Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Creamy Broccoli Soup

Believe it or not , Bangalore is getting colder and the next few days temperatures is going to drop below 15 degrees. Warm yourself and your loved ones with this popular soup dish. Broccoli has a flavour that blends well with most ingredients where it doesn't have a very dominating flavour and yet compliments other favours very well.

To make creamy broccoli soup , first Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a heavy medium pot over medium-high flame. Add 1 large onion chopped , and saute until onion is translucent about 5 minutes. Add about 600 to 700 grams of broccoli, 1 large potato cut into cubes, 4 cups of vegetable stock and add salt and pepper as per your taste preference . Bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft enough to blend. Remove a cup of the liquid and set aside.
Use the mixer till all the ingredients uniformly blend.

Serve hot and you can add a bit of cream or shredded cheddar cheese.


Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Series of traditional Indian greens- Agase/agathi (Part 7)

Number 7 in this series of Indian greens is agase or agathi keerai. This common backyard plant is called august tree or humming bird tree leaves in English. It comes in two varieties, red and white where the white variant is most common with a host of benefits. 

Health benefits

  • Rich in calcium and iron to give strong bones
  • Controls constipation, acidity and heartburn
  • Reduces premature greying and excess body heat
  • Heals wounds, sprains, bruises and itches with its anti-bacterial properties

Agathi shouldn’t be taken often- once in 15 days is more than enough. It’s not advised for those on medication to take agathi leaves because it can reduce the medication power. 

This is why eating agathi keerai porival about twice a month is more than enough to reap its benefits. Here is its recipe. 

Pick, wash and cut 2 cups firmly packed agathi keerai. 

Cook 2 ½ tsp split skinned moong dhal in enough water to make it soft but not mushy.

Drain and keep aside.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a vessel and add 1 tsp mustard seeds. Add 1 tsp urad dhal and 2 broken red chillies once the mustard starts spluttering. 

Add the chopped leaves and a pinch of turmeric powder once the dhal turns golden brown and sauté for about 3-4 seconds.

Now add about a cup of water, ¾ tsp jiggery and salt to taste, cover and cook on a low flame. 

Stir occasionally and when cooked, add the cooked dhal and cook for 3 more minutes. Garnish with 3 tbsp grated coconut and serve with rice and sambhar or rasam.
The next post is the last in this series, and is about Dhantu or amarantus. So don’t miss it! home delivers fresh organic fruits and vegetables in Bangalore and North Goa.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Series of Traditional Indian Greens- Siru Keerai (tropical amaranth) (Part 6)

Siru keerai is nothing but tropical amaranth, part of the spinach family. It’s also known as lamb’s quarters, pigweed and goosefoot and is related to beetroot and spinach.

This is a salad green that thrives well in hot weather, which is why it’s available throughout the year. 

Health benefits

Amaranth tricolor offers a host of health benefits:

  • It is a rich source of vitamins A, B and C, proteins, dietary fibber and minerals like iron and calcium.

  • Sirukeerai can cure rare diseases, including diseases thought incurable through English medicine

  • It cures urinary and gastric problems, piles, anaemia and eye disease.

  • It is good for menopausal women

  • It can cure poisonous insect bites and treat wounds.

Here is an interesting but easy sirukeerai recipe, padipe saasmi, you may want to try out!

First pluck and wash 12 amaranth leaf sprigs, and some tender stems. Drain and chop finely.

Soak a marble-sized tamarind in half cup water for half n hour.

Grind together 1 cup fresh grated coconut, 4 dry red and 2 fresh green chillies and 1 tsp each mustard and cumin seeds into a thick and smooth paste.

Heat 1 1/2 tsp coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add and cook the ground paste till its raw smell disappears.

Add the chopped amaranth leaves and sauté for about 5 to 7 minutes and then add salt to taste and the soaked tamarind.

Heat 1  tsp. cooking oil for the tadka and add 1 tsp. mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add 2 dry red chillies,1 tsp white urad dhal and 1 sprig curry leaves to the tadka.

Remove from heat when the urad dhal turns brown and pour the tadka to the spinach curry. Serve hot with rice or chapatti.

Are you wondering what’s next? Well its agase or agathi! home delivers fresh organic fruits and vegetables in Bangalore and North Goa.

Series of Traditional Indian Greens- Sakothina (Parrapu/Batthua) (Part 5)

With winter drawing in, it’s natural we next talk about sakothina or bathua as it’s more popularly known. This is a winter special ridged, arrow-shaped greens and a storehouse of nutrients in itself.

Though bathua leaves are cultivated in some parts across the world, India, especially Northern India, is its largest producer. 

Health benefits

  • Bathua leaves are rich in Vitamins A and C, minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron and amino acids.

  • It is a blood purifier, and a heart tonic.

  • It helps cure constipation, piles and intestinal parasites to improve digestive health and appetite.

  • It also treats kidney stones, reduces swelling and keeps dental problems away. 

Bathua is generally prepared like other saag to eat with roti or dale, or as a roti stuffing. Here’s a simple recipe for Bathua ka saag. 

Wash 1 kg bathua leaves,  blanch it and grind in a blender to a coarse paste. 

Add 4 tsp. Mustard oil to a large pan over medium flame. Once heated, add 2 tsp. cumin seeds. When it starts spluttering, add 2 teaspoon garlic paste. 

Mix well and sauté for a minute. Next add the ground bathua leaves along with 6 chopped green chillies. Add salt to taste and mix all the ingredients well. 

Cook on a low flame till oil starts leaving the pan sides. Now sprinkle 2 teaspoon garam masala powder and mix well. Garnish with 5 clove garlic and your bathua ka saag is ready to serve with roti or paratha. 

Wait! There’s more to come! There are more traditional greens to discuss, and next in line is siru keerai or tropical amaranth. home delivers fresh organic fruits and vegetables in Bangalore and North Goa.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Gautham's Corner - Cucumbers and Honey Bees

Did you know - without honey bees you will not be able to savour on those crunchy juicy cucumbers you eat from healthy buddha (or for that matter anywhere).

Cucumber Plants and Honey Bees share a beautiful relationship. 

Cucumber plant grows both male and female flowers on the same plant. And it requires insects like bees for pollination.

So, if you walk into any organic cucumber field, you will get to witness some live drama happening. Like the one you see in the video below happening at Healthy Buddha Organic Farm.

Bright yellow flowers open in the morning to receive bees, eager to burrow deep within for nectar and pollen. In so doing, they transfer pollen from the male stamens to the female stigma — a little golden circlet that crowns the ovary, where a new fruit will form. 

If all goes well the ovaries of the female will soon swell and turn into something that resembles a tiny cucumber. If you see a lot of bees going in and out of the flowers, it’s a good sign.

Each cucumber blossom requires multiple visits to make a perfectly formed fruit. Much of the heavy work of pollinating vegetable crops is done by honey bees 

And it is very important not to use poisons (read as "chemicals") in the farm. For instance, Neonicotinoids are a group of insecticides used widely on farms and in urban landscapes. They are absorbed by plants and can be present in pollen and nectar, making them toxic to bees as well. 

Gautham PB is the Co Founder of Healthy Buddha and is  Passionate about educating customers about organic farming and produce. You can follow him on Instagram or twitter.

HB Notes for the week of 3-Dec-2019

Here are few stories & updates from
1. Traditional Greens Series
  • Most of us in Bangalore are familiar and use Palak, Methi & Coriander. But there are many more traditional greens, native to various regions with their own unique benefits and taste. You might have eaten some of them growing up. We have started a series to educate our customers on the different types of greens available. This week is Amruthaballi Gongura. Click on the name to know more.
  • If you have any unique recipes using these greens, kindly do share the same via reply to this email. We will be sharing the same with all our customers, giving you due credit ofcourse :-)
  • If there is some green you would like us to grow, do let us know via email. If the seeds for the same are available, we can consider growing them too.
  • Few Winter Greens like Mustard Leaves, Bathua, Green Garlic are currently being grown and can be expected in the next few weeks.
2. Gardening Workshop (or as I call it "Balcony Farming") is planned this Sunday at Marathahalli (1030am to 1230pm). It is ideal for beginners/ Intermediate and will be hands on. We will teach you how you can grow your own greens, micro greens and veggies at your own small space. Click here for details and to sign up. We have limited seats, so hurry.
3. Onion Crisis - First time in the last 5 years, we are facing severe shortage of onions. Never had onions been so precious. In case you read My Article from last week, you will understand the reason. In short, most onions available at our regular farms were wet and spoilt due to rains. While we managed to get a fresh harvest from another organic farm, the supply is still not back to normal. Regular supply and price reduction will happen post 15-December when more fresh harvest will start to come in.
Gautham, Healthy Buddha Team