Cuisine of Goa and The Indian Spices

When you visit a new place you are curious to learn about the place and also about its culture and food. Cuisine  of every place is different and gives you an idea about the traditions and culture of the place.

Goa is a famous tourist attractions and every year a large number of people visit it. The cuisine of Goa is as striking as the place itself. Sea food, rice, coconut and the local spices make up the exotic cuisine.

Since Goa was ruled by rulers of different religions like Hindu, Muslim and Portuguese, the cuisine here is influenced by these cultures. The liberal use of spices in the dishes gives them their unique taste. Rice and fish are the staple food of the people here. The scrumptious and delectable food of Goa attracts people again and again. The food is a blend of East and West.

Cuisine of Goa

The food here is very spicy and mainly non vegetarian, tuna and pomfret are the common variety of fish eaten. Goan Hindus eat a lot of vegetables, pulses, bamboo shoots, along with fish and chicken. Some of the popular dishes are fish curry and rice, fried fish, fish cutlets, tondak made from beans, and vegetables.

The food is cooked in coconut oil. Spices like asafetida, curry leaves, fenugreek, mustard, coriander, turmeric etc. are used. In Hindu cuisine less onion and garlic are used.

The sea food forms the base of the Catholic cuisine also. Beef, pork, chicken and sea food dishes with lots of spices are very popular. Some well-liked dishes are arroz doze, balchao, sanna etc.

Portuguese introduced potatoes, tomatoes, guavas, pineapple, cashew nuts and chillies to the people of Goa.

Some Dishes from Goa

Pork Vindaloo – This is made from pork cut into cubes, Vindaloo  masala paste, onion, ginger paste, palm sugar, cinnamon, cloves, cooking oil and salt.

Vindaloo paste is made from chopped onions, garlic, ginger, garam masala, red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper corns and white vinegar, ground into a paste.

Goan Fish curry – Tuna fish tastes very good in Goan fish curry. The spicy and tasty curry is eaten with rice. Pieces of the fish are cooked in the curry made from onions, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, tamarind, fresh coconut, red chillies, coriander, cumin and turmeric powder.

Raechad Masala – This hot masala paste is used either as the main spice mixture in a curry or to marinate fish, meat etc. It is made with red chillies, black pepper corns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic cloves, turmeric, sugar, tamarind, salt and vinegar.

Patoleo – Patoleo or patoli is made from rice, grated coconut and jiggery which is wrapped in turmeric leaves or banana leaves and steamed. This is prepared during special ceremonies and festivals.

Conclusion

The food of Goa is really delicious and when you visit Goa you must try as many dishes as you can. Their cuisine plays a very important role in the tourism of Goa. People take pride in what they eat as well as how it is cooked.

Turmeric – The Wonder Spice of India

Turmeric is truly the most wonderful spice God has given us. Curcumin is the active ingredient found in turmeric. This gives the yellow colour and the pungent aroma to the spice. When added to a dish it gives it a bright appetizing colour and flavor. It is used in most of the Indian dishes.
Turmeric not only adds colour to a dish but it also boosts up your health.

Forms of Turmeric

Turmeric is available as a whole rhizome, as powder and as leaves. Its powder form is used more often than the other forms.

  • Rhizome – Turmeric rhizome is used fresh also, like ginger. It is used in dishes, to make pickles and during winter season it is used to make chutneys.
  • Powder – This is the most common form of turmeric used in cooking. The rhizomes are dried in ovens and then powdered. It is also used in medicines and skin creams.
  • Leaves – The fresh leaves of the turmeric plant are also used in cooking.

Medicinal Value of Turmeric

In China and India turmeric has been used in medicines since a long time. It has been used to cure a number of ailments due to its antimicrobial, anti septic, anti fungal and anti bacterial properties.

It has been used as a medicine for disorders of stomach and liver and also to heal sores. In Ayurvedic medicines it is used for a number of ailments like aches, pains, wounds, skin, gastric and liver problems.

Fresh juice  of turmeric is used to treat skin problems like scabies, eczema, skin allergies, etc.
Turmeric powder mixed in warm milk is a common home remedy for fever and internal injury.
Turmeric paste is used to treat open wounds due to its anti septic property. It also removes the tan from the skin.
Cancer
Due to its anti oxidant properties it is known to stop cancer in all stages especially prostate and breast cancer. Studies have shown that curcumin found in turmeric restrains the growth of colon cancer.

Cholesterol
Curcumin helps to lower cholesterol and prevents LDL or the bad cholesterol to build up in the blood vessels and cause blockage. Thus it prevents heart attacks.
Alzheimer’s disease
Due to antioxidant and anti- inflammatory properties, turmeric helps to stop the buildup of amyloid plaque in the brain which causes Alzheimer’s disease.
Arthritis
Its anti- inflammatory property helps to reduce inflammation in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Digestion
Turmeric helps in the digestion of the food and prevents formation of gas, feeling of bloating and stomach ache.
Immune System
Turmeric boosts up and makes the immune system of the body stronger. It is used as a home remedy to treat common cold and chest infections.

Uses of Turmeric

Turmeric is commonly used to colour saris and food products like cheese, yogurt, salad dressings, butter etc.

In India turmeric is considered very sacred and propitious so it is frequently used in a number of Indian ceremonies, weddings etc. A day or two before the wedding turmeric paste is applied on the body of the groom as well as the bride, this makes the skin soft.

Conclusion

Turmeric is a versatile plant that gives us this wonder spice. It is used in most of Indian dishes for that beautiful golden yellow colour as well as for its health benefits.

 

Healthy Breakfast with Healthy Spices

One meal people often like to skip due to varied reasons is Breakfast. Some skip it to shed weight, some are in a hurry to reach their work place and some have ‘no time’ to eat breakfast. But, this is one meal that we must eat in order to stay healthy.

Breakfast is a very important meal of the day, it gives us energy to begin a new day, our performance at work place or in class room is enhanced and it also provides us with loads of other health benefits.

It is very important that growing children as well as adults eat a healthy breakfast. Children who eat breakfast have better coordination of eyes and hands, they have better concentration power, and they perform better in the class room as well as on the play ground.

Ideas for a Healthy Breakfast with healthy spices:

  • Bread Bhurji – This is a tasty dish which can be cooked in a short time. The ingredients include whole wheat bread, low fat curd, green chillies, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, curry leaves, ginger, onion, oil and salt.

  • Dalia (broken wheat) Upma – This is rich in fibre and the vegetables and spices add vitamins and minerals to it. It is made with dalia, oil, mustard seeds, green chillies, green peas, carrots, onion(remove this extra space), ginger and salt.

  • Batata Poha – A very popular snack which can be eaten for breakfast or for evening tea. It is made with poha or beaten rice, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, green chillies, chopped onions, turmeric powder, chopped potatoes, lemon juice, hing, salt, sugar and oil.

  • Aloo Gobi stuffed Paratha – In Punjab, different varieties of parathas are eaten for breakfast. These are healthy and nutritious as they are made from whole wheat flour, spices and a stuffings like vegetables, paneer or dal.

Aloo gobi stuffed paratha are stuffed with a mixture made up of boiled and mashed potatoes, blanched and grated cauliflower, cumin seeds, ginger, green chillies, coriander powder, chaat masala, ajwain, and salt.

  • Masala Dosa – This South Indian dish is popular throughout India. The batter for dosa is made from urad dal and rice, soaked and ground to a fine paste.

The stuffing or the masala is made with boiled and vulgarly mashed potatoes, chopped onions, green chillies, hing, curry leaves, mustard seeds, channa dal, turmeric powder and salt.

Health benefits of Spices used in your Breakfast:

Healthy Spices

  • Chilli Pepper – It contains (correct spelling is capsaicin) which helps to relieve pain, prevents ulcers, fights cancer of the prostate etc. It adds heat to the food and is rich in iron and potassium.

  • Asafoetida (Hing) – It has anti flatulence properties and prevents formation of gas in the stomach.

    Coriander seeds (remove this extra space)/powder – It helps in digestion of the food. It is a good source of iron, magnesium and manganese.

  • Turmeric – It contains curcumin which has anti inflammatory, anti-(remove this extra space) oxidant properties and it also prevents cancer. It is a good source of iron, manganese, potassium and vitamin B6.

  • Cumin seeds – It is rich in iron and manganese. They aid digestion and help to flush out toxins from the body. Click here to know more about healthy spices and healthy recipes.

Conclusion

Many studies have shown that those who eat breakfast weigh less than those who do not eat. Eat a healthy breakfast. If you don’t have one you tend to feel tired, lack energy, and will have low level of concentration. Morning time is rush time, but your body needs energy so have your breakfast regularly.

Prepare a Quick Snack with Instant Mixes

Instant Mix Dhosa Idli

In today’s fast moving world people are living a fast life where there is no time to sit and relax. Yet, they have a good life style and are health conscious. With women working, there is little time to cook elaborate meals for the family. Instant foods and instant food mixes are easily available in the market. These are easy to cook and in a short time you have a yummy dish or snack ready to eat.

On a wet rainy day when you come home after a long day at work, you wish for a plate of hot pakoras or methi gota. All you have to do is take the instant mix of methi gota, add water to it, mix and after 15 minutes you are ready to fry methi gotas.

Parents want to inculcate healthy eating habits in children and also to provide balanced and nutritious food. This is time consuming and working parents are forever short of time. A lot of time and effort is needed to cook a well balanced and nutritious meal.

A number of instant mixes available in the market are prepared under hygienic conditions and have the ingredients and their nutritional value written on the packets, like Ramdev Instant Mixes. You just have to open the packet, follow the instructions and within no time you have a variety of snacks or a main dish ready for your family.

Imagine a cold winter night when you are comfortably tucked in your cozy bed and a guest arrives, you have to cook a meal for him, or you have unexpected guests for tea. What better option than to open a packet of instant dish/snack and you are able to quickly prepare a lovely dish for the guests.

Some Instant Mixes recipes:

  • Dhokla – Add water to the instant mix and mix it, now add green chillies chopped or crushed, garlic and ginger and keep the mixture aside for 15 minutes. Steam the mixture for 15 minutes. In another pan heat 1 table spoon of oil and sizzle mustard seeds, hing and sesame seeds and pour this mix over the steamed dhokla.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with green chutney.

  • Dalwada – Add 400 ml of water to the mixture from the packet and mix it. Add chopped green chillies, coriander leaves, ginger and garlic to it and keep aside for 15 minutes. Whip the batter and deep fry small portions of the batter in hot oil till golden brown.

Serve hot with fried green chillies and sliced onions.

  • Instant Upma Mix – Add grated carrots, coconut, chopped green chillies, tomatoes, table spoon oil and cook in a pan till it is slightly brown. Add 2 cups of water and bring it to boil, now add instant upma mix to it. Keep stirring till the desired thickness is achieved.

Serve hot garnished with green coriander leaves. Read more about instant mix recipes.

Conclusion

These mixes do not compromise on taste and health. Instant food mixes market is growing in India and many food companies are venturing into it. As a consumer today we have a wide range to choose from.