Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bathua or Chenopodium greens, health benefits and recipes of bathua raita and bathua kadhi

Bathua is a winter leafy green called Chenopodium album and is so rich in calcium and iron that it leaves the spinach far behind in this regard. If you compare the calcium, phosphorus and iron contents per 100 gm, spinach has 73 mg of Ca, 21 mg of Ph, and 1 mg of Iron in it while bathua leaves have 800 mg of Ca, 50 mg of Ph, and 22 mg of Iron in it. Not only this, it is much more tastier than spinach and can be used in many ways to get a nutrient boost.


One thing which is very important while consuming these Calcium and Iron rich super foods is that, to absorb all the mineral in it we have to eat them in combination with tomatoes, lime or curds.

Interestingly, bathua is considered warming for the body in winters and keeps the digestive tract healthy by promoting useful gut flora. More because this pre-biotic leafy green is mostly eaten along with homemade yogurt in north India. The fiber content, the antioxidant rich pigments in the leaves and the rich mineral profile of this leafy green keeps the GI tract working right and helps fight inflammation as well.

This recipe has a story behind it. Bathua raita was a personal favorite and my husband Arvind also liked it when I started making it after marriage, so in winters it was prepared frequently with parathas or with rice preparations. As I like curds in all it's forms, I would cook kadhi quite often but Arvind had a major aversion to kadhi. I decided to try a twist in the bathua raita one day and converted it to a kadhi. The bathua ki kadhi was made without the use of turmeric so it looked more like a raita. Arvind ate it happily and helped himself 2-3 time during the meal. I silently felt happy on my clever twist that day and since then this bathua ki kadhi has been a regular in my kitchen.

It has been a favourite along with my multi grain chapatis as well.


ingredients for bathua raita

bathua leaves with all it's stalk chopped and microwaved 1 cup
green chillies finely chopped 1 tbsp
garlic cloves chopped 1 tbsp or more
whole jeera seeds 1 tsp
black pepper powder 1 tsp
hing or asafoetida a pinch
mustard or any other oil 1 tsp
curds 2-3 cup as you like
salt to taste


preparation

Heat oil in a pan and put in the hing and jeera to it and when it starts spluttering, add in the chopped garlic and green chillies, let it fry a little and then add the bathua leaves and salt and cook covered for 5 minutes.......let it cool and mix with the beaten curd and pepper powder and serve at room temperature.

procedure for bathua ki kadhi



The only additional thing needed for making it's kadhi is gram flour or besan (2 tbsp) and buttermilk instead of curds, though beaten curd is also fine.

While cooking the bathua leaves as above, I use whole red chilies instead of green chillies for the kadhi, meanwhile whip the curd with besan and 1 cup of water and cook on low flame.........stirring all the time to avoid lumping.............after cooking this mixture for 10 minutes or so, add the cooked bathua leaves and give it a good boil.......it is ready to serve.

As an optional tadka heat 1 tsp ghee, add 1 tsp minced garlic, little red chilly powder in it and quickly put it into the kadhi and serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

healthy cottage cheese salad




this cottage cheese salad is very healthy, tasty and filling...........easy to make too, that is something common in all my recipes, as i don't like toiling in the kitchen for long hours...............all the time i end up simplifying even the most complicated recipes........this one is originally simple....i make a few versions of cottage cheese salad, depending on the availability of ingredients and of course the time n occasion we are consuming it............moreover, these salads can be used in many different ways, like a stuffing for grilled brown bread sandwiches or parathas or simply for kathi rolls.......these variations allow a lot of flexibility according to individual taste within the family or when guests are visiting...........it's so simple and still so versatile.......read on....

ingredients

cottage cheese 100gm(for 2 servings)
finely chopped onions 3tbsp
finely chopped green chillies 1 tsp
finely chopped coriander leaves 2-3 tbsp ( leaves as well as the stalks)
sliced almonds 6-7 nos.
salt n pepper to taste
chaat masala or lime juice as required


procedure

cube the cottage cheese and mix and toss with all the other ingredients and serve at room temperature.........it is worth mentioning here that i use all the thick stalks of coriander leaves as it is rich in fibre and full of flavour....many people are unaware that the stalks have more flavour than the leaves .

one more important fact is worth mentioning that the cottage cheese available in the market has higher fat content.....the one having 25% fat has 309 Kcal/100 gm...........that makes it a high calorie salad , but if homemade paneer is used, it can be made low calorie........if we use skimmed milk to make cottage cheese at home, the fat content would not exceed 5%, and almost 1/3 of kcal.......now you can choose what you want.

cottage cheese can be made easily at home.

heat the milk and just when it is about to boil..........add a few tbsp of curds or whey or diluted vinegar or lime juice......all these give good results........the only thing which has to be kept in mind is that the milk should not be at boiling temperature, that's why just before boiling the curdling agent is added or if the milk starts boiling , let it cool first for a while then add curds.......and stir the milk so that it starts curdling ...more curds can be added but no heating after this..............the idea is to prevent immediate curdling of milk, which may make a hard cheese............at 96-98 C temperature, it will take 1-2 minutes to curdle........now pour the curdled milk over a sieve and let it rest for a while, then take it out in a bowl or a square dish...let it cool and it is ready to be cut and used.

Monday, January 26, 2009

more fruits and more raw salads

yes this is what i forgot to elaborate in my previous post.............fruits like papaya and apple and a lot of carrots throughout the day.......keep munching on them and i prevent myself from unnecessary snacking.................which incidentally is a honey trap for me ........have been eating healthy food for long time but this in between snacking wipes away all my efforts.......now it is under control and just a few spoonfuls of bhujiya is all i need now a days.

it is worth mentioning that at least 2 to 3 times a week i am taking parathas or chillas for breakfast which is made in a little desi ghee and this keeps my cravings satisfied............i don't want to starve myself and food gives unparallalled gratification.........almost orgasmic, as they say, so spicy n tasty is the key word......less fats, complex carbohydrates and a lot of fibrous food........a lot of water too.

for complex carbohydrates i use a flour of mixed cerials for making chapatis, parathas are made in whole wheat flour, but paratha dough is always mixed with a lot of greens like paalak, methi or bathu saag......these parathas we eat with low calorie chutnys which are more like the idli chutny...........both me and arvind are enjoying this green paratha and white chutny combo..........i shall post these very soon...i keep taking the pics but posting gets delayed..........

my trick is mix the cooking ingredients with as much greens and as much vegetables that it becomes more filling, make it spicy and use a lot of tangy chutnys n achars made without oils..........working for me.

i think i have identified my problem area and will sort it out soon.............

Sunday, January 25, 2009

loosing some more weight

hey i am loosing some more weight eating all this healthy recipes, this is the first time i am sticking to my resolution to eat healthy for this long, and the results are encouraging me now, to loose more........i take out my weighing scales more often now and really thrilled to see the needle moving back, little at a time though, but i am not complaining.........i am not doing any regular exercise, just my household chores ........i think if i start spinning my cycle for even 20 minutes a day, the results can be better.........still i have to do it at my pace.....no hurry.
this way of eating is proving to reduce approximately 4 kg a month and i find it pretty good.

it may sound difficult to stick to it, but my focus is to make the recipes on less oil or no oil at all and still make it spicy...........spices keep the metabolic rate high................also i am using a lot of fibrous food which fills up the stomach and i don't feel starved, all the chutnys are making the food appetizing and interesting, so it never tastes bland and dull.

i am cooking the gravies and curries too for arvind , those dishes i am modifying for myself so that more fibre and low cal food is eaten along with that, like the rajma recipe i have posted.......more cabbage and carrots, more water, more green tea and of course a few more times...........i am following a 4-6 meal plan depending on the other commitments......each meal having 150 -200 Kcal, and an occasional snacking of haldiram bhujiya or gur ki chikki.

on the whole i am trying to eat foods which naturally have more water content and are high on nutrient value, i am thinking of providing nutrient value of all the foods too.

i am not starving myself and enjoying the food as i like this kind of spicy n light food, only nonveg food has taken a back seat for a while, though i am planning to make some momos and grilled fish and chicken etc...........let's see how i manage to continue loosing more weight.

i must say that this blog is motivating me enough to go on...........

rawa idli with amla-coconut chutny




this is a healthy fat free recipe..i have used a tempering as a garnish but it is optional and it is cooked in a very interesting way........normally people cook idlis in idli moulds but in a microwave they can be cooked in glass or plastic bowls...it is very convenient for me because if i have to make 4-5 idlis for two of us , i don't want to use the idli mould as it is not easy to clean it........on the other side these bowls are easy to handle and one idli gets cooked in 1 minute if cooked covered.....i used ridged bowls . so the idlis are ridged and nice to look at


apart from that this chutny is made with amla n is so tasty that it vanished without a trace, more over, coconut is high calorie, so using less of coconut n more of amla makes good sense...read on.

ingredients for idli
suji or rawa 1 cup
buttermilk 1/2 cup or more to make a batter
salt to taste
soda bi carb 1/4 tsp



ingredients for tempering
sunflower oil 2 tsp
hing a pinch
mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
chana and urad dals 1/2 tsp each
currypatta chopped 1tbsp


procedure
first prepare the tempering by heating all the ingredients in oil and keep aside.

now make a batter of all the ingredients for idli, let it stand for 5-10 minutes, in the meanwhile, put a little bit of the tempering in each of the bowls, it works as greasing and a garnish as well. when the idlis come out of the bowl, the tempering appears on top.....nice to see.
now spoon in the batter into the bowls and microwave each bowl covered for a minute on high..
let it cool for 2 minutes and take the idlid out with the help of a sharp knife,serve hot keeping the tempering side up with the chutny.



ingredients for chutny

amla 4
coconut 1/8
ginger 1 inch piece
garlic cloves 6
green chillies 6
chana daal soaked for 1 hr 1/2 cup
salt to taste

grind the amla and coconut first in a grinder as it takes more time , then put all the other ingredients into it and grind to make a fine paste, adding a little water.
serve with idli liberally..........

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

cabbage fritters

we can't eat fat free n low fat food all the time and want to binge out sometimes....this is a tricky situation and most of us fall in the trap...........that is when we want to eat the pakodas , we eat them in large quantities and the whole diet program goes for a toss, moreover when we are not in a habit to eat fried food for long, our digestive system also gets a shock...............to overcome all this , i have devised a new way, i cook the pakodas first in the microwave and then fry the super hot pakodas in hot oil for just one minute and take out immediately.......this does not allow the pakodas to absorb more oil and the recipe qualifies to be a low fat one.........here it is.........

ingredients

cabbage chopped finely1 cup
ginger, garlic , green chilly paste (equal quantities) 1 tbsp
haldi powder 1 tsp
ajwain seeds 1 tsp
green coriander chopped 2 tbsp
besan 1/2 cup
suji 1 tbsp
salt to taste
sunflower oil to deep fry

procedure

mix all the ingredients with a little water and make a mixture which can be shaped into balls.


make balls and arrange on a greased microwave safe dish with lid.
for 5-6 such balls, microwave for 3 minutes , meanwhile, keep the oil redy to fry and put in the balls as soon as it comes out of the microwave, which looks like this, interestingly it can be eaten as it is with chutny.when we fry the balls as soon as it comes out of the microwave, as it is already very hot, it takes less time to become brown n crisp on the outer side....the inside has been already cooked in the microwave.........take out the balls just after a minute and serve hot.

i served it with green chutny and amla chutny..........here is the recipe....



green chutny

grind together 1 cup of green coriander with all the stalk, and ginger, green chillies and a few garlic cloves......mix salt and lemon juice and it is ready to serve.


amla chutny

i keep amla preserved in 15% salt which i use to make this chutny in the picture.
grind equal quantities of preserved amla, garlic and whole red chillies to make a fine paste n it is ready.

Monday, January 19, 2009

chickpea salad / chickpea chaat




this is a quick and nutritious salad which is good as a breakfast as well as a luchbox option............if boiled chickpeas are stored in the fridge, it can be anytime snack option too...........the best part is , it can be diversified according to mood, availability of ingredients , and time of the day etc.

ingredients


for two servings

chickpeas or black gram (kala chana) 1 cup
finely chopped onions 3 tbsp
finely chopped ginger and green chillies 1 tbsp each
finely chopped coriander leaves with all the stems 2 tbsp
salt n pepper to taste
chaat masala or lime juice 1 tsp

procedure

boil the chickpeas in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles
let it cool a bit and mix with all the other ingredients and serve warm or at room temperature.

variations
cubed boiled potatoes can be added especially for kids.
fried potato chips are also good as they add a crunch to it.
haldiram bhujia is great too, arvind likes it this way.
chopped cucumber and tomatoes are good for calorie conscious people like me......adds crunch without extra calorie

Saturday, January 17, 2009

tamatar ka bharta or tomato salsa indian style

this is a simple and quick recipe which is so convenient in the sense that it can be a side dish for everybody else in the family, while the person on diet can take it as a main dish along with palak wali daal or something like that.........it is good with my multigrain chapatis.


           with capsicum, the way i like it
ingredients
2 large tomatoes chopped roughly
1 medium sized onion finely chopped
1/4th of a green capsicum chopped finely
2 green chillies finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1/4 inch of ginger finely chopped
2 tbsp green coriander finely chopped
salt to taste
2 drops of mustard oil[optional]



this one is without capsicum, the way arvind likes it

procedure

microwave the tomatoes for 2 minutes on high, alternatively pressure cook them for 1 whistle.
put in the chopped capsicum first into the hot tomato mixture so that it becomes a bit soft by the heat.
then mix all the other ingredients with a wooden spatula, mashing the tomatoes and a juicy salsa is ready........serve hot or cold..........any way it's very tasty.

i am loosing some more weight at last

nice to the scales coming down a bit.............relieved that it started moving again..........low cal food is okay, but i need to move my body too........this battle can't be won sitting on this chair..........15 minutes of aerobic type exercise is what i am doing daily.....sometimes a bit more......and once in a while having my favorite parathas too.....what to do..........everything edible is my favorite.....

hope i keep up doing this ..............yesterday i made this no oil poha in microwave, which arvind said you should put on this blog...........usually when i make this poha i add a big spoonful of ghee for him, this time he ate it as it was , and was really amused.............so he suggested.....i took a picture n now i am writing the recipe.............it's light,spicy as i make it, and filling, and not to mention........quick to make.........read on......



ingredients

poha, thick variety- 1/3 cup [for 2 snack servings]
butter milk or diluted curd 1/2 cup
chopped onion 1 large
finely chopped ginger n green chillies as per taste[on a higher side]
finely chopped curry patta 1 tbsp
finely chopped green coriander 2 tbsp
salt n pepper as per taste


preparation

wash the poha quickly and soak it in the buttermilk for 5 minutes.
mix all the ingredients thoroughly and microwave on high for 3 minutes.......mix again and microwave for 3 more minutes............ready.....serve hot..........nuts or namkeen bhujiya can be added as required.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

sukhi aalu gobhi

when you decide to eat low calorie food , there comes a usual problem of the food being bland and tasteless, moreover as my friend swapna was telling me today, that she feels starved all the time, when on a low cal diet plan......... i was wondering why i do not feel starved.......... actually our taste buds need to be satisfied as well.........i make my vegetables a bit more spicy when preparing them in less oil, this enables me to eat more veggies and less rice or roti , and as my taste buds are satisfied , there is no feeling of starvation.
vegetables are low calorie food and i try and eat lots of them, but the indian way of cooking leaves no scope for calorie control as the vegetables are made in lots of oil and if eaten in large quantities your diet plans will crash down..........
for eating large quantities of veggies , you need to make them spicy n tasty as spices have no calory, and cook in less amount of oil........for this a nonstick pan or a cast iron skillet like mine is a must, and the vegetables should be cooked on low flame, covered and in its own moisture...it saves nutrient value of the veggies and retains thier natural color too............after all you should be happily eating the low cal food...............
i prefer eating such vegetables with mixed cerial rotis and a soup like dal in my lunch.


ingredients for sukhi aalu gobhi
gobhi florets 2 cups
potato diced 1/2 cup
ginger 2 inch piece, chopped fine
green chillies 3, chopped fine
black pepper powder 2 tsp
salt to taste
turmeric powder 1 tsp
mustard or sunflower oil 1 tsp
whole jeera 1/2 tsp
green coriander chopped fine 1/4 cup

procedure

heat oil in a pan and putin the whole jeera...when it splutters add in the ginger n green chillies..stir once ....add turmeric powder and immediately add in the gobhi and aalu pieces......stir thoroughly .....add in the salt n pepper , mix and cook covered on low flame till cooked..........stirring in between once or twice.............don't overcook the veggies and they should be firm and shining........add in the chopped coriander and smash the pieces a bit..........this imparts a pleasant aroma of the coriander leaves to the subzi............serve hot as suggested .

it can be rolled into a kathi roll with a thin roti n served with a green chutny.

fat free chhole for a breakfast




keeping in mind that a breakfast should be filling and nutritious.......chickpeas are a good idea.........as per my taste, i need a different breakfast everyday, so the concern always is that, my husband, also a variety freak , should like it and it should be easy n quick to make........this recipe comes to my rescue on weekends too when he likes to have puris for breakfast.........i serve him puris with this chhole and eat the chhole myself without the puris..........sometimes a sprinkling of chopped onions and bhujia is a great variation, specially if served as a snack.
a little preparation in the night helps a lot in the morning........

ingredients

kabuli chana soaked overnight 2 cups

to be made into a green paste-
green coriander chopped 1 cup
green chillies 4
ginger 1 inch piece
garlic 5 cloves
lemon juice 2 tbsp
salt to taste
whole jeera 1 tsp
black pepper powder 1 tsp
peanuts roasted 1 tbsp


make the paste in the night when you go to soak the kabuli chana

in the morning just boil the chhole with salt n water till 2-3 whistles in a pressure cooker.
add the green paste to it and serve..........it can be served as it is, or like suggested above.
i like spicy food ....it gives me a filling satisfaction and keeps my metabolic rate high.........yummmyyy.

in the pic i have used tomatoes in the green paste instead of lemon juice...so the green color is not very prominent.

palak chilla



when we add some vegetables to the chilla it becomes a bit thick, the texture is crispy on the surface and soft in the middle , with an interesting half cooked crunch of the vegetables........i usually add a generous amount of ginger and green chillies along with the veggies.

ingredients

besan 4 tbsp
suji 4 tbsp
chopped palak 1 cup
chopped coriander or soya bhaji - a handful
ginger n green chillies chopped fine as per taste
black pepper powder 1 tsp
salt to taste
sunflower oil to brush the tawa
buttermilk 1 cup or enough to make a thick batter


procedure

make a thick batter by mixing all the ingredients except oil .
heat a nonstick dosa tawa or pan n brush oil ..........spread a thick layer of batter and cook on medium heat till one side is light brown........flip to the other side and let cook.........serve hot with tomato chutny.

chilla or savoury pancakes

chillas are low fat, easy to make and super nutritious......you can pack them with lots of vegetables, herbs, spices and the most interesting thing is that they can be made in carbohydrate rich or protein rich varieties..........this very fact makes the chillas so versatile that they can be made for a breakfast [ the carbohydrate rich one], for lunch[made with complex carbohydrates n lots of vegetables],or for in between meals snack for children.
chillas are my favorite simply because they are easy to make and nutritious and all my favourite vegetables can be accommodated in it, and moreover, every time i can whip up a new variety...........i usually serve chillas with fresh chutny made with tomatoes, amla or coconut..............actually my purpose with chillas is that a lot of semi cooked vegetables inside the chilla are complemented with a chutny of fresh raw vegetables......this way it becomes a high fiber, low fat and filling meal.........chillas can be made like waffles if you have a waffle maker, it will be fully fat free.........i use my cast iron skillet or a nonstick appam chatty with lid to make fat free chillas.


mung daal chillas for breakfast

ingredients
dhuli mung dal soaked overnight 1.5 cup
ginger 1 inch piece, shredded
green chillies 2
salt to taste
sunflower oil 2 tsp or less


preparation
make a paste of mung dal with all the ingredients[except oil] by grinding them in a mixie.it should be a free pouring batter like that of dosa.

heat a nonstick dosa pan with a little brushing of oil and sprinkle water on hot pan.......so the oil spreads all over the surface and the chilla doesn't stick to it...........now spread the batter with a ladle just like dosa....spread in circular motion, make it thin like dosa............wait till browned, fold into half..........serve hot with chutny. for making more chillas you need even lesser oil........if using the appam chatty, oil is neede only the first time, and afterwords the chillas can be made without oil.........it gets cooked by putting the lid on and remains soft like a waffle...........while on the dosa tawa it becomes crispy.................if this chilla is made for a brunch or dinner, a filling of mashed paneer is very yummy.........served with chutny.

i usually make a chutny of ripe tomatoes, ginger garlic n green chillies............make the chutny in large quantity as it is so tasty that a bowlful of chuny can be consumed with just one chilla.........and just think about it, you can consume 2-3 ripe tomatoes in your breakfast....no need to take any juice and it is so filling that you are done for at least 6 hours [ a mid morning snack of a whole fruit is advised by dietitians ]

Saturday, January 10, 2009

baingan bharta/baingan ka chokha

This is a light and spicy dish which tastes great with plain rotis, I make the bharta by two different procedures, one is the fried bharta with garam masala and the other is boiled bharta with raw ginger garlic...this one is more like a salad or salsa , completely fat free , but the fried one is also very low fat and is good when more spice and kick is needed...............both of them are very different to taste..........I am giving the recipes of both together, whichever suits you ..........but you must try both............

Fat free or low fat vegetable dishes are very well suited if other components of your meal are heavier on fats or you have been prescribed to avoid fats. For me it is for a detox sometimes and to compensate a paratha craving some other times...Bharta tastes great with Parathas and ghee soaked Littis..

fried baingan bharta with peas


ingredients
brinjal one medium [300 gm]
tomato one large
peas 1 cup half boiled or microwaved
onion one medium, finely chopped
garlic 6-8 cloves
ginger 1 inch piece
green chillies 2
red chilly powder 1 tsp
dhaniya powder 1 tsp
jeera n black pepper powder 1/2 tsp each
garam masala powder 1 tsp
whole jeera seeds 1 tsp
hing a pinch
green coriander leaves finely chopped, a handful
mustard oil or ghee 1 tbsp
amchoor 1 tsp [optional]
salt to taste

procedure..

Cut the brinjal into 4 pieces and boil with 1/2 cup water, in pressure cooker for 1 whistle.......the brinjal can be peeled before boiling or it can be skinned after boiling.........when very tender n fresh brinjals are being used , no need to remove the skin...after boiling discard the water n reserve the brinjal for further use.

Alternatively, grill the brinjal on gas flame and peel the skin and proceed.

Heat ghee in a nonstick pan [ i use my cast iron skillet], add hing n jeera n let it splutter............then add in the onions, ginger , garlic, green chillies, all finely chopped n stir fry untill translucent........now add in the powder masalas n salt to taste.........mix well and then add in the chopped tomatoes immediately to save the powder masalas from burning...........cover n cook untill the tomatoes are completely mashed........stirring in between........now add in the boiled peas and the brinjal..........mix well and keep frying untill well blended..............serve hot garnished with chopped green coriander.



boiled baingan bharta



ingredients...

brinjal one medium, boiled as above or roasted on the gas flame
it can be roasted in an oven too[skin to be removed after roasting]
tomato one large, microwaved or roasted on gas flame or in oven, skin to be removed after roasting

Roasting and boiling both impart different flavours , I do it both ways as time allows me........all the other ingredients are to be added raw...........the brinjals cannot be microwaved for this recipe, as the creamy n juicy texture is lost in microwaving them. tomatoes remain quite juicy when microwaved in a covered bowl, of course after making cuts in it.

ginger, garlic and green chillies chopped finely, 1 tbsp each
salt to taste
mustard oil or extra virgin olive oil.......whatever flavour you like -1 tsp
chopped coriander leaves a generous handful (not used here)

procedure..

Mix all the ingredients together and make a homogeneous mixture ...it can be served hot or cold.......one variation can be done by adding one boiled and mashed potato to the mix...........the taste is yummy with a slightly thick mixed cereal roti............

I prefer it with generous amounts of ginger garlic n green chillies.........as i like spicy food..............it is a must try for those who are on a weight loss regime.

oh yes it tastes good with daal chawal too..........actually in uttar pradesh , daal bhat chokha is a desi kind of khana and i find it quite amazing in taste as well as like a light n quick meal.

I often think that if we start eating this kind of poor man's diet [it is one of them in UP] there will not be any weight gain problem in the modern world.

PS : Edited to update new pictures of the dish.
two days have passed and i am stubborn enough to admit that i dint do any exercise in these two days..........see what i do tomorrow.....i'll remove the jackets lying on my standing bike now..........aparajita reminded me today............and so did swapna......what am i doing..............i'll tell you swapna what am i doing.....here on this space........see ya......

Thursday, January 8, 2009

i resolve today to try loosing more weight

in the month of november i had lost 4 kgs eating all these healthy stuff and exercising for around 10-15 minutes daily...exercising as in spinning on my standing bike and a bit of aerobic style dancing with music.........playing on radio of course..............but in december...the same old story......no exercise n no more weight loss............now that i have resolved along with aparajita........i have to loose more...apart from cooking all these recipes,i am surely going to move my body........mostly i keep telling myself that i do so much house chores n my daily workout is in this form.......but it has never worked to reduce weight n now it needs some more determination to be able to workout daily..........no excuses at all...............

so bad that i have stopped eating those carrots too.....which i used to cut so nicely in the morning and nibble whole day.....it kept me away from any cravings of tea or coffee..........it is surely done from now on...........those carrot sticks which i have even clicked for this blog.............i am going to eat them now...........hmmm.......see you ........tomorrow....

....should i start setting alarms to start exercising..........

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

chicken soup with macaroni and poached egg on top, one of my favorite dinners..

i like soups for dinner and if some texture is added in the form of pasta or egg dropping...........nothing like it........my husband prefers chicken soup to any other variety and he likes pasta or any kind of noodles added to it , so this particular soup becomes a hot favorite with us.....especially when i make chicken momos, which is better than any momo joint , i bet ,......... this chicken soup is the next day's menu,.........i am sharing this secret of mine here to make the tastiest momos and use the byproduct to make a delicious soup...............i shall share the momo recipe next,before that i start with the processing the chicken..............for this i use the carcass of the chicken [ie, the remaining parts after removing the breasts n the legs...this part has soft bones and a good amount of fat attached to it ]..........i boil the chicken in a pressure cooker to get the stock....cool the stock.....and the most important thing is , i scum out the fat from the cold stock, this fat will be used to make the stuffing of momos..............now come to the stock n the pieces boiled in it...........take out the flesh attached to the bones and keep aside.....now let's proceed to the recipe.......


ingredients........for 2 servings

chicken stock as made above
chicken shreds as reserved above [separated from the bones ]
garlic 8 cloves
ginger 1 inch piece or less
green or red chilly sauce 1-2 tsp as required
soy sauce 1 tbsp
black pepper powder 1 tsp
salt if required.........usually soy sauce suffices the need
spring onions 3 , finely chop the bulbs and roughly chop the green part of one of them
boiled macaroni or any other pasta or noodles 1 cup
poached eggs 2 [ sometimes i use double fried eggs]

procedure
in a nonstick pan put in some of the fat from the stock[when cool it can be scummed easily ]..add in the finely chopped ginger garlic n onion and saute' for a while ...till they turn transparent........then add the other ingredients with the stock......let it boil n put in the pasta n greens of spring onion...........it's ready before the next boil.............pour into soup bowls and gently slide in the poached egg.........serve hot n enjoy pure bliss........

sometimes i add some shredded cabbage along with chopped onion too but it is optional.

Monday, January 5, 2009

aalu methi

my husband likes potatoes in any form and i keep thinking about potato dishes which are low on fat and high on fibre n other mineral-vitamins etc.this aalu methi dish has been a perennial favorite with both of us and winters are the season to eat this in our country........the newly harvested potatoes n the freshest methi possible.........that is what makes this dish so special ............................so aromatic n yummy..........easy to make if you are assisted by a microwave n a food processor or a blender-chopper like mine........

ingredients

small potatoes boiled in microwave -10-12
methi leaves finely choped 1 cup
soya bhaji [dill leaves] 1/2 cup [optional]
green chilies 4 or more
garlic 10 cloves or more
ginger 1 inch piece
onion finely chopped 1/2 cup
tomatoes finely chopped 1/2 cup
coriander,cumin n black pepper powder 1 tsp each
amchoor powder 1 tsp or more
whole jeera seeds 1tsp
oil 1 tbsp





procedure
cut the potatoes in halves or big pieces, it is better to use microwaved potatoes because they are dry n need less oil to fry...if not using microwave then boil the potatoes first in pressure cooker with the skin, then keep in the fridge for at least 2-3 hrs so that they become a bit hard, this way they need less oil to fry...more over when we cook potatoes with skin,the essential minerals n vitamins come into the flesh from the skin............then we peel the skin n use it accordingly.

finely chop the ginger,garlic,greenchillies n onions together in the chopper [i save time ]....meanwhile heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, put in whole jeera n when it crackles, add in the above, give it a good stir n then put in the cubed potatoes...now stir fry this on a medium or low flame untill the potatoes become roasted n well coated with the masala ..........add in the chopped tomatoes n keep frying till a dry masala coated bhaji is prepared............for saving efforts this mixture can be grilled...just mix everything thoroughly, spread on an ovenproof plate n grill untill golden brown............now add in the chopped greens n the amchoor powder, mix thoroughly.......n grill untill dry...............the aroma is amazing...........if cooking in the pan just keep stirring on medium heat untill dry n aromatic.............serve hot.

sometimes when there are fussy guests who like the oily n creamy stuff , i just add a generous amount of fresh cream to this dish, then microwave it for 2 mins and a sinful methi malai aalu is served to them.

i like the dry aalu methi with plain rotis....it can be served with anything.....as a main course or a side dish.



methi aalu the other way

ingredients
methi chopped roughly 3 cups
potatoes boiled and diced 1 cup
ginger 1 inch piece, chopped fine
garlic 6 cloves, chopped fine
green chillies chopped fine, as per taste
tomatoes chopped roughly , 2 large
dhaniya, jeera and pepper powder 1 tsp each
haldi powder 1 tsp
whole jeera 1 tsp
mustard or sunflower oil 1 tsp

procedure



heat oil in a pan and splutter jeera into it.......then the ginger, garlic, green chillies.....stir for a while, and then put in the potatoes and the powder masalas with salt.........keep stirring on a medium heat till the potatoes become pinkish brown.........add the chopped tomatoes.stir until they wilt n then add the chopped methi leaves n cook stirring for a minute or two.....the methi leaves should just be wilted.............it's very aromatic and nutritious..... serve hot with rotis .