March 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fresh Fruit Salad

Fruit Salad
Spring is in the air. The weather has never been this perfect.  It reminds me of fresh fruit salad. This recipe is quick, easy and delicious to enjoy.  Even fussy fruit eaters will also happily enjoy it. This fruit salad is refreshingly fresh and healthy, too.

All you need is fresh fruit, the milk of your choice, sugar and custard powder.


2    Bananas, cut into small cubes
1    Can Orange Segments or 1 Cup Sliced Orange
Few Fresh Strawberries washed and cut into quarters
Green & Red Grapes cut in half
Few Blueberries, washed
1    Medium Apple cut into small cubes
1    Red Pear cut into small cubes
4    Cups Milk, your choice, boiled & cool or just cold milk, your choice or 2 % milk
2    Tsp Custard Powder
4    Tsp Sugar or to your taste
Few Almonds, Raisins or dried Cranberries and Pomegranate seeds (optional)

  1. Boil 4 cups of milk and let it cool.
  2. In a  small bowl, take the custard powder and add sugar and 1/2 cup of milk. 
  3. Mix well and then add into the boiled milk while stirring continuously.
  4. Let the milk cool down.
  5. Add all of the chopped fruits. 
  6. Cut bananas into small cubes like the apple and pear. 
  7. Add all of the ingredients.
  8. Refrigerate it. 
  9. Enjoy as a dessert or as a snack any time.

Serving Size is 1/20 of Entire Recipe.

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Potential Health Benefits of Eating Fruit

  • Potential for weight control
  • More energy for exercising
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • Reduced risk of developing cancers
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Potential to lower cholesterol
  • Reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Potential to slow down age process


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Raw Mango Pickle

Raw Green Mangoes with Homemade Pickle

Mouth-watering pickles are a must all over India. Pickles are the comfort food of rich and poor alike. There are many different varieties that are readily available all over America and around the world. Sweet ones are mild in flavor with a tangy taste and have their own place within a meal.  Spicy, salty, tart and tangy are very common flavors. I just love the taste of khatta achar which means "sour pickle."

A meal is not a meal without "achar" which means "pickle."  Here is a quick recipe of Aam Ka Achar which means Mango Pickle.


1    Small Raw or Green Mango
1    Tsp Achar Masala (pickle) to taste
1    Tsp Mustard Oil or Vegetable Oil

  1. Wash the mango and dry it.
  2. Cut the mangoes into cubes.  Small cubes will work better. 
  3. In a jar place all the cut mangoes. 
  4. Add achar masala and mix together.
  5. With a spoon, squeeze all of the pieces down into the jar so there is no air.
  6. Now pour in 2 tbsp of mustard oil so it covers the pieces.
  7. Stir it twice daily, once in the morning and once at night. 
  8. Leave it outside for two days.
  9. Then refrigerate in a airtight container. 
  10. The Pickle should last at least for few weeks.

Easy to make and my favorite with khicahdi!

  • Achar masla is made of fenugreek seed powder, salt, red chili powder and oil. It should also be available at Indian grocery stores near you. 
  • Oil and masala can be added according to taste.

Raw mango pickle with crunchy mathi

Health Benefits of Mangos

Improves Digestion

Mangoes are very much beneficial for people suffering from acidity and its enzymes helps to relieve indigestion problems. The Bio-active elements such as Esters, Terpenes and Aldehydes present in mango aids to easy digestion.

Lowers Cholesterol

High level of soluble dietary fiber, Pectin and Vitamin C present in mangoes helps to lower serum cholesterol levels specifically Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol.

Improves Concentration and Memory Power

Mangoes are useful to children who lack concentration in studies as it contains Glutamine acid which is good to boost memory and keep cells active.

For Treating Acne

Mango helps in clearing clogged pores that causes acne. Just slice the mango into very thin pieces and keep it on your face for 10 to 15 min and then take bath or wash your face. Use warm water for washing your face.

High Iron for Women

It’s a known fact that Mango is rich in Iron. People who suffer from anemia can regularly take mango along with their dinner. Generally women after menopause become weak and they should take mangoes and other fruits rich in iron. Pregnant ladies can also take mangoes occasionally as their body needs iron and calcium during that time. Too much consumption of mangoes should be avoided during pregnancy. If you have generally taken lots of mangoes right from your childhood then you can consume mangoes when you are pregnant as it wont affect your body.

For Diabetes

Mango is slowly gaining new acclaim as diabetes fighter. Earlier there was a myth that people with diabetes should not eat mangoes but that’s not true. Not only the fruit the leaves also fight against diabetes. Before going to bed put some 10 or 15 mango leaves in warm water and close it with lid. Next day morning filter the water and drink it in empty stomach. Do this regularly.

Prevents Cancer and Heart diseases

High amount of antioxidants are present in mangoes. So mango when consumed regularly fights against cancer and other heart diseases. As mentioned earlier it also lowers cholesterol.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Menu of The Week: Typical Indian Gujarati Meal

A Typical Indian Gujarati Meal  

People eat this meal on Sunday mornings at feast time in the state of Gujarat in India.
Click on the images or links for each individual recipe.

Plain White Basmati Rice or Jeera Rice

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Yellow Thai Curry

Recently, I've been visiting more Thai restaurants than any other. I love Thai Basil Fried Rice with Yellow Tofu Curry. Yellow Curry is so full of color and aroma with lemon grass and lemon leaves. So my culinary curiosity led me to try it myself. Even though I live in a small town, we have a very nice Asian store. I decided to visit and bought many fresh groceries. Here is the recipe and List of Ingredients which are easy to find. To go with my Yellow Curry, I made brown rice and MMMMMM did it turn out delicious!

Yellow Thai curry

Serves: 4-6
Difficulty Level: Medium, Easy to follow
Recipe Type: Vegan, Gluten Free

Brown Rice


Baby Bok Choy, washed & chopped
4    TBsp Yellow Thai Curry Paste (available in Asian stores) 
Fresh Ginger
1-2 Jalapeño Peppers (according to taste)
3    TBsp Soy Sauce
1    Cup Bamboo Shoots (can)
Lemon Leaves
Lemon Grass
1    Cup Yellow Squash, diced
1    Cup Colorful Bell Peppers
Fresh Basil
1    Cup Bean Sprouts
1    Cup Pea Pods
1/2 Cup Firm Tofu, cut into pieces
4-5 Shallot
Pineapple Chunks
Few Broccoli Florets
1    Can Coconut Milk
2    TBsp Vegetable Oil

  1. In a wok on medium heat, add 2 Tbsp of oil and shallots, ginger, garlic.  Fry them.
  2. Add curry paste and fry for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients one by one. Stir occasionally. Let it boil for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Serve with brown rice. 
  5. Enjoy!

  • Save extra curry paste in the refrigerator for the next time.

Nutrition Facts for Entire Recipe.
Divide by 4-6 for Single Serving.

Health Benefits of Curry

1. Eases Swelling in Joints

Turmeric, the primary ingredient in curry, is responsible for many of the dish’s health benefits. The most prolific may be its effect on those who suffer from arthritis or otherwise sore and inflamed joints. Turmeric may reduce swelling and ease the pain associated with inflammation of the joints. This claim has been tested conclusively on rats.

2. May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Another benefit of the turmeric in curry is a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. This is because of curcumin within the turmeric; curcumin can identify plaques in the brain called amyloid plaques. In excess, amyloid plaques can interfere with the brain’s wiring and cause memory to degrade over time. If you ingest enough curcumin on a regular basis, the curcumin will bind to the plaque and keep it from reproducing.

3. May Reduce Risk of Cancer

Turmeric has been found to reduce the risk of developing prostate, breast, skin and colorectal cancer, possibly because of its antioxidant properties. It may also at least reduce the speed at which these cancers progress. However, ingesting curry alone will not erase your risk for cancer.

4. Boosts Immunity

Other ingredients in curry, such as chili pepper and even curcumin, are beneficial in boosting your body’s immunity and healing properties. This is because they’re rich in vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin B6, and they boost the infection-fighting cells.

5. Eases Digestion

Ingredients in curry such as asafoetida, allspice, anise, cardamom and black pepper may be helpful in easing digestion problems. Indigestion, constipation, loss of appetite, stomachaches and even hemorrhoids may improve after ingesting the dish on a regular basis.

6. Helps Burn Fat

While a diet of only curry won’t keep the pounds off on its own, it’s actually a well-balanced way to get a variety of vegetables and proteins that may help you burn fat cells. Black pepper is the dish’s ingredient that’s best able to break down fat cells.

7. May Help Manage Asthma

A number of ingredients in this dish are purported to help ease the frequency of an asthma sufferer’s symptoms. Asafoetida and curcumin alike can help regulate symptoms of mild asthma.

8. Improves Appearance

Many ingredients in the dish, such as turmeric and cinnamon, are rich in antioxidants, which can help improve the appearance of your skin and help prevent the negative cosmetic effects of long-term exposure to pollutants or smoke. The curcumin can also improve the appearance of your hair and nails by providing necessary proteins.

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