Vegetarian: World Vegetarian with Madhur Jaffrey (cont.)

Moderator: What are some of your latest discoveries in the culinary world?

Jaffrey: You know, I'm discovering things all the time. For example, there are vegetables that I don't cook frequently, veggies you find in India and are used in Mexico from a South American origin .... you can peel and dice them .... you can cook them with chicken or by themselves. So, some vegetarians need to discover pumpkins and bitter gourd. I find it amazing that America doesn't sell pumpkins in the supermarkets! That's where they came from! You can only get pumpkin in a can! And, another thing that I love are chick peas when they're green, like a green pea and they're grown in Washington State and where are they? They can be frozen. But, the people who are growing them, I'm talking to YOU! Put them frozen in packages and we will cook them, send them as samples to chefs. We will cook them and put them in our recipes. These are things waiting to be discovered.

Jaffrey: I think there's a whole area of beans that has not been looked into. This is a country where Lima beans are original.... why can't I get fresh lima beans or peanuts? You can get them in South Carolina or other places, but they should be available to all of us .. there are Chinese and Indian recipes with fresh peanuts and you boil them, they're delicious! This is my battle cry! (laughs!) I hope it was not too loud.

Yes, I commute to London and do a lot of work there, I have several homes. I'm Indian, but half English in spirit and by citizenship, I'm American. So I'm related to the whole world and we're becoming more and more global. The net is part of that.

blaine1_WebMD: In London, I had this great Saag that was whole pieces of spinach rather than pureed. How is this Saag made?

Jaffrey: It depends, there are hundreds of ways to do it. I went to the supermarket the other day and got this very young small leaf spinach in a packet with microwavable directions which I threw away. I heated a bit of oil and sliced shallots and put them in with sliced ginger, green chile slices and threw in the spinach and fried it for 3-4 minutes and it was delicious! And, of course salt and pepper.

Al_Pavy_WebMD: What exactly is curry? And what is the difference between red and green and yellow curry?

Jaffrey: Red, green, and yellow curries, I think of Thailand cause this is not something that's Indian. In Thailand, the red curry is made with red chilies, the green curry is green chilies and fresh herbs, and the yellow curries have turmeric in them. So, that accounts for the colors, but they have different tastes, the green curries have spices, and the red have lemongrass and other Thai seasonings. But, the colors you won't find in India, it's how India influenced Thailand. A lot of it traveled with Portuguese traders, etc. from one country to another.

Moderator: Do you have meals that are more suited for specific seasons?

Jaffrey: I haven't done that for this particular book though you'll find enough for all seasons. In India, we eat very seasonally and certain things are good for your health in the rainy season, etc. In the Ayurvedic system of medicine in India, they say that most diseases are caught at the change in seasons and that is the time you should eat carefully, dress warmly and be careful. Especially during the change in winter ... all kinds of warming foods are recommended -- nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. So, in Ayurvedic, all seasonings and spices are given heating and warming qualities. And, people that go to "regular" doctors also go to Ayurvedic doctors ... they work with them for all kinds of things .. exercises, massages and patterns of eating.

maltman_WebMD: In Western cooking, tofu is often substituted for meat. Can I do the same in Indian cuisine, like for keema matar for instance?

Jaffrey: It can be. And, tofu is a very good substitute for ... in my book, I use fresh cheese where you can substitute tofu ... peas and Indian cheese .. you can use bean curd in a dish like that ... spinach can also be made from tofu and it works quite well .. not exactly the same. Slightly different taste. But it's good to know. But, anyone who's interested in making Indian homemade cheese, should look in my book for a 3 minute recipe in my book!

Moderator: Madhur, thank you so much for joining us, it was great talking to you!

Jaffrey: Thank you!

Moderator: Thank you very much for joining us, Madhur. Please join us again on Tuesday, March 28 at 7 pm EST in the World Watch and Health News Auditorium, when we present another slideshow & audiocast cooking event, "Shopping and Cooking for Ayurvedic Nutrition," with Leanne Backer, executive chef at Deepak Chopra's "Chopra Center for Well Being."

Jaffrey: Bye bye.

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