Kitchen Vastushastra Explained

The USHA Kitchen

The USHA Kitchen

Lately there has been a resurgence in ancient Indian philosophy from a very scientific point of view. Take for instance the myth of Dashaavatar where the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu can be viewed within an evolution perspective, as Homo Sapiens moved from Matsya (the fish), Kurma (the amphibious tortoise), through Narshima (half man-half beast),  Rama (the ideal Man) and finally to Kalki (the destroyer of beings – resembling Darwin’s struggle for ‘survival of the fittest’). Similarly Vastushastra or the ancient Hindu doctrine of temple architecture is today being used more and more to plan out living spaces. A huge treatise in itself, of which we will only discuss the kitchen in this post. However, even as we take our first baby steps into the world of Kitchen Vastushastra let me warn you that things have changed – people live differently today. And with new lifestyles old ways innovate with style. So switch on to a New Life With USHA. 

USHA COOKTOPS: Vastu dictates the cooking stove to be at South-East

USHA COOKTOPS: Vastu dictates the cooking stove to be at South-East

Let’s begin with the most basic kitchen appliance, the Cooking Stove / Cooktop. Vastu dictates that it should be at the South-East and shouldn’t be too close to the wall. The former is simple space logic, having a stove at the South-East allows people to store both kitchen utensils and grocery/ingredients along the South and West for easy access. As the ancient laws also dictate that storage units for essential commodities like grains, pulses spices and other non-perishable commodities should be stocked along the South or the West direction. Regions where sunlight wasn’t really necessary – as most ancient kitchens windows were in the East, giving the previous farming communities early access to sunlight.

USHA HOODS, enable you to place your cooktop at any distance from the walls

USHA HOODS, enable you to place your cooktop at any distance from the walls

As for the latter reason of avoiding stoves too close to the walls was because during those days most homes were built with combustible materials; and people were just being cautious.However, today with the emergence of Hoods and new building materials this rule has almost become redundant in most urban homes.

USHA WATER DISPENSER: Store water towards the North East

USHA WATER DISPENSER: Store water towards the North East

The ancient Treatise also instructed people to build their kitchen sinks and store their Drinking water towards the North-East of the Kitchen, this was to ensure that the early morning rays killed the germs thereby keeping the water purified. Similarly fruits and other perishable materials were stored by the water for the very same reasons, which today could be replaced as a place for our Juicers.

USHA JUICERS: Keeping fruits by the window if not inside a Fridge makes sense

USHA JUICERS: Keeping fruits by the window if not inside a Fridge makes sense

Other Cooking Utensils were to be stored next to or near the cooking stove for convenience, in ancient times it could have meant pots and pans, as they were frequently used. For us it would mean our Ovens and Fryers, which would help us to keep a lookout on things – if we happen to be cooking more than a single dish at a time using various different appliances.

USHA FRYER: Appliances located close will help you watch-over your dishes

USHA FRYER: Appliances located close will help you watch-over your dishes

That’s some science titbits behind the glorious art of Vastu, but as we had mentioned earlier, times have changed and with our modern USHA appliances you can place anything, anywhere as you like; as long as you add logic and a little style to it.

USHA HALOGEN OVEN: Happy Cooking!

USHA HALOGEN OVEN: Happy Cooking!

Thinking of rearranging your kitchen? Go ahead and Play with USHA kitchen appliances – Jaw-dropping both in style and the delicious recipes they can cook up.

To Explore More Appliances Click Here

Melon Juice: The Fountain of Youth

Why can’t Melons get married? Because they can’t-elope!

Musk Melon or Kharbuja, is popularly known as Cantaloupe in the Western world; ever since their seeds from the East were first planted at the Papal Gardens in the Italian city of Cantalupo during the 16th century. Jokes apart and history aside, if you are trying to lose weight than the Cantaloupe is a must for your menu!

For the health conscious a daily glass of Musk Melon juice is great for the body and eyesight. But best of all it helps you to fight aging with its high content of Vitamin C, which drives away free radicals and barbarian viruses responsible for damaging your cells. Ergo, you have found your own private Fountain of Youth in the USHA Juicer!

So here is the secret recipe:

Untitled-1 copyIngredients

  1. 1 Musk Melon
  2. Sugar as per required (brown sugar is a great option as it would deepen the colour and give a caramelized flavor to the juice, using honey would make it more healthier)

Method – Preparation in 5 minutes.

  • Rinse the Musk Melon in water.
  • Then slice them into long pieces.
  • Remove the peel and separate it from the flesh and remove seeds.
  • Add musk melon to your juicer / juicer mixer grinder with sugar and ice cubes.
  • Enjoy refreshing juice. Enjoy life!

Before we sign off here is another piece of advice: Always buy evenly shaped melons, which do not bear any cuts and bruises; and select the heavy ones, they make the best juices.

The USHA Fountain of Youth

The USHA Fountain of Youth

To Know More Click Here

Juicing For Fitness: Carrot Coconut Juice

You have got your numbers right, pitches presented and plans approved, all in a day’s work! Well done to you and to your body who saw you through the daily grind. Your body carries you through the thick and thin every single day, it is only right that you devote at least a few minutes to it too: Be it exercise, cycling, gyming, aerobics, yoga or any other fitness regime that you prefer. And some among you can’t get enough of crunches, laps and push-ups, following a religion of a fitness regime and even tracking it on the latest gadgets from Jawbone Up and Nike Fuel bands.

Irrespective of the group you belong to, here is a nice little additional after-workout celebration that you all must partake in – a cool glass of Carrot Coconut Juice to rejuvenate and refresh yourself back (almost) with an ‘Ode to joy’. So take out that Usha Juicer and prepare this glass of sheer seventh heaven bliss, as you let your body relax on cloud 9!

Untitled-1 copyIngredients

  1. 2 glasses of water
  2. 2 tsp Sugar (optional)
  3. 4 Small Carrots
  4. Small piece of Ginger
  5. 1 cup Coconut (grated)

MethodPreparation in 5 minutes.

  • Chop the carrots into small pieces and juice it with your Usha centrifugal juicer.
  • Grind coconut, ginger and sugar together.
  • Mix both juices for natural and refreshing taste.
  • Enjoy it with ice cubes.

And for those not very keen on the whole fitness thing. Simply Juice for pleasure – every drop of this awesome juice is simply worth all of Seventh Heaven in itself. Cheers!

Grape Smoothie: The Elegant Drink

A lot of people throw around names such as Bordeaux 1813, Lafitte 1916 and so on. A few of them happen to be real connoisseurs of wine , while the rest are just snobbish name-droppers – they don’t have a single clue what they are talking about. And in all of this the Non-Wine Drinker stands aloof trying to follow all that Greek; evident every time you organize a party where both drinkers and non-drinkers try their best to mingle. So here is an elegant drink that you can serve as a Mocktail and when asked by a nosy wine snob which year, simply answer ‘120 flat!’ as grape juice helps to lower Blood pressure and keep it in check.

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup milk
  2. 1 cup grapes, seedless or seed them
  3. ½ cup yogurt, vanilla , 1 cup ice

Grape juiceMethod
Preparation in 5 minutes.

Blend in your blender jar the above mentioned ingredients, until smooth and enjoy! (That’s It)

Besides parties, do you also need an extra kick in the nutrition department? A grape smoothie can help! Grapes can easily add a nice dose of vitamin C as well as some other much needed antioxidants that will take your smoothie up a notch.

A Chef Speaks: Kunal Kapur

As school children we loved our Show and Tell sessions, now watch Masterchef Kunal Kapur do the same as he discusses ingredients, his life and experiences as one of the best chefs in the country.

He begins with the marvelous spice Asafoetida, locally and more popularly known as Hing. Hing, as we learnt during the talk is actually a gum exuded from the roots of the herb Ferula assa-foetida to keep away animals from eating it – a yet another biological evolution, which like many others landed up in the Human Kitchen!

During the course of this fun trivia he enlightens us about a lot many curious spices and ingredients from the exotic Southeast Asian delicacy Bird’s Nest, which is essentially built with bird saliva to the most expensive Coffee in the whole wide world -Kopi luwak also known as Civet Coffee as it is made from the fermented coffee beans excreted by the Civet, which feeds on coffee plants!

This list of curiosity moves along followed by one after another lesser known facts, almost taking a ‘Ripley’s (rather Kunal’s) Believe it or Not!’ tone, dotted with anecdotes both personal and professional. To know more, watch the video below featuring Kunal Kapur at Usha presents Mountain Echoes 2014.

Pineapple & Banana Smoothie: Sweet Medicine

Banana ShkeMade with two fabulous ingredients, the Pineapple and Banana Smoothie is a King among juices. Scientifically called Musa Sapientum, the banana means ‘fruit of the wise men’. While the Pineapple native to Brazil and Paraguay is known as the ‘Fruit of King’ in their local idioms. A good source of vitamins, minerals and fibers the Banana will give a school going kid just the right ingredients for healthy growth and an adult the right energy to rejuvenate after a hard day’s work. Whereas packed with Vitamin C the Pineapple will keep the flu and viruses away. You, can well imagine what a concoction of these two fruits will do to summer weary kids and adults – make them invincible, no matter how high or low the barometer readings go.

An one of a kind Back to School drink, it is perfect for kids beginning their new semester after a long and lazy summer vacation. Now without further ado, let’s make this king of a wise drink, and gulp it down as sweet medicine (for once literally) .

Ingredients

  1. 1 chopped pineapple
  2. 1 pineapple juice
  3. 1 bananas (6 ounces)
  4. 6 big tsp nonfat yogurt (plain)
  5. ½ cup ice cubes grated nutmeg

Method – Preparation in 5 minutes.

  •  In your juice blender jar (in JMG and MG), combine chopped pineapple and juice, banana, yogurt, and ice cubes.
  • Puree until smooth.
  • Sprinkle with grated nutmeg and serve.

Now, enjoy the nutritious and low fat Smoothie , with tantalizing flavors and textures.

The-Benefits-of-Banana-Peel1Wait, we are not yet done; since we are talking ‘healthy’ here are a few more organic tips regarding the unused Banana peels! Instead of throwing them away there is a lot you can do with these peels. For instance rubbing the insides of the peel over a mosquito bite or a burn will stop the itch or pain and also keeps them from swelling. Similarly, if you rub the insides of the peel over your teeth for 2 minutes regularly before sleeping, it will whiten your teeth! As for the Pineapple peel it is better to keep away from any rubbing.

Go Natural! Go Bananas!

Aphrodisiacs: Desire & Food

ImageThe very word Aphrodisiac gently rolls between our tongues conjuring up seductive images from the classical pantheon of desire.Food perhaps was and is humanity’s first desire with Adam and Eve taking that forbidden bite. Who knew the apple could be such an aphrodisiac? Ever since then men and women have sought out other such tantalizing love potions. In this quest for love and passion Chefs and Alchemist have churned out a million recipes for lovemaking.

Throughout the history of civilizations aphrodisiacs have been sought out not only by Kings and Generals or Politicians and Shamans, but by everyday people who wanted to inject that little bit of excitement into their mundane lives.

The Aztecs considered the Avocado to be an aphrodisiac, while Oysters were known as the food of lust since antiquity. Indians still keep a glass of almond milk by the bridal bed and the 17th century British herbalist Nicholas Culpepper, wrote that asparagus “stirs up lust in man and woman.” In 19th century France, bridegrooms were served three asparagus courses during their prenuptial dinners. 

To learn the science behind Aphrodisiacs and why they have captured the popular imagination since the classical times watch the session on Food and Desire by Prabeen Singh at the Usha presents Mountain Echoes 2014. Her exciting discussion is followed by a cooking demonstration of a delicious Bhutanese aphrodisiac. “If aphrodisiacs be the food of love, play on” we say.

Apple Lemon Fizz – The Cool Drink

Get over ‘Cold Drinks’ here comes the Coolest Drink. No kidding.

Untitled-1 copyThe Apple Lemon Fizz is one of its kinds – a refreshing healthy cool drink that reinvigorates. Where else do you get a mixture of healthy apples, re-energizing lime and cooling mint, making it the perfect summer drink, add to that the fact that a good Juicer like one from Usha will help you make it in a jiffy and it is summer perfect.

Ingredients

  1. 2 Apples
  2. 1 bottle (200 ml.) soda
  3. 2 tbsp finely chopped cucumber
  4. 1 tsp finely chopped mint leaves (pudhina)
  5. 1 tsp honey
  6. ½ tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice or squash

 Method

We were really not kidding about the ‘jiffy’ bit. So start the stopwatch and begin:

  1. Wash the apples and add them to your Full Fruit Juicer, for fresh apple juice.
  2. Then add lemon squash, finely chopped cucumber-mint leaves and a tsp of honey in it and serve immediately after adding soda, stir lightly to mix.

That’s it and your drink is ready. Your stopwatch should read 5 minutes at the most!

This cool drink can be had as an after-school or after-play drink for your kids. The soda in it makes it irresistible even to boys and girls who otherwise say ‘No’ to all fruit juices. It also makes for a great party Mocktail.

French Fries: Taste with Health

Usha Int FreisThere is nothing French about French Fries! To begin with they originate in Belgium and are simply called French Fries because they happen to be deeply fried. During the good old days everything deep fried was supposedly French fried! And therein lies the rub: the word ‘fried’ has a billion unhealthy connotations tied to it. Did you know that the name KFC, was officially adopted in 1991 from Kentucky Fried Chicken, as people got more health conscious? And no company wanted the word ‘fried’ anywhere near their finger licking dishes.

Digressions aside, let’s get back to our yummy French Fries. Let us admit it that no matter how many labels we put on French Fries, kids, you and me will continue to relish them, be it at home or at a fast food joint. The least you can do is, make these fries healthier without compromising on taste. But how do you cook French Fries without the unhealthy frying bit? Well, you do it with very little oil instead of the gazillion liters generally used to fry them. And that’s child’s play if you are using a Usha Halogen Oven, just follow these simple steps:

IngredientsImage

  1. 15-200 gms of Frozen French Fries
  2. Just 1 teaspoon of Oil!!

Equipment:

  • High Rack
  • Steaming Tray

Method:

  1.  In a mixing bowl add frozen French fries, and just a single teaspoon of oil and mix well.
  2. Next place the French fries on an oiled steaming tray
  3. Now place the steaming tray on the high rack
  4. Select speed up on Halogen Oven panel for 4 minutes at 230 degree C. You could add an extra minute to brown them further.

Wait with mouthwatering anticipation! Eat healthy without an ounce of guilt.

For Other Halogen Oven Recipes Click Here

Mango Smoothie: Tastiest Drink under the Sun

There is nothing like a glass of ice cold Mango Smoothie to drown the summer heat. But before we juice a few mangoes, here are three things you should know about the king of fruits. First, the name Mango comes from the Tamil word Māṅga. Drinking a glass of Mango smoothie is akin to drinking a glassful of Vitamin C along with a cocktail of fibre, antioxidants and potassium. And lastly, the Alphonso Mango is one of those ‘1000 things you must eat before you die.’ Yes, this is the most exotic and tasty health gets.

Alphonso mangoes are world famous for their taste and aroma. With this recipe enjoy them blended with crushed ice.

Ingredients

  1. Fresh Ripe Mango – 2 big mangoes (Alphonso, any other)
  2. Sugar – 2 tbsp (as per taste)
  3. Water – 1 cup
  4. Ice cubes – fewImage

Method – Preparation in 5 minutes

  • Add it in your mixer, juicer mixer grinder along with sugar and ice cubes.
  • Also add water and blend it to a smooth consistent texture.
  • Enjoy refreshing and delicious Smoothie.

The good news is that this is the healthiest, tastiest drink you can prepare in five minutes and drink under the Sun. The bad news being, the Alphonoso mango has a very short season from April to the end of June, so hurry!!