Mixed Sprout Ussal Cooking Recipe

Mixed Sprout Ussal Cooking Recipe

Mixed Sprout Ussal (Curried Sprouts) Cooking Recipe

When crunchy sprouts meet a coconut and spice masala, something wonderful like this Maharashtrian ussal happens! And, what’s more, I’ve managed to make the recipe work without the addition of any oil. Whole pulses like moong (which produce the familiar beansprouts) are easy to sprout at home. Soak them well, drain and tie up in a muslin cloth. Place in a closed container until the roots start coming out.

Ingredients

  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 2 medium-size onions, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon goda masala
  • 1 teaspoon grated jaggery
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 130g mixed sprouts (e.g. moong, matki, chana)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh coconut

For the paste

  • 6-7 garlic cloves
  • 3-4 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted
  • 30g grated fresh coconut

Cooking Method

  1. First, grind the garlic, chillies, cumin seeds and grated coconut together to make a smooth paste. Set aside.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan, add the mustard seeds and fry until they crackle. Add the curry leaves and onions and roast, stirring continuously, until the onions turn light golden.
  3. Mix in the prepared paste and cook on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the turmeric and red chilli powder, goda masala, jaggery and salt, and stir well.
  5. Add the sprouts to the pan, mix well, and then add enough water to cover just the mixture. Bring to the boil and cook on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are cooked. Garnish with the coriander leaves and coconut.

Chef’s tip: Goda masala is a spice mix typical of Maharashtra. To make your own, roast the following ingredients one by one in a non-stick pan: 70g coriander seeds, 2 tablespoons cumin seeds, 25g stone flower (dagad phool), 6 x 5cm sticks cinnamon, 16 green cardamom pods, 25 cloves, 3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, 18 black peppercorns, 12 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon cobra’s saffron (nagkeshar), 2 blades of mace, 3 tablespoons grated dried coconut (khopra), 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, 3 dried red chillies and 1 teaspoon asafoetida. When they have cooled, grind the spices to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container, but note that this masala does not have a long shelf life. The above quantities make 50g.

361 kj; 86 kcals; 3g protein; 5g fat; 3.2g sat fat; 9g carbohydrates; 5.1g sugar; 2.1 g fibre; 260mg sodium

Spicy Tamarind Rasam Cooking Recipe

Spicy Tamarind Rasam Cooking Recipe

A rasam is more generally served as an accompaniment to rice in the southern parts of India, but here I present it as a soup. A garnish of roasted garlic can add a great finishing touch. It is possible to buy rasam powder if you don’t want to make your own. This soup can charge up the taste buds, can help clear a blocked nose and soothe the throat of many a garlic-lover, it can be a snack…all in all, my aim is to have you try it out!

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 15-20 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons split pigeon peas (toovar dal/arhar dal), soaked
  • 1 medium-size tomato, diced
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind pulp
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

For the rasam powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 6-8 black peppercorns
  • 4 dried red chillies
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon split Bengal gram (chana dal)

For the tempering

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 1 sprig curry leaves

Spicy Tamarind Rasam Cooking Recipe

Cooking Method

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Saute the garlic cloves for a minute, then remove and set aside.
  2. Boil 600ml water in a deep pan. Add the pigeon peas and diced tomato and cook, covered, until soft. Mash and reserve.
  3. To make the rasam powder, dry roast the cumin seeds, peppercorns, chillies, coriander seeds and chana dal in a non-stick pan until lightly browned. Cool and grind to a powder.
  4. Put 600ml water in a pan with the tamarind pulp, along with the salt, asafoetida, turmeric and rasam powder. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the raw tamarind smell disappears.
  5. Add the mashed dal to the pan and bring back to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain and return to the boil.
  6. For the tempering, heat the oil in a pan, then add the mustard seeds, chillies and curry leaves and saute until the seeds splutter. Add to the boiling rasam. Cover immediately to trap the flavours and serve piping hot.

Chef’s tip: You can pound the garlic cloves very lightly before adding to give a better and stronger flavour. You can also pressure-cook the garlic separately and then add to the rasam. Increase or decrease the garlic according to your personal preference.

358 kj; 85 kcals; 4g protein; 4g fat; 0.4g sat fat; 10g carbohydrates; 2.6g sugar; 1.3g fibre; 255mg sodium

Khaman Dhokla Cooking Recipe

Khaman Dhokla (Steamed Gram Flour Snack) Cooking Recipe

This spongy snack emanates from Gujarat but has become popular in other parts of India, too. A favourite at home, dhoklas are easy to make, and are also light on both the palate and stomach.

Ingredients

  • 180g gram flour (besan)
  • 250g natural low-fat yogurt, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon minced green chilli and ginger
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus spray oil for greasing the thali
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh coconut

Khaman Dhokla Cooking Recipe

Cooking Method

  1. Sift the gram flour into a bowl. Add the yogurt and around 200ml warm water. Mix well, making sure there are no lumps. Add the salt and mix again. Leave the mixture to ferment for 3-4 hours.
  2. Once the gram flour batter has fermented, mix in the turmeric and minced chilli and ginger.
  3. Heat a steamer and grease a thali.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Add this to the batter and whisk briskly.
  5. Pour the batter into the greased thali and place it in the steamer. Cover with the lid and steam for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the steamer and allow to cool a little, then cut the steamed gram flour into squares and keep warm in a serving bowl or on a plate.
  7. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small frying pan. Add the mustard seeds and fry until they begin to pop. Pour over the dhoklas. Serve garnished with the coriander leaves and grated coconut.

886 kj; 210 kcals; 12.4g protein; 6.6g fat; 1g sat fat; 27g carbohydrates; 5.2g sugar; 4.9g fibre; 900mg sodium

Poha with Beansprouts Cooking Recipe

Poha with Beansprouts Cooking Recipe

Poha with Beansprouts Cooking Recipe

Reach out for a small portion of this mix of flattened rice (poha) and sprouts when you need a filling snack. Trust me, you will enjoy it.

Ingredients

  • 180g flattened rice (poha)
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 10-15 curry leaves
  • 1 medium-size green pepper, seeded and diced
  • 140g beansprouts, boiled for 4-5 minutes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 30g unsalted peanuts
  • 1 medium-size tomato, seeded and diced

Cooking Method

  1. Place the poha in a colander and wash under running water until soft. Leave to drain for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a kadai and add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. As the seeds begin to splutter, add the pepper and beansprouts. Saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the salt, poha, lemon juice and coriander leaves, and toss well.
  4. Stir in the peanuts and diced tomato and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes, tossing continuously.

1120 kj; 266 kcals; 7g protein; 9g fat; 1.4g sat fat; 43g carbohydrates; 2.9g sugar; 2g fibre; 255mg sodium

Ragi Panki Cooking Recipe

Ragi Panki (Finger Millet Bread) Cooking Recipe

Panki is traditionally made with rice flour, but I have reworked the recipe using millet (ragi) and whole¬wheat flour. As the bread is steamed, it is low in fat, and there’s no salt either!

Ingredients

  • 225g millet flour (ragi/nachni), sifted
  • 70g whole-wheat flour (atta), sifted
  • 4 tablespoons natural low-fat yogurt, whisked
  • 1½ teaspoons minced green chilli
  • ½ teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, roasted and crushed
  • 2 pinches of bicarbonate of soda
  • 8 banana leaves, cut into 12cm squares
  • spray oil for greasing

Ragi Panki Cooking Recipe

Cooking Method

  1. Mix the two flours in a bowl, then stir in the yogurt and 450ml water. Add the chilli, ginger and roasted cumin and mix. Adjust the consistency by adding more water, if necessary, then stir in the bicarbonate of soda.
  2. Lightly grease the banana leaf pieces.
  3. Heat a non-stick tawa, then spray on a little oil.
  4. Pour some batter on to a banana leaf square and place on the hot tawa. Cover with another banana leaf (oily side down) and cook. Once the bottom banana leaf shows little brown specks on it, flip the panki and cook the other side. (You can make a half-moon-shaped panki by putting the batter on one side of the leaf and folding the other side over.)
  5. Make the other pankis in the same way and serve in the leaves.

1080 kj; 257 kcals; 7g protein; 3g fat; 0.5g sat fat; 53g carbohydrates; 2.6g sugar; 3.6g fibre; 152mg sodium

Baked Samosa Cooking Recipe

Baked Samosa Cooking Recipe

Baked Samosa Cooking Recipe

Traditionally samosas are deep-fried. Fried foods become more tempting when taboo, hence this baked version of these tasty little parcels. They are such a delight and great for special occasions. This recipe makes eight samosas. Serve with a chutney of your choice and enjoy without guilt!

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 140g whole-wheat flour (atta)
  • ½ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the stuffing

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2.5cm piece root ginger, chopped
  • 3-4 green chillies, chopped
  • 2 medium-size potatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon mango powder (amchur)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 75g green peas, blanched
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves

Baked Samosa Cooking Recipe

Cooking Method

  1. Mix the ingredients for the pastry. Add 65ml water and knead to a smooth, stiff dough. Let it rest, covered with a damp cloth, for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan and lightly roast the cumin seeds. Add the ginger, green chillies and potatoes and stir.
  3. Add the red chilli powder, mango powder, garam masala and salt. Stir well.
  4. Sprinkle over a little water and cook, covered, for 10-12 minutes. Add the blanched green peas and cook for 5 minutes on a low heat. Add the coriander leaves and mix. Let the mixture cool and divide into eight portions.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200° C/400°F/ gas mark 6.
  6. Divide the dough into four equal portions and roll them into balls. Then roll them into oval-shaped rotis (15cm length, 12.5cm width across the centre). Cut them in half and dampen the edges with water. Shape each half into a cone and stuff it with the potato-and- peas filling. Seal the edges well.
  7. Arrange the samosas on a baking tray and bake in the oven at 180°C for 20-25 minutes, turning them every 5 minutes.

Per samosa
373 kj; 88 kcals; 3.7g protein; 1g fat; 0.2g sat fat; 17.1 g carbohydrates; 1g sugar; 2.3g fibre; 135mg sodium

Murmura Chiwda & Corn Bhel Cooking Recipe

Murmura Chiwda & Corn Bhel Cooking Recipe

Murmura Chiwda (Puffed Rice Snack) Cooking Recipe

Quick and easy, this is a tasty and nutritious snack, reminiscent of (but much healthier than!) Bombay’s famous chaat, bhelpuri.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 green chillies, slit
  • 65g roasted split Bengal gram (chana dal)
  • 50g unsalted peanuts
  • 10-15 curry leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 120g puffed rice (murmura), roasted
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Murmura Chiwda & Corn Bhel Cooking Recipe

Cooking Method

  1. Heat the oil in a kadai. Add the mustard seeds, chillies, chana dal, peanuts and curry leaves, and saute for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the ground turmeric, followed by the puffed rice and salt. Toss well.
  3. Cool completely and store in an airtight tin.

1055 kj; 252 kcals; 10g protein; 9g fat; 1,5g sat fat; 35g carbohydrates; 1.4g sugar; 0.9g fibre; 255mg sodium

Corn Bhel (Sweetcorn and Vegetable Mix) Cooking Recipe

I love this snack when we have our rainy season. Sweetcorn is popular roasted on the cob and then slathered with lemon juice and red chilli. This is a refined version and it’s so good you can have it often!

Ingredients

  • 145g sweetcorn kernels
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium-size cucumber, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala
  • 3-4 green chillies, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green chutney
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind chutney
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 50g pomegranate pearls

Murmura Chiwda & Corn Bhel Cooking Recipe 1

Cooking Method

  1. Boil the sweetcorn, then drain off any excess water. (Note that this bhel can be made with hot or cold sweetcorn.)
  2. In a bowl, mix the sweetcorn, onion, tomato, cucumber, chaat masala, chillies, chutneys and coriander leaves. Add the lemon juice and salt and mix again.
  3. Divide into individual servings. Garnish with pomegranate pearls and serve immediately.

377 kj; 89 kcals; 3g protein; 1g fat; 0.1g sat fat; 17g carbohydrates; 9.8g sugar; 2.2g fibre; 372mg sodium

Apple Halwa Cooking Recipe

Apple Halwa Cooking Recipe

Saeb aur Suji Halwa (Apple Halwa) Cooking Recipe

A comforting dish for a cold winter’s day. But as it is high in carbs and sugar, make sure you don’t have it too often! Serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 90g semolina (rawa/suji)
  • 200ml skimmed milk
  • 85g sugar substitute
  • ½ teaspoon ground green cardamom
  • generous pinch of saffron
  • 3 large (450g) apples, 1 pureed and 2 thinly sliced
  • 5-6 pistachio nuts, blanched and slivered

Apple Halwa Cooking Recipe

Cooking Method

  1. Dry roast the semolina, taking care that it does not get coloured. Set aside.
  2. Boil the milk with 200ml water in a deep pan. Add the sugar substitute, ground cardamom and half of the saffron.
  3. Slowly add the semolina and cook, stirring, until the mixture becomes semi-dry. Add the pureed apple and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Divide into four portions. Pack each portion tightly into a bowl, turn it upside down on to a serving plate and de-mould. Decorate with the apple slices, pistachios and the remaining saffron.

663 kj; 157 kcals; 3.3g protein; 0.9g fat; 0.1g sat fat; 36.2g carbohydrates; 24g sugar; 1.7g fibre; 20mg sodium

Sheer Kurma & Pineapple Yogurt Fool Cooking Recipe

Sheer Kurma & Pineapple Yogurt Fool Cooking Recipe

Sheer Kurma (Vermicelli Dessert) Cooking Recipe

Mustafa, my barman-in-charge in Benares, used to bring sheer kurma for all of us at the hotel…it is heavenly, creamy, and full of ghee and sugar! In this version I have tried to capture the soul of the dish while reducing the calories by using a sugar substitute, but it is still a special occasion dish.

Ingredients

  • 1½ litres skimmed milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 100g roasted whole-wheat vermicelli
  • a few saffron strands
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (chironji)
  • ½ teaspoon ground green cardamom
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 6 teaspoons sugar substitute
  • 3-4 almonds, blanched and slivered
  • 3-4 pistachio nuts, blanched and slivered

Sheer Kurma & Pineapple Yogurt Fool Cooking Recipe

Cooking Method

  1. Boil the milk until it has reduced in volume by roughly a quarter.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a kadai, then add the vermicelli, stirring gently. Stir in the reduced milk.
  3. Add the saffron, sunflower seeds, cardamom and nutmeg, and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the sugar substitute and nuts, taste for sweetness and serve immediately.

1166 kj; 276 kcals; 18g protein; 8g fat; 1,3g sat fat; 35g carbohydrates; 18.4g sugar; 2.6g fibre; 198mg sodium

Pineapple Yogurt Fool Cooking Recipe

A really healthy, delicious pudding.

Ingredients

  • ½ medium (300g) pineapple, cut into small pieces
  • 2.5cm stick cinnamon
  • 135g hung natural low-fat yogurt

Sheer Kurma & Pineapple Yogurt Fool Cooking Recipe 1

Cooking Method

  1. Place the pineapple and cinnamon in a non-stick pan and stew over a low heat for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Remove the pineapple pieces from the pan and mix them with the yogurt. Blend together in a mixer. Chill in the fridge and serve chilled.

281 kj; 66 kcals; 4g protein; 1 g fat; 0.4g sat fat; 12g carbohydrates; 11.8g sugar; 0.9g fibre; 53mg sodium

Matar ki Kheer & Gajar Halwa Cooking Recipe

Matar ki Kheer & Gajar Halwa Cooking Recipe

Matar ki Kheer & Gajar Halwa Cooking Recipe

Matar ki Kheer (Green Pea Dessert) Cooking Recipe

The title of this dessert may sound off-putting, but it is easy to pass it off as the regular pistachio rice pudding! For some time I made my kids eat this without divulging the inclusion of peas because children and peas don’t match. Now, however, they don’t care because they have learnt to love it! Spoon it up in stemmed glasses for the special effects…

Ingredients

  • 150g peas, fresh or frozen
  • 750ml skimmed milk, boiled
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground green cardamom
  • 6-8 raisins
  • 6-8 pistachio nuts, sliced

Matar ki Kheer & Gajar Halwa Cooking Recipe

Cooking Method

  1. Blanch the peas. Cool and grind to a fine paste.
  2. Put the pea paste in a thick-bottomed pan. Add the milk slowly in a trickle, whisking continuously, to form a mixture without lumps. Cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the milk has reduced by half.
  3. Add the sugar, ground cardamom, raisins and pistachios, and cook for 3-4 minutes on a low heat, stirring continuously. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before putting in the fridge. Serve chilled.

586 kj; 138 kcals; 9g protein; 2g fat; 0.6g sat fat; 22g carbohydrates; 18.2g sugar; 1.8g fibre; 84mg sodium

Gajar Halwa (Punjabi Carrot Halwa) Cooking Recipe

Gajar halwa or, as we fondly call it in northern India, gajrela, is a must as a winter dessert. The challenge here is to retain the full-bodied sweetness of the carrots and not to mask it with added sweeteners. My addition of dates is an attempt to reduce the amount of sugar and make the dessert healthier. However, this dessert is still high in calories and carbohydrates, so be careful about what you eat during the rest of the day, and save it for special occasions. Serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 750g carrots, grated
  • 60g sugar
  • 600ml skimmed milk
  • 120g dates, stoned and chopped
  • 8-10 cashew nuts, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground green cardamom
  • 8-10 almonds, blanched and slivered

Matar ki Kheer & Gajar Halwa Cooking Recipe 1

Cooking Method

  1. Heat the oil in a kadai. Add the grated carrots and sugar and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the milk and continue to cook for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Add the dates, cashews and ground cardamom, and mix well. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until almost dry. Garnish with the almond slivers.

878 kj; 207 kcals; 5.5g protein; 4.3g fat; 0.6g sat fat; 39g carbohydrates; 37.9g sugar; 4g fibre; 78mg sodium