Two amateur cooks explore the world of cooking for a Crohn's and Colitis diet

Words to live by.

As noted many times before, we love spice (remember our Tandoori Cauliflower blogpost?) Whenever something tastes bland, we usually add some hot chili sauce known as sriracha, or we add some kind of spice to impart more heat.  Many dishes that we are served at other people’s houses or in restaurants are too mild for our taste, which is one reason we enjoy Indian food. The generous use of spices ignites our tastebuds, and those first few bites are heaven. For these reasons, we were extremely excited when we were approached by Arora Creations, one of the top of the line retailers of authentic Indian Spices Blends.  They were kind enough to send us a sampling of their line-up of organic spice blends. All of their blends are made from 100% pure spices, and they are vegetarian, gluten-free, sugar free, kosher, nut-free, contain no MSG and are non-irradiated. Many Indian packaged spice blends are very salty, so the low sodium content and absence of MSG was very appealing. These inexpensive Indian spice blend packets allow you to create unique homemade Indian dishes with relative ease.

The spice blends are suitable for anyone, and they are especially useful for those with dietary restrictions.  Unless you are allergic to one of the spices or react to spicy food, these blends accomodate just about any dietary restriction.  We should note here that the mixtures are more flavorful than they are spicy.  Don’t be turned away by the ‘spice’ in the title.

The spices contained in the dishes all have healthy effects on the body. Arora Creation’s website enumerates the many health benefits of the spices, and even though some of the research is still being conducted, preliminary results are promising. According to their website, coriander, which is found in many of the dishes, aids digestion and acts as a natural diuretic. Turmetic is well-known to have anti-inflammatory properties, and is often used to treat gastrointestinal inflammation. The antioxidant abilities of turmeric also provide extra protection from colon cancer.

Each spice packet has directions to make a recipe, as well as suggestions for serving with other dishes. For an easy weeknight dinner, we decided to try out their Organic Goan Fish Curry (blend of paprika, cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg and other exotic seasonings)  and Organic Bhindi Masala (blend of amchur powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chilie) using fresh tilapia and green beans.

For the tilapia, we followed the recipe and combined lemon juice, olive oil, and the spice packet with the fish and let everything marinate for a few hours. Then, we broiled the fish. The dish hardly involved any prep time and only a few minutes of cooking, and the flavor combination was perfect.

Bhindi Masala is a spice blend for any green veggie, and so we used green beans. The spice blend also mixes extremely well with asparagus, okra, broccoli, and any other green veggie. We just followed the incredibly simple instructions on the back to make a green bean and onion dish that had a mildly spicy kick.

Green beans were one of the first cooked vegetables that Marnina was allowed to reintroduce into her diet after she was really sick so we love cooking with them!

The results were incredibly satisfying and rich with flavors, yet also light and healthy-tasting. The slightly crunchy green beans were the perfect vehicle for the fiery spices, and the fish tasted like it was made in an Indian restaurant. For a small price, you can sample a spicy new cuisine without making a trip to a specialty foods store, and without buying lots of new spices. The spice blends include Bhindi Masala, Chicken Tikka Masala, Tandoori Chicken, and Goan Fish Curry. All the blends are made with pure vegetarian/vegan spices, so even the Tandoori Chicken Blend is a vegan blend.

Preparing the green beans.

Excited to eat!

We also noticed that both dishes tasted even better the next day after the flavors had time to marinate.

The final product!

The use of Arora Creations Organic Authentic Indian Spice Blends is an excellent way to experiment with a new cuisine. Visit  Arora Creations (www.aroracreations.com) to check out their product line-up and to order their spice blends. Just as a side note, we ended up bringing our green bean dish to a potluck we were attending the following day. To put it mildly, the dish was gone before we left.  We highly recommend that you try out these mixtures. You can use as  much or as little of the seasoning as you like in the dishes and make Indian foods that cater to your dietary needs.  What could be better?

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