Thursday, February 21, 2013

International Language Day!

According to UNESCO, out of about 6000 languages no more than 200 have the status of national language. Looking at these numbers, we can see many languages are endangered. 
Language is fragile. Language and culture are intimately linked, language holds meanings of rituals and cultures which is easily passed on to the next generation. The loss of language is more than the loss of transactional communication. For social purposes you may require and so have to learn different languages; that should not stop respecting your OWN mother-tongue, with which you grew up. Don't loose the sweetness of your mother-tongue which is close to your heart.
If your mother-tongue is Telugu (తెలుగు), you will definitely enjoy this video. You may find similar in your languages too.

"Speaking your mother-tongue is not a disability!"
-Colette Grinevald

Friday, February 1, 2013

Black beans

The general consensus in the health community is that beans are in general, a “health” food and that when combined with rice, form a perfect protein for vegetarians. Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), Moong beans, kidney beans, black-eyed beans, are not new to any kitchen. Black beans has entered our kitchen as they are one of the least processed and less chemically treated beans. Needless to say for its high content in fiber, protein, antioxidants along with numerous other vitamins and minerals. My research on internet made me believe among all the groups of food, no group has more health-supportive mix of protein plus fiber than beans. I figured out dried beans soaked and cooked at home have better taste and texture when compared to pre-cooked or canned beans. Black beans have satiny skin, leaves lots of colored water when soaked. Clean the soaked water couple of times until you get clear water before you cook. When cooked the bean have creamy texture and sweet flavor. It is best and easy to cook in a pressure cooker. Beans can be eaten in varied ways. I use black beans as any other beans in my cooking.
History: Native to Americas dates back at least 7000 years. 
Botanical name: Phaseolus vulgaris
One among the 14,000 species of beans
Health Benefits: 
Digestive Tract Benefits-regulate colon, prevent constipation and other bowel problems 
Benefits for Blood Sugar Regulation-glucose control 
Cardiovascular Benefits-heart health, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure
Once you've cooked your black beans, they're easy to add to several dishes. 
The Cuban dish of black beans and white rice traditionally served on New Year's Day for good luck.
Can be used in salads, soups, in making Indian curries. I have used these beans replacing garbanzo in 'chole' which goes well with wheat tortillas or chapathis.
Black bean patties from ground black beans paste by adding spices.
Many refrain to eat beans to get these health benefits because of the side effects of Gas and Flatulence. To reduce these side effects cook beans with herbs like turmeric, cumin, bay leaf. If using canned wash and drain the water thoroughly. The body gradually adapts to increased bean consumption.
P.S. Approach with caution for any allergies when you try new food produce/products.

 "Hunger makes raw beans taste sweet."
Dutch Proverb