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New Year, New Dishes

December 30th, 2010 - By Therese Madden

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Want some healthy food that won’t break the bank? Actress and food writer, Madhur Jaffrey says Indian cuisine is a perfect match.


Check out Madhur Jaffrey’s new book: At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, Delectable Dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka

Caption: Madhur Jaffrey

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“My New Year’s resolution is to be more patient.”
“My New Year’s resolution is to get into more of an exercise regime.”
“I really don’t have a New Year’s resolution.”

What about two resolutions wrapped into one? Cooking healthy food at home, and saving money in the process! While I was thinking about ways to do this, I heard a familiar voice in my head. Here’s how it went, “beans, Americans don’t eat enough beans and you grow them in this country and this is the land of beans and you don’t eat them, why?” Ahhh!! Right, beans! That’s Madhur Jaffrey, Indian actress and food writer.

Born in New Dehli in 1933, Madhur Jaffrey has been cooking and eating Indian food for quite some time. Her latest book is At Home with Madhur Jaffrey. Jaffrey also says, “when I was teaching my cookery classes which used to go on for 6 weeks, my students would come at the end of the class and say why are we feeling so good, and I would say, Indian food doesn’t just taste good, it’s healthy.”

Makes sense, beans, rice, vegetables, spices, but what about the ghee? The clarified butter that is so often included in recipes for Indian food? According to Jaffrey, ghee is not necessary, “I did not have any ghee in my food when I was growing up because my father said even then, it’s not very healthy to eat every day, so we did not cook in ghee we cooked in oil.” She reccomends either plain canola oil or plain olive oil, nothing fancy.

Jaffrey goes on to explain that Indian food does more than nourish. Take ginger for example, it is said to have healing qualities. She says, “everything in Indian food has medicinal value and things have been put together. So now there’s that spinach and ginger soup, and there’s another soup with red peppers and ginger and fennel, and they are both very good for this time of year for when it’s getting cold. The best thing to do is when you come home, have ginger, it is one of the best things you can have.”

Here’s to a healthy and delicious New Year!

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