Tag Archives: Indian weight loss diets

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Green Apple Panna (An Indian style Summer Drink)

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Beat the heat with this variation of the popular ‘Aam Panna’- The Apple Panna!!

Traditionally in North India, ‘Panna’ is made from green mangoes (unripe) and had as a drink during the sweltering summers. The unripe mangoes are tart which adds a different flavour to this drink. Added to that the different spices makes it an unusual, yet tasty drink. The Black salt /kala namak used in this drink is a type of salt found in India which due to the sulfur content, gives a distinct aroma and taste.
Since fall is also the season for apples and everyone seems to be making desserts with them, I thought a ‘Green Apple Panna’ will be a welcome change!
This recipe was tested out and also photographed by Taranjeet Kaur-Kothari. Thanks a ton TJ- the photos are superb ( do we see a budding photographer and blogger in the making???).

Green Apple Panna-An Indian Style summer cooler

Ingredients for the Green Apple Panna:
  • Green apples(Granny Smith) – 4nos.
  • Roasted cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Sugar: 4-5 tsp (or according to taste)
  • Black salt- 1 tsp
  • Lemon-1no.
  • Mint leaves- a few
  • Green apple chunks – 20-25g (optional)

Method:

  1. Coat the skin of the apples with a little oil and bake( or roast over a flame) till soft.
  2. Scoop out the pulp and mash in the mixie with lemon juice with water, sugar, mint leaves,black salt and roasted cumin.
  3. Whisk thoroughly.
  4.  Let the panna cool down and then add lots of crushed ice to the panna.
  5. Add green apple chunks(optional)
  6. Garnish the Green Apple Panna with some mint leaves and serve chilled.

Note: Black salt/Kala namak can be found in all Indian grocery stores.


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Zucchini Majjige huli/ Moru curry/ Morkulambu/Majjige Pulusu (Buttermilk/Yogurt Curry)

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Zucchini is a member of the gourd family and is a low calorie, high fiber, antioxidants, B vitamins and minerals like zinc and magnesium.
Majjige huli is a popular curry in Karnataka. It’s called “Morkulambu” in Tamil Nadu, “Majjiga Pulusu” in Andra Pradesh and “Moru Curry” in Kerala-just goes to show the similarities in cooking styles in South Indian cuisine.

‘Majjige’ is ‘buttermilk’ ,while ‘huli’ is ‘sour’ in Kannada. Usually majjige huli is made with one vegetable (like cucumber, eggplant, ashgourd, spinach,etc). I had a couple of Zucchinis in the fridge and decided to use it as the vegetable in the majjige huli.

Ingredients for the majjige huli:

  • Zucchini: 2 small cut into cubes (or any one of the vegetables listed above)
  • Coconut: 1 cup grated(fresh/frozen)
  • Channa dal/split chickpeas: 1tbsp soaked in water for 1/2hour (optional)
  • Green chillies: 2-3
  • Cumin seeds/zeera: 1tsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  • Yogurt/ curd: 1 cup (should be slightly sour)
  • Water: 2-3 cups
  • Salt: to taste

For the tempering:

  • Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  • Cumin seeds/zeera: 1tsp
  • Urad dal: 1tsp
  • Curry leaves:3-4 nos.
  • Oil: 1tsp

Method:

  1. Boil the zucchini in just enough water till half done.
  2. In the meanwhile grind the coconut,green chillies, the soaked channa dal(optional), mustard and cumin seeds till you get a fine paste (add a little water when grinding).
  3. When the zucchini is half cooked add the ground masala and a cup of water and let it boil.
  4. Add salt, yogurt and another cup of water and cook for a minute or two.
  5. In a separate pan, heat the oil and add the mustard,cumin and the urad dal. Wait till the mustard starts to pop, add the curry leaves , then pour the tempering over the majjige huli and mix.
  6. Serve the majjige huli hot with rice.

Q: What is your favorite side dish to go with rice?


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Cauliflower Sabzi (Cauliflower and tomato sabzi-No Onion)

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Cauliflowers are a good source of vitamins like vitamin C and K , thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, folate, and beta-carotenes, minerals, proteins, antioxidants, phytochemicals and fibre. The sulphur content of cauliflower has been found to benefit heart health and fight cancers.

Ingredients for Cauliflower sabzi:

  • Cauliflower: 1 medium , cut into bite size florets
  • Tomatoes: 3-4 medium, finely chopped
  • Garlic(optional): 1-2 cloves, finely chopped
  • Green chilies: 1-2
  • Red chili powder: 2-3tsp (as per heat tolerance)
  • Coriander: 1tbsp
  • Cumin powder: 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds/jeera: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Corriander/Cilantro leaves: 2 tbsp chopped (for garnish)
  • Oil: 3tsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method: 

  1. Heat oil in a kadai, add the jeera and turmeric powder, then the tomatoes and salt and saute till the oil leaves the sides.
  2. Add the cauliflower florets and mix well. Cover and cook on very low flame (you can also use a deep steel plate with sides as the lid and add some water on the top, the cauliflower will cook in it’s own water).
  3. Keep checking and mix well, sprinkle a little water if needed. Switch off till the cauliflower is cooked.
  4. Garnish with cilantro and serve as a side with rice and dal or with roti’s.

 

 


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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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Mushroom Masala

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Most Indians who eat mushrooms are only familiar with the button mushroom, but there are lots of different edible mushrooms. Button mushroom is an excellent low-calorie food, especially for those looking to lose weight and also diabetics. It is rich in protein, enzymes, B vitamins (especially niacin), and vitamin D2.

For more information on mushrooms, read my article which was published in the Complete Wellbeing magazine: Go Mushy over Mushrooms!

Ingredients for Mushroom Masala: Serves 4-6

  • Button Mushrooms: 250gms  chopped (rinse in water, remove dirt gently)
  • Onion: 1 medium (finely chopped)
  • Tomatoes: 2 small or 1 big (diced)
  • Garlic: 3-4 cloves (grated)
  • Ginger: 1/2″ grated
  • Jeera/cumin seeds: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp (or as per your heat tolerance)
  • Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
  • Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera/cumin powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Cilantro/Coriander leaves- 2tbsp (chopped) for garnish
  • Oil: 2 tsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a kadai, add the cumin seeds, turmeric and the onions.
  2. Stir fry the onions till they become translucent.
  3. Add the tomatoes, ginger-garlic, salt and the spice powders (red chili, coriander, cumin and garam masala) and saute till the oil leaves the the sides and you get a a nice fried aroma.
  4. Add the chopped mushroom and mix well. Cook till the mushroom leaves water and is soft (you can add some water if you want more gravy). Switch off.
  5. Garnish with the chopped cilantro and serve with rice & dal or phulkas.

 

 


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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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Long Beans Masala (Alasande, karamani, barbati, chawli masala )

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Long Beans (alsande in Kannada, chawli in marathi , chawli or barbati in hindi,  karamani in tamil) are rich in fibre, protein also contain some amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium, which are  essential for body metabolism.

The addition of curd increases the calcium and protein content of the dish and also gives a creamy texture to the gravy.

Ingredients for Long beans masala: Serves 4-6

  • Long beans /Chawli/Alasande: 250 gms ,break/cut into inch long pieces
  • Potato (optional) :1 medium, cubed
  • Tomato: 2 medium, chopped
  • Yogurt/ Curd: 1/2 cup, beaten
  • Ginger: 1 tsp (grated)
  • Garlic: 1 tsp (grated or finely chopped)
  • Water: 1 cup
  • Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1/3 tsp
  • Hing/ Asafoetida: 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Chili powder: 1 tsp (add more if you like it spicy)
  • Coriander powder: 2 tsp
  • Garam masala: 1/3 tsp
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add cumin and mustard seeds.
  2. When seeds start crackling add asafoetida, turmeric and then add chopped tomato , Grated ginger and garlic.
  3. Add salt and cook till the tomatoes become soft .
  4. Now add the  beaten yogurt/curd and chili powder,coriander powder, garam masala and stir fry  for a minute .
  5. Add chopped beans and potatoes (optional) and stir for a minute .
  6. Now add 3/4 cup water ,mix and you can either cover and cook or pressure cook on medium flame for 2- 3 whistles or till cooked well .
  7. Add more water if you want more gravy.
  8. Serve hot with roti or rice.

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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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Zoodles in a Quick Chicken Pho (Zucchini noodles in a Vietnamese soup)

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Have you tried PHO (prounched as “FUH”)??
Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup. The authentic soup is more like a broth(clear) made with a meat/ poultry as it’s base (with bones), spices and with herb and vegetable garnishes. Here is a LOW-CARB version!! In this recipe, we have replaced the NOODLES with ZOODLES 🙂

Wondering what ‘ZOODLES’ are??  Zoodles= Zucchini noodles, or in other words noodles made by spiralizing zucchini (using a vegetable spiralizer). The resulting zoodles is a great low-carb substitute for any recipe that calls for noodles, pasta/spaghetti (or even rice)! You can even make zucchini sheets and use them instead of lasagna sheets. If you don’t have a vegetable spiralizer then use your vegetable peeler to make sheets, then cut the sheets into strips.

Zucchini sheets for lasagna/salads or cutting into noodles

Zoodles are a low-carb substitute for noodles/pasta if you are on a low-carb diet, low-calorie diet or just want to increase your vegetable intake. Zucchini is a member of the gourd family and is low in calorie, high in fibre, also rich in flavonoid antioxidants (mostly found in the skin), B-complex vitamins, folate, B6, B1, B2, B3, and choline, as well as minerals like potassium, zinc and magnesium.

This is great dish when you are feeling a little under the weather or need something warm or on a cold winter’s day or when you are feeling lazy to make an elaborate meal. It’s a one pot dish which will keep you full for a long time.

Ingredients for Quick Chicken Pho with Zoodles: (Serves 4)

  • Chicken: 500 gms cut into small pieces (with bone makes it tastier, but you can use boneless too)
  • Zucchinis: 3 large (spiralized )
  • Chicken stock/broth: 8 cups
  • Onion: 1 large (sliced)
  • Ginger: 3″ julienned
  • Star anise: 1no.
  • Cloves: 4
  • Pepper corns: 4nos
  • Fish sauce: 2 tbsp
  • Pepper powder: 1tsp
  • Green chillies/jalapeño (optional): 1-2nos (thinly sliced)
  • Bok choy: 2 heads
  • Bean/Moong sprouts- 1 cup
  • Cilantro/coriander leaves: 1 small bunch (chopped)
  • Basil: 1 sprig
  • Lime: 1 no. cut into wedges
  • Spring onions/ Scallions: 2 (sliced)
  • Sriracha/hot sauce(optional): to taste
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Heat 1-2 teaspoon of oil in a large pot, add the star anise, peppercorns, cloves and ginger strips. After a minute, add the sliced onions and saute till they are translucent. (this is an optional step as I find sauteing the onions and ginger adds a better flavour to the pho rather than boiling it all in the stock).
  2. Add the stock, the chicken, fish sauce, salt, black pepper and to the stock and bring it to a boil. Then lower the heat and let it simmer for 20-25 mins.(if you don’t want to saute the onions and ginger, then you need to add it directly to the stock along with the whole spices).
  3. Add the bok choy and cook till it wilts. (If you have used chicken with bones, you can take them out, remove the bones and put the chicken pieces back)
  4. Divide the zucchini noodles into 4 bowls.
  5. Ladle the piping hot soup into bowls and top with spring onion, bean/moong sprouts, basil, cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge to squeeze over, and hot sauce, extra fish sauce and sliced chilli to add to taste.

 

 


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Green Apple and Mint Chutney

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I had picked up 3 Granny Smith apples in the hope of turning it into a chutney that a friend had made.Well,the recipe involved some cooking and since I was feeling too lazy for that, thought I’d make it like raw mango chutney.So,I peeked into the fridge and got out all the stuff that goes into a regular chutney-mint leaves,cilantro,ginger,lemon,green chilies and put them all in the blender with the cored and peeled apples. The resulting Green Apple Chutney which came out of the blender reminded me of the “chaat” taste and so I blended some sugar and a little roasted cumin seeds,and the result was great. The Green Apple Chutney can be eaten with meals,mixed with yogurt and used as a dip, or used as a spread in a sandwich.Here’s what I blended together for the Green Apple Chutney:
Ingredients for Green Apple and Mint Chutney:

  • Granny Smith apples/tart cooking apples-2 nos.(peeled,cored and chopped)
  • Mint leaves-10 numbers
  • Coriander leaves/Cilantro-2 tablespoons
  • Green chilly/Serrano-1 no.
  • Ginger-1/2″piece
  • Lemon juice-2 tablespoons
  • Jeera/Cumin seeds-1 tsp(roasted)
  • Jaggery/Stevia-2 tsp/to taste (optional)
  • Salt-to taste

Method:

  1. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend till you get a fine paste.
  2. Adjust salt and sugar according to your taste.
  3. Serve the Green Apple Chutney with sandwiches, as a dip or as a salad dressing.