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Healthful Indian Flavors with Alamelu - Program #201

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Episode Description

[Original Airdate: January 7, 2012]

Culinary instructor and author Alamelu Vairavan prepares an aromatic Lemon Rice, that is pleasing to the eyes and to the palate. She also prepares Butternut Squash Masala, a delicious vegetable dish that will spark your senses; and, an exquisite and easy-to-prepare Spice-Rubbed Seared Salmon. (1 of 13)

Guest Info

Segment #1
Spice-Rubbed Seared Salmon

Segment #2
Lemon Rice

Segment #3
Butternut Squash Masala

Click on "More Info" tab for RECIPES


Spice-Rubbed Seared Fish


  • 1 pound salmon fillet without skin (Cut into 4 slices)
  • Marinade Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsps. chopped curry leaves (optional)
  • 2 tsps. minced garlic
  • 2 tsps. minced ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil (divided)


  1. Wash fish fillets in water. Pat dry with paper towels and set aside.
  2. Place all the marinade ingredients with 1 tablespoon oil in a bowl. Blend together to make a thick paste.
  3. Rub the paste well into both sides of fish fillets and place fillets in a covered glass dish in refrigerator. Allow fish to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Add oil to a heated non-stick skillet. The skillet can be large enough to hold all the fillets or cook the fish in batches.
  5. Add fish fillets. (do not crowd skillet with fish fillets) Cook fish over medium heat on one side, about 3-5 minutes, turn it over and cook the other side until browned. Fish becomes golden brown and crusty. Turn off the heat and cover the skillet. This will allow the cooking to continue without the fillets becoming hard. The fillets should remain moist and tender.
  6. Set a plate, lined with paper towels, beside the stove to hold the seared fish.

Lemon Rice


  • 1 cup jasmine rice (or)basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup dry yellow split peas
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 dried red chili pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 1 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. urad dal
  • 1 teaspoon chutney powder
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2 tsps. grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. dry roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Directions

    1. Cook rice in 2 cups of water. Transfer cooked rice to a bowl and set aside.
    2. Soak split peas in 1 cup hot water for about 20 minutes. Drain water and set aside.
    3. Combine lemon juice, salt, and turmeric powder; set aside.
    4. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add red chili pepper and asafoetida. Immediately stir in mustard seeds and urad dal. Cover and heat until mustard seeds burst (listen for popping sound) and urad dal is golden.
    5. Immediately stir in soaked split peas. Cook, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes, reducing heat until the mixture starts to bubble.
    6. Stir in lemon juice mixture and chutney powder. Simmer 2 to 4 minutes, reducing heat if mixture starts to boil.
    7. Reduce heat to low. Add cooked rice and stir the rice gently into lemon juice mixture.
    8. Add grated lemon zest and ginger to rice. Serve garnished with peanuts and cilantro.
    9. Serves 8

      Butternut Squash Masala


      • 2 cups butternut squash
      • 2 Tbsp. oil
      • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
      • 1 whole dried red chili pepper
      • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
      • 1 teaspoon urad dal
      • 1 medium onion, cut lengthwise
      • 1 small tomato, chopped
      • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder (more, if desired)
      • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
      • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
      • 1/2 tsp. salt
      • 1/4 cup unsweetened powdered coconut


      1. Butternut Squash has a tough skin. Rub the squash with oil, poke the squash with fork. Microwave Squash for about 3 minutes (time to microwave depends upon the size of the squash) so that it is easy to cut the squash into cubes. Remove the pulp and skin.(or) Get the precut squash from the grocery store.
      2. Place oil in skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add asafoedtida powder, and red pepper.
      3. Add mustard seeds and urad dal and cover. Fry until mustard seeds pop and urad dal is golden brown.
      4. Add onion and tomato and stir-fry for 1 minute.
      5. Add turmeric, cayenne, and ground cumin. Stir well.
      6. Add tomato sauce and salt. Mix well. When the mixture begins to bubble, add the butternut squash and stir well.
      7. Cover and cook over medium heat until the squash becomes somewhat soft. Add a small amount of water (about 1 tablespoon) periodically to facilitate the cooking process.
      8. Add coconut powder and stir well.