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!