Category Archives: Indian Dietitian Online

Beetroot and Carrot Salad

Beetroots and beet greens are loaded with vitamins and minerals that fight inflammation, lower blood pressure , boost the strength and endurance and also detoxify.

Here is a simple way to incorporate it with your meals:

  • Beetroot: 2 nos. (peeled and cut into matchsticks)
  • Carrots: 1 big (peeled and cut into matchsticks)
  • Shallots: 2 (finely chopped)
  • Olive oil: 2 tbsp
  • Red wine vinegar: 2 tbsp
  • Green chili: 1 slit (optional)
  • Cilantro/Coriander leaves: 3 tbsp roughly chopped
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

Mix all the ingredients in a big salad bowl and toss well. Leave it to marinate for at least half an hour in the fridge. Serve chilled.

Other Beetroot recipes:

  1. Beetroot Mocktail/ Juice: Click for recipe here
  2. Beetroot Upkari(a simple Mangalorean style stir-fry): Click for recipe here
  3. Beetroot leaves dal: Click here for Recipe

 

 


How To Eat Sensibly through the festive season.

They say that someone once asked Lord Buddha “What is POISON“? His answer was simple-“Every Thing EXCESS In Life Is Poison”!!! 
Words of wisdom which holds good even today. Excess of even the good things in life can bring with it,it’s own set of problems! This is true even with festive food these days. 
Sometime back I remember discussing our change in food habits and the increasing problem of obesity and other health problems that India (and Indians all over the world) are now facing, and a friends father’s put it nicely as “Hamare zamaane mein Diwali saal mein ek baar manayi jaati thi. Aaj kal tho log Diwali roz manate hein!! Translated into English, “In our time, Diwali (the main festival for Hindus) used to be celebrated once a year and we would indulge ourselves on sweets and other festive food. These days it’s like Diwali  is celebrated daily as people eat sweets and other high-calorie food on a regular basis”. 
With Indians being able to spend more on food, waiting for a festival to gorge on sweets doesn’t seem to be worth it anymore. No surprises that India is not only seeing an obesity epidemic but will also soon be crowned the “Diabetes capital of the World“!!
Most Indians find it difficult to eat sensibly right from October till January. Navarathri(which generally falls sometime in October) usually heralds the start of the festive binging, then comes Diwali in October/November, Christmas in December and then finally New Year!

For Indians living outside India,-there’s also Halloween and Thanksgiving around the same time to deal with. To top it all, the cold winter months brings on food cravings.With so much tempting reasons for festive food, how does one stay on track with healthy eating?

Here are some tips:
  1. Don’t skip out on your exercise during these months.
  2. Enjoy the festive food, but stick to portion sizes.
  3. Try to have a small snack, soup, sandwich, yogurt and fruits before leaving for a party-that way you won’t be very hungry when you arrive at the party.
  4. While planning a dinner/party during the festive season, try not to put all the festive food (read: pooris, mixtures/chivda/farsaan, parathas, pakodas, biryani’s,jelebis,gulab jamuns) on the menu at the same time. Choose two or three items and then balance it out with healthy food.
  5. Include salads/raitas and fresh fruits in the menu.
  6. Serve fresh juices instead of soda/aerated drinks.
  7. Instead of gifting your friends and relatives sweets or chocolates, think healthy and gift them with exotic fresh fruits, fruit bouquets, dry fruits and nuts, gourmet coffees/teas or even some herbal spa products or a spice/flowering plant.

   The idea of celebrating a festival should not be centered on overeating festive food but getting into the spirit of the festival. Eating smart or sensibly through these months will  ensure that you don’t end up with health problems in the New Year.
Here’s wishing a Happy, HEALTHY and Prosperous Diwali to all !!


Beetroot Leaves Dal

Do you throw out the Beetroot leaves? STOP!!! 

Don’t just cut off the green leafy tops and toss them away! The leaves and the stems are edible, and make a great substitute for any green such as palak, swiss chard, collard greens, bok choy. They  can be added to dals/sambars, soups or added to sabzis.

Beetroot leaves 

The best part of buying beetroot with the leaves-you can make two dishes for the price of one!! Other leaves that are edible and should not be thrown out:

  1. Radish leaves: Click here for Radish sabzi with leaves
  2. Turnip Leaves: Click here for Turnip leaves sabzi(Sri Lankan style)

Here is a simple dal with the beetroot leaves. (Note:The stems (like the beetroot) have a natural pink dye that can turn the dal slightly pink).

Ingredients for Beetroot leaves dal: Serves 4-5
  • 1 cup toor dal/arhar dal
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons oil/ ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1-2 green chili, slit
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 -1 tsp red chili powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoon lemon juice

Method:

  1. To a pressure cooker add the washed toor dal, add 2.5 cups water,  and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder. Cook at high flame for 3 whistles. Let the pressure of the cooker come off on it’s own. Then mash well.
  2. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Wait till cumin seeds crackle and mustard seeds start popping out.
  3. Once the seeds start popping, add chopped garlic and green chili. Saute for a minute or till garlic just starts turning golden brown in color.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes, salt and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add chopped beetroot leaves and mix. Cook for 2-3 minutes or till the leaves are wilted.
  6. Add the mashed dal to the pan, a cup of water , the red chili powder and coriander powder (both optional, but I like to have the extra spice)and let it all come to a boil. Lower the heat, add more water if needed and let the dal simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Check the salt and adjust to taste. Sprinkle garam on top and remove pan from heat.
  8. Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice and serve beetroot leaves dal with any hot rotis or steamed rice.

Other Beetroot recipes:

  1. Beetroot Mocktail/ Juice: Click for recipe here
  2. Beetroot Upkari(a simple Mangalorean style stir-fry): Click for recipe here
  3. Beetroot and Carrot Salad: Click here for recipe

 


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