Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Italian Flatbread

Italian Flatbread
This is a good change for the gluten-free dieters. Loaded with fresh veggies with a chickpea base, it's like a healthy homemade veggie pizza. You can top it with a bit of cheese if you like. Quick to make and super-quick to eat. Enjoy for your breakfast or your evening 5 pm snack.

Chickpea flour (besan) – 1 cup
(You can take ½ cup besan and ½ cup wholewheat flour if you wish)  
Spinach (chopped) – ½ cup
Water – 1 to 1 ½ cups
Red chili flakes – 1 tsp (adjust according to taste)
Vegetable oil – 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Spring onion (sliced) - 2
Tomato (medium – sliced) - 1
Spinach (chopped) – ½ cup

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
Place your baking dish during preheating
Whisk together chick-pea flour and water until smooth.
Add salt, pepper flakes and 1 tbsp oil
Add spinach
Keep it aside for 30 mins
Oil the baking dish and pour the batter into it evenly
Top with onion , spinach and tomatoes
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes till set
Cool a bit and cut into wedges

Serve with tomato sauce

Health Benefits of Chickpea Flour
Gluten free
High in protein
Rich in the energizing Vitamin B6
Has antioxidant selenium
Has iron and potassium

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Wine n Walnut Raisin Cake

Wine n Walnut Raisin Cake
It is as healthy as this cake can be. It's made with wholewheat, jaggery, coconut oil, red wine, raisins and walnuts. Each of the ingredients have their health benefits with no side effects. But still those on a weight loss need to limit their portion size while still indulge their sweet tooth. 

Whole wheat flour – 2 cups
Egg – 3
Jaggery powder – 2 cups
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Walnut pieces– 1/2 cup
Raisins – ½ cup
Coconut oil – ¼ cup
Salt – ¼ tsp
Cloves and cinnamon (powdered) – 1 tsp
Nutmeg powder – a pinch
Ginger powder – ½ tsp
Red wine – ½ cup
Red Vinegar – 1 tsp

For caramel sauce
Sugar – ½ cup
Water – 1/3 cup
Add 1 tbsp water to sugar and place on medium heat
When it becomes brown colour switch off flame and add the water very carefully, gradually

Method for cake
Soak the nuts and raisins in the wine for at least a week
Sieve together the dry ingredients
Mix well
Beat the eggs well with little vinegar and salt
Cream the jaggery and oil. Add the caramel sauce
Add the dry ingredients slowly into the egg mix
Mix using cut and fold method
Gradually add the jaggery mix
Add the nuts and raisins slowly along with the wine
Bake in a preheated oven (170 degrees C) for 20 to 25 mins

This cake tastes best after a few days. Enjoy this as a healthy snack with your cup of tea or coffee or just any time

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

Health Benefits of Walnuts
Contains good fats like MUFAs and PUFAs
Good source of Omega-3
Also contain iron, selenium, calcium, zinc, vitamin E and some B vitamins
Promotes heart health
Contain several unique and powerful antioxidants that are available in only a few commonly eaten foods (90% of the antioxidants are found in its skin)
Weight control
Reduces sugar levels

Supports brain health

Health Benefits of Raisins
Prevents anemia - packed with iron, copper and B complex vitamins
Energy booster
Improves oral health
Excellent digestive aid
Lowers blood pressure and reduces risk of stroke
Strong antioxidant powers

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Jackfruit Kheer

Jackfruit Kheer

Ripe jackfruit pieces (big) – 10
Jaggery powder or grated – ½to ¾ cup (according to desired sweetness)
Thin coconut milk – ½ cup
Thick coconut milk – 1 cup
Cardamom powder – ½ tsp
Dry Ginger Powder – ¼ tsp
Raisins – 1 tbsp
Cashew nut pieces – 1 tsp
Ghee – 2 tsp
Almond slices – 1 tbsp

Remove the seeds from the jackfruits and chop them into small pieces
Grind into smooth puree with jaggery powder
Heat the thin coconut milk
Let it simmer
Add the jackfruit-jaggery mixture and mix well
When it starts boiling, reduce heat and add cardamom and ginger powder
Mix well
Let it simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the thick coconut milk and mix well
Let it simmer for just a minute and turn off the heat
Heat ghee in a non-stick pan and add the raisins and cashew nut pieces
Fry till golden brown and add to the kheer

Serve chilled topped with almond slices

Health Benefits of Jackfruit
Has immune-boosting vitamins A and C
Reduces risk of heart disease due to its content of potassium, fiber and antioxidants
Antioxidant rich
Improves skin health
Slows down aging of skin

Health Benefits of Coconut milk

Reduces risk of heart disease due to its potassium, fiber and antioxidant content
Improves heart health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol
Builds muscle and helps lose fat
Prevents fatigue
Improves digestion and relieves constipation

Prevents anemia

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

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Jowar Bhakri..Egg Bhurji seasoned with curry leaves

Jowar Bhakri

Jowar flour - 1 cup
Warm water - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 1 tsp
Add warm water little by little to the flour to form a soft dough
Cover and keep for 5 to 10 mins
This cannot be rolled out like a wheat chapati
Moisten your hands with water
Take a small piece of the dough and roll it into a smooth ball
Flatten it and roll it out carefully between two plastic sheets
Remove it carefully and roast on a slow flame on either sides till half done
With a pair of tongs carefully roast it directly over the flame on both sides
It will fluff up nicely  
Spread a little ghee on top and eat it piping hot

Egg Bhurji

Eggs - 2
Onion (finely cut) - 1/2 cup
Green chili - 1 or 2 
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Hing - 1/2 tsp
Tomatoes (medium) - 1 (finely chopped)
Coriander leaves - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 1/2 cup

Beat the eggs well
Heat oil
Add hing, green chilies and onions
Fry till the onions turn translucent
Add tomatoes and fry till it softens
 Add salt, chili powder and garam masala and fry for a minute
Add the beaten eggs and mix well
Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan 
Stir fry the curry leaves in it
Add to the bhurji and mix well
Serve hot with hot bhakris

Health Benefits of Jowar
Fibre rich
Boosts heart health
Improves digestion
Helps weight loss
Rich source of protein
Packed with minerals and vitamins
Promotes bone health
Diabetic friendly
Skin health
Healthy hair


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Cake

Peanut Butter And Chocolate Cake 

I had always wanted to try out this combination in a cake. And the result is mind blowing, This combo is my new obsession. It's a very simple and quick-to-make and bake kind of cake. And of course, it is quick to eat also. 

Wholewheat flour – 2 cups
Custard powder (vanilla) – 3 tbsp
Egg – 2
Jaggery powder – 2 cup
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Cooking Chocolate (melted) - 3/4 cup
Peanut butter (homemade) - 3/4 cup
Cinnamon powder – 1/2 tsp
Coffeepowder - 1 tbsp
Milk – ¼ cup (add accordingly to adjust consistency of batter)
Apple cider vinegar - 1 tbsp

Add the dry ingredients on a sieve and sieve it twice
Add apple cider vinegar to eggs and beat them till fluffy
Add the dry mix to it gradually using cut and fold method
Mix melted chocolate and peanut butter well
Add to the cake mix 
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes

Homemade Peanut Butter
Roasted n salted peanuts - 3/4 cup
Put in a mixie and pulse for a few times to powder it
Then run the mixie stopping in between to scrape the sides of the jar and mix it
Do this till you get a smooth mxture
Add a few nuts and pulse a couple of times to add some crunch to the butter

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

Note: Refrigerate leftovers. It may go bad after a couple of days 

Health Benefits of Peanuts
Heart health
Healthy fats
Lowers cholesterol
Skin health
Rich in vitamins and minerals

Monday, June 18, 2018

Black Rice Pancake

Black Rice Pancake
Move over brown rice and red rice. Black Rice is the new superfood. I had first heard of black rice two years ago. I was fascinated and ordered a small quantity. But I just let it stay in a corner in my refrigerator. I planned to make Black Rice Pudding but never got down to doing it for lack of time. 

Next, the same online site advertised their Black Rice Pasta. I swung into action and ordered it. But this time I used it instantly. It's there in one of my previous blogs. Suddenly I was determined to use the black rice that was lying around in my frig. Also, I had got lots of rave reviews for the black rice pasta dish. Suddenly black rice has become my new obsession. 
Finally I've gotten into my experimental mode. The reason black rice scores over brown and red rice is the presence of the purple pigment anthocyanin (an antioxidant) in its outer hull.  It's the same reason I am attracted to deep purple coloured brinjals, blackberries, black grapes and other red and black coloured fruits or veggies. Always try to get as much of this coloured stuff on your plate. 
The pudding is still there at the back of my mind 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. 

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
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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