Friday, 30 November 2012

Spinach with Green Peas-Palak Mater

This spinach recipe is loaded with vitamins and iron and the taste of fresh green peas gives it a nice sweet taste.I have also used ginger and garlic which work as an immunity booster especially in winter.Use fresh green peas as they are readily available now.It is a simple and nutritious recipes which can be had with plain chapati or rice along with some dal and veggies.

Spinach-3 bunches
Green peas-1/2 cup,shelled
Onion-1/2,finely chopped
Ginger-1/2 teaspoon,finely chopped
Garlic-3 cloves,crushed
Mustard seeds-1/4 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Oil-1 teaspoon
Cottage cheese(Paneer)-2 teaspoons,grated(for garnishing)

-Pluck the tender leaves from the spinach bunch and and wash them twice under running water.
-Finely chop the spinach leaves.
-Heat a pan and add oil to it.
-Add the mustard seeds and let it crackle.
-Add onions that have been finely chopped and stir them for 30 seconds and add the crushed garlic and finely chopped ginger to the pan.
-Saute this for about 2-3 minutes till the onions become a little translucent.
-Add the chopped spinach leaves and green peas and mix well.
-Cook on medium flame stirring intermittently.You need not add water as the spinach leaves release enough water which easily cooks the leaves.
-When the spinach and peas are cooked,turn off the flame and take it out on a plate.
-Garnish with grated cheese on top.

Beetroot-Chickpeas Stir Fry

This is a nutritious combination of chickpeas and beetroot is very good for kids.It is rich in iron and protein along with some essential vitamins.Beetroot is considered to liver-friendly and is also an immunity booster.I've added some whole spices which not only enhance the flavor of the dish but also add some health-enhancing benefits.
Serve it with salad and a bowl of fresh yogurt.

Beetroot-3,medium sized
Carrot-1,medium sized
Chickpeas-1/4 cups
Cinnamon-1 big stick
Black pepper-4-5
Mustard seeds-1/4 teaspoons
Curry leaves-4-5
Shredded Coconut-2 teaspoons,fresh
Salt to taste
Oil-2 teaspoons

-Soak the chickpeas overnight and boil them with a little salt in a pressure for 3 whistles.Allow it to cool.
-Wash the beetroots and carrots and peel them.
-Grate the beetroot and carrot or finely chop them.
-Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.Let it crackle.
-Add the curry leaves and stir for 30 seconds.
-Now add the cinnamon,black pepper and cloves and add the grated beetroot first and stir for 2 minutes.
-Add the grated carrots and mix well.Cook till the vegetables are done.
-Add the boiled chickpeas and mix again.
-Turn the flame off and garnish with some fresh shredded coconut.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Bajra and aloo Roti-Gluten Free Indian Flat Bread

Bajra is the main kharif crop in Thar
Bajra is the main kharif crop in Thar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bajra also known as perl millet is very popular in Rajasthan.Bajra has a good amount of amino acids and is also high in protein.It is also rich in calcium and iron.
I have also added some boiled potatoes to make the rotis more tasty.Bajra rotis are eaten in the cold winter months.Serve it with some spicy curry and a bowl of yogurt.

Bajra flour-2 cups
Wheat flour-1/4 cups
Potatoes-2 medium sized,boiled
Salt-1 teaspoon
Coriander leaves- teaspoons,chopped
Green chilli-1 teaspoon,chopped
Ajwain(Bishop's weed)-1/4 teaspoon
Ghee-2 teaspoon
Warm water-1/4 cup or as needed

-Boil the potatoes and allow it to cook.Peel the potatoes and mash them properly.
-Take a big bowl and add all the ingredients except oil.Add the mashed potatoes too.
-Do not add water now.Mash the mixture properly in the bowl and knead it by adding little water to make a little tight dough.
-Let the dough rest for 20-25 minutes.Cover the bowl with a lid.
-Heat a flat pan and take small portion of the dough and make medium sized balls.
-Wet your palm with little water and gently press the dough to make flat rounds.
-Carefully put the flattened dough on the pan and cook by flipping both sides.
-See that both sides are properly cooked as bajra takes a little time to cook.
-Smear little ghee and serve hot with yogurt and curry.

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Sunday, 25 November 2012

Pumpkin Stir Fry(Kaddu Ki Subzi)

Pumpkin is a low calorie vegetable which is high in antioxidants and vitamins A,C and E.Stir fried pumpkin is an interesting and easy to make recipe.I have used garlic and onions along with some spices to make it more nutritious.Pumpkin is a fruit readily available in the market year around and I think it should be included in kid's diet as a super-food.

Pumpkin-250 gms
Garlic-2-3 cloves,chopped and crushed
Onion-1 small,finely chopped
Dry Red chilli-1
Mustard seeds-1/4 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds-4-5 seeds
Asafoetida-a generous pinch
Turmeric powder-1/4 teaspoon
Green coriander leaves-2 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Oil-2 teaspoons

-Wash and cut the pumpkin into small chunks.You can keep the skin if you want.
-Take a pan and heat oil and add the mustard seeds,chilli and asafoetida.
-Immediately add the chopped onions and stir fry for 2 minutes.
-Add the garlic and mix well.
-Put the cut pumpkin and cook for 2-3 minutes.
-Add the turmeric powder and salt and keep stirring.
-You can also add a little water if you want the pumpkin to be a little mushy.
-Cook till the pumpkin in properly done.
-Garnish with green coriander leaves.
-Serve hot with chapati or parathas.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Clear Spinach Soup-a Soup loaded with Iron!

We all know that spinach are rich in iron and vitamin K and B.Children and women can benefit immensely from this green leafy veggie.Try and make this easy soup at least 4-5 times a week to get all the nutritional benefits of spinach in your diet.Serve it as an appetizer with some soup sticks.

Spinach-4 bunches
Tomatoes-1 medium size
Ginger-1 small piece
Kala namak-1/2 teaspoon(optional)
Salt -to taste
Lime juice-1.5 teaspoons
Cream-1/2 teaspoon(optional)
Water-2 cups

-Wash the spinach under running water and pluck the leaves only.Dip the plucked leaves in a container filled wit water.Wash the leaves properly to make sure that all the dirt has been cleaned.
-Roughly chop the spinach leaves
-Wash the tomato and dice it.
-Take the ginger peel out and grate it.
-Boil the spinach,tomato and ginger with a pinch of salt and boil till the spinach is cooked.
-Add 2 more cups of water to this boiled veggies.
-In a mixer jar put all the above ingredients and blend to make a nice smooth puree.
-Take a strainer and place it on a container.Slowly pour the puree on the strainer and stir it with a spoon.
-Repeat this step till you are done with the entire puree in the mixer jar.
-Now heat a pan and pour the strained soup into this pan and heat it for 2-3 minutes.
-Turn the flame off and add lime juice and a little cream on top.
-Clear spinach soup is ready.Serve with some soup sticks.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Magic of Unhulled Sesame Seeds:Sesame Potatoes-Tilwale Alu

This simple combination of potatoes and unhulled sesame seeds makes the recipe tasty as well as nutritious.It's a good way of introducing sesame seeds in kid's diet.The nutty and crunchy tasting sesame seeds are a rich source of copper and manganese and also contain good amount of calcium,iron and other beneficial minerals.
Here's a small tip-Always buy unhulled sesame seeds because the mineral content in hulled and unhulled sesame seeds varies significantly.If you compare the calcium and iron content per 1 tbsp serving of both types of seeds,hulled sesame seeds has 5mg calcium and 0.51mg iron whereas the unhulled sesame seed contains 88mg calcium and 1.31 mg iron.

Boiled Potatoes-3 medium sized
Sesame seeds-4-5 teaspoons
Ginger-1 small piece,grated
Green chillies-1,finely chopped
Kasuri methi-1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds-1/4 teaspoon
Coriander powder-1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder-1/4 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil-2 teaspoons
Green coriander leaves-2 teaspoons,finely chopped

-Dice the boiled potatoes into medium cubes.
-Heat oil in a pan and let the cumin seeds splutter.Next add the green chillies,grated ginger and sesame seeds and mix well.
-Add the diced potatoes and stir for 2-3 minutes.
-Now add turmeric powder,coriander powder,kasuri methi and salt and cook for another 2 minutes.
-Sprinkle freshly chopped coriander leaves on top.
-Serve hot with puris,chapatis or parathas.

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Monday, 5 November 2012

Masala Chai-Spiced Indian Tea

Masala Chai is a blend of tea and spices.This beverage  has become popular in many parts of the world.Spices like cardamom,black pepper and ginger have several health benefits.A cup of warm masala chai can help you relax after a stressful day and can even keep us warm in the cold of winter.You can add sugar-free or even honey as sweetener.
Try this spiced tea with some hot crispy pakoras as evening snacks.

Tea leaves-2 tablespoons(I prefer Tata Tea Gold)
Water-2 cups
Ginger-1 small piece
Green cardamoms-2
Bay leaf-1 small
Sugar-free powder-1 small teaspoon
Black pepper powder -1/4 teaspoon

-Heat 2 cups of water in a pan and let it simmer on slow flame.
-Crush the ginger,cloves and cardamoms in a mortar-pastel and make a coarse powder.
-Add this powder along with the bay leaf and black pepper powder to the water and let it boil.
-Add 2 table spoon of tea leaves and allow it to boil.Stir well.
-Now add 1 cup of milk and boil it.
-Place a tea strainer on a cup and strain the tea.
-Add the sugar-free powder and stir it well with a spoon.
-Hot masala tea is ready!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Achaari Cheese-1 minute snack

This recipe requires no cooking at all.This recipe was in fact suggested by my  son.He loves cheese and  came up with this idea of mixing cheese with pickle and believe me,the combination tastes YUMM!
I pack this in his school lunch-box.
I mix MTR tomato pickle with Amul cheese cubes.You can mix any pickle of your choice.
So here goes the very quick recipe...

Amul Cheese cubes-3
MTR tomato pickle--3 teaspoons

-Cut the cheese cubes into half and add the tomato pickle to it and mix well with hands.
-Tada! Achaari cheese is ready to serve.

My Notes:
Another interesting combination would be cheese with fresh green chutney.

Quick Tomato Soup

Tomatoes have numerous health benefits.The lycopene in tomatoes are packed with anti-oxidants and phyto-chemicals along with some vitamins and minerals.Studies have also shown that cooked tomatoes are healthier than the raw ones.
This simple soup is tomatoes cooked with some garlic,spices and carrots and is very healthy and quick to make.It is just perfect to keep you warm on a cold day!

Tomatoes-4 big sized
Garlic-3-4 cloves
Clove-2 nos
Black pepper- 3-4 nos
Carrot-1 small,diced
Milk-1/2 cup
Sugar-a pinch
Salt to taste
Olive oil-1/2 teaspoon
Fresh parsley-2 teaspoons

-Wash the tomatoes and blanch them in boiling water.Cool the tomatoes and take the skin out.
-Take a mixie jar and add all the above ingredients except parsley and olive oil and blend to ame a fine smooth puree.
-Heat 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil in a pan and add the puree.Cook till it becomes a little thick.
-You can add a little water if you want a clear soup.
-Garnish with chopped parsley and serve warm with some toasted bread.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Falafel-Deep fried Chick peas

Falafel is a famous appetizer from the middle-east which is is popular in many parts of the world.It is usually made from fava beans mixed with some spices,herbs and onions.You can use chickpeas instead of fava beans.Falafel tastes best with pita bread and tahini sauce(Sesame seeds sauce).

Chickpeas-2 cups,soaked overnight
Fresh parsley-1/2 cup,finely chopped
Green coriander leaves-3-4 teaspoons,chopped
Garlic-8-10 cloves,peeled and crushed
Onions-1 small,chopped
Cumin seeds-1/2 teaspoon
Black pepper-a generous pinch
Red chilli flakes-2 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Oil-2 cups,for frying

-Soak the chickpeas in water for 8-10 hours or overnight.
-Take a mixie jar and add all the above ingredients except oil and blend to make a smooth paste.
-Heat 2 cups of oil in a pan and deep fry the falafels taking small portions at a time.
-Serve then in pita bread with some cut onions,lettuce and pickled vegetables.

Masala Murmura-Puffed Rice with Sprouts and Spices

Used to be my lunch and me and Deepak’s weeken...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Puffed rice or murmura is made from rice and is a common snacks food in many parts of India.Being a part of bhel-puri which is a popular street food,murmura is also offered as prasad in temples.
In this tangy and spicy recipe,I've added grated carrot,tomatoes and diced cucumbers along with some spices and sprouts.

Puffed rice/Murmura-3 cups
Onions-3 teaspoons,finely chopped
Tomatoes-2 teaspoons,finely chopped
Green moong dal sprouts-1.5 teaspoon
Bengal gram-2 teaspoons
Cucumber-2 teaspoons,diced
Green chillies-1 teaspoon(Optional)
Lime juice-2 teaspoons
Sev bhujia-2 teaspoons
Roasted peanuts-2 teaspoons
Fresh coriander leaves-2 teaspoons,chopped
Fresh Coconut- 1 teaspoon,scraped
Salt-a pinch
Mustard oil-1 teaspoon

-Soak the green moong dal and bengal gram over night and boil the bengal gram and wrap the green moong in a damp cloth to sprout.
-Take a big container and add all the ingredients except lime juice and coriander leaves.
-Mix the ingredients very well using a spoon for 3-4 minutes.
-Now add the lime juice and stir well again.
-Garnish with chopped green coriander.
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Friday, 2 November 2012

Chilli-Garlic Potatoes

 This is another easy to make recipe with spring onions and crispy fried potatoes cooked in a  garlic and red chilli sauce.
Chilli-garlic potatoes is one of my favorite and this recipe tastes great with noodles.You can cut the potatoes into cubes or simple wedges.If you do not have fresh red chillies then use dried red chillies soaked in warm water for at least 30-35 minutes.

Potatoes-4 Medium
Garlic-8-10 cloves
Red chilli-8
Tomato ketchup-1/2 cup
Salt-to taste
Water -1/4 cup
Spring onions-1/4 cups,finely chopped
Oil-2 cups for frying the potatoes and 2 teaspoons for cooking
Cornflour-3 teaspoons

-Grind the red chillies and garlic to make a fine paste.
-Mix this paste with 1/2 cup of tomato ketchup by adding 1/4 cup of water to it.Mix well and keep aside.
-Peel and cut the potatoes into the desired size and dust cornflour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to it and mix well with hands.
-Heat a pan and add 2 cups of oil and fry the potatoes in batches.Take out and drain excess oil on a kitchen towel.
-Now heat another pan and add 2 teaspoons of oil and add the paste and cook it on medium flame till the sauce paste becomes a little dry.
-Immediately add the fried potatoes and spring onions and stir well for another 2-3 minutes.
-Chilli-Garlic Potatoes is ready to serve.