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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Papaya Kimchi, Papaya Atchar, Thai Papaya Salad

One Ingredient-Three recipes

Green Papaya ! Now I have this never ending love with this tropical fruit. I love it raw and ripe. See all the info on this fruit here and here. I have tried to make these three different recipes from one green papaya.

First one is the Korean Kimchi:

Kimchi is nothing but fermented vegetable pickles. There is no oil in it so it's virtually fat free and loaded with key vitamins.

Kimchi contains healthy bacteria that aids digestion.

More of the health benefits of Kimchi here

Watch this video on Kimchi.

You can make Kimchi with any vegetables you like. Mostly it's made with Napa Cabbage, Daikon Radish, Cucumbers, Green onions. And I thought why not papaya, as it's a very underrated fruit. This was one good experiment, not only the Kimchi tasted good, but I found a new way to use the green papaya now.
I got the inspiration for Kimchi from here

Mine is a vegetarian kimchi. But traditional kimchi has fish sauce in it. I read it somewhere that do not use the Korean Fish sauce, instead use the Thai fish sauce which can be used in more then one dishes and has more flavor, where as Korean fish sauce is used just for kimchi.

I am using the old (cleaned) pickle jar. Yes I save all the pickle jars to reuse them. (my cheapness prevails). Isn't that another way of recycling!!

Now to the other recipe:

It is called Filipino Atchar, (pickled unripe papaya) sounds like Achaar but it is quite different then Achaar.
I saw this recipe long back on Internet.
This is a sweet pickle with invariably good taste. It could be more tasty with the coconut water vinegar, but it's hard to find here.


4 cups grated green papaya
1/2 cup coarse salt
1 cup vinegar
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
1 small ginger, cut into strips
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 onion, thinly sliced

Pickling mixture:1 cup vinegar, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp. salt

Boil the pickling mixture, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Set aside and let it cool.
Combine grated papaya and salt. Knead together for a few minutes.
Put the papaya in a towel and squeeze out moisture. Soak grated papaya in vinegar overnight. Squeeze out as much vinegar from the papaya.
Combine with the other ingredients. Pack in sterilized jars and pour hot pickling mixture over the vegetables. Let cool at room temperature. Cover jars tightly and refrigerate.
You can add or omit ingredients as per your liking.

Now to the third recipe:

Thai Green Papaya salad also known as Som Tum.
Thai Green Papaya salad is a robust, healthy salad with additions of peanuts, and Thai basil.

Non-vegetarian version has dried shrimp and fish sauce in it.
Watch the video to see the recipe step by step.

I have used Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe.
Again you can add or omit ingredients as per your taste.
I did not put tomatoes, green beans or fish sauce in my salad and I used Serrano chilies

2 cups Green papaya (shredded)
5-6 cloves Garlic
Salt to taste
5-6 Fresh green-red chillies (roughly chopped)
4 Cherry tomatoes (quartered)
2 tbsp Lemon juice
2 tbsp Brown sugar or palm sugar (jaggery) or regular white sugar
1-2 tbsp Fish sauce or anchovy sauce
1 tbsp Tamarind pulp (optional)
2 tbsp Roasted peanuts (crushed)
Peel and halve the papaya. Remove the seeds and grate coarsely. Transfer this into a big bowl and crush lightly with a pestle.Take garlic cloves and salt in a mortar and crush with a pestle. Add four fresh green-red chillies and cherry tomatoes and continue to crush.Add the crushed garlic mixture to the papaya along with lemon juice and mix.Take brown sugar in the mortar along with fish sauce and tamarind pulp and pound lightly with the pestle. Add this mixture to the papaya mixture and mix. Add crushed roasted peanuts and mix.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Superfoods: Hot Peppers

This is the link to the article that I submitted to Meeta's Daily Tiffin Blog
The article is about superfoods that you can include in your diet for better health .
I contribute article to her blog every month and this article will be about 10 superfoods that you can incorporate in your diet.

Superfoods: # 3 Hot peppers

Friday, August 17, 2007

Poori with Moong

This is my entry for Poori-party originated by Anita of A Mad Tea party.

It was really impossible for me to post anything this week due to my son's summer class schedule.
But when I saw my all fellow blogger so heavily inclined on making pooris. I thought I can post something with ease, as pooris are not big deal for me. Thanks to my Mom. She started teaching me how to make pooris when I was 10 yrs old. Though sometimes I do get flat pancakey pooris. But still I manage to have 99% puffed pooris.
Soft or hard dough and adding semolina is pure preference thing, but the temperature at which you fry the pooris is of utmost importance. The oil should be heated till smoking hot and then again bringing it down to a temperature where pooris puff but doesn't get burned. If the oil is not hot enough, chances are the pooris won't puff.

So here it is the Jain Gujarati breakfast " Pooris with Moong"

For the pooris:

1 cup whole wheat flour
salt to taste
1 tsp oil
water for kneading the dough
oil for frying
adding semolina to flour again is your own choice
I did not add semolina to the flour

Make a dough of your preferred consistency by mixing flour, salt, 1 tsp oil and water.
Leave it aside for 15 minutes.
Now make small balls out of the dough and roll them in small poori shape.
Heat oil and fry the pooris till they are light golden brown.

For the Moong:

1 cup whole moong (green gram, mung beans) soaked in water for 2 hours
salt to taste
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
hing a pinch
1/4 tsp haldi
1/2 tsp dhania jeera powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp oil

Pressure cook whole moong with salt in pressure cooker. (about 3-4 whistles).

Now heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, once it pops add hing and haldi powder, and then add the pressure cooked moong and little water, then add dhania jeera powder and chili powder.

Simmer till everything is mixed well, adjust salt and seasonings, add water if the moong is too dry. Squeeze some lemon juice on moong and serve hot with pooris.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007



Q. Who is a GURU of Franchise Sales?

A. Manish Adhiya

Q. Who is the GM of Hewlett Packard (hp) ? A. Rajiv Gupta

Q. Who is the creator of Pentium chip (needs no introduction as 90% of the today's computers run on it)? A. Vinod Dahm

Q. Who is the third richest man on the world? A. According to the latest report on Fortune Magazine, it is Azim Premji, who is the CEO of Wipro Industries. The Sultan of Brunei is at 6 th position now.

Q. Who is the founder and creator of Hotmail (Hotmail is world's No.1 web based email program)? A. Sabeer Bhatia

Q. Who is the president of AT & T-Bell Labs (AT & T-Bell Labs is the creator of program languages such as C, C++, Unix to name a few)? A. Arun Netravalli

Q. Who is the new MTD (Microsoft Testing Director) of Windows 2000, responsible to iron out all initial problems? A. Sanjay Tejwrika

Q. Who are the Chief Executives of CitiBank, Mckensey & Stanchart? A. Victor Menezes, Rajat Gupta, and Rana Talwar.

We Indians are the wealthiest among all ethnic groups in America, even faring better than the whites and the natives. There are 3..22 millions of Indians in USA (1.5% of population).

38% of doctors in USA are Indians.

12% scientists in USA are Indians.

36% of NASA scientists are Indians.

34% of Microsoft employees are Indians.

28% of IBM employees are Indians. 17% of INTEL scientists are Indians.

13% of XEROX employees are! Indians.

Some of the following facts may be known to you. These facts were recently published in a German magazine, which deals with WORLD HISTORY FACTS ABOUT INDIA.
1. India never invaded any country in her last 1000 years of history.

2. India invented the Number system. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta.

3. The world's first University was established in Takshila in 700BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4 th century BC was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.

4. According to the Forbes magazine, Sanskrit is the most suitable language for computer software.

5. Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to humans.

6. Although western media portray modern images of India as poverty stricken and underdeveloped through political corruption, India was once the richest empire on earth.

7. The art of navigation was born in the river Sindh 5000 years ago. The very word "Navigation" is derived from the Sanskrit word NAVGATIH.

8. The value of pi was first calculated by Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is now known as the Pythagorean Theorem. British scholars have last year (1999) officially published that Budhayan's works dates to the 6th Century which is long before the European mathematicians.

9. Algebra, trigonometry and calculus came from India . Quadratic equations were by Sridharacharya in the 11th Century; the largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 106 whereas Indians used numbers as big as 10 53.

10. According to the Gemological Institute of America, up until 1896, India was the only source of diamonds to the world.

11. USA based IEEE has proved what has been a century-old suspicion amongst academics that the pioneer of wireless communication was Professor Jagdeesh Bose and not Marconi.

12. The earliest reservoir and dam for irrigation was built in Saurashtra.

13. Chess was invented in India

14. Sushruta is the father of surgery. 2600 years ago he and health scientists of his time conducted surgeries like cesareans, cataract, fractures and urinary stones. Usage of anaesthesia was well known in ancient India .

15. When many cultures in the world were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5000 years ago, Indians established Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley ( Indus Valley Civilisation).

16. The place value system, the decimal system was developed in India in 100 BC.

Quotes about India

We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made. Albert Einstein.

India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grand mother of tradition. Mark Twain.

If there is one place on the face of earth where all dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India French scholar Romain Rolland.

India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border. Hu Shih (former Chinese ambassador to USA )

ALL OF THE ABOVE IS JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG, THE LIST COULD BE ENDLESS. BUT, if we don't see even a glimpse of that great India in the India that we see today, it clearly means that we are not working up to our potential; and that if we do, we could once again be an ever shining and inspiring country setting a bright path for rest of the world to follow. I hope you enjoyed it and work towards the welfare of INDIA.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Watermelon Rind Kofta curry and Lachcha Paratha

I thought about making this dish for a long time and you know once it occurs to me, within a day or two or maybe a week sometime, I make it. So here is one mouthwatering kofta curry from me.

This is my own recipe and you can omit or add ingredients as you may feel like, modifications are okay with this, since the Watermelon rind has a very mild taste, anything you add will only enhance the flavor of the curry.

For the Koftas:
4 cups watermelon rind grated
Salt to taste
1/2 cup or more Bengal Gram Flour (besan)
1/2 tbsp Red Chili powder
1/4 tsp haldi
ginger-garlic paste 1 tbsp
Oil to deep fry

For the gravy:

2 medium Onions
ginger-garlic paste 1 tbsp
1 cup of tomato puree
1/2 tsp haldi powder
1/2 tbsp Red chili powder
2 tbsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp plain flour
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp Cilantro (chopped)
3 tbsp oil

Mix half-teaspoon salt in watermelon rind and keep aside for fifteen minutes. Squeeze to remove excess water. Add besan (if you think that you will need more besan you can add more) half the red chili powder, haldi, ginger-garlic paste, and mix to make dough. Make ten to twelve koftas from the dough. Heat oil in a kadhai and deep-fry the prepared koftas, in small batches for two to three minutes or until golden brown in colour and crisp from the outside. Drain and remove onto an absorbent paper.

Peel and finely chop onions. Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onions and sauté until light golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste, stir-fry briefly. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and red chili powder. Continue to cook on medium heat for one minute, stirring continuously. Stir in tomato puree and cook on high heat, stirring continuously till oil begins to separate. Add two cups of water and bring it to a boil. Add salt, reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Now mix well the 1 tbsp plain flour in 1/4 cup milk and add it to the gravy and stir so it gets incorporated in the gravy add salt and gently add the fried koftas and simmer for another three to four minutes. Sprinkle garam masala powder and when you serve gently blend the sour cream in the gravy and garnish with chopped cilantro. Phulkas, Tandoori roti, Paratha, or Naan goes really well with this. And rice too!
I served this with lachcha paratha.
Recipe follows:

This paratha are crispy and with several layers. It is the perfect accompaniment for any thick-gravied dish.

For the Lachcha Paratha:
2 cups whole wheat flour
Water to make dough
Salt to taste
1/2 cup ghee or oil
Mix the flour and salt and knead into a soft dough with a little water at a time. Keep aside. Mix 3 tbsps of ghee with 1 tbsp of flour and keep aside. Divide the dough into equal-sized ball.

Take each portion and roll in a circular
shape about six inch in diameter.
Roll the circle into a cylindrical shape

(see the picture below)

Coil the rolled circle into a spiral.
Flour a rolling surface lightly and very gently roll out the spiral into a flat circle about 6" in diameter. Grease the top surface with the ghee-flour mix. Heat a flat pan on a medium flame. Fry each paratha, turning them often and fry till crisp and golden.
Look at the pictures
I have used a shortcut to make this paratha. The original recipe suggests stacking 3-4 rolled circles applying oil on each one and then rolling it into a cylinder and then coil it into a spiral and then roll it again and then fry it.
I just rolled the circle once applied the ghee and flour and then rolled it and coiled it and then rolled it again to save all that time. The original recipe is time consuming but the parathas turns out more soft and flaky.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Mooli-Mangodi Chaat

Did I ever tell you that I love chaat and all kinds of chaat. It's like a complete meal in itself. It has every taste to bring your taste buds alive and the crunch, the color, what is not to like about chaat?

Here is my version of chaat:

Well I was referred to this pakodis as Mangodis and hence the Mangodi chaat. But truly mangodis are moong dal wadis (sun dried) and are mixed and cooked with different veggies.

So now let's call this chaat Mooli Pakoodi chaat!

For the pakodis:

1 cup moong dal (soaked for 2-3 hours)
4 green chillies
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
Salt to taste
a pinch of baking soda
Oil for frying

For the chaat:

6 Red Radish grated ( you can use white radish too)
4 scallions chopped (green onions) you can use red or white onion too
1/2 cup tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup green pepper chopped
1 cup yogurt whisked
1/2 cup green cilantro chutney
1/2 cup tamarind chutney (Imli ki meethi chutney)
2 tbsp garlic chutney (optional)
chaat masala to taste
chili powder to taste (or you can add chopped green chilies if you like)
chopped cilantro for garnish

For the crunch I sometimes add corn or chickpeas and also boiled potatoes or kala chana and sev.

This is a very forgiving recipe you can add or omit ingredients as you like.

Drain the moong dal and grind with green chillies and cilantro without adding too much water.

I know the batter will be thick but the baking soda will make the pakodis soft and fluffy.

Heat the oil and put small amount of batter (pakodis are smaller version of pakodas) and deep fry them till they are golden brown in color. Now put the pakodis on the plate and layer the ingredients one by one as listed in order.

Serve immediately.

If you think the whole pakodis will be too big for you, you can break the pakodis into small bites and then make the chaat.
Or like true Amdawadi's just eat the hot pakodis with fried green chilies and sliced onions. Actually we eat what is called Dalwadas made from the split green gram, that is the moong dal with the skin on. It's every Amdawadi's monsoon favorite!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

What Happens When Your Cholesterol Goes Too Low?

Below is the link to good articles that I found at Mercola.com

Hope you will find it interesting.

What Happens When Your Cholesterol Goes Too Low?

Gardasil Reactions and Deaths on the Rise

Is Tea a Powerful Health Tonic?

10 Things Your Restaurant Won't Tell You

Mango, Pineapple, and Coconut Lassi and Moong Dal Khaman

One more lassi with a really cool and refreshing taste.
This combination is so good, that I would like to have it all year round.
I used:
2 cups yogurt whisked
1 mango
1 cup pineapple cubed (canned or fresh )
2 tbsp coconut cream ( look here and here for the info)
few mint leaves for garnish
Sugar is optional as the fruits and cream of coconut already have sugar so you might want to check before adding any extra sugar! I didn't add any sugar.

Blend everything together in blender except the mint leaves. Serve chilled.

I blended mint together in half of the lassi and the taste was out of this world. Really good!

For the Moong Dal Khaman:

It's the same recipe as "Chana Daal Khaman" except that you replace chana daal with Moong Daal and add some cracked black pepper to the batter.
The ingredients for tempering are also the same.

This is the special khaman that you will find in Ahmedabad and they are sooooo good!!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Zeitun Tapenade

I know this post was going to be my entry for Nupur's A-Z of Indian Vegetables. But I am late for that, still posting it for you guys.

Zeitun is a Middle-Eastern term for Olives. In hindi it is called Jaitun and the same in Gujarati. (look here for the info)

It didn't originated from one language but perhaps a mix of different languages.

The olive is the only member of the Oleaceae to bear edible fruit. The fruit, a drupe like a peach, cannot be eaten fresh because of the presence of a bitter glucoside. Thus the olive must be processed in order to be served as food; either processed for its oil or processed with lye and salt to produce the canned or preserved table fruit. While fruit processed in California has almost all of the bitterness removed, that processed in the Mediterranean area is often left somewhat bitter.
Tapenade is a Provençal dish consisting of pureed or finely chopped olives, capers, and olive oil. Its name comes from the Provençal word for capers, tapéno. It is a popular food in the south of France, where it is generally eaten as an hors d’œuvre, spread on gourmet breads such as baguette or ciabatta. Sometimes it is also used to stuff fillets for a main course.

The recipe: Makes about 1/2 cup

1 cup of mixed olives, black and green
1 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed and dried (optional)
2 tsp lemon zest (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 to 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice to taste

Put olives, parsley, garlic, capers, lemon zest and process it by drizzling olive oil from the feeding tube. Once its finely minced. Take it out in a bowl and adjust the seasonings.
Set aside for 30 minutes before serving. Serve it on a toasted sliced baguette (crostini) or eat with crackers or toasted pita bread. It's tastes so good.

The tapenade will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two, after that its flavors will deteriorate. You can make this tapenade using almost any olive, including the mixed olives sold at the olive bars common in upscale markets these days.

If you select the olives yourself, try a mix of kalamatas, picholines, cracked green, and California black.

Salted capers are available in good delis and markets.

P.S: Do not add salt as olives are very salty and if using capers they have lot of salt too.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The guessing game answer!!

Okay so no one got it right. I know it was tricky but that makes the fun worth.

Well the greens that I used is known as Molokhia (Jute Plant) that I got from an Arabic store. I used the frozen ones as fresh leaves are impossible to get in US.

Now, before you get too excited to get it, let me brief you about the taste and texture. This is the most slimy greens I have ever seen. The texture is viscous and gelatinous and is used mostly in soups with meat or chicken to give it a gumbo like texture.

Molokhia is a leafy, green, summer vegetable. A traditional dish in Egypt and Sudam, some people believe it originated among Egyptians during the time of the Pharaohs. Others believe that it was first prepared by ancient Jews. Molokhia is nutritious soup made from a type of greens, known as Molokhia or Jew's mallow (also called Nalta jute, Tussa jute, Corchorus olitorius), which is found throughout and in other Arab countries with the same climate as well as in Israel. Dried or frozen molokhia greens may be obtained from Middle Eastern stores worldwide.

Since I am a vegetarian I tried to make a sabji with jeera and garlic but was highly disappointed not with the taste but with the texture. And the white specks that you saw in the sabji is garlic and not paneer! sorry

Friday, August 3, 2007

Guessing Game and Hall of Shame

Since everybody is into this posting of guessing things, I thought of giving it a try.

You have to tell me the name of the greens, that I used in this recipe.

I will be posting the answer in the next post.

Now to the Hall of shame thing.
Have you ever been out of energy, dog tired with two kids and forget about things that you buy from grocery store and stash it in the fridge. Well it happened to me quite a few times.
Now this is the poor red cabbage that I bought and completely forgot about it. Normally I don't, but we have two refrigerators, one in the kitchen and the other one is in the garage, so this poor thing was left out in the garage refrigerator. It decided to grow itself and see the flower stemming out of it?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Capsaicin's health benefits and The Scoville Scale

From Headaches to Arthritis relief- Capsaicin's Health Benefits

The word capsaicin actually describes a complex of related components named Capsaicinoids.
Capsaicinoids are the chemical compounds that give Chile/Hot peppers their bite.
The active principle that causes the heat in chile peppers is a crystalline alkaloid generically called capsaicin. It is produced by glands at the junction of the placenta and the pod wall. The capsaicin spreads unevenly throughout the inside of the pod and is concentrated mostly in the placental tissue.

Headache help: Substance P is the key transmitter of pain to the brain. In fact, Substance P is the body's main mechanism for producing swelling and pain throughout the trigeminal nerve, which runs through the head, temple, and sinus cavity. When the nerve fibers come in contact with Substance P, they react by swelling—an effect that yields headaches and sinus symptoms. Clinical studies have shown that capsaicin, a compound in hot peppers, is extremely effective for relieving and preventing cluster headaches, migraine headaches, and sinus headaches.

Arthritis relief: People suffering from arthritis pain typically have elevated levels of Substance P in their blood and in the synovial fluid that bathes their joints. Research has shown that eating foods that contain capsaicin or applying a topical cream that contains capsaicin can suppress Substance P production.

Capsaiscin as spicy sinus soother: Capsaicin also possesses powerful antibacterial properties, and is very effective in fighting and preventing chronic sinus infections (sinusitis). This purely natural chemical will also clear out congested nasal passages like nothing else, and is helpful in treating sinus-related allergy symptoms. Small daily doses of capsaicin have even been shown to prevent chronic nasal congestion.
Capsaicin as anti-inflammatory: In recent years, researchers discovered that capsaicin is a potent anti-inflammatory, and have even pinpointed how it works to fight chronic, sub-clinical inflammation. The nuclei of human cells contain chemicals called nuclear transcription factors (NTFs), two of which—activator protein 1 (AP-1) and NF-kappa B—are especially important targets when it comes to prevention of cancer and premature aging of skin. Each of these NTFs can be "activated" by ultraviolet light and free radicals: a result that produces a pro-inflammatory chain reaction that promotes premature aging and a wide variety of degenerative diseases. As it turns out, nature offers several effective NTF-activation blockers, including the capsaicin in chilies, and the yellow pigment curcumin in turmeric.

Gastric relief: A recent study on gastric disorders at Duke University showed capsaicin may actually lead to a cure for certain intestinal diseases. The Duke team found that a specific nerve cell receptor appears to be necessary to initiate the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a general term given to a variety of chronic disorders in which the intestine becomes inflamed—resulting in recurring abdominal cramps, pain and diarrhea. The cause of IBD is unknown, and it is believed that up to 2 million Americans suffer from this disorder.

Capsaicin versus cancer: Several recent studies have shown that capsaicin may actually prevent the growth of certain types of cancer. In particular, there have been several clinical studies conducted in Japan and China that showed natural capsaicin directly inhibits the growth of leukemic cells. Although these studies used pure capsaicin directly injected into isolated diseased cells in a laboratory setting, scientists have also concluded that daily consumption of hot peppers (thus capsaicin) may actually prevent certain types of cancer. Throughout South America, intestinal, stomach, and colon cancer rates are very low compared to the United States. It is widely regarded by medical experts that this low cancer rate may be tied to the large amounts of capsaicin in their diets, since nearly every main dish in their normal diet contains some form of capsaicin-based food, particularly hot cayenne and jalapeño peppers. Of course we must also take into consideration the fact these cultures also consume fiber-rich beans on a daily basis.

Capsaicin as fat burner: Capsaicin is an active ingredient in many of the most popular "fat burning" supplements on the market. A thermogenic agent, capsaicin helps to increase overall metabolic activity, thus helping the body burn calories and fat. Since the FDA banned the herb ephedra, supplement manufacturers have been searching for new thermogenic ingredients and many have added chilies to the mix. While capsaicin replaces some of ephedra's metabolic effects, it doesn't have that herb's negative, stimulant effects on heart rate. In fact, capsaicin is an actively "heart healthy" supplement.

(Source Dr. Perricone's Superfoods)

The Scoville Scale: Hot, Hotter, Hottest

Capsaicin is mainly found in hot pepper plants from the Capsicum frutescens family.
While most varieties are found in South America, where chilies originated, there are also Capsicum varieties in Africa, India, and even China.

Like bell peppers, which also belong to the capsicum falmiy, not all chili peppers are hot.
For example, paprika is from the capsicum family, but it's mild at best. On the other hand, paprika's cousin, cayenne, is scorching hot. It all depends on the heat factor within a particular plant.Hot peppers even have their own measuring scale for heat, known as "Scoville Units."

Mostly used in the food industry, the Scoville heat scale is regarded as the most accurate way to measure the true hotness of a pepper plant. Developed in 1912 by botanist Wilbur Scoville, a pepper's Scoville Unit number is based on how much the ground chili needs to be diluted before no heat is detected. Scoville Units measure the perception of heat in multiples of 100, with bell peppers setting the heat-free baseline at zero Scoville Units, pure capsaicin measuring more than 16 million Scoville Units, and most popular types ranking around 30,000 Scoville units.

Until recently, habañero peppers held the world record, with some varieties scoring a searing 300,000 Scoville units. However, in 2000, Indian research scientists tested a chili pepper called Naga Jolokia, from the remote northeastern province of Assam.
This devilishly hot Indian chili now holds the dubious distinction of being the world's hottest pepper, with a reported score of 855,000 Scoville units.About 80 percent of a chili's capsaicin is found in the ribs and seeds, which can be removed to reduce its heat.

Capsaicin is also distributed unevenly, in much smaller amounts throughout the flesh of a chili pepper.Aerosolized capsicum, better known as pepper spray (often used to fend off potential attackers) is now being used to fend off sinus infections, allergies and headaches, thanks to a new nasal spray packed with hot pepper extract.Always exercise a great deal of care when preparing hot peppers to avoid injury.
Check at the produce department to select the pepper with the right degree of heat for your palate. Use rubber gloves when chopping and seeding and don't touch your eye during preparation as the oil in the hot peppers will cause a burning sensation—advice spoken with the voice of painful experience
(Source Dr. Perricone's Superfoods)

Peppers Guide

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Peach, Mozzarella, and Basil salad

This is real simple yet flavorful salad for summers. And it's a no fuss recipe with unique flavor.

I got the inspiration from here.

I did not use Fresh Mozzarella, I used the regular Mozzarella cheese and instead of cutting peach into wedges, I just diced them. Watch the salt you put in the salad as the store bought Mozzarella is already salted.

3 ripe peaches (peeled, if desired)
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Cut each peach into 6 to 8 wedges, then cut each wedge in half crosswise. In a large bowl, combine the peaches, basil, and mozzarella. Drizzle with the oil, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and toss. (You can cover and refrigerate the salad for up to several hours.) Serve cold or at room temperature.