Monday November 20, 2017

Desi Coolers! 10 Amazing Indian Summer Drinks worth trying this Season

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A smoothie , Pixabay

May 6, 2017: If you are tired of having countless glasses of water this summer, fret no more! Beat the heat and quench your thirst with 10 amazing Indian summer drinks and feel refreshed like never before-

  1. Lassi

Lassi, Wikimedia

Lassi is an extremely popular drink in Northern India. It originated in Punjab and is made my skimming curd. It is available in various flavours and colours. It can be made light or heavy by choice.

  1. Aam Panna

Aam Panna, Wikimedia

Aam panna is renowned for its heat-resistant properties. It is made from green mangoes and is yellow to very light green in color, and is consumed as a tasty and healthy beverage to fight against the intense Indian summer heat. It is considered great for treating gastro-intestinal disorders

  1. Thandai

Thandai, Wikimedia

Like Tom and Jerry, Thandai and Holi are incomplete without each other. The staple drink is prepared with a mixture of  prepared with a mixture of almonds, fennel seeds, magaztari seeds(watermelon kernel), rose petals, pepper, vetiver seeds, cardamom, saffron, milk and sugar. This too can be prepared in many ways like Rose , mango and badam thandai.

 

  1. Jaljeera

Jal Jeera, Wikimedia

Jal-Jeera or cumin water is a cool drink again originating from North India. The main preparation is actually lemonade with Jaljeera powder. It aids digestion and prevents anemia due to rich amount of iron.

  1. Kokum Sherbert

Kokum Sherbet, Wikimedia

Kokum which is also known as the Malabar Taramind is mixed with jeera and black pepper to create the Kokum Sherbert. It has a pulpy texture and pristine aroma. Due to its amazing weight loss properties Kokum can be your breakfast essential!

  1. Sugarcane Juice

Sugarcane Juice, Wikimedia

Extracted from fresh sugarcane it is a quick cooling reagent loaded with carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. It contains only 15 calories so we can now shed our winter tummies in a quicker, healthier and tastier way.

  1. Coconut water

Coconut Water, Wikimedia

Available not only throughout the country but also, most parts of the world.  Just cut the top of a coconut and escape the torturing heat. Commonly called as ‘natures sport drink’ or ‘life enhancer’ So just stir it up and drink immediately!

  1. Shikanji

Shikanji, Wikimedia

Lemon, cold water and sugar. Best detoxifying agent and one of the easiest things to prepare to brighten up your day. It makes you leaner and helps in preventing infections. Remember this, the next time someone throws lemons at you.

  1. Piyush

Piyush, Source: Sanjeev Kapoor

Made from curd / buttermilk and shrikhand spiced with cardamom, and nutmeg powder, Piyush is an excellent coolant for summers.It is thicker, creamier and sweeter than Lassi. This drink is great especially if you are fasting as it keeps your hunger pangs away.

  1. Paan (Betel Leaf) Juice 

Paan (betel Leaf) Juice

It is made from paan or betel leaves and a little bit of rose sweetener gulkand.  The aroma though is beyond words. To make it cooler you can also add sabza or basil seeds. It controls bad breath and cogh and has aromatic  simulative properties.

– by staff writer at NewsGram

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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A Sip of Summer: Taste these 5 Indian Classic Coolers!

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King of Summer Coolers: Lemonade. Pixabay

June 28, 2017: The scorching heat of summers is continuously draining you of your energy, leaving you tired, dehydrated and drowsy.  All you crave for is rejuvenation and refreshment. So here we bring for you a list of super easy drinks which will help you quench the summer thirst.

  1. LEMONADE– The king of the summer drinks, it can never be outdated for the numerous experiments that can be done with it. Add mint leaves to cool your body and add your favorite fruits and pamper your taste buds. If you are a health freak, what goes better than cucumber lemonade? Experiment with this classic drink and it won’t ever let you down.

Lemon Juice. Pixabay

2. BUTTERMILK– It offers you the lightness of yogurt and you can always add cumin powder, mint or curry leaves as per your taste and enjoy the tasty and healthy summer drink. Don’t miss out this desi Indian Drink this summer as it also prevents you from heat strokes.

The Indian Summer Cooler: Buttermilk. Wikimedia

3. MANGO PANNA– Made with tangy raw mangoes, it is slightly sour and sweet in taste with a hint of cardamom and black salt which is sure to captivate your taste buds and is also a rich source of Vitamin C and thus a curative for blood disorders.

Aam Panna. Wikimedia

 

4. WATERMELON SLUSH– This heavenly drink is a savior in hot summers for the benefits it holds. Add mint leaves for more flavor or any fruit as per your taste, this drink will surely cool your mind and body.

Watermelon Drink. Pixabay

5. ICED TEA– Ice this summer with different variations of Iced Tea. Load up on antioxidants by adding peach and mangoes or add the flavor of berries and pomegranate. To add a desi touch, you can go for adding tulsi leaves. From soothing stress to providing minerals, it provides more than just a refreshing boost.

Iced Tea. Pixabay

Just a few simple ingredients and you get a hydrating glass boosting you up with energy without a compromise with your taste buds. So in this hot and tiring summer, just sit on your couch and take a long cool sip of your favorite quencher.

By Supreet Aneja Twitter: @supreet_aneja

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Ayurveda can Help Evade Scorching Summer Heat: Here is How!

Newsgram would like to with you some Ayurvedic tips to pacify "Pitta" - the heat. 

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Ayurveda in Singapore
Ayurveda is the traditional Hindu system of medicine. Pixabay

June 15, 2017:

Its summertime and many people now want to escape the scorching heat of the summers to relieve themselves from the fierce sun. However, Ayurveda tells people to embrace the hottest season in purifying yourself.

Ayurveda teaches us to subdue the fire element known as Pitta in our body and treats summers as the most effective time to cleanse and purify the toxins of the body. Pitta in Ayurveda is associated with heat and is one of the factors that govern all activities of body, mind, and spirit. More specifically, Pitta regulates metabolism, digestion, and process of transformation in a body.

Manifestations of excess Pitta include heartburn, excessive body heat, and sweating, skin rashes, acne, excess stomach acidity, peptic ulcers, early graying hair, irritability, and anger.

The beauty and simplicity of Maharishi Ayurveda is that by holding to this constant source of imbalance, we can address or prevent a whole range of disorders in one stroke.

Knowing how to pacify these imbalances will make your summers more placid. Newsgram would like to with you some Ayurvedic tips to pacify “Pitta” – the heat.

 A cool diet to soothe the heat 

It is strongly recommended to consume foods which do not aggravate pitta and have cooling properties, for eg: Watermelons, cherries, grapes, asparagus, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini. Iced water, carbonated beverages, and canned juices need to be avoided to prevent digestive disorders.

In addition to it, avoid foods with sour, spicy and salty taste such as yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, sour oranges, grapefruit or pineapple.

ALSO READR: 10 Ways in which Ayurveda can De-Stress your Mind and Body

Strengthen immunity system this spring

When the monsoon sets on board, our immune system becomes weak and our body becomes more prone to viral disease. Hence, it is recommended to devour seasonal fruits like pomegranate, apples, banana, and mangoes – these can cause allergies and pimples, so keep caution while gulping the luscious fruit of the season.

Some of the best cooked foods are rice, oats, and barley with a zest of garlic or chili to boost your immune system. Including more turmeric and neem in your diet will help protect the body from infection and stimulates digestion. Ayurveda also advises reducing the salt intake salt intake by half to prevent fluid retention and thus allowing the lymphatic system to function efficiently.

 Lifestyle Enhancement 

Ayurveda strongly opposes excessive roaming in the sun. Although, those who can’t avoid going out in the sun can try this– Crush a small white onion and place it on your head, under the cap or carry it in your pocket to prevents the sunstroke.

Swimming is a good option in hectic summers. One can avoid heavy exercise, early in the morning or after sunset when the mercury surge is at its minimal. A therapeutic landscape walk, close to nature can also lessen the aggravated heat in the body.

Ayurvedic therapies are rejuvenating for mind and body. Apply sandalwood and other refreshing herbal body oils and face packs, place rose water pads, cucumber over your eyes to get the cooling effect and beauty.

– by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter: @Nainamishr94