Tuesday February 20, 2018

Bengali New year is on April 14: here is a recipe for you!

The Bengali New Year falls on April 14 this year.

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My grandmother made this Kosha Dimer Dalna - egg curry - as a picnic treat for Bengali's New Year. Credit: Copyright 2016 Rinku Bhattacharya
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By Rinku Bhattacharya (Zester Daily) –

In mid-April, the people of Bengal — a region straddling Bangladesh and parts of India, including my hometown in West Bengal — celebrate the Bengali New Year.

Bengalis of all religious persuasions celebrate this secular holiday with music, song and, of course, plenty of good food.

Bengalis celebrate their new year with fanfare and gastronomical indulgence. Begin with Alu Kabli, or Tangy Potato and Chickpea Salad. This is a popular street food as well as a homey snack, especially after school for young children. Recipe from “The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles” cookbook. Credit: Copyright 2016 Rinku Bhattacharya
Bengalis celebrate their new year with fanfare and gastronomical indulgence. Begin with Alu Kabli, or Tangy Potato and Chickpea Salad. This is a popular street food as well as a homey snack, especially after school for young children. Recipe from “The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles” cookbook. Credit: Copyright 2016 Rinku Bhattacharya

It’s only appropriate to go all out, food-wise, on naba barsha, as Bengalis call the holiday. Food in Bengali is synonymous with all events and happenings. But for festivals like the one for the new year, Bengalis go the whole nine yards on the dinner table.

People also buy new clothes and other new items with the belief that something done at the beginning of the year repeats itself year-round. Bengali traders crack open fresh new account books called the haal khata on this day.

A new year ahead, with taxes behind us

Ironically, the Bengali New Year, which falls this year on April 13th, originated in the Mughal Empire, when it marked a fresh beginning after the collection of taxes.

So, celebrate the end of tax season with me by delving into this regional cuisine.

Bengal, with its west monsoon climate and proximity to rivers, offers a diet rich in fish, greens, rice and vegetables. Its seasonings are distinct and prominent with the use of mustard, poppy seeds, ginger and a Bengali Five Spice Blend consisting of mustard, cumin, nigella, fenugreek and fennel. This seasoning is called panch phoron: panch means five and phoron means tempering.

The Bengali meal ranges from light to heavy courses, with a sweet and sour chutney to cleanse the palate before dessert.

Starting the new year with a family recipe that travels well

The fact that the holiday lands midweek this year puts a wrinkle on food celebrations.

This year, however I’ve resurrected a well-seasoned egg dish that my grandmother used to call her “picnic dimer dalna” or picnic egg curry.

Our “picnics” consisted usually of multilayered lunch boxes, filled with puffy fried breads known as luchi and drier curries like alur dom. In our family’s case, it included these eggs, since my grandmother felt that we should get our protein as growing children.

This dish travels very well, and actually improves as leftovers. My children now love this as a special breakfast treat and it can be enjoyed with toasted bread almost as much as the luchi, which can be difficult to pull off on a school-day morning. The eggs, however, can be made the night before.

This particular recipe is also known as Kosha Dimer Dalna. The word kosha in Bengali refers to slow-cooked and refers to the slow-cooked onions in the dish.

This year, if you feel that you just might need an excuse for a new beginning and an opportunity to revisit your New Year’s resolutions, join the Bengalis in celebrating our Bengali New Year.

Kosha Dimer Dalna (Egg Curry with Clingy Caramelized Onion Sauce)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 45 to 50 minutes

Total time: 65 to 70 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

4 tablespoons oil

3 medium-sized onions, sliced

1 tablespoon grated ginger

2 to 3 cardamoms

2 medium-sized tomatoes

1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper, or to taste

8 eggs, hard-boiled and shelled

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Chopped cilantro to garnish

Directions

1. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil and add in the sliced onions. Cook the onions on low heat, until they gradually wilt, soften and turn golden brown. This process will take about 30 to 35 minutes, but should not be rushed.

2. Add in the ginger and stir well.

3. Add in the cardamoms, tomatoes and red cayenne pepper. Cook for about five minutes until the mixture thickens and the tomatoes begin to soften.

4. In the meantime, make slits on the sides of the eggs and rub them with the salt and the turmeric.

5. Mix the eggs into the tomato mixture and cook for about 5 minutes, until the eggs are well-coated with the onion base.

6. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve.

Copyright 2016 Rinku Bhattacharya via Zester Daily and Reuters Media Express

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Benefits of Taking Vitamin E

Vitamin E due to its antioxidant nature helps in keeping the skin healthy and young

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Eating healthy is very important, especially Vitamin E is very essential for our health. Pixabay
Eating healthy is very important, especially Vitamin E is very essential for our health. Pixabay
  • Vitamin E is a very important vitamin for our body
  • Humans don’t generally experience a deficiency of Vitamin E
  • There are many sources of Vitamin E and also, it has many health benefits

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble, essential vitamin, and an antioxidant, our body needs. It prevents the process of lipid peroxidation, whereby the free radicals that are generated destroy the cellular structures of the body. This oxidative damage of the cells has been found in several pathological disorders like Liver cirrhosis and Diabetes, by several studies.

There are many food sources through which one can obtain Vitamin E. Same Condition
There are many food sources through which one can obtain Vitamin E. Credit: www.SameCondition.com

Overt deficiency of this vitamin is very rarely seen. It occurs in those who are unable to absorb the vitamin into their systems and those with inherited disorders that prevent the maintenance of normal blood concentrations of vitamin E.

Vitamin E-Discovery

Vitamin E was first discovered in the year 1922, at the University of California in Berkeley by Dr. Herbert M. Evans, a research physician, and his assistant Katherine S. Bishop. Immediately after the discovery, the researchers set out to find the benefits as well the impact of its deficiency

Alpha-Tocopherol Vitamin-E

There are about eight naturally occurring forms of Vitamin E.  Alpha-tocopherol is the form which is essentially absorbed and stored in the human body. The synthetic forms of alpha-tocopherol are found in the fortified foods and vitamin supplements.

Also Read: Vitamin D can helpful in Recovery from Burn Injuries

Recommended daily allowance of Vitamin E

The Recommended daily allowance for both men and women is 15 mg (35 µ mol)/day (of α -tocopherol). Due to the harmful effects of overdose, like increased risk of bleeding,  the upper limit of consumption for adults is 1,500 IU/day for supplements made from the natural form of the Vitamin and 1,100 IU/day for supplements made from synthetic vitamin-E. The upper limit is lower in children when compared to the adults.

Vitamin E is a great source of energy for the body. Pixabay
Vitamin E is a great source of energy for the body. Pixabay
Vitamin E Function

Unlike most nutrients, a specific role for the vitamin has not been found in any of the bodily metabolic functions. The major function so far identified is nonspecific chain-breaking antioxidant in the circumstances mentioned earlier.

Vitamin E rich foods.

Vitamin E is abundantly found in a normal and balanced diet.

The food sources include

Vegetable oils

  • wheat germ oils
  • sunflower oils
  • safflower oils
  • Corn oils
  • soybean oils

 Nuts

  • peanuts
  • hazelnuts
  • almonds

Seeds like sunflower seeds.

Green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli.

Cereals, Egg Yolk, and

Milk.

Also Read: Vitamin C helps in treating Tuberculosis

Vitamin E Deficiency

Clinically, its deficiency presents as peripheral neuropathy characterized by the degeneration of the large-calibre axons in the sensory neurons. In this condition, the damaged nerves cause weakness, numbness, and pain, usually in the hands and feet. In some cases, the condition can also affect other parts of the body.

In patients who are left untreated, chronic cholestatic hepatobiliary disease, spinocerebellar ataxia, neuropathy, and ophthalmoplegia may occur These terminologies might sound too complex, complicated, and confusing to the reader, but this is the true picture which results from negligence.

Sunflower oil is a great source of Vitamin E. VOA
Sunflower oil is a great source of Vitamin E. VOA
Vitamin E Benefits

Some studies have tried to show the benefits of the Vitamin in preventing the incidence of Heart disease but the actual correlation between the two is not completely understood yet.

The common eye disorders in the older people like cataracts and loss of central vision have shown inconsistent results in terms of lesser incidence, due to the consumption of this Vitamin. Researchers are still working on to prove the connection between these. It has been shown to improve the mental functions, especially in the senior citizens affected by diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Vitamin E in combination with Selenium has also been used as a treatment for infertility.

This Vitamin due to its antioxidant nature helps in keeping the skin healthy and young. It is also a treatment modality to treat scars and stretch marks. It acts as one of the potent moisturizers for the skin.

The article originally appeared at Same Condition- a patient to patient network. The link can be accessed here: https://www.samecondition.com/blog/vitamin-e-benefits-vitamin-e-foods/