Monday, June 18, 2018

Black Rice Pancake


Black Rice Pancake
I had first heard of black rice two years ago. I was fascinated and ordered a small quantity but let it just stay in a corner in my refrigerator. I wanted to make Black Rice Pudding but never got down to doing it for lack of time. 
Black rice is being hailed as the new superfood. The reason it scores over brown and red rice is the presence of the purple pigment anthocyanin (an antioxidant) in its outer hull.  It's the reason I am attracted to brinjals, blackberries and blueberries and other red and black coloured fruits or veggies. 



Next, the same online site advertised their Black Rice Pasta. I swung into action and ordered it again. But this time I made sure I used it instantly. It's there in one of my previous posts. But now I was determined to use the black rice that was lying around. Also, I got lots of rave reviews from people for the black rice pasta dish. And black rice became my new obsession. 
The pudding was always there but suddenly I came across this pancake recipe and was hooked. So here we are. Very simple to make and an amazingly healthy and taste pancake for breakfast. Now there are 2 ways of making it. One is where you spread the batter carefully on the pan with your hand. The other where you make a soft dough with the rice and roll it out carefully like a bhakri. Both are simple. 
 

Ingredients
Black Rice - 1 cup
Chickpea flour - 1 tsp
Jaggery (powder) - 2 tbsp
Fennel seeds (crushed) - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste

Method 1
Wash and soak the rice overnight
 Grind using little of the water to form a thick batter
Add the rest of the ingredients
Heat a non-stick pan
Spread little ghee on it
Drop the batter on the pan and spread it carefully with your hand to form a panckae
Cover with a lid and cook on slow flame
Spread little ghee and flip it over carefully
Cook the other side




Method 2
Grind the rice
Add the rest of the  ingredients to make a soft dough
Divide it in to three equal parts and roll it carefully between two plastic sheets
Heat a non-stick pan
Spread little ghee on it
Carefully place it and cook on a slow flame using a cover
Spread little ghee and flip it over carefully
Cook the other side


Health Benefits of Black Rice
Antioxidant rich
Protects heart health
Helps detoxify
High fibre content improves digestive health
Helps slow down absorption of sugar in the blood.. prevents diabetes
Helps in weight loss and management
Gluten-free
Prevents atherosclerosis

Note: Anthocyanins are responsible for the red, purple and blue colors in fruits and vegetables. Red to purplish blue-colored leafy vegetables, fruits, grains, roots and tubers contain a high level of anthocyanins. They are found in high concentrations in blackcurrants, blackberries and blueberries, brinjal (in the skin), red cabbage, cranberries and cherries. Anthocyanins are linked to a range of health benefits.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Jackfruit for Breakfast

Jackfruit for Breakfast

I enjoy this time of the year for the variety of fruits it brings which I can add to my breakfast to up its nutritional value. One of them is Jackfruit. I love it best when it's bright yellow, juicy and fully ripe. This calls for less jaggery. Jackfruit is a staple of the Mangalorean cuisine during the season. Here are some of my favourites with jackfruits in exactly this order.  

Jackfruit Pancake


Ingredients
Broken Wheat Rawa (fine variety) - 1 cup
Curd - 3/4 to 1 cup
Jackfruit (very sweet variety) - 1 cup
Jaggery - 2 tbsp
Fresh Coconut (grated) - 1 tbsp
Green Chili (optional) - 1
Curry leaves (optional) - 2 sprigs
Salt - 1/4 tsp

Method
Soak the broken wheat rawa and salt in curd for about 15 mins
Blend the jackfruit, coconut and jaggery to form a coarse mixture
Add the chili and curry leaves and pulse till they are just broken into pieces
Add to the rawa mixture
Add water to form a batter of thick consistency
Spread oil on a non-stick dosa pan
Heat it on a medium flame
You can spread the batter directly on the pan with your hands
Cover with a lid and cook the pancake on both sides

OR
Spread oil on the pan
Place a piece of banana leaf on it
Spread the batter on the leaf
Cover with another piece of banana leaf
Cover the pan with a lid
Flip it over carefully when the pancake is cooked on one side
The leaf will look a little dry and burnt
Let the other side cook and serve warm

Note: I prefer the banana leaf method for the following reasons:
  • It is rich in natural antioxidants which get absorbed into food during cooking
  • It also protects food from getting burnt 
  • It holds the heat inside and cooks food in its own juice
  • It lends an aromatic and sweetish flavour to the dish







Jackfruit Steamed Cake


Ingredients
Brown rice powder - 1 cup
Udad dal powder - 1 tbsp
Jackfruit pieces (very sweet variety) - 3/4 cup
Fresh coconut (grated) - 1/4 cup
Jaggery powder - 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Curd - 1/4 cup
Water - 3/4 to 1  cup
Salt - to taste

Method
Mix the flours and salt
Add water and let it soak for 15 mins
Add curd and mix well
Blend jackfruit pieces with coconut and jaggery powder to form a rough paste
Add to the flour mixture
Mix well 
Add water to make a thickish batter  
Grease an aluminium cake mould and place a banana leaf in it so that it lines the pan completely
Pour the cake batter into it
Steam for about 20 mins till a knife inserted in it comes out clean
Cool and cut into pieces while still warm
Enjoy with a cup of hot tea or filter coffee





Jackfruit Idli

Ingredients
Broken Wheat Rawa (fine variety) - 1 cup
Curd - 3/4 to 1 cup
Jackfruit pieces (very sweet variety) - 1 cup
Jaggery - 2 tbsp
Fresh Coconut (grated) - 1 tbsp

Method
Soak the rawa in curd for 10 to 20 mins
Fresh Coconut (grated) - 1 tbsp

Blend jackfruit pieces with coconut and jaggery powder to form a rough paste
Add to the rawa mixture
Mix well 
Pour into the cavities of a steamer
Steam for about 10 to 15 mins till a knife inserted in it comes out clean
Enjoy  warm idlis for breakfast with a cup of hot tea or filter coffee 





Health Benefits of Jackfruit

Jackfruit has various benefits on your health
It is an instant energizer
It has potassium which maintains blood pressure. (Here you can find potassium rich foods)
The rich source of fiber improves digestion and prevents constipation
Jackfruit is loaded with antioxidants. This slows down your aging process
It has vitamin A, a vital nutrient for your eye health
It has calcium to strengthen and promote healthy bones
It is rich in vitamins A, C, E, K, Niacin, Vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid and minerals like copper, zinc, manganese and magnesium. These nutrients help you to prevent and cure anemia
The Vitamin C contents of jackfruit strengthen your immune system
Manganese regulates blood sugar levels in the body
Copper presents in the jackfruit keep the thyroid glands healthy
Vitamin B6 keeps the heart healthy
It can cure ulcers and other digestive system disorders
It maintains your blood pressure and improves digestion


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Bamboo Shoot Stir fry With Udon Noodles...Lobsters in Pepper Garlic Sauce

Bamboo Shoot Stir fry With Udon Noodles... Lobsters in Pepper Garlic Sauce



Lobsters in Pepper Garlic Sauce
Ingredients
Lobsters - 4 medium (steamed)
Spring Onions - 2 stalks
Ginger (grated) - 2 inch
Garlic (sliced finely) - 10 flakes
Soy sauce - 1 tsp
Pepper sauce - 2 tbsp
Peppercorn (crushed) - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp

Method
Microwave the lobsters for 10 seconds
Heat the oil
Add ginger and saute
Add garlic and saute
Add onion whites and stirfy
Add the onion greens, sauces and peppercorn 
Saute for 1 minute
Add the lobsters and mix slowly


Bamboo Shoot Stir fry With Udon Noodles 
Ingredients
Udon Noodles - 2 cups (cooked)
Tender Bamboo Shoot (small slices) - 1 cup
Spring Onions - 2 stalks
Ginger (grated) - 2 inch
Garlic (sliced finely) - 8 flakes
Soy sauce - 1 tsp
Pepper sauce - 1/2 tsp
Peppercorn (crushed) - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste

Method
Cook the noodles according to instructions on the pack
Heat the oil
Add ginger and saute
Add garlic and saute
Add bamboo shoots
Add onion whites and stirfy
Add the onion greens, peppercorn and pepper sauce and saute for 1 minute
Add the noodles and mix slowly
Serve hot with lobsters in garlic pepper sauce


Health Benefits of Lobsters
Rich source of copper and selenium
Contains zinc, phosphorus, vitamin B12, magnesium, vitamin E, and a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids
Increase brain function and efficiency
High protein content
Reduces inflammation


Health Benefits of Bamboo shoots
Contains vitamins A, B6, E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate and pantothenic acid
Contains minerals - calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium and iron
Protects heart health
Decreases LDL cholesterol levels
Lowers and maintains blood pressure
Improves body’s immune system
Has anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-killing) properties
High in dietary fibre
Low sugar content
Negligible amount of fat
High in protein
Good appetizer
Improves digestion

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Brown Rice Cookies

Brown Rice Cookies


Ingredients
Brown Rice Flour - 1 Cup
Chickpea Flour - 1 tbsp
Egg - 1
Jaggery (powdered) - 1/4 Cup
Chocolate Chips - 1/4 Cup
Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp
Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp

Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
Cream together the coconut oil and jaggery
Add egg and mix well
Add the brown rice flour, baking soda and salt
Mix well
Fold in chocolate chips
Drop tablespoons of mixture on a greased or non-stick baking tray
Bake for about 15 to 20 mins
Let it cool in the oven
Enjoy it warm with a steaming cup of tea or coffee 


Note: I make them more exciting by adding different flavours - cocoa powder, cinnamon powder, grated orange and lemon zest, coffee. You end up with so many differently flavoured cookies. While the rest seem like sure winners, I was surprised by the tangy orange and lemon zest ones. They are all good. Go try them out. You can turn it into a sinful muchie by topping it with chocolate sauce and nuts.


Health Benefits of Brown Rice
Heart health – high magnesium content

Gluten-free diets

Energy
Controls cholesterol levels
Resistant Starch - Diabetic friendly, Weight management
Low GI and high fibre – Diabetic friendly
Low GI and high fibre – Weight management
Anti-inflammatory properties

Resistant Starch

This type of starch is called Resistant Starch. It works like soluble, fermentable fiber. When the bacteria in our digestive system digest resistant starches, they form several compounds, including gases and short-chain fatty acids, especially a beneficial fatty acid called Butyrate. Resistant Starch appears to increase butyrate production more when compared with other soluble fibers.
Butyrate is the preferred energy source of the cells lining the colon. Butyrate has beneficial effects on the colon and overall health. It maintains the colon lining and is believed to prevent colon cancer. It also helps to increase metabolism, decrease inflammation and improve stress resistance.

Potential benefits of Resistant Starch

Improved blood fats
May help to lower blood cholesterol and fats while also decreasing the production of new fat cells
Can increase the amount of fat we utilize for energy.

Better Satiety
Can help us feel full by triggering the release of hormones that reduce the drive to eat. After someone starts eating more RS, it may take up to one year for gut hormones to adapt.
Slows down the amount of nutrients released into the bloodstream, which stabilizes appetite

Better Insulin Sensitivity
It doesn’t digest into blood sugar, so less insulin release
Lowered blood sugar levels
Might improve insulin sensitivity

Improved Digestion
May help alleviate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis, constipation and ulcerative colitis
Can add bulk and water to stool, helping in regular bowel movements
Can prevent development of abnormal bacterial cells in the colon and enhance mineral absorption (especially calcium).

Better Body Composition
Since Resistant Starch has less energy (calories) per gram than other starches, it can help us eat less.
Improved immunity
Can influence the production of immune cells

Monday, May 14, 2018

Carrot Cake With Raisins And Orange Zest

Carrot Cake With Raisins And Orange Zest 

I have always enjoyed using seasonal fruits in my cakes. The Orange Cake recipe that I had shared with you last year is a huge hit in my family. I wanted to make another simple orange cake before the orange season ended. Of course, this year the orange season just doesn't seem to be getting over. Malta oranges are still available in some places. But I admit they do not have the tangy taste that is so typical of them.  But imagine my joy at discovering this carrot cake recipe which used not just orange juice but also the zest. If you've seen my previous posts you will realize that I like to use almost the entire fruit or vegetable to obtain maximum nutritional benefits. The skin and the layer just below the skin, the pith and seeds are loaded with nutrients and is usually the most nutritious bit. 
And of course, I don't have to keep reminding you that I replace refined flour and sugar with wholewheat flour or any healthy flour and powdered jaggery. Coconut sugar is another option although a slightly expensive one. All the ingredients used in my dishes are healthy and wholesome. One can be assured that they are eating healthy. That's the biggest advantage of cooking at home. So here we go with the preparation of the cake



Ingredients
Wholewheat flour – 1 cup
Custard powder (vanilla) – 2 tbsp
Egg – 2
Jaggery powder – 1 cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Orange zest – 2 tbsp
Carrot (grated) – ¾ cup
Orange juice – 2 tbsp
Coconut oil – ¼ cup
Salt – ¼ tsp
Cinnamon powder – ¼ tsp
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Milk – ¼ cup (add accordingly to adjust consistency of batter)



Method
Mix dry ingredients well
Beat the eggs
Mix orange juice and beat again
Add oil and blend well
Add the dry mix to it gradually using cut and fold method
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes

Enjoy this as a healthy snack with your cup of tea or coffee or just any time with the goodness of carrots, oranges and jaggery.

Note: Refrigerate leftovers especially in this heat. It tends to go bad after a day.

Orange Zest
Orange zest is the brightly coloured outer part of the peel. It contains the essential oils responsible for the orange fragrance and flavor. Orange peel also includes the zest, so it can provide the same orange flavor that you get from the zest; however, it also includes the white pith. The pith can be bitter. Orange zest provides the flavor without any risk of bitterness from the pith.




Health Benefits Of Orange Zest
Lowers high blood pressure and cholesterol
Has anti-cancer effects
Contains considerable amounts of calcium, copper, magnesium, vitamin A, folate and other B vitamins
Contains dietary fiber

Health Benefits of Carrots

Antioxidant rich
Fibre rich

Health Benefits of Jaggery
Excellent source of iron
Cleanses the liver
Prevents premenstrual syndrome
Has antioxidants - zinc and selenium which boost immunity

Friday, May 11, 2018

Potato Tuna Bake

Potato Tuna Bake


Ingredients
Potatoes (medium) - 2
Tuna (steamed and cut shredded) - 1 cup
Cheese (I used Parmesan) - 1/4 cup
Black pepper (freshly crushed) - 1 tbsp (can add more or less)
Pesto Sauce - 2 tbsp
Milk - 1/4 cup
Salt - to taste  

Method
Parboil potatoes
Cool and slice them with the skin on
Steam the fish fillet
Cool
Layer potato slices 
Spread pesto sauce over it
Sprinkle crushed pepper
Layer tuna pieces
Cover with a layer of potato
Pour milk over this
Sprinkle grated cheese on top
Bake at 160 degree C for about 12 to 15 mins  



Health Benefits
Tuna
Heart Friendly
Lowers Blood Pressure
Immune System booster
Weight Loss
Strengthens Bones
Skin Health
Provides Energy


Potato
Nearly half your daily value of vitamin C
More potassium than a banana
A good source of vitamin B6
Fiber, magnesium and antioxidants
Resistant starch


Resistant Starch

This type of starch is called Resistant Starch. It works like soluble, fermentable fiber. When the bacteria in our digestive system digest resistant starches, they form several compounds, including gases and short-chain fatty acids, especially a beneficial fatty acid called Butyrate. Resistant Starch appears to increase butyrate production more when compared with other soluble fibers.
Butyrate is the preferred energy source of the cells lining the colon. Butyrate has beneficial effects on the colon and overall health. It maintains the colon lining and is believed to prevent colon cancer. It also helps to increase metabolism, decrease inflammation and improve stress resistance.

Potential benefits of Resistant Starch

Improved blood fats
May help to lower blood cholesterol and fats while also decreasing the production of new fat cells
Can increase the amount of fat we utilize for energy.

Better Satiety
Can help us feel full by triggering the release of hormones that reduce the drive to eat. After someone starts eating more RS, it may take up to one year for gut hormones to adapt.
Slows down the amount of nutrients released into the bloodstream, which stabilizes appetite

Better Insulin Sensitivity
It doesn’t digest into blood sugar, so less insulin release
Lowered blood sugar levels
Might improve insulin sensitivity

Improved Digestion
May help alleviate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis, constipation and ulcerative colitis
Can add bulk and water to stool, helping in regular bowel movements
Can prevent development of abnormal bacterial cells in the colon and enhance mineral absorption (especially calcium).

Better Body Composition
Since Resistant Starch has less energy (calories) per gram than other starches, it can help us eat less.
Improved immunity
Can influence the production of immune cells