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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gobi Kasuri

A simple preparation of cauliflower with dried fenugreek leaves, the bitter but aromatic flavors of this herb lift the dish out of mediocrity and catapult it into another league. Unlike the Punjabi version which has an overdose of Kasuri methi, I have aligned it more with the Odiya cauliflower stir-fry 'Phulakobi Santula but with distinct notes of the latter herb . Cauliflower like its other cruciferous cousins ( say broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts ) is very low on GI and loaded with cancer preventing antioxidants. However, given the propensity of Indians for deep frying or steeping this vegetable in heavy gravies, much of the benefits are lost. This vegetable tastes best when blanched for few minutes and then sauteed with less oil. A very low calorie dish, this one is especially recommended for those who suffer from diabetes and other heart ailments.

It goes very well with rotis but tastes equally good when paired up with white rice. Since it is quite dry it makes for a good lunchbox recipe. Read on -



















Preparation Time - 30 mins

Ingredients:
Cauliflower ( 1 no, medium )
tomato ( 1 large )
onion ( 2 nos, medium )
red/green chilli ( 1-2 nos )
red chilli powder ( 1 tsp )
ginger garlic paste ( 1 tsp )
turmeric (1/3 tsp)
kasuri methi ( 1/2 cup)
pancha phutana ( 1/2 tsp)
garam masala ( 1/3 tsp)
oil ( 2-3 tsp) (I used Pomace olive oil for this recipe and t came out good)
salt to taste


Preparation: Dice the cauliflower into large sized florets . Cut the onion into thin long slices. Cut the tomato into long slices along its length and remove the seeds.

Soak the kasuri methi leaves in warm water.

Cooking: Bring water to boil in a large saucepan. Add salt and turmeric, followed by the cauliflower florets. Boil for 5-6 mins. Drain excess water and keep aside.

Heat a wok. Pour the oil into it. Add the pancha phutana and green chilli followed by the onions. Stir fry till the onions turn golden.

Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for 3-4 mins till the raw smell goes off.

Add the tomato slices. Sprinkle red chilli powder and a little salt. Cover with a lid and cook till the tomatoes soften and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Oil should start separating by this time.

Add the cauliflower florets along with the kasuri methi leaves. Stir fry on high flame for 3-4 mins. Cook covered on low flame for another few minutes till the cauliflower florets imbibe the flavors of the kasuri methi.

Add the garam masala and mix well. Remove from the stove. Serve with rice, rotis or parathas.



















Note - One can also skip the tomatoes and add amchur instead.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Watermelon Lemonade (Detox Mondays)

A perfect thirst quencher for the scorching summers!!A tall glass of watermelon lemonade provides more than just the day's supply of antioxidants (watermelon is rich in lycopene). Loaded with vitamins and minerals, it is a very powerful cleanser and diuretic ( speeds up the removal of toxins from the body which catapults it to the league of detox drinks ). It also helps regulate the blood pressure and blood sugar levels when consumed on a regular basis. The watermelon seeds are iron rich so think twice before discarding them.

Check out the recipe-

















Preparation Time - 10 mins

Ingredients -

2 1/2 cup watermelon cubes (seeds removed or you can keep them)
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar syrup
few mint leaves
ice cubes

Preparation - Take the watermelon cubes along with water in a blender. Buzz for a minute or two. Use a strainer to get a clear juice or use can even drink it as it is (which will be thicker).

Put some ice cubes and crushed mint leaves in a tall glass. Pour the watermelon juice. Add lemon juice and sugar syrup.Gently stir in to mix all the ingredients.

Serve immediately. (Do not mix the lemon if you are going to keep it in the fridge for a few hours)






















Note - Use of sugar syrup is optional.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Oriya Thali For Diabetics/High B.P. (Detox Mondays)

Yes, Its Monday again. Time to makeup for the weekend sins/over-indulgences. But this time we will be sharing some real food instead of just a detox recipe. It is something that can be inculcated in our everyday diet for its long-term health benefits and not some one-off detox solution.

Oriya food is perhaps among the healthiest cuisines in the world. The emphasis on copious amounts of vegetables and the restrained use of spices and oil make it a delight for people suffering from various ailments. The only drawback seems to be too much of rice in our everyday diet. Though par-boiled rice which is consumed by most Odiya folks if better off than the polished raw rice consumed predominantly in Southern India, we need to include more whole grains in our diet. Making multi-grain rotis an integral part of our meal plans can easily address this problem.

Though almost all vegetables and pulses have their benefits, some are more beneficial for people suffering from diabetes and heart disorders (mainly high B.P. and cholesterol levels). For example, Chana dal is higher on fiber content and vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower are very low G.I.. Even the humble okra (bhindi) is known to reduce blood sugar levels. I have tried to include some of these in my thali (all of them are quite simple recipes that already exist on my blog but I have just put them together).


















The items shown above are - Multi-grain rotis, Chana dal fry, Phula kobi kasa/santula (cauliflower curry), kalara bhaja (stir fried bitter gourd), bhendi bhaja (stir fried okra) and tomato-cucumber salad.



Lobiya Ghuguni

I must thank my husband for his suggestion. He caught me soaking the beans at night and asked if I planned to make a Ghuguni with it. And this is how this recipe was born. Both of us loved it. And that is why we are sharing it with you.

For the uninitiated, 'Ghuguni' is a watery preparation made with yellow/green peas in Odisha/West Bengal. It relies on very less spices and one can easily make out the distinct flavour of the lentil. Needless to say,  it is quite a healthy dish. Black eyes beans being a good source of soluble fiber, helps prevent type 2 diabetes by keeping blood sugar balanced after we eat and also removes cholesterol from the body by binding with it. In addition, it is rich in Vitamin A, folate, calcium and manganese. So, if you have been ignoring beans in your diet, its time to bulk up (on the fiber content). Read on for a super healthy recipe -






Preparation Time - 25 mins

Ingredients -

Black eyes peas/Lobiya ( 1 cup )
potato ( 1 small)
tomato ( 1 medium)
onion ( 1 medium),
ginger-garlic paste ( 1 tsp)
cumin seeds (1/5 tsp)
cumin powder (1/3 tsp)
coriander powder (1/3 tsp)
chilli powder ( 1/2 tsp)
garam masala powder (1/5 tsp)
oil (2 tsp)
coriander leaves (2 tbsp)
turmeric powder (1/3 tsp)
salt to taste.

Preparation: Wash the black eyed peas till the water remains clear. Soak for about 8 hours or overnight.

Put in a cooker along with potato, salt and turmeric powder. Wait for 2 whistles. Remove and keep aside for steam to escape before opening lid. Drain off the excess water.

Cut the onion and tomato into small pieces. Peel the potato and cut into medium sized cubes.


Cooking: Heat oil in a deep vessel. When it starts smoking, add the cumin seeds and broken red chilli. Once it starts spluttering, add onion pieces. Fry the onion for about 2-3 mins or till translucent.

Add ginger-garlic paste. Cook till the raw smell goes off, then add the tomatoes, salt and turmeric powder. Fry for about 5 mins. Add the cumin powder, coriander powder and chilli powder. Stir for another 2 min.

Add the boiled peas, potatoes and 1 cup hot water. Adjust salt and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5-6 mins.

Add the garam masala, mix in and remove from fire. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.


















We had it with crisp dosas. But it would taste equally good with roti/paratha as well.



Methi Sagaa Kharada (Stir fried Fenugreek leaves)

Methi or Fenugreek leaves are great for diabetics and people suffering from high cholesterol levels. Additionally, regular consumption of methi leaves also benefits skin and hair. These bitter but fragrant leaves can be a little overwhelming when consumed on its own. But they lend their aroma and taste when cooked in combination with other vegetables or even made into delicious methi parathas/rotis.

While the North Indian style preparations of methi call for use of garam masalas and tomatoes, people in Odisha prefer to savour its original taste. Usually only a little amount of a vegetable like aubergine or ridge gourd is combined with it and made into a stir fry. But I have added some potatoes as well to reduce the bitterness and make it palatable for my kid. Read on for the recipe -






Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -


2 cups fenugreek/methi leaves (cleaned and chopped into small pieces)
1 cup aubergine (chopped into medium sized cubes)
1 medium sized potato (boiled, peeled and cubed)
1 medium sized onion (chopped into thin long pieces)
1-2 dry red chillis
1/2 tsp panch phoran/pancha phutana
2-3 garlic cloves (crushed)
2-3 tsp oil
salt to taste
a pinch of turmeric


Cooking - Heat oil in the wok. Add broken red chillis and pancha phutana. When the seeds start spluttering, add the onions and garlic. Fry till translucent.

Add the methi leaves and fry on medium to high for 2-3 minutes.

Add the potato and aubergine cubes along with salt and turmeric. Cook covered while stirring at regular intervals.

Remove from the flame after 6-7 minutes or once the methi leaves and aubergine are cooked through.

Serve hot with rotis or rice.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Gobi and Chenna Paratha

When the kids start school, one invariably runs out of options for the tiffin/lunchbox sooner or later. With time being a constraint and junk not a healthy option, a variety of parathas/upmas and sandwiches are the best alternatives available to working mothers. This is one such 'Paratha' that is filled with the goodness of cauliflower and chenna(panner). Best part is that it takes very less time to make and can also be made in the microwave (Just brush on some oil on the rolled out paratha and place it in the microwave for 2 mins) .

Read on for the easy recipe-






Preparation Time - 15-20 mins

Ingredients -

  • Whole wheat flour ( 1 1/2 cups)
  • chenna ( 1/3 cup )
  • cauliflower florets (1/2 cup)
  • onion ( 1 small, chopped )
  • coriander leaves ( 1 tbs, chopped )
  • cumin powder ( 1/5 tsp )
  • red chilli powder ( 1/5 tsp )
  • salt to taste
  • oil/ghee ( 2 tsp )
  • warm ghee ( 1/2 tsp ).


Preparation - Boil water in a saucepan. Add salt and a little turmeric. Add cauliflower florets and boil for 3-4 mins. Drain and transfer to a bowl containing cold water. Allow to stand for 2 -3 mins. Darin excess water. Buzz in a hand blender/food processor for 1 minute along with the chenna to get a coarse mix.

Take the flour in a plate. Rub in the warm ghee.

Add the chopped onion, chenna, cauliflower paste, cumin powder, red chilli powder, coriander and salt. Mix well. Add water little by little to get a stiff dough as the chenna and cauliflower also have quite a bit of moisture. Cover with moist cloth and keep aside for 15 mins.

Make 4-5 balls out of the dough. Roll out the balls into parathas/circles.

Cooking- Heat a tawa. Put one paratha and cook on one side for 1 minute. Flip and add oil/ghee. Cook on both sides till done.

Repeat for the other parathas as well.



















Note - Skip the chenna or replace with some grated silken tofu for a vegan version.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Paan Kulfi

A must try for all those who love their 'Meetha Paan', this one is a sheer delight for the senses. Read on for the recipe -







Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -



  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup khoya
  • 5-6 tbsp condensed milk
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Gulkand
  • 1/3 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 pinch cardamom
  • 1 big betel leaf (sweet/mild variety)
  • 1/2 tsp cornflour + 2 tbsp cold milk (optional)


Preparation - Grind the betel leaf and fennel seeds with a little milk. Do not make a very fine paste.

Dissolve the cornflour in cold milk and keep aside.

Cooking - Bring the milk to boil in a thick bottomed saucepan. Dissolve the sugar in it.

Add the khoya and condensed milk. Keep stirring till khoya completely dissolves.

Check if the milk has thickened sufficiently. If not add the cornflour slurry. Stir continuously on a medium flame till the mixture has thickened. Switch off the burner.

Add the gulkand and the betel leaf-fennel mixture into it. Mix well.

Strain the mixture to remove any coarse particles. (Though this is optional, I wanted this kulfi to have a melt-in-the-mouth texture)

Allow to cool down and them pour into kulfi molds.

Screw on the tops and then put in the fridge for 6-7 hours.

Remove from the fridge and dip in water. Now rub the mold between your palms and take off the lid. Turn it over a plate and tap gently to remove the kulfi fom the mold. (If it is not coming out, use a sharp object to ease it out)

Serve immediately.




Note: Immerse the molds in water before pouring in the kulfi. This will help to remove it easily.