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.

A bite of appetizing Soya chunk fry-The Marvel Meal Maker

Today I am bringing in a yummy recipe by my mom, Mrs Sridevi Balakrishnan. A magician in the kitchen, she always prepares full-flavoured dishes which leaves us craving for more.

Soya Chunk Fries

The Meal maker is here to add a wallop of magic to your table. Soya chunks commonly known as meal maker can be used to prepare a creative vegetarian dish rich in protein. This dish can be used as a substitute for non-vegetarian dishes as well.

Ingredients

1. For Soya chunks preparation

  • Soya chunks large -2 Cups
  • Ginger-garlic paste- 1 Tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Chilly powder -1 tablespoon
  • Coriander powder-1 tablespoon
  • Salt- as per your taste
  • Garam masala powder-1 teaspoon
  • Butter -1 tablespoon for marination
  • Coconut oil- as required for frying

2.For the dry gravy preparation

  • Coconut dices (small )
  • Onion- 1 large
  • Cashew nut -a handful
  • Pepper- 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder-1 teaspoon
  • Chilly powder-1 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves- a handful
  • Finely chopped Coriander leaves- 2 tablespoons

Method of preparation

  • Take the required quantity of soya chunks and wash well. Soak soya chunks in hot water. After 15mns, the chunks would have absorbed water and increased in size. Now drain the water, squeeze dry the soya chunks.
  • Marinate the soya chunks well with the ingredients from the first list and put in the pressure cooker. Let it cook till one whistle is heard. Remove from heat and open the cooker.
  • Deep fry the soya chunks in coconut oil . (This can be stored in the fridge for a week. When required, take the chunks and  fry again in coconut oil /butter. Continue the recipe as below)
  • In another pan, add the required quantity of coconut oil and butter and fry the coconut dices.  Remove and set aside. Then fry the cashew nuts and keep together with the fried coconut dices.
  • After this, saute the sliced onion till golden brown in the same pan.
  • Add the fried cashew nuts and coconut dices to the sauteed onions.
  • Add pepper, coriander powder and chilly powder and saute till the raw smell of the masala disappears.
  • Add curry leaves to this mixture and stir well.
  • Now our masala is ready.
  • Add the deep-fried soya chunks to the fried masala. Saute well for 5 minutes till the masala is absorbed into the soya chunks. You can add a bit of oil at this stage if you prefer.
  • Once crispy, remove from heat and shift to a serving bowl. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
  • This protein-rich curry is super tasty and serves as a great side dish with Chapathi or white rice.

Inspirational Quotes For You On Self Love

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball

“Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness.” – Deborah Day

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” – Lao-Tzu

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” – Anna Taylor

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.” – Bob Moawad

Pasted Chicken “A Recipe To Tingle Your Taste buds”

Meet my aunt Mrs Ambika Menon! She is a delightful multi-cuisine expert who constantly makes a whole range of lip-smacking dishes.

Today she is sharing a popular dish-Pasted Chicken, which has always been an instant hit at any occasion in the family. This is a simple and quick to make dry chicken recipe which you can prepare in a jiffy. You get a tempting appetizer made of juicy chicken pieces that always leaves you craving for more. Kids will love this dish as it has an exotic flavour and is too yummy for words.

Ingredients

  • 400 grams Chicken (small pieces with bone or boneless)
  • 1.5 tablespoon  Soya Sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoon Chilly sauce (Garlic flavoured chilly sauce is the most preferred for this recipe)
  • 1.5 tablespoon Tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Red Kashmiri Chilli powder
  • ½ tablespoon Turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tablespoon Refined Oil
  • Salt- Not required initially

Points to note before preparation

  • Wash the chicken pieces well and drain completely
  • Do not add water at all during any stage of preparation.
  • Do not use Coconut oil as there will be a distinctive flavour which  is not required in this dish.

Preparation

Mix all the ingredients, except chicken and taste this paste before adding salt.

There will be enough salt when the different types of sauces are combined. However, if you feel you still need some more salt, please add according to your taste.

Method

Marinate the chicken with the prepared paste of spices and sauces. Then keep it aside for 15min.

Shallow fry after 15min. First, keep your frying pan covered with its lid till the chicken pieces get cooked. Then remove the lid and continue till the chicken becomes dry. Garnish as per your liking. Serve piping hot!

How I Fell In Love With Cooking

My childhood has forever been blessed with the lovely aroma of home-made food ,full of love and happiness. There was always something cooking on the stove and my parents have always been finding ways to fill my  sister’s and my days full of surprising , mouth watering dishes. Both my Dad and Mom are excellent cooks ,each with their own speciality dishes. And that’s not all. Coming to the extended family, there is so much to say. We have a gang of wonderful ,cheerful ,nurturing Grandparents, Uncles and Aunties who make our vacations wonderfully special and tasty.

Even today, the thought of spending our  vacations at any of their homes is extra special and thrilling ,because all of us cousins know that we will be getting that extra touch of love with all our favourite dishes. We are a lucky bunch of kids who even today, with families of our own, return home to be pampered and loved by a fantastic generation of cooking experts. Our whole family gives such importance to serving food with love and compassion and I have grown to love the art of cooking because of all these wonderful people around me. The main agenda of any of our family gatherings will be food. We can go on for days discussing what the menu would be and how eagerly we wait for all those home-made ,mouth-watering delicacies.

Today, each dish I cook is a reminder of what they have taught me throughout the years. Cooking is a passion that fills me with a sense of fulfilment. And again I have been blessed with a family of my own-my husband and two boys, who are ever ready to taste my experiments and encourage me to the core. These three dears are the pillars of my cooking mansion.

There was a time just after my marriage when I hadn’t tried out any practical cooking and was quite a disaster in the kitchen. I had only experienced eating wonderfully cooked food, however, had not tried anything of my own. I must say that my In-laws gang patiently endured my mistakes and mix-ups. Today they are also my biggest support group who still try out my culinary results wholeheartedly.

I now try to pass the same experience to my kids and their cousins whenever we have family gatherings. I need the kids to feel as welcome and excited to come home, just the way I did.

It’s only fair to share these wonderful delicacies with you too. So from now, this section is going to be dedicated to my entire family and we will be sharing our food with the whole world!

BulletProof Tips To Use Your Time Wisely

The clock’s ticking and you have to run. Please take a moment and breathe. We all have these panic stricken moments wherein we feel time is not sufficient to get everything done. We panic, then over react and rush things to move ahead in our daily schedule. Take a moment and re assess your life. Are you spending time for what you really require or are you simply running along with the wind? Here are a few simple tips that are going to get you on track.

Plan your day ahead

Yes, it is tiresome and at times boring to keep planning your days. You should be impulsive and have lot of –‘seize the moment’’ kind of days. However, to be consistent achiever, you need to plan your day to be productive. Prioritise what has to be done and go for it with all your passion and willpower.

Keep yourself away from unnecessary drama

Let go of things, events and situations you cannot control. No one ever has everything under control. You need to let go of the unwanted drama and emotionally draining situations. Stay away from negative people. Knowingly or unknowingly, they bring you down. That’s not what you need if you want to utilise your time wisely.

Stop focussing on your mistakes

Its human nature to make mistakes. We all make them. But you don’t need to dwell upon your mistakes. If possible learn from them. Remember what they taught you, however, forget that it happened. The past is over and gone. You have to move forward, strong and steady. Concentrate on your strengths and remember who you are. Stand-alone bravely and focus on your goals.

Keep still during chaos

Chaos is everywhere. Life is not easy or smooth always. What you can do is try keeping still and focused, in spite of the chaos around you. Try not to get involved in everything. Be aware of what is happening and ask yourself if there is a need for you to get involved. If there is no point, or if your opinion or presence does not make a difference, stay away. Save your time and energy for events that make you feel good.

Don’t spend time checking what others are doing

You need to focus on your goals. Keeping a check on what others are doing, how far they are, what they have achieved etc is not going to help you. If you are looking for inspiration, that’s great. However running a race to see who is better -now that’s not a good idea. Be happy for others when they achieve their goals. Then move further in your journey. You yourself determine your self-worth.

Set aside Me time and recharge yourself

As I always say, everyone needs some Me time. Spending some time alone has so many benefits. You feel recharged and your mind clears. Doing what is important to you makes you feel alive. Then you will see how efficiently your days progress!

Concluding note

Be that person who is in charge. Strive for perfection, however, don’t make your life all about being perfect. Cut yourself some slack and relax. Enjoy the ride while focussing on your priorities. Keep calm as you are a winner!

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