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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lemon and Chillies- Seasonal plants

The lemon and chillies both are fruit plants and are native to Pakistan and India.
These images of lemons are from my home garden but I have purchased green chillies from the market space. They are both rich in vitamin C.
I want to write about the history and culinary uses of lemons in our culture but due to lack of time, my focus is only on chillies and the myths about them.



Common names
chilli pepper, chilli, chili, chile, mirch, march, mirchi, hari mirch, lal mirch.

There are many types of Chillies and there are nearly 400 Varieties of chilli. Some of them are also used as an ornamental plants in home gardens but such chillies are not edible. Also of some unusual shape and colours. I also have some ornamental chilli plants in my home garden. Some types of chillies that are commonly used ,

Sweet Chilli They are mild and long, bright yellow-lime green skin and pointed at one end.
Chilli Baby Hot This is a very hot tiny chilli. They are used in Pakistan dishes.
Bell Chilli Red/Green This chilli is shaped like a bell. They are excellent for pickling.
Green Chilli This is a long slender green chilli, pointed at one end. It has a medium flavour that is easily eaten by most people who are not use to chilli.
Red ChilliRed chilis contain high amounts of vitamin C and carotene ("provitamin A"). They are similar in size and shape to the green chilli, but with more sting to its flavour.
Mexican Hot Chilli It is one of the hottest chillies. It has a bright green skin, and is pointed at one end.
Jalapeno ChilliThis is fiery hot chilli.



Myths

It is siad that green chilli or Jalapeno should not be grown in homes because this is a bad omen and something bad happen in your family but its just a superstition. Perhaps this is the reason why they are not cultivated in homes.
They are tropical plants and thus are ideally suited to hot and humid conditions. And it is commonly assumed that the seeds are mostly dispersed by birds, who love the fruits and don't seem to be affected by the bite.


They are traditionally used in counter magic and protection rituals. They are used for warding off evil spirits or spells. And they are sprinkled all around the house where they are expected to act against evil demons , while burning them along with garlic and other pungent spices, they intended to fumigate and purify the house.

In rural areas, Chillies have also been used as a means of punishment for unruly children, who were exposed to their fumes. In Asia they were even used as a means of torture, being rubbed into wounds and sensitive mucous membranes and even squirted into the eyes of the victims.



Culinary and medicinal uses

They are a good source of most B vitamins, and vitamin B6 in particular. They are very high in potassium and high in magnesium and iron.




If you want to read more about this plant, there are some useful links,

The National Year of Environment 2009

As it is officially announced that 2009 is the year of Environment in Pakistan so this time I have decided to share with you a logo of National year of Environment.


''Government is making all out efforts under public private partnership for
protection, conservation and preservation of natural parks and wildlife in the
country. Special focus is being given to environmental awareness for
conservation of the natural resources and natural sites in the country
.''

In Urdu, it is written,

''Sar sabz haseen
Pak sar zameen''

It is a beautiful logo featuring,
national tree[Deodar,Himalayan Cedar],
national animal [Markhor] ,
national bird [Chukar, Red-legged Partridge)
and national flower[ Jasmine] of Pakistan.

Save the environment for sustainable Pakistan.
Spread the message.

Green schools

It is said if every Pakistani Plants a Tree and takes care of it, we can have 172.6 million trees in 2009. Rather than planting 10 million on 15 Feb 09 and make a record.

Through the site of Water Pakistan, I came to know that 2009 is the year of Environment in Pakistan.

But this has much to say about the project of green schools and how can it can lead us to an ultimate change at national level.

This site also contribute some ideas of why it is important to plant trees in schools and how we can participate in it. Because students can easily take such messages home and its also a constructive way of staying in touch with the nature.

Why Schools
1. Becauae they can take the message easily
2, Take message home
3. Going to be our future
4. have space, energy and need something constructive to do


How to do
1. Campaign tree plantation in schools
2. Let every student have his/ her name on the plant
3. Let them to take care of their trees

I like this idea of plantation of local fruit trees by students and let them take care of them. We should support such activities for sustaining our environment, together.

Talib Hussain Dard- Injay Patnan Te Daindi Ain Duhai

I am not so much involved into Saraiki music but do listen to it whenever I got a chance. This Sariki song is by Talib Hussain Dard. He is considered as a great name in saraiki music. I am listening to this song for the first time and his voice is quite captivating.



In this video, you can also observe some beautiful inspiring images of cultural life in rural areas of Punjab.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Some photos of money plant



Money plant is in full bloom these days. These are some recent photos of this plant which is also known as Scindapsus aureus. Some months ago, I posted an article about this plant. You can read it here.

My mother love this plant very much and thats why it has given a very distinguished place in our home. I also personally like it for some reasons. Firstly, I like it because of its large delicate dark heart shaped leaves. I like this refreshing and youthful look of its leaves. And secondly, I like them because of their wonderful fast growing nature. No doubt, its an excellent creeper. You just give them an ideal place and they'll start growing on their own. Its a common myth about money plant in Pakistan, that if you nurtured them with care, they will bring peace, luck and prosperity in your house. Now start planting it.

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