What is Chutney?

Chutney is a form of condiment originating from India. It is similar in its consistency to a jelly or salsa, made from a mixture of spices with some form of vegetable or fruit. There are many different variations of chutney, some of the most popular main ingredients including mangoes, likes, apples, peaches, apricots, plums, lemons, tomatoes, and coconuts. The spices frequently include cloves, cilantro, garlic, mustard, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, jalapenos, tamarind, and mint.

There are two main categories of chutney, these being the sweet chutney and the hot chutney. It can also be found in both chunky and smooth varieties, much like a peanut butter. In this way, Indian diners are able to use this condiment for a broad number of dishes.

The history of chutney can be traced at least as far back as 500 BC. It was difficult for people to preserve food before the invention of reliable refrigeration devices, so fruits and vegetables were turned into chutney to keep for extended periods of time. Though it originated in India, the practice was quickly adopted by other countries. The Romans were the first to borrow the practice, and later the British, who went on to export it to their colonies in Australia and North America. Today, it remains a popular condiment throughout much of the world.

When you’re looking for good Indian cuisine in Bellevue, come to MokSHA. We offer many quality Southern Indian-style dishes.

What is Curry?

Curry is a form of sauce, representing a common menu item at Indian restaurants. It has also made its way into the culinary traditions of many other countries, including Japan, Thailand, the Caribbean, South Africa, and more. Curry-based dishes come in many forms, though they generally involve pouring a curry sauce over a dish of rice, vegetables, and some form of protein.

Some people mistakenly think of curry as a spice. This myth is perpetuated by the fact that there is in fact a curry tree, the leaves of which are sometimes used in curry. In actuality, curry comes in the form of numerous blends of spices. Though there is no official recipe for curry, curry sauces will generally feature turmeric, which gives the blend its distinctive yellow color. This may be mixed with coconut, coconut milk, coriander, chili powder, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, cardamom, ginger, tamarind, and nutmeg.

In Thai and Indian restaurants, it is common to see curry come in three general forms: red, yellow, and green. Red curry is made with red chiles, green curry is made with green chiles, and yellow is mostly turmeric and cumin.

The History of Curry
Everybody recognizes curry as a classic Indian culinary innovation. However, if you were to go into a restaurant in India and ask for curry, your waiter may very well not know what you’re talking about. Indeed, while the curry sauce we know and love traces its origins back to India, the origins of curry is somewhat complicated.

The word “curry” itself is an English term, apparently derived from the Tamil word kari, which translates to “sauce”. It would seem that early English visitors to India encountered a sauce made from a blend of spices, then brought it back to their home country under an adapted name. People thereafter came to know the sauce and the dishes made from it as curry, which was appearing in English cookbooks as early as 1300 AD.

After curry rose in popularity among the English, merchants and travelers began to spread the phenomenon around to other parts of the world. It made its way to Japan in the late 1800’s, when the country finally opened its doors to the outside world. The Japanese adopted the dish as a form of easy, great tasting food for their military forces. In this way it spread throughout the country, and throughout the rest of east Asia.

Gun Powder in Indian Food?

When we talk about gun powder at our Bellevue Indian restaurant, we are talking about the distinctive blend of spices that makes Indian food so popular. Spices, or masala, as they are known in India, are an important part of the culinary tradition throughout the country, with a rich variety of different regional and seasonal blends. Though many spices are used in such blends, the following comprise ten of the most important:

Asafoetida
A pungent gum extruded from the the roots of a perennial Indian herb. It appears in some curry blends, and gives a unique flavor to the rasams and sambars of South Indian cuisine.

Black Cardamon
Known as the Queen of Spices, this is the dried fruit harvested from the cardamom plant. It represents an important part of India’s garam masala, or “hot spices”.

Cinnamon
This familiar spice is a native to India, derived from the bark of an Indian evergreen tree. Cinnamon powder and oil is used in curry blends, pulao, and biryanis.

Coriander
Made from the seeds of the Mediterranean coriander plant, coriander powder has a sweet, delicate taste. You may also know this spice as cilantro.

Cumin
You can expect to find a small degree of cumin in any curry powder. This aromatic powder is made from the seeds of a tropical herb.

Curry Leaves
The leaves of the curry tree should not be confused with curry spice blends, though it will occasionally appear in such blends. These leaves are important in many South Indian dishes.

Mustard
Mustard is important in a South Indian cooking technique called tadka, where whole seeds are cooked in oil to achieve a heightened flavor.

Red Chili Powder
Ever since it was introduced to India from South America, red chili powder was embraced as the king of spices. This is the spice that gives red curry powder its color.

Tamarind
This sour paste comes from the fruit of the Madagascan tamarind tree. It is used frequently as a condiment in India.

Turmeric
This bright yellow spice, related to ginger, is a key component of curry powder. It is responsible for much of the sauce’s blend.

What is a Dosa?

A dosa is a form of crispy, flatbread eaten throughout India. It comes in the form of a wafer-thin, crepe-like bread made from rice and a form of lentil-like bean known as black gram. Such breads are generally folded in half or rolled up over a savory stuffing, which may include meats, vegetables, or potatoes. They are served hot, often alongside chutney or curry. Indians will eat dosas for breakfast, dinner, or even as a form of street food.

It is unknown when the dosa was first created, but it is clear that it can be attributed to South India. According to some historical records, a version of the dosa was being eaten in ancient Tamil country as early as the first century AD. Since then, it has become a staple throughout all of India.

Nutritionally, dosas are a strong choice for many people. They’re gluten-free, and many varieties are suitable for a vegetarian or vegan diet. The bread itself contains no sugar or saturated fats, and the fermentation process brings out increased levels of vitamin B and vitamin C.

One of the strengths of dosas is their versatility. At MokSHA and Spice Route’s Bellevue Indian restaurant, you can enjoy several different dosas: try a standard dosa, with a selection of different fillings. Try a rava dosa, made with cream of wheat. Try an ootappam, representing a thicker version of the dosa, often known as an Indian pizza. We make all of our dosas from scratch with no preservatives and grass-fed, hormone free, free range halal meats. Experience this favorite Indian taste at MokSHA today!

Naan: India’s Favorite Bread

Naan is a form of flatbread common throughout Southeast and Central Asia, particularly India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Uzbekistan. It comes in the form of a flat, generally circular piece of bread. The dough of this bread is made with wheat flour, which is traditionally cooked on the walls of a tandoori oven. After cooking, a chef will generally brush the bread with ghee butter and serve it hot. Different forms of the bread will be mixed with garlic, yogurt, milk, or other ingredients to make it sweet, spicy, or savory.

There are numerous ways to enjoy naan. It is common to find it served by itself as an appetizer, much in the same way a restaurant might offer a basket of complimentary rolls. It is also commonly used as part of a larger dish, serving as a wrap for meat, the bread for a kind of open-faced sandwich, a dipping bread, or a base upon which a stew may be served.

The word “naan” itself is a derivation of the Persian word for bread, “non”. It goes by different names in other languages, including “nan” in Turkish languages and “nan bya” in Burmese.

A Brief History of Naan

Naan traces its origins back to India. The process for using yeast to make bread rise would not be fully understood for hundreds of years, so unleavened bread was common throughout the world. The earliest record of naan’s use comes to us in the form of a set of notes from 1300 AD, written by an Indo-Persian poet by the name of Amir Kushrau. This iconic flatbread was evidently first cooked at the Imperial Court in Delhi, where it was served as naan-e-tunuk (“light bread”) or naan-e-tanuri (“bread cooked in a tandoor oven”). It became popular among the royals, who would often eat it with keema or kebob for breakfast.

Over time, naan evolved in its style and preparation. It was embraced as a staple throughout South Asia, eventually making it to the West in 1926 when Veeraswamy, the oldest Indian restaurant in Britain, opened. By the 1970’s, it became popular throughout North America and Britain. Today, you can find naan in many different varieties in Indian restaurants throughout the globe.

Naan-Based Indian Cuisine in Bellevue

At MokSHA, you can partake of this Indian classic in several different forms. Try our plain naan, butter naan, garlic naan, or spiced naan as a side dish. It’s a great complement to all of our Bellevue Indian cuisine.

The Health Benefits of Eating Spicy Food

Are you a fan of spicy foods? If so, we’ve got good news for you. Not only are your favorite hot dishes delicious, but you’re probably a lot healthier as the result of a spice-heavy diet. There are many valuable health benefits associated with curry, peppers, and many of the other spicy agents found at our Indian restaurant, including the following:

Weight Control
Do you have trouble maintaining a low-fat diet? A bit of spice can do more for you than make a plate of grains and vegetables more palatable. Scientific studies have shown that capsaicin, a compound found in chilis, helps the body burn calories for twenty minutes after you eat them. You may also find that these same compounds reduce your cravings for sweet, salty, and fatty foods.

Heart Health
Studies have indicated that India and other cultures known for consuming a lot of spicy food have lower rates of heart attacks and strokes. This might be attributed to several factors, including the anti-inflammatory properties of capsaicin, the vitamin A and C present in peppers and other spicy agents, and the chili’s ability to reduce the damaging effects of LDL cholesterol. Further, the hearty flavors of spicy reduces people’s need to consume fatty or salty meats.

Mental Health
The consumption of spices like rosemary, spearmint, and cinnamon have shown promise to reduce the symptoms or even prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Research subjects have demonstrated improved memory and a decrease of age-related decline.

Toxin Removal
Many spicy agents, particularly the turmeric and cloves found in a lot of curry dishes, are a strong source of antioxidants. They can serve to improve your insulin sensitivity and purge the triglycerides from your system. These same substances are also good for preventing certain forms of cancer or slowing the growth of cancerous tumors.

Respiratory Health
Turmeric has been used to treat respiratory disease for hundreds of years. Modern science has proven that this spice protects the lungs from irritants and infections. This adds up to a decreased chance of asthma, bronchitis, laryngitis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and other lung diseases.

Improved Moods
Eating any spicy foods of any kind releases serotonin into your system, a chemical that helps promote positive feelings. Increased serotonin levels serve to ease your stress and reduce the symptoms of depression.

If you want to reap the benefits of spicy food, you can make spice a bigger part of your diet with MokSHA. Come and indulge in a few of your favorites at our Bellevue Indian restaurant today!

Vellai Pookal and Indus Creations Seattle Premiere Event

20% Discount on our Dinner Menu

In support of our tech colleagues and patrons of Vellai Pookal and Indus Creations Seattle Premiere event this weekend, MokSHA and Spice Route are offering a 20% discount on Friday and Saturday (April 12th and 13th, 2019) on our Dinner menu.

More Info: http://induscreations.org/

Note: Dinner menu only, Dine in only, cannot be combined with any other offers. One check. Proof of premier movie ticket necessary for discount. Restrictions apply.

In the Kitchen with Moksha – Downtown Bellevue Network

From the article posted on DownTownBellevue.com

Moksha, located at Bellevue Square within the Lodge, opened in September 2012. The family-owned establishment features South Indian cuisine. The menu offers a variety of both meat and vegetarian dishes from Southern India. Having been voted a top restaurant by Seattle Times, Moksha serves fresh, sustainable and healthy foods that create an authentic dining experience. Lunch, dinner and happy hour are offered daily.

We interviewed Lakshmi Thanu, Owner, to learn more about Moksha. This is Thanu’s second restaurant in the region. He opened Spice Route in Bellevue (Crossroads area) in 2006. He is a native to the south of India, which is a big contributor to the food’s authenticity.

Read more…

Seattle Restaurant Week April 2018

Dine out and celebrate at MokSHA during Seattle Restaurant Week for lunch and dinner!

April 2nd – 19th!

(Sundays – Thursdays)

Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Nut Free options available.

2 course lunch $18

starters

tomato-coconut soup
garlic, bay leaves, coconut milk in fresh tomato broth (gf, v, nf)

indian chicken soup
carrots, celery, pepper,
garam masala (nf)

mains – thalis

our delicious indian lunch platter comes with a selection of various dishes and will be served with the following individual accompaniments: raita, dhal, basmati rice, indian cucumber vegetable curry, salad and bread

coconut vegetable curry
seasonal vegetables in a coconut-cashew sauce, with curry leaf & cumin (gf, v)

chicken tikka masala
sliced chicken breast, simmered in a creamy butter-onion sauce, seasoned with ginger and garlic (gf)

spinach ginger lamb
sliced lamb in a creamy spinach sauce, seasoned with cumin & garlic (gf)

3 course dinner $33

starters

gluten free spinach fritters
besan flour fritters w/ ginger-tamarind, cilantro-mint & spicy vindaloo chutney’s (gf, nf, v)

cauliflower manchurian
crunchy cauliflower tossed in sweet & sour spicy sauce (nf, v)

7 spice shrimp
grilled prawns marinated in red chile, curry leaf, garlic and coriander (nf)

mains – thalis

our delicious indian thalis are served on a traditional platter accompanied by daal, sambar, soup, raitha, salad, bread,
roti, papad and basmati rice

peanut eggplant
indian baby eggplant, coriander, cumin, curry leaves, tomatoes – deep flavors and delicious (v, gf)

butter chicken
creamy chicken dish from the north west frontier of india (gf)

fisherman’s halibut curry
wild halibut cooked with cumin, tomato, tamarind and spices (gf, nf)

lamb karaikudi
free range hormone free lamb, peppercorns, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, spices (gf)

desserts

gluten free vegan mysore pak
south indian besan cookies (gf, v)

chai crème brûlée
crackly sugar crust, tea, spices (nf)

beets halwa with coconut almond ice cream
shredded beets, spices, cream (gf)

Vegan Indian Cooking Class

Join our Vegan Indian Cooking Classes in Bellevue hosted by Spice Route & MokSHA in Bellevue!

“Have you always wanted to make delicious Vegan Indian food at home just like you order at the restaurants? Now you can!

Attend Vegan Indian Cooking Classes in Bellevue, WA hosted by Miss Bellevue Vegan and Spice Route & MokSHA. Spice Route specializes in cuisine that is primarily from the Southern states of India, which include Tamil Nadu (where most of our chefs are from), Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

You will learn dishes that are rooted in India’s age-old culinary traditions yet adapted to today’s kitchen and lifestyle. Entrees are wholesome, healthy and fresh.”


The Details

MokSHA Indian Cuisine and Spice Route will be hosting Vegan Cooking Classes again in 2017! As a group you will be observing and learning from the chefs about Indian culture, food, nutrition and health benefits. You will be preparing a full course meal which will be enjoyed at the end!

Who Should Attend?

  • New and experienced cooks who want to learn how to make delicious Vegan Indian meals at home
  • Health-oriented people who want to learn about the many health benefits from Indian Spices
  • Vegans (and those interested in Vegan) who want to cook healthier meals
  • Those who want to incorporate more plant-based meals or cook for a vegan spouse, friend or loved one

The Classes

Cooking Classes – $30/person
Learning about, preparing and enjoying your delicious creation.

Register For Cooking Class

Private Cooking Class – $300/class
Max of 10 people
(Please visit Miss Bellevue Vegan’s website to book a private cooking class.)


2017 Vegan Indian Cooking Classes

All classes will have a max of 15 people/date and run approximately 2 hours.

Northern Indian Cooking
TBD

Southern Indian Cooking
TBD

Please visit Miss Bellevue Vegan’s website for registration and more information.

Veg Speed Date Bellevue – MokSHA

Veg Speed Date is coming to Bellevue!

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NOTE: Please read below & check out our FAQ section if you have any questions: https://vegspeeddate.com/faq/
As we are coordinating events in 20+ cities, please email them at admin@vegspeeddate.com, for questions.

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About Veg Speed Date

This isn’t your typical speed dating service. Veg Speed Date is exclusively for vegan and vegetarian singles across North America. For our Valentine’s 2017 launch, we are putting on speed dating events across the United States and Canada! And we are donating $1 of every U.S. ticket sold to The Humane League!

Veg Speed Date is expanding on the unique vegan/vegetarian speed dating concept that Karine Brighten has refined over 5 years in San Francisco. We have thought through every detail to make sure people have a great time, don’t need to worry about feeling rejected, and have the best chance of making that special connection. Karine’s events have already resulted in life-changing matches for San Francisco vegans and vegetarians, giving rise to long-term relationships, marriages, and families. We can’t wait to start creating these kinds of love stories all over the United States and Canada!

About the Event

Our speed dating events are limited to 30 participants, because we’ve found that an intimate, get-to-really-know-you setting works the best for making real connections. That means these events tend to sell out early, so to avoid disappointment, don’t wait!

We put in tons of time and effort to make sure your chances for a real connection are optimised. We make sure there’s an equal number of men and women – or very close to it. There will never be a Veg Speed Date event with 25 women and 5 men! (We also put on LGBTQ events — check out our website to learn more!)

Early bird tickets are $35* and include:

-$1 donated to The Humane League (February U.S. launch events)
-Tips and articles to help prepare you for a great speed dating experience, what to expect at the event, how to make the best of your 5 minutes with each potential match, conversation starters, and more
-Special offers and discounts from our partners
-Chance to win awesome raffle prizes at every event
-Valentine’s Week Launch surprises 🙂

*Early Bird pricing ends on January 31st, Regular Pricing $40

For more info go to: www.VegSpeedDate.com

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Worried that your mini-date will be with someone out of your preferred age range?

It happens. However, you can still make it a fun five minutes. Maybe you’ll learn something new or make a business connection. Be open, have fun, and again—see each person as a potential friend who might teach you something new or inspire you in some way.


Visit Facebook Event Page

Vegan Food Crawl 2016

Thank you for everyone who participated in the 2016 Vegan Food Crawl


The 2nd Annual Vegan Food Crawl has arrived and is just around the corner! This year’s lineup is something to get excited about as we have more vegan options that have made way into Bellevue! We will also have a few non-profits and other plant-based companies attend during registration. Let’s make this year’s crawl a huge success and have a blast raising vegan awareness and enjoying some fabulous vegan food!

Date
Sunday, August 14, 2016

Event Time
11:30am – 4:30pm

Additional Event Info Here