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December 2012 Indian eRecipes Newsletter

Posted on 12/01/2012 at 11:09 AM

December 2012
Happy Holidays

Dear Madhu,

First and foremost, I want to thank YOU for subscribing to this newsletter, buying my books, and joining my Facebook fan page. I am eternally grateful for your support. I wish you and your family a Very Happy Holiday Season and a Prosperous New Year! 

As I reflect back on this year I am most happy about the success of the“Curry Bar.” It has been exactly one year since we started the Curry Bar, featuring my recipes at Aetna, where I work as the Wellness Director at the FLIK café. I organized, cooked, and trained the chefs to prepare authentic Indian food. I identified and adjusted the recipes from my books, the New Indian Home Cooking and The Indian Vegan Kitchen, for mass production. The Curry Bar was an instant success and has enjoyed continued popularity. The numbers speak for themself; approximately 150 people enjoy the Curry Bar daily. The customers tell us, the reasons for its success is the food is authentic, tasty, and has a homemade appeal. It validates my belief: Healthy and tasty foods go hand-in-hand.

Anymore, we all have a never ending To-Do list, so it only makes sense that as we close the year with an Accomplished List. I hope you, too, will take the time to focus on your 2012 feats and triumphs, things that matter to you. 

Perfect Gift

Buying gifts can be stressful. There is the financial pressure as well as struggle of finding that ideal present. Give the gift that keeps givingThe Indian Vegan Kitchen and/or New Indian Home Cooking

Enjoy Holidays, Savor Food

It’s time to look forward to family, friends, and a table lined with your favorite foods. Spending time with loved ones is precious, enjoy! Arm yourself with some simple food strategies that help you enjoy food without guilt and unwanted weight gain. See“10 Tips for a Healthful Holiday.”

Take Time for Yourself

With so much to do, who has time to meditate? How about just five minutes? Just sit back, close your eyes, smile, and breathe in and out. Breathe mindfully and naturally—do not force breath. And if you must, think only of things you have accomplished today. 

December Recipes

Finding time to cook is a challenge especially when you’re running around doing numerous holiday tasks. Resist the temptation to eat out to save time. Here are some delicious recipes that you can make in about 30 minutes. Serve them with a salad (buy a bag of ready to eat salad) and rice or whole grain flatbreads for a complete and satisfying meal. Remember if you eat well, you will be less tempted to snack the night away.

In the kitchen, the most important time saving step is to have the ingredients on hand. Make sure you purchase enough food for the week and have a running grocery list for the next week. The Baked Fish with Black Pepper is a huge hit at the curry bar. Sprinkle the fish with spices, let marinate for 5 to10 minutes and bake. The pink lentils are one of the quickest beans to cook. Once cooked, add chopped spinach and seasoning, and ta-da you have a hot bowl of Ginger-Spinach Pink Lentils. For quick and easy meals, I can’t say enough about having a few cans of chickpeas on hand at all times: it’s a staple in my pantry. Quick Chickpea Curry is one of my standbys on any “harried” day. With minimum effort I know I can feed the family a hearty meal and feel good about it.

Baked Fish with Black Pepper (Machhi Kali Mirch)
Quick Chickpea Curry (Kabuli Chane Ki Subji)
Ginger-Spinach Pink Lentils (Adrak-Palak Dal)

Happy and Healthy Cooking!
Madhu Gadia

Copyright © 2012 Madhu Gadia. All Rights Reserved

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November 2012 Indian eRecipes Newsletter

Posted on 11/01/2012 at 11:29 AM

November 2012

Dear Madhu,

I have heard, “Things happen for a reason,” so many times that I want to scream, especially last week. I did everything in my power to avoid Hurricane Sandy and found myself in its path more than once. Considering all the devastation in New Jersey and New York, I know I have nothing to complain about. Basically, I had to travel for work from Hartford, Connecticut, to Merrimack, New Hampshire, on Monday. To avoid driving in bad weather, I decided to leave on Sunday. When I started my trip, the weather was fine, but 50 miles down the road the wind picked up and mist became heavy sheets of rain quickly. Everything about this storm was different from normal bad weather, and I became increasingly stressed. I certainly breathed a sigh of relief when I reached my destination. The next day by the afternoon however, the officials declared NH a state of emergency. Instead of being alone in a hotel, I decided to drive to my daughter’s place in Boston. When I left the weather was just cloudy but midway the wind and the rain picked up to the level of hazardous conditions. I made it fine, but the drive scared me silly. I asked myself, “Why am I facing this hurricane; what is the reason?” and of course there was no blatantly obvious answer. Although everything worked out, and I was safe, I hope I never have to meet Sandy, or anyone like her, on the road again.  

Once settled in, my daughter said, “Mom let’s make pakoras (vegetable fritters – see recipe below) and chai – your favorite rainy-day foods.” We did and had a nice evening together.

Bad weather often reminds us of winter, and winter reminds us of holiday time. This year Diwali (Festival of Lights), a Hindu festival, is on November 13th followed by Thanksgiving on the 23rd. Along with the recipes, here are some health tips to ponder.

Mindless Fueling

Having food within easy reach, such as a candy bowl or cookie jar, is an invitation to grab-a-bite on the go. Research suggests that people overeat for multiple reasons, and hunger isn’t usually the top reason. We make hundreds of food-related decisions every day and are unaware of 90% of them. Food is too easily accessible these days, whether it’s from a vending machine, a gas station, or fast food restaurant – the more we see food, the more we are tempted. Small changes in your food environment—out of sight, out of mind—can help you avoid “mindless eating” and make every bite count. For more ideas on mindful eating go to Cornell University website.


Is it Really Healthy?

Food marketers splash health benefits to entice consumers. Some health claims are not necessarily better for you. You should compare the nutrition facts and then decide:

Snack Bars flaunt numerous health benefits but contain artificial and processed ingredients, and 200 to 350 calories. Extra nutrients are nice but remember total calories count.

Reduced Fat Peanut Butter saves only 0.5 grams of saturated fat and 10 calories per serving and has more sugar. It tastes different from your favorite peanut butter.

Frozen Yogurt although lower in fat, is still a dessert. It’s easy to walk out of your favorite fro-yo shop with a 400 calorie delight of yogurt and toppings, thinking you’re only eating 100 calories.


November Recipes

Holidays are upon us. Cooking for the holidays is both challenging and fun. I like to make lots of homemade goodies for the holiday table. But, of course, that takes time. To decrease some of the last minute stress, I now prepare a few things ahead of time. I find that snacks and desserts take a significant amount of time, so I try to plan some items that either keep well or can be frozen and reheated. Here are some of my favorite standbys that I can serve at any holiday celebration: Vegetable Fritters (Subji Pakora); they freeze well and can be fried as needed. Spicy Cashews 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.  For dessert try these Crunchy Blossom Pastries (Chirote); they are fun to serve because they look good and taste great, impressive little sweets that command attention. Make sure you hide these items, or they’ll disappear before the party.

Have a great time cooking and sharing meals with your loved ones and remember to enjoy and savor food.

Mixed Vegetable Fritters (Subji Pakora)

Spicy Cashews (Masala Kaju)

Crunch Blossom Pastries (Chirote)


Happy and Healthy Cooking!

Madhu Gadia


P.S.: Gift Time: Remember to add the books The Indian Vegan Kitchen and New Indian Home Cooking for the cooks on your list. It’s nice to get free recipes, but a good cookbook is a treasure for lifetime.


Copyright © 2012 Madhu Gadia. All Rights Reserved

To unsubscribe from this list please visit: Our Subscriptions Page

October 2012 Indian eRecipes Newsletter

Posted on 10/01/2012 at 11:25 AM

October 2012

Dear Madhu,

I have to admit a New England fall is gorgeous. I have lived in California, Texas, and Iowa and love watching the lush green trees change into vibrant reds, oranges, yellows, and purples. I remember one year, my husband and I drove from Ames, Iowa towards the Mississippi River just to catch the autumn color transformation. Unfortunately that year, the rain came early and the leaves turned brown and fell, leaving trees pretty bare. However, since I moved to Connecticut, I have a whole new standard for fall colors.

I find fall to be a productive time of the year. When the weather grows colder, and the days are shorter, I am eager to head to the kitchen more often and cook heartier meals. October is a perfect time for wholesome foods and family meals.

Priceless Family Meals
With everyone busy running in all directions, family meals can be a challenge – but they’re well worth the effort.  Beyond health and nutrition, family meals provide a valuable opportunity for parents and children to connect. Research indicates that when adults eat meals with their families, children do better in school, have fewer behavior problems, and teenagers are less likely to use alcohol or drugs. Take the time to enjoy family meals, find out what your kids are up to, and create your own family traditions—Eat Better, Eat Together. For more information and family topics go to the website.

Whole Grain Challenge
Join millions of people and choose whole grains at every meal. Since 2010, about 55 percent of consumers have switched to whole grain breads, according to the Shopping for Health 2012 Survey by the Food Marketing Institute. Health savvy consumers know that eating three or more servings of whole grains everyday is an easy and delicious way to add another layer of health insurance to their life. The medical evidence is clear that whole grains reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some types of cancer. Start reaping the benefits of a diet rich in whole grains and choose from whole wheat breads, brown rice and other whole grains daily.

October Recipes
Although whole-wheat flatbreads play a fundamental role in Indian cuisine, I am sharing three modified versions of traditional dishes using whole grains. The Cracked Wheat Pilaf is a hearty version of the traditional cream of wheat uppama. Substitute brown rice to make the Pea-Mushroom Pilaf and whole grain couscous for the Curried Spinach Couscous. Whole grains are more filling, add a nutty texture to the dish, and keep you satisfied longer. 

And for more whole grain recipes, check out the variety of flatbreads in both cookbooks: The Indian Vegan Kitchen and New Indian Home Cooking.

Cracked Wheat Pilaf (Uppama)
Pea-Mushroom Pilaf (Matar-Khumb Pulao)
Curried Spinach Couscous (Palak Couscous)

Happy and Healthy Cooking!
Madhu Gadia


Copyright © 2012 Madhu Gadia. All Rights Reserved

To unsubscribe from this list please visit: Our Subscriptions Page

May 2012 Indian eRecipes Newsletter

Posted on 05/28/2012 at 9:02 AM

May 2012

Happy Mother’s Day

Dear Madhu,

This month’s newsletter is a tribute to all mothers as they dedicate their lives to motherhood from first moments of childbirth and beyond. I have a whole new appreciation for motherhood now, as my own daughter became a mother last month. From watching her in that delivery room, to holding her new baby boy in her hands to nursing in the middle of the night with all smiles and concern for the baby – all I can say is my baby is now a mom. And if you cannot tell, all my attention was on my own baby—for once a mother always a mother. And now, I am a proud Nani (maternal grandmother). 

Taking Care of A New Mom
In Indian culture, a mother during post partum is treated with great care. For six weeks the new mother is taken care of completely by either the mother-in-law or mother. The new mom is nursed to health by allowing her to rest and just take care of the baby. Special nutritious foods that are easily digestible for her and the baby are freshly prepared and served to her in bed. It is so ingrained in Indian culture that it is taken for granted. Even after migrating to America, most Indian couples have their moms come from India to help for a couple of months. What may seem like a luxury in Western culture, in Indian culture is considered a necessity. It provides for parents to bond with the baby.

Unfortunately, since I am working full time, I was only able to help my daughter for 10 days, but I will help, as much as she needs, for the next 4-6 weekends. Happy Mother’s Day, my love.

Food and Spices as Medicine
As I was taking care of my post partum daughter I called my own mother constantly for advice. She is like the medicine man. She counsels me with a long list of do and don’ts such as “make her some almond milk, do not give her any whole beans, and make sure you add an extra seasoning of cumin seeds to her dal.”

Indians cook naturally, using Ayurvedic principles. The Ayurveda is a system of traditional holistic medicine native to India. It focuses on healing of body, mind, and spirit through foods, herbs, and revitalizing therapies such as messages, etc. Ayurvedic cooking is about cooking flavorful dishes that promote good health, eliminates accumulated toxins, and rejuvenates the body as each dish is cooked and spiced to achieve maximum digestibility. The tradition of these cooking principles is passed on from generation to generation. Thus my mother reminds me, ginger helps digest food and reduces gas for both the mom and the baby; turmeric is for healing; cumin seeds help with lactation; and almonds and ghee (clarified butter) are superfoods that help with healing the womb. Such practices seem tedious and unnecessary; Western culture says the new mom can eat anything. Nonetheless I am convinced along with millions of Indians, that there is definitely something to these therapeutic remedies.

May Recipes
After all this talk about nutritious and healing foods, it seems appropriate to share some very simple but soothing recipes this month. These foods are made anytime a person is recovering from a simple cold or surgery. In my home, I also make these dishes after a weekend of over indulgence or anytime I want to eat “light.”  The warm creamy texture of Rice and Bean Porridge is always soothing and nourishing. And a simple meal of Zucchini-Tomato Dal and Coconut Green Beans with whole-wheat roti (Indian flatbread) is low in calories, filling, and nutritious. Although these foods are considered simple as they are lightly spiced, based on how you are feeling they are often served with Indian pickles, chutney or papadam for an extra flavor boost. These are all superfoods in their own right. 

Rice and Bean Porridge (Kheechri)
Zucchini-Tomato Dal (Torai-Tamatar Dal)
Coconut Green Beans (Sem-Nariyal)

Happy and Healthy Cooking and remember to call your mom.
Madhu Gadia

P.S. Sorry if you received this newsletter twice. We are having some technical difficulties and in the process of fixing it. Thank you for your patience.


 Copyright © 2012 Madhu Gadia. All Rights Reserved


April 2012 Indian eRecipes Newsletter

Posted on 04/09/2012 at 10:28 PM

April 2012
The Fashion of Food

Dear Madhu,

Today, after a long time, I am sitting once again at a Startbucks writing this newsletter, in the heart of New York City. Previously, when I was writing my book The Indian Vegan Kitchen and free lancing, coffee shops with Internet access were my regular working place. I am a morning person, and I could not think and focus at home. The closer I got to deadlines, the more often I hung out at the coffee shops.

Right now, I am attending the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) conference in New York City, and Starbucks is right outside the hotel. So here I am, early in the morning with a cup of Chai, thinking of you. I became a member of the IACP after I wrote my first book, Lite and Luscious Cuisine of India in 1997 (republished as New Indian Home Cooking). I find it amusing that every time I come to IACP I think of the first time I attended the conference. I walked around with my book in tow proudly telling everyone, “I am an author.” Soon, very soon, I realized that every other person at the conference had written a book, and most were seasoned writers and authors who had written several books. I met great authors and celebrities such as Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, and Madhur Jaffrey among others. It was the most humbling experience. I am attending this conference after several years and yes, although I feel good about everything I have accomplished, I am ever so humbled. Life is good, and I thank you for being part of my life. Once again, I met a few celebrities at this IACP; see photos on

Foodie Highlights
So what are these culinary professionals saying? These are the shakers and movers of the culinary world. They affect how we eat with their exotically crafted words and cooking shows. IACP members proudly call themselves “foodies.” Here are some of the highlights and trends from the meeting:

  1. Food and Fashion have similarities; classic, trendy, and fad-driven! If you think about it food and fashion are analogous.
  2. Organic, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free are part of the culinary vocabulary today. 
  3. Eating healthfully is “In” and yet people are still struggling to make the transition. There are several organizations that are investing time, money, and energy to make it “fashionable” to eat healthy.
  4. Sustainable food is no longer a stylist option. Everyone needs to work towards it—farmers, individuals, and educators—to make our food viable.
  5. Social marketing is important and a “blog” is the marketing essential. Actually, that makes me wonder, should I start a blog? What do you think? Email me with you opinion

Earth Month

April is earth month. Of course everyday is an earth day; we should always take our resources seriously. Earth Day 2012: Mobilize the Earth® encourages us to live and act sustainably. Make an effort to buy local foods as much as possible. Doing so benefits local communities and reduces energy consumption. Energy is expended in freezing, refrigerating, and transporting food. And best of all, local food is often fresher and tastier.

Meatless Meals
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to reap all the benefits of a plant-based diet. How about eating one or two meatless meals per week? Several health organizations and health professionals are now recommending people eat vegetarian meals at least once a week. To help Americans reduce their consumption of saturated fat and to help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer—four of the leading causes of death in America—a national public health campaign called Meatless Monday (a non-profit organization) is working in conjunction with the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to make it easier for people to eat at least one vegetarian meal a week. The program follows the nutrition guidelines of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the American Heart Association.

April Recipes
As you know eating vegetarian meal is easy with an Indian menu. For your Meatless Monday, or any other day of the week, make this vegan meal from The Indian Vegan Kitchen. It’s a simple, nutritious and a satisfying meal that you can make in about 30 minutes. As you know that majority of Indian cooking is done on the stovetop, and with four burners, you can easily cook several dishes at once. To prepare the meal below efficiently, start by setting the rice to cook. Next start the Ginger-Spinach Lentils, and while the lentils and rice are cooking, chop the vegetables. Next prepare the Cucumber Tomato Salad and finally season the lentils and rice. In about 30 minutes all three dishes will be ready to eat and enjoy.

Ginger-Spinach Pink Lentils (Adrak-Palak Dal)

Tomato Rice
Cucumber Tomato Salad

Happy and Healthy Cooking!
Madhu Gadia

P.S. If you did not get the last couple of Indian eRecipes newsletters, please go to the website for archived copies. The unfortunate website technical problem that has been fixed. Thank you for subscribing to the newsletter and your patience.

Copyright © 2012 Madhu Gadia. All Rights Reserved


Copyright © 2019 Madhu Gadia. All Rights Reserved