Discover more from Sattva
Sattva: Issue 22
13 Desi Salad things | Best walking tips | My new finds for happy feet
Hello! If you are new to my newsletter, a warm welcome.
Sattva (सत्त्व) is a beautiful Sanskrit word that has many meanings—spirit, true essence, good sense, wisdom, quality of purity, energy, consciousness and mind, among other things.
Through this fortnightly newsletter, I want to bring to you all things good, which will make your life better. My focus will be on topics such as mindfulness, productivity, slow living and sustainability, accompanied by genuinely useful recommendations of products, books, music, links to read, and of course food and recipes. Through these, I hope to instil some Sattva in your life.
The first issue of Sattva was out on 3 Feb, 2021. It’s been a year of committing to finding all things beautiful and comforting to share with you. In one year, the Sattva community has grown to nearly 5000 strong highly engaged readers, many of whom tell me that this is the one newsletter they never fail to read.
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13 Desi Salad Things
Summer is almost here and you’ll be wanting to eat more refreshing salads. I’ve written a ton of posts around salad recipes and salad making tips and tricks on my blog. Today, I’m sharing with you all about desi salads.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot add a desi flair to your salad. These ingredients are easily available in our kitchens adding familiar flavours that we love to our salads.
Here are 13 of my favourite desi things to add to salads.
Pluck out the leaves from a bunch of methi. Wash and dry thoroughly. Use in salads for a unique mild bitter flavour. Combine with other greens or leafy vegetables like shredded cabbage.
Use a julienne peeler to make noodles out of desi vegetables like bottle gourd or chow-chow (chayote squash). Steam for a couple of minutes and use it to make low carb noodle salads.
Roasted chana is a uniquely desi ingredient. Use peeled roasted chana as is, or coarsely crushed in salads. You can also use roasted chana powder in a salad. This absorbs all the released liquids and prevents the salad from getting soggy.
A spoonful of sev, gaathia or mixture can be added as the final garnish (you guessed it right, just like in a chaat) to add a fun crunch element to your salad.
Leftover idlis cubed, tossed in a little ghee and air fried until crunchy - irresistible in a salad
Use tamarind paste in salad dressings as the sour component. It also gives body to the dressing, making it thicker.
Pickle oil is a flavour bomb. Use it as the oil component of the dressing.
A pinch of garam masala, roasted cumin powder, black salt or pani puri masala added to the dressing reminds you of your favourite Indian foods while making the dressing much more flavoursome.
All kinds of podis, be it molagapodi / gun powder or paruppu podi (lentil powder) or dry peanut chutney add incredible flavour and texture to your salads.
Mor molaga (curd chillies) or sandgi mirchi are chillies marinated in sour buttermilk and salt and sun dried until crisp. These when deep fried or microwaved after a light brushing of ghee turn into super delicious morsels with an addictive flavour. Mor molaga is typically eaten along with curd rice in Tamil cuisine, to add a punch to the bland dish. Crush these fried chillies on top of a salad for a wow effect.
Boris are sun dried lentil based dumplings in Bengali cuisine. These are called vadams (for example, karuvadam) in Tamil. Bori or vadam can be fried in a little ghee in the small tadka ladle, crushed and added for a super crunchy texture to your salads.
Nothing like a desi tadka to jazz up any dish, including salads. Use a flavourful oil like coconut, mustard or sesame and use ingredients like crushed dried red chillies, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, chana dal, chopped green chillies, ginger, sliced garlic and curry leaves (choose 2-3 from this list) in the tadka. Add this tadka as the finishing touch to your salad.
The bomb desi thing to add to a salad is fried curry leaves - looks pretty, adds oomph and of course the much-needed crunch.
Bonus: Coconut! Either freshly grated or thin slices baked in the oven until brown and crisp, the kind they add to chivda. Just the ultimate garnish!
P.S.2 On my IGTV: All about Desi Salads
Now get all creative and show me your desi salad creations on Instagram :)
4 tips to make walking more effective
I love walking. Some days I walk for 2-3 hours listening to podcasts or music or talking to my loved ones. You can break down your daily step goal of say 10,000 steps into 3-4 parts so that you don’t need a large chunk of time to spend walking. Walking to the kid’s busstop, walking the dog or walking to a nearby shop, all of it counts. Somedays I don’t have the time to step out for a walk and I’m surprised how at the end of the day I have walked nearly 8000 steps just by moving around the house and outside for chores.
I want to share with you some science backed tips that can make you get more bang for buck i.e. burn more fat from your walks.
Always walk first thing in the morning on an empty stomach even before you have your tea or coffee. When you wake up, your body is in a fasting state overnight with low insulin levels. Walking in the fasted state gives you a better chance of burning body fat. Even a 20 minute walk is beneficial. You can think about your plans for the day while you are walking or listen to some calming music to start the day on a positive note.
Try and grab a 5-10 minute walk just after lunch and dinner, even if it just means a couple of rounds around your building. After a meal, your blood sugar increases and with that the insulin levels also increase. Sustained increase in insulin levels (hyperinsulinemia) causes insulin resistance which eventually leads to chronic diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes among many others. So what happens when you walk after a meal? Walking uses up some of the blood sugar so the levels don’t spike as much, and in response to the reduced blood sugar after a meal, the insulin release is also moderate, both of which are a win-win to keep our metabolism in good shape. A study showed that if we do not exercise just after a meal, then the glucose increase after the meal is about 275% of the glucose increase with walking just after a meal. This is also excellent for pre-diabetics and diabetics. Walking right after a meal was shown to be much more effective than walking an hour after the meal. So plan your walk accordingly.
Given that many of us are still working from home, it is quite possible that you are stuck to your work desk for hours on end. Make sure to move around every hour at least for a couple of minutes, which helps contract and stretch your muscles making them more insulin sensitive. You could check on your pet, grab a glass of water from the kitchen or take a small stroll in your balcony. Studies have shown that even these tiny movements every hour make a huge difference to your metabolism.
Walking outdoors instead of the gym has certain physiological benefits too. Natural spaces are rich in negative ions that improve serotonin levels (mood elevating neurotransmitter) and reduce levels of stress hormone cortisol. High cortisol levels are one of the reasons for belly fat. Walking outside post dinner when it is dark outside sends signals to your brain that it is night. This releases the sleep hormone melatonin in the body leading to good quality of sleep. This is the exact opposite of sitting facing a blue screen like a laptop or iPad or phone at bedtime which leads to poor sleep quality. Good sleep is of utmost importance to improving your metabolism.
I share my walking updates often on Instagram stories, so follow me there if you aren’t already.
My new finds for happy feet
It’s been over two years since I went for a pedicure.
I’ll be honest. Even pre-Covid I was never a regular at salons. The salon staffs’ attitude of always pulling women down saying - “Oh you have pigmentation, let me give you a new skin for your face!”, or “You have SO much dead skin on your sole, you should have come for a pedicure every 3 days.” has always been super annoying. It is the reason I have even stopped threading my eyebrows. I’m happy that they are pretty much zero maintenance. And not to mention, avoiding the pain that is almost as bad as labour pain when someone pulls out the hairs from the most delicate skin around your eyes. Nope! Not missed that one bit.
Given that I mostly walk around my home and garden bare feet, and I generally am up on my feet a lot all day, my feet aren’t lady like at all. They are a working woman’s feet. I do like to have pretty feet though and so I decided to take this pretty feet matter into my own hands this month.
Here are the things I bought and used. I am happy to say they are working well. You’ll find links to all the products in the resources section at the end.
‘Foot peeling mask’ - When I read this for the first time, I went WHOA! FOOT PEELING?! Not just skin peeling, but foot peeling! The name is pretty apt. This is a Korean product (as expected). The pack comes with a pair of large plastic socks with an inner mesh and tubes of liquid that you pour inside each sock once you have worn it. The pack comes with tapes to fit these socks snug around your legs. And now you sit around for 90 minutes. Read a book, watch a movie, write a newsletter etc. and let the stuff in the product act on your feet. After 90 minutes, remove the socks and wash off your feet with water. And now forget about it for 7-8 days. The skin of your soles and the top of your feet will start peeling after 7-8 days. You will almost feel like you are losing a kilo of dead skin, no kidding. I was literally running the Deebot 5 times a day in my room to collect all the fallen peeled skin.
And after the 4 odd days of the peeling phase, the soles of my feet are like a baby’s soles.
The product has a bunch of chemicals, but I trust the Korean product companies to do all required tests before unleashing them on humanity. Do a small patch test if you are the types whose skin is super sensitive.
If this sounds like something that would be useful to you, try it out but please do so at your own risk.
P.S. Please do not do it at a time you have to attend any events wearing open footwear. I assure you your feet will look scary in the peeling phase. Be ready for 2-3 weeks of foot-hibernation if you use this product. The end result will be worth it.
Foot cream - If you love the smell of sandalwood and clove and you like your feet to feel luxuriously moisturized, check out Vaadi Herbals Foot Cream. I’m surprised at how reasonably priced it is, given how nourishing it feels and how good it smells. They have a smaller sized jar in case you want to try it out before buying a bigger jar.
Battery operated pedicure device - A friend, Harini, recommended this pedicure device on her Twitter. It is a battery operated cordless foot scrubber to remove dead skin and calluses, that is rechargeable and comes with three heads for varying intensity of scrubbing. I have not personally used this, but as someone who likes to use the manual Scholl’s foot file once in a while, I’m sure the electrical foot scrubber leaves your feet soft and dead skin-free.
Foot lotion - Another product I’ve bought and used recently is the Natural Foot Cream from The Moms Co. With peppermint essential oil and argan oil, it smells great and leaves your feet feeling moisturized and yet not greasy. This is a much lighter product as compared to the Vaadi Herbals foot cream.
If you have any tried and tested product recommendations for foot care, do leave a comment below so all readers can benefit from it.
Feel like reading more of Sattva? Binge read all the issues here like some of my new readers do and then tell me about it in their emails. See you in March.
TONYMOLY Shiny Foot Super Peeling Liquid (Nykka / Rs.553)
Vaadi Herbals Foot Cream (150g / Rs.166)
Agaro Callus Remover (Rs.1099)
Natural Foot Cream from The Moms Co. (50g / Rs.174)
Study on walking after a meal
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