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    Mango TOMATO GONGURA Pickle
    INR  110
    INR 110 (Save 0%)
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    Reminiscing about the good ole days of summers and grandmas is never complete without a throwback to the passionate pickling that was the highlight of the season. Our mothers might have been busily cracking the whip about impending class final exams, but grandmas got cracking with the pre-pickling frenzy that the mango season brought with it. What’s life without spice? What’s an Indian meal without the Indian pickle? The history of the pickle may not be traceable to the Ramayana or the Mahabharata, but it is no less a symbol of India than the Himalayas or the Taj Mahal and definitely of greater importance to the avid pickle fans of our teeming population. Oil is the medium of pickling in India: mustard oil (sarson ka tel) in the North and gingelly or sesame (til) in the South. The other preservative is salt. Various combinations and proportions of spice powders like chilli, jeera/cumin, rai/ mustard, methi/fenugreek, etc. add chutzpah to the pickles. In the beginning, pickling was just a way to preserve foods. Over time and through centuries of culinary experimentation, pickling has reached the proportions of a fine art. My grandma was a truly prolific artiste who could make a mouth-watering pickle out of anything in the vegetable kingdom. Her three most fabulous concoctions, however, were the time honoured greats of South India –Mango, Tomato and Gongura pickles. In these days of fast food and faster food fads, surprisingly these three greats still hold on to their prideful place at any Indian meal. Why? Pickles add piquancy to the table Why do we eat? It’s because we like the taste. This is the precise reason that hot steaming rice and a liberal dose of a mango or tomato pickle or the more specialised gongura, mixed to perfection with an optional dollop of ghee is what culinary dreams are made of! A good substitute for blanks in a menu Just think of how many times the Indian pickle has come to your rescue: Pressed for time to cook on a busy working morning: pack that tiffin with mango pickle and rice! Unexpected guests and a dish needs to be stretched: gongura pickle will do the trick! Breakfast time and nothing to go with the dosas or alu parathas: bring out the tomato pickle! Bad mouth day recovering from the ’flu: any pickle to get the taste buds flowering! Dry and arid, cold and bare When the climate of a region is inhospitable to growing vegetables throughout the year, pickling is a good way to add vegetables to the menu. Each region has its local specialties, but mango and tomato pickles are omnipresent on any Indian menu. The BIG Three are Vitamin C Tomato, gongura and mango pickles are sour. These are immensely rich in Vitamin C which is essential to diets but cannot be synthesised by human bodies. You have to eat it to get it. Vitamin C is necessary for synthesising collagen, a part of connective tissue which plays a vital role in healing wounds. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and regenerates other antioxidants in the body. It is important for immunity and preventing diseases like scurvy. Tomatoes and Lycopene Tomatoes, in particular, are rich in the antioxidant, lycopene which promotes bone health. They are also 33% Vitamin C! The phytonutrients in tomatoes benefit heart health. Where do you think all these go when you pickle tomatoes? They are right there, bottled and waiting. Gongura, the iron-pickle This green leaf is rich in iron. Some strains of gongura are so sour that they are difficult to eat. But pickling gives the right balance and also gets rid of the slightly metallic taste that gongura otherwise has when used in other ways. So, get your daily dose of iron so essential for a healthy blood from your pickle. Nutrient rich raw mangoes Raw mangoes, the supreme pickling choice of peninsular India, are rich in Vitamins A, C, D, K, B12 and B6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate. Fibre- rich Vegetables and fruits like tomatoes and mangoes, green leafy vegetables like gongura are rich in fibre. We have read time and again how fibre is essential for digestion as well as for preventing metabolic diseases like diabetes. Pickling retains nutrients Fibre and vitamins in vegetables are retained on pickling. All the benefits that you get from the raw ingredients are present in their pickled incarnations too. This is probably why pickles were invented and made in the first place: to make the best of seasonal vegetables which are not available throughout the year. Is pickling a lost art in India? Making pickles is time-consuming. Today’+s pace of life and work leaves little leisure for the complicated process of buying the raw ingredients and making the pickle. Space is also a constraint. People in busy and congested cities and towns do not have the luxury of space. You cannot ‘spread’ yourself out to go through the pickling process. Pickling is also extremely messy. Cleaning up afterward without a set of helping hands is a lot of work. The good news is that there is no need to give up your nice-spice quotient at all! Choose the pickles from the expert makers. The ingredients are pure, and ORGANIC: untouched by chemicals and synthetic preservatives. The best oil ensures that they don’t get rancid. Time-tested recipes give a perfectly balanced taste: not too sour, not too spicy, not too salty. Just Right! So the next time you want to enjoy pickle like your grandma made or impress guests with authentic Indian expertise, just pick up a bottle of gongura, mango or tomato pickle, and you’re good to go!
    ORGANIC COW GHEE - BILONA
    INR  649
    INR 649 (Save 0%)
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    Hot, mashed rice and dal with a dollop of ghee: the formula for weaning toddlers off milk had the mommies sneaking a mouthful or two. I know I did that. The smell of ghee slowly melting on steaming khichdi: so tempting that you burnt your mouth because you couldn’t wait for it to cool down! Freshly made chutneys and pickles tempered with a spoonful of ghee: sorry, I won’t trade it for a king’s ransom. Culinary dreams are made of these and the reigning star is always GHEE. Ghee: India’s gift to the world Ghee(Sanskrit: Go Ghrita) was originally made from the milk of cows and was considered as cows are sacred. It was used in Vedic rites and is essential in any Hindu rite even today. There are some South Asian, Iranian and Arabic cuisines which use ghee. The rest of the world is only now waking up to the benefits of this much maligned ‘fat’. Grandma’s recipe Ghee is NOT clarified butter, though that is what it is called in all recipes meant for an international audience. Traditionally, cow’s milk is boiled, cooled and cultured by adding a little curd to it. Once this is set, it is churned till the butter globules rise to the top. (Fresh, soft, butter is so tempting – not even Lord Krishna could resist it!). The butter is heated in a thick vessel (preferably something non-reactive like stainless steel) over a fire till the water evaporates and the fat is separated from the milk solids (clarified). Then it is further simmered and acquires a rich brown colour a nutty taste and a tantalising aroma. My parsimonious Granny collected the ‘slurry’ that sank to the bottom, the singed casein from the milk, mixed it with sugar and fed it to us as an exotic sweet. She called it Godavari – I can’t think why, other than maybe that is what HER Grandma might have done! The hysteria about fat The Size Zero fad has not only taken the meat out of beauty, but has led to innumerable misconceptions and misdirection about diet. Anorexia and bulimia are one side of this misguided generation while the other equally scary side is the increasingly overweight and downright obese population that the fast food culture has wrought. Fats are essential for a balanced diet: let there be no mistake about that. They are the most efficient form of energy with each gram of fat supplying 9 calories: more than twice the energy supplied by carbohydrates or proteins. Fats facilitate the absorption of Vitamins A, D, E, and K and help to keep us warm. They are necessary for the formation of spongy tissue which cushions our joints. Like everything else, EXCESS fat is a no-no. Ghee in the ancient science of Ayurveda This fount of dietary wisdom believes that since cows feed on plants and as ghee is made from cow milk, it incorporates the best of the nutrition that, both, the plant and animal kingdoms have to offer. Here’s the ayurvedic opinion: Ghee aids in secretions which dissolve the wastes of body tissues and carry away toxins. It is a soothing unguent and works wonders when applied on burns, bruises, skin rashes and bed sores in the elderly or the mobility impaired. The anti inflammatory and soothing natures have a healing effect on the digestive tract too. Ghee in your diet is recommended to mitigate peptic ulcers or gastritis. Warm milk with 2 teaspoons of ghee before bedtime soothes the nerves and gets you ready for your early morning routine. In the elderly, a teaspoon of ghee followed by a swallow of hot water is a better purgative than any of the chemical bottled brands. It increases memory. It soothes tired eyes. Apply some around them. Ghee and the new age fitness gurus Do we really need a fitness guru to tell us what generations of Indian Grandmas have always known? Seems like it. Nutritionists and dieticians have had something like an Organic Bilona Ghee renaissance in their thinking: let’s just call it their OBG moment of enlightenment. They now recommend ghee as the fat buster kind of fat: it contains linoleic acid which fights fat deposits in those stubborn areas like the belly. Ghee consumption is necessary for the absorption of fat soluble Vitamins A,D ,E and K. There are scientific studies which rubbish the link between saturated fats like ghee and heart ailments. In fact, there is a school of thought that pharmaceutical lobbies have been responsible for this ‘rumour’ in order to peddle their drugs. Have a long hard think Obesity in India is a recent phenomenon- especially in children. Lay the blame at the correct door: fast food, a curriculum which leaves no time for exercise, shrinking space where schools mean an apartment complex surrounded by a concrete jungle and the tech driven couch-potato culture. Go through old sepia photographs of India: how many fat people do you actually see? Ghee has always been an integral part of the Indian meal and the Indian way of life; obesity has hit us NOW! Eastward Ho! We haven’t just borrowed fast food and dietary misconceptions from the West. Those winds have also blown their chemical concepts our way. All farming in India until the Green Revolution was organic, whether animal husbandry or crop and vegetable cultivation. Our rush for food self sufficiency has dumped us into a chemical cesspool of fertilisers, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics. These harm human health and the environment. Milch cattle like cows are fed hormones to increase milk production. Their feed consists of fodder with the residues of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The organic way of life shuns all chemical interference and use and aims for a healthier tomorrow. Go organic now! Busy lifestyles leave you with barely enough time to cook a meal – forget the long process needed for making ghee. There are many brands of ghee in the market. You can pick one up but just remember that adulteration of ghee is rampant: partially hydrogenated vegetable oils like vanaspati are added as they are cheaper and indiscernible at first glance. So take care! Choose a trustworthy brand that is Organic Guarantees the product Is churned or “bilona” Made from organic cow’s milk .Buffalo milk contains more fat than is needed. Cow milk is closest to human milk and, therefore, the best. Do you know that pure or shuddh ghee lasts for more than a 100 years? Ghee, more than a century old, was kept by temples in vats for their use. It is considered medicinal and an invaluable legacy. When you light that lamp with shuddh ghee this Diwali, know that you are ushering in all the goodness of traditional and ancient Indian wisdom. That is your true Lakshmi, your wealth.