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Tag Archives: sesame

Twin paths to a delectable tofu

Tofu, a food that resembles paneer or cheese, is formed by curdling soy milk with a coagulant, usually edible gypsum or nigari. Tofu has been in use from 200 B.C. when a zealous cook stumbled upon tofu by chance when he added nigari (magnesium chloride, found in ocean water) to flavor the soy milk. This reminded me of the origin of dulce de leche – seems to me that a lot of tasty foods were created more by accident than design 🙂

Tofu is available in soft(silken) and firm varieties. Soft tofu is easy to blend, and is used in a lot of vegan desserts and soups, whereas firm tofu retains shapes well, and is used in stir-fry, grilling and baking. Tofu is rich in protein, and hence a good source of protein for vegetarians and more so for vegans. It is also widely believed that the spread of Buddhism, which preached strict vegetarianism helped the spread and popularity of tofu. The health benefits of tofu are enormous, including but not limited to its cardiovascular protection and anti-cancer properties. While there are a lot of benefits to tofu, it contains goitrogens which interfere with the functioning of thyroid glands. You might want to go easy on tofu, if you have (or suspect) thyroid issues.

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Posted by on April 9, 2008 in Chinese, Cooking

 

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Hummer? Hormuz? Hummus!

No – it is not an off-roading gas guzzler nor is it any geographical entity, it is a mid-eastern protein packed spread that is considered one of the oldest prepared food known to mankind. The 2 main ingredients of hummus are chickpeas and sesame – both are extremely healthy and a nutritionist’s dream. In fact, the early rise and spread of the Mesopotamian civilization is attributed to the nutritional benefits of hummus. Whoa! I would have never connected or even imagined, that a success of a civilization could be due to food. There are times when I feel good about blogging, like when I meet new friends with similar interest or when I am exploring new (to me, that is) and different culture, and in turn, food. What I learnt about hummus made me realize why blogging is not just fun but also educational.

Hummus

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Posted by on April 7, 2008 in Cooking, Mid-Eastern

 

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Gokulashtami & Seedais


When I got married, and moved to the US as a new bride, my mom insisted that no matter where I am, there a few pandikai (festivals in tamil) that I should never miss. She staunchly believed that by celebrating these festivals, we carry forward our tradition and culture. Living in a faraway land, I guess that is the best way to preserve your identity and also teach / pass it on to the next generation. Even though, I don’t go the whole nine yards, I try to stick to the tradition as much as possible. To think that a few years ago, if someone said that I would be following all these traditions, I would have scoffed at them. But now, I never fail to celebrate Pongal, Karadaiyar Nombu, Gokulastami, Vinayagar Chathurthi etc. I guess age & experience can really change one 🙂
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Posted by on September 3, 2007 in Cooking, Desi, Pandigai (Festival), Traditional cooking

 

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