December 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spicy Mung Beans

Mung beans are the perfect healthy vegetarian protein. They are light on the stomach and have great nutritional value.   Read more about the health benefits of Mung Beans at the end of the recipe.

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Serves: 4


2 Cups Mung Beans
2 TBsp Canola Oil
5 Cups Water
1 TBsp Cumin/Coriander Powder
Salt to Taste
Pinch Astofedia
1 Tsp Red Chili Powder
1/2 Tsp Turmeric
4-5 Pieces Kokam or Lemon Juice & Dried Mango Pieces
Ginger, chopped or Paste
Tomato, chopped
Cilantro to Garnish

  1. The best way to make lentil beans is to use a pressure cooker.
  2. Wash mung beans thoroughly 2-3 times in luke warm water.
  3. If you have a pressure cooker, you can use it to boil the beans.
  4. Cook beans for 15-20 minutes until they are tender. It may be necessary to add more water.
  5. In a small frying pan, heat the oil. 
  6. Add spices and boiled mung beans.
  7. Add all of the remaining spices, lemon juice and tomato.
  8. Let it simmer in for 5 minutes on low heat.
  • When washing mung beans you can add few Fenugreek seeds.
Nutrition Facts for 1/4 Serving Size.

Health & Nutrition Benefits Of Eating Green Beans 
  • Mung bean sprouts contain rich quantities of Vitamin A, B, C and E. They are also known to be an excellent source of many minerals, such as calcium, iron and potassium.
  • The bean is popular as the perfect food for reducing weight. It is recommended as a food replacement in many slimming programs, as it has a very low fat content. It is a rich source of protein and fiber, which helps one to lower the high cholesterol level in the blood system.
  • The high fiber content of mung beans yields complex carbohydrates, which aid digestion. Complex carbs are also effective in stabilizing blood sugar and prevent its rapid rise after meal consumption, apart from keeping body’s energy at a balanced level. Those who suffer from diabetes or high cholesterol are recommended frequent consumption of mung bean.
  • In Chinese medicine, mung bean sprouts are considered as a cooling food, containing anti-cancer properties. Herbalists use them for all hot, inflammatory conditions, ranging from systematic infections to heat stroke and even hypertension.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below! I love to hear from my readers!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gulab Jamun

All Indian Restaurants serve Gulab Jamun religiously.  It tastes great both hot and cold.  Once you try the homemade version, you may never go back to a restaurant!

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Serves: 8-10


1 Packet Gulab Jamun Mix from Indian Store
1 Pint Whipping Cream
1 Tsp Cardmom Seeds
Few Pistachios
Vegetable Shortening for Frying
2 Cups Sugar for Syrup
4 Cups Water
Rose Essence


  1. Mix sugar and water in a medium pot over very low heat until sugar dissolves and it looks like syrup instead of water.
  1. Make a dough from the Gulab Jamun Mix packet with whipping cream.
  2. Knead into smooth consistency. 
  3. Make equal portions of balls in an oblong shape.
  4. The trick is that the pistachios and saffron have to be stuffed in the oblong shape.
  5. Fry all the balls in a frying pan over low to medium heat.
  6. Once it is fried until golden brown, dip all of the balls into the syrup.
  7. Bring syrup to a boil for 3-4 minutes. This will bring puffiness into the balls.

Nutrition Facts for 1/3 Serving

This Week's Healthy Tip:

Health benefits of cardamom

  • This exotic spice contains many plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have anti-oxidant, disease preventing and health promoting properties.
  • The spicy pods contain many essential volatile oils that include pinene, sabinene, myrcene, phellandrene, limonene, 1, 8-cineole, terpinene, p-cymene, terpinolene, linalool, linalyl acetate, terpinen-4-oil, a-terpineol, a-terpineol acetate, citronellol, nerol, geraniol, methyl eugenol, and trans-nerolidol.
  • The therapeutic properties of cardamom-oil have found application in many traditional medicines as antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic and tonic.
  • Cardamom is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells.
  • It is also an excellent source of manganese and iron. Manganese is a co-factor for the enzyme superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger. Iron is required for red blood cell formation.
  • The pods are rich in many vital vitamins including riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-C that are essential for optimum health.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below! I love to hear from my readers!

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dal Dhokli - Pea Soup with Whole Wheat Pasta

Watch Video: "Preparing Dal Dhokli" & on Youtube!

Dal Dhokli is as popular a Gujarati dish as pizza is to Italians. It has a medley of different tastes from sweet and sour to spicy and tangy. This recipe is an entire meal in one dish just like pizza. Dal Dhokli is always a popular dish served for Sunday lunch.  It is interesting for my readers to know that in the city of Ahmadabad in Gujarat, the people will just go to famous restaurants just to have Dal. Gujarati people are fond of eating different foods. They are well known for for their taste buds. This plain Dal is a staple meal for all Indian households.

This recipe is full of protein and high in nutrition values. It is a vegan Jain recipe and is easy to cook once you have the hang of it.  It is satisfying and very much a comfort food. I am sure you will enjoy it as I do.

V, J

This is another version of Dhokli.

Same Pasta with long beans  and it is yummy.!

Recipe Type: Vegan, Jain
Preparation Time: 10 mi

Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4-6
Difficulty Level: Medium

Utensils needed:
  • Rolling pin
  • Cutting board or Rolling board
  • Knife 
  • Pressure Cooker (optional)

Ingredients for the Dal:

1    Cup Toovar Dal or Arhar Dal (Split Pigeon Peas)
1    Tsp Salt
Few Curry Leaves
1    Tsp Ginger Paste (optional)
2    Tsp Coriander & Cumin Powder
1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
3-4 Tsp Jagri or Molasses or Sugar 
1/4 Tsp Red Chili Powder
1    Tsp Mustard Seeds
1    Tsp Cumin Seeds
2    Small Cinnamon Sticks
2    Small Cloves
1-2 Small Whole Red Chili (optional, may be too spicy)
Pinch Astofedia
1    Tomato, cubed
2    Tsp Lemon juice or Kokam 3-4 PC
2    TBsp Raw Peanuts, Cashews piece & Raisins (optional)
1/2 Cup Green Frozen Peas (optional)
2    TBsp Oil

Ingredients for the Dough:

1    Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1    Cup Water
2    TBsp Ground Flax Seeds
1    Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Red Chili Powder
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
2    TBsp Flour to Roll
Garnish Coconut Flakes
Garnish Cilantro, chopped


  1. Wash Dal thoroughly and if you have a pressure cooker, cook Dal until it's done. Otherwise, in a 3 quart sauce pan, boil Dal for 30 minutes on medium heat with 5-6 glasses of water until it is completely cooked.  
  2. Use a hand blender and liquefy the Dal.
  3. In a bowl, mix the spices and flax seeds and make a soft dough so it is easy to roll.
  4. Make equal portions of 5-6 rolls. Now it is ready to roll. (Photo above.)
  5. In a 3 quart sauce pan on medium heat, heat the oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, cloves and a whole red chili pepper. 
  6. As it starts popping, add a pinch of astofedia and pour in liquefied Dal and almost 4 cups of water. 
  7. Let it boil. Once it has boiled, keep 1 cup of the boiled dal aside. (Dhokli tends to absorb water, so this way at a later time one cup of Dal can be added.)
  8. Use a rolling pin to roll out all of the balls and make a tortilla shape. Roll all of them with the help of powder and sprinkle flour in between the tortillas. Set them aside.
  9. While Dal is boiling, cut tortillas with a knife into pieces measuring 2 inches by 2 inches.
  10. Add piece by piece into the boiling Dal. Use all of the rolled tortillas.
  11. As the Dal with pasta is boiling, add jagri or sugar, salt, chili powder, coriander and cumin powder, lemon juice and turmeric.
  12. Now you can also add optional items like peanuts or cashews, raisins and/or frozen peas.
  13. Garnish with ground coconut flakes and chopped cilantro leaves.

  • Dhokli can be enjoyed as one meal and it can be eaten with rice and papadum.
  • It can be garnish with a ripe banana cut into small pieces or with pickles. 
  • Most of my friends enjoy it with olive oil infused with red chilis. 

Nutrition Facts are for approximately half a serving.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below! I love to hear from my readers!

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Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Split Pigeon Pea

The pigeon pea is easily digested and therefore suitable for invalids. It has many medicinal properties. It relieves inflammation of internal organs. However, excessive use of pigeon pea causes hyper acidity and wind in the intestines. Therefore, it is forbidden in gastric ulcer and heart disease
  • Baldness: A fine paste made of this pulse is highly useful in bald patches. It should be applied regularly.
  • Jaundice: The expressed juice of the leaves given, with a little salt, is highly beneficial in the treatment of jaundice. 60ml of this juice should be taken daily in this condition.
  • Checking Breast Milk Secretion: The pulse and leaves ground into a paste, warmed and applied over the mamma, has the effect of checking the secretion of breast milk.
  • Inflammation: The leaves of the plant are effective in all inflammatory conditions. A poultice made with the seeds will also reduce swelling.
  • Piles: Paste of the leaves, mixed with a teaspoonful of paste of neem leaves, is highly beneficial in the treatment of piles and itching in the anus. It should be taken once daily for a week.



Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gluten-Free Naan for Your Vegan Meal Plan

by Guest Blogger Carolyn Knight of 

Gluten-Free Naan for Your Vegan Meal Plan

Finding naan that is both gluten-free and vegan friendly at an Indian restaurant is like finding a winning lottery ticket on your front porch: unlikely. So, if you are craving some delicious naan to go with your favorite Indian dish, you’re going to have to make your own. Fear not! There’s no need to stray from your vegan meal plan. All you need is a little resourcefulness and the right recipe. Here’s how you make delicious vegan, gluten-free naan:
1 cup millet flour
1 cup multi-blend gluten-free flour mix
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons guar gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar in the raw
½ cup of regular soymilk
½ cup soy yogurt
½ teaspoon olive oil
What to do with the ingredients:
1. Mix dry ingredients, and then create a well in the flour.
2. Mix wet ingredients and pour them into the well in the flour. Mix everything together until you have soft dough. 
3. Cover your dough with a wet cloth and leave it to sit for 2 and a half hours. 
4. Make eight balls of dough that are equal in size. Manipulate the balls of dough with your hands on a hard surface until they take the shape of flat rectangles. 
5. Put the dough rectangles in a large, extremely hot skillet. Let one side of the dough cook for around a minute. 
6. Flip the dough over on its other side. Wait until you see bubbles forming on the surface of the dough. Then, flip it over again and let it cook for another 30 seconds or so. 
7. Flip the dough over one more time and let it cook for around half a minute. Then take the naan out of the skillet, cool, and enjoy!  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Video: "Preparing Khaman Dhokla"

Almond Burfi

This is a great almond dessert that is one of my favorite kind of sweets. It pleases my palate for a sweet taste and because it is made with almonds that are so healthy and nutritious, I don't feel guilty eating it.  Every so often I make this and it lasts for a long time. My guests always love it, too!  Keep reading below for the Health Benefits of Almonds!

Cooking Difficulty Level: Easy
Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Serves: 20-30 pieces


1 Packet MTR Badam Feast
2 Cups Almond, ground
2 Cups Dry Milk Powder
1 TSp Cardamom
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Stick Unsalted Butter or Ghee
Silver Foil Imported from India

  1. Heat the butter in a pan on medium heat.
  2. Add saffron to the milk and pour the milk, the packet of of Badam Feast and the almond powder to the pan.
  3. Stir the mixture for a few minutes. You would notice that the mixture will start to thicken making a paste or dough.
  4. Add the dry milk powder and the cardamom and stir it consistently.
  5. Pour the mixture into a square pan. 
  6. Let it cool for half an hour. 
  7. Cover with silver foil.
  8. Cut into desired pieces.

Serving Size is for 2 pieces.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below! I love to hear from my readers!

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Health Benefits of Almonds

  • Good for the brain: Almond is a source of many nutrients which help in development of the brain. Almond induces high intellectual level and has been considered as an essential food item for growing children. Many mothers give almonds soaked in water to their children daily in the morning (2-3 pieces of soaked almonds are good enough, you can also remove the outer shell if it causes allergy to you.
  • Regulates cholesterol: Regular consumption of almonds helps to increase the level of high density lipoproteins (HDL) and reduce the level of low density lipoproteins (LDL), thereby effectively controlling cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol is called bad cholesterol.
  • Good for heart: Mono-saturated fat, protein andpotassium contained in almonds are good for the heart. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and reduces the risk of heart diseases. The presence of magnesium in almonds helps to avoid heart attacks. Almonds help reduce C-reactive protein which causes artery-damaging inflammation. Almond is also a source of folic acid. They therefore help to reduce the level of homocystein, which causes fatty plaque buildup in arteries.
  • Skin care: The benefits of almond for skin care are well known, and hence a massagewith almond oil is often recommended for new born babies. Almond milk is also added in some soaps as almonds help in improving the complexion of the skin.
  • Regulates blood pressure: Potassium present in almond helps to regulates blood pressure. Almonds are very low in sodiumwhich also helps in containing blood pressure.
  • Prevention of cancerAlmond improves the movement of food through the colon, thereby preventing colon cancer.
  • Protection against diabetes: Almonds also help in reducing the rise in sugar and insulin levels after meals. This offers protection from diabetes.
  • Good in pregnancy: Almond contains folic acid. Folic acid helps to reduce the incidence of birth defects in newborn babies.
  • Weight loss: Unsweetened almond milk helps one to reduce weight. The mono-saturated fat contained in almonds satisfies appetite and prevents over-eating. Studies have revealed that almond rich low calorie diet is good for obese people to assist in shedding their weight.
  • Prevention of constipation: Almonds are rich in fibre. Like most other fibre rich food, almonds also help in preventing constipation. Make sure you drink good amount of water after eating almonds.
  • Boosts energy: The presence of manganese, copper and Riboflavin helps in energy production.