Almond/Badam Halwa

Badam Halwa

Badam / Almond Halwa

Halva (halawa, alva, haleweh, halava, helava, helva, halwa, halua, aluva, chalva) refers to many types of dense, sweet confections, served across the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, West Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Balkans, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Malta and the Jewish world.

Hi Friends! Badam Halwa is very easy to prepare and a healthy, delicious dessert . It does take little more time to make a good Badam Halwa!  the result is well worth the effort.

Prep Time: Soak Almonds overnight

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Cuisine: South Indian

Ingredients:

  • 400gms whole almonds
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 tbsp ghee / clarified butter
  • 400 gms granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp saffron strands
  • 6 Green cardamoms, powdered

Method:         

Step 1.

Soak the almonds in a bowl , leave them to soak for overnight. Remove skin from the almonds.

Step 2.

Put the almonds into a blender and add the milk blend the mixture to form a coarse paste .

Step 3.

Take a Kadahi / wok / or a deep, heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat add 4 tbsp of ghee to it. When the ghee melts, add the almond-milk mixture to it mix well.

Step 4.

Add sugar to the mixture and stir to mix well. Add the saffron strands and mix well. Cook the mixture on medium heat, stirring constantly .

Step 5.

As the liquid in the mixture begins to dry up, keep stirring constantly. Add the remaining ghee and stir well.

Step 6.

Keep cooking the mixture until most of the moisture in it dries up. When mixture starts leaving the sides of the Kadahi / wok / pan and the ghee starts to separate from it and halwa no longer sticks to the pan, Badam halwa is ready.

Step 7.

Switch off the stove and remove the Badam halwa onto a bowl to cool. Serve at room temperature .

Note: To store Badam halwa:

Halva can be kept at room temperature with little risk of spoilage. However, during hot summer months, it is better kept refrigerated, as it can turn runny after several days.If you cut the halwa into medium size squares, place a sheet of butter paper between the layers of stacked pieces to prevent them from sticking. Refrigerate  it in an airtight container .

The term halva (Arabic: حلاوةḥalāwah / حلوى ḥalwá Urdu: حلوہ ‎), meaning “desserts” or “sweet”, is used to describe two types of desserts:

  • Flour-based – This type of halva is slightly gelatinous and made from grain flour, typically semolina. The primary ingredients are clarified butter, flour, and sugar.
  • Nut-butter-based – This type of halva is crumbly and usually made from tahini (sesame paste) or other nut butters, such as sunflower seed butter. The primary ingredients are nut butter and sugar.

Halva may also be based on numerous other ingredients, including sunflower seeds, various nuts, beans, lentils, and vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, yams and squashes.

Ref.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halva

Benefits of Soaked Almonds for Health:

Almonds nutrition may not be common knowledge but almonds are considered by nutritionists, to be the healthiest, most nutritious nuts of all. Almond is considered a ‘superfood’ due to the presence of high amount of nutrients in it. It is the most nourishing nut available in the market and contains a wide range of vital elements like soluble and insoluble fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acid, omega-6 fatty acid, vitamin E, potassium, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and so on. According to nutritionists, these seeds should be soaked in water overnight prior to consuming. It eliminates the toxic materials present in its coating, decomposes its gluten content and releases Phytic acid so that we can get the most out of the nuts. In this article, we are talking about how almonds soaked in water can benefit your health, skin and hair.

Health benefits of soaked almonds are almost unlimited. Here, we have put together some of the most important medicinal values of this ‘wonder food’:

  1. Soaked almonds can make your food digestion smoother and faster by facilitating the entire digestive procedure. The external layer of the nut contains certain enzyme inhibitor which, when steeped in water, is released due to the presence of moisture. It activates the seeds, makes them easily digestible and allows people to get the maximum nutrition. Soaked almonds also release the lipid-breaking enzyme ‘lipase’, which works on the fat present in the food and aids in your digestion.
  2. These are extremely beneficial for pregnant women. As moisture increases the availability of nutrients present in the nuts, they provide ultimate nourishment and energy to both the would-be-mother as well as the fetus. Furthermore, the folic acid content of almonds makes the delivery of baby trouble-free and helps the newborn stay away from any sort of birth-defect.
  3. Scientists have proved that the intake of 4 to 6 soaked almonds a day can serve the purpose of a brain tonic and boost the functionality of the Central Nervous System (CNS) to a great extent. Being full of essential fats, these can sharpen the memory and improve the intelligence of growing kids significantly.
  4. Almonds immersed in water can reduce your cholesterol levels to a great extent. Basically, they are loaded with Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA), which lower the amount of Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) or ‘bad cholesterol’ in your bloodstream. The Vitamin E content of the nuts is also helpful in fighting against LDL and raising the level of High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) in the body.
  5. By keeping your cholesterol levels under control with soaked almonds, you can maintain the heart health. They are good source of protein, potassium and magnesium, which are necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system. Apart from these, almonds are full of vitamin E which, being an antioxidant vitamin, combats several fatal heart diseases.
  6. Acute hypertension can also be treated by soaked almonds. The low sodium and high potassium content of the nuts can prevent your blood pressure from escalating. In addition, magnesium and folic acid present in the seeds are helpful in lowering the chances of artery congestion.
  7. Soaked almonds are a wonderful natural remedy for healing diabetes mellitus. They help to keep your blood sugar level under control and stay away from the daises.
  8. There are very few chemical or organic compounds that can promote weight loss like soaked almonds. Being loaded with monounsaturated fat, they satisfy your craving for food and help you shed off additional body weight.
  9. Those who suffer from chronic constipation can also get benefitted by consuming soaked almonds. The nut is full of insoluble fibers, which increase the amount of roughage in your body and help you get rid of the problem.

Benefits of Soaked Almonds for Skin:

Regular consumption and proper external application of soaked almonds can do wonder for your skin. Find below some of their great beauty benefits:

  1. Soaked almonds can be mashed and applied to the skin as a natural moisturizer. If your skin is dry, you can mix some whipped cream with the almonds and use the mask every day. It would nourish your skin and hydrate it sufficiently. As a result, you will get soft, supple and smooth skin.
  2. If you want to improve your skin tone and get back your lost glow, soaked almonds can help you a lot. It repairs the damaged skin tissues internally and accelerates the formation of new cells. Hence, the tone and texture of your skin are enhanced considerably.
  3. Ageing can easily be prevented with soaked almonds. Vitamin E and other antioxidants present in these nuts can eliminate harmful free radicals from your body. As a result, the ageing process gets delayed and you remain younger-looking for a longer period.
  4. Paste of soaked almonds can be used as a natural scrub for face as well as rest of the body. You can add milk, lemon or honey to it and prepare different packs. These are very effective in exfoliation of your skin and giving you a fresh, new look.
  5. Soaked almond paste can also be used to treat skin inflammation. Be it rashes or chapped skin, the soothing property of the seeds give you relief from itching and irritation quickly.

Possible benefits of Soaked Almonds for Hair

Soaked almonds are not only beneficial for your health or skin. If used in the right manner, it can give us long and smooth tresses too. Following are the hair benefits of this magical object:

  1. Soak a few almonds in water overnight, mash it in the next morning and finally, prepare a hair mask by mixing a fair amount of olive oil with it. Apply it on your scalp and hair every day. It is a wonderful natural conditioner that can give you smooth and healthy hair.
  2. As mentioned earlier, almonds are highly nutritive. Therefore, eating soaked almonds or using its paste on the scalp can nourish your hair and make it stronger. It also repairs severe hair damage, reduces frequent hair fall and helps in the growth of new hair follicles.
  3. Soaked almonds also add shine and luster to your tresses. They work directly on the roots of hair.

So, include soaked almonds in your morning diet. Be beautiful! Don’t forget to leave us a comment.

Ref. http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-soaked-almonds-for-skin-hair-and-health/#

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

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Cardamom

Black Cardamom    green cardamom  Madagasaker cardamoms

Black Cardamoms                     Green Cardamoms                Madagascar Cardamoms

History
The origin of cardamom can be traced back to as early as 4th century BC in the monsoon forests of the Western Ghats in southern India. Today, this area is known as the Cardamom Hills, and until 200 years back, this area produced most of the world’s cardamom. The cardamom fruits have been in trade in India for more than 1000 years. They had been in print in the medical compendium Charaka Samhita between 2nd century BC and 2nd century AD. What’s more, it is also mentioned in the Sanskrit texts, Taitirriya Samhita of the 4th century BC. During the same time, the Greeks began importing cardamom from the East. While the inferior grades were called amomon, the superior grades were named kardamomon. Eventually, the Romans started importing substantial quantities of cardamom from India and regarded them as one of the most popular oriental spices in the Roman cuisine. Most of the cardamom was supplied from the evergreen monsoon forests of southern India and Sri Lanka. In 1903, cardamom plantation was abolished due to excessive production in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, which led to low prices. The British colonies spread the plantation of cardamom in other parts of India as a secondary crop. Today, cardamom is largely used as an aromatic spice in Eastern, Arab and some Scandinavian cuisines.

Main Name: Cardamom
Biological Name: Elettaria cardamomum
Hindi Name: Chhoti ilaichi, Elaichi, Hari ilaichi
Names in other Indian languages: Yelakkai, Elakkai (Tamil), Elathari (Malayalam), Yealak kayulu, Elakkayi (Telugu), Elaychi (Gujarati), Choto elach (Bengali), Velchil, Veldoda (Marathi), Alaichi (Oriya), Hari ilaichi, Elaichi, (Punjabi), Elaichi, Choti alaichi (Urdu)

Cardamom, botanically known as Elettaria cardamomum, hails from the family of Zingiberaceae, or ginger. Three types of cardamom are found – green cardamom, brown cardamom and Madagascar cardamom.

Cardamom is native to the evergreen forests of India,the Middle East and North Africa. This spice is commonly used in Indian cuisine, highly valued for its pleasant aroma, slightly pungent taste, and warm sensation.

Cardamom isn’t just tasty, it’s healthy, too.It’s good adding cardamom to your food for the flavor alone, health benefits of the spices are also there. It is considered as ‘Queen of Spices’ . Due to the aromatic fragrance it exudes, gorgeous and mouth-watering delicacies are prepared with it . Referred by the names ‘Grains of Paradise’, ela, elachi, and elaichi amongst several others, cardamom is a versatile spice that adds an equally delicious and aromatic flavor to both pungent and sweet dishes. Grind the seeds into powder, or use whole pods; cardamom adds the right flavor to any delicacy, particularly when cracked a little just before being tossed in the preparations. Taste improves of any meal by adding this lovely spice. This Spices is the second largest consumed spice in the world, after black pepper, and world’s second most expensive spice, after the saffron.

With several essential nutrients and natural minerals present in cardamom, the health benefits and medicinal qualities are numerous.  and glance through the following sections to discover the health benefits cardamom has to offer.

Health Benefits of Cardamom:

  • The high concentration of lenoleic acid improves blood circulation in the lungs by the blood thinning action; hence cardamom is beneficial for relieving the symptoms of asthma and bronchitis.
  • Oral administration of cardamom seeds is known for inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, with rare cases of completely destroying the cells.
  • Regular consumption of cardamom treats high cholesterol levels and reduces high blood pressure; thus, lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Due to its natural anti-bacterial property, cardamom helps in neutralizing dental bacteria, thereby fighting bad breath and other oral health issues.
  • An infusion of cardamom and cinnamon is used for curing pharyngitis, sore throat, uvula relaxation and hoarseness during the infective stage of influenza.
  • Cardamom has been highly effective in treating gastrointestinal problems, like indigestion, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, constipation, upset stomachs and flatulence.
  • Due to its anti-spasmodic properties, cardamom helps in preventing spasms and convulsions.
  • Inflamed nerves and backaches have been known to be successfully treated with the application of cardamom oil or consuming cardamom seeds.
  • Cardamom boosts appetite in anorexic patients, a disorder characterized by excessive weight loss. Consuming cardamom increases hunger pangs, thereby helping in the recovery process.
  • Cardamom stimulates the natural process of detoxification through sweating and urination, thereby purifying the entire body and strengthening the kidneys and urinary system.
  • By reducing the air and water elements, cardamom relieves stomach dyspepsia, cures indigestion and soothes the mucus membrane. As such, the gas and heartburn caused by garlic and onion is effectively relieved by cardamom.
  • Cardamom, when mixed with banana leaf powder and amla juice, is an excellent diuretic for treating gonorrhea (inflammation of the urethra or vagina), cystitis (inflammation of the urinary bladder), nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys) and burning or infrequent urination.
  • Cardamom, when added to tea, gives a pleasant aroma, which serves as an effective remedy for depression.
  • It has stimulating effects that secretes various enzymes and hormones, gastric juices, peristaltic motion, circulation and excretion; thereby maintaining proper metabolism.
  •  When combined with honey and other spices, cardamom acts as an effective cure for laryngitis and tuberculosis.
  • Cardamom acts as a natural health tonic, when taken at bedtime, diluted with milk and honey. Besides, it is effective in preventing memory loss.

How many calories in cardamom (per 100 gm)
Cardamom has about 311 calories per 100 gm of weight.
How to Buy Cardamom

  • Cardamom is available as whole pods and in powdered forms in the market all round the year.
  • You can easily find both varieties of cardamom. ‘Elettaria’ pods are small and light green in color, while ‘Amomum’ pods are larger and dark brown.
  • To check the freshness of the pods, scratch the pod with your fingertip. In case it gives off a sweet aroma, the pod has passed the test.
  • Do not buy pods that are light in color and have stains, spots or molds.

Cardamom Storage Tips

  • Always store cardamom pods in an airtight container in a cool, dark and dry place.
  • When placed in the refrigerator, cardamom pods retain their freshness for longer durations.
  • Powdered cardamom should always be kept in a tightly sealed container and should be used at the earliest as it tends to lose its flavor quickly.

Tip: Chew on elaichi  regularly after every meal. The best way to keep acidity at bay is to avoid sitting right after you have eating; instead walk around a bit while chewing on the elaichi pod and you should feel much better.

If you suffer from indigestion this tip is for you. Take a two to three pods of cardamom, a small piece of ginger, a few pieces of cloves and a few dhania seeds. Grind them well and eat this with warm water. It acts as an instant remedy for indigestion, bloating and gas.

Another great remedy for headaches caused due to indigestion is to make cardamom tea. All you need to do is infuse it into some regular green tea and drink it while it’s warm. This mixture works well right at the onset of the symptoms of indigestion.

If you have a cold, cough or a congested chest , elaichi is the best natural remedy to relieve the symptoms.  All you need to do is add a few drop of elaichi’s essential oil to your vessel of steaming water during steam inhalation.

Cardamom culinary uses :

Cardamom spice is a highly aromatic spice that is most commonly used in Eastern, Arab, and some Scandinavian cuisines. Its unique slightly sweet and savory flavor allows it to be combined with both sweet and savory dishes.

Cardamom seed’s ability to enhance so many types of food is why it is a good combination with a wide range of other ingredients from seafood to sauces, to meats, poultry, vegetables, and even desserts, pastries, and other baked goods.

Numerous flavorful little cardamom seeds are encased within a single cardamom pod that are green in color when fresh. Cardamom spice has a complex flavor that can be described as slightly sweet, floral, and spicy with citric elements.

It leaves the tongue with a warm antiseptic sensation similar to eucalyptus with an additional peppery after taste. Some have described its flavor as spicy and cola-like. Grind cardamom from one of the whole forms of the spice to ensure a superior flavor and aroma, both of which are quickly lost when the spice is pre-ground.

Many traditional Indian dishes feature different varieties of cardamom. Elettaria, or green cardamom, is combined with condensed milk and sugar to make sweets collectively referred to as mithai. Green cardamom is also used to flavor coffee and teas, most notably Masala chai.

Since culinary connoisseurs consider green cardamon the premium variety, it is commonly used to flavor meats, poultry, seafood, vegetable dishes, soups and sauces. In contrast, Amomum, or black cardamom, imparts a slightly mint-like flavor and is an ingredient in garam masala, a seasoning blend used to flavor curries and rice dishes.

Ground cardamom is convenient to have for baking and other applications where the spice needs to be ground. Freshness and thus flavor are of course compromised when cardamom is pre ground because it loses flavor soon after grinding. To appreciate cardamom’s true flavor we suggest grinding it before use in a spice mill, electric coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle.

White cardamom that was commonly available in the North America and Europe had been bleached to achieve its color, or lack of it. It is used in baking and some desserts because its color helps keep light colored batters, sauces, and confections speck free. The bleaching process also destroyed much of the cardamom’s flavor leading to white cardamom’s decline in popularity.

Ref. http://recipeclout.india-server.com/cardamom.html

Ref. http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-green-cardamom-for-skin-hair-and-health/

Ref. http://recipeclout.india-server.com/cardamom.html

Ref. http://www.cardamomspice.com/#order

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Banana Bread

Banana BreadBanana Bread

Hi friends! Here is a simple recipe of delicious Banana bread you will enjoy. Banana bread is a type of bread made from mashed bananas. It is often a moist, sweet, cake-like quick bread; however, there are some banana bread recipes that are traditional-style raised breads.

Total Time: 1 hr 25 min
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hr 10 min
Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar (if less sweet required then can take 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 level tsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 3 medium size bananas, ripe
  • 2 eggs

Method:

Step 1.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), and Sift all purpose flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together. Keep aside.

Step 2.

Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition with wooden spatula, mix in vanilla extract.

Step 3.

In another bowl, mash the bananas well with a fork . Add in the milk and cinnamon, mix well and keep aside.

Step 4.

Add the banana mixture to the creamed  sugar,butter mixture and stir until batter is smooth. Now add flour mix(from step-1) to it. Mixing  until entire flour is absorbed in it.

Step 5.

Now grease the baking dish with butter and dust it with flour.

Step 6.

Pour the prepared mixture into the greased baking dish.

Step 7.

Bake the banana bread in moderately hot oven (approx. 1 hour) till  a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Take out and cool the banana bread for twenty minutes.

Step 8.

Remove it from the baking dish on the wire rack to cool it completely. Serve the slices with ice cream.

Note:Slicing with a bread knife helps to make smooth slices, that aren’t crumbly.

Top Banana Health Benefits :

Bananas also have many amazing health benefits to the body such as:

1. Boosting Energy

Bananas are a great pick-me-up snack because they provide carbohydrate in the form of quick-releasing sugars which your body can use for energy.

 

2. Loaded with Potassium

Bananas are one of the richest sources of potassium in the world, with about 500 mg of potassium per banana. Potassium is another nutrient that is crucial for those who are physically active, but also for everyone else too. Potassium acts as an electrolyte and promotes circulatory health, helps to manage blow flow and hydration levels within the body, and helps oxygen to reach your cells.

Potassium is useful in preventing high blood pressure and decreases the risks for heart disease and strokes because it regulates circulation, sodium, and water retention within the body . Potassium helps to lower high blood pressure because it counteracts the effect of sodium within the blood.

Potassium also assists in the prevention of muscle cramping following exercise and helps you to heal and build muscle. This makes it an important nutrient for anyone who is especially physically active or who is recovering from an injury.

Additionally, the high amount of potassium found in bananas has been correlated with helping to decrease symptoms associated with kidney stones, gout, ADHD,  back pain, headaches, and more.

3. Helps Improve Digestive Health

Each banana contains about 3 grams of fiber, which is roughly 10% of the daily fiber you should be consuming. The fiber in bananas helps to prevent constipation, bloating, and other unwanted digestive symptoms.Dietary fiber also importantly helps you to feel full for longer. Another benefit of banana’s high fiber content? Studies have found that a diet high in dietary fiber is protective against heart disease, cardiac arrest, and stroke.

Fiber helps to reduce inflammation as it removes waste and toxins from the body, keeping arteries clear from dangerous plague build-up Additionally, bananas are easy to digest and can help prevent cases of diarrhea. This is because of their starches and fiber which can help to bind waste within your digestive tract, while their potassium facilitates in balancing water retention in the gut and keeping you from becoming dehydrated.

Ref. https://draxe.com/banana-nutrition/

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

Perad /Guava Cheese

guava-cheese

Hi Friends! Perad is a well known Goan delicacy that serves as a dessert.The cool season is a time when guava trees are bountifully laden with fruit.

History: Probably considering the problem of scurvy among the trans-oceanic sailors caused by a deficiency in vitamin C, the Portuguese might have accidentally discovered curative properties in the guava. The fruit of Psidium is called Goiaba’ in Portuguese, while the elongated variety is are known as Per’. Guava is considered to be the poor man’s apple. It is loaded with vitamin C, fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, carotenoids and polyphenols which help fight cancer. It is a rich source of pectin and helps in the digestion of food besides lowering cholesterol. The fruit has laxative properties and used in the cure of scurvy. It is, however, low in calories.

Goan folk also believe that guavas should not be eaten at night. Guava pieces are generally included in Shirni by the Muslims, which is served during the talil ka khana, jyarat, Quran khane and dalej par karma. Hindus generally include guava pieces in the prasad   done during Ganesh Chaturthi, satyanarayan pooja and aartis.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Cuisine: India, Goa

Course: Desserts

Ingredients:

      • 4 cups Guava pulp,6-8 large Guavas
      • 2 cups water
      • 3 cups sugar
      • 2 tbsp Butter/ clarified butter ( optional )

1 level teaspoon Citric acid


Method:

Step 1.

Wash Guavas well, peel if any patches on the guavas. Slice the guavas through the center into four pieces so that it becomes easier to remove the seeds from the center of the fruit.
Keep aside the seeds in a bowl. Cut the Guava slices in a bowl into small cubes.

Step 2.

  In a pan take the Guava pieces, just cover the pieces with water. Place the pan on high flame, bring the water Guava mix to a boil. Reduce the heat , cook for 15 minutes. Switch off the stove. Cool the cooked Guavas.

Step 3.

Put the cooked Guavas in a blender to get the Guava puree. Once Puree is ready pour it out into a sieve or a muslin cloth to filter out all the remaining seed and keep aside.

Step 4.

Take the seeds removed earlier from the core of Guavas,  blend just for a few seconds in the blender with little water and then strain it too, discard the seeds.

Step 5.

Put the pureed pulp in a heavy bottom pan,  bring the pulp to boil.Cook on slow fire, add the powdered sugar , stirring continuously. The colour begins to change . Add the juice of the sour lime now and keep stirring. Once it starts thickening add dash of  butter/ ghee (clarified butter) this would help in giving a nice shine and glaze to guava cheese.

Step 6.

When the Pulp starts leaving the sides of the pan, it is ready. (check this by a simple test put one drop of this mixture in water,if it solidifies the mixture is ready).

Step 7.

Switch off the stove, pour this hot mixture over a flat greased dish,with the help of spatula make the surface smooth and even. Let it cool to room temperature and cut it into desired pieces

Step 8.

Serve the Guava cheess/ Perad garnished with slivered almonds .

Note:

  1. Alternatively the guavas can be Pressure cooked with two tea cups of water. Place the cooker on high flame, when full pressure is formed  switch of the stove. Let the pressure cooker cool down to room temperature. Open the lid and puree the tender guava by putting in a blender , keep the puree aside.
  2. Stored into an airtight container it can be good up to a week.

Guava nutrition facts:

Guava is another tropical fruit rich in high-profile nutrients. With its unique flavor, taste, and health-promoting qualities, the fruit easily fits in the new functional foods category, often called “super-fruits.”

It is an evergreen, tropical shrub or low-growing small tree probably originated in the central Americas. Guavas actually thrive in both humid and dry climates and can tolerate brief periods of cold spells, but can survive only a few degrees of frost. Adaptability makes it a favorite commercial crop in some tropical areas.

Botanically, this wonderful fruit belongs within the family of Myrtaceae, in the genus: Psidium. Scientific name: Psidium guajava.

Health benefits of guava fruit

  • Guava is low in calories and fats but contain several vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant poly-phenolic and flavonoid compounds that play a pivotal role in prevention of cancers, anti-aging, etc.
  • The fruit is very rich source of soluble dietary fiber (5.4 g per 100 g of fruit, about 14% of DRA), which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fiber content helps protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time to toxins as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.
  • Guava-fruit is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin-C. 100 g fresh fruit provides 228 mg of this vitamin, more than three times the DRI (daily-recommended intake). The flesh just underneath its outer thick rind contains exceptionally higher levels of vitamin C than its inner creamy pulp.
  • Scientific studies shown that regular consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge cancer causing harmful free radicals from the body. Further, it is required for collagen synthesis within the body. Collagen is the main structural protein in the human body required for maintaining integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones.
  • The fruit is a very good source of Vitamin-A, and flavonoids like beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and cryptoxanthin. The compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and therefore essential for optimum health. Further, vitamin-A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotene is known to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • 100 g of pink guava fruit provides 5204 µg of lycopene, nearly twice the amount than in tomatoes. (100 g tomato contains 2573 µg of lycopene). Studies suggest that lycopene in pink guavas prevents skin damage from UV rays and offers protection from prostate cancer.
  • Fresh fruit is a very rich source of potassium. It contains more potassium than other fruits like banana weight per weight. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Further, the fruit is also a moderate source of B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin E and K, as well as minerals like magnesium, copper, and manganese. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells.

Ref. http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/guava.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

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Wheat flour Halwa

Wheat flour Halwa NG

Whole Wheat flour Halwa

What is whole wheat flour? Whole wheat literally means that the whole grain is used when grinding wheat to make flour. This includes the wheat germ and the bran. The wheat germ is the tiny, nutrition-packed part of each wheat grain that actually allows the seed to germinate and grow. According to the Mayo clinic, the germ is packed with valuable nutrients including thiamin, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, riboflavin, phosphorus, iron and zinc. Wheat bran is the thin shell of each grain of wheat. It is a valuable source of fiber.

Hi friends! whenever you feel like eating something sweet and nutritious at home wheat Flour Halwa can be made instantly.  So here is the recipe of Wheat Flour Halwa for you.

Recipe cook time: 25 minutes

Level : Easy

Serves: 6

Cuisine: Indian dessert

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (whole wheat flour)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup ghee
  • 12 Almonds, finely chopped/ slivered

Method:

Step 1.

In a wok/ Kadahi, melt the ghee add the wheat flour and stir fry over medium heat, stir it continually for about 8-10 minutes. When the flour is light golden in colour and does not stick together much , it is well fried .

Step 2.

As the flour is getting fried, take water in a pan add the sugar bring it to boil, simmer it till required.

Step 3.

Pour the hot sugar solution into the fried flour gently and carefully, stirring continually. Add half of the almonds and bring to a boil, stir continuously. Once the water is added to the flour mixture, stir well so that no lumps are formed. Flour absorbs the water added.

Step 4.

Thoroughly mix let whole mixture, cook for 5-6 minutes more. keep on stirring so that the wheat flour halwa does not stick to the wok / Kadahi and starts leaving the sides. Wheat flour halwa is ready now.

Step 5.
Serve hot, garnished with the almonds. According to your preference you can serve with Puris too.

Health Benefits of Whole wheat flour:

Why whole wheat is good for you?

Whole grains are packed with nutrients, including protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals (iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium). A diet rich inwhole grains has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some forms of cancer.

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

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Makhana Kheer

Makhana kheer NG 1

Makhana Kheer / puffed Lotus seeds Kheer

Hi friends! Makhana kheer is a delicious desert. Makhanas/Fox nuts/Lotus seeds are puffed lotus seeds and are used in making several dishes and snacks. In Northern India Makhanas are often used for snack. Makhana kheer is very easy to make and you can enjoy it as a dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Cup of Makhanas , shallow fried and crushed coarsely
  • 3   tbsp ghee / butter
  • 6   Cups of whole milk
  • 12 almonds , thin slices
  • 12 pistachios , thin slice
  • 1/2 Cup of sugar or/ Sugar to taste
  • 1/4 tsp strings of saffron
  • 6 green cardamoms, powdered
  • 12 Raisins

Method:

Step 1.

In a heavy bottom pan add milk and bring it to boil , turn to medium heat, while keep    stirring periodically (so that milk does not burn from the bottom) till it is thickened or reduced to 70%.

Step 2.

In the mean time heat a wok / Kadahi with ghee. On a high flame fry the makhanas, stirring continuously . when makahanas are well fried, will become crispy.Switch off the stove, cool and coarsely crush the makhanas, keep aside. ( Approx. 5-6 minutes)
Step 3.
Once milk become little thicker add saffron, sautéed makhanna and let the makhanas and milk simmer for 20 to 25 minutes on low heat or until milk reduce to half and of acreamy consistency, stirring frequently.

Step 4.

Once makhannas become soft and milk become thick and creamy add sugar, and sliced nuts, mix and cook for another couple of minutes. Turn the stove off.
Step 5.

Transfer the kheer in a serving bowl and sprinkle other half of nuts. Serve the makhana kheer hot or cold.

Possible health and beauty benefits of Lotus seeds:

Lotus seeds, commonly known as makhana in India, are the seeds of the water lotus plant. The seeds are small, round and white or off-white in appearance. They are the edible seeds of lotus flower which can be roasted or fried. Lotus seeds are used for nutritional and healing properties in Chinese medicine. The lotus seeds are highly useful in terms of nutritional benefits and are low in saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol; high in magnesium potassium, thiamine and phosphorus. Besides being edible, the lotus plant has many health and beauty benefits as well. You can use makhana seeds in desserts, rice porridge, soups and stir fry dishes.

Lotus seeds are also a good source of protein, iron and zinc, which makes them extremely nutritious. They contain the anti-aging enzyme, which assist repair damaged proteins. Due to this anti-aging propery, many cosmetic companies are trying to include the seeds in their products. Along with it, the seeds have a natural flavonoid which prevents inflammation. Lotus seeds have an astringent property which benefits the kidneys and helps to restore vital energy within the body. The sweet and neutral taste of makhana seeds nourish the spleen and alleviate diarrhea. Makhana seeds are endowed with sedative properties and are used to treat insomnia or restlessness. The lotus embryo is useful for heart because of its bitter and cooling properties. Also it can help dilate blood vessels, thus reducing blood pressure.

According to western research, the seeds are antiviral which help fight the herpes 1 virus. Also it has been founded useful in lowering hypertension. One of the vital medicinal benefits of lotus seeds is stopping chronic diarrhea. Due to astringent properties, the seeds are consumed to help relieve the symptoms of diarrhea and improve appetite. Other major benefits of lotus seeds include palpitations, insomnia and irritability. They are also used to control bleeding.

Since makhana seeds are high in fiber, it helps to avoid constipation. Also they help the body to remove the waste; prevent the accumulation of toxins.  Lotus seeds are low in calories, fat and high in fiber and thus helpful in diabetes. It lowers the blood sugar level. The seeds are recommended for women during pregnancy and post natal weakness; helps in female infertility. The makhana seeds are also used in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatic pains. Further, the seeds are beneficial in weight loss too as they are high in fiber and low in calories .Lotus seeds are also very useful in anemia. The lotus seeds can be digested by all age groups. They are a healthy snack for children .Just roast the seeds a bit and add a pinch of salt.
Ref. http://healthyfoodsonly.blogspot.in/2012/11/health-and-beauty-benefits-of-lotus.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

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Suji/Semolina Halwa

Suji Halwa 1

Suji/Semolina Halwa

Hi friends!Suji/Semolina halwa is a simple yet delicious and yummy sweetened semolina, fried in ghee and garnished with nuts. Its also popularly known as Kesari bath in the southern region of India.

Recipe Servings: 6

Cook time: 20 minutes

Cuisine: Indian Dessert

Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sooji  /semolina
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 4 tbsp pure ghee
  • 9 green Cardamoms, powdered
  • 2 tbsp blanched and shredded almonds for garnishing

Method:

Step 1.

In a pan put the sugar and water and bring it to boil. Keep on simmer, till required.

Step 2.

In a wok/ Kadahi, melt the ghee add the sooji and stir fry over medium heat, stir it continually for about 8-10 minutes. When the sooji is light golden in colour and does not stick together much , it is well fried .

Step 3.

Pour the hot sugar solution into the fried sooji gently and carefully, stirring continually. Add cardamom powder and bring to a boil, stir continuously. Once the water is added, to the suji mixture, stir well so that no lumps are formed. Suji / Semolina absorbs the water added and swells.

Step 4.

Thoroughly mix let whole mixture, cook for 5-6 minutes more. keep on stirring so that the Suji halwa does not stick to the wok / Kadahi and starts leaving the sides. Suji halwa is ready now.
Serve hot, garnished with the almonds.

Health Benefits of Suji/Semolina :
  • Prevents overeating. Semolina is made up of durum wheat which means it keeps you full for a longer period of time and prevents you from overeating. …
  • Boosts energy. …
  • Keeps bones and nervous system healthy. …
  • Improves heart health. …
  • Prevents anemia.

Ref. http://www.thehealthsite.com/fitness/health-benefits-of-semolina-or-suji/

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.