Indian Nourishment Through the Love of food –Part 2

Do you feel like your body is not receiving enough nutrients?

 

Does your food lack flavour?

 

Did you miss part one? Not to worry you can find part one here. India has been ahead of the game with their spices. It is today that North America is accepting and or discovering the health benefits of the seven spices that are most commonly found in all authentic Indian food.

 

No matter what the recipe or the spices used you will always have multiple health benefits in your Indian food along with proper nutrients.

 

At An Indian Affair not only do we have authentic dishes, but we have added our signature twist to every dish we serve fresh daily. We have also adopted an Asian fusion kick to some of our dishes. You must come by and try our dinner menu and our lunch buffet.

 

an indian affair best restaurant Langley British Columbia
pic by celkau

It does not matter what region of India you originate from there are seven basic spices that will be found in every household and they are:

  1. Turmeric
  2. Ginger
  3. Garlic
  4. Black pepper
  5. Cinnamon
  6. Cardamom
  7. Cloves

 

Cinnamon:

The aroma of cinnamon is very sweet yet very woody and very tasty. Cinnamon dates back as far as Ancient Egypt and was a rare commodity fit for a king. Today it is very commonly used. Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants more so than any superfood. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, reduces the risk of heart disease, has beneficial effects on blood markers for anyone with Type 2 diabetes, improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin, lowers blood sugar levels and has a powerful anti-diabetic effect, helps with neurodegenerative disease, and helps fight bacterial and fungal infections. Cinnamon is great for taking away the smell of any cooking, living the room smell sweet and fresh.

 

Cardamom:

From the evergreen forests of India to our mouths, cardamom carries a punch that can treat a variety of complications from mouth ulcers, digestive problems, to depression. Cardamom detoxifies your body by eliminating waste through the kidneys, cleaning your urinary tract, bladder and removes excess salt and water. It is also good to freshen the breath lower blood pressure, prevent blood clots and help get rid of hiccups.

 

Cloves:

Although cloves are native to the rainforest of Indonesia, they are commonly found in India. Cloves have properties of antiseptic, warming and soothing which is excellent for dental care. Cloves can provide relief from nausea and vomiting, coughs and bad breath and sinusitis. They can reduce exhaustion, fatigue, and stress while clearing any acne and scares.

As you can see, spices not only are great for flavouring but have many health benefits that Indians have known about for many centuries.

 

an indian affair best restaurant Langley British Columbia
pic by: hhblife

Can you decipher the spices we use in our dishes at An Indian Affair Restaurant Langley ?

 

What are your favourite spices?

 

What do you use these spices for?

 

By Fatima Sumar

Indian Nourishment Through the Love Food- Part 1

Do you feel like your body is not receiving enough nutrients?

 

Does your food lack flavour?

 

Authentic Indian food is colorfully decorated with nutrients, flavour and a spicy kick of excitement. There are many varieties of dishes that can be enjoyed. Although there are five to six common spices that are found in any dish and because they are cooked differently, therefore, making each dish unique.

 

At An Indian Affairnot only do we have authentic dishes, but we have added our signature twist to every dish we serve fresh daily. We have also adopted an Asian fusion kick to some of our dishes. You must come by and try our dinner menu and our lunch buffet.

 

best restaurant Langley British Columbia
image by: chefindisuise

It does not matter what region of India you originate from there are seven basic spices that will be found in every household and they are:

Turmeric

Ginger

Garlic

Black pepper

Cinnamon

Cardamom

Cloves

 

Turmeric:

Turmeric is very rich in colour and very strong but has many health benefits. It is a natural anti-inflammatory which works wonders. Growing up, I have used turmeric paste to heal my sprained ankle and it works like a charm. Turmeric provides antioxidants to our bodies, improves brain function, lowers the risk of brain diseases, lowers the risk of heart disease, naturally whitens your teeth, prevent and help treat cancer, and has amazing benefits against depression.

 

best restaurant Langley British Columbia
image by nutritionsecrets

 

 

Ginger:

Ginger and turmeric come from the same family but have different health benefits. Traditionally, ginger has been used fight the flu, help with digestion and reduce nausea. Ginger also is an anti-inflammatory and prevent cancer similar to turmeric. Women who are experiencing morning sickness keep ginger with you at all times as it can significantly reduce nausea. Ginger is also good for lowering blood sugar, improve heart disease risk, help treat chronic indigestion, help with menstrual pain, lower cholesterol levels, and protect against Alzheimer’s.

 

Garlic:

Not only is garlic great for keeping the vampires away, there are many health benefits like combating a common cold, boosting the function of your immune system, reduce blood pressure, improves cholesterol levels, helps you live longer, athletic performance, detoxify your body, and improve bone health.

 

Black Pepper:

Just because black pepper is so small don’t be fooled, it has a whole load of health benefits.

Black pepper provides relief from respiratory disorders, coughs, anemia, impotency, muscular strains, dental disease, diarrhea and heart disease. It is a very common spice that is found all year round. Black Pepper has antibacterial properties which are then used to preserve foods.

 

Stay tuned for part two of Indian Nourishment Through the Love of Food.

 

What are you favourite Indian Spices?

 

What spice is your go to spice with the best health benefit?

 

By Fatima Sumar

Indian Vegan

Are you vegetarian or a vegan?

 

Do you struggle to find great cuisines that allow you to venture out?

 

Indian food is one the best cuisines for vegetarians and vegans as there are a surplus of vegetable dishes available. You can one fruit or vegetable at least four or five different ways. Take okra for example: You can eat them whole in curry, you can fry them, your can mince them up to make a very thick curry base, you can steam them, you can bake the okra, and these are just to name a few varieties.

 

India’s population comprises of 79.8% of Hindus and 14% of Muslims while the reminder 6% are a mix of other faiths. Hindus do not eat a cow as it is considered to be very sacred animal and a Muslim will not eat pork as it is considered to be dirty animal.

 

There are a lot of foods that you can still get your sufficient amount of proteins and fibers from. Some people choose to be a vegetarian or vegan out of ethics of not killing an animal while others have known nothing but to be a vegetarian or vegan. WhateveVegetable Shaslickr your reason or choice to be a vegetarian or vegan Indian cuisine is the best for.

 

A vegetarian does not include any meat, poultry, and seafood in their diet and some vegetarians also exclude dairy and eggs from diet.

 

A vegan also does not consume any of the above items. In addition, vegans exclude honey, any foods made using animal products in anyway, and refrain from household products, certain types of clothing, and anything that is tested on animals.

 

Eating Indian food is the best if you are vegan and by default vegetarian, because of the many options and as a nation beef is not consumed easily unless you are someone with means. Although, today, in restaurants and family homes you will find dishes that are non-vegetarian. You can enjoy everything like ice-cream or the famous Indian chai with coconut milk.

Here at An Indian Affair we have many vegan dishes that are a huge hit. Some dishes have surprised Hope you Had A Vegan Affair Today-me as I am of Indian descent and have never been a big fan of authentic Indian food. I would say the appetizers are amazing as these are fruits and vegetables I have enjoyed eating while growing up. The Gobi Manchurian (cauliflower florets) was definitely a dish that took me by surprise. I have had cauliflower many times but never with this amazing twist of flavours.
Book your next Vegan Affair with Gary and leave the rest to us. All you need to do is show up with your company, sit back and relax while we serve you.

 

Who would you share you vegan meal with?

 

What is your favourite vegan dish?

 

By Fatima Sumar

Feeling the Winter Blues, Warm Yourself up with Indian Food

Are you hungry for some Indian food?

 

What foods do you crave?

 

After the crazy weather we’ve experienced, many people were trapped indoors with colds and the need to stay warm. Indian food is great for naturally warming you up with the various spices that are used to turn up the heat.

 

Just like any other ethnic food, Indian food also has its foods that are comfort foods which are also very warm. Some examples are chai, samosas, lentil soup, pakora, aloo gobhi and many others. If you have not had the opportunity to try authentic Indian food, now is the perfect time for you to come venture out to An Indian Affair.

IMG_3324

Enjoy a cup of chai and some samosas while you warm yourself up by the fireplace. Chai is rich with spices and warm tantalizing flavours. Although the basic ingredients for a good cup of chai are water, tea, milk, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves everyone’s taste very different. Each chef has a secret ingredient up their sleeve. One of the ingredients I left out was “love” which is the most important ingredient of all. The more you enjoy your cup of chai, the more love has been infused into your chai. When I go into An Indian Affair, in one sitting I will have four or five cups of delicious chai.

 

The added ingredient is ginger when you are sick which naturally warms up your body. It is excellent for any chest congestion.

 

Chai is great for all occasions from distressing to warming up to quenching your thirst. An Indian restaurant or any Indian household is incomplete without chai.

 

As a family, we drink chai at least three to four times a day. Once in the morning as our morning caffeine fix, our late afternoon pick me upper, in the evening before bed to relax. Other times when we enjoy our chai, when we are cold, when are bored and looking for something to do, when we have company over and it is time for them to leave, we have had a long day and just want to relax, or when my aunts are all chilling together we will polish off five cups each of chai in that one sitting or if we are playing cards as a family. For us, everything revolves around chai from the happiest of moments to the saddest of times we need our chai.

 

chia and rice pudding

 

Health Benefits of Chai:

  • Chai has less caffeine than coffee which means you are not on a continuous high comparison is three cups of chai equals one cup of coffee
  • The black tea is rich in antioxidants
  • The spices which have been used for thousands of years are used to promote general health, well-being and to treat various ailments

We will see you on your next visit over a cup of chai at An Indian Affair.

 

How do you and your family enjoy a cup of chai?

 

When do you have a cup of chai?

Who would you like to share a cup of chai with?

 

By Fatima Sumar

 

 

Diwali Lighting Affair

Diwali is celebrated in India and it is the festival lights. To a Hindu, this is the most important festival of the year just like Christmas is for Christians. Each household will light clay lamps around their house which symbolizes the protection against spiritual darkness.

 

diwali_festival
picture by en.wikipedia.org

Diwali is the one time that the whole city is lite by using clay candles and it is said that you can see Indian from space. Today, it is celebrated by many faiths and become more of a national holiday than specific to the Hindu’s.

 

Originally, it was celebrated as a harvest festival which marked the last harvest before winter, for this reason. People seek the blessings from Lakshmi- the Goddess of wealth as they were closing off their financial books for the year and beginning their new fiscal year the next day. You can almost say that Diwali is also like New Years for the Hindu’s.

 

Diwali has always been celebrated at the end of October and beginning of November. For people living in North America, that is perfect timing as it always coincides with Halloween and makes celebrating easier and extend their celebrations. This year Diwali is on October 30, 2016. Without a family gathering, clay lamps, fireworks, strings of electric lights, sharing of sweets, flowers and the worship of Lakshmi there is not celebration.

 

It is said that Lakshmi wanders the earth that night looking to enter houses where she welcomed and in order for her to do that all the doors and windows must be open along with lit lamps to invite her in. Are you being blessed this year by Lakshmi’s presence?

 

Depending on what region of India you are from you have a different interpretation of the story of Diwali.

  • Northern Indian- where Ram had defeated Ravan in Ayodhya by lighting a row of clay lamps
  • Southern India- where Lord Krishna (one of the many names of Vishnu) defeated Narakasura’s demon
  • Western India- where Lord Vishnu (the Preserver and Protector of the Universe) sent King Bali’s demon to rule the netherworld
  • Southern India- where the Goddess Parvathi Killed Bakrasura by taking the form of Kali (Goddess of the Mother Universe and protector) and saved the world

No matter the region, the common thread of Diwali is that it celebrates the victory of good vs evil.

 

Five Days of Diwali

There are five days to Diwali each day is celebrated differently with different meanings.

picture by: independent.co.uk
picture by: independent.co.uk
  • Day 1- great time for spring cleaning the house, utensils and your place of business
  • Day 2- people decorate their homes with clay lamps and decorate the floor with a rangoli (a pattern on the floor using coloured powder or sand)
  • Day 3- is the main day where families gather, Lakshmi prayer is performed (puja), a feast and fireworks
  • Day 4- marks the first day of the New Year and this where gifts are exchanged with blessing for the year
  • Day 5- brothers visit their married sister where they are welcomed with a lavish meal and love.

 

 

Come by the An Indian Affair this Diwali and celebrate with your family and our family. We wish you a very Happy and Safe Diwali.

 

picture by: appsforpcplanet.com
picture by: appsforpcplanet.com

 

What region’s story resonates with you?

 

How are you going to celebrate Diwali?

 

By Fatima Sumar

Freedom in Gluten Free Food

Are you fleeing bloated after the last meal you ate or are you all of a sudden very tired?

 

Are you walking around with some brain fog?

 

Today, more than ever what we eat really affects are our overall health in many ways beyond our external appearance. Our ancestors were much healthier as they ate all raw foods that were full of nutrients, protein, fiber, and all the other good stuff our body needs to operate at optimal capacity.

 

So what has changed over the decades? Today majority of what people are eating comes from a box, a can or a package and is produced in the masses with DNA modifications or known as GMO – “(Genetically Modified Organism) is a laboratory process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic.” ~by Kids Have the Right to Know.

 

Gluten is the protein found in wheat and today has altered many times before it reaches us as the consumer. Have you ever asked yourself what makes a dough sticky? Well, it is gluten which is found in wheat, rye, cereal, barley, oats and other cross-breads.

 

thyroid-and-gluten-hydraToday, more and more people are discovering they are gluten intolerant or celiac while people are not aware of their own bodies are saying it is a fad. You decide which it is. Most common symptoms are bloating, migraines, walking around in a permanent brain fog, constantly feeling lethargic, or tired and sleepy soon after you eat a meal.

 

Gluten intolerant is someone that has a wheat allergy with reactions similar to any food allergy and an individual who is celiac is not able to process their food properly. More specifically, their intestines are damaged while not being able to absorb vital nutrients.

 

A couple of years back I had massive migraines for 16 days consecutive and went to the doctors and all I was told is that I need to take medication and I started doing some research and discovered that I was gluten intolerant. Once I understood really what that meant and how I can eat without harming my body it was truly exciting and very creative.

 

Being Indian, it is a necessity for every woman to know how to make rotlis/rotis almost at soon after birth. I always refused to learn how to cook rotlis although I enjoyed the taste; then once I discovered I was gluten free I thought myself how to make killer gluten free rotlis. Ironically, flours native to Indian cooking are all gluten free like millet flour (bajra), sorgum flour (jowar), channa flour (chickpeas), corn flour and rice flour.

 

After a month of cutting out gluten from my life, I could see a significant change I no longer suffered from migraines, I was losing weight steadily, I had so much more energy, my brain fog was gone, I was far more productive, I was a happier person and the bloating was gone. I enjoyed eating my food and the new lifestyle I had for myself. If I ever went off, I could feel it instantly my migraines were back my stomach hurt and I would be in a fog for a few days.

 

That was enough for me to change my lifestyle forever. Do I miss certain foods, no because I have found ways to indulge in my favorite foods.

 

gluten free flours and typography

When dining at An Indian Affair rest assured, that we do have options for gluten free Indian food without forgoing any of the tastes you love so much.

 

Do you know anyone that might be gluten intolerant/celiac?

 

Do you have any symptoms that you have chalked up as part of life?

 

By Fatima

Please share this with your peers and let us know what your thoughts are. Be sure to engage with us on our social platforms and share this with your peers.

La La Lohri….a Celebration Worthy of New Family Beginnings

How do you celebrate a newborn?

What traditions do you have when a child is born?

Traditionally, a male born in the Indian community is seen as a blessing and they are treated like royalty with a huge party known as Lohri it is as big as a wedding reception. Lohri is a celebration of the first harvest of the year and the birth of a male between 0-1 is celebrated. The family will gather around a large bonfire in a circle known as parikrama and throw sesame seeds, puffed rice, popcorn and other munchies while shouting, “Aadar aye dilather jaye.” Meaning may honour come and poverty vanish. Essentiality blessing the family, the year’s crop and the newborn. Today, daughters get the lavished celebration.

After the completion of the parikrama, greetings and gifts are exchanged, followed by the distribution of prasad (offerings made to God) –consisting of sesame seeds (til), gajak, jiggery, peanuts, and popcorn.

A traditional dinner of makki-di-roti (multi-millet hand-rolled bread) and sarson-da-saag (cooked mustard herbs) are served around the bonfire.

“Where is the party tonight? Somewhere down the street! Where is the party tonight?” On the Farm Fields. The men start dancing Bhangra and continue into the wee hours of the night. While the women orbit the bonfire in a graceful dance of gidda.

lohri

From our family to yours we are wishing you Happy Lori. How do you celebrate Lohri with your family and friends?

We would love to hear your stories about your Lohri.

We can help you with your food order call us at 604.539.8114.

 

By Fatima Sumar

Please share this with your peers and let us know what your thoughts are. Be sure to engage with us on our social platforms and share this with your peers.