The tricolour ruffles in the cold winds of dawn. Birds chirp, leaves flutter, and our hearts dance to the rhythm of nature. This day is not like any other day. If it weren’t for those heroes who stand as testimonies for our independence, I wouldn’t have been sitting here writing this article. And you wouldn’t have been sitting there reading it.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had said that at the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.
And at the stroke of this minute, let me take you to some great traditional practices and cuisines which can only make us proud for being Indians.
1. The Humble Hand:
Believe me, this practice is not as ordinary as it sounds. With the blankets of modernity wrapped around us, we have become more accustomed to battling with our foods using spoons or forks. We have forgotten, or rather, haven’t yet realized what benefits lie behind the practice of eating our food with our hands.
Using our hands to take food keeps all the five elements in sync. It also protects our mouth from getting burnt. In case you are planning to revert to a healthy ‘you’, then you must give this practice a shot!
2. Eating From Banana Leaves:
Let me tell you one thing. All those imported sets of crockery adorning your kitchen shelves stand no match to this. And this is not an illiterate simpleton saying these words. The statement has got a terrific scientific backing.
When you pour any hot liquid on the surface of a banana leaf, vitamin C is released. You don’t have to squeeze an extra lemon into your rice for a dose of it. The vitamin releases by default.
Mind Blown? It obviously has to.
3. The Floor:
Okay. So you are eating with your hands. Good. Banana leaves? Very good. But all the health effects will be ruthlessly nullified if you happen to be seated at your dining table.
I know. You have just purchased a marble topped dining table exclusively imported from Italy. And you are kind of ‘in love’ with it. But mate, you won’t believe what can happen to you if you have your meals sitting on the floor.
The posture you maintain while you eat sitting on the floor actually makes you feel full, even though over one-fourth of your stomach is still empty.
*Weight loss enthusiasts, Note This Point*
Sitting on the floor also aids in digestion, something that doesn’t happen so well with the illusory comfort of the dining table.
4. Drinking Water From A Copper Vessel:
You have that bottle of packaged drinking water with ‘UV Treated’ emblazoned on it. And you gulp down from it flaunting to the world how health conscious you are.
If chemically treated bottled water is what you think is healthy, then water from a copper vessel is something you aren’t aware of at all. And it is something you should be aware of.
Copper acts as a natural anti-bacterial agent and purifies your water.
Now tell me. Which one is better?
5. Wearing A Bindi:
Girls. Look here. This is for you.
That colourful array of cosmetics filling up your dressing table stands nowhere beside this. And why? Yes. I am coming to that point.
Bindi is not just an adornment. This age old practice sits in the lap of scientific backing. It calms your mind and keeps the muscles around your eyes and ears healthy.
If tradition is what holds our identity, then our cuisines are what that hold our taste buds. These dishes, simple but the most popular in the country and the world over, would only multiply your appetite!
1. Malai Kofta:
If you are a vegetarian, and if you ironically happen to love meatballs, then this dish is for you. Malai refers to cream and kofta refers to the deep fried veggie balls. This dish is a scrumptious amalgamation of potatoes and paneer blended in a creamy Indian sauce curry.
2. Rasmalai or Rasgulla:
Please. Wipe your mouth now.
I know how the very images of these sweets can make our taste-buds go crazy. Rasmalai is sugary cream coloured paneer balls soaked in malai flavoured with cardamom. And Rasgulla, I can say, is like its big brother. It is a popular cheese based syrupy sweet dish prepared from balls of Chhena (Indian cottage cheese) and semolina dough cooked in sugar syrup.
You leave me in an abandoned island with a lifetime supply of Samosas, I will survive. Because I don’t need anything else. And probably neither would you!
These triangular delicacies stuffed with hot potatoes and other veggies are incredible appetizers. Have them with a dollop of sauce or chutney, you will never leave them!
4. Mango / Lemon Pickles:
These are my personal favourite. I just can’t explain how addicted I am to pickles. These pickles which are acidified by adding lime or lemon juice just can’t leave you alone. Taste them once. And you will forget yourself!
5. Filter ‘Kaapi’ And Tea:
Coffee is western. Kaapi is Indian. And the latter beats the former. Undoubtedly. This brewed drink prepared from roasted seeds is what gets one excited. And the aromatic tea prepared from leaves combined with hot water or milk, and flavoured the Indian way with ginger and cardamom can leave you relishing life at its maximum.