Indian Vegetarian Curry Dish with Okra


150g natural yogurt
2 tbsp chickpea flour
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
150g okra, tops cut off and each one halved lengthways


  1. Combine the yogurt and the chickpea flour in a large bowl. Slowly add enough cold water, whisking all the while to remove any lumps, to make a soupy consistency. Reserve.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the mustard seeds. As they begin to pop, add the turmeric powder and the ginger, reserving some of it to garnish.
  3. Add the okra, season with salt and stir gently until the okra is coated with the spices.
  4. Cover the pan with a concave lid designed to hold water. Fill the lid with cold water. (As the vapours in the pan rise and hit the cold lid above, they condense back into the pan to cook the okra.)
  5. After about 10 minutes, pour in the yogurt and flour mixture. When it is quite hot but not boiling, reduce the heat and cook on a low heat until the sauce thickens.
  6. Keep stirring to prevent it from curdling. If this should happen, whisk the curry lightly. Taste the curry to check that it has lost the raw flour flavour.
  7. Serve hot, sprinkled with the ginger.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Indian in Six

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Shiitake Mushrooms Boost Immunity

Could a mushroom a day help keep the doctor away?

A new University of Florida study shows increased immunity in people who ate a cooked shiitake mushroom every day for four weeks.

Of the thousands of mushroom species globally, about 20 are used for culinary purposes. Shiitake mushrooms are native to Asia and are cultivated for their culinary and medicinal value.

In a 2011 study led by UF Food Science and Human Nutrition Professor Sue Percival, 52 healthy adults, age 21 to 41, came to the Gainesville campus, where researchers gave them a four-week supply of dry shiitake mushrooms. Participants took the mushrooms home, cleaned and cooked them. Then they ate one, 4-ounce serving of mushrooms each day during the experiment.

Through blood tests before and after the experiment, researchers saw better-functioning gamma delta T-cells and reductions in inflammatory proteins.

“If you eat a shiitake mushroom every day, you could see changes in their immune system that are beneficial,” said Percival, an Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty member. “We’re enhancing the immune system, but we’re also reducing the inflammation that the immune system produces.”

To be eligible for the study, participants could not be vegans or vegetarians. They also could not drink tea, take antioxidant supplements or probiotics before the study. They also could not consume more than 14 glasses of alcoholic beverages per week or eat more than seven servings of fruits and vegetables per day during the experiment.

Percival explained the dietary restrictions as follows: Fiber, tea and probiotics help the body’s immune system, so researchers didn’t want to start with people who already had a strong immune system. Additionally, that much alcohol could suppress immunity, she said.

The study was published online in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Source: University of Florida

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