What do people do to feel happy? Smile, laugh, play, amuse themselves, get a body massage done or exercise. Every one has their ups and downs in life and people find different means to face it. I have told you my friends, that for me cooking good food is a big stress buster and when I cook something which is challenging, trying it for the first time and I succeed in it gives me immense happiness.
Last few days I have been feeling very low for various reasons and I was really trying hard to smile and be pleasant to everyone but internally feeling shattered. In one of those days I went back to read this post on Serotonins where I discussed the feel good hormone and was amazed to see the response. I can say it is one of my favourite posts as I felt that this post provided a platform for people to discuss. I thought of furthering this topic and discussion, which I am doing today and discussing another important topic “ENDORPHINS”.
The word "Endorphin" comes from the two words, "endogenous + morphine." These are produced by the pituitary and the hypothalamus and act as neurotransmitters in our body. Chemically speaking, endorphins are polypeptides, which are able to bind to the neuro-receptors in the brain to give relief from pain. These are possibly the best chemicals to achieve a natural high, what we call euphoria. Although more research needs to be done, endorphins are believed to produce four key effects on the body mind: they enhance the immune system, they relieve pain, they reduce stress, and postpone the ageing process.
If the endorphins are so important how can we help our body release them? Researches have shown that there are various ways in which these can be released in our body.
1. Exercise hard. Endorphins are released when one is involved in strenuous exercise that allows him/her body to go beyond physical pain and its limitations and it may leave one with a euphoric high.
2.Listen to soothing music such as classical and instrumental selections. It has been found that thirty minutes of listening to this kind of music has released endorphins that have an effect equal to that of the muscle relaxing pill known as Valium.
3.Eat some spicy food. Spicy food can trigger the brain to release endorphins because it thinks the mouth is on fire and needs chemical relief to the brain.
4. Spend some time in the sun. Overexposure to light can also cause a release of endorphins.
5. Have a healthy sex life. Intense pleasure causes the same effect as intense pain when it comes to endorphins.
6. Laugh and cry. Some people claim that laughing hard for ten minutes can give at least two hours of pain-free sleep to those affected by painful illnesses. Some researchers claim that the body releases endorphins to release pain while experiencing the emotion that causes tears.
7. Eat something sweet or have something chocolate. These items stimulate your brain's pleasure pathways and cause the release of endorphins. Unfortunately when the short-lived sugar rush is over, so is the effect of endorphins and you will be left feeling tired and worn out.
Do let me know what can be your good source of endorphin? Since spicy food also helps release endorphins and it suits my palate too I decided to indulge in it and get my dose of endorphins :).
In the Master Chef cookery class they had shown the cone chaat which reminded me that I had this ages back when Mom’s friend Mrs.Agarwal had partcipated in a cookery competition hosted by ladies club and she had won the first prize. I had marvelled the idea that time.
After seeing the demo on TV, I was too tempted to try it and with the ongoing ‘Only’-Chaat event here I did not want to postpone it either. So during the weekend shopping I picked up cone moulds to try out this chaat.
Making the cone is an easier task than frying it. Yes, frying the cone is tricky, needs patience and skill. This Chaat is surely not for the beginners in cooking as it does need a level of expertise. The cone can break while frying if not handled properly and the real skill goes in removing the cone moulds from the oil without breaking the cone. I must admit I broke the first cone but sailed through the second and more..
It was fun eating a cone chaat like eating an ice-cream, I will surely make them when I have loads of patience once again. With some dough remaining I made some bite size cups to make cup chaat, which I deep fried this time. For baked version of chaat cups one can check here and here.
Ingredients For Dough
2 cups APF
2 tsp carom seeds
4-5 tbsp oil for shortening
salt to taste
water for kneading.
Ingredients for Filling
a cup of frozen corn/ fresh corn
2 boiled and mashed potatoes
1 tbsp chaat masala
1 tsp red chili pwd
1-1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp rock salt
1 tsp cumin pwd
2 tsp coriander pwd
salt to taste
For green chutney
a cup of coriander
1tbsp chopped walnuts
2 garlic pods
1/2 lime’s juice
salt to taste
4-5 green chillies
water to adjust the consistency
teekhi or spiced boondi
sweet tamarind chutney
also oil for deep frying
For the FILLING
Heat oil and add corn followed by ginger-garlic paste and sauté. Add all the spices, salt and mix this with the mashed potatoes.
For the GREEN CHUTNEY
Mix all the ingredients and grind together to a paste.
HOW TO MAKE THE CONE?
1. Mix all ingredients under the heading dough and knead to make a soft and firm dough, cover and let the dough rest for half an hour.
2. Take a small portion of the dough to make a ball of about 5cms diameter and roll it thin. Cut the edges to get a square/ rectangular shape.
3. Cut equidistant strips.
4. Take a cone mould, starting from the base start wrapping the strips around the mould. If one strip gets over, press the second strip at the end of first strip and keep wrapping it. Press the final end on the wrapped portion and seal the ends properly.
5. Check the oil for it’s temperature. If a small piece of dough immediately rises to the surface the oil is ready for frying.
6. Insert the cones in the oil, here one must ensure that the pan is deep and broad enough to place the cone completely and oil deep enough that the cone submerges in it. Once the cone is half done, place the ladle gently on the cone and remove the mould with the help of tongs. This needs a lot of skill and patience else you will land up with a broken cone.
7. Cool the cones and then fill in the filling and pour the green chutney over it. Finally garnish with the whisked curds, tamarind chutney and teekhi boondi.
A PICTORIAL ON HOW TO MAKE CUP CHAAT
To understand in detail how the cups are made check here. I have used small cups here as they are easy to fry.