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Achaari Chicken Tikka

A great dish for any Barbecue Party for non- vegetarians.  This mouth watering dish features succulent chicken and vegetables marinated in a traditional spicy pickle mix and grilled.

Ingredients for Achari Paneer and Vegetable Tikkas (Serves 8-10)

  • Boneless chicken: 500g (wash and pat dry, cut into 1″ cubes)
  • Mixed veg(bell peppers, mushroom,onions, cauliflower, zucchini,etc): 500g (chopped into bite size pieces)
  • Pickle gravy: 3 tbsps (add more if you like it spicy)
  • Hung curd/yogurt: 1/2 cup
  • Lemon juice: 2 tbsp
  • Onion seeds: 2 tsp
  • Ginger+ garlic Paste: 1 tbsp
  • Kasuri Methi: 3 tbsp
  • Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp (as per your heat tolerance)
  • Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala : 1 tsp
  • Grass fed Butter/Ghee: 3 tbsp
  • Satay sticks: 10-12 (let it soak in a bowl of water overnight)
  • Oil: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. In a bowl mix the hung curd along with the pickle gravy, onion seeds, ginger+garlic paste, red chili powder, coriander powder, dried fenugreek, turmeric powder, garam masala, 2 tbsp ghee/butter and salt. Mix well. Taste the marinade.
  2. Add the chicken cubes and chopped mixed vegetables and mix well to coat them with the marinade.
  3. Let it marinade for at least 12hrs (or 24 hrs). String the chicken and vegetables on the sticks(you can alternate the chicken and vegetables)
  4. Preheat oven to 200C(392F) , place the chicken achari  sticks on oiled grilling grates. Brush with ghee/butter and rotate the sticks so that the chicken and vegetables get cooked evenly on all sides. Bake for 15 mins.
  5. Serve with mint and yogurt dip.

For Paneer Achaari Tikka Recipe, click here: Paneer and Vegetable Achaari Kebab


Achari Paneer and Vegetable Tikkas

A great dish for any Barbecue Party for vegetarians.  This mouth watering dish features fresh paneer and vegetables marinated in a traditional spicy pickle mix and grilled.

Ingredients for Achari Paneer and Vegetable Tikkas (Serves 8-10)

  • Paneer: 500g (cut into 1″ cubes)
  • Mixed veg(bell peppers, mushroom,onions, cauliflower, zucchini,etc): 500g (chopped into bite size pieces)
  • Pickle gravy: 2 tbsps (add more if you like it spicy)
  • Hung curd/yogurt: 1/2 cup
  • Onion seeds: 2 tsp
  • Ginger+ garlic Paste: 1 tbsp
  • Red chili powder: 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala : 1 tsp
  • Grass fed Butter/Ghee: 3 tbsp
  • Satay sticks: 10-12 (let it soak in a bowl of water if grilling)
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. In a bowl mix the hung curd along with the pickle gravy, onion seeds, ginger+garlic paste, red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, 2 tbsp ghee/butter and salt. Mix well.
  2. Add the paneer cubes and chopped mixed vegetables and mix well to coat them with the marinade.
  3. Let it marinade for at least 30 mins. String the paneer and vegetables on the sticks(you can alternate the paneer and vegetables)
  4. Heat oil in pan and place the paneer sticks. Keep rotating the sticks so that the paneer and vegetables get cooked evenly on all sides.
  5. Serve with mint and yogurt dip.

For Chicken Achaari Kebab recipe, click here: Chicken Achaari Kebab


Mixed Vegetable Pulav/Pilaf (Gluten free, Vegan)

This is an easy recipe and can be made for the lunch box or even for a party.

Recipe for Mixed Vegetable Pulav:

Ingredients: (Serves 6-8)

  • Brown Rice/ Basmati: 2 cups (soak in water for 30 mins)
  • Tomatoes: 3 medium (finely chopped)
  • Onions: 1 1/2 big or 2 medium sized (finely sliced)
  • Garlic: 3-4 (finely chopped)
  • Ginger: 1 ” piece (grated)
  • Green chilies: 1-4 (depending on your heat tolerance)
  • Mixed vegetables: 1 1/2 cups cut into bite sized pieces(carrot,cauliflower, peas, green beans)
  • Cinnamon: 2″ stick
  • Cloves: 4-5nos.
  • Peppercorns: 5-6 nos.
  • Bay leaf: 2nos.
  • Cardamoms: 4 nos.
  • Jeera/Cumin seeds: 2 tsp
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 1 1/2 tsp (heaped)
  • Garam masala: 1/4 tsp
  • Oil/ Butter/ Ghee: 3 tbsp
  • Water: 4 cups
  • Salt: to taste
  • Cilantro leaves: 2 tbsp (chopped) for garnishing
  • Mint leaves: a few (for garnish)

Method: 

  1. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker, add the whole spices (cumin, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom, peppercorn).
  2. When the jeera seeds start to sizzle, add the chopped garlic and saute on a low flame till it starts to brown.
  3. Add turmeric and the onions, salt and saute till the onions start turning pinkish brown.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook till they are completely mashed and oil starts to leave the sides.
  5. Add the red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala and mix well.
  6. Then add the mixed vegetables and mix till the masala coats the vegetables.
  7. Strain the rice and add it and mix for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Add the water, mix and taste the water for salt and flavours.
  9. close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles. Switch off
  10. Once the pressure drops open the cooker and garnish with coriander leaves(cilantro) and mint leaves. Slowly fluff the pulav a little.
  11. Serve the mixed vegetable pulav with raita.

 


Pickled Carrots (Western Style)

Pickles in the West are totally different from the kind we find in India. It is usually made with a salt and vinegar brine(sometimes with spices).  The brine is popularly known as ‘pickle juice’.

If you are in the habit of finishing just the pickle and throwing away the ‘pickle juice’-then STOP!! Read why you should never throw the pickle juice: Pickle Juice: 5 Health Benefits of drinking Pickle Juice 

If you are tired of the cucumber pickles that are hugely popular and want to try your hand at pickling try out this quick and easy Carrot Pickle.

Here’s what I used-
Ingredients:

  • Organic Carrots: 250 g(approx),slit lengthwise
  • Vinegar: 1 cup (distilled white vinegar)
  • Peppercorns:4-5
  • Garlic: 2 peeled and sliced
  • Himalayan salt: 1 teaspoon
  • Pickling spices: 2 teaspoon
  • Water: 1 cup

Method:

  1. Heat some water in a saucepan and once it boils drop the cut carrots into them and blanch on high for 3 mins.
  2. Strain out the carrots (you can use the water for soups or for regular cooking) and put them in cold water to stop the cooking. Strain and place in a sterilized glass jar along with the spices, garlic, peppercorn.
  3. Combine the vinegar,water and salt in a pan and bring to a boil.
  4. Pour the vinegar-water solution(brine) into the jar leaving about 1/2 inch space on top. Close the lids.
  5. Allow it to cool completely. Let it marinate for at least a day or two in the fridge for the flavours to develop.


Pickle Juice: 5 Health Benefits of drinking the juice

The pickle in the Western world is completely different to that what we have in India. It is basically small cucumbers or gerkins (or other vegetables like small onions) that are put in vinegar with some salt (and sometimes spices) and left to ferment for sometime. It is common to use these in sandwiches and burgers.

If you are among those who throws away the juice that remains after the pickle is over-then you need to STOP!! Pickle juice also has amazing health benefits.

Here are 5 Health benefits of drinking pickle juice:

  1. Avoiding cramps during/after workouts or intense training: Since pickle juice contains sodium it is considered to be better than plain water to relieve/prevent cramps during prolonged sporting activities or workouts.
  2. Simple cure for hangovers: Next time you have a bad hangover after a night out drinking, try drinking some pickle juice in the morning. It might not be what you’d like to drink the first thing in the morning-but trust me, it will cure your hangover and you can then drink that cup of tea!
  3. Cure for menstrual cramps, stomach pains and indigestion: Try taking a swig of pickle juice when you have any stomach related problems(menstrual pain or otherwise). Many people swear by it’s effectiveness.
  4. Headaches:  Whether it is a regular headache or migraine pain, try drinking some cold pickle juice.
  5. Slows the absorption of carbohydrates : Since pickle juice contains vinegar and vinegar has been known to slow down the absorption of the carbs from the meal, it may help both diabetics and those who are insulin resistant.

If you are tired of the cucumber pickles that are hugely popular and want to try your hand at pickling try out this quick and easy Carrot Pickle here: Pickle Carrots (Western Style)

Sweta Uchil-Purohit

Best Indian Dietitian

 


Sweet and Spicy Cranberry Chutney

Cranberry juice has long been used in treating urinary tract infections.  It is loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients which researchers believe  also protect against cancer. Fresh cranberries have the most health benefits followed closely by dried cranberries.

Try out a simple Sweet and Spicy(and tart) Indian Style Cranberry Chutney:

Ingredients:

  • Cranberries: 200gms
  • Jaggery: 1/2 cup
  • Fennel seeds( Saunf): 1 tsp
  • Zeera/ cumin seeds: 1 tsp
  • Ginger: 1 tsp grated
  • Red chili powder: 1/2-2 tsp (depending on your heat tolerance)
  • Garam masala: 1 tsp
  • Olive oil/ Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  • Heat oil/ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds. When they crackle add the grated ginger to it.
  • Then add the cranberries, salt, fennel seeds , garam masala and the chili powder. Add some water and let it cook on medium heat till the cranberries are cooked and soft.
  • Taste for salt and add the jaggery to it. When completely cooked,  taste it to make sure there is a balance in the spice, salt and sweetness (if not add accordingly).
  • Set aside to cool for sometime. Put the mixture in the blender and blend it to fine paste.

Fennel Seed Water (Saunf Ka Paani)

Fennel seeds is commonly eaten in India after meals as it is known to aid in digestion, reduce bloating, gas(flatulence) and as a mouth freshener. Fennel water is sometimes given to babies to relieve colic pain. 

Fennel seed water /Saunf Ka Paani is simply water infused with fennel seeds. This can be done by either immersing them in hot water or by soaking it overnight in cool water.
It can be used as :
•a mild diuretic
•to relieve heartburn , constipation, aid in digestion and as a carminative (relieves gas)
• it can also help in cooling the body in summer

How to Make Fennel Seed Water:
•Take 1 litre of drinking water and bring it to a boil.
•When the water starts bubbling add 2 tablespoons of raw fennel seeds, and switch off the flame immediately.
•Cover the pan with a lid and allow this to cool to room temperature.
•Once it cools, your fennel water is now ready. All you have to do is to transfer it into your glass jar or bottle.


10 Ways to sneak in more vegetables in your diet

The benefits of eating a diet rich in vegetables are many-from lowering cholesterol, controlling sugar levels, aiding weight loss, fighting cancer to relieving constipation. However, most dietitians still feel that the common man is not eating enough vegetables to get the full benefits.
The question in most people’s mind: How much vegetable should one consume in day? 
The answer is around 5-9 servings of vegetables and fruits/day. That would mean around 4-5 cups of fruits and vegetables, which is a lot. Most of us tend to eat not more than 1-2 cups/day. So how does one achieve eating the recommended amounts?

I always advocate eating foods in a form that is as close to how it’s found in nature as this requires the body to break it down which takes time. The longer it takes for the body to digest food, the longer it stays in your stomach thus keeping you fuller for a longer period of time. So it’s best to eat your vegetables as salads or sabzi’s (don’t overcook them as that would kill all the nutrients). In addition to eating them as salads or sabzi’s,
Here are some tips to sneak in more vegetables into your diet:
1. Add vegetables to dishes which you would normally not do so -instead of plain upma, kichidi, poha, noodles, pasta, dal, add some mixed veggies into these dishes and you make them more nutritious and a filling dish.
2. Add grated veggies to any dish-you can add grated carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, beetroot, etc to roti’s, chutney’s, chaats, dosa, idli and even salads. Try sprinkling some grated vegetables like carrots on top of dishes as a garnish-it makes the dish more colourful and inviting.
3. Add a salad with every meal-these need not be limited to just cucumber and tomatoes. A lot more vegetables like beetroot, radish, methi leaves, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, knol-khol/kohlrabi, turnips, and capsicum/bell pepper can be eaten raw. Pulses and legumes and even some grains can be sprouted and added to the salads (like wheat, methi seeds, moong/mung, channa,etc). To avoid boredom, try out 3 different salads every week. You could even mix fruits and vegetables together to make some exotic combinations.
4. Add vegetable purees-to soups, curries, chapathi dough, dosa batter.
5. Add chopped/sliced veggies to sandwiches, wraps, bhel puri, fruit chaats.
6. Make dips with vegetables/fruits-avocado, cucumber, mint, cilantro/coriander leaves, pumpkin, apple, strawberries, figs, etc can all be made into tasty dips. These can be also used as spreads on whole wheat breads and phulkas to make healthy snacks.
7. Eat raw vegetables for snacks– carrots, celery, parsnips can be paired with the fruit/vegetable dips to get double the vegetables!
8. Add veggies to meat/poultry/fish curries. Even scrambled eggs taste better when you add some sautéed veggies like tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and capsicum/bell pepper!
9. Make chutney’s with vegetables/fruits-you don’t have to limit chutneys to just coriander/cilantro or mint. Try making chutneys from brinjal/eggplant, tomatoes, onions, apples, carrots, etc .Eat them with your meals or add them to your salads, breads, yogurts to create a unique dish!
10. Make your own veg+fruit smoothies– mix and match veggies with some sweet fruits to make your own smoothies/juices.  The pulp contains the fiber-so do not to strain it out.

Sweta Uchil

Indian Dietitian

 


How To Detox after a Major Festival Or Vacation??

HOW TO DETOX AFTER A FESTIVAL  OR HOLIDAY ???

Did you manage to eat your whole years’ quota of laddoos, kheer, pedas, puri’s and biryani over the festival season? Feeling guilty about it ?

While there isn’t any way that you can magically erase all the effects of the high calorie foods, you could think about giving your digestive system a rest after the overload it has had to take. Here are a few steps to follow:

1.Drink plenty of water. Chances are that might be feeling bloated or noticing some water retention. This could possibly be due to the fact that you haven’t been hydrating yourself enough. Make it a point to drink at least 2 litres of water. You can also drink some infused water (here is a recipe for Apple-cinnamon infused water), herbal teas, beetroot juice, carrot juice, simple soups or coconut water.

2.Avoid sugar, refined flour(foods made with maida)and highly processed foods like cakes, biscuits, crackers. Instead include whole grains like unpolished rice(or brown / par boiled rice), broken wheat, barley in your diet.

3.Eat plenty of green leafy vegs, fruits and vegetables. They contain a host of antioxidants , vitamins, minerals and fibre that your body didn’t get.

4. Include protein rich foods like sprouts, dals, pulses, eggs.

5. Keep your food simple, avoid rich gravies, greasy or very spicy (masaledar foods).

6. If possible give your digestive system a rest by not eating till dinner. A short fast which would mean just eating one meal (simple dinner) and having plenty of  fluids (water, herb teas, black tea,etc) will give your liver time to push out the extra stored glycogen and toxins out.

7. Include curd (yogurt) and buttermilk (chaas) to help balance the bacteria in your gut.

8.Include foods that will help cleanse the liver like garlic, beetroot, carrots (here is the recipe for beetroot & carrot juice), green tea, avocados , green leafy vegetables grapefruit and apples.

9. Exercise. Even if you aren’t into heavy exercise, start going for long walks and try to soak in as much sunlight(vitamin D) as you can.

For those interested in a Personal Diet Consultation by Sweta Uchil-Purohit (Indian Dietitian) check out our Online Diet Consultation packages & prices here- Online Diet Consultation by Indian Dietitian

 

 

 

 


Fennel (Saunf) Bulb Salad (with mixed fruits and carrots)

The fennel bulb is actually the base of the fennel(saunf) plant. It’s a shame that it isn’t used in India as it is edible and has some of the benefits of saunf. The fennel bulb is low in calories and rich in fibre and contains vitamin C and potassium. Fennel (saunf) has been used for ages for aiding digestion after meals and also as a carminative (relieving flatulence/gas) and the same properties are present in the bulb too. It has a mild saunf flavor and a lovely crunchy texture and is perfect for salads.

ChatPata Fennel Bulb salad

Try out this easy salad with mixed fruits. I just use whatever fruits and salad vegetables there are at home, so feel free to try out your own combination:

Ingredients for Fennel Salad:

  • Fennel bulb: 1/2 (finely sliced)
  • Carrot: 1 medium (cut into thin sticks)
  • Apple: 2 (cut into sticks)
  • Blue Grapes: 15 ( quartered)
  • Navel Oranges: 2 (thinly sliced)
  • Lemon juice: from 1 lemon
  • Apple Cider vinegar: 2 tbsp
  • Honey/Sugar: 1 tsp (optional)
  • Chaat masala: 1 tsp (optional-I love the Indian flavour it adds to the salad)
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Add the Apple Cider Vinegar and lemon juice, salt and chaat masala and toss.
  3. Chill in the fridge for at least half and hour.
  4. Toss again before serving.