Showing posts with label Diet food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Diet food. Show all posts

Thursday, August 20, 2015

How to grow perfect green gram/ moong beans sprouts

When I was a kid I was a very willful child. I am still one. But I was a total mess when it was about food. I would refuse to eat a lot of things and take hours to finish the food on my plate. Being the eldest grandchild I was pampered and spoilt. It was usually my maasi's duty to feed me.  It was routine torture for her. I hear tales of my greatness till date in family gatherings. And I shamelessly smile about my silliness. Eating healthy was a far off thing. I would stay miles and miles away from milk, green vegetables etc. Anything which fell in the bracket of "healthy eating" was a big NO. None in the family would have ever imagined that I would write a food blog and blog about eating healthy.

I am a total opposite of what I used to be, even few years ago. My pantry would be stocked with junk food ... chips, chocolates and ice-cream was a staple. Not sure how this transformation happened. But I am glad it did. I guess it was hibernating somewhere in the sub conscious mind. I come from a family where eating healthy is the norm. But we do indulge once in a while.

Last week before going for grocery, I was checking my pantry and making a mental list of things I had to buy. I forget half of the necessary things though. I will talk about that some other day. So there was little green gram sitting quietly. These days dinners are more about salads .... so I thought why not !

Today my post is about how to grow the perfect sprout, the base for a good sprout based salad/ dish.

Health Benefit of Green Gram Sprouts

Mung bean sprouts is very common and one of the easiest to do. It is low in calories, have fiber and B vitamins, and deliver a boost of vitamins C and K. (Source - Google) 

How to grow the perfect Green Gram/ Moong beans sprouts

What you need

Whole Moong Beans (Make sure they are not too old) - 1/2 cup
A close box to make the beans sprout. (I used a wide mouth stainless steel one)C
Clean cotton cloth.


Method of Preparation

Wash the green gram/ moong beans under running water.
Soak overnight in enough water . (Or for 6-8 hours)
Drain the water. Wash one more time under running water.
Take a clean cotton cloth and wet it. Wring to remove excess water
Tie the moong daal in the cloth and keep it covered in a food container / box for a day.
Next day, you can see tiny sprouts.
Again take them out, and wash under water. Drain the water and repeat process till the sprouts grow little longer.

You can store them in air tight container/ zip lock bag for 2-3 days in the fridge. Best consumed fresh.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Crispy Grilled Sardines ......Oil Free Cooking

The owner of this fish shop is a very cheerful young guy. Each time I visit his shop he helps me recognize the fishes in display. Mostly with local names in Kannada ...... I can barely recognize fishes, except Rohu, which is our staple. Well, now I am well versed with white and black Pompfrets, Shrimps and Mackerel to a certain extent. Also, he would oblige me with cleaning the fishes and cutting it per my instructions, no matter how crowded the shop is. Especially on weekends.I can however boast of selecting fresh ones .... I got my lessons pretty young when I went to the fish market with my dad. 

These days I have been doing a bit of research on fishes and their nutritional values. I love my fish hot, crispy and shallow fried in oil. But I understand that frying the fish in oil is not that healthy and I don't like raw curried fish.To satisfy my taste buds, the fish needs to be fried first and they curried. But that's not quite healthy. Although I love the taste. Of late myself and J are on a health diet. No we don't kill ourselves by starving. We are just trying to eat healthy.  And we both love fish. We can eat it on any given day. So I am trying to recreate traditional dishes with very little or no oil. 

Today when I visited the fish shop, they had some good fresh stock of Sardines. We are not much into eating Sardines because it's a sea fish. People in my part of the world prefer fresh water fishes. The reason why I got attracted to it is because of it's nutritional values. It is a very oily fish and is extremely rich in Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Calcium, Phosphorous and Omega 3 fatty acids. It is known to promote heart and bone health as it is rich in Omega 3 and calcium. However, if you are having a medical condition, it is better to consult a doctor before including it in your diet. 

I prepared a crispy grilled sardine today. It requires less than a teaspoon of oil as the fish itself is very oily. And I really loved it as it can be prepared in a jiffy. It was crisp and equally yum as the pan fried ones. Marinate and toss it into the oven and forget it for next 20 minutes. I can say that I recreated the taste of pan seared sardines minus the oil. So it was guilt free indulgence.

Serves - 2
Preparation Time - 10 minutes
Cooking Time - 20 minutes


Sardines - 6-7 (medium size) cleaned
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri Laal Mirch - 1/2 tsp (or more if you like it more spicy)
Ginger Paste -  1 tsp (fresh is better)
Lemon Juice - 2 tsp
Tandoori Masala - 1/2 tsp (use any store bought ones)
Curry Leaves - A handful
Mustard oil -  1 tsp
Salt per taste

Method of Preparation

Clean the sardines and pat them dry. Or leave them in a colander so that all the water is drained out. 
Prepare a tray by lining it with aluminum foil (reduces your work of scrubbing and cleaning it later). Preheat oven in grill mode at 250 degrees centigrade for about 10 minutes.
In a bowl mix all the ingredients to make an even paste. Add curry leaves to the masala. It enhances the taste of the fish. 
Make deep gashes on both sides of the fish.
Take the marinate masala  and rub on both sides of the fish. Now layer the fish on the prepared tray. Now reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees centigrade. Place the try on middle rack and grill for almost twenty minutes or till done.
Serve with rice.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Methi Daal - Lentil Soup flavored with fenugreek leaves.

Nothing beats a home cooked meal .... but having the same staple food everyday can get a bit boring. And with the temperature soaring high I just wish I had a magic wand. That I could just wish and food would be served. The other option left is eating out or ordering food. That can surely solve the problem to an extent but that ain't  a permanent solution, especially for a person like me who is paranoid of calculating calories and is very picky about what oil the restaurant uses for cooking, blah blah ..... 
So, these days I am trying to tweak n twist some of my everyday recipes to make it little more interesting. And the best part is without much effort.
Lentils are an integral part of Indian cooking. There are a plethora of lentil or daal recipes in Indian cooking. Every Indian home has their own way of cooking it. In my place we normally have toor daal/ pigeon pea as a staple. The daal is pressure cooked adding salt and turmeric powder and in the end seasoned with tadka of spices. 

So today while cooking, I added a twist by adding some dry fenugreek leaves .... It was not much an effort but it took the otherwise everyday boring daal/ lentil soup to another level. 

Food Facts
  • Toor Daal/ Pigeon Peas is a rich source of protein for vegetarians.
  • It also has a good amount of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and B vitamins.
  • It is high in dietary fibre.
  • Toor dal contains folic acid, an important vitamin for all women especially those planning to become pregnant.
  • Studies have shown that the fibers in fenugreek help prevent certain cancers.
  • Fenugreek contains saponins that help reduce the body’s absorption of cholesterol from fatty foods. Some studies also indicate saponins to have a role to play in reducing the body’s production of cholesterol, especially the LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.

(Makes -3) 

Split Toor/ Tuvar/ Arhar Daal / Pigeon peas - 1/2 cup
Garlic Pods - 4 (large ones)
Dry Red Chilies - 1
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Dry Fenugreek leaves (Kasturi Methi - Available is Indian Grocery stores) - 2 tsp
Oil - 3 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Water - 1.5 cups
Salt to taste

Method of Preparation

Take good quality lentils. This is the first step towards making a great dish. Wash and soak the daal for about 30 minutes. This will save the cooking time. Peel the garlic pods and crush them using a small mortal and pestle. Alternately, you can finely chop it. Using a kitchen scissor, cut the red chili into small pieces removing the seeds.

Now take the daal/ lentil in a pressure cooker. Add water to it. Add salt and turmeric powder to it and cook for about 2 whistles on medium flame. You can also cook it in any other vessel with a lid till its soft and cooked. 

After the lentils are cooked. Take oil (You can also use Ghee) in a small wok/ tadka pan and bring it to a smoking point. Add cumin seeds and let it crackle. Then add garlic, red chilies and asafoetida. In the end add the dry fenugreek leaves (Adding it in the beginning can burn it and it will loose it's delicate flavor) . Remove from heat and add the mixture to the daal. Stir and close the lid of the cooker.  

Serve warm with rice or roti.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Curried Chickpeas aka Chole/ Choley

Yah I am back blogging after an era literally. Hopefully this time for good ..... If you have been a regular on my blog you should be familiar with my style. There is a little story/ narration and a recipe. Since I am back after a very long time, I decided to twist my style and make it more versatile depending on the mood.
Because it is summer time and we all are in the mood to flaunt our beach bodies ...... or you might be in the other category as me, struggling to loose some weight, particularly those love handles:)

While I can vouch that there is no magic that helps shed those extra kilos, healthy eating habits and a little bit of working out won't hurt. Intact if one is consistent, you can see the results in a few months. Yah you heard it right, "months". The goals need to be realistic.
So this series is all about healthy eating ...... You don't have to starve to loose those extra kilos.

Choley or curried chickpeas is a very versatile dish and can be done in several ways. The style of preparation also varies from region to region.
This recipe is a milimalistic one with very little oil and spices and can be prepared under 30 minutes.

Food Fact 

Chickpeas are high in fibre and protein, and they have a low glycemic index. This powerful combination can help control your weight and lower the bad cholesterol levels. They are also rich in protein and packed with vitamins that are easily absorbed by our body

Chickpeas/ Kabuli chana/ Choley - 1.5 cups 

Boiled Potato - 1 small

Garlic pods - 12 (medium size ones)
Onion - 1 medium
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Tomato - 1
Green chili  - 1 (You can use more if you like spicy)
Choley Masala - 2 tsp (You can use any store bought one but I used MDH as I like it better)
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking - 2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp

Method of Preparation
1. You can soak the chickpeas for 8-9 hours (overnight). Then pressure cook it adding salt, 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and the garlic pods. The chickpeas should be soft when cooked. You can add a small potato to the chickpeas and boil if along with it to save time.
2. Finely chop onion, garlic, tomatoes and green chili and keep aside. Mash the boiled potato. 
3. Now put a kadhai/ wok on the stove and switch on the flame. Add 2 tsp of vegetable/ olive oil. When the oil is hot, add green chilies and ginger first. Sauté for a minute and then add the finely chopped onions to it. Saute till the onions turn translucent. Add tomatoes and cook till the masala has no raw smell and starts leaving oil from the sides. 
4. Now add 2 tsp of MDH Chola Masala (or any other masala brand you like) and immediately add the boiled chickpeas/ choley to it. Add mashed potatoes and stir the mixture lightly to blend in. Simmer on low flame for 10 - 15 minutes. You can taste the salt and add more  to the gravy if needed.(Mashed potato helps make the gravy thicker)
5. Switch of the flame and add chopped fresh coriander leaves to it.

Serving Suggestion

Goes well with any flat bread (poori, paratha, phulka / roti etc)