Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Methi Pulao/ Methi Rice (How to make Fenugreek leaves pilaf)

Methi Rice/ Methi Pulao
Both methi seeds(fenugreek seeds) and methi leaves(fenugreek leaves) have been long used in Indian families as not just a culinary  ingredient, but also for it's medicinal properties. The seeds are great for :
  1. diabetics as it can control the blood sugar levels (soak a tablespoon of methi seeds overnight and have it along with the soaked water the next day). 
  2. relieves constipation,
  3. a boon to new mothers as it is a known galactogogue (increases breast milk),
  4. It is also believed to relieve menstrual cramps when taken along with yogurt/ buttermilk. (Soak a tablespoon of methi seeds/powder in yogurt/buttermilk for a couple of hours or overnight and eat it when you have menstrual cramps).
  5. lowering cholesterol
Methi leaves taste great in just about any dish. You can use the fresh leaves to make parathas, theplas, sabzi, add it into your dal or make methi pulao with it. Here's a quick and simple methi pulao that can be served with a raitha.
Ingredients for Methi Rice/Methi Pulao:
  • Basmathi Rice: 2 cups (wash and soak in water for 20-30mins)
  • Methi: 3-4 small bunches (or 1 big) washed and finely chopped
  • Onion: 1 big (finely sliced)
  • Tomatoes: 3 small (finely diced)
  • Peas: a handful (optional)
  • Ginger+garlic paste: 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds(jeera): 1tsp
  • Cloves: 1-2nos.
  • Peppercorns: 5 nos.
  • Bay leaf: 1 
  • Cinnamon: 1" stick
  • Whole cardamom: 2nos.
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Water: 4 cups
  • Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp (or as per spice tolerance)
  • Cumin powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 2tsp
  • Garam masala: 1/4 tsp
  • Oil: 3tsp
  • Salt: to taste
Method:
  1. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Add the whole spices (peppercorn, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds, cardamom and bay leaf).
  2. Then add the turmeric, sliced onions and fry till the onions turn golden brown.
  3. Add the ginger+garlic paste and fry for a minute.
  4. Then add the chopped methi leaves and fry for 3-4 minutes on low flame.
  5. Add the tomatoes and the spice powders (chili, cumin, coriander,garam masala) and some salt and cook till the tomatoes are mushy.
  6. Add the soaked and drained basmathi rice, peas(optional) and mix well for 2 mins.
  7. Add the water, taste for salt and cover the pressure cooker and let it cook till one whistle.
  8. Switch off, let the pressure drop. Open and gently fork the rice to separate the grains.
  9. Serve hot with raitha of your choice.
Note: you can add 2 tablespoon of crushed peanuts as a garnish before serving. Enjoy.
How to make Methi Rice/ Methi Pulao

Monday, May 16, 2016

Cabbage and Soya Chunks sabzi (How to make cabbage and soya nuggets sabzi)

 Cabbage and Soya Nuggets Sabzi

Ingredients for Cabbage and Soya chunks sabzi:
  • Cabbage: 250gms (finely chopped)
  • Soya nuggets/chunks- 100gms
  • Onion- 1 medium (finely chopped)
  • Tomatoes- 2 medium (finely chopped)
  • Garlic-2-3 nos (finely chopped)
  • Garlic-1/2 inch (grated)
  • Red chili powder- 1tsp (or as per your spice tolerance)
  • Coriander powder- 2tsp
  • Cumin powder-1tsp
  • Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds- 1tsp
  • Hing(asafoetida) -a pinch (optional)
  • Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves-3-4 (Optional)
  • Coriander leaves-4 tbsp (chopped)
  • Salt-to taste
  • Oil-2tsp
Method:
  1. Boil water in a saucepan, add some salt to it. Switch off the heat-add the soya chunks into the boiling water, mix well, cover and let it stand for 10mins. Strain out the soya chunks and squeeze out the water and keep aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a non-stick kadai, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds.
  3. When it starts to pop, add the curry leaves, hing, turmeric powder and then the chopped onions.
  4. When the onions starts turning translucent, add the garlic and ginger. Fry till the onions brown a bit.
  5. Add the tomatoes, the red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and salt and cook till the tomatoes are mushy.
  6. Add the soya chunks and mix, then add the chopped cabbage,mix well so that the masala coats the cabbage.
  7. Reduce flame to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally till the cabbage is cooked.
  8. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  9. Serve with roti or as a side with dal and chawal.
Note:
You can substitute soya chunks with any pulse (kabuli channa, kala channa, rajma, cannelloni beans, etc) to increase the protein content of the dish.
Cabbage and Soya chunks sabzi

Friday, May 13, 2016

Savoury French Toast Indian Style (Spicy Masala Egg Toast)

Nothing like a spicy and savoury French Toast-Indian Style! You can eat them for breakfast or even a snack.

Savory French Toast (Indian Style Masala Egg Toast)

Savoury French Toast (Indian Style Masala Egg Toast):
Ingredients: (Serves 4)

  • Whole Wheat Bread-8 nos.
  • Egg-4 nos
  • Onion- 1 medium (finely chopped)
  • Tomato(optional)- 1 small (finely chopped)
  • Cilantro- 3tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Red chili powder- 1/2- 1 tsp (or as per your heat tolerance)
  • Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder-1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric-1/2 tsp
  • Milk-3 tbsp (or water)
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 3 tsp
Method:
  1. Break the eggs into a bowl, add the spice powders, salt and milk (or water) and mix well.
  2. Pour a little onto a flat saucer.
  3. Heat a tsp of oil in a non-stick sauce pan.
  4. Dip the bread into the egg mixture on both sides, then place into the pan one by one.
  5. Sprinkle with the onion,tomato and cilantro on the top and flip carefully and cook till done on both sides.
  6. Repeat for the rest.
  7. Serve the savoury French Toast hot with ketchup or chutney(optional).

Note:
You could replace the spices (red chili, cumin, coriander powder)with green chilies.

Savoury French Toast (Indian Style Spicy Masala Egg Toast)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Daily (Nutrition) Dozen

Ok-so no lectures on nutrition and the benefits of eating clean and getting plenty of physical activity and sleep in this article. We are going to cut to the chase and make a list of foods that you must INCLUDE in your day to day diet.

Make this your DAILY (NUTRITION) DOZEN check-list:
Nutrition Checklist

  1. Fruit- Aim at eating at least TWO different seasonal fruits everyday. It could be a mango and a guava or grapes and a banana-basically two fruits that are in season. Best way to add them to your diet is to eat them as a snack (say no to the chivdas/farsaans/chips).
  2. Green leafy vegetables-palak, methi, sabsige (dill-english; soa-hindi;shepu-marathi), lal saag(red amaranth), coriander (cilantro), etc. If making a sabzi is too tedious- just add it to your dal, roti (methi paratha/Palak paratha) or make a big batch of coriander chutney or palak chutney(How to make Palak Chutney) freeze it and use that in your meals or in your sandwiches. 
  3. Other vegetables- again go for seasonal vegetables and make sure your eating at least two per day. 
  4. Salads- you could include one fruit, one vegetable and one leafy vegetable and make a crunchy salad if that makes things easy for you. Example- a mango, cucumber , tomato,onion and coriander salad tastes yummy and combines one from the first three into number 4!
  5. Whole grains- Try to switch to whole grains completely wherever possible. Whole wheat flour instead of maida; dhalia, brown rice or barley instead of white rice.
  6. Whole Pulse- at least one whole pulse (not dal) in the form of rajma, kabuli channa, double beans, peas, akkha masoor, green moong, akha urad, etc. You can even sprout them and add them to your salads or boil them and add them to your vegetables like cabbage with kabuli channa.
  7. Curd/Yogurt- loaded with calcium and probiotics, include this with your meals or make a raitha or smoothie with it.
  8. Protein with every meal- Proteins keep you full for a longer period so add this to every meal. Even if you are a vegetarian-make sure you include dal/pulse or curd, paneer, tofu or milk with breakfast, lunch and dinner. 
  9. Nuts: are full of healthy fats, minerals, fibre and protein. You need to eat just 5-6 numbers of nuts like almonds, walnuts,chestnuts, pecans, brazilnuts, cashew nuts, etc to get the benefits. Just be careful not to go overboard with this as they can be very addicting!
  10. Water:no doubt the best and by far the original "zero-calorie" thirst quencher! Aim for 8-12 glasses (weather depending) everyday.
  11. Oils: Cold pressed oils, ghee, butter (yes-it's the switch to all things natural) can all be used but your total added fat/oil should not be more than 3 tsp per person per day!
  12. Exercise: of any physical activity for at least 1 hour per day is a must.It's not nutrition-but without it the rest of the list will go down the drain. Think of it as important as brushing your teeth!
Aim to get at least 10 out of this every day(exercise is not optional though) and you can be sure that you are doing the right thing for your body.

The Daily Nutrition Dozen



Thursday, April 28, 2016

Watermelon Salsa (Watermelon fruit chaat)



Summer time is watermelon time- a perfect fruit to include in your diet on a hot summers day. There are so many ways to eat it and one of my favorite is to make a quick and yummy salad-the watermelon salsa!

Fresh Watermelon Salsa: 
Fresh Watermelon and Mango Salsa
Ingredients: 
Watermelon:1/2 cubed 
Onion: 1 small (finely chopped) 
Tomato: 1 small (finely chopped) 
Coriander leaves: 3-4tbsp (finely chopped) 
Lime juice: 2 tsp 
Green chilies: 1 (finely chopped) 
Salt: to taste 

Method: 
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Chill before serving. 

You can add some chaat masala for an Indian twist. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Diet Mantras: Three Words to Eliminate to be Successful in Following a Diet....

How To Succesfully Follow A Diet

Almost everyone has tried to "go on a diet" or "is on a diet" or is planning to "go on a diet"! But very few are able to stick to it and reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Why does this happen? Why do people "stop dieting'? Why isn't everyone able to succeed ?
Being successful in anything takes a lot of hard work, dedication and planning. The same goes with sticking with a diet or rather changing to a healthy lifestyle.
According to Bernard Roth, a professor of engineering at Stanford University changing a few words could be the answer to being successful.  Let's try and put the same theory to being successful in following a diet or lifestyle change and maybe it might help you to be more healthy.
In his new book "The Achievement Habit", Prof. Roth suggests two verbal tweaks that could change the way you think about the world and in doing so become successful in life.
He suggests that:
 Instead of Saying 
 Use the Word
 But
 And
 Have to
 Want to



Let's try to use it in the usual 'dieting parlance':
1)Instead of saying : I have a party to attend, but I'm on a diet
Say: I have a party to attend and I'm on a diet.

According to Prof Roth-using the word 'but' just creates a conflict or a reason for something that actually doesn't exist. By replacing it with 'and' you remove the conflict and simply find a solution to do both. Maybe you'll chose to eat something before going to the party or chose wisely or control the portion size at the party. Here are a couple of articles that can help you to choose wisely and enjoy the party while still not going overboard as far as your diet is concerned:


2) Instead of saying: I have to diet.
Say: I want to diet!
Again, this subtle word swap helps in realizing that what you chose to do, even if they are difficult, are in fact what you have chosen to do for a healthier life.

3)Along with these two, it would also help is if you could swap the word "diet" for "lifestyle change".
A 'diet' brings a mental image of a very restrictive, boring and unappetizing foods which doesn't in anyway help you in sticking to it. A lifestyle change sounds so much better and incorporates not just changes in what you eat but also includes other factors like physical activity that will together change the quality of your life.
So instead of saying:have to go on a diet.
Say: I want to change my lifestyle.

Make these 3 swaps and you could be on your way to leading a healthier life!