Friday, May 29, 2009

quick mango loaf | microwave recipe


Mangoes in Indian summers are something you get to see in all our streets, you'll find many vendors selling luscious plump mangoes of many varieties all over the place. The sight is so tempting that you can't stop buying some even when you have plenty at home waiting for it's turn to be relished. Mangoes are fairly high calorie, carb rich fruits and the portions should always be watched. I try and make a few mango preparations in the season as Arvind has a major sweet tooth and mangoes are just irresistible. This mango loaf I tried for the first time after reading a post on durum wheat semolina by Cinzia and Marika. I was eager to try semolina for baking a loaf and a surplus quantity of mangoes tricked me to make this one.......

I followed a simple recipe.........
with least ingredients.........

I separated pulp from 2 big mangoes weighing around 750 gm.........
200 ml tetra pack of fresh cream(25% fat) ,
3/4 cup of sugar and 1.5 cup of semolina..........

Can you believe it ?? just four ingredients ..........a tsp of baking soda is to raise the loaf.........

I made it in microwave so it was quick too.........

to proceed ...

I used a hand blender to make a puree of the pulp, then added the cream to it and gave it a quick whiz.............poured out in a bowl ..........mixed semolina with baking soda and sugar thoroughly separately and mixed it with the mango cream puree.........whipping lightly....... it looked like this......


thick ribbon forming ........not like the AP flour cake batter......consistency can be adjusted by reducing the amount of semolina or adding in some more cream or whole milk...........then the batter was poured into greased loaf mold, filling it halfway..........



I had enough batter to make two loaves, microwaved the loaf for 6 minutes. If you keep a watch on the baking loaf you can easily know when it is cooked through, the center of the loaf will rise in the last as it starts cooking from the periphery in a microwave, so when the center fluffs up and looks dry , it's done.
Wait for a couple of minutes before opening the microwave and let it cool outside.

Slice it and top the slices with anything you want and enjoy After microwaving it rises and fills up the mold 3/4th.

I was happy to make this loaf as my beautiful angel , Mithi liked it when I put a small piece into her mouth........it's so rare that she likes a taste and responds to it. I have to just keep the dry foods in her mouth for a few seconds so she can taste, then the food has to be removed from her mouth as the saliva makes it wet and as she can't swallow, the food might choke her or just flow our with her drool. I am really glad she liked this mango cake.

See how wonderful the loaf looks.....


Here is the other one, in a casserole dish....


and the slices were so light and fluffy,the semolina gives it a nice bite and a crumbly texture. I am glad to have baked this loaf, butter is replaced with cream and it's not so high on fat.



It's almost a week since this cake was baked and we have been enjoying it in different ways, it keeps well in the fridge for a week at least and tastes better when served warm or at room temperature. I just microwave it for a minute and serve it........whatever way suits you.......

Here it is with mango chhunda .........



And with mango mint yogurt. (hung curd whipped with fresh mango puree and a few mint leaves).........



And even with warm milk for breakfast, Arvind liked it so much he wanted to have it all the time.........


I know this cake has to be made again.......very soon ......it's already a comfort food of sorts for him........surprisingly I am loving serving it ( that satisfies my appetite too) and a small portion with the mango yogurt was my favorite.........

Cheers.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

greeny babycorn on a bed of daliya/couscous


baby corns is an all time favorite with both of us and we like it as crunchy as possible........arvind like this greeny baby corn in a sandwich but for me it is a good accompaniment of my steamed daliya or couscous......it's so simple that it's ready within 15 minutes if you have soaked daliya ( if using)....fine couscous gets cooked without much soaking......

this recipe was lying in my drafts for a long time n now it gets it's well deserved place here......fresh n crunchy........fit for any meal of the day and healthy as i like it to be.............


to prepare couscous....soak 1/4 cup of couscous in 1/2 cup of buttermilk, salt n pepper to taste n let it rest untill you chop the veggies...........microwave in a container with lid for 2 minutes just before arranging the dish.....

to prepare greeny babycorns..........chop a handful of spinach with all the stems roughly,chop green part of a spring onion, slit around 10 baby corns lengthwise, finely chop 5-6 garlic cloves finely and crush 12-15 peppercorns roughly..........

heat a tsp of oil in a pan , tip in the garlic n let it get fried.......tip in the chopped veggies , salt to taste n crushed pepper corns and toss n fry until the spinach looks wilted.........baby corns get half cooked by this time n it's done for me now....you can cook it a bit more if you like...

to arrange.... spread cooked couscous on a plate and tip the cooked veggies on top..........so attractive to look at.......i get hungry seeing it........

i like it with a tall glass of buttermilk.....


Monday, May 25, 2009

chukandar bhare kulche



these are simply beetroots stuffed into a pita bread style flat bread which is a staple delhi( punjabi) bread........you can find ready made kulche in the market which is eaten with chhole of either chickpeas or dried peas.........i prefer to make my kulchas at home with whole wheat or multigrain flour........arvind likes stuffed ones ...especially the aaloo or paneer kulcha.........now he has started liking this one too as the filling is spicy n is accentuated by a rich aroma of coriander leaves used in the kulcha...........these ones can be served on thier own or with any sweat n saur pickle or plain curds........

for the kulchas you need........2 cups of whole wheat (to make about 7-8 kulchas)flour,a tbsp of fresh yeast or half a pack of dry active yeast,1 tsp of sugar, 1 tsp of salt and about a cup of soya milk or skimmed milk to knead the flour......you need 1/2 cup of chopped coriander leaves with stalks to flavor the kulchas......fenugreek leaves also taste good.

to make the kulacha dough.....proof the yeast by dissolving it in half a cup of warm water n sugar.....it takes about 8-10 minutes to get frothy........now mix it with the flour, chopped coriander leaves and required quantity of milk to make a soft pliable dough.............keep aside in a warm place to let the dough rise.......in the meantime proceed with the preparation of the stuffing........


for the stuffing you need........2 big fat beetroots chopped roughly, 2 big onions chopped roughly(you can grate them but i prefer thrashing them in the pan ....it gives a better bite), 3-4 green chillies chopped, small piece of ginger chopped fine, salt n pepper to taste and a tbsp of garam masala powder........also a tsp of oil to stirfry the veggies......

to make the stuffing..heat a thick bottomed pan with oil and tip in the chopped veggies n salt together and stirfry on a medium flame......it takes more time cuz less oil is used, gets faster when oil is generous........the salt added with it makes the frying or roasting easier and the onions get a bit caramelised in the process....let the veggies stick to the bottom of the pan slightly as it gives a good caramelised taste .........thrash the mix a little to make a mixture which binds together a bit........add garam masala when the veggies are soft enough n continue stirring for 2-3 minutes ...........take off flame and let it cool........

the kulcha dough gets resdy in the meanwhile....if not , keep the dough on the hot, covered pan of stuffing mix.....the heat will help in faster rising..........

to make the kulchas........divide the dough in 7-8 portions ...or depending on a convenient size you need........make a hollow cavity in each portion of dough and spoon in a generous amount of stuffing into it................as much as you can handle......seal the edges and roll on a floured surface and grill on an iron griddle(tawa) , both sides without oil.........it should look lightly spotted and a bread aroma should come out........repeat with all the portions and lightly butter the kulchas to serve hot.......it can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days without buttering..........just heat in the microwave , butter n serve........
it is a good option for lunch boxes , both for you n kids......easy to hold while eating and attractive...tasty too.........


enjoy.........

Saturday, May 23, 2009

save the earth...save life

I have a small patch of land in front of my house .....a luxury in central Delhi but thanks to my ground floor apartment in a govt. campus that i could afford to have it........it has little to do with my majors in botany that i absolutely love plants for my company......so when i came to this house i knew it's going to be a lot of fun growing my kind of plants into it..........my kind of plants are the numerous herbs which i have been growing even in containers when i don't get space like this one.........ashwagandha, aloe vera , amrita, hemp, mint, tulsi, basil, rosemary, leeks, currypatta and whatever i can lay my hands on......apart from these i started growing vegetables this time just to have the experience.......okra, brinjals, tomatoes,cucumbers, spring onions,beetroots, spinach, cauliflowers and even the bottle guards and sponge guards............it's pure bliss to see these plants growing.....right from germination of seeds to flowering and fruit bearing.........

But i do not intend to count those fruits of labor here.......i want to share how this garden , which i have strictly maintained 'organic' ......no use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides..........has taught me the real lesson of nature............how nature maintains itself and how it makes your surroundings beautiful..........countless birds have made my garden home and i have become an avid bird and butterfly watcher...yes , butterflies too dance here n there in my space............whenever i am down n out , i just step into my heaven........to be rejuvenated , absolutely..........it enriches my soul through the life it supports and my body through the produce it offers.........

The most important things which i have noticed here, that due to the absence of chemical pesticides, many types of insects and caterpillars come and make their home in my garden....sometimes i use the neem n haldi solution to ward them away, but whenever i couldn't do that, i just had to destroy the plants......but sometimes i saw that some other predating insects or reptiles saved my plants........and that was wonderful..........sometimes i see that a swarm of black ants is hovering over a single plant....on closer observation i see that they are having a feast on the larvae of some insect............they eat away the mongers and go home......similarly, i see many garden lizards come in a particular season.........i used to be so afraid of them earlier but now i know that they are eating up another menace ...........also, many species of birds come and feast over the insects and caterpillars when there are no chemicals used.............what i mean is , when we use chemical fertilizers or pesticides, the lizards, the birds and the useful ants abandon the space and the the garden becomes completely dependent on chemicals................without those chemicals we can restore the balance of nature.............nature is capable to balance itself if we don't push it again n again............

We make our own compost by using our own kitchen waste by dumping it into a pit n throwing in some vermiculture........initially even our mali was reluctant doing it as he had seen it for the first time.......now he doesn't argue after seeing how nicely it works..... we get our vermiculture and biofertilizers from krishi mela held at IARI, pusa complex and Delhi trade fair (agriculture pavilion).......a little effort goes a long way.

There is one more important message i want to convey is that we should involve our children in growing plants.............in containers or otherwise........and let them understand nature ......they will grow up to give more value to life around them.

we should give it a thought when we use air-conditioning, inverters, motor vehicles for walking distances and when we waste water, power,paper and natural gas, when we use plastic bags......that it all suffocates nature...........do we really want to do that?

This is a special write up for the' save the earth' event organised by jaya .......i hope the story of my garden initiates interest in gardening to some people at least.

i am sending my earlier posts of gobhi paratha and begun bhaja with khichri n my plants also to the event as they are made using my garden fresh veggies.

murgh methi malai



this chicken recipe i have been making for a long time and it is an easy n sure shot way of making a creamy n flavorful, restaurant like chicken dish.....it comes out well even when you make it for a big gathering........fills up your house with a fragrance and any guest entering your house feels like entering a restaurant..this is the compliment i have received many times.........

this time though i decided to make this recipe in a low fat version and found that the taste was same as it's fattier counterpart but the aroma that fills your house is a bit lessened.......the reason is, the fats used in cooking are good solvents for the essential oils in the masalas and the hot dish allows the top notes of the fragrance to hit your nose first.........in this version , the aroma is a bit settled inside the gravy and hits more your tongue.........the fenugreek leaves lend an incredible taste to this recipe which is best accompanied with naan or chapatis.

you need......

5oo gms of dressed chicken, 10 cloves of garlic, a fat piece of ginger, 6 whole red chillies, a tsp of salt and a tsp of black pepper powder.

first make a paste of ginger garlic n red chillies and mix it well with the chicken pieces along with the salt n pepper and keep in the fridge for 3-4 hrs or overnight.

masalas to be powdered
cumin seeds 1 tsp
black pepper corns 2 tsp
star anise 1 no.
cinnamon 1 stick
green cardamom 4 nos.
black cardamom 2 nos.
cloves 8 nos.
grated nutmeg a pinch
coriander seeds 1 tbsp
bay leaves 2-3 nos.

roast the coriander seeds and broken bay leaves lightly and make a powder separately ......make a fine powder of the other spices without roasting and keep aside.

some more things you need are ......2 big onions made into a coarse paste, a cup of skimmed milk, 3 tbsp of heavy cream( this is the only fat addition to the recipe), 2 tbsp of dried kasoori methi ( or a cup of freshlty chopped fenugreek leaves), turmeric powder and salt to adjust seasoning.

to proceed ......heat a nonstick pan without oil on medium heat and pour in the onion paste to raost it lightly........adding a bit of salt lets the onion become cooked n caramelised easily........when the onion paste gets a bit browned(not dark) pour in the chicken with all the juices of the marinade.....stir and cook on medium heat till it releases it's own fat.......add the powder masalas and keep stirring.......the fats in the chicken come out slowly to make cooking easy after a while.........when you use oil to fry at this stage it is much quicker n fragrant........cook covered for about 10 minutes or till the chicken is done......now poer in the milk , adjust salt and let it come to boil........pour in the cream and crushed kasoori methi...mix well and cook covered so that the aroma of the fenugreek leaves is absorbed into the chicken.........after about 3-4 minutes the dish is ready.......serve hot with chapatis or naan.......

enjoy this healthy low fat version of murgh methi malai....

this low fat chicken recipe goes to the potluck chicken hosted by vicky


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

mango salad fit for dessert


There is one plus point of this scorching summer in our country, the mangoes, we go mad over mangoes. I belong to the land of mangoes and made a lot of mango recipes recently.......all of them are sure coming here , one of them is already on the banaras blog.....:D the sinful one............the type you have to force yourself to control portion size.

This salad surely qualifies to be exotic and it is totally my creation, the mangoes were way too tart and taking up a lot of sugar to make a shake (for the husband)........so I decided to make this colorful exotic wonder......yes it is a wonder believe me.

to proceed....you just need some phalsa berrys about 2-3 tbsp (any tart colorful berry will be fine but phalsa is in season here and it gives a crunch owing to its seeds).....made phalsa sherbat too and the recipe is on the way.........8-10 fresh mint springs , mine were from the garden, and a large firm ripe mango...........1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tsp of kala namak is required too..........sprinkle 1/2 tbsp sugar on phalsa and 1/2 tbsp on the roughly chopped mint leaves separately and keep aside till you chop the mango in cubes............now macerate the phalsa and mint separately to release the juices..........doing it separately is important as you don't want the colored juices to mix up before dressing the salad.............also macerate the phalsa with the back of a spoon, just to crush it a bit but the mint has to be crushed into a mortar n pestle preferably..........making it almost like a green sauce.............this is a lot of description of a simple salad...............phew.......

now mix the ingredients as you like........more sugar can be used if the mangoes are tart , mix lightly , not crushing the mango cubes , just letting them soak up the flavors.......see the picture for clue...........sprinkle black salt .....chill and serve.......i couldn't wait to chill............

the burst of flavors when mint hits your nose and the phalsa crushes under you molars is out of this world..........the sweet n sour taste is a winner........and why i say it is fit for a dessert is that once you eat this you don't want to spoil the taste in your mouth, secondly it is a good mouth freshener.....believe me ...the mint is so refreshing after maceration.......

pomegranate seeds also taste good with it....but phalsa is simply exotic.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

kaddu aalu aur palak ki sabzi



this recipe is green as most of my posts but not a breakfast recipe.............i can have it for breakfast though.....this kind of dry and flavorful subzi can go with chapatis, puris or parathas......or as it is ......especially for me.......it is low fat, fiber rich , with all the goodness of spinach, green pumpkin and potatoes with skin.

the sabzi is flavored with asafoetida and fenugreek seeds , which impart an interesting twist to it.

ingredients

green pumpkin with skin cubed 250 gm
potato with skin cubed 1 no.
spinach with all the stalk chopped roughly 1.5 cup
ginger, garlic and green chilly copped 1 tbsp each
cumin and fenugreek seeds 1 tsp each
turmeric powder 1 tsp
salt to taste
asafoetida powder 1/4 tsp
mustard oil 1 tsp

procedure

heat a tsp of oil in a pan.....( i use my wrought iron pan)......coat the sides of the pan well with the oil.......throw in the asafoetida powder , cumin and fenugreek seeds and as soon as they splutter put in the chopped ginger, garlic and green chilies......add cubed potatoes after a minute or so and keep stirring for 4-5 minutes on low heat....(stirfrying in less oil needs to be done in low heat).....add salt and turmeric powder and after stirring for 2 minutes add the chopped spinach and cubed pumpkin.......mix properly , cover and cook till the veggies are just cooked........i like it when the pumpkin retains it's shape but it can be cooked till mushy adding a little water if required........serve hot with whole wheat or multigrain chapatis.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

dried green peas for breakfast



i realize that most of my recipes are meant for breakfast........probably because i realized after starting on my weight loss regime , that it is important to have a tasty n wholesome breakfast.......( earlier i used to delay my breakfast so much that sometimes i forgot to have one....i was so engrossed in other things at that time...) a very very unhealthy practice.........

later i experienced that if you eat a healthy n wholesome breakfast.....( as colorful as possible for me).....it keeps you happy n active throughout the day...........why we forget the fact that a good breakfast early in the morning boosts up the metabolic rate for the whole day............it helps when the breakfast is fuss free as it is more likely to be had on time ..........at least on week days..............

also some of my breakfast recipes serve as anytime meals as they are easy to rustle up............i am hooked to such recipes right now ........for many reasons.........

for this recipe you just need a cup of dried green peas , soak it for 3-4 hrs and boil in a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water and salt to taste.......after boiling it can be kept in the fridge for 2 days........it can be made into a salad , a chat , or a hummus like dip.............it is so tasty that you will want to use it in many ways.......one recipe i have already posted in the past(dry green peas ghugni with papdi)..........

this recipe is a salad and my add ons this time are 8-10 cherry tomatoes quartered,1 red onion chopped,2 green chillies chopped, 2 tbsp chopped green coriander leaves and a tbsp of lemon juice .....mix all of the ingredients together and have it as a healthy fat free breakfast...........can be served warm or cold and a toasted brown or multigrain bread goes well with it........

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

brussels sprouts with my couscous



after looking at all the yummy food pics on other blogs , sometimes i get a bit conscious of posting my pics here.............but then i think my food should do the talking........my recipes are not authentic , not exotic by any standards , nor they are meant for fine dining...............this is a way of life for me........this is how i am getting benefited..........and that is what i want to share here.................

phewww.......feeling better now.............my pics are just illustrative n functional........and i think they serve the purpose well............hmmmmm.........i have all the reasons to post the pics.

more than recipes my posts are my ideas here............how do i include good nutrition in my diet and how i do permutations and combinations in my cooking.........i like variety in my food n keep trying on that.........the right treatment to the basic ingredients makes all the difference........you need to manipulate a bit to include complex carbs and fiber with all the nutrients ( minus fats) into your daily diet.....especially when you don't want to starve yourself with all the bland n boring food ..........we can mind our calories in a yummy way............

this recipe of brussels sprouts served on a bed of steamed couscous was something i would love to eat daily.....can't do it as BS are not available most of the time here and secondly they are obscenely costly here.........i like the extra crunch in them teamed with a slightly nutty flavour, which i have enhanced here by adding split chickpeas and urad dal into it during the tadka ( south indian style).......loved it........

here is how it goes...

ingredients

couscous or daliya or wheat burgul 1/4 cup soaked in 1/3 cup of buttermilk for 2 hrs
brussels sprouts quartered 1/2 cup
french beans chopped 1/2 cup
curry leaves chopped fine 1/4 cup
fresh or frozen coconut chopped finely 2 tsp
ginger finely chopped 1/2 tsp
whole red chillies broken 1 tbsp
mustard seeds 1 tsp
chana dal and urad dal 1 tsp each
oil 1 tsp
salt to taste and black pepper 1-2 tsp.

preparation

season the soaked couscous and microwave it for 1-2 minutes depending on how coarse or fine it is..............in the meanwhile , heat oil in a pan and throw in mustard seeds , broken red chillies, split dals n let splutter......throw in the chopped curry leaves( the more the better for me), chopped ginger and the french beans , salt n pepper .......stir while cooking and after two minutes add the brussels sprouts too.......the idea is to keep both the veggies crunchy n half cooked......you can cook it more if you like that way.....add the coconut pieces ( they add to the crunch n can be avoided) , mix well and serve hot on the bed of cooked couscous.........with a dash of lime juice or with a bowl of plain curds..........

Friday, May 8, 2009

about weight loss and summer coolers | bael ka sharbat, sattu ka ghol and aam panna | desi drinks to savour...

It is so hot in Delhi that you can burn yourself within 15 minutes of sun exposure, it's better you stay indoors and keep hydrating yourself as the dry summer in this part of the country is ready to dehydrate your system. I am giving a few recipes of purely Indian summer drinks which replenish your body with water and electrolytes. Natural coolants for the body.

Apart from the cooling drinks you must eat light and keep the hot spices for colder days, there are some spices which can be consumed during summers and have cooling effect on the system, like coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and some herbs like mint, rose petals, marjoram or oregano, lemongrass, mango ginger etc.

All the seasonal fruits are good especially the melon family, peaches, plums, and citrus family. Mangoes are good if you are not counting your calories but they should be consumed when fully ripe, otherwise they increase pitta in body and cause boils and eruptions. Just beware, Mangoes are nutritious fruits, wrongly blamed for causing boils. Fully ripe mangoes are a bliss.

Try and consume the pumpkin family of veggies which are watery and light on the system. All bottle gourds, sping gourds, ridge gourds and bitter gourds are great summer foods. Parval (pointed gourds) and Tendli or kundru (Indian gherkins or Coccinia indica) is also good for summers. Eat them all in abundance.

Why I am continuing with all these summer fruits and vegetables in detail? All these good summer foods have helped me come back to my fit days. Yes, in the past months I have managed to loose 10 kilos and no, I am not starving myself, rather I am eating to my heart's content. I keep eating all the time BUT keep a check on what I eat. And no, I don't have to worry about what I am eating practically all the time, this is because I have started sensible grocery shopping, and early in the morning I take out the day's portion from the fridge, chop the salads and veggies and keep it ready for the whole day munching. I find it easy to manage and less likely to stray. I do indulge in fried and heavy food sometimes and being honest I would admit that some 3-4 times I have put on around 2-3 kilos back due to festive eating or something else, but as I said, I have started enjoying my improvised food so much that I find to come back to it easy and comfortable, actually I come back to my normal eating compulsively, as fried and high calorie food causes flatulence and heaviness most of the times. Healthy eating has made me completely at peace with my digestive system, most interesting is the fact that I have always allowed myself to eat my favorite stuff, with a sense of responsibility though. 

All the knowledge of nutrition cannot do something that a few months of determination can achieve, and here I am.

Blogging about what I cook has helped me keep myself motivated and as I like fruits and veggies, that too the seasonal ones always, you get the seasonal ones cheaper than the exotic ones, more fresh and more packed with nutrients. Sticking to healthy eating becomes easier this way.

And now coming back to the summer coolers after all the self admiration. These drinks are all low calorie and can be taken several times a day.

buttermilk

This is the coolest one, easy to make and can be stored in the fridge for the whole day...

to make this you have to make curds with double toned milk and when the curds is ready, mix with water (2 cups of water to one cup of curds), add salt, pepper, roasted cumin powder, mint powder or fresh mint. This version with curry patta and green chilly is a favorite in summers too.


It can be made with sugar or with artificial sweeteners if you want it sweet.......

Make true buttermilk with full cream yogurt by churning it and separating the butter. The resultant liquid that remains after skimming the butter is the true buttermilk, a natural coolant that helps in detoxification too. The more dilute this buttermilk is, the more cooling according to ayurveda.

bael ka sharbat

This one is a bit time taking but stays well in the fridge for 3 days, it is cooling on the digestive system and cures constipation. Beal ka sharbat should not be consumed in large amounts as it causes flatulence when consumed in excess or in concentrated form (thick).


I have a bael tree in my backyard and it's shell gets cracked when it falls with a loud thud. Sometimes the Bael falls unhurt. It has to be whacked like a coconut to break the hard woody exocarp.


to make this .....just soak the cracked up fruit in water, in a large bowl so that it gets submerged in water.........after about two hours , separate the shell, scrape out all the flesh attached to the inner shell and mash all the inner flesh with hands. It has a lot of fiber and after mashing it well the pulp has to be strained through a soup colander. More water is added if the filtrate is too thick. It can be served with or without sugar, as per your choice.....



Crushed mint leaves or rose petals are good flavor enhancers for this sherbat..... serve chilled....

I have a jamun tree in the backyard too and it is bearing small fruits right now..i'll post the recipe of jamun sherbat when the fruits get ripened. Wait for that...

Phalsa sherbat is also a nice exotic sherbat .........coming soon in this space........

sattu ghol

Sattu is roasted gram flour and this drink is made with this powder. This is not exactly a sherbat but a slurry or smoothie made of a roasted lentil flour, actually it can be made thick to be eaten or can be thinned to be had like a drink. I love it for the awesome taste and aroma........whenever I make it , the smell of the sattu being mixed with water kick starts drooling in one's mouth.......it can be taken as a breakfast or a mid morning snack.....or may be as lunch........actually it is a favorite with dieters as a meal substitute................in older days people used to carry sattu with them during tirth yatras as it was a ready meal .......forget about the dehydrated meal packets........just try it once and you would be hooked to it........



To make this take 2 tbsp of sattu powder and mix with a glass full of chilled water......salt to taste, finely chopped green chilies, red onions, mint leaves and shredded raw mangoes......in as much amounts as you wish........more like making a chaat........mix well and it's ready to be savoured....


aam panna

Aam panna and jaljeera is sold on the Delhi streets in the summers, in most of the north Indian cities I have seen it being sold during summer noons, saving many people from dehydration, concern of hygiene should be there if drinking it on the streets, drink only when it is made with mineral water, else develop immunity like most Indians.

To make aam panna boil 2 nos. of raw mangoes in a pressure cooker (can be oven roasted or fire roasted), cool it down, peel and scrape out all the gooey flesh n keep aside, grind together lots of mint leaves, a green chilly, boiled raw mango pulp together to make a paste, mix in salt , a little sugar, roasted cumin powder and black salt. 

This paste keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days. Take 1 tbsp from this paste and mix with a glass of chilled water to make the panna........adjust salt n sugar after diluting and serve ...........



This is the drink which prevents from heatstroke in dry summer months. Traditionally it is served with lunch during summers in Uttar Pradesh.

I'll post some more traditional cooling drinks , homemade ones, easier options are always there, as there is no dearth of tetra pack drinks available in the market.check the labels if having one of those, the sugar and the sodium content may scare you if not the preservatives...........

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

low fat mashed potatoes with multigrain pita bread



potatoes are always considered taboo for dieters , but they are actually packed with so much....high on potassium......moderate on folates , iron n fiber....and there is no fat or sodium....i don't think it should be given that bad treatment like white foods........combine it with all the colors n make a healthy meal........


everybody likes mashed potatoes n i am no exception , potatoes are such addictive food especially when they are mashed up with butter n cream or fried crisp or stuffed into a luscious paratha........they are the ultimate comfort food.....i try n make all my fav food low cal , so that whenever i want them , i can eat them without guilt.......this one is a winner on that account.......i combine it with my homemade multigrain pita bread........multigrain pita doesn't have a pocket but it's fine here , cuz the amount of this mashed potato you would like to eat will exceed what the pita pocket can hold........:D :D............so get ready to eat it topped on the bread or as it is, a spoonful after each bite..........you'll never have enough of it....

i like it with some crunch so added colored bell peppers into it , but as arvind is allergic to capsicums, a lot of spring onions for him......



recipe is simple.......boil 4 nos. of potatoes with skin on ( always do that as it's healthier)... ido it in the microwave as the potatoes remain absolutely dry when done......peel n mash quickly with a fork....... i don't mash them completly as we like it that way.....you can mash them fine if you like.......

quickly add upto a cup of hot whole milk into it........depending on the consistency you want.....
mix well and sprinkle lots of freshly milled pepper and salt to taste ...
now throw in chopped spring onions as much as you like and 1/2 tsp of dried rosemary, fresh coriander leaves taste good too........the herbs give the mash a whole new dimention........as i added bell peppers for myself only, i microwaved chopped bell peppers for a minute n added to the mash.this way the fiber intake is multiplied , not to mention the other benefits......
( more the color more the antioxidants.....remember??)



i often add boiled peas into it n that is so very different in taste , another comfort zone.......

Sunday, May 3, 2009

stirfried lotus stems with multigain roti




lotus stem is a fav veggie of mine and i use it in different flavors.........it provides a high fiber ( high on iron n other nutrients too) meal n if combined with some other flavorful veggies , the goodness is multiplied......as here i made this stirfry with green capsicum n spring onions n had it with multigrain roti........healthy n wholesome , satisfying meal...........also i can have it for breakfast , lunch or dinner.......any time meal........fresh curds or a cucubmber raita goes well with this or it can be combined with a lentill soup..........

ingredients

lotus stems sliced 1 cup
green capsicum chopped 1/4 cup
spring onion chopped 11/3 cup
ginger garlic n green chillies chopped as required
salt n pepper
oil 1 tsp


procedure

heat oil in a nonstick pan ( i use my cast iron one) n tip in the garlic , ginger n green chillies, in that order, one by one.......after a few seconds throw in the lotus stem slices n salt ............stir n for 3-4 minutes.......now add the capsicum n spring onions n the black pepper powder inliberal amounts ( preferably freshly crushed)..........adding the capsicum n spring onions later at this time allows them to remain crisp as i like it this way....if you want them wilted n slightly browned , you can add all the veggies together.........keep stirring and it's ready in 2 minutes.


for multigrain roti.........make a dough with mixed flour( barley, oats , ragi,bajra, jowar n maize) and water.........the dough is not very pliable if there is no wheat ( as i have used it here) you can add wheat if you like..........without wheat it makes a bit thick roti with rough edges....like this one.............addition of wheat flour allows better shaping ..........from the dough make small round portions, flour n roll to make a flat bread n grill over a hot iron griddle.....(tawa)............both sides........the one here has a fabulous crumbly n chewy texture n i like the flavor it gives .