What's cooking 12/21: Curries for flurries

  • Article by: KIM ODE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 21, 2011 - 3:41 PM

Also: A tradition tweaked and rolling out Loku.

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Raghavan Iyer just released a new cooking app -- Raghavan's Indian Flavors. Find it on iTunes for $9.99.

Photo: Tom Wallace, Star Tribune file

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What better way to warm our frigid innards than with an Indian curry? And how cool is it that one of the nation's experts is our very own Raghavan Iyer, award-winning author of "660 Curries" and other cookbooks? Iyer, who recently debuted a line of spice blends called the Turmeric Trail, now has an iPad app, Raghavan's Indian Flavors, available for download through iTunes. It's part of a new multimedia cookbook app collection of various cuisines featuring award-winning authors (www.theinformedchef.com). Iyer's app features 25 recipes, both traditional and modern, illustrated with photos and more than 75 short video clips to guide you through important techniques and certain ingredients. To learn more, here's the link: bit.ly/tGpepq.

Tradition, tweaked

Is a healthful version of an old family recipe still a traditional family recipe? A physician speaking for the Society of Vascular Surgery -- that would be the folks who operate on our hearts -- says yes. Dr. Vivienne Halpern, a Phoenix surgeon, notes in a press release that many old recipes are often high in saturated fats from butter, cream, lard and fatty cuts of meat. She suggests adaptations such as replacing butter or margarine with trans-fat-free tub spreads (except in baked goods, when the extra water affects a recipe), using skim or low-fat milk instead of whole, subbing cottage cheese or low-fat yogurt for mayonnaise, choosing whole- grain breads over processed white loaves, and using cheese of any sort in moderation, and none of those high-sodium "cheese foods." Traditions start somewhere, she says, so "leave the legacy of healthy family recipes to your loved ones."

Who, what, where?

In the inexorable search for better search engines, enter Loku, which is positioning itself as a competitor with Google and Yelp. The Twin Cities area is part of a 15-city rollout of this Texas-based company. Loku aims to help you find the right burger place, dog park, event and more, whether you're a local or a visitor trying to find some good Thai food or get up to speed on local news. The site relies on local input, attaching adjectives such as "swanky" or "hipster" to places, then asking you to help refine the correct vibe.

That's one reason this early version has some curious pairings of adjectives and venues. (TGIFriday's is bohemian?) But its stated goal is to provide block-by-block, hyper-localized information. Give it a whirl at www.loku.com.

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