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Care for My Hair

Care for My Hair

Do you ever look back at an old picture and miss your luscious locks? New Year’s resolutions have everyone focusing on self care. This year, in addition to healthy eating and going to the gym, my new mantra is “care for my hair”. Much of last year was spent traveling which took a big toll on my healthy hair. I didn’t realize it, but climate change and water can have a drastic effect on your locks. From consulting my hair stylist for hair remedies to ordering high-end hair products from Amazon, I have yet to find a solution. One of main goals of this year, is to nurture my hair back to the way it used to be before. 

Growing up, my mom would give me a head massage with natural oils every other day to stimulate my scalp which helped strengthen my hair follicles. After much research, I decided to go back to the basics and revert to the DIY methods of using those oils to treat my hair. Following are the natural hair oils I have tried in the last month to restore those luscious locks.

Castor Oil + Organic Coconut Oil

Castor Oil Coconut Oil

The ultimate combination to bringing your hair back to life!

• Heat up equal parts of castor oil and organic coconut oil. Work with small sections of your scalp and massage the oil into your hair for 10-15 minutes. Leave the oil in hair overnight for the best results and then wash with your normal hair routine. Use twice a week for the best results.

• This is a highly recommended blend for hair loss due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties.

• Also beneficial in preventing and treating dandruff.

• Castor oil is thick in consistency and is useful in nourishing the scalp, while Coconut oil is thinner in consistency and useful for keeping the scalp moisturized.

Mustard Oil

Mustard Oil 

If you have dry and brittle hair, mustard oil is the solution!

• Take a measurable amount of mustard oil depending on your hair length and massage it into your scalp in small sections. You may choose to heat the mustard oil before application if you want. Leave the oil overnight for best results and wash with your normal hair routine. Use twice a week for the best results.

• Stimulates hair growth by increasing blood circulation in the scalp.

• Has antibacterial and antifungal properties that prevent hair loss.

• Contains fatty acids to help condition and hydrate the hair.

Almond Oil

Almond Oil 

If you have a hard time giving up hair tools every morning,
then almond oil is your call!

• Take a measurable amount of almond oil depending on your hair length and massage it into your scalp in small sections. Leave oil in hair overnight for the best results and then wash with your normal hair routine. Use twice a week for the best results.

• Softens the hair and makes it super shiny. 

• Nut oils, such as this, improve hair resilience. This is good for people who style their hair a lot using heat and friction, such as with a straightener or curling iron.

• Anyone who has a severe nut allergy should not use almond oil for their hair as it could trigger a serious reaction.



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The Subtle Beauty of Kashmiri Chai aka Pink Tea

The Subtle Beauty of Kashmiri Chai aka Pink Tea

Move over green tea, we now have a new chai contender in town. With the arrival of winter and the bitter icy winds, this rosy-hued drink known as Kashmiri Chai is now the “it” drink of the season. Brought to Pakistan and India by the people of Kashmir after the partition in 1947, this drink was initially only served to the royals due its sacred supply of Kashmir tea leaves.

However, on my recent trip to South Asia, I noticed that this pink tea, also known as Noon Chai and Gulabi Chai, was now being served in roadside cafes, restaurants, and even weddings. Unfortunately, if you live abroad, most South Asian restaurants still do not carry Kashmiri Chai. It is a rare find and whenever I am lucky enough to spot it on a menu, the foodie in me jumps with glee.

Granted you’re craving to try this rosy tea people describe as a “Creamsicle with flowers”, this drink requires a lot of time and patience to master. Perfecting the right cup of Kashmiri Chai may take some trial and error. Normally, regular chai only takes a few minutes to prepare, but when working with Kashmiri tea leaves, if you think you've brewed it long enough- you haven't, so keep brewing! Once you have become an expert on this coveted drink, you can call yourself the Master Barista of Kashmiri Tea.

With that being said, we leave you to brew your own perfect cup of pink.


• 2 cups water

• 3 tablespoon kashmiri tea leaves

• 9 green cardamom crushed 

• 3 inch cinnamon broken into chip 

• ½ teaspoon salt

 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

• 1 cup cold water 

• 3 to 4 tablespoon sugar

• 2 cup milk 

• 1 tablespoon of ground pistachios

• 1 tablespoon of ground almonds 



1. In a pot, add water, Kashmiri tea leaves, salt, cardamom and cinnamon.

2. When the water comes to a boil, add the baking soda.

3. Let the tea cook until the water turns reddish and the water is half. This will take about 30 minutes.

4. Add ice cold water to the boiling hot tea and mix for about 5 minutes. 

5. Strain the tea and let it cool for about few minutes. You can even refrigerate the Kehwa for later use. 

6. Once you are ready to serve, in a separate pot, add tea and milk and let it come to a boil.

7. Pour it in a cup and garnish with nuts. 


Image Source:


Caren Joan



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Best Indian Hors d'oeuvres for your Next Holiday Party!

Best Indian Hors d'oeuvres for your Next Holiday Party!

We are in full swing for the Holiday season! Although holiday times are fun for some, they can be a daunting time for others with end of the year work deadlines, finding budget friendly presents, or even preparing to throw the ultimate holiday cocktail party. To make life a little easier for you, we have come up with three unique Hors d'oeuvre recipes which will take only minutes to prepare and will leave the attendees talking about it for days.



Goodbye Tequila Shots, Hello Pani Puri Shots!




• Shot Glasses 

• 1 packet of pani puri

• 2 large potatoes (boiled and diced)

• 1/4 cup chickpeas (boiled)

• 2-4 drops cooking oil

• 2 teaspoons of tamarind paste

• 2 teaspoons of mint chutney

• 1 teaspoon of cumin powder

• 2 teaspoons of squeezed lemon juice

• Salt and pepper 

• 1 teaspoon chaat masala 

• 2 to 3 cups of water (adjust to desired consistency)


1. First, put a few tablespoons of oil in a fryer and let it heat.  

2. Next, place them in a single layer in the fryer for 2 minutes until golden and crispy.  Let it cool for 1 minute.

3. Then, gently puncture each of the fried puris with a small knife to create a hole large enough to place the filling.

4. Mix the potatoes and chickpeas and place the mix in each of the punctured puris until filled.

5. In a blender, take water, tamarind paste, mint chutney, cumin powder, lemon juice, salt, paper and chat masala and blend.

6. Once the pani is made, fill the shot glass with 3/4 of the pani.

7. Place the filled pani puris on top of the filled shot glasses.


 You’re the Chutney to my Cocktail Samosa

Depositphotos 47792523 xl 2015 01 



• Small Appetizers Plates

• 1 Pack of Defrosted Swad Mini Vegetable Cocktail Samosas

• Oil for frying

• 1 cup of Swad’s Mint Chutney

• 1 cup of Swad’s Tamarind Chutney


1. After heating up the oil, fry the samosas for 4-6 minutes turning them at regular intervals until thoroughly cooked & golden brown.

2. Let them cool for a few minutes.

3. Place the appetizer plates in an assembly line, add 2 samosas on each plate and add 1/2 spoon of mint chutney on the right corner of the plate and 1/2 spoon of tamarind chutney on the left side of the plate.


 Cholay Salsa your way to the Dance Floor!

recipe hd chickpea salsa



• Small Plastic Cups

• 2 cans of boiled chickpeas

• ½ teaspoon of coriander powder

• ½ teaspoon of cumin powder

• 1 teaspoon of chaat masala

• 1 teaspoon of salt

• 2 teaspoon of lemon juice

• 1 diced onions

• 4 diced tomatoes

• ½ cup of Cilantro

• Tortilla chips


1. Strain all of the liquid from the boiled chickpeas.

2. Once the boiled chickpeas are dried and added to a bowl, add coriander powder, cumin powder, chaat masala, salt, and mix well.

3. Refrigerate the mixture for 10-15 minutes.

4. Take the mixture out and add diced onions, tomatoes and lemon juice. Mix Well.

5. Place the plastic cups in an assembly line and fill 3/4 of each cup with the mixture.

6. Add a few tortilla chips on top of the cup and top it off with cilantro.


Image Source:

Pani Puri Shots

Cholay Salsa

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Golden Milk aka Haldi Dhood

Golden Milk aka Haldi Dhood

While waiting in line to grab my latte at my favorite cafe earlier this year, I overheard two other fellow coffee enthusiasts discussing the latest and greatest item on the menu called “Golden Milk.” Because my curiosity always get the best of me, I decided to ask the Barista to give me the 101 on this pretty insta-worthy Golden Goodness. The barista described the drink as “a warm drink made from steaming milk with aromatic turmeric powder and spices.”  


After I walked out of the café, I realized that the Barista had just described “Haldi Dhood” also known as “Golden Milk,” which has now become the new craze in cafes around the globe. For centuries, this so-called “Golden Drink” has been part of Ayurvedic medicine and is a staple medicinal drink in many Indian households. Back in the day when people didn’t have access to or couldn’t afford conventional over the counter medicine, this Golden Milk was the godsend solution to combat many serious health issues.


Many refer to Golden Milk as a “Super Drink” as it has many health benefits and is often used as an alternative remedy to boost immunity and treat chronic diseases. With its anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory properties, Golden Milk is very beneficial during the winter season because of its use in treating colds, coughs and several other respiratory tract infections.  It is also used to treat digestive problems and helps relieve gas, bloating and acid reflux. Additionally, Golden Milk is a great source of calcium, which is a necessary mineral to keep bones strong and healthy. The presence of calcium helps in combating arthritis pain and inflammation. This golden goodness can also assist in improving blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. With many countless magical prolonging life benefits, it is no wonder that Golden Milk has gained a cult following everywhere. Below is a simple recipe:



•  2 cups of milk of your choice (dairy, coconut, or almond)

•  1 tsp turmeric

•  ½ tsp cinnamon powder 

•  Pinch of ground black pepper

•  Tiny piece of fresh, peeled ginger root or ¼ tsp ginger powder

•  Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

•  1 tsp raw honey to taste (optional)


1. Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.

2. Pour into a small saucepan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.

3. Drink while it’s hot


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Diwali, Dharma, and Resistance

Diwali, Dharma, and Resistance

As another Diwali approaches, we reflect on what Diwali means to us. The story of Diwali is nested among two timeless forces: light and darkness. Indians see it as an opportunity for a reset to the mind, body, or spirit. It’s easy to let the momentum of your life take you into a rabbit hole of thoughts that convince you that the path you are on only leads to darkness. Diwali reminds us that the paths to light were there all along.

The mind is capable of so much, yet there are times in our lives that we forget that it is capable of placing filters of darkness over our everyday experiences.

There’s this voice that emerges telling us that we’re not good enough, that we can’t overcome a challenge, or that the struggle is too much for us. In Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art, he labels this voice as  “resistance”. He mentions that we must fight it anew everyday. Diwali is about the battle against our internal resistance. Your inner resistance prevents you from actualizing your path through the light.

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In science, we use the past as a way to predict future outcomes. The mind can use the past to create future misery. The paths paved by light remind us of our ability to change our relationship with the past, and ultimately use it to create a better future.

Simple things like forgiving yourself can function as a neurological life-hack. You can improve the quality of your life and align it with your dharma. You aren’t married to your past. It doesn’t have to be part of your personal ethos or part of your neurological system. It (the thought) isn’t you, and those neurons don’t have to keep firing.

As we focus on the spiritual benefits of forgiving ourselves, there are physiological benefits to this as well. You’ll reduce stress and anger, which can both cause or worsen diseases. The technical definition of forgiveness doesn’t revolve around perfection; it’s about developing and increasing understanding of situations that lead to hurt or anger. It’s about taking less personal offense, reducing anger, and not looking for blame. It is a stepping stone on the path to a growth mindset.

Planning is important, but it can often lead to paralysis by anxiety. We have to take that first diligent step. The step towards Diwali serves as a reminder of strength, diligence, and patience. Moving back towards the light can help us get out of our comfort zones and start a new chapter.

We wish you the best in your journey towards the light.

 Quote Forgiveness


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