May 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mango Pulp

Mangoes and summer go great together.  Here is a quick recipe for Mango Pulp! Mangoes are needed to ripe at room temperature. It should be soft to touch. That means it is ready for pulp and juice. Juice can be thick little ice or milk can be added to desired thickness.

Preparation time: 25 Minutes
Serves: 2-4


6 Ripe Mangoes (soft to the touch so that when you press them it will leave a dent)

  1. Soak mangoes in cold water for half an hour.
  2. Squeeze a few times to soften.
  3. Squeeze into a bowl and blend with hand blender.
  4. Drain with a sieve.
  5. Refrigerate immediately.
  • I like to leave one mango seed in the pulp so it does not tarnish.  
  • Ready mango pulp is easily available in cans.
  • This is popularly called Ras all over state of Gujarat.
  • It goes very well with puffed puri.
  • Pulp is used to make Mango Lassi, Kulfi and Ice Cream.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Menu of the Week: Mexican

Seven Layer Mexican Dip

Fresh & Mild Tomato Salsa

Quesadillas with Homemade Salsa & Guacamole

Spanish Rice

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I am very proud of the Kiva Organization.  I have been a member now for 4 years.  Kiva helps by providing loans for those in need who repay the money over a period of time. When you become a member, you fund a loan for someone who uses it to improve their situation and you are given progress updates over the life of the loan. As the famous expression says: If you give a man a fish he can eat for only one day, but if you teach him how to fish, he will eat for his whole life.  I strongly believe in giving a hand or helping people to be self-sufficient rather than just giving to charity.  Self respect and pride for one to be able to provide for themselves is far more important than giving a handout.
This recipe will be something new to my readers in learning how the other side of the world eats and how we take food for granted in this country. I wish that one day everyone in this world will be as lucky as we are today with our abundance of food and that no one will go hungry.


Through the Kiva Organization, I help the woman in the photo at the top, Esi Ekumanba, who lives in Ghana.  She lives in the village of Krofofordo with her five children.  She sells "Kenkey."  Kenkey is make from ground corn (maize).  This is how she makes it:
  1. Let the maize ferment before cooking.
  2. Partially cook the maize in a large pot.
  3. During the process of cooking, stir continuously with a large wooden ladle to achieve a solid paste and smooth consistency. The half-cooked dough is then left to cool for some time. 
  4. It is then wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed. 
  5. Fante kenkey can be eaten with fried fish and hot pepper sauce.

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Health Benefits of Maize/Corn

Health benefits of corn include controlling diabetes, prevention of heart ailments, lowering hypertension and prevention of neural-tube defects at birth. Corn or maize is one of the most popular cereals in the world and forms the staple food in many countries including USA, Africa etc. It not only provides the necessary calories for daily metabolism, but is a rich source of vitamins A, B, E and many minerals. Its high fibre content ensures that it plays a role in prevention of digestive ailments like constipation and haemorrhoids as well as colorectal cancer. The antioxidants present in corn also act as anti-cancer agents and prevent Alzheimer’s.

  • Rich Source of Calories: Corn is a rich source of calories and forms a part of the staple diet among many populations. The calorific content of corn is 342 calories per 100grams, among the highest in cereals.
  • Prevention of Haemorrhoids and Colorectal Cancer: The fibre content of one cup of corn amounts 18.4% of the daily recommended amount. This aids in alleviating digestive problems such as constipation and haemorrhoids, as well as lowering the risk of colon cancer.
  • Rich Source of Vitamins: Corn is rich in vitamin B constituents, especially Thiamin and Niacin.Thiamin is essential for maintaining nerve health and cognitive function. Niacin deficiency leads to Pellagra; a disease characterised by diarrhoea, dementia and dermatitis and is commonly observed in malnourished individuals. Corn is also a good source of Pantothenic acid which is a vitamin necessary for carbohydrate as well as protein and lipid metabolism in the body. Deficiency of folic acid in pregnant women leads to birth of underweight infants and may also result in neural tube defects at birth. Corn provides a large chunk of the daily folate requirement. Yellow corn is a rich source of beta-carotene which forms vitamin A in the body, essential for maintenance of good vision and skin. The kernels of corn are rich in vitamin E, a natural antioxidant essential for growth.
  • Provides Necessary Minerals: Corn contains abundant phosphorus apart from magnesium,manganesezinciron and copper. It also contains trace minerals like selenium. Phosphorus is essential for maintenance of normal growth, bone health and normal kidney functioning. Magnesium is necessary for maintaining normal heart rate and for bone strength.
  • Antioxidant Properties of Corn: According to studies carried out at Cornell University, corn is a rich source of antioxidants which fight the cancer causing free radicals. In fact, cooking increases the antioxidants in sweet corn. Corn is a rich source of a phenolic compound ferulic acid, an anti-cancer agent which has been shown to be effective in fighting tumours in breast cancer and liver cancer. Anthocyanins, found in purple corn also act as scavengers of cancer-causing free radicals.
  • Cardio-Protective Attributes: According to researchers, corn oil has been shown to anti-atherogenic effect on the cholesterol levels, thus preventing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Prevents Anaemia: The vitamin B12 and folic acid present in corn prevent anaemia caused by the deficiency of these vitamins.
  • Lowering LDL Cholesterol: According to Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, consumption of corn husk oil lowers plasma LDL cholesterol by reducing cholesterol absorption by the body.
  • Protection against Diabetes and Hypertension: Consumption of corn kernels assists the management of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and is effective against hypertension due to the presence of phenolic phytochemicals in whole corn.
  • Cosmetic Benefits: Corn starch is used in the manufacture of many cosmetics and may also be applied topically to soothe skin rashes and irritations. Corn products can be used to replace carcinogenic petroleum products which form major components of cosmetic preparations.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Five Lentil Mix - Panch Dal

Five Lentil Dal
This is a mixture of all dals/lentils.  You may use any five you like.

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Serves: 4-6
Recipe Type: Jain, Vegan, High Protein. Gluten Free


1/4 Cup Chana Dal
1/4 Cup Split Green Mung Dal
1/4 Cup Tuvar Dal or Split Pigeon Peas
1/4 Cup Urad Dal or Split Matepa Beans
1/4 Cup Split Masur Dal, red in color
2    TBsp Clear Butter or Oil (for Vegan)
2    Medium Tomatoes, cut
4-6 Cups Water or as needed
Salt to taste
1    Tsp Turmeric
2    TBsp Coriander & Cumin Powder
2-3 Cloves
2-3 Sticks Cinnamon Sticks
1    Small Ginger, shredded or Paste
1    Small Green Chili, chopped
Few Leaves Curry (optional)
1    TBsp Lemon Juice
1/4 Tsp Chili Powder
1/4 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 Cup Onion
2    Cloves Garlic

  1. Mix all of the Dals.
  2. Rinse all of the dals thoroughly 3-4 times. 
  3. Soak for at least one hour.
  4. If you cook with a pressure cooker, time it for two whistles otherwise bring to a boil and let it cook for ten minutes until dals are tender and cooked.
  5. Heat the oil or ghee in a separate pan. Add Cinnamon stick, cloves and cumin seeds.
  6. Let it sizzle it for few seconds. Add onion, garlic, spices and then tomatoes.
  7. Add all of the spices, add boiled dal.
  8. Add lemon juice and let it simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently so it does not stick to the bottom on very low heat.  (This dal has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan)
  9. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
  10. Enjoy!
  • Less water is needed if a pressure cooker is used. 
  • Use 1 cup of lentils for every 2 cups of water. 
  • If you add water, make sure it is hot water.
  • This dal is very famous in state of Gujarat, India.
  • Easy and tasty preparation for wholesome Protein.

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

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spice of the Week: Fenugreek Seeds

Methi Leaves

In India, we use fenugreek seeds all of the time in many different ways.  It comes in the form of fresh leaves in winter and in the form of seeds which can be used all year round. With the seeds, we grind them into a cracked powder and use them in pickles. They are available in most grocery stores in the vitamin section.  They have a slightly bitter taste.  The seeds can be boiled and their liquid can be drinkable which is also bitter in taste. 

Methi Seeds

Since it is bitter in taste, it is incorporated into various dishes and recipes. Some are made with Jagri  also called molasses and flour and some more herbs and is eaten in the winter months. The fresh variety can be mixed with potatoes which is the best way for it to be consumed. recipe aloo methi means potatoes with Methi leaves. You will find some recipes like Methi & Aloo Subji, Methi Thepla and Mutter Methi Malai - Peas with Fenugreek Leaves, using fenugreek on this blog.  The recipe for Pickle Masala also uses cracked Methi (raw fenugreek) seeds.  Watch our Methi Thepla Video on YouTube.

Recently I was watching The Dr. Oz show and he was recommending to drink Fenugreek tea. However, in India, we have never used it as tea.  For the most part, this is an herb used for the stomach.  It is also a sugar stabilizer and has many more benefits to it.  For an upset stomach, it is recommended that in the morning you swallow one teaspoon of seeds that have been soaked overnight.

Methi & Aloo Subji

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