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April 2012 Indian eRecipes Newsletter

Posted on 04/09/2012 at 10:28 PM by Madhu Gadia

April 2012
The Fashion of Food

Dear Madhu,

Today, after a long time, I am sitting once again at a Starbucks writing this newsletter, in the heart of New York City. Previously, when I was writing my book The Indian Vegan Kitchen and freelancing, 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.

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 healthily.
  4. Sustainable food is no longer a stylish 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 your opinion

Earth Month
April is earth month. Of course, every day 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

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