Beetroot Delight

This recipe is one of my favourites. When it comes to beetroot, people especially children don’t seem to like it. But the preparation I am sharing with you now, is one of the best tasting vegetarian food ever. This is also offered to Gods in temples in South of India. I have added a few things of my choice in this recipe.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 beetroots (peeled and grated)

1 green chilli chopped very fine

2 tbsps of freshly grated coconut

1 tbsp of oil

1/2 a tsp of mustard seeds

1 tbsp of mixed pulses like chana dal, split urad dal and tur dal

A pinch of asafoetida

2 cloves of garlic peeled and finely chopped

Salt to taste.

Procedure

Take a shallow pan with lid and put it on the flame.

Add oil and once hot, add mustard seeds. Let them crackle and then add asfoetida and chopped garlic.

Now add the mixed dals and then add grated beetroot. Saute and now cover and cook for ten minutes on low heat. Don’t add water.

After 10 minutes remove the lid and mix everything and now add grated coconut and green chillies.

Mix everything well and let it cook uncovered for a few more minutes. You can add red chilli powder if you want it hot because beetroot tends to tender a sweet taste which is why it isy not like by many.

This is usually served with plain rice. If there are leftovers, this can be used as an excellent colourful dip or raita when combined with hung curd or thick creamy yogurt.

Daliya(Broken Wheat) Khichdi

This is very filling and has all the benefits of dal, wheat and vegetables. It is normally had with dahi as accompaniment and of course, ghee. Today is Ashok Shoshti for Bengalis that is the sixth day of Chaitra Navratri. Women fast on this day for the welfare of their children. But since I cannot observe fast rigidly, I came up with this idea. Soak Daliya and yellow split mung dal overnight. In the morning, add cumin seeds, hing, red chillies, cinnamon stick and bay leaf in hot oil. Add whatever veggies you like. I added, green peas , carrots and potatoes. Saute well and the add tomatoes. Add haldi, garam masala powder, dhania powder, salt and when everything blends well, add soaked daliya and dal. Add water, pressure cook for two whistles. Your healthy khichdi is ready.

Sauteed Vegetables with Garlic and Sesame Seeds

This colourful vegetarian dish is my personal favourite. It is simple, yummy, healthy and filling and also can be a complete meal if fish, chicken or any protein is included in the platter.

You can take any vegetables of your choice. I took french beans, carrots and baby corn and cut them into small pieces. Chop garlic very fine and once your oil gets hot, add garlic and the add all the veggies. Stir well and cover and cook on medium heat for three minutes. Remove the lid, stir and now add salt, pepper powder and sesame seeds. Stir fry and serve hot. I do not want to lose the crunch of the vegetables. Hence the hurry!

Healthy Wholewheat multiseed and multi millet Roti

This recipe is a result of many experiments over months. I needed a nutritious roti to manage my hunger pangs and this recipe helped me quite a lot.

I happened to find a packet of multi – millet aata and picked it up. The recipe started taking shape and I gradually incorporated new ingredients . It worked and I found this to be a feelgood recipe. The crunch comes ftom the seeds and softness from curd.

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Wellness Potion (Durga Puja and Navratri Special)

It has been long since I posted my last recipe. This one is very close to my heart and has had enough trials and tribulations in the past.

The name has been coined by me and this has been my tried and tested friend for over 30 years. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I mention that I never use any synthetic cleansers on my face. The much needed glow before any occasion comes from this wellness potion.

This is vegetarian and can be had steaming hot if you really want to shed the extra kilos along with the glow on your skin or chilled if you are just looking for the glow.

I make it in batches which serves a family of four for two days. The number of glasses of water added depends on how many people needs to served and over how many days. Though it is always advisable to cook and have it fresh every day but because of some constraints if it is not possible, it can be frozen in separate containers and can be had everyday. To get maximum results start having fifteen days before the occasion.

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Ginger, Turmeric and Lemon Tea

Today’s recipe is about the power of a water based drink. I have noticed the difference it makes, after including it as a part of my daily routine. I am not a nutritional expert but when it is the question of my family’s well-being, I like to incorporate natural things to keep them healthy. Here’s the recipe of a water based drink that can be made and stored for two days in individual bottles or a large jug in the fridge. I have used three natural ingredients namely ginger, turmeric and lemon.

Ginger is known to boost bone health and relieve joint pain. It has a number of unique organic compounds, which have actually been named gingerols, and these are powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. These gingerols have been directly associated with improvements in knee inflammation and associated pain, as well as suppressing the inflammatory compounds at the source before they can begin to affect the body. Ginger represents both a preventative measure and a treatment for inflammation and its associated pain.

The amazing health benefits of turmeric include its ability to reduce inflammation,heal wounds, improve skin health, protect cognitive abilities, and ease menstrual difficulties. Turmeric also helps eliminate depression, alleviate pain, slow the aging process, protect the digestive tract, and prevent cancer.

Lemon enjoys a global eminence, thanks to its incredible health benefits. This inexpensive and easily available sweet-tart fruit has high amount of Vitamin C that helps in boosting the immune system. Thus, we can keep several illnesses at a bay by drinking one glass of lemon water each day.

Servings are subject to your requirements.

Procedure

1. Wash two inch size of fresh ginger, two inch size of fresh raw turmeric. Wash and take half a lemon. Sometimes I use half of a sweet orange to impart its natural sweetness to the otherwise pungent water. Cut each into thin roundels.

2. Boil a litre of water and when it comes to a boil, simmer and then add all of the above ingredients. Let it boil for a minute and then put off the flame. Cover and let it rest for half an hour.

3. Drain and store it in bottles. Your drink is ready but add honey when you give it to your children or old people. The pungency of ginger and turmeric can irritate their throats.

4. If you are allergic to citrus fruits, you can omit lemon or orange and just make it with ginger and turmeric.

5. This can be had either warm or cold. But in case of a bad cold, have it piping hot.

6. To store fresh ginger and turmeric, wash them thoroughly, cut them into very thin roundels and keep it out in the sun to dry.

7. On a bright sunny day, it dries up very fast. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge and make the drink whenever you want to.

8. To replace fresh turmeric, half a teaspoon of turmeric powder for a litre of water can be used.

9. For a clearer complexion and glowing skin, have this drink for a week and watch the difference.

10. Keeps bad body odour and bad breath at bay and keeps you smelling fresh and vibrant.

Note: Turmeric stains can be avoided by wearing gloves while cutting them. The bottles and jug can also acquire a yellowish tinge if used regularly to store this drink.

 Stir-Fried Chicken and Broccoli 

We all know the health benefits of broccoli and my lookout is to include it in our diet everyday, whenever it is in season. In a house full of die hard non- vegetarians, this was quite an arduous task. Today’s recipe is one of my experiments to combine this veggie with non-veg and it turned out pretty well.

The ingredients are not measurement specific, you can use any amount you like. 

Procedure :

Cut the broccoli into small florets and the chicken breast(boneless)  into bite size cubes.

Tip: For better results, take chicken thigh boneless pieces and cut them into bite sized cubesAt times we tend to go wrong with breast boneless, because they turn chewy.  

Take oil in a wok  and add sliced onions, chopped garlic and then add chicken, and fresh or dried thyme and sautee.

Then, add salt and pepper and cover and cook on low heat for 10 mins. 

Remove the lid and mix everything well. Cover and cook for 5 more mins. 

Add brocolli florets and cook on high heat till all the juice released from the chicken sticks to the pieces and the florets.

Serve hot with soup and toasted garlic bread.


Quinoa Pulao

Pronounced “keen-wah,” this protein-packed grain contains every amino acid, and is particularly rich in lysine, which promotes healthy tissue growth throughout the body. Quinoa is also a good source of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, potassium, and fiber. It looks a bit like couscous and is as versatile as rice, but quinoa has a richer, nuttier flavor than either of them.Quinoa is closely related to the edible plants beetroot, spinach, and amaranth(Amaranthus spp.), another pseudocereal which it closely resembles. Amaranth or Rajgira as it is locally known is a cheaper alternative to quinoa. We can use rajgira instead of quinoa. 

Both are pseudo-grains — foods that are prepared like grains (for making flours, and cereals), but are actually seeds and are gluten free. Rajgira, also called amaranth, is comparable to quinoa in terms of calories (370 cal per 100gm), fibre (7gm), fat (6-7gm) and protein (6-7gm), and has similar calcium, potassium and iron content too, plus higher vitamin E and magnesium as compared to quinoa.Both can be eaten on its own as a side dish, with a bit of butter or oil, salt and pepper, or other seasonings. It also makes a great breakfast dish mixed with dried fruit, cinnamon, milk, and maple syrup or honey. Paired with chili, stir-fries, beans or curries, quinoa is a healthy substitute for rice, and it also makes a tasty pilaf. In fact, I made one in a rice – cooker and everyone loved it. 

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