Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Pulses-Sprouts Salad for Healthy Heart

Pulses play an important role in our daily diet.The nutrient -rich pulses are high in protein and are also easy to digest.A recent study has shown that people who consume pulses on a regular basis are less prone to coronary heart diseases.
This salad recipe is a mix of 3-4 types of pulses along with some vegetables like carrots and tomatoes.

Green Moong dal-1/4 cup,sprouts
Horsegram-1/4 cup,sprouts
Bengal Gram-1/4 cup,boiled
Carrot-3 teaspoons,grated
Cucumber-1 small,grated
Tomatoes-1 medium,finely chopped
Onion-1 small, finely chopped
Green chillies-2,finely chopped
Sev bhujia- 3 teaspoons
Lime juice-3 teaspoons
Black salt- 1/2 teaspoon
Fresh coriander leaves-3 teaspoons,finely chopped

-Soak all the pulses in water separately for8-10 hours or overnight.
-Wrap the green moong ,bengal gram and horse gram  separately in a damp cloth and allow it to rest for a day.
-Boil the bengal gram in a pressure cooker with 4 cups of water and a teaspoon of salt.Cook for 2 whistles.
-Take a big bowl and mix all the pulses together.
-Now add the tomatoes,green chilled,onions and grated carrots.
-Sprinkle some black salt and freshly chopped coriander leaves and toss the salad.
-Add some sev bhijia on top and the tasty tangy salad is ready to serve.
-Finally add lime juice on top and toss again.
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Namakpare(Diwali Recipes)

Crunchy Crackers
 (Photo credit: su-lin)
Diwali is a festival of lights.It also signifies the victory of good over evil.Diwali is incomplete without sweets and snacks.In my coming posts I will be sharing some tasty yet healthy diwali recipes.
Namakpares,also known as flour crackers are small handy diamond pieces or crunchy triangles are a popular festival recipe.It is made from flour and cut into diamond shaped strips or folded into triangles and deep fried in oil.This recipes also makes a great evening snack.It stays fresh for weeks if stored in a dry air tight jar.

All purpose flour-1 1/2 cups
Wheat flour-1 cup
Black onion seeds(Kalonji)-1/2 teaspoon
Oil-2 teaspoons for the dough and 2 cups for frying the namakpares
Salt-1 teaspoon
Water-to make dough
Baking soda(sodium bi-carbonate)-1/2 teaspoon

-Take a big bowl and add both the flours,salt,kalonji,baking powder and 2 teaspoons of oil.
-Mix well with hands for 5-6 minutes.Do not add any water at this stage.
-Now slowly add little water and make a tight and stiff dough.
-Knead this dough properly for about 10 minutes.Let it rest for some time.
-Take small portions of the dough and make medium sized balls and roll it to make a nice flat chapati.Remember to add a little oil to the dough while rolling so that it does not stick.
-Now cut the rolled chapati diagonally into thin strips and again cut into strips from the other side to make diamond shapes.
-Heat a pan and add 2  cups of oil to it.
-Slowly pick the cut diamonds and fry them in batches.Do not overcrowd the pan.
-Take out on a kitchen towel and let it cool completely.
-Store it in a dry and air tight jar.Enjoy it with a cup of hot evening tea.

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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Healthy Matar-Paneer(Cottage Cheese Cubes in Tomato Gravy)

Paneer or cottage cheese is packed with protein.This simple and healthy curry recipe is made with  fresh home made tomato puree which is a good source of antioxidants.I've used milk instead of water for the gravy.The curry tastes great with a healthy Vegetable Pulao.

Paneer-200 grams
Green Peas-1/4 cups,boiled
Tomatoes-2 medium sized
Onion-1 small size,chopped
Green chilli-1,chopped
Ginger-1 very small piece,finely chopped
Milk-1/2 cup
Turmeric powder-1/4 teaspoon
Kasuri methi-1 teaspoon
Garam masala-a generous pinch
Salt to taste
Olive oil/vegetable oil-1 teaspoon for shallow frying the paneer cubes and 2 teaspoons for the curry

 -Cut the paneer into medium sized cubes.
-Boil the tomatoes in water for 6-7 minutes and cool and take the skin out.
-Cut and blend the boiled tomatoes to make a puree.
-Add the green chillies,ginger and onions in a mixer jar and make a smooth paste.
-Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a pan and shallow fry the paneer cubes for 3-4 minutes.Take out and keep it aside.
-In the same pan add 2 teaspoons of oil and the ginger-onion paste and fry for 3-4 minutes.
-Add the tomato puree now and mix well and add salt ,kasuri methi and turmeric powder and cook till you see oil coming out from the masala paste.
-Add the fried paneer cubes,boiled green peas and mix and add milk and let the curry simmer on low flame for 5 minutes.
-Add a generous pinch of garam masala to the matar-paneer and mix well.
-Serve hot with vegetable pulao.

Horsegram Sprouts Salad

Picture of horse gram seeds (Indian name: Kulthi)
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Horsegram also known as Kulith is a reddish brown colored bean usually grown in dry agricultural areas in India.This legume is high in protein,vitamin C and iron.Horsegram sprouts is made by soaking the legume in water for 8 to 10 hours and  wrapping it tightly in a damp cloth and letting it germinate.It usually takes a day for the horsegram to develop small roots or sprout.
I have cooked the kulith sprouts in water with a little salt and mixed it with a very light tempering of onions and some fresh grated carrots and coconut.
I usually pack this in my son's snack-box.We also have it as evening snacks often.

Horsegram sprouts-1.5 cups
Onion-1 small size,finely chopped
Green chilli-1,finely chopped
Carrot-1/2 piece,grated
Coconut-2 teaspoons,shredded
Lime juice-1.5 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Water-5 cups,for boiling
Oil-2 teaspoons

For Tempering:
Cumin seeds-1/4 teaspoon
Curry leaves-5-6
Dry red chilli-1(Optional)
Green coriander leaves-2 teaspoons,finely chopped(For garnishing)

-Wash the horse gram and soak it in water overnight or for 8 to 10 hours.
-Wrap it in a clean and damp cotton cloth and tie it properly and allow it to germinate for a day.
-Boil the horsegram in 5 cups of water and add 1.5 teaspoons of salt and let it boil for 15-20 minutes till the pulses are properly cooked.You can even pressure cook it for 5-6 whistles.
-Drain the water from the horsegram and keep it aside.
-Heat oil in a pan and let the cumin seeds splutter.
-Add the chopped green chillies,curry leaves and onions and saute for 3-4 minutes.
-Now add the shredded coconut and grated carrots and mix well.
-Add the sprouts and a pinch of salt and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
-Turn off the flame and add lime juice and mix with a spoon and garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

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Monday, 29 October 2012

Garlic-Coconut Chutney for Improved Immunity

We all know about the medicinal properties of the extremely versatile herb Garlic.Garlic helps to strengthen the immune system and even fight off cancer formation.Coconut on the other hand is highly nutritious in fiber,vitamins and minerals.
In this recipe I've used dry coconut.You can also use fresh coconut but make sure you consume it in a day or two.You can slightly saute the garlic but I've used raw garlic.
Store this chutney in an air tight jar and keep it in the refrigerator.

Dry coconut-1/2 cup,grated
Garlic-5-6 cloves
Red chilli powder-2 teaspoon(According to your taste)
Tamarind paste-1 teaspoon
Salt-1/2 teaspoon
Oil-1 teaspoon

-Mix all the ingredients in a mixer jar and blend it to make a fine paste without adding any water.
-Store in an air tight jar and use a spoon to take the chutney out.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Cheese Corn Tikki(Autumn Recipes)

 As the weather gets cooler,the urge for comfort food hits.This easy tikki recipe along with some warm soup or a cup of hot tea is a perfect way to embrace autumn.

Corn-1 cup,boiled
Cheese-2-3 cubes,grated
Chilli flakes-1/2 taspoons(Optional)
Bread slices-2
Salt to taste
Oilve/vegetable oil-2 table spoons

-Grate the boiled corn and the cheese cubes
-Cut the sides of the bread and crush it with your hands.
-Add salt,chilli flakes and the crushed bread to the grated corn and cheese.
-Mix well with your hand and make small balls out of the mix.
-Press the balls gently and flatten it.
-Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the tikkis.
-Serve hot with ketchup or fresh green chutney and soup or tea.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Fruit Raita(Yogurt Fruit Dip)

 This delicious and super healthy yogurt dip has fruits which are a great source of vitamins and anti-oxidants.Yogurt is rich in nutrition and the combination is just perfect to start your day.Serve this raita with rava upma, multigrain cracker or poha.

Yogurt-2 cups
Pomegranate seeds-2 teaspoons
Apples-11/4 cups,finely chopped
Pineapple-11/4 cups,chopped
Bananas-5-6 slices
Lime juice-1 teaspoon
Rock salt-1 teaspoon
Sugar-a generous pinch
Roasted cumin powder-1/4 teaspoon
Mint leaves-1 teaspoon,finely chopped.

-Take a bowl and add the chopped apples and add lime juice to it and mix well.
-In another bowl whisk the yogurt and add rock salt and sugar.
-Now add the grapes,banana slices,apples,pineapple and gently mix.
-Keep it in the refrigerator a serve chilled by topping it with pomegranate seeds,roasted cumin powder and freshly chopped mint leaves.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Vegatable Rava Upma(Semolina upma)

Rava upma is a very popular dish in south India.This recipe is light and easy to make and is ideal for breakfast.You can also serve it for dinner.Adding vegetables like cauliflower,carrots and green peas make it nutritious.

Semolina(Rava)-2 cups
Green peas-1/4 cups,boiled
Onion-1 small size,finely chopped
Green chillies-2,finely chopped
Cauliflower-2-3 small florets
Carrot-1/2 piece,grated
Ginger-a small piece,finely chopped
Tomato-1 small size,diced
Mustard seeds-1/2 teaspoon
Chana dal-2 teaspoons
Urad dal-2 teaspoons
Asafoetida -a  generous pinch
Curry leaves-4-5
Green coriander leaves-2 teaspoons,finely chopped
Salt to taste
Oil/Ghee-3 teaspoons
Water-4.5 cups

-Dry roast the rava for 3-4 minutes on low flame.If you are using roasted rava then skip this step.
-Cut the cauliflower florets into small pieces.
-Heat a pan and add 3 teaspoons of oil and add mustard seeds,curry leaves,asafoetida,chana dal,urad dal and saute for 2 minutes.
-Quickly add the chopped vegetables and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
-Now add the rava and mix well.Add salt and 4.5 cups of water and mix and cover the pan with a lid.
-Cook the rava on low flame and keep stirring in between.
-Cook for atleast 4-5 minutes and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Cauliflower Curry without Garlic and Onion(Navratri Special)

This cauliflower curry is cooked without onions and garlic and can be eaten during fasts.I have used roasted  whole spices and made a nice powder from it.You can store this powder in an air tight jar and use whenever you want to make any recipe without onions and garlic.Use dry ginger powder(Saunth) if you do not want to use the powder immediately.
Try this delicious curry during Navratri and I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

For Masala Powder
Cumin seeds-2 teaspoons
Coriander seeds-2 teaspoons
Black pepper corns-3-4
Dry Red chillies-2
Green Cardamom-1
Cinnamon-1 big stick
Bay leaves-2
Dry ginger powder(Saunth) -2 teaspoons

For the Curry
Cumin seeds-1 teaspoon
Tomatoes-2 medium sized,diced
Potatoes-2 medium sized
Oil-3 teaspoons
Turmeric powder-1 teaspoon
Green coriander leaves-2 teaspoons,finely chopped
Water-2.5 cups
Salt to taste

-To make the masala powder,put all the ingredients mentioned in the ingredients for masala in a mixer jar and grind to make a smooth powder.
-Cut the cauliflower and potatoes into medium size.Dice the tomatoes.
-Take a pan and put 1 teaspoon of oil and separately fry the potatoes and cauliflower.Add a pinch of salt while frying the cauliflower.Saute the potatoes and cauliflower for 3-4 minutes each till they are half cooked.
-In the same pan add 2 teaspoons of oil and let it heat.Add the cumin seeds and let it splutter.Add the diced tomatoes and saute for 2-3 minutes.
-Now add the masala powder,cauliflower and potatoes and mix well.
-Add salt and turmeric powder and cook for 2 minutes.
-Add 2 cups of water and mix well.Cover the pan with a lid and cook for another 4-5 minutes on medium flame till the vegetables and properly done.
-Remove from fire and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
-Serve hot with puris or pulao.

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Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Sabudana Upma(Navratri Special)

PEARL SAGO KHICHDI (Photo credit: rashmi1979)

Today is the second day of Navratri(Nine nights) and people in most part of India observe fast.Dishes made of sabudana and potatoes are usually comsumed by people during the fasting period.
Today's recipe is sabudana upma which is another easy to make recipe.I've used sandha namak(Rock salt) instead of the common salt.

Sabudana-1 cup
Potatoes-2 medium,boiled
Green chillies-2,finely chopped
Peanuts-1/4 cup,roasted
Cumin seeds-1r/4 teaspoon
Asafoetida- a gesnerous pinch
Lime juice-2 teaspoon
Rock salt to taste
Turmeric powder-1/4 teaspoon
Oil- 2 tablespoon
Curry leaves-3-4
Green coriander leaves-1 teaspoon,finely chopped

-Soak 1 cup of sabudana in 1 cup of water for 4-5 hours.
-Boil the potatoes and dice them into small cubes.
-Coarsely crush the roasted peanuts.
-Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and allow it to splutter.
-Now add the finely chopped green chillies,curry leaves and asafoetida and stir for a minute.
-Add the diced potato cubes and mix well.
-Now add the rock salt and turmeric powder and stir again.
-Put the soaked sabudana and cook for 3-4 minutes by constantly stirring.
-Add the crushed peanuts on top and mix gently and add lime juice and sprinkle some finely chopped coriander leaves on top.
-Serve hot.

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Sabudana Vadas(Tapioca cutlets)-Navratri Special

sabudana vada
sabudana vada (Photo credit: sumeet basak)
Sabudana vada is a famous snack from Maharashtra,a state in western India.This is also a recipe popular during fasts.
You can soak the sabudana  overnight till they become fluffy and soft.If you do not have enough time to soak then you can pressure cook the sabudana .
These vadas are crunchy from outside and soft from inside.Serve them with fresh green chutney along with a cup of hot masala tea!

Sabudana(Tapioca)-2 cups
Green chillies-2,finely chopped
Peanuts-1/2 cup,Roasted and coarsely crushed
Salt to taste
Vegetable/Olive Oil-2 cups,for frying

How to Pressure cook Sabudana
-Take 2 cups of sabudana and put it in a pressure cooker with 3 cups of water.
-Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.

For the Vadas
- Mash the boiled potatoes and keep aside.
-Take the soaked/cooked sabudana in a big bowl and add the mashed potatoes and all the above ingredients except oil.
-Mash all the ingredients with hand.
-Heat a fry pan and add 2 cups of oil to it.
-Take small portion of the mixture and make vadas of desired shape.You can make flat rounds or small round balls with your hand.
-Fry the vadas in oil.Make sure you regulate the temperature or the vadas will burn from outside and remain uncooked from inside.
-Serve hot with Fresh green chutney and a cup of spiced tea.
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Saturday, 13 October 2012

Sambar Powder

Mysore Sambar Podi
  (Photo credit: Jennifer Kumar)

When it comes to making sambar,I always prefer making home-made sambar powder.Everyone has their own version of making sambar powder.Though you can always find ready-made sambar powders in your local stores but there is definitely a difference in the taste and aroma of both types of sambar powders.
You can make this sambar powder and store in in air-tight containers so that it stays fresh for weeks.

Coriander seeds-1.5 cups
Dried red chillies-1/2 Cup
Chana dal-1/4 cups
Toor dal-1/4 cups
Cumin seeds-100 grams
Black peppercorns-100 grams
Fenugreek seeds- 150 grams
Asafoetida -2 tablespoons
Curry leaves-10-15
Salt-2 teaspoons

-Take a pan and dry roast each ingredient except asafoetida and salt seperately on low flame till you get a nice aroma from each ingredient.
-Let it cool completely.
-Put all the roasted  ingredients along with asafoetida and salt in a mixer jar and grind to make a nice powder.
-Take out and immediately store in a dry and air tight container.

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Thursday, 11 October 2012

Tomato- Dates Chutney

Now that the Navratri is just a few days away,most of us observe vrats and prefer eating food cooked without using garlic or onions or satvik ahaar as we call it.I usually make this chutney during festivals when there is a vrat and we prepare food without garlic and onions.
This sweet and sour chutney is rich in iron that comes from the dates and antioxidants from tomatoes.This is a quick to make chutney and tastes great with plain steamed rice or with chapati and parathas.

Tomatoes-3 medium sized,ripe
Roasted Cumin powder-2 teaspoon
Refined vegetable oil/ghee-2 teaspoons
Green chilli-2
Salt -a generous pinch
Sugar-2 table spoons
Water-1/4 cup


-Wash the tomatoes and dice them into small pieces
-Soak the dates in water for 10-15 minutes.Wash well and cut them into small pieces.
- Take a pan and dry roast the cumin seeds for 3-4 minutes in low flame till they are light brown and a nice aroma comes out.Cool it and crush it roughly using and rolling pin.
-Take a pan and heat oil in it.Cu the green chillies finely and put them in the oil.
-Now add the diced tomatoes and cook them on medium flame.Keep stirring.
-Add the chopped dates and cook for another 2-3 minutes and add 1/4 cups and water and a generous pinch of salt.
-Cook till the tomatoes are done.Do not let the water dry completely.
-Keep mixing and finally add the roasted cumin powder.
-Serve hot with rice,chutney,chapati or puri.

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