Category Archives: Online Dietician India

Sweet and Spicy Chilli Paneer

This is an ‘quickie’ dish.Takes just about 10-15 minutes.
Ingredients for Sweet and Spicy Chilli Paneer:

  • Paneer/ Tofu-200gms (cut into 1″ cubes)
  • Garlic- 6-7 flakes (chopped fine)
  • Green chilies-2 nos.(chopped fine)
  • Tomato sauce- 3 tbsp
  • Chilly sauce-1-2 tsp
  • Soy sauce- 2 tsp
  • Coriander/Cilantro -2 tbsp(chopped fine)
  • Oil-1 tsp
  • Salt: to taste
  • Pepper: 1/4th tsp
  • Sugar:1/4th tsp

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan.Add the chopped garlic and chilies.
  2. Fry for a minute or two(take care not to burn it),reduce heat and add the salt,pepper and sugar.
  3. Add the tomato sauce,soy sauce and the chilly sauce,mix well.Add about 2tbsp water.
  4. Add the Paneer/ tofu cubes and the chopped coriander/cilantro leaves.
  5. Cook for another 3-4 minutes on reduced heat.
  6. Serve hot.

Stuffed Green Bell Pepper/ Capsicum with Chilli Paneer/ tofu (Microwave recipe)

I had first seen the recipe of Stuffed Green Bell Pepper (or “Capsicum” and “Shimla Mirchi”as it is popularly known as in India) when I was a kid and was skimming through one of my mother’s magazines (I think it was either “Femina” or “Savvy”) and came across this awesome looking photo of a stuffed capsicum(I wasn’t into cooking then,so I can hardly remember what it was stuffed with, but I’m guessing it had potatoes).

Stuffed Bell Pepper recipe
I was so enamored with that photo that I bugged and begged my mom to make it and she finally relented and agreed to make it.So,the next day, off we went,my mom and little me in tow to the bazaar/market and bought a couple of the freshest,greenest and biggest looking capsicums for the recipe(the rest of the stuff which we bought has been deleted from my memory-I happen to have a limited memory space and I tend to save only the most important stuff). Anyway,we got home and my mom got busy in the kitchen with me doing the most important part-opening the magazine to the page where the recipe was and keeping it where my mother could refer to it.That done,I left my mom to do the cooking(she was the expert after all)and I guess I must have whiled away the time till dinner.
When it was ready,we were called to the dinner table and I ran excitedly(again please note that I was never a good eater as a child and nothing other than chocolates got me excited) to take my place at the dinner table. That was when I saw what my mom had made and I burst into tears,and no-it was not tears of joy,but that of bitter disappointment!

Stuffed Capsicum Indian Recipe
It didn’t resemble the dish in the book at all,in fact it didn’t even look like she had made the same dish.I ran into the kitchen and got the book and pointed it out to her(just in case she had made another recipe by mistake)-the photo was of a nice green bell pepper,with a perfectly green skin,no blemishes,filled with the yummiest looking stuff with a little firm cap on it.What actually sat on the table was a soggy, greenish brown mass barely able to hold the stuffing!! My mother and the rest of the family tried to explain that in the photo the bell pepper was not subjected to any cooking and was just to get(what I now understand is called) an “awesome shot”.
The recipe called for the pepper to be fried,which made it change in colour and texture and hence the soggy mass sitting on our dining table. Whatever she made must have probably tasted great because she did make it a couple of times after that and even experimented with different stuffing’s,but I really couldn’t care. It was NOT what was in the book!!!

I’ve always loved the stuffed capsicum served at restaurants, but have found it way too oily to make on a regular basis. Looking for a healthier version I got the idea of “Microwave Stuffed Capsicum”.  I had some tofu that I had bought to make “Chilly Tofu”(the recipe for which I have posted earlier). Since it was for a stuffing, the only change I made was to crumble the tofu instead of cutting them into cubes,and yes,I took a snap of the dish before and after cooking the bell pepper!!
Check out the recipe and ingredients for the “Quick Chilli Paneer”

Ingredients for Stuffed Capsicum with Chilli Paneer/tofu:

  • 4 bell peppers (you can choose whatever colour you fancy).
  • Stuffing-Chilli paneer or Tofu bhurji or egg bhurji or paneer bhurji or mushroom masala

Method:

  1. Cut the bell peppers carefully at the top,and remove the seeds.
  2. Apply a little oil to the outer side of the capsicum and microwave on high for 3-8 minutes (depending on the microwave)
  3. Once they are ready,stuff it carefully with the ‘Sweet and Spicy Chili Paneer‘  and serve.
  4. You can even stuff it with paneer/ tofu burji/ egg burji (scrambled eggs).

P.S:

  • Since I’ve microwaved the peppers, it doesn’t look anything like the fried version that is imprinted in my memory.
  • You could even bake the capsicum instead of microwaving them.

Online Dietitian India

Sweta Uchil-Purohit


How to lose 1 pound (half a kg) of body weight every week by eating a Healthy Indian Diet

Are you planning on turning a new leaf this New Year? Are you looking forward to discovering the new Healthy You?Why wait for the New Year to plan your journey for a healthier lifestyle? If you’ve tried it every year and given up at the end of January-then trust me, there’s NOTHING wrong with you! It’s just that you haven’t found the right way to get healthy. This year, take the right steps, do the right things and make this the “Year Of the New You”.

Here are 9 simple steps to start off:

  1. Get up and move: Choose and start a physical activity or fitness program that you enjoy. It could be as simple as a brisk walk, a jog, aerobics, gym workout or a sport. Ideally something that keeps you on your toes for at least an hour every day. ‘Sitting is the new smoking’ these days-so keep moving! Your new mantra should be ‘Calories in and Calories out’-burn out the calories that you eat!
  2. Detox or declutter your kitchen pantry: Remove all the chips, bhujias, ghatias, sweets,cakes, chocolates and all the unhealthy foods from your fridge and pantry. It’s going to be out with the old and in with the new foods this year! If there are no tempting foods in your reach, you will end up not eating them.
  3. Stock up with ‘real food‘: Once you have all the high-calories and ready to eat processed foods out of the house, buy lots of fruits, vegetables and ingredients that you need to make dishes from scratch.
  4. Always include a vegetable and a protein source: Make sure you eat at least one vegetable (more is better) at every meal and add some protein to add satiety. Protein foods keep you full for a longer period of time and the vegetable will reduce the amount of grain/cereal you have. Examples: Upma with vegetables and curd, poha with vegetables and curd, sambar with vegetables. If you can’t add a vegetable-then add a fruit.
  5. Avoid sugary drinks and sweets: A little bit of halwa, a little bit of chocolate, a little bit of ice cream, a little bit of soft drink makes you pack on the pounds!
  6. Buy a water bottle: Yes, that’s right-a water bottle. Most of us forget to drink water through the day. Buy a big 1 litre water bottle (BPA free) and fill it up. Take it with you and you’ll never have to buy packaged water or soft drinks when you feel thirsty. Make sure you drink two bottles of water by the end of the day.
  7. Set timings for your meals: Don’t eat whenever you feel hungry-set regular meal timings. This helps in getting into a regular meal pattern and also does away with hunger attacks. This will reduce cravings and binge eating.
  8. Eat dinner two hours before bedtime: Eating too close to bedtime is a definite no-no! It not only interferes with your sleep pattern, but also makes you sluggish and susceptible to heart burn (acid reflux) in the night.
  9. Get eight hours of sleep: Researchers have now found a link between a lack of sleep and obesity. This is one simple thing which will go a long way in your journey of a new healthy you.
Once you have mastered these seven steps, then you can take the next most important step-find the right diet plan which has been tailor made for YOU. Check out our Indian Weight Loss Diet Packages or fill out the form in the Contact Us page and we’ll call you.
Indian Dietitian Online

Quinoa Upma with vegetables (Spicy Quinoa with vegetables-Indian Style)

I had heard so much about “Quinoa” (pronounced keen-wah) a high protein ‘pseudo cereal’ (foods that are cooked and eaten like grains and have a similar nutrient profile). Quinoa is actually a seed and is rich in complete protein, fibre, the B vitamins and healthy monounsaturated fats. It is believed that substituting quinoa for grains like polished rice and wheat could improve the blood glucose levels in diabetics and the cholesterol levels . Also, since it has a high fibre content it is a good choice for those looking to lose weight.
After researching a bit with the different recipes ,I realized that I could try it out in my regular ‘mixed veg upma’ recipe. Here’s how to make quinoa upma:

Quinoa Upma (Indian Style)

Ingredients for Quinoa Upma:

  • Quinoa: 1 cup
  • Mixed vegetables: 2 cups(green beans, peas, carrots)
  • Onion-1/2 medium(finely chopped)
  • Green chillies-1 or 2(finely chopped)
  • Ginger: 1/2″ thinly sliced
  • Tomatoes: 1(chopped fine)
  • Mustard seeds-1/2 teaspoon
  • Urad dal(black matpe bean dehusked and split)-1 teaspoon
  • Sambar powder-1 teaspoon(optional)
  • Water: 2 cups
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 1 teaspoon

Method:

  1. Wash the quinoa 2-3 times,drain and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick pan,add the mustard seeds and the urad dal. When the mustard seeds start to sputter,add the sliced onions, ginger, salt and saute till the onions turn translucent.
  3. Add the mixed vegetables,green chillies and stir for 5-6 minutes. Then,add the tomatoes and sambar powder(optional) and stir till the tomatoes are completely cooked.
  4. Add the quinoa and mix well.Stir for about a minute or two,then add two cups of water,cover and cook on medium heat for about 15-20 mins.
  5. Serve hot as such or with some chutney or even a raita.

Which is the BEST day to check your Weight???

How Weekends may be the Key Factor in making you Lose or Gain weight


Do you get depressed at seeing your weight fluctuate every day? Don’t panic-it’s just a pretty normal phenomenon.
Researchers have now found out that the body goes through a weight cycle. This weight loss cycle or weekly weight rhythms is somewhat similar to the REM cycles (Rapid Eye Movement) during sleep. Researchers from Cornell University along with VTT Research Centre of Finland looked into what a seven-day-a week human cycle has on their weights.
They found a definite pattern in weight gain and weight loss according to the day of the week .Not surprisingly, the most weight gain among the participants was seen on Sunday and Monday. After that the weight tapered down to the lowest being on Fridays!
This only goes to prove that weight fluctuations through the week is a normal phenomenon among everyone and there is no need to panic.
Which is the BEST day to check your weight?
For weight watchers this is a also a good point to keep in mind and instead of checking weight every single day, to just check on one particular day of the week. The best day would be Friday-so keep Fridays as your weight check days.

Online Dietitian India: Check out our Indian Weight Loss packages 

 


Drumstick Leaves Upkari (Moringa leaves stir-fry Mangalorean Style)

Did you know that the leaves of the drumstick tree are edible and are loaded with nutrients? Drumstick leaves are a common green leafy vegetable in most Indian homes especially down South.  It is known as Murungai in Tamil, Nuggekai soppu in Kannada, Muringa in Malayalam. Long known for it’s medicinal and nutritional properties in Ayurveda, it has of late been in the news in the West and is heralded as a miracle tree. Researches believe that the leaves can help in lowering blood sugars among diabetics, reducing cholesterol and also help in reducing inflammations, joint pain, constipation and cancers among others. Drumstick leaves are rich in calcium, potassium, Vitamin A &C and fiber. Drumstick leaves are sold in health stores in the form of powders and capsules.

I however love it as a stir-fry and make it whenever I find the leaves in the Indian store.

Here is a simple Mangalorean style stir-fry (upkari)made with drumstick leaves:

Ingredients for Drumstick leaves upkari:

  • Drumstick leaves: 1 big bunch (wash and separate the tiny leaves from the stalks)
  • Onion: 1 medium
  • Green chilies: 1-2 (as per your tolerance)
  • Coconut gratings: 2tbsp (fresh/frozen/dessicated)
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  • Urad dal: 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1tsp
  • Oil: 3 tsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Chop the washed leaves as fine as possible.
  2. Finely chop the onions and slit the green chilies.
  3. Heat a kadai, add the oil, then the mustard, cumin seeds and urad dal.
  4. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add the slit green chilies, turmeric powder (optional)then the chopped onions.
  5. Fry till the onions turn translucent. Then add the drumstick leaves and stir for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add some salt and mix well. Then add some water and let the leaves cook, stirring occasionally.
  7. Once the leaves are cooked, add the grated coconut, mix well and switch off.
  8. Since it’s a dry sabzi, it goes better with rice and a curry.

 

 

 


Mangalorean Egg Curry (Eggs in spicy Coconut gravy)

The Mangalorean Egg Curry is one of the dishes that usually features on my menu whenever I invite eggetarians (ovo-vegetarians) for dinner! It’s quick, simple (since I use coconut milk from a can) and a ‘sure to be a hit’ dish !! I always poach the eggs in the gravy-since I feel that it adds to the taste. But if you don’t like the look-you could boil the egg and then put them into the gravy!

Mangalorean Egg Curry
Ingredients for Mangalore Egg Curry (serves 4-6):
  • Eggs: 6 nos.
  • Potato: 1 medium boiled and diced
  • Onion: 1 big (finely sliced)
  • Tomato: 1 medium (diced)
  • Coconut milk: 1 can (I use the thick one not the ‘lite’)
  • Red chilli powder: 4-6 tsp (depending on our spice tolerance)
  • Coriander powder: 4 tsp
  • Cumin powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 1tsp

Tempering:

  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds/ jeera: 1/2 tsp

Method: 

  1. Heat the oil in a kadai, add the mustard and cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the turmeric and sliced onions.
  2. Add the salt and fry the onions till they are translucent, then add the diced tomatoes and let it cook.
  3. Add the red chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder, potatoes and mix well.
  4. Add the coconut milk and about a cup of water and simmer. Taste the gravy and then reduce the flame.
  5. Carefully break the eggs and drop the contents into the gravy one by one (leaving a little space between each). Cover and cook on a low flame for 6-8 minutes (DO NOT STIR).
  6. Once the eggs are cooked switch off.
  7. Serve the mutta curry (Mangalore Egg Curry) with rice and a side dish.

Note:

For those in a hurry and who don’t have time to make a separate vegetable side dish, you can add different mixed vegetables (add it after frying the onions) like french beans, peas, carrots, cauliflower, etc to this dish itself.

The mutta curry also goes well with phulkas/chapathies.


New BMI Guidelines for Indians/South Asians/Asians

The Body Mass Index(BMI) is a measure of weight divided by height.
BMI= weight (kg) / [height (m)]2
For years there was a debate with regards to whether the World Health Organisation (WHO) approved BMI parameters which stated a BMI of 30 and above as obese, were correct for Asian populations.
Indians as a race, have been known to have a higher body fat than their western counterparts and until now, using the global standards meant a large part of the population went scott-free even though they were at a greater risk for lifestyle related diseases. “Indians have a very different body, genetic and metabolic composition from westerners. Therefore, the parameters for obesity also have to be very different. This will bring more people under the overweight and obesity bracket. The revised guidelines would benefit 6 to 8 crore people. That in turn would lead to substantial prevention of diabetes and heart disease,” said Dr Anoop Misra.
Now,the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on the advice of the WHO has issued new parameters for Indians:
If the BMI is-

  • <18.5:underweight
  • 18.5-22.9:Normal weight
  • 23-24.9 :Overweight
  • >25 :Obese

So,if you are an Indian(or for that matter of South-Asian origin) and stay overseas,it is important that you bring this change to the notice of your doctor.Chances are that they might not be aware of the change and still use the western BMI parameters on you(literally-“phir bhi dil hain Hindustani”)!


Kale Mallung / mallum with radish (Sri Lankan style stir fry)

Kale Mallung or mallum is actually made with just… kale 😉 I had one radish left-over after making the radish sambar and didn’t know what to do with it so I finely chopped it and added it to the mallung. It added a nice crunch to the mallung, but can be omitted as it’s not really a part of the original recipe.

Kale is a power house of nutrients and contains complex carbohydrates, high quality protein, Vitamins A,C,K and folate. Adding a dash of lime juice at the end helps the body to better absorb the iron from green leafy vegetables. This is a Sri Lankan easy stir-fry recipe and can be made with any green leafy vegetable(palak,radish leaves, amaranth, laal saag, mustard leaves) or even cabbage.

Ingredients for Kale Mallung with Radish:

  • Kale: big bunch (remove the stalks and chiffonade the leaves)
  • Radish: 1 small finely diced (optional)
  • Red chili flakes: 1 tsp (or to taste) or 1-2 green chilies slit
  • Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1tsp
  • Coconut: 2-3tbsp freshly scraped/frozen/desiccated
  • Turmeric: 1 tsp
  • Lemon juice: 1tsp
  • oil: 2tsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a kadai, add the mustard and jeera. When the mustard starts to pop, add the slit green chilies or the red chili flakes and the turmeric.
  2. Then add the finely chopped kale and radish(optional) and stir-fry till the kale is cooked.
  3. Add the salt and coconut and cook for another minute.
  4. Switch off, then add the lime juice and mix well (this is to increase the absorption of iron from green leafy vegetables)
  5. Serve as side with rice and curry.

Here’s another mallung/mallum recipe with turnip leavesTurnip leaves Mallung/mallum

 


Mullangi Sambar (Radish and lentil curry)

A good way to increase your vegetable intake (or if you are in a hurry and don’t have time to dish out a vegetable sabzi along with the protein) is to be creative and :

  1. try and add it into dishes that you would normally make without vegetables-for example, instead of plain khichdi, upma, biryani,noodles, pasta-add different vegetables (always keep frozen veggies-saves a lot of time)
  2. if you have time-grate vegetables and add it to dosa/idli batter, chapathi/roti dough.
  3. add frozen palak (chopped), methi can also be added to dosa/idli batter, chapathi/roti dough,
  4. add different vegetables(or frozen mixed vegetables) to your gravies/dals/curries

Here’s a recipe for Radish sambar-remember don’t throw away the leaves of the radish. They are edible and can be used as any other greens or try out this ‘radish leaves sabzi‘.Radish Sambar

Mullangi Sambar/ Radish Sambar

Ingredients for Radish Sambar:

  • Tur dal: 1/2 cup
  • Tomatoes: 3 small
  • Radish: 2-3 medium chopped into circles or quartered(keep the leaves for another day or make this Sri Lankan Mallung recipe)
  • Onions: 1 medium (cubed)
  • Sambar powder: 2-3 tsp (or to taste)
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 1 tsp

For tempering:

  • Oil: 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  • Cumin/jeera seeds: 1tsp
  • Urad dal: 1 tsp
  • Chana dal: 1tsp
  • Hing: a pinch
  • Curry leaves: a few

Method:

  1. Take 1.5 cups of water and cook the dal, turmeric along with whole tomatoes(do not chop) in a pressure cooker(three whistles).
  2. In the meanwhile, add the oil into a cooking pot, add the onions and saute till translucent.
  3. Add the chopped radish and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Once the pressure drops, open the pressure cooker and take out the whole tomatoes and add to the onions and radish. Mash well.
  5. Add the salt, sambar powder and mix well.
  6. Mash the dal well and then add it to the onion, radish and tomato. Add a cup or two of water (less if you like the sambar thick or more if you want it thin)
  7. Let it boil for 10 minutes.
  8. Switch off. Get the tempering ready (heat the oil, add mustard,jeera,urad+chana dal-when the mustard pops add the curry leaves and hing and switch off).
  9. Add the tempering immediately to the sambar and cover the pot and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  10. Serve with rice, idli,dosa or you can even have it as a spicy soup.