Now, I’ll bet you’re settling down to read about the history of the tomato and its health benefits. I must confess I thought of listing those, because there’s plenty. But then I suddenly remembered reading about tomatoes being more than food.
I love tomatoes and snack on them when am too lazy to make something to eat. One day, a couple of tomatoes went soft (read overripe) and I didn’t feel like eating them. That’s when my Mom came up with some cool ideas. Literally.
First, here is some info.
So, what can you do with Tomatoes, besides eat them?
Tomatoes are excellent for your skin care regimen. Whether you have large pores or acne or rashes, tomatoes can soothe and cure. Did you ask why? Here is the answer. Tomatoes are rich in:
- Cooling ingredients that soothe damaged or raw skin
- Astringents that remove excess oil
- Abundant vitamin C and A to make your skin bright and healthy
Okay, let’s get to the tomato-juicy part now. Here are eight home skin care remedies in which you can use tomato and transform your skin:
For large pores
Mix one tablespoon fresh tomato juice with three to four drops of fresh lemon juice. With a cotton pad, apply this on your skin and gently work it in. Leave it on for about fifteen minutes and then, rinse it off with lukewarm water. This shrinks those pores. I splash some cold water on my face for good measure.
Got acne? Get tomato
You need one mashed tomato for this. Just apply the pulp on your face and leave it on for an hour. Rinse. Moisturize. Continue to do this every day and and soon, your acne will vanish.
Clean your face
Maybe you would rather eat the tomatoes and avocados (butterfruit) you bought. But keep aside a couple to nourish your skin. An avocado-tomato mask is excellent for combination skin which is oily, normal and dry in parts. Tomato’s astringent quality removes blackheads and oil, while avocados moisturize. The mask has vitamin A, C and E which are necessary for good skin. So mash avocado and tomato in equal parts, mix them well and apply it on your face. Leave it on for about twenty minutes and rinse off.
Get a home facial
Now this one is lazy ol’ me’s favorite. Cut the tomato in half. Eat one half. Then reluctantly rub the other half on the face, especially on blemishes. Then rinse and moisturize. Did I say it was easy?
Your very own astringent
Get rid of excess oil on your skin with this fab combo. Squeeze a tomato and strain its juice in a cup. Squeeze cucumber juice into the tomato juice. With a cotton pad, apply on face every day to control acne and balance oily skin. I’ve tried really hard to do this, but I keep eating the tomato and cucumber. Love salads, you see. Foods with benefits
Cool your skin with tomato
Suffer from raw skin that’s irritated and itchy? Sunburns? Rough skin? Use a tomato-plain yogurt (curd) mask. Yogurt adds protein that softens your skin, while tomato cools the skin. Your recipe is half a tomato crushed mixed with two tablespoons of plain curd/yogurt. Apply and leave on face for about twenty minutes. Then rinse with warm water.
Want smooth and glowing skin?
Try the tomato-honey mask. Mix tomato juice and honey and apply on face and neck. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and rinse off.
You need four tablespoons of plain buttermilk and two teaspoons of tomato juice. Apply and leave on skin for half an hour and rinse. If you have flavored buttermilk, drink it.
See? It is not so hard to pamper your skin at home.
The best thing about tomatoes is they are available year-around and are not expensive. The next time you are out shopping, buy a few more to feed your skin. Do make sure you also eat healthy to glow with gorgeous skin.
And stay healthy!
If there are any particular topics you would like to read about. please mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
Vidya Sury earns her tomatoes, yogurt, honey, cucumber and other ingredients as a Freelance Writer and Professional Blogger. She’s mom to a teenager who refuses to eat raw tomato except in Bhel Puri. When she’s not working, drinking coffee, listening to music, reading or spring cleaning, she blogs at Going A-Musing, Coffee With Mi! and Your Medical Guide
Paneer in Coconut milk gravy – visual recipe
Last week we had here the Mushroom in coconut milk gravy recipe. In the comment section, Pallavi had asked if the mushroom can be substituted, may be with Paneer. So I decided to try the same recipe with Paneer instead of Mushroom. Well, though the original mushroom gravy had a dexterity and Mushroom’s uniqueness, this paneer recipe was not bad either. You can give it a try, its kind of good.
So here is the recipe of Paneer in coconut milk gravy.
- Paneer – 400 gm
- Onion – 2 (big)
- Coconut milk – 2 cups (depends on its thickness)
- Ginger – garlic paste – 1 table spoon
- Garam masala – 1 tbsp
- Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
- Jeera – 1 tbsp
- Mustard seeds – 1 tbsp
- Turmeric powder
- Red chilly powder (as per taste)
- Green chilly – 2
- Curry leaves – 7-8
- Coriander leaves
- Salt – as per your taste
- Tomatoes (optional) – 2
Dice the Paneer into cubes.
In a frying pan, add little oil and saute mustard seeds, curry leaves.
Then, add the chopped onions, followed by ginger-garlic paste and green chillies.
Stir fry till the onion turn golden yellow.
Then add rest of the ingredients except Paneer and coriander leaves. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add the stir fried ingredients into a pressure cooker.
Add little water.
Switch off the gas when the first whistle comes from the cooker.
Transfer the content back into kadai.
Add the coconut milk into the ingredients.
Add Paneer cubes.
Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Paneer in coconut milk gravy is ready to serve.
I tried the dish with Roti and it went well with it. Unlike the mushroom in Coconut milk gravy, I doubt this dish will go well with Idly and Dosa. The gravy would but not the Paneer with Idly and dosa, atleast not for me. It might do well with rice items too.
Neverthless, its worth a try
Veg Kothu Parotta – visual recipe
Kothu Parotta (minced parotta) is a popular recipe from Tamil nadu, where one finds many street joints serving piping hot delicacy thronged by people. The original Kothu Parota recipes is non-veg, where we have chicken, mutton, egg variants. Though now we find restaurants serving vegetable kothu parota, it does not come close to the original recipe. Being a vegetarian family, my mom and dad figured out an unique magic recipe some 15 years back to bring out a veg variant of Kothu parotta that could be a rightful alternative to the original non-veg recipe.
So presenting our family secret recipe for you. No royalties, just enjoy the dish and pamper us with your feedback
Ingredients for Veg Kothu Parotta
1. Parotta – 5
(south Indian parotta that is made out of maida)
2. Soya nuggets – ¼ kg
3. Onion – ½ kg
4. Tomato – 3 or 4
5. Ginger - 1 finger size piece
6. Green chilly – 3
7. Garlic – 6 or 7 flakes
8. Red chilly powder
10. Curry leaves
For masala :
10. Clove (Lavang) – 5
11. Cinnamon stick (dal cheeni / pattai)– 1 piece
12. Saunf (fennel seeds)– 1 tsp
13. Khas Khas – ¼ tsp
- Optionally instead of the above masala ingredient you can simply use Garam masala powder.
- If one does not like the masala flavor , you can do the dish without the masala added.
So now lets see how to make Veg Kothu Parotta
Soak soya nuggets in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Squeeze out the water and shred it coarsely in dry mixer grinder.
Break the parota into small pieces and grind it coarsely in dry mixer grinder.
Keep ready chopped onions, tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste, the masalas, green chilly and other ingredients.
Add oil in a large fry pan and saute the ginger-garlic paste, green chilly and curry leaves.
Add chopped onions, red chilly powder and salt to the already cooking ingredient.
Stir fry the onion until golden brown and the raw smell disappears.
Add the coarsely made soya nuggets to the cooking ingredients. And keep frying in between till the raw smell of soya disappears.
To the cooking ingredients, add the coarsely made parotta. Remember during all the process to keep the flame in low.
Mix well the parotta and keep stirring in between.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook it for sometime.
Your tasty veg Kothu Parotta is ready to eat.
Enjoy the dish!
Potato Poriyal – visual recipe
This recipe for potato poriyal is slightly different from the usual poriyals for that slight different taste. You can serve it hot as a side dish or as a main dish with coriander paratha, small puris or toast bread if you want.
INGREDIENTS (Serves 2):
Chana dal – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds-1 tsp
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Desiccated coconut-4 tbsp
Green chillies (slit into two)-2
Curd water-1/2 cup
Coriander (chopped)-2 tbsp
Kasuri methi-a pinch
Salt to taste
Step 1: Heat the oil in a pan and fry the diced potatoes till almost brown or till they get cooked.
Step 2: In the meantime, boil chana dal.
Step 3: After the potatoes are cooked, remove them from the pan and add mustard seeds in the same pan and wait till they splutter.
Step 4: Once they start spluttering, add cumin seeds and onions and fry them till golden brown
Step 5: Then add green chilles, curry leaves, chana dal and curd water and mix well.
Step 6: Let the water reduce by half and then add turmeric, salt, asafoetida and the fried potatoes and mix.
Step 7: Let the potatoes absorb all the water and then add desiccated coconut and kasuri methi and mix well.
Step 8: Finally, add chopped coriander and mix well.
Step 9: Garnish with desiccated coconut and coriander and serve hot.
TIP: If you don’t have curd water, either use water or add curd (beaten roughly) to the dish and cook. Eventually the curd will curdle and you will be left with the water. Remove the curdled curd with a spoon.
What does mood have to do with food?
What does mood have to do with food?
Or put it the other way, what does food have to do with mood? Quite a bit, it seems. You can actually beat the blues or get over a sulking fit by watching what you eat and when you eat it.
If you tend to snap at others rather often and feel irritable, and your family/friends/colleagues feel as though they must keep a safe distance from you, you probably just need a better eating plan.
What causes these sudden mood swings?
Sugar is the culprit. A sudden low in blood sugar can make you really touchy. But that does not mean that you can focus on eating sweets as a solution, because a rise in sugar can also play havoc with your mood, making you tired, restless and drained.
So how to ensure that your blood sugar levels are balanced?
Here’s what you can do:
Consistent and small meals every five to six hours can make sure that your body, and brain are properly fueled. This prevents any lows in your blood sugar levels which cause that bad mood. If you have been diagnosed with hypoglycemia, you may need to eat every 2-3 hours. Check with your doctor.
It is important consume less concentrated sugar such as soda, candy, jam, syrups, fruit juices, etc which can suddenly spike your blood sugar and just as suddenly cause drops in it. This makes you fatigued and puts you in a lousy mood. And oh, by the way, the same thing happens with refined starches – which means white bread, bagels, crackers, rice and so on. The reason is that these foods tend to break down quite fast in the digestive tract and converts into blood sugar.
What is the solution? Focus on the whole grain-based variety of foods that take longer to digest, thanks to their high fiber content which helps keeps your blood sugar levels balanced.
- Go for the high quality carb + lean protein combination
When you consume proteins combined with high-fiber carbohydrates – particularly the sort that is rich in soluble fiber such as barley, oats, some fruits and vegetables, it slows down the absorption of sugar in your blood stream. This means fewer mood swings.
Research shows that while certain foods can make you irritable, there are foods that can actually improve your mood by having a positive effect on the chemical messengers in your brain.
Focus on foods with omega-3 fatty acids and folic acid
Our brain has the highest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids compared to other parts of the body. The great thing about Omega-3 is that it helps lift depression. You’ll find high concentrations of Omega-3 fats in fish such as wild salmon, sardines and mackerel. For vegetarians, the sources are flaxseeds, walnuts and omega-3 fortified eggs.
Folic acid or folate also plays a critical role in determining your mood. Research shows that when this vitamin B level is low in the blood, it correlates with depression. So – if you’re someone who feels low and depressed rather often, tell your doctor. If your feeling of depression is temporary, go for foods rich in folic acid like leafy greens, sunflower seeds, soybeans, beets, oranges, etc.
Have you noticed if some foods make you feel better/worse? Which are they? Do share your take on this!
Maladu – Visual Recipe
Maladu or Pottu kadalai urundai is an easy to make laddu variety.
- Bhuna Channa (roasted gram / pottu kadalai)
Take a measure of bhuna channa (pottu kadalai) and sugar as per your choice.
Grind bhuna channa (pottu kadalai) and sugar together into powder form.
Add ghee to the grinded flour.
Mix well to the consistency as shown in the picture below.
Make balls out of the mixed flour to make laddus.
Delicious maladu is ready to eat. Enjoy the yummy dish!
Black Til Laddu – Visual recipe
This is a simple, easy to make , healthy traditional snack made with black sesame seeds ( black til seeds) . In Tamil the dish is called Ellu urundai.
- Black Til (black sesame seeds)
Step 1: Roast the til (sesame seeds) in low flame till they crackle.
Step 2: Grind the roasted til in mixie grinder to make a powder. Add shredded jaggery to it and grind again. You will get the final mix like how its shown in the picture below.
Step 3: Make balls with the mixture. Your delicious black til laddu is ready to eat.
Black til laddu makes a healthy, nutritious and delicious laddu for your kids.
Eat healthy, Stay healthy.
Sweet Banana fry – Visual recipe
- Kerala Banana (nentran vazha -the variety used to make banana chips)
- Sugar (as per taste)
Step 1: Cut the banana into round pieces. Semi ripe bananas are preferable for this dish.
Step 2: Add the cut pieces into a frying pan.
Step 3: Add desired quantity of sugar and keep the flame in low. (if the banana is semi ripe you can add very little water before adding sugar and cook it for a minute or two to make it tender)
Step 4: Stir fry in low flame. Add ghee as per the banana quantity and your diet control.
Step 5: Stir fry it till it cooks well and thickens. Make sure it does not get burned.
Step 6: Your delicious sweet banana fry is ready.
It is really yummy !!!! Enjoy the dish. Its quick to make delicious dish!
- Article by Lakshmi Rajan. He is the Chief Blogger-Editor of GingerChai. To read other articles of Lakshmi Rajan, Click HERE.
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Aval Urundai /Poha Laddu – Visual Recipe
Aval Urundai (அவல் உருண்டை) or Poha laddu is an easy to make sweet dish. Believe me it just takes less than 10 minutes to make! Not just that it also makes a healthy indulgence.
Poha (flattened rice) – 3 Cups
Grated Coconut – 1 cup
Sugar – Half cup or as per taste (you can use sugar substitute if you are on strict no-sugar diet)
How to make Aval Urundai:
Slightly roast Poha in a tawa. (In the picture, I have used red rice poha, you can use the commonly available white poha instead)
Grind first the roasted Poha and Sugar together finely. When the mixture grinded fairly fine, add the grated coconut and grind all together.
Make the mixture into balls. Delicious Aval urundai or Poha laddoo is ready to eat.
Enjoy the delicious, healthy snacks!
Ada Paniyaram – Visual recipe
Ada Paniyaram is a traditional sweet delicacy of southern parts of Tamil nadu.
Raw rice: 1 measure
Parboiled rice: 1 measure
Jaggery: As per taste
Moong dal (broken and skinned)
Preparing the batter : Take raw rice and parboiled rice in the ratio of 1:1 and Jaggery as per taste. Do remember that we add jaggery in the filling also. So accordingly take jaggery for the batter.
Step 2: Grind raw rice, parboiled rice and Jaggery together to make a batter. (similar to the consistency of dosa batter)
Preparing the filling: Take coconut and moong dal in the ratio of 1:4 ( 4 measure of coconut and one measure of raw moong dal) and shredded jaggery.
Step 4: Mix all the three ingredients together.
Step 5: Heat the tawa and grease it with oil. Pour a layer of the batter.
Step 6: Spread a portion of the filling on the layer.
Step 7: Pour another layer of the batter over the filling. Apply a dash of oil or ghee.
Step 8: Turn the side and heat it.
Step 9: Delicious Adai Paniyaram is ready to eat!