10 common mistakes that may ruin your best Recipes

10 common mistakes that may ruin your best Recipes

10 common mistakes that may ruin your best Recipes

Cooking is an art. The thought that goes into the making of a recipe, is an amalgamation of the cook’s experience and creativity. A lot of time, care and work are put into the making of a dish. However, at times, a minor error too can spoil the entire recipe. Here are a few things to keep in mind to avoid an unpleasant recipe making experience.

1) Do not get overly creative:

So you have this recipe, handed down since generations in the family. By now you think you can give this dish a twist, to make it taste a little different, pleasantly. Pause for a moment and think about it. Make a small portion of that recipe with your twist. Taste to feel if that palatable twist, that you were thinking of, does anything at all to enhance the taste of the recipe at all. If that does not happen, then lay off that trick. It will only spoil a perfect recipe.

2) Choose you base Oil correctly:

It is a perception that oils with neutral tastes are the best since they can be versatile. This, however, is not always true. Every recipe has influences like regional flavours, spice preference, expected texture etc. Oils like rice bran or mustard or even sesame are a must for some recipes. For instance, to make a recipe in line with the taste of Kerela, the use of curry leaves would be as important as choosing the right oil, or for cooking a Rajasthani Dish it would be as impertinent to use Oil as against Ghee unless replaced by a Sunflower oil.

3) Overcooking kills:

Every recipe would usually specify the cooking time. This should ideally be stuck to. If the instructions say that the oven is to be heated to a particular degree or the gas stove has to have the flame going on low, medium or high, stick to the instructions. The one sharing the recipe has perfected the dish on these specifications and therefore knows what overcooking or under cooking can do to that dish.

4) Choose the ingredients with caution:

A recipe is not a connotation of sorts that is stewed on a pot over the fire. It is a dish made with specific ingredients, carefully included to complement each other, while the taste of the individual item needs to add to the flavour. Each of the ingredients also needs to be able to blend and merge with each others’ flavours to make the dish the best. Hence, take your time and choose the right ingredients. In case you have to replace an ingredient, be aware of the change that you would induce into the recipe.

5) Stick to the cooking process:

Are you planning on a recipe made of pasta? Or maybe a batch of cookies? For the pasta, keep in mind that the pressure cooker is the last thing you need or deep frying in oil is the least you can do, to spoil a recipe of cookies. Every food has a defined limit till which it can be explored to, may it be boiling, sauté, blanching, frying etc. Just as a pasta cannot be pressure cooked or a batch of cookies, deep fried, other food items have limitations on experimentation too. Hence, stick to the cooking process, unless your experiments and experiences have taught you otherwise.

6) Keep the measurements right:

Many a time when we ask the older generation about the amount of salt or sugar or about any of the other ingredients to be used, they would often say that they don’t have a measurement but rather an inkling of how much of which ingredient to use. Yet when you notice them working in the kitchen, they would use a particular spoon or a cup or a counted number of pinches of ingredients, nothing more or less than that. This is the essence of measurements. It gives a dish its perfect balance.

7) Know how much to stir or flip your food:

Some recipes need a constant stir, while some needs only to be flipped, some of the food need to be touched while cooking and some don’t need any stirring or touching at all. Do not tease the food when it is cooking, the wrong way. That is asking for the recipe to spoil itself.

8) Thaw your vegetables:

Most of us use vegetables and other food items stored in the refrigerator. The cold inside the vegetables do not let them cook , evenly. It is, therefore, best to let the vegetables sit out till they come down to the normal temperature. This will ensure that the veggies are thoroughly cooked from inside out.

9) Do not saute or fry the onions and garlic to the extreme:

Onions and garlic are the base ingredients that go into the wok in most of the Indian cooking. Sauteing these need to be done with a lot of care. A burnt base is a sure shot at a spoilt recipe.

10) Preheat the oven and heat the oil:

While cooking on the stove, ensure that the oil is hot enough for the ingredients. If it is an oven that you are using, be sure about the preheating temperature. The correct temperature will help get the vegetables that crispy outer crust.

Conclusion: Recipes are work of passion. Many are handled down since generations and still used as it was handed down. Others have been modified, as each added a twist to it on individual preferences. Since food is one area, where the person cooking can be easily and tangibly judged, keep these tips in mind to avert a recipe disaster.

Disclaimer – “Views expressed in the blogs, are exclusive thoughts of the author and are not necessarily
aligned to Vilina Refined Oil’s policies”.

8 Healthy and Delicious Sweets for this Diwali

8 Healthy and Delicious Sweets for this Diwali

8 Healthy and Delicious Sweets for this Diwali

Traditional sumptuous Diwali sweets like gulab jamun, karenjis, ladoo, jalebi etc are either ghee ladden or are sugar saturated. This was never a problem during the old days when sedentary lifestyle was not a norm. People would enjoy the Diwali delicacies and work them off as easily too. However, today’s life, though is jet-setting, it is mostly sedentary. Hence the need to stay calorie conscious is pressing. Given the need to be so precise about food intake, Diwali, recipes and cuisines are being given the healthier spins to make the festival enjoyable for everyone.

A healthy spin to sweets in Diwali might sound preposterous to many. The perception that any kind of baking or using healthier versions of ingredients will do complete injustice to a recipe is not unfounded. However, these healthy recipes turn out as good as the traditional ones. Here are a few sweets that can be made the healthy way this Diwali.

1) Makahana Kheer:

Traditionally, Diwali kheer is made with a lot of dry fruits, sugar, rice and ghee. This not only makes the kheer rich and tasty but also quite calorie loaded. Kheer is, however, one of the most savoured dishes. To give this dish a healthy twist for the diabetic and the calorie conscious, the rice in the kheer can be replaced by lotus seeds or makhana.

Clarified butter or ghee is used for frying the makanas for the recipe. Consumption of ghee in the recommended measurement proves beneficial for our health. However most of the calorie conscious people avoid the intake of ghee as it is low in protein but high in fat content. To make this recipe healthy, its best to dry roast the makhana. Full milk for the kheer can be replaced by skimmed milk and the sweetness can be enhanced by sugar-free cubes. If you can lay your hands on some organic jaggery, it would work out the best towards making this dish healthier.

2) Whole Wheat Halwa:

Halwa made for Diwali is usually made from carrots, lavishly fried in ghee and sugar and garnished with chopped dry fruits. This is obviously not the kind of halwa that can be tagged as a healthy or low calorie. The healthier version of this halwa, is made by replacing the base ingredient of this dish with whole wheat or wheat bran flour. Clarified ghee must be used and limited to a tablespoon so that the wheat flour does not stick to the pan while it is roasted. Garnished with dry fruits, the whole wheat atta is one of the healthiest version of halwa one may have.

3) Healthy flex seeds Ladoos:

Besan ke ladoo, coconut ladoo and ladoos made of semolina are a must for Diwali in any Indian household. The recipe involves a lot of frying and roasting of the base ingredients along with sugar.

The healthier twist to this recipe is adding roasted and grounded flaxseeds to the recipe along with dry fruits. Sugar will be a part of these ladoos. However, the healthier version will include sugar-free sweeteners or organic jaggery.

4) Roasted Chivda:

This is one Diwali snack that every Maharashtrian household will definitely make. Traditionally each of the ingredients that goes into this recipe is deep fried. An easy to make snack, all that is needed is for the ingredients to be dry roasted. The tampering at the end can be in two tablespoons of any healthy oil, like rice bran oil or sunflower oil. Once this super easy make snack is ready, store it in airtight containers to last, long after Diwali too.

5) Baked Sankarpali:

Made out of semolina and maida mixed with sugar traditionally, Sankarpalli is a deep fried cookie. It is flaky in texture and makes for a great snack. This is another Diwali speciality of Maharashtra though, in the northern parts of India, this is a popular snack.

Making sankarpalli healthy is convenient as the taste and the texture of these diamond shaped cookies don’t really change with an alteration in its cooking method. Though the colour would be a deeper brown for the fried ones and more pale for the baked ones, nothing else changes for this snack when baked.

6) Dates and Oats Ladoo :

This Diwali diverge from the traditional sweets and indulge in a healthy sweet snack of dates and oats. Both of these ingredients are known for their health-enhancing properties. The ingredients are dry roasted and then mixed together to form ladoos. Storing them in airtight containers make them last for a couple of days.


Diwali is a festival of happiness and bright lights. No one should be compromising on this occasion may it be for calorie counts or for a guilt-ridden trip. Healthy does not have to mean bland food. This perception stems from ill-informed information and knowledge about the food we eat and consider bad for the weighing scale. For instance, fat is avoided at every turn when it comes to eating healthy. However how many of us really understand that some of the fat is important for the body to function? This Diwali try to bake and dry roast the ingredients and make way for the sweets into your healthy lifestyle.

Disclaimer – “Views expressed in the blogs, are exclusive thoughts of the author and are not necessarily
aligned to Vilina Refined Oil’s policies”.

10 must try Snacks for Diwali

10 must try Snacks for Diwali

10 must try Snacks for Diwali

Snacking is habit almost of us have. Usual holidays are spent lazing around, on the couch, watching TV with a bowl of snacks for company. When it comes to holidays, especially for Diwali, it is a legit snacking time for everyone, anyway. In fact, for foodies and the calorie conscious alike, snacking on Diwali special snacks is Diwali, the festival of lights is the time to be carefree and feast.

For this Diwali, here are special 10 snacks that must be tried.

1) Sankarpali:

A popular snack in the northern parts of India, it is specially made for Diwali in Maharastra. A light and savoury, maida and semolina based nugget in diamond shape, Sankarpali is light on the stomach and a healthy way to snack. In fact, if eating Diwali sweets is making you go down that guilt trip in your conscience, these snacks can be baked too. The look and the texture may vary when the difference comes to frying and baking. However, the taste remains unchanged.

2) Kaju Katli :

Who can say no to Kaju Katli! A sweet made entirely of cashew nuts and sugar, it might not be that high in the health quotient equilibrium! Yet this is one of the sweets. which can double up as a snack as well as a dessert. Kaju Katli is the favoured sweet for guests, family as well as for distributing. A little intricate to make, Kaju Katli is a sweet which is special anyway.

3) Gajar Ka Halwa:

The taste and the colour of this sweet dish is for everyone to taste and see. Made from carrots, this healthy dish looks tempting. With grated carrots lending the dish its orange colour, Gagar ka halwa brings together the essence of clarified butter or ghee, milk and sugar make for the traditional recipe. The modern twist comes with spins on ingredients used in the halwa. For Diwali, kesar or saffron Gajar ka halwa is one of the popular dishes. Nutty and dry fruit saturated gajar ka halwa is another loved version of this dish.


One of the most loved Indian desserts, Shri Khand is the easiest of all to make. Though Shri Khand is actually a dessert, it is versatile in character and passes on a snack conveniently too. Yoghurt or curd based, this recipe can be customized and twisted to take on the flavour of any fruit that one may fancy. Plain Shrikhand is made with plain hung curd, mixed with sugar and flavoured with cardamom. To make it season fruit appropriate, mango puree or strawberries, banana pieces or orange zesta and juice, or even chocolate syrup can be added to the traditional shrikhand. Its best served chilled. If there is extra Shri Khand left, no one can resist tucking into a bowl full of it for snacking.

5) Karenji:

A stuffed and savoury snack filled with the goodness of grated and sweetened coconut or semolina, this special Diwali sweet is high on the snacks ranking. Made out of wheat flour or maida, and stuffed with flavoured and sweet coconut or dry fruits, karenjis are easy to make, deep fried snacks. Deep fried and sweet never goes wrong !!

6) Kachori:

Diwali is not just about sweets. Snacks comprise of the salted goodies too, in the menu. Kachoris are traditionally made out of wheat dough casing and filled in with flavour loaded and coarsely ground moong and urad dal, fried in ghee and mixed with all the spices. These are an all time irresistible snack. During Diwali, with family and friends binging on snacks together, kachoris are enjoyed best with sweet and spicy chutney over a lot of laughter.

7) Gathiya:

A gram flour based snack, these are light and crunchy and goes perfectly well with piping hot tea. The lazy afternoons of Diwali holidays are made tastier with these spaghetti shaped snacks made out of besan flour, salt, chilli powder and carrom seeds. An honest verdict for these would be that no one can stop at 1 or 10.

8) Chivda:

Diwali without Chivada is unheard of in the Maharashtrian households. Made out of flattened rice called poha, and mixed with peanuts, dry coconut, curry leaves, turmeric powder and spices, this light snack is a delight. Made in bulk during Diwali, it is one of the most distributed snacks.

9) Dahi Bhalla :

Curd and yoghurt based, this dish is rich in flavours yet healthy. Snacking on dahi bhalla can never be wrong for anyone’s health for the very reason of the way they are made. The Bhallas or the pakoras made out of pulses (moong and urad dal), and served with tamarind chutney and green chilli chutney. They are also accompanied by boiled potatoes and peas. This makes this dish not just taste-bud-satiating but also soulful.

10) Gulab Jamun :

After a Diwali dinner feast, the unwritten rule of expectation in Diwali is a bowl of kheer and gulab Jamun. This moist dark brown sweet meat balls, soaked in sugar syrup, are categorized as sweets but are never denied if offered to snack on either.


Diwali is the time for feasting. Food is always a lavish layout. However the most awaited items on the menu are the snacks. Though binging on these snacks does tip the weighing scales a little towards the higher side, they are still as irresistible.

Disclaimer – “Views expressed in the blogs, are exclusive thoughts of the author and are not necessarily
aligned to Vilina Refined Oil’s policies”.

The Essence of Celebrating Festivals in India

The Essence of Celebrating Festivals in India

The Essence of Celebrating Festivals in India

Indian has more the 200 ethnic groups living here. Each with their individual and diverse culture and unique set of beliefs, there is a celebration around the corner, at regular intervals. This is what makes India diverse, culturally rich and an experience in itself. With festivals, the country becomes a wonderful riot of rituals, dances, songs, cuisines and traditional attires.From East to West, North to South, each corner of the country is steeped in rich and ancient history about why is a particular festival celebrated.


Towards the East, among many of the Festivals celebrated, perhaps Durga Puja takes precedence takes over most. It is a day when Kolkata turns out its most artistic pandals in full display. This 10-day celebration witnesses women and men, dressed in the best of the attires. Pandal hopping and eating Bhoj, which is either deep fried and fluffy luchis and ghuguni (puris and pea curry) and Bengali Khichari is the thing to do during Durga Puja. Art and culture are out for everyone to see in full force. Durga Puja is the celebration of Ma Durga, as she kills Mahisasur. This is celebrated in Punjab, Gujrat and Maharashtra as Navratri too. The essence of this puja is to assert the power of a woman in the form of Goddess Durga, as she rides her lion as her stead.

Further down towards the extreme east lies the Garo hill surrounded scenic Northeastern regions. Inhabited by people of Sino-Tibetan origin, the Northeastern culture is tribal with Assam as the only plain. Bihu is synonymous with this region, which is dominantly an agrarian society. It is the celebration of a good year of paddy crop. The celebrations here is in reverence to Mother Earth and nature for a good year.


Towards the western parts of India, lies the major state of Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Known for its artistic architecture and royal bearing, one of the major festivals of Rajasthan is the Gangaur festival. A woman-centric festival, the essence of this festival is to worship Lord Shiva and Parvati. The womenfolk of Rajasthan bring in Gauri, Lord Shiva’s wife, into their homes. Close on the heels of Ganguar, comes the Mewar festival, during which Rajasthan turns into a hue of colours. The colours are representative of the fact that this is a festival to welcome spring.

Further down west is Gujrat, where the celebration of Navratri is a fare to the eyes. Another festival from here is the unique Kite festival. Colourful bits of papers, flutter like birds in the sky and compete with hundreds of other kites, of various artistic creation. The soaring kites signify the progress of the state along with its unity amid differences, just like the colours.


Up North, Diwali and Lohri are festivals that are most popularly known. Diwali is the celebration of good over evil. Beginning with Lakshmi puja and seeking the blessings of the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, the celebrations it flows into the festival with try snacks for Diwali. Lohri, another well-known festival of Punjab, is celebrated during the harvest season. This festival coincidently is celebrated simultaneously with Bihu. At the crux of celebrating Lohri lies a gratitude for a good year of farming.


Towards the South, the main festivals are Onam, Pongal and Ugadi. Each of these festivals has their own significance. Onam, celebrated in Kerela, is a feast for the eyes. Beautiful and elaborate flower rangolis are created on this day to show King Mahabali, who is believed to come up to Earth on this day from his dwelling in Patal lok. He is believed to come to witness the well being of his subjects. It is also a tribute to the agricultural success of that year.

Pongal is celebrated in Tamil Nadu. Pongal literally means that to “boil over”. It is considered auspicious if the boiling milk spills over. Ugadi from Andhra Pradesh is the celebration of new year.

Celebrations are a way of life in India. Uniting the country as one, in its expanse of diversity, Indian festivals pay homage to nature, the sustaining force of survival. The belief of the Indian system is, that God takes human forms to live amidst us to teach us valuable lessons is not yet lost.

Disclaimer – “Views expressed in the blogs, are exclusive thoughts of the author and are not necessarily
aligned to Vilina Refined Oil’s policies”.

Benefits and Bright side of Soya Bean Oil

Benefits and Bright side of Soya Bean Oil

Benefits and Bright side of Soya Bean Oil

Soya beans are classified as a vegan food. The interesting fact about soybean is its versatility. It can pass as a vegetable or a dessert when made into a sweet dish or can be used for extracting oil as well. For processing the oil, the cobs of the soya beans are cracked to squeeze out its oil. As an oil, Soybean Refined Oil finds its usage in cooking for health as well as in skin care products.

Here is a rundown on what soya bean oil, if consumed the right way can do for us.

1) Weight Gain:

You read it right! Being underweight is as much of a worry as being overweight. Soya beans are as protein-rich as they are fat rich. Moreover, Soya oil has more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acid, along with vegetable starch which aids healthy weight gain.

2) Women’s Bone Care Especially:

A medical fact is after a certain age, especially after childbirth, women need to take care of their bones. Women have an inbuilt mechanism to fight against bone decay. However, a deficiency of this element, called the estrogen causes the bones to weaken. Soya oil has isoflavones, a crystalline compound, which helps the estrogens to attach the free radical to the bones. This triggers a process of bone healing which consequently leads to bones from falling prey to Osteoporosis and Osteopenia.

3) Fights Alzheimer’s:

A dreaded term that makes old age extremely difficult us Alzheimer’s a progressive mental degenerative condition, where a person forgets, becomes totally cut off from his whereabouts and life, thinking and behaviour too. Soya bean oil, in its composition, has Vitamin K, Linolenic and linoleic fatty acids. The fatty acids, consequently, make Omega 3 and 6 acids which have qualities that protect the neurological system of the body. This is what makes soya bean a good oil for the health of our brain functions.

4) Skin Rejuvenator:

Ageing is a process which everyone wants to delay or hide or slow down. Whereas the progress of age cannot be reversed, the resulting old looks can surely be reversed organically. Soy oil has properties which help in this case hence making it an ingredient in many beauty products like moisturizers. The intake of soy oil strengthens nail cuticles, reverses crow’s feet and wrinkles lends skin its glow and helps reverse the ageing process in general.

5) Enhances Vision:

Soya oil is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. These acids act as a protective shield for cell membranes. Cell membranes are fragile and they need this protection especially the eyes and the skin cell membranes. Omega 3 fatty acids, in Soya oil, being antioxidant in nature, destroys the free radicals that cause muscular degeneration and cataract.

6) Balances Cholesterol levels:

Omega 3 is almost the start element in Soya oil. This fatty acid helps in regulating the cholesterol levels. Sterols belong to a subgroup of steroids, which grow naturally in plants and animals. The fatty acids and the sterols together form a formidable barrier, which prevents cholesterol from accumulating in the guts.

7) Anti Carcinogenic:

By now, it is well established that soya oil has good fatty acids in it and they help our body to not only keep healthy but also heal. However, soya oil is composed of other important elements too. For instance, glycetein, genistein and soflavones daidzen. Interestingly genistein has been used for treating breast and prostate cancer since long. Soya as a vegetable has anti-cancer properties. The aspect of the vegetable gets transmitted to the oil as well.

8) Absolute Hair Nourishment:

Soya bean is non greasy, which makes its excellent for absorption and retention of moisture and shine. Loaded with fatty acids, vitamins and manganese, along with the lipids, soya bean oil becomes the rejuvenation portion for dull and dry hair.

9) Post Menopause Reviver:

For a woman facing the post menstrual phase is like facing a riot of hormones. Everything in the body revolts. The estrogens take a beating, mood swings are difficult to handle, depression is a common trait and the body starts putting on weight. The drop in estrogen level plays havoc. However, soya oil contains phytoestrogen which is a replacement for estrogens


Soya oil is trans fat-free. However, it must be remembered that good health is not a by-product. It is not just about choosing the right oil. Right diet and an active lifestyle are as important too.

Disclaimer – “Views expressed in the blogs, are exclusive thoughts of the author and are not necessarily
aligned to Vilina Refined Oil’s policies”.

Is Rice Bran Oil Healthy? Benefits of Rice Bran Oil

Is Rice Bran Oil Healthy? Benefits of Rice Bran Oil

Is Rice Bran Oil Healthy? Benefits of Rice Bran Oil

Rice bran oil is extracted from the bran of the rice grain. Commonly called the husk, it is the brown outer covering that discarded during chaffing of rice, meant for consumption. The bran of rice is a storehouse of nutrients, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are essential for us. This is what makes rice bran oil, a healthy choice.

When it comes to healthy food, Japanese food is considered one of the best. Interestingly, in Japan they advocate, rice bran oil as a healthy oil. Here are some of the benefits of rice bran oil which makes it one of the best oils to be used in cooking.

Benefits of Rice Bran Oil:


Lightens skin: You might find this a little difficult to believe but the science behind this is a component called Oryzanol. This element acts as a natural Sunscreen for the skin. The element causing skin pigmentation or darkening is melanin. Rice bran oil does not lower the melanin content but rather forms a protective barrier in between our skin and the harmful sunlight.

Helps in avoiding the formation of Gall bladder stones. Being a derived oil from the husk of a rice grain, rice brain tends to rich in fibrous characteristics. This adds weight to the digested food and helps in expelling the same easily and effectively.

Is a heart-friendly oil: Recommended by WHO as one of the best oils for lowering cholesterol, hence becoming a heart-friendly oil. Rice bran oil contains antioxidants, which aid in cholesterol elimination while making the absorption of the same difficult.

Saves spoilage and rancidity: Following from the benefit above, antioxidants in the oil extends its shelf life. Additionally, nutritionists and health experts also recommend Rice bran oil for weight loss.

Aids in combating allergies and inflammation: Rice bran oil contains hypoallergenic components, which make this oil inflammatory in nature. Consumption of bran oil helps people with asthma, allergic skin reactions and itches. It helps calm the symptoms.

Revitalizes energy: Rice bran oil has the ability to cleanse the system and while its carbohydrate content (being derived from grains) helps in releasing an amount of energy. This is one of the reasons that rice bran oil can also be used as a salad dressing.

Neutral in taste: An oil as healthy as brand oil, has no taste of its own. From cuisines point of view, this qualifies bran oil for multiple dishes. In fact, the benefits of bran oil, now perceived by consumers as well, have made restaurants change their stand for this oil for healthier cooking.

Most balanced oil: Nutritional institutes and medical research centres have stated that any oil that has a balanced quantity of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and fatty acid in them, would be the best to be consumed. Of all the cooking oils, rice bran oil has come closest to this balance. Hence this is one of the best oils to be consumed.

Cholesterol reduction and Vitamin E: Compared to the most of the popular and edible oils in the world, Rice bran contains the maximum of Oryzanol and Tocotrienols. The former prevents cholesterol absorption. Tocotrieno on the other hand, is a group of vitamins, which can be converted into vitamin E. Vitamin E, is an antioxidant, which is known for its heart-friendly characteristics.

Diabetic solution: With cholesterol control, sugar control becomes inevitable. Moreover, rice bran oil helps in lowering insulin sensitivity. Consequently, it helps in controlling sugar.

High heating point: One of the most interesting features, of rice bran oil its high heating point. This is one of the reasons why rice bran features in most of the households for making fried, sweet and savoury delicacies. It is one of the best ways to ensure that food is enjoyed while keeping the health quotient, intact.

Excellent for skin texture and elasticity: One of the components of bran oil is Squalene. It is one of the known antioxidants and skin emollient. Used in a number of cosmetics, rice bran oil is excellent for skin care.

Disclaimer – “Views expressed in the blogs, are exclusive thoughts of the author and are not necessarily
aligned to Vilina Refined Oil’s policies”.