The Benefits of Hummus

Hummus is one of the world’s oldest dishes, dating back at least as far back as seven thousand years ago. The key ingredient of this dish is chickpeas. As such, it possesses all of the impressive health benefits of these beans, including the following:

  • Chickpeas are rich in fiber, which serves to facilitate a healthy blood sugar level and help remove unhealthy cholesterol from your system.
  • Vegetarians, vegans, and other people looking to reduce their intake of meat appreciate hummus for its strong protein and iron content.
  • The folic acid found in hummus is an important nutrient for proper bodily function. It is particularly important during pregnancy, as it prevents certain birth defects.
  • Tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine, all of which are present in hummus, are good at improving your mood and fostering restful sleep.
  • The olive oil used in hummus is rich in monounsaturated fat, which is beneficial to your heart.
  • There is a trace amount of molybdenum in chickpeas, which detoxifies the body.
  • The phytic acid and saponins in hummus defend your cells from genetic damage, preventing the development of cancerous growths.
  • Hummus is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which prevent pain and inflammation, and help to sharpen the mind and ward off mental diseases associated with advanced age.

You can try our Mediterranean or Roasted Garlic Hummus at our Bellevue Indian restaurant. Join us for happy hour 3-6pm daily and all day Sunday!

Heart-Healthy Shrimp

There was a time when shrimp was considered to be taboo for people struggling with heart problems. This was because a single, 3.5 ounce serving of shrimp contains about 200 mg of cholesterol. A serving of this size accounts for a full day’s allotment of cholesterol for people at risk of heart disease. However, don’t let this lead you to believe that shrimp are bad for your heart health. Used properly, shrimp can actually reduce your chances of heart disease.

It is important to understand that there is both good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Bad cholesterol, or LDL cholesterol, is the type that forms a plaque around your blood vessels and puts you at an increased risk of developing heart disease. Good cholesterol, or HDL cholesterol, actually serves to break down LDL cholesterol and remove it from your body. The cholesterol in shrimp is largely of the healthy variety. In one study, subjects were fed ten ounces of shrimp every day for three weeks; it was discovered that, compared to the control group, the group that ate shrimp experienced an increase in bad cholesterol in their blood by about seven percent, but an increase in healthy, HDL cholesterol of twelve percent, as well as an overall decrease of thirteen percent in triglycerides.

The final word is that moderate servings of shrimp can play a role in a heart-healthy diet. Join MokSHA in Bellevue for some 7 Spice Shrimp, Spicy Tamarind Shrimp, Shrimp Biryani, and other Indian-style shrimp dishes today.

What is a Thali?

The word thali translates to “plate”, specifically referring to a round, stainless steel plate commonly used throughout much of India and South Asia.

The word is also commonly used to describe the meal that is served on such a plate. A thali meal comes in many forms, the general idea being that it should include all six of the different taste sensations identified by Indian traditions. These tastes include the familiar bitter, sour, salt, and sweet, adding to these spicy and astringent. A proper meal, according to Indian traditions, should feature each of these in perfect balance. They generally include some form of bread, a rice dish, vegetables, milk products, various sides, and a sweet.

At MokSHA, you can enjoy one of five different kinds of thali. Come and experience the rich spectrum of Indian flavors today!

Indian Street Food

On any day, you can expect the streets of India’s larger urban areas to be awash with food vendors advertising their delicious wares. Even here, in its simpler forms, we can see that Indian food can be quite the fascinating experience. You can find all sorts of classic dishes out on the Indian streets, including such favorites as kebabs, lassi, tandoori chicken, omelettes, chaat, aloo paratha, rabri, and many more exciting options.

The Indian street vendors are a far cry from the familiar hot-dog-friers we most commonly associate with street food in the United States; they are culinary artisans, combining a rich selection of traditional spices and sauces into the hearty and flavorful dishes that the country is known for. Some even have their own portable, tandoori-style ovens, where you can watch them press the dough right up against the oven’s inner wall to cook it before your very eyes.

The Value of Lentils

Lentils are a very important part of the culinary traditions throughout much of the Middle East. It is thought to have originated in the area, likely representing one of the very earliest crops to have been cultivated by the native civilizations. For many, it is a staple second only to rice, and features strongly in soups, stews, dal, mejadra, and other dishes.

Many chefs favor lentils because they have very little taste by themselves, and are great at absorbing the flavors of other ingredients they are combined with. When added to a spicy Indian dish, they take on the taste of the most powerful spice present.

Nutritionally, the lentil is a strong choice. A single half-cup serving of the legume gives you roughly 60% of your daily recommended iron, 67% of your vitamin B1, 28% of your copper, 18% of your protein, 12% of your zinc, 10% of your potassium, thirty-one grams of dietary fiber, and a whole lot more.

At our Bellevue Indian restaurant, you can experience the superior nutrition of lentils in many of our South Indian-style dishes.

Garlic in India

India has had a long relationship with garlic. Some of the earliest available written records from the country show us that the Indian people were aware of its curative properties since ancient times. A medical text called Charaka-Samhita describes how it was used to treat heart disease and arthritis, and the Bower manuscript tells us that they would use it for fatigue, digestive diseases, leprosy, and parasites.

Though some of the properties associated with this classic clove are questionable, modern science has shown us that garlic does indeed offer many impressive health benefits. Powerful antioxidants serve to protect your cells from free radicals. People struggling with high blood pressure and cholesterol levels can use garlic to help manage these problems. Some studies have also demonstrated that garlic serves as a natural broad-spectrum antibiotic; it kills off harmful bacteria in your body, which apparently is unable to evolve a resistance and develop into a “superbug” the way such microbes often do when treated with conventional antibiotics.

If you would like to make garlic a bigger part of your own diet, consider our Bellevue Indian cuisine. From our garlic naan to our masala sauce, we have many delicious ways to improve your health.

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!

Vegans descend on Bellevue

Gail Goldman, far left, and her daughter Marley, far right, help themselves to vegan food at Moksha Indian Cuisine.
— Image Credit: Allison DeAngelis

by ALLISON DEANGELIS, Bellevue Reporter Reporter
Jul 29, 2015 at 4:21PM

“A swarm of people in bright green T-shirts filled the main room of the 520 Bar and Grill in the Old Bellevue neighborhood with noise. Some were longtime vegans, while a few were carnivores looking to try something new. Altogether, the group was participating in the first Vegan Food Crawl, organized by Bellevue-based health coach and blogger Kirstin Wuhrman.

‘I just noticed, on the Eastside, there’s not a lot of vegan-advertised restaurants, but there is actually a lot available,’ she said. ‘My goal was just to expose Bellevue as a vegan-friendly city.’

After finding many clients, friends and others were interested in learning more about the vegan options available on the Eastside, Wuhrman organized the food crawl at four Bellevue restaurants: 99 Park Restaurant, 520 Bar and Grill, Moksha Indian Cuisine and Suite Restaurant and Lounge. More than 60 people from Bellevue, Redmond, Bothell, North Bend and Seattle quickly filled the available spots in the event.

Many participants echoed Wuhrman’s sentiments that it can be difficult to discover restaurants with vegan options in the Eastside…

The final 2015 vegan food crawl in Bellevue will take place on Saturday, Aug. 1, but with the positive response and good ticket sales, Wuhrman said it’s likely she will go on to make it an annual or bi-annual event.”

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

1st Vegan Food Crawl

First Vegan Food Crawls Being Held in Bellevue This Summer

Posted on June 27, 2015 by BellevueNews

“Vegan Food Crawls in Bellevue on Three Dates, 1 Already Sold Out

The 1st Vegan Food Crawl is happening this summer in Downtown Bellevue. This is a great opportunity experience delicious vegan options from four participating downtown restaurants: 99 Park Restaurant, 520 Bar and Grill, MokSHA Indian Cuisine and Suit Restaurant/Lounge.

Tickets are $15/crawler, which includes a sampling menu from each restaurant as well as a Vegan Food Crawl T-Shirt.

There is an optional Chef-Guided 4 Course Meal ($20) at MokSHA that will follow the Food Crawl for those interested.

Registration and full details here: www.veganfoodcrawl.com

Space is limited, so please register ASAP.
Registration Deadline: July 7, 2015

  • Saturday, August 1st – Sold out
  • Wednesday, July 22nd – spaces available
  • Tuesday, July 28th – spaces available