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Best Fermented Foods from Around the World

Fermented foods have become popular again in recent years, largely due to health conscious individuals.

While Kimchi and Kombucha may have developed a new following in the west, fermented foods have been an integral part of communities across the globe.

Archeological evidence points out to fermentation being one of the oldest methods of food preservation. Its history dates back to the beginning of agriculture. From China and Fertile Crescent to Africa and Americas, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy, grains and fruits have been fermented into food and beverages.

Fermented processes were likely developed by women through trial and error. Food was not just preserved for winter, droughts or migration, but because these were considered as healing medicine beneficial to the body.

Fermented foods play an important role in gut health and growth of good bacteria. A study in Tanzania showed that gruel made with fermented grains reduced incidence of diarrhoea in children by 33%.

When you ferment grains and certain tubers, you reduce anti-nutrient compounds and increase absorption of vitamins. Active bacteria, yeast and mound cultures turn these foods into rich sources of Vitamin K, A, B12, thiamine, niacin, and protein-building acids like lysine and methionine.

Every region has at least one unique dish as a part of its cultural heritage. This food guide brings you unfamiliar foods other than yoghurts, sauces, pickles and cottage cheese.

Fermented foods from Asia

 

1. Kimchi – Korea

A Korean meal is incomplete without kimchi. Considered a national heritage, this fermented food has been prepared by families from the 7th century. Cabbage and other vegetables are cultured in their own juices/brine along with spices for 4-15 days.

2. Cheonggukjang/Doenjang – Korea

Source: James

Fermented soybean is blended into paste which is used to add flavour to different dishes. Cheonggukjang is a thinner paste that contains whole soybean, while Doenjang is a thicker and smoother paste.

3. Natto – Japan

This popular Japanese fermented dish is made with soybean and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Miso – Japan/Korea

When a fungus (koji) meets soybean, salt and brown rice/barley, you get miso. This is said to have anti-ageing properties. Drink up your miso soup next time you’re at an Asian restaurant.

5. Tempeh – Indonesia

When live mold is added to soybean and left to ferment for 1-2 days, the resultant food is the cake-like tempeh.

 

6. Nem Chua – Vietnam

Source: Ron Diggity

Parts of lean pork are finely ground or boiled. These are mixed with roasted and powdered rice, salt, spices and covered with herbs. The mixture is then tightly wrapped in banana leaves and allowed to ferment.

7. Douchi/ Doubanjiang/Mianchi – China

Source: Food Mayhem

Douchi is a culinary paste made with fermented black beans, while Mianchi is fermented white beans. Doubanjiang is widely used in Sichuan cuisine and is made from fermented broad beans. This spicy paste also contains soybean, rice, salt, spices and sometimes, red chili.

8. Bagoong – Philippines

Source: Helga Webber

The fish sauce is made by fermenting salted fish or shrimp. When salted anchovies are fermented, you get Bagoong monamon.

9. Puto – Philippines

Source: Krista

This is steamed cake is made with fermented glutinous rice. Rice is soaked in water for 1-3 days and blended to a smooth batter. There are many variations of Puto which is usually eaten with coconut and butter.

10. Chin Som Mok – Thailand

Source: Takeaway

Pork (with skin) is fermented with glutinous rice. This is then wrapped in banana leaves and grilled.

11. Idli – SriLanka/ India

Source: Sakurako Kista

This south Indian breakfast dish has become popular across India. Rice and black bean are ground into a smooth batter. Batter is fermented overnight, steamed in special plates, and served with chutneys and sambar.

12. Dhokla – India

Source: Deapesh

Another steamed dish made with fermented batter, Dhokla is an essential breakfast food in Gujarat. Fermented batter contains chickpea flour, salt, spices and rock salt. The steamed cakes are served with hot and sweet chutneys,

13. Cahgem Pomba – India

Source: E-Pao

This healthy and delicious curry from Manipur is made with greens like spinach, mustard, dill, fenugreek, herbs like cilantro, and fermented soybean.

14. Jalebi – Pakistan/Nepal/India

Source: Risabh Mathur

This deep-fried dessert is made with fermented wheat batter. The translucent jalebis have a sweet-sour taste thanks to the sugar and bacteria culture.

15. Kombucha – Russia/Ukraine/Vietnam/Korea/Japan

A fermented concoction originated in Russia and Ukraine and is made with black tea, sugar and bacteria and yeast cultures. Sugar sources include honey, cane sugar or fruits. Use the same Kombucha starter to create fresh batches. The longer you ferment, the better the beverage.

 

Fermented foods from Africa

 

16. Injera – Ethiopia/Eritea

Source: Serene Vannoy

This national dish is fermented bread made with an ancient grain and a gluten-free alternative – Teff. The spongy bread with a tangy flavour is dunked into stews and eaten.

17. Togwa/Mahewu/Mabundu – Tanzanian/Zimbbawe/Africa

This fermented beverage or watered-down gruel is made with sorghum (chimera), finger millet, maize and cooked cornmeal (sazda) in a clay pot. The porridge is covered and placed in the sun for 2-3 days to ferment. It is drunk plain or with a little sugar.

18. Furundu/Ogiri– Sudan/Nigeria/West Africa

Source: Chnez blog

Sesame seeds are fermented with salt and water and pressed into cakes with a texture similar to tofu or miso. In Sudan, red sorrel seeds and Kawal leaves are fermented in the same way.

19. Garri/Gari – Nigeria/Ghana/Cameroon/Sierra Leone/West Africa

Source: David Hdez

Peeled and cubed Cassava roots are crushed into a pulp and excess water is drained out. The dried pulp is cooked in a large pot without or without palm oil to become the granular Garri. This is also pounded into a flour

20. Kenkey/Koneke/Dorkinu- Ghana/Guyana/benin/Togo/Jamaica

Source: Juxtapose^esopatxuj

This staple dish is essentially a sourdough dumpling made with corn or maize. Flour is fermented for a few days before the dough is wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. Other items like plantain, sweet potato, cassava, coconut or pumpkin are added to fermented dough in local variations of the recipe.

21. Dawadawa/Iru -Senegal/Uganda/Nigeria/West Africa

Source: Carsten ten Brink

Locust beans, fruit pulp and seeds, of the native tree, are fermented. These are pressed into balls or cakes (Dawadawa) and add to soups or a condiment. Iru is dried dawadawa flattened into discs.

 

Fermented foods from Americas

 

22. Sourdough Bread – USA

Different flours are mixed with wild yeast and water and baked into spongy breads with a distinct sour taste.

23. Poi – Hawaii/Polynesia

Source: Wikipedia

This fermented food is made from plant stems of taro. This is mashed and steamed or cooked into a thick liquid or dough-like paste.

24. Atole agrio – Mexico

Source: Marden Nolasco

A dough made with black maize is fermented for 4-5 days before becoming a tasty porridge. Bread is made from fermented maize dough in Peru(Tochos) and Brazil (Jamin-bang).

25. Curtido – El Salvador

Source: DLC

This is similar to kimchi and sauerkraut. This is a relish made with fermented cabbage, onions, carrots and, sometimes, lime juice.

Fermented foods from Europe

 

26. Kefir – Eastern Europe

Source: Wikipedia

A healthy beverage is obtained by adding kefir grains to milk and allowing it to ferment for 12 hours. Kefir grains are yeast and bacteria cultures that resemble clumps of cooked rice.

27. Sauerkraut – Germany/Europe

This fermented food, similar to Kimchi, is said to originate in China, but is a part of German and East European cuisine. One of the oldest traditional foods in which fresh cabbage pieces are left to ferment in its own juices or brine (salt water) for 3-4 weeks. The relish is added to many national dishes like Polish Bigos and Croatian Vepřo-knedlo-zel.

28. Crème fraiche – France

Sour cream is obtained by fermenting with lactic acid bacteria. Crème fraiche is used in hot or dessert sauces, as salad and soup toppings, and in desserts.

29. Smetana – Central/Eastern Europe/Russia

Source: Iban

This sour cream is similar to crème fraiche. Milk cream is cultured by naturally occurring or introduced lactic acid bacteria. It is used as garnish in dishes like Borscht, Blini, salad and dumplings.

30. Kisela repa/ Sauer ruben – Croatia/Eastern Europe

Source: Chef Mema

Turnip shreds are fermented in a mixture of salt and water. This is eaten either as a side dish or added to soups and salads.

31. Kiviak – Greenland

Source: Orrazz

This Inuit food is made by fermenting auks (small birds). These birds are preserved in the hollowed out body of a dead seal and buried in the ground.

32. Hakarl – Iceland

Source: Audrey

This is a dish made with shark meat. The meat is fermented, hang up and left to dry. It is cubed and served with other food.

33. Kvass – Russia

Source: Bernt Rostad

This non-alcoholic beverage is made from rye bread that is stale. Loaves are added to a container with salt, water, yeast and sugar and left to ferment for 2-3 weeks. It is popular in Russia as a digestive tonic. In Ukraine this is made with beet and used in soups and vinaigrettes.

Fermented foods from Middle East

 

34. Kushuk/Tarkana/Tarhanas – Iran/America/Greece/Central Asia/Eastern Europe

Source: MRG90

The dried fermented food is made with cracked wheat flour, sour milk or yoghurt, salt, spices, tarhana herb, and groats. After fermentation, the mixture is dried and coarsely ground. Cooked vegetables are added in variations. Kushuk is turned into a nourishing soup with addition of water, stock or milk.

35. Torshi /Tursu – Iran/Turkey/Morrocco/Middle East

Source: Baha’i Views / Flitzy Phoebie

Vegetables are fermented in brine that also contains aromatic herbs, spices and vinegar. The ingredients include celery, carrots, cauliflower, bell peppers, cabbage, aubergines and green tomatoes. This is then paced in glass jars and stored in a cool place for 2-3 months.

36. Doogh – Iran/Syria/Lebanon

Source: Jason Lam

This cold fermented drink is basically yogurt, salt and water. It is also a national drink of Turkey and called Ayran there. You’ll find variations of this beverage in Armenia, Afghanistan, Balkan regions, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

37. Shanklish/Surke – Syria, Lebanon, Egypt

Source: Charles Haynes

This fermented cheese is made from cow or sheep’s’ milk. It is turned into balls, covered with spices like aniseed, red chilli, Aleppo pepper and za’atar, and then dried and aged. The hardened cheese is eaten as a side dish, added to eggs, or as pita bread topping.

 

How many of these traditional fermented foods have your tried? Do you have a fermented food story to share with us?

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21 Inspirational Movies about Food and Chefs

Food and movies appeal to your main senses. One uses flavour, aroma and touch to captivate you, while the other captures your imagination with vision and sound.

When you combine these two themes, you get something surprising and dynamic. A good food movie lets you enjoy the visual feast, even as it showcases different realities in people’s lives.

If you’re in the mood for some soul-searching or romance the foodie way, this guide offers a buffet of 21 movies. This could change the way you feel about food, love and life.

1. Big Night by Stanley Tucci & Campbell Scott (1996)

Available here

Italian food, bickering siblings, floundering family restaurant, and the one celebrity meal. This movie has all the right elements to move its audience. You’ll be craving some carb food at the end of it.

2. Haute Cuisine (Les Saveurs du Palais) by Christian Vincent (2012)

Available here

Based on the true story of a chef from a small French town who joined the Presidential kitchen. The plot is as much about the elegance of French cuisine as it is about a lady who carves a place for herself in the male bastion.

3. Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? by Ted Kotcheff (1978)

Available here

Unlike family, romance or fun themed movies in the list, this is a mystery-thriller. A food critic tries to track the killer behind explores a series of murders of master chefs, before time runs out.

4. Like Water for Chocolate by Alfonso Arau (1992)

Available here

A magical realism movie that showcases the power of food over anyone one who eats it. A parallel track revolves around the young girl who cooks these intense meals and her forbidden love.

5. The Hundred-Foot Journey by Lasse Hallstrom (2014)

Available here

Based on a bestseller novel, this movie explores various concepts like people’s opposition to new ideas and how multiculturalism elevates cooking to a new level. When French cuisine meets Indian, there is bound to be fireworks.

6. Eat Drink Man Woman by Ang Lee (1997)

Available here

A touching story of a Taiwanese chef-father stuck in a traditional world and his modern, strong-willed daughters. He tries to find common ground with his three children over extravagant Sunday dinners.

Lee’s Chinese movie inspired spinoffs including Tortilla Soup (2001) and Soul Food.

7. Soul Food by George Tillman Jr. (1997)


Available here

This one takes a slightly different route with an African American setting. It has three married sisters (and their troubles), a matriarch and elaborate Sunday dinners with extended family.

8. Ratatouille by Brad Bird and Jan Pinkava (2007)

Available here

A rat (cooking genius) and a garbage boy cook up succulent meals that reverse a hotel’s fortunes and touch the heart of a callous food critic. A movie that will have you reaching for the untouched recipe book.


9. The Chef by Jon Favreau (2014)


Available here

This movie is about a spiritual and culinary journey of a respected chef who loses his job in a fancy restaurant. He ends up with a food truck business where he focuses on creating simple and economical for the ordinary folk.

10. Tampopo by Jûzô Itami (1985)

Available here

A Western-styled Japanese movie with interconnected stories based on food. From the chef who dreams of his own noodle bar to his trucker aide, all the characters reveal their love for a hearty meal.

11. Babette’s Feast by Gabriel Axel (1987)

Available here

An Oscar winning Danish movie is about a French woman who holds a feast in the memory of a pastor-mentor after winning the lottery. The heart-warming story revolves around the preparation for the great banquet.

12. Mostly Martha by Sandra Nettelbeck (2001)

Available here

When the world of workaholic and demanding Martha collides with the avant-garde Mario, something’s gotta give. This German movie brings the clash between traditional and modern styles in the restaurant business to the fore.

If you’re looking for an American remake, then check out No Reservations (2007).

13. A Touch of Spice by Tassos Boulmetis (2003)

Available here

A touching story of a boy from Istanbul and his grandfather who teaches him to cook. When the chef’s return to his homeland 30 years later, will he find the missing spice in his life?

14. The Lunchbox by Ritesh Batra (2013)

Available here

A lonely widower, a neglected homemaker, and homemade lunches shared by mistake. This Indian movie portrays loneliness and life truths with food as a backdrop.

15. Waitress by Adrienne Shelley (2007)

Available here

Can the coming of a stranger and baking pies for a contest help you escape an unhappy marriage and a small town? Watch this flick about a pregnant waitress and her penchant for pie baking to find out.

16. The Trip by Michael Winterbottom (2010)


Available here

Fancy a trip as a food critic checking out eateries in Northern England for the Observer? Imagine travelling with a friend who shares your love for comic impressions.

If your enjoyed this, you’ll like the sequel The Trip to Italy (2014)

17. Chocolat by Lasse Hallstrom (2000)

Available here

A single mother with a young daughter opens a chocolate shop in a conservative French town. Set in the 1960s, the story has leading lady winning over the community with her cocoa based treats.

18. Julie & Julia by Nora Ephron (2009)

Available here

A movie with parallel stories based on real lives of renowned chef Julia Child and a blogger. Julie recreates each one of the chef’s recipes to turn her dreary life into something meaningful.

19. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory by Mel Stuart (1971)

Available here

Dahl’s classic was first brought to life in 1971 and again in 2005 with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. If you love the glitzy version, watch the Johnny Depp starrer. For a taste of pure entertainment, stick to the original.

20. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (2009)


Available here

When a genius scientist creates a machine to turn water into food, he isn’t really prepared for things that follow, includes food raining down the sky. A groovy animation for kids and adults alike. This one has got a sequel too.

21. I Am Love by Luca Guadagnino (2010)


Available here

An elegant and bored Russian wife of a powerful Milanese businessman falls for a young chef and his amazing creations. Life not only gets interesting but sets her up for a showdown.

To whet your appetite for more movies with food themes, check out this list.

Have these food movies increased your craving for a tasty snack?

Order from your neighbourhood takeaway joint, cook up some treats from your favourite recipe book, or better still, embark on a food tour!

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Top 28 Food and Travel Bloggers to Follow in 2017

Do you enjoy browsing through recipes online and swooning over enticing food images? Is it curiosity about other cultures or thrill of armchair exploration that finds you spending countless hours on travel sites?

Food and travel experiments enable you to see places, culinary traditions and culture from a vantage point – local point of view.

This immersive experience leaves you with a keen understanding of food, customs and people. We’ve attempted something similar with this top list of food-loving travel bloggers.

You’ll find bloggers who enjoy a variety of foods, experiment with local and exotic cuisine on their journey across the planet. The travel bloggers in our listicle showcase their adventures and experiences, while musing on food, dining spots and tourist activities.

1. Migrationology
Author – Mark Wiens

Probably the most famous food and travel blog out there, a creation (and passion) of Mark Wiens. More than through the blog itself, Mark became famous thanks to his You Tube Channel, that features food on camera from all over the world. It is an absolute must-follow for people who travel for food.

2. Legal Nomads
Author – Jodi Ettenberg

Jodi Ettenberg, a former lawyer, quit her job to travel and ended up creating a completely new career for herself, inspiring readers with her powerful story-telling. She shares her culinary adventures from places she visits, sprinkled with beautiful photography, resources and personal tips.

3. Bacon is Magic 
Author – Ayngelina Borgan

What started off a female solo-traveller’s chronicle has morphed into a culinary and travel blog about meals, people and places. With the contribution of her husband Dave, who is a professional chef, the blog features fascinating food guides and recipes – and don’t miss all the fantastic video food guides on their You Tube Channel!

4. Nomadic Boys
Authors – Stefan and Sebastian

The London-based gay couple has travelled to 25 countries so far. You’ll find an entire section on local food recipes, in addition to culture stories and travel advice on their site.

5. 2foodtrippers 
Authors – Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

This married couple combine their love for food and travel (over 30 countries all together and 38 States in the US) into a fact-filled website. You’ll find tips on cuisine, dining spots, accommodation and food festivals.
6. With Husband in Tow 
Authors – Eric and Amber

For this couple, adventure lies in food-related events from tasting local foods to exploring new cuisines, as they are experiencing the world through food and wine travel. Don’t forget to check out their delicious You Tube Channel.

7. Authentic Food Quest
Authors – Claire and Rosemary

Claire and Rosemary, who are both family, and business partners, set off on a mission through 32 countries and 29 US States to showcase authentic local food to the world. They want to inspire other travellers to experience other countries and cultures through culinary experiences.

 

 

8. Once in A Lifetime Journey
Author – Mar Pages

Having travelled to 90 countries so far, Mar reveals more about little-known places in the world, their cuisine, restaurants and her amazing experiences there.

9. Funnelogy Channel
Authors – Gabriella Zanzanaini and Nicolas Petit

These bloggers are foodies at heart searching for new recipes from local kitchens abroad – as they say, there is not better universal language than food! Their website has food and culture stories from their journey through Eurasia.

10. A Little Adrift
Author – Shannon O’Donnell

Shannon, who was named “Traveller of the Year” by National Geographic, has been exploring the planet from 2008. Her site has expanded to include guides on food, culture and sustainable tourism along with beautiful photography.

11. Eat Your World
Authors – Scott and Laura Rosen

Travel is all about immersing in new cultural and food experiences for this couple. Their blog documents and local foods and travel stories from 125+ cities, focusing on foods and drinks that are native and traditional.

12. Boy Eats World
Authors – Aleney and Raffles

A food-travel blog with a difference! Along with travel anecdotes, you’ll find restaurant reviews, food notes by mom, and special reviews by 8-year old Raffles.

13. A Table for Two
Author – Billy Law

This Masterchef Australia participant has been living his culinary travel dream. His posts cover tasty restaurant meals from around the world with drool worthy images.

14. Mrs. O Around the World
Author – Ana Silva O’Reilly

Do luxury settings figure in your travel essentials? This blog with travel tips, reviews and best lists of places, hotels and food will feel like home.

15. A Taste of Travel
Author – Jenny

Jenny’s love for new sights, delicious flavours and luxury travel spaces is evident from her food and travel stories – and it all started in Italy, but since then she’s been eating her way throughout the continents!

 

 

16. Food Travelist
Author – Sue Reddel, Diana Laskaris

Sue and Diana call themselves “ambassadors of food travel” and they’ve been touring the culinary world since 2011. They also specifically cover experiences that “offer welcoming comfort to the LGBTQ community”.

17. The Wandering Gourmand
Author – Bryan Richards

A stay-at-home dad, a craft beer and food blogger and a travel writer, Bryan takes you on a food and beer hunting journey across five continents.

18. Lonely Palate
Author – Jessica Rigg

Jessica shares food secrets gleamed from locals and chefs on her travels, along with details on food trends and eateries.

19. The Travel Bite
Author – Rachelle Lucas and Pete Wallace

Rachelle’s and Pete’s passion for exploring food and places is visible in there posts as they searches for tastiest meals on her travels. Through her writing and recipes collected from all around the world, she inspires people to explore the world of culinary vacations.

20. Cook Sister
Author – Jeanne Horak-Druiff

Jeanne, a South African food, wine and travel blogger, brings you restaurant reviews, travel tips and cuisine advice interspersed with gorgeous images of markets and delicious food.

21. Ever in Transit
Author – Cassie Kifer and Kevin Adams

California-based duo, Cassie and Kevin, takes you on a culinary journey across continents, featuring unusual foods, global recipes, beers and wine from all around the globe. Explore their (mostly) vegetarian foods and enjoy their travel tips!

22. Travel Bites Deep
Author – Jessica Colley

The bloggette takes you on a journey across Europe exploring food, luxury settings and locale, while sharing unique tips with readers.

 

 

23. A Cook Not Mad
Authors –Tim and Nat

When a photographer and a chef decide to share their travel stories, you’re sure to find tantalising tales of food and culture among the pages.

24. The Culinary Travel Guide
Author – Laura Goyer

This Culinary Travel Professional shares top food experiences with her readers. You’ll find news, reviews, and personal food reminiscences on this magazine-style website.

25. Travel This Earth
Authors – Mica and Mike

Mica and Mike have been living all around the world since 2007. When they’re not busy volunteering, this duo explore the rich culinary scene in their destinations and share them with their readers.

26. The Food Pornographer
Author – Cynthia Chew

This Australian food-and-travel aficionado showcases her culinary experiences, restaurant reviews and market tours with beautiful images.

27. Will Fly for Food
Authors – JB and Renee

The traveleaters, as they call themselves, talk about their culinary exploits on the road. Their website also provides guides on dining spots and local food.

28. Deliciously Directionless
Author – Prachi Joshi

This India-based traveller’s site is filled with restaurant reviews, food notes, interesting recipes, and travel anecdotes.

Bonus blog!

Food Perestroika
Author – Floran Pinel

Floran writes about authentic recipes from East European (Eastern bloc) cuisines and restaurants serving them. You’ll also find travelogues from countries like Armenia and Moldova.

Did you enjoy this round-up of food-based travel blogs? Ready to embark on your own culinary cum exploration trip?

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A Guide to Street Foods in Mumbai

India is a melting pot of different cultures, traditions, ideologies, and of course food. Mumbai, its financial capital, is no different. Other Indian cities have a food culture that is closely tied to region or ethnicity, but Mumbai’s food styles and flavours are a reflection of the migrant population that call it home.

Travel by a local commuter train and you’ll hear conversations in half-a-dozen languages. This diversity which gives the city its unique cultural and cosmopolitan identity is mirrored by its street food. They represent culinary habits and tastes of those locals who brought certain food traditions to their adopted home.

Kokata has its kathi roll while Mysore serves you dosas with pride. Hyderabad welcomes you with aromatic biryani and Chennai with pongal. Amritsar offers mouth watering lassi and Ahmedabad lines up deep-fried savouries.

Mumbai serves all this and more. Feeling lonely and homesick? Walk down to the nearest street vendor. Tuck into delicious and familiar foods while you strike up a conversation with other foodies.

Light on the wallet, ready-to-eat food, innumerable options (vegetarian and meat) – these are a few reasons why open carts, juice stalls, hole-in-the-wall eateries, and khau gallis (eating lanes) are firmly entrenched in the city landscape.

From as local as you can get snacks like vada pav and misal pav to samosa, sandwiches, and Chinese bhel, you’ll find something that tickles your taste buds and makes your heart long for more.
Sip your cutting chai and dunk your aloo tikki in spicy gravy while we prowl the streets of Mumbai smelling and tasting 10 evergreen delights!

 

MINI MEAL

1. Pav Bhaji

The Indian bun lends itself to many street foods in Mumbai including anda (egg) pav, samosa pav, kheema (minced meat) pav, bun muska, misal pav, and dhabeli. Pav bhaji is a spicy meal in itself. Sliced pav is toasted with a generous helping of butter and served with vegetable gravy that contains cooked vegetables (potatoes, green peas, tomatoes, onions) and spices. Usually served with a slice of lemon and raw onion rings, some versions have cheese or paneer toppings. You’ll even find the Jain version which has no onion or garlic in it.

Best places to eat: Sardar at Tardeo, Achija at Ghatkopar, food stalls near Juhu beach

Source: SwingingUvula

2. Ragda Pattice

This is a delightful combination of deep-fired potato pattice and tangy, spiced -up chickpeas gravy. A dash of salt and light spices are added to boiled and mashed potato which is then shaped into round pattice and deep-fried (aloo tikki). This is accompanied by Ragda – chickpeas stew with tomatoes, onions and spices and topped with fresh cilantro, and chopped onions.

Best places to eat: Andheri station road, Juhu beach stalls, Kailash Parbat at Colaba

Source: Prasanna Hede

3. Bombay Sandwich

This sandwich is a unique Mumbai creation with thinly sliced onions, boiled potato, tomatoes, beets, cucumbers sandwiched between white bread slices. One slice is buttered while the other gets a dollop of mint chutney. Squeeze some tomato sauce or ketchup on top, cut into four triangles and enjoy the crunch of vegetables and tangy flavour. You’ll find grilled or toasted versions sold by vendors, particularly outside college and office buildings.

Best places to eat: Amar Juice Centre at Juhu, Matco Stall at Worli Seaface

Source:  SharonaGott

SNACKS

4. Vada Pav

Take this Maharashtrian fast food off the streets, and Mumbai loses half her identity. This fritter contains mashed and boiled potatoes combined with ginger, garlic, turmeric, cilantro leaves and, lemon juice, and is dipped in gram flour batter and deep fried in oil. Add plain or spiced bun, green chillies, and some green/tamarind chutney to the mix and you’ll realise why mumbaikars swears by this dish.

Best places to eat: Chabildas at Dadar, Samrat Vada Pav at Vile Parle West

Source:

Source: Warren Noronha 

5. Chaats

Mumbai is no stranger to chaats with pani puri, bhelpuri, Chinese bhel, dahi vada, sevpuri , papadi chaat and many others calling out to you from counter tops of street stalls and small eateries. You can ask the vendor to increase sweet, spicy or tangy quotient of chaats to suit your palate.

Best places to eat: Any chaat vendor, stalls at Juhu, Chowpatty and Malad beaches

Source:  Anwesha394

6. Dosas

With a sizeable south Indian population in the city, can the dosa be far behind? These savoury pancakes/crepes made with fermented rice and lentil batter come in numerous avatars. From Paper Roast, and Mysore Masala to Spring and Schezwan Dosa, Mumbai’s dosa is definitely different from its cousins back in the south. Served with different types of chutneys and slightly sweetish sambar, these scrumptious delights will have you begging for more.

Best places to eat: Any dosa stall, Udipi eatery

Source:  Kaushik AP

MEAT DISHES

7. Frankie

Another food invention by enterprising vendors, Frankie is the city’s answer to Kathi rolls and Mexican wraps. The flatbread wrap (made from refined or whole wheat flour) contains different fillings including mutton, chicken, vegetables, paneer, or eggs sautéed with spices, sauces and aromatics. This comes wrapped in tissue paper making it a perfect eat-on-the-go snack.

Best places to eat: Tibbs Franke at Dadar, Mamaji at Matunga, any frankie stall

Source:  Tibbs Frankie

8. Kebabs

This Arabic delicacy feels right at home in India. Visit Muslim neighbourhoods during Ramadan to enjoy succulent kebabs, bheja (goat brain) fry, and other meat dishes. Chunks of meat, including kidney and liver, beef, fish are marinated in spices and grilled on skewers over charcoal pits. Top with sliced onions and squeeze of lemon/lime, these are a meat lover’s delight. Vegetarians can settle for green kebabs or vegetable platters.

Best places to eat: Eateries in Mohammed Ali road and Bademiya in Colaba

Source: Raghav Chopra

DESSERTS

9. Falooda

A chilled dessert in a glass – that is Falooda for you. A local adaption of a Persian dish brought over by Moghuls, this is made with flavoured milk and topped with nuts and layers of other ingredients. These include vermicelli, sabja (Thai basil) seeds, rose syrup, and 1-2 scoops of ice cream. You’ll find falooda in varied flavours including chocolate.

Best places to eat: Badshah at Crawford Market, Sukh Sagar at Marine Drive

Source:  KartikMistry

10. Cutting Chai

The cutting chai is a hit with college students who are low on cash. Ask for one cutting and you literally get two glasses half-filled with strong, milky and sugary tea brewed with aromatic spices.

Best places to eat: Any street tea vendor

Source:  AkshayMoon

Have you tasted any of Mumbai’s fast foods? Is there a street food that you’ll love to try again?

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7 Tips for Photographing Busy Food Markets and Street Food

Booths overflowing with gorgeous foods of every kind, intoxicating aromas of spices and cheeses, merchants enthusiastically shouting over the crowds to sell their wares – these are just a few of the joys of visiting the food markets around the world.

As every food traveler knows, visiting the local market can be the highlight of a trip. Capturing stunning, savor-worthy photos of that market, however, can be quite a challenge. Even the smallest of food markets are typically chaotic, with vendors trying to get your attention, constant motion everywhere, and of course, other shoppers bumping into you and blocking your shots. With so much going on, getting even a single decent image can be frustrating enough to make you give up and head to the nearest pub.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to make the experience of photographing a busy market not only tolerable, but enjoyable. Whether you are a serious photographer or simply want to take a few Instagram worthy pics of your visit to the market, these simple and easy to implement tips will help you navigate the chaos and capture those drool worthy food market images.

1) Choose the right time of day

Do a bit of research to discover when the market is typically less crowded, but still well stocked with goods. In most locations, this is shortly after the market opens for the day. The booths are usually overflowing with the freshest, most beautiful foods, the vendors are still (hopefully) in good spirits, and the market won’t be swarming with mid-day shoppers blocking your shots or getting annoyed that you are in their way.

Bonus – if you are visiting the market in the morning, the natural morning light is likely to be at its most complimentary.

Food Market Photography from Julie Cockburn at TasteOfThePlace.com_skipping the crowds(Taking advantage of the lull in the market crowd.)

2) Take a few minutes to orient yourself

Whether you are visiting the market just to take photos, or you’re there to pick up lunch for the day and grab a few pics while you’re at it, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes to absorb the whole scene. Walk around, look at the booths, chit chat with a vendor or two, and get to know the place. When you do, you will get a quick feel for the where the best photos can be found, as well as where to find the tastiest looking goodies for your lunch. ) Focus on the details The busier it is, the harder it can be to get a good wide shot. So rather than trying to fight the crowds, focus on the little things right in front of you. Fortunately, so much of the beauty of a market can be found in the details – the individual stacks of cheese, the perfect pastry, the hands of the vendors tending their wares.

3) Focus on the details

The busier it is, the harder it can be to get a good wide shot. So rather than trying to fight the crowds, focus on the little things right in front of you. Fortunately, so much of the beauty of a market can be found in the details – the individual stacks of cheese, the perfect pastry, the hands of the vendors tending their wares.

Food Market Photography from Julie Cockburn at TasteOfThePlace.com_details(The interesting details on the basket of greens are eye catching and beautiful.)

4) Embrace the chaos

Markets are, by their very nature, chaotic. Elbows are flying, people are shouting, there is hustle and bustle everywhere. If you aren’t able to be there during the quietest time of day, and instead find yourself in the middle of the craziness, embrace it in your photos. Don’t be afraid to show the long lines, or capture images with lots hands reaching in for goods – it’s all part of the story. Bonus idea – If you have the ability to control the shutter speed on your camera and have a way to stabilize it (this would be a good scenario for a lightweight monopod), why not try taking a longer exposure shot. Focus on something interesting, and allow the motion of activity to blur all around it.

Food Market Photography from Julie Cockburn at TasteOfThePlace.com_show the crowd(The hands and people in the background tell an interesting story.)

5) Shoot then shop…

Trying to take photos while loaded down with stuff is not fun. Your arms get tired, you tend to drop things, and pretty soon you are so frustrated that you shove the camera away and say forget it. Do yourself a favor and shoot your photos first, then put the camera away and dive into some delicious shopping.

6) …OR, shop then shoot later

Sometimes shooting somewhere else is your best bet, especially if you want to compose a shot of particular items. Why not purchase a few beautiful (and tasty) goodies, head to a lovely location, and shoot there at your leisure. Big bonus – now you have a picnic to enjoy!

Food Market Photography from Julie Cockburn at TasteOfThePlace.com_shoot later(A few simple and tasty items arranged, photographed, and then enjoyed, after leaving the market for the day)

7) Non-techy camera tips for shooting hectic markets

• Whether you are using a smart phone or a high-end DSLR, make sure you are well acquainted with your camera before you go. When you are shooting at the market, you are going to feel pressured to move quickly. Before you go, at a minimum, make sure you know how to quickly set the focus and adjust the brightness.

• Make sure you check your photos as you go. Have you ever gotten home from an event, downloaded your photos, and discovered they were all blurry? No fun! Unfortunately, the displays on most cameras and smart phones are too small to really show if a photo is out of focus. To avoid this tragedy, take a few seconds from time to time to zoom in on your pics and ensure they’re looking good.

• Think about the light. Try to use natural, diffused light whenever possible. Look for booths that are bright and open. Keep in mind that food generally looks great when lit from the side. This means that while you are shooting, try to position yourself so the natural light is flowing from either your left or right, and across the food.

Food Market Photography from Julie Cockburn at TasteOfThePlace.com_side light(Natural side lighting brings out the shine of the berries and the texture in the scene.)

With just a bit of planning and thoughtfulness during your next trip to the food market, you can take away not only some delicious goodies, but some drool worthy photos to remember your experience!

This article is prepared by Julie Cockburn, a culinary travel specialist, cookbook author, and food photographer at TasteOfThePlace.com. Grab more culinary travel photography tips, plus download a free travel photography packing check list at tasteoftheplace.com/travelfoodphotographytips .

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What to Eat in India: Healthy Foods for Yoga Students

Yoga isn’t simply a form of physical exercise but an entire philosophy.

While you focus on ethical aspects, including the practice of ahimsa (non-violence), non-judgement is equally valued. You’re free to choose a suitable lifestyle and eat foods you prefer.

You don’t have to be vegetarian to practice yoga. But, serious students embrace this food philosophy with roots in Ayurvedic principles, as they become increasingly self-aware.

Recommended yogic diet focuses on sattvic or enriching foods like whole grains, fruits, dairy, vegetables, legumes, nuts, natural sugars, spices and herbs, with sparing use of oil and ghee.

You’re expected to eat Rajasic or stimulating foods in moderation. These include vey spicy, sour, salty or bitter foods, onion, garlic, coffee, wine, black tea and chocolate.

You’re advised to sparingly eat Tamasic or passion foods like meat, eggs, seafood, alcohol, and artificially flavoured, deep-fried or processed foods.

Wholesome vegetarian food is said to promote mind and body harmony. This diet is nutritious, tasty and healing, when you combine various nutrient-rich ingredients with spices and herbs.

Here are 15 Indian vegetarian foods that follow food principles of Ayurveda and yogic diet. Note that some of the names can differ according to the part of India you are in. 

 

 1. Bajra/Jowar Roti – Millet/Barley Flat Breads

Bajra_Roti_and_Dal-min

These protein and fibre-rich grains were part of Indian diets before rice and wheat took over. Fresh millet or barley flour is transformed into a dough, rolled into rotis and cooked on hot tava or griddle. Plain or stuffed (vegetables spices or herbs) rotis are served with yogurt, curry or chutney.

Image source: Jay87.Mehta

2. (Masala) Khichdi

Dal_Khichdi-min

The comfort or soul food for many Indians, Khichdi is nothing but cooked rice and lentils with an aromatic tempering of spices. Vegetables like carrots, peas, green beans, potatoes are sometimes added to lentils. This versatile mini meal is considered the inspiration for English Kedegree and Egyptian Kushari.

Image source: Wikimedia

3. Palak (Spinach) Paneer

Cottage_cheese_in_spinach_gravy(palak_paneer)-min

This healthy side dish, served with rice or rotis, is made with spinach and fenugreek leaves. Boiled and pureed greens are cooked with tempered spices, besan (gram flour), paneer (cottage cheese) and garam masala (spice mix). You can make this dish with other greens and tofu.

Image source: Radhikamprabhu82

4. Rawa (Semolina) Upma, also called as Khara Bath

healthy-food-ayurveda-2

A low-fat and nutritious thick porridge with semolina, tomatoes, peas, onions. Mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chillies are tempered in oil and other ingredients added to form thick, semi-wet porridge. Variations contain broken rice, poha, bulgur wheat, broken wheat and oats.

A sweet pudding version is made with semolina or broken wheat, ghee, jaggery and topped with roasted cashews and raisins.

Image source: pc-myshots-at-photography

5. Dosa & Sambhar

masala-dosa

A classic breakfast dish from South India is rice-lentil crepe served with tamarind-lentil chowder or stew. Thin pancakes are made from fermented black gram-rice batter. Sambar is tamarind broth simmered with veggies, moringa pods (drumstick), curry leaves, cooked yellow lentil and spice tempering.

Image source: Nadir Hashmi

6. Dahi/Curd Rice

curde-rice

What khichdi is to others Indians, Dahi (curd) rice is to south Indians. This simple dish is a digestive and cooling agent as it contains fermented milk. Cooled white rice is mixed with dahi, salt and tempering of mustard seeds, split black gram (urad dal), green chillies and curry leaves. It is usually eaten plain or with pickles.

Image source: Veeresh Malik

7. Green Mung Dal (Green Mung Beans) Chilla/Pesarattu

healthy-food-india-1

Another Indian pancake, chilla or pesarattu is made with soaked mung dal/ beans and rice batter to which salt and asafoetida/ cumin seeds are added. Batter is cooked on a hot griddle, topped with chopped or grated vegetables, and served with chutneys or vegetable stews. Chilla versions contain wheat flour, besan or chickpea flour, oats or broken wheat and.

Image source: Upendra Kanda

8. Tadka Dal

Tadka_Dal-min

A simple lentil stew with few ingredients. A dal of choice (green gram, red or yellow lentil) is pressure cooked with salt and turmeric. Add red chilli powder or garam masala, mustard and cumin seeds tempering, cilantro or fenugreek leaves, and you have a tasty side for flat breads or rice. Other dal styles have a mix of cooked dals with tomatoes, onions, greens, spices mix, and Indian yogurt or cream. You can find more lentil recipes here

Image source: SouthofIndia


9. Kosimbhir/Kuchumbar – Salad

healthy-food-yoga-1

The Indian salad – Kosimbhir, a Maharashtrian dish, contains vegetables like cucumber, carrot, onions, tomatoes, green chillies, coriander leaves, lemon juice, tempered spices (tadka) and salt. Variants contain raw mango, bean sprouts, desiccated coconut and peanuts.

Image source: Arvind Grover

10. Vegetable Curry

healthy-food-ayurveda

A must-have dish for vegetarians to meet their nutrients quotient. Sautéed or steamed vegetables are cooked into a thick gravy with spices. Sometimes leafy greens, cottage cheese and corn are added to the mix. Gravy base is usually tomato-onion paste, nut paste, tamarind broth or coconut milk.

Image source: Pelican

11. Poha

healthy-food-india

This breakfast dish cum snack is made with rice flakes. A tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chillies followed by sautéed onions, salt, turmeric, and dry flattened rice makes a poha. Versions include peanuts, coconut, potatoes, cilantro leaves and lemon juice.

Some make a dessert using rice flakes, jiggery, ghee and roasted cashews or almonds.

Image source: Ampersandyslexia

12. Murmur or Bhel Puri (Puffed Rice) Chaat Mix

Mudhi-min

A light and low-cal snack with chopped tomatoes, carrots and bell peppers mixed with puffed rice. Black salt, ground black pepper, red chilli powder or green chillies, mint or cilantro leaves, lemon juice and crushed peanuts enhance the flavour. Other toppings include corn kernels, bean sprouts, raw mango slices, grated coconut, roasted peanuts or roasted brown chickpeas.

Image source: Subhashish Panigrahi

13. Idli with Chutney

Idli

These steamed rice-and-lentil cakes are a favourite breakfast option. Fermented rice and black gram batter is transformed into savoury cakes in moulded steamer plates. Some versions are made with semolina while Kanchipuram Idli has vegetable stuffing. These rice cakes are served with tomato or coconut chutney and sambar.

14. Vegetable Rice and Raita

Paneer_Curry_Rice_Raita_Thali-min

This wholesome meal consists of white rice cooked with vegetables like carrots, tubers, green beans, capsicum, green peas, cauliflower, squash, salt and spices.

The dish is usually served with vegetable side and raita made with dahi, salt, cucumber and green chillies.

Image source: Divya Kudua

15. Masala Dalia with Chaas

indian-food-ayurveda

This vegetable dish is made with daila (broken wheat) base. Tomato, carrots, beetroot, cucumber, cabbage, mint, cilantro leaves and greens are cooked into a thick gravy with salt and tempered spices. Serve this with cooling chaas containing buttermilk, rock salt, mint or cilantro leaves and jeera powder.

Image source: Akktapanwar

Do you follow the vegetarian yoga diet? Tell us about your favourite Indian foods.

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All About Ghee: Health Benefits and How to Make It

In many of our recipes you can see a special ingredient – ghee. But what is it really? Ghee is pure butterfat or clarified butter from cow or buffalo milk – without impurities, water and milk solids.

Butter may have an accidental origin through nomadic horsemen of Central Asia. Ghee, on the other hand, was a culinary innovation in ancient India to prevent butter from spoiling in hot weather.

The history of ghee dates back at least 4000 years. In Hindu culture, this delicious, yellow-colored liquid is food fit for the gods. Ayurveda, Indian medicinal system, classifies pure ghee from cow butter as sattvic food and uses it in many healing formulations.

Outside southern Asia, versions of ghee are found in Egypt, Fiji, Malaysia, Ethiopia, North Africa, north-east Brazil, Eritrea, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Japan.

Why ghee is better than butter and other oils?

Refined vegetable and seed oils are high in Omega-6 fats and trans-fats, oxidise at room temperatures, and account for a lot of chronic illnesses. Ghee scores over these oils.

Ghee has other benefits that sets it apart from butter or healthy oils like olive, avocado and coconut oils.

Ghee is casein and lactose free – as milk solids are separated in the refining process. While butter is not suitable for the lactose-sensitive or -intolerant, ghee is a safer fat option.

Ghee promotes good gut-bacteria – it contains butyrates which makes it an alkaline food. These short-chained fats prevent acid reflux, aid digestion, and encourage growth of healthy gut bacteria. Ayurveda advocates use of ghee for ulcers and constipation.

Ghee can boost metabolism – it is full of medium-chain fatty acids that boost metabolic rates. These fatty acids don’t raise cholesterol levels, unlike fatty acids in other oils.

Ghee may protect against cancer and help in weight lossConjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a double-bond fatty acid found in beef and dairy products like ghee. Unlike single-chain linoleic acid present in vegetable oils which are harmful, CLA offers protection from cancer, inflammation, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, food allergies, and asthma.

Studies have shown that CLA can help burn calories, regulate appetite and lose weight.

Ghee is rich in vitamins and minerals – it is rich in fat-soluble vitamins A, E and K.

Ghee produces lower amounts of Acrylamide – When refined oils and animal fats are heated beyond 180°C, they produce more of this toxic compound – a possible carcinogen.

Ghee has a high smoke point – of 250°C (485°F) whereas butter starts breaking down at 175°C (350°F). This makes it suitable for deep frying. Most other oils have a much lower smoke point.

Superior ghee is made from grass-fed cows and buffaloes. Cow butter gives ghee a rich golden colour, while buffalo milk lends a creamy hue.

Ghee in your kitchen

For gastronomic reasons or as a health-conscious decision, Ghee is a ‘must-have’ ingredient in your kitchen. You can easily create it by yourself following our recipe: How to make ghee at home.

Enjoy using ghee for all the healthy recipes you like!

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Big Fat List Of Steamed Dumplings Across The Globe

Travel across the planet and you’ll find one common dish — crunchy or delicate pockets with spicy or sweet goodness. There is nothing more pleasurable than biting into a delicious dumpling – the fillings and gooey juices combine to create unique flavours.

According to food researchers, most dumplings trace their origins to China and Silk Trade Route. Fillings come encased in different leavened and unleavened dough wraps, with diverse folding techniques, and cooked in varied ways. How do you choose dumplings for a list like this one?

We have focused on steamed dumplings from different countries. From purse to boat shaped dumplings, you’ll find a vegetarian or meaty delight that satisfies the most capricious of foodies! Let’s start our journey to the world of dumplings, and begin with their motherland:

1. China

Char Siu Bao

china dumpling-3

For a barbecue and dumpling hybrid, look no further than this dim sum from Canton province. Barbecued pork is stuffed into dough buns and steamed to create a unique dumpling combo.

Image source: Joyosity

Jiaozi

china dumpling-4

Culinary art meets a hungry Chinese food fan in this boat shaped dumpling with rice dough wrapping. Fill them with cabbage, pork and/or veggies and savour them steamed, boiled or pan fried with some dark soy sauce or peanut sauce.

Image source: Hajime Nakano


Xiao Long Bao

china dumpling-2

Minced pork or pork-and-crab are covered with wheat dough wrappers. The dumpling edges are pleated in a swirled bun shape and steamed. The cooking process releases a savoury and rich broth for added flavour.

Image source: Haynes

Zheng Jiao

china dumpling-5

The delicate dumplings come in translucent wrappers which get their stretchy character from gelatin. The fillings can be anything from pork and cabbage to shrimp, chives and other vegetables.

Image source: Exilekiss

Har Gow

Chunks of shrimp encased in a thin wheat and tapioca based wrapper makes a Har Gow. Sometimes bits of pork are used for added effect.

china dumpling-1

Image source: RosieTulips

Chiu-Chao Fun Gor (Teochew)

These moon-shaped, steamed dumplings are a bit different from other Chinese varieties. The wheat and tapioca wrapper contains filling combos of mushroom, radish, pork, chives, shrimp, peanuts, jicama and cilantro.

steamed-dumplings-4

Image source: boo_licious

Siu Mai

steamed-dumplings-2

The wheat flour wrapper is open on the top in this version of juicy dim sum. Fillings include shrimp, pork and other meat. Siu Mai is often topped with grated carrot or fish roe.

Image source: eLjeProks

2. South Korea

Mandu

steamed dumplings-3

These circular and crescent shaped dumplings are popular street foods. If you love kimchi (fermented vegetables), you’ll enjoy the steamed dumpling version as well. Other steamed and boiled versions use pork and different meat fillings.

Image source: Charles Haynes

3. Poland

Pampuchy

polish dumpling

This sweet bun-like dumpling is made with unleavened dough that is steamed on a linen cloth over boiling water. Sweet ones are sometimes filled with melted butter, sugar and cinnamon. Savoury ones contain roasted pork or sweet-sour fried cabbage.

Image source: Nerel

4. Slovakia

Buchty na Pare

dumplings

Parena Knedla is an egg and flour- based side dish. It is eaten like plain, steamed bun rather than as a stuffed pocket. But this changes with addition of stuffing like plum or other fruit jams. The resultant dish, Buchty na Pare, is served with a topping of ground walnuts, poppy seeds and sugar

Image source: Yidian Cheow

5. Trinidad and Tabago, Dominican Republic

Pastelle

dumplings-carribbean

The cornmeal dumpling is one of the few that aren’t round shaped. A close cousin of tamale, these spiced vegetable and meat (usually pork and beef) filled delicacies are steamed and served in banana leaves.

Image source: Checkmihlyrics

6. North India, Tibet, Nepal

Momos

steamed-dumplings-1

Find inner peace and contentment with these dumplings from Nepal and Tibet. A good momo will have an ultra-thin cover with delicious juices from sauces, veggies and meat (buffalo, yak) dying to ooze out. Stuff anything from mushrooms and cabbage to pork and enjoy.

Image source: Areta Ekarafi

7. India

Modak

dumpling-india

The teardrop or garlic pod-shaped dumpling is usually prepared for an Indian religious festival. The raw rice flour wrapper enhances the sweet taste of the jaggery and coconut filling.

Image source: Divya Kudua

Kozhukottai
(Tamil Nadu)

steamed-dumplings-8

While the sweet version resembles Modak in shape and taste, the savoury version with a rice dough wrapper has a unique taste. The stuffing is usually cooked red beans/Azuki or black-eyed peas mixed with salt, sesame seeds, curry leaves and grated coconut.

Image source: Go Dakshin

8. Mexico, South and Central America

Tamale

tamales-mexico

Tamale is to Mexicans what dim sum is to Chinese. Made with cornmeal wrappings, these steamed dumplings have meat, cheese, vegetable or tuber fillings.

Image source: Aaron

9. Hawaii

Manapua

dumpling-7

These steamed beef buns are a close cousin of the Chinese Baozi. Chicken mushroom, beef, ube or purple yam, pork hash are common fillings encased in a leavened dough wrap.

Image source: Grenade

10. Hong Kong

Wonton

dumplings soup

Square or circular wrappers with vegetables, shrimp or meat are steamed or boiled before they are set in a tasty and spiced up broth soup. Some steamed wontons can be eaten on their own or with egg noodles.

Image source: Tom Eats

11. Thailand

Sticky Rice Dumpling

Khao_tom_mat_sai_kluai_01-min

The oval or square shaped, chewy dumpling – khao tom mat has sticky rice serving as a wrap. The fillings can be sweet or savoury. Sweet ones contain coconut and sweet banana fillings. Spiced up dumplings with mung beans and lard are served with sauce and fried shallots.

Image source: Takeaway

 

12. Turkey, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan

Manti/Mantu

dumpling-mantu

A gift of Mongols and Turkish nomads, this dumpling is popular all over Central Asia. Each country has its own style of preparing mantu which is then steamed, boiled or baked. Turkey and Armenia are famous for boat-shaped baked manti while the Stan countries prefer round-shaped steamed ones.

The egg and flour-based wrapper contains lamb or beef meat filling enhanced with local spices. You have rare veggie versions with squash and potatoes. These are topped with tomato sauce or served with yoghurt, lentil sauce or chilli oil.

Image source: Rubber Slippers in Italy

13. Vietnam

Bahn Bot Loc

steamed-dumplings-shrimp

This chewy dumpling has shrimp and pork parts encased in thin tapioca wrapping. The wrapper is sometimes covered banana leaves or folded in a purse or crescent shape before steaming. Vietnam cuisine has other Bnah varieties including a tapioca –based dessert dumpling (Che Bot Loc).

Image source: Kirk K

Banh It Tran

steamed-dumplings

The glutinous rice dough wrapper encases a savoury filling made with cooked mung beans, shrimp and spices. The crescent shaped dumpling is steamed before serving with spicy soy sauce and fried scallions.

Image source: Van’s Kitchen

14.Indonesia

Siomay

stemaed dumplings 9

This popular street food is nothing but steamed fish dumpling with rice flour wrapping. It is often served with peanut sauce and vegetables.

Image source: Zoyachubby

15. Philippines

Siopao

steamed-dumplings-vietnam

This Chinese-inspired steamed dumpling has a leavened, rice dough wrapper with a sweetish taste. Spiced chicken is the common filling but you’ll find shredded pork versions.

Image source: Mia

16. Mongolia

Buuz

dumpling-mongolia

Mongolian steamed dumplings use wheat or a mix of flours like barley, buckwheat and barley as dough wrapper. Buuz is filled with mutton, other meats, garlic, onions and local herbs.

Image source: Marco Fieber

 

17. Nepal

Yomari

steamed-dumpling-5

These steamed sweet buns with a symbolic triangular shape are made on festive occasions. The wrap is made with rice flour and encloses a rich filling of sesame seeds, coconut, and chakku or molasses.

Image source: Ritesh Man Tamrakar

Which of these dumplings will you be trying next? Have we missed out on steamed dumplings in this list?

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All About Turmeric: Health Benefits & More

This unassuming rhizome, with a distinct golden-yellow trial, is the toast of the food world in 2016.

When turmeric latte (golden milk) is found on café menus and gets a massive following globally, you realise something important as an Asian. Your grandma and mom sure knew a thing or two, when they forced to drink your turmeric-milk all those years ago.

Turmeric, a member of the ginger family, isn’t entirely unfamiliar to the Western world. The scientific community and herbalists have been aware of its healing and medicinal properties for decades.

If you love your curries, then you’ve been reaping health dividends with this powerhouse root. Used in traditional cooking in many Asian countries, turmeric is also an important healing ingredient in Ayurveda.

Curcumin, which gives turmeric its rich colour, is considered an important weapon in the fight against life threatening illnesses. With over 3000 documented studies and numerous health benefits, turmeric is not your average culinary spice.

If you’re serious about weight loss, add a dash of fresh turmeric, preferably the root, to different dishes; from smoothies and soups to cookies, curries and multigrain breads. To speed up the absorption of curcumin by the body, add piperine rich foods like white and black pepper to turmeric-based recipes.

BENEFITS AND MEDICAL PROPERTIES OF TUMERIC

Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant. Curcumin, the active compound, is a polyphenol that can reverse the effects of oxidation and reduce free radicals in the body. What’s more, it boosts the production of antioxidant enzymes in your body, and may delay aging.

Turmeric provides protection and relief for dental health. Turmeric can be used as mouth wash to improve oral health. Gel and fillers containing turmeric can help treat periodontal diseases. 

 – Turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory agent. While short-term inflammation protects you from disease-causing pathogens, long-term inflammation leads to chronic diseases. Turmeric inhibits inflammation molecules and offers protection against cancer, arthritis, heart disease and degenerative conditions.

 – Curcumin may enable weight loss. Curcumin can turn white fat (bad fat) cells into brown (good) fat cells, and help you in the battle against bulge. The inflammatory properties of turmeric can reduce obesity.

 – Turmeric has detoxifying properties. You can use turmeric to cleanse your organs of harmful waste, improve liver and gut health and promote better digestion. Have an eggplant curry or cinnamon-laced turmeric latte instead of processed foods and sugary drinks.

 – Turmeric is good for the brain. Decreased levels of brain hormone BDNF can lead to depression and cognitive degradations like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Turmeric prevent this from happening and improves cognitive abilities like memory by increasing the levels of this growth hormone.

 – Turmeric provides relief from menstrual cramps and pelvic pain. By stimulating both pain and pleasure receptors, turmeric can provide relief from sever menstrual cramps.

 -Turmeric can prevent heart disease. In addition to tackling chronic inflammation, curcumin also helps in proper functioning of lining in blood vessels. This can help regulate blood pressure and prevent many forms of heart disease.

– Turmeric consumption can help prevent cancers. It can reduce growth of tumours, kill cancer cells and prevent them from spreading to other organs.

While turmeric comes loaded with vital health factors, moderation is the key. There is something like herb overload, and turmeric is no exception.

Stay away from high dosages of turmeric and curcumin supplements to avoid side effects like diarrhoea, liver disorders, uterine contraction during pregnancy, and hair loss.

We are not medical professionals and provide this material for your information only. Please do your own research or consult your doctor.

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All about gluten-free grain: millet

Millet, an ancient grain, helped build and sustain humans for over 10000 years across Asia and Africa, and remains the sixth important grain in the world. With renewed focus on healthy living and growing appetite for gluten-free food, this grain is slowly becoming popular in Europe and the US, where it was earlier used as livestock fodder and birdseed. (more…)

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