Making a lifestyle modification does begin in the kitchen. We want every rupee to count. It’s hardwork to put in hours trying to establish a good lifestyle. Food choices need to be the kind that adds energy rather than instill lethargy. Believe it or not it has to do with the kind of ingredients we choose - refined vs un-refined. People think that it requires time and effort to go looking for ingredients which are made in a conscious manner. It’s not difficult at all, thanks to the internet.
When we cook more often using the vessels made with natural materials, by artisans, closer to our homes, the body is said to be more receptive to absorbing those nutrients from the food that is cooked in them.
Kal chatti or soap stone utensils made in the South of India need to be seasoned with rice water for several days before being placed on heat. The starch and nutrients from the rice water helps in sealing the porous pockets naturally found in the soft stone and renders it safe for cooking.
We have by now been able to transition from plastic to fully biodegradable cardboard boxes for 80% of our products. Seen above in the picture are cardboard fitments. Most of our glass containers are being shipped in these boxes now. There have been cases of spillage, we are learning and promise to fix the gaps.
We had also shared small sneak peaks into the making of the cloth-bags on our Social Media channels. These are made by the same team in Kolhapur who make our Dhoop sticks.
This 'Ninja team' also does a quality check of the bags to see if any threads are out. This is because, we want to be using resources responsibly. While we are thinking about the sturdiness of the bags to carry our foods during transit, we also want these bags to be of use to you in many more ways. Reuse, re-purpose to store your green chillies, curry leaves, lime etc in the fridge or use it the way you want to store anything.
We were excited when we recently asked our followers on social media to share what it is that they look for in their bottle of Ghee - whether that was store-bought or made at home. The many stories shared were a clear indication that there is no dearth of like-minded people. What touched us most, is that there was so much love behind every story that was shared and that was the common thread that bonded us all. We share here some of the wonderful comments left on our page –
This article takes a look at some of the main herbs, widely used in Ayurveda that were a part of our wild landscape. Today we don’t know how to identify these plants even if these were to spring up in our backyard. Education cannot be limited to academics or lifestyle necessities alone. As people of this land, we need to understand the healing powers of our native medicinal plants before going off on a search for a rare tonic located in a far flung corner of the globe.
Before we talk more about gluten, it is first necessary to understand that what we know today as wheat is a result of many many processes of hybridization, DNA tampering, altering of chromosomes, bleaching, refining etc. It’s like someone reached into a big bag of different wheat chromosomes and decided to put together those which they thought would be most resilient to pests, grow faster within a shorter span of time, be separated from the bran with minimum effort and therefore make for better business.
How many people head away from the counter which displays guavas from the local farmer when there are blueberries from the Netherlands and kiwi fruit from New Zealand! The fact that we end up paying an arm and a leg for it is another matter entirely. What we are doing is generously contributing to a bunch of middlemen who make money fleecing people by merely transporting ingredients. Honestly economies abroad thrive because of us Indians and our love for the ‘imported’.
As adults we need to understand that evolution of sense and taste and find alternate ways to include the immunity boosting powder in their daily diet rather than initiating a forceful battle of chugging it down. Fortunately the ingredients which go into this powder have a well rounded taste profile and don’t have any unpleasant aroma or flavour. As a result it can be easily added to several dishes.
The turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, dry ginger, black pepper and whole coriander seeds which have been ground together to make this immunity boosting powder have been farmed under strict adherence to traditional farming practices where each ingredient is respected and allowed to grow as it should.
The blending of these spices have also been done with as much reverence as they deserve. Slow roasting over firewood to gently coax out their inherent properties, unhurried pounding to break it down without damaging the nutrients and mixing it all carefully with great attention to detail is what also goes into making this aromatic powder.
Dry ginger and whole black pepper are spices and shoots which are so typically Indian. ‘Sukku kaapi’ is a dry ginger & warm water concoction that the people of Kerala swear by. The Indian diet primarily consisted of black pepper to add that spiciness to the food. The chillies came much later from the ‘new world’ and are not a part of ancient Indian cooking.
A case in point is when looking at food offerings (prashaad) in places of worship...the food would be devoid of onion, garlic or tomato and would contain copious amounts of pepper, cumin, curry leaves, rice, lentils and ghee.
The feedback for this immunity boosting powder has been positive and extremely encouraging. While we do tend to highlight the respiratory distresses that this powder helps ease, it must be mentioned that the addition of whole spices also have anti inflammatory and digestive properties making it ideal for the gut. All food absorption and assimilation happens at the digestive tract so only if that were in a condition to absorb what is necessary will it then help the immune system.
Date palm jaggery or Nolen Gur or Khejur Gur is a warm, memory note of winter goodness for most Bengalis - as it is prepared by the siuli tribe during the cold winters in Bengal. The siulis climb the tall date palm trees, tap it for it's fresh sap and hang their earthen pots into which the sap (neera) will trickle all night long. The pots are removed during early dawn hours, filtered through a layered mesh and then boiled for about many hours at controlled temperature in tin or steel flat vessels fixed on firewood pits - also called a mud oven.