Dec 24, 2010

Quick chana kurma

An easy-to-cook, hearty dish just right for this season! It is also loaded with all nutrients you can wish for in a power-packed meal. Once you have read through the nutri notes, I’m quite certain that everyone will try this dish out. Do let me know how it worked for you.If you have sprouts ready at hand, this delicious kurma takes no time in travelling from the pot to the tummy!
You need green chana sprouts
  1. Green chana sprouted – 1 cup heaped
  2. Salt – 1 tsp heaped
  3. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  4. Fresh coriander leaves – 1/4 cup chopped
  5. Jaggery –1 tbsp powdered (optional)
  6. Sambar powder – 1 tsp (optional)
For seasoning
  1. Vegetable oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Curry leaves – 10 leaves torn up ingredients
  4. Hing powder – 1/2 tsp (if you are not using onion or garlic)
For the gravy
  1. Ripe tomatoes – 4 medium, or 3 big
  2. Chutney dal – 2 tbsp levelled
  3. Fresh coconut – grated 1/4 cup
  4. Ginger – chopped fine 2 tbsp
  5. Green chillies – 2-3
  6. Garlic – 1-2 cloves (optional)
To assemblesteaming kurma
  1. Pressure cook chana sprouts until well cooked. Sprouting renders the legumes softer and you can cook it faster.
  2. Grind all ingredients mentioned under gravy  to a smooth paste.
  3. In a thick bottomed pan, heat oil, add ingredients for seasoning in order.
  4. Pour in the gravy paste, add 1 – 2 cups of water, add salt and turmeric powder, bring to a boil.
  5. Once the gravy starts boiling, reduce flame, stir well and simmer for 10 minutes, keep stirring in between to avoid burning.
  6. When gravy is ready, tip in the cooked sprouts, check for salt.
  7. Add jaggery and sambar powder, if using.
  8. Adjust salt and consistency if needed by adding water.
  9. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander and serve hot with rotis, rava idli or steamed rice.
droooly kurma ready!
Nutri notes-
  • The key ingredients in this dish are sprouts and ginger. So, I shall confine the nutrition information to these two.
  • Sprouting or germinating whole pulses has been known to man for several thousands of years.
  • Sprouts have the starches pre-digested by the enzyme amylase activated during sprouting. This breaks down starches into simpler sugars, proteins into amino acids and complex fats into simpler fatty acids, by the action of enzyme lipase.
  • Sprouts of legumes therefore are easier to digest than the dry forms, their flatulence (gas) producing factors decrease and the protein in the legume is available to the body in a more absorbable form.
  • Sprouting decreases levels of trypsin (amino acid) inhibitors or protease (digestive enzyme) inhibitors (present in the legumes - these substances make the legume harder to digest)
  • Sprouting increases the availability of water soluble vitamins such as Vitamin B and C by 400% to 800%.Hence it is ideal for growing teens, pregnant and lactating women, and elderly people –all groups of people whose needs for vitamins are higher.
  • Sprouting increases presence of calcium and phosphorous making it important for women past age of 35 years too.Moreover sprouts contain plant oestrogens, very essential for women in peri-menopause or pre- menopause or menopause stages. In other words – from ages 35-60 and even beyond! These plant oestrogens help maintain bone density, hence help prevent osteoporosis.The hormone also helps to relieve symptoms of PMS, hot flushes during menopause.
  • Sprouting helps to increase presence of anti oxidants in foods – this prevents free radical formation.Result – skin ages slower, tissues remain stronger through age, hence better vision, hearing, better muscles and stronger bones too!
  • Sprouting increases iron and zinc content of legumes. Both minerals are vital during growth phase of children.
  • Sprouts being ‘live’ food are considered full of ‘prana’ or life-force.Hence, better immunity, anti ageing properties, detoxifying in nature, maintains acid – alkaline balance of the body.
  • Ayurveda recommends using of ginger and turmeric in dishes of legumes to maintain acid balance and improve digestability of the dish – this recipe thus has it all !

Dec 4, 2010

Godhumai Pongal

You need
  1. Cracked wheat – 1 cup DSCF1050
  2. Mung dal – 1 cup
  3. Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
For seasoning
  1. Vegetable oil + ghee – 2 tbsp
  2. Whole black pepper- 2 tsp
  3. Jeera – 1 tsp heaped
  4. Cashewnuts – 2tbsp (optional)
  5. Ginger – juliennes – 2 tsp
  6. Greenchillies – 3 slit lenghtwise
  7. Curry leaves – 12-15
To assemble
  1. Wash cracked wheat (godhumai ravai) and mung dal together.cooked dalia and dal
  2. Pressure cook with three times the volume of water.
  3. Break cashews into halves if using
  4. Pound together pepper and jeera to a coarse powder
  5. Slit green chillies, chop ginger into juliennes,tear the curry leaves roughly.
  6. In a  small pan, Heat the oil + ghee, add the cashews first.
  7. When they brown up lightly, add other ingredients for seasoning  with pepper powder in the end.
  8. Switch off gas and add the seasoning to the cooked pongal, add salt and mix everything well.
  9. DSCF1081
    Godhumai Pongal
    Enjoy hot godhumai pongal with onion raita or sambar or chutney of your choice.
The nutri notes-
This is a typical south Indian version of the previous recipe - Dalia khichdi.This tasted very similar to usual pongal made with rice and mung dal.I hope this recipe helps people who enjoy south indian cuisine to include wheat easily in their diet.
  • The nutritional benefits of this recipe are the same as that of the previous recipe.This recipe is ideal for pregnant and lactating mothers, in case of gestational diabetes or anyone who has diabetes.
  • The recipe also benefits people who  need to increase intake of soluble fibre such as those with constipation or piles.
  • However, please refrain from using wheat based recipes if you have gluten allergy.

Dec 2, 2010

Dalia khichdi

We returned tired and hungry after an exciting round of Diwali shopping. With just more than half an hour at hand, I had to rustle up a reviving meal for my family. This is what I made. Quick and easy to put together, no exotic ingredients, and healthy comfort food at it's best! Do try it out and let me know how you liked it.

You need
  1. Cracked wheat-1 cup (200 gm)
  2. Mung dal-1 cup (200gm)
  3. Carrot-2 small, chopped-(1/2 cup)
  4. Capsicum-1 medium, chopped (1/4 cup)
  5. Potato-1 big, chopped (1/4 cup)
  6. Large violet brinjal- 1/2 chopped (1 cup)
  7. Tomatoes-3/4 kg
  8. Asafoetida powder-a pinch
  9. Turmeric powder-3/4 tsp
  10. Salt-2 tsp
  11. Coriander leaves-3 tbsp chopped
For seasoning
  1. Oil + ghee-2 tbsp
  2. Jeera-1 tsp
  3. Whole black pepper- 1tsp
  4. Cloves- 7-8
  5. Cinnamon-5-7 small sticks
  6. green cardamom-3-4
To assemble
  1. Choose ripe red tomatoes, wash well and puree in mixer.You could also blanch them, peel skin and then puree.Retaining the skin or peeling it off is personal choice, I have not seen flavour change with either.
  2. Wash all other vegetables, dice into even sized pieces.
  3. Wash dalia and mung dal together, add three times the volume of water (that makes it 6 cups of water for this recipe), and pressure cook for 4 whistles.
  4. Meanwhile, heat oil, ghee mixture in a broad kadai/ saucepan.
  5. Add in order given, all the ingredients for seasoning.
  6. When jeera crackles, and you get a pleasant aroma of spices, it ts time to add hing powder, turmeric powder.
  7. Add chopped vegetables toss well and fry for 3 minutes.
  8. Add tomato puree and salt.Allow to simmer for atleast 10 minutes until raw smell of tomatoes are gone.
  9. When the pressure has released, add the simmering vegetables to the cooked dalia,  mix thoroughly and simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
  10. Finally add chopped coriander blend in and serve hot.
  11. Serve with any raita / salad and papad.
  • You can fry washed wheat + dal in a tsp of ghee for a nice aroma.
  • You can add more vegetables like knol khol, peas, sweet potato, onion.
  • You can omit tomatoes entirely if you do not prefer the tang, or mix in juice of 1 lemon at the end.
  • You can serve this hot topped with a tsp of ghee to kids and omit for those with calorie restrictions.
  • Microwaved masala papad is a good accompaniment too.
  • Can add more water after mixing the vegetables and cooked dalia.
Now for  the nutri notes
  • This is a great one pot meal - combining cereal, pulse, vegetables and dairy allowance if served with raita.
  • Eating a cereal and a pulse in the same meal ensures that the amino acids missing in one is complemented by those in the other. This is great for vegetarians since they derive maximum benefit from plant protein by eating in combination like in this recipe.
  • Tomatoes, rich in lycopene take pride of place in this dish. Apart from fibre, vitamin A and vitamin C, that you get in tomatoes, the lycopene in tomatoes also is an anti carcinogenic agent.
  • Using cracked wheat ensures that the benefits of bran and germ are derived fully. Hence, a high protein content (12gm/100gm), not to mention high fibre as well (1.2-1.4g/100gm).What would interest everyone is also the high niacin and folate levels in cracked wheat makes it an ideal grain for pregnant women, athletes, teenagers and elderly too.
  • Carrots used here add to the beta carotene, you get half your daily allowance of Vitamin A by adding 1/4 cup of chopped carrots per person.
Here are the visuals 

chopped vegetables

frying whole spices
simmering vegetables
Mix cooked dalia with vegetables

Serve with raita

Nov 19, 2010

Green beetroot salad

A green beetroot salad?Well, yes, check out this recipe.Quite surprisingly, the fenugreek does not leave any bitter aftertaste, even my kids relished this colourful salad!Considering the amazing benefits of fenugreek, this salad is an all time winner, go ahead,  please do yourself a good turn by trying out this one.I must thank my dear friend who gave me this great recipe.
You need
  1. Beet root, tender, small - 2, grated
  2. Fenugreek leaves, tender - chopped, 1 cup
  3. Onion - 2 medium, chopped fine
  4. Tomatoes - 2 chopped fine
  5. Hung curd - 2 tbsp
  6. Salt - 1/2 tsp or lesser
For seasoning
  1. Vegetable oil - 1/2 tsp
  2. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  3. Curry leaves - 4-5 leaves
  4. Hing powder - a small pinch
  5. Green chilli - 2, chopped very fine
To assemble
  1. Tie up a cupful of homemade skim milk curd in a muslin cloth for about an hour.Use 2 tbsp of the hung curd in this recipe, reserve the rest for later.
  2. Choose tender fenugreek leaves.Remove thick stalks from fenugreek leaves, wash thoroughly.Chop up - neither too fine nor too big.
  3. Select medium, tender beetroot.Wash well, peel skin away, and grate the beetroot with a fine grater.
  4. Take 2 medium sized onions, peel, wash well, and chop up real fine.
  5. Similarly wash tomatoes and chop fine.
  6. Once chopped,  toss all vegetables together with the salt and hung curd.
  7. Heat oil in a small sauce pan, add mustard .When mustard splutters, add the rest of ingredients for seasoning in order.Pour over the tossed salad and give a good mix.
  8. Allow flavours to settle by keeping it covered in the fridge for atleast half an hour.
  9. Serve with phulkas, or rice.
  • You can use juice of 1 lemon instead of hung curd for the tartness.
  • You can substitute green chilli with fresh cracked black pepper, add it along with salt.
  • Always select tender fresh vegetables while assembling a salad.
  • Consume a salad within an hour of tossing or even earlier.
  • Keep a salad covered well in the fridge to avoid loss of freshness and to avoid other odours from seeping in.
  • You can omit the beetroot entirely for severe diabetics.Else you can substitute it with fresh carrots.
Now for the nutri notes
  • There are numerous studies which show the benefits of fenugreek on lowering blood glucose levels and lowering blood lipid levels.These have been shown in ancient Ayurvedic medicine too.Space here does not permit detailed analysis of such studies, suffice to say that we do have a wonder vegetable at hand.DO consume either seeds or leaves raw on an empty stomach to benefit fully from the hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of fenugreek.Consuming just 5- 8 gms of seeds per day seem to bring on all the benefits of this wonder plant.
  • The leaves also give us good amounts of Vitamin A,and sizable amounts of  vitamin B and C when consumed fresh and raw.
  • Among trace elements,while it contains only fair amounts of iron, the leaves pack in good amounts of copper (0.10mg/100gm), zinc (0.36mg/100gm) Due to the presence of copper and zinc,quality of iron absorption is good.Those with iron deficiency anemia, please go all out for this fragrant green!
  • It is a low source of sodium (76mg/100gm and potassium (31mg/100gm).Hence it is a welcome food for hypertensive patients.
Here are the visuals
chopped salad veggies

Blended and seasoned salad
Chilled salad with hot phulkas!

Nov 10, 2010

Palak and sweet corn sandwiches

Mummy, please make Cafe Coffee Day sandwiches for us! This was the refrain from my kids for the past few months!This was the result of the trial.While the outcome was not exactly like the famous cafe chain,(that version had a more pronounced garlicky flavour),try this version and give me your comments.

You need
  1. Palak leaves-chopped, 4 cups (frozen palak can also be used)
  2. American sweet corn-2 cups
  3. Salt-1/2 tsp or to taste
  4. White pepper powder-1 tsp to 1 1/2 tsp
  5. Crushed garlic-1 tsp (optional)
  6. Bread-1 loaf (can be any variety, whole wheat is good)
  7. Melted butter- 2 tbsp, for brushing

For white sauce
  1. Skim milk-200ml
  2. Whole wheat flour-1/4 cup (50gms)
  3. Unsalted butter-15 gms
  4. Cheddar cheese-100 gms cube (can add more if you wish)
To assemble
  1. Remove thick stalks from palak leaves, wash well, and chop roughly.Measure 4 cups after chopping.
  2. Cook in its own juices in an open pot over stove top for 8-10 minutes or cook in a  micowave for 4 minutes  (800W).If using frozen palak, thaw and then cook.
  3. Rinse if using frozen corn, boil in microwave until just tender (4-5 mins).
  4. For the white sauce, melt butter in a thick bottomed pan, add crushed garlic, if using, and then add whole wheat flour, fry stirring rapidly to avoid burning.
  5. After the raw smell of flour subsides, switch off stove, add the milk, stir briskly to remove lumps (you could use a whisk too).
  6. Return to fire and simmer.
  7. Grate the cheese you are using and add to the simmering sauce, mix well and allow to melt well into the sauce.
  8. The sauce is done when it coats the back of ladle, add salt and white pepper powder now, and stir.
  9. Add the cooked palak and corn, mix well.
  10. Simmer for a minute or two until the filling turns into a moist homogenous mass.
  11. To make the sandwiches, brush one side of each slice of bread very lightly with melted butter.
  12. Place one slice buttered side down on a sandwich maker, spoon some prepared filling onto the slice evenly.
  13. Cover with another bread slice, buttered side up and close the sandwich maker.
  14. Sandwich should be ready in a minute or so.
  15. Switch off the sandwich maker and remove gently, rest for a minute and then serve.
  16. Repeat until your bread and filling is used up.
  • You could add boiled peas instead of corn or in addition to corn.
  • You could add more of cheddar cheese or add half measure each of cheddar and mozzarella cheese.
  • Add more garlic as per taste.
Now for the nutri notes
  • Spinach is only a moderate source of iron.However what makes it a great green is that it comes packed with 51 micro gms of folic acid per 100gm spinach, as well as comes loaded with beta carotene (5580 micro gms)  and vitamin C (28mg/100gm).It thus packs a super healthy punch. Given this ideal combination-of folate and vitamin C necessary  for optimum iron absorption in the body,it is a must have veggie on a weekly basis.
  • Corn is a low fat, fibre laden, cereal.It is not a signifiacnt source of calcium or iron.However it's low sodium (40mg/100gm) and fair potassium content (151mg/100gm) makes it a good bet for hypertensive patients.
  • Cheese loads the dish with calcium and of course plenty of sodium and saturated fats too.Reason enough to use sparingly.While this recipe is a treat for kids, adults can tweak the recipe to add fresh homemade paneer made from skim milk-this obviously ensures calcium without the sin!
  • Milk alongwith cheese ensures that your kids' daily dairy protein needs are met in a fun way!
  • Using whole wheat bread for the sandwiches gives you carbs of a low glycemic index.
  • A dish that has it all- good carbs, dairy protein, bursting -with -good -health -veggies,plenty of fibre and super yummy to boot,Wow.

Here are the visuals

cooking palak
Add flour to butter for white sauce
Add milk and cheese

Add cooked palak and corn to the white sauce
Sandwiches with filling ready!

Oct 26, 2010

Vegetable sandwiches

This was the lazy weekend,and I was too engrossed in aromatic elaichi tea with the morning newspaper,to think of any gourmet breakfast.It was then that I remembered the pudina chutney I  had made the previous day.I lost no time in chopping up the veggies at hand,and went on to make this A GRADE (the young ones gave me this grade!) scrumptious breakfast for my kids.So quick and tasty,especially if you have the spread made ahead,my heart filled with happiness at having been able to whip up a hearty wholesome breakfast for my family.
You need 
  1. Sandwich bread / whole wheat bread-1 loaf
  2. Pudina chutney-1 recipe (from previous post)
  3. Tomatoes-3-4 medium, thinly sliced
  4. Capsicum-2 medium, thinly sliced
  5. Zuchini, yellow-1 long, thinly sliced
  6. Onion-2 medium, cut into thin rounds (optional)
  7. Butter-2 tbsp, melted
To assemble
  1. Clean all vegetables that you wish to use, peel and slice into thin rounds.
  2. Brush 1 side of each bread slice very lightly with melted butter.
  3. Heat a sandwich toaster, place a buttered slice down on the toaster.
  4. Use a spoon or spatula to spread some pudina chutney onto the slice.
  5. Place 2-3 tomato slices on the bread slice, then place some zuchini slices over it, followed by a slice each of onion and capsicum.
  6. Top the sandwich with a buttered bread slice faced up.
  7. Close the sandwich toaster, step back and wait for the heavenly aroma of toasted bread.
  8. Depending on model of toaster, your sandwich should be ready in 60-80 seconds.
  9. Take care not to burn the underside of the sandwich, switch off and remove carefully with a spatula.
  10. Repeat making sandwiches using up your bread and veggies and the yummy chutney spread.
  11. Cut the sandwiches into triangles with a sharp knife, sit back and       ATTACK!!!!
  1. You could use any vegetable combination- sliced carrot, blanched beetroot, raw cucumber, tender radish- all work well inside sandwiches.
  • A sandwich filled with vegetables like this is a super healthy, filling, no mess, school lunch.
  • You could add half a slice of cheese to each sandwich to increase satiety for a school lunch box.
  • I used a Philips electric sandwich toaster to make these sandwiches.
Now for the nutri notes
  • Using whole wheat bread increases fibre content of the meal, especially useful for diabetics, since it is a low glycemic index food.
  • Health benefits of pudina has already been mentioned in previous post.
  • Making a vegetable sandwich like this, at home,  lets you use several types of vegetables in the same sandwich (you are not victim of limited veggie fillings commonly doled out at several restaurants).
  • Using raw vegetables like capsicum, tomato provides for the daily average requirement of Vitamin C (Please note that cooking time of 60 -80 seconds inside the toaster is quite minimal and ensures easy digestion, while retaining the vitamin content of the vegetable to almost 80%)
  • Onion is a sulphur containing vegetable, while tomatoes have lycopene, a  plant pigment. Such vegetables have anti carcinogenic property, that is, they help prevent cancer in the body!
  • The homemade sandwich spread eliminates the need of  using store bought ketchups and spreads (which may contain several food additives and preservatives).
Here are the visuals

sliced vegetables
bread slice topped and ready to toast!
yummy sandwiches

Oct 12, 2010

Pudina chutney

I was looking for a zesty pick me up to brighten up a usual rice-dal routine.As I rummaged though the fridge,this bright dark green bunch of pudina invited me with it's lovely aroma-this was exactly what could fit my need!I could not wait to convert it into this chutney below; once you have separated leaves from stalks, go ahead and make this quick, delicious pick me up!

You need
  1. Pudina leaves-1 1/2 cups packed
  2. Green chillies-3-4 big
  3. Root ginger-2 tsp chopped
  4. Garlic-7-8 cloves,peeled
  5. Fresh coconut-grated-1/4cup or chopped-1/2 cup
  6. Juice of 1 lemon (can add more if you feel the need for a super tangy taste)
  7. Salt-1/4 tsp
  8. Vegetable oil-1/4 tsp
To assemble
  1. Remove stalks,clean and wash pudina leaves under several changes of water,drain and keep aside.
  2. Take a flat bottomed pan,heat oil in it.
  3. Add chopped green chillies, ginger, garlic to the pan, swirl the pan and let sizzle.
  4. After a minute you can add the washed pudina leaves, toss in the oil for a quick coating.Do not fry for more than a minute-you will lose the flavor and colour if you do.
  5. Take a fresh coconut halved, and grate or chop out the white flesh (use quantity, as given in ingredient list)
  6. After the fried ingredients have cooled, place these and the coconut in a mixer grinder, add the salt and grind to a smooth paste.Use the lemon juice instead of water,midway through the grinding.You can add another tsp or two of water after adding the juice,(if required).
  7. Your tangy bursting-with -good-health-pudina- chutney is ready!
  • This chutney can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days,and upto 10 days in a freezer box in the freezer;thaw only as much as you would use up each time.
  • The chutney works great to perk up a meal,as a sandwich spread,or a tangy spread for rotis-fill up with salad veggies,roll and eat!
  • You can use fresh raw mango in season instead of lemon juice-it adds body to the chutney too.
  • Can avoid ginger and garlic and use only green chillies for a slight change in flavour.
  • Can make the same chutney using fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves too,use 1 1/2 cup of chopped leaves to substitute for every cup of pudina leaves.
  • Take care-Do not  fry the leaves for more than a minute.
Now for the nutri notes
  • Ginger, garlic and pudina are known to be excellent digestive aids, they relieve gas, distension, and improve digestion.
  • At a good 15mg of iron per100g of pudina leaves, mint packs in good punch!
  • Combining lemon juice or raw mango in the chutney makes Vitamin C readily available.Vitamin C improves iron absorption in the body.
  • Pudina also adds to the fibre content of the meal.
  • With virtually no sodium, it is a good choice for both hypertensive (blood pressure) and some renal patients, who need to control sodium intake.Of course, adding salt to the dish increases the sodium content.You can use low sodium salt insted of regular table salt in case of sodium restriction.
Here follows the visuals

    frying ingredients
    toss pudina leaves in oil

     fresh coconut
    pudina chutney 

    Oct 11, 2010

    Palak dal

    What could be healthy, filling, have a protein and veggies combined in a single dish and get cooked in less than half an hour? Well, this greens dal fits the bill just right! Of course, pressure cooking the rice along with the dal saved me cooking time and I had this soul food ready in under 40 minutes-quite a treat for hungry kids when served with homemade ghee! 

    You need
    1. Tur dal (red gram dal) -150ml
    2. Paruppu keerai (called kari cheera,pappu koora) /palak - chopped, 3 cups
    3. Onions-2 medium, finely chopped
    4. Tomatoes-2 medium, diced
    5. Green chillies-3 big, finely chopped
    6. Fresh root ginger-1 tsp chopped
    7. Curry leaves-1 tbsp, finely chopped
    8. Turmeric powder-3/4 tsp
    9. Salt-1 tsp (adjust to taste)
    For seasoning
    1. Vegetable oil-2 tsp
    2. Mustard seeds-1 tsp
    3. Jeera (cumin seeds)-1 tsp
    4. Saunf (aniseed)-1 tsp(optional)
    To assemble
    1. Wash the dal well.
    2. Add double the volume of water and pressure cook to a soft consistency.
    3. Wash the greens you are using well under several changes of water.
    4. Chop up medium fine.
    5. Place the chopped greens in a microwavable bowl, add some water and cook on high for 4-5 minutes.
    6. Heat oil in a deep pan.
    7. Add ingredients for seasonings in order.
    8. When they splutter, add green chillies, ginger ,curry leaves.
    9. Next to go in is the onions, followed by diced tomatoes.
    10. Toss in the turmeric and salt.
    11. Mix it well and let the veggies mush up a bit.
    12. Add the cooked greens, give a good mix, add about 100 ml of water, simmer for 2 minutes.
    13. Now is time to add cooked dal, mash with the back of ladle, simmer for 3-4 minutes, add more water if needed to avoid burning.
    14. Your lovely nutrient-packed greens dal is now ready!
    15. Serve with steamed rice, pudina chutney and carrot sticks.
    Here follows the nutri notes-
    • Combining a cereal and a pulse in a meal is the best way to get all amino acids.
    • The greens dal combines in itself the protein and vegetables needed in a meal.
    • The mint chutney packs-
    More of green leafy vegetable allowance.
    Adds zing,spice and hence improves satiety of a meal.
    Adding lime juice to the chutney provides vitamin C needed for better iron absorption(from the greens and pudina) in the body.
    • Serving with carrot sticks adds to the beta carotene in the meal(greens have them too).
    • Carrots also amp up the fibre quotient.
    • Preportioning the meal (as in the pic) allows you to eat sufficiently.
    • This helps weight watchers to prevent from reaching out mindlessly for extra servings.

    Here are the visuals-
    diced tomatoes

    chopped ingredients

    chopped greens
    cooked dal

    microwaved greens

    bubbling greens dal



    Sep 19, 2010

    Stuffed brinjals-my style

    Stuffed brinjal-my style

    You will need-
    1. peanuts-200ml
    2. dhaniya-150ml
    3. chana dal-100ml
    4. urad dal-75ml
    5. white til-100ml
    6. jeera-1 heaped tsp
    7. mustard seeds-1/2tsp
    8. red chillies-15-20
    9. tamarind-size of orange
    10. jaggery- approx half the amount of tamarind
    11. onions- finely chopped 2cups
    12. salt-as per taste(approx 2tsp)
    13. violet brinjals-1kg
    14. vegetable oil-2tbsp
    15. mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
    16. urad dal-1 tsp
    To assemble the stuffing-
    1. Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water.squeeze out juice, set aside.
    2. Roast items for masala powder(from 1 -8),separately,in a drop of oil each.Roast the red chillies last.when cooled powder them together.
    3. Saute the chopped onions lightly.
    4. In a large bowl,combine the masala powder,sauted onions,jaggery,tamarind juice,salt.Blend well with hand/ladle to get uniform mixture.
    5. Wash whole brinjals wipe clean.You may slice off the stems.
    6. Cut them into quarters or sixes keeping the base of the brinjal intact.
    7. Use a spoon to fill in the stuffing mixture well into the cut brinjal.(I enjoy getting dirty with my hands at this stage!!).Reserve any left over stuffing.
    To assemble the stuffed brinjal-
    1. Heat a large heavy bottomed pan/pressure cooker.
    2. Add all the oil,temper with mustard seeds,urad dal.
    3. Gently place the brinjals stuffed side up into the pan.Tip in the remaining stuffing with 1 cup water(add more water if using a pan).
    4. Cover lid of pan/cooker.Cook till 1 whistle if using cooker.Check for doneness in a pan,after 7-8 minutes,add more water if needed,cook till done.
    5. Your gooey,heavenly smelling stuffed brinjal is now ready.
    6. Serve warm with hot steamed rice and tadka dal.
    • Pressure cooker works best for me.
    • Roast each ingredient for powder patiently until just golden brown.
    • Omit jaggery if you dont fancy a hot-sweet flavour.
    • Cut brinjals carefully after getting the stuffing ready,they get discolourd if left cut for too long.
    • Optional-Add chopped coriander to stuffing or after cooking,as a garnish.

    fried onions with powdered jaggery,masala and salt.
    stuffing mixture
    slit brinjals stuffed with paste
    Serve with steamed rice and dal.


    Sep 11, 2010

    My first offering - Kozhukattai (Modakam)

    It's been more than 2 years since I have been wanting to start this blog.Now that it has gotten off to a good start,I welcome all of you to come explore read and leave behind your comments,queries and new ideas for me to work on.
    Through this space,I plan to offer balanced meal options,recipes for the meals and nutrient info.I also plan to add an interactive forum where we can discusss our concerns on nutritional requirements,meal planning etc.
    Welcome once again.
    Our Ganesha-All decked,adorned and drowned in our flower offerings!
    Naivedyam-kozhukattai,sweet and salty,and pal payasam