By Life Positive
Eating low-fat food need not be a privation if you innovate and explore possibilities, especially among traditional cuisines.
by Leena Thakkar and friends
Photos: Martin Xavier
Beet Salad Chat
(Serves six slices)
1 medium-sized boiled beet
1 tbsp grated carrot
1 tbsp chopped capsicum
1 ½ tbsps chopped tomato (after removing the seeds)
1 ½ tbsps grated cucumber
1 tbsp sprouted moong
3 tbsps sweet chutney
6 tbsps green chutney of coriander and pudinaLittle sev for decoration
Method: Peel the beet and make
6 slices. Mix all the vegetables, sweet chutney and salt. Spread a scoop of this mixture on each slice, pour the green chutney and garnish it with sev.
Fruit Walnut Salad
3 tbsps mango pulp
1 peeled orange
½ peeled apple cut into cubes
Some grapes cut half lengthwise.
3 tbsps roasted and chopped walnuts
Black pepper powder
Method: Mix everything and serve cold.
3 bowls whole bodied kurmura (crisp)
2 tbsps finely chopped onion
2 tbsps finely chopped cucumber
2 tbsps finely chopped coconut
2 tbsps finely chopped boiled potato
1 tbsp sprouted channa
2 finely chopped green chillies
3 tsps lemon juice
1½ tsps mustard oil
1½ tsps moori masala (kind of garam masala) salt
Method: Mix everything except kurmura. Just before eating, add the kurmura, stir it and serve immediately otherwise it becomes soggy fast.
4 tbsps wheat flour
2 tsps rice flour
2 tbsps finely grated cauliflower
½ cup finely cut spinach
Salt to taste
Method: Mix above ingredients with enough water to make into a thin pouring consistency. Ladle on a hot non-stick tawa and spread into a thin pancake. Cook on low flame, turn over and cook briefly on high and turn back to low until it is golden brown.
1 cup cooked brown rice
Sweet basil to sprinkle
1 clove crushed garlic
1 small boiled potato
2 tbsps quark (for recipe see below)
Mix all and divide into six even portions. Fill into each crepe, and roll it. Garnish with generous portions of quark and tomato sauce. An optional filling would be to combine finely chopped mushrooms, capsicums, sweet corn and grated carrot. Bind with boiled and mashed potato. This combination of vegetables and grain makes it a very healthy snack for children who fight shy of veggies.
Home-Made Tomato Sauce
2 small finely chopped tomatoes
1 finely chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic
Assorted Italian herbs
Dash of vinegar (optional)
Mix ingredients and cook for 10 minutes, stirring intermittently.
I cup strained and tied yogurt
2 cloves ground garlic
2 tbsps chopped coriander
Method: Mix everything. Use it as a dip or spread.
(Kerala) (Serves 12)
100 gms suran
100 gms raw bananas
100 gms ridge gourd
100 gms potatoes
100 gms arbi
100 gms cooking cucumber
100 gms snake gourd
1 grated coconut
6 chillies or as per taste
1 med-sized onion (optional)11/2 cups curds
½ tsp jeera
¼ onion (for masala, optional)
4 stalks of curry leaves
A pinch of haldi
1 tbsp of coconut oil.
Method: Skin vegetables and cut into 1 ½ ‘ pieces. To ensure that the suran does not itch, boil it in water and drain. Boil all vegetables in minimum water, adding chillies, thickly sliced onion, salt and haldi. Boil drumsticks separately or add to the veggies when half-cooked.
Coarsely grind the coconut with jeera, onion and three stalks of curry leaves, in curds. If there is any curds left over, beat it up and add to ground coconut. When the veggies are cooked but not mushy, and the water is reduced to very little, turn in the ground coconut and stir continuously for 10 minutes. Remove from flame and add the last stalk of curry leaf and coconut oil. Avial should be thick and not very watery.
If you wish to avoid oil totally, you can let go of the coconut oil, though a lot of the flavor comes from it. You can reduce the grated coconut too.
(Kerala) (Serves 4)
100 gms red beans (substitute with any dal or whole legume)
200 gms red pumkin (louki, snake gourd, raw banana, white pumpkin are other options)
Pinch of haldi
2 slit green chillies
A few curry leaves
1 tsp coconut oil
Method: Cut vegetable into small pieces and cook with red beans, haldi, salt and green chillies in a pressure cooker for
10 minutes with just enough water to cook. The mixture must be thick. Open and add the curry leaves and coconut oil. Utterly simple and pretty delicious.
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