After a long shift of making pasta and pizzas at the University of Illinois dining hall, I was exhausted — and deserved a treat.
It was the 1990s, I was an international graduate student, and as I made my way back to my apartment in Champaign, I saw a small new Indian restaurant at the edge of campus and skeptically stepped inside. Familiar aromas greeted me. My latent homesickness from several months away from family in Mumbai finally registered, because it seemed to lift.
I felt like I was ...
Rajma, or red bean based dishes, are a staple in many Indian homes. Of the many Indian preparations that use red kidney beans, makhani rajma is a classic. It uses spice layering techniques to build flavor, with onions, tomatoes and a spot of cream added just when each will shine best. The recipe can be adapted to meet dietary needs. If you like chili, you will like makhani rajma.
Rajma poriyal is a popular variation of a classic regional Indian dish made with beans, curry leaves and grated coconut. It is important to follow the recipe instructions as written, because layering the spices and ingredients enhances the flavor. This flavor-packed, protein-rich side dish is typically served as a complement to an array of other dishes.
Lemon Rice is a staple afternoon preparation across Southern India. Busy cooks love this dish, as it can be made with both freshly-cooked rice as well as leftover rice, and uses classic South Indian kitchen staples such as lemons and curry leaves.
To prepare, cook nuts, fresh ginger, spices, and lemon juice and then toss into cooked basmati rice. Alternatively, if you use a rice cooker you can add the prepared spice mixture into the pot of rice while it cooks. Start the rice cooker with the r...
Southern India is a large peninsular extension of India. Its eastern coast lines the Bay of Bengal, the extreme southern tip lines the Laccadive Sea, and the western coast lines the Arabian Sea. All are part of the larger Indian Ocean that touches Africa, Australia, and the Far East. The coastline is frequently called the Malabar Coast.
This piece explores how to build a well-stocked South Indian pantry.
With 3 billion people, and a food culture that is as diverse as it is old, India is a gastronomic giant with many sub-regional cuisines.
This is the first of a two-part section of pantry staples for India; this list encompasses the cuisines from North, West, and Central India. This includes the snow-capped Himalayas in the north, across the desert state of Rajasthan to the west, and further southwards to the shores of the Arabian Sea with a subtropical climate.
The overlap of religion, region...
Samosas are a great addition to snack platters or festive spreads. The perfect samosa is crunchy on the outside and flavorfully spiced on the inside. They are prepared a myriad of different ways throughout India, and filled with different vegetables, meat, and even seafood. This recipe is for what is perhaps the best-known kind of samosa, aloo mutter. It includes a spicy traditional filling with peas and potatoes and leaves room for variations.
Using store-bought wonton wrappers guarantees a ...
India is the second most populous country and the 7th largest country in the world, with a population of over 1.3 billion people. It shares land borders with Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar, and is home to a wealth of cultures, cuisines, and traditions that one can spend an entire lifetime getting to know.
But here in LA County, we don’t have to book an international flight to taste the wide-ranging cuisines of India. We can just head southeast on the 91 or 605 freeway...
Every Fall, Hindus all over the world celebrate one of the most important holidays of the year: Diwali. The holiday celebrates the return of King Rama from a long exile as narrated in an epic poem called the Ramayana. Spread over five holy days, each day marks important events from the Ramayana. The devout engage in prayer rituals and decorate their doorways and driveways with flower garlands and colorful rangoli designs. At dusk, the faithful light clay lamps that have become iconic symbols ...
Aruna Bhargava first learned of the Ayurvedic tradition of her ancestors from her grandmother.
Like many Indian elders, Bhargava’s grandmother kept the tradition alive by sharing its many practical day-to-day uses with her grandchildren.
“Even as children, we were told which foods were ‘cooling’ and which ones were ‘warming’; who among my brothers or sisters had a vata constitution and who had a pitta or kapha constitution,” says Bhargava.
The fuzziness of photographs on messaging apps can be a mixed blessing. We become Alice, choosing an unsolicited rabbit hole of news, spirituality, advice, guilt, nostalgia, or something else. I almost scrolled through one such set that came without warning. They were from my mom. In her classic style, they were an uncaptioned set of eight images and three videos. I wasn’t going to click on them, open them, let them take over.
But the distinct arch of a chubby thumb came through the otherwise...
Traditional recipes for henna dye involve making henna powder by drying the leaves, then mixing it in with or coffee, to enhance its staining potential.
Henna contains lawsone, a molecule that bonds to proteins to dye hair, skin, and fabrics. It’s also an antibacterial and antimicrobial agent.
So why does this seemingly inoffensive plant cause such a stir when it comes to dyeing hair? Let’s take a look at some disadvantages of henna.
"Georgia resident Nandita Godbole has tried to find a job in California for 11 years and worries about whether her small business would survive a cross-country move."
Includes an interview script and podcast piece.
INTERVIEW: Women In Wellness: Nandita Godbole Of Curry Cravings On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing
Interview with Authority Magazine:
"Whether it is making a cup of tea (or interacting with someone), we must start by “seeing” what we are interacting with. Appreciating the moment for all its beauty, or even finding small and noteworthy things to admire at that time goes a long way in being present."
INTERVIEW: Cookbook author Nandita Godbole says that Indian food is more than naan and butter chicken
Nandita Godbole was raised in Mumbai in the west of India, and grew up watching Indian cooking shows, along with American stars such as Julia Child, Martin Yan, and Graham Kerr. When she came to the United States in 1995 to get a master’s in landscape architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Indian ingredients were hard to come by. But she figured out how to create Indo-American dishes and find substitutes for what she needed, using her cooking show knowledge and a st...