Category Archives: Online Dietician India

Fish Molee with vegetables (Kerala Style Fish Curry)

A traditional Kerala Fish curry with a nutritional twist- vegetables! This twist is the result of my lack of time (or some may say laziness) in making a separate vegetable dish to go along with this. But I must say it tasted great and got everyone eating the extra vegetables! It’s winter, so I added some frozen winter vegetables to it.

The original Meen (Fish) Molee doesn’t have extra vegetables added to it-so you could omit it if you want the authentic dish. For those looking for  one dish with protein+veg, this is ideal.

Ingredients for Fish molee with vegetables:

  • Fish fillets- 500gms (cut and marinate in 1 tsp pepper powder, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp turmeric, salt)
  • Carrot, Green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach- 1 cup frozen/fresh (omit if you want to make authentic molee)
  • Onion – 3 medium (sliced)
  • Ginger:  1 tbsp crushed/grated
  • Garlic: 1 tbsp crushed
  • Green Chilies: 2-3 slit (or as per heat tolerance)
  • Cloves – 4
  • Cinnamon – 1 medium stick
  • Tomato – 3-4 medium (chopped)
  • Coconut milk – 1 can
  • Water- 2 cups
  • Salt- to taste
  • Oil – 3 tsp
  • Curry leaves- 10-20 numbers

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a kadai, add the cloves, cinnamon stick, grated ginger and garlic and sliced onions.
  2. In the meanwhile, shallow fry the fish in a little oil. Keep aside.
  3. When the onions have turned translucent add the coconut milk and a cup of water.
  4. Stir for 2-3 minutes, then add the tomatoes and another cup of water.
  5. When the tomatoes are cooked, add the curry leaves, fried fish pieces, salt and let it come to a boil (add more water if it’s too thick)
  6. Do not stir too much or the fish will break.
  7. Serve with appam, rice, neer dosa or plain dosa

8 Commonly Heard Myths about Exercising

There are a number of myths associated with exercising. Here are some of the commonly heard myths still doing the rounds in India:

Myth 1: I don’t want to start exercising as I’ve heard that I will put on more weight when I quit!!
This is obviously someone who is looking for reasons not to exercise! When you exercise you burn fat which brings about weight loss. Moreover people also tend to be more conscious of their diet since they are putting in so much effort to exercise. When you quit, you also tend to get back to your old eating habits. This increase in calorie intake and no means of burning those calories will ultimately make the weight creep back.
Solution:  Don’t Quit!! Exercise is not a short-term means to achieve your goal of weight-loss. Make it a daily routine and it’ll help in maintaining the weight you lost (along with a host of other health benefits).

Myth 2: Women should not train with weights otherwise they may end up looking like bodybuilders.
Both men and women can benefit with a little strength/weight training. Weight training has shown to help make your bones stronger and can also help in shedding weight faster by maintaining muscle mass and reducing the percentage of body fat. As for the fear many women have of becoming bulky-relax! Women don’t have enough testosterone (the hormone needed for building muscles) like men to end up looking like bodybuilders!
Solution: Work out with less weights at least once or twice a week.

Myth 3: Don’t drink water during your workouts.
This is a myth that I’ve heard ONLY in India. It probably originated in gyms where the trainers had to show instant weight loss after a workout! Water should be an essential part of your workout routine. You lose a lot of water from the body in the form of sweat and water helps in hydrating your body. Watch any sport and you’ll see players(cricketers, tennis players, basketball players, gymnasts and such) grabbing a bottle of water whenever they can to avoid cramps due to dehydration!
Solution: Try to sip a 1 liter bottle of water  during your workout.

Myth 4: Crunches will help get rid of belly fat.
Spot reduction is a myth. You need to reduce the overall fat in the body to see some difference in the belly fat. Crunches can help in tightening/toning the abdominal muscles, but it cannot convert the belly fat into muscle.
Solution: A balanced diet and a regular exercise routine will help you over a period of time.

Myth 5: Don’t workout during your periods.
Sounds more like an excuse to get 3-4 days off from exercising! Unless you have severe cramping/pain, working out during your menses can actually help in reducing the discomfort.
Solution: Try doing lower intensity workouts like walking or yoga on those days.

Myth 6: I’m not overweight,so I don’t need to exercise!
Exercise has many health benefits out of which weight-loss is just one of them. Lack of physical exercise can increase the risk of obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, strokes later on in life.
Solution: Exercise should be as important to you as brushing your teeth. Even low intensity workouts like walking 2-3 times a week will help you in the long run.

Myth 7: You need to workout in a gym to see the desired results.
Any kind of exercise/physical activity whether done in a gym, in a park,on the beach or in your house is enough to see results.
Solution: Aim at exercising at least 4-5 times a week for 30mins-1 hour.

Myth 8: I don’t have time to exercise!
I don’t have time either-I make time!! Just remember someone busier than you is exercising right now!!
Solution: Take inspiration from the President of the United States who is known to exercise regularly!


Palak Paneer- Creamy, Healthy version (Cottage cheese in Spinach gravy)

Here’s a healthy version of Creamy Palak Paneer:
Ingredients for Palak Paneer (low calorie version):

  • Palak: 4 big cups or 250 gms
  • Tomatoes: 2 big
  • Garlic: 4nos.
  • Ginger: 1″piece
  • Green chilies: 2-3 (or according to taste)
  • Paneer: 250gms (cut into cubes)
  • Skim milk: 1 1/2 cups
  • Cumin seeds: 1tsp
  • Hing(asafoetida): a pinch
  • Bay leaf: 1
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp (or 1 tsp curry powder)
  • Coriander powder: 2tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp
  • Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 3tsp
Method:
  1. Puree the tomato along with the garlic and ginger.
  2. Bring some water to boil and then blanch the palak leaves for 3-5 minutes. Take out the leaves and puree when cool.
  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the bay leaf and cumin seeds, when they start to brown add the hing.
  4. Then add the tomato puree, garam masala, coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric/curry powder and stir fry till you see the oil separating out.
  5. Then add the palak puree and mix well.
  6. Cover and cook for 10 minutes stirring in between.Add salt to taste.
  7. Lower the flame and add in the milk . Mix well and then cover and cook for about 5mins.
  8. Add the paneer pieces and mix. Cover and cook for another 5-6 minutes while stirring gently in between.
Serve the creamy palak paneer with phulkas or plain rice and dal.

Neer Dosa (Lacy Rice Crepes- A Mangalorean delicacy)

Neer Dosa (neer=water and dosa=crepe) is a no-ferment dosa which is a specialty of Manglorean cuisine. The name “Neer Dosa”is derived from the fact that the batter is almost of the consistency of water which is unlike other dosa batters. The resulting thin lace-like dosas (nick-named “lace dosas” by an aunt of mine) is eaten with relish in all Manglorean homes.
Made from rice, the rice grains are soaked in water for about 2 hours, then ground to a fine thin(water-like) batter. Once the batter is ready it is poured onto a hot round iron griddle(most Manglorean houses have a separate griddle kept aside for neer dosas). The sizzle on the pan creates the craters or lace-like appearance.

Ingredients for Neer Dosa: Makes 15-20 dosas
Rice: 2 cups
Water: enough to make a thin (water-like) batter
Oil: 1tbsp
Salt: to taste

(Note: you can also add some freshly grated coconut if you want when grinding)

Method:
1)Soak the rice in water for at least 2 hours.
2)Grind to a fine,thin consistency.Add a little salt and mix well.
3)Heat the iron griddle till it’s really,really hot.
4)Spread a little oil. Usually an onion is cut into half and dipped into the oil and used as a brush to spread the oil (this is believed to make the pan non-stick).
5)Pour a ladle full of batter into the center of the griddle and let it spread by itself (do not spread)on the griddle (add extra if needed where required to make a perfect circular dosa).
6)Cover and let it cook (do not flip the dosa over)
7)When done, remove the neer dosa gently with a spatula.
8)Serve the with neer dosa with chutney, honey or kori gussi (chicken curry).

How to make Neer Dosa


Idli Upma with vegetables (Leftover Idli Recipes)

Left -over idlis?  Tired of eating idlis the next day? Try out something different-Idli Upma and make it healthier by adding some mixed veggies.

This recipe was suggested by my college friend, the ever gorgeous Vidya Suresh. Thank you Vidya!! Love you for all the encouragement-that’s what friends are for. Love you 🙂

Ingredients for Idli Upma (Serves 4):

  • Idlis: 10-12 (crumbled)
  • Onions: 2 small (chopped fine)
  • Tomatoes: 2-3 medium (chopped)
  • Green Chilies: 1-2 slit (or as per heat tolerance)
  • Ginger: 1″ piece (grated)
  • Mixed vegetables: 1 cup (green peas, green beans, carrot,etc)
  • Coriander leaves/cilantro: 2tbsp (chopped) for garnish
  • Oil: 3 tsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
  • Urad dal: 1/2 tsp
  • Peanuts/ cashew nut: a few (optional)
  • Curry leaves: 8-10
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a kadai, add the mustard seeds and urad dal, when the mustard starts to pop, add the turmeric leaves, curry leaves, peanutsslit green chilies, ginger and onions and stir till the onions become translucent.
  2. Add the salt, mixed vegetables and stir fry for 5-10 mins.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir fry till they are cooked (add a little water if necessary)
  4. Once the vegetables are cooked add the crumbled idli and mix well.
  5. Serve hot garnished with chopped cilantro and a dash of lime (optional). This can be served as such or with some chutney or sprinkle it with some peanut chutney powder .

Spicy Curry Leaf Chicken (Kerala Style)

This is a dry chicken dish which requires LOTS of CURRY LEAVES!! You can even make it with drumettes / chicken wings.
Ingredients: 

  • Chicken- 500 gms (cut into small pieces)
  • Red chilli powder- 3-4tsp
  • Coriander powder-4 tsp
  • Turmeric-1/2 tsp
  • Salt-to taste

Curry Leaf Chicken

Boil the chicken in the above ingredients adding a little water. Let the water evaporate. Keep the pieces aside.

Ingredients for the Stir-fry:
  • Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Onion- 1 medium (mince)
  • Garlic-4-5 cloves (finely chopped)
  • Green chillies-3-4nos. slit
  • Red chilli powder: 2-3 tsp (depending on your spice level)
  • Coriander Powder: 3tsp
  • Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon juice-1 tbsp
  • Curry leaves-20-25 nos.
  • Oil- 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste

Curry Leaf Chicken

Method:

  1. Heat the  oil ,add mustard seeds.
  2. When it pops and half the curry leaves, then add the onion,garlic and chillies and fry till translucent.
  3. Add all the powders and salt. Mix well.
  4. Add the chicken and mix till the masala coats all the pieces. Switch off.
  5. Check the salt.
  6. Add the rest of the curry leaves on top (lots), mix.
  7. Add lemon juice/tamarind water. Mix, cover and keep.
Serve the Spicy Curry Leaf Chicken hot as an appetizer or with plain rice and dal.
Curry Leaf Chicken
Spicy Curry Leaf Chicken (Kerala Style)

Mango Peda

Mangoes are one of the most loved fruits. It is rich in the antioxidant zeaxanthin and beta carotene, which is known to filter out harmful blue light rays and is thought to play a role in protecting the eyes and preventing cancer.

Sweets are an integral part of any festival and should be enjoyed occasionally and in moderation. When making/buying sweets for festivals, choose those are not fried and have protein and not just calories.

A peda is traditionally made by reducing milk in an open pan and then adding the required amount of sugar and flavoring. A lot of people use “khoa” which saves a lot of time. I decided to try it with ricotta cheese instead,and it actually turned out quite well!!
Ingredients for Mango Peda: (Makes about 4-6 nos.)

  • Ricotta cheese(fat free): 2 cups
  • Mango puree: 1 cup
  • Sugar: 6 teaspoons (or according to taste)
  • Cardamom powder: 1/4 teaspoon
  • Pistachio slivers/ Canned cherries/strawberries: for decoration

Method:

  1. Heat a non-stick pan and pour the mango puree along with the sugar and cardamom powder and saute till it the puree appears to be cooked.
  2. Add the ricotta cheese and stir continuously on medium flame till it becomes a thick mouldable mass.
  3. Allow to cool,then shape into desired shapes and garnish.

Khaman Dhokla (Steamed Chickpea flour snacks)

Another steamed dish that can be had for breakfast or as a snack-tastes great with some spicy chutney.

Ingredients for Khaman Dhokla:

  • Besan (Gramflour/chickpea flour): 2 cups
  • Yogurt: 1 cup
  • Water: 1 cup
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger+green chili paste: 1/2-1 tsp (as per your heat tolerance)
  • Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
  • Fruit salt(eno)/ Soda bicarbonate: 1tsp
  • Coriander leaves/cilantro: 2tbsp finely chopped
  • Grated coconut:  3tbsp fresh/frozen
  • Salt: to taste

For the tempering:

  • Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  • Sesame seeds: 1 tsp
  • Green chili- 1/2 finely chopped (optional)
  • Oil: 1 tsp

Method:

  1. Mix the besan well with the yogurt,salt and about a cup of water making sure that there are no lumps.
  2. Let it ferment for about 1-2 hours.
  3. Then add the ginger+chili paste, turmeric, lemon juice and mix well.
  4. Add water to the steamer and let it boil. When it is ready, add the fruit salt/soda bicarbonate to the batter and mix well.
  5. Grease a pan/thali (you could even put the batter into idli moulds) and pour the batter into it.
  6. Steam for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Once they are ready-pour  the tempering (heat the oil, add the mustard seeds, when it starts to pop, add the sesame seeds, green chili(optional) over the dhokla.
  8. Garnish the dhokla with chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut.
  9. Cut and serve with spicy mint and coriander chutney.

Here are other Healthy Snack Ideas:

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

 


5 Reasons Why Summer is the Best Time to Lose Weight!

With the summer sun beating down there isn’t much to look forward to other than a summer vacation somewhere cooler. For those who will be stuck in the heat, and have been planning to lose weight since the New Year, here are five reasons why summer is the best time to put your weight loss plans in action:

1. Easy to stick to a diet plan: with no relief from the heat, fried, greasy, heavy food is probably the last thing you want to eat! That itself cuts out a lot of calories from your diet!

2. Fruits and salads are so much more appealing-the water content in fruits and veggies makes it all the more delicious during summer. This not only adds much needed fibre to the diet, but also helps in keeping your body hydrated.

3. You could lose extra calories by just drinking ice cold water-yes, scientists now suggest that drinking ice cold water may burn a few extra calories as the body has to raise the temperature of the ice water to the bodies temperature! This may or may not be true but drinking 10-12 glasses of ice cold water a day can’t add calories as water is a great zero-calorie drink!

4. No festivals until August-so that means no excuses of having to break the diet due to festival binging! From now until Krishna Janmashtami , you can focus on your diet!

5. Exercising in the heat could burn more calories-this is the principle behind ‘hot yoga’ (Bikram yoga)! Supposedly, exercising in the heat burns more calories since it makes the heart pump harder to your extremities to help you lower your body temperature, which rises fast in hot weather.

So stop wasting time and get started and who knows you could end up losing up to 8-10kgs by the end of summer!

Online Dietitian India

Sweta uchil-Purohit


Egg and Vegetable Muffins/ Frittatas

A protein-packed breakfast (can also be packed for lunch or eaten as a snack) with egg and mixed vegetable. You can make a big batch and freeze them. In the morning just defrost them in the microwave and eat.

I added some spices like cumin powder, turmeric and a pinch of red chili powder. You can play around with different vegetables/spices that you (or your family) like. You can even add some cheese if you like.

Ingredients for Egg and Vegetable muffins: (Makes approx. 12 muffins)

  • Eggs: 6 (beaten)
  • Spinach: 1/2 cup fresh(chopped fine) or frozen
  • Carrots: 1 medium (diced)
  • Mushrooms: 1/2 cup (diced)
  • Tomatoes: 1 small (diced)
  • Onion: 1 small (finely chopped)
  • Turmeric: 1/2tsp
  • Garlic powder: 1/4 tsp (optional)
  • Cumin powder: a pinch (optional)
  • Red chili powder: 1/4 tsp (optional)
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 1tsp
  • Butter: 1tsp

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan, fry the onions, then add the diced carrots (or whatever vegetable you choose), then the spinach, tomatoes and finally the mushrooms.
  2. Add the spices-turmeric, cumin, red chili powder and garlic powder along with the salt and mix well. Saute till the water from the mushrooms evaporate.
  3. Switch off and let it cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 175C (350F).
  5. Once it’s cooled-add the beaten eggs and mix well.
  6. Grease a muffin tray with the butter and pour the mixture evenly into them.
  7. Bake for 15-20 mins.

You can add some cheese if you like.

Let them cool and then freeze them in ziplock bags. My kids love to take these for lunch.

Calories/muffin: 32kcal

Protein/muffin: 7gms