Category Archives: Healthy Indian Recipes

Kadhi(Yogurt curry)

Kadhi is one of our favourite dishes, and something which reminds my hubby of his mother’s cooking(which is a HUGE compliment)! It’s a quick dish and I usually make it on days when I have to cook in a rush. It’s a combination of curd(yogurt) and chikpea/gram flour,which means nutritionally it’s loaded with calcium(yogurt) and protein(gramflour) . The actual Indian recipe has ‘Pakoda’ (a deep fried item made with a combination of gramflour,onions,chillies) but you could however,add the Nucchina Unde/Steamed lentil ball,the recipe was sent to me by my friend Suma. These could be added to the gravy,just before serving.

Kadhi(Yogurt curry):Serves 4
Ingredients:

  • Curd/Yogurt: 2 cups
  • Besan/gram/chickpea flour: 2 tablespoons(make a smooth paste with cold water)
  • Ginger+garlic paste: 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Jeera/Cumin seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Methi/fenugreek seeds: 1/4th teaspoon
  • Hing/asafoetida: a pinch
  • Turmeric: 1/4th teaspoon
  • Coriander/Cilantro leaves: 2 tablespoons(finely chopped)
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 1teaspoon
  • Water:2-3 cups

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick kadai/wok.
  2. Add the mustard,cumin and fenugreek seeds. When the mustard starts to pop,add the turmeric,hing and the ginger+garlic paste.
  3. Fry for a minute and then add the curd and stir for another minute.
  4. Add the besan/chickpea paste and 2-3 cups of water,salt and stir.
  5. Cook till it starts to boil.
  6. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  7. Serve hot with rice.

Note:I add the pakode( fried chickpea flour batter fritters) or steamed lentil dumplings or sometimes falafel after cooking the kadhi so that it doesn’t break. 


Banana Dosa (Sweet Banana Dosa)

This is a favorite breakfast/snack item at home. I first made sweet banana dosa/crepes when I had a few over ripe bananas and wanted to try something other than the banana raita. This is similar to the popular Mangalorean recipe of “Southekai dosa” or ‘Sweet Cucumber dosa’. Years ago I had experimented replacing the cucumber with mango puree and the resulting ‘Sweet Mango Dosa‘ too had turned out really well.
Here are the ingredients for the Sweet Banana crepes:
Ingredients for Sweet Banana Dosa:(Serves 4)

  • Dosa Rice: 1 cup
  • Ripe Bananas: 2 nos.
  • Beaten rice/poha/ avalakki: 1 cup
  • Grated coconut: 3-4 tbsp
  • Jaggery: 3/4th cup
  • Low-fat Yogurt/curd: 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom powder: a pinch
  • Salt: 1/4tsp

Method:

  1. Soak the rice and methi seeds for at least 3-4 hours.
  2. Just before grinding the batter, wash the poha and leave aside for 10-15 mins.
  3. Grind all the ingredients (except the cardamom) together with enough water to make a fine batter (test the batter for sweetness).
  4. Leave aside for 1/2-1 hour.
  5. Add the cardamom powder and mix well.
  6. Heat a non-stick pan and pour a ladle full of the batter onto it. Spread it out in a circular motion to make a dosa/ crepe.
  7. Let it cook for a couple of minutes, then add a little oil to the edges.
  8. Flip the dosa over and let it cook till done.
  9. Serve the sweet banana dosa/ crepes hot off the pan and watch them vanish.

The sweet  banana dosa can be eaten as such without any side or dipping sauce.

Note: Store any left over batter in the refrigerator.

 

Indian Dietitian Online


Kala Channa Rasam ( Brown Chickpea rasam)

Kala channa/ kadale rasam doesn’t actually have any kala channa but is made from the water left over from boiling the kala channa/ brown kadle. When using the channa for a dry sabzi like Manoli kadle or usali, instead of throwing the water, you can make another dish out of it. Moreover, making dal/sambar as the gravy dish will make the meal too heavy with too much protein. The kala channa/ kadle rasam then becomes the perfect side dish for the meal.
Ingredients for Kadale rasam:
  • Kala channa/kadle water: left over water after pressure cooking
  • Tomatoes:2-3 (pureed)
  • Garlic: 3-4 (skinned and smashed)
  • Rasam powder:2- 3tsp (according to taste)
  • Turmeric: 1/4tsp
  • Green chillies:1-2 slit in half
  • Cilantro/coriander leaves- finely chopped
  • Salt: to taste

Tempering:

  •  Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  • Cumin/jeers seeds: 1tsp
  • Urad dal: 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves: 8-10
  • Hing/asafoetida:a pinch
  • Oil: 1tsp

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan, then add the mustard seeds,cumin and urad dal.
  2. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add the hing, curry leaves, turmeric and the slit green chillies and smashed garlic and stir for a few seconds.
  3. Add the tomato puree, the rasam powder and salt and stir or 5-6 minutes.
  4. Add the kala channa water , salt and mix well.
  5. Let it boil, then let it simmer for 5-6 minutes.
  6. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
  7. Serve the kala channa/ kadle rasam with rice and the

Click here for the Kadale Manoli recipe


Kadale Manoli (Tendli/Kovakkai with brown channa)

Another favorite Mangalorean recipe is the Manoli Kadle-made with Ivy Gourd(tondekai) called ‘Manoli’ in Tulu (one of the languages spoken in Mangalore) ‘tondli‘ in Marathi, ‘tendli‘ in Konkani ‘tindora‘ in Hindi and ‘kovakkai’ in Tamil. ‘Kadle’ is the brown channa/kala channa (brown garbanzo beans) that is traditionally used but you could substitute it with kabuli channa (chickpeas/garbanzo beans) if you don’t have the brown variety.
Ingredients for Kadale Manoli:(serves 4)

  • Brown/kala channa:3/4th cup soaked overnight and pressure cooked till soft (Don’t throw away the extra water after pressure cooking-it is used for making kala channa rasam)
  • Tondli-250gms(cut into long strips or thin rings)
  • Grated coconut-2 tbsp.
  • Red chilly powder-2-3 tsp( or according to your spice tolerance)
  • Coriander powder: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic: 2 big/ 4-5 small(peeled and smashed just before adding to tadka/tempering)
  • Tamarind paste-1/4tsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  • Urad dal: 1tsp
  • Curry leaves-10
  • Hing/Asafoetida -a pinch
  • Dry red chillies: 1-2(broken into half)
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 2 tsp

Method:

  1. Heat the oil is a non-stick pan, add the mustard seeds, urad dal and let the mustard pop.
  2. Add the broken dry chillies, curry leaves and then the smashed garlic. Saute till the garlic gets a slight brown color.
  3. Add the turmeric, hing and the chopped tondli and fry for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked channa, red chilli powder, coriander powder, salt and about 1/2-1 cup water.
  5. Cover and cook till the tondli is soft,then add the tamarind paste. Mix and let the water evaporate.
  6. Add the grated coconut and mix.
  7. Serve the manoli kadle with hot rasam (recipe in my next post) and rice.

Note:
1)You can also use the dry dessicated (unsweetened) coconut available at grocery stores. Rehydrate it by adding it to hot water for 5 minutes. Strain and then add.
2) Use extra water when you pressure cook the kala channa-then drain the water and you can make rasam with it.
The manoli kadle, and the kala channa rasam combo goes together and is eaten with rice.

Click here for the Kala Channa Rasam Recipe

Kadale Manoli and kala channa rasam

Kadale Manoli and kala channa rasam


Hariyali Chicken Tangdi/ Kebab

If you love chicken kebabs, then this is one finger-licking recipe! I love the taste of coriander leaves with ginger+garlic and green chilies and combined with chicken it just tastes yummy.

As a dietitian I love this as this makes a healthy recipe considering:

  1. there is very little oil
  2. the addition of greens (coriander and mint) increases the iron, fibre and antioxidant content of the dish.
  3. it’s a protein dish (and hence tends to keep you full for a longer period) and makes for a great appetizer.

Ingredients for Hariyali Chicken Tangdi: Serves 4

  • Chicken drumsticks: 8 nos.
  • Coriander leaves (cilantro):1 big bunch
  • Mint leaves (optional): 6-8nos.
  • Garlic: 8-10 cloves
  • Green chilies: 2-3 nos. (add more if you like it hot)
  • Salt: to taste
  • Curd/yogurt: 3-4tbsp
  • Ginger+garlic paste: 2tsp
  • Red chili powder: 2tsp (add more if you like it hot)
  • Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
  • Cumin powder: 1tsp
  • Garam masala: 1tsp
  • Oil: 2tsp
  • Lemon juice: 3tsp

Method:

  1. Remove the skin from the drumsticks, make horizontal slits with a sharp knife.
  2. Make a first marinade with ginger+garlic paste, salt, lemon juice, and the spice powders(red chili, cumin, coriander, garam masala). Taste for salt.
  3. Work the marinade well into the drumsticks and leave aside while you make the second marinade ready.
  4. Put the yogurt, salt,coriander leaves, mint leaves, garlic and green chilies and grind to a fine paste (do not add any water if possible). Check for salt.
  5. Add the second marinade and the oil to the drumsticks. Rub it well into the slits.
  6. Let it marinade in the fridge preferably overnight or for at least 2-3 hours.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
  8. Place the drumsticks on a baking tray and bake for 30-35 mins turning once halfway through.
  9. Remove from the oven. You can sprinkle a little chaat masala (optional)
  10. Serve with mint chutney (or mint-yogurt dip), raw onions and lemon slices.

Note:

  • You can make kebabs with breast pieces if you wish. Vegetarians can use paneer instead of chicken.
  • If you like it mild-you can reduce the green chilis.
  • If you want a darker green colour-then you can add some palak(spinach leaves) along with the coriander and mint leaves (when making the second marinade).

Overnight Oats Mango Smoothie /Breakfast Oats Mango Smoothie

Oats is loaded with soluble fiber and is great for:

  1. reducing ‘bad’ cholesterol,
  2. controlling blood sugar level,
  3. relieving constipation

Overnight oats is the new way to make oats without cooking. You simply soak the oats in your choice of liquid (water, milk, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk) overnight in the fridge. The oats tend to absorb the liquid and soften up a little and can be eaten the next day without heating (those who don’t like eating a cold breakfast can also heat it up).

Here’s a tasty smoothie that you can have for breakfast or anytime you feel like having a snack.

Overnight Oats Mango smoothie

Ingredients for Mango Oats smoothie: Serves 2

  • Mango- pulp of 3 nos.
  • Rolled Oats(raw or cooked)- ½ cup
  • Yogurt- 1 cup (made from skim milk)
  • Skim milk- 1 cup
  • Honey- 4tsp

Method:

  1. Soak the oats in the milk overnight in the fridge.
  2. In the morning, blend all the ingredients together in a mixer till smooth.
  3. Pour into a glass, add a dollop of curd on top.
  4. Serve chilled.

Note:

  • When making the smoothie for kids, you could powder the oats first and then blend along with the rest of the ingredients as they may not enjoy the texture that comes with the raw/cooked oats.
  • You could even cook the oats, instead of soaking it overnight and add it to the blender once it has cooled.
  • You can substitute the mango with any seasonal fruit like strawberries, peaches or bananas.

Overnight Oats Mango Smoothie

Overnight Oats mango Smoothie

Indian Dietitian Online


Mixed dal dosa/ Adai (Mixed lentils and rice crêpe)

Mixed dal Dosa/ Adai

Protein is in vogue-and why not. It high protein foods keep you feeling full for a longer period of time and also don’t raise your blood sugars like carbohydrates do. I believe in moderation and thus try to include more protein in my diet and reduce the amount of carbs without totally giving it up.
I was craving for some crispy dosas as I hadn’t made them in a long time. But,with the weather no longer conducive for fermenting the batter, I had to think of something which didn’t need fermenting. That’s when my mom suggested the mixed dal dosa-or “Adai” as it’s called in Tamil Nadu. Mom suggested soaking equal quantities of all the dals/split lentils that I had at home along with equal amounts of rice.
What I love about this dosa is because there is more dal (protein) when compared to the rice(carbs), this dosa is more filling and you end up eating less dosas than the regular dosa.
There are so many different recipes for this mixed dal dosa/ Adai,but here’s how I made it(with whatever ingredients were available at home last night):

Mixed dals

Ingredients for Mixed Dal Dosa/Adai: (Serves 4)

  • Raw rice: 1/2 cup
  • Channa dal: 1/2 cup
  • Urad dal(split black matpe beans): 1/2 cup
  • Mung dal: 1/2 cup
  • Masoor dal(pink lentil): 1/2 cup
  • Tur dal
  • Cooked rice OR beaten rice(poha): 1/2 cup
  • Methi seeds: 2tsp
  • Ginger: 1″ piece (optional)
  • Dry red chillies: 4-5 (or to taste)
  • Salt: to taste
  • Water: 1 cup

Method:

  1. Soak all the dals and the raw rice for at least 4-6 hours.
  2. Grind all the ingredients together with a cup of water till you get a fine paste ( pancake batter consistency). If using beaten rice/poha-soak it for 15 minutes before grinding.
  3. Pour a ladle of the batter on a hot ‘tawa’ or non-stick pan,and spread into a thin dosa.
  4. Cover for a minute,then carefully flip it over to cook the other side.
  5. Serve the mixed dal dosa/ Adai piping hot with chutney and/or sambar.

Adai (Dal dosa)

Mixed Dal Dosa (Adai)

Indian Dietitian Online


Methi Pulao (Methi Rice) 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.

Methi Rice

Methi Pulao (How to make methi pulao)

Indian Dietitian Online


Besan Dosa/ Besan Chila (How to make chickpea flour crepes/pancakes)

Besan Dosa/ Besan Chila (Chickpea Flour Crepes)

Besan or chickpea flour or gram flour is a great source of fiber, is GLUTEN FREE and can be helpful in lowering cholesterol and blood sugars.

When I was growing up in Bombay,Besan dosa was a very popular dish in most Udupi restaurants and was even sometimes called “Vegetarian Omelet”. Besan dosa was also sold as a filling inside sandwiches which were named “Veggie omelet sandwich”! Funnily enough,I hated them at that time and preferred my regular ‘egg omelet’ to the veggie omelet. Finally,one day I tried it out and to my amazement, loved it(thankfully it was appreciated by hubby and little brat) and so now it’s a regular feature at home. Make sure you use a good non-stick pan when you make this-that way,you won’t need to use a lot of oil.

Besan or Chickpea flour is a high fibre, high protein, gluten free flour which is made from garbanzo/chickpeas. Being high in fibre, it can be helpful for lowering blood sugar levels and cholesterol.

Here is a quick and easy recipe that can be had for breakfast or even lunch/dinner:

Ingredients for Besan Dosa/Chila (Chickpea flour crepes):Serves 4

  • Besan/Gramflour/Chickpea flour: 2 cups
  • Rice flour: 2 tbsp (optional)
  • Onion:1/2 small(finely chopped)
  • Tomatoes:1 small(finely chopped)
  • Green chillies:1-2(finely chopped)
  • Corriander leaves/Cilantro: 2 tablespoon,finely chopped
  • Grated zucchini/ bottlegourd: 1/2 cup (optional)
  • Hing/asafoetida: a pinch
  • Turmeric powder: 1/4th teaspoon
  • Jeera/Cummin seeds:1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda: 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Salt:to taste
  • Oil/Butter/Ghee: to grease the pan

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients.
  2. Add enough water to make a batter of dosa/pancake consistency. If adding zucchini/bottlegourd, you may need less water as the bottlegourd/zucchini will leave some of its moisture.
  3. Spread the oil on a non-stick pan on medium flame.
  4. Pour a ladle of the batter and spread like a dosa. Cover for a 3-4 minutes.
  5. Then,flip the dosa over to the other side and cook for another 1-2 minutes.Make sure not to burn them.
  6. Serve the besan dosa hot with mint,ketchup or a spicy chutney.

Indian Dietitian Online


Watermelon Salsa (Chatpata Watermelon Chaat)

Fresh Watermelon Salsa

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!

Watermelons are loaded with the carotenoid lycopene and contains mostly water which is a great way to re-hydrate the body in summer.

Watermelon Salsa 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 substitute the watermelon with any fruit (mango, pineapple, peach, nectarine, etc) or make a mixed fruit salsa by adding 2-3 fruits together.

You can add some chaat masala for an Indian twist.

Here are other Healthy Snack Ideas:

  1. Baked Sweet Potato Fries/snack
  2. Baked Carrot Fries/snack
  3. Crispy Kale Chips
  4. Khaman Dhokla
  5. Handvo
  6. Fish Cutlets/Patties

Indian Dietitian Online