A Gift for All Seasons.

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Let’s Curry!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

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Carrots and Squash Sautéed in Garlic, Ginger and Turmeric

There are more than five hundred million vegetarians in India, where cooks reflect regional standards and tradition to create harmony and balance in making body, mind, and spirit happy.  In the villages many still embrace a diet similar to their ancient ancestors, where small, tender seasonal vegetables are preferred to larger ones because they are easy-to-digest and considered nutritious.

Healing with food, herbs, and spices is Nature’s gift to us.  For example, garlic aids digestion and is considered a mild and gentle laxative for congested bowels, destroys and inhibits the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms, heals wounds and protects against infection, helps to cleanse and purify blood, increases internal heat, reduces cholesterol and high blood pressure.  Ginger tea with honey and fresh lemon juice helps to relieve colds, cough, sore throat and chest congestion.  Turmeric is considered a digestive stimulant, helps to prevent disease, slows the oxidation of oils and fats, etc. and helps to check the deterioration of cells and tissues in the body.  As a natural antibiotic, turmeric has few equals in destroying and inhibiting the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms, while helping to heal wounds and protecting against infection.

Squash and Carrots

Carrots and Squash Sautéed in Garlic, Ginger, and Turmeric (Sabzi)

Serves 6

4 medium carrots
2 medium yellow squash
2 medium zucchini
¼ cup corn oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
½-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped fine
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
Salt to taste

Wash and cut the carrots, squash, and zucchini lengthwise into thin 2-inch pieces.

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, until golden brown.

Add the turmeric, coriander, and cumin powder and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Add the carrots, squash, zucchini, and salt, and stir.  Cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are almost tender.

Serve hot with basmati rice, legumes, and salad.

 

Let’s curry!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

Spicy Lentils

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In India, the generic name for all members of the dried pea and bean family is dal. Legumes or dried beans and peas have been a part of the ancient Indian culinary tradition.  Dals contain enzymes, fiber, minerals, and vitamins.  Easily digested and highly nutritious, dal is an accompaniment of almost every Indian lunch.  The repertoire of dal dishes is indeed extensive, from liquid soups and thick purees, stews, fried appetizers, crispy pancakes and crepes, sauces, and chutneys to sprouted salads and delicious sweetmeats.  Dal is always prepared in combination with pungent herbs and spices, such as garlic, ginger, onion, black pepper, chilies, mustard seeds, asafoetida, cumin, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek seeds, onion seeds, salt, and oil or clarified butter.

Spicy Lentils (Dal)

Serves 6

Coriander Flavored Lentils

1 pound pink lentils, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
2 quarts water
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
Salt to taste
¼ cup corn oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 red dried chili
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced fine
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
½ -inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
¼ teaspoon asafoetida
1 large tomato, chopped
2 pounds zucchini, sliced into ¼-inch pieces (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine

Wash the lentils.  In a large pot, add water, lentils, turmeric, and salt.  Cover and boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes until lentils are tender.  Heat the oil in a wok over high heat.  Add cumin, mustard seeds and red chili, stirring over medium heat until seeds start popping and chili turns a shade darker.  Add onions, garlic, and ginger, stirring occasionally until golden brown.  Add asafoetida and mix thoroughly for a few seconds.  Add lentils, tomato, and eggplant and mix thoroughly.  Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes.  Add cilantro and serve hot with plain Basmati rice, roti or crackers.

 

Let’s curry!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

What is a Curry?

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There is more to curry than meets the eye in creating harmony and balance to make body, mind, and spirit happy.  Mother Nature has provided us with a treasure trove of spices, herbs, and foods that contribute to our well-being, enable us to handle stress better, and attain a balanced and positive outlook on life.  Healing with food, herbs, and spices is nature’s gift to us.

For centuries in India, anise, bay leaf, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, clove and other spices have not only been prescribed to treat respiratory and digestive disorders, but to prepare delicious foods.  A curry is basically a casserole of vegetables, chicken, fish, lamb, or ground meat cooked in a masala (a combination of several spices in a paste).

Chili Flavored Grated carrots

Grated Carrots Sautéed with Flavor-enhancing Spices (Gajar ka Sabzi)

Serves 6

2 pounds fresh carrots, grated
¼  cup corn oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon split black beans (urid dal)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped fine
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
½-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
1 green chili, chopped fine
2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
¼ teaspoon asafoetida
¾ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and split black beans and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until they change color and the mustard seeds start popping.

Add the onions, garlic, ginger, chili, and curry leaves and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions turn soft and golden brown.

Add the asafoetida, turmeric, coriander, cumin, and garam masala and mix thoroughly for 3-4 minutes.

Add the grated carrots and salt and mix thoroughly. Cover and simmer for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the wok.

Serve hot with basmati rice, roti, legumes, raita and cilantro chutney.

 

Try being on friendlier terms with your stomach.  Discover and share my delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

 

 

 

Let’s Cook.

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Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your family and friends from Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

 

One Delicious Indian Hamburger!

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You and your family will love this marvelous, super-fast grilled “hamburger” prepared with a blend of ground meat, onion, garlic, ginger, fresh cilantro leaves and other tingly spices and served on a bed of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and topped with Sweet Mint Chutney.

Indian Hamburger (Kheema Tikka)

Serves 6

 2 pounds lean ground meat of your choice
1 egg
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 medium onion,  peeled and chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
½-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
1 small green chili, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
¼ teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large tomato, sliced thin
1 red onion, peeled and sliced thin
Fresh lettuce leaves

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the ground meat, egg, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, ginger, green chili, peppercorns, and salt.  Divide the mixture into six equal hamburger patties.  Prepare the barbecue charcoal grill or heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the hamburgers and cook over medium heat until browned.  Turn the patties over and cook until browned on the other side and done to your taste.  Serve on warm wheat buns or pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and topped sweet mint chutney.

Sweet Mint Chutney (Meethi Pudina ki Chutney)

1 cup fresh  mint leaves
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
¼-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 fresh green chili
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt to taste

Remove and discard the stems from the mint leaves.  In a blender, combine mint leaves and all other ingredients.  Blend to a fine paste.  Serve in a small bowl as an accompaniment to Indian Hamburger, hors d’oeuvres, or any meal.

 

Be on friendlier terms with your stomach!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

Curry Spices are Nature’s Gift to Us

We are what we eat!

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The fame of Indian spices is older than recorded history.  Centuries before Greece and Rome had their birth; sailing ships carried Indian spices, perfumes, and silks to Mesopotamia, Arabia, and Egypt.  It was the lure of these exotic products that brought many seafarers to the shores of India.

These spices were also used for centuries in India’s ancient medical system Ayurveda (science of life – body, mind, and spirit) to stimulate the taste buds and increase the flow of saliva, relieve gas, and reduce nausea, soothe the nervous system, increase internal body heat to relieve chills, and strengthen and promote digestion, absorption, metabolism, and circulation.  For example India’s ancient yellow colored curcumin or turmeric (haldi) powder, used in many of our curry recipes ‘is arguably the most potent anti-cancer nutrient in existence.’  Today western research suggests that curcumin regulates inflammation that “plays a major role in most chronic illnesses, including neuro-degenerative, cardiovascular, pulmonary, metabolic, autoimmune and neoplastic diseases and aids in healing by ameliorating the chronic inflammation associated with a multitude of ailments and illnesses, from toothaches to cardiovascular disease.”

The word curry comes from the South Indian Tamil word kari, meaning a richly spiced sauce with kari podi or curry powder.  Tasty and tantalizing to the palate and the senses, curry is essentially a stew or a casserole of meat, fish, or vegetables sautéed and cooked in a mixture (masala) of several pungent spices.  Chili peppers, turmeric, ginger, garlic, onions, coriander, cumin, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, bay leaf, black pepper, clove, nutmeg, mace, saffron, and other healing spices form a part of many mouth-watering curry dishes.

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There is more to curry than meets the eye in creating harmony and balance to make body, mind, and spirit happy.  The magic of curry is in the blending and sautéing of spices (masala) in hot oil as in this delicious chicken curry!

Hyderabad-Style Chicken Curry (Hyderabadi Murgh Korma)

Serves 6

2½ pounds chicken pieces
1 cup plain yogurt
1-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped
10 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ cup fresh coconut
½ cup unsalted cashew nuts
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Salt to taste
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
¾ cup corn oil
7 green cardamom pods
2 black cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
7 whole cloves
¼ teaspoon ground mace
3 cups water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine

Remove the skin and fat from the chicken, wash and drain the chicken, and set aside in a large bowl.

In a food processor, puree the yogurt, ginger, garlic, onion, chili powder, turmeric, coconut, cashew nuts, nutmeg, and salt.

Combine the yogurt mixture and sesame seeds with the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Wash the potatoes and drain.

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat and sauté the cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves and mace for 1–2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the spices change color to a darker shade.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the chicken and marinade, and stir for 5 minutes until boiling.

Add 3 cups water and mix. Cover and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent ingredients from sticking, until chicken is tender.

Add the potatoes and lemon juice, and mix. Cover and simmer for 7–8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked.

Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve hot with plain Basmati rice, roti, vegetables, legumes, and fresh tossed salad.

 

 

 

 

Be on friendlier terms with your stomach!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your family and friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

A Feel-good Spicy Tomato-Lentil Recipe

Legumes or dals are highly nutritious and extremely rich in protein and potassium.

Always wash legumes four or five times under cold running water prior to cooking.  Some varieties of legumes should be soaked overnight to tenderize and save cooking time. Dal is always prepared in combination with pungent herbs and spices, such as garlic, ginger, onion, black pepper, chilies, mustard seeds, asafoetida, cumin, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek seeds, onion seeds, salt, and oil or clarified butter. The seasoning technique (baghar or tarka) is always the same.

Here’s one feel-good spicy tomato-lentil dish you, your family and friends will enjoy!

Coriander Flavored Lentils

Spicy Tomato Lentils Sautéed in Turmeric (Dal)

Serves 6

1 pound pink lentils, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes
2 quarts water
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
¼ cup corn oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 red dried chili
2 medium chopped onions, peeled and chopped fine
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
½ -inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
¼ teaspoon asafoetida
1 large tomato, chopped fine
2 pounds yellow squash, sliced into ¼-inch pieces (optional)
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine

Wash the lentils.  In a large pot, add water, lentils, turmeric, and salt.  Cover and boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes until lentils are tender.  Heat the oil in a wok over high heat.  Add cumin, mustard seeds and red chili, stirring over medium heat until seeds start popping and chili turns a shade darker.  Add onions, garlic, and ginger, stirring occasionally until golden brown.  Add asafoetida and mix thoroughly for a few seconds.  Add lentils, tomato, and yellow squash and mix thoroughly.  Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes.  Add cilantro and serve hot with plain Basmati rice, roti or crackers.

 

Let’s Curry and be on friendlier terms with your stomach!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

Curried Lamb Pasta with Fresh Mint

Here is one sumptuous curried pasta dish you will want to prepare over and over again for family and guests!

Spicy Ground Lamb on Noodles

Curried Lamb with Green Peas, Fresh Mint and Pasta

(Keema-Mutter-Pudina Do-Piazza Seviayan)

Serves 6

2 pounds lean ground lamb or meat of your choice
½ cup plain yogurt
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ cup corn oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced fine
1 bay leaf
2 fresh green chilies, chopped fine
¾-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
1 large onion, peeled and chopped fine
8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
2 cups water
½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
1 pound packaged frozen baby green peas
1 pound packaged thin spaghetti
16 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a large bowl, combine the ground lamb, yogurt, salt, turmeric, and cumin seeds. Marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and bay leaf and sauté for 5–6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown.

Add the ground lamb and mix thoroughly. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lamb is half-cooked.

Add green chilies, chopped ginger, chopped onion, and garlic, and stir thoroughly for 2–3 minutes.

Add 2 cups water and stir. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lamb is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add green peas and mix thoroughly.  Cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Remove and set aside.

Garnish with fresh mint leaves and cover.

In a large pot, add 16 cups water and 1 tablespoon oil. Boil over medium heat. Add spaghetti and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 8–10 minutes until done. Drain immediately in a colander.

On a platter, transfer the spaghetti and top it with the cooked ground lamb. Serve hot with fresh tossed salad and sweet mint chutney.

 

Being on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.

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Vegetables Sautéed in Coriander and Turmeric

This is one vegetable dish your family will always enjoy!

Potato Mushroom Curry

Vegetables Sautéed in Coriander and Turmeric (Sabzi)

Serves 6

5 medium Idaho potatoes, boiled, peeled, and quartered
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced fine
1 medium green bell pepper, quartered and sliced fine
1 medium tomato, chopped fine
¼ cup corn oil
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped fine
½-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
1 small green chili, chopped fine
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ tablespoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
Salt to taste
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine

 

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat.  Add the mustard and cumin seeds and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes until mustard seeds start popping and cumin seeds turn a shade darker.

Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and green chili and mix thoroughly over medium heat until golden brown.  Add turmeric, coriander, cumin, and salt and stir for 1-2 minutes.  Add potatoes, mushrooms, bell pepper, and tomato.  Mix thoroughly and sauté for 3-4 minutes.

Add fresh cilantro leaves and mix thoroughly.

Serve hot with plain rice or roti, lentils, yogurt and spinach, and sweet mint chutney.

 

Staying on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well!  Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.