Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dhokla cake (for that Sweet tooth)

Dhokla is a very healthy recipe with Gram flour.  Gram flour is very good even for diabetic people.  You can google to know about it.  After I knew it,  I started packing dhokla even for lunch, it is pretty filling and easy to eat.  Dhokla is generally a spicy snack.  Yes, it is. Once when i was making, looking at that sponge, I was wondering why not make it as a sweet cake for a easy quick alternate to the regular fat filled cake.  It does not needs lot of sugar and oil/butter either. Ofcourse, it is not equivalent to the regular cake but a good alternate.  I liked it but not sure how others would!

What you need?

Gram flour - 1 cup
water - 1/2 cup
olive oil-2 Tbsp
Brown sugar - 3 to 4 Tbsp
elachi powder-1/8 tsp (optional)
baking soda-1 tsp
citric acid crystals -1 tsp

How to make?

1.Sieve Gram flour
2. Keep the pressure cooker and a round pan coated well with oil ready.
3. Mix all the dry ingredients except the baking soda
4. Beat sugar with oil and sugar
5. Mix the wet with the dry ingredients
6. Pour water in the pressure cooker and start the stove. Cover with the lid.
7. Fold in the baking soda and it will all foam up nicely.  Immediately pour it into the coated vessel and level them nicely.
8.  Do not cover the vessel.
9.  Close the pressue cooker with the lid and let it steam for about 15 mins.
10. Move the pressure cooker away from the hot stove top and slowly open the lid, take out the vessel.  Let it cool for few mins.
11.  gently use a butter knife and run it around the corners and also at the bottom.   Turn the vessel upside down in a plate.
12.  You can decorate the top as per your wish  and have it as such. 

Tip:

You can easily get the citric acid crystals from any indian store.  I use eno salt for the spicy version and this one works very good for the spicy dhokla as well.



Friday, December 21, 2012

Methi Mutter Curry

This is my different version of Shahi methi soy without Onion and Garlic.  I am moving into making more Sattvic food which is without onion and garlic.  Usually, we think that chappathi  side dishes will not taste good without onion and garlic.  But that is not so true.  I have tried almost all the dishes without onion/garlic and they all taste good like chole, peanuts curry, mix veg curry. You need to slightly tweek the recipe if not using onion.

What you need?
3 cups methi (fenugreek) leaves - washed and chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 tbsp ginger-green chilli paste
10-12 Almonds
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp lemon juice
Tofu/Paneer cut into cubes - 10-12 (optional)
pepper powder-1 tsp
cumin powder-1/2 tsp
coriander powder-1 tsp
Garam masala-1 tsp
Hing-1/4 tsp.
jaggery or turbinado sugar-1 tsp
How to make?

Make a smooth paste of Almonds and keep aside. Soaking almonds in hot water for atleast 30 mins helps but it is ok to use as such in case you forgot.

pick the methi leaves in 3 discarding the thick stems.  Wash and clean the leaves and cut them fine.
Take a pan and boil the methi leaves with little salt and turmeric powder. Once done, allow this to cool.

Now take another pan, add oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and hing. Add the ginger- green chilli paste and mix well. Also add the tofu/paneer, turmeric powder, pepper powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and adjust salt to your taste.

Saute for another 1-2 mins. Now add the methi , frozen peas and jaggery.
Add in the almond paste and mix well. Keep stirring gently; be careful as the mixture can cause bubbles and splash. Now saute till fat is separated from the sides, the flavor of methi and almonds is well blended and a sweet aroma arises.

Finally,  squeeze the lemon juice and serve hot with Rotis.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Whole Spelt Grain Buns

Whole spelt grain is like wheat but more nutritious.   It tastes great.   They are very spongy and cant believe that it is made from whole grain.  This dough should not be kneaded for long.  I use bread machine to make the dough.




What you need?

whole grain spelt flour-3 cups - 3 Tbsp
warm water - 1/4 cup + 3/4 cup
vital wheat gluten - 3 Tbsp
salt - 1.5 tsp
yeast - 2.5 tsp
Sugar - 2 Tbsp
Oil-2 Tbsp

sesame seeds -2 Tbsp
or pumpkin seeds - 2 Tbsp

ajwain -2 tsp


How to do?
1. Activate yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water.

2. Take vital wheate gluten in the cup and then spoon the spelt flour. slice the excess flour with knife.  It is very important to measure the flour properly.  It shuold not be packed. 

3. Make the dough in your bread machine in dough cycle (i take it off in 15 mins).  It should not be kneaded for long.

4 Let it rise for about an hour.

5. Make a log and then cut them into 12 pieces.  Roll each piece and fold them underneath so that the ball does not open  on the top. 

6.  Grease the 9'11'' pan with oil and flour it.   Keep the 3 * 4 rolls and let it rise again for 45 mins to an hr.

7.Preheat oven to 350 F and bake the rolls for 24-26 mins.  chk before 2 mins since it would depend on your oven.

8. Bottom should be browned.

9. Brush the bungs with oil spray or butter while they are still warm.  cool in a wire rack.

10.  It stays pretty well in refrigerator for more than a week. 

Chappathi Dough Enhancers

I make multi grain chappathis mostly.  Refer to my multi grain chappathi flour post if you are interested.

1. Tofu:

 I consulted a nutritionist couple of years ago and she suggested mixing chappthi flour with Tofu or cottage cheese to increase the protein in vegeterian diet.  I used to mix in pureed cottage cheese before but we had to stop it since we find them with Vit D3.  Now, I get firm tofus which are non-gmo from Costco and use in many dishes.   Puree the tofus and use about 3/4 cup of the puree for 3 cups of flour.  You have to reduce the water accordingly.

2. Steamed Yam/Sweet potato:

Sweet potatoes are very good but they are quite sweet.  I make paratas but kids dont like the sweetness in there.  Stir fry is ok but does not go very well.   I steam cook them  and just mash them with spoon and use it in chappathi flour and also in baked rolls/bread recipes.  The end product turns out to be very soft.

3. Pumpkin Puree:

When it is pumpkin season, i just pressure cook them, blend and pack in ziploc covers and freeze it.  Just pick one pack either for chappathi dough mixing or in bread.

Please share if you have any other ideas.

Swiss chard Stir Fry with Whole Masoor

Yes, I am posting few greens recipes today.  Pictures might follow later.  We cook in the morning, pack lunch and off to work!  Evening chores, kids classes, homework and it is dinner time!  When to picture but I agree that pictures talk for themselves.  I would do it gradually. 

Swiss chard is also a wonderful veggie.  We get all these greens in the close-by farmers market and they come in different colors like red, whihte and yellow, so we buy them in different colors every time. 

I recently found a very good combination to them, whole masoor dal.  I bought it since their protein content is very good but always went wrong in using them.  I used to soak and pressure cook it, it would turn to mushy and brown color.  It was not appealing.  Recently, i thought of cooking them on boiled water and it was unbelievable, it got cooked in 10 mins.  

So, here we go to the recipe!

Soak 1/4 cup of whole masoor for about 6-8 hrs.

What you need?

Swiss chard(any color)-1 bunch
Red chillies-2
asofoedita-1/4 tsp
soaked whole masoor-1/2 cup
salt to taste
Oil- 2 Tbsp
shredded coconut - 3 Tbsp (optional)
Jaggery - 2 tsp

How to make?

1. Cut swiss chard fine including the stalks.

2. In a kadai, boil 2 cups of water, drain the masoor dal and let it cook, add a pinch of turmeric. Let it cook, chk if it is soft.  Drain and let it cool

3. In the kadai, heat oil, add mustard seeds, add red chillies and asofoedita

3. Add swiss chard, salt, fry it for a while, add jaggery.

4. Once the swiss chard is cooked, add cooked masoor and dress with coconut if using.

Try and let me know.

Kale Parata

Kale is a very high fiber greens.  We buy it from local farmers market.  I have tried making baked chips, stir fry, curry but they were ok but did not find entry into regular menu until a friend told me this idea about making parata. It is definetely worth a try. Kale has got a very unique strong taste and hence little hard to use.  Kids also eat this parata without any compliant which is a compliement, I would say.

What you need?

Kale-1 bunch
Oil-1 Tbsp
Hing-1/4 tsp
Gr chillies-as per taste - 1 for our family!
salt
ginger-1/2 inch
turmeric-1/4tsp
cumin powder-1/4 tsp
jaggery-1 tsp

How to make?

1.  Wash and remove stalks from Kale.  I used blender since i was in a hurry in the morning to cut them fine.   I added green chillies and ginger to it.

2.  Heat oil, add hing and finely chopped kale with ginger and green chillies.

3. Add turmeric, salt, cumin powder and jaggery.

4. Fry till the raw smell is gone. 

5.  Spread in a plate for it to cool if you are in hurry!  I was since I had to pack boxes.

In the mean time, make your dough ready.  I use multigrain chappathi flour and make the dough with blended Tofu or Yams!  I will write a post on that. 

Make balls and stuff about 1-1.5Tbsp of kale mixture into it.  Make parata as you would.

Let me know if you need more details.

Spinach Dip or Chutney

I had posted a spinach recipe in the past  but wanted to share another version since we are getting away from onion and garlic.  Onion and garlic are non-satvic foods and I wanted to reduce their usage.   These changes can be successfully made only when all the family members agree.  Some believe some do not.  I believe.  So, I have been making modifications to my recipes without onion in them  and they turn out to be equally good.  Another note is that iron rich food should not be combined with calcium rich foods like milk/yogurt.  Calcium hinders the absorption of iron.

What you need:


Spinach - 4 cups
Green chillies - 2 (more is good if you can tolerate)
Oil-1 Tbsp
Hing (asofoedita)-1/4 tsp
peanuts-1/2 cup
salt as per taste
turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
jaggery or turbinado sugar - 2 tsp

How to do?

1. Heat 1tsp oil in kadai, add hing and G. chillies. Wait till they become slightly white.
2. Add washed spinach. In few mins, all spinach will go down. Add salt and turmeric powder.
3. Cook till water reduces. Allow to cool. Transfer to a dish.
5. Cool them and blend with jaggery,peanutsin a  hand blender or mixy.

Do tadka with Mustard and Jeera. All done! This is such a healthy and simple recipe.
It goes well with Idli, dosa, adai and upma's as well.

Give a try and let me know. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Reflection of Ayurveda!

The topic may sound very hard but it is actually not.  I wanted to share few of my learnings with my own experiments here.   I had been making some unconscious cooking mistakes in the past without realizing them by following the recipes from other blogs.  However healthy i was eating, my body was not absorbing the nutrients, then I learnt about the principles behind the food absorption.  It is indeed true.  As we learn the rules of roads before we start driving on the roads and call it is a 'Conscious Driving', it is so true, it is so important to be conscious about what we are putting into our body.

Few tips:

1. Milk, taken alone is good for you, not with fruits/nuts/spinach or anything that has iron in it. 

How did this make a difference for us?

We used to make wonderful cereal with all fruits like apple, strawberries, nuts and milk.. It was soo wrong.  Milk hinders the absorption of the nutrients from the fruits and nuts.

Mango lassi, banana milk shake or any fruit with milk is not a healthy drink.

Changes that i made now is

Just make cereal with fruits and nuts, without any milk and add either fruit juice or eat it as such.  All fruits are so juicy.

2.  Milk and salt should never be combined.

I used to make palak paneer with added milk and it used to make it creamy and yummy.  Now, either i grind few almodns into it or just skip it.

3. Milk and yeast should not be combined. 

4. Do not eat anythign in between your meals.  If you are snacking, give atleast 3-4 hrs after the big meals.

5. Fruits should not be eaten with your main food.  Fruits are best absorbed when you dont have anything else to churn in your stomach. So, fruit dessert is a bad idea.   

6. Honey should never be cooked.  I baked with Honey a few times without realizing this fact.  It is actually very toxic when honey is cooked.  It should not be mixed with HOT beverages.. You can add it with warm milk though.

7.  Raw white sugar is not good for you.  It is so refined, look for alternates like whole cane sugar, jaggery or natural sweeteners (do not go by the label in the cover), molasses.  This was pretty hard one and expensive too. 

8. Eat your food on time. Eating early dinner helps in digestion and also make you fit.  (6.30 to 7pm)

9.  Calcium hinders the absorption of Iron from Spinach or any iron rich food.  So, we do not take yogurt with iron rich food.  We either take yogurt as snack or drink milk before bed time.

I am so thrilled in learning about Ayurveda.  I need to dive deeper into it to learn more facts.  Let me know if anything was useful to you.



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Beware of Vit D3(for Vegeterians)

I wanted to share this in a seperate post though I blogged about it in my fat free milk post.  This post is for vegeterians who are conscious about eating meat in any form.  I was never in a doubt that basic things like Milk could be ever contaminated with animal products.    Here in US, lot of things are sold fortified with vitamins, iron, calcium and many more.  It took six loong years for me to find out that i have to be beware of animal products and know the technical terms like Vit D2 and D3.  Vit D2 is Vit D extracted from plants while D3 is extracted from Animals.

Vit D3 could be derived from slaughtered animals like fish, pig, cow.  It could also be extracted from sheep's wool where those animals are not slaughtered.

Vit D3 is added in Milk, orange juice, cottage cheese and many more products like milk powder.

It was tough to find alternates after i threw all the milk, yogurt all in a shot once i knew this.  Here are the list of rescues that I got to

1. Fresh farm milk sold at Sprouts Market.  It was expensive.
2. Cream topped milk from Traders Joe
3. Strauss Organic Milk from few stores., I was relieved once I started getting this milk from local Costco.  Thank God.  I felt like God heard me after i roamed around to get milk. 
4. Organic valley Milk - I still buy 2% of this milk which says D3 but they are from sheep's wool.  I called them and also emailed them to just that they are not from slaugtered animals.  There webiste also had this information.

Please email me if you want to know more details about this message.   You can also call the 800 number mentioned in your milk can or other products to find out the source of Vit D.

Thanks for reading. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Malli Mix (Coriander Greens Mix)

I have been making this dish for so many years now and it tastes very rich and good.  Look would also be impressive.  One of my friend asked to post this recipe.

This green curry tastes very good with Rice and good with other grains like (Cracked wheat, steel cut oats, millet,quinoa)

What you need?

Tadka (mustard seeds - 1 tsp, cumin - 1/2 tsp)

Ghee or oil- 2 Tbsp
onion 1 (optional)

To Grind

Coriander leaves bunch - 1 or more
Green chillies as per paste
Ginger 1 inch
coconut - 1/4 cup or almonds - 12
cinnamon, cloves, cardamom spice mix as per taste

Prep work:

Wash coriander leaves and just pinch them into smaller pieces
Grind all the ingredients mentioned above and keep it ready

How to make?

1. Heat oil or Ghee, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, once they pop, add onion and salt.  Fry till transulent

2. Add the ground mixture and do NOT cover with lid,  Let it simmer.  It should become like a paste.

3. Cook rice or other grains seperately and let it cool.  Once cool, mix and you can optionally decorate with cashews/panneer or tofu  and some finely cut coriander leaves.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sesame Seed Super Easy Mix over Rice/Grain

This is a super easy recipe which is very healthy.  It just takes 5 mins to prepare this.

What you need?

Sesame seeds - 3 Tbsp
Asofoedita-1/4 tsp
Urad dal - 3 Tbsp
Red chillies- 2 (Add more)
salt as per taste

How to make?

1. Dry fry sesame seeds seperately.
2. Dry fry urad dal and red chillies
3. Dry grind all the ingredients.

You can mix this on rice, cracked wheat, quinoa or any grain.  

Tip:

1. You can also dry fry Amaranth seeds (1 Tbsp) and add it when you grind the mixture.  Read more about Amaranth seeds.


Almond soft fudge(Badam Katli)

Reposting with more clarity on the ingredients!

Badam Katli has become a delight for all special occasions.   We like it for the simplicity of its look and for the great almond flavor.  

What you need?

Almond - 2 cups
Sugar - 1 cup (estimate)
Ghee - 4 Tbsp
Almond extract - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Cardomam powder- 1/2 tsp (optional)
Saffron threads - 1/8 tsp crushed in hot milk (optional)

Prep work:

Soak almond for few hours in hot water.

Test popping the almonds out, if it comes out easily then continue for all the almonds, if not, rinse the water and add hot water once again.

How to make?

1.Grind the almonds into smooth paste with little milk (milk is added to just grind) and measure with cup.

2.Measure Sugar to 1/2 of the measure of almond paste .

3. In a heavy bottomed pan, add little water and boil the sugar till it dissolves and comes to rolling boil.(bubble should form)

4. Add the almond paste and keep stirring on medium heat. Add 3 Tbsp of ghee at first after 8-10 mins. Continue to stir.  It might take 15-20 mins. Add 1 or 2 Tbsp of ghee at end to get the glossy look.  Mix in almond extract, cardomom powder and saffron if using and give a good mix.

5. Check by taking little paste in a spoon, allow it to cool for a minute and then make a ball, if it makes clean ball then we are almost done.  

6. Prepare a tray with little hot ghee evenly spread.  Pour the mixture into the tray.

7. Allow the mixture to cool.  After 5-7 mins, roll the mixture with rolling pin as thin as you like and cut them into desired shapes.

It stays well for few weeks. If you added lot of milk then it will get spoiled sooner. You can keep it refrigerated as well.  Enjoy the guilt free sweet!

Tips:

1. For every cup of almond, use 2-3Tbsp of ghee to get the katli.

2.  I usually play around with the sugar quantity.  We go slightly low on our sugar.  Feel free to explore the desired level for your family.  I just gave an estimate here.

3. I have tried with brown sugar instead of white sugar, katli's were chewy.   

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Avocado Cucumber Raita

I wanted to make the best use of the avocados that we get here in US.  I tasted the best Avocado in  Kodaikanal, India. They were round and big ones. But it is not used extensively.  I got to know that they send it to Goa where it is used to make icecreams.  Good idea right?  I will try that soon.

What you need?

Avocado - 1 Medium
Cucumber - 2 medium
Gr chillies-as per your taste
salt- as per your taste
Yogurt-2 cups

How to make?

1. Grate or cut cucumber finely.
2. Cut gr chillies into small pieces
3.  Mash the avocadoes or just blend them
4. Mix everything together.
5. Tadka with Mustard seeds and asofoedita if you like it (optional step).
6. Dress on top with finely cut coriander leaves

I served this with mix veg quinoa.  It will go well with any main dish since it is mild.




Sunday, August 26, 2012

Oats Almond Cookie

The demand of these cookies had been very high since i started sharing it with family and friends about 2 years ago. Every time, I go to India for vacation, standard order comes for these and avocado sweet bread.  The effort is very little and so the ingredients.  I have seen most of the cookies call for either tons of sugar or butter or oil.  Oat raisin cookies is no exception. 

Try these ones and let me know what you think?  I do not make any other cookie except these ones on regular basis.

Some prep work is there. 

What you need?

Grind oats and sieve them.  Measure 1.25 cups
Grind whole raw almonds.  Measure 1 cup
Sugar - 4 Tbsp
Coconut oil-4 Tbsp  or Butter-4 Tbsp.
Milk - 1 Tbsp + (optional)
salt - 1/4 tsp (if you like salty sugar taste)
baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Cardomom powder-1/4 tsp


How to make?

1. Beat sugar and coconut oil.  If using butter, bring it to room temperature, beat very well for about 4 mins with sugar.
2. Add all the dry ingredients
3. Make a stiff dough by pouring liquid with dry mix.  Add a tbsp of milk if it is too hard to roll them.
4.  Spread oil in a cookie sheet and keep it ready
5. Roll small balls and flatten them and arrange them in cookie sheet.  Leave space in between, they will expand.
6. Bake at 350 for 20 mins.   Rotate them in the middle.
7. Take out and turn the cookies to the other side.  Bake for 10 more mins. 
8. Once done, let it cool in the wire rack.    It will harden as it cools and tastes better.

Keep checking after 25 mins just to make sure that it does not burn.   

Try out and let me know.



Look for healthy whole grains and beans

Rice was definetely a wonder food of olden days.  It was not that much processed then.  And also our ancestors used lot of small grains in their daily life.  They were not dependent only on rice.  Today, rice is the predominant grain used by most of the asians.

If you are in India,  check out cr.wheat, red rice, Ragi, millets, barley,horse gram, buckwheat(kuttu) and look for ways to incorporate them in your daily cooking. 

If you are in USA, check out for all the above things as well as Spelt, Rye, Barley, Groats as well.   You also get flakes here from health stores like whole foods which can be easily cooked in few mins on hot water. 

Use different kind of beans into your daily cooking, add as little as 1/4 cup of dried beans (it should be soaked for about 6 hours before use).

Using different kinds of grains and beans gives a variety into your daily menu.

Yellow Dosai (Besan, Chana flour)

This is one quick, wholemeal which can be prepared without any preparation! Yes, it is true.  Yet it tastes very good and packs lot of protein.  Some website told that chana flour is even for diabetic people.   Please verify this information. 

Here we go for the recipe.

What you need?

Chana flour-1 cup
Salt-1/2 tsp
Green chillies-cut fine as per taste
Ginger-1 inches

Toppings (optional)

coriander
onion
cabbage

How to make?
1. Mix all ingredients together with water to make it to batter consistency.
2. Get the toppings ready if using
3. Heat Tava and start making crepes.  You can use little oil if you want, turn the crepe to the other side and let it cook on the other side. 

Plan your weekly menu

Planning is critical to cook and pack food for the family.  I started maintaining an excel when I started to work after becoming Mom.  It has items like Beans, veggies, lunch and dinner menu so that we do not miss the critical inputs.  Couple of my colleagues say that they do not have variety of food items to have so they go out and eat from restaurant.  When we go to restaurant, we find the menu to be boring, same kind..  Our weekly menu is generally quite versatile so that we dont get bored with home made food.  I have an excel which i update mostly on Mondays for the whole work week.

Sample week Menu:

Monday is simple one pot meal for all of us.  (Mix veg Pulao or Upma)

Tuesdays -  Veggie Dal (Kuttu) with some mixed rice/grain like lemon/sesame seeds

Wednesdays - Sprouts for Adults and chappathi rolls or parata for kids

Thursdays - Pasta

Fri - Rasam/Sambar with Sabji (veggie curry)

I keep changing the grain or the variety every week

Dinner is mostly dosai/adai(lentils crepe) with veggie dips (chutneys) or phulka and sabji.

If you need more ideas, email me.  I will be happy to share a list of items that we can quickly make.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fat free Milk

Here is another thought!  Vit A, D, K and E are absorbed by the body only with Fat because they are fat soluble.  Thanks to chiropractor for reminding me this.

Fat free milk - most of the vitamins and other essential nutrients does not get absorbed by the body without fat.

At the same time, saturated fat is also not that good for people with cholesterol history. 

I just follow this,  I made home made milk mix with

Flax meal - 2 cups
Pepper powder - 2 Tbsp
Cardamom Elachi powder- 1/2 Tbsp
Chia seeds-1 cup (optional)
Sugar-1/4 cup (optional)

 I use strauss fat free milk which does not have animal based Vit D3 and add 2 Tbsp of this powder (warm or cold) and have it along with my morning brkfast.   You can also sweeten it with agave nectar 1 tsp.

Conciously, use required fat and choose natural good fat.

Thanks for reading!  Healthy living.

A thought towards brown sugar

I was buying brown sugar as a healthy alternate to sugar.  But when I thought about how it is made and figured out, it did not sound like an healthy alternate for the cost that we pay for it.  Brown sugar is simply white sugar mixed with molasses. Light brown sugar uses less molasses.  What is good for us is just the molasses and not the white sugar. 

Better alternates from my opinion

1.  Molasses without sulphur (you can buy it from health stores). 
             If you still want brown sugar, just mix with white sugar but for far less expensive price.
2.  Jaggery

Any thoughts!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Orange Colored Popsicles

This was my new discovery this summer.  My older kid does not like sneaking in veggies though she eats her veggies everyday. I tricked her with this one. She could not guess that it was carrots! hurray! But I tell them what is in their food so that they know it and get acquaintained with that taste.

What you need?

Carrots-6 count
Honey-3 Tbsp
condensed milk-1/2 cup(can be replaced with 2%milk and more honey)

How to make?

1. Peel and cut carrots
2. Simmer carrots in milk and let it cook well
3.  let it cool. Blend it well and add honey.  You can adjust it to your taste.
4. Pour them in popsicle mould or small paper cups.
5. Freeze them for 3+ hours.  In case you used paper cups, insert a stick after 2 hours. 

Popscles would be ready to serve ! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sneak in Chia seeds

Chia seeds as I heard it is a super food. Yes, most of the times, the tiny things are the ones which are significantly healthy :-) Google about chia seeds, a brief idea about it, it is a tiny seed which is very high in good fat, calcium and many more nutrients.

It forms into a jelly if you leave it in any liquid like water, milk or yogurt.. some people might like it but my family does'nt prefer it that way. So, what are the alternates

1. Mix it with dosa/idli or any crepes batter. I make many different variety of crepes. Need to add them into my blogging. Will do soon.

2. Just add 2-3 Tbsp in any smoothie at the end and give a whip. Good here too.

3. Add it on top of greek yogurt just before serving them..

4. Mix it with Hot milk and drink it immediately for a warm drink.

5. My brother likes it to mix it with buttermilk and have it as a snack drink.

6. My favourite addition is in baking starting from breads, muffins, cakes, quick breads...

7. Summer is coming up..so it is definetely going to be in my popsicles,hmm, how about icecreams.. I think Yes.. it would find its place if it does not spoil the taste.

no restrictions. Just add them and take the additional benefits. I came up with all these ways after seeing this seed in whole foods. I dont know if we can get it across globe but if you get it, try them..

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pairing of Foods!

Many of you might know this but I am just adding it just in case if someone is out there like me! Science is such an important thing in food.. Unless we understand it better, we cannot make the best use out of what we eat.

I had already blogged about berries which should not be consumed along with proteins. Protein hinders the absorption of the nutrition from the berries. When we are eating berries, why not take the maximum benefit of it?

Iron rich foods has to be paired with something for the body to absorb it well. Vegeterians rely on beans, dark greens, whole grain cereals for their iron intake. Unfortunately, boday does not take it all. So, we can pair it with few foods.

(1) Beans best friend is Tomatoes
(2) whole grain cereal goes well with vitamin c rich foods. Any calcium for ex., coffee/Tea with milk hinders the iron absorption.
(3) Tofu with Hot/sweet peppers
(4) Dark Greens with strawberries and melons.

Another information is about Vitamin D intake. People take supplements for their deficiency. I opted to go for Vit D2 which was plant source. I never realized that Vit D should be paired with Fat for them to be taken by the body. Yes, it is true that I have also read VIT-A, D, K and E are fat soluble. You can take your Vit D whenever you eat fatty foods like nuts/avocado or any other fatty foods.

Talking about Vit D, I discovered all organic/normal milk has added D3 from animal source, some from fish, cows, pig or lanolin (sheep fur) especially in US. I could not convince myself to take it anymore. So, I switched to milk without added D3. It is the next big challenge to find store who carry milk without D3.

Thanks for reading! Will add more recipes soon.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Broken Oats Pongal

Broken Oats Pongal

This is one easy dish which can be served as brkfast or dinner and would taste very good when it is hot.

What you need?

Broken oats-1 1/4 cup
Yellow Moong dal-1/4 cup
water-2.5 cups
salt,
ginger - 1 inch grated or cut fine
whole pepper or pepper powder-1 tsp or more
jeera-1 tsp
asofoedita-a pinch
curry leaves a few
Oil-1 Tbsp or Ghee

How to do?

1. Dry fry oats and moong dal in a kadai
2. Add water and pressure cook for 3 whistles or you can just cook in rice cooker
3. Tadka Ghee/Oil with jeera, ginger, pepper, ginger,
4. Add salt and Tadka to the Pongal and mix well.

Serve Hot with Tomato Gosthu/Dal or any chutney of your choice. Kids also had it without any fuss. Enjoy and keep healthy!

Notes:

This recipe can use broken wheat or any other grain.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Choco Apple Banana Smoothie!

I bought a box of unsweetened cocoa powder and making use of it in many ways. Cocoa is a very good antioxidant and it has many health benefits. We love smoothies and this is a different variation of the berry smoothie. Ingredients are just some basic fruits at hand with added oats, walnuts, cocoa powder and fig/dates as the natural sweetener. You can also add avocado, it blends well. This smoothie tastes like indian fruit Chikku juice.


What you need?

Apples-2
Banana-2
Oats-1/2 cup
Walnuts-1/2 cup
Cocoa powder-2 Tbsp
figs-10
dates-10
(Increase the sweetener as per your taste)
Salt-1/4 tsp
Yogurt or milk - 1 cup
water - 1 cup

Optional ingredients
Chia seeds-2 Tbsp
Avocado-1 medium sized

1. Soak dates and fig with hot water for 30 mins and remove pit.
2. Cut the fruits into chunks
3. Blend everything until smooth. Add chia seeds at end. Adjust water consistency by adding more if desired.

You can top it with sliced almonds for a great look.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Peanut Avocado chutney

I had already posted one Avocado dip or chutney. This fruit is so healthy and I find new ways to use it into my everyday cooking. Avocado and peanut go well together.

What you need?

Roasted Peanuts - 1/2 cup
Medium sized avocado-1
Ginger-1/2 inch
Gr chillies - 3 (depends on your taste)
Cumin seeds(Jeera)-1/4 tsp

How to make?

1. Cut avocado into half and take out the pulp,

2. Grind all the ingredients and do tadka

Tadka

Heat 1 tsp oil and add mustard seeds.

Note: You can add lemon juice if you would like to add tanginess.

Simple and quick make chutney with can go with Idli/Dosai and can also get into roti rolls! or just a dip for baby carrots.

Crispy Healthy Dosai(Dosa)

I have been making this for a while after playing with the ingredients little bit. Dosai is using made with boiled or raw white rice and urad. My recipe uses brown rice, whole urad(with black skin) and whole ragi(finger millet) as the main ingredient. My kids who were not eating dosas just love this and that is the reason I thought of posting this.  Here is the picture of the Dosai with carrot chutney.



What you need?

Br rice - 1 cup
Whole urad(with skin) - 1/2 cup
whole ragi - 1/2 cup
Toor dal - 2 Tbsp
Fenugreek seeds (Methi) - 2 Tbsp (optional)
salt - 1 tsp

Prep work:

Soak all the ingredients for 6-8 hrs or overnight. Wash them and grind whole urad, rice and ragi. I usually let the whole urad run for a while in my grinder, it turns really fluffy. You should add enough water for it to grind. It is similar to grinding for idli batter. If someone needs to know in detail, please email me. Take the urad out in a container and then grind ragi, once it is soft, you can add rice and other ingredients to it. Let it all grind smoothly. Transfer it to the container, mix salt and let it ferment for few hours. Fermentation time depends on the weather. Keep the container in a warm place. It takes 16 hrs here to ferment. Once you see some bubbles and the batter risen, it is fermented. It is ready to make dosas or store it in the refrigerator.


If you store the dough in the refrigerator, keep it out for few hrs to bring it to room temperature.

How to make?

1. Heat a tava or a griddle and keep it on Med high
2. Make crepes and it can really go as thin as you want, spray oil.
3. In a minute, it will be ready to turn
4. Turn it to the other side, let it cook.
5. Serve hot with any chutney of your choice.

Note:

1. Recently, I have started using chia seeds into my cooking. It is a very healthy seed which has so many health benefits. I just add a tbsp of it into any batter and it goes into the system without any effort!! This is jsut optional. You should just keep your mind open and let good things in whenever and wherever possible.