Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ayurvedic Cuisine
Pakoras are an Indian snack that's usually deep-fried, but Sondhi has taken the guilt out of eating these delicious treats by baking them instead.
Baked Pakoras (Bhajias)
11/2 cups gram (chickpea) flour
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated or minced
1/2 tsp. garlic, crushed or minced
1 tsp. fresh green chilies, minced'
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1 cup plain yogurt
1 bunch spinach, chopped, about 4-5 cups
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Olive oil spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, combine flour, cumin, ginger, garlic chilies, salt and yogurt and beat with wooden spoon until well mixed. Stir in spinach and baking powder. Pour mixture into lightly oiled 9-inch loaf pan. Cover with foil and bake for about 70 minutes. Test with toothpick; if it comes out clean, it's done. Cut into slices, lightly cover with olive oil spray, and place on a baking sheet. Increase oven heat to broil and place in oven for 4 minutes, flipping once, until slightly crisp and brown Watch carefully to ensure they do not burn. Serve with a favourite chutney.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Consider one of the commonest and cheapest of Ayurvedic medical formulations -
Triphala Emerging as Potent Cancer and Cholesterol Fighter

Triphala (a combination of three tropical dried fruits, Haritaki (Terminalia Belerica), Amalaki (Phyllanthus Emblica) and Bibhitaki (Terminalia Chebula) - which is now emerging as one of the most potent anticancer agents.

Last year I wrote about research being done on Triphala which was subsequently incorporated in Wikipedia entries on Triphala and on Research and innovations in Ayurveda.

Forthcoming research in 2007 is even more exciting. Triphala is active against HIV and against cholesterol related risk for Coronary Artery Disease.

Phytotherapy Research reported Feb 1 on the use of Triphala against common bacterial isolates from HIV infected patients. That report from scientists at the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Dr. ALM PG Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Madras, Taramani Campus, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India 600 113, revealed that both individual and combined aqueous and ethanol extracts of Triphala have antibacterial activity against the bacterial isolates tested from HIV patients.

Another group of scientists from the same instituion report in the Feb 1 issue of Yakugaku Zasshi highlights the efficacy of Triphala on total cholesterol, Low density lipoprotein (LDL), Very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), High density lipoprotein (HDL) and free fatty acid in rats with high levels of cholesterol. ‘The data demonstrated that Triphala formulation was associated with hypolipidemic effects on the experimentally induced hypercholesteremic rats.’

And last October, scientists at the Bhabha Atomic Research Center confirmed that Triphala has the ability to develop into a novel herbal protector against radiation induced damage to the DNA of mice exposed to whole body irradiation.