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Monday, September 19, 2016

Palm jaggery natural better alternative for diabetics

palm jaggery from kerala

I was allowed only 15 kgs on Indigo plane from cochin to mumbai on my return back home. It was mind boggling to prioritise/cancel.  I found so many precious things that I want to carry home from Kerala "Gods own country".  Nah! precious Gold metal is not one of them. If you were silently listing gold at the top as you read this, then you are mistaken. Precious metal has never been my forte. But natural palm jaggery was no.1 on my list when I visited Kerala this August. (now you can also get in speciality stores online, here is Amazon)

I may be on the path of Krishna Consciousness , on the lower rung of the stairs, but definitely in food area I am very aware what I eat, or what goes in when I prepare a dish, or when/ what time I eat, I am food conscious, or ingredient conscious, or health conscious (oh I very much enjoy fast food, fried food, and all that should be avoided but regret having it later). What I am not is a gourmet cook/chef or a nutritionist/dietician etc. I became conscious of food when life put me on the path. Knowledge changes a person. So internet and quest for knowledge changed my views on food.

Basically I rather cook from scratch than assemble store bought things or cook from a pouch. A pure simple home cooked food is best for a healthy disease free lifestyle. Google Mai, also taught me to adopt and adapt recipes to suit babies , eggless , party or diet for high blood pressure patient or any such needs that arise in a lifecycle.Whenever I visit a place I try to collect easy on the pocket, local and natural products for my home, mostly kitchen pantry ingredients. Google Mai helps me to study before hand of course :) Even when I go to grocery shopping I take a lot of time to understand the food labels and to consider before including any new item in my kitchen pantry.  My sister chides me "there she goes staring at the aisle".

I am drifting away with my banter. Back to my article on Palm Jaggery. The term SUGAR is very confusing for a diabetic person. It is like "To be, or not to be, that is the question"  by Shakespeare. As, if the diabetic opts for artificial sweeteners then it is likely to alter their gut composition and open up for more diseases. Palm jaggery is a better alternative as it has lower Glycemic Index than the table sugar and is made from simple process and has medicinal properties. Diabetes is more of a lifestyle management than taking medication.

 I am sharing the videos and links that I like as I tried to understand the ingredient  PALM JAGGERY

I enjoyed reading a detailed article on Swasti's blog on how to identify palm jaggery and different types of palm jaggery in coconut palm sugar and diabetes.

Here is article from American Diabetes Association on coconut palm sugar. 

Shunmuga sundari says "Everyone knows the fact that regular refined white sugar is harmful for health. Still people are not able to drop sugar from their diet until they get diabetes. Instead of waiting for a day when you are asked to completely avoid sugar and prescribed daily dose of medicines, start replacing refined white sugar with healthy sugar alternatives early not only for you but for your whole family" in her article Top 5 Natural Sugar substitutes.

There are many links on the benefits of palm jaggery floating on the net. I liked this the best.
I am sharing below a beautiful article (as it is) written by Jaya Ruban Joseph a blogger, experienced Civil Engineer, Quantity Surveyor & Approved Valuer (

"What is Palm Jaggery? What is Karuppatti? What are their uses
Palm Jaggery we are calling as karuppatti in Tamil is made from the extract of Palm Trees. The process of making jaggery from the plant sources, does not involve any chemical agents and hence all the natural mineral salts are retained without adding any preservatives of chemicals. Jaggery is known to have various medicinal properties and other health benefits.
It is a relatively unrefined sugar. While manufacturing processes in sugar utilizes chemicals such as sulphur dioxide, lime and other bleaching agents, jiggery is prepared in a natural way, without removing minerals. Its mineral overtones and dark syrup has the lingering complexity of taste that can make eating imperative.

Palm Jaggery is reported to have more nutritional and medicinal value than cane sugar. It is a good source of Vitamin B complex and it also contains ascorbic acid. It is delicious and has mineral salts too. During pregnancy, elders traditionally give kashayams every night from 7 month onwards to ease up the pregnancy difficulties, widely practised in Tamilnadu.
Being rich in iron, it prevents diseases like anemia and also contains essential nutrients like magnesium and potassium. Magnesium is vital for the proper functioning of the nervous systems and the potassium regulates the blood pressure and the heart functions.It purifies the blood, prevents rheumatism and bile disorders and is highly nutritious in value. Jaggery is also useful in combating problems like cough and stomach ailments like indigestion, acidity and constipation. Recent scientific research has reaffirmed the benefits of jaggery for the sensitive organs of the human body like the lungs. Consumption of jaggery is useful for those who are exposed to pollution on a regular basis like industrial workers. It has been lauded for its ability to help the human body to fight off the ill effects of pollution.
Palm jaggery is a natural sweetener and Energy Food, it is very rich in minerals, predominantly iron with traces of other mineral salts. The benefits of palm jaggery include its ability to cleanse your body, act as a digestive agent, sweeten your food in a healthy manner, provide good amounts of minerals. Highly rich in calcium.People often prepare sweets with jaggery. Particularly for naivedyam, jaggery sweets are preferred to sugar sweets. Our elders, they may not have degrees, but they do know where the ingredients come from and how they are made. They avoid sugar in naivedyam.

Jaggery, which is bought in block form, is more nutritious and healthy than regular sugar because it is unrefined, contains no preservatives or synthetic additives, and has minerals such as magnesium, potassium and iron. Jaggery contains slightly less calories than table sugar, has a higher glycemic index and is sweeter than table sugar. Mahatma Gandhi recommended jaggery as part of his vegetarian, goats milk diet. He believed that consuming jaggery instead of sugar resulted in a slower rise in blood sugar.It is highly priced due to its medicinal properties and it makes it a unique product that can be used by people of all ages. Due to its cooling effects over human body, it is of high value. It does not have the bone meal content which is used for whitening processed sugar. Palm jaggery is quite popular in the Southern states of Tamil Nadu (called Karupattivellam or panavellam), Palm Jaggery is rich in calcium, iron and other useful vitamins and minerals.

Most of the time it is given to women who give birth to a child. If the palm jaggery are given to such women, then impurities in the breast milk would disappear and baby gets the white and clean milk during breast feeding. Even in the case of milking cows, the same thing is repeated after it gives birth to a calf.

Jaggery is a healthy alternative to white sugar and is commonly known as 'medicinal sugar', because of its various health benefits. Jaggery acts as a cleansing agent for our body and effectively cleans the respiratory tracts, food pipe, lungs, stomach and intestines. It helps the body to get rid of the unwanted particles and thus provides relief from constipation. Jaggery proves as a great digestive aid and speeds up the process of digestion. Eating a few grams of jaggery after a heavy meal is often recommended for those having problems with normal digestion. In the body, jaggery activates the various digestive enzymes and itself gets converted to acetic acid, thus speeding up digestion.

Jaggery is a rich source of many vital minerals that are required by the body for normal growth and functioning. It is considered as a store house of various important minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, etc. Jaggery is used since ancient times to treat problems such as dry cough, common cold and asthma.It is beneficial in treating conditions like indigestion and constipation.Jaggery helps in promoting relaxation of muscles, nerves and blood vessels, thus enhancing their functions.

Migraines, the most painful and uncomfortable type of headaches can be relieved to a large extent by jaggery. Jaggery is a rich source of iron and is therefore, very good for anemic people, as it increases the haemoglobin level in the blood. Jaggery has strong antioxidant properties and protects our body cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Jaggery has the ability to purify blood and helps in regulating the liver function. A mixture of jaggery and dry ginger powder taken with warm water can stop hiccups. Jaggery helps in regulating blood pressure and also helps the body to get rid of all the toxins. Jaggery is loaded with many essential nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and minerals, that play a key role in many life processes.

Jaggery has potassium content that may help in reducing bloating and water retention. Jaggery used as an Ayurvedic medicine comes from palms. A quick fix medicine for common cold, cough etc, it dissolves mucus and clears the throat. Our products are manufactured under controlled conditions to ensure high quality while at the same time retaining the nutrient value, freshness and flavour.

I am sure after looking at the following videos your sugar consciousness will increase :) and is a eye opener to protect your general health from sugar. It is important to limit sugar/salt intake if a person is obese or need to watch your weight. Please leave your comments.

how sugar is manufactured in factories 

The truth and only truth about sugar 

Dangers of sugar 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Ganahoma a Lifestyle Recipe - Perform Ganahoma once a year and include meditation and yoga in routine daily life

Performing Ganahoma once a year is a must for health, prosperity, and many more things for our life. Why it is so important read on................


Both Yoga and Ganahoma has the same intention.  That is prepare the body and mind for divine connection. Yoga strengthens the body and improves concentration to receive divine connection. In Ganahoma the fire purifies and revives the senses the eyes, ears, nose and the skin, nadi shuddhi (cleansing of  the nerves), ignite the fire in brain through mantras and prepare body, soul, mind to receive divine connection.  Exactly 4 g connection to your smart phone :)  if it is done with utmost faith, dedication, devotion, with right ingredients, right technique, right priest.

Most of us may be aware of the significance of the Ganahoma as we also do know yoga and its benefits. But when we link to the spiritual side of the meditation, we can understand how advanced our ancestors and India is.  The current situation is that the west has aggressively adopted yoga into their daily life routine just like going to a gym. You walk into any gym in neighbourhood, there are group programmes on yoga, pilates, etc. Yes in India too we have many yoga studios, classes, organizations and other things, they have cropped up in India after yoga was popularized by the west. But even today in India majority of people have not yet instilled yoga in their daily life despite the many attempts of  Shri Shri Ravi Shankar and Baba Ramdev and the latest fad Mickey Mehta's 360° Wellness Temple and Shivganeshyoga bringing out good yoga teachers. I hope the central government and state governments eventually include one period as Yoga period in the school curriculum. As a Hindu major country include shlokas, yoga sutras, meditation etc. in that yoga period and make it compulsory and bring out a uniform curriculum throughout the country. This vision may be a near reality with our Prime Minister Modi himself practices yoga and supports yoga.  
After the physical yoga and spiritual meditation, the west is now following the  Indian yagnas and homas. They even have given a name for it and call it Fire Yoga. has explained the Fire Yoga here                                          

As we all know Ganahoma is a pooja to Lord Ganapathi to bless us with health, wealth and happiness, and to remove any obstacles on our way to success be it in academics, sports, business, family, new ventures, inauguration of a home or shop etc.  Asking Lord Ganesha to be present and help in any human related efforts.

T.A. Balasubramaniam in his website on homas has explained about  Ganapathi homam beautifully.

There are many types of Ganapathi homam according to Ganesha Purana like Mahaganapathi Homam, Ashta Dravya Ganapathi Homam, Sahasra Modaka Ganapathi Homam.  I could understand the spiritual connection between mind, body, soul and the dimming of the five kleshas (Avidya - ignorance, egoism - asmita, raga - attachment, aversion - dvesa and abhinivesa - fear of death as per the Samadhi Pada of the Yoga Sutras.

It is explained very well in Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple website  about how to diminish the kleshas and obtain better spiritual connection by performing Ganahoma here 

I have linked many websites and articles from the internet to share the knowledge for educational purpose only. I thank them for helping me put together this article on Ganahoma.

Konchady Vasant Pai has shared his experience of Ganahoma -  He says " In our family, it is more than a hundred years since Ganesh Chaturthi and ganahoma are performed without fail. The holy smoke acts as a fumigant, disinfecting the dwelling, and it purifies the lungs of the inhaler. As the priest chants the mantras and feeds Agni with ghee, panchakajjaYa and naivedya we experience a spiritual exhilaration."

Other than performing Ganahoma for specific purpose like housewarming, shop opening, specific health/education reasons; mostly GSB  and konkan people perform Ganahoma annually.  During Ganesh Chaturthi they bring in Ganesh idol to their homes and offer various poojas along with their family and extended families, relatives, neighbours etc. Thereafter the family and extended families disperse, after performing pooja and partaking prasad, food etc. as the Ganesha Idol is taken to Visarjan.  Usually family of four plus their extended family come together on Ganesh Chaturdashi day and take part in pooja, prasad and other celebrations. My dad's side  Nagar Nayak Trust performs one day Ganesha chaturthi on behalf of 300 plus family members (my grandfather is one of the seven brothers). The family members are strewn all across India/world due to their profession (banking,IT,Insurance etc.). Most of the family members make it a point to  reserve Ganesh Chaturthi day to visit Gangolli and partake in the poojas and celebrations of Ganesh Utsav wherever they are :)  Some of them perform in their office or trust they support. People also visit  Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav

When people cannot cannot visit their family Ganapathi due to some reasons, they perform Ganahoma at the Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav (community Ganapathi celebrations) venues. One can also perform Ganahoma at a community event or temple  Check with your local temple if they offer Ganahoma Seva.  If  you live abroad then check your respective area hindu temple online for sevas.

We performed  Ganahoma on Tuesday the second day of Ganeshotsava celebration at Wadala Ram Mandir. It has 10 day celebrations. Other seva details are here 

Another GSB venue that performs community Ganahoma is GSB Seva Mandal at which has a 24 hours various pooja service for 5 days starting from Ganesh Chaturthi day annually. The details of seva are here.

Please write in comments your experiences on Ganahoma, incidents relating to Ganahoma, more knowledge on Ganahoma pooja and traditions. This article on Ganahoma is open for corrections/additions/deletions (in comments below) You may also share your recipes of Panchakajjaya and other naivedya items. Please add your blog address for me to share articles related to Ganahoma. Here is one from Pratibha Rao, in her blog The Indian Food Court  has given detailed pictorial recipes of four Panchakajjaya according to the related festivals.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Check here to know more curry leaf benefits

curry leaves benefits click here
curry leaves info

Benny auntie's kadi patta tree in our colony

Thanks to Benny aunty I get fresh curry leaves from her tree for making Curry leaves chutney pudi and curry leaves rice. There are many recipes around the web and I will share here some of the recipes. 
  1. Curry Leaves Chutney Puddi from
  2. Curry Leaves Rice - Karuveppilai Sadam Recipe by sharmis Passions
  3. Lots of recipes like Curry Leaves Rice (two methods), sesame curry leaves podi, Garlic curry leaves podi, curry leaves powder, curry leaves chutney, curry leaves kuzhambu, curry leaves roasted gram chutney, curry leaves dip by Kamalascorner
  4. Curry leaves chutney by Indianhealthy recipes
  5. Curry leaves chutney by Veg recipes of India

Here are some recipes using curry leaves for tempering or garnishing (includes information on curry leaves, storage etc. and scroll down for recipes using curry leaves)

 An International (australian) website for ingredients of the world has many recipes on curry leaves
 BBC Food Curry leaves recipes
Here are some tips and videos on growing curry leaves in your balcony or container garden.  Just like sage, rosemary, mint and other herbs, curry leaves is one of the ingredient in Indian herb garden. (how to grow curry leaf plant/tree in a pot or a container) (Varieties like regular, dwarf and gamthi curry leaf plants)

Curry leaves are a versatile and important kitchen ingredient.  It has medicinal properties and is helpful in controlling/curing conditions like Diabetes, Cholesterol and used for skin and hair care

Check this video for a weight management recipe
Ayurhealth has lot of Home Remedies using Curry Leaves

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

a gluten free dinner

Jowar bajre ki roti recipe

Beet Detox Soup

Ghosale upkari

Honey, wine, spice poached pears,-honey-and-spices.html (i used moscato wine)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mixed Vegetable Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce. Healthy, Yummy, Easy, Nutritious, Fiber, Less Oil, cholesterol, diabetes friendly, Kid friendly

Hey peeps today I made a ultimate healthy breakfast and want to share with you the original recipe and how I tweaked it to be Indianised. I succeeded in making the breakfast wholesome, filling, fat free but at the same time yummy. Believe me it turned out to be one finger licking dish without processed cheese.  To make it kid friendly add grated natural cheese :)

For the Mixed Vegetable Pasta recipe adapted from

Ingredients for mixed vegetable Pasta:
  • Pasta 100 gms (I used 100 gms shell instead of 200 gms for 2 ppl)
  • Capsicum - 1 green (u can add whatever pasta suitable veggies are with you no hard and fast rule for this)
  • Cauliflower - 50 gm
  • beans - 50 gm
  • carrots - 50 gm
  • mushrooms - 50 gms
  • beetroot - 1 small
  • tomato - 1 medium
  • onion - 1 large 
  • extra virgin olive oil -  3 tsp (1stp to boil the pasta and 2 tsp for jeera tadka)
  • cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • coriander stalks 
  • salt 

Boil the pasta as per manufacturers instructions or follow boiling pasta instructions only.

Then heat a kadai/wok/pan and add one tsp oil, put in cumin seeds, after it splutters add chopped onion and saute.  When the onions are translucent add veggies sauteing gap of two secs each capsicum, mushroom, tomato, carrots, beans, beetroot, cauliflower.  Depending your need for crunchiness saute the veggies, when done add  boiled pasta, salt and chopped coriander stalks switch off and keep it aside. (no ajinomoto, no soy, chilliflakes, oregano, Italian herbs you can add if you want more spicy and Italian :)

For the Pumpkin Sauce I adapted recipe from I adapted from

Ingredients for Pumpkin Pasta:
  • Boiled pumpkin puree - 1 cup (pressure cook pumpkin and mash it)
  • 1/2 cup milk (i reconstituted smp 1 tbsp)
  • garlic cloves - 5  minced
  • cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • extra virgin olive oil - 1 tsp
  • cumin seed - 1 tsp 
  • water as required 
  • pepper powder 
  • salt 

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, splutter cumin and then add minced garlic and cook till lightly browned and add pumpkin puree, add little water (2 tblsp)  and bring it to boil, simmer down add milk and simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add salt and pepper.  Check for consistency, if it is too thick add some water, simmer for some more time and remove from heat. Pumpkin sauce for pasta is ready.

To serve Mixed vegetable pasta with Pumpkin Sauce; take a bowl add some mixed veggie pasta and then ladle some some over it.  You can add cheese for children or tweak according to your taste. 

This recipe is diabetic, cholesterol, cancer, convalescence friendly can be converted to totally vegan recipe if you follow original.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


This is ma own recipe, Actually i prepared kharwas using readymade pow packets available in markets. But by mistake i added little more quantity of sugar to it. So it became too sweet. Suddenly i have got an idea. And i made dis dessert by adding some more ingredients. And the result is too good. So , i thought i will share this recipe with ma frenzz...and the name was suggested by cousin Sahana Shenoy who is talented in every field. A biggggg thanx to her for suggesting a cute name for this dessert:))))))))))
To make kharwas(posu):-
colostrum pow- 100gm
raw pkt milk - 1/2 ltr
sugar- 150 gms
cardomom pow-lil
To make Choco Nutty Kharwas:-
Kharwas- as instructed above
ghee - 3 tsp
cashew nuts - few
cocoa pow- 3 tsp
horlicks pow- 1 1/2 tsp
paper cups -5
cherries - 5
How to make kharwas:-
Mix colostrum pow+ sugar+ elaichi pow. Mix thoroughly without lumps.Boil  10 - 15 mins with steam.
Discard the water in kharwas. Smash it and keep it aside. In a kadai, put ghee+cashew nuts. fry till cashewnuts are lil brown in colour. Now add kharwas+coca pow+ horlicks pow and mix well. Continue stirring till ghee leaves the sides of the dish. Switch of the stove. let it cool. Now put it in paper cups and decorate it with cherries on top.
HAPPY COOKING:)))))))))))))

Friday, September 28, 2012


100gm dark chocolate
300gm sugar
150 gm thick cream
 Break chocolate into pieces and melt it using just sufficient heat to gently melt it.
Stir it as it is melting.
Meanwhile combine the sugar with the cream and then whip the cream till it is foamy.
When the chocolate is melted fold it in the whipped cream.
Spoon the mixture into the glasses and place the glasses into d fridge about an hour before serving.

HAPPY COOKING:)))))))))))))