How to be Happy ? Part-1

In my previous post, Are You Happy?, I shared why you should be Happy this moment. If you have not read it, do give it a read.

There are days when most of the time goes in complaining, stuck in arguments and getting stuck with our heavy emotional garbage. But amidst all these negative experiences, there are moments when we are happy. Its just that we ignore our happiness.

Why ?

One of the habits of our minds is that it tends to focus on the negatives a lot more than on the positives. In certain cases, it just ignores the positives and focuses on the negatives. This is because when we grew up nobody taught us how to be positive when the negatives take over. Due to which we developed this habit of ignoring positives. So, question is how do we come out of this habit?

H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says,

“Santosha. Develop the habit of being happy. You have to do it. Nothing else can give you that. Nobody else can do it. If anybody else or anything else does it, it will only be very temporary. You take a step!”

This is not just a quote, its a technique to be happy. Just like you work out in the gym, you know its hard but you push yourself and you complete the set which was difficult to start with. But with practice you become fit, develop strength, six pack abs, etc.

The same way, if we take the step to be happy, it might be tough in the beginning but with time, you ca become so rock solid from inside that nothing can shake your happiness. As a result, you develop six pack abs for your mental well being.

So, tell yourself, come what may, I will be Happy. Let this be your mantra.

Methi Muthias Recipe

I have so many good childhood memories associated with this dish. Hence writing the recipe with the same love. Hope you feel the same love while cooking it. So let us get to business.

Ingredients –

  1. A big Smile
  2. 3 cups fresh methi (fenugreek leaves) / (You can use any veggies that you have available, I remember my mom using spinach, dudhi (bottle gourd too)
  3. Sesame seeds as per your taste (i always enjoy this in extra quantity)
  4. 0.5 cups besan
  5. 2 tbsp yogurt (using too much of yogurt can make me very smooth and hence difficult to bind)
  6. 2 cups Wheat flour
  7. green chilies, ginger,
  8. Oil, salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder, curry leaves (As per your taste)
  9. For tempering – oil, salt, chili powder, turmeric powder, curry leaves, asafoetida, sesame seeds

Follow the below steps –

  1. Chop the fenugreek leaves and wash them thoroughly.
  2. Mix methi, wheat flour, besan yogurt, grated ginger, salt, sesame seeds, turmeric, red chili powder, water and make it a pliable dough. (the one you make for theplas). Keep it aside for 5 mins. Using a little water, mix to create a firm yet pliable dough.
  3. Add 1tbsp oil and knead the dough again for a min. Keep it aside for a few minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into 2-3 equal halves and make it into sausage rolls and place them on a greased tray.
  5. Start the steamer and allow the water to boil for 5-6 minutes.
  6.  Place the greased tray in the pan. Cover and let the muthia steam for 10-12 minutes. (it may take longer if its induction cooking)
  7. Check with a fork or knife to see for firmness. If it is properly steamed then the dough will not stick to the fork and will come out clean.
  8. Let the muthia cool down and slice them up in small round pieces and your steamed muthia is ready. Some people prefer to eat it like this, but I like to temper them with some oil and spices.
  9. For tempering – in a pan, heat some oil, add curry leaves, mustard seeds, sesame seeds, turmeric (if you want), red chili powder and asafoetida. Stir fry the muthias for 3-4 minutes until they start to change their colors.

You can serve muthias with yogurt or spicy kadhi (i.e. my favorite combination). I hope you enjoy the recipe and feel free to share it in the comments below.

Before you eat, you can say “Anna Daata Sukhi Bhava” in your mind. This small prayer means that all the people who were responsible for this meal be happy. i.e. the person who cooked, who got the groceries, the farmer, etc.

Coconut Green Chutney Recipe

I use Coconut Green Chutney pretty much with everything. My favorite dishes with which I use are sandwiches, idli, Dosa, Upma, etc. It is easy to make and delicious to taste.

Takes less than 5 minutes to make it.

Ingredients

  • A big smile
  • 1 cup Coconut Grated (i use frozen coconut available in Indian stores)
  • 2 tbsp Roasted Chana Daal
  • 2-3 Green Chilies
  • 1/2 inch Ginger Chopped
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Coriander
  • Lemon
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 4-5 Curry Leaves
  • 1-2 slice of bread
  • 1 tbsp Urad Daal
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Instructions

  1. Blend coconut, chana dal, green chilies, ginger, coriander, bread in a blender to make a smooth paste.
  2. Use very little water to blend the chutney.
  3. Temper it using oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and urad dal.
  4. Pour the tempering over the chutney and then mix well
  5. Mix the tempering with the chutney.

The reason why I have used bread is to bring it to a good consistency. But you can make it without bread too,

Many people like to make the chutney in batches and store it for months. But in my experience, any chutney that uses coconut cannot be stored for a long time as it starts tasting very unpleasant. I always make a fresh batch of chutney that lasts for 4-5 servings.

Hope you enjoy it.

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Ragi / Fingermillet Cupcake Recipe

I love how versatile Ragi is, I can cook a 5 course meal out of Raagi. First of all, this recipe is meant to satisfy your taste buds if you are craving something healthy. I have not used any frosting or icing or sugar. But you can use it if you want. I prefer not to add any unnecessary calories.

Anyways we are here to talk about this healthy, sugarfree recipe.

Ingredients – (please try to stick to the measurements)

  1. A big Smile
  2. 3/4th cup raagi flour
  3. 3/4th cup whole wheat flour
  4. 3tbsp cocoa powder
  5. 1 tsp baking soda
  6. 1 tsp baking powder
  7. 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  8. 1/3rd cup plain dahi or yogurt or curd
  9. 1 cup jaggery is recommended but i used 1/2 a cup jaggery, you can even use sugar if you dont’ have jaggery.
  10. 2/3 cup oil or unsalted butter

Follow the below steps –

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 C for 15 minutes
  2. Sieve raagi flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, well, Start adding yogurt, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla extract, oil in the same mixture one after another and mix it well. (It does not have to be in any order, Also Do not over mix it)
  3. Grease the pan (if you are making a cake) or cupcake mould well, use parchment paper wherever necessary.
  4. Place the mixture in the oven pan and let it bake for 20-25 mins if you are making a cake OR 15 mins for cupcakes. (I tend to open it after every 7-8 mins to check how much its baked)
  5. Once done, remove it and allow it to cool down for at least 5-8 mins.
  6. You can add frosting or icing if you would like. You can use whipped cream as a frosting too if you want, I didn’t add any for avoiding unwanted calories.

Before you eat, you can say “Anna Daata Sukhi Bhava” in your mind. This small prayer means that all the people who were responsible for this meal be happy. i.e. the person who cooked, who got the groceries, the farmer, etc.

Why Journal Writing is a Good Idea

Sometime in 2010 when I was going through a teenager crisis, I picked up a book (Who will cry when you Die by Robin Sharma) in a Crossword book store, near my house. I found the title very catchy and I wanted to peek in and see what the book was about.


The author spoke very briefly about maintaining a diary or a journal to track your goals or habits. And that is where I developed this habit. It was this book where I read the ideal of journal writing for the very first time. Though I started writing in 2012, I wasn’t completely into it.

After a few years, one of my professors recommended us to read this book ‘The Power of Habit’. There was this line by Charles Duhigg in that book which is still ingrained in my mind:

“Small changes or Habits that people introduce into their routines can unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives. You acquire one of these habits, and everything in your life can change.”

That is when I realized that it is all about creating a chain reaction of every good habit.

I moved to the USA in 2014 and had a tough License Exam to crack in 2015. It required discipline and self-awareness. That is when I started writing my daily journal and started acting on my goals be it small or big.

Writing journals has helped me tremendously. Not only in achieving goals but also to track the progress of my daily habits. i.e.

  1. It helps me focus on my Self Development.
  2. It helps me to evaluate my Performance.
  3. I am able to create new milestones each time I accomplish something big or small.
  4. I can easily change my habits as I get aware of when I am going off track.

Journal writing is a very powerful tool as it is impossible not to grow from it. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

 

Chilli Garlic Paneer Recipe

I wanted to cook something quickly within 10 minutes but also something tasty and healthy.

I ended up looking for the ingredients in my refrigerator and thought of trying this out.

Ingredients

  1. A big smile (Very Important. A happy mind creates happy things.)
  2. Garlic 4-5 cubes (you can add more or less depending on your taste buds)
  3. Salt, sugar (i don’t use sugar so I substituted with jaggery), Oil, cumin
  4. 4-5 red chiles (again depending on your taste buds)
  5. Veggies that you like to add – I added onion, bell pepper, kale,
  6. Lemon and Chaat masala (Key to this recipe)
  7. 1 cup panner
  8. Soya sauce or vinegar is recommended (but I didn’t add any as I wanted it to be healthy)

Follow the below steps

  1. Blend garlic, salt, sugar, red chillies or Kashmiri chilli in the blender with some water.
  2. Heat your pan, add oil, cumin, onions, bell pepper, kale or any other veggies you prefer and saute them for a few minutes
  3. Then add the sauce and cook it until it thickens and the oil separates.
  4. Add paneer cubes and mix everything well cook for 4-5 minutes
  5. When it is almost done, add lemon juice, chaat masala, and fresh coriander just before you serve it.

Before you eat, you can say “Anna Daata Sukhi Bhava” in your mind. This small prayer means that all the people who were responsible for this meal be happy. i.e. the person who cooked, who got the groceries, the farmer, etc.

Pesarattu Dosa Recipe

Another variation of Dosa, ie healthy, vegan, gluten-free, yummy and nutritious.

Ingredients needed –

  1. A big Smile
  2. 2 cups green moong beans and white rice soaked overnight (For 2 cups of moong dal add 1/4 cup of rice so very minimal.
  3. 1/2 inch Ginger ch, green chilies, salt as required, 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves

Follow the below steps –

  1. Soak the moong beans and rice overnight in enough water
  2. Add ginger, green chilies, coriander, salt, chaat masala and grind them all in a grinder jar. Consistency should be like dosa batter.
  3. On a flat pan or griddle, spread little ghee or oil, pour the dosa batter with a spatula.
  4. Flip and cook both sides until it is crisp. (You can also add onions, tomatoes and make it like pesarattu uttapam)

Are you Happy ?

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In our day to day life, we run like head-less chickens to earn, to stay comfortable, for fame, for reputation and for so many other reasons…

Amidst all this, we are worried, stressed, often get depressed and carry emotional burden  for our whole lives.

Did you ever asked yourself this question…. Why are we running for all those things?

Any Guesses ?

The answer is, we are doing whatever we are doing to BE HAPPY.

Think about it, after you first got the ability to think, you thought, “I will be happy if I get good grades”, after sometime, “I will be happy if I get that boy/girl as my partner”, after sometime, “I will be happy if I get a job and start saving money”, and then, “I will be happy when I buy a house”, and then, “I will be happy when I am married and have kids”, and then may be promotion, further have my kids in a good school. And so on you just keep postponing your happiness always.

But have you asked yourself, after having all that you wanted, ARE YOU HAPPY ?

We spend years and years achieving things we want, we do get them, but amidst that we forget the purpose why we started what we started and  are we HAPPY.

Not after a month, or an year or sometime in future, NOW, ask yourself, ARE YOU HAPPY ? If not, then BE HAPPY.

I heard H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar once say,

“You postpone your happiness until some perfect future date, but it never arrives.”

Before deciding to write this blog, I asked myself “Am I Happy ?”. I ask this question many times to myself, because if I am not happy now, I would never be happy.

So close your eyes, take a deep breath in and say yourself, I AM HAPPY !

My Meditative Partner

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There is so much I learn from my partner.

Along with many other things, I love how he takes time out every now and then to reset and meditate. (Without any reminders)

One of the best things that I learned when I started dating him was to ‘never rely on each other to be happy’ his exact words were “You can make a person smile, you can make a person feel good, you can make a person laugh, but whether a person is happy is deeply and totally and utterly out of your control.”

And this helped me tremendously to just be myself and not feel pressured at all.

Our happiness is 100 %  our responsibility and not our partner’s responsibility

Couples trying to make each other happy at the expense of themselves need to change things. Rather motivate and support your partner. You are both a work in progress so grow and build together…!