There are some good grains.

Most people, world over, eat grains as the main meal. Wheat and rice are staple diet from the beginning.

Modern grains, however are not so good according to experts. In fact the modified wheat, available now is a health hazard. And even the rice is made bad by processing for attractiveness and packaging.

Diet related epidemics (obesity, diabetes etc) and virus related pandemic are serious threats to the well-being and even existence of mankind.

The biggest challenge for someone to adopt a healthy diet is to replace the not so good wheat, rice etc with some beneficial substitutes.

Here I am presenting one of the good grains, quinoa (pronounced kin-wah). Try this tasty dish.

Boil some cleaned and soaked quinoa in double the quantity of water with a pinch of salt, till it’s done. Use more water if the desired consistency is not achieved.

Prepare some sautéed vegetables in butter (onion, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots etc with a sprinkle of pepper powder and added leafy herbs). Break one or two eggs and mix well till done.

Add the cooked quinoa and top it with cooked meat mince or shredded chicken.

Vegetarians, just drop adding eggs and meat.

Enjoy the delicious dish as substitute for rice or chapatti meal. It’s keto friendly too.

There are some good grains.

Jackfruit. End of Season Delight.

One of the things I miss with the decision to stay back in Bangalore, is the abundance of good quality jackfruit in Kerala. And along with that the thrill of making chakka undas and chakka chips.

Jackfruits are available in Bangalore too. Pealed ones, sold at roadsides are not very welcome in this virus times. And without proper tools, buying the whole fruit needed more courage than what I could muster.

Not quite though. Horticulture unit HOPCOM of the state government, brings fresh fruits and vegetables to the compound, twice a week. And while buying fruits and vegetables, I saw a lady asking for half of the jackfruit. The aroma and colour were too hard to resist and I took the other half.

Good, brave decision indeed. The fruit is very fresh and delightfully tasty. And the Chakkakuru (seeds) make unique dishes.

And they say, jackfruit is health food.

Jackfruit. End of Season Delight.

Quinoa, the healthy grain!

With a lot of focus on health and wellness this season, I have been adjusting my diet in a fairly big way.

Grains have been the Waterloo, with modern wheat touted as very bad and staple food rice full of carbs etc.

And the highly recommended Kumut, Teff and Sour Gel, well no one seems to have heard about them in my locality.

That leaves Quinoa (pronounced Kin-Wah) and barley as the ones familiar. Well, we could get some Rye, but I am not yet a good bread maker!

Namdaris, with two fancy stores, just walking distance of us have been good source of organic stuff. But to my dismay Quinoa was not on shelf.

That’s when I looked in Amazon and got this 1.4 Kg jar and now I have good alternatives to my salad, and other preparations to complement my Intermittent Fasting.

Quinoa, the healthy grain!

Healthy, Traditional and Exotic!

I am always amazed at my wife’s ability to cook many exciting dishes simultaneously when she’s in the kitchen.

I am not a cook, but I have the passion for it. My focus is to make exotic, traditional and healthy items. And I used to do that by making one item once in a while.

Yesterday I decided to make a change. To do a multitasking, like my wife. And here’s the result.

1. Hulled barley boiled, 2. Chakkakuru mezhukkupuratty and 3. A copy of manga thera.

With health in focus and since the usual grains like wheat and rice are unhealthy, I followed expert advice and made barley rice. It’s almost like boiled brown rice with a welcome nutty taste.

Chakkakuru mezhukkupuratty is as traditional as karimeen fry to a Keralaite. This dish of jackfruit seeds is so very good.

And manga thera (Mango Bars) is the most exotic and time consuming item. Here’s a quick fix, just to prove that next summer, I could be making the weeks long process of real manga thera.

On the whole a very satisfying day of multitasking in cooking.

Healthy, Traditional and Exotic!

Chakka Vevichathu. The Health Food Jackfruit

Chakka (Jackfruit) vevichathu is officially recognised as health food with virtues including lowering of blood sugar.

In season, Jackfruit is plenty available in Kerala, but it’s only part of the story. It’s not easy to get to the eatable part of the giant fruit, even if you’re lucky to get it down the huge trees.

Ripe Jackfruit is easier to cut, easier only to the raw one. And the raw one is the healthier food and vevichathu, which is part of the original staple food of Kerala is the best.

Our people in the villages have the right tools and skills to rip open the fruit and to get the delicious final cooked product on to the dining table.

But I know, my curiosity and passion for Jackfruit delicacies like chips, unda, ada etc almost died when I struggled with the whole fruit when I made them.

In that backdrop, I was delighted to see this ready made, easy to cook product on the supermarket shelf.

It’s made by a plantation giant of tea gardens and rubber estates. They have plenty of Jackfruit trees and the brand carries it’s weight.

It’s tasty, easy to make and I am happy trying it today. Just put the stuff in boiling water for about 5 minutes and it’s ready.

Great stuff indeed.

Chakka Vevichathu. The Health Food Jackfruit

Chocolate! Bitter, But Not So Bitter.

Chocolate has a new personality with the finding that the dark variety is a health food. But extreme dark is bitter.

When I was growing up, chocolate was a much sought after delight. But we were always warned that it was not good for health.

That’s when someone found out that dark chocolates are good for health. And to get some health benefits, it has to be a good percentage of cocoa.

When I was working in London, the best way of commuting was the British Rail, both suburban and underground. And I was always amused at the line of passengers in front of the utility shop at the station queuing up for a newspaper, coffee and chocolate.

And when i board the first train, my fellow passengers would be sipping the coffee, reading the newspaper and taking a bite at the chocolate. They would have been in the shop queue for 15 minutes and the only thing that i was interested in their acquisitions was the chocolate. But no one talked or smiled at a co-passenger as the tight lip was the norm.

And I heard that in Scotland they used to fry chocolate in batter like banana fritters.

I am citing the British experience to just say that it provoked my interest in chocolates.

And now a wellness/ fitness freak, the compromise has to be the dark chocolate.

But the extra bitter is way too bitter and the other local option is the 50% Cadbury Bournville which is sweet and somewhat unhealthy.

That’s when I saw this 75% one from Amul.

Amul, by the way is an Indian brand and more so as it was the brainchild of my namesake (Kurian) and hence closer to heart.

It’s good, it’s huge with all of 30 slabs and is 150 grams in weight. They have just introduced several taste variants like orange, fruity and even green tea.

The best thing is that it’s only ₹125 ($1.75) for all those 30 tiles.

Well done Amul.

Chocolate! Bitter, But Not So Bitter.