By Life Positive June 2006 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 XavierBeet Salad Chat(Serves six slices)Ingredients:1 medium-sized boiled beet 1 tbsp grated carrot1 tbsp chopped capsicum1 ½ tbsps chopped tomato (after removing the seeds)1 ½ tbsps grated cucumber1 tbsp sprouted moong3 tbsps sweet chutney6 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(Serves three)Ingredients:3 tbsps mango pulp1 peeled orange½ peeled apple cut into cubesSome grapes cut half lengthwise.3 tbsps roasted and chopped walnutsSaltBlack pepper powder Method: Mix everything and serve cold. Jhal Moori(Serves four)3 bowls whole bodied kurmura (crisp)2 tbsps finely chopped onion2 tbsps finely chopped cucumber2 tbsps finely chopped coconut2 tbsps finely chopped boiled potato1 tbsp sprouted channa2 finely chopped green chillies3 tsps lemon juice1½ tsps mustard oil1½ 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. Crepes Supreme(Makes six)Ingredients:For Wrapping4 tbsps wheat flour2 tsps rice flour2 tbsps finely grated cauliflower½ cup finely cut spinachSalt to tasteOregano 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. For Filling1 cup cooked brown riceSweet basil to sprinkle1 clove crushed garlic1 small boiled potato2 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 SauceIngredients:2 small finely chopped tomatoes1 finely chopped onion3 cloves of garlicAssorted Italian herbschili powderDash of vinegar (optional) Mix ingredients and cook for 10 minutes, stirring intermittently. QuarkIngredients:I cup strained and tied yogurt2 cloves ground garlic2 tbsps chopped coriander Method: Mix everything. Use it as a dip or spread. Avial(Kerala) (Serves 12)Ingredients:100 gms suran100 gms raw bananas100 gms ridge gourd100 gms potatoes100 gms arbi100 gms cooking cucumber100 gms snake gourd4 drumsticks1 grated coconut6 chillies or as per taste1 med-sized onion (optional)11/2 cups curds½ tsp jeera¼ onion (for masala, optional)4 stalks of curry leaves A pinch of haldi1 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. Moloshium(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 haldiSalt2 slit green chilliesA few curry leaves1 tsp coconut oil Method: Cut vegetable into small pieces and cook with red beans, haldi, salt and green chillies in a pressure cooker for10 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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