Beetroot Leaves Dal

Beetroot Leaves Dal

Do you throw out the Beetroot leaves? STOP!!! 

Don’t just cut off the green leafy tops and toss them away! The leaves and the stems are edible, and make a great substitute for any green such as palak, swiss chard, collard greens, bok choy. They  can be added to dals/sambars, soups or added to sabzis.

Beetroot leaves 

The best part of buying beetroot with the leaves-you can make two dishes for the price of one!! Other leaves that are edible and should not be thrown out:

  1. Radish leaves: Click here for Radish sabzi with leaves
  2. Turnip Leaves: Click here for Turnip leaves sabzi(Sri Lankan style)

Here is a simple dal with the beetroot leaves. (Note:The stems (like the beetroot) have a natural pink dye that can turn the dal slightly pink).

Ingredients for Beetroot leaves dal: Serves 4-5
  • 1 cup toor dal/arhar dal
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons oil/ ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1-2 green chili, slit
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/2 -1 tsp red chili powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoon lemon juice

Method:

  1. To a pressure cooker add the washed toor dal, add 2.5 cups water,  and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder. Cook at high flame for 3 whistles. Let the pressure of the cooker come off on it’s own. Then mash well.
  2. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Wait till cumin seeds crackle and mustard seeds start popping out.
  3. Once the seeds start popping, add chopped garlic and green chili. Saute for a minute or till garlic just starts turning golden brown in color.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes, salt and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add chopped beetroot leaves and mix. Cook for 2-3 minutes or till the leaves are wilted.
  6. Add the mashed dal to the pan, a cup of water , the red chili powder and coriander powder (both optional, but I like to have the extra spice)and let it all come to a boil. Lower the heat, add more water if needed and let the dal simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Check the salt and adjust to taste. Sprinkle garam on top and remove pan from heat.
  8. Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice and serve beetroot leaves dal with any hot rotis or steamed rice.

Other Beetroot recipes:

  1. Beetroot Mocktail/ Juice: Click for recipe here
  2. Beetroot Upkari(a simple Mangalorean style stir-fry): Click for recipe here

 


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.

 

 

 

 


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


Mixed Vegetable Pulav/Pilaf (Gluten free, Vegan)

This is an easy recipe and can be made for the lunch box or even for a party.

Recipe for Mixed Vegetable Pulav:

Ingredients: (Serves 6-8)

  • Brown Rice/ Basmati: 2 cups (soak in water for 30 mins)
  • Tomatoes: 3 medium (finely chopped)
  • Onions: 1 1/2 big or 2 medium sized (finely sliced)
  • Garlic: 3-4 (finely chopped)
  • Ginger: 1 ” piece (grated)
  • Green chilies: 1-4 (depending on your heat tolerance)
  • Mixed vegetables: 1 1/2 cups cut into bite sized pieces(carrot,cauliflower, peas, green beans)
  • Cinnamon: 2″ stick
  • Cloves: 4-5nos.
  • Peppercorns: 5-6 nos.
  • Bay leaf: 2nos.
  • Cardamoms: 4 nos.
  • Jeera/Cumin seeds: 2 tsp
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 1 1/2 tsp (heaped)
  • Garam masala: 1/4 tsp
  • Oil/ Butter/ Ghee: 3 tbsp
  • Water: 4 cups
  • Salt: to taste
  • Cilantro leaves: 2 tbsp (chopped) for garnishing
  • Mint leaves: a few (for garnish)

Method: 

  1. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker, add the whole spices (cumin, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom, peppercorn).
  2. When the jeera seeds start to sizzle, add the chopped garlic and saute on a low flame till it starts to brown.
  3. Add turmeric and the onions, salt and saute till the onions start turning pinkish brown.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook till they are completely mashed and oil starts to leave the sides.
  5. Add the red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala and mix well.
  6. Then add the mixed vegetables and mix till the masala coats the vegetables.
  7. Strain the rice and add it and mix for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Add the water, mix and taste the water for salt and flavours.
  9. close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles. Switch off
  10. Once the pressure drops open the cooker and garnish with coriander leaves(cilantro) and mint leaves. Slowly fluff the pulav a little.
  11. Serve the mixed vegetable pulav with raita.

 


10 Ways to sneak in more vegetables in your diet

The benefits of eating a diet rich in vegetables are many-from lowering cholesterol, controlling sugar levels, aiding weight loss, fighting cancer to relieving constipation. However, most dietitians still feel that the common man is not eating enough vegetables to get the full benefits.
The question in most people’s mind: How much vegetable should one consume in day? 
The answer is around 5-9 servings of vegetables and fruits/day. That would mean around 4-5 cups of fruits and vegetables, which is a lot. Most of us tend to eat not more than 1-2 cups/day. So how does one achieve eating the recommended amounts?

I always advocate eating foods in a form that is as close to how it’s found in nature as this requires the body to break it down which takes time. The longer it takes for the body to digest food, the longer it stays in your stomach thus keeping you fuller for a longer period of time. So it’s best to eat your vegetables as salads or sabzi’s (don’t overcook them as that would kill all the nutrients). In addition to eating them as salads or sabzi’s,
Here are some tips to sneak in more vegetables into your diet:
1. Add vegetables to dishes which you would normally not do so -instead of plain upma, kichidi, poha, noodles, pasta, dal, add some mixed veggies into these dishes and you make them more nutritious and a filling dish.
2. Add grated veggies to any dish-you can add grated carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, beetroot, etc to roti’s, chutney’s, chaats, dosa, idli and even salads. Try sprinkling some grated vegetables like carrots on top of dishes as a garnish-it makes the dish more colourful and inviting.
3. Add a salad with every meal-these need not be limited to just cucumber and tomatoes. A lot more vegetables like beetroot, radish, methi leaves, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, knol-khol/kohlrabi, turnips, and capsicum/bell pepper can be eaten raw. Pulses and legumes and even some grains can be sprouted and added to the salads (like wheat, methi seeds, moong/mung, channa,etc). To avoid boredom, try out 3 different salads every week. You could even mix fruits and vegetables together to make some exotic combinations.
4. Add vegetable purees-to soups, curries, chapathi dough, dosa batter.
5. Add chopped/sliced veggies to sandwiches, wraps, bhel puri, fruit chaats.
6. Make dips with vegetables/fruits-avocado, cucumber, mint, cilantro/coriander leaves, pumpkin, apple, strawberries, figs, etc can all be made into tasty dips. These can be also used as spreads on whole wheat breads and phulkas to make healthy snacks.
7. Eat raw vegetables for snacks– carrots, celery, parsnips can be paired with the fruit/vegetable dips to get double the vegetables!
8. Add veggies to meat/poultry/fish curries. Even scrambled eggs taste better when you add some sautéed veggies like tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and capsicum/bell pepper!
9. Make chutney’s with vegetables/fruits-you don’t have to limit chutneys to just coriander/cilantro or mint. Try making chutneys from brinjal/eggplant, tomatoes, onions, apples, carrots, etc .Eat them with your meals or add them to your salads, breads, yogurts to create a unique dish!
10. Make your own veg+fruit smoothies– mix and match veggies with some sweet fruits to make your own smoothies/juices.  The pulp contains the fiber-so do not to strain it out.

Sweta Uchil

Indian Dietitian

 


Indian Spicy Broccoli Stir-Fry (Masaledar Broccoli Sabzi)

Broccoli belongs to the same cruciferous family like cabbage,kale, cauliflower,collards and Brussels sprouts. It is a low calorie vegetable and is loaded with fibre, vitamins A, C folic acid and is also known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. It must be noted that eating raw broccoli has actually more benefits than eating these in the cooked form as some of the antioxidants and vitamin C are destroyed by heat.

Ingredients for Spicy Broccoli Stir-fry (Serves 4):

  • Broccoli: 2 medium heads (wash, cut into bite sized florets
  • Garlic: 5-6 cloved (minced)
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp (adjust according to heat tolerance)
  • Coriander powder: 2 tbsp
  • Jeera powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Green chilies(optional): 1-2 slit
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil: 2 tbsp

Method:

  1. Add a little salt  and steam the broccoli florets for 2-3 minutes (the broccoli should be crunchy and not soggy). Keep aside (alternatively, you could add the broccoli florets to boiling salt water and cover and keep for 4-5 minutes. Then drain and keep aside).
  2. Heat the oil in a kadai, add the minced garlic and green chilies(optional)fry for a minute.
  3. Reduce the flame to medium heat and add the spice powders (turneric, coriander, jeera, garam masala) and quickly mix in the oil (otherwise the spices will burn).
  4. Quickly add the steamed broccoli and mix well such that the spices coat the broccoli.
  5. Check for salt(add more if necessary). Stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
  6. Serve as a side with rice and dal.

Other broccoli recipes to try out: Broccoli Paratha (Broccoli Stuffed Indian flatbread)

 


Zoodles (Zucchini spirals) in creamy avocado sauce

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.

Zoodles (Zucchini noodles)

This is an easy no-cook recipe. Zoodles are now available in the salad section of the grocery store and you could pick up one if you are running late and don’t know what to cook for dinner. Avocados are great for making sauces because they are naturally thick and creamy. They are loaded with healthy fat (monounsaturated) and research has shown that people who eat avocados have higher levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol than those who do not. Other essential nutrients include fiber, vitamins, folic acid, vitamin E and potassium. Add some protein in the form of cheese (or paneer) and you have a wholesome and filling meal.

To learn more about avocados, read my article that was published in Complete Wellbeing: Why You Should Try Avocados (and how to buy them)

Ingredients for Zoodles in creamy avocado sauce:

  • Zucchinis (about 4 pounds): 6 large,  spiraled  into zoodles
  • Grape tomatoes: 8-10 nos. halfed ( or 1 medium tomato cubed)
  • Bocconcini: 6-8 nos (substitute: you can add grated cheese at the end )
  • For the sauce:
  •  Avocados :(about 3/4 pound total), peeled and pit removed
  • Fresh basil leaves (about 15 medium sized leaves): 1/4 cup packed
  • Ground black pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garlic: 3 cloves, minced
  • Extra virgin olive oil: 2 Tablespoons
  • Fresh lemon juice: 1 Tablespoon
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. To make the sauce, place all of the sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.
  2. Toss the zoodles, bocconcini, grape tomatoes in the sauce. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired.

You can also try adding some chili flakes if you want something spicier.


Oats Dosa (Savoury Oats Crepes)

Oats are rich in fibre, protein vitamin B1 and minerals like manganese, phosphorous, copper, selenium and zinc. It is made up of three types of starch mainly rapidly digested, slowly digested and resistant starch of which the resistant starch is important as it does not get digested and is seen to be beneficial to gut health. Oats is shown to be helpful in reducing cholesterol, increasing satiety as well as reducing constipation.

If a bowl of oats porridge isn’t your cup of tea, then try out this Oats Chilla or dosa recipe and you can still get the health benefits of oats.

Ingredients for Oats Dosa/chilla :

  • Rolled oats: 1 cup (powder in a mixie/blender)
  • Urad dal: 1/4 cup
  • Tur Dal: 1/4 cup
  • Channa dal: 1/4 cup
  • Moong dal: 1/4 cup
  • Ginger: 1/2 inch grated
  • Red chili powder:  1/4 tsp (add more if you like it spicy)
  • Cumin/Jeera seeds: 2 tsp
  • Cilantro/Coriander leaves: 4 tbsp (chopped)
  • Salt: to taste
  • Water: enough to make a smooth pourable batter
  • Oil/ghee: for making dosas (you can use a small onion cut into half breadth wise to dip and spread the oil on the tava)

Method:

  1. Wash and soak the dals for 4-5 hours. Then grind it together till you get a fine paste.
  2. In a big bowl whisk it with all the ingredients, add water and whisk again to make a smooth batter(add more water if the batter is too thick). Keep aside for at least 30 mins.
  3. Heat a tava, dip a cut onion in the oil and spread over the tava. Check if the tava is hot by sprinkling some water on top of it-if it sizzles, then the tava is ready.
  4. Take a ladleful of the batter into the centre of the tava and spread using the back of the ladle in circular movements, spreading the batter thinly over tha tava.
  5. Cover and cook for a few minutes over medium flame.
  6. Then remove the cover, add some oil to the sides of the dosa and cook till you see the dosa leaving the sides.
  7. Flip the dosa,add some oil and cook the dosa on the other sides for a few minutes.
  8. Flip back to the first side and let it cook again for a minute.
  9. Remove and serve hot with a spicy chutney.

 

 

 

 


Quinoa Pulav with mixed vegetables and green masala (How to make Quinoa Pilaf)

“Quinoa” (pronounced keen-wah) is 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 (portion sizes still matter).

This pulav has a nice flavour since I used green masala( paste of coriander leaves, mint leaves, ginger and green chilies) and lots of vegetables.

Vegan Quinoa Pulav

Ingredients for Healthy Quinoa Pulav with green masala (Serves 4-5)

  • Quinoa: 1 1/2 cups *I use the cup that comes with the rice cooker (wash in several changes of water)
  • Mixed vegetables: 2 cups (green beans, carrots, broccoli, spinach)
  • Onions: 1 big (finely sliced)
  • Tomato: 1 no. (finely chopped)
  • Ginger+Garlic paste: 2 tsp
  • Pepper corns: 4-5nos.
  • Cardamom: 2 nos.
  • Cummin/Jeera seeds: 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon: 1/2″ piece
  • Bay leaf: 1 no.
  • Cloves: 2-3
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 2 tsp
  • Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
  • Green chili: 1 slit
  • Water/ Chicken stock: 3 cups
  • Oil: 3tsp
  • Salt: to taste

For Green Masala ( Grind together):

  • Coriander leaves: 1 small bunch
  • Mint leaves : 10-12
  • Green chilies: 2-4nos. (adjust according to your heat tolerance)
  • Ginger: 1/2
  • Water: a little to grind

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a kadai, add the whole spices (jeera, cardamom, peppercorns,bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon), then add the turmeric, sliced onions, green chili and saute till the onions start turning golden brown.
  2. Then add the mixed vegetables, ginger+garlic paste and saute till the vegetables are half cooked.
  3. Add the tomatoes, 2-3 tbsp of the green masala, salt and cook till the tomatoes are all mashed up.
  4. Add the washed and soaked quinoa and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  5. Add 3 cups of water (or chicken stock) , taste for salt and cover and cook till it boils.
  6. Then turn down the flame and let it simmer till the quinoa is cooked and fluffy (sprinkle some water on top if needed). Stir occasionally and switch off when the quinoa is cooked.
  7. Fluff before serving. Serve with raita or with some gravy dish(paneer,chicken)

 

 


Bhindi Peanut Masala (Okra in peanut gravy)

This is a gravy style bhindi masala with peanuts. The peanuts add a lovely flavour to the gravy.

Ingredients for Bhindi in Peanut Masala: Serves 4-6

  • Bhindi/ Okra: 250gms (wash well and dry completely)
  • Roasted peanuts (skinned): a big handful
  • Tomatoes: 2 diced
  • Green chilies: 1-2 nos. (depending on your spice tolerance)
  • Garlic: 4-5 cloves
  • Ginger: 1/2 ” piece
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
  • Cumin powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala: 1/4 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp (use more if you like it hot)
  • Bay leaf: 1 no.
  • Cumin seeds/ jeera: 1 tsp
  • Oil: 4 tsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Dry the okra/bhindi and cut into one inch pieces.
  2. Heat about 3 tsp oil in a kadai and add the bhindi pieces. Stir fry till the bhindi turns a little brown. remove from flame and keep aside.
  3. Meanwhile, put the tomatoes, peanuts, green chilies, garlic and ginger in a blender and blend to a fine paste (without adding water).
  4. Heat a teaspoon of oil in the same kadai, add the jeera , turmeric and the bay leaf then add the paste, salt, red chili powder, cumin powder, garam masala and coriander powder and saute till the oil leaves the sides.
  5. Then add the fried bhindi and mix well. Add about a cup of water and simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Check for salt (and spices), serve with rice and dal or with roti/phulkas.