Fresh food is good to taste

To live a longer life, it is important to understand what we should eat and what we should not. Recently, I have watched a television show featuring Gordon Ramsay, a celebrity chef and an individual who believes in eating healthy and fresh food. He is someone who chooses the best ingredients to make his own signature dishes. He can just find out whether a food is fresh or frozen by tasting it. A superior talent that everyone does not possess.

How to understand the freshness of food?

Today, when it is tough to differentiate between fresh food and adulterated ones, we have to be careful and learn how to figure it out. Fruits and vegetables available in the market these days are not fresh, although the shopkeepers claim it to be. Either they are infected with pesticides, preservative, or some artificial colours to make them look fresh and extra shining. I believe that using fresh ingredients is one and the only way to get great taste in food.

I am jotting down a few instances that will help you to differentiate between fresh and frozen food. For example, when you cook pulses, if you refrigerate it for a day or overnight and consume it the next day, you will find the freshness is no longer there.  However, if the same pulses are consumed the very day, the taste is flavorful and fresh. Freezing can change the texture of all type of cooked items. I am not saying freezing is bad but it is also not naturally fresh. Pay attention to it when you eat refrigerated food next time. Every food has got its shelf-life.

Cooking with fresh and local ingredients is very vital in order to attain the best quality dishes. How can you identify the fresh quality of food? Let me explain it to you properly. Storing bread in the freezer tends to hold up better for a few days but it freshness disappears during the process. Cakes also become ideal to eat once you store them in the freezer but after few days the cake’s bread becomes harder and texture changes after lengthy freezing.

The biggest difference in frozen food can be seen in meat (including all types of poultry products). Consequently, how will you identify whether a chicken is fresh or frozen? Do you think you can smell it? No, you cannot identify it through smelling. If you get a piece of chicken and blood stains are there next to the bone, this is an indicator that the chicken is frozen. In fact, you can also understand if the chicken is undercooked if the blood sticks like glue to the bone and does not disappears.

 Maintaining healthy eating habits

Foreign countries like the US, EU and UK are following firm measures to protect human, animal and plant health.  The US healthcare department updates the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years based on their latest research on nutrition. These guidelines are helpful to maintain a healthy eating pattern and guide restaurants, eatery joints and food companies to understand what healthy items to sell.

In a recent information provided by local authorities and compiled by the Food Standard Agency (FSA) in the UK, have also given a detailed breakdown of enforcement activity across the three countries such as England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The new data shows that the percentage of food hygiene interventions achieved, which covers food safety, increased to 87% in 2017-18 compared with 85% in 2016-17 and food standards interventions, which covers areas such as authenticity and food fraud, increased to 42% in 2017-18 compared with 40% in 2016-17 in the above three mentioned three countries. In fact, the food hygiene compliance in food establishments has remained stable at 90% since 2016-17.

The data mentioned above are quite encouraging. It shows that the local authorities in the UK have made improvements in the percentage of interventions achieved and are continuing to monitor food safety, food fraud and food standards, thoroughly.

In comparison, India is slowly trying to transform the food safety norm and standards but unfortunately is not at par with the western countries. Most recently, we have heard about occurrences of food contamination and adulteration in the branded food retailing business in India.

Starting from the selling of low-quality food, unhygienic kitchen condition and storage facility have created havoc among the minds of the consumers in India. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), which regulates over 28 lakh small, medium and big food businesses in the country, is handling around 10,000-12,000 complaints every month. The body is making every effort to curb the menace in food eatery joints and compelling them to adopt basic safety and hygiene practices. The challenge for FSSAI is to handle such an enormous size of the food retailing business that is operating in India.

But FSSAI has taken rigorous steps in India lately by asking the food delivery platforms to delist unlicensed eateries after receiving complaints about serving and supplying sub-standard food. The issues are many in the Indian restaurant business. Many restaurants do not serve you fresh food. Food available with the restaurants is frozen, which they have to serve for quick service to the consumers. The restaurant business is facing tremendous downside from late delivery to serving unhygienic food to reducing the cost of raw materials to survive.

Adopting healthy eating habits

 If we are able to revive the farm to food concept in both households and restaurants, we will be adopting to healthy eating habits that people have forgotten. The farm to food concept has changed and is not an ideal scenario in today’s living conditions or on a day to day basis. I love the concept of farming and cooking. Nothing is better than eating fresh produce from the ground with free from pesticides and chemicals.

For good health, we have to eat healthy food. There are advantages to eating healthy food to boost the immune system and maintain good moods. Fresh food is a good source of nutrients. Eating fresh will help to consume less sugar and salt, which will lessen the risk of diseases like obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, heart disease and blood pressure. You will experience full of energy and strength. Definitely, you consume 10 times more fibre from your fresh food and vegetables. It is also wise to opt for organic food as it tastes better and is also healthy. Organic food has great antioxidants.

The frozen food process was developed by human minds to make life easier. People have a hectic work schedule and started consuming frozen food for convenience. Frozen are easily available and come pre-cooked and pre-seasoned. I am not telling that frozen food is bad but when you have the option for fresh food, it is better to opt for it. Please remember don’t confuse yourself with fresh and frozen food because a food that has been frozen is not fresh, ever.

After reading this blog, please share, like and comment!

Author: Namrata Roy
An enthusiastic journalist, founder of Masterchef Cooking Food Blog, and an educator. I strongly believe that “We are what we eat. We should think healthy, eat healthily and live healthily.” I choose to select the quality ingredients that make a food delicious. I don’t buy anything unnatural. I don’t choose an ingredient that I have not used it since my childhood. I experiment with my food but not with the ingredients. I believe to eat natural food, not adulterated and preservatives ones. I recommend the same to all such as Kids, Men and Women in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.For your information: We are a cookery school, expertise in different cuisines like Indian, International and also Baking. 
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Know which is more beneficial, Curd or Yogurt?

For the longest time, I got confused with Curd and Yogurt. I was told that both are same with different names. I remember during my journalism days, after every conferences and seminar, luncheon was served for the delegates visiting from foreign countries. So, one day when I proceeded to the buffet served for the gatherings after the conference, I noticed a European was looking for Yogurt. He asked several times to the waiter to serve him Yogurt. The poor waiter offered him curd with which ‘raita’ was prepared. He said, “I don’t want curd, I need Yogurt. Do you serve?” he asked.

My confusion rose and I immediately checked the definition of Yogurt. I must say both the ingredients share a slight difference in component and process. Today, I will explain to you the major difference between Yogurt and Curd.

Curd for household

The curd is highly common among Indian households. ‘Dahi’, by which it is popularly known among Indians is consumed by every household at least thrice a day. It is obtained from curdling of milk with an edible acid- such as citric acid from lemon or vinegar. Sometimes, the little curd is dissolved in lukewarm milk and kept it at room temperature overnight to get the required curd.  In the process, the presence of bacteria- Lactobacillus makes fermentation and causes lactic acid to form, which turn the milk into curd.

Curd has two important types of vitamins such as vitamin A and Vitamin B 12. It is good for the digestive system and productive for an upset stomach. It is protein rich and has carbohydrates, minerals and fat. It also helps to fight germs causing diseases in human body. It boosts body immunity. So, eat fresh curd every day if you are suffering from the weakened immune system. Curd helps in skin treatment as it has the moisturizing effect that helps to care dry skin. Consuming yoghurt daily will help to keep in check your high blood pressure and maintain a good heart.

Yogurt and its use

On the other hand, Yogurt is also made through the same technique as curd. The fermentation is done with the help of two specific strains of bacteria called lactobacillus Bulgaria and Streptococcus thermophiles due to this the product is considered to be standardised. This is an industrial product and cannot be easily made at home. However, the curd is a homemade substance.

Yogurt has multiple vitamins as compared to curd such as Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. Although the benefits of Yogurt is same as Curd, there are certain extra vitamins, nutrients, high protein and other added benefits in Yogurt. If you like to eat Yogurt, choose to eat Greek Yogurt.

Yogurt contains calcium, potassium, phosphorus and, sometimes, vitamin D, which helps diseases such as Osteoporosis. Lack of the basic minerals, vitamins and calcium weakens bone. It helps to fix issues with the weak immune system. Yogurt has certain properties that help in weight management. Other benefits of Yogurt are it enhances complexion, nourishes hair, prevents hypertension, provides Omega 3 for vegetarians, and many other benefits.

Moreover, Yogurt is not for everyone. People having an allergy to milk and has lactose intolerance should be careful with this product. Lactose intolerance occurs when our body lacks lactase, which is an enzyme required to break down lactose, a sugar component found in milk. It leads to several digestive problems, such as abdominal pain and diarrhea, after consuming milk products.

I hope I am able to resolve the confusion between both the products. So, now enjoy your curd and yogurt. Also, live a healthy life!

After reading this blog, please share, like and comment!

Author: Namrata Roy
An enthusiastic journalist, founder of Masterchef Cooking Food Blog, and an educator. I strongly believe that “We are what we eat. We should think healthy, eat healthily and live healthily.” I choose to select the quality ingredients that make a food delicious. I don’t buy anything unnatural. I don’t choose an ingredient that I have not used it since my childhood. I experiment with my food but not with the ingredients. I believe to eat natural food, not adulterated and preservatives ones. I recommend the same to all such as Kids, Men and Women in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.For your information: We are a cookery school, expertise in different cuisines like Indian, International and also Baking. 
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Dark chocolate is good for your heart

Cake baking

Everybody loves to eat chocolate. I also love to eat the dark chocolate. In fact, in my cooking school, I have introduced the process of chocolate making designed for my students. I am quite versed in the art of chocolate making and usually make chocolates of different shapes and sizes.

I feel that whatever I am preparing at home are actually providing my body with some health benefits when I consume it.  It should not be adulterated and should have the required health benefits.

What makes Dark Chocolate so healthy?

Dark Chocolate has the necessary antioxidant. Antioxidants are considered to be good for the body. It (antioxidant) protects the body from the damage caused by the harmful molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that may lead to illness, ageing, forming wrinkles, etc. Free radicals may be formed through natural human physiological processes as well as from the environment.

Made from the seeds of the cocoa tree, it has the nutrients that are required for the body. People think that if they consume plenty of chocolate, it will lead to harmful health conditions. It is so untrue. Dark chocolate rather helps the body development and functioning.

From this blog, you will understand how dark chocolate will add health benefits to your body. I recommend my readers to have dark chocolate that has 70 percent of the cocoa content in it. Such type of chocolate has good antioxidant (which have already mentioned above) and less sugar.

In addition, dark chocolate also has the necessary minerals that help the body to fight against harmful illness. These are:

Iron: Eating dark chocolate with iron-rich food will help you get rid of anaemia deficiency. Iron is an important component of haemoglobin through which oxygen transport from your lungs to your body.

Magnesium: Dark chocolate also helps to boost energy in the body. It helps to deal with insomnia and digestion problem. It gives relief from muscle ache and spasm.

Copper: Copper is an essential nutrient for the body. Dark chocolate has the component that helps to maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune system.

Manganese: It helps in the production of enzymes and antioxidants that fight dead cells and help in skin care. Manganese in dark chocolate also helps to maintain a healthy nervous system and brain function.

Potassium: It works alongside sodium to maintain a normal blood pressure. It helps to maintain a proper flow of fluid in the body. Consuming dark chocolate will enhance the functioning of the nerve and muscle.

Phosphorus: The body needs phosphorus for many functions, such as filtering waste and repairing tissue and cells. Dark Chocolate contains phosphorus that helps the body.

Zinc: Zinc is required for the body’s immune system to work properly. It plays a role in cell growth, wound healing, etc. It helps to sense smell and taste of food, water, colour, etc.

Selenium: Dark chocolate has selenium that helps in the production of thyroid hormones. A healthy thyroid gland is important as it regulates metabolism and controls growth and development in the body

Moreover, consuming dark chocolate in moderation per week will help you to reap the following benefits:

  • You will have a lower risk of heart attack and stroke
  • It will help you to maintain your blood sugar level
  • You will have a low blood pressure level
  • Improve brain functioning and wards off dementia
  • It helps to prevent asthma attacks
  • It will help to fight teeth decay
  • Will protect your skin from the ultraviolet rays
  • Help to boost sex hormones and sexual life
  • It also helps to boost vision

After reading this blog, please share, like and comment!

Author: Namrata Roy
An enthusiastic journalist, founder of Masterchef Cooking Food Blog, and an educator. I strongly believe that “We are what we eat. We should think healthy, eat healthily and live healthily.” I choose to select the quality ingredients that make a food delicious. I don’t buy anything unnatural. I don’t choose an ingredient that I have not used it since my childhood. I experiment with my food but not with the ingredients. I believe to eat natural food, not adulterated and preservatives ones. I recommend the same to all such as Kids, Men and Women in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.For your information: We are a cookery school, expertise in different cuisines like Indian, International and also Baking. 
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The right ways to take Vitamin D in your body

Are you falling prey to vitamin D deficiency? Do you know that 88 percent of Delhi’s population is suffering due to vitamin D deficiency? This has been found out by ASSOCHAM Healthcare Committee recently.

Vitamin D is necessary to keep good health of bones. Lack of it will lead to muscle pain, spasm, low energy levels, depression and other ill health. Obese people are usually deficient in vitamin D. In fact, the doctors observe that among 350 patients merely 3-4 patients are having good health and sufficient vitamins in their body. The report finds that deficiency of vitamin is between the age group of 21 to 65 years.  And, maximum insufficiency of vitamin D is between the ages of 21 to 35 years.

Delhi is a very polluted city. The main reason for lack of vitamin D deficiency is due to the high pollution level that is obstructing the intake of vitamin D from sunlight. Speaking to a nutritionist, Dr Shalini Singhal, Founder and Chief Nutritionist at Dr Shalini’s Diet and Wellness Clinic based in Delhi, says, “Good sun exposure is necessary to our body. Many are not able to absorb it in plenty due to high pollution level in Delhi. Lack of vitamin D makes the bones weak. In fact, white complexion absorbs sun rays better than dark people.”

Afternoon Sunrays
According to the experts, when people with lighter complexion spend time under the sun rays, their bodies produce melanin. This is a pigment that gives colour to our skin and creates a tan. On the other hand, dark complexion already has a high concentration of melanin in their skin, which is responsible for the dark complexion and protects the skin from burning easily. So, it absorbs little Ultraviolet (UV) rays directly into the dark skin.

The doctors recommend that you should spend 20-25 minutes in the afternoon under sun rays as it is best time of the day to absorb maximum sunlight. Light from the window won’t work abundantly for absorbing vitamin D to your body. In addition, Dr Shalini also suggests that it is important to eat a balanced diet. Your diet with help to get the daily vitamins.

Fatty and Oily Fish
If you are maintaining a busy schedule and cannot bath under the sun then you can also rely on food that has sufficient vitamin D. Fatty fish can be a good source of vitamin D. Fishes such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and cod can be the best choices for you. All these fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids whether you are having canned or fresh.


Egg Yolk

Daily one egg and the yolk will give sufficient vitamin D to your body. Dr Shalini recommends everyone to eat a whole egg every day if you are suffering from vitamin D deficiency. Do not consume more than an egg daily. The American Heart Association recommends not to consume more than 300 milligrams eggs a day for good heart health.

Milk and Eggs

Fortified Milk
Drink fortified milk in a day. Why should you only drink fortified milk? The manufacturers mix certain extra nutrients such as vitamins and minerals in the whole milk so that it provides sufficient nutrition to the body. In fact, you can use fortified milk products too such as butter, ghee, etc. If the milk is unfortified it will provide less value to the body.

Shitake Mushrooms
Mushrooms are the only vegetarian food that can make vitamin D. Similar to human’s skin which synthesizes the vitamin in response to sun exposure, mushrooms also function in the same way. Shitake mushroom can be the best choice among all types of mushrooms available in the vendor’s shop.

Supplements
Dr Shalini also suggests that only food intake will not be sufficient. “Medications in form of the supplement of vitamin D is essential too,” she says.

Moreover, it should be balanced as too much vitamin D can also be toxic. Vitamin D supplements will help to get the daily dose properly and can protect you from the cancerous diseases that UV rays may cause.

Author: Namrata Roy

An enthusiastic journalist, founder of Masterchef Cooking Food Blog, and an educator. I strongly believe that “We are what we eat. We should think healthy, eat healthily and live healthily.” I choose to select the quality ingredients that make a food delicious. I don’t buy anything unnatural. I don’t choose an ingredient that I have not used it since my childhood. I experiment with my food but not with the ingredients. I believe to eat natural food, not adulterated and preservatives ones. I recommend the same to all such as Kids, Men and Women in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.

For your information: We are a cookery school, expertise in different cuisines like Indian, International and also Baking. 

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How cooking at a young age can help your kid?

Children want to learn new things. They need to get involved in certain activities. Usually, the most popular form of extra curriculum activity for kids are sports, arts and crafts, painting, etc. However, I suggest you involve your kids in cooking as well. Cooking is fun. It engage kids visually. It is more fun when you work together with your kid in the kitchen. Don’t shoo them away from your kitchen rather get them engaged in your kitchen tasks. Parents, I want you to understand why cooking can be the best activity for your kids. Cooking helps in developing the brain of a child. How? It is a ‘Jugalbandi’ of both math and science. There is a concept, measurement, chemical reaction, physics and language.

Preparing for Better Adult Life

I meet parents who let loose their kids in the kitchen from an early age, which helps in setting them for a better adult life. Kids learn very fast. Few parents realise the magic of cooking that can have on their children. Many housewives and working parents (especially mother) want to make their children independent. You will be surprised that I started cooking since a tender age. I love it. Today, I made it is my passion and profession. I teach whomsoever it may concern and give my best shot to it.

We cannot afford to let our kids not know where milk is produced. The survey said that kids in the many countries lack basic knowledge of dairy products and few could not even identify vegetable and fruits. When you admit your kids to a preschool, there is a potential scope for learning and personality development. In India, the trend of pre-schooling is in great demand. Speaking to the kids’ mothers I understand that pre-schooling makes a child smarter, independent, social, improve their communication skills, boost overall knowledge, and shape a child into a good human being. Preschool is an opportunity for kids to learn, share, follow instructions, and begin the foundation for learning that will occur in elementary school. Once in the kindergarten, the kids will have the pressure of new academics, sports, new friends, competition, etc. To get accustomed to this environment, parents are sending their kids to pre-schooling.

A eight year old kid learning cooking technique at Masterchef Cooking at Royss Kitchen

Enhance Learning

On the other hand, cooking is a fun-filled activity. Whether your kids perform in a group or individually, your kids will learn both concept and mechanism. Parents are unaware of the benefits cooking as an activity can have on their kids. I want to discuss the vital impact cooking can have on your kid.

Being in the kitchen will help kids to recognise veggies, fruits and spices. Not only this, they will also learn how an electrical equipment or motor works. In fact, a kid has different ways of learning and it is grouped into three basic styles- auditory, visual and kinesthetic (learning through physical activity). In the kitchen, kids will learn whatever is explained to them and remember the ingredients required for cooking. Kids may also enjoy group discussion and things explained verbally. Kids remember what they see and hear. Kids learn through watching. This is one of the most dominant styles of learning in the entire cooking process. However, kinesthetic learner wants to do everything that is being talked about or learned. They like to touch things in order to do something with them. Kids in the kitchen will behave in a similar manner to learn new things. Thus, cooking is the best kind of activity for kids in the today’s date.

Few tips to train your kids:

I suggest if your kid is two or three years old then engage him or her for washing the veggies that will lay the foundation for healthy eating habits. They will learn to maintain hygiene at a tender age.

You can teach your kids to mash veggies with kiddie fork, pour the liquid in the cake tin, stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon, sprinkling spices or seasonings, kneading and dough making of pizza base or Indian bread, etc. This will help them to sense the spices, smell the herbs, touch the veggies and feel the food.

What more you can do parents? Guide kids to plant the veggies in the kitchen garden or veggie patch. Teach your child how to seed plant, nurture them, grow and harvest it. How happy the kids will be when they eat lunch or dinner from your homegrown veggies and fruits. Kids will love the idea. Try it! The kids are having their holidays these days. Spend some time with them to seed a plant today.

Not only this, when you engage your kid and spend regular time with them in the kitchen, kids more easily learn seasonal eating, herbs, food quality, sourcing and procuring of food, and preserving too. It will also build a lifelong love for food.

The benefit of cooking on kids

Cooking will help your child to boost self-esteem, creativity, independent thinking improves imagination and discovers oneself.

The entire learning process in the kitchen will help to identify products and ingredients.

Enhance knowledge and grip on the subject. Help to develop the courage and put across questions without hesitation.

Moreover, kids will become patient and understand the value of waiting as cooking is quite time consuming process.

In my kitchen, I try to teach all the basics, introduce kids to new ingredients and herbs, and help them come up with a dish that they can call their own. Don’t forget to praise them and make them proud of their cooking. A pat on the back will make them more confident about themselves.

Author: Namrata Roy

An enthusiastic journalist, founder of Masterchef Cooking Food Blog, and an educator. I strongly believe that “We are what we eat. We should think healthy, eat healthily and live healthily.” I choose to select the quality ingredients that make a food delicious. I don’t buy anything unnatural. I don’t choose an ingredient that I have not used it since my childhood. I experiment with my food but not with the ingredients. I believe to eat natural food, not adulterated and preservatives ones. I recommend the same to all such as Kids, Men and Women in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.

For your information: We are a cookery school, expertise in different cuisines like Indian, International and also Baking. 

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Five facts on how cooking together improves relationship

A few relationships last but others may not. Why relationships are hard to sustain? Are we unable to accommodate with each other because of our different expectations from life? How can we change this attitude towards love and friendship? Will the coming generation only depend on social media to show love and affection? We should start teaching our child from now onwards how to express themselves, unite and be happy.

The Internet and social media has overpower our emotions and secluded us to an illusionary world where we cannot feel, love and show affection. It is a fast moving world today where people have little time to spend. So, we need to choose our leisure time wisely and in such a way that it brings love, happiness and bonding in any relationships.

I believe in such a scenario doing an activity together like ‘cooking’ will not only help to squeeze your waistline but will definitely help you to improve health and relationship.

Relationship
Cooking together boosts relationship

We have shortlisted five benefits of cooking together with friends, family and spouse will shower in your life:

1) Spend quality time: Spend your time together and not money on each other. Not only cooking is a cheaper activity to dining out, it is also a way to spend quality time with each other. It will help to develop the connection in a relationship and build a strong bond.

2) Health is Wealth: If you work in the kitchen together for an hour, it will make you shed kilos. Don’t believe! An hour cooking will help you shed almost 200-250 calories, according to the healthifyme.com app. Couples generate affections if they cook together. You’ll feel happier and satisfied with your wife for helping her cook a healthy dish and sharing your time with her.

3) Make your presence: Being active in the kitchen, you feel connected with your friends and family. It works well to make marital life blissful.  Try to set aside a day in a week where you can work as a team. It is difficult to get time in today’s busy schedule. So, take out a reason to be present in that moment or create the opportunity. Honestly, I and my husband spend time in the kitchen inventing few dishes together.

4) Learning and Knowledge: Cooking together will help you to improve your knowledge and teach you recipes. It will strengthen the bonding if two people teach other a couple of new things. Every little learning you get from cooking will grow you as a family.

5) Have a splendid time:  Rejoice your time. I am sure you will enjoy in the kitchen rather watching television, surfing Facebook or mobile phones. Even if you don’t love cooking, the hungry stomach and nice aroma from your food will make a different culture altogether. Just remember to relax in the kitchen! The more energy you put to care for your wife and loved ones, the same will reciprocate to you. If not immediately, it will eventually.

Author: Namrata Roy

An enthusiastic journalist, founder of Masterchef Cooking Food Blog, and an educator. I strongly believe that “We are what we eat. We should think healthy, eat healthily and live healthily.” I choose to select the quality ingredients that make a food delicious. I don’t buy anything unnatural. I don’t choose an ingredient that I have not used it since my childhood. I experiment with my food but not with the ingredients. I believe to eat natural food, not adulterated and preservatives ones. I recommend the same to all such as Kids, Men and Women in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.

For your information: We are a cookery school, expertise in different cuisines like Indian, International and also Baking. To know more about Masterchef Cooking at Royss Kitchen, click here

Thai Ginger and its Culinary Uses

Galangal is nothing but an ingredient that adds flavour to Thai and Indonesian cuisines. I am sure you are familiar with Thai ginger. Every restaurant having Asian food especially (Thai cuisines) use this ingredient to serve its customers better. The demand for Thai food has increased with flying of foreign tourists from Thailand to India. Few visit India for tourism and other for improving business ties between both the countries. So, the availability of this spice in India became a necessity with the increased demand.

Where do you find this rhizome?

The vegetable Galangal is cultivated in all South East Asian countries like India, Bangladesh, Thailand and China. The soil for cultivating Galangal has to be fertile preferably sandy and clayey with the good drainage system. It grows in sunny or moderately sunny places.

I use Thai ginger in most of my pan Asian cooking & cuisines. Thai food requires a lot of galangals which brings the exotic taste to each and every recipe. Thai ginger is used as medicines for treating skin diseases, indigestion, colic, dysentery, enlarged spleen, respiratory diseases, mouth and stomach cancer. This Rhizome is grown underground with mass roots and stems. It combats bacteria, fungal, protozoal, and expectorant activities. It works as antioxidants and supports in good brain health.

Why is it different from ginger (Adrak)?

Thai ginger has a major difference with the normal ginger. They look alike but taste very unlike. When you taste grated galangal vs. grated ginger, you will find that galangal is hot, spicy, and has a strong taste. On the other hand, ginger is hot but little milder.

Ginger has a strong pungency and if poured in excess, will make your food bitter. Just try it! However, the pungency smell of Thai ginger will not hit your tongue. One cannot replace Thai ginger with normal ginger in any Asian food. Mind you! Many asked me in the classroom whether we can substitute former with the latter, I said, “Please don’t. Your food will not taste better. I don’t recommend you.” If you are unable to find Thai ginger in your neighbourhood then I suggest you to cultivate it in your home or kitchen garden.

Thai ginger tastes fantastic when mixed with vegetables, coconut milk and some Thai spices. I can assure if you will learn in our kitchen the recipes for Thai food, you will understand the importance of Thai ginger and its health benefits.

FACTS: In Thai cuisines, the main ingredients used are lemon leaves, lemon grass, Thai ginger, coconut milk…

Author: Namrata Roy

An enthusiastic journalist, founder of Masterchef Cooking Food Blog, and an educator. I strongly believe that “We are what we eat. We should think healthy, eat healthily and live healthily.” I choose to select the quality ingredients that make a food delicious. I don’t buy anything unnatural. I don’t choose an ingredient that I have not used it since my childhood. I experiment with my food but not with the ingredients. I believe to eat natural food, not adulterated and preservatives ones. I recommend the same to all such as Kids, Men and Women in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.

For your information: We are a cookery school, expertise in different cuisines like Indian, International and also Baking. To know more about Masterchef Cooking at Royss Kitchen, click here

5 major difference between Microwave Oven and OTG

Cake baking

Our students in the cookery classes have asked us the major difference between Microwave Oven and Oven Toaster Grill (OTG). In our last week’s baking class, we had students whose curiosity in baking developed while they were learning the basics. I remember, a young lady Surbhi, who is a software engineer said, “I would like to know the amazing thing an OTG can do for me rather than a microwave oven.” Being a food consultant, educator and journalist, I feel that it is important for me to jot down few points to help an amateur really understand the functioning of both the electronic appliances. Quickly, I described her the below mentioned five major differences between Microwaves and OTGs, which makes these devices quite portable to use. I hope the below-mentioned differences help you as well.

Ongoing Baking in OTG
Image Courtesy: Masterchef Cooking at Royss Kitchen

Know how these devices differ from each other:

1)In Microwave oven, the cooking is done through heat waves just like a pressure cooker does. Microwaves are a type of electromagnetic wave. On the other hand, in OTG baking is done through heating of the rods.

2) In Microwave mode, you can cook rice, and heat up food quickly. However, the microwave should have a convention mode for baking but OTG is particularly designed for baking and grilling. OTG can prepare the limited amount of food. For instance, cake, cookies, biscuits, bread, soft rolls etc., can be baked in OTG. OTG is perfect for baking and roasting but not for cooking.

3) In OTG, it takes time to heat food but in a microwave oven, the heating is faster. In a microwave oven, the heat is distributed evenly i.e., from all sides but OTG does not provide even heat. These days many OTGs are featured with a fan as well. So, purchase OTG with good features.

4) For OTG, the consumption of electricity is minimal. OTG is quite economical to use but the same consumption is higher in the microwave, which will cost you high electricity charges.

5) In OTG, you will get better leavening of the baking items and doughy cakes or breads. A microwave oven generates currents, and not the required heat to give lift in the foods.

FACTS: Do you know Percy Spencer made the invention of the microwave oven in 1945 and the oven was first designed by William Hadaway in 1896.

Author: Namrata Roy

An enthusiastic journalist, founder of Masterchef Cooking Food Blog, and an educator. I strongly believe that “We are what we eat. We should think healthy, eat healthily and live healthily.” I choose to select the quality ingredients that make a food delicious. I don’t buy anything unnatural. I don’t choose an ingredient that I have not used it since my childhood. I experiment with my food but not with the ingredients. I believe to eat natural food, not adulterated and preservatives ones. I recommend the same to all such as Kids, Men and Women in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.

For your information: We are a cookery school, expertise in different cuisines like Indian, International and also Baking. To know more about Masterchef Cooking at Royss Kitchen, click here

What do you know about Zulbia? Oops ‘Jalebi!’

Kesar Jalebi

Zulbia is popularly known as Jalebi especially in South Asia, West Asia, North Africa, and East Africa.  It is deep fried maida flour batter and soaked in Kesar syrup. It is crispy and tasty to have it on any occasion. It is very popular in Iran and Indian subcontinent. In India, it is consumed by people during festivals, particularly.

Holi, India’s most famous festival is around the corner. Jalebi can be the best items on the lists of menus during Holi celebration. I am preparing myself to serve the guests with this delicacy. And why not, Desi Kesari Jalebi is so yummy and delicious!

                                                                               Image Courtesy: Masterchef Cooking at Royss Kitchen

Last year, I remember, in Kolkata, people celebrated Holi, by organising a Jalebi competition. The participants munched jalebis and had a gala time in the event. I am sure in 2018, Jalebi will add more innovation and live to the Holi season. Holi parties will bring youngsters, elders and kids together for celebration. Undoubtedly, Jalebi will add more happiness and sweetness.

Though the roots of Jalebi is difficult to trace, it is said that it has been originated from the ancient Persia where the sweet was known as Zoolabiya or Zulbia. During the 13th century, it was prepared during the Ramzan and distributed to the poor class.

In India, it became popular with the Persian speaking Turkish invaders. People started loving the sweetness of Jalebi and soon it became a popular delicacy for many in the Indian households and in the culinary culture.

There are different types of Jalebi available in India:

Jaleba: In Indore, there is a night food market, where vendors sell the popularly known Jaleba. It is also renowned in the state of Uttar Pradesh as well. People prepare such delicacies in different occasions and life events.

Paneer Jalebi or Channar Jilibi: The most popular street food and the homemade recipe are Channar Jilibi. A Bengali delight, Channar Jilipi is widely eaten with samosa in the West Bengal region of India. Paneer Jalebi is widely named in the North Indian states of the country.

Mawa Jalebi: Mawa Jalebi is sweet delicacy found in the parts of Madhya Pradesh as well. With the right flavour, Mawa Jalebi is everyone’s favourite.

Imarti or Jhangiri:  Imarti also known as Jhangiri is a dessert belonging to Rajasthan. Imarti is an Indian sweet famous among people. A traditional Indian sweet made of urad daal.

Besides India, Jalebi is widely consumed in other neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc. One can take a bite of Jalebi with rabri, a popular Indian traditional delight!

I hope you will enjoy 2018 holi festivity with this sweetness and organic colour.

Author: Namrata Roy

An enthusiastic journalist, founder of Masterchef Cooking Food Blog, and an educator. I strongly believe that “We are what we eat. We should think healthy, eat healthily and live healthily.” I choose to select the quality ingredients that make a food delicious. I don’t buy anything unnatural. I don’t choose an ingredient that I have not used it since my childhood. I experiment with my food but not with the ingredients. I believe to eat natural food, not adulterated and preservatives ones. I recommend the same to all such as Kids, Men and Women in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.

For your information: We are a cookery school, expertise in different cuisines like Indian, International and also Baking. To know more about Masterchef Cooking at Royss Kitchen, click here

Why you cannot replace Baking Soda with Baking Powder

During the baking classes, I come across plenty of questions. One of the vital questions has been ‘what is the magical difference between Baking Soda and Baking Powder?’ You must be thinking what makes both ingredients unlike but are very crucial to the baking process.

History of Bakers

From the past times, people used baker’s ammonia to make the cake rise. Nowadays, baking powder and baking soda are used to do the work. Both the ingredients are nothing but chemical leaveners, which help the baking item to increase.  In modern times, the researchers have made numerous study to invent chemicals or ingredients that can help in leavening the baking process.

In point of fact, baking powder is made up of soda bicarbonate and powdered acid. Baking powder has a double action. The first occurs when the powder dissolves in the batter and second occurs when the mixture is heated while baking it.

The chemistry of baking

On the other hand, one cannot just replace baking powder with baking soda. The chemical level, baking soda is actually the commercial name for sodium bicarbonate. It is important to understand the chemistry behind it. The important aspect is when soda bicarbonate comes in touch with a liquid (such as buttermilk, yogurt, molasses, citrus juice or vinegar) it produces carbon dioxide gas and therefore the bubbles are formed that we all are interested to see. Baking soda enhances the golden browning texture of the cake as well.  Earlier days, people used to follow some old-fashioned technics that helped them to bake their favourite cake, likewise, the flour use to be dried in front of the fire, butter was melted with sugar on a gas stove, cake was baked on pressure cooker, toddy (a drink made of spirits in Kerala) was used instead of yeast, instead of baking soda people used baking ammonia. Made from lye and wood ashes (pearlash) or baker’s ammonia, consisted mainly of potassium carbonate, which produced carbon dioxide quickly. Pearlash was discovered in the late 18th century. It was used in cookies, biscuits and quick bread. Prior to that, the older generation had continuously beaten the cake batter (by hand) for a full hour and used a lot of elbow grease.

Today, baking processes have been replaced by new ones. We are accustomed to using electric beater that reduces hard labour. Similarly, instead of using baking ammonia or pearlash, we use baking powder and baking soda.

Baking powder and baking soda gathered fame in India in the 19th century. The evolution of bakery in India came in the year 1883. Mambally Bapu, a businessman made the first cake in India at Thalassery, Kerala. He founded the company Royal Biscuit Factory in 1880. Moreover, at that time, there were not enough competitors in the market. There was another bakery in West Bengal and only catered to the British. Slowly and steadily, numerous bakery got established in India. India has learnt the process of baking. Therefore, baking powder and baking soda gained baker’s interests.

It (baking powder) was first discovered by Alfred Bird, a British chemist and founder of Bird and Sons Ltd in 1843. Later, a German pharmacist, August Oetkar, made baking powder popular among the house wives and sold this ingredient to them. Prior to Oetker, Justus von Liebig and his American student, Eben Norton Horsford had already discovered baking powder.

On the other hand, a French chemist Nicolas Leblanc produced sodium carbonate. Later, two New York bakers, John Dwight and Austin Church, establish a factory in the United States to produced baking soda from sodium carbonate and carbon dioxide.

Today, baking is one of the most popular subjects that people are interested in doing. Many women are taking immense initiatives to bake by themselves. So, before you make your next cake, please don’t forget the difference between baking powder and baking soda because baking the perfect cake is all about balance.

Author: Namrata Roy

An enthusiastic journalist, founder of Masterchef Cooking Food Blog, and an educator. I strongly believe that “We are what we eat. We should think healthy, eat healthily and live healthily.” I choose to select the quality ingredients that make a food delicious. I don’t buy anything unnatural. I don’t choose an ingredient that I have not used it since my childhood. I experiment with my food but not with the ingredients. I believe to eat natural food, not adulterated and preservatives ones. I recommend the same to all such as Kids, Men and Women in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.

For your information: We are a cookery school, expertise in different cuisines like Indian, International and also Baking. To know more about Masterchef Cooking at Royss Kitchen, click here