Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Eco-friendly Everyday Products Available in India


So for the longest times I have been thinking of living a more ecofriendly life. But thanks to the urban lifestyle it cannot get much beyond avoiding plastic, and recycling paper and planting a few trees in my balcony. And of course recycles and upcycles are better , such as why buy a dozen of grocery bags when you can easily make one out of leftover pillow covers?

But really one can't help but feel that this is not enough. There are still things that we toss out daily, monthly or at some such regular frequency. However, there are a few products that we can switch with their ecofriendly counterparts. They may have escaped your notice in the crowd of famous brands, so here is some some plastic items you can quickly replace.

Bamboo Toothbrush



While my father has been recommending the datoon (neem twigs also available online btw,) to one and all, I wish to settle for the bamboo toothbrush. A plastic toothbrush is such an everyday commodity, that hardly anyone thinks about using them and tossing them every few months. But these toothbrushes are tossed in tons and disposed off in the ocean without a care where they have been destroying the ecosystem systematically. So this simple change can make a simple impact. A bristles are still plastic but the rest is bamboo.


Neem Comb

Combs and brushes are yet another item that people use and throw. Although combs might be not be as thrown away as frequently as toothbrushes but they are still regularly disposed (mine just go to the parallel universe where socks and pins disappear to! :)) 


So this Neem Comb would be a good product to add to your home. These last just as long and plus it is said that the friction caused by rubbing plastic on your scalp is not good good for the scalp not for the hair strands. But using a neemwood comb is gentle on the scalp and good for the hair health.

Stainless Steel Shaving Razor



The shaving razor is a good example of how we fall prey to packaging and promotions. Remember as a child when your father had these and they would hardly ever need to buy a new razor but just change the blades.

Well how did they convince the men to buy these plastic razors every few days? So we thought of going back to this option. My husband says he feels no difference using either of the razors. So if that's the case why not use the one that will do the environment some good.

 Toothpaste


When we were younger we constantly experimented with the toothpastes, we wanted the one with stripes, gels and colours, and resisted our parents urge to give our teeth with the humble Vicco Vajradanti powder rinse.

But now we have switched to using the toothpaste brands that have been made ethically and with natural ingredients. (The ingredients are listed on the cartons.) So we have been choosing a variety from Namboodri, to Meswak to of course the old Dabur ones.

Disposable Plates For Parties & Picnics

South Indians have always preferred their banana leaves over ceramic dishes but if you live in a place where banana leaves are inaccessible to you why not go for the equally good Areca leaves disposable plates? 

It must be some predilection but food tastes incredibly tasty in these plates. 











Ecofriendly living takes a lot of conscious effort, especially living in a society that rewards hoarding behaviour. And if we demand these products I don't see the harm in buying them because it simply means planting more trees while avoiding a lot of plastic use.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Easy Tutti Fruity Cake with Leftover Bread

Like any homemaker, every now and then I am left to wonder what to do with leftover bread. So, how about some cake straight out of this bread.



Ingredients
Bread Crumbs 
2 Eggs
3 Cups of milk / Cream (optional)
1 tsp of baking powder, 1|2 tsp of baking soda
6 tsp of ghee or butter melted
Tutti Fruity (optional)

Procedure:

I made the bread crumbs and for the rest of the ingredients I used the things I would have used for a regular cake.

Whisk the milk and the sugar, and when the sugar dissolves add the eggs and whisk into a frothy consistency. Melt the butter and add it to the liquid. Add the bread crumbs and the tutti fruity. Butter the cake dish of your choice. I used the baking sheet because I wanted to give it the flower shape. Pour the batter in the baking pan. 


Preheat the oven for 10 minutes at 180 Celsius, and bake the cake for 20 mins. for 180 degree Celsius. Cool it and using a cutter of your choice cut them into shapes you like.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Dry Fruit Banana Milk Shake Recipe – 4 Ingredients


Soon it will be the time of sultry heat. It means hot lazy afternoons and time for milkshakes and ice creams. But instead of buying them from restaurants whip up some easy ones right at your home.


Ingredients:
Cashews, Almonds about a fistful,
Bananas 2-3
2 glasses of full milk,
Sugar or honey
Optional: Cardamom powder to sprinkle. 


Blend the cashew and sugar into a fine powder, leave the chunks if you like them. Peel and mash the bananas with your hand and add them to the blender. Add the milk and give a quick whisk. 
 
Pour the milkshake into the glasses and sprinkle the elaichi and serve. Desserts are such a treat but this one is great because it is so healthy and so easy to make.



Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Dum Aloo Recipe: Baby Potatoes in Cashew Gravy




Most people think Indian food is very spicy, (may be because the first people to set up restaurants abroad belong to the two of the spiciest cuisines of India, Punjabi and Tamil Nadu). But the Indian palette varies depending on the region. Dum Aloo is a recipe made in a variety of ways in various regions of India. I love the way it is made in Kashmir, the most.
 
So here we go…

Ingredients
Baby Poatatoes 6-7
Tomatoes 4-5
Onions 4-5
Bunch of Coriander
Cashew 7-8, 
Dry Coconut shredded about 5-6 tsp, 
Sesame 3-4 tsps
Cumin seeds – 1-2 tsps, Garam masala – 1 tsps
Full Cream, Butter 1 tsp, Oil to cook and salt to taste.




How to make this?

First steam and peel the baby potatoes. Once they cool down, fry them.
 
For the gravy
Chop the tomatoes, onions and coriander into a fine paste. Then roast the cashews, dry coconut, sesame, cumin seeds and blend them into a fine powder.
Heat 5-6 tsps of cooking oil. Add the tomato onion paste and saute till it becomes golden brown. Then add the cashew-sesame powder and saute again. Add the garam masala according to your taste.

Add the fried baby potatoes and cover it with a lid for the spices to blend. Let them cook for a minute or too. Once you are done, add the full cream and mix. After adding the salt, let them steam again for a minute or so.

This is a decadent recipe, so don’t calorie count just enjoy its rich taste with a naan or chapati.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Crunchy French Fries Recipe


 So French Fries, I love them. But here I made them slightly different from the regular cut, fry and salt ones. These are simple to make too but more crunchy. So here… 


Ingredients
Starchy potatoes 3,
Corn Flour or Rice Flour,
Pepper 1/2 tsp, Salt 5-6 tsps,
Oil to Fry 


Procedure:

Just peel the potatoes and cut them in the long finger chips fashion. (I think in India we used to call French Fries Finger Chips before we started calling them fries too.) Wash, drain and spread them on paper towels.


Mix a bowlful of corn flour or rice powder with pepper and salt. Coat your potato fingers with the this rice powder, a thin layer.

Fry these fries on a sim mode, and toss on a towel. Serve with ketchup and mayonnaise.