Middle Eastern Treat

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My love for middle eastern food is everlasting.. Lived at Dubai for a while I literally dropped kilos of weight with shewarma, water and loads of long walks. The kebab, pita bread with pickled carrots, jalapeños, cucumber and chillies is my personal favourite.. Falafel,  tabbouleh are quick on the go food. Who can resist their burghul(broken wheat sort of a cereal) and couscous with steaming meat stew. I love their style of cooking,  simply grilled or cooked with burst of flavours and light on the stomach.

So here’s my take on middle eastern food the diet version 🙂

Hummus and black chickpeas sautéed with cherry tomatoes..
Hummus:
Chickpeas soaked overnight and boiled(save the water cooked with the chickpeas)
3/4 cup kabuli channa(chickpeas)
1/4 cup black channa (black chickpeas)
Olive oil
Garlic cloves
Sea salt
Sprigs of Thyme, rosemary and basil.
In a blender blitz together both the chickpeas and salt. Pour in some of the water and continue to grind into a coarse paste. Add about 3-4 table spoons of olive oil the herbs and grind to a fine paste..

Black chickpea with cherry tomatoes
1 cup soaked and cooked black chickpeas
1/4 kg cherry tomatoes. Or about 2 regular tomatoes
1tbls Chilli powder
Cumin
Salt
1 tbls Ginger garlic paste
1/4 tsp Turmeric

In a pan drizzle some olive oil and put the cumin and ginger garlic paste let it sizzle. Add tomatoes and fry well. Add salt,turmeric and chilli powder.
After the tomatoes have cooked add the chickpeas and fry well.
Remove from heat and add finely chopped coriander. Serve hot with toastef brown bread.

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Bi siha wa aafia(means bon appetité in Arabic)
Stay happy and eat healthy.
-Sunny

Ambassador for Humanity?: Nigeria, Boko Haram & Fantasies of Benevolent Intervention

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Yes!! Bring them back!!

Xavier's Blog

central-accord-opens-in-coloful-styleIt’s no surprise that imperial states think of themselves as having a monopoly on humanitarianism. In the words of President Obama, the United States has for decades been “an anchor of global stability.” Even filmmakers buy into this charade. Recently Steven Spielberg, in one of his less known departures into the world of science fiction, honored President Obama for his humanitarianism at an event organized by the Shoah Foundation. Obama was recognized as an “Ambassador for Humanity” whose “interest in expanding justice and opportunity for all is remarkably evident.” It’s easy to laugh at fantasies of this kind but when national leaders attempt to act on them they should be examined more seriously. Nigerian militant group Boko Haram has kidnapped over 200 schoolgirls and US policymakers and the “free press” have exploded into a fit of pro-interventionist hysteria. It’s hard to escape media reports about the ruthless cruelty of Boko…

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Infused water to help you while on a diet!

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I had a really satisfying today! Watched what I ate, made food that was interesting but low on calories and even downloaded an app on the mobile that reminds me to drink water… It calculates the amount of water required for you depending on your body weight. Well I find this app useful and also exciting. A sense of achievement at the end of the day :D!!

Why water? Well all of us know its the elixir of life, removes toxins from the body, hydrates our cells, restores water losses in the body, fights fatigue, maintains oxygen levels in the blood stream,  blah blah.. And ever cooler, water has no calories!! It helps to fill you up and therefore you can eat less. Some vegetables and fruits are rich in fluid content. But just chomping them would be boring right??

So I did take advice of my gramma’s old techniques, looked up online and tried some recipes to make infused water. Well its quite interesting that back then, they used infused water to serve to the guests. Especially during summer. Gramma told me that she used seasonal fruits or veggies and made them as special drinks for my mom, aunts and uncles when they returned from school. She said it was one of the ways to get them try different fruits and veggies. She even used bitter gourd infused water to drive away the worms from their tummy. She stored them in ‘kadalaimuttai(peanut candy bar) jars’  or used ‘mann paanai’ – terracota pots to keep it nice and cold.

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Jars with infused water

Mann paanai or terracota pots

 

So here are few of her recipes and few of mine:

Tender coconut and cucumber infused water:

Chunks of tender coconut, cubes of cucumber(deseeded and deskinned), a table spoon of palm candy/palm sugar , 1 1/2 liters of water and ice cubes. Crush them lightly and mix them all together and sip them every now and then. Its just yumm!!!

Mint and jeera infused water:

Boil a bunch of mint leaves with jeera in 1 liter water. After about 20-30 mins, strain it, add 2 table spoon of palm sugar and cool. Add another liter of cold water and refrigerate. Its my personal favorite, very addictive and super refreshing.

Strawberry and mint infused water:

Dice as many strawberries you’d like and chop coarsely half a bunch of mint leaves. Give it a light crush and mix them Add them to 2 liters of water and keep drinking as you can’t just stop!

So here are other combinations:

  • Pomegranate, orange and grape
  • Guava
  • Coffee beans(For the coffee addicts like me)
  • Mango and mint
  • lime, mint and honey
  • Melon and watermelon
  • Watermelon and grape
  • Melon, lime and palm sugar
  • Lemon wedges and palm sugar/(few pinches)salt
  • Raspberries, cranberries and lemon wedges
  • Kiwi and orange
  • Orange and coffee beans

  Cucumber

Berriespomegranate

kiwi

Infused water not only helps you consume more water than you usually would but also gives you all the nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, iron,etc from fruits and vegetables :). 

So alter them as you wish and keep yourself hydrated. Stay happy while being healthy!

-Sunny