America’s Love Affair with Indian Food

The Rise of Indian Cuisine in the US

At best, the first appearance of any restaurant serving Indian food in the United States is under-discussed. In a 1921 news article of the New York Times, the influx of European immigrants to the US and them putting up restaurants, in particular in New York, was the main story.

The article only sparingly talked about immigrant cuisines from China and India. Earlier, in 1909, articles in the Chicago Daily Tribune talked about American fascination with India, including its cuisine. It was just the beginning. Food was central to the earliest South Asian immigrants to the Midwest and the East Coast.

In 2010, a New York university based expert on the succession of American ethnic foods talked about Indian cuisine and where it is in the succession line. With every decade, there seems to be an ethnic food trend of its own. In the ’80s it was Japanese food. In the ’90s it was Thai. The first 10 years of 2000 saw the hipsterization of the taco truck. Where is Indian cuisine?

The expert believed that there is a historical basis that Indian food can be as prestigious as Italian food in 100 years. When Italian immigration to the US started in the 1880s, it took a long time to become popular. But if you talk about prestige, Italian cuisine only gained respect in the 1980s, 100 years later. The expert said that it maybe by 2065 for Indian cuisine to reach the level. As far as Indian immigration is concerned, with only 2.7 million Indians in America (2010), it may take a population of 20 million before Indian culture can become everyday culture in the US.

Nation’s Restaurant News predicts Indian food will be one of the biggest trends of 2017. More millennials have a craving for diverse cuisine. Note the increasing popularity of curries, an indication of more adventurous palates. Many upscale restaurants are doing Indian flavors already, addressing the need for high-quality Indian food implying higher prices. The dollar-conscious American may be willing to pay but only for above par food standards.

Diversity and Quality in Bellevue

Take a culinary journey into South India’s best and most popular delicacies that many of our diners praise for their high quality diversity and taste. MokSha offers you not just a meal, but a cultural experience.

How Hinduism Affects Indian Cuisine

The Hindu Diet of Greater India

The diet of the people of India is as diverse as the religion they practice. Their beliefs seem to play a major role in what can and cannot be consumed. Take meat, for example. About 30% of the population are regular meat eaters. The most common meats they eat are that of goat, sheep, water buffalo, chicken, fish and prawn.

The rest of the population are lacto-vegetarians, meaning they abstain from eating meat and eggs, but eat dairy products. However, there are 2 types of these: the bigger group of strictly lacto- vegetarians and those who are semi-lacto-vegetarians – eat fish regularly (if living on coastal region), eat eggs for health, or eat meats on social occasions.

With more than 80% of India practising Hinduism, beef is forbidden food and many states do not permit the slaughter of cows or monkeys. There is no specific written law against eating meat, yet majority of Hindus are lacto-vegetarians. Many sects promote the sattvic vegetarian diet, obligatory living that causes minimum harm to other lifeforms. Vegetarianism, they say, purifies the body and the mind.

Lacto-vegetarians Hindus favor milk-based foods and all other non-animal derived foods, but excludes meat and eggs. Hindus believe that their diet promotes compassion to animals, that animal foods are not healthy for spiritual growth, and that only vegetarian foods can be offered to the deities.

Many non-vegetarian Hindus eat meat and eggs. They, however, will demand that the animal from whose meat they will partake should have been killed quickly and painlessly. Hindus will eat dairy products, fish and shellfish or even poultry. While they’ll eat meat, they distinguish those from cows and will not eat beef. Cows are sacred animals in India, regarded as family members and, as mothers, are life-giving.

Balancing the Elements with Hindu Diet

Southern Indian cuisine is mostly vegetarian, and so you have the familiar aromatics, coconut milk, lentils and seafood. That is what we offer at MokSHA, your Indian restaurant in Bellevue.

Turmeric: The Healthy Golden Spice of India

Amazing Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is a bright orange spice not only great for adding color to your dish, but the health benefits are immense. A member of the ginger family, this spice is harvested from the root of a curcuma longa plant. Its ancient medicinal use began when it was discovered to be an anti-inflammatory agent.

Curcumin is the primary anti-inflammatory component in turmeric that is comparable to OTC drugs without the side effects. Much later on, it was use to treat a wide variety of conditions, such as jaundice, menstrual problems, blood in the urine, hemorrhaging, toothaches, bruises, chest pain, flatulence, and colic.

Turmeric has a revered place in the Ayurvedic pharmacopeia, the comprehensive holistic health care list that dates back to 500 B.C.

This spice has almost no calories (1 tablespoon = 24 calories) and zero cholesterol. But even one tablespoon provides excellent phytonutrients. In fact, turmeric is effective even in very small quantities, such as one serving of a turmeric-spiced dish.

Basic nutritional aspects of turmeric include a 26% daily value in manganese and 16% in iron. It’s also an excellent source of fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, and healthy amounts of vitamin C and magnesium.

Curcumin’s immunity boosting properties are substantiated by studies, and which suggest also that curcumin is beneficial in conditions like arthritis, allergy, asthma, atherosclerosis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cancer. This was arrived at because the agent has the ability to modulate immune system.

Turmeric has anti-oxidant properties so it fights chronic degenerative diseases. It protects against certain chronic liver conditions and fights against acute liver damage. It helps control the development of type 2 diabetes by lessening insulin resistance. It aids in weight loss and reduces the incidence of obesity-related diseases.

The golden spice can also improve rheumatoid arthritis, treat sprains and swellings, and is even a home remedy for chronic cough. The spice is not just a great food ingredient. Its amazing health benefits make it very much sought after.

Delicious and Healthy Spice in Bellevue

You know now how beneficial to health is India’s golden spice. A dish at MokSha laced with turmeric, your Indian restaurant in Bellevue, can give you your health boost for the day. That easy and so delicious, too.

Eating Halal: Conforming to Edict in Bellevue

Understanding Halal Meat

The word ‘halal’ literally means permissible or lawful. So when you encounter halal meats, they are simply meats allowed to be consumed by Muslims. Halal is an Arabic term and in accordance with Islamic law only meats certified as halal are permissible food. Arabic is the language of the Qur`an, the scripture revealed to the Holy Prophet of Islam by Allah to be followed in its entirety by all Muslims. What makes the meat halal?

To be called halal, the animal or poultry will undergo ritual slaughter (called Zibah or Zabihah). The animal must be alive and healthy, and with a one-time swipe of a razor sharp knife to its windpipe ensures less pain and suffering for the animal. But first, a designated Muslim rabbi will have to recite the required tasmiya or shahada dedicating the animal to Allah. His name must be pronounced during the slaughter also. All blood flowing from the animal should be drained until dry, as blood is not permissible to be eaten.

There are other things forbidden in undertaking this ritual. Doing so will negate everything else that halal signifies. For example, only a Muslim can perform the slaughter, the animal must not be dead nor unconscious before killing it, it must have no illness nor lacerations before the slaughter, must have drank water and been fed a natural diet that did not contain animal by-products.

Also, the animal must not see other animals being slaughtered. Accomplishing the ritual, both the one with the knife and the animal must turn their faces towards Mecca. Since pork is forbidden, the slaughter of any animal for halal purposes must not take place where pigs are normally slaughtered. It is also forbidden that animals killed by strangling or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall should be considered for halal.

Hence, with all these edicts and rules concerning halal ritual and halal meat, and there are a few more, you can be sure that the animal’s or fowl’s welfare have been deeply considered.

Truly Halal Meats You Can Love

If you are not a pork-eater but are carnivorous just the same, you will love our halal meats at MokSHA in Bellevue. Our Indian restaurant serves some of the best halal foods and the best of Southern India cuisine in Bellevue. Reserve a table today.

The Many Uses of Indian Turmeric Powder

Turmeric: From Food to Pesticide to Cosmetics

“Indian saffron” or turmeric is easily recognized for its deep yellow color. Throughout Indian history, this powder has been used as a condiment, textile dye, health remedy, and a symbolism of purity, prosperity, and fertility.

Belonging to the ginger family, turmeric has been used in East India and the Middle East for thousands of years, and is now one of the most highly-prized spices in the world. A domesticated plant rather than wild, India remains one of the most prominent producers of turmeric, along with Indonesia, the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Jamaica, and Haiti.

In India, it is used in almost all curries and gravy dishes. It gives a rich color and a unique flavor to dishes. It is well-known for its plethora of health benefits. But we are not going to touch on those yet. Let us whet your curiosity instead of the many, yet slightly known uses of turmeric in India.

Did you know that turmeric is an effective pesticide? Just sprinkle the powder diluted in water near all entry points of your house to keep off insects, like ants and termites. It’s also a well-known preservative. Just add the powder to your cottage cheese (paneer) and your cheese will last up to 12 days. Use it as a dye and it can color your fabrics with that bright neon yellow. The color yellow is considered sacred and auspicious in India. Any fabric dyed in turmeric is considered pure.

Turmeric water is offered to the gods in the temples as a part of Hindu ritual called Abhishekam. Just before any Indian wedding ceremony, the spice is applied to the bride and groom as it is believed to ward off the evil eye. Additionally, it also gives the newlyweds a fresh glow. Hence, it is also used as a cosmetic by Indian women, applied as creams, face masks, and body scrubs to boost the glow factor.

New born babies are also rubbed with turmeric on their forehead for good luck. Washing in turmeric improves skin complexion and also reduces hair growth on body. Today there are lots of herbal products in the market in which main herb used is turmeric as natural ingredient.

Thanks to Turmeric: Like it Spicy

Now you know of turmeric’s other wonderful uses, it still doesn’t take away the fact that it’s a great gift to Indian cuisine. Here at MokSha, your Indian restaurant in Bellevue, we remind you all the time with each dish you enjoy.

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

Southern Indian Cooking

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

Veg Speed Date Bellevue – MokSHA

Veg Speed Date is coming to Bellevue!

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


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:


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

Biryani: A Crowd-Pleaser Dish

The Indian Main Dish with Muslim Origins

“Biryani” is an Urdu word derived from the Persian language, which was used in medieval India under various Islamic dynasties. It is said to originate from “birinj”, the Persian word for rice. People in Central Asia, more than four thousand years ago, have been adding the meat of cows, buffaloes (beef) and goats (mutton) to rice, later called Pulao, the precursor of the Biryani. If people were well- off, they use goat meat, poorer folks use beef.

The one-dish, rice-based meal consists of rice and meat that are layered in a casserole before it is oven-baked. The meat can be chicken, seafood and other meats, or can be meatless, as in a veggie casserole. Normally, biryani is made of basmati rice, the long slender-grained aromatic rice of India, and then flavored with cloves, cinnamon, cardamon, bay leaf, coriander, mint, ginger, garlic and onions.

Orange saffron milk is traditionally sprinkled on the top of the dish before baking, which accounts for the rice’s yellow-orange color and saffron flavor. Biryani is often served with a yogurt-based condiment such as raita or a tomato, onion and cilantro relish.

Biryani is the primary dish in a meal, not just an accompaniment. The meat and rice are cooked separately before being layered and cooked together. Also, it has a strong taste of curried rice due to a high amount of spices. But not all biryanis are the same. With the massiveness of the country, there are different versions of this meal depending on the region. Pakistan, Delhi, Calcutta, Kerala, Ambur, Tamil Nadu, Karachi, and Hyderabad, among others have each their own version of biryani.

This is truly a dish to serve whenever families, communities and regions come together for celebrations.

Celebrating India in Bellevue

When in Bellevue and exploring exotic Asian dishes, try Indian cuisine. Visit our Indian restaurant and browse our menu – you might just find one you’d absolutely like. Give biryani a try and experience traditional Indian food at its best.