A recipe in memory of my mom-in-law.

A recipe in memory of my mom-in-law.

Three years ago, on the 25th of December, my mom-in-law passed away. I think instead of using the words ‘passed away’, she found peace, would be putting it rightly. She suffered from schizophrenia for almost 40 years, and led a very troubled life. It’s an illness that ravages the victim’s mind, their entire system, and leaves them in a pitiful state.

Medicines, antipsychotic drugs do nothing much but hold them together, somehow, leaving the victim with severe side-effects that affect every part of their bodies. Aai suffered those, too. But, she did not let that come in the way of her favourite activity – cooking.

Her hands would tremble severely. She would often forget the recipe and ask me the proportions for the dish she worked on. But, in spite of it all, not once did she falter while preparing a dish. Not once did she go wrong with the salt, or the spices or even the sugar that would go into a dish.

Just imagine cooking with hands that shake violently. One would just quit cooking, altogether. But, not Aai. She persevered in every way she could and came out with a recipe that was simply out of the world!

She was a master of quite a many recipes. I not being much of a cook, learnt a lot from observing her. I couldn’t master much, but there are a few recipes that I learnt to prepare over the years. One among them is the ‘Kothimbir Vadi’, or to translate it roughly, ‘Coriander cutlets’.

We do find it at restaurants, or eateries, but the way its made according to her recipe, you actually get to taste and smell the goodness of coriander in every bite.

Sharing the recipe of this snack that’s easy to prepare and also takes very little time.

Ingredients:

Coriander – 1 bunch

Gram flour (besan) – 1 bowl (katori)

Rice flour – half a bowl (optional)

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp

Coriander-Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp

Salt – to taste

Oil – for kneading.

Recipe

Remove the stalks of the coriander and wash it thoroughly. Leave it in a colander for the water to drain. Then, chop it roughly. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander-cumin powder and salt. Be careful with the salt, though!

Add the gram flour one spoon at a time. The flour is to bind it all well, so add only as much as is needed to bind the leaves together till you get a dough. Add a spoon of oil and bring it all together.

Take a portion of it and make it into a roll. Or, in a greased plate, pat it into a thin layer. This needs to be steamed, so if you plan on steaming it into a pressure cooker, you may place the rolls in a vessel and steam it for about 20 minutes, without the whistle.

If you plan on doing it in an idli maker, place the plate on a vessel with boiling water and cover it. In short, steam it like you would steam idli, or dhokla, for 20 to 25 minutes.

Once done, remove from the stove and allow it to cool. Cut thin slices, or in diamond shapes (Vadi) and shallow fry till brown on both sides. If you like it crispy, fry for longer.

It’s really an easy recipe. Do try it out and let me know how it turned out. This method of adding the flour as per your need gives the vadi the taste and aroma of coriander. There is another, more popular method of preparing it, where a batter of besan is prepared and the coriander leaves are mixed in it. This method gives the vadi a very flour-y taste – the kind Aai was not very fond of, and neither am I.

Have you tried this recipe, yourself? It is one of the most famous Maharashtrian snack, but prepared in different ways by people across the state. Do try it out and let me know how you liked it.

Love,

SHILPA…

 

recipe for

 

Healthy snacks.

Healthy snacks.

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.

 

 

NUTRITIVE FACTS:

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: 

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!

 

RECIPES:

Moth bean salad, or  bhel:

 

INGREDIENTS:

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.

 

 

Chatpata chana:

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.

INGREDIENTS:

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

Chaat masala

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.

Love,

SHILPA…

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Snacks that are filling, nutritious and tasty.

Vegetables that supply us with anti-oxidants.

Vegetables that supply us with anti-oxidants.

Nutritionists have always advised us to add more colour to our food palette. 

Red, orange, yellow, green, purple…foods that belong to this colour group make for the most nutritious foods. Vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, beetroots, spinach, broccoli, green peas, red cabbage, fenugreek etcetera come under this category.

Packed with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and low in calories, these veggies should be included in our diet everyday. Be it in the form of salads, soups, curries or juices, a few helpings of these veggies on an everyday basis is sure to keep our health in a superb condition.

So, sharing today, two recipes that I make using 3 of the most colourful vegetables–

Tomatoes

Beetroots

Carrots

Tomato-carrot-beetroot soup.

Tomatoes

These contain  high levels of lycopene ( a red carotenoid pigment) that makes them good for our skin. The Vitamin A and C present in tomatoes act as antioxidants that nullify the effects of harmful free radicals in the blood. The lycopene also helps to lower the bad cholesterol.

Carrots

Are also good for the skin as the antioxidants present in these too help keep skin healthy. The vitamin A in carrots works in taking care of our eyes,  and, their fibre content helps in digestion as well.

Beetroots

Are low in sodium and fat. The high content of iron, manganese, potassium and copper in beetroots makes it one of the most nutritious veggies. Beets lower blood pressure, boost energy, are great for heart and liver and promote brain health. They also help treat anaemia, have anti-ageing properties and aid in weight loss. Do consult with your dietician/doctor in case you have high sugar levels, though.

Ingredients:

Tomatoes, carrots, beetroots:  2-3 medium sized, or as per requirement.

Garlic cloves: 5 -6

Salt and pepper powder to taste.

Chop the tomatoes and carrots, peel and chop beetroots. Add an onion, if you wish to. You could add a potato to make the soup thick. Add the garlic cloves and cook  all of it in the pressure cooker for 2 whistles.

Once cool, blend all the cooked veggies in a blender.

Pour in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.

Add salt and pepper powder to taste.

Serve hot with a dollop of home made ghee instead of butter. The flavour that ghee brings to a dish is unparalleled!

 Tomato-carrot-beetroot juice

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Like soups are for cool winters and monsoons, juices are for hot summers when we need some drink or the other to quench our thirst. So, it’s during summers that I prepare this juice, and usually have it in the evening before heading out for my walk.

Ingredients:

Tomatoes,  carrots, beetroots – 2- 3 or as per requirement (depending on the number of glasses  you wish to prepare.)

Amla (Indian Gooseberry)- 1 medium size – if available.

A one inch piece of ginger

Black salt (rock salt), lemon juice to taste.

A sprig of mint.

Chop tomatoes and carrots, peel and chop the beetroots and put it all in a juicer, or a grinder. Use a sieve to filter the juice. Add black salt and lemon juice to taste. Garnish with mint and drink it up when fresh.

So, isn’t that an easy to make health tonic? You can change the cooking method as per the season and reap its benefits!

Do try it out and let me know if you liked it.

 

Love,

SHILPA…

 

 

Bright coloured vegetables that protect your health