Author Archives: admin

Beetroot Upkari (a simple Mangalorean style stir-fry)

Though beetroot is loaded with vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, iron, magnesium and potassium, it isn’t a popular vegetable and somehow doesn’t get onto the diet more often. The nutrients they contain fight inflammation, lower your blood pressure, and could also fight cancers.

Since it is naturally sweet, it can be used as a salad by those who don’t like sweet vegetable sabzi.

Here is a simple Mangalorean style stir-fry which tastes great with chapathis and even with rice and dal. My kids love eating it with curd rice as they love to see the colour of the curd rice change from white to pink when they mix the beetroot with it. Do note that beetroot has a naturally occurring dye that can colour your hands/cutting boards while cutting. It will also cause you to have pink stools and urine after consuming it, so don’t be alarmed.

Beetroot Upkari: Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • Beetroot: 3 big
  • Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Green chilli- 2-3
  • Curry leaves- Few
  • Urad dal/ Split Black gram- 1 tsp
  • Coconut Oil- 1 tsp
  • Salt- To taste
  • Sambar powder(optional): 1-2 tsp
  • Grated Coconut: 2-3 tbsp for garnish

Method:

  1. Wash and peel the beetroot. Then chop it into small cubes.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds. Once it starts popping, green chilli, curry leaves and urad dal. Fry for a minute.
  3. Add in the chopped beetroot and mix well. Add the salt and water, sambhar powder(for a variation, though not added to regular upkari), close and cook for 15-20 minutes on a medium flame.
  4.  Once cooked, add grated coconut as garnish and serve with rice+dal or curd rice or even chapathis.

Other Beetroot Recipes:

  1. Beetroot Juice: Click here for recipe

Beetroot Juice is a great drink for athletes ,sports persons and for those who exercise regularly as beetroot is loaded with nitrates . Nitrates when consumed are converted to nitric oxide which helps in opening the blood vessels and allows more blood and thereby oxygen to be delivered to the muscles.

 

 

 

 


Low-Carb Bun

For those who miss Burgers / bread/ pav on a low-carb diet. This is the perfect low-carb replacement.

Low carb Pav/Bun

Ingredients: 

  • Almond meal: 1  1/2 cup
  • Egg whites: 3 nos.
  • Isabgol powder/Psyllium husk: 5 tbsp
  • Hot water: 1 cup
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Melted butter: 1 tsp
  • Sesame seeds: to sprinkle on top

Method:

  1. Mix the Almond meal/coconut flour along with the salt and baking powder.
  2. Add the egg whites, and then add the boiling water and quickly mix for about 40-50 seconds.
  3.  The mixture will be sticky, so apply the melted butter on your palms and make around 8 small balls and place them on a tray lined with baking paper.
  4. Sprinkle a little sesame seeds on top of each portion and place into pre-heated oven (180 C). Bake for around 60 mins.

These can be eaten immediately or can be frozen and used later.

 

 


Potassium Content of Common Indian Vegetables (Latest 2018 version)

Power is gained by sharing knowledge-not hoarding it.

Potassium is a mineral found in most foods we eat . It plays a role in keeping a heartbeat regular and also needed to maintain the  fluid and electrolyte balance in the bloodstream.  The kidneys help to keep the right amount of potassium in your body and eliminate excess amounts into the urine. When the kidneys no longer function properly potassium and sodium levels need to be monitored.  Foods rich in these two minerals might need to be restricted.

While going through the charts we used when I worked in the renal field back in India, I realized that it isn’t the correct version.

Here is the updated list of Potassium Content of Common Indian Vegetables 2018 (updated with the help of the USDA):

Potassium Content of Vegetables per 100gms

Low (less than 100mg) Medium (100-200) High(200mg+
Capsicum/Bell pepper Green beans Tomato
Chayote squash(Chow Chow/ semebadnekai) Carrots, Onions Ladies finger/ Bhindi
Green moong sprouts Cucumber Methi Leaves
Peas Spinach leaves
Onions(Stir-fried) Potatoes
Beetroot Sweet Potatoes
Broccoli Bittergourd
Turnip Amaranth leaves (cholai/Shepu)
Cauliflower Malabar Spinach (basale soppu)
Turnips Coriander leaves
Cabbage Drumstick
Ridgegourd(Turrai) Mustard greens (Sarson)
Brinjal Kohlrabi (navalkohl)

Sweta Uchil-Purohit

 


Tangy Baked Salmon with Garlic and Dijon mustard

Omega -3 fatty acids are an important nutrient for overall health as well as well as heart health. They are categorized under essential fatty acids (EFA) as our bodies cannot produce them and they must be got through food or supplements. Though there isn’t any official Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for omega-3, it is believed that we don’t get enough in our diet. To read more about Omega-3 Fatty Acids and the different sources, click here: Omega-3 Fatty acids-How much and How to get them?

So why wild caught salmon? Salmon by itself is actually a white fish. Wild caught salmon is caught in their natural environment and feed on insects, shrimp, plankton and small fish, which gives the salmon its remarkable deep red flesh coloring. Whereas, farm raised salmon live in cages with thousands of other fish and hence cannot move as much as wild caught. They are also fed commercially produced fish food which results in an inferior white flesh color. Since this is not acceptable, salmon farmers add a chemical dye to the feed to get the pink/red flesh in farmed salmon.

Hence wild caught salmon is not just tastier to eat but is nutritionally far better than farmed. Wild caught definitely has more Omega-3, vitamins(including Vit.D), minerals, along with high levels of selenium and iodine.

Here is a quick and easy Salmon recipe that my kids love as it’s tangy and not-spicy. The Dijon mustard gives an amazing flavor, but you can replace it with whole ground mustard if you want.

Ingredients for Tangy baked Salmon with garlic and Dijon mustard:

  • Wild caught salmon fillet: 1 lbs (washed and pat dry)
  • Garlic: 3 cloves (grated)
  • Dijon Mustard: 1 tbsp
  • Pepper: 1/2 tsp freshly ground
  • Oil/melted butter/ ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp chopped
  • Lime Juice: 2 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. In a bowl make the marinade by mixing all the ingredients (except salmon). Taste for salt.
  2. Marinate the salmon generously with the marinade and set aside for 15-20 mins.
  3. Preheat the oven to 230 C (450F). Line a baking tray with parchment paper and lay the salmon skin side down on the tray (if you want a crispy skin, then you can pan-fry on high heat for 5 mins and then put them on the baking tray).
  4. Cook for about 15 mins (about 10-12 mins  if you have first pan fried).
  5. Serve with a side of grilled vegetables.

 

 

 

 


Egg Fried Rice

Egg Fried Rice is a quick and easy rice dish which is best made with leftover cold rice.  It is a basic yet simple dish for those who want to try their hand at Chinese cooking. You can add some diced vegetables like carrots, peas and bell peppers if you want.

Ingredients for Egg Fried Rice:

  • Eggs (preferably Free-range): 4
  • Cooked rice : 4 (cups cooled)
  • Carrots, peas: 1/2 cup diced (optional)
  • Red onion: 1 medium (finely diced)
  • Ginger: 1 tsp diced
  • Garlic: 1 tsp diced
  • Coriander (stem): 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Light Soy sauce: 2 tbsp
  • Spring onions: ⅔ cup (finely sliced)
  • Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp for garnish
  • Salt: to taste
  • Sesame oil: ¼ tsp
  • Oil: 4 tbsp

Method:

1. Break eggs into a bowl and beat lightly. Heat half the oil in a kadai/wok . Pour the beaten eggs into the kadai and leave to cook for 10 seconds before lightly scrambling until almost cooked through. Keep aside.

2. Heat remaining oil in the same kadai and stir fry onion, ginger, garlic, and coriander  stems along with the diced  vegetables(optional) for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are almost cooked.

3. Add rice to the kadai with spring onions, soy sauce, salt, sesame oil and the cooked egg and stir fry for 3 minutes or until well combined and rice is heated through. Break up the egg  into smaller pieces if needed while cooking. Transfer rice to a bowl and serve garnished with coriander.

If you like it spicy, then you can serve it with a side of red chili in soy sauce ( finely slice fresh/dried red chilies with three tablespoons light soy).


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