Being Curious About Curry in Bellevue

Curry Then and Now

When they ruled India, the British invented the word ‘curry’ as their version of the Tamil ‘kari’ which means sauce. The anglicized version of kari is now commonly used to describe almost any food of South Asian origin, especially that of India. However, there’s a misconception that all Indian food contains curry powder. A Indian curry dish contains meat and vegetables and served over rice and includes an Indian-style sauce made with strong spices such as turmeric. It can also not contain meat, hence, can be vegetarian.

After curry was discovered by the colonizers, the condiment was massively exported to other parts of the world in the 19th and 20th centuries. In the mid-20th century, Indian cuisine became more globally popular, so curry and curry powder became widely available. However, countries like China, Japan, Great Britain, South Africa and the West Indies all have their own unique curry dishes, so its flavor and technique can vary extensively depending on where it’s from.

What’s in the yellow-orange powder? Curry powder is commercially prepared with a mix of spices like coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek and chili peppers. It gets its yellow color from the turmeric which is also the most valuable spice component. The complex mix within curry and the proportions of ingredients vary depending on national, regional, religious or family traditions in different parts of the world.

Curry dishes in India alone are not the same. From the Punjab region, for example, it involves wheat instead of rice, and is heavy on the butter and cream. Dishes from Malayali have coconut and coconut milk, as well as bay leaves. From Tamil, which is probably what most westerners think of when they think of curry, Tamil curry refers to shallow-fried meat or vegetables cooked along with dry spices.

In many parts of the world, you can buy a prepared blend of spices known as curry powder that is used to make a dish of this name. This powder may contain curry leaves, which come from the curry tree (or curry leaf tree), which is native to India. So you see, most people do associate curry with India when in fact, different countries have their own versions. This makes curry a true international food item and curry dishes globally appreciated.

Appreciating Curry in Bellevue

We serve many curry dishes at our popular Indian restaurant in Bellevue, the Spice Route MokSha. For meat lovers or straight vegetarians, our curry selections are classic favorites. Experience authentic Indian recipes that are tasty, healthy and sustainable.

Understanding Lamb Meat: by Indian Restaurant

Lamb Meat Benefits

A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and its flesh is known to be tender and its flavor delicate. It is the palest of meat and best slaughtered at 6 to 8 weeks old. Meat from older sheep is called hogget and are lambs from 1 to 2 years old, of stronger flavor and less tender meat. Lambs’ meat older than 2 years is called mutton. It has much more flavor and needs slow cooking to tenderize its tough flesh. The older the lamb, the deeper is its color.

There are various cuts of lamb, including lamb chops – which may come in the form of rib chops, loin chops or shoulder chops – and whole leg of lamb. Kosher and Halal varieties are also available. Organic lamb and rare breed lamb are the most expensive, adhering to the highest farming standards.

Is lamb meat that healthy? Let’s see. It’s an excellent source of protein. 4 oz. of lamb contains 27.5 g of protein, that’s 55% of the recommended daily adult intake. It also gives you 48% of daily value of vitamin B12, essential for red blood cell production, nerve function and in the metabolism of homocysteine; 37% of niacin, which helps the body release energy from food and is important for nervous system function; and 14% of riboflavin which helps the body release energy from foods and plays a role in good vision.

Lamb is also a good source of some minerals and trace elements, especially zinc, then iron and copper. Zinc supports the immune system, aids wound healing and maintains healthy testosterone levels. Iron is needed for red blood cell production and its deficiency causes anemia. Copper is important for iron metabolism and participates in red blood cell synthesis.

Unfortunately, lamb is rich in saturated fat and calories, with 4 oz. containing 331 calories and almost 10 g of saturated fat. Those who are obese or on a diet should mind the high calorie profile, not to mention that saturated fat is a risk factor for heart disease and high cholesterol. The high purine content of lamb meat is also of concern. It converts to uric acid which may increase the risk for kidney stones and gout. Then again, moderation is key to enjoying lamb meat and its health benefits.

Loving Lamb in Moderation in Bellevue

Hindus and our American diners so love our lamb meat and its varied preparations. Have lamb saag, lamb vindaloo, lamb karaikudi, and lamb biryani. Have them gluten-free or otherwise, but have healthy dining any time, here at MokSHA in Bellevue.

Amazing Benefits of the Golden Root

Raw Turmeric and Its Health Benefits

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and naturally occurs in Southern Asia and India. It is characterized by its rough, brown skin and a dark orange flesh. With a fragrant aroma and slightly bitter taste, turmeric is a common Indian culinary spice. It gives curry its yellow color. Not only has it been used for thousands of years as a spice, it is also a medicinal herb. It is well known for its antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Turmeric’s number one benefit is that it is a digestion booster. Curcumin, turmeric’s main component, triggers bile production which helps facilitate smoother digestion through the digestive tract. Hence, those with gastric problems like indigestion and heartburn, and irritable bowel syndrome can benefit from this spice. Experts also say that raw turmeric may help treat stomach ulcers and irritation.

The anti-inflammatory properties of raw turmeric help relieve symptoms associated with both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Turmeric can also be used to treat inflammation due to eye infections.

The antioxidants present in raw turmeric can help cure a variety of skin problems, including those caused by air pollution. By curbing free radical activity, it can boost skin health. Using raw haldi is one of the oldest and traditional ways to treat skin disease.

In the same vein, turmeric could be a perfect ointment to any kind of cuts or injuries. Curcumin has antiseptic qualities, excellent also for external use. Its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties boost healing. As a pain-reliever, one can take turmeric with warm milk for best results. It can also be applied in paste form on the affected area.

Experts and some studies claimed that the raw compound can also act as a blood purifier, eliminating toxins from the body. It also regulates blood clot formation. It was also claimed that it can regulate blood sugar levels, surely good news for diabetics also.

Delicious with Benefits in Bellevue

MokSHA in Bellevue uses turmeric in many of its classic dishes. Enjoy our selections and savor authentic southern Indian cuisine with their natural flavors and aroma. Dine delicious and dine healthy in Bellevue.

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.