Tag Archives: healthy Indian recipes

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Mangalore Basale Curry (Malabar Spinach and Whole Moong in coconut gravy)

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Basale soppu or Malabar /Ceylon Spinach is also called as mayalu in Marathi and poi in Gujrathi . It’s very common to see houses in Mangalore growing it and Basale ghassi or Basale koddel is a specialty of the region. Malabar spinach is rich in vitamins A, C, iron and calcium, and is also good source of soluble fiber.  The addition of green moong not only increases the protein conent of the dish but also adds a lot of flavour to it.

I was lucky to find the seeds locally and have been making this curry with homegrown organic basala. This is how Basala and payar (whole moong) curry is made in my family.

Ingredients for Mangalore Basale curry:

  • Green moong: 1 cup (wash and soak for an hour)
  • Basalla /Malabar Spinach: 3 cups (washed, chopped, both leaves and stems are traditionally used)
  • Tomato: 2 small or 1 Big
  • Salt: to taste
  • Tamarind paste: 1/4tsp

Grind together:

  • Grated coconut/dessicated coconut: 1 1/2 cups
  • Onion: 1 medium, sliced
  • Turmeric: 1/4tsp
  • Red chili powder(or 8-10 whole dried byadagi chilies roasted): 1-2tbsp (as per your heat tolerance)
  • Coriander powder (or 1 tbsp corriander seeds roasted): 1tbsp
  • Cumin powder: 3tsp
  • Mustard seeds:1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Garlic: 2 cloves

Method:

  1. Pressure cook the moong and the basale (leaves and stem) without adding salt for one whistle.
  2. Grind the ingredients mentioned under grind together to a smooth paste and keep aside.
  3. Open the pressure cooker (if it’s too small, then transfer contents to a deep vessel), add the ground masala, little water, cut tomatoes, tamarind paste and salt.
  4. Allow the curry to boil vigorously for five minutes, check for salt, tamarind add more if required. Adjust the consistency if needed before switching off.
  5. It is traditionally served with rice, but tastes great with chapathis too.

Note: You can add seasoning/tadka if you want, but it isn’t added in our family recipe.

 


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Tomatillo Chutney (Similar to green tomato chutney)

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Tomatillos are a green Mexican fruit with a lantern-type shell surrounding it. They are commonly used in Mexican cuisine as ‘Salsa Verde’. They are a good source of vitamin C, B-carotenes niacin, vitamin K and manganese, iron, phosphorous as well as copper.

I’ve used tomatillo instead of red/green tomatoes in a chutney recipe that I learnt from my neighbour back in Bangalore.The use of roasted bengal gram and of course the tempering at the end gives this dish the Indian touch. The ‘ghee’ is supposed to reduce the heat of the green chillies,so do let me know if it does.

Tomatillo Chutney

Ingredients for Tomatillo chutney:

  • Tomatillos: 4 nos.(chopped)
  • Green chillies/Serrano:1 or 2(depending on how much fire you can take)
  • Garlic:4 cloves chopped(+ 2 to be added raw-optional)
  • Ginger:1/2″ piece
  • Oil: 2 teaspoon
  • Roasted bengal gram:2 teaspoons
  • Roasted peanuts: 2 teaspoons
  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Zeera/Cumin seeds:1/2 teaspoon
  • Sesame seeds:1/2 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida/Hing: a pinch(optional)
  • Jaggery: 1 teaspoon(optional)
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a non-stick pan,add chopped ginger and garlic.
  2. When the garlic turns slightly brown,add the pinch of asafoetida(optional),chopped green chillies and fry for a minute.
  3. Add the chopped tomatillos,salt,jaggery (optional) and stir.Cook till the tomatillos are soft.
  4. Once it has cooled,add the mixture, the raw garlic(optional),roasted bengal gram and peanuts into a blender and blend till you get a fine paste. Pour the chutney into a bowl/airtight box.
  5. Heat the remaining oil,add the mustard,cumin,sesame seeds.
  6. Once the mustard starts to splutter, pour the tempering over the chutney and mix well.
  7. Serve with dosas or idlis or as a spread on your sandwich(or mix with yogurt and use as a spicy dip).

 


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Okra Fried Rice (Ladiesfinger/bhindi Fried Rice )

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Want to try a different kind of fried rice?? Try out Okra Fried Rice!!

Okra Fried Rice

  • We first had Okra Fried Rice at a Caribbean inspired party and it was just awesome!Never knew that okra /bhindi could blend so well with rice. The whole dish has a subtle okra flavor and goes well with the jerk chicken (jerk potatoes for the vegetarians) and goat curry.
    I didn’t get the actual recipe, but tried it anyway and the result was almost similar to the original. So go ahead and try out this awesome Caribbean style Okra Fried Rice.

    Ingredients for Okra Fried Rice:

  • Fresh Okra/Ladiesfinger: 250g(finely sliced into thin rings)
  • Onions: 1 small (finely minced)
  • Garlic: 5 cloves(finely chopped)
  • Bell Pepper(optional): 1/2( finely chopped into cubes)
  • Cooked rice: 3 cups(cooled brown or basmati)
  • Bay leaves: 1-2
  • Cloves: 2
  • Cinnamon: 1/2 “
  • Allspice: 1tsp
  • Oil: 1tbsp
  • Soy sauce: 1-2 tsp
  • Pepper: to taste
  • Salt: to taste

    Method:
    1)Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, add the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon. Then add the chopped onions and garlic and saute till translucent.
    2)Add the bell pepper and saute for 5 mins(optional) and then add the okra rings and fry till it loses the stickiness.
    3)Add the soy sauce,allspice,pepper and salt and saute for a couple of minutes.
    4)Add the cooked rice(you can add some chicken soup base while cooking the rice for added flavor) and mix well.
    5)Serve the Okra Fried Rice with ‘jerk chicken’ or ‘jerk potatoes’, Chicken curry, or any spicy curry.


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Sattu ka Parantha

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Sattu is a popular food in UP and Bihar and is made from roasted chickpeas which is ground to a flour. But there are many versions- some also have millets like jowar or barley(jau) and peanuts all ground together. The sattu I bought from the Indian store has chickpeas and barley. Sattu is traditionally had as a porridge for breakfast, as parathas or Sattu ka sharbat (both sweet and salty varieties) is taken as a cooling drink during hot summers.

Ingredients for stuffing:

  • Sattu : 1 Cup
  • Onion: 1 small, finely chopped
  • Green chili:  1 no.  finely chopped (optional) or red chili powder: 1-2 tsp
  • Ginger: 1 tsp grated
  • Ajwain seeds: 1/4 tsp
  • Pickle masala (any pickle oil and masala): 1 tsp
  • Amchur powder: 1-2 tsp or Lemon juice: 2 tsp
  • Jaggery: 1 tsp (optional)
  • Water: a little to bind the stuffing
  • Coriander leaves: 2 tsp finely chopped
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 3 tsp

Ingredients for Paratha:

  • Wheat Flour: 2 Cups
  • Water: 1 cup (or as required for kneading the dough)
  • Oil: 1 tsp
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp

Method:

  1. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the stuffing. Mix well and add a little water to bind the stuffing into a ball (it shouldn’t be too dry or too watery). Divide the stuffing into lemon sized balls.
  2. For parathas, take wheat flour, add oil and salt. Adding a little water at a time knead to firm consistency. Let it rest for at least 30 mins.
  3. Knead the dough again, then divide the dough into small lemon sized balls.
  4. Roll out one a little, place a the sattu stuffing in the center of the rolled out dough.
  5. Bring the edges together to form a smooth round ball (like a money bag). You can remove any extra dough at the top)
  6. Dust with dry flour and roll it out .
  7. Heat a tava, place the paratha on it. Let it cook then flip and cook the other side. Add some oil on the cooked sides. Let it cook evenly on both sides .
  8. Serve hot with just yogurt/curd, pickle or baingan ka bharta.

 

 

 

 


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Punjabi Stuffed Karela recipe (Baked stuffed Bitter Gourd recipe)

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Bitter Gourd/Karela (hagalkai in Kannada, pavvakai in tamil) has long being used in India not just as a food but also to control blood sugar among diabetics. This is because bitter gourd contains a chemical that acts much like insulin to lower blood sugar. Though there are no significant studies to support this, Diabetics in India do try and include bittergourd regularly(either as a food or as a juice). In some countries, bitter melon is consumed as a treatment for malaria as the bitter flavor is due to the melon’s quinine content.

BITTERGOURD for LONG LIFE??Residents of the Japanese island of Okinawa have been known to have the longest life expediencies in the world. It is said that bitter gourd/karela is one of the secrets to Okinawa longevity because it contains high levels of health-promoting phyto-nutrients.
This is a baked version of the traditional recipe using onions as the stuffing. I find that baking the karela first reduces the cooking time on the pan.

Ingredients for Punjabi Style Stuffed Karela (with onions) : Serves

  • Bitter gourds (karela): 6 medium nos or 10-12 small
  • Onion :3 nos. finely chopped
  • Red chili powder: 1 tsp (or as per heat tolerance)
  • Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala : 1/2 tsp
  • Amchur (dry mango)powder: 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds(saunf): 1 tsp (crushed)
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350 F.
  2. Prepare the karela by washing and drying them ( I don’t peel the skin,or apply salt to it, but you could if you feel it makes the dish too bitter).
  3. Slice each karela in the centre (without going all the way through) and scrape out the inside including the seeds using a teaspoon .
  4. Place the karela on a baking tray and bake for 30-45 mins (till it starts to shrink and brown a bit). If the karela is thick, it may require a bit longer, so keep checking.
  5. In the meanwhile heat the oil in a pan and add the onions and fry until golden brown.
  6. Add the spice powders and salt ,mix well.  Fry for a few seconds and remove from the heat.
  7. Once cooled use a spoon or your hands and stuff the karela with equal amounts of the mixture. Smear any extra stuffing or oil on the karela.
  8. You can bake the karela again for a further 10-15 mins or pan-fry the stuffed karela in a teaspoon of oil for 5-10 mins.
  9.  Serve with rice and dal or with roti’s and a sabzi.
  10. Once cooked the karela will keep refrigerated for up to a week.

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Gujarati Handvo recipe( Mixed lentil savory cake with vegetables)

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Handvo is a traditional Gujarati savory cake. It is made with a combinations of lentils, rice and buttermilk and vegetable. It can be steamed or baked. It’s makes a great snack or even breakfast option.

Ingredients for Handvo: Serves 6-8 

  • Raw Rice: 1 cup
  • Urad dal: 1/4 cup
  • Tur dal: 1/4 cup
  • Channa dal: 1/4 cup
  • Lauki/bottle gourd: 1 medium grated (or 3 zucchini) squeeze out excess water
  • Yogurt/curd: 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric powder: 3/4 tsp
  • Ginger: 1 ” piece (grated)
  • Green chili: 1-2 (or as per heat tolerance)
  • Sugar/Stevia: 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida/hing: a big pinch
  • Cilantro/corriander leaves: 1 tbsp chopped (for garnish)
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Lemon juice: 1 tsp
  • Eno (fruit salt): 1 tsp
  • Salt: to taste

For tadka(seasoning):

  • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
  • Sesame seeds: 1 tbsp
  • Curry leaves: a few (tear it into smaller pieces)
  • Asafoetida/hing: a pinch
  • Oil: 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Wash the rice and dals/lentils and soak in water for 4-6 hours.
  2. Drain the water and blend soaked rice, yogurt, lentil, ginger, green chili to a slightly coarse texture with as little water as possible.
  3. Add turmeric, salt, sugar and asafoetida, blend it again for 2-3 seconds.
  4. Transfer the blended mix into a bowl and let the mix ferment overnight.
  5. In the morning, add the bottle gourd/lauki or zucchini, 2 tablespoons of oil, lemon juice to the fermented dal mixture and mix well.
  6. Add ENO to the mixture and mix again.
  7. Grease a baking pan and pour the handvo mix into the greased pan. Tap the pan to help spread the mix evenly.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  9. In the meanwhile prepare tadka (seasoning)-heat a tablespoon of oil in a small wok or small pan, add the mustard seeds. When mustard seeds start popping, tear the curry leaves and add to the sesoning along with the asafoetida/hing. Turn off the stove and put the wok on side and let the tadka cool a little. Then add the sesame seeds to it.
  10. Pour the seasoning/tadka over the handvo batter.
  11. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place the pan on middle oven rack and bake at 350 F (or 180C) for 20mins.
  12. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes (top of the handvo should turn a light golden brown) and test with a knife inserted in center of the cake. If it comes out clean, your handvo is ready.
  13. Let the handvo cool down a bit. Cut into pieces, garnish with cilantro( and serve with chutney.

 


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Ghiya (Lauki) Channa Dal recipe (Bottle Gourd/Doodhi and split Bengal Gram sabzi)

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Bottle gourd is a vegetable high in water content and is a good source of vitamin C, K, fibre and calcium. This recipe is great for those who are in a hurry as it has both vegetable and a protein together in one dish.

Bottle Gourd/Lauki/Doodhi/Ghiya

Ingredients for Lauki Channa dal: Serve 4-6 

  • Bottle gourd/Lauki: 1 medium (peeled and cut into cubes)
  • Tomato: 2 medium chopped (or 1 tsp Amchur)
  • Onion: 1 medium sliced
  • Split Bengal gram/channa dal: 1/2 cup
  • Jeera/Cumin seeds:  1/2 tsp
  • Green chilies: 2-3nos. slit
  • Ginger: 1″ piece (grated)
  • Asafoetida/hing: a pinch
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1/2-1 tsp
  • Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
  • Oil: 2 tsp
  • Salt: to taste
  • Cilantro/Coriander leaves: 2tbsp (chopped)
  • Water: 1 cup

Method:

  1. Wash and soak channa dal for one hour or more.
  2. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Add the cumin seeds. When seeds start to crack, add the asafoetida, turmeric and sliced onions. Stir till the onions become translucent.
  3. Add ginger,green chilies and stir for a few seconds. Then add the chopped tomatoes , garam masala, red chili powder and cook till the oil leaves the pan.
  4. Add the channa dal, bottle gourd, salt, and one cup of water .
  5. Cook the channa dal for 3-4 whistles . Turn off the heat, let the pressure drop, then open and add the cilantro. Stir and cover the pan for a few minutes before serving.
  6. Serve with hot phukas/roti or rice and a curry.

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Drumstick Sambar (Moringa Seed pods in spicy lentil curry)

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Almost all Indians are familiar with the ‘Drumstick Tree’ (Moringa Tree) and it’s leaves and seed pods (called Drumsticks) are used from ancient times not just as food but as cure or prevention of many diseases in Ayurveda. The small rounded leaves that are packed with an incredible amount of nutrition: protein, iron, calcium, vitamins, A,C , potassium,  essential amino acids.

The drumsticks of the Moringa oleifera tree are used in cooking and contain vitamins, fibre and minerals. Here is a simple recipe with lentils that is commonly made in most South Indian homes: Drumstick Sambar.

Ingredients for Drumstick Sambar: Serves 4-6

  • Drumstick -3-4 (Cut drumstick into 2 or 3 inch pieces, remove the hard green outer skin)
  • Tur dal -1/3 cup
  • Onion: 1 medium (thinly sliced)
  • Tomato: 1 no.
  • Tamarind paste- 1/2 tsp (or small gooseberry sized ball)
  • Sambar Powder: 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Cilantro/coriander leaves: 2 tbsp chopped (for garnish)
  • Oil: 1 tsp
  • Salt: to taste

For the seasoning :

  • Oil -2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds -1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds -1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida/hing – 1/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 10-12nos. ( I love using lots of curry leaves 🙂

Method:

  1. Pressure cook dal (use 1 1/2 cup water) along with the turmeric powder, and the whole tomato for 3 whistles. Once the pressure subsides, remove the whole tomato and keep aside. Mash the dal well (you can use an egg beater) and keep it aside.
  2. If using tamarind ball, soak it in 1 cup of hot water, extract the juice and discard the pulp.
  3. Heat oil, add the sliced onions and saute till they become slightly translucent.Then add drumstick pieces and saute for 2 seconds.
  4. Add sambar powder, salt needed, turmeric powder and saute for 2-3 seconds. Add water (around 3/4 cup) and cook the drumstick.
  5. Once the drumsticks are half cooked,add cooked and mashed dal, 1/2 cup of water and simmer for 5-6 minutes(add more water if the sambar is too thick).Switch off.
  6. Heat a little oil in a small tadka pan, add the mustard seeds, when mustard splutters, add fenugreek seeds, hing and curry leaves. Add the tempering to the cooked sambar, mix and cover and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  7. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice.

 


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Appam ( Fermented Rice Pancakes)

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Ingredients for Appam (without yeast):

  • Raw Rice : 2 cups
  • Coconut: 1 cup grated
  • Salt to taste
  • Baking Soda: 1/2 tsp(traditionally made using toddy or yeast)
  • Water as needed for grinding
  • Oil for greasing pan

Method:

  1. Wash and soak the rice for 5-6 hours (you can soak it in the morning, then grind it in the evening).
  2. Grind it in a mixie along with the coconut and water till you get a smooth paste.
  3. Let it ferment overnight. In the morning add some salt, baking soda and some water and make it into a smooth batter.
  4. Heat a non stick appam chatti ( or a mini wok) on medium heat. Pour a ladle of batter in the center, then swirl the pan to spread the batter on the sides of the pan (the centre should be a little thicker than the sides)
  5. Cover and cook for about a minute.
  6. Uncover, add a little oil along the sides of the chatti/wok.
  7. Remove the appam (if you want it crisper, cook a little longer till the edges start browning) and serve along with stew (veg/chicken) or chutney or curry (chicken/ goat/ egg).

 

 

 

 


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Adrak Chai (Brewed Ginger Tea Latte)

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Ginger has many medicinal properties and has long been used in Ayurveda and other traditional medicinal systems for improving digestion, reducing intestinal gas and alleviate nausea and vomiting (including morning sickness) and reducing the pain during menstrual cramps. Ginger is also used in Ayurveda to reduce phlegm and coughs, colds and breathing difficulties. Research has also shown it has anti-inflammatory properties also reduces inflammation and makes it a great pain reliever for athletes and arthritis.

In our house, we switch to ginger tea (adrak chai) the moment it starts to get cold (which is usually in autumn) and switch to cardamom tea in summers.

Ingredients For Adrak Chai or Ginger Tea Latte: Serves 4

  • Milk: 2 cups
  • Water: 2 cups
  • Tea leaves: 4 teaspoons ( we use orange pekoe)
  • Ginger: 1 ” piece
  • Sugar/Stevia: to taste

Method:

  1. In a saucepan, heat the milk and water and add the tea leaves.
  2. Grate the ginger (you could also crush them and add) and add it to the saucepan.
  3. Let the tea boil for 8-10 mins on low heat.
  4. Switch off, strain the brewed tea and add sugar/stevia.

Note: We like our tea with a lot of milk, but you can reduce it or even just have black tea with ginger. You could also add cardamom or other spices like pepper,cinnamon. We prefer our tea with just one spice at a time 🙂

Fresh ginger contains greater levels of gingerol and other anti-inflammatory compounds.

Storing Tip: You can store fresh ginger in the freezer and grate it while frozen directly into your saucepan.

Another great recipe for keeping coughs and colds away is Turmeric Milk/ Turmeric Latte or Haldi Doodh. Here’s the recipe : How to make Turmeric Latte/Golden Milk