Thursday, May 24, 2007

Get started for a Healthy Life !!!

Everyone wants to lead a healthy life. There cannot be any disagreement that healthy life can be achieved by a well planned diet and regular exercise. Many of us fail in both the departments while some succeed fairly in one but not in the other. If you had observed carefully, you would have found out by now that one main reason for not following a proper diet or exercise boils down to improper planning.

Here is a tool which helps you in solving the above said problems. is a free diet and fitness website that helps you to plan your every day life by giving you a calorie counter for most food items. You just need to input your every day food habit and the system will start logging the details. After a few days, you will start getting customized diet recommendations from the system automatically as it remembers your past intakes and also about your body in general. Of course everything is free. also has an extensive exercise database along with the free calorie counter which tells how much calories you spent on a particular exercise. Just like the food intakes, these excerise details too get stored in your profile. No more manual calorie counting.

What are you waiting for? Try this fitness pal today!!! Have a bright healthy future!!!

Disclaimer : Please note that this is a paid post for via

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Jeera Rice / Cumin Rice

Last Saturday I had some guests over to my place for dinner. Was really excited since I love cooking for people, especially for those who love food. But this time I had a special constraint and one of my friends cannot handle any spicy stuff. By not handling any spicy stuff I mean no chilli powder, no chillies in any of the dishes. For a hard core south Indian it is something very tough to do in my kitchen. I always wonder how she survived in India with this spice level and since she is very shy about her food habits I decided to treat her with a variety of dishes with no spicy stuff (It is very rare she gets a chance to taste and enjoy everything in any dinner). Anyhow she did enjoy the dinner and I was happy she did.

For the rice variety I decided on jeera rice since that is something everyone can enjoy and not at all spicy. I followed shaheen’s recipe but added diced onions also along with the other ingredients used. As soon as the cumin seeds sizzle, add the onions and fry till they are transculent and follow the rest of the procedure. You can also toss in some cashews when jeera is added and that tastes wonderful after the rice is cooked.

Enjoy jeera rice with any curry or gravy of your choice.

Click here for Jeera Rice/ Cumin Rice recipe

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Cabbage Curry with peas

Cabbage is not a favorite for many and that is because it is not cooked the right way. The way it is cooked and the vegetables added along with it make a huge difference of what cabbage tastes like. I started liking cabbage after I started enjoying cooking and experimenting with food. This is a curry I tried in one of the restaurants and I liked it. So tried out in my kitchen and it was really good.
I followed sudha’s recipe, the only additional ingredient I used to the one mentioned in the list is shredded coconut. I cooked the cabbage in a microwave for a while to make it soft, so that the cooking time is reduced. Follow the same procedure do the tadka, cook the cabbage (the more it is crispier, better the taste), and add the peas. Finally before 5 minutes add the shredded coconut and sauté it for a while.

Enjoy the curry with roti or rice.

Click here for Cabbage Curry with Peas recipe

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Difference between Obesity and Over weight

Many people tend to think that overweight and obesity are one and the same. They are wrong. While Overweight refers to excess body weight arising from muscle, bone, fat and water, obesity refers to an excess of body fat.Here is an example to clarify this further. An athelete may be looking heavy built and most likely overweight and this is from excess muscle development, and not necessarily be obese.


Obesity used to be a common problem in all developed countries and rarly seen in developing countries. It was the story of the past. An alarming number of people from developing countries have been identified as obese. As a matter of fact, obesity is widely observed across across all races, ages and genders. Adding fule to the fire is the news that, in many developed countries, childhood obesity is a not an uncommon phenomenon anymore.

Several factors that can lead to obesity are genetic, metabolic, behavioural, cultural and socio economic influences. In simpler words, obesity is an imbalance between excessive calorie intake and deficient calorie expenditure. Occasionally, diseases and drugs (contraceptive pill and other steroids) can also lead to weight gain.

Recording one's weight measures excess body fat is a common myth. Body Weight does not reflect body fat. Measurement of body mass index (BMI) by special tables has become the most popular method of assessing obesity. It is also important to note the distribution of fat in the body differs bewtween men and women. While men tend to accumulate fat around the waist, women tend to accumulate fat around the hips. In general, an expanding waistline certainly increases health risks in both men and women.

The following problems have some form of direct or indirect relation to obesity : Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, certain cancers (E.G. colon, prostate, gall bladder, uterus), liver and gall bladder disease, joint problems, respiratory illnesses and reproductive problems. Therefore obesity is a high risk sickness and linked with death in the adult. In addition, there may be cosmetic, psychological and social problems. The economic consequences of obesity are significant to say the least both to the individual and to society at large.

Owing to the health hazards associated with obesity, weight loss is a must. The formula for successful weight loss in the majority of individuals is to eat and exercise in a healthy fashion. Unplanned and desperate dieting, just for the sake to lose weight within a few days can lead to irreparable consequences. On the positive side, it must be appreciated that losing even a few kg / pounds can have a good impact on one's health profile.

A slow and steady weight loss programme, approved by one's family doctor is the only sensible and sustainable way of shedding weight. Rarely, one's health care provider may advocate more drastic methods such as surgery. Rapid commercial weight loss programmes, fashionable fad diets and the use of "miracle" drugs, herbal or non-herbal, must all be viewed with caution.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Mango rice / Mango pulihora

My craving for raw mango will never end, taking into account it is the best season for mangoes in India it is ok to crave, since I can spot mangoes in any Asian grocery store. Any dish with bit sour and spicy taste, I would definitely give it a try. I cannot think of a reason why my mother did not make an attempt to make mango rice though we had a large mango tree in our backyard. I tried mango rice in a friend’s place, when she hosted a special ugadi dinner. This is supposed to be a special dish made during any festival and definitely on ugadi.

I followed supriya’s recipe for the mango rice and the main reason I tried her recipe at first was her photos. Wow!!!… Every time I take a look at the photo I feel like having mango rice again. I usually add cashews and peanuts while doing the tadka that gives a nice crunch when had with the raita. If there is no mint then I substitute 2 or 3 tbsp of grated coconut and follow the exact same procedure. Supriya has mentioned that she uses have ripe mango, but I use a raw mango. One small tip is not sauté the mango for a long time, since it loses it taste when sauted for long, hence the grated mango is usually added the end.

Mango Rice is a definite delight for pregnant women.

Enjoy the mango rice with raita and papad.

Click here for Mango Rice recipe

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Paruppu Podi

Paruppu Podi is a traditional as well one of the most common item found in many of the house holds in south india. It also finds a place in a lot of indian restaurants in USA. You can prepare a quick tasty dish with paruppu podi and rice in minutes. My mom never forgets to pack enough of paruppu podi to survive my short business trips. Infact I have survived on paruppu podi, curd rice and pickles for months on my initial trips.

Vineela has given an elaborate description of how to prepare paruppu podi using the combination of the three dals namely toor dal, urad dal and chana dal. She has also added a good piece of information about the health benefits. As she rightly says, the podi has lot of vitamins and minerals but the dish gets the real taste only when had with enormous amount of ghee. Not so good news for Health freaks... Right?

I really liked her idea of rice sushi, a very innovative meal.

Usually parupu podi is prepared only with toor dal, but this one was different I liked the recipe. The only alteration was that I also dry roasted a fistful of dalia and added to the other ingredients. I do not know why I added it, but I have seen my mom adding dhalia when she grinds the mixture, but the final product was good. I even add these podi when I make a few curries like brijal podi curry, plantain curry or potato fry.

Click here to learn making Paruppu from Vineela

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Indian artist strikes rich out of old indian utensils

Here is the story of a man who has made waves, for his creativeness in making artistic displays out of used indian utensils.

Source :