Blog: Cooking with Madhu - Cuisine Of India - create healthy and tasty authentic Indian food

Blog: Cooking with Madhu

Welcome to Madhu Gadia's Blog

July 2010 eRecipes

Posted on 07/13/2010 at 5:52 PM

July 2010
Dear Madhu,

My mother is visiting me this summer. I’m having a great time being pampered by her – every time I turn around my favorite dishes appear! But I have to admit, it has been a challenge too, primarily because I’m so used to doing things by myself and changing my routine and having someone in my space required adjustment. One day, I realized all she cares about is my wellbeing and how could I complain? My appreciation for her company, and even her constant stream of motherly advice, quadrupled once I changed my attitude and accepted my mom for who she is and everything she does for me.  I hope you get some time with your mom this summer too!

Accepting Help: I have been struggling with creating my brand since I went solo. I would like to combine my diverse areas of expertise – creating easy-to-follow recipes for healthy, homestyle Indian cuisine on one hand, and my nutrition and diabetes know-how on the other. I finally came to the conclusion that I needed some marketing help, and soon after arriving at that conclusion, things started to happen.

First, a colleague introduced me to Liz Nead of Liz and I chatted about what drives us to do what we do, and we talked about her possibly inviting me on her local cable TV Show called Nead Inspiration.

Then, later the same week, a marketing consultant told me I should get some media training to better project myself. After speaking with the marketing consultant I called Liz to find out if she knew anyone who provides media training.  Liz told me that in fact she offers media training and career coaching, and next thing I know, I hired her to help me! I just started working with her, but I can already say Liz has been a godsend! She inspired me to send an audition tape to Oprah Winfrey Network. Thank you, Liz, for the inspiration – and thank you to everyone who voted for my audition video!

Developing New Recipes: Check out the July issue of the Vegetarian Times magazine for a recipe story, “Table for One” by me. You will find recipes for Rice Noodles, Kidney Beans, Couscous, Pink Lentils, and Eggplant Parmesan. These recipes are NOT online and they were developed specifically for Vegetarian Times. You will find other delicious recipes in the magazine as well! Now I am developing recipes that feature whole grains for Diabetic Cooking magazine. I love developing recipes; it’s a creative and challenging process. I develop variety of recipes, not just Indian.

Cooking Classes: I have a few cooking classes lined up, an Introduction to Indian Cooking at the HyVee Club Room in Des Moines, a private cooking class in Des Moines, and a cooking demo at Wheatsfield Co-op in Ames, Iowa. For more information, go to cooking classes.

E-recipes Newsletter Archived: I have archived a year’s worth of E-Recipes newsletters on my website. As I was compiling the newsletters, I realized that I wrote my first newsletter in May 2009. Wow, it’s already been a year. I started with just 20 subscribers (family and friends) and today I have over 500 subscribers! Thank you for signing up for monthly E-Recipes. As always, I welcome your input. 

July Recipes:
Although mango is a relatively a new fruit in this country, in India it is the king of fruits. Today, you can readily find a variety of mangoes in most grocery stores across the United States, and they are available fresh, frozen, and dehydrated. As with most fruits, the taste and texture of mango is best in season—June to August.

In my book, The Indian Vegan Kitchen, I have noted that mangoes are a Superfood. They are rich in a variety of phytochemicals and nutrients. Mangoes are an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C and E as well as vitamin K, B6 and other B vitamins. They are also an excellent source of potassium and dietary fiber. 

In India, raw mango is preserved and used throughout the year, as savory and sweet mango pickles, and as mango powder. Also, did you know that paisley designs are inspired by the mango? I think Indians dream of mangoes all day long.

The other day I made Mango Soup for my family and we each had at least two bowls. I had to make myself stop eating it. All of the dishes here are our family favorites. I hope they will be yours too.

Coconut-Mango Rice (Nariyal-Aam ke Chawal)
Mango Soup (Aam Soup)
Mango Ice-Cream (Aam ke Ice Cream)

Happy and Healthy Cooking!

Madhu Gadia

Refer Me and Earn Up to $200: Do you know an event planner or wellness coordinator in your organization or community who hires health-related speakers? If you connect me to a person who books me to speak, I’ll pay you $200 (or an equal donation to your favorite charity)! For speaking topics a flyer go to

Or, ask a cooking school to invite me to teach an Indian cooking class in your area. If you connect me to a person who books me for a cooking class, you can attend the class for free (I will pay your registration to the class). For more information on cooking classes go to

Madhu's Events

Copyright © 2010 Madhu Gadia. All Rights Reserved

To unsubscribe from this list please visit: Our Subscriptions Page

June 2010 eRecipes

Posted on 06/11/2010 at 4:29 PM

June 2010

Dear Madhu,

In the summer, when the days are long and the sun is shining, it’s hard to focus on work. This has become especially challenging since starting my own business, because I can set my own hours. Flex-time is nice, sometimes, but can lead to stress as the work piles up. So, I have learned that for me, working regular 9 to 5 hours is the most productive and freeing. On days that I have a hard time focusing I take myself to a coffee shop or library and work in a different environment. I like my evenings and weekends free of office-work, which allows me enough time off to enjoy the summer. I hope YOU have scheduled some favorite activities for this summer before it slips away.

Cookouts, picnics, and traveling are all part of the summer outdoors fun. Last week, on a hot, humid day, we had some friends over and had planned to grill corn in the backyard. As the guests arrived, the clouds moved in and it started to drizzle. But we “corn lovers” did not let a little rain get in the way of enjoying one of our favorite summer foods: one friend grilled the corn in the rain while another held the umbrella over him and the grill.

Grilled corn is now taking over America, but I have to say in India we’ve grilled corn for ages.  I recently read an article in USA Weekend Magazine on Iowa native Ashton Kutcher and his love of grilling called “Ready, Set, Grill.” (For an excerpt of the article,  see here: In the article, Kutcher says, “there’s nothing like grilled corn.” I can ‘t agree more, but I want to tell him don’t just butter the corn, try it with a squeeze of lemon and rub with salt and spices to really bring out the sweetness of the corn. For Indian grilled corn like what we enjoyed last week in the rain, see The Indian Vegan Kitchen, page 101.

Speaking of eating outdoors, read this funny article, “Dining in the not-so-great Outdoors,” by Mitch Albom in Parade Magazine ( It totally reminded me of our grilling in the rain; it’s true, dining outside might not always be what it’s cracked up to be, but we are obsessed with it nevertheless.
Friends Cooking Together: Last month a group of women celebrated their friend’s birthday with my cooking class. The birthday girl wanted to learn how to make samosas (potato stuffed pastries), so that’s what we made. I used samosa recipes from both the New Indian Home Cooking (pages 72 and 74) and The Indian Vegan Kitchen (page 62). We made one stuffing, the potato filling, and used three different shells, the original crust where you make the dough and roll and fill the samosas, the tortilla shell samosas, and the puff pastry samosas. The participants said, “We’re glad you made all three types.” The only thing I can say is, tasting is believing, try each one for yourself. The easiest recipe is the puff pastry samosas. And don’t forget to make the cilantro chutney with it (The Indian Vegan Kitchen, page 185).

Step Out and Sweat it Out: Does the summer heat keep you indoors? We all love the air-conditioner and wouldn’t trade it for the world, but has it made us a little squeamish about outdoor activities. Early morning and late afternoons are a great time to be more active and tip the scale on the “energy in and energy out” balance, as you enjoy hiking, swimming, or playing ball. And as the weather heats up, make sure you drink enough water to stay cool and hydrated. And as a word of advice, be cautious of calorie-laden beverages advertised as energy drinks and fluid/electrolyte replacements as they can be a real calorie-trap.

June Recipes:
After I just talked about liquid calories, this month I’m sharing some unique, wonderful, and nutritious Indian drinks. Water is the beverage of choice with Indian meals, but then sometimes you just want something different. In India, these drinks are primarily served in the summer to cool the body and quench the thirst. Mango Yogurt Drink or Aam Lassi is one of the most popular drinks served in Indian restaurants. The best tasting mangoes are available from June to August; enjoy them plain, in a salad, or make lassi. And for a beautiful and cold refreshing drink, serve this Pomegranate Tea over ice. Almond Spicy Drink or Thandai is a very unique spicy drink that may take a little getting used to, or you may love it right away. The first time I made thandai at a party, it was an instant hit with teens and young adults, which surprised me. For best results, let thandai refrigerate for a few hours and serve over crushed ice.

Mango Yogurt Drink (Aam Lassi)
Pomegranate Tea (Anari Chai)
Almond Spicy Drink (Thandai)

Happy and Healthy Cooking!
Madhu Gadia

P.S. Have nutrition or diabetes questions or concerns?
Frustrated and confused with nutrition information and science? Want practical healthy solutions? For more information on how a nutrition consultation can help you, see I work with children too.


Copyright © 2010 Madhu Gadia. All Rights Reserved


May 2010 eRecipes

Posted on 06/11/2010 at 4:28 PM

May 2010

After being cooped up all winter, I have been taking every chance I get to go for long walks in the park. Last Saturday, my friend and I walked all around our neighborhood and enjoyed the beautiful crab apple trees covered with white, pink, or red flowers. Both of us were dizzy with excitement.

April was a busy and exciting month for me with presentations and cooking demos. I gave a presentation cooking demo in Saint Louis at the Missouri Dietetic Association. In the presentation I focused on the cultural characteristics and health concerns of South Asian clients. For the cooking demo I prepared Black-Eyed Pea Dip and Pea-Mushroom Pilaf from The Indian Vegan Kitchen, and thanks to the hotel chef who prepared samples ahead of time, everyone in the audience got to taste these recipes. Here in Ames, Iowa at the Wheatsfield Co-Op, I presented Have Your Cake and Eat it Too, where I helped participants sort through the latest nutritional jargon and understand the value of portion control.

A Special Request From You: If you have bought my book, The Indian Vegan Kitchen and/or New Indian Home Cooking and have enjoyed them, I would love to hear from you. You can go to and post your review or email me and I will add your review on my website. Thanks to you, The Indian Vegan Kitchen continues to be on the top of the Indian cookbooks section on If you have blogged about my book, please email me and I will add a link from my website to yours. Thank you for your support.

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution: TV celebrity, renowned chef, and author Jamie Oliver went to schools in Huntington, West Virginia to help people eat better. Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution was a six-part series on ABC and if you didn’t get to see it and are curious, you can see it on

In the first episode, Oliver dressed up as a green giant “peapod” in the school, talked to the children about value of eating fruits and vegetables, and fed them fresh-cooked food in the school cafeteria. When kids went for familiar processed foods versus fresh cooked meals he showed them how chicken nuggets were made in a factory—trying to make a point. The goal of the TV series is to show America what they’re really eating.

I’m not in full agreement of Oliver’s approach, yet it made some very good points. I recognize that it is people like Oliver with his extreme methods and prime time TV spot that gets people’s attention, and if that makes some people eat fewer processed foods, it’s okay by me.

I have been working with a program called Healthy School Partnership in Des Moines, Iowa schools. The program is designed for 4th to 6th graders with the intent to teach them the value of power foods—high in nutrients and low in added fat and sugar. We also teach children about energy balance. I’ve been primarily working with 6th graders. I’m pleasantly surprised to see how receptive children are to our coaching. In just short 6 weeks (it’s an 8-week program) I’ve noticed children talking about eating more fruits and vegetables and becoming more aware of whole foods. The best part of this whole program is that kids inspire each other. I can just see it now, in just two years these same children will tell their parents, “Mom, Dad, where are the vegetables, there are no fruits in the house, you only buy junk food”—after all, in my experience, it was first the kids that made adults start recycling—go kids!

May Recipes: If there were a nutrition buzz-phrase of the 2000s it would be “eat more whole grains.” Whole grains are high in fiber and nutrients. Whole-wheat rotis (flatbreads) are very prevalent in Indian cuisine. Wheat is the staple grain in North India and whole wheat flatbreads are served at most meals. They are unleavened and very different in taste and texture than oven-baked leavened bread or Mexican tortillas. The scope of Indian flatbreads is unmatched by any other cuisine. Although it may take you a few tries to master the art of making rotis, they require no preplanning: just make the dough, roll it out, and grill. The “daily bread” is roti/chapati which is typically pan-grilled, but sometimes for the sake of convenience and variety I make my rotis in the oven, Tandoori Roti . Try them both; they have a different taste and texture. And then there is everyone’s favorite: Potato-Stuffed Flatbread (pan-fried), a little time consuming but totally worth the effort.

Grilled Flatbread (Roti)
Oven Roti (Tandoori Roti)
Potato-Stuffed Flatbread (Aloo Paratha)

Note: To make rotis, use roti-atta (fine ground whole wheat flour) from an Indian grocery store, white whole wheat flour which is available in the specialty flour section in most grocery stores or natural foods stores, or use regular whole wheat flour. The white whole wheat flour is the closest in taste to the roti-atta.

Happy and Healthy Cooking!
Madhu Gadia

P.S. Have nutrition questions or concerns? Frustrated and confused with nutrition information and science? Want practical healthy solutions? For more information on how a nutrition consultation can help you, see I work with children and adults.


Copyright © 2010 Madhu Gadia. All Rights Reserved


April 2010 eRecipes

Posted on 06/11/2010 at 4:25 PM

April 2010

Before I share my recipes and message for this month, I want to thank you all for taking The Indian Vegan Kitchen to the top of the Indian cookbook category; it was number one for over two weeks! I also hope you had a chance to see the review in India Abroad, click here to see the review.

Spring is a wonderful time to take sometime off and hang out with your family and friends. After a long winter, it’s a great way to welcome the new season and reenergize. In March, I took my spring break by attending an inspiring conference called Healthy Kitchen, Healthy Lives (HKHL) at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Napa Valley, California. And since my mom and brother lives nearby I combined business and pleasure by spending four additional days in California with them.

This month, I’d like to share some highlights and lessons learned from the Healthy Kitchen, Healthy Lives conference. The HKHL conference is a collaboration of the Harvard School of Medicine and the CIA. The Harvard doctors presented the latest science of diet and nutrition and the CIA chefs cooked it up. Most of the attendees were physicians. They were encouraged to ask their patients about their eating, exercise, and lifestyle habits, and if necessary write a lifestyle prescription or hand out a healthy recipe.

Talk to Your Doctor: The doctors were encouraged to help patients with lifestyle choices. Next time you visit your doctor, take the opportunity to start a conversation about your overall health. Maybe you can even set up one appointment just to talk about your diet and exercise habits, or better yet see a dietitian.

Healthy and Delicious Food: I loved the fact that everything served at the conference was healthy and tasty. No compromise on taste. It was grand to be with like-minded people. My motto is “healthy and tasty foods go hand in hand.” If it doesn’t taste good people will not eat it, at least not for life. Dr. David Eisenberg, Director for Research and Education in Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies at the Harvard Medical School, who created the HKHL conference says, “if we’re going to get people to eat better we have to realize that taste trumps nutrition science every time.” I’m sure you’ll agree. And of course being in Napa Valley, there was ample of good wine to go with every meal, with plenty of research to back up its heart-health benefits.

Recommendations for Healthy Living from the Conference:
•  Eat More Vegetables: Most recipes shared at cooking demonstrations focused on adding or extending the main dish with more vegetables such as chicken stir-fry with a little bit of chicken and lots of vegetables. The chefs created beautiful roasted vegetables sprinkled with a little bit of oil and salt. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetables. And of course my recommendation would be, for more flavor add garlic, dried herbs, or spices to the oil.

•  Make it Whole Grain: Another key message was to eat fewer processed carbohydrates such as white bread, white flour, sugary cereals, and soft drinks; instead eat more whole grains. Whole grains take longer to digest, have more fiber, thus support a healthy heart and digestive tract, and help with weight management as they keep you full longer. I have cooked with variety of whole grains but I tasted and cooked with Farro for the first time at the conference. Try it for yourself, see the recipe below.

•  Eat Mindfully: Eating standing up, eating on the run, or watching TV while eating may all seem to save time, but in the long run, according to doctors and dietitians, these habits are a recipe for overeating. Mindfulness in eating is a prerequisite to weight management. “Take the time to savor and relish the flavor, color, aroma, and texture of food,” says Eisenberg.

Physical Activity: Balancing energy intake with energy output was a no-brainer. The attached quote/cartoon presented by Daniel Rooks, PhD says it all: “What fits your schedule better, exercising one hour a day or being dead 24 hours per day?”
April Recipes: Since I’ve bragged about the HKHL conference and how great the food was, I decided to share some of my favorite recipes from the conference with you this month. People were lined up for these Peanut, Farro, and Mushroom Burgers. This recipe was developed by my friend and colleague, Suvir Saran, author of the American Masala cookbook. The recipe, Whole Wheat Couscous Salad was presented by Dr. Eisenberg, who proclaimed, “if I can cook it, so can you.”  And, Pasta “In Zemino” with Seafood, Greens, Garlic, and Hot Pepper, comes from multi-talented chef, restaurant owner, cookbook author and California Street Cooking School founder Joyce Goldstein. FYI, I have tasted but not tested any of these recipes.
Pasta “In Zemino” with Seafood, Greens, Garlic, and Hot Pepper

Happy and Healthy Cooking!
Madhu Gadia

P.S. Have nutrition questions or concerns? Frustrated and confused with nutrition information and science? Want practical healthy solutions? For more information on how a nutrition consultation can help you, see
Copyright © 2010 Madhu Gadia. All Rights Reserved


March 2010 eRecipes

Posted on 06/11/2010 at 4:22 PM

March 2010

I just got back after spending a long weekend with my sisters in Santa Barbara, California. On my flight, I met a man who was meeting his brothers in Vancouver for brothers’ weekend and friends who were going to Arizona for a friends’ weekend. They were easy to spot, as they smiled ear to ear and were anxious to share their trips. My sisters and I have a sisters’ weekend every other year. We pick exotic places but have the most fun just laughing, sharing, and yes crying. It’s the best therapy session with a healthy dose of TLC (tender loving care). I hope you also take the time and get away with your friends or siblings. It always takes effort to plan and find time but in my experience, totally worth it!

March is National Nutrition Month, an annual education and information campaign sponsored by the American Dietetic Association (ADA). The 2010 theme is “Nutrition from the Ground Up,” a return to basics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. A return to basics means choosing more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans to create a healthful eating plan. If you’re looking for a nutrition or health-related book, ADA has put together a Good Nutrition Reading List you might find useful, available at

Cooking Demos and Classes: I have been teaching Indian cooking classes for several years to home cooks and chefs. The attendees are always amazed at how easy Indian cooking is as they become more familiar with the ingredients and methods of preparation. I recently taught a cooking class in Des Moines, Iowa at the Kitchen Collage and will be doing a cooking demo at Wheatsfield Co-Op in Ames, Iowa on March 9th at 7 pm. If you’re near Ames please drop by. For more information on cooking classes go to

Food Apps for Your iPhone: If you have an iPhone (some of these apps also run on BlackBerry and other smart phones) and are hooked to the possibilities, you will enjoy reading “Food apps taking dining to a whole new level,” an article from The Tampa Tribune. You may find some apps that help you make good food choices.

March Recipes: As we finally begin to thaw from this horrendously cold winter, salads and lighter meals are starting to sound appetizing. Salad, per se, is not typically part of an Indian meal. That’s not to say that raw vegetables are not commonplace. In fact, a few pieces of cucumber, tomato, onion, and radish often grace the dinner table as they add crunch and freshness to the meal. Nevertheless, salads with an Indian twist are increasingly popular and you’ll find some wonderful salads in both of my books. This month, I have picked three salads that I hope you will enjoy.

Last year when I was cooking for the India Cultural Association of Central Iowa’s Annual Food Fair, I prepared the Sprouted Mung Salad and we served it as an appetizer. It takes a little advance preparation as it requires sprouting the mung beans. The day I had my book signing at the Wheatsfield Co-Op, the chef at the deli made the Cabbage-Peanut Salad. Both of these salads were an instant success. The Stir-Fried Salad is from the New Indian Home Cooking. This simple and delicious recipe is flash-cooked to bring out the flavor of the vegetables and is lightly seasoned with black pepper. Serve any of these colorful salads with soups, sandwiches, pasta or an Indian meal.

Sprouted Mung Salad (Ankurit Mung Salad)
Cabbage-Peanut Salad (Bund Gobhi-Mungfali Salad)
Stir-Fried Salad (Phul Gobhi Salad)

Happy and Healthy Cooking!
Madhu Gadia
Refer Me and Earn Up to $200: Do you know an event planner or wellness coordinator in your organization or community who hires health-related speakers? If you connect me to a person who books me to speak, I’ll pay you $200 (or an equal donation to your favorite charity)! For speaking topics and flyer go to
Or, ask a cooking school to invite me to teach an Indian cooking class in your area. If you connect me to a person who books me for a cooking class, you can attend the class for free (I will pay your registration to the class). For more information on cooking classes go to


Copyright © 2010 Madhu Gadia. All Rights Reserved


Copyright © 2019 Madhu Gadia. All Rights Reserved