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.

Digestion Booster

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.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

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.

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 popular spices 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.

Spices

India’s Most Popular Spices Are Blends of Spices

Top Spices of the North and South  

India is known for its many herbs and spices. Four of the most popular ones are the chettinad masala, bafat, curry leaves and garam masala. 

Chettinad Masala

A traditional spice blend – consisting of 16 or more spices – is the Chettinad Masala, originating from Tamil Nadu, in the extreme south of India. Some of the spices are cinnamon, green cardamom, mace, star anise, cloves, fenugreek, black pepper, kapok, cumin, coriander, fennel, mustard seeds, dry red chili peppers, curry leaves, poppy seeds, turmeric, and the key ingredient called stone flower, which releases an intense aroma when tempered. To make Chettinad, all the spices are dry-roasted in a particular order, left to cool and pounded in a mortar with a pestle. Chettinad is usually used in various Chettinad non-vegetarian and vegetarian curries. 

Bafat

Bafat is another group of spices that is traditional Mangalorean, a collection of ethnic groups from the historical locales of South Canara on the south western coast of Karnataka.  Their cuisine is largely influenced by South Indian cuisine and the highly aromatic spicy blend is especially typical of the Mangalorean Catholic community. Bafat is a blend of ground spices such as red chilis, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, mustard seeds, and turmeric. To make bafat, each spice is dry-roasted separately until fragrant and slightly browned, then all of them are combined and ground to a powdery consistency; they enhance the flavor of various meat specialties, curries, and vegetarian dishes. Bafat is available at most grocery stores in Mangalore. 

Curry Leaves

Curry leaves are a staple of South Indian cuisine The dark, shiny green color and aroma of the leaves release a unique, nutty aroma when fried in oil. The leaves soften significantly when cooked and are usually used as a flavoring to rice, chutneys, dals, soups, and stews. Curry leaves are common in many Indian groceries, frozen or kept in an airtight container to keep their flavors for a longer time.

Garam Masala

Garam Masala can be literally translated as hot ingredients, and is sometimes described as an aromatic blend that is meant to heat the body. The blend is intensely aromatic and may consist of ground spices such as cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, cloves, and peppercorns. Its origins are in Northern India, where winters are typically colder than in the rest of the country. It is recommended to be used at the end of the cooking process to achieve the best flavor, although it can also be used at the beginning, when it’s usually added to ghee or cooking oil in order to provide a more pungent flavor.

Source

Enjoying Flavors of the North

MokSHA Bellevue uses all the above spices when and where to flavor our selections. We offer an unforgettable dining experience when you come for authentic Northern Indian cuisine.

Spices Indian Food

What is Papadum?

papadum

Papadum is a type of bread originating from Indian culinary traditions. Occasionally, you may see it go under the name “lentil chips”, “appala”, or “papari”. It comes in the form of a thin, cracker-like food made from a dough that might be made from a flour of black beans, lentils, rice, or chickpeas. Often times, the dough will be seasoned with an assortment of Indian spices to give it an extra kick.

People will enjoy papadum in a variety of different ways. Sometimes it stands by itself as an appetizer or a snack, possibly dressed with chutney, raita, or a similar sauce. It may also be served along with a curry dish, where it might serve as a utensil to scoop up the main dish.

Those who are unable to handle the strong spiciness of Indian dishes find the bread handy for cutting the intensity of the curry.

The Many Benefits of Chili Peppers

Chili Pepper

The chili pepper is surprisingly dense in valuable vitamins and minerals. In a single, 100 gram serving, you get 240% of your recommended vitamin C, 39% percent of your vitamin B6, 32% of your vitamin A, 13% of your iron, 14% of your copper, 7% of your potassium, and more.

The nutritional benefits of a diet rich in chili peppers are many, and include all of the following:

  • Heart Health: The capsaicin found in the peppers serve to reduce your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, protecting your heart from damage. It also helps your body break down fibrin, which is important for the formation of blood clots. It has been observed that cultures that eat a lot of hot peppers have a significantly lower rate of heart attacks and strokes.
  • Lower Blood Pressure: The high vitamin content of the peppers facilitate healthy, elastic blood vessels that are better able to deal with pressure fluctuations. Eating peppers also promote sweating, which removes sodium from your bloodstream.
  • Weight Control: The thermogenic properties of capsaicin stimulate your body’s natural fat-burning processes. This prevents the formation of adipose tissue and generate heat and promotes weight loss.
  • Metabolic Health: A scientific study demonstrated that capsaicin prevents stomach ulcers, kills harmful bacteria in your digestive tract, and may serve to cure inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Anti-Inflammation: Capsaicin is a potent anti-inflammant, helping your body fight pain associated with inflammation.
  • Cancer Prevention: It has been found that capsaicin kills off malignant cancer cells in the prostate.

Red pepper powder is a big part of South Indian culinary traditions. If you would like to make this healthy pepper a bigger part of your life, come down to our Bellevue Indian cuisine restaurant tonight.

Interesting Facts About India’s Food You Thought You Knew

Indian Cuisine

Food is much a part of India’s art and culture and many recipes today go back thousands of years in the nation’s history. With a tale that long, surely outside influences have come to shape and color India’s cuisine as we know now. The vast country’s myriad of dishes may not all be homegrown. Let’s look along those lines and what else.

Indian food is said to be based on six kinds of tastes or rasas – sweet (madhura), salty (lavana), sour (amala), pungent (katu), bitter (tikta) and astringent (kasya). This is the wisdom of Ayurvedic nutrition, much revered by the people of India, as they believe the tongue says it all – the natural guide map to proper nutrition.

Deep fried balls of dough or gulab jamun, which are dipped in sugar syrup, are not really from India. They originated in the Mediterranean region of Luqmat al Qadi, long before they came to India.

The popular samosa, the fried or baked dish with savory fillings, is from the Middle East and only came to India prior to the 13th to 14th century. Jalebi or Zalebi, the deep-fried, pretzel-shaped maida flour batter is also from the Middle East.

From Nepal, came India’s Daal Chawal/Daal Bhaat, which is steamed rice and a cooked lentil soup. Rajma, vegetarian dish of red kidney beans, originally belongs to Mexico. Naan, India’s oven-baked flatbread, has Persian roots. The famous saffron spice is not originally Indian; it was brought by Greek, Arab and Roman traders in the Middle Ages. And did you know that the world-famous Chicken Tikka Masala is Scottish in origin?

There’s more! Black rice is found only in India and China and is also known as forbidden or magic rice. Coffee was unknown to India before the 16th century. And thanks to the British! It was only around the 16th century when tomato, potato, and sugar were introduced in India. The lowest meat consumption in the world per person – you guessed right – India!

Having Fun with Amazing Food Facts in Bellevue

Know more when you dine at MokSHA, your Indian restaurant in Bellevue. You never thought you knew until now. Have a little fun while enjoying our authentic Indian selections. Dine sumptuous, healthy and sustainable.

Spices

Grass-fed, Cage-free Meat at our Bellevue Indian Restaurant

Why Eat Grass-fed, Cage-free Meat?

Eating meat is not all bad. In fact, you can make a difference if your meat of choice is sourced from animals bred for meat that feed on fresh grass and roam free in farms. These animals are more humanely treated, though may be more expensive meat, and their benefits are manifold.

Being raised organically, these animals are fed with organic feed, a more nutritious alternative. Since they are not caged or confined in closed spaces there are less chances of contamination or bacterial and viral attacks within their enclosures. Waste and pollution within confinements are also greatly reduced. Also, free range animals tend to eat their natural foods, like fresh grass, insects, grubs that are more nutritious and are out in the open. Being so, these humanely raised animals contain higher amount of vitamins and minerals and less saturated fat.

Bellevue Indian Restaurant supports Sustainability

Raising these organically fed animals is also good for biodiversity as sustainable farms raise a variety of livestock in a given environment building natural resistance to diseases. Local farms like these use less energy in terms of fuel for transport and need not travel far to deliver their goods. If you support these farms you are actually sustaining your local community and not the big corporations.

So why not grass-fed, cage-free meat for good health and sustainable community.

MokSHA, serving Indian cuisine in Bellevue, supports farms that raise grass-fed and cage-free animals for food consumption. Experience delicious and healthy options at MokSHA and know the difference.

Paneer: India’s Favorite Cheese

Paneer is a variety of cow’s milk cheese that traces its origins back to India. It is the most common of cheese used in India, as well as throughout much of the Middle East. It is called an acid-set cheese, meaning that it is curdled and set with the help of lemon juice or a similar acid instead of the rennet and bacteria that is commonly used for most conventional cheeses. Its lack of rennet and its high protein content makes the cheese a popular choice for vegetarians.

The word “paneer” is a Persian word that translates to “cheese”. It was apparently first created back in the seventeenth century, when the Portuguese introduced the process of creating acid-set cheeses to the country. After that, it spread throughout India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, where it remains highly popular to this day.

The taste of paneer is simple and highly versatile. Many chefs like to crumble it into many curry-based dishes, since the cheese readily absorbs the strong flavors of the spices. You can also find it used as a filling for traditional stuffed breads and desserts. In modern India, it has been adopted for use in a number of familiar fast-food dishes, with paneer-topped pizzas, paneer cheeseburgers, and even a paneer-stuffed burrito appearing in Indian versions of American franchises..

At MokSHA’s Bellevue Indian cuisine restaurant, you can experience the taste of paneer in many of our dishes. Try a lahsooni saag paneer, a paneer butter masala, or a malai paneer kofta.

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Parotta: India’s Favorite Flatbread

Parotta

A parotta, alternatively known as “paratha”, is a kind of flatbread originating from Indian culinary traditions. The name is derived from the words “parat” and “atta”. Together, these words literally translate to “layers of cooked dough”, describing the flaky, layered texture of the bread. This fine texture and the great taste has made the flatbread a big favorite both in India and throughout the globe.

The preparation of a parotta starts with whole wheat dough. Sometimes ghee will be added during the kneading process. Once the dough is smooth, it is formed into balls, allowed to rest for as much as six hours, and then rolled or stretched out into paper-thin sheets. A cook will fold these sheets multiple times in order to achieve the unique, crisp, flaky texture of the final product. If a filling is to be added, it is placed in the middle of the dough during this process. It is then baked in a pan, cooking a few minutes on either side.

Parottas represent one of the subcontinent’s most popular breads. Indians will commonly eat them either as a breakfast dish, or as a tea-time snack. They will either be eaten plain, or stuffed with a filling like mashed, spiced potatoes, lentils, greens, or paneer. Sometimes, the bread will be rolled up and used as a dipping food with tea.

Eating Indian Food on a Low-Fat Diet

MokSha Bellevue Indian Cuisine

Healthy Dining Options

If you’re trying to cut down on your intake of unhealthy fats and cholesterol, Indian cuisine can be a very strong choice.

Traditional Indian dining is largely very friendly to a low-fat or low-cholesterol diet. First of all, there is a heavy dependence on grains and vegetables, rather than meats.

When meat is used, the grilling techniques frequently employed drain away much of the harmful fats. Finally, the strong spices used in most dishes serve to boost your metabolism, and are highly conducive of weight loss.

To get the most out of your diet while dining at an Indian restaurant, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Consider papadum bread or naan as an alternative to fried samosas.
  • If you eat meat, look for chicken or seafood instead of beef or lamb.
  • Shrimp is found in a lot of dishes. This gives you a healthy dose of the omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Look for a curry with a vegetable or dal base, rather than the ones prepared with a cream or coconut milk base.
  • Are you getting rice? Consider basmati over the familiar white rice. This popular Indian rice is big on valuable nutrition that can help you clean cholesterol out of your system, and has a great taste that works well without fatty sauces.
  • Try choosing dishes made with olive oil or garlic. Both of these common ingredients are effective in reducing your cholesterol levels.

At MokSHA in Bellevue, we offer many satisfying, South Indian-style dishes that mesh well with a variety of diets. Come and try one of our curries, kebabs, or more today!

Peanut Sauces in Indian Cuisine

Peanut-based sauces are a big part of the culinary traditions of numerous cultures, including those of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Vietnam, parts of Africa, and India. Variations can also be found in lesser degrees throughout Europe, the Middle East, and the Philippines. It is often used as an accompaniment for meat or vegetable dishes, and occasionally employed as a dipping sauce.

The nutritional benefits of peanut sauce are many. Peanuts are a great source of quality, vegan-friendly protein. They are also rich in niacin, copper, resveratrol, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc, which serve to fight harmful cholesterol, lower your sodium levels, and prevent heart disease.

Though peanut sauces are generally high in fat and calories, much of this comes from monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Both of these are recognized as highly beneficial when enjoyed in moderation.

Typically, a peanut sauce will be made by combining ground, roasted peanuts with coconut milk, soy sauce, garlic, and spices. At MokSHA, you can experience the great taste of this sauce in our Peanut Indian Baby Eggplant dish, made with onions and cashews. Come give it a try at our Bellevue Indian restaurant.

Enjoy India’s Popular Lassi

Lassi is a popular drink in the Indian Subcontinent that is made from yogurt, water, fruits and spices. The drink can either be made into a sweet lassi containing sugar or fruits to sweeten the drink or a salted lassi. Lassis can be enjoyed as a summer refreshment to cool off from the hot weather.

Other than the classic lassi, other popular flavor is the Mango lassi. It’s made from the original ingredient with the addition of fresh mango or mango pulp.

The Mango lassi is enjoyed all over the world and is a summertime favorite because of the cold and creamy consistency, similar to a smoothie. Just like a smoothie, Lassi drinks can be made at home with a few simple ingredients.

Ingredients

The base ingredients include: plain yogurt, water, and flavor such as salt, sugar, honey, fruits, spices, etc. There are alternatives such as coconut milk for a vegan option. Some people add in alcohol, mint leaves, nuts, flaxseeds, cream, or even butter to change up the classic recipe.

Health Benefits

Since the drink is a yogurt based drink, it contains many beneficial bacteria that aides digestion and decreases the harmful bacteria.

Try our Mango Lassi, one of the popular and top selling beverages at MokSHA Bellevue.

Rice in India

It could be easily argued that rice is the single most important food item in the entire world. A major part of many culinary traditions throughout the globe, this grain is cultivated on every inhabited continent. Current estimations suggest that a full half of the world’s population subsists either wholly or partially on rice, and the people of India are no exception.

Rice has been a big part of Indian dining since ancient times. Historical records indicate that the grain was first cultivated as a food source in neighboring China approximately four thousand years ago, and the practice made its way to India not long afterward.

The tropical crop took well to India’s warm, wet climates, and it was quickly embraced as a staple food. Today, the country grows roughly twenty percent of the world’s rice, coming in second to China as the leading rice producer.

Even as many farmers in Europe and America switch over to mechanized cultivation techniques, the traditional rice farming methods are still practiced in much of India. First, a field is plowed and fertilized with dung, then smoothed over by dragging a log over the earth.

The seeds are then planted and allowed to sprout. After about thirty to fifty days, the plants are transplanted by hand to flooded fields. The water in these fields is maintained by either dyke-controlled canals or hand-watering, and is allowed to drain out before the crop is harvested.

Basmati Rice

Basmati Rice

The type of rice most predominantly used in Indian cooking is a long-grain variety known as basmati. This term is taken from Sanskrit, and translates to “the fragrant one”. Rich with essential oils, basmati grains release the distinctive and pleasing aroma for which it is named as it is boiled.

In traditional cooking, the Indian people will serve basmati with a spicy sauce or meat stew, mixing the two together before eating them. Many Indian restaurants in America will give diners the choice between familiar white rice and the more traditional basmati.

Nutritionally, basmati rice is a strong choice. Compared to other forms of rice, basmati has a relatively low natural sugar content and glycemic index rating. For this reason, it is particularly good for people suffering from diabetes and similar conditions that make them sensitive to blood sugar spikes.

Basmati also contains trace amounts of valuable nutrients, including iron and selenium. In the case of brown basmati, representing basmati grains that still have their outer bran layer, you can also expect a healthy supply of fiber and protein. White rice features less fiber and protein, but is often enriched with folate and other nutrients.

The Benefits of Eating Spinach

It’s no secret that spinach is one of the healthier foods you can eat. A diet rich in spinach gives you many benefits, including the following:

  • Fiber: A single cup of spinach gives you fully 20% of your recommended daily intake of dietary fiber. Your body needs fiber to maintain a healthy digestive system and stay regular. It also serves to help maintain a low blood sugar. If you need to watch your weight, it’s a good way to curb your appetite and prevent overeating.
  • Cancer Prevention: The flavonoids found in spinach have been found to slow down the division of cancerous cells in the human stomach or skin. It also protects against prostate cancer.
  • Antioxidants: Spinach is rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, selenium and zinc, all of which are valuable in protecting your cells from damage. Getting enough antioxidants in your life gives you a reduced chance of developing many diseases.
  • Anti-Inflammation: The neoxanthin and violaxanthin in spinach have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Heart Health: The peptides found in spinach inhibit the angiotensin I-converting enzyme, serving to lower your blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
  • Vitamin K: A single cup of spinach gives you over 1000% of your recommended intake of vitamin K. This vitamin is valuable in maintaining healthy bones, protecting your brain and nervous system, and fighting diseases like atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and strokes.

You can get the spinach you need at MokSHA in Bellevue in a number of delicious South Indian-style dishes. Try our lamb or chicken saag, served with spinach and garam masala. Come in for lunch and try our spinach sauce over vegetables, paneer, chicken, lamb, salmon, or shrimp.

What is a Samosa?

A samosa is a type of savory pastry from Indian culinary traditions. It is made with filo dough or a similar pastry crust, which is stuffed with fillings that may include curried potatoes, peas, lamb, chicken, onions, lentils, noodles, pine nuts, and more. The dough is folded over its filling in a distinctive, triangular shape, after which it is deep-fried in vegetable oil until it achieves a golden-brown appearance. It will then be served hot as an entree or appetizer with many Indian meals, often accompanied by yogurt or chutney. Fans of the dish appreciate it for its delightfully crispy texture, paired with the hearty and flavorful interior.

Samosas first came about somewhere in the Middle East. The earliest record of the dish comes to us from Abolfazl Beyhaqi, an Iranian historian from the eleventh century. It made its way into India as early as the 13th century, when traders entered the subcontinent from Central Asia. Similar dishes spread throughout the region, and today you can find popular variations in Greece, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

In restaurants throughout India, patrons can generally either order samosas alone or as part of a chaat dish. Such dishes are served as appetizers, and include a selection of different foods that may include steamed dumplings, onion cakes, momos, yogurt, and a chutney garnish.

At MokSHA, you can enjoy this old favorite in the form of our potato peas samosas. Stuffed with spiced potatoes, this hearty appetizer is served with tamarind and mint chutney. Come and join us for dinner tonight!

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.

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 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!