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Biryani

Description:
Biryani also known as biriyani or biriani, is a South Asian mixed rice dish with its origins among the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. It is popular throughout the subcontinent and among the diaspora from the region. It is generally made with spices, rice, and meat. This is basically a Moglai dish. Mogal kings usually eat this type of dishes. Now a days it has become a very popular dish in most of nonveg people in Asia.

Origin:
The exact origin of the dish is uncertain. In North India, different varieties of biryani developed in the Muslim centers of Delhi (Mughlai cuisine), Lucknow (Awadhi cuisine) and other small principalities. In South India, where rice is more widely used as a staple food, several distinct varieties of biryani emerged from Telangana (Specifically Hyderabad), Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, where minority Muslim communities were present. Andhra is the only region of South India that does not have many native varieties of biryani.

According to the Delhi based historian Sohail Nakhwi, more than four thousand years ago, people in Central Asia started adding the meat of cows, buffaloes (beef) and goats (mutton) to rice, thus resulting in the dish that later began to be called Pulao, and a precursor to the modern day Biryani. The more well to do people used the meat of goat (it being more expensive) and the poorer people used beef (it being cheaper) As per author Lizzie Collingham, the modern biryani further developed in the Mughal royal kitchen, as a confluence of the native spicy rice dishes of India and the Persian pilaf. However, all the spices used in biryani were also grown in Persia and were also available to Arabs through trade. According to Kris Dhillon, the modern Biryani originated in Persia, and was brought to India by the Mughals. However, another theory claims that the dish was known in India before the first Mughal emperor Babur came to India. The 16th century Mughal text Ain-i-Akbari makes no distinction between biryanis and pulao: it states that the word “biryani” is of older usage in India. A similar theory—that biryani came to India with Timur’s invasion—also appears to be incorrect, because there is no record of biryani having existed in his native land during that period.

According to Pratibha Karan, the biryani is of South Indian origin, derived from pilaf varieties brought to India by the Arab traders. She speculates that the pulao was an army dish in medieval India: the armies, unable to cook elaborate meals, would prepare a one-pot dish where they cooked rice with whichever meat was available. Over time, the dish became biryani due to different methods of cooking, with the distinction between “pulao” and “biryani” being arbitrary. According to Vishwanath Shenoy, the owner of a biryani restaurant chain in India, one branch of biryani comes from the Mughals, while another was brought by the Arab traders to [Malabar]] in South India.
While the Middle eastern and Middle Asian versions of Biryani and Pulao are made on the tandoor, Biryani in the Indian subcontinent is made in a large metal dish with a narrow mouth called a “degh”
Main Ingredients:
Ingredients vary accord to type of meat used and the region the Biriyani is from. Gosht (of either chicken or mutton) as the prime ingredient with rice. As is common in dishes of the Indian subcontinent, some vegetables are also used when preparing Biriyani. Other vegetables such as corn also may be used depending on the season and availability. Navratan biryani tends to use sweeter richer ingredients such as cashew, kismis and fruits such as apples and pineapples.

The spices and condiments used in biryani may include ghee (clarified butter), nutmeg, mace, pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander, mint leaves, ginger, onions, tomatoes, and garlic. The premium varieties include saffron. In all Biriyani, the main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the chicken and mutton, special varieties also use beef, and seafood. The dish may be served with dahi chutney or raita, korma, curry, a sour dish of aubergine (brinjal), boiled egg (optional), and salad.

Varities:
Biryanis are cooked in various different types and different places it is cooked diffenently.
In the kacchi biryani, raw marinated meat is layered with raw rice before being cooked together.It is also known as kacchi yeqni. It is cooked typically with chicken and mutton but rarely with fish and prawn. The dish is cooked layered with the meat and the yogurt based marinade at the bottom of the cooking pot and the layer of rice (usually basmati rice) placed over it. Potatoes are often added before adding the rice layer. The pot is usually sealed (typically with wheat dough) to allow cooking in its own steam and not opened until it is ready to serve.

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Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biryani

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Prunus cerasus marasca

Botanical Name : Prunus cerasus marasca
Family: Rosaceae
Genus: Prunus
Subgenus: Cerasus
Species: P. cerasus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

Common Name: Maraschino Cherry

Habitat : Prunus cerasus marasca is native to S.E. Europe to W. Asia. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
Description:
Prunus cerasus marasca is a deciduous Tree growing to 8 m (26ft 3in). It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.

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Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
Cultivation:
Thrives in a well-drained moisture-retentive loamy soil. Prefers some lime in the soil but is likely to become chlorotic if too much lime is present[1]. Prefers an acid soil according to another report. Succeeds in sun or partial shade though it fruits better in a sunny position. Hardy to about -20°c. This sub-species is a vigorous tree found in Dalmatia, where its fruits are employed in the manufacture of the famous Maraschino liqueur. Most members of this genus are shallow-rooted and will produce suckers if the roots are damaged. Plants produce suckers freely. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus.
Propagation:
Seed – requires 2 – 3 months cold stratification and is best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a cold frame as early in the year as possible. Protect the seed from mice etc. The seed can be rather slow, sometimes taking 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in a frame. Softwood cuttings from strongly growing plants in spring to early summer in a frame. Layering in spring. Division of suckers during the dormant season. They can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.
Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Fruit; Oil; Oil; Seed.

Fruit – raw or cooked. Neither bitter nor sweet, the fruit is pleasantly acid and can be eaten out of hand, used in pies, preserves etc or dried for later use. The fruit is about 8mm in diameter and contains one large seed. Seed – raw or cooked. Do not eat the seed if it is too bitter – see the notes below on toxicity. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. When refined it is used as a salad oil.    The leaves are used as a tea substitute. A gum obtained from the trunk is used for chewing.

Medicinal Uses:
Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, all members of the genus contain amygdalin and prunasin, substances which break down in water to form hydrocyanic acid (cyanide or prussic acid). In small amounts this exceedingly poisonous compound stimulates respiration, improves digestion and gives a sense of well-being.
Other Uses:
Adhesive; Dye; Gum; Gum; Hedge; Hedge; Oil; Oil; Wood.

An edible drying oil obtained from the seed is also used in cosmetics. The gum obtained from the stem is also used as an adhesive. Plants can be grown as a hedge, succeeding in fairly exposed positions. A green dye can be obtained from the leaves. A dark grey to green dye can be obtained from the fruit.
Known Hazards: Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, it belongs to a genus where most, if not all members of the genus produce hydrogen cyanide, a poison that gives almonds their characteristic flavour. This toxin is found mainly in the leaves and seed and is readily detected by its bitter taste. It is usually present in too small a quantity to do any harm but any very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prunus_cerasus
http://www.pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Prunus+cerasus+marasca

Acer saccharum

Botanical Name : Acer saccharum
Family: Sapindaceae
Genus: Acer
Species: A. saccharum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Synonyms:
*Acer barbatum auct. non Michx.
*Acer barbatum f. commune Ashe
*Acer floridanum (Chapm.) Pax
*Acer hispidum Schwer.
*Acer leucoderme Small
*Acer nigrum F. Michx.
*Acer nigrum var. glaucum

Common Names: Sugar Maple, Florida Maple, Hard Maple, Rock Maple

Habitat : Acer saccharum is native to the hardwood forests of eastern Canada, from Nova Scotia west through Quebec and southern Ontario to southeastern Manitoba around Lake of the Woods, and the northern parts of the Central and eastern United States, from Minnesota eastward to the highlands of the eastern states. It is found in a variety of soil types, doing best in deep rich well-drained soils from sea level to 1600 metres. Rich usually hilly woods.

Description:
Acer saccharum is a deciduous tree normally reaching heights of 25–35 m (80–115 ft) tall, and exceptionally up to 45 m (148 ft). A 10-year-old tree is typically about 5 m (16 ft) tall. When healthy, the sugar maple can live for over 400 years.

The leaves are deciduous, up to 20 cm (7.9 in) long and equally wide, with five palmate lobes. The basal lobes are relatively small, while the upper lobes are larger and deeply notched. In contrast with the angular notching of the silver maple, however, the notches tend to be rounded at their interior. The fall color is often spectacular, ranging from bright yellow through orange to fluorescent red-orange, although they look best in the northern part of its range. Sugar maples also have a tendency to color unevenly in fall. In some trees, all colors above can be seen at the same time. They also share a tendency with red maples for certain parts of a mature tree to change color weeks ahead of or behind the remainder of the tree. The leaf buds are pointy and brown-colored. The recent year’s growth twigs are green, and turn dark brown.

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The flowers are in panicles of five to 10 together, yellow-green and without petals; flowering occurs in early spring after 30–55 growing degree days. The sugar maple will generally begin flowering when it is between 10 and 15 years old. The fruit is a pair of samaras (winged seeds). The seeds are globose, 7–10 mm (9?32–13?32 in) in diameter, the wing 2–3 cm (3?4–1 1?4 in) long. The seeds fall from the tree in autumn, where they must be exposed to 90 days of temperatures below ?18 °C (0 °F) to break their coating down. Germination of A. saccharum is slow, not taking place until the following spring when the soil has warmed and all frost danger is past.

Bloom Color: Green. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Oval, Rounded.

The sugar maple is also often confused with the Norway maple, though they are not closely related within the genus. The sugar maple is most easily identified by clear sap in the leaf petiole (the Norway maple has white sap), brown, sharp-tipped buds (the Norway maple has blunt, green or reddish-purple buds), and shaggy bark on older trees (the Norway maple bark has small grooves). Also, the leaf lobes of the sugar maple have a more triangular shape, in contrast to the squarish lobes of the Norway maple.

Although many people think a red sugar maple leaf is featured on the flag of Canada, the official maple leaf does not belong to any particular maple species; although it perhaps most closely resembles a sugar maple leaf of all the maple species in Canada, the leaf on the flag was specially designed to be as identifiable as possible on a flag waving in the wind without regard to whether it resembled a particular species’ foliage.

The sugar maple is the state tree of the US states of New York, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Firewood, Screen, Specimen, Street tree, Woodland garden. Of easy cultivation, it prefers a good moist well-drained soil but succeeds on most soils, though it is more likely to become chlorotic as a result of iron deficiency on alkaline soils. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Trees need full light and a lot of space. This species is one of the most shade tolerant of the N. American maples. It tolerates atmospheric pollution and so is often used as a street tree, though it can suffer from soil compaction and the use of salt on the roads in frosty weather. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 7.3. Hardy to about -45°c when fully dormant. A fast-growing tree for its first 40 years in the wild, this species is not a great success in Britain, though it does better than once thought. It grows well in Cornwall. In cultivation it has proved to be slow growing when young. Trees can live for 250 years in the wild. A very ornamental tree but a bad companion plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants. This species is commercially exploited in America for its sap. Along with its sub-species it is the major source of maple syrup. There are some named varieties. The sap can be tapped within 10 – 15 years from seed but it does not flow so well in areas with mild winters. Special Features:Attracts birds, North American native, Inconspicuous flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame, it usually germinates in the following spring. A lot of the seed is non-viable, it is best to cut a few open to see if there is an embryo. An average of 95% germination can be achieved from viable seed. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours and then stratify for 2 – 4 months at 1 – 8°c. It can be slow to germinate, sometimes taking two years. The seed can be harvested ‘green’ (when it has fully developed but before it has dried and produced any germination inhibitors) and sown immediately. It should germinate in late winter. If the seed is harvested too soon it will produce very weak plants or no plants at all. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until they are 20cm or more tall before planting them out in their permanent positions. Layering, which takes about 12 months, is successful with most species in this genus. Cuttings of young shoots in June or July. The cuttings should have 2 – 3 pairs of leaves, plus one pair of buds at the base. Remove a very thin slice of bark at the base of the cutting, rooting is improved if a rooting hormone is used. The rooted cuttings must show new growth during the summer before being potted up otherwise they are unlikely to survive the winter.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Inner bark; Leaves; Sap; Seed.
Edible Uses: Sweetener.

The sap contains quite a large proportion of sugar. This can be used as a refreshing drink, or be concentrated into a syrup by boiling off the water. The syrup is used as a sweetener on many foods. The sap can be harvested in late winter or early spring[, the flow is best on a warm sunny day after a frost. Trees on southern slopes in sandy soils give the best yields. It is best to make a hole about 7cm deep and about 1.3 metres above the ground. Yields of 40 – 100 litres per tree can be obtained. The best sap production comes from cold-winter areas with continental climates. The sap contains 2 – 6% sugar, thus about 32 litres are required to make a litre of maple syrup. Self-sown seedlings, gathered in early spring, are eaten fresh or dried for later use. Seeds – cooked. The wings are removed and the seeds boiled then eaten hot. The seed is about 6mm long and is produced in small clusters. Inner bark – cooked. It is dried, ground into a powder and then used as a thickening in soups etc or mixed with cereals when making bread.
Medicinal Uses:
A tea made from the inner bark is a blood tonic, diuretic and expectorant. It has been used in the treatment of coughs, diarrhoea etc. A compound infusion of the bark has been used as drops in treating blindness. The sap has been used for treating sore eyes. The inner bark has been used as an expectorant and cough remedy. Maple syrup is used in cough syrups and is also said to be a liver tonic and kidney cleanser. The Mohegan use the inner bark as a cough remedy, and the sap as a sweetening agent and to make maple syrup.

Other Uses:
Fuel; Potash; Preservative; Wood.

The leaves are packed around apples, rootcrops etc to help preserve them. Wood – close grained, tough, hard, heavy, strong, not very durable, it takes a high polish, remains smooth under abrasion and has a high shock-resistance. It holds nails well, is fair in gluing, dries easily and shrinks moderately. The wood weighs 43lb per cubic foot. Considered by many to be the most valuable hardwood tree in N. America, the sugar maple is used for a wide range of applications including furniture, flooring, turnery, musical instruments and ship building. Accidental forms with the grain curled and contorted, known as curly maple and bird’s eye maple, are common and are highly prized in cabinet making. The wood is also a very good fuel, giving off a lot of heat and forming very hot embers. The ashes of the wood are rich in alkali and yield large quantities of potash

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acer_saccharum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Acer+saccharum

Viola renifolia

Botanical Name: Viola renifolia
Family: Violaceae
Genus: Viola
Species: V. renifolia
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Malpighiales

Common names: White violet and Kidneyleaf violet
Habitat : Viola renifolia is native to northern North America, where it has a widespread distribution across Canada and the northern United States as far south as Washington, Colorado, and New York. It is grown in part shade, sun; cool coniferous swamps and woods.
Description:
Viola renifolia is a perennial herb growing up to 10 centimeters tall. It does not have stems, rhizomes, or stolons. The kidney-shaped leaf blades are 3 to 6 centimeters long and are borne on petioles up to 15 centimeters long. It is in flower during April to June. The flower is 1 to 1.5 centimeters long and white in color with purple lines on the lower three petals. The fruit is a purplish nearly spherical capsules; seeds are brown; ripening mid-summer.

This violet grows in white spruce and black spruce forests, and temperate coniferous forests. Near the Great Lakes it grows in swamps and wooded areas….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES : 

Edible & Medicinal Uses:
Violets are high in vitamins A and C; the leaves contain as much vitamin C as 4 oranges. The flowers have been used as a garnish (fresh or candied) or as a flavouring and colouring in vinegar. They have also been made into jelly and syrup.

Flower Essences: Indications: uncomfortable in closed spaces and constrained environments; fearful of losing one’s identity in a group; unable to embody one’s sensitivity in a comfortable way.

Known Hazards: The rhizomes, fruits and/or seeds of some violets are poisonous, causing severe stomach and intestinal upset, as well as nervousness and respiratory and circulatory depression. The species name renifolia, from the Latin rens, ‘a kidney’, and folium, ‘a leaf’, refers to the kidney-shaped leaves typical of this plant.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viola_renifolia
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm
https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/kidney-leaved-violet
http://www.borealforest.org/herbs/herb40.htm

Erodium moschatum

Botanical Name: Erodium moschatum
Family: 
Geraniaceae
Genus: 
Erodium
Species:
E. moschatum
Kingdom:
Plantae
Order: 
Geraniales

Common Names: Musk stork’s-bill and Whitestem filaree

Habitat: Erodium moschatum is native to Mediterranean areas and southwestern Europe, including Britain. It grows on the waste places and rocky ground, mainly near the sea in Britain, mainly near the southern coast.

Description:
Erodium moschatum is an annual/biennial plant growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). The young plant starts with a flat rosette of compound leaves, each leaf up to 15 centimeters long with many oval-shaped highly lobed and toothed leaflets along a central vein which is hairy, white, and stemlike. The plant grows to a maximum of about half a meter in height with plentiful fuzzy green foliage. The small flowers have five sepals behind five purple or lavender petals, each petal just over a centimeter long. The filaree fruit has a small, glandular body with a long green style up to 4 centimeters in length.

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It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.
Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny well-drained position and a limy soil or at least one that is not acid. The bruised leaves emit a strong scent of musk.

Propagation:
Seed – sow in situ as soon as the seed is ripe in the late summer. The seed can also be sown in situ in late spring. It usually germinates readily.
Edible Uses: ..Leaves – raw or cooked. Added to salads or used as a potherb.

Medicinal Uses:….The plant is febrifuge. A tincture of the plant is used in the treatment of dysentery.

Other Uses:...Dye….A green dye can be obtained from the whole plant. It does not require a mordant.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erodium_moschatum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Erodium+moschatum