Showing posts with label know your ingredient. Show all posts
Showing posts with label know your ingredient. Show all posts

Friday, April 25, 2014

What’s on your plate ? A Giveaway

….. and  an insight into organic farming.


Congratulations to Ram Narain for winning the giveaway. Please send me your mailing address : turmeric53@gmail.com, will have Wholesum Harvest mail you your chef knife. Thanks Mike from Wholesum Harvest, I really appreciate your generosity. Thanks to everyone who participated. Unfortunately we can only pick one winner. The winner was picked by Wholesum Harvest from a random drawing. 
#Hummus, #RedPepperHummus, #SpicyHummus, #OrganicFarming, #WhatIsOnYourPlate, #FoodPhotography

A big thanks to Mike from Wholesum Harvest for the generous giveaway for TNS readers. A little while back I started a series on TNS ( read here ) called What’s on my plate? The purpose was to understand the foods we eat and where it comes from. There is no better way to find out then to reach out to a farmer. After the last post we got quite a few queries about growing organic produce. So this post will be all about organic farming. Over to Mike ….

Organic farming methods combine scientific knowledge of ecology and modern technology with traditional farming practices based on naturally occurring biological processes.

Organic farming relies heavily on the natural breakdown of organic matter using techniques like composting to replace nutrients taken from the soil by previous crops. This biological process, driven by microorganisms, allows the natural production of nutrients in the soil throughout the growing season, and has been referred to as feeding the soil to feed the plant. 
Organic farmers integrate biological and mechanical tactics to manage weeds without synthetic herbicides.  Other practices used to reduce weed pressure includes selection of competitive crop varieties, high-density planting, tight row spacing, and late planting into warm soil to encourage rapid crop germination.

#Hummus, #RedPepperHummus, #SpicyHummus, #OrganicFarming, #WhatIsOnYourPlate, #FoodPhotography
For pest control, organic growers encourage predatory beneficial insects to control pests.  They also plant companion crops and pest-repelling plants that discourage or divert pests.  In addition, they use insect traps to monitor and control insect populations.
A key characteristic of organic farming is the rejection of genetically engineered plants.  All USDA Certified Organic produce is grown from seeds that are not genetically modified.
Since 1990 the market for organic food and other products has grown rapidly, reaching $63 billion worldwide in 2012.  This demand has driven a similar increase in organically managed farmland which has grown over the years 2001-2011 at a rate of 8.9% per annum.  As of 2011, approximately 91,000,000 acres worldwide were farmed organically, representing approximately 0.9 percent of total world farmland,
#Hummus, #RedPepperHummus, #SpicyHummus, #OrganicFarming, #WhatIsOnYourPlate, #FoodPhotography
That was really insightful…makes one think. What are we really eating ? Sometime it worries me, not so much for myself but for the next generation. We grew up plucking fruits from  trees and playing outside in the hot sun. These kids know none of this. I remember when ‘finally teen’ was a toddler I would walk her to the park and she would be so excited to go and play, unfortunately there would be no one in the park. Most days, both of us would feel so lonely and we would come back with an unanswered question, “ where are the kids?” play dates was the only way to have her socialize with other kids. I don’t know if it is a Midwest thing or across the globe. In the pursuit of sophistication and betterment we have lost the essence of who we are. This is my 2 cents worth. Now over to some exciting news….
#GiveAway

A Giveaway : Wholesum Harvest has generously decided to giveaway  a Porsche chefs knife - all stainless steel. I won this last year in a photography challenge and love it. I use it everyday. It’s worth $200, so that’s really generous of them. It’s open to all bloggers and non-bloggers residing in the US. All you need to do is… 

Like WH on Facebook and follow them on Pinterest.
Like TNS on Facebook or Twitter  and follow on Pinterest

Leave a comment that you did so and you are all set. You can leave multiple comments.  One winner will be selected by a random drawing by WH and announced here on May15th. Another sneak peek at the knife.

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What’s on my plate ?

Congratulations to the winners of the giveaway : 
Lail With A Spin
Pavani N from Cook's Hideout
Prajusha Vinod
Hamaree Rasoi
Mayur Dave
Watch out for the next giveaway from Wholesum…..something tells me it’s going to be a big one ;)
#FreshProduce #FreshTomatoes
Photography by Simi Jois 

#OrganicProduce
Photography by Simi Jois 

I have never been a health fanatic, I love food and believe that cooking is not a rocket science, anyone can do it. You need good quality ingredients, a recipe and some creativity. That’s all there is to cooking. I do ponder about the quality of my ingredients. We are what we eat, there is no need to examine everything we eat under a microscope, but we do need to keep a watch on what we put in our mouth and where it’s coming from. As a mother, I feel am responsible for what I put on the table. I have always enjoyed cooking with ‘wholesum’, organic and local produce and love going to the farmer’s market every summer. As I get older I worry about all the things that we eat but do not see. The pesticides, the chemicals…is the water really washing it off, what effects will it have? It frankly scares me. I am always torn between buying organic vs regular produce and definitely price is a big influencer. Sometimes organic produce is more than double the price of regular produce, why? am I paying too much?
I am collaborating with Wholesum Harvest to try and answer these questions, both for myself and my readers. There is no better way to find out then to reach out to organic farmers. I am going to do a series called: What’s on my plate? The purpose is to understand what we eat and where it comes from. This is NOT a sponsored post. If you would like to know more about organic produce and have questions, leave me a comment or send me an email.

Who is Wholesum Harvest? 

Wholesum Harvest Family Farms is a third-generation family farm that has grown safe, wholesum food for 80 years. Am not going to say anything more, watch the video below




For the GIVEAWAY read on….


Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, December 13, 2013

Old Fashioned Gingerbread

#GingerBread #OldFashionedGingerBread #QuickAndEasyGingerBread

#GingerBread #OldFashionedGingerBread #QuickAndEasyGingerBread
Super easy and packed with flavor is written all over this bread. Actually it’s more like a cake. It is not like the conventional bread, it’s a bread disguised as a cake. Not every dessert lives up to this reputation.  I still remember my last year’s soufflé  that fell apart. My nephew was visiting and he has quite a sweet tooth to say the least and you know ‘finally teen’ can live on dessert and honey, that might have been reason enough to try a new dessert, but it was also the holidays, so there was more than one reason to indulge. We were excited anticipating a French delicacy. I don’t know what went wrong, we had such terrible soufflé, it was probably, not probably but surely the worse thing I have ever made. So much so that even the name soufflé evokes very strong emotions lol! But fear not am not going to be baking an exotic delicacy, am going to stick to SIMPLE. This old fashioned gingerbread is easy and most of the ingredients are already in your pantry…almost as good as mix and bake. If you are going to go and buy the boxed ready version of this am going to personally come over and make you bake this… ! With a cup of coffee or mulled wine it is d e v i n e.  I did not just tell you that I made a meal out of this (sheepishly) 
Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sambhar Spice Blend


Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mystic Masala - Part 1

Show and Tell : what's in your spice rack ?



I spy a lot of exotic spices in my spice rack... I love to roast them, mix them, and grind them, and there is magic right there in the kitchen!! The mix of spices is usually referred as a masala - it can be a dry powder or a wet paste.

I have been planning to write this post for a while now, and if you have been a regular on TNS you will know the reason why I have not done so - p-r-o-c-r-a-s-t-i-n-a-t-i-o-n! My middle name, if you please... :) Well, with a few prompts and requests from some readers, here it is!! This is definitely a text heavy post, so if you want to get your coffee, do so now or forever hold your peace... Let me know your feed back so I know if a post like this one is appreciated by you guys. So be open and speak your mind. Thank you!

An Indian kitchen, as some of my friends tell me, is one of  the most exotic as far as spices are concerned. Spices are a part of our lives - in our food, teas, drinks and even desserts. Some have medicinal properties too and are used as home remedies for common ailments.

Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kulfi - bite size



Hope you had a colorful Holi. Holi always takes me back to my days in Lucknow (India), when I was in middle school.. Hiding in the house, anticipating that my friends will catch me and drench me in color,  and then eventually when I was a colorful mess, to walk around the neighborhood, the sweets, the colors, the dholak and finally to get back home and clean the mess, followed by a nice meal and a long nap. Bliss!! The only deterrent  to all the fun was that Holi is almost always in March and so was our final exams.....and for those of you who have  been schooled in India, you know what final exams mean - endless hours of you know what :(. We would always get permission to play holi for two hours and somehow  the two would become multiple hours. Those were the good old days when cellphone was not yet invented, or maybe was invented but not a part of our household. Eventually we would get back home and get 'the stare' from mom ......it was all worth it !! 

Festival are all about togetherness, fun and food!! Desserts being a big part of the celebrations. This year I made kulfi - bite size, the reason for the bite size is that I love kulfi and you know what they say- a moment  in the mouth, forever on the hips. :)


Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, March 5, 2012

Vegetable balls in curry - Kofta

Indian curries have always been exotic - they are becoming increasingly popular. Almost a staple in the United Kingdom - Chiken tikka masala being the national dish now. Don't blame them for falling in love with the rich mosaic of exotic spices. The varieties and blends are innumerable - from galouti kababs to tikka masala to koftas to chettinad to  .............. I have not even started talking about the bread, biryani, starters, snacks, chutneys and dips......oh the list is endless! And like true art - each curry is different, even the same recipe, cooked by the same person on a different day will taste different - and that is why cooking is an art form - no two paintings can be alike - even though it has been done by the same artist. For me,that is what makes it so much more fun, that is also my reason to dislike not limit myself to the boxed/bottled curry paste - which is so predictable. I must confess I have been guilty of using them - but have almost always regretted it.

This is originally a recipe from my mother, which I have altered a bit - these koftas are great with , naan, rotis or just plane pilaf. Some plain yogurt and hot papads and you got a best seller there.

Remember I was talking about  'know our ingredient' - read here - featuring  'starr anise' in this post. But first the  kofta.


Print Friendly and PDF

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The ABCs of life

We are what we eat - indeed to a great extent. There is plenty of debate around the subject of inherited genes and the deficiencies that come with it. Well, that is something that can be under our control - but we can try and control the things we can !!Cooking is not all about taste and presentation  it a fine balance between taste and health benefits. 

For my own benefit I thought I would research on the deficiencies and efficiencies of what we eat. So it makes me a better cook and eat healthier - well none of us are getting younger :( so here is what I have been reading and learning.


This is not a comprehensive list and in no way a recommendation for any health issues - please consult your health provider for any health related diet. This is my learning from my own reading which I want to share.


Vitamins are organic compounds which are needed in small quantities to sustain life. It can be  fat soluble or water soluble.


The fat-soluble vitamins  A, D, E, and K — dissolve in fat and can be stored in your body.


The water-soluble vitamins — C and the B-complex vitamins (such as vitamins B6, B12, niacin, riboflavin, and folate) — need to dissolve in water before your body can absorb them.  The body can't store these vitamins. So you need a fresh supply of these vitamins every day.


Minerals minerals are inorganic elements that come from the soil and water and are absorbed by plants or eaten by animals. Like calcium.


VITAMIN A Vitamin A prevents eye problems, promotes a healthy immune system, is essential for the growth and development of cells, and keeps skin healthy.


Found in :  milk, eggs, liver, fortified cereals, darkly colored orange or green vegetables (such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and kale), and orange fruits such as cantaloupe, apricots, peaches, papayas, and mangos.


VITAMIN C needed to form collagen, a tissue that helps to hold cells together. Helps promote healthy bones, teeth, gums, and blood vessels. It helps the body absorb iron and calcium, aids in wound healing, and contributes to brain function.


Found in : red berries, tomatoes, kiwi, red and green bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, and juices made from guava, grapefruit, and orange.

VITAMIN D strengthens bones because it helps the body absorb bone-building calcium.

Found In sunlight on your skin! You can also get vitamin D from egg yolks, fish oils, and fortified foods like milk

VITAMIN E antioxidant and helps protect cells from damage. Promotes  healthy  red blood cells. Not to mention it is great for your skin.

Found in vegetable oils, nuts, and green leafy vegetables, avocados, wheat germ, and whole grains.

VITAMIN B 12, B6, Thiamin (B1), Niacin ( B3) Riboflavin (B2) and Folate : Vitamin B12 helps to make red blood cells and helps nerve cell function.

Vitamin B6 is important for brain and nerve function. It  helps the body break down proteins and make red blood cells.

Thiamin helps the body convert carbohydrates into energy and is necessary for the heart, muscles, and nervous system to function effectively.

Niacin helps the body turn food into energy. It helps maintain healthy skin :):)

Riboflavin is essential for turning carbohydrates into energy and producing red blood cells and great for your eyes.

Folate help make rbc and dna. great for your joints.

Found in potatoes, bananas, beans, seeds, nuts, red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, spinach, and fortified cereals, dried beans, soy food,  peas, whole grains like wheat germ, peanuts, legumes (like peas and lentils),  dairy products, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, asparagus and rice.   Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, February 3, 2012

Know your ingredient

I am planning to start a new category - Know your ingredient. A pursuit to learn and share more about the ingredient.

When I step inside the grocery store am always mesmerised by the variety on hand.....a lot of times confused, trying to understand the subtle difference between 2 brands/products or multiple variations of the same product. I end up coming home and researching about the product and then going back to pick it up. I was thinking it is a good idea to document my learning and to share it too. What do you guys think?? If you  have something to contribute I will love to learn and share and will link the post to your blog. Leave me a msg or send me a email at turmeric53@gmail.com with the subject - KNOW YOUR INGREDIENT.  The post could be exclusively about the ingredient or part of a recipe. Thank you and looking forward for your feedback.  Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The ABCs of life

We are what we eat - indeed to a great extent. There is plenty of debate around the subject of inherited genes and the deficiencies that come with it. Well, that is something that is not under our control - but there are things that we CAN control!! For example, what we eat. Cooking is not all about taste and presentation - it a fine balance between taste and health benefits.


Over the past few months, I have benefited from understanding the good (and bad) of what we eat and I thought I would share my findings/learning with you. It makes me a better cook – one who cooks a good blend of health and taste.

This is not a comprehensive list and in no way a recommendation for any health issues - please consult your health provider for any health related diet. This is my learning from my own reading which I want to share.

Vitamins are organic compounds which are needed in small quantities to sustain life. It can be fat soluble or water soluble.

The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K — dissolve in fat and can be stored in your body.

The water-soluble vitamins — C and the B-complex vitamins (such as vitamins B6, B12, niacin, riboflavin, and folate) — need to dissolve in water before your body can absorb them. The body can't store these.  Your body  need a fresh supply of these vitamins every day.

Minerals minerals are inorganic elements that come from the soil and water and are absorbed by plants or eaten by animals. Like calcium.

VITAMIN A Vitamin A prevents eye problems, promotes a healthy immune system, is essential for the growth and development of cells, and keeps skin healthy.

Found in : milk, eggs, liver, fortified cereals, darkly colored orange or green vegetables (such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and kale), and orange fruits such as cantaloupe, apricots, peaches, papayas, and mangos.

VITAMIN D strengthens bones because it helps the body absorb bone-building calcium.

Found In sunlight on your skin! You can also get vitamin D from egg yolks, fish oils, and fortified foods like milk

VITAMIN E antioxidant and helps protect cells from damage. Promotes healthy red blood cells. Not to mention it is great for your skin.

Found in vegetable oils, nuts, and green leafy vegetables, avocados, wheat germ, and whole grains.

VITAMIN K helps blood clot.


Found in beef liver, green tea, turnip greens, broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, asparagus, and dark green lettuce.

VITAMIN B 12, B6, Thiamin (B1), Niacin ( B3) Riboflavin (B2) and Folate :

Vitamin B12 helps to make red blood cells and helps nerve cell function.

Vitamin B6 is important for brain and nerve function. It helps the body break down proteins and make red blood cells.

Thiamin helps the body convert carbohydrates into energy and is necessary for the heart, muscles, and nervous system to function effectively.

Niacin helps the body turn food into energy. It helps maintain healthy skin :):)

Riboflavin is essential for turning carbohydrates into energy and producing red blood cells and great for your eyes.

Folate help make rbc and dna. great for your joints.

Found in potatoes, bananas, beans, seeds, nuts, red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, spinach, and fortified cereals, dried beans, soy food, peas, whole grains like wheat germ, peanuts, legumes (like peas and lentils), dairy products, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, asparagus and rice.

VITAMIN C needed to form collagen, a tissue that helps to hold cells together. Helps promote healthy bones, teeth, gums, and blood vessels. It helps the body absorb iron and calcium, aids in wound healing, and contributes to brain function.


Found in : red berries, tomatoes, kiwi, red and green bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, and juices made from guava, grapefruit, and orange.

Sources : http://www.umm.edu , http://kidshealth.org, http://www.nlm.nih.gov, http://www.webmd.com

Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, February 1, 2010

Art For Our Soul


“Laughter is brightest where food is best.”
Irish proverb.

Food and humor can change the way we look at the ups and downs of life. Often times when we are down or tired, the smell of familiar dishes can perk us up, giving such food the privilege of being called ‘soul food’. For centuries now, food has been considered ‘Prana’- energy,……energy for the mind, energy for the body and energy for the soul. There has consistently been a stress on freshly cooked food, as stale or stored or reheated food is considered to have lost its “prana”.

Always appealing to our five senses,cooking food is by itself an energizer. There are certain smells, herbs, spices and flavors that brings out our innermost feelings.The very thought of cooking gets many of us visualizing the dish, just as some of us remember it merely through taste. Food is the common thread that binds borders, time, age and brings people together .

Modern machines, processed and canned food, have taken the art(and heart) out of cooking, most have started to believe that merely mixing ingredients can make a dish, and earnestly ask for a recipe, which no doubt does create a dish but not necessarily a tasty palette licking one. Paints, brushes and canvas, on their own mean nothing much, use them in harmony and you have created Art….We apply the same to food and blend our grains and spices to create ……
Art For Our Soul.!




"Yaa Devii Sarva Bhooteshu Kshudhaa Roopena Samsthita
Namastasyai Namastasyai Namastasyai Namo Namaha"

“I bow again and again to the Goddess, who dwells in all creatures in the form of appetite”

Welcome to Turmeric n Spice.
We hope you enjoy this art as much as we do. Print Friendly and PDF

Stumble it !

Related Posts with Thumbnails
 
SITE DESIGN BY DESIGNER BLOGS