indians is also available in a savoury avatar. I bet the creator must have loved Gulab Jamun so much, that he/she ended up making it into a curry. The creators certainly belonged to Rajasthan as it is quite popular across Jodhpur. This Rajasthani recipe calls for making balls out of Khoya, deep-frying them and sliding them into a onion based curry.

5. Fermented Bamboo Shoot - Assam

Fermened Bamboo Shoot - Khorisa
Image Source: axomiya.net

The Assamese love this delicacy which they refer to as Khorisa. It is made of fermented Bamboo shoots that is either relished raw or as a pickle.

6. Rotten Potatoes - Eastern India

Wait before you think of throwing a rotten potato. As they say, on man's trash is another man's delicacy, this is true for Phyan Pyut, a delicacy made of rotten potatoes. That's right. Loved by several communities in Eastern parts of our country, potatoes are allowed to rot in soil, excavated and then mixed with spices. How does that sound?

7. Benami Kheer

Benami Kheer
Image Source: https://buzznomad.com/9-bizarre-food-items-around-world/

You may be wondering why is Benami Kheer called so? Though the word Benami has a negative connotation, here it refers to 'unknown' in Hindi. As to why it was named so, well, you have to taste this 'dessert' to find out. And the taste is unlike anything as it has garlic - yes, you read that right - as the main ingredient. Garlic pods certain have strong aroma and so they are boiled in water and then added to the milk to prepare the kheer. This is one kheer you shouldn't miss.

Now that you've gone through this list, tell me, which ones you have tried and which ones you are willing to try very soon?

Monday, September 18, 2017

Quick and Easy South Indian Style Rasam

To be very frank, South Indian delicacies are not my favourites - even though I am a South Indian, by birth. Though I grew up on South Indian staples like Idli, Dosa, Sambhar, Rasam and Coconut based curries, my taste-buds are more partial towards North Indian, Oriental and Continental flavours. However, there are days that I crave for a piping hot and satiating meal from the South. And the lazy person I am, (a total Garfield sometimes) I would rather make a quick and easy version of the otherwise seemingly arduous delicacies from the South of India.

And so, for the days when I crave a satiating rasam rice with a dollop of ghee on top, this recipe is what I stick to. I bring to you a classic, the quick and super easy recipe of South Indian style rasam.

Serves: 2
Time: 15 mins


For the rasam:
1-2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
2 teaspoon sambhar/rasam powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 pinch asafoetida powder or concentrate, diluted with water
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
Salt to taste

For tempering:
2 teaspoon mustard seeds
6-7 fresh curry leaves
Coconut oil


  1. Quarter the tomato and blend until lump-free and runny.
  2. Transfer into a bowl. Add equal amounts of water, or till desired watery consistency.
  3. Add the masala powders and salt. Mix well and set to boil for about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Later, add the chopped coriander.
  5. In a tempering vessel, heat 2-3 tsp coconut oil. When hot add mustard seeds. When they start spluttering, add curry leaves and switch off the heat.
  6. Add the tempering to the rasam mix. 
  7. Mix well and serve hot with steamed rice, poppadoms and ghee.