Posted on 02/13/2014 at 08:58 PM by Madhu Gadia
Happy Valentine’s Day
Just when I think life couldn’t get any busier, it does. The last few months remind me of my elderly patients from counseling days, who would always tell me, life gets busier as you get older. Ok, I believe you.
I have to admit, the reason for being so busy has been both work and pleasure. As you know, every time you go on a vacation, you end up with pending work. Thus the cycle continues. In November, I went to India for two weeks, short but a fun-filled trip; see India Trip blog.
Along with travels, there were the holidays, which means parties, guests and lots of cooking and eating. No complaints, just too busy to write a blog or a newsletter.
I am proud to say that the Curry Bar at Aetna just celebrated its 2nd birthday. We (FLIK International) started the curry bar, featuring my recipes from the New Indian Home Cooking and The Indian Vegan Kitchen, two years ago in December. I organized the menus, adjusted the recipes for volume cooking, and trained non-Indian cooks to prepare authentic Indian food.
I feel a personal sense of accomplishment with the curry bar's success. The food is well received and we have repeat customers. At the curry bar, we serve approximately 150 customers for lunch every day. The key to its success has been my recipes and due diligence. The chef and his staff are doing a great job of following the recipes. I am so glad that I stuck to what I do best – healthy home-style food.
I created a model program that we will soon be expanding to other FLIK cafeterias. I am looking forward to working with the FLIK’s culinary masters and take my “curry bar” concept around the country.
Celebrate Valentines with your loved one and share a handful of chocolate-covered almonds. Dark chocolate contains flavanols, a compound that prevents cancer and may improve blood flow to your heart and brain. The key is to eat in moderation, 1 ounce per day.
I have been a bit lax in posting recipes on the blog, certainly not because I wasn’t cooking. But you will find one new recipe, one that my aunt lovingly made for me in India, my favorite paratha (grilled flatbread) stuffed with grated daikon, called Mooli Paratha. By the way, daikons are long white radishes, see wikipedia. In Hindi (national Indian language) radishes are called mooli.
Fresh long white radishes are very popular in India, during the winter season. My dad loved mooli. He would grow them in his garden, and every day when he came home for lunch, and still in his suit, he would pull one from the ground, wash it, lightly scrape the skin, cut it vertically into four, squeeze some lemon juice and lightly sprinkle with salt. He thoroughly enjoyed them with his meal and so did we. During the “mooli season,” you would also find street vendors selling mooli, cut vertically, and spiced to your desire. Dad could never pass one up.
I rarely eat the daikons in America. I am sure I would if I could get them fresh, but usually they have been in the store for a while. Plus I have not had one that is as juicy and sweet as the ones in India. But the daikons here make great parathas. These parathas take some time to make, but it is worth the time. Dip them in plain yogurt for a delicious meal anytime.
Happy and Healthy Cooking!
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