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When faced with her husband having Type 2 diabetes, and her own struggles with weight, Deepa Thomas discovered that by cutting back on rice and bread and other carbohydrates she was able to help her husband and herself lose weight and feel great. She reinvented her take on classic Indian cooking by avoiding carbs but keeping the vivid flavors alive. Best of all, her new book, “Deepa’s Secrets: Slow Carb New Indian Cuisine” ($24.99, Skyhorse Publishing), offers new insight into Indian cooking.
This cookbook includes health tips, basic recipes like ginger garlic paste, and an in-depth introduction on her journey to good health. There is a Kitchen Essential chapter that includes spices, sauces and pickles; and you’ll find plenty of plush photographs interspersed throughout the more than 70-recipe cookbook, along with menu plans, kitchen wisdom and scientific commentary. I particularly like the step-by-step instructions, ingredient substitutions and shortcuts that she offers the reader.
The following salad recipe screams summer. I particularly love the addition of sliced plums to a classic tomato avocado salad. The dressing includes toasted cumin (you can just use ground cumin) along with sweet honey, spicy jalapeno chile, astringent lime juice and some ground garlic. These flavors combine to brighten this simple, yet colorful salad. Consider serving this for a light luncheon.
• Look for chaat masala at any good spice store, on the internet or in an Indian market.
• Ginger garlic paste can be refrigerated and used for other recipes.
Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at www.seriouslysimple.com.
and Plum Salad
For the dressing:
1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste (see following recipe)
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon wild honey
1 jalapeno, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
For the salad:
2 avocados, sliced
1 large tomato, sliced
1 plum, sliced
2 tablespoons cilantro, stemmed and finely chopped
4 mint leaves, roughly torn
1 teaspoon chaat masala
Toasted crumbled walnuts (optional)
1. Whisk dressing ingredients together in a glass bowl. Check seasoning and set aside.
2. On a platter, mix avocado, tomato and plum slices gently. Drizzle the dressing on top.
3. Sprinkle chopped cilantro, mint leaves and chaat masala on top of the salad. I sometimes sprinkle with a handful of toasted crumbled walnuts, as well.
Ginger Garlic Paste
15 garlic cloves, smashed
3-inch ginger, peeled and rough chopped
1. Grind to a paste in a food processor.
Notes: Use a gob of this as a flavor base for any cooked veggie, meat or grain dish. Store in an airtight glass jar in the fridge for up to one week.