Dear Readers,This is festive season. Aftyer Karva Chauth it is Ahoi Ashtami tomorrow, and then will come the five day long Diwali festival.
Ahoi Ashtami falls just after 4 days of karwa Chauth. This year Ahoi Ashthami will be observed on November, 5th. On this auspicious day women keep fast for the long life and well wishing of their kids. Diwali falls just after a week after Ahoi Ashthami.
Diwali or Deepawali is populaly known as Festival of Lights. It is a five day long festival that starts with Dhanteras, and is followed by Choti Diwali (Narak Chaudas), Diwali, Govardhan Pooja (Padeva) and Bhai dooj. As per Lunar calender Diwali falls on the dark night (Amavasya) of Kartik month.
Upcoming festivals are-
Ahoi Ashtami is on November 5th
Dhanteras is on November 10th
Narak Chaudas is on November 11th
Diwali is on November 12th
Annakoot/ Padwa will be on November 13th
And Bhai Dooj is on November November 15th
For this festive season make some delicious snacks for evening tea for your guests. Some ideas to make festive food-, rich curries, paneer delicacies, different variety of Indian breads, rice delicacies etc…
There is a tradition to make some Indian sweets and snacks in advance for bhog and also to share with friends and family. One can make a variety of laddus, barfi, halwa, mathri, and a lot of other stuff as per time, taste, and budget. Some common sweet and savory snacks which can be prepared in advance are
Aaate gond ke laddu
Happy Diwali !
Lauki, Ghiya, Kaddu, Doodhi, Bottle Gourd and here in America it is also called Squash. One vegetable and so many different names. Lauki contains about 96% water. It is rich in dietary fibers and is also a good source of vitamin B and contains iron as well. Lauki is one of the lightest vegetables and is easy to digest. Lauki is an integral part of Satvik food. The holy month Sawan is going on and we often eat light food in this auspicious month. Lauki is an integral part of Satvik meals. Read more about Lauki Recipes
Organizing anything is an art! Everyone likes organized stuff; it is pleasing on the eyes and makes things easier. Here I am going to talk about the art of organizing pantry or kitchen shelves. We can organize the kitchen within our budget. We don't need to invest a lot to be organized. Here I am sharing the pictures of my pantry, where I have organized the things as per my needs. You can get some ideas from these pictures and organize your pantry as per your requirements. Read more about Pantry Organization
The auspicious month of Saawan started on July 4th. Saawan is considered as a holy month as per Hindu lunar calender and falls mostly in July. It is monsoon time in India. During this month, devotees pray to Lord Shiva. Many people observe a fast on Saawan Mondays and eat a single simple satvik meal. Satvik meals are made without onion and garlic, and with minimal spices. Here is a simple meal idea for Monday fasting. This has green vegetables like sweet and sour Zucchini, lauki ki sabji, makhane ki kheer and roti.
Dear All, after a long wait finally my book Health, Taste, and Traditions- A vegetarian journey from ayurveda to modern times, is now available in the USA. Link to order the book from Amazon.com Please do read the book and share your comments.
Namak pare are traditional deep-fried savory preparations from Marwari /Rajasthani cuisine. Namak is the Hindi word for salt and pare are stripes, so namakpare are stripe shaped savory snacks. Here we are making small/ mini namakpare instead of long stripes. To make namakpare, dough is made with flour, salt and carom seeds (ajwain). Some kind of fat (ghee/oil) is also added in the dough to make the namakpare crisp as well as flaky. Read more...
Fruits and vegetables are natural sources of vitamins, minerals, fibers and antioxidants. The World Health Organization recommends having 4-5 portions of fruits and vegetables every day. Indian nutritionists also advice to have a half percent of fruits and one percent of vegetables of your body weight daily to get a healthy life. It means if your body weight is 60Kg then you should have 600 grams of vegetables and 300 grams of fruit every day. To get all sorts of nutrients and vitamins Read more...
Daliya, known as cracked wheat in English, is a good source of fiber. Gulab Daliya is a delicious preparation for cracked wheat porridge. This can be served for breakfast, or as a dessert, or even as a complete light meal. Daliya is also a good choice if you are looking for something light. Read more...
My name is Shuchi. I was born and raised in India. Now I have been living outside India for almost two decades. While living on three different continents, I have noticed a growing interest in vegetarian and vegan cuisine, as well as healthy ways to cook food. However, I have also realized that there is a lot of unfamiliarity surrounding these topics. During my four years in France, people would often ask, "How do vegetarians get all the essential nutrients?" Some people thought that vegetarian food was boring and monotonous, while others wanted to include more vegetarian options in their routine meals but did not know many healthy and delicious recipes. All these questions and curiosity encouraged me to test and write about traditional vegetarian Indian recipes.
I hold a master's degree in botanical sciences and have studied health, ethnobotany, plant-based nutrition, and digestion at Cornell University, USA. Since my cooking journey started in France, I have given a French name to my website. The words “Chez Shuchi” means "From Shuchi's place". Read more...
Eid is on April 21st/22nd, a festival of joy after the holy month of Ramadan’s fasting. Back home we used to have grand feast at our friends' place and they never forgot to set a vegetarian corner for us. Here are some special desserts for Eid from our part of the world.
Happy Eid !!!
Muzaffar is an Avadhi cuisine. Sevaiyon ka Muzaffar is made for the auspicious occasion of Eid. In this recipe very thin vermicelli is fried in pure ghee (along with nuts, and then cooked in milk and sugar syrup. The aroma of saffron, kewada (screw pine) water and cardamoms give this dessert a distinct flavor. Read more...
Curd rice is a highly favored delicacy in South India, also referred to as dahi bhaat in North India. The preparation of curd rice is a breeze, making it a hassle-free dish to make. In North India, curd rice often fails to appeal to people due to the perception that it is a plain and uninspiring dish. However, I have come up with a desi tadka that elevates the simple curd rice and transforms Read more...
I am happy to share the News that wait is over and my English book "Health, Taste, and Traditions: A Vegetarian Journey From Ayurveda to Modern Times" is now available on Amazon! The book has several articles combining the principles of Ayurveda and the latest scientific research, with over 80 delicious and nourishing recipes with ayurvedic references. Please reserve your copy and share the news with your family and friends 🙏
Link to order book from Amazon
Link to order book from Publishers site
Pineapple a delicious and healthy tropical fruit loaded with nutrients. It is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C, along with some other vitamins and minerals. Pineapple is also known to have antioxidants which reduce the risk of chronic diseases. This delectable pineapple curry is sweet and sour in flavor and has been made with coconut milk and very few spices. Read more...
Cabbage, carrot, and peas are good source of vitamins and minerals and dietary fibers. Cabbage belongs to the same family as cauliflower, broccoli, mustard etc. They are all winter vegetables. In winters, along with cabbage, one can also find carrots and peas in vegetable markets.This is an easy to cook, light vegetable preparation. This dish is vegan, Vaishnava, and healthy for diabetics as this does not have complex carbohydrates. read more...
Protein is one of the most talked about topics these days. People are often concerned about their protein intake. Many people think that vegetarians don’t get enough protein. Specially, those who have recently quit meat and moved over to a vegetarian diet have concerns about their protein intake.
Protein is a macro-nutrient which plays a critical role in the body and is essential for our health. It is required for growth of muscles, tissues, bones etc. It is also required for the healthy growth of nails and hair. Protein is made of a chain of ~20 different amino acids. While our body synthesizes some of these amino acids, it cannot synthesize nine amino acids; these 9 are classified as essential amino acids - and these are what we need from our diet. Protein is present in meat, milk, eggs as well as plant-based diets.
1. Foods having complete protein - are foods which have all the essential (i.e., nine) amino acids. Most meats, poultry, eggs and milk (dairy products) have complete protein. Soybean also has complete protein.
2. Foods having incomplete proteins- are those which have one or more than one amino acid missing from the protein. Most lentils, beans, nuts etc. are sources of incomplete protein.
3. Foods having complementary proteins- when two or more than two foods having incomplete proteins are eaten together, they compensate for each other’s missing amino acids and together provide all the 9 essential amino acids. Such a combination is categorized as having complementary protein. Some examples are rice and beans, wheat bread with peanut butter, lentils with bread etc.
In Indian food there is a whole range of food items eaten in combinations which provide complementary proteins. For example- daal chawal, rajma chawal, chole chawal, idli sambhar, badam ka doodh (milk with almonds) , raita, roti with lentils, roti with mangaudi ki sbaji etc. The list is long!
Sesame seeds are extremely nutritious. Sesame seeds come in white, black or light brown varieties. Black sesame seeds are considered as more nutritious, but the white variety is more popular. Unhulled (with outer skin) seeds are more nutritious than the hulled seeds since they can have upto two times calcium than that in the hulled seeds. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and a variety of vitamins. The picture shows unhulled white sesame.
Patra, also known as pataude (पतौड़े) in some regions of India, is a very popular steam cooked snack. This dish is made with Colocasia leaves (in Hindi the leaves are known as arbi ke patte). Patra is a low-calorie delicacy - it is steam cooked and then sautéed. Patras are usually served as appetizers. I am really thankful to my mother in law who shared this recipe and taught me how to make it and made it for us when we were visiting India....read more...
Dear Readers, my first book about healthy living and healthy eating, having many articles about Ayurved, scientific research based nutrition and 84 traditional healthy vegetarian Indian recipes has now been published. The book is in Hindi. We are hoping to have the English version in the near future. Here is Amazon India link to buy the book. .
The book can be ordered from following sites-
The most traditional and delicious Indian Mithai made with mainly wheat flour, ghee (clarified butter) and sugar without using any artificial ingredients. Try making Atte ke Laddu, Shakarpare, Aate ka halwa, and Choorma!
ChezShuchi website and Shuchi have been profiled in a variety of online magazines, newspapers, websites, forums, and social media platforms. You can read a variety of articles on Ayurveda, healthy living, healthy eating habits, gardening, spices and many more topics.read more...
Bajra, also known as pearl millet, is rich in carbohydrates and protein. It also has minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. Cheela is a Hindi word for fine pan cakes made with lentil paste or flours. This dish can be served for the breakfast or even as a brunch. I have added some vegetables in this preparation to make it healthier and tastier. This is a vaishnav and vegan dish. Try out this easy to make recipe... read more...
Many of my readers have trouble finding the best blender or mixer for Indian cooking in USA and Canada (110 volts). This article is an attempt to detail my experiences with a similar exploration. For a family in a new geography, alongside many other challenges, a small but a regular kitchen challenge has been that of finding the perfect Mixer or/and Blender...
Loading a dishwasher is not rocket science but loading it correctly can save your time and consumption of water, as well as result in cleaner dishes. Here are a few things I have experienced and learned over time about loading the dishwasher....
Vaishnav refers to one who is related with Lord Vishnu. As per mythology, Vaishnav food is that which is loved by gods. There are three main categories of food-
Vaishnav food is considered as Satvik food. A satvik diet is based on fruits, dairy products if the cow is fed and milked in the right conditions, nuts, seeds, vegetables, legumes, whole grains etc.
Vaishnav food is vegetarian but does not include onion and garlic. In India, in most of the states, food which is prepared for offering to gods does not have onion and garlic.
There are several stories behind this exclusion. One version is that at one time fruits and vegetables were being served to gods. However, onion and garlic were left underground and were not the part of offering. From that time on they are not considered as auspicious.
Mangaudi papad ki sabji is a very popular Rajasthani preparation. Mangaudis are small sun dried lentil dumplings made with moong lentils. Mangaudi is a very common element in Marwadi Cuisine - many dishes can be made with mangaudi, such as Mangaudi ki tehri (a rice dish), mangaudi ki kadhi etc. You can either make mangaudies at home or buy them from grocery stores....
Chutney ke aloo is very North Indian dish. This is a very popular chaat item from Kanpur. Small boiled potatoes soaked in spicy coriander chutney - that's all it is, sounds so simple; yet very pungent and yummyyyyyy......
Samosas are one of the most popular Indian snacks known all over the world. These are triangular shaped patties stuffed with spicy potatoes. For samosa chaat, crushed samosa is placed on top of a bed of cooked chickpeas and garnished with smooth yogurt, sweet-n-sour tamarind chutney, and green chutney. Now this yummy chaat is garnished with crispies and chopped coriander leaves.read more...
Dal chawal, roti, and sabji is a perfect, healthy, balanced, delicious, 600 calories meal. This vegetarian food platter is a staple in North India. It has a combination of protein, carbohydrate, vitamin, minerals etc. In North India most families have a similar food platter in one of their meals. This lunch platter which usually consists of - a variety of dal(lentil/beans)... read more...
Dear readers, growing vegetables at home is becoming popular these days. There are plenty of reasons as to why people like to grow things in their own garden....Some people worry about the use of chemicals/ pesticides in vegetables and fruits, while others like to be close to nature, and find it relaxing to work in the garden. Some enthusiasts also grow rare and hard to find vegetables.... Whatever may be your reasons for thinking about growing your own vegetables; it should be fun for you, and not a chore...
Basil can be easily grown at home. You can start by planting basil seeds or can plant a baby plant directly. Basil seeds as well as plants can be easily found in most of the nurseries in spring season. One can plant basil in the ground or in pots. Basil is a summer plant and it cannot tolerate even a light frost.....
Lauki, Ghiya, Kaddu, Doodhi, Bottle Gourd and here in America it is also called as Squash. One vegetable and so many different names. Bottle gourds contains about 96% water. They are rich in dietary fibers, and are also a good source of vitamin B and contain iron as well. Bottle gourd is one of the lightest vegetable and it is very easy to digest...
These Idlies are steam cooked savory cakes of fermented batter of Semolina (sooji/ rava ). Usually in South India Idlies are served with chutneys for the breakfast. This is an ideal meal for kid's lunch boxes. You can also put some coconut chutney. Add your kids favorite fruits and sweet!
Italian cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines around the world. The words bring to mind the world of pizza, pastas, ravioli, spaghetti, delicious breads, salads, mouth watering cakes, pastries, coffee .