January 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Healthy Buttermilk-Chaas

 Buttermilk with Roasted Cumin
Cooking Difficulty Level: Very Easy
Cooking Time: 10 Minutes

To fight obesity, you must eliminate sugary drinks from your diet. The regular intake of traditional buttermilk provides the body with all essential nutrients and does not add fat and unnecessary calories. It contains a high amount of probiotics which is good for colon health. Buttermilk is regarded as one of the healing agents in food. In summer months buttermilk after lunch is must. It not only aids digestion but cools the body, too.


1 cup Plain Fresh Yogurt
1 cup Cold Water
1 Tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
Chopped Cilantro or Fresh Mint to garnish (optional)
Salt to taste

Buttermilk with Cilantro

How to Prepare: 
  1. Combine water, yogurt and salt.  
  2. Blend mixture nicely with hand blender.
  3. Top off with Roasted Cumin Powder. 
  4. Garnish with Mint or Chopped Cilantro.
  5. Serve in tall glass along with food or as a drink by itself with ice.
An excellent summer refresher!


  • Buttermilk can be served with rice dishes and is popular with Khichadi also:


  • Kadhi can also be made from buttermilk:



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Papaya Salad

Papaya is easily available all over India and Thailand. One of my favorite salads is made with papaya. I love the recipe for this salad that is found in most Thai restaurants. It is healthy, tasty and adds exotic flavor to any meal.  I'd like to share my version or the traditional Indian way of making papaya salad.  It is low in fat, packed with antioxidants and high in vitamins.

Cooking Difficulty Level: Easy
Cooking Time: 15 Minutes
Recipe Type: Vegan

1    Small Slice Green Papaya (check freshness by denting
with finger nail -milk should ooze out)
1     Small Green Chili cut into piece lengthwise
1    Tsp Sugar
1    Tsp Lemon Juice
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
1/4 Tsp Mustard Seed
2    Tsp Oil
1/4 Tsp Asteofedia (optional)
Salt to Taste
Fresh Chopped Cilantro

How to prepare:
  1. Wash papaya well. Peel and grate with grater.
  2. Add sugar, salt, lemon juice, and mix together.
  3. In a small butter warmer add oil. Heat the oil on medium heat.
  4. Add mustard seeds, green chili, astofedia and turmeric.
  5. Add mixture on top of grated papaya. Add cilantro.
  6. Mix it well and serve with your choice of food.
Tips:  Green papaya is available in an Asian store near you.

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    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    Effortless Chocolate Pie

    Chocolate Pie
    This recipe was introduced to me by my son's friend. I enjoyed it very much. It is easy, fast, heart-healthy and quick.  I am impressed by the young people that they are very adaptive to new ideas and recipes.

    Cooking Difficulty Level: Easy
    Cooking Time: 15 Minutes
    Recipe Type: Vegan

    1                                 Graham cracker pie crust ready made
    1 Package One Package Baker's Semi-Sweet or
    Sweet Chocolate Bar
    1 Teaspoon One Tsp Vanilla
    1 14 Oz. Package One 14 Ounce Silky Tofu
    White Chocolate & Raspberries to Garnish
    Cool Whip Optional
    How to Prepare:
    1. In a glass bowl melt the chocolate in a microwave for one minute.
    2. Add vanilla. 
    3. Add tofu.
    4. Mix the ingredients well with electric hand blender till smooth and creamy.
    5. Let it set in a refrigerator for 6 hours.
    6. Garnish with raspberry and shaved white chocolate.

    Indian Herbs and Spices that Promote Health & Wellness, Part II


    Honey is a home remedy for obesity. Honey mobilizes the extra fat deposited in the body allowing it to be utilized as energy for normal functions. It is recommended that you take one tablespoon with luke warm water early in the morning. It is known as a fact that honey has no expiration date so it does not go bad. The best honey available is from New Zealand and is called Manuka.  This kind of honey is very popular and is known for its high UMF factor.  The higher the UMF the better and the more expensive.  The range is from 5 - 25.

    Fresh Ginger:

    Fresh ginger is an underground root plant.  It is one of the most important and oldest spices. The aroma of ginger is pleasant and spicy. Ginger is used in many food products like baked goods and confections.It is widely used in many dals and legumes dishes, as well as a variety of beans and rice and vegetable dishes. According to Ayurveda, ancient science of medicine, ginger is used to aid in the digestion of food. It is helpful in relieving cramps and excellent to ward off colds. Dry ginger is also used widely in various different dishes.


    Ajwain Seeds:

    This herb is also known as Bishop's Weed or Gout Weed.  It is a herbaceous plant bearing the grayish brown seeds that consist of spice. They have a peculiar aroma, similar to oregano, and a sharp taste. They are occasionally used as a spice in various kinds of bean dishes. This spice is very valuable in medicine. It is used to treat asthma, colds, indigestion, cough and stomach ache.

    Cumin -Jira


    Cumin is a light and dry grayish-brown seed. It is widely used in all recipes. It is similar to caraway seeds but a little longer. The odor is peculiar, strong and heavy but the taste is slightly bitter.  It is used as one of the main ingredients in allspice. It is considered an astringent, a stimulant of gastric juices and aids in digestion. It is useful in in treating diarrhea, colds and sore throats.

    Curry Leaf Plant

    Curry Leaves:

    After Turmeric, Curry leaves are the next most important ingredients in an Indian Kitchen. Popularly known as "Curry Patta," it is also called by its Indian name: "Meethi Neem."  These leaves are highly valued for their distinctive flavor and are used all over in the cuisine of India.

    Eight to ten curry leaves boost health and fat loss.  They can be chopped finely and mixed with food. They are a good source of Vitamin A, calcium, folic acid, and antioxidants.  They also help with the absorption of iron. Other benefits include boosting circulation and anti-inflammation. It is also anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, hepatoprotective, Hypo-cholestrolemic, and delays premature graying.  

    These leaves are also widely used in treating bruises and skin diseases. They are used as a sedative and as a hair tonic. All Indian leafy vegetables were compared for their total antioxidant activity and the highest level was found curry leaves. Anti-fungal activity was also found and that's why the leaves are also used to fight bad breath and gum diseases.

    Like many other spices and herbs, Curry Patta have a strong presence in our daily Indian food. It is always a good idea to include curry leaves in our recipes. It can be used raw or cooked. They can also be ground and used as paste in curries and, as I like, in chutneys. Leaves dried in the open air wilil lose their pungency, but washed and air-dried for couple of hours can be kept in a plastic bag for more than two weeks, though it is best as fresh leaves. Many families in America try to grow neem plants at home.

    Coriander Seeds

    Coriander Seeds:

    Coriander seeds are one of the oldest spices used by mankind.  They are very popular in Spain, India and Mexico.  They are used as a dried powder and as fresh herbs as well.  Fresh coriander leaves are called Cilantro and I use them in all my recipes as garnish. The seeds and leaves are pleasantly aromatic leaving kitchen fragrant and smelling sweet. Seeds in powder-form enhance the flavor, taste and aroma so uniquely that it becomes must in a few recipes for chat.  Coriander seeds are considered to be diuretic, carminative and are known as stimulants, can also sharpen the appetite, and have a soothing effect on the digestive tract.