Food Dishoom’s Prawn Moilee Is the Best Thing I Cooked in 2019
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There’s a clip floating around YouTube that pokes fun at Sri Lankan grandmothers. In it, these clucking ladies urge their offspring and their offspring to eat more, bundle up, apply creams and pastes and oils for every ailment. It’s not completely off base—but it definitely assumes that the youngsters don’t want to be fussed over. Me? I loved it.
My grandmother’s love language is a similar mix of cooking and worry. She arrives at her son’s house with a suitcase of ingredients, just in case the myriad Indian grocers in London don’t have the right thing. Alarms are set for six a.m. to make kiribath, a silky, creamy, coconut rice breakfast pudding. The fridge is cleared so vats of cashews can soak for curry. Every onion and bulb of garlic in the house is minced precisely. And then, everyone (especially grandchildren) is told to “eat, eat, eat.”
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Eat your heart out: AFAR staffers dish on their favorite meals that lived up to the hype.When planning my trip to the Faroe Islands, I made a reservation at Koks before I even booked my flight. The two-Michelin-starred restaurant sits about 30 minutes outside the capital city of Tórshavn, in a river valley at the edge of Leynavatn Lake. Arriving there is like walking into a gourmet fairy tale. After parking, you’re escorted to the restaurant’s own hajllur (a small, slated storehouse used for fermenting), where you’re treated to traditional snacks and beer.
As both a Food Person In Training and generally needy child, kid-me enjoyed all this fuss—and in the past few years, I’ve been trying to repay some bit of the favor—or at least, the cooking. The problem is, my attempts at recreating the somewhat laborious Sri Lankan dishes I grew up with have been lackluster: a fermented rice batter bubbled and reeked of beer, a lime-laced onion and coconut sambol veered more bitter than tangy.
That all changed when I flipped toin . The soupy coconut-based dish looked like the Kiri Hothi my grandmother made on special occasions. Kiri Hothi, which means coconut gravy, is traditionally served with iddyappam, or string hoppers—thin tangled nests of rice noodles that catch the fragrant, lightly sweet sauce.
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To make fresh string hoppers, you need a special press, but authors Shamil Thakrar, Naved Nasir, and Kavi Thakrar suggest that steamed rice will do if you’re without one. Growing up, we usually ate the gravy with boiled eggs, but this South Indian version of the dish calls for plump prawns, tossed in at the end with a handful of tomato wedges. Save for some matchsticks of ginger, nothing needs to be cut too preciously. Onions should be chunky, chiles are whole, and a jar of garlic paste replaces hand-minced cloves. It’s conspicuously easy—so much so, that the first time I made it, I checked the recipe twice to see if I was missing some tricky step.
If you can’t find a decent tomato, you can riff a bit, serving it with boiled potatoes (as we often did when I was younger) or maybe throwing in some sliced leeks while you’re sautéing the onions. I usually have a bag of prawns in the freezer, but small filets of a firm white fish would do well, too.
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There are hundreds, if not thousands, of steakhouses in America of every stripe. There are clubby dining rooms loaded with brass and mahogany; expansive, no-frills chophouses; cavernous Wild West temples to beef where everyone’s wearing a Stetson; power-broker-filled clubhouses and modernist steakhouses that turn all the conventions on their head. But in selecting the very best steakhouse in America for this year’s ranking of America’s 50 best, we went with a tried-and-true classic: Bern’s, in Tampa, Florida.
In about the time it takes to steam a pot of rice, the curry is done. Lemongrass and chili plays against the dish’s creaminess, which is brightened at the very end with a generous squeeze of lemon. Tender prawns, which can too often get lost in a curry, stand out against the gently spiced sauce. It’s almost exactly the food I remember from so many holidays and dinner parties, but a little punchier thanks to all that garlic and lemon—and I think, just maybe, it’ll go well with a pile of quickly dressed salad greens until I master the kale mallung and pol sambol to serve alongside.
The beauty of this Prawn Moilee is that unlike the other childhood meals I’ve tried to recreate, this dish is easy enough to master on the first go, and feels endlessly adaptable. I realized I had approached the task of learning how to cook my grandmother’s food by trying to tackle the most complicated, perhaps most impressive dishes first. But that ignored one of my favorite things about this food: that well-placed coconut, chiles, and citrus can make even a simple weeknight dinner luscious and layered.
This weekend, I’m having an early Christmas lunch with my grandmother. She doesn’t know it yet, but I’ll be making Moilee.
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ASMR EATING | HOW TO MAKE KERALA PRAWN MOILEE (CURRY) | EASY INDIAN COOKING TUTORIAL 2018
Recipe below :- This an authentic #kerala (#southindia) prawn curry that is delicious, aromatic, easy to make and mild from the natural sweetness of the thick ...