a balanced three course meal..truly desivideshi

There are loads of soup and breakfast recipes on this blog of mine but there are very few complete meal recipes. I believe in one pot meals absolutely and with my kind of life I find them workable too. So no three course meals for us unless entertaining guests. I actually need to work around more meals under 30 minutes considering my routine.

healthy 3 course meal under 30 minutes

I never eat my desserts with the meal. Desserts are mostly fruits or yogurt based simple things. So when the three course meal challenge from Yasmeen came, I had to actually plan a meal so that it does not cause overeating. In our country meals are served as a spread, a thali having numerous katoris which does not confirm the norm of courses.

We are small eaters and a starter, a main course and a dessert is never finished at a time (or may be a routine of one pot meals has left me with a habit of serving large portions) so I planned a meal which has small servings of a starter and a dessert with a normal serving of chapati and sabzi.

Also, I wanted the meal to be a true 'desivideshi' meal.

Ohh and the meal is not to be an elaborate work in the kitchen. I just can't afford that right now.

Tomato grilled with mozzarella and basil as a starter

Methi matar malai and chapatis for the main course

Jaggery fudge with flax, sesame and coconut as a dessert which is a completely desi dessert

the starter was a simple tomato, mozzarella, basil (insalata caprese) served in a different way.

warm insalata caprese

To make this, cut the tomato in 2 halves and scoop out the flesh n seeds, rub the insides with a little salt and pepper and fill it with a few scrapings of mozzarella cheese, about the size of a lemon in each half.

Mince a clove of garlic and stash it in between the cheese shavings, dividing equally between the two halves of tomato, it made two small servings.

Tear two leaves of fresh basil, and stash the bits into the cheese. 

Pour a little extra virgin olive oil into each half tomato ( 1/4 tsp each).

Sprinkle a little red chilly flakes on top of it and microwave for two minutes or till the cheese melts and bubbles for the first time.

The tomato gets mushy and the cheese inside become full of flavor, very aromatic and pleasing to the senses.

The astringent tomato prepares your palate for the meal.

main course was methi matar malai with some sweet corn thrown in, made low fat and served with chapati made with whole wheat and soya solids ( leftovers after making soy milk)...

for methi matar malai I used frozen fenugreek leaves, minced, one cup
boiled green peas half cup and sweet corns half a cup too
apart from these
ghee 1 tsp
cumin seeds 1 tsp
fresh cream 2 tbsp ( I use home made malai)
coarse onion paste 1/2 cup
ginger, garlic and green chilly paste 2 tbsp
fresh tomato paste 1/2 cup
everyday curry powder 2 tsp
garam masala powder 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1 tsp
whole milk 1/2 cup
salt to taste

low fat methi matar malai recipe

To proceed heat ghee in a kadhai and throw in the cumin seeds, wait till they crackle and add the onion paste and salt and stir fry till translucent, add the ginger garlic green chili paste and stir till the mixture gets cooked.

Throw in the everyday curry powder, turmeric powder and garam masala powder with a dash of water to allow even roasting of the masala as it is being fried in very less amount of ghee.

When the spice mix gets aromatic, mix in the fenugreek and dill mince. Stir and add the tomato paste too and keep cooking till the mixture gets homogenized and a cooked through aroma emanates.

Throw in the peas and corn, 1/2 cup of whole milk, mix and cook covered till little ghee droplets appear on top.

Add the malai, mix well and cook covered for a minute. Ttake off the heat and keep covered for about 5 minutes..

Serve hot with chapatis, naan or any flat bread. This methi matar malai is very aromatic and flavorful...

low fat methi matar malai recipe

And this much quantity was enough for six servings, so do not worry about the cream and ghee, divide by 6 and be happy..

For chapatis click here for a detailed chapati tutorial...

now comes the dessert..

I like everything made with jaggery and my mother and grandmother used to make many types of laddoos and barfis using jaggery and sesame, flax seeds, and coconut. I made the recipe simpler but the taste is essentially the same. So this is a quick jaggery fudge which is my own invention to satiate my cravings without toiling in the kitchen.......

See what I did..

4 tbsp of grated jaggery (to make two servings)
2 tsp each of whole flax seeds and sesame seeds
a few shavings of dry coconut (just a few)
4-6 long thin slivers of fresh ginger root
a tsp of lemon juice

Place everything in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high till it bubbles. Serve hot. It becomes liquid when ready but it becomes thick and gooey till you finish your meal and is just perfect in the end. Warm and fudgy, a melting pot of flavors and textures.

quick jaggery fudge with seeds and ginger

Tell me if you don't like it, or otherwise too.

I am so glad I could send this to the Healthnut challenge hosted by Yasmeen of Healthnut as I find it very difficult to participate in events. First I forget which blog is hosting what, then I forget the dates and finally I find it too much of a hard work to mail all the links etc.

The daily chores as a caregiver and a full time nurse to my daughter doesn't leave me with much enthusiasm but it makes me happy if I am able to take part in these blog challenges.

My photographs may be awfully ugly but the food is truly a simple nutritious meal which anyone can afford to cook and serve at home with love..


  1. yumm interesting recipes, surely a balanced diet!

  2. Mmmmmmm thats really perfect full meal and lovely one.

  3. That is indeed one healthy meal. Love the new kind of dessert. :-)

  4. Sure is a well balanced meal. Love the dessert idea.

  5. wish i had discovered your blog earlier...just my kind of food.....will have to spend some sundays reading through all the recipes....

  6. thankyou aneeta for dropping a comment...i am delighted that you liked the blog.

  7. Sounds too good.. perfect presentation.. :)

  8. Sangeeta, It is not from left over rice but par-boiled rice (similar to idli rice)
    Yes it is a traditional recipe. Arisi means rice in tamil :)

  9. Three course meal is a perfect balanced meal. I liked the way you have presented and the recipe looks delicious. Desert is my favourite and I liked your idea. I will try it sometimes.

  10. I hardly ever do full course meals either. I like the quick one-pot version. The dessert sounds so great!

  11. I think that is wonderful that you create one pot meals rather than courses. We Americans struggle with the one pot meal and have a natural tendency to put three courses on one plate ( meat, starch, vegetable). I like the balance of the one pot meal.

  12. Wow thats truly a healthy and mouth watering meal..jaggery fudge is new to me and sounds very interesting :)

  13. What a perfect meal with so many lovely dishes .... Its actually a full treat to me ...

  14. ha ha ..Swatantra..mere blog wich ai paila punjabi comment aaya haiga, jee khush kar ditta yaar!!

    Velva..actually we Indians are so used to having so many sides with our chapati or rice that it becomes heavy n very taxing for the lady of the house.........i try my meals to be healthy n quick as i have to take care of many more things which require my energy..

    Lori..yes the dessert here is completely Indian n it has my signature touch ..:)

    Thanks everybody for appreciating..

  15. An excellent healthy balanced meal! Everything looks delicious!

  16. Post made me hungry,thank goodness it almost time to break fast :D.Simple and well-balanced,just the way I like it .thanks for sending it my way,Sangeeta:)

  17. Tomato, cheese and basil salad is just awesome, I replaced basil with dried mint leaves powder and tomatoes were overcooked, but the taste was superb... Its zimbly delicious :) And I zimbly loved it :-P


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