Category Archives: Indian Dietitian Online

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.

 

 


Bell Pepper Fried Rice (Vegan, Gluten free)

Capsicum Rice (Indian Style Bell Pepper Fried Rice)

Capsicum or bell peppers are rich in vitamins A, C, K, niacin and folate along with copper and magnesium. The red bell peppers have more vitamin A and  C when compared to the green peppers.

Ingredients for Capsicum Rice:

  • Cooked Basmati Rice: 2 Cups
  • Capsicums(bell peppers)-2 big cubed or 3 small (you can use coloured too)
  • Onions: 1 medium (finely sliced)
  • Cashew nuts (or peanuts): a few (optional)
  • Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp
  • Urad dal: 2 tsp
  • Channa dal: 2 tsp
  • Coriander Seeds: 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Dry red chillies(adjust spice level according to heat tolerance): 3-4 piece
  • Fresh Curry Leaves: 10-12 number
  • Roasted Peanuts: 3 tbsp
  • Garam Masala powder: 1 tsp
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp (chopped) for garnish (optional)

Method:

  1. Dry roast (no oil) mustard seeds,cumin seeds,urad dal, channa dal, coriander seeds, curry leaves, dry red chillies on medium heat till the rawness disappears and the flavors come out. Switch off and let it cool.
  2. Once cool, add the roasted peanuts and grind  to a make a fine powder.
  3. Heat oil in a vessel and add the sliced onions and saute till golden brown.
  4. Then add the sliced capsicums and cashew nuts(or peanuts) and fry them till the capsicum are still crunchy in texture. Add salt to taste and mix.
  5. Reduce heat and add the the ground masala powder, garam masala and mix well.
  6. Then add the cooked rice and combine.
  7. Garnish with the chopped coriander.
  8. Serve hot with raita.

Brown rice Masala Dosa( Savoury Crepes with Potato filling)

This is a great recipe for those on a Gluten-Free diet.

Ingredients (for the potato filling):

  • Potatoes: 4 nos. (boiled and coarsely mashed/cut)
  • Green chillies: 1-2 nos. (slit length-wise)
  • Onions: 1 large or 2 medium (cut lengthwise-and then cut into half)
  • Ginger: 1/2″ piece(chopped fine)
  • Turmeric:1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste

For the tempering:

  • Oil: 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves: 2-3 nos.
  • Channa dal/split black chickpeas/Myles: 1 teaspoon
  • Cashew nuts: 4-5 nos(chopped)

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan,then add the mustard, cumin and the channa dal.
  2. When the mustard starts to sputter,add the curry leaves and the cashew nuts and stir till the cashew nuts are brown.
  3. Add the ginger and fry till it turns a golden brown.
  4. Add the slit green chillies,the chopped onions,turmeric powder,salt and saute till the onions turn translucent.
  5. Add the coarsely mashed potatoes and mix well. Add 1/2 cup water and cook stirring continuously for 5-6 minutes. Set aside.

Ingredients (for the dosa):

Method:

  • Wash, then soak the raw rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds in water for at least 4-6 hours.
  • Drain the water used for soaking.Add the cooked rice (if using flattened rice-wash,drain and let it stand for at least 10-15 mins), and about a cup of water and grind to a fine paste (should be as thick as the pancake batter).
  • Let it ferment overnight (or for 10-12 hours) in a big bowl(the batter will rise if the weather is warm enough).
  • Once it has fermented,add salt and mix. Then pour a ladleful of the batter onto a HOT pan and spread the batter with the ladle in a circular motion(going from the centre of the pan to the outside).
  • Add a little ghee/butter/oil to the edges of the dosa and let it cook till you notice it getting golden brown from underneath.
  • At this stage, place the yellow potato filling at the centre of the dosa and fold from both sides (like a wrap) or you could also fold it from three sides(the resulting dosa would looks like a triangle).
  • Remove from the pan.Serve hot with a little cilantro chutney and sambar .

Note:

  • Warm weather is crucial for the batter to ferment.
  • The pan needs to be really HOT before you start making the dosas.
  • The dosas can be made without the potato filling too- then it would be known as ‘Plain Dosa’ (not as much fun as eating the ‘masala’ variety).

 


Mangalorean Kori Rotti and Chicken Curry

Kori Rotti  is another Mangalorean favourite. What makes it different is the crispy rotti. Kori means Chicken and the rotti  is rice dosa that are dried and are hard like papad.  We always bought the kori rotti from Mangalore stores when we were in India, and was overjoyed when I spotted it in the Indian Stores in the US.

The chicken curry is a spicy coconut based gravy that is poured over the crisp rotti. The best way to eat this would be with your hands. I love my rotti to be slightly crunchy so I don’t let it sit in the gravy for too long, but some love it all soggy and soaked up in the gravy.

Ingredients for Kori Curry (Mangalorean Chicken Curry):

  • Chicken (whole): 1 kg (chopped into small pieces, washed)
  • Onions: 2 big (finely chopped)
  • Methi seeds: 6-8 nos.
  • Tamarind paste: 1/2 tsp
  • Coconut milk: 1.5 cans
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 2 tablespoon
  • Ghee: 1 tsp

For Grinding together:

  • Onions: 1 big (or 2 small)
  • Coconut: 1/2 cup (scraped)
  • Garlic: 3 cloves+ 2 cloves (chopped)
  • Dry red chilies: 12 nos.
  • Bydagi chilies:  12 nos. for colour
  • Coriander seeds:2 tbsp
  • Jeera seeds: 1 tsp
  • Peppercorns: 1/2 tsp
  • Methi: 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric:1/2 tsp
  • Oil: 2 tbsp

Method:

  1. First roast all the dry masala ingredients(dry chilies, coriander,methi,jeera,peppercorns)  separately and keep aside.
  2. Then in a kadai, add the oil , once it is hot add the sliced onions, 3 cloves garlic and fry till the onions are slightly brown.
  3. Add the coconut and stir fry till the coconut starts turning brown (make sure to keep stirring, otherwise it will burn). Then switch off and let it cool.
  4. Grind all the ingredients (onions+coconut mixture) along with the roasted spices and the 2 cloves of garlic. Add little water and grind till you get a fine paste.
  5. Add some salt, turmeric and the ground masala paste to the chicken and let it marinate for 1/2 an hour.
  6. In a big vessel, add the oil and heat, add the methi seeds, sliced onions and saute till the onions turn pink.
  7. Add the marinated chicken, salt and saute for a few minutes. Lower the heat and cover and cook till the chicken is done (add a little water),
  8. Add the coconut milk, tamarind paste and let it boil.

How to eat:

  • Since we don’t have the traditional deep steel plates that holds the gravy, I prefer to eat this in bowls, but you can eat this on a regular plate.
  • Break the rotti into bite sized pieces and place on the plate. Pour the chicken curry over the pieces. Let it soak or just dig in.
  • It tends to get a little dry after the rotti has soaked up the gravy so you can top it with some more.

Mangalorean Chicken Sukka (Kori Ajadina)

This is one of the famous Mangalorean dishes (the other’s being Neer Dosa, Kori Rotti and chicken curry) . As the name suggests it’s a dry dish with loads and loads of coconut.

Again, there are many versions, this is my families recipe 🙂

 

Ingredients for Kori Ajadina (Mangalorean Chicken Sukka):

  • Chicken (whole): 1 kg (chopped into small pieces, washed)
  • Onions: 2 big (finely chopped)
  • Methi seeds: 6-8 nos.
  • Tamarind paste: 1/2 tsp
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 2 tablespoon
  • Ghee: 1 tsp

For Grinding together:

  • Onions: 1 big (or 2 small)
  • Coconut: 1/2 cup (scraped)
  • Garlic: 3 cloves+ 2 cloves (chopped)
  • Dry red chilies: 12 nos.
  • Bydagi chilies:  12 nos. for colour
  • Coriander seeds:2 tbsp
  • Jeera seeds: 1 tsp
  • Peppercorns: 1/2 tsp
  • Methi: 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric:1/2 tsp
  • Oil: 2 tbsp

For garnishing:

Fresh Coconut: 2 1/2 cups (saute till it turns slightly brown )

Method:

  1. First roast all the dry masala ingredients(dry chilies, coriander,methi,jeera,peppercorns)  separately and keep aside.
  2. Then in a kadai, add the oil , once it is hot add the sliced onions, 3 cloves garlic and fry till the onions are slightly brown.
  3. Add the coconut and stir fry till the coconut starts turning brown (make sure to keep stirring, otherwise it will burn). Then switch off and let it cool.
  4. Grind all the ingredients (onions+coconut mixture) along with the roasted spices and the 2 cloves of garlic. Add little water and grind till you get a fine paste.
  5. Add some salt, turmeric and the ground masala paste to the chicken and let it marinate for 1/2 an hour.
  6. In a big vessel, add the oil and heat, add the methi seeds, sliced onions and saute till the onions turn pink.
  7. Add the marinated chicken, salt and saute for a few minutes. Lower the heat and cover and cook till the chicken is done (add very little water if needed as the chicken will leave water).
  8. Then open, add the tamarind paste and cook uncovered till you get a thickish gravy.
  9. Add the sauteed coconut and mix well such that the coconut coats every piece of the chicken.
  10. Serve with rice and dal.

Other famous Mangalorean recipes:

  1. Neer Dosa
  2. Kori Rotti 
  3. Drumstick leaves Upkari
  4. Collard Upkari
  5. Mangalorean Egg Curry
  6. Mangalore cucumber and Moong Sprouts gassi 
  7. Alasande Kalu Gassi (Lobia/black eyed beans in spicy coconut gravy)
  8. Kadale Manoli (Brown chickpeas with tondli)
  9. Kala Channa rasam 
  10. Sweet Banana Dosa
  11. Ragi Manni/ Pudding (Millet pudding)
  12. Moong Dal Payasa/ Kheer