May 17, 2013

Last week, I was one of the judges for a salad contest held in Manhattan Associates.  The participants proved that techies are not only good with computers but also make great chefs.  3 persons emerged winners in the contest that was judged by Arzooman Irani, Executive Chef, Vivanta by Taj, Whitefield, Subramaniam, Senior Director of the company, and yours truly.

Here’s the recipe of one of the winners, Arunava Deshamukhya –


This salad represents 3 moods – Fresh, Energetic and Playful; which makes a great start for the day. Idea is to offer a choice of mood enhancing breakfast. There are three parts of this salad as detailed below – together they constitute the dish.

Part 1: Fresh
Fresh mango with Basil Salad

2 ripe alphonso mangoes
1 small bunch basil
1 bunch baby spinach
1 medium ripe avocado
1 handful of roasted nuts
White vinegar dressing

Method of preparation:
Cut mango and avocado into small chunks. Mix all ingredients, add salt and sugar to taste. Add vinegar dressing.

Part 2: Energetic
Egg Salad

4 hard boiled eggs
1 cup boiled kidney beans
1 cup boiled pasta
1 cup mayonnaise
2 spoons lemon juice
1 bunch parsley
2 large lettuce leaves

Method of preparation:
Cut egg into small pieces. Chop parsley. Mix above ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a bed of lettuce.

Part 3:Playful
Egg Plant and Mushroom Salad

2 large eggplant
20 button mushrooms
2 large slices of bread cut into cubes and deep fried in olive oil
1 red bell pepper
10 cherry tomatoes
1 cup assorted salad leaves

Method of preparation:
Slice and fry egg plant. Cut in half and sauté mushroom. Slice bell pepper and sauté. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Mix all ingredients with assorted salad leaves, add salt to taste. Add salad seasoning.

0 Comments | Posted by admin at 4:39 am. Leave a comment!
May 16, 2013

A United Nations report talks about the health benefits from eating insects.  Insect-eating has been a practice in Africa and Asia for a long time.  In Europe, restaurants are beginning to serve them.

If this news doesn’t disgust you, read more on the link given here –
Eating Insects Could Help Fight Obesity, U.N. Says

0 Comments | Posted by admin at 4:18 am. Leave a comment!
May 13, 2013

There are some varieties of Dosa that can be made without using urad dal, and here’s one more to add to the list.  The recipe was given by my friend from Delhi –

Mix brown rice and whole moong (green gram) in 2:1 proportion.  Add a fistful each of methi seeds and channa dal to this mix.  Soak the entire mix in water for a couple of hours.  Grind well to a dosa batter consistency, and make dosa on a pan instantly.  The dosa can be eaten with either chutney or dry chutney powder.

1 Comments | Posted by admin at 5:53 am. 1 comment.
May 9, 2013

A study done last year says that coconut water can be used as a sports drink.  The lead researcher of the study said that coconut water is a natural drink that has everything that an average sports drink has and more.  It has 5 times more potassium than some of the popular sports drinks, and potassium helps in getting rid of muscle cramps during training or a game.  Coconut water also replaces the lost fluids during exercise or a game.  It gives small amounts of energy and gives a refreshing feeling.

Coconut water, in my opinion, can be a useful addition to water or a sports drink in a sportsperson’s kit.

2 Comments | Posted by admin at 6:01 am. 2 comments already!
May 6, 2013

Although I thought that the interest in GM diet had died down some time back, last week I received yet another query on its benefits / harmful effects.  So, I’m reproducing my article on GM diet that was published in The Times of India about 10 years ago.  Read on………


Almost everyone who wants to lose weight has heard of General Motors Diet, commonly called GM diet.  It was originally developed for employees and dependents of General Motors, Inc. and was intended for their exclusive use in the 1980s.  The intention of this program was to help the employees be more aware of wellness and fitness.   After all, healthy employees make a healthy company!

The GM diet-makers also believed that it would improve attitudes and emotions because of its cleansing effects in the body.  The seven-day plan of GM diet is thought to burn more calories than the body receives.  Theoretically, yes.  But the human system is more complicated than this.

The rules of GM diet read thus – no alcohol, compulsorily 10 glasses of water per day, all fruits except bananas on day one, all vegetables on day two, a mix of fruits and vegetables on day three, bananas and milk on day four, beef and tomatoes on day five, beef and vegetables on day six, brown rice, fruits juices and vegetables on day seven.  Beef has been replaced with rice in the Indian version.  This diet would sound bizarre to any nutritionist!  A repeat is advised for further weight loss.  Pulses are disallowed because they are high in calories.  Recipes have been made up revolving around the GM diet.

On the positive side, GM diet is good for a week if done once in a blue moon believing that it will ‘cleanse’ the system.  However, naturopathy medicine doesn’t allow any kind of meat for cleansing the human system.  Only those who are fit to withstand the low energy intake should go thru this ‘cleansing process’.

On the negative side, when on a low energy diet like GM diet, the body tends to hold back the fat reserve and burns muscle for energy that is required for daily activity. The initial rapid weight loss is mostly water loss from the body, which can easily be replaced.  Once, the person goes back to eating normally, the muscle builds back along with some fat and the original fat continues to remain in the body, so the person gains back most of the lost weight.  The second and subsequent attempts at weight loss become more and more difficult because the basic rate at which the body burns calories (BMR) slows down.  Following this diet repeatedly can deplete the body of energy and some important nutrients when needed. Unfortunately, we cannot supply nutrients in installments on different days for the body because the functioning of all nutrients is inter-related.   Many followers of GM diet have steadily gained back their weight.

A sensible meal pattern works very well for weight loss and good health.

2 Comments | Posted by admin at 4:55 am. 2 comments already!
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