Friday, April 29, 2011

Explosive taste - Mango Salsa


If you love making your own salsa, then try this recipe. Along with your red onions, ripe tomatoes, cilantro, hot jalapenos or green chilies, add mangoes. Chopped mangoes in the mix is a whole new invigorating taste. Add a dash of salt and pepper to top it off.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thrill seekers... How adventurous are you with food?

I can think of a few that might fall into the category of 'thrills'.

A plate of fetuccini Alfredo. Finishing them off completely and not checking your weight the day or even after two days.

A half cheesecake at one sitting. Can you do that? I can.

Finishing off a box of chocolates with fillings during holidays and then just blaming your friends who might have gifted them to you.

Super spicy Indian dishes that could scald your tongue but still give you the feel good sensation.

A few margaritas of course and my favorite apple maritinis. The only problem with the two is I cannot handle more than one. But if I could, I would.

What are some of the foods that give you the thrills?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A touch of ginger adds zest to anything

I posted a link to the mango lassi just a couple days ago. Now try this. Add some orange juice instead of yogurt and add fresh ginger. It's a whole new taste.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Try scrumptious carrot tomato soup


A perfect meal for a cold spring afternoon. Try this creamy carrot tomato soup. AFter a long break, I went back to having soups for dinner with just a hearty piece of bread. Nothing is more satisfying!

Monday, April 25, 2011

The ‘King of Fruits’ Commands Respect

I agree with that. Mango is the 'King of Fruits' and it is hardly considered a fruit in the mid-west and eastern part of the U.S. Availability of good mangoes is lacking although supply will be able meet demand whenever necessary. Since mangoes are a tropical fruit, Floria and the West coast probably have plenty.

I wrote about mangoes, my once favorite fruit on my 4/6/11 blog. Martha Rose Shulman in her column today has endorsed it as well. If you'd like to try a tasty, enriching drink try the mango lassi from vidyaswamyskitchen.com.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Yogurt dip - side condiment for your appetizers and pulav


Raita - is the side dish or condiment most popular in the northern part of India. Most meals that have the Indian bread roti with vegetables or dhal as a side, also have another sauce or dip called raita. This week's recipe is a simple raita recipe from vidyaswamyskitchen.com.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

If not Ham what's for Easter dinner?

I bet the most popular is chinese on Easter just as it is on Christmas. Except we don't have a decent one around where I live. 'China in Bombay' might be a good alternative. But have done it too many times already. Maybe chinese at home! Not a bad idea but I don't have several of the ingredients. Option 2- Possibly Indian. I just finished a couple Indian meals so not sure if that would fly. Will see.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pesticides affect IQ of babies in the womb

Sometimes don't you feel it's best to go back to basics? No artificial anything. Pesticides, hormones, genetically modified foods, coloring, additives ... none of these. I'm sure we'll have hardly any medical insurance problems caused unnaturally, or obesity, dyslexia, developmental and behavioral and other types of handicaps.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A taste of samosas on a bed of chana chat


Just last week we had a friend visiting. He loves food maybe a little more than I do. Jay explained to us the satisfying effect this combination of chana and samosa has. Also went on to explain how he cooked it and served it to his wife. I couldn't wait to do the same. Meaning, preparing it the same way. Nobody served it to me, but I created this fabulous appetizer and devoured it without any guilt feeling. I have another friend stopping by just for a taste of the samosa chana chat. Here's a picture.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dill in your raita

I just found out that like the Indian raita (made with a yogurt base)there is a similar dish that Russians have but instead of coriander, they add dill as garnish. A Russian co-worker brought a big bunch of dill.

I didn't know what I should be doing with them since I have never used dill. She gave me a recipe that consisted of fresh yogurt, diced green onions, diced garlic, cucumber, and red onions and carrots with some shreds of dill. It was as good as our raita. Greeks also use a lot of yogurt and have a similar creation.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

You gather secretly at night....

To do what? Hmm. I hear something! Crunching, slurping, clinking. Oh, it's the undersground restaurant where people meet at night to just eat, eat, eat. This is the underground secret eating that people across the country have gotten into. Once a month vendors,chefs and foodies 'fueled by Twitter and food blogs, gather at a market that has spawned a host of underground imitators in places like Washington and Atlanta, where about 1,000 people it seems show up for the first of a series of monthly Saturday night craves'.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wonder how Fridays contribute to human health!

Something about Fridays. I feel big burdens are off me and a sense of liberation and relief sets in. This feeling has not changed since my elementary school days. I wonder what impact this has on one's health both physical and mental. It may all be good, but not if you are treating yourself to beer and Pizza.

The next question for a Friday evening is what do you do with yourself? How do you extend this feeling of exhilaration? Cook, eat out, read, shop, go to the movies, rent a movie, meet up with friends,...or, just chill in front of a TV?

I would like to do all of the above. So, here's where I'll begin. Go home, do some light cooking since Fridays are a no-no day for eating out for me. And then, I'll move to the next and the next.

In any case, I'm ready to pack up and call it a day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It is a fair week in many ways.

Last week ended with exciting news from a friend who found a job after a spell of inactivity. I thought I should treat myself, so went out to eat at this great little non-descript place called 'China in Bombay'. I had driven by several times but happened to notice it only last Saturday. Ended up having lunch there. That celebration flowed into this week and we ordered our dinner from there last evening. Twice in four days! Yes, it was that good.

Great Tom Yum soup, gobi manchurian, ginger coriander fried rice and spicy tofu with vegetables. Each dish was better than the previous. We had a couple friends over as well. So, the word has spread to them and a few others. If you are that family member or friend who cares too much about food,then visit us for this treat!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Brussel Sprouts - the best way to eat them

It's hard to truly relish brussel sprouts without camouflaging their original taste. I use them in my Indian dish Sambhar or cook them this healthier way.

Cut off stems or the tips of both ends. Wash thoroughly, cut them in half and spread evenly in a baking dish. Coat with olive oil, sprinkle some diced garlic, salt and fresh black pepper. Bake in a 375 degreen oven for 20 minutes. Turn them over and bake again for another 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly roasted. You'll never say no to Brussel Sprouts cooked this way.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Why are chilli peppers so popular around the world but no so much in the US?

Chilli peppers originated in the Americas, but I am surprised as to why it is not a major part of the US diet. I think countries that use them most in their every day cooking are those in south America, Africa and the southeast asia.

The nutritional and health benefits are incredible. The list is quite long. One little story that Hillary Clinton often repeated in her interviews during her campaign was the fact that her regular intake of chilli peppers had helped her ward off colds and viruses.

People who are afraid of chillis should definitely give it a shot. It is not the reason for acid-reflex, they do not cause acidity as some people may have been led to believe. They are not the reason for ulcers either. What chillis do is add spice to a boring, bland diet, and enhance everything in a positive way. Try it, you'll like it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Confessions of a cook

I am a 'foodie' no doubt. I have baked, broiled, cooked over stove-top, fried....gone through several other cooking processes, except for one, i.e.using a barbecue grill. I have never seen a need to actually light one and start a smoke. Because somehow I have the preconceived notion that it is a man's job. We do have a basic grill that my husband uses once in two years or so. When he does, I bring out my well-seasoned, marinated veggie burgers and veggies on a skewer. Probably sounds boring to a meat eater.

One more thing, that I have never done is wood-fire grilling outside. I remember wood-fire being used is some religious-traditional cooking at home on certain days alone by my mother when I was growing up. But, I never had a need to do the same. I do remember though that the flavor of wood-fire cooking is exceptional.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I almost forgot about this one. Reminiscing!

A favorite fruit of mine used to be mangoes until I got married, came here and forgot about it completely. From mango trees in my backyard to nothing.

I remember that's how I learned to climb trees. I usually came home from school climbed up a tree picked a ripe mango and ate it sitting on the same branch of the same tree every day. Now, if I need a tasty mango, I'd have to take my car go in search of a market that might carry good ones and find them there.

Wish I can get back the liberation and freedom of my childhood days to enjoy some simple things that are painfully tedious now!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Obesity in Greece?

Well, contrary to what I was thinking, the mediterranean diet is more of a model in the US than in Greece where it originated. More than a little disappointing is it not? It seems Greece is also one of the countries battling obesity. Cities and small towns of Greece that once had fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, olive oil now have fast-foods, fat rich diets, pizzas and fries. It gets to be a bit scary when parents compare cholesterol readings of their children instead of grades!

One other country that shocked me was India. During my last visit there I found excessively heavy young children and teenagers. This was in the upper middle to upper class where money is also in excess. I had never seen teenagers this heavy. What I realized was the availabilty of fatty foods everywhere, especially in homes. Can't blame the children if that's all is available. I am not sure if the rich parents are equating success and wealth to weight! I had never known a need to have gyms because we did most of our commuting by walk or taking public transportation. That seems to have almost disappeared as well among the wealthy.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Swiss Chard

I am always a little wary about greens that I am not familiar with. One is Swiss Chard. I had known it only by name for a long time. Then I decided to give it a shot since some expert cooks were pushing it. I was quite disappointed. They were stringy and bitter; didn't have a flavorful taste or aroma that could have made them appetizing. So watch out folks, Swiss chard is not the same as your other varieties of greens or broccoli rabe. Once the dish is done, they are also very hard to camouflage just in case you'd like to fix them instead of just trashing. I tried to 'fix' the taste after the only time I tried them. Nothing worked so I had to dump them all.