We all know about the afternoon time hunger pangs. A dip in our sugar levels after a few hours of lunch leads to lethargy, which in turn has us craving something sweet. So, the first thing we do, is fix ourselves a cup of tea or coffee.
I know, not many of us can survive without either of the brews. But, having just a cup of these doesn’t satisfy our hunger. So, we rummage through our pantry for biscuits, or some such snacks, after having which, we feel awake again, albeit for short span.
I used to crave cakes, and chocolates. Still do. So, I make for myself a mug of chilled coffee. It instantly raises my sugar levels, but then I crave something savoury, something spicy, too.
To indulge that urge for something savoury, I incorporated some healthy snacks, that not just taste great, but give me the necessary energy boost that stays all evening.
Legumes such as moth-beans, black chickpeas have become my go-to energisers. I also love sweet corn, which I have added to my afternoon-snack-list. These are my little gems of nutrition. They are definitely not boring, of that I assure you. You can make them as tasty and exciting as you wish.
Sprouted, or steamed, you can add vegetables, taste makers and spices to these to add some flavour and pamper your taste buds. Your body will bless you, too. Believe me.
Yesterday, at mum’s, I had the moth bean bhel. I am sure you may have had it, too. But, I am sharing this easy recipe for those who haven’t.
Moth beans: (Matki)
1 cup (100 gm) sprouted moth beans contain 330 calories, and zero cholesterol. They are super rich in proteins and fibre, iron, manganese, calcium, and vitamins (B- 6 & B- 12). These make for the perfect source of proteins for vegetarians.
Black Chickpeas: (Kala chana)
Black chickpeas, are again, low in fat and high in dietary fibre, and rich in vitamins and minerals. And, these also have zero cholesterol, so good for weight loss!
Sweet corn has high levels of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals in addition to antioxidants such as beta-carotene and lutein (thanks to the yellow colour of the kernels). And, sweet corn being high in fibre and low in carbohydrates makes it good for diabetics, too.
Now for the very easy-to-make recipes using these three gems!
Moth bean salad, or bhel:
1 cup sprouted moth beans
A small onion and a tomato – finely chopped
Freshly grated coconut.
Finely chopped green chillies (as per requirement)
Finely chopped coriander for garnishing
A spoonful of lemon juice
Salt to taste.
Mix the sprouts and the finely chopped onion and tomato, and the grated coconut. Add the green chillies and salt. Mix well. Add juice of half a lemon, or more, if you like it tangy. Garnish with coriander and serve.
And, if you wish to add some more flavour, you could add some sev (or the Indian Noodles) or even farsan to it. Isn’t that easy? For some variation, you could use the green gram, or whole moong, instead of moth beans.
Sprout the two, wrap them in a cloth and store in an air tight container and refrigerate it. You can use as and when you wish to.
Soak the chickpea at night (or for eight hours during the day). Drain the water and leave it in the colander to sprout. Steam in the pressure cooker once you see it sprouting.
Once cool, take the required quantity of chana.
1-2 onions (depending on the quantity of the chickpea) – finely chopped
1 -2 tomatoes – finely chopped
Green chillies – as per your preference
Coriander for garnishing
Juice of a lemon
Salt to taste.
In a big bowl, mix the steamed chickpeas, finely chopped onions and tomatoes and green chillies. Add chaat masala, lemon juice and salt to get the perfect chatpata flavour. Garnish with coriander and serve.
The onions, tomatoes, green chillies, grated coconut, coriander and lemon juice add to the nutritive value of the dish, thus making it healthier.
Steamed sweet corn:
There is really nothing to write about for this recipe! All you need to do, is buy the corn, peel away the covering and the silk. Remove the kernels in a bowl and microwave, or, steam in a pan on the gas stove until slightly tender.
Add chaat masala, salt, lemon juice and a tiny dollop of butter (yeah, as against ghee). A little bit of butter won’t harm you. Trust me! And, that’s it. Serve hot. It tastes amazing and is so filling!
If you are feeling enthusiastic, you may add raw veggies of your choice to the steamed corn, too.
Do try these recipes and let me know if you enjoyed them.
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