The day is dry and bright. The people are preparing for an auspicious day. The day Lord Ganesha gives strength to overcome the obstacles in our lives, makes us stronger. The prayers have listened, all mighty Ganesha will lead us along the path of righteousness. All of Mumbai, indeed all of India, is full to bursting with anticipation. This can only mean one thing: Ganapathi Bappa Moria. Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as ‘Vinayaka Chaturthi’ or ‘Vinayaka Chavithi’ is celebrated by Hindus around the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. With such a hype, you’d expect gatherings, puja, food, decorations… and you will not be disappointed! The spirit goes on for a whole 10 days. One has to experience the high energy Ganesh Chaturthi for whole 10 days from puja on day 1 till procession on the on the 10th day of Ganesh Chaturthi. It is said that the high spirited Ganesh Chaturthi procession started as early as 1894.
Even if you’re a purist who only eats whole foods, you still have those craving moments to have a satisfying snack. It is certainly hard to find a satisfying snack which is healthy, low in calories, low in sugars and carbs which always hits the spot. For those who want to be on a low-calorie diet or on a healthy diet, store-bought chewda is not an option. Don’t lose hope, you can make a modified version of chewda, which gives the same satisfaction, yet a healthy one without unhealthy oils, unknown ingredients, and chemicals. Chewda is a popular Indian snack, which is a mixture of a variety of crunchy snacks. Chewda can be compared to Chex mix, that many westerners know.
At the time of this writing in 2018, India is celebrating 72nd Independence Day. India’s Independence Day is celebrated on August 15th. On this day, India got freedom from the British rule in 1947. British ruled India between 1765 – 1947. On the observation of India’s Independence Day, it is the National Holiday in India. The Indian freedom fight against British ruling began in 1857. The English came to India to trade and rule. This attitude increased the distance between the rulers and the ruled. From the 1920s onwards, Mahatma Gandhi led the Indian independence movement. His belief in non-violence inspired many and led to successful Independence. Along, many activists such as Vallabh Bhai Patel, B. R. Ambedkar, Alluri Sitarama Raju, Tanguturi Prakasam, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mangal Pandey, Chandra Shekhar Azad, Muslim League, led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and many more fought for freedom.
If you want to experience a truly authentic taste of Telangana/Andhra cuisine, you have to taste Andhra Vankaya Kobbari karam – translated as Andhra eggplant, coconut masala. It is an authentic delicacy in Telangana/Andhra Pradesh cuisine which are India’s states Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are recently split states from the southern part of India. Both states share a very much same cuisine, with quite a few variations in a few regions. Telangana is the land of spicy food. Yet it is not painfully spicy, it is an awesome smooth spice which wakens your taste buds and makes you feel you this is the one you missed all your life long.
South India is the land of rice dishes. Every state in Southern India has different variations of rice dishes made of unique ingredients. Such diverse recipes. It takes a lifetime to learn about Indian states, culture, and food. South Indian states Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have an exclusive cooking style, you just have to explore each one of them yourself. Indian cuisine as most westerns know is not just naan, chicken butter masala. It is quite elaborate. Exploring Indian cuisine is quite fun. So many ingredients, so many variations, whats common is the great taste. South Indian rice dishes are clean. They are made of fresh, clean ingredients. Turmeric in mango rice gives you the best nutrition. Moreover, most of them are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free.
Most of the people know kadhi as Punjabi kadhi. Though the kadhi base is made of yogurt, many variations of kadhi is made in different states. Some states make plain kadhi with besan and tampering. In some states, little jaggery is added to make it sweet, some regions make with sour yogurt, some regions add vegetables. Some areas add besan deep-fried fritters called pakora. Many types of veggies are used to make kadhi. Okra (bendi), drumsticks, tomatoes, kaddu (bottle gourd) etc. Besan is made of channa dal/ Bengal gram. It is used widely in many Indian dishes. It is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free. Besan thickens the gravy, adds a smooth texture. By adding besan to yogurt, yogurt is thickened and transformed into a smooth texture.
Turai aka Ridge guard is well known in Asian countries, especially in India, China, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan. All of these cuisines have such a unique way of transforming this plain tasting vegetable into something amazing. Today, I introduce you to South Indian state Telangana way of transforming turai (beerakaya) into an amazing chutney (beerakaya pachadi). Not a lot of non-Indians know about chutney. Not just Indians, but non-Indians can enjoy chutneys too. Chutneys are so versatile, they can be eaten with rice as South Indians do or use as condiments for sandwiches, burgers. It also can be used as pasta sauce. Vegans all over the world or those who are struggling to find delicious and tasty meatless recipes should know about chutneys. Also those looking for diabetic friendly recipes, low carb, low sugar recipes, chutneys are rejoiced. Chutneys are all-natural, clean, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and paleo. No regrets.
Masala Peanuts!! An easy, healthy Indian snack, a great side to cocktails. Masala peanuts are such an easy and perfect snack with optimal crunch, spice, nutrition, and satisfaction. It will be ready in just minutes. When you are hungry on weekdays, when you want to keep a clean snack ready after school for your kids, when you have surprise guests, when you want to munch on vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free snack, when it is raining and you want to eat something, or in any other difficult situation, Masala Peanuts will rescue you.
Yet another delicacy and an absolute Vegans and vegetarians heaven. Farmer’s market and local markets carry far more varieties of veggies than you think. Some are rarely found veggies. Lotus root one of them. It is found abundantly in summers. If you find one, don’t miss it. Lotus root is a versatile vegetable. You can make an appetizer, veggie taco, veggie bowl, saute or curry out of lotus root. Vegetables or Chicken simmered in gravy with spices is most commonly known Indian westerners. This time, cook with a twist by adding lotus root. Adopt ancient Indian clean recipes. Indian cuisine offers many dishes than just naan and chicken butter masala as most of westerns see in Indian restuarants. There are many vegan, vegetarian curries made of vivid ingredients.
Have you ever experienced salivation unattractively? That’s what happens when you think of Indian Chaats. Chaat can be best described as salty, sweet and tangy savory Indian snack. Chaats are India’s street food. India has some of the best street food in the world. Chaats were my and most of Indian’s all-time favorite kind of food. For children eating at chaat street cart is a great memory, for teens, they are great flirting places. No matter where Indians immigrate, they always cherish Street food moments. Besides curries, Indian cuisine offers a number of Vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, nut-free dishes. Customize the Indian dish to your taste buds and it will hit the spot every time. Moth bean chaat is Vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, nut-free. Not just for Indian food lovers, this chaat salad is must eat dish for everyone who wants to try meatless, healthy, clean recipes.