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Blog: Cooking with Madhu

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September 2009 eRecipes

Posted on 06/11/2010 at 3:42 PM

September 2009


Time Flies


I’m giddy with anticipation of my new book, The Indian Vegan Kitchen: More than 150 Quick and Healthy Homestyle Recipes. It will be released on October 6, 2009. On and, you can pre-order now and get a discount of up to 32% off the $18.95 list price (that’s just $12.89!). I finished writing this book last December. And when my editor told me that the book will be out in October, it seemed ridiculously far, but time flew and it will soon be in my hands and hopefully yours too!

This Book is for Everyone! Wait, before you say, I’m not vegan and pass on this book, I want to assure you that this book is for anyone, vegan or not, looking for great tasting, authentic, and easy-to-follow Indian recipes. As with my previous book New Indian Home Cooking, the book will provide quick and healthy recipes that anyone, from novice to seasoned cooks, can prepare effortlessly.

The Indian vegetarian diet is clearly defined as a plant-based diet that includes milk and milk products—thus, a lacto-vegetarian way of eating. The only difference between a vegan and Indian vegetarian diet is the exclusion of dairy products. Legumes (dal) and whole grains (roti), and vegetables take center stage in Indian vegetarian meals, making them naturally vegan.

Nevertheless, while developing recipes for this book, I gained a whole new appreciation for non-vegetarians who choose to become vegetarians or vegans. I soon realized how difficult it is to think—and cook—outside the box. Initially, when I started writing this cookbook I thought it would be a breeze, expecting that I would only have to eliminate milk. I did not realize how extensively and automatically I add milk products in dishes. Once I got over that hurdle, it was a rich experience with amazing results. All of the recipes in this book are gloriously, triumphantly vegan. Enjoy the sample recipes below and decide for yourself.

Healthy Bytes: Several health organizations, such as the American Heart Association and American Institute of Cancer Research have focused on encouraging people to eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans.


To help Americans reduce consumption of saturated fat and to help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer, many health professionals are recommending people eat vegetarian meals at least once a week. To learn more about the program Meatless Mondays, go to


You don’t need to be a vegetarian to eat healthy! Just make sure you eat 5 to 9 serving of vegetables and fruits per day—recommended by USDA Food Guide Pyramid.


September Recipes: This month I’m sharing recipes from The Indian Vegan Kitchen. Share a bowl of Black Eyed Peas Dip with pita or corn chips with your friends and enjoy an amazingly simple and delicious meal of Tomato Rice made with cherry tomatoes and Creamy Mushroom Curry (made without cream). My daughter told me that the Black Eyed Peas Dip is one of her favorite cocktail party go-to items – her carnivorous friends who can never imagine eliminating meat from their diet love it, and her vegetarian and vegan friends always ask if they can take home the leftovers, if there are any!

Black Eyed Peas Dip (Sukha Lobhia)

Creamy Mushroom Curry (Khumb Ki Subji)

Tomato Rice (Tamatari Chawal)

I look forward to your comments about these or other recipes. With your permission, I would love to publish your comments on my website.

Happy and Healthy Cooking!

Madhu Gadia



Copyright © 2009 Madhu Gadia. All Rights Reserved


August 2009 eRecipes

Posted on 06/11/2010 at 3:42 PM


August 2009 


I’m officially in business as a nutrition consultant, speaker, freelance writer, and an Indian cuisine expert. With 25 years of experience under my belt, I finally decided to take a leap of faith and venture out on my own. I know it’s the right decision, but of course as with any thing new I’m concerned (putting it mildly) but very hopeful. Everyday I tell myself, just plug along and everything will work out; right!


Maybe I’m naïve, but I’m equating my business journey to playing badminton. The hardest part was getting started. I started playing badminton one year ago at the Ames city hall (before that I played for fun when I was a teenager). It’s a group of older men and women, mostly 45-80 year olds. I was not very good at it, but I had so much fun playing that I stuck with it and today I feel pretty good about my game. I’m hoping that after get over the initial aches and pains, my consulting venture too will be fun and exciting.


I’m pleased to announce that my first TV appearance on Live Well HD Network went well. Although I was not able to see it on TV, since Iowa does not subscribe to this cable show, but I was able to see it on the website. You can watch the full episode on or go to sample recipes on for just my section. This was an amazing experiences and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for future such opportunities.


After all that shop talk, what’s for dinner? The taste of fresh vegetables in season is unbeatable. In summer, I try to buy majority of the vegetables from the farmers market. Right now, my kitchen garden is producing cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes. You should see me smile victoriously when I pluck the fruits of my labor. I’m convinced that the vegetables from my garden taste better than even the farmers market (although I know that’s not true). My favorite stops at the farmers market are the ones that carry hard to find, so called ethnic vegetables, such as okra, eggplants, and bottle gourds. The recipes I picked this month feature these exceptional delicious finds.


This eletter is my way of connecting with you, the cooks and Indian food lovers. Drop me a line or two if you have any suggestions or ideas for future newsletters.


Happy and Healthy Cooking!


Madhu Gadia


August Recipes:

Fish with Zucchini (Machhi aur Lauki)

Okra With Tomatoes (Bhindi-Tamatar ki Subji)

Chana Dal With Bottle Gourd (Chana Dal aur Lauki)


July 2009 eRecipes

Posted on 06/11/2010 at 3:42 PM

JULY 2009

Summer is officially here and all I can think of is vacation and being outdoors. In June, my husband and I traveled to New Jersey for a wedding, did sightseeing in New York, and visited our daughter in Boston. It was a fun-filled and relaxing vacation. Along with all the fun, I was also able to meet my editor in New York (Penguin Groups) for my upcoming book and take a little detour to downtown Chicago for a TV shoot as a guest on Let’s Eat, a Live Well HD Network television show.

TV Show: Do you believe in serendipity? Let’s Dish host Chef Christopher Koetke called me to see if I would be his guest on Live Well HD Network cable show on June 6th. I was so excited about the opportunity that I forgot I was traveling that day. I looked at my flight schedule and guess what—I had a three-hour layover at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. After a string of emails with Chef Koetke, we took the risk and made it happen: I left the airport during the layover, took a taxi to ABC studio in downtown Chicago, recorded my part and was back in plenty of time to catch my flight. The show can soon be viewed on I’ll keep you posted.

YouTube: I recently recorded and posted two cooking videos on YouTube.
I’ve been teaching cooking classes for years but these are my first videos. I would love to hear your comments.

Please go to or go to YouTube:
How to Cook Chicken Curry

How to Cook Cauliflower Mixed Vegetable

Sneak Peek: This month I’m sending you two recipes from my upcoming book The Indian Vegan Kitchen (October 2009). Although the book isn’t out yet, I couldn’t resist sending you the Grilled Corn and Grilled Vegetable recipes. Corn is at its peak in July. In India, corn is most often grilled—not grilled in the husk, but rather, the kernels are blackened directly on the grill: To grill corn, choose big ears with mature kernels, remove all the husk and put the corn directly on the grill. Rotate and roast corn until grill marks appear on all sides, and then brush with spiced lime for an unbelievably delicious treat. And since the grill is on, marinate and grill some vegetables too, a great side dish with any meal.

As a refreshing beverage to accompany your grilled veggies and corn, or as a nutritious breakfast treat, try my mango shake recipe, also included below.
Did you know mangoes are loaded with potassium? Enjoy a mango instead of your banana (or have both) to get your potassium for the day. Enjoy them as a fruit, puree them in a milk shake or smoothie, or slice them in a salad. 

This monthly eRecipe newsletter is my way of connecting with you. Drop me a line if you have any suggestions or ideas for future newsletters. Please feel free to forward these recipes to your family and friends.

Happy and Healthy Cooking!
Madhu Gadia

July Recipes:
Grilled Corn (Bhutta)
Grilled Vegetables (Bhuni Subji)
Mango Shake


June 2009 eRecipes

Posted on 06/11/2010 at 3:41 PM

JUNE 2009

Spring is in full bloom! The grass and trees are lush green and flowers are popping up everywhere. The weather is as ideal as it can get up here in Midwest America—Ames, Iowa. We had our first backyard party and I grilled chicken, vegetables, and corn on the cob. We all enjoyed the wonderful outdoors until the bugs sent us scratching inside.

Spring is a great time to get in shape. I have been gardening and taking long walks. My goal is do some physical activity at least 5 days a week. What are YOU doing to enjoy spring and get/stay in shape?

The recipes I picked this month are ideal for the hot month ahead. Lassi (yogurt drink) is cool, refreshing, and energizing. Make it plain or add your favorite fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, or mango. The Rice Pilaf with Peas is a great side dish but I have been known to just have the pilaf and Lassi and call it a meal. The Blackened Chicken is quick, flavorful, and low in calories to boot. Serve it over the pilaf, or slice it in a salad, or tuck it in a sandwich.

This e-letter is my way of reaching out to you, the cooks and Indian food lovers. Drop me a line or two if you have any suggestions or ideas for future newsletters.

Happy and Healthy Cooking!
Madhu Gadia

Yogurt Drink (Lassi)
Rice Pilaf With Peas (Matar Pulao)
Blackened Chicken (Kali Mirch Murgh)


December 2009 eRecipes

Posted on 06/11/2009 at 8:32 PM

December 2009

Can you believe it’s already December, where did the year go? At least that’s how I feel. This year has been a year of many new beginnings in my career as I set up my own consulting business, redesigned my website, as well as released The Indian Vegan Kitchen.

For me, the hardest part of starting something new is staying focused on all I have accomplished instead of the things that I didn’t. I always tell my clients to make a list of their feats and triumphs (however small) as they try to change their diet in order to stay motivated and optimistic—I finally took my own advice and made a list of my own, which I’ve called the “Done List.” It has helped me stay positive in a year filled with change and I encourage you to do the same. I hope you will take the time to focus on your 2009 endeavors and accomplishments, personally and professionally.

Perfect Gift: Buying gifts can be stressful. There is the financial pressure as well as struggle of finding that ideal gift. As a shameless plug, how about The Indian Vegan Kitchen and/or New Indian Home Cooking! As a review of The Indian Vegan Kitchen in the November/December 2009 issue of Spirituality and Health magazine recently stated, my recipes “offer uncomplicated recipes for home cooks to prepare the vibrant flavors, intoxicating aromas, and alluring textures of classic Indian food.”

Healthy Bytes: Eating healthy can be a challenge with so much food around during the holiday season. Follow the suggestions in “10 Tips for a Healthful Holiday.” I wrote this article for Diabetic Living magazine. The tips are universal except the 10th tip is specific to people with diabetes. Savoring food is part of enjoying the holidays.

December Recipes: Choosing recipes that are ideal for a festive holiday spread was the natural choice this month. Along with your traditional holiday favorites, add these fun-to-eat finger foods. Samosas are one of the most popular Indian snacks. The traditional method of preparing the dough is time consuming, so I often make samosas using puff pastry sheets. These Quick Vegetable Pastries (Samosa Puffs) have all the taste of samosas and take fraction of the time to prepare. Spicy Cashews (Masala Kaju) are anything but ordinary. Black pepper gives them a nice kick and your guests will not be able to keep their hands out of the bowl. Crunchy Blossom Pastries (Chirote) are as fun to make as they are to eat. They’re impressive little sweets that are going to command attention. 

Quick Vegetable Pastries(Samosa Puffs)
Spicy Cashews (Masala Kaju)
Crunch Blossom Pastries (Chirote)

For more of my recipes and tips, check out this interview featured in Lassi with Lavina:

Wishing you all a Very Happy Holiday Season and a Prosperous New Year.

Happy and Healthy Cooking!
Madhu Gadia

Copyright © 2009 Madhu Gadia. All Rights Reserved


Copyright © 2018 Madhu Gadia. All Rights Reserved