Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Indian condiments are spicing up global cuisine
The use of Indian condiments, or masalas as one would call in Hindustani, is increasingly becoming popular in various world cuisines. The ingredients used in Indian cuisine are unique and their mixing is an art mastered in the subcontinent over centuries.
 
In the olden days when there were no refrigeration techniques, the use of spices in dishes also acted like preservatives. When the Europeans came to the Indian subcontinent, they soon discovered the local spices and were impressed with the aromas and tastes. They took them back home and soon the demand in Europe sky-rocketed. 
 
At one time, the cost of spices was more than that of gold and precious stones and it was one of their most profitable trades. The use of Indian spices in the West gradually became popular but not in the mainstream dishes.
 
Recently, with increasing globalization of trade and communications, Indian cuisine has penetrated the masses across the world. With the result, the population across the globe is getting intrigued and willing to learn more about the "masala". 
 
The word spices have been used as a misnomer to describe hot food. In actual terms, spices provide different aromas and flavours. The hotness of the food comes from green, red, yellow chilies and black peppers.
 
The surge in Indian restaurants across Europe and the US has helped the spread of Indian aromas and tastes among the masses. The culinary world is rapidly advancing in both techniques and different flavours. Increasingly, the chefs are mixing flavours and ingredients from different regions of the world. 
 
This phenomenon has created fusion cuisine. As the world discovers the flavours of spices the chefs are not inhibited in experimenting with the spices. Thus, fusion food has taken another dimension in the culinary world. Indo-French, Indo-American and Indo-Chinese restaurants are sprouting up all over the world.
 
The masala chai once exclusive to India is one such example which is a popular drink in Europe and the US. A high-end chain in the US named Teavana extensively sells spice chai, maharaja chai and Ayurvedic chai. The spices used include cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and other garam masala ingredients.
 
Cinnamon is commonly used in tea, coffee and confectionery across the world. It's use in meat dishes is popular now in the Western hemisphere. I have seen its use in African cuisine along with cumin seeds and bay leaves. Black pepper is ever so popular as a table top condiment but its popularity in the dishes for cooking and marinating meat has increased significantly. Clove oil and cloves are now used as flavouring agents in various South American cuisines as well.
 
Of late, there has been a surge in the use of turmeric across the western world. Once an exclusive Indian spice, turmeric is now available as capsules and consumed raw for medicinal purposes. Although this has been the practice in India for centuries and is a common ingredient in almost all dishes in India, turmeric and milk is now popularized in food shows across the US as an exotic drink renamed "golden milk". Food shows on network channels are showing use of turmeric in various meat dishes in the West.
 
Marinating meat and poultry is commonly done with Indian spices. The traditional Indian garam masala is available extensively across the super markets in both Europe and USA. During my stays in the USA, I have seen the use of Indian condiments in Thai as well as Italian cuisines. Ethiopian cuisine is heavily influenced by these spices especially in kababs. 
 
The kababs in Middle Eastern cuisine have the same reflections. Recently, an Anthony Bourdain show revealed that Iranian cuisine was immensely influenced by Indian spices too. Indian spices have always influenced Middle Eastern cuisine. The spice trade from 16-18th century left a trace of spices all throughout the route.
 
Bay leaves, once an exotic addition to Indian recipes, is now being grown in households in the world and used for aroma in African, English and French cuisines. Coriander leaves and seeds have their counterparts in other cuisines but now used for garnishing entrees and appetizers.
 
There has been an increasing evidence of health benefits of herbs and spices as well. Various spices have plant-derived chemical compounds that have disease preventing and health promoting properties. Certain spices could provide antioxidants that are important in combating disease and improving immunity.
 
The anti platelets and clot prevention properties of some of the spices may explain the lower incidence of venous clotting of the legs in the Indian subcontinent. 
 
Spices have been used since ancient times for their anti-inflammatory and anti-flatulent properties. Turmeric has been used over wounds swollen and painful joints and is now proposed to reduce the post menopausal symptoms. Its cholesterol lowering properties have been reported too. Clove oil and dentistry is another example.
 
It has also been proposed that spices may reduce the incidence of certain cancers. With the renewed interest in spices around the world and changing palates I'm not surprised that Indian spices are increasingly used all over the world in various cuisines.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

White House unveils new broadband initiative
Washington : The White House has announced a new broadband initiative that aims to connect 20 million low-income Americans to high-speed internet by 2020.
 
"Connectivity is a path to greater opportunity," the White House said in a statement on Wednesday.
 
"Today, because of a digital divide, low-income Americans have a harder time accessing these tools, and unemployed workers without home internet access take a longer time to find employment."
 
As part of the ConnectALL initiative, the White House said it supports the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s proposal to reform a $1.5 billion per year phone subsidy programme to turn it into a national broadband subsidy to help low-income Americans get online, Xinhua news agency reported.
 
The programme, called "Lifeline", was first created under President Ronald Reagan to provide low-income Americans with financial assistance to purchase affordable phone service and then updated in 2005 by President George W.Bush to include mobile phones.
 
"Now in 2016, when we use the internet to communicate more than ever, it is time to modernise Lifeline and make sure that all Americans can access the broadband services they need," the White House said.
 
The efforts also included a digital literacy pilot project, which will teach the basic skills needed to get people online in libraries, museums and community centres across the country.
 
Currently, three-quarters of American families are using the internet, a 50 percent rise from 2001.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

The Fine Print - Read It
A reminder during National Consumer Protection Week to mind the teeny words at the bottom of ads
 
Ah, the fine print – the teeny words at the bottom of an ad that contain the details of an offer. Even radio ads use a similar tactic where a fast-talking announcer rambles off some lingo at the beginning or end of a commercial. Many of us tune out and don’t even see or hear the fine print in ads. 
The problem is that advertisers are onto us and some take advantage of our tendency to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the pesky little details.
 
The Good News?
 
There are rules in place that are meant to protect us. First, fine print isn’t supposed to contradict other statements in an ad or clear up false impressions the ad might leave. In other words, what the headline giveth, the fine print is not supposed to taketh away.
Second, disclosures should be “clear and conspicuous.” That means the important stuff is not supposed to be hidden in teeny tiny print. How to know if a disclosure meets the “clear and conspicuous” standard? Well, there aren’t any hard and fast rules about the size of type in a print ad or the length of time a disclosure must appear on TV, but the FTC does use a 4-pronged test to determine if an ad’s fine print passes muster:
  1. Prominence: is the fine print big enough for people to notice and read? 
  2. Presentation: is the wording and format easy for people to understand? 
  3. Placement: is the fine print where people will look? 
  4. Proximity: is the fine print near the claim it qualifies?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” then the fine print doesn’t comply with the law.
 
The Bad News?
 
There are plenty of advertisers who believe rules are meant to be broken (just see some examples below). The best way to protect yourself against unexpected disclaimers is to pull out that magnifying glass and read the fine print (as painful as that may be). Of course, you can’t do that when the ad plays on TV and the fine print is displayed for 3 seconds. In those situations, make sure you ask for the details and disclaimers before you whip out your credit card.
Here are some examples of fine print that would mostly fail to meet the FTC’s 4-prong test:
Lane Bryant:
 
The big, bold writing tells you that “absolutely everything” in the “entire store” is 40 percent off. But once you take a closer look at the fine print, you’ll find that, by “entire store,” they don’t really mean the “entire store,” and by “absolutely everything,” they don’t really mean “absolutely everything.” Beyond that, though, the ad is entirely and absolutely accurate.
 
Dell:
 
 
In 2011, Dell trumpeted its XPS-15 laptop as “the thinnest 15” PC on the planet” in British newspapers. However, the ads included fine print that revealed that the claim was based on comparisons with models manufactured by Acer, Asus, Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, MSI, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba. The disclosure went on to mention that “no comparison [was] made with Apple or other manufacturers not listed.” Kind of begs the question, what planet are they talking about?
 
CashCall.com:
 
 
CashCall tells us that we can “borrow $1,000 or $5,000 in as fast as a day.” True, but the loan comes with a ginormous annual interest rate. The fine print that flashes up on the screen explains that the company will give you an instant loan of $2,600, but that the loan comes with a whopping 99.25 percent APR!
 
Crayola “Washable” Bubbles:
 
 
A revolution in the bubble industry! And safe for clothes, too! Only, it turns out that “some bubbles” in the ad were “recreated” (note the disclaimer at the 0:12 second mark of the ad). And the clothes-safe part? Well, sort of. The fine print you can barely read at the 0:22 second mark (don’t blink!) says that it may require a few washings.
 
Not surprisingly, a Washington mom filed a class-action lawsuit against Crayola alleging false advertising because the ads and labeling indicated that the bubbles were “washable.” Result? Crayola agreed to provide refunds and vouchers to those who purchased the product in 2011, in addition to paying for damages to property and clothing. Crayola has also reformulated the product for 2012 and guess what? They don’t say “washable” anymore. 
 

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)