Monthly Archives: October 2016

Dal Dhokli Is a Traditional, Healthy, Delicious and Wholesome Gujarati Dish!

174Gujarati cuisine is primarily a vegetarian cuisine. A typical Gujarati thali apart from other items contains a traditional delicacy called Dal Dhokli (saucy dumpling cooked in lentil curry).

Dal Dhokli is known to have originated in Gujarat state, though few people believe that the dish belongs to Rajasthan. This dish is also popular in Maharashtra and many other states of India.

Dal Dhokli is actually a variation of dal and roti, which is the wholesome staple diet of masses in India. Typically Dal is cooked separately as per the taste preference and Roti is prepared separately. Both these things are then served as a single dish Dal and Roti, whereas Dal Dhokli is a one pot dish, which is flavored with a variety of spices and condiments making it delicious as well as completely wholesome. It is made with pieces of seasoned dough (wheat flour) cooked in lentils and topped off with a striking tempering, lemon juice and fresh coriander leaves. Lentils gravy is first prepared to liquid/soup consistency and the dumplings are then added and cooked further to make saucy consistency like yummy and delicious dish.

Dal Dhokli can be prepared in different taste variations as per the taste of people and like typical dal roti it is rich in proteins, iron, calcium and dietary fiber. The dish is a healthy and nutritious meal that offers sufficient nutrition to the body. It is also a good source of nutrition for all age groups including kids and can be served as meal by itself.

People sometimes find it difficult to prepare Dal Dhokli because of lack of time or expertise to prepare this dish. They may have many alternatives like junk food or fast food, which are easily available as choice of food, but they keep craving for homely dishes like Dal Dhokli / Daal and Roti. Those looking for easier and handy version of Dal Dhokli can now opt for Ready to cook Actchawa Indian Daal Rotii, which is a simple two minute recipe available as packaged food. The ready mix version contains Roti pieces along with cooked daal available as powder form in the packet. One needs to just add water and cook the preparation for two minutes to make tasty and delicious Dal Dhokli with traditional taste. This ready mix preparation can really be a boon during offshore family vacations and for the bachelors staying away from their family.

Types of Italian Food

173Italian food is loved by people around the world because its filling combinations and hearty flavors. Situated in the Mediterranean climate, Italy has been home to a variety of flavors and food, with an emphasis on eating fresh seasonal food. Because of Italy’s rich historical tradition many of the Italian food dishes have their roots in cooking practices and farming dating back over a thousand years.

A Greek Sicilian by the name of Archestratus was the first Italian food writer known. He lived in the 4th century BCE and in his writings he insisted that Italian food be seasonally fresh. He also stated that spices should be used to enhance a food, not mask the flavor. Although this concept’s popularity came and went during the following centuries eventually using spices to highlight the fresh flavors became Italian cuisine’s cornerstone.

When people think Italian food the first thing that comes to mind are pasta dishes. According to experts they believe that pasta came to Italy sometime during the 9th century. It was thought to have come from an Arabic recipe that combined water and flour but today Italy has perfected pasta in many different forms. In addition to spaghetti you will also find other Italian pasta dishes like ravioli, which are filled pastas. Italian food also includes dumpling-like pasta that is made from potatoes called gnocchi. Most pasta dishes, including gnocchi, are usually served in some type of sauce. The most common Italian sauce is called marinara and is made from a tomato base and includes garlic, onions, and herbs like oregano and basil. Many of the classic Italian pasta and sauce dishes will have various cheese and meats or vegetables that have been sautéed in olive oil added to the dish.

Italian food is also noted for using seafood in many of their dishes. One notable food, Calamari, is a dish that has deep-friend quid that has been garnished with parmesan cheese. It is a very popular appetizer. The fish dishes found in Italian cuisine are generally simple and reflect the seasonality of the food. It is usually cooked in olive oil, parsley, and lemon juice that will offer different variations but keeping the integrity of the original flavors. There are also many different Italian desserts. Tiramisu is one of the more popular desserts. It is a concoction of sponge cake that is flavored with marsala-wine and espresso. It is layered with a heavy custard and coated in cocoa powder. Another favorite dessert is gelato, which is a frozen dense dessert that is similar to ice cream. The difference is that gelato is more creamy and rich.

Serving Melon As a First Course or Appetizer

172Let me start by saying that le melon (pronounced meh-lon) is similar to cantaloupe. In France this fruit is smaller, more compact and concentrated version of cantaloupe. It juicy, sweet and very refreshing during the hot, humid, heavy heated days of French summer.

Melon is easy to serve: slice open, remove seeds, serve. But you can do more than serve it au naturel. While sweet and juicy, it can be accompanied with either sweet or savory additions. Here are a few most common ways to serve it in France. Mind you the French serve this fruit as a first course, not as an accompaniment to the main course like sometimes seen on the American dinner table.

Also, you don’t really see melon for breakfast (again very American). Sometimes you find some sliced up in a fruit salad for dessert, but honestly, I wouldn’t say that you’d find a lot of it in the fruit salad (probably that leftover slice or two that no one could manage at lunchtime. If you believe that even possible!)

Serving in an alcohol like Porto Wine, any sweet cooked wine is a common variant on this first course French dish. While red port is most common, I’ve also tried it with Pineau or cook white wine. Try as well with a sweet, white wine like Sauternes or Montbazillac if you can find any on hand.

Heavy, strong red wine is a new twist for serving this fruit with an alcohol. I sampled this version just recently with our English friends. A lovely, lighter version than with port. I suggest a strong and heady red like a Cabernet sauvignon.

Another serving option is to serve it with ham. Namely prosciutto, or thinly sliced European ham. Wrap around melon slice, skewer with toothpick and serve at dinner parties.

A final serving suggestion is with griotte cherries: cherries in kirsch or brandy. Nice combo.

Since cantaloupe is larger than melon, I’ve diced up my melon squares, tossed with liquor of choice and served in a large salad bowl.

Of course melon can be served other ways. This is just a starting point. To finish, I must say that everyone likes melon. No, I haven’t run a world-wide survey but I’ve been serving it for years; I’ve been eating it at dinner parties for years and never once have I heard anyone (any age) say, “Oh du melon.. bruek!” (Oh Gosh, melon…Yuck!)

No, the usual response is, ‘Yippy!’ (from kids) and adults, “Ah, I’ve been craving that! It’s so light a refreshing”.

Note, that melon is light in consistency and calories, carbs and calories. It’s a great food to eat that will make you smile without weighing you down.

“Anne Dessens is the founder of – your one-link to everything ‘self-improvement’: diet, recipes, running & walking, deep breathing, success, journaling, energy and universal laws.

Spinach Salad Galore

171Looking for a healthy and nutritional dish to go with your lunch or dinner? Try Spinach salad! It has a lot of varieties actually but you can prepare it the way you want as long as you throw in all the main ingredients. Plus, it is high in nutritional value that is why it is one of the favorites among kids and adults.

Spinach salad is often preferred by those who want to have adequate supply of essential vitamins and minerals. Even weight-watchers whip their own version for Spinach salad because of its low-caloric quality as most green salad does. Be careful with the dressing though as they can make Spinach salad high in calories.

You may also serve this delicious salad as your appetizer, main course, dessert or side dish. It is best to give your kids Spinach salad so that you can ensure that they are healthy and can enjoy their ‘salad days.’

How To Make Spinach Salad;

As main course, some people add chicken, shrimp and even beef to their Spinach salad to complete. Get all the following ingredients ready and serve within 20 minutes.

Main Ingredients;

  • Fresh Spinach, cut into bite size
  • Orange
  • Strawberries, sliced
  • Soy blue cheese crumbles or feta cheese – 4 oz.
  • Cashews

How To Make The dressing;

  • Red wine vinegar – 3 tbsp.
  • Orange juice – 3 tbsp.
  • Canola oil – 1½ tbsp.
  • Dry Mustard – ¼ tsp.
  • Poppy seeds – 1/3 tsp.

Remember first that the size of each ingredient may vary depending on how much you plan to make. The given sizes are enough to make bowl of Spinach salad.

Mix the dressing ingredients and cool in the fridge. While waiting, prepare the main ingredients. Combine spinach, sliced strawberries, and cut oranges in a bowl. Add the dressing and toss to saturate evenly. Add cashew nuts and sliced cheese. Usually though, the cashews and cheese are added upon serving for garnish.

Health Benefits;

Carefully select the spinach you use for you salad. Vibrant green guarantees you get high vitamin C, which also keeps the other nutrient contents of Spinach called phytonutrients which include lutein, carotenoids, and zeaxanthin well-preserved. Spinach salad can provide all the macronutrients that the body needs.

Spinach, especially baby ones are also high in anti-oxidants. These help fight cancer-causing free radicals. Additionally, Spinach aids in warding off cardiovascular difficulties, inflammation, bone problems and eye problems among others and…


Christian Matrimonial Food by Region

170Irrespective of your religion, most lovers of non-vegetarian food look forward to a Christian wedding function. The sheer variety of exotic food items in the event can be a joyful experience for a food lover.

The food served in the event differs according to regions. For example, the menu in a Goan Christian wedding function will be slightly different from a wedding in Mangalore. Let’s look at some of the common delicacies by region.


Starters: Apart from regular starters like Hara Bhara Kabab and Chicken Lollypop, a Goan Christian wedding function will have starters like Golden Fried Prawns, Fish Fry, and other sea food delicacies.

Main course: A wedding in Goa is incomplete without cashew nuts, fish, prawns and chicken. Some authentic Goan delicacies served in the main course include Cashewnut Xactutti, a local item named Vallachi Bhaji, and Prawns Balchao. Within seafood, some popular wedding dishes in Goa include Blasted Squid, King Fish Fry, and Squid Chilly.

Regular stuff: Apart from local cuisine, a Goan Christian wedding function will have all the regular stuff. For example, main course will include Mushroom Masala, Palak Paneer, Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Kolhapuri, etc. Sweets will include Ice Cream, Fruit Jelly, and Shahi Tukda. In some weddings, you will also get Chinese items like Noodles or Fried Rice.


Beef & Pork: In Kerala Christian weddings, you will find lot of beef items like Chilly Beef, Beef Stew, and Beef Roast. Common pork items include Pork Roast, Chilly Pork, and Pork Pepper Fry.

Authentic local cuisine: In Kerala, you will also find many local starters like Paratha, Idiappam, Appam and Pathiri. Local main course includes Kerala Boiled Rice, Beef Coconut Fry, Kozhuva Fry (a type of fish), Fish Moley, Chicken Khoruma, and Duck Roast.

Regular stuff: Along with the local stuff, you will also get common Indian variety like Aloo Mutter, Green Peas Masala, Tandoori Chicken, and Veg/Chicken Biryani. Sweets will include Coconut ‘Souffle’ and Biscuit Pudding among others.


Local delicacies: In a Mangalorean Christian wedding function, you will find various items that have a Portuguese touch to it. Some famous fare include Dukra Maas and Sorpotel, both made of pork.

Typically you will find a lot of rice stuff such as bhakri or appam and beaten rice known as Pou. You will also find a lot of fish in the menu, including both curry and fry. A popular local dish is Meet Mirsang or fish made with a paste of salt and chilli. The menu will also include clams and prawns. And, finally, almost all Mangalorean weddings have the sweet wedding style pulav, which is served with a chutney.

Regular stuff: You will also find several regular stuff, both veg and non-veg, along with the usual biryanis and desserts.