How to Choose the Right Indian Diet Plan for Healthy Weight Loss?

How to Choose the Right Indian Diet Plan for Healthy Weight Loss?

Have you made your New Year’s resolution to lose weight and are looking for the right Indian Diet plan for healthy weight loss? Then here is the checklist of what you should look for before signing up for it.

Desi Diet Plans

  1. Do they plan Indian Diet Plans for Healthy weight loss? This is most important especially if you are living outside India. If you sign up without finding this out you will be stuck with a fantastic diet plan or package but which is of no use for you since the foods are all Western! Let’s face it-we may live abroad, love the Western lifestyle and the amenities that is offered there, but at the end of the day, we still want to eat our ‘desi khaana”. Akhir dil hain Hindustani!!
  2. Is there a real dietitian or are you expected to interact with a computer? No really-think about it!! Why pay for a computer generated diet chart?
  3. Check the credentials of the person: With every Tom,Dick and Harry giving out diet advice these days, you need to be careful about who you sign up with. Look for a qualified dietitian who has worked at least a couple of years in a hospital. Most dietitians who have worked in a hospital know the dangers of crash dieting and are vary about prescribing the same to clients.
  4. Do they recommend fad diets? Some websites push fad diets (fruit diet, juice diet, GM diet,Cabbage diet ) to show immediate results. But remember-these results don’t last. Not only that, there is a danger of nutritional deficiencies and severe hair loss after sometime. Do you really want that? Or would do you want something that helps you keep the weight off forever? It’s your choice-but it’s your body that will pay for what you choose!
  5. Are the Indian Diets planned for you or are they chosen from previously printed plans? Diets need to be planned, not printed off the internet. It’s like going to the doctor and getting a check-up and by google. Would you really do that? You want something that is specific to you-one size does not fit all in the case of diets!! So don’t be fooled by websites who take money to dole out pre-planned diet charts.
  6. Will the weight loss Indian diet be planned according to your eating habits? Again what’s the point of eating something which you are not used to eating? For example-if you are a South Indian and the diet planned is a typically North Indian diet. It’s just not right for you.
  7. Will there be follow-ups? You need to have your diet reviewed basically to see how you are doing on it and if any changes are required.
If this is exactly what you want, then do get in touch with me to schedule an appointment as the first step to a new, healthy, YOU!!
To know more about Sweta Uchil Purohit : CLICK HERE: Online Indian DIETITIAN Sweta Uchil
 Click to go to choose the right Indian Diet Plan for Healthy weight loss: Online Diet Consultation Packages

Kimchi Uttapam (Indo-Korean Fusion dish-Kimchi Pancakes with a twist)

We are familiar with Indo-Chinese dishes (Chinese dishes made with Indian flavours), well this is my attempt at making an Indo-Korean dish 🙂

If you’re a regular follower of this website-you would also by now know that I try to add my own healthy twist to dishes, so that my family and clients can get the best of both worlds!

So here is the favourite Korean dish called Kimchi pancake with an Indian and healthy twist. The original recipe calls for ‘all purpose flour/maida’, kimchi, onions, salt and sugar. To make it healthier-I substituted the maida with rava(semolina/farina) , rice flour(to make it crisp) and a little besan(to bind it). For those who are not familiar with Korean cuisine, kimchi is a staple and a must have accompaniment of meals. It’s basically a fermented dish with different vegetables and spices. The most popular is the made with napa cabbage. Buying kimchi would probably be frowned upon in Korean families. They make their own kimchi and each family is supposed to have their own recipe handed down from generation to generation. Some families have an entire fridge stocked with just different varieties of kimchi and nothing else-that should give you some inkling as to the importance of kimchi in Korean cuisine. Kimchi is not just eaten as a side with meals, but there are various dishes made with it like Kimchi Fried Rice, Kimchi stew, Kimchi dumplings, Kimchi wraps and so on.

Kimchi being a fermented food has loads of health benefits. To read more about the benefits of fermented foods read my article: Benefits of Fermented foods

Coming back to the recipe, since I have not been handed down the kimchi recipe, I did the next best thing- I bought it in bulk at Costco! If you have a Korean neighbour or friend do try and get a foolproof recipe (also try and get an invite to watch them make it). Or else try out your favourite Korean restaurant and see if you can buy their in-house kimchi. Here’s my Indo-Korean Kimchi Pancake recipe:

Indo-Korean fusion Kimchi Uttapam

Ingredients for Kimchi Uttapam:

  • Rava/semolina/Farina: 1 cup
  • Rice flour: 1/2 cup
  • Besan/chickpea flour: 2 tbsp
  • Kimchi: 1- 1.5 cups (chopped fine)
  • Kimchi juice(water from the kimchi): 3 tbsp
  • Onion: 1/2 medium(finely diced)
  • Salt:to taste
  • Oil/ghee: to cook
  • Coriander(optional): 3 tbsp (chopped)
  • Carrot (optional): 1 small (grated)
  • Red chili flakes(optional): 2-3 tsp
  • Curd/yogurt(optional): 2 tbsp

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together (the optional items are not added in traditional kimchi pancakes, so it’s upto you) with some water to get a thick consistency batter. It shouldn’t be a flowing consistency. Check for salt.
  2. Heat an cast iron tava/dosa tava on medium high heat. Add some oil and spread it with a cut onion( a trick my grandmom used to do to make the tava non-stick).
  3. When it is hot(sprinkle some water on the pan, and it should sizzle), take a ladleful of of the batter and spread evenly onto the tava.
  4. Cover and cook for a few minutes, add some oil to around the edges.
  5. When you see the edges browning, flip over and let it cook on the other side on medium heat for another minute. Flip over once more and let it cook for another 30 seconds.
  6. Serve hot as is. You don’t need any chutney with this as the uttapam itself is very flavourful-tangy(from the kimchi) and spicy.
  7. You can end the meal with some yummy Korean Cinnamon Tea.

Next experiment will be:

  • to make it gluten free (no rava/semolina)
  • to increase the fermented benefits by using fermented dosa batter.
  • to try out a low-carb version

So stay tuned for these recipes. To read more about the benefits of fermented foods read my article: Benefits of Fermented foods

Do try: Korean Cinnamon Tea

Sweta Uchil-Purohit

Indian Dietitian Online

 

 


Healthy Oats Pulav/ Upma (with Mixed Vegetables)

Oats are a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fibre and this makes it a great food for those trying to lower cholesterol. Besides fibre, oats is also loaded with magnesium, phosphorus, thiamine and zinc. So with such an impressive resume-why is it one of least popular grains especially among Indians?

Blame it on the mushy, gooey texture when cooked with liquids. Also, oats porridge by itself is so bland that you end up adding lots of sugar to make it palatable, thus making an otherwise healthy dish into a totally non-healthy dish. So, what is the solution? How can we use the oh-so-good oats and make a dish that is tasty, palatable and not mushy or gooey?

Here’s the answer: Oats upma Or Oats Pulav (the difference is in what you use for seasoning). For upma add a tadka of mustard seeds, jeera, channa dal, curry leaves while for the pulav add whole spices like cardamom, peppercorns, shahi jeera, cinnamon sticks and ginger+garlic paste.

Ingredients :

  • Rolled Oats – 1 cup
  •  Onion – 1 medium
  •  Green chilli – 1 slit lengthwise
  •  Ginger- 1 inch piece finely chopped
  • Mixed vegetables – 1 cup (mix of carrot, beans, peas, cauliflower)
  • Water- 3/4 cup
  • Peanuts: a handful
  • Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander leaves: 2 tbsp chopped(for garnish)
  • Lime juice: 2 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste

For the Tempering:

  •    Oil – 1 tbsp
  •    Mustard seeds -1 tsp
  •    Channa dal- 1/2 tsp
  •    Red chilli -1 broken
  •    Hing- a pinch
  •    Curry leaves-few

Method:

  1. Dry roast oats for a few minutes, until it becomes slightly hot to touch.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, when it splutters, add the rest of the ingredients for tempering and the turmeric.
  3. Then add finely chopped onions, peanuts, green chili, ginger and saute until onions turn translucent.
  4. Add all the vegetables,salt and saute for a few more minutes, then add 3/4 cup of water and salt required.
  5. When the  water starts boiling, lower the flame add the roasted oats, cover and cook till done.
  6. Switch off and garnish with coriander.
  7. Serve hot with a dash of lime. You can also serve chutney with it.

Here are some healthy chutney recipes:


Crispy Chicken Cutlets-Indian Style (Low Carb, High Protein Recipe, Gluten free)

Here’s a High Protein, Low-carb recipe of Chicken cutlets with no potatoes. To make it crispy and still keep it low-carb, I have used Psyllium husk to coat the cutlets before frying.

Now psyllium husk is a commonly known as Isabgol in India. It has been used for ages to treat constipation. It is now becoming popular as a low carb addition to foods.

Ingredients for Crispy Chicken Cutlets:

  • Chicken mince: 400gms
  • Onions: 1 medium (finely diced)
  • Green chilies: 2 (finely chopped)
  • Coriander leaves: 5 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Mint leaves: 8-10(finely chopped)
  • Ginger+Garlic Paste: 1.5 tsp
  • Mashed cauliflower: 1/2 cup
  • Roasted gram flour(Besan): 2-3  tbsp
  • Melted butter/ghee: 1 tbsp
  • Psyllium husk(Isabgol): 1/2-1  cup for coating
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: for pan frying

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together well and keep it in the fridge for 1/2-1hr.
  2. Heat a little oil in a pan, make a ball of the mixture, then flatten it into a patti shape.
  3. Roll it in the psyllium husk and place in the pan one by one.
  4. Turn them over and let them cook till the outside becomes golden brown in colour.
  5. Take them out and serve hot with coriander chutney.

Note: 

These can also be frozen after frying and can be used later as such or as a filling inside wraps/ sandwiches/burgers.

 

 

 

 

 


Appe with Mixed vegetables(Paddu/ Guliyappa/ Paniyaram/Gundponglu)

Appe is a common breakfast dish in Mangalore. It’s also popular in the other Southern states and is called Paadu/Guliyappa in Karnataka, Paniyaram in Tamil Nadu, Gundponglu in AP and Telengana. And called ‘dosa in a ball’ by my daughter!

It’s made with the dosa batter in a special ‘appe pan’ which has 5-7 or more round holes. The batter is poured into these holes and the resulting appe is almost round like a ball.

Appe, Paddu, Paniyaram pan

Here’s a healthier version of the recipe in which I have added sauteed mixed veggies into the batter to make it more nutritious and can be packed and taken for lunch :

Ingredients for the Batter:
  • Idly Rice: 3/4 cup
  •  Raw Rice: 1/4 cup
  • Urad Dal: 1/2 cup
  • Fenugreek seeds: 1/2 tsp

Other Ingredients: 

  • Carrots: 1 medium (finely diced)
  • Green Beans: 1/2 cup
  • Peas: 1/2 cup
  • Green Chilli: 1 finely chopped (optional)
  • Curry leaves: 10-15 nos., finely chopped
  • Onion: 1 medium, finely chopped
  •  Salt: to taste
  • Coriander leaves: 3 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Oil/ghee/butter
Method:
  1. Wash the idly rice, raw rice, fenugreek seeds and whole urad dal then soak for 6-8 hours.
  2. Grind the soaked mixture with enough water to get a smooth batter.
  3. Transfer the ground batter to a clean vessel and cover it and let it ferment in a warm place overnight.
  4. Heat oil in a pan and add the curry leaves, onions green chili(optional) .
  5. Saute till the onions are soft. Add the chopped veggies and the coriander leaves and sautee till the veggies are cooked. Add the salt. Remove from heat and set aside to cool
  6. Add this mixture when cool to the batter and mix well.
  7. Heat the appe pan till its really hot(test by sprinkling water-it should sizzle). Add a little oil/ butter/ ghee into each mold. Drop the batter to fill the mold. Cover and cook for a minute. Then turn and cook on the other side till its golden in colour.
  8. The appe should be crispy and golden on both sides.
  9. Serve hot with chutney.

 

 

 

 


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.

Note: The carotenes of beetroot will turn your urine and stools pink in colour which is normal.

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

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.

 

 

 

 


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


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.