Vegan Indian Cooking Class

Join our Vegan Indian Cooking Classes in Bellevue hosted by Spice Route & MokSHA in Bellevue!

“Have you always wanted to make delicious Vegan Indian food at home just like you order at the restaurants? Now you can!

Attend Vegan Indian Cooking Classes in Bellevue, WA hosted by Miss Bellevue Vegan and Spice Route & MokSHA.

Spice Route specializes in cuisine that is primarily from the Southern states of India, which include Tamil Nadu (where most of our chefs are from), Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

You will learn dishes that are rooted in India’s age-old culinary traditions yet adapted to today’s kitchen and lifestyle. Entrees are wholesome, healthy and fresh.”


The Details

MokSHA Indian Cuisine and Spice Route will be hosting Vegan Cooking Classes again in 2017! As a group you will be observing and learning from the chefs about Indian culture, food, nutrition and health benefits. You will be preparing a full course meal which will be enjoyed at the end!

Who Should Attend?

  • New and experienced cooks who want to learn how to make delicious Vegan Indian meals at home
  • Health-oriented people who want to learn about the many health benefits from Indian Spices
  • Vegans (and those interested in Vegan) who want to cook healthier meals
  • Those who want to incorporate more plant-based meals or cook for a vegan spouse, friend or loved one

The Classes

Cooking Classes – $30/person
Learning about, preparing and enjoying your delicious creation.

Register For Cooking Class

Private Cooking Class – $300/class
Max of 10 people
(Please visit Miss Bellevue Vegan’s website to book a private cooking class.)


2017 Vegan Indian Cooking Classes

All classes will have a max of 15 people/date and run approximately 2 hours.

Northern Indian Cooking
TBD

Southern Indian Cooking
TBD

Please visit Miss Bellevue Vegan’s website for registration and more information.

Indian Food at the 2016 Olympics

The Rio Olympic Games

Indian food is about more than just a great taste to Indian people. A proper Indian meal is so important that, when proper fare was not available during the 2012 Olympic Games in London, it apparently affected the performance of the Indian athletes. After the resulting controversy, the Indian Olympic Association wrote to the organizing committee to assure that authentic Indian food would be available to the participants from India.

spice-route-tandoori-chickenMore than one hundred Indian athletes are expected to participate in the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Rio. In order to be on the top of their games, they will require good, nourishing, vegetarian fare.

To accommodate them, the organizing committee has assured the Indian Olympic Association that no effort will be spared to provide them with Indian-style dishes. Rakesh Gupta, India’s Chef de Mission for Rio Olympics, said that the IOA is not taking any chances this time around, and is continuing to communicate with the organizing committee on this issue.

Rio’s Olympic Games, representing the first time that the international sporting event has been held in South America, is scheduled to kick off on August 5th and run until August 21st. If you’re a fan of quality athleticism, don’t miss out on this year’s games.

If you’re a fan of quality Indian cuisine, come and visit Spice Route at our Bellevue location; after a hearty dish of curry, vindaloo, samosas, and more, you’ll see why the Indian athletes have such a hard time going without their favorite foods!

The Many Benefits of Chili Peppers

chili-pepperThe chili pepper is surprisingly dense in valuable vitamins and minerals. In a single, 100 gram serving, you get 240% of your recommended vitamin C, 39% percent of your vitamin B6, 32% of your vitamin A, 13% of your iron, 14% of your copper, 7% of your potassium, and more.

The nutritional benefits of a diet rich in chili peppers are many, and include all of the following:

  • Heart Health: The capsaicin found in the peppers serve to reduce your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, protecting your heart from damage. It also helps your body break down fibrin, which is important for the formation of blood clots. It has been observed that cultures that eat a lot of hot peppers have a significantly lower rate of heart attacks and strokes.
  • Lower Blood Pressure: The high vitamin content of the peppers facilitate healthy, elastic blood vessels that are better able to deal with pressure fluctuations. Eating peppers also promote sweating, which removes sodium from your bloodstream.
  • Weight Control: The thermogenic properties of capsaicin stimulate your body’s natural fat-burning processes. This prevents the formation of adipose tissue and generate heat and promotes weight loss.
  • Metabolic Health: A scientific study demonstrated that capsaicin prevents stomach ulcers, kills harmful bacteria in your digestive tract, and may serve to cure inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Anti-Inflammation: Capsaicin is a potent anti-inflammant, helping your body fight pain associated with inflammation.
  • Cancer Prevention: It has been found that capsaicin kills off malignant cancer cells in the prostate.

Red pepper powder is a big part of South Indian culinary traditions. If you would like to make this healthy pepper a bigger part of your life, come down to our Bellevue Indian cuisine restaurant tonight.

Traditional Indian Ghee Butter

ghee-butter“Ghee” is a Sanskrit word that describes a form of clarified butter primarily used in Indian culinary traditions. It is a characteristic of a toasted, nutty quality.

Traditionally, ghee would be produced from the milk of the indigenous Indian buffalo. Today, it is common to see it produced from other varieties of milk. Whichever milk may be used in its creation is churned into standard butter, which is then boiled in a large saucepan or kettle.

A solid layer forms on the bottom of the vessel, while a thick layer of oil gathers in the center and the excess moisture in the butter gathers in a foamy layer on top. This top layer boils away, and the middle layer is spooned away and allowed to cool. It is this layer that becomes the ghee.

Though ghee is an animal-based fat, and therefore considered a saturated fat, some research has indicated that it is healthier than alternative fats like lard or margarine. This is because it can be better preserved without refrigeration for weeks at a time without spoiling, and does not require the use of hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils. Further, it is rich in vitamin A, vitamin E, and potent antioxidants, and its high smoke point allows you to fry with the butter without breaking it down into free radicals.

At Spice Route in Bellevue, you can experience the great taste of ghee butter with many of our South Indian-style dishes. Try our ghee dosa, our ghee masala dosa, and more.

Vada: The South Indian Doughnut

vadaA vada is a type of South Indian fritter that often resembles a doughnut. It is made from a dough based on either ground lentils or beans, which is mixed with seasoning ingredients like onions, green chilies, black pepper, curry leaves, ginger, garam masala, cumin, and other spices. It is generally served hot and crunchy, with a fluffy center and a savory taste that goes well with a lot of Indian food.

This dish can be traced back to the ancient Tamil people, as far back as 100 BC. The earliest known mention of vada comes to us from a Sanskrit encyclopedia known as Manasollasa. The text describes a recipe for “vataka”, a green bean paste is shaped into a ball and deep-fried into something very similar to the modern variations.

Today, vada remains a popular food item for people throughout India. Diners will frequently eat it as a side dish along with dosas, idli, or similar dishes. It is also a common snack and street food, particularly during the Hindu festival of Onam and similar events. Shoppers enjoy buying them fresh out of the fryer, then dipping them in curd, coconut chutney, sambar, or other dips.

If you’ve never tried a vada before, we have several delicious options available at Spice Route in Bellevue. Try a medu vada with sambar and chutney, a dahi vada with yoghurt, a spicy sambar vada, or our specialty rasa vada, covered with sambar and spices. Come and try this South Indian favorite today!

What is Papadum?

pappadumsPapadum is a type of bread originating from Indian culinary traditions. Occasionally, you may see it go under the name “lentil chips”, “appala”, or “papari”. It comes in the form of a thin, cracker-like food made from a dough that might be made from a flour of black beans, lentils, rice, or chickpeas. Often times, the dough will be seasoned with an assortment of Indian spices to give it an extra kick.

People will enjoy papadum in a variety of different ways. Sometimes it stands by itself as an appetizer or a snack, possibly dressed with chutney, raita, or a similar sauce. It may also be served along with a curry dish, where it might serve as a utensil to scoop up the main dish.

Those who are unable to handle the strong spiciness of Indian dishes find the bread handy for cutting the intensity of the curry.

In India, many small enterprises run by women have been built around baking papadum. Due to the ease of creating the bread and the minimal initial investment required in producing it for commercial purposes, it has proven to be an easy way for these women to achieve financial independence. Papadum has therefore earned a reputation as a symbol of women’s empowerment.

When you dine at Spice Route, you can partake of this old Indian favorite for yourself. Try our papadum and chutney, or our masala papadum topped with onions, tomatoes, and spices. It’s a great way to get an authentic South Indian cuisine experience in Bellevue!

How Heart-Healthy is Indian Cuisine?

Heart-healthy food is important for many people. Many of our modern diets are high in sodium and saturated fats, which serve to clog your arteries, raise your blood pressure, and invite heart attacks, strokes, and similar problems. It can be particularly problematic to find a heart-healthy meal when you dine out at a restaurant. So, how does Indian fare measure up?

There are many benefits to traditional Indian cuisine. You’ll find that most dishes are heavy on the grains vegetables and lighter on the animal-based proteins. This means that there is a lot of healthy, soluble fiber that helps to break down the cholesterol obstructing your blood vessels. Further, all of the potassium-rich foods, like the potatoes, green vegetables, and yoghurt, are helping to reduce your sodium levels and bring your blood pressure down.

One of the other big benefits of Indian food is the heavy use of curry. It has been demonstrated that this Indian classic has many benefits for your heart. These benefits can vary from one form of curry to the next, but the primary benefit is that reduces inflammation. When it reduces the inflammation of your blood vessels, it decreases your chances of heart disease.

If heart health is of particular concern for you, simply look out for dishes that are higher in sodium and saturated fats. These include anything heavy in dairy, coconut milk, and ghee butter. Favor tandoor-based dishes and similar roasted foods. If you have any other dietary concerns, talk to your server at our Bellevue Indian restaurant.

The Curious Origins of Vindaloo

Vindaloo is a common staple of any restaurant that specializes in Indian cuisine. Featuring a powerful, spicy taste, it is well-loved by fans of the more fiery offerings of India. However, if we trace the dish back to its earliest incarnations, we find its roots far away from the Indian subcontinent.

The first ancestor of vindaloo comes from Portugal, where it was known as carne de vinha d’alho. This is a term that literally translates to “meat, wine, and garlic”. It came in the form of a preserved meat eaten by Portuguese sailors during long voyages. Ships would pack wooden barrels with alternating layers of a meat, usually pork, and garlic, all soaked in wine.

The Portuguese took their preserved meat with them to the Goa region of India at some point after Vasco de Gama first arrived in the country in 1498. The Goan people assimilated many Portuguese culinary innovations into their own traditions, and vindaloo was one of them. It was the Goans who added many of the spices we associate with vindaloo to the recipe, including chilies, ginger, coriander, and cumin.

The modern vindaloo is far removed from its earliest roots, mostly reflecting the contributions of the Goans. Further, though traditional vindaloo has not historically involved potatoes, most modern dishes do; this is based on a misconception based on the fact that the Hindi word “aloo” translates to potato.

At Spice Route, you can experience the great taste of vindaloo in the form of our chicken vindaloo, goat vindaloo, fish vindaloo, and shrimp vindaloo. Try it out today!

Parotta: India’s Favorite Flatbread

parottaA parotta, alternatively known as “paratha”, is a kind of flatbread originating from Indian culinary traditions. The name is derived from the words “parat” and “atta”. Together, these words literally translate to “layers of cooked dough”, describing the flaky, layered texture of the bread. This fine texture and the great taste has made the flatbread a big favorite both in India and throughout the globe.

The preparation of a parotta starts with whole wheat dough. Sometimes ghee will be added during the kneading process. Once the dough is smooth, it is formed into balls, allowed to rest for as much as six hours, and then rolled or stretched out into paper-thin sheets. A cook will fold these sheets multiple times in order to achieve the unique, crisp, flaky texture of the final product. If a filling is to be added, it is placed in the middle of the dough during this process. It is then baked in a pan, cooking a few minutes on either side.

Parottas represent one of the subcontinent’s most popular breads. Indians will commonly eat them either as a breakfast dish, or as a tea-time snack. They will either be eaten plain, or stuffed with a filling like mashed, spiced potatoes, lentils, greens, or paneer. Sometimes, the bread will be rolled up and used as a dipping food with tea.

At Spice Route in Bellevue, you can enjoy parottas in the form of our veg kottu parotta, our egg kottu parotta, our parotta and chicken kurma, and more. Come and try this classic Indian cuisine today!

What to Do When the Spice is Too Much

Bellevue Indian Food | SpicesSpice is not like other taste sensations, like bitter, sour, salt, and sweet. When a food registers as spicy with your tongue, it is probably because it contains a substance known as capsaicin. This substance, found in all spicy peppers, triggers the thousands of VR1 pain receptors in your tongue.

The capsaicin binds to the receptors and sends a signal to your brain, identical to the signal you get when your skin is burned by a hot surface. No actual damage is being done to your tongue, but this is a sensation that many people can’t handle in strong doses.

So, what can you do to reduce the burn when your Indian cuisine proves to be too much for you to handle?

The first instinct of most people is to reach for a glass of water. Unfortunately, since capsaicin is an oil, it can’t be washed away so easily. In fact, you’re probably just spreading the oil around to more thoroughly coat your tongue and make the sensation worse.

The best thing you can do to dilute the pain of spicy food is introduce another oily substance to your mouth. The oils are able to mix with the capsaicin and keep it from adhering to your pain receptors. Fatty foods are good for this purpose. A tall glass of milk can be a good option, as it quells the fire in your mouth with its fat and quells the fire in your stomach with its calcium.

At Spice Route in Bellevue, we offer milk and a selection of yoghurt-based lassis for this purpose. Come and join us for some quality Indian fare today!