A superfood that strengthens bones and boosts immunity

Drumstick (scientific name: Moringa oleifera) is also known as shevaga in Marathi, shajan in Hindi, murungai in Tamil, muringnga in Malayalam, and munagakaya in Telugu. Drumstick is well-suited as a superfood that beats chronic diseases or as a vital component in traditional medicine.
Drumstick pods and leaves are a source of many vital nutrients. Fresh pods and seeds are a storehouse of oleic acid, a healthy fatty acid that is good for heart health.

Freshly cut drumsticks. Photo courtesy by Anjum Hasan (author)

Drumsticks can make for some very tasty recipes that are full of flavor and beneficial for health. I am listing one of my faves here -

The unique fruit with a fleshy consistency

Photo by Free To Use Sounds on Unsplash

Jackfruit is a large, fleshy fruit that tends to have a meaty consistency. It is native to India and is consumed in various ways across the country. The Jackfruit tree bears around 200 fruits a year and these fruits are really large — some can even get to 55kg or over a hundred pounds.

Jackfruit is called ‘katahal’ in Hindi — the word being derived from the Sanskrit kantak phala or the thorny fruit. This name is in reference to the exterior of the fruit which is greenish-yellow and thorny.

There are various ways to prepare this fruit depending on…

Dalia or Broken Wheat can be used as a breakfast

Dalia. Picture by Anjum Hasan

Dalia or broken wheat is a popular, delicious, and healthy breakfast of an average Indian household. It is power-packed with nutrients like protein, fiber, and Vitamin B. It can help in regulating body weight and is easy to digest.

Dalia can be cooked in various ways — including both sweet and salty flavors. Sweet Dalia is cooked with butter, milk, sugar, and nuts. To cook sweet Dalia, first, roast Dalia in butter then boil it in a pressure cooker for one whistle on a low flame. Then add milk, sugar, and nuts and cook it on a low flame for…

This winter veggie is full of protein and other nutrients

Green Peas. Picture by Anjum Hasan

The Winter season adds various types of vegetables in our plate. Fresh green peas or garden peas or matar (in Hindi) is one of them. It is a small spherical seed of the pod fruit Pisum sativum which contains several seeds. It is packed with nutrients like protein, fiber, Vitamin A, K and C, thiamine, folate, etc.

Peas can be cooked with nearly every other winter vegetable like cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, potatoes, and green fenugreek leaves. It can also be used as a tasty snack at tea-time.

There are various delicious dishes of peas like matar pulao (peas and rice)…

Where does this road called life takes us?

Photo by Matt Duncan on Unsplash

I walked this life such,
that I could not see where I was going,
so last I was on the zig-zag paths,
that I didn't even recognize my own home,

The heart was robbed so many times,
that I could not even see who was mine,
O God! bring light to this dark night,
so I could find my path! my home!

जिन्दगी एक सफर

कुछ यूं तय किया जिन्दगी का सफर

कि मंजिल की पहचान हो न सकी

राहों की भूल भूलैया में भूले इस कदर

कि अपने घर की पहचान हो न सकी

इस नादान दिल को दुनिया ने इतना ठगा

कि अपनों की पहचान हो न सकी

ए खुदा ! इस अंधेरी रात को कर रौशन

मुझे राह दिखा, मेरी मंजिल का पता बता।।

Things that are once precious, often end up in dust

Photo by Marcel Kovačič on Unsplash

Once I would kiss her skin,
once I would caress her hair,
once I was wrapped around her hand,
once I’d dry out on a line in the sun!

But…times have changed,
base I am now,
nothing but a dirty rag to clean the floor,
thrown around to dry,
and the floor is my abode,
my shape is in tatters and I am filthy,
once I was your towel, now I am just a rag!

The original was published by the author in Hindi on the platform Pratilipi. The same has been reproduced here —


कभी उनके तन को चूमती

A poem about struggles, getting bogged down but not giving up

Photo by Karsten Würth on Unsplash

The goals are vague like a dream,
the roads I walk on are unpaved,
prickly thorns line it,
and these I must pick!

I haven't sailed through the dark storms of struggle,
how can I claim that success tastes sweet?
how do I tell you what I have accomplished,
when I am yet to attain it!

This poem was originally published in Hindi by the author. Here is the original —

मंज़िलें स्वप्न सी हैं
राहें अभी बाकी हैं
कांटे ही कांटे हैं इस रास्तें पर
जिन्हें चुनना अभी भी बाकी है
संघर्षों के तूफान से तो
अभी गुज़रे ही नहीं
सफलता का मीठा फल कैसा है?
चखना अभी बाकी है
जीवन की उपलब्धि को व्यक्त कैसे करें
जब उसे पाना अभी बाकी है।।

Ram dana desserts are both yummy and healthy!

Ram dana Ladoo picture by Author

Amaranth grain or Ram Dana is considered a Rajgira (or a royal grain) due to its medicinal properties. The word “amaranth” is actually derived from the sanskrit word “amar” which means immortal! Botanically it is not a cereal. It is often consumed in form of healthy desserts like laddoos and kheer (pudding).

Ram dana is chock full of nutrition. It has high amounts of calcium, iron, phosphorus and manganese. Ram dana has more protein than many other cereals, less carb and is very fibrous so easily digestible. This ancient, royal grain is an amazing source for great health.

Here I…

Start your year with healthy eating!

Picture by the author

Mushrooms are regarded as nature’s hidden treasure or a wonderful gift. They are packed with vitamins and are very low in calories. They are known for being a rich source of potassium and selenium, two key metals needed for the healthy functioning of our body.

Mushroom is usually cultivated by local farmers. I tend to purchase it from my local vendors. For us, it is only available in winters.

Mushrooms are versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes. These include mushroom rice, mushroom crostini, stuffed mushroom, mushroom korma, fried mushroom, etc. …

A tasty, hearty soup to warm you up

Broccoli. Picture by the Author

It was a beautiful sunny winter afternoon when we went to my aunt’s house for lunch. She cooked a simple meal for us with a special — “broccoli soup”. It was a green, rich, and creamy soup. I found it both delicious and peculiar, tasting it for the first time. She grew broccoli in her kitchen garden. It resembled a cauliflower, so, for me, it was like a green cauliflower with health benefits. It is packed with Vitamin A, B, C, and K, potassium, iron, phosphorus, protein, etc.

For health benefit, you can check this site: Broccoli 101: Nutrition Facts…

Anjum Hasan

Educator, travel enthusiast, loves to cook. History, music, art and culture lover. Books and gadgets collector.

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