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Food / Herbs


* 30 May 2022
basil - Pinterest collection
In different parts of the world, several types of basil are cultivated, some of the widely used varieties can be categorized in two groups - holy basil (ocimum sanctum) and mediterranean basil (ocimum basilicum).
Holy basil
It is known as Tulsi and is the most revered houseplant, in India it is associated with ayurveda and hindu religion as goddess of wealth, health and prosperity. The plants have strong medicinal properties compared to second group species. There are several varieties popular based on the regional religious beliefs which are known by a several vernacular and common names such as in Sanskrit it is named as Rama Tulsi and Krishna Tulsi, in Malayalam it is called Trittavu, in Marathi as Tulshi, Tulasi in Tamil, Thulsi in Telugu and Holy Basil in English. Not to be confused with Ocimum Tenuiflorum, it is a synonym for Ocimum Sanctum. There 4 species popular of Holy basil:
1. Rama tulsi (ocimum sanctum)
2. Krishna tulsi (ocimum tenuiflorum)
3. Amrita tulsi (ocimum tenuiflorum)
4. Vana tulsi (ocimum gratissum)

Mediterranean basil
It is known as Sweet basil and is the most popular variety of basil which is found all over the world including Asia, Eurpe, America and Africa. It is most consumed herb world wide and known by several common names such as king of herbs, royal herb, great basil and Saint-Joseph’s-wort etc, it is used in culinary preparations and used in several types of popular cuisines like Italian, Thai etc.
5. Sweet basil (ocimum basilicum)
6. Thai basil (ocimum thyrsiflora)
7. Purple basil (ocimum basilicum)
8. Lemon basil (ocimum citriodorum)
9. Vietnamese basil (ocimum cinnamon)
10. American basil (ocimum americanum)
11. African blue basil (ocimum kilimandscharicum)
12. Italian genovese basil (ocimum basilicum)
13. Lettuce basil
14. Green ruffles basil
15. Cardinal basil
16. Greek basil
17. Spicy globe basil
18. Summer long basil
Source: mashrita.com


* 25 Aug 2021
Tulsi plant or Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)
Tulsi plant or Holy basil - Pinterest collection
Tulsi is considered sacred and most Hindu households with a backyard have a Tulai Maadam and offer daily prayers.  It also has great medicianal value.
Green type (Sri Tulsi) and Purple type (Krishna Tulsi).

Tulsi has been used in Ayurveda for its diverse healing properties. Tulsi, the Queen of herbs, the legendary 'Incomparable one' of India, is one of the holiest and most cherished. The sacred basil, Tulsi, is renowned for its religious and spiritual sanctity, as well as for its important role in the traditional Ayurvedic and Unani system of holistic health and herbal medicine of the East. It is mentioned by Charaka in the Charaka Samhita; an Ayurvedic text. Tulsi is considered to be an adaptogen, balancing different processes in the body, and helpful for adapting to stress. Marked by its strong aroma and astringent taste, it is regarded in Ayurveda as a kind of 'elixir of life' and believed to promote longevity. Tulsi extracts are used in Ayurvedic remedies for common colds, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, various forms of poisoning and malaria and is taken in many forms, as herbal tea, dried power or fresh leaf. For centuries, the dried leaves of Tulsi have been mixed with stored grains to repel insects.
Source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Read more at swayamkatha.wordpress.com


* 2 Dec 2021
Nakul Dana
Nakul Dana
These sugar balls distributed as prasad in several temples is also known as Sakariya, Chironji Dana, Elaichi Dana or Mimosa sugar balls.
A centrifuge machine is used to transform sugar syrup into balls. They can be used in several recipes as alternate to sugar and also for decorating.
Source: tarladalal.com, image - youtube


* 17 Nov 2021
Udupi hotels
This is not a chain of restaurants owned by any single person or institution.
Sri Krishna temple in Udupi was founded by Shri Madhvacharya, proponent of the Dvaita (dualism) school of Vedanta in the 13th century.  At this temple, annadhanam was a regular practice. The cooks who were very particular in their hygiene and cooking process, in course of time moved to different parts of the country such as Chennai, Mumbai and opened up hotels, which came to be known as Udupi hotels.  They had several specialised recipes but the most popular dishes are their masla dosas, vadas and unique sambar.


* 1 Oct 2021
Mangoes in minatures - Pinterest collection
"More than just a fruit, mangoes are revealed as a symbol of fertility and picking them from trees as the ultimate princely pastime. "The sweet and delicious mango has always been the favourite fruit in history, as it is now. Shah Jahan had his mangoes from the Konkan coast couriered regularly to the imperial kitchens in Delhi while his grandfather Akbar had a mango grove, Laakhibagh in Darbhanga specially planted with a hundred thousand choice mango trees," note the creators of Arts of Hindostan, as they put together a selection of artworks from Mughal Lucknow and Farrukhabad schools, the Rajput schools at Bundi and Bikaner, the early Deccan school at Golconda and the Company School at Calcutta, spread across three centuries."
Source: architecturaldigest.in



* 1-2 Sep 2021
Mango varieties in India
Mango varieties - Pinterest collection

Alphonsos, Amrapali, Badami, Banganapalli,  Bombay Green mangoes,  Chausa,  Dashehari,  Fazli,   Gulab Khaas,  Hapus,  Himsagar,  Imam Pasand,  Kalapadi,  Kesar,  Kilichundan, Lakshmanbhog, Langra,  Malda,  Mallika,  Mankurad,  Mulgova,  Neelam,  Paheri/Pairi,  Raspuri,  Ratnagiri,  Rumani,  Safeda,  Sindhura, Totapuri,  Vanraj.
More details on region and quality
Source: mangoesmumbai.com ; holidify.com ; timesofindia.indiatimes.com ; gardendiary.info


* Jul 2021
Herbs associated with the Pancha Boothams
Land (Nilam in Tamil) - Arugampul (arugam grass)
Water (Neer in Tamil) - Maavilai (mango leaf)
Fire (Neruppu in Tamil) - Vaazhai ilai (banana leaf)
Wind (katru in Tamil) - Vepilai (neem leaf)
Sky (Agaayam in Tamil) - Vetrilai (Paan leaf)


* Jul 2021
Amla
Amla
Amla is Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis) (Nellikai, nellikani in Tamil), a fruit found mainly in India. It is a greenish yellow fibrous fruit about an inch or two in diameter, round shaped with vertical stripes. It simultaneously tastes sweet & sour. It is rich in natural vitamin C. It is used in making ayurvedic medicines, tonics for it has several positive qualities - cooling, diuretic and laxative properties, strengthens teeth and bones, antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It aids in maintaining clear skin & healthy growth of hair. It is eaten raw with salt and is also used to make pickles.


* Jul 2021
Mango Day
The U.S. India Business Council in Washington, D.C. played host to the first-ever 'Mango Day' celebrations on the arrival of Indian mangoes to the U.S., after a gap of 18 years. The first mangoes arrived at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. But the big welcome party occurred in the nation's capital.
Reference: voanews.com

*
Jul 2021
Condiments and Nuts
English Tamil
Aniseed Sombu
Asafoetida Perungayam
Almonds Badam Parappu
Arrow Root Koovak Kilangu
Bay Leaf Punnai Ilai
Black Pepper Milagu
Cardamom Yelakkai
Cinnamom Pattai
Cloves Lavangam
Coriander Seeds Vara Kothamali
Cumin Seeds Jeeragam
Curry Leaves Kariveppilai
Cashew Nuts Mundhiri
Dry Ginger Sukku
Femmel Perunjeeragam
Feenugreek Vendhayam
Garlic Vellai Poondu
Ginger Ingi
Groundnuts / Peanuts Verkadalai
Jaggery Vellam
Lemon Rind Yelumichai Thol
Mace Jadhipathiri
Mango Powder Mangai Podi
Mustard Kadugu
Nutmeg Jadhikkai
Poppy Seeds Kasa Kasa
Roasted Gram Pottu Kadali
Red Chillies Sigappu Milagai
Raisins Ularndha Dhirakshai
Rice Flakes Arisi Avial
Sesame Seeds Ellu
Saffron Kungumapoo
Sugar Candy Kalkandu
Tamrind Puli
Turmeric Powder Manjal Podi
Tymol Seeds Omam


* Jul 2021
Jhavvaadhu powder is a perfume made out of a blend of sandal wood powder, sandal wood oil and floral extracts.