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The bubbles mandala ~ work in progress! #ruchyum #ruchyumzentangles #zen #zentangle #mandalaartist #mandala #mandalala #heymandalas #mandalalifeart #potpurriofartists #tangles #zentangleinspiredart #tangling #mandalaart #bubbles #workinprogress #zentanglemandalalove #zenart #sakuramicron #welkinart #zentangleart #worldofartists #instart #instartpics

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Look what we received in our mail today!!! It’s the postcard we had sent to ourselves from Port Lockroy, the UK base station in ANTARCTICA! It is the world’s southernmost post office ~ so a must visit on your Antarctica trip. Don’t forget to pack your address books! We posted a ton of these postcards to family back in India, friends all over as well as to our colleagues back in the US. It usually takes around 6 weeks to reach the destinations, but totally worth it just to see the reactions of everyone on receiving them! #ruchyum #instacard #blog #travel #travelgram #travelstoke #traveldeeper #portlockroy #antarctica #antarctica2016 #southernmost #postoffice #travelawesome #traveldiaries #wanderlust #polar #ruchyumtravel #postcards #tripofalifetime

 

Spinach & Mustard Green Parathas

An easy to make and healthy, single layered paratha!

A paratha is a flatbread that originated in the north of the Indian Subcontinent. It is still quite prevalent in the north of India, where wheat is grown and is the traditional staple of the area. Paratha is an amalgamation of the words “parat” and “atta” which literally means layers of cooked dough Parathas are generally served with various curries and side dishes. Parathas could be of various types – plain, stuffed, single layered, multi layered,etc.
The recipe here uses spinach and mustard green leaves to create a simple single layered parathas. Have them with curd or some curry like bengal gram or just like that ~ in any case it will taste good!

Adapted from: http://www.geetascuisine.com/recipe/green-spinach-mustard-paratha/

Spinach & Mustard Green Parathas

  • Servings: 20
  • Time: 50 mins
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Ingredients

  • 3 cups Wheat flour
  • 3 cups Baby spinach
  • 2 cups Mustard leaves (only leaves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kalonji seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon Carom seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 cup Oil for making parathas
  • Some flour for dusting

Method

  1. Clean the leaves with water and coarsely chop them in a food processor or using knife.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Knead the dough to make a smooth soft dough. Once it’s done, cover it and keep it aside for 10 min. After 10 min, knead the dough again for another 1 minute.
  3. Divide the dough into 20 equal portion and give a round shape.
  4. Dust it with dry wheat flour, cover it with clean cloth. Take one dough ball on wooden surface, roll it using by rolling pin into round paratha shape.
  5. Heat iron skillet or tava at medium to high heat. Once it’s hot, bring the temperature at medium heat. Place the raw paratha on hot tava. Roast from both side till slightly golden color from both side. Serve warm.

Hope you enjoy it!

 

 

Hariyali Egg Curry

A green interpretation of the regular tomato – onion based egg curry, using a blend of herbs!

Egg curry is a popular dish of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, since it’s simple to make and tastes wonderful. The traditional curry is prepared with tomatoes and onion. To add a bit of vibrant color as well as some herbs, I decided to make the green version of it.
The mint leaves provide a minty/herby flavor whereas the coriander leaves add freshness, together making a refreshing curry! The egg curry can be served with rice/Indian flat bread/ white bread!

Hariyali Egg Curry

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 40 mins
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 Eggs, boiled
  • 1 Onion, big sized
  • 2 Tomatoes, medium sized
  • 3 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Red chilly powder
  • Whole red chilly for tempering
  • Salt to taste

Grinding

  • 1 cup Coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup Mint leaves
  • 1/2 inch Ginger
  • 4-5 Garlic cloves
  • 1 inch Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 Cloves

Method

  1. Boil eggs, peel and cut it into half and set aside.
  2. Grind the ingredients listed under grinding, to a smooth paste using water.
  3. In a deep pan, heat the oil. Add onions, and sauté it till it turns brown.
  4. Add tomato, turmeric, red chilly powder and sauté for couple of minutes.
  5. Add the ground paste and cook till the oil separates. Add salt to taste and a pinch of sugar.
  6. Add the eggs and boil till the gravy is thick.
  7. For tempering heat oil in a sauce pan. Add mustard seeds to it. Once it crackles, add red chilies to it and pour it over the curry. Serve hot.

My Essential Oils 101

Essential oils are a potent, botanical oil more powerful than the plant itself.

In the past few years, the concept of using essential oils for literally everything has gained more and more momentum. This made me wonder – are they really that effective? do they really work wonders? In short, is all this hype really worth it?! Well, there was just one way to find out .. by trying it out myself!

I started by reading online articles and posts about them. While doing so, I came across some interesting facts, a few of them listed here: 

  • It is believed that the Egyptians invented the first distillation equipment, albeit rudimentary, and created oils infused with herbs for use in rituals, medicine, cosmetics, and perfumery.
  • A painful burn experienced by French chemist René-Maurice Gatttefossé gave birth to the word commonly used to describe the use of essential oils today – Aromatherapy. Gatttefossé is now remembered as one of the pioneers of Aromatherapy.
  • Aromatherapy was used in WWII for treating the soldiers!

( To know more interesting facts and history, click here! )

After reading about essential oils history, origin, uses for a couple of weeks, I was even more curious to try them out! So, I finally placed an order for 3 of my favorite fragrances last week:

Got my essential oils delivered! The first thing that I wanted to try was to see if it does really help in reducing stress and making you relax. And the timing could not be perfect – I just returned back to work aka in office for full 5 days a week, after almost 3 months of travel 😉 ( hell, yeah! Stay tuned for some travel posts) 🙂 

peloha
Essential Oil Diffuser Necklace [image: Peloha Essentials]
Initial few days, I tried the traditional method of applying few drops on my wrist and sniffing it a couple of times. Later I discovered, this awesome essential oil diffuser necklace at Peloha and ordered one quickly!  It’s simple to use – place a few drops of your favorite oil on one of the diffuser pads. Open the locket, place the pad inside and enjoy the scent for several days!  I have been enjoying the benefits of essential oils on the go – they surely make me feel better and relaxed!  It also makes me eager to learn more about them – the right kind of blends, the various types of oils, etc. I’ll post some recipes, diy and more inspirational stuff using essentials oils as I explore them further 🙂

Note: All opinions in the post about the various products are my own.

 

 

Butternut Squash & Sage Soup

A herby twist to the traditional butternut squash soup with sage leaves, drizzled with some flavored butter and topped with freshly popped corns!

Butternut squash is a kind of winter squash whereas Sage is listed as one of the essential herbs. The sweet, nutty taste of the squash combined with the savory, slightly peppery flavor creates an aura of flavors!

So for some comfort in a bowl, ladle up this soup!

Adapted from: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/butternut-squash-soup-with-popcorn-and-sage

Butternut Squash & Sage Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 55 mins
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons ground Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste
  •  2 1/2 pounds Butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin Olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups hot Water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted Butter
  • 12 fresh Sage leaves
  • 1 cup popped Popcorn, for garnish

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°. In a bowl, mix the coriander, sugar, cayenne and 2 teaspoons of salt. In a roasting pan, toss the squash with the olive oil and the spices; roast for 35 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender and browned.
  2. Transfer the squash to a food processor. Add the water and puree until smooth. Transfer the soup to a saucepan, season with salt and keep warm.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the sage leaves and cook until crisp, about 1 minute. Transfer the sage leaves to a paper towel. Continue to cook the butter over moderate heat until fragrant and browned, about 3 minutes longer. Ladle the soup into bowls. Drizzle with the sage butter, top with the fried sage leaves and popcorn and serve.

Hope you enjoy it!

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Broiled Grapefruit with Honey and Bananas

A fresh way to bring out the sweetness of the grapefruit, without loading it with sugar! Sweeten up your morning with this nifty way to prepare grapefruit or have it for dessert 🙂

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The most common way to eat grapefruit is to either smother it with sugar or to eat it from a can loaded with sugar syrup. Either ways, we try to mask out the natural bitter, tangy and acid flavors of the fruit under a mask of sweetness. So instead of consuming so much sugar, should we just give up on the fruit?

Well hold on, not so soon 😉 Grapefruit is a rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants. Research also shows that it is effective in lowering the cholesterol levels. So give this recipe a try and enjoy the health benefits of this delicious and healthy fruit! Broiling any fruit for few minutes caramelizes it, topping it with honey and a few slices of bananas increases the sweetness quotient. Afraid of eating grapefruits?! Not any more 🙂

Broiled Grapefruit with Honey and Bananas

  • Servings: 2 pieces
  • Time: 10 mins
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 Grapefruit
  • Honey
  • Ground ginger
  • Banana slices

Method

  • Prepare oven for broiling. Position oven rack on top.
  • Cut grapefruit(s) in half. Using a small serrated knife or grapefruit knife, loosen the grapefruit sections from the membrane. Place the grapefruit halves on a baking sheet or shallow baking pan.
  • Drizzle grapefruit halves with honey. Place banana slices on top and flip once to coat both sides with honey. Dust with ground ginger.
  • Place under broiler until bubbling and slightly browned in spots, about 4 to 6 minutes. Keep an eye on during broiling to avoid burning.
  • Serve warm.

Variations

  • Ground cinnamon is a good substitute for ginger
  • Don’t like bananas? How about some strawberry pieces!