At the beginning of the New Year, our motivation for changing our eating habits is often very strong. But as we get busy it can become difficult to keep our resolutions. It's imperative to create realistic goals and increase your awareness about what you're eating.

The holidays can, and should, be a time to focus on what we have in common and what we want to celebrate together. But what happens when our friends and family members have different diets and food preferences?

Lentils are ancient foods and were eaten in India in prehistoric times. Lentils are called ‘dal’ in many parts of India. The word denotes the raw product as well as cooked lentils. They are essentially carbohydrate and protein with no fat.

Milk is eaten in some form in every part of India. Milk is drunk on its own or flavoured with spices, flowers and herbs. It is also made into products that are curdled, as in paneer or chhena, non-curdled, such as ghee and khoya (made by cooking milk until it solidifies), or fermented, as in yogurt.

Wheat is the most common grain to be crushed into flour. Archaeological surveys have found that it was used in the Indian subcontinent since the Indus Valley civilisation (3300 BC - 1700 BC). Ancient Indian scripts including the Rigveda (one of the oldest surviving texts known to man) mention the use of wheat flour in various forms, including being mixed with milk, fried in ghee and spiced with cardamom, pepper and ginger. Barley and rice flours were also used.

The Yajurveda, one of the four key Sanskrit texts of Hinduism, describes the making of rice cakes as a ritual offering to Agni, the God of Fire. The Shunya Purana, written by Ramai the Wise in the 10th - 11th century AD, states that 50 varieties of rice, such as Nagra, Jhinga-sal and Panloi, were grown in Bengal even then. Many of those varieties are now extinct but these three varieties are still being conserved on special farms by rice conservationists.

Why Spices are Used

1. Spices for health

Spices are used for several reasons - the first and foremost for their health-giving properties. All spices are good for one’s health if eaten in moderation. Turmeric is used both fresh as a root and in powder form. It contains the antioxidant curcumin, thought to help conditions such as a sore throat and possibly prevent cancer.

Peanuts continue to be the most popular nut, and for good reason. Not only because they are the most affordable, but also because they contain complex nutrients that are good for your health and for preventing disease.

The sesame seed is so versatile that its presence is prominent in culinary experiences across the globe. They have a mild, nutty flavor and are used to add taste and texture in many recipes. They can be consumed raw, but the wider application is to roast it and add it as garnishing.More often, they are used in salads and as toppings on bread & in Indian Sweets. 

These tiny sesame seeds have huge health benefits.

Jaggery is derived from sugarcane and date palm and is a type of cane sugar. It comes in all kinds of forms-from semi-liquid to solid blocks of different shapes ans sizes. Jaggery is loaded with nutrition as it is rich in fibre and vital nutrients and is free from chemicals. It is an essential ingredient in several Indian recipes and tastes absolutely divine.

Here is a list of culinary terms for beginning cooks. Anyone just starting to learn their way around a kitchen will do well to know what these words mean.

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamins, nutrients, and fiber. But you don’t have to eat carrots to receive these nutritional benefits. Drinking carrot juice is an easy way to add carrots to your diet. Here are eight reasons why you should add carrot juice to your diet.

Ayurveda recognises six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. All foods and herbs are classified by taste. The taste of a food gives the key to its actions upon the digestion, the body and ultimately emotions and sentiments. In Sanskrit, the word for taste and emotion is the same - ‘rasa’.

The basis of all Indian cookery is the ancient science of Ayurveda, the system of holistic healing which is the oldest known form of medicine. It was transcribed about 5,000 years ago by Himalayan sages who understood the value and health effects of the various herbs that grew around them.

India is a diverse country. The tastes and variety of food differs from state to state. Based on the diversity of food. the country can be divided into four regions - North, West, South and East.

Banana flour is the next big Desi Superfood - Green Nendram Podi. The latest entrant in the gluten-free food club, green nendram podi, is an indigenous super food and is slowly becoming popular. It’s grown locally, is natural with no additives, high in starch and fiber, is very good for the gut and, most importantly, is hypoallergenic.