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.

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!