A Quick Fix Mango Pickle-Straight from Grandma’s kitchen

Back again with yet another delicious, mouth-watering recipe!

This time I am introducing the Queen of our hearts, The master chef of them all- My dearest Grandmom. There’s never been a day when we haven’t craved for those homely dishes prepared by her so lovingly. Even today, going home to enjoy her wonderful cooking is a treat for the whole family.

Today she presents a simple, yet spicy mango pickle which is easy to make and a sure-to-be favourite. Let’s dive straight in.

Tips to note

  • Always use mangoes with slightly tender skin
  • Store  the pickle in a clean, dry ceramic jar
  • If preserving for a longer time, make sure you sun dry the mangoes well till there is no moisture left.
  • Choose a sunny day for best results.

Ingredients required

  • Mangoes (cut into medium square-shaped pieces) –1 kg
  • Chilly powder –1/4 cup (or as per how spicy you prefer )-Using Kashmiri chilly powder will give more colour
  • Asafoetida-3 tablespoons
  • Fenugreek +mustard –1/4 cup each (coarsely crush together in a blender )
  • Garlic- 15 cloves
  • Bengal Gram- two handfuls
  • Gingelly oil-1/2 cup

Method of preparation

Wash the mangoes well in running water. Dry them and cut into medium-sized cubes- 1*1 inches. Do not peel the skin off. So make sure you select mangoes with tender skin.

Add the required amount of salt (as per your taste) and mix the pieces well.

Dry the salted mango pieces in the hot sun for a whole day. The moisture should be completely dried off.

Once the initial drying has been completed, you need to prepare the spices.

*For best results, use fresh spices.

Add the required chilly powder, asafoetida and garlic to the dried mango pieces.

Then add the crushed fenugreek-mustard mixture to this.

Blend the spices well with the mango pieces.

Add the soaked Bengal gram .

Next pour in the required quantity of oil.

Mix again till the whole mango mixture blends well.

Keep the pickle in the hot sun again for three consecutive days till there is no moisture at all.

Transfer the pickle to a jar and pour some gingelly oil over the top.

Store in a clean, dry ceramic jar.

Let’s see what’s inside -Open your eyes to notice the beauty

One of my favourite quotes has always been- Never judge a book by its cover’.  Do you know how many people out there are judged and categorised just because of their skin colour? It is devastating to know that even today, discriminations tear apart a society that could have otherwise lived happily, being in peace with each other. So does it really matter that your neighbour is of different skin colour? Does it have any value thinking that your friend belongs to a minority group? I believe not. 

What counts is what’s inside of each human being. The intelligence, kindness and humane morality are what should be seen. When you look at a person, you need to see the human being within. You need to see how helpful he /she is. You need to see the divine upbringing within another person. We are all made of cells that breathe the same oxygen. So where did all this discrimination come from? Maybe once upon a time, rules were made to discriminate people. Is it necessary to continue with such rules? Can’t we, for once, just keep aside the differences in physical attributes and concentrate on how to grow together as a society dedicated to the prosperity of mankind?

People have been suffering in silence for years. Crippled with the stigma and mental trauma, they fail to seek assistance for fear of mockery. Isn’t it time to put an end to all this?  Self-love and mutual respect are the two weapons that should be drilled into our society. We have had more than enough traumas. Its now time to respect each culture and learn from each other.

 Couldn’t we just teach our kids to love and be loved without judgement? Is it not enough to suffer long term and hazardous health defects, unexpected tragic accidents? Can’t we all just focus on building what’s broken inside us? Together we are miracle workers. Let us say a natural calamity strikes. Is it more important to save anyone and everyone the way we should? Do we think of skin colour or gender discrimination then? No, I believe mankind has inborne humane values that got covered by the rules in society. People are good and given a chance, they will continue to do good. So let us keep aside our differences and show the world how strong we are. Not only when faced with adversity, but in times of prosperity too. Head towards a prosperous future holding hands together!

Are Endings New Beginnings?

Sunsets are the perfect examples to show you that endings can be beautiful too.  Watch a sunset and look at the changes the sky goes through every day. From that beautiful light blue hue, the skies fade into a pale scarlet or orange colour and then as you watch, it turns completely dark. However, the person watching this knows for sure that the next day the sun will rise again. The sky will burst into bright colours exploding with joy and hope again. Isn’t there a lesson to be learnt? Nature shows us daily that change should be embraced with excitement for endings are new beginnings.

The next time you feel completely drained and totally out of sync- remember the most beautiful sunset you have ever watched. There is a ray of hope in every situation. All it takes is the courage to change the way you think. The more you dwell on the existing situation, the deeper you fall. So change the thought. Your sunrise is just around the corner. All you need is to stop worrying and start exploring. The possibilities are unlimited.

Dawn is just a night away. Embrace the change even though it brings an end to all that you are familiar with. Consider it an opportunity to start afresh. Your past does not define you. Let go, pause and refresh your life. Get ready for your sunrise. The skies are about to explode into a rainbow of colours just for you 😊

The end is not the end in fact END means “Effort Never Dies” -APJ Abdul Kalam

In the end, one only experiences oneselfFriedrich Nietzsche

The end is never the end. It’s always the beginning of somethingKate Lord Brown

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. Abraham Lincoln

Green Chilly Chicken Fry- A Crunchy Delight, Perfect For Dinner

Welcome to a tasty & crunchy chicken fry recipe, graciously explained by my Aunt, Mrs Sunitha Gopakumar-A talented master chef who prepares the most impressive and tempting dishes. With her innovative ideas, she excels in creating healthy eating habits for the entire family.

Crunchy Green Chilly Chicken Fry

Normally, frying chicken requires a lot of oil, however, this wonderful recipe allows you to prepare the dish with very less oil. Combined with the benefits from coriander and mint leaves, you have a nutritious treat, just perfect for your dinners.

Ingredients required

List 1

  • Chicken -1/2 kg ( cut into small pieces)
  • Lemon- one half (squeeze and keep the juice aside)
  • Salt- As per your taste

List 2

  • Green chillies- 5 (spicy chillies)
  • Garlic cloves- 3
  • Ginger -One medium piece
  • Coriander leaves- One handful
  • Pudina/Mint leaves- One handful
  • Curry leaves- One handful
  • Curd- as required for grinding the ingredients in List 2

Grind the above to a fine paste. Add curd carefully as the mix will turn watery if you add it all at once.

List 3

  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Oil – For frying

Method of preparation

  • Marinate the chicken with lime juice and required salt. Keep aside for 1.5 hours. You do not have to keep it in the refrigerator.
  • In the meantime, prepare the masala paste by grinding the ingredients in List 2. As mentioned above, take care while adding the curd. You should have a fine paste which is not runny or watery. Otherwise, this will affect the texture of the fried chicken. So add the curd carefully, just enough to have a thick consistency.
  • After 1.5 hours, take the marinated chicken and add the ground masala paste to it.
  • Finally, add turmeric powder (List 3) and mix well.
  • Check if you have got the salt added as per your taste. It should be just right as we have let the chicken settle for 1.5 hours earlier. If you feel you need more salt, add it at this point.
  • Set aside for 2 hours maximum. (Though it seems to be a long wait, keeping the marinated chicken for 2 hours will give you the best results.)
  • Take a frying pan and add oil to it. This is a recipe which requires only shallow frying, so just pour the required amount of oil. There is no need to deep fry the chicken pieces.
  • When the oil is heated, add the chicken pieces carefully and close the pan with a lid.
  • Closing the pan will help the chicken cook perfectly and allow the spices to blend well to make the pieces juicy and yummy.
  • Open in between and turn over the pieces so that both sides will fry well.
  • Once dry, remove from the heat and transfer to a serving dish.

Let your tastebuds explode as you savour the finger-licking chicken pieces!

The Blogger Recognition Award

My heartfelt gratitude to Evelyn Kinya again for nominating me for the Fantastic Blogger Recognition Award. Thanks a ton for being such an encouraging person. All of you should surely visit her site and read her inspiring work at https://evelynkinya156.wordpress.com/2020/09/10/blogger-recognition-award/.

It’s a great way to show support to fellow bloggers. So Thank you, Evelyn, once more!

The Rules
1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and give a link to their site
2. Do a post to show your award
3. Give a summary of how your blog started
4. Give two pieces of advice for any new bloggers
5. Select at least 15 other bloggers for this award
6. Let each nominee know you’ve nominated them and give a link to your post.

How I started ”Love your life”

I have always loved writing and have been a freelancer for quite some time. I wanted to have my own platform where I could write my views and share it with all. WordPress offered a great place to start, So here I am!

A piece of advice to new bloggers

  1. Never give up. No matter how small your article is, go ahead and give it your best.
  2. Be consistent in posting.
  3. Be patient and you will find success.
  4. Encourage your fellow bloggers on their journey too!

My Nominees

Keep in touch and spread the cheer!

THE LIEBSTER AWARD

For me, getting nominated to participate in the Liebster Award Nominations is a great appreciation.

My heartfelt gratitude to Everlyn Kinya who nominated me so thoughtfully.

She is doing a tremendous work with her blog 3am Thoughts.Do visit her site and appreciate her work https://evelynkinya156.wordpress.com/2020/09/07/the-liebster-award/ .

Lets see the rules to be followed by the participants.

THE RULES

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Share 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers and make them happy.
  • Make up to 11 questions and ask them to your nominees.
  • Notify your 11 nominees.

11 facts about me

  • I love meditation.
  • I enjoy me time once a while.
  • My world revolves around my kids.
  • I believe in positive thinking.
  • I love spreading lots of cheer around.
  • I take my commitments seriously.
  • I dedicate myself to hard work.
  • I keep myself updated on new trends in my career.
  • I love cooking.
  • I believe in the power of prayer.
  • I believe in pursuing yoga for a sound body and mind.

Answer to 11 questions Kinya asked me

1.Why blogging

Blogging is my way of spreading around positivity to all my lovely readers.

2.What’s the most inspiring quote you’ve ever read?

“Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy and serenity.” —Thich Nhat Hanh.

3.What do you think makes a good blog?

Sincere words from a loving heart makes a world of difference. A good blogger should be genuinely concerned about the well-being of his audience.

4. What’s your favorite pastime?

Spending a peaceful evening with a cup of coffee and my favorite book.

5. What is the one thing you’d like to change about your country and why?

While it is exciting to live in such a diverse country, it would be great if people didnt make discrimation between religions.

6. Which is the best movie you’ve ever seen?

Bharatham- A movie in my native language.

9. What is your motivation in life?

The urge to do my best in whatever I engage in and be there for those who need my support.

10. Who are your most favorite writers and their works?

Barbara Taylor Bradford- A woman of Substance

Thich Nhat Hanh-The miracle of Mindfulness.

11. Describe yourself in 5 words.

Simple,loyal, enjoys small moments.

MY 11 QUESTIONS TO MY NOMINEES

1. What do you find great happiness in?
2. What would you wish for if you had three granted wishes?
3. Who inspires you the most ?
4. What helps you get back on your feet after a setback?
5. If you could go back in time, which decision would you change?
6. What do you want your blog to achieve?
9. What are three ways to motivate yourself?
10. Who would you choose to be if you had a choice?
11. Describe yourself in 5 words.

My nominees

https://powerofpies.wordpress.com/

https://best-of-the-midwest.blog/

https://rontamirnehr.com/blog/

https://reksmemoirs.co.in/

https://itsinnerpeace.home.blog/

https://gcdiaries.wordpress.com/

https://waelsworld.blog/

https://en.gravatar.com/alcunningham1

https://fajclub.wordpress.com/

https://viralimages.pw/

Anyone else who would love to be nominated

Keep spreading the cheer!

A Tangy-Green Chicken Curry Exclusively For You

Welcome to another session of utterly delicious cooking.

Meet my dear sister in law- Mrs Priya Rajagopal, an all-rounder who creates magic in her kitchen. Here she is, bringing a ton of relief to all those busy moms with an extremely easy to prepare yet healthy & nutritious chicken curry.

Tangy-Green Chicken Curry

While chicken on its own is an extremely good source of protein, this dish has the added benefits and increased nutritional value from mint leaves and coriander leaves. These two ingredients make this tangy-chicken a treasure house of health benefits. So let us dive in!

Ingredients required

List 1

  • Mint leaves -30g (washed and chopped)
  • Coriander leaves-30 to 50 g (freshly chopped)
  • Green chillies- 10 (medium-sized)
  • Pepper cons- 12
  • Garlic -12 cloves
  • Ginger -A small finger-sized piece
  • Cinnamon powder-2 sticks or 1 teaspoon
  • Cloves -3
  • Grind the above ingredients to a fine paste.

List 2

  • Chicken- 650g (sliced into medium pieces)
  • Onion- 1 (sliced into thin pieces)
  • Lemon – one half (squeeze to extract the juice and keep aside)
  • Oil -As required for sauteing
  • Salt -As per your taste
  • Pepper powder -As per your taste for additional spice
  • Coriander leaves – For garnishing (optional)

Method of preparation

  • Take a thick bottomed pan.
  • Add the required amount of oil.
  • When the oil is heated, put in the chopped onion slices.
  • Saute the onions on medium heat for 7-8 minutes till they turn light brown.
  • Next, add the chicken pieces to the onion
  • Add salt as per your taste and stir to mix the contents well.
  • Now take the ground green masala from List 1 and add it to the chicken-onion mixture.
  • Stir them well so that the spices are absorbed into the chicken.
  • Keep the pan closed and let the chicken cook well.
  • Stir in between to ensure that the chicken pieces simmer and blend well with the ground spices paste.
  • At this point, if you feel that you need a more spicy taste, add powdered pepper (according to your preference).
  • After the chicken has been cooked to perfection, sprinkle the lemon juice kept aside.
  • Turn off the flame and transfer to a serving dish.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves or mint leaves (optional)
  • Serve hot with rice or Rotis.
  • Get ready to savour the tangy chicken curry!

Useful Tips To Manage And Lower Your Blood Pressure

Picture courtesy:-.https://www.lark.com/

High blood pressure- Should you be worried about it?

When you pay a visit to the doctor, you must have noticed him taking your blood pressure and noting it down. Any idea what the readings mean?  Today we are having a very simplified explanation of what your blood pressure means, what the levels indicate and how to manage high blood pressure by adopting a few lifestyle changes.

Its common knowledge that the heart is the major organ responsible for pumping blood to all the other parts of the body. This blood delivers oxygen and essential nutrients to every cell in the body, which in turn increases the efficiency of the body organs. The blood circulation is also essential in the removal of waste and carbon dioxide from the body.

What is blood pressure?

This term denotes the pressure or force exerted by blood on the walls of the arteries when it flows through them. It is measured in units known as millimetres of mercury-mm Hg.

I have attached a chart on blood pressure levels here which adheres to the guidelines of the American Heart Association (AHA).

Picture Courtesy: American Heart Association
https://www.heart.org/

Dangers and risks involved

When the arteries are clogged or become narrow due to some medical condition, it becomes harder for the heart to pump the blood smoothly. When there is an obstruction to your normal rate of blood flow through the arteries, the blood pressure readings show variations.

 There are certain risks that come along when your BP stands elevated constantly. The most common risks include

  • Nausea
  • Short temper
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Double vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Increased heart rate
  • Palpitations

 The worst-case scenarios include :-

  • Heart failure,
  •  Kidney failure,
  • Respiratory issues,
  • damage to blood vessels,
  • vision loss

Control High BP by adopting some healthy  lifestyle changes

Yes, there are risks attached, however, you have the power to keep your blood pressure in control.

The first and foremost solution is to visit your doctor and get proper medical guidance. Undergo all the required tests and follow your doctor’s instructions. Avoid self- medication as it will not do you any good. You may not be aware of  your health condition accurately and could cause more harm. So take the medicines as prescribed by a certified doctor after proper examination.

Lifestyle changes to adopt include :-

  • Start a high fiber diet
  •  Eat more vegetables and fruits
  • Avoid high- fat rich foods
  • Include whole grains in your meals
  • If you are fond of non, vegetarian food, go for skinless poultry and more fish
  • Reduce the amount of white sugar. You can substitute with jaggery, organic brown sugar or honey.
  • Strictly restrict your salt levels.
  • Include a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise in your daily routine.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit your alcohol consumption
  • Avoid tobacco and eliminate smoking
  • Practice stress- relieving techniques like yoga, meditation, listening to music etc as a daily routine
  • Take steps to ensure you get a minimum of 6 hours of deep sleep

How to keep a check on your blood pressure

  • Go for regular check-ups
  • Always seek a doctor’s advice in case of any symptoms
  • Don’t go overboard about checking your pressure frequently. That itself is a cause of stress.
  • Keep your medication handy and be regular in taking them
  • Share your worries with friends and family

Note to self:-

Your mind can control your body. So  keep repeating positive affirmations like

  • I am in perfect health
  • My BP levels are perfectly normal.

Saying such positive words will give you a brighter outlook and will give you the hope to fight against any illness.

Stay healthy, stay positive!

Spice up your Karela – Enrich your diet with healthy nutrients

Hey there 🙂

Say Hello to Mrs Nirmala Ravindran, my Aunt, who is an abode of healthy and nutritious recipes. With her super special skills, she makes cooking seem so effortless and always ends up serving perfectly tasty dishes.

Today, she brings us a bitter gourd dish –  Gratifying ,healthy and easy to cook ! A wonderful recipe which makes even fussy eaters love Karela (bitter gourd).

If you are a health-conscious person, then you should definitely, try this out because bitter gourd has some really great health benefits like

  • lowering bad cholesterol,
  • maintaining sugar levels,
  • providing glowing skin,
  • cleansing the liver
  • reducing your weight etc.

Now get ready to prepare this immunity-boosting dish !

  1. Main  Ingredients
  • Bitter gourd- 2 medium-sized, sliced into small pieces
  • Salt – as required
  • Sugar -1 teaspoon
  • Onion- 1 medium-sized (chopped)
  • Mustard – for seasoning
  • Coconut oil- for frying

2.Ingredients for masala paste

  • Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder- ½  teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds -1/2 teaspoon
  • Garlic-6 cloves
  • (Grind the above to a fine paste )

3.Tamarind – A small ball (the size of a gooseberry)

Soak this in water and keep aside for a few minutes. Squeeze the tamarind and remove the pieces to get the tamarind water.

Method of preparation

  • Slice the bitter gourd into small pieces and marinate with the required salt. Shallow fry them in coconut oil. You do not have to deep fry.
  • Take some coconut oil in a pan.
  • When heated, splutter the mustard seeds.
  • Saute the chopped onion till golden brown.
  • Now add the half-fried bitter gourd pieces.
  • Saute for 5 minutes and then add in the masala paste.
  •  Stir well to blend the ingredients .
  •  Next, add the tamarind water.
  •  Let this boil well.
  • Add one teaspoon of sugar.
  • Switch off the flame and transfer into a serving dish.
  • Enjoy !

An All-time Favourite Punjabi Chicken Curry -Stir Up Your Appetite

Introducing my Aunt Mrs Rajasree Raghu to you all. With her excellent cooking skills, she prepares a wide variety of innovative and popular dishes which are mind-blowingly tasty.

Punjabi Chicken Curry

This chicken recipe is surely going to be one of your favourites. Your dinners are going to be an instant success with this tempting dish. Let’s go into the details.

1. Main Ingredients

  • Chicken -1 kg
  • Finely chopped Onion – 4 big or 6 small
  • Tomato-4
  • Green chillies-
  • Ghee- As required
  • Salt- as required
  • Finely chopped Coriander leaves- 2 handfuls

2.Ginger-garlic paste

  • Ginger – One big piece
  • Garlic- 10 cloves
  • (Make a ginger garlic paste with the above two ingredients)

3.Masala mixture

  • Chilly powder – 3 tablespoons
  • Kashmiri chilly powder – 2 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder -1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 3 teaspoon
  • (Make a mixture of the above spices in water. It should be a paste-like consistency)

4.Spices to powder

  • Fennel -1 tablespoon
  • Cinnamon-one piece
  • Cloves – 5
  • Cardomom-5
  • (Grind and Powder all these together )
  • 5.Shredded Coconut-One half of a whole coconut-(Grind this to a fine paste to resemble a butter-like consistency)
  • 6. Thick curd- 1 cup
  • 7. Sugar – 4 tablespoons
  • 8.Cashewnuts-10

Method of preparation

  • Heat a thick bottomed pan. Add three tablespoons of ghee to it. Add sugar to the ghee. Do not stir the sugar. When the sugar starts foaming, add the spice powders in list 4. Saute these till the raw smell disappears.
  •  Add the finely chopped onions and sauté till they turn golden brown.
  • Add salt to this while sauteing.
  • Next, add the chopped tomatoes and continue stirring.
  • When the oil separates from the onion-tomato mixture, add the ginger garlic paste. Saute well to get a cooked smell.
  • Then add the chopped green chillies.
  • Next, carefully mix in the masala paste from List 3.
  • Cook on a low flame to get all the ingredients well blended.
  •  At this stage, add the chicken pieces and cook on low flame for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave closed to settle for 10 minutes.
  •  This step allows the masalas and other ingredients to soak into the chicken pieces and you will have some juicy chicken pieces. So do not forget to turn off the flame and let all the ingredients blend into the chicken.
  • Now open the pan lid and add 4 cups of water. Once the chicken is well cooked, allow the gravy to thicken.
  • Make a paste with cashew nuts and shredded coconut.
  • Add the shredded coconut-cashew paste to the pan and mix well for 5 minutes
  • Then add the thick curd. Stir well and allow the gravy to thicken.
  • Turn off the flame and transfer into a serving dish.
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

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