Real Foods of India: Pt.1

Due to all of the fabulous recipes and great information I’d like to share I’ve made this into a four part series. So, here’s Part 1 of Real Foods of India. Check back soon for more great recipes and tips.

I recently had the pleasure of attending the “Real Foods of India” cooking class at the Milestone Culinary Arts Center in Dallas, led by Minal Jhaveri from Gourmet Journey. Not only was it an educational evening, but it was every bit a piece of heaven to my taste buds.

Working for an Indian owned company has definitely broadened my horizons when it comes to different types of food. Needless to say, I have fallen madly in love with Indian food and was really excited to delve in to the culture’s many different tastes and techniques.

There were 8 dishes prepared and each one had its own do’s and dont’s that could make or break the dish. Lets start off the first series with two amazing recipes to get an Indian themed culinary evening started off right!

Mango Lassi
A flavored yogurt smoothie served with a meal or as a dessert.

Serves 2-3


  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (can use low fat or fat free)
  • 1/2 cup Alphanso or Kesari mango pulp (available at Indian stores) *See Tips
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5-6 tsp sugar (can use 1/2 the amount of sugar for less sweetness)
  • 1/4 cup crushed ice
  • a few drops of rose essence (options) *See Tips
  • mint leaves – garnish


Blend all ingredients to form a smoothie. Serve cold, immediately.


Cannot refrigerate or freeze the lassi. The unused mango pulp can be consumed by itself or can be refrigerated or frozen for 2-3 months.


This recipe can be used to make a salty or sweet lassi.

Salty Lassi – same ingredients, no mango pulp and no sugar or rose essence. Add 1/4 tsp, or salt to taste, to the lassi. Sprinkle a little cumin powder before serving in every glass.

Sweet Lassi – same ingredients minus the mango pulp.


  • The mango pulp must be actual pulp. Do not use a  fresh mango.
  • Rose essence is often used for aroma. It is not essential to the flavor of the dish

Cucumber Raita
A yogurt-based salad or dip, which is a soothing accompaniment to a spicy curry or dal. It always accompanies a meal as a side dish.

Serves 4-6

Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 0 min


  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 cups plain yogurt/non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder to garnish
  • pinch of red chili powder to garnish
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried mint leaves or 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • a few cilantro leaves for garnishing


Whisk the yogurt to form a smooth blend removing all lumps. Add in salt and 1/4 tsp cumin powder.

Peel and grate the cucumber with a big hole grater. Drain out excess water. Add the grated cucumber and mint leaves to the yogurt, mix.

Garnish with cilantro leaves, red chili powder, and remaining cumin powder. (Lightly sprinkle the red chili powder)

Keep refrigerated and serve cold.


  • Can be refrigerated for 2 days, but tastes the best when fresh.
  • Additional veggies can be added to this dish including carrots, onions, and tomatoes.
  • Potatoes can be added as well, but they shouldn’t be served with any additional veggies (omit the cucumber)

Miike Snow is a fantastic India/electropop band out of Sweden. My brother introduced them to me last year and Cult Logic remains one of my favorite tracks! It always puts me in a good mood. Enjoy!

Miike Snow – Cult Logic

Click on the numbers to view Parts 2, 3, and 4 of Real Foods from India.

Mango photograph courtesy of Flickr’s  f_msantos’ photostream

All recipes courtesy of Minal Jhaveri.

3 responses

    • Yes, I love how crisp and fresh it is…and it would definitely go great with some Biryani. My mouth is watering 🙂

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