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Vegetarianism

Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s Teachings on Vegetarianism:
“I have been stressing the vital importance of people giving up this habit of eating non-vegetarian food even from my boyhood days. Meat eating fosters animal qualities in man making him descend to the demoniac level; it is a heart-rending sight to see cows being slaughtered to serve as food for man. The cow has been worshiped as mother in Bharat since ancient times… Cow-slaughter is reougnant to the culture of this country. The provision of drinking water to the people and putting an end to the killing of animals for food are two prime needs for the country to regain its pristine glory. Violence in any form is evil and to kill innocent animals in tantamount to blatant savagery. I bless the prime Minister (of India) and expect him to get there two things accomplished during his tenure.” Sanathana Sarathi December 1994 p. 322
“There are certain habits. Members of the Organization should have some good habits. Jaisa Anna, Vaisa Mann – as is the food, so is the thought. As is the feeling so is the experience – Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavati. So we have to partake of food in a proper way. It is because of food that we have all sorts of durguna, duralochana and duschinta- bad habits, bad thoughts. So give up smoking. Also eschewing drinking. This alcoholism and smoking are ruining your health. One without health cannot achieve any small thing. Meat eating is also very bad. If you partake animal food, you will develop animal qualities. As is the food, so is the head. So you should have regulation of food. Then the fourth one is gambling. Those in the spiritual field should immediately give up smoking, drinking, meat eating and gambling. All these four are bad qualities. You take this meat eating. Many people have to kill the animals because of your non-vegetarianism. You are responsible for the death of those animals. They are killed because you eat them. This is a sin. What a sin to kill innocent animals and eat them.” (Divine Discourse, 21 Nov 1995)
“It is a fact that plants also have life like animals. But animals are endowed with mind, and nervous systems too while the plants do not possess the same. The animals cry and weep when they are being killed. It is not the case with plants; as such, equating killing of animals and destruction of plants is faulty logic. Further, killing the animals and eating their flesh leads to the creeping or dissemination of the animal qualities and behavior in to the man (meaning that man acquires the beastly qualities by eating animal flesh). Thus follows our acquiring the beastly qualities – tamasic nature – of the buffalos or the sheep. Hence, meat eating should be discarded. Food conditions the nature of the mind. Mind guides the thinking. Thinking results in action. Actions lead to commensurate or matching results and effects. This chain of action between the food we eat and the results of our actions highlights the fact that meat eating leads to beastly actions and the concomitant evil effects.” ..Sathya Sai, The Avatar of Love, p. 132

Vegetarian Recipes

Red Pumpkin Chutney

Pumpkins have a natural orange colour which give them a unique characteristic like carrots, namely, beta carotene. Beta carotene is a good anti oxidant for the body, which helps in the protection of certain types of cancer, heart diseases and also in degenerative aspects of aging.
This chutney is an accompaniment, which can be served with white rice.

Ingredients

Red Pumpkin (Skin peeled) – 1 cup
Bengal gram dhal (Channa Dhal) – 3 or 4tsp
Red chillies – 4 or 5
Mustard seeds (Rai) – ½ tbsp
Asafetida (Hing) – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1 tsp
Tamarind (imli) – 1 small ball size
Salt to taste.

Method

Peel the skin of the pumpkin and cut them into 1 inch cubes.
Put ½ tsp oil in a non-stick pan and once it is hot, add mustard seeds, bengal gram dhal and chillies. Fry for a minute.
Now to this, add the pumpkin cubes and fry for 3-5 minutes.
Remove the pan from fire and keep aside to cool.
Once it is cooled, add tamarind, salt and grind to a paste.
Now take ½ tsp oil in a pan and add the ground paste.
Fry till it leaves the pan.

Note: By using a non stick pan one can reduce the usage of oil.
Use cool compressed olive oil for more benefits.

Brinjal Chutney

Brinjals are a very good source of calcium and potassium. They also contain a high content of water and fiber. This chutney pleases even those averse to brinjal. So, go ahead and get the brinjals from your fridge onto your counter and get the best of nutrition into your tummies.

Ingredients

Brinjal cut – 1 cup
Jaggery – ½ tsp.
Bengal gram dhal (Channa Dhal) – 3 or 4tsp
Red chillies – 4 or 5
Mustard seeds(Rai) – ½ tbsp
Asafetida (Hing) – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1tbsp
Tamarind (imli) – 1 small ball size.
Salt to taste.

Method

Cut the brinjals into1 inch cubes.
Add 1 tbsp oil in the pan and once it is hot add mustard seeds, bengal gram dhal and chillies. Fry for a minute.
Now to this add the brinjal cubes and fry for 3-5 mins.
Remove the same and keep aside to cool.
Once it is cooled, add tamarind, salt, jaggery and grind to a paste.
Tasty brinjal chutney is ready to be served with rice or rotis.

Coconut chutney

A very simple and ready-to-eat chutney with no frills. Have a few basic ingredients on hand and you’re sure to impress a wide audience with your South Indian culinary skills.

Ingredients

Coconut – 1 cup.
Bengal gram dhal(Channa Dhal) – 3 or 4tsp
Red chillies – 4 or 5
Mustard seeds (Rai) – ½ tbsp
Asafetida (Hing) – 1/2 tsp
Tamarind (imli) – 1 small ball size
Salt to taste

Method

Grate the coconut.
Dry roast the ingredients except salt, coconut and tamarind.
Grind all the ingredients together with coconut.
Instead of imli, add mango pieces and little jaggery. This will give it a sweet and sour taste.
This can be made with tamarind alone instead of mango and jaggery.
This coconut chutney can be served with plain white rice.

Just set your imagination rolling and you are sure to see many flavours to your recipe.

Coriander Sandwich Chutney

Coriander has many health benefits. It aids in digestion and is a rich source of iron, magnesium and other vital nutrients. As we all know, lemon is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C, which builds our immunity. Adding lemon to the greens would help retain the green colour. Above all, the flavour and aroma that it brings to any food is unbeatable. A handful of coriander leaves for garnishing would add finality to any recipe. This coriander sandwich chutney acts as a perfect spread to sandwiches, bringing an Indian flavour to the recipe.

Ingredients

Coriander – 1 bundle (cleaned)
Peanuts – 2 tbsp
Lemon – 2 (medium sized)
Sugar – a pinch
Jeera (Cumin Seeds) -1/2 tsp
Green Chillies – 4
Salt to taste

Method

Put the coriander leaves and the other ingredients in the blender and squeeze the juice of the two lemons.
Now grind the above mixture to a paste like consistency.
Serve it on sandwiches or on dhoklas.

What better way to start a day than with the right dose of colour and nutrition with your morning bread!

Pudhina Chutney

Mint has many health benefits other than being a mouth freshener, it is also a rich source of vitamins A, C, B12. As we all know, lemon is one of the richest sources of vitamin C which builds our immunity. Adding lemon juice into greens will help preserve the green colour. The aroma of mint would brighten your morning and helps you stay refreshed.

This Pudhina chutney is another easy spread which would come in handy at times of “grab-and-go”, when you are hard pressed for time. Take a spoonful, spread it on slices of bread and keep marching. You have a fantastic breakfast on hand.

What better way to start a day than with the right dose of colour and nutrition with your morning bread!

Ingredients

Pudhina (Mint Leaves)– 1 bundle (cleaned)
Peanuts – 2 tbs
Lemon – 2 (medium sized)
Sugar-a pinch
Jeera(Cumin Seeds) -1/2 tsp
Green Chillies – 4
Salt to taste

Method

Put the mint leaves and the other ingredients in the blender and squeeze the juice of the two lemons.
Now grind the above mixture to a paste like consistency.
Serve these chutneys on sandwiches or with rice.

Coriander Pickle chutney:

(Can be used as a pickle)

Ingredients

Coriander – 1 bundle (Cleaned)
Bengal gram dhal (Channa Dhal) – 3 or 4
Red chillies – 4 or 5
Mustard seeds (Rai) – ½ tbsp
Asafetida (Hing) – ½ tsp
Oil – 1tsp
Tamarind – 1 small ball size
Salt to taste

Method

Temper the mustard seeds, bengal gram dhal and chillies in 1/4 tsp of oil.
Stir fry for a minute.
Now to this, add the coriander leaves and fry for sometime.
Remove the same and keep aside to cool.
Once the leaves are cooled, add tamarind, salt and grind to a paste.
Now take 3/4 tsp oil and add the ground paste.
Fry till it leaves the pan.
Serve with plain rice or with rotis.

Note: By using a non stick pan, one can reduce the usage of oil.
Use cool compressed olive oil for more benefits.

RICE VARIETIES

Here is a simple list of rice varieties that can help you get started with cooking. They range from a simple jeera rice to a totally different cuisine in Chinese Fried Rice to a sumptuous one pot meal “khichidis”.

SIMPLE JEERA RICE

A very simple and easy rice which can be accompanied by any side dish or eaten with salads too. The ingredients are easily available on hand and this can be made in a jiffy.

Ingredients

Raw rice (basmati) – 1 cup
Jeera (Cumin Seeds) – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tsp
Salt to taste

Method

Heat oil in a pressure pan and add jeera.
When it crackles, add the rice and fry for 5 minutes till a nice smell emerges.
Now add boiling water and close the lid.
Wait for 2 whistles and switch off the stove.
For open cooking, the ingredients can be added to any pan keeping the flame very low.
The pan is closed with a lid and within 20 minutes, the rice would be ready.
Serve hot with any masala.

Points to keep in mind:
If it is basmati rice, the rice water ratio is 1:1. For other raw rice, it is 1:2 ratio.
Keeping the flame low is very important in open cooking, as all the water would get absorbed quite fast and there are chances of the rice getting burnt.

ONION RICE

This aromatic rice receives any guest with a warm welcome. The smell of onions in rice is heavenly.

Ingredients

Onions – 3 (big)
Rice – 1 cup
Brinji leaf / Bay leaf(Tej Patta) – 2
Oil
Salt to taste

Method

Cut onions into thin long slices.
Add 3 tsp of oil, tej patta and add onions.
Fry for 3 mins till the onions become golden brown. The browner it is, the tastier it becomes.
Add boiling water, close the lid and cook for 15 mins in low flame.
Keep checking regularly to avoid burning.
Onion rice can be served with or without any accompaniment.
Garnish with thin onion rings cut out from a whole onion.

Points to keep in mind: Please avoid pressure cooker.
The rice water ratio is the same as in jeera rice recipe.

CHINESE FRIED RICE

Does cooking and eating the same kind of food, bother you too much? Do your folks at home complain of monotony? Have you a feeling that you’ve been standing too much in front of the stove without producing anything interesting for the table? Well, it’s time to shun away all those and surprise everyone, including you, with this wonderful rice. The best feature about Chinese fried rice is that it doesn’t require much time and retains all the vitamins of the vegetables by cooking them on high flame. So, get started with yet another different cuisine, which, sure would be a super duper hit at the table.

Ingredients

Rice – 1 cup
Spring onions, cabbage, carrots, capsicum (shredded) – 1 full cup
Ajino moto – ½ tsp (optional)
Soya Sauce – 2 or 3 tsp
Chilli sauce (or hot and sweet chilli sauce) – 3 tsp
Ginger – ¼ inch (cut into thin slices)
Garlic- a few pods(cut into thin slices)
Oil- 1tbsp

Method

Cook the rice and keep it aside.
Heat a non-stick pan in high flame and add oil.
Add ginger, garlic and fry for 1 min.
Add the shredded vegetables and salt.
Fry in high flame continuously.
Now add soya sauce, chilli sauce and sauté in high flame.
Add the rice, toss with the vegetables for 2 mins.
Garnish with sliced onions and parsley.
Chinese fried rice is now ready to be served.

TOMATO RICE

Ingredients

Tomatoes – 4 (red and ripe)
Cooked rice – 2 cups
Peanuts – 2tsp
Oil – 3 tsp
Onions – 2
Curry leaves – a few

For masala powder:

Red Gram / Chana dhal – 2 tsp
Red chillies –3
Coriander seeds – 3 tbs
Fry all these in oil and grind it into a powder.

Method

Cut the tomatoes into cubes. Slice the onions.
In a pan, add oil, mustard seeds, chana dhal, peanuts, curry leaves.
When it splutters, add onions. Fry for 2 mins.
Add cut tomatoes. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Water would ooze out of the tomatoes.
Add 1 tsp chilli powder and then add the ground powder.
The paste or gravy is ready to be mixed with rice.
Add the cooked rice. Garnish with coriander.

PUDHINA RICE

Ingredients

Mint – 1 bundle
Red chillies – 3
Tamarind – a small marble size
Cooked rice – 1 cup
Oil – 2 tsp
Bengal gram dhal – 1 tsp

Method

Separate the mint leaves from the stalk and clean them thoroughly.
Grind the leaves, chillies, tamarind with salt to a paste.
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
When they crackle, add Bengal gram dhal and asafetida.
Allow the dhal to brown a bit and then add the mint paste.
Fry for a few minutes to let the raw smell disappear.
Add cooked rice to the gravy and mix well with a fork, so that the rice does not get mushy.
Aromatic rice is ready to be served with a simple yoghurt dip/ raita or papads.

VEGETABLE PULAV RICE

A simple, yet highly nutritious rice with the right amount of spices, vegetables and carbs to give any lunch the required calories. A bit of spice is necessary to ward off all the allergies of the body enabling it to face everyday challenges without a dissent. After all, don’t we regularly state, “Want to spice up your life?” Spices contain a good amount of antioxidants and phyto nutrients to fight diseases and give the body immunity.

Ingredients

Vegetables – 1 cup
Onion – 1
Raw Rice – 1 cup
Big Elachi/ cardamom – 1
Brinji leaf/ tej patta/ bay leaf – 1
Lavang / cloves –2 or 3
Garlic – 5 or 6 pods
Ginger – a small piece
Green Chillies – 2 or 3
Coriander leaves – 1 small bunch
Raw coriander seeds – 2tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Oil – 2tbsp
Salt to taste

Method

Cut the vegetables into cubes or long thin slices.
Wash and clean the rice.
Grind garlic, chillies, ginger, coriander leaves and raw coriander seeds into a paste.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the bay leaf, cardamom, cloves and onions and fry till the onions become golden brown.
Add the ground paste, turmeric powder and salt and fry till they leave the sides of the pan.
Fry the cut vegetables for a few minutes.
At this stage, add the cleaned raw rice and fry for a minute.
While this is being done, heat another pan with water and allow it to boil.
Add the boiling water to the rice gravy.
Keep the flame in medium. Cover and cook till the rice is done.
This highly nutritious rice can be best served with yoghurt raita (a mixture of onions, cucumber, tomatoes in yoghurt) and papads.

Points to keep in mind:

The vegetables can be carrots, beans, peas, cauliflower, capsicum, potatoes, corn, mushroom depending on the availability.
If using basmati rice, then the water measurement is 1 cup for every cup of rice. For other rice, use 2 cups or 2-1/2 cups of water, depending on the amount of water the rice absorbs.
The flame of the stove has to be kept low or medium to avoid charring of the dish.
Cover the pan with a lid to enable quick cooking.

Variation:

For another version, do not grind the mixture. Just add ready made biryani masala to the pan instead of grinding.

KHICHIDI

Khichidis are wholesome meals which are packed with all the nutrients in one pot. It goes on without saying that it is a “one-pot-meal”. It has vegetables, rice for carbohydrate, dhals adding protein and oil giving it some minimal fat, thus making it a balanced meal. For lunchboxes, or a jhatpat lunch, or a healthy meal for kids, these khichidis work great and give you the satisfaction of having had a large meal.

Ingredients

Raw rice – 1 cup
Dhal – 1/4 cup
Mustard seeds (Rai) – 1/2 tsp (or)
Cumin seeds (Jeera) – 1/2 tsp
Green chillies – 2
Vegetables (Carrot, beans, cauliflower) – 1 cup (optional)
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Water – 2 1/2 cups
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Before you proceed:

This khichidi can be made with toor dhal or yellow moong dhal or green moong dhal.
Always use 1 cup rice and ¼ cup dhal.
Soak the rice for ½ hr. (Water 2 ½ cups)
Vegetables can be uniformly cut into cubes.

Method

In a pressure cooker, add oil, mustard seeds or jeera, chillies.
At this stage, you can add vegetables if you want. Stir fry for 2 mins.
Add the rice.
Saute for a minute.
Add water, salt and turmeric.
Close the cooker and pressure cook for 3 or 4 whistles on medium flame. Your khichidi will be ready in minutes.

Points to keep in mind: Instead of jeera, you can use ajwain (omam). This gives a good smell and aids in digestion as well.

SIMPLE DHAL TADKA

You don’t need expertise in making this simple dhal. Just sauté the ingredients together and you’ll have a simple, yet aromatic and delicious dish ready in minutes. A dish rich in protein, always good for children and better for adults as well.

Ingredients

Tuar Dhal – ½ cup (pressure cooked and mashed)
Oil – 1 tsp
Ginger, garlic (optional) – 1 tsp
Green chillies – 1 or 2
Curry leaves – a twig or two
Salt to taste
Jaggery (optional)

Method

Heat the pan. Add mustard seeds and let it crackle.
Add finely chopped ginger, garlic, chillies, curry leaves and fry for a minute.
Add the dhal, turmeric and salt.
Add some water, if necessary, because the dhal has to be a little watery and not thick.

Points to keep in mind:
Onions and tomatoes are optional. If using them, fry them after the mustard seeds crackle till the raw smell of the onions and tomatoes go.
Choose variants like channa dhal, masoor dhal or moong dhal.

SPINACH DHAL

As the name suggests, it is a groovy gravy for chappatis/rotis or any bread varieties and certainly not to forget the easy procedure to make it. Very rich source of nutrition, especially, Vitamin A, C, E, K, iron, magnesium, calcium and folate, Spinach is a power house of vitamins and minerals. For this very reason, it is called the “captain of leafy greens” by an Arab agronomist. So, the next time you see a bundle of spinach, don’t forget to pick one to stay healthier.

Ingredients

Spinach – 1 bundle
Oil – 2 tsp
Moong dhal – 3 tbsp
Mustard seed, urad dhal – ½ tsp each
Red chillies – 2 (or as per taste)
Asafetida/Hing – a pinch
Coconut – optional

Method

Boil the spinach with moong dhal, water and salt. Salt helps the greens retain colour.
Once cooked, mash it or whip it in a whipper.
In a pan, add oil, mustard seeds, urad dhal, a pinch of asafetida and red chillies.
Add the mashed spinach. Cook for 5 minutes.
If needed, add coconut for garnishing.
A very healthy, iron rich accompaniment/ gravy is ready to be served.

Salads are a very healthy source of food. But not all salads are. Colour is the key. A spectrum of colours indicates to you the spectrum of nutrients that it carries. Fresh veggies always carry fresh points. And bright colours win extra bonus points for the amount of vitamins and minerals they flock with.

Here is one easy salad which blends the colour with the goodness it offers by keeping it simple and clear.

MANGO”NUTTY” SALAD

Ingredients:

Unripe green mangoes (about 1 ¼ lb or 600g), peeled – 4 or 5
Soft brown sugar – 2 or 3 tsps (increase according to taste)
Kaffir lime leaves (cut in hair like shreds) – 2
Fresh coriander leaves(very finely chopped) – 2 tbsp
Spring onion (thinly sliced) – 1
Shallots (thinly sliced) – 3
Light soya sauce – 2 tbsp
Roasted cashews – 1/3 cup (45g)

Method

Using a shredder, grate the mango to make long, thin matchstick shreds.
Lay the mango shreds in a deep bowl and sprinkle with sugar.
Massage with your fingers for about 30 seconds.
Add all other ingredients except cashews, tossing to mix well.
Taste and if the mangoes seem too sour, add more sugar.
Add the cashews, toss and serve immediately.

Points to keep in mind: Kaffir lime leaves are available in wet market.
Pre packed roasted cashews (salt / sweet) are available in stores for easier use. Alternatively, dry roast raw cashews until golden brown.
A healthier substitute to cashews would be to use dry roasted almonds, which would provide the crunch that a salad would need and the extra nutrients to lower blood cholesterol as well.

Serves 4-6

Source: Wendy Hutton – ‘Green Mangoes and Lemon Grass’

INDIAN SALAD

This is a very basic variety of Indian salad. As already mentioned, the key to any salad is the colour. The more number of colours, the more number of nutrients it contains. Here too, we have a spectrum of green, red and orange.

Ingredients

Cucumber
Tomato
Carrots
Beetroots
Pepper powder and Salt to taste
Coriander Leaves for garnishing

Method

The measure of the vegetables can be chosen in any ratio.
Cut the vegetables in any shape and size.
Add pepper powder and salt.
Garnish with coriander leaves.

CHINESE SALAD

Ingredients

Carrots
Capsicum
Cabbage
Spring Onion – 3 tbsp
White Pepper powder and Salt to taste

Method

Grate the vegetables other than spring onion.
Cut the spring onions fine and mix together with the other vegetables.
Add white pepper and salt.

Points to keep in mind:
No tomatoes added.

CHAATS

Chaats are an integral part of snacks these days. They can be made with any combination but the basic sweet and chilli chutney are the same in every dish. The origins of chaat date back to East India where they were first eaten by people while chitchatting. That is exactly when the essence of the dish comes out, emphatically.

SWEET CHUTNEY

Ingredients

Dates (kajur, seedless) – 1 cup
Tamarind – 1 small lime size
Jaggery – ½ cup
Chilli powder – a pinch
Black sesame – ½ tsp

Method

Boil dates and tamarind and mash the pulp into a paste. If needed, strain it.
Add jaggery, chilli powder, sesame seeds and boil it for 10 mins.
The consistency should be that of a paste or a little watery than a paste.
If prepared with less water, it can be preserved in the refrigerator for a few days.

CHILLI CHUTNEY

Ingredients

Green Chillies – preferably 8(can be reduced depending on the spice level)
Lemon – 1/2
Chatni dal/ Fried grams – 2 tsp
Salt to taste

Method

Grind all the ingredients in a mixer adding the lemon juice and salt.
This can be preserved in the refrigerator for a few days.

CHANNA CHAAT

Ingredients

Green gram – 1 cup (boiled)
Potato – 1 (boiled and mashed)
Chutney (sweet and chilli) – as per taste
Sev for topping – a handful
Onions – 1 (chopped fine)
Coriander leaves – handful (chopped fine)
Everest Chaat Masala – 1 tsp or as per taste

Method

Pressure cook the green channa for one whistle or two.
Boil the potatoes and mash them or cut them into small pieces.
Add the chutneys and salt according to taste.
Add Everest chaat masala and arrange them all in layers on a plate.
Start with onions on the outer rim of the plate, followed by tomatoes, potatoes and dhal.
Drizzle the chutneys on top of the layers and sprinkle the sev along with coriander leaves.
A healthy chaat savouring all inhibitions.

Points to keep in mind:
Make sure the dhal does not get mushy. Retaining the shape of the dhal is important.

Variation:
You can use kabuli channa instead of green gram.
Samosas or aloo tikkis can also be substituted or added to the combination.
A dash of yoghurt will increase the sensitivity of your taste buds.
Cucumber, Pomegranate seeds, carrots, green apple would eventually enhance the nutritive value of the dish.
Run with your imagination and the pleasure of nailing perfectly opposing combos would be the ones which are finally relished.

SALT BISCUIT TOPPING

Ingredients

Monaco/Ritz/ any salt biscuits – 10
Potato – 1
Sweet and chilli chutneys as per taste
Sev (any type) – a handful
Onion – 1
Coriander leaves – a few twigs
Chaat masala – 1tsp
Salt to taste

Method

Boil the potatoes and mash them.
Now arrange the biscuits on a plate.
Take ½ spoon measure of mashed potato and line it on the biscuit.
Drizzle sweet and chilly chutney, onions, sev and coriander.
Serve with evening tea.

Points to keep in mind:
Just beware of the amount piled up, because the size of the biscuits are small and the measures mentioned here are just approximate.
If they become too loaded, try reducing the amount.
All chaats are to be consumed immediately. Otherwise, they become soggy and lose the crunch. Similar is the biscuit version.
They have to be made only on requests to preserve the freshness.

BOILED CORN CHAAT

Ingredients

Sweet corn boiled – ½ cup
Sprouts (green gram is good)- ¼ cup
Onion – 1 small
Coriander leaves – a little
Chaat masala – ½ tsp
Butter – ½ tsp (optional)
Sev for topping- a handful

Method

Boil the sprouts or keep it raw. Keeping it raw preserves the vitamins.
Mix the corn and sprouts together. Add butter, onions, coriander leaves, chaat masala and sev and mix them together.
A healthy evening snack is ready in minutes.

Points to keep in mind:
Chutneys are optional.

RED PUMPKIN CHUTNEY

Pumpkins have a natural orange colour which give them a unique characteristic like carrots, namely, beta carotene. Beta carotene is a good anti oxidant for the body, which helps in the protection of certain types of cancer, heart diseases and also in degenerative aspects of aging.
This chutney is an accompaniment, which can be served with white rice.

Ingredients

Red Pumpkin (Skin peeled) – 1 cup
Bengal gram dhal (Channa Dhal) – 3 or 4tsp
Red chillies – 4 or 5
Mustard seeds (Rai) – ½ tbsp
Asafetida (Hing) – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1 tsp
Tamarind (imli) – 1 small ball size
Salt to taste.

Method

Peel the skin of the pumpkin and cut them into 1 inch cubes.
Put ½ tsp oil in a non-stick pan and once it is hot, add mustard seeds, bengal gram dhal and chillies. Fry for a minute.
Now to this, add the pumpkin cubes and fry for 3-5 minutes.
Remove the pan from fire and keep aside to cool.
Once it is cooled, add tamarind, salt and grind to a paste.
Now take ½ tsp oil in a pan and add the ground paste.
Fry till it leaves the pan.

Points to keep in mind: By using a non stick pan one can reduce the usage of oil.
Use cool compressed olive oil for more benefits.

BRINJAL CHUTNEY

Brinjals are a very good source of calcium and potassium. They also contain a high content of water and fiber. This chutney pleases even those averse to brinjal. So, go ahead and get the brinjals from your fridge onto your counter and get the best of nutrition into your tummies.

Ingredients

Brinjal cut – 1 cup
Jaggery – ½ tsp.
Bengal gram dhal (Channa Dhal) – 3 or 4tsp
Red chillies – 4 or 5
Mustard seeds(Rai) – ½ tbsp
Asafetida (Hing) – 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1tbsp
Tamarind (imli) – 1 small ball size.
Salt to taste.

Method

Cut the brinjals into1 inch cubes.
Add 1 tbsp oil in the pan and once it is hot add mustard seeds, bengal gram dhal and chillies. Fry for a minute.
Now to this add the brinjal cubes and fry for 3-5 mins.
Remove the same and keep aside to cool.
Once it is cooled, add tamarind, salt, jaggery and grind to a paste.
Tasty brinjal chutney is ready to be served with rice or rotis.

COCONUT CHUTNEY

A very simple and ready-to-eat chutney with no frills. Have a few basic ingredients on hand and you’re sure to impress a wide audience with your South Indian culinary skills.

Ingredients

Coconut – 1 cup.
Bengal gram dhal(Channa Dhal) – 3 or 4tsp
Red chillies – 4 or 5
Mustard seeds (Rai) – ½ tbsp
Asafetida (Hing) – 1/2 tsp
Tamarind (imli) – 1 small ball size
Salt to taste

Method

Grate the coconut.
Dry roast the ingredients except salt, coconut and tamarind.
Grind all the ingredients together with coconut.
Instead of imli, add mango pieces and little jaggery. This will give it a sweet and sour taste.
This can be made with tamarind alone instead of mango and jaggery.
This coconut chutney can be served with plain white rice.

Just set your imagination rolling and you are sure to see many flavours to your recipe.

CORIANDER SANDWICH CHUTNEY

Coriander has many health benefits. It aids in digestion and is a rich source of iron, magnesium and other vital nutrients. As we all know, lemon is one of the richest sources of Vitamin C, which builds our immunity. Adding lemon to the greens would help retain the green colour. Above all, the flavour and aroma that it brings to any food is unbeatable. A handful of coriander leaves for garnishing would add finality to any recipe. This coriander sandwich chutney acts as a perfect spread to sandwiches, bringing an Indian flavour to the recipe.

Ingredients

Coriander – 1 bundle (cleaned)
Peanuts – 2 tbsp
Lemon – 2 (medium sized)
Sugar – a pinch
Jeera (Cumin Seeds) -1/2 tsp
Green Chillies – 4
Salt to taste

Method

Transfer the coriander leaves and the other ingredients into the blender and squeeze the juice of the two lemons.
Now grind the above mixture to a paste like consistency.
Serve it on sandwiches or on dhoklas.

What better way to start a day than with the right dose of colour and nutrition with your morning bread!

PUDHINA CHUTNEY

Mint has many health benefits. Other than being a mouth freshener, it is also a rich source of vitamins A, C, B12. As we all know, lemon is one of the richest sources of vitamin C which builds our immunity. Adding lemon juice into greens will help preserve the green colour. The aroma of mint would brighten your morning and helps you stay refreshed.

This Pudhina chutney is another easy spread which would come in handy at times of “grab-and-go”, when you are hard pressed for time. Take a spoonful, spread it on slices of bread and keep marching. You have a fantastic breakfast on hand.

What better way to start a day than with the right dose of colour and nutrition with your morning bread!

Ingredients

Pudhina (Mint Leaves)– 1 bundle (cleaned)
Peanuts – 2 tbs
Lemon – 2 (medium sized)
Sugar-a pinch
Jeera(Cumin Seeds) -1/2 tsp
Green Chillies – 4
Salt to taste

Method

Transfer the mint leaves and the other ingredients into the blender and squeeze the juice of the two lemons.
Now grind the above mixture to a paste like consistency.
Serve these chutneys on sandwiches or with rice.

CORIANDER PICKLE CHUTNEY

(Can be used as a pickle)

Ingredients

Coriander – 1 bundle (Cleaned)
Bengal gram dhal (Channa Dhal) – 3 or 4
Red chillies – 4 or 5
Mustard seeds (Rai) – ½ tbsp
Asafetida (Hing) – ½ tsp
Oil – 1tsp
Tamarind – 1 small ball size
Salt to taste

Method

Temper the mustard seeds, bengal gram dhal and chillies in 1/4 tsp of oil.
Stir fry for a minute.
Now to this, add the coriander leaves and fry for sometime.
Remove the same and keep aside to cool.
Once the leaves are cooled, add tamarind, salt and grind to a paste.
Now take 3/4 tsp oil and add the ground paste.
Fry till it leaves the pan.
Serve with plain rice or with rotis.

Points to keep in mind: By using a non stick pan, one can reduce the usage of oil.
Use cool compressed olive oil for more benefits.

RIDGEGOURD CHUTNEY

Ridge gourd is a nutritious power house loaded with vitamins and nutrients especially, dietary fiber. A very good vegetable for weight loss.

This Peerkangai/Beerakaya/Ridge gourd as it is called is one of the best vegetables to make a chutney. It is more popular in Andhra Pradesh where it has its versatility exposed. Always check for any bitterness before you proceed with this vegetable, since it has a tendency to be bitter sometime. Otherwise, it is sweet in the inside. It is a very good accompaniment for white rice and also curd rice. Try this and you are sure to enjoy it.

Ingredients:

Ridge Gourd – 2 long ones
Urad Dhal (whole/split) – 4 tbsps
Red Chillies – 4-5 depending on the heat of the chillies
Asafetida/Hing – a small piece / 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Tamarind – less than a small lemon size.
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Before you proceed:

Wash and peel the ridges using either a peeler or a knife, since sometime, a peeler is harder to use while doing this. The skin is hard and needs to be handled wisely.
Cut them into cubes.

Method

Heat a non stick pan with oil. When it is hot, add mustard seed and allow it to crackle.
Add asafetida, urad dhal and red chillies and fry them till they become golden brown in colour. Transfer them to a separate plate.
In the same pan, with the same oil, fry the ridgegourd pieces. Firstly, water will ooze out of it. Keep the flame low and saute it till water evaporates and the vegetable gets cooked well. After it gets cooled, grind them all together to a fine paste in a mixer by adding a little salt and tamarind.
A spicy ridge gourd chutney is ready to be served with plain rice or chappatis.

Points to keep in mind: While frying the vegetable, just note that not all water need to be absorbed. A little squishiness is ok so that when you grind, you need not add extra water.
The raw smell of the vegetable should disappear. So, work towards that. It would take approximately 8 minutes for the frying.
There is no need to take the pulp out of the tamarind. You can add it just like that and if there are any seeds, do remove it.

Soups

When you are low, a simple soup makes you swallow.
When you are high, a potful of soup disappears within a blink of an eye.
When you are wroth, you’re cooled by the piping broth.
When you are happy, cook a sumptuous soup making everyone peppy.

Soups make a simple appetizer to a sumptuous one pot meal. A dinner or a lunch seldom starts without this appetizer. A simple soup provides soothing comfort to the body at times of a flu or a common cold. It is the easiest dish made rich, with the simplest of ingredients.

VEGETABLE MANCHOW SOUP

Ingredients

Vegetables (Carrot, Cabbage, Spring onion, cauliflower) – 1 cup.
Ginger and garlic: 1tbsp
Chillies: 1 or 2
Corn flour: 2 or 3 tbsp
Oil: ½ tsp
Soya sauce, chilli sauce – ½ tsp or according to taste.
Salt to taste.
Water: 3-4 cups
Croutons – optional.

Method

Shred the vegetables, thin. Grind the ginger and garlic to a paste and chop the chillies.
Add oil to a non stick pan.
Once the oil is hot, add ginger garlic paste, chillies, and vegetables. Stir fry for sometime.
Add water and bring them to a boil.
Add salt (ajinomoto optional).
Now mix corn flour in water and add to the boiling mixture, stirring gradually.
Add soya sauce and chilli sauce.
Boil for 5 minutes. A delicious refreshing soup is ready to be served piping hot with some croutons.

Points to keep in mind: You can chop garlic and ginger and add them to the vegetables, rather than grinding.
Ajinomoto is optional. You can use it to increase flavour, but, it is highly not recommended for a healthy soup.
Instead of croutons, you can substitute some dry baked noodles to provide the extra crunch to the soup.

MIXED VEGETABLE SOUP

This is similar to Vegetable Manchow Soup with a slight moving-in-and-moving-out of some ingredients. Quite wholesome with many nutrients intact, this is a must for any appetizing occasion.

Ingredients

Vegetables (Carrot, beans, cabbage, cauliflour) – ½ cup.
Whole black pepper – ½ tsp
Corn flour – 2tbsp
Butter – optional
Freshly ground pepper – ½ tsp.
Water – 2 or 3 cups
Salt to taste

Method

Shred the vegetables thin.
In a deep pot, add vegetables, water, whole black pepper, salt and allow it to boil well. Vegetable stock is ready.
Add 2 tbsp of cornflour mixed with water to the soup. Let it simmer.
Garnish with a dollop of butter and some freshly ground pepper.
Serve piping hot.

Points to keep in mind: The vegetable stock can be used as stock for various soups, thereby substituting for water and enhancing the nutrients.

RASAM SOUP

Rasam is a liquid dish which takes its position after Sambar in any South Indian meal. It is a clear liquid with very little of thickened gravy to help it distinguish visibly from it’s counterpart, Sambar. It does not have vegetable pieces except for tomatoes. Rasam serves as a good medicine for treating common cold or a flu. It makes a clear and light soup to be slurped piping hot to rejuvenate oneself.

Ingredients

Tamarind water (Imli) – 5 to 6 tsp.
Tomato – 2 medium
Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp
Asafetida / hing – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 twig
Coriander leaves – a few twigs
Salt to taste

For the Rasam Powder:

Fresh ground pepper – 2tbsp
Jeera / Cumin seeds – 1tsp
Ginger – ½ tsp
Garlic (optional) – 3 to 4 pods

For Tadka/Seasoning:

Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
Jeera / Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Asafetida / Hing – ¼ tsp
Oil – ¼ tsp.

Before you proceed:

If you do not have tamarind paste, you can soak a small lemon sized tamarind ball in hot water and squeeze the pulp. If you have tamarind paste, just add water to it.
Grind the masala for the rasam powder. If you’re using garlic, grind it together.

Method

In a deep pan, add ½ cup of water to the tamarind water and to them add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder, curry leaves and asafetida.
Boil them together for 5 minutes.
Add the ground masala to the pan. Add water to make it watery.
Reduce the flame to low.
Allow the rasam to cook and once it starts frothing up on the sides, turn off the stove.
To season, heat a pan with ¼ tsp oil. Add the ingredients for seasoning/tadka and allow it to splutter.
Transfer the tadka/seasoning to the rasam. Garnish with coriander leaves.

MIXED VEGETABLE CURRY

This dish incorporates the goodness of a number of vegetables giving us a visually beautiful stew. Frozen cut vegetables come to the rescue here. So, when you are on a go and in a dire need to create a mouth watering yet, colourful dish for your frozen parathas or roti pratas, this one is it. Finally, this recipe gets your freezer/refrigerator replenished once a week. A good one for stock clearance!!

Ingredients

Onion- 1
Carrot , beans, cauliflower, peas mix – 1 ½ big cup.
Tomato puree– 2 tsp
Tomato – 1
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Turmeric – ½ tsp.
Oil – ½ tsp
Salt to taste

Method

Dice the vegetables uniformly, if using fresh vegetables.
Chop onions and tomatoes fine.
Add oil to a non-stick pan.
Once it gets heated, add onion and tomatoes and stir fry for 3 minutes on high flame.
Reduce the flame and add salt, turmeric powder, masala powder, tomato paste.
Fry till the oil leaves the pan.
Add vegetables to the gravy, add ½ cup of water to cook the vegetables and close the pan.
Sprinkle water every 2 minutes, stirring well, to help the vegetables cook.
If using pressure cooker, cook for 1 whistle.
Once the vegetables get cooked, the gravy is ready to be served hot and fresh with rotis and rice.

Points to keep in mind: You can use capsicum, mushrooms, baby corn, lima beans, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots and French beans.

Easy Cauliflower gravy

This is by far the easiest subzi that you can make in the event of unexpected arrivals. You can pick the florets of cauliflower and peel and the cube the potatoes. Boil them along with peas while you cut onions. And you would be done with it before you know. All the measurements are approximate measures that you can always alter as per your taste.

Ingredients

Cauliflower florets – 1/2 cup
Potatoes (peeled and diced) – 1/2 cup
Frozen Peas – a handful
Onion – 1
Tomatoes -1
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Jeera / Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander/ Dhania Powder – 1 tsp
Jeera /Cumin seeds powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Cornflour – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste.
Coriander leaves for garnishing.

Method

Cut the florets of the cauliflower(according to your liking, some prefer it big and some, small).
Peel the potato and dice them.
Boil them along with peas with a little water, either in a microwave / a stove. Cook it till half tender.
Heat a non stick pan, add oil and allow the mustard seeds to crackle.
Add jeera and saute for a few seconds.
Add onions and fry for 2-3 minutes on high flame taking care not to burn them. When they are pink, add tomatoes and saute for 3 minutes till they become a gravy.
Add the masalas and salt. Saute till they leave the sides of the pan.
Add all the boiled vegetables and saute till the masalas coat the vegetables nicely.
Add some water and while the gravy is simmering, mix 1/2 cup of water with cornflour and add to the pan.
After a few minutes, the gravy would start thickening and the consistency would be right.
Switch off the stove and garnish with coriander leaves.

A perfect side dish for chappathis and parathas.

WATERCRESS SABZI

Watercress has become an acquired vegetable in the recent past, simply because of the nutrients it comes with and it sure tastes like any other greens. There is a crunchiness in the stalk and that gives it an added flavour. This sabzi is one of the easiest and simple ones to try when you have fewer options and this vegetable on hand.

This is one of the best antioxidants on earth and one of the ancient among the greens family, dating back to the Greek and Roman times.

Ingredients

Watercress – a bunch
Potatoes – 2
Onions – 1
Tomatoes – 1
Red Chilli powder – 1 tbsp (acc ot taste)
Garam Masala Powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Jeera Powder – 1 tsp
Jeera Seeds – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method

Before you proceed with the cooking, wash the leaves and do not trim the stalk. If you feel that they are a little harder towards the end, then trim the edges. Cut the leaves finely as also the onions and tomatoes.
Boil the potatoes, peel and dice them.
Heat a non stick pan. Add oil, and once it is hot, add the jeera till it splutters. Add onions and fry till pinkish colour.
Add tomatoes and fry till they are a little soft.
Add the rest of the masalas one by one and cook them till the oil leaves the side of the pan.
Put the greens and saute for a minute. Add in tomatoes and saute till the masalas coat completely.

Add some water and cover with a lid till the greens cook well.
When they are cooked and the masalas well blended, remove from fire. Serve hot with rotis.

This is a vitamin rich food and you would surely do not want to miss out on this one. Try this soon!

VEGETARIAN BASIC BUTTER CAKE RECIPE

Cakes are a plenty and eggless cakes are countless. One such keepsake recipes for a basic butter cake is this. The ingredients are simple and available in any store. Just vary the ingredients to surprise your folks with a chocolate chip or a banana cake with much ease. You wouldn’t be termed a novice (or is it nervous) baker anymore.

Ingredients

Self raising flour – 320 gm
Butter – 187.5 gm (3/4 of 250g butter)
Condensed milk – 1 tin
Water – ¾ tin (measure in the condensed milk tin )
Treacle – 1tbsp {adds colour & sweetness to cake (available at Phoon Huat/Cold Storage)}
Vanilla essence – 1 tbsp
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Bicarbonate of soda – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp (optional)

Method

Preheat oven at 180˚C
Add melted butter into blender with condensed milk, water and treacle
Blend for 1 minute.
Transfer mixture into bowl and fold in the flour.
Prepare baking tin, cut greaseproof paper and spread butter all around sides of tin.
Pour in the flour mixture to the tin.
Bake cake at 180 degrees celsius for 50 mins.

Variation:
For Banana cake :
Follow the measurements as in the basic butter cake. Blend required bananas while blending the ingredients in the blender. Add walnuts just before pouring mixture into cake tin.

For Chocolate chip cake:
Stir in chocolate chips (coated in flour) just before pouring mixture into cake tin.

Points to keep in mind:

Phoon Huat is a retailer specializing in baking needs. Please go on-line to check the location of outlet. It is much more economical especially when doing large scale baking.
Treacle can be kept in fridge and used over a period of time.

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Sai Protein Service Project

A Community Service Project

The ‘Sai Protein Service Project’ is a community service project undertaken by the Ladies’ Wing of Sri Sathya Sai Society. Sai Protein is a powder rich in protein that can be dissolved in either hot milk or hot water to prepare a health drink which may be served to anyone be it children, adults or the aged and elderly. The Sai Protein powder was introduced by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and plays a significant role in many community service projects in India.

The idea came to us through a sister from Mumbai during a brainstorming session at Sai Society’s monthly Ladies’ Wing Meet. The Ladies’ Wing has undertaken this simple yet fulfilling service project for the transient migrant workers on Serangoon Road from Jan 2011 with due permissions for distribution from the NEA.

The transient migrant workers, served by the Cuff Road Project run by TWC2, are workers without a job and earnings, primarily due to work-site injury or other reasons.  With no earnings, they have limited access to food and nutrition, especially sources of protein.  The Sai Protein project fills this gap and offers healthy plant-based protein to these unfortunate people.  Currently, nearly 80% of these unfortunate people come from Bangladesh.  This project therefore serves very needy people.

The protein drink is lovingly prepared and served once a week to the Transient Migrant Workers at a restaurant on Cuff Road.  With more volunteers joining this programme, there is scope for expanding the service. While the Ladies’ Wing is primarily involved in the preparation of the powder, it encourages youth participation in preparing and serving the drink at the site.  Interested youth may please contact saiprotein@saisociety.org.sg by email.

Procedure:

The preparation of Sai Protein Powder involves

  • Procuring of raw materials
    Procure all ingredients from local retailers.
  • Cleaning and Dry Roasting
    Thoroughly clean ingredients by checking for insects, stones etc. Dry-roast all ingredients separately in a thick –bottomed pan on low flame. All ingredients, except cardamom and sugar, are to be dry-roasted.
  • Grinding
    Mix all the dry-roasted ingredients and send to a mill for grinding. Sugar and cardamom are to be ground separately.
  • Packaging
    Mix all ingredients well and pack into 1Kg packets for distribution or storage.
  • Preparing the drink

Take 3 heaped teaspoons (45gms) of powder in a cup and add hot water little by little and stir well until all the powder mixes in. Serve hot. Hot water may be replaced with hot milk.

Sai Protein Powder – Recipe

This recipe makes about 25Kg of powder.

Serving size: 3 teaspoons (45gms) per cup

S. No. Ingredient Quantity
1. Wheat 6kg
2. Boiled Rice 1.5kg
3. Ragi (Millet) 1.5kg
4. Green Gram (green chickpeas) 1.5kg
5. Green Moong (green lentil) 1.5kg
6. Soft Channa Dal (roasted split chickpeas) 1.5kg
7. Soya 0.5kg
8. Peanut 0.5kg
9. Jowar (Great Millet/Kaffir Corn/ Guinea Corn) 0.5kg
10. Sago 100gm
11. Barley 50gm
12. Cardamom 30gm
13. Sugar 10kg
Total Weight 25kg 180gms

Bhagavan categorically emphasizes that what seva does to you is far more important than what seva you do. What do we need in order to do seva? Money, material and man power are required but Bhagavan says these are not as important; instead what is required is a pure heart. A pure heart full of love is the highest qualification we need to do seva. He summarizes it by saying, to live is to love; you live so that you may learn to love and you love so that you may learn to live. Seva is not a compulsory duty or an uncomfortable obligation. Swami says it should happen naturally and spontaneously. It should occur naturally to us to serve others. He gives a Vedantic stamp to it and says Paropakaarardham idam sariram – this body is meant to help others. It is the very purpose of this body. Hence seva should become a natural thing for us. Excerpt from ‘The Significant Synthesis of Seva and Sadhana’ By Dr. Shiv Shankar Sai, H2H Journal

Quotes by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on Selfless Service

“Seva eppudu kashtapadi cheya vaddu, ishtapadi cheyali”, meaning ‘Never render service as an exertion, but do it with liking.’

There is a famous saying that Swami often quotes: “Na thapamsi na theerthani,” – Not by penance, nor by pilgrimage – “na shastram japa nahi” – not by the study of scriptures, nor by continuous chanting – “samsara sagarothare sajjanam, sevanam bina” – if you have the aspiration to cross the ocean of worldly existence, if you are a mumukshu – seeker of liberation – then you must serve.

For the progress of humanity, work alone is not adequate, but the work should be associated with love, compassion, right conduct, truthfulness and sympathy. Without the above qualities, selfless service cannot be performed.

Service broadens your vision, widens your awareness and deepens your compassion.

A person should strive to use every talent and skill they have, not only for their own benefit, but for the benefit of the whole world. Understand that society is the source of whatever pleasure one derives and whatever wealth one achieves in life. We owe everything to society and should be grateful to society for all that we receive from it. We have to repay this debt by helping at least as many people as we can. With a genuine keenness or readiness to serve others, one can attain happiness in any group or community, and the very eagerness to serve others will endow you with the power and skill necessary for the required service.

Click the below link to view the Photo Album of Sai Protein:

Sai Protein Album

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Summer Showers – June 2011

 

Hurray! Hurray! It’s a holi-holiday!!

It is school holiday time, SSE children of our Centre will be singing bhajans for this month of June for 4 Thursdays i.e 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd June . We first introduced children’s bhajans/special songs/presentations on Thursdays in March 2003 and it has been a regular practice every year to give opportunity for students to sing/present at least once during holiday periods i.e 4 times a year. This practice of having children’s bhajans/presentations the whole of June commenced in June 2010 and is named Summer Showers.

You may look forward to powerful vedic chanting,lively, soulful bhajans and special songs, and interesting, inspiring and thought-provoking presentations by students/alumni of SSE. This Thursday 2nd June, in addition to bhajan by students, the alumni of SSE, who are currently mentoring the students in debate and public speaking, will share their views and feelings about the recent Mahasamadhi of our beloved Swami and their connection with Him. This will be followed by a special rendition-  a touching English song by the students singers. Hence the “Message Of The Lord” videos will continue only from 30th June onwards.

Pls do attend and give your loving support to the SSE Group.

Summer Shower Presentations :

      Presentation on 2nd June
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Rudram

As an initiative to help the enthusiastic veda learners to listen and learn vedas, we are uploading the chants for various groups. We have started with Rudram first and we have uploaded the individual anuvakas of Namakam.

Please click the link below to listen to the mp3 of each Anuvaka.

Title Track Click on below link to listen to the mp3
Namakam Anuvaka 1
      Anuvaka 1
Namakam Anuvaka 2
      Anuvaka 2
Namakam Anuvaka 3
      Anuvaka 3
Namakam Anuvaka 4
      Anuvaka 4
Namakam Anuvaka 5
      Anuvaka 5
Namakam Anuvaka 6
      Anuvaka 6
Namakam Anuvaka 7
      Anuvaka 7
Namakam Anuvaka 8
      Anuvaka 8
Namakam Anuvaka 9
      Anuvaka 9
Namakam Anuvaka 10
      Anuvaka 10
Namakam Anuvaka 11
      Anuvaka 11

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Learning about Unity of Faiths – Visit to a Mosque


Reverence of all religions is fundamental to Swami’s teachings on ‘Unity of Faiths’. In Prasanthi Nilayam, the abode of Swami, a ‘Sarva Dharma’ (Unity of Faiths) monument reminds everyone of this principle. Festivals of various religions are celebrated in His presence. Naturally, this principle is integral to the SSE programme.

Every year, as part of the spiritual education, visits are arranged to different places of worship as part of our continued efforts to instill in children an appreciation for different faiths and their teachings. Such visits also help the children see the commonalities across religions, which is very much in line with Swami’s teaching on ‘Unity of Faiths’. In previous years, the children visited a Sikh Temple as well as a Buddhist Temple. This year, a visit was arranged to the Mujahidin Mosque at 590 Stirling Road on 27 Mar 2011 for the Level 2 students (7 & 8 year olds).

The visit to the Mosque heightened pupils’ awareness of the Muslim faith. They particularly learnt about the Muslims’ way of prayer, the Quran, their customs as well as their teachings. Parents also gave very good feedback. The students were excited about their experience; following are some comments from them:

All our friends enjoyed the trip. We had fun and learnt a lot about Muslims and their customs. We learnt that Muslims pray 5 times a day. In the mosque they teach us that they wash their body before they pray – they wash their legs, hands, elbows, head and ears 3 times. We learnt that Muslims must go to Mecca once in a life time which is their holy place. The prayer hall was covered with red carpet and was very clean. The praying area is separated for ladies and gents. Muslims holy book is the Quran.” – Ganesh Hariharan.

“…I liked the mosque because it is clean. I also liked it because there are classes in the mosque…” – Shreya Raman.

“We have to be disciplined while praying. Before entering the mosque we have to clean ourselves. I learnt that Muslims have to visit Mecca at least once in life. I learnt that the Islam sign is a crescent moon and a star.” – Sreekar Gudipati.

“I learnt that Muslims pray 5 times a day. I also learnt the Muslim prayer. I learnt how to focus on the prayer. I learnt the importance of truthfulness, generosity and sincerity. I liked the Muslim prayer and the picture of Mecca.” – Keerthana Reddy.

“I learnt that Muslims are very focused and they surrender to Allah. In Mecca, Muslims walk around the Kabaa seven times. I like to be generous.” – Pavan Balaji.

“…The Muslims pray in the direction of Mecca . I liked the praying area. It is very peaceful…” – Vikashini Mohan.   

“…I learnt that the Muslims fast during Ramadan and go around the Kabaa 7 times. I liked the prayer area and the classrooms. They are huge and clean. I liked the goody bags that we received after the tour…” – K. Preneel.

“I learnt how the Muslims pray and give to charity. They are very disciplined… When the Muslim boy recited the Quran, everybody clapped loudly.” – Thavendran s/o Ramachandran.

Some of the parents of the students also gave their feedback on the trip:

“I feel my children’s visit to the mosque was indeed a wonderful experience. They shared with me how a boy read out verses from the Quran. That had certainly created an impact on my children. They also explained that Quran is read not from left to right but instead from right to left. They articulated that the language in which Quran is written is called ‘A-R-A-B-I-C’. I was amazed! They enjoyed the trip and the trip seems to have etched good memories. Well Done!” – Parents of Devaanathan & Thevendran, Mrs Malarvizhi Ramachandran.

“I felt happy about the visit to the mosque as we have never visited a mosque. After the visit our daughter knew more about the customs and she is able to analyse it in relation to our customs. She is able to respect other religions. Thanks to SSE classes for giving her the opportunity.” – Parents of Shalini, Mrs Valli Kannu.

“My son went on a tour to a mosque. He enjoyed the ambience of the mosque and the tour gave him insight of Islamic religion. Main note from Karthik was that the “peaceful praying to God” really attracted him. As a father, I reiterated to him that all religions bring everyone towards God.” – Parents of Karthikeyan, Mr Ramanujam.

“We are very happy that our children went to the mosque. Thanks for your efforts in heightening our child’s understanding about other religions. This would go a long way in helping them respect other races too. Thanks for your support. Sairam” – Parents Of Keerthana Reddy, Mrs Padmaja.

“We appreciate your efforts in moulding our children’s character. Your trip to the mosque would help them in understanding the Muslim tradition. Thanks for your efforts in promoting understanding of different religions and customs. Sairam” – Parents Of Ruthwik Krishna, Mr Raja Sekhar Reddy.

“My daughter, Vaishnavi is attending the SSE class for the last 2 years. The visit to the mosque that they had on 27/03 was a unique and memorable experience for her. I feel it has made a significant impact on her. Right from the interior of the mosque to the videos clippings that they saw, to the people they met there, Vaishnavi was talking about everything. She was very excited to talk about it. I appreciate the efforts taken by the gurus to make this possible. I also take this opportunity to thank her gurus for the positive values that they impart to the children in class. Through the different activities like bhajans, videos, stories, art & craft the messages that are given to children are invaluable. Most importantly, every week Vaishnavi looks forward to going to class and is very happy when she comes back. This alone is enough to know that she is really enjoying the class. Thank you & Sairam.” – Parents of Vaishnavi, Mrs Annapurna Kishore.

The report was compiled by the gurus of Level 2

Mosque Visit Photo Album

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SCA – Music

Plato once said that music “is a more potent instrument than any other for education”. Recent research has found that music uses both sides of the brain, a fact that makes it valuable in all areas of development. Music affects the growth of a child’s brain academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Research indicates that musical training permanently wires a young mind for enhanced performance.

Music is physical. Music can be described as a sport. Learning to sing and keep rhythm develops coordination. The air and wind power necessary to blow a flute, trumpet or saxophone promotes a healthy body.

Music is emotional. Music is an art form. We are emotional beings and every child requires an artistic outlet. Music may be your child’s vehicle of expression.

Music is spiritual. Music is of the spirit and inspirational to the spirit. All religions use music to help express spiritual values, and all religions use music to uplift the spirit.

Music sparks the imagination. It invokes mental imagery and inner scenery that opens the mind to amazing insight and spans the distance between the stars.

Music is for life. Most people can’t play soccer, or football at 70 or 80 years of age but they can sing. And they can play piano or some other instrument. Music is a gift you can give your child that will last their entire lives.

Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue…Plato

Music expresses that which cannot be put into words…Victor Hugo

After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music… Aldous Huxley

Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass?  ~Michael Torke

There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is.  ~William P. Merrill

Music’s the medicine of the mind.  ~John A. Logan

Music is the universal language of mankind.  ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Outre-Mer

Music is what life sounds like.  ~Eric Olson

Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends.  ~Alphonse de Lamartine

Music SCA

The Music SCA provides a platform for students who are musically talented to showcase their talents and skills. It allows creativity and expression and brings joy and life. It is open to boys of age 15 and above who are part of the SSE Programme at MDIS Campus. Intake is strictly based on audition. The Music SCA is conducted from 10.45 to 11.30am every Sunday morning at MDIS Campus, Stirling Road. Extra practice sessions if needed are conducted at Sai Centre, 133 Moulmein Road.

Activities Of Music Team

 The main aim of the Music SCA is:

  1. To encourage and develop musical talents of students
  2. To serve the community through music
  3. To foster human values and devotion through music

 

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SCA – Debate

Debate or debating is a formal method of interactive and representational argument. Debate is a broader form of argument than logical argument, which only examines consistency from axiom, and factual argument, which only examines what is or isn’t the case or rhetoric which is a technique of persuasion. Though logical consistency, factual accuracy and some degree of emotional appeal to the audience are important elements of the art of persuasion, in debating, one side often prevails over the other side by presenting a superior “context” and/or framework of the issue, which is far more subtle and strategic.

Debate SCA

Debate has been introduced as one of the Sai Centred Activities in order that the students develop useful skills such as  public speaking skills, logical thinking, art of persuasion and critical writing. The student also stands to gain much knowledge from researching on different topics etc.

 It allows the student to open up and voice his/her thoughts firmly but without negativity in an environment where the ‘judges’ are caring, invested and attentive and not just out to choose a winner. The facilitators aid the student in deepening his/her thinking and learning and in building up a healthy competition among the participants.

 The student becomes a confident speaker who is able to put forth his/her views in a firm or polite yet persuasive manner, grounded in human values. He/she learns the art of expressing views coherently and convincingly. The Debate SCA provides a good learning opportunity as we have a talented team of facilitators to guide the students. This learning will be of great use not just for school but in the long run, in the working life as well.  

 The main aim of Debate SCA is

  • To explore and get a deeper understanding of Swami’s teachings through a simplified debating format.
  • To discuss some of the current world topics in a spiritual context.
  • To build up self-confidence

 The Debate SCA is conducted separately for boys and girls of age 13 and above from 10.45 to 11.30am as part of the SSE programme at MDIS campus, Stirling Road. It is open only to the SSE students at MDIS Campus.

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SCA – Bhajans

Bhajans! That wonderful genre of devotional music which instantly taps into the wellspring of divine ecstacy and communion that can be felt from deep within our hearts!

Bhajan is a prayer, an offering in all humility and reverence to our Loving God. It is a personal conversation between the devotee and God, set to beautiful music.  It is no wonder then, that this unique genre of devotional Congregational singing has an instant uplifting effect. Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba says, “Bhajan must spread goodwill, love, ecstacy; it must cleanse the polluted atmosphere; it must invite all to share in the joy and peace. THE ANANDA I DERIVE FROM BHAJANS, I DO NOT DERIVE FROM ANYTHING ELSE.” …(SSS Vol VIII).  Hence, the whole-hearted participation of the entire congregation ensures the cleansing away of all negativity in the environment by spreading the Positive Vibrations of the Potency of the divine Name. Bhagavan says, “Where the glory of the divine name is sung, there I install Myself”. So bhajans bless us with the opportunity to feel Bhagavan’s Divine Presence and be enveloped in His grace.

As we go through our earthly journey, we get caught up in the illusory drama of existence. Swami has given us a simple solution to nurture our spirit and realize our ultimate goal,  “Think of bhajan as a part of spiritual training to be taken seriously for reducing attachment to fleeting objects, and purifying and strengthening you, liberating you from the cycle of birth and death and consequent misery.”…(The Holy Man and the Psychiatrist ).

 We are fortunate to be born in the age that the Divine has chosen to manifest in human form, our beloved Yuga Avathar, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.  As we learn from Him “ Let your whole life be a spiritual song. Believe that God is everywhere at all times, and derive strength, comfort, and joy by singing His glory”… (SSS Vol X)

Let us all make our lives a beautiful divine song to be offered at His divine lotus feet.

 

Bhajan – SCA

Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba has blessed us abundantly by stating, “Namasankeerthana is the best spiritual sadhana for Liberation in this age”. He has made our journey of ultimate merger with Him so very easy and pleasant! To quote Bhagavan “Bhajan must become an unbroken stream of bliss on your tongues and in your hearts; it must confer on you, the uninterrupted awareness of Soham, of the unity of I and HE”… (SSS Vol IX)

To develop the spirit of Bhajan at a young age, Bhajan singing has been integrated into the SSE programme as one of the Sai Centred Activities. This SCA is open only to students and Gurus.
The Bhajan SCA aims at:

  1. Instilling in the student, the confidence to sing
  2. Identifying those who have potential to lead bhajans
  3. Encouraging student-instrument-players to play for bhajans
  4. Instilling the bhajan discipline
  5. Fostering devotion through bhajan singing

Timings and classes:

10.45 to 11.30 every Sunday at MDIS campus. Stirling Road
Separate classes for boys and girls

 

 

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SCA – Veda

SCA – Veda Learning

As Bhagavan Baba emphasis frequently regarding the importance of learning and chanting Vedas, the SSE curriculum has been structured to include Vedas as one of the Sai Centered Activities (SCA).  Veda classes are conducted regularly on Sunday from 10.45 am. to 11.30 am., at the MDIS Campus, Stirling Road, as part of the SSE program. The classes are open to all students and adults interested in learning. The classes that are currently run are:

  1. Veda Beginners (Group 1)
  2. Veda Beginners (Group 2)
  3. Veda Advanced
  4. Rudram – Click here to list to Namakam

Activities of the Veda Unit

The structure below gives a visual picture of the activities of the Veda unit.

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Namasmarana Sadhana – Singapore 2011

Namasmarana – The Best Means and the Best Medicine:

Namasmarana is the best means. Only, you do not really believe that it can cure you or save you, that is the tragedy. People believe in the efficacy of only costly, brightly packed, widely published drugs; the simple easily available remedy which is in everybody’s backyard is ignored as useless. Ref: SSS Vol II Ch 31, p164-165

Add Feeling into Namasmarana:
Dwell on the Nama and its sweetness will saturate your tongue and improve your taste. Do not count the number of times you have repeated it. Who are you going to impress with the number? The Lord will respond even if you call Him just once from the depths of feeling; He will turn a deaf ear, even if you call Him a million times automatically, artificially with the tongue, not with the heart. It is easy to amass figures. Numbers are easy to manipulate, but, Grace does not depend upon them at all. He asks for the heart, the full heart and nothing but the heart.   Ref: SSS Vol IV Ch 36 [Diagnose your own disease] p204 -Baba

How do I participate in the Sadhana?
All our Sai brothers and sisters from various centers can participate in this simple, but powerful Sadhana of writing (Likhita Japa) of our beloved Swami’s Name ‘OM SRI SAI RAM’, with Faith and Love. The Name is packed with infinite potential to purify, sublimate and transform the mind and the heart. To invoke the divine within, there is no better method than Namasmarana. The heart is the spiritual centre of an individual. Purify the heart by Namasmarana. I shall come to dwell therein.

How do I use the Namasmarana sheet?

  • The Sadhana is performed by writing ‘OM SRI SAI RAM’ in the Namasmarana sheet.
  • The sheet has 2 sides, printed with 108 boxes each, to write ‘OM SRI SAI RAM’.
  • After the completion of a sheet, it can be deposited in the drop-box provided in any of the Sai Centers in Singapore.

Where do I get the copies of the Namasmarana Sheet from?

Printed Namasmarana Sheets will be handed out on Thursday at the end of bhajans at Sai Baba Centre, 133 Moulmein Road. As you complete one, you may return it to the sevadal on duty and request for more. Alternately you may photocopy or download and print the sheet using the link below, before you start writing and return them as and when you complete the sheets.

What will be done with these completed Namasmarana Sheets?

The completed Namasmarana Sheets will be taken to Parthi this December and Vibhuthi will be packed in these sheets charged with the Divine Name, for distribution to all.

What do I achieve through this Sadhana?

Ultimately the process is to cleanse oneself and through that, the rest of the world. While this is not the only path or sadhana, Bhagavan always says – this is the simplest and easiest path.
One can follow any path, but one path and one focus will lead us to the goal faster.

To invoke the divine within, there is no better method than Namasmarana. The heart is the spiritual centre of an individual. Purify the heart by Namasmarana. I shall come to dwell therein…Baba
Click the below link to download the Namasmarana Sheet :
SRI SATHYA SAI SOCIETY, SINGAPORE