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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Five of The Best Indian Chutneys

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 - 0 Comments

Chutney (or ‘chatni’ in Hindu) has a long standing popularity in the history of Indian cuisine. Originally a relish made from fresh fruits and spices, they began to be exported throughout the Commonwealth by British officers during the colonial era. This meant that the concept soon spread as far as South Africa and the Caribbean, and has led to a variety of flavour combinations.

The essentials still remain, and in Britain the cooked variety of chutney is incredibly popular. These are usually made with fruit such as mangoes, apples or pears, as well as onions, raisins, vinegar, brown sugar and spices.
There is a little more variety in India, where chutney continues to be served with almost every meal. They can also be used as sauces for hot meat dishes. Chutney recipes can be either cooked or fresh, sweet or spicy, and soft or crunchy. They can be made with fruits or vegetables – or a combination of both. Additional ingredients can include garlic, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, chilli, lemon, tomato or coconut.
With such a range of options available, it can be useful to know some of the key chutney recipes used in traditionalIndian cooking:
Tamarind Chutney: The fruit from the tamarind pod is soaked in boiling water, then mashed to a pulp and strained. Sugar is added, as well as seasoning and spices such as ground ginger, ground cumin seeds and red chilli powder. The result is a sticky, sweet and sour dip that is perfect for serving with appetizers or drizzled over rice.
Coconut chutney – Popular in southern India, coconut chutney is a deliciously cooling accompaniment to spicy foods. Grated fresh coconut is combined with onions, green chilli, fried gram (roasted chickpeas) and blended to a smooth paste. Sometimes yoghurt is added for an extra smooth consistency. It can be finished with a tempering of mustard seeds and asafoetida gently cooked in coconut oil.
Tomato Chutney – One of the most widely used chutneys in Indian cooking. The key is to use fresh tomatoes in this dish, but the remaining ingredients can vary slightly depending on who you ask. The most common additions are onion, ginger, red chilli powder, and curry leaves.
Mint Chutney – Fresh mint leaves, coriander, green chillies, onion and ginger are blended to a thick paste. This is then combined with yoghurt, cumin and chaat masala, and mixed until smooth. This is often served with tandoori snacks such as kebabs and tikkas. 
Mango Chutney – The most popular chutney flavour in Britain. Fresh mangoes are simmered with brown sugar, roasted and ground cumin and coriander seeds, cardamom pods, ground turmeric, fresh ginger, vinegar, sweet onions and garlic.  This sweet chutney goes perfectly with a variety of Indian dishes, adding a fruity taste to counterbalance the spices.
If you’re not much of a home cook, some of the best Indian brasseries in London will serve an array of homemade chutneys and condiments alongside their traditional Indian food. Visiting these top Indian restaurants can give you a memorable and authentic experience of the cuisine, so are worth a visit if you are in the capital.

Taking Food Preparation To The Next Level

There is a saying in India that goes, 'Don't waste food. Food is God.' Children grow up hearing this phrase and as adults they pass it onto their children too. This may be an ancient Indian mantra, but in today's modern world, in which a lot of food is wasted unnecessarily, this saying is one we would do well to take notice of (regardless of religious belief or non-belief).


In India, when it comes to the art of cooking, it is not just avoiding food waste that is important. For many women (and it is mostly women), setting foot in the kitchen without first having taken a bath and putting on freshly washed clothes is pretty much unthinkable. The preparation of the food itself is often considered an almost spiritual task - one that heightens the senses and is a time of purity and wholesomeness.

The preparation of food brings together different realms - spiritual energy and the engaging of all five senses combine with the act of blending together ingredients and tastes to create something special. According to ancient Indian belief, in order to make the preparation of food a truly delightful experience you need to be wholly aware of what you are doing and take your time while doing it.

And this idea of the slow and deliberated preparation of food is something that everyone preparing food in India follows. If there's one thing you need when you are cooking authentic and traditional Indian dishes, that's time - and lots of it.

The cooking process for many dishes enjoyed across the country is started early in the morning so the food can cook during the day. In many households, the cooking starts at around 6am, while the temperature is still cool enough to be near a hot, bubbling pot. The women of the house rise early so that they can prepare both breakfast and lunch - and they are often finished by 7.30am.

Different families have different beliefs when it comes to food preparation. Members of a south Indian Brahmin family, for example, will always remove their shoes before entering the kitchen. Shoes are considered to be dirty and carry many germs so are not allowed into an area in which food is prepared for the family.

But while rituals surrounding food preparation will largely be dictated by a family's religious leaning, they will also be determined by dietary preferences too. Many families in today's India are vegetarian - especially in southern states such as Kerala. However, the younger generation have not necessarily followed tradition and many eat meat. Being the only non-vegetarian in a strictly veggie household sounds like a tricky task, but as food is held in such reverence, everyone is respectful of each others preferences and beliefs.

If, however, you are like many of us in today's fast-moving world and do not have the time to spend hours preparing authentic Indian meals, then you can always have someone else do the hard work for you. London has a range of fine-dining Indian restaurants that serve traditionalmeals, all of which have been lovingly prepared. In fact, each dish is so delicious you won't want to waste a bit.

The Importance of Rice in Tamil Nadu

With easy access to the sea, the southern regions of India have long enjoyed the benefits of being able to trade easily with the East. One of the most essential crops grown in Tamil Nadu is rice, accounting for 85.2% of the total food grain production in the area.

In every rice growing village in the state, manufacturing sheds use traditional methods and technologies to prepare ‘boiled’ rice. This does not mean rice that is ready to eat, but rice that is par-boiled before it is sent to the mill. This is essential for retaining the B vitamins within the grain, and helps to prevent diseases such as beri-beri from forming. The grains are soaked in large tanks, before being steamed, spread out and left to dry for 4-5 hours. It is then put into piles, covered with sacks, and left to ‘ripen’ – this stops the grains from breaking during the milling process.
This par-boiling also happens in many Tamil households, where rice is served in some form at every meal of the day. The short, plump grains are generally served softer than in northern parts of the country.
Although breakfasts are an important meal, the rice dishes are kept relatively light, with dishes such as idiyappam – consisting of steamed rice noodles – served either with cardamom-infused coconut milk, or savoury flavourings such as mustard seeds, curry leaves and dried red chillies cooked in ghee.  Idli, a savoury cake made by a steaming a batter made from rice and fermented black lentils, is another popular option. The cakes are usually served with onion or coconut chutneys, or with a sambar(split pea stew) to create a more filling and nutritionally balanced meal.
Lunch is the biggest meal of the day in the households of Tamil, focussing mostly around rice, where it is eaten at every course. A typical lunch might consist of plain rice with vegetables (depending on what’s in season), followed by a sambar course that is served with more rice, as well as rasam, a thinner split pea stew. Dessert is often a cleansing combination of yoghurt, rice and pickles, stirred together and eaten as one dish. Sometimes fresh fruits such as mango, cucumber or grapes are added to this.
Rice itself is not generally eaten in the evening, when a lighter option is preferred. However, it still appears in a similar form to that at breakfast, with the fermented batter being used to make idlis or dosas, which can take on a variety of fillings and flavour combinations.
Rice is also served to gods in the temples of Madras and Kanchipuram, further showing its importance to the people of Tamil.
Of course, it is not easy to replicate some of these more technical Indian dishes at home. If you are looking for a taste of authentic Indian food in London, many of London’s best Indian restaurants and brasseries will have rice batter dishes such as dosas on their menus. Prepared by expertly trained chefs, this makes it possible for you to try authentic regional foods that are eaten in the homes of India.

6 Thrilling OutDoor Activities of winter for Kids Company

Winters entails extreme cold weather conditions to keep everyone enclosed at homes and making bored as well as dull during long vacations. Kids suffer this problem most as they need to out pour their energy by indulging in games and other activities, and when they can’t find the escape they might get frustrated and irritated. To sustain happy mood and lively atmosphere during winter vacations you can plan out some interesting outdoor activities to keep the children busy, fresh, healthy and motivated. Don’t you worry if your child get sick due to playing in outside cold, doctors says that it’s totally safe to let them get busy in different tasks in chilled climate to elevate the level of body resistance against extreme weather. Try out exciting games, crafts and tasks that will help your kids to stay warm and consume energy in a positive manner.


Making snow features
Help your children to craft snow features with snow and other natural stuff like tree branches, dry leaves, food colors, fabrics, wearable and bird seed etc. making a snowman or snow tree decorated with lights, mosaic figures of Christmas angel or Santa Claus embellished with ornaments and woolen stuff to dress them are few of tips that you can give to your kids for playing with snow, other than snow ball fun and laughter.
Bubbling up
You must have experienced making bubbles under shiny sun and warm weather over grassy fields of your backyard or nearby park, but doing these activities could be more fun than you have imagined. As kids will blow bubbles in the air they will be amused to see those bubbles turning into ice fizzes because of chilled climate. You can add another twist to the activity by mixing food colors in the mixture of bubble solution; it will make colorful ice bubbles after freezing in cold.
Crazy slides
If you have enough snow around your house that makes high heaps, avail them for thrilling activity of sliding over the mounds to let your kids scream with pleasure. To keep them safe use an old car tyre or sledding slab to slip over the snow. Seize these wonder moments on cheap canvas prints and make precious charms of golden times on home walls. You and your family will experience the same height of fun whenever you will watch these images.
Flashlight chasing
Youngsters love to tag and tease each other with laser lights of different colors. Why not make this a game of winter nights to play around your garden or street area with kids. Keep the task of chasing each other with beam of laser light and as a kid chase other person, than its turn of other one to chase rest of members. It will not just keep them busy but will also increase their immune system against winter diseases.
Snow igloo
Your front or backyard can be transformed into snow igloo after you got loads of snow gathered in the area. It can be more stirring for young kids to make a snow house for them to play and have fun. Take out your shovels and baskets to craft the snow house with kids right in your garden. You can also arrange some lighting decor over it for the festivity but keep in mind to use non-heated lights on the igloo to sustain it from melting.
Sports
Regular sports can also be carried out in snow to have happy holidays out in the day light. You can whoop the holidays up with playing snow golf with kids, let children to tuck up their skating shoes and gush over the icy floor, skiing and snowboarding games for young fellows and even rugby and footballs are ideal to play over fluffy snow.


The Best Breeds of Dogs for Homes With Small Children (and the Worst.)

Owning a dog can bring a family countless hours of happiness. However, owning a breed of dog that is not compatible with your family’s situation can lead to trouble. Not every breed of dog is right for every household. If you have a home with small children, you will want to obtain a breed that is noted for its gentleness with children, and you will want to avoid those breeds that are better suited to adult owners only.
Best Dogs for Households with Small Children

Pug
Pugs generally make good dogs for children. Pugs are small dogs, but they are sturdy. Unlike many other toy breeds, pugs are not know to be snappy. Pugs enjoy playing, and they have enough energy to keep up with kids.
Newfoundland
This is a very large dog, but it is one of the most gentle and child-friendly dogs that anyone could ever want to own. Newfoundlands were originally bred to be water dogs, and they still love to swim and frolic in the waves. Newfoundlands have sometimes been used as nannies for children. The Newfoundland will definitely make sure that no one bothers any children in its charge.
Bulldog
Bulldogs are very stoic creatures. They will tolerate a lot from children in the way of rough play. Bulldogs are very rarely aggressive, and they enjoy being petted and fussed over. They do have to be monitored in hot weather so that they do not overheat.
Golden Retriever
The golden retriever is a very nice family dog. They are a little less rambunctious than the Labrador which may be too energetic for small children. Golden retrievers love to play games and will be delighted to spend time with kids.
Beagle
The beagle is another sturdy breed that is not aggressive and loves to play. Beagles love to run, and children will not be able to tire them out.
Breeds That Households With Small Children Should Avoid
Chow Chow
Chows may look like big, fuzzy teddy bears, and this is attractive to children who may really want a chow. However, chows have a reputation for being very aloof and independent. They will not tolerate rough play, and they have a tendency to bite when they are annoyed.
Shar Pei
The sharpei has a similar temperament to that of a chow chow. If a small child should pull their tail or ears, they may snap and lash out. They do not like to have their loose skin wrinkles pulled.
Dachshunds
Even though they are small, dachshunds are known for their aggressive behavior. They are at the top of the list in dog bites. With their long backs that may be injured easily, dachshunds are not a good choice for families with young children.
Herding Breeds
Most herding breeds including Welsh corgis, border collies and Shetland sheepdogs are not appropriate for small children. While not mean, these dogs were bred to herd things. Often they will nip at people’s feet to herd them along. This can frighten children and make them run. This only encourages herding dogs to nip more.
For more information on dog breeds, ask your local veterinarian. Having a dog that’s not right for the household isn’t only unfair to your family, it’s unfair to the dog as well. Make sure you do your research!


A RICH HISTORY and FOOD CULTURE OF SAN DIEGO

San Diego, California’s second largest city, located at the southern coast of California is a popular destination for the surfers, fitness enthusiasts and food lovers who wants to indulge themselves into new and variety of food flavors.


San Diego has become a favorite hot spot for holidays and vacations and attracts a huge number of travelers due to its favorable tourist conditions and some of the best tourist spots including the mesmerizing coastal sea line with beaches. But what sets it apart from other popular tourist destination is the availability of so many popular Mexican Seafood restaurants and Pubs.
San Diego is considered to be the leader of current food trends due to concoction of tastes from around the world and culinary arts at its best. Due to the assimilation of various ethnic and cultural mix you can find a wide range of cuisines in the restaurant ranging from Mexican, French, Italian to Greek,Vietnamese, Indian, East Asian, etc. You can taste some of the best sea foods available in wide varieties ranging from Puerto Nuevo style baja lobster & sweet snow crab, Seasoned Lobster Tails, Baja Style Shrimp, fish & shrimp tacos, Golden fried fish fillets and Seafood Enchiladas, etc.
The Mexican food was introduced in San Diego by the Southern immigrants who moved here many years ago and they never thought that one day the Mexican cuisines in San Diego will be so popular even more than Mexico.
Many unique & enticing food tours are conducted in San Diego for the food lovers and tourists where you can Hop-on or Hop-off to various San Diego Seafood Restaurants to experience the vivid & amazing flavors of baja style seafoods and authentic Mexican dining experience. And as soon as the sun goes down, the beaches & the city streets comes alive with plenty of pubs, bistros & night clubs making you dance to their tunes
Some of the biggest food festivals are held in San Diego such as Bay Wine & Food Festival which is one of the largest food & wine festival in United States, San Diego Restaurant Week, Annual San Diego Festival of Beer, Annual Chinese New Year and Cultural Fair, Latin Food Festival, Taste of Little Italy, etc. where one can indulge into a gala of exquisite cuisines and food galore.
The Old Town of San Diego is a must visit for everyone where you can experience the real vintage style preserving the modern California history retaining some of the best historic buildings. Apart from these whether its surfing, sailing, scuba diving or kayaking, rock climbing and gliding there’s plenty of things to experience in San Diego.

 

Awesome And Appealing Seasonal Flavors In Dubai Trip

Your Dubai trip offers you amazing seasonal flavors even in hot summer and smooth winter. The city of just two seasons entertains you with its best offers and makes your vacations a perfect one. One can have great time in the city with unlimited seasonal flavors while few of them are given below,

Desert In Winter
Winter is the ideal time to visit the city. It is the time when there is neither too much hot nor cold. Moreover it is the right time to participate in outdoor fun. There is much fun in the desert, great charm on beach side and a constant peace over the deep waters. Your winter desert trip will provide you a real experience of amazing scenery of Arabic city. In the center of the desert you can enjoy a rolling safari over the unbelievable high hills.  Here you will get an exclusive understanding into the life of the Bedouins. Outfit yourself in the traditional Persia dress, appreciate the fresh made Persia breads, and try the ‘hubbly-bubbly/sheesha’ and the henna artwork.
Winter In Musandam
Your Musandam Dibba trip during winter will be a great chance to get escape from the chilled climate of your hometown. The fresh water and peaceful surrounding must entertain you and the height of your excitement would get double when you will relax under the shiny sun. Everything will be so bright and appealing that you could not quite this place soon.
Wintry Beach
Awesome beaches are the significant identity of Dubai city. One can spend plenty of time over there to get the sun warmth and relax their mind. Moreover their picturesque beauty would be enough to keep your eyes looking on it for hours. Enjoy everything around while taking the sips of fresh juice under the beach umbrella. Nothing can be skipped here, it is certain.
Just Stare Sun Down
It is not necessary that you engage yourself all the time during your Dubai trip. Quite possible you would like to do nothing. So it is fine and normal. What you can do is just sit in the balcony of your resort and stare the view of sun down that looks really amazing. The dim light of the sun all around beneath the dark shadow will fill your moment with splendid memories. Might you feel little uncomfortable because of many associated things with this moment but never let it go as it will bring more happiness in your life.
Add Some Adventures
Try some different things in your winter Dubai trip. It would be a nice change. You can choose a water trip and go for the deep sea fishing spots in Dubai as this can be an ideal fun in Dubai trip. You will certainly enjoy this hunting trip as the deep ocean has much to offer you. In addition to fishing trip you can avail a good opportunity to see the beautiful surrounding over the rich water and breathe in a fresh air for a while.

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