7 Creative Kachori Fillings You Must Try this Monsoon

Kachori is a famous street food snack which is perfect for the monsoon season. It is golden and flaky and is loaded with a special filling that may vary from state to state. These heavenly bites, deep fried in hot oil and sometimes in desi ghee, are perfect to gorge on a rainy day. In Uttar Pradesh, it is enjoyed as a popular breakfast item and is generally eaten with aloo ki sabziand raita. Kachori is believed to have been created and popularized by the Marwaris in Rajasthan. A typical kachori is filled with a spicy mix of moong dal and urad dal

, but over the years, people have experimented with many other fillings which are equally delicious. Here are some of the most popular types of kachoris with different fillings that you must try this monsoon.

 

7 Creative Kachori Fillings You Must Try this Monsoon

1. Pyaz ki Kachori

 

Pyaz ki Kachori is a traditional snack from Rajasthan. You would find these kachoris in every nook and corner of the cities across the state. It is believed that the Pyaz ki Kachori was first made in Jodhpur and eventually became popular in other cities. This spicy kachori is filled with onions, kalonji, bay leaves, coriander leaves, garam masala, green chillies and fennel seeds and fried in ghee. This kachori tastes brilliant with saunth, a sweet and spicy tamarind chutney.

 

Where to Find: Rawat Kachori, Jaipur

 

2. Paneer ki Kachori

 

Paneer ki kachori is popular in Uttar Pradesh. It is generally eaten for breakfast along with coriander chutney or aloo ki sabzi. It is filled with lots of paneer, asafoetida, chaat masala, coriander powder, garam masala and cumin seeds. It is also great with your evening cup of tea.

 

3. Hare Chane ki Kachori

 

Hara chana makes for a delicious filling in a kachori. The kachoris are usually made with wheat flour and stuffed with hara chana, ginger, coriander leaves, green chili and various spices. The filling becomes a little dry and therefore, people like to savour it with raita or spiced yogurt.

 

4. Dry Fruit Kachori or Mawa Kachori

 

Dry fruit Kachori or Mawa Kachori is a sweet version of the kachori. It is believed that the Mawa Kachori was invented by a halwai named Shri Rawatmal Ji Deora of Rawat Mishthan Bhandar in Jodhpur. It is made with dry fruits like cashew nuts, almonds, walnuts and pistachios and lots of khoya (mawa). It is fried in desi ghee and then dipped in sugar syrup.

 

Where to Find: Rawat Mishthan Bhandar, Jodhpur

 

5. Spicy Masala Kachori

 

This one is a regional favourite from Gujarat and like all the other Gujarati delicacies it has a sweet and salty flavour. It is made with a spiced dough which is filled with peanuts, clove powder, cardamom powder and coconut and is fried till crisp.

Where to Find: Shivam Snacks, Rajkot

 

6. Matar Ki Kachori

 

It is stuffed with sweet green peas mixed with spices. Matar ki Kachori is also known as ‘Vatana Ni Kachori’ in Gujarat. These are not as crisp but absolutely delicious. They should be paired with coriander chutney and tamarind chutney to add a mix of sweet and tangy flavours.

Where to Find: Shyam Sweets, Chawri Bazaar, Delhi

 

7. Aloo ki Kachori

 

Loaded with a flavourful mix of mashed potatoes, Aloo Kachoris are served with mango pickle, coriander chutney and sliced onions. Boiled potatoes are mixed with some spices and then rolled and stuffed into the wheat flour dough and which is then fried. In Uttar Pradesh, it is often known as the ‘Khasta Kachori’.

 

Where to Find: Bajpai Kachodi Bhandar, Lucknow

Head to your nearest spot to try their heavenly kachoris that are best enjoyed in this weather with a hot cup of tea.

 

Feed The Cold, Starve The Fever: Should You Follow This Advise?

Historically, medical practitioners believed that during a fever, the body must not be fed simply because it will direct its energy towards digestion rather than ways to fight off the fever, eventually leading to worsening your symptoms. This popular advise seems to have originated during the late 1500s, when it was assumed that a fever could be cured by fasting while a person suffering from cold must be fed because it occurs due to a drop in the body temperature.

Over the years, with numerous scientific studies that prove the phrase as inadequate and problematic, we have come to terms with the fact that starving a fever may not be a solution and could be potentially dangerous.

Feed The Cold, Starve The Fever: Should You Follow This Advise?

In line with common experiences, whenever we are suffering from fever, a visit to the doctor often concludes with an assertion to drink plenty of water in order to keep yourself hydrated and also eat lots of fruits and vegetables to replace the lost nutrients from the body. To prevent weakness, the body requires essential salts and fluids.

625 fever

Photo Credit: IStock

What you must do

We’ve grown up hearing “prevention is better than cure” and rightly so. Our immunesystem must be strengthened with antioxidants and foods that are rich in Vitamin C and Vitmain E that contribute to the healthy state of our body. Foods that are extremely rich in bioflavonoids must be eaten on a regular basis. These are found in yellow colored foods like lemons and bananas.

During a fever, the overheated state of the body burns more calories than usual and the metabolism becomes faster. This burden’s the body with an energy demand and thus, we must be sensitive to that. Therefore, it can be fatal to starve oneself during a virus.

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Photo Credit: IStock

Even more crucial than eating is the need to drink. Sweating during a fever is a common process and it can lead to dehydration and fainting spells. A number of people complain of a loss of appetite and this maybe due to the fact that the body is involved in fighting off the pathogens and uses its energy for that.

Drink as many fluids as you can, a simple mixture of salt and sugar in water provides instant energy. Water enables the body to fight off the toxins with ease, facilitating the road to recovery. Incorporate rice and oats  in your diet, they enable healing. Adding garlic to your diet immensely improves the body’s fighting mechanism due to the antioxidants present in garlic. To combat high temperatures, warm milk with honey and saffron also does wonders.

Fact or fiction?

Next time you encounter somebody rendering these words of wisdom, kindly think twice and first, consult your doctor, before you decide anything for yourself. According to Nutritionist Dr. Simran Saini, starving yourself during fever is the worst thing that you can do. “It can lead to fainting. We usually suggest fluids that are rich in electrolytes. The patient must have shikanjee, lemonade and chhach. During a fever, the body is involved in burning energy and thus food, in the form of fluids is easy to digest and provides that extra dose of  energy that you crucially need. “Light foods like khichdi, dal and rice or porridge is recommended as they are easy to digest.”

chana dal

By fueling your body with nutritious food, you prevent the spread of bacteria. It can be hard to separate fact from fiction and therefore, the best thing to do is to visit your nearest doctor for advice.

9 Interesting Food Festivals You Can Attend This Monsoon in Delhi-NCR

The best way to enjoy the lovely weather during monsoons is to indulge in some good food. So, here’s a list of some of the upcoming food festivals offering interesting, exciting and unique experience for all the foodies out there. Whether you feel like learning a new skill or trying a new cuisine, there’s a lot on offer.

9 Interesting Food Festivals You Can Attend This Monsoon in Delhi-NCR

1. Paint and Vineyard

 

Feel artistic? Then, spend your Sunday afternoon recreating some of the masterpieces at Dirty Apron (The Piano Man). Spread over 3 hours, this event can be enjoyed with friends, family or can be a way to meet new people while learning a new skill. Enjoy your afternoon painting along with some great wine, sangria and delicious pizzas.

 

When: 16th July’17 – Pablo Picasso Collage and Acrylic on Canvas Board, 23rd July’17 – Georgia O’Keeffe with Acrylic on Canvas Board, 30th July’17 – Van Gogh with Acrylic on Canvas Board with Palette Knife Technique

 

Where: B-6 Commercial Complex, Safdarjung Enclave, Opposite Deer Park, Hauz Khas, Delhi

 

Time: 3 P.M. to 6 P.M.

 

Cost: INR 3000 per head: Pizza, Sangria, Beer and all the painting supplies, INR 200 per head: Pizza and all the painting supplies, INR 1800 per head: Painting supplies (All-inclusive of taxes)

food festPhoto Credit: Dirty Apron

2. Great India Beer Festival

What’s better than a beer festival to celebrate the seasonal downpour? Get ready to try beer in all its forms and brews as The Great Indian Beer festival brings hundreds of real ales, craft beers and ciders from renowned microbreweries in Delhi-NCR under one roof. The event will also be some great cafes and street food joints to pair your brews with. While enjoying live music, you can also test your skill on a variety of traditional Beer games.

 

When: 19-20 August

 

Where: Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, Lodhi Road, New Delhi-03

 

Time: 2pm – 11pm

 

Cost: 1 Day entry: INR 700, 2 Day entry: INR 1,000. Prices may vary.

beer festivalPhoto Credit: Istock

3. Rajasthani Food Festival

If you craving some spicy food, the New Town Cafe at Park Plaza is where you should head this monsoon. They are all set to take you through a royal culinary journey of Rajasthan. They have an array of quintessential favorites like Gatte ki Subzi, Dal Bati Churma, Ker Sangari, Bajrey ki roti and much more.

 

When: 13 to 23 july

 

Where: Hotel Park Plaza, Gurugram

 

Time: Lunch: 12:30P.M to 3P.M, Dinner: 9 P.M to 10:30P.M

 

Cost: INR 999 per head (plus all applicable taxes), INR 1099 per head (plus all applicable taxes)

rajasthani food festivalPhoto Credit: Istock

4. Organic Food Festival

This month-long event is to let people explore different cuisines and dishes all made with organic ingredients. The organic menu by Chef Noah is globally inspired including Indian fusion dishes. He will ensure that the food served is 100% chemical-free, preservative-free, and pesticide-free. Dive into a roasted beetroot tartare with mint and a salted jaggery drizzle, followed by chimichurri chicken skewers with roasted red peppers and cumin hummus. For main course, you can choose from infused roasted eggplant with sliced potato stacks or bok choy zucchini and squash with organic soy, peanut, ginger, and sesame.

 

When: Starts from 15th July

 

Where: The hungry Monkey. B 6/6 DDA Market, Safdarjung Enclave, Opp. Deer Park New Delhi, India

 

Time: 12 P.M to 1 A.M.

zucchiniPhoto Credit: Hungry Monkey

5. Feast of the Seven Kingdoms

Many of you have been part of the Game of Thrones family for six seasons, experiencing the stunning visuals and being engulfed in the storm of heartbreak and revenge. To welcome the seventh season, Science and Cooking is organizing a feast that takes you on a culinary journey through the halls of King’s Landing to the warm comfort foods of the north and to the rich sumptuous treats of the east. It’ll be a hands-on cooking workshop where you can learn the secrets of the kitchens of the seven kingdoms, create your own bloody sauces, carve our own meats or prepare our own rustic feast and recreate this magical world for yourselves!

 

When: 22 Jul 2017 6:00 PM

 

Where: Science and Cooking, Gurugram

 

Time: 6 P.M.

 

Cost: INR 2000 (inclusive of taxes)

got themed festivalPhoto Credit: Facebook/Science and Cooking

6. Street Food Festival

 

During the monsoon season, it is tough to resist the urge to dig into the tempting street food and you don’t have to! Enjoy some amazing street food delights from around the country under one roof. You will find the glorious Aloo Tikki from Lucknow, Tawa Aloo Chaat from Old Delhi, the tangy and chatpata Moong Dal Pakodi from Uttar Pradesh, along with Akki Roti from Karnataka, the famous Bhel Puri from the by-lanes of Mumbai and the authentic spicy Lakhanpur de Bhalle from Jammu Kashmir.

 

When: 1st August to 31st August 2017

 

Where: Plaza Premium Lounge, Domestic Departures, Delhi,

 

Cost: Lounge access starts at INR 1200 plus taxes

street food festivalPhoto Credit: Plaza Premium Lounge

7. Masaledar Monsoon

To satisfy your monsoon cravings, indulge in masaledaar delicacies and chatpata thirst quencher. Drool over delectable dishes including Biryani Pakodas, Poatleez, Tundla Station Cutlets, Raincoat Chicken, and Barsati Mutton Pepper Fry along with refreshing drinks like Kaala Khatta, Hi with Chai, Setting Chai, Mad Over Mango and many more.

 

When: Till 30th July 2017

 

Where: Kopper Kadai, J2/6B, 1st & 2nd Floor, B.K. Dutta Market, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi

 

Time: 12 noon to 11pm

 

Cost: INR 1400 (Meal for two)

masaledar monsoonPhoto Credit: Kopper Kadai

8. Thai Street Affair

‘Siam Jan Deaw’ at Thai Pavilion is an interesting Thai street food festival where the menu incorporates an exclusive array of one-bowl delicacies from the vibrant streets of Siam. Here’s a chance to savour popular delicacies from the streets of Thailand from their curated menu and enjoy some authentic Thai flavours this monsoon.

 

When: 14 to 23 July, 2017

 

Where: Thai Pavilion at Vivanta by Taj ,Gurugram

thai food festivalPhoto Credit: Thai Pavilion

9. The Burger Fest

It’s time to celebrate the most favorite food of all time. Yes, burgers! Café Yell has organized a burger festival to satisfy all your burger cravings. They’re definitely going to be some of the most exciting burgers around town all under one roof.

 

When: 13th to 25th July 2017

 

Where: CafeYell, 35,Defence colony mkt New Delhi India 110024

 

Time: 8 am onwards

burger fest

 

 

This Monsoon Load Up On These 6 Vitamin C Rich Foods to Keep Infections At Bay

The Monsoons are finally here. As the country welcomes its first spell of showers, the season is also bringing with itself wave of infections and diseases commonly associated with the monsoon. The damp weather has already taken its toll on overall immunity of several people making them susceptible to many diseases  like cold and flu, throat infections and stomach problems. So what can you do keep away from infections this monsoon, an increased intake rich vitamin C may come in to be to be handy.

 

According to Shilpa Arora, Macriobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner, “Seasonal veggies and fruits have phytonutrients which are needed to fight bacteria and infections.Jamun, cherries, peaches and guava have abundant vitamin C which can help strengthen the immunity.”

This Monsoon Load Up On These 6 Vitamin C Rich Foods to Keep Infections At Bay

Bangalore based nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood, also backs the idea of going high on Citrus foods this season. “During the monsoon season, your immunity goes down as the microorganisms have sufficient moisture to grow and therefore, you become more susceptible to diseases. To keep them healthy, powerful antioxidants are needed which are rich in vitamin C. Staying hydrated at all times, eating green leafy vegetables and loading up nuts and seeds daily are some preventive measures”

 

The humid weather is making people increasingly vulnerable to infectious diseases, experts are urging children to increase intake of Vitamin C rich food, which can help kill infected cells in the body

 

A recent study by Bengaluru’s Indian Institute of Science has also found the molecular mechanism by which Vitamin C impedes and even kills Mycobacterium smegmatis, a non-pathogenic bacterium.Humid weather during monsoon leads to various types of fungal infections of legs, skin and nails.

 

S.K. Mundhra, head of internal medicine at city-based Saroj Super Speciality Hospital, says, “It is advisable to consume at least 500 mg of Vitamin C on a daily basis as it helps in improving immunity, reducing the severity and duration of common cold, flu and infections. But remember to restrict the intake to not cross more than 1,000 mg as excess in anything can lead to side-effects. “

 

Here are some Vitamin C Rich Foods you should start stocking immediately

 

1. Jamun

jamun

The seasonal delight is not only treat to the taste buds, but is also infused with abundant Vitamin C content to give your immunity the much needed boost.

2. Peach

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Have them whole, or use the tarty fruit in your salads, jams, or smoothies, but make sure you load up on this wonder fruit to keep the infections at bay this monsoon.

 

3. Lemon

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Lemons are an important source of Vitamin C. According to National Institute of Nutrition, our body requires 40 mg of Vitamin C every day. Vitamin C is great for immunity and essential for healthy collagen formation-framework of our skin and bones. It also facilitates optimum and efficient absorption of iron. Lemons are the easiest way to meet your daily dose of Vitamin C,” says Consultant Nutritionist, Dr. Rupali Dutta.

4. Amla

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Indian gooseberry or amla is undeniably a powerhouse of nutrients. Amla is an excellent source of Vitamin C, hence it helps boost your immunity, metabolism and prevents viral and bacterial ailments, including cold and cough. According to Ayurveda, amla juice is known to balance all the processes in the body and brings to equilibrium all three doshas – vata, kapha, pitta.

5. Cherries

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This vibrant red fruit is a great blend of sweet flavours with a tingle of sourness and adds the perfect pop of colour to your desserts. Infused with great amounts of vitamin C, Cherries are one of the best bet this season.

6. Litchi

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Rich in vitamin C, lychee also has more than 100% of the daily requirement of ascorbic acid (ABA) in a single serving which works exceptionally well for boosting your immunity. Vitamin C in Litchi stimulates the activity of white blood cells that defend the body against foreign materials.

Can olive oil be used for frying? We debunk four myths about this wonder oil

Whether making the heart healthy or regulating sugar levels or bringing with itself vitamins and antioxidants, olive oil is an ideal companion for all who wish to lead a healthy life. Recent studies say it can also help in preventing brain cancer and reduce cholesterol levels. But due to a lack of precise knowledge about this oil, some are reluctant to make it part of their daily lives. This is, to some extent, a result of all the crazy marketing out there: Peruse the olive oils in a typical grocery store and you’ll be greeted by all kinds of terminology.

Some of it is confusing — like “pure” and “extra-virgin” — which is better? Other terms are just pointless — “cold-pressed”, for example, doesn’t really mean much. Basically, all extra-virgin olive oil is cold-pressed. So it’s time we debunk some of the myths about this beneficial Mediterranean favourite.

Factors like olive variety, growing conditions and country of origin create variability in oil colour. (Shutterstock)

Myth #1: If olive oil gets cloudy or solidifies in the refrigerator, it is 100% authentic and of high quality.

Fact: There is no home test to check for olive oil authenticity. Some oils get cloudy in the refrigerator and some don’t. Quality is best checked through taste and smell — authenticity is best-tested in a properly-equipped lab.

Myth #2: A very green colour indicates high quality olive oil.

Fact: Colour is not an indicator of the oil’s quality. Quality olive oil isn’t a generic product. Factors like olive variety, growing conditions and country of origin create variability in oil colour — from pale yellow to dark green — and how fast the oil will cloud or solidify in the refrigerator.

Myth #3: Heat diminishes olive oil’s health benefits; so it is best to use extra virgin olive oil “raw” or straight from the bottle.

Fact: Flavour may change when heated, but the health benefits remain. You can cook with all types of olive oil without losing health benefits because their smoking point is higher than most other cooking oils.

Myth #4: Olive oil cannot be used for cooking, frying and sautéing.

Fact: You can cook on high heat with olive oil. Here, the answer lies in understanding the various grades of olive oil. In India, one can most certainly find three grades of olive oil — extra virgin, classic/pure and extra light and, lastly, pomace, which is a chemically extracted variant of olive oil.

The difference lies in the taste, aroma and smoking point. Extra virgin olive oil has a strong flavour of olives and low smoking point as it is obtained from cold pressing. Pure olive oil is obtained from refining olive oil, so its smoking point is high but has the flavour of olives, so it can be heated and used for cooking pizzas, pastas, sautéing vegetables et al. Extra light has neutral/no flavour of olives and be used for everyday cooking/frying in Indian kitchens.

Eat healthy this week: 5 studies that help you fix what’s wrong with your diet

While obesity and other weight-related troubles are mostly genetic, what you eat can determine the risk of health disasters in people. Your diet can be the defining factor in what diseases and disorders you are at risk of, and, by extension, ensure immunity to fatal health risks.

From studies debunking the widespread usage of frozen foods and the necessity of including iron in your daily intake, to the now scientifically proven importance of coffee in day-today life, here are five facts about dietary norms.

  • Your diet can be the defining factor in what diseases and disorders you are at risk of.

1) A no-stress job: Turns out, you don’t always need a eating schedule and calorie charts to tell you what to eat when. Just a slight variation, and shift to a few healthier dietary habits can do the trick. From picking brown bread over a white one, or opting for fruits over a fried snack can go a long way.

Just a slight variation, and shift to a few healthier dietary habits can do the trick. (HT file photo )

2) Don’t take the cold shoulder: Wellness experts concluded that frozen fruits and vegetables lose their nutritional richness when they are exposed to extreme temperature change and moisture levels. In fact, fruits and vegetables are more prone to losses as compared to frozen meats and grains, because they are mostly rich in water soluble vitamins and minerals, which easily get oxidized in the process of freezing.

Wellness experts concluded that frozen fruits and vegetables lose their nutritional richness (Shutterstock )

3) Strong as iron: An iron-rich diet will not only boost your general immunity (courtesy higher haemoglobin content), it also helps keep cardiovascular diseases at bay. A new study has found a link between low levels of iron and a higher risk of heart disease. After analysing genetic data, a team of researchers have found that iron-rich foods could have a protective effect against coronary artery disease (CAD), a type of cardiovascular disease (CVD) where clogged arteries reduce the amount of blood reaching the heart.

An iron-rich diet can keep heart diseases at bay. (iStock)

4) The healthy oil: Sure, fried food or extra oily foods are not the best regarded eatables. In fact, any weight loss diet will ask you to stay off oil. However, there are four oils that do you good than harm. A moderate amount of fat is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Adding a little fat to your food, either through cooking or drizzling over salads, can help to fill you up and feel more satisfied after a meal, as well as boost health by helping the body absorb several fat-soluble vitamins.

Avocado oil is one of the healthy oils that can be used in everyday diet. (Shutterstock )

5) Coffee to the rescue: Drinking coffee is good for you. In fact, it can lead to a longer life, according to a new study. In a study found that people who drank regular or decaffeinated coffee experienced health benefits, such as increased longevity. Previous research had shown that coffee can lower the risk of several diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, liver cirrhosis and Parkinson’s and can reduce chemicals in the blood that can trigger heart disease.

Weight no bar: This Mumbai woman is defying body stereotypes through yoga

Dolly Singh, 34, has gained something of a fan following online for promoting body positivity by showing that size is no barrier to mastering complex yoga moves.

“To say ‘You can’t do this because you have so much weight,’ I don’t believe that,” Singh says, completing her morning stretch in a Mumbai park.

Dolly Singh, 34, doing yoga at a park in Mumbai.

Four years ago a doctor advised her to lose weight following an ankle sprain. Singh, who is 4 feet 11 inches (150 cm), weighed almost 90 kilograms (198 pounds) at the time. She got a trainer and embraced the “whole frenzy of losing weight” but grew bored of running so she signed up for something she’d never done before — yoga.

“The first class I was thinking ‘Can I really do this because I have a big body?’ After two or three class I realised people were looking at me and thinking ‘Oh my god she can do this’. My body had a certain kind of stamina, of flexibility.”

Singh, who works for a TV channel in Mumbai, soon realised there were limitations to group classes and sought the instruction she needed from videos online.

“We all have different bodies and if my teacher doesn’t have a belly, how will they know what the problems are of having a big belly,” she explains, laughing. “I’m a big busted person and if the teacher isn’t how are they going to understand that when I’m doing a Halasana (plough pose) I’m almost choking to death!”

Singh started filming herself to monitor her progress and then began posting clips of her yoga poses on Instagram.

Online trolls

Soon she was inundated with messages, mainly from foreigners at first but then from Indian women saying that Singh was an inspiration to them. “I’ve been overwhelmed by some people saying they would feel alienated in a room full of perfect yoga bodies, how they would feel that everyone is watching them. There’s an idea of not showing your body if you’re big bodied. You’re supposed to hide everything because its not appealing or it’s not something people like to see but that’s just something that’s been sold to us,” she insists.

Singh says in response to her videos, she has received messages from women across the world who told her that she was an inspiration to them. (AFP)

The response hasn’t all been positive though. Singh says she has been the victim of body shaming online.

“Indian men have not been encouraging at all. There are a lot of people who write very nasty comments. They would say something like ‘You’re just a fat blob, you look just like an elephant or bear, or you’re unfit or it’s because you’re eating so much food.

“I completely ignore these things. You can’t fight internet trolls. I don’t know these people so why should it bother me?”

Singh, who currently weighs 73 kg, says she will continue trying to sell “a more positive body image” and “challenge notions of fitness and beauty”.

“I’m not aiming to have this thin figure but I am aiming to have a beautiful flow and make my body strong through yoga,” she beams.

No students in this school: Sanskrit institute with four teachers in dire straits

From a distance, this government-run Sanskrit school in Sikar district of Rajasthan appears like any other run-down school with the building in need of paint. But once you enter the premises, it becomes clear that something else is amiss. The school is erringly quiet – there are no children on the small playground or, for that matter, in the classrooms.

The Government Upper Primary Sanskrit School in Pratappura village has six classrooms, four teachers — but not a single student. The teachers report for work at about 8am, water the plants, read newspaper, chat among themselves and leave after 2pm. They get their salary on time, but are not happy about the state of affairs.

“We feel ashamed to be sitting idle the whole day. It was once a thriving school with more than 50 students, but things changed a few years ago,” Sanwarmal, the school’s head teacher, told HT.

The school, which was established in 1998 attracted children from the neighbouring villages. In 2005, the student strength peaked to 55 and then gradually began to decline. In 2015-16 academic session, only four students were left and their parents also withdrew them last year.

(From left) Sanwarmal, Krishna Verma and Prabhudayal Sharma- teachers of Upper Primary Sanskrit School in Pratappura.

“A few years ago, the neighbouring villages did not have schools so the children used to come to Pratappura. Now, there are three middle schools within 1-2 km range, and so this school has been deserted,” village sarpanch, Balram Verma, said.

Pratappura has a population of about 300, and in most households the head of the family are employed in other towns and only the elders have stayed back to look after the ancestral home.

“The village has only six to seven students from class 1-8 who now study in other schools in the neighbouring villages,” Sanwarmal said.

All the teachers are now sick with boredom. “There is nothing to do here. We even encourage the village elders to come and chat with us so that we are able to pass the time,” Krishna Verma, who is the sole female teacher, said.

A retired army man, Kashiram and a farmer, Ghanshyam Singh, are regular visitors.

The teachers have approached the education department in Jaipur to shift them on deputation to other nearby schools where there is vacancy for Sanskrit teachers. “We gave a written request many months ago, but no action has been taken in this regard. We were told that deputations have been stopped for now,” Sanwarmal said.

The school has a glorious past, said Prabhudayal Sharma, who joined as a teacher in 2003.

“Some of the students have become doctors and engineers and one of them is a senior police official. But now there is little hope. The chances of the school’s revival are very slim,” he said.

As if to emphasise his point, a stray dog wanders inside the premises to be quickly shooed away by one of the teachers.

Matcha a healthy choice: Drink this Japanese tea as it improves mood, memory and concentration

With Indian consumers getting more aware and conscious of healthy eating, consumption of green tea, gluten-free products or super foods has seen a rise. Matcha, a green tea from Japan, is an ingredient being innovatively used in ice creams, cupcakes and doughnuts.

For the uninitiated, Matcha is a finely ground green tea. In ancient Japan, monks primarily consumed it as a beverage of choice. Now it can either be dissolved in milk or water to add to its versatility — and also for its health benefits.

“Apart from health benefits like improving moods, memory and concentration, helping you relax, aiding in weight loss, matcha has taken a diverse transformation into the culinary world with people being more conscious about what they eat,” Chef Himanshu Taneja, Director of Culinary at The St. Regis Mumbai, told IANS.

“Adding matcha in food from a simple Frappuccino and turning it into a green tea Frappuccino, to adding matcha in our desserts like matcha cheesecake or a matcha ice cream, the ingredient is versatile and helps add to the health quotient,” he added.

Experts say eating healthy and staying fit has become an area of focus for people across all age groups, and they are increasingly looking at a variety of options that contribute to that lifestyle.

Given that Matcha is high in antioxidants, enhances calmness, boosts memory and concentration, increases energy levels and endurance, helps to burn calories and detoxifies the human body, improve cholesterol levels and more, it is fast making its way as an ingredient of significance.

matcha, matcha tea, matcha food products, matcha health benefits, why drinking matcha is good, matcha cosmetic products, Indian Express, health News

Chef Rahis Khan of Delhi’s Metropolitan Hotel and Spa says matcha nowadays is used to add flavour to a variety of Western-style confectionery items including chocolates, cakes, candies, cookies and green tea ice creams as it is the only tea in which the entire tea leaf is dissolved in water to provide the maximum benefits of its components.

“We, at (the hotel’s) Sakura (restaurant) serve matcha ice cream. Also, matcha-based drinks have been introduced such as smoothies, lattes, milkshakes and also alcoholic beverages,” Khan told IANS.

Foodhall, a premium lifestyle food destination by the Future Group, is also experimenting a lot with matcha. It has started a matcha experience zone that has flavoured macarons, iced tea latte, cupcake, cookies, baklavas, eclairs and doughnuts.

“I think with more places experimenting with matcha as an ingredient, people have become more open to adding it and experimenting with such dishes,” Olivier Vincenot, Corporate Chef at Foodhall, told IANS.

The combination of flavour and nutrition that it provides is interesting, says Smritika Sharma, Marketing Head at beverage brand RAW Pressery.

“Matcha is stronger as compared to other green teas, even when compared on caffeine levels. One must lower quantities right before bed time. Packed with catechins, matcha is an ideal pre-workout beverage. It boosts thermogenesis by 8 to 10 percent and hence improves fat burn.

“Matcha in cosmetics or through homemade masks is great for the skin. The chlorophyll present in the leaves acts as a powerful detoxifier which stimulates skin cells. Matcha, when applied topically, is also known to reduce sebum production and therefore is great for acne,” Sharma told IANS.

In the mood for some Chinese? Try this Dan Dan Noodles recipe

You might be a fan of rajma-chawal, idli, dosa, sambar and even Mughlai food for that matter but there’s no denying that Chinese food rules the heart of the country. Visit any city across India and you will always find a Chinese corner, with people happily tucking food into their tummy. If you are tired of eating the same dal-chawal every single day and in the mood for some Chinese then we would recommend this Dan Dan Noodles recipe by Chef Vivek Kumar, Oxford Golf Resort, Pune.

Not only is it easy to make, it’s also healthy and the perfect substitute for those roadside noodles dripping with oil and laden with chili and half-cooked cabbage. Try it out at home, you won’t be disappointed.

Not only is it easy to make, it's also healthy and the perfect substitute to those roadside noodles dripping with oil.

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Serves 5

Ingredients
500g – Wheat noodles
250g – Cabbage (julienne)
100ml – Soya sauce
50g – Sesame paste
25ml – Sesame oil
30ml – Peanut oil
25g – Scallions
50g – Bean sprouts
30g – Salt
75ml – Chili oil
1.5ltr – Water

Method
* Take a heavy bottom pan, pour water and let it boil on medium flame.

* Throw in the noodles in boiling water and let it cook for 6-8 mins.

* Make sure, noodles are tender not soft.

* Add cabbage in the same pan until it’s just wilted.

* Remove and set aside.

* In the meantime, thin the sesame paste with sesame oil and julienne the scallions.

* In the bottom of the serving bowl, place all condiments along with bean sprouts.

* Top up the nest of noodles along with the wilted cabbage.

* Drizzle the seasoning and chili oil from top, garnish with scallions.

* Stir to mix and eat.