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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gajar halwa

I made this recently.I used to take out the malai from cow's milk which I buy daily.It is very little.I collected the mali for a week & kept it in the freezer.

I got four carrots ( available in winter ).They are what I would call bharatiy gajar.Not the chinese type which is available all the year around.

Ingredients:4 gajar,1 tablespoon ghee,1 medium bowl collected malai,1 medium bowl sugar,10 almonds,10 cashews, kishmish & cardammom ( 2 pods ).

Grate the gajar. Heat the ghee in kadhai.Now add the grated gajar,malai & suGar & mix with a ladle.Keep on slow flame.After every 5/10 minutes,keep mixing.It will start getting watery.Let it cook.Powder the cardamom.Add kishmish & cardomom  powder. After 20 minutes,it will become dry.Put off the gas.Garnish with fine pieces ( grate the almonds & cashews) of almonds & cashews.

This is almost fat free gajar halwa as the malai  used has hardly any  fat .Hence,very healthy !

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Savoury Chapati snack

My Maharashtrian friends have taught me a tasty chapati snack.

Ingredients-4-5 leftover chapatis ,  1 onion finely chopped, 1 small capsicum finely chopped, 1 green chilli finely chopped, 1 tomato chopped ( optional ) 1/ 2' ginger grated, 1/4 tsp haldi,1/4 tsp powder hing, 1/4 tsp mustard seeds,1 tbsp oil, salt to taste, a sprig of kadipatta ( optional ) , some fresh dhania.

Method : Take chapatis & break them into quarters& shred them into tiny pieces in your mixer by giving just 1-2 spins. Put off mixer.

Take a kadhai .Put the oil.in the kadhai to warm on the gas.When the oil is hot,put the mustard seeds.After they have spluttered,add onions & green chilli pieces & grated ginger.Fry till onions become transluscent.Now add haldi & hing.Add capsicum.Mix nicely.Fry all for 1 -2 minutes.Add tomatoes. Mix nicely.Add salt. Next, add the shredded chapati pieces.Mix all in the kadhai .ow,put off gas.

Your chapati snack is ready.You can also add jeera ,udad dal &  curry leaves whilst making the seasoning.Garnish it with coriander.Add a dash of lemon juice  before serving to give a tangy taste.4/5 leftover chapatis can serve 2 persons.

This is upcycling of leftovers to make a tasty snack which is healthy & gets ready fast ! And it helps in minimising of food getting wasted !

In case, one wants to avoid adding tomatoes, one can add lemon juice after gas is put off & mix it. Also can add gated carrots & fry them with capsicum.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Basket puri -a recipe.

I prepared this today-got basket puris from a local grocery store.One packet has as many as 40-50 basket puris.

For 10 basket puris ingredients needed are- one small bowl chana,one medium sized onion,100gm sev ( from your local bhel wala or any namkeen sev).

For imli chutni-a small  cherry sized  ball of tamarind,two dates soaked in water,red chilli powder(this is optional-it can be avoided) quarter tea spoon & salt to taste.

 I pressure cooked  some brown chana .Got bhujia sev ( Haldi ram's),cut onions finely.

I also boiled some imli ( tamarind) in cookerPosted by Picasa.Then squeezed the imli pulp & strained it.I added date jam ( dates can be soaked in water & then added as well ).Then ,I added salt as also red chilli powder.Then I boiled this mixture to get a sweet sour chutni.The consistency of the chutni must be like that of a paste. This is as per Tarla Dalal recipe for chaat chutni.Another option is to boil dates,imli & add a small piece of  crushed sunt (   dried ginger ) with salt added to get chutni.You can use jaggery also if you so desire instead of dates.If you don't want a spicy chaat chutni you need not add red chilli powder.

Now,I arranged some boiled chana in the basket puri,then the bhujia sev followed by onions,followed by the chaat chutni.I found that my chutni had become too spicy as I seemed to have added more of red chilli powder.So I added little curd on top of all this to neutralise the spiciness.

Chana is the protein source ,curd provides calcium,onion gives minerals &  sev is again besan -so protein.Dates & imli give you iron.So quite a healthy &  tasty snack.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Asian Age -Bachelor's Kitchen ( 22/11/09)

There are many instances when things accidentally happen and turn out to be "creatively delicious". This usually happens in cooking and the same thing happened to me when I accidentally made a yummy cheela out of rice.

I was supposed to cook normal boiled rice, as my mother was not at home that day.
Now usually what we do while cooking rice is that we add some extra water in rice and then rinse it off to avoid extra fat. So I added some extra water into the cooker and put the rice on the gas covered it with the lid and left it to boil.

Instead of standing there for 15 mins, I thought I'll watch TV. So, I came and sat on the couch and started watching a movie. As can be guessed, I forgot to check the rice.

By the time I remembered it, it was too late. The rice had turned into some porridge like thing. It was a white paste that was nothing close to what I had expected.

Ok, there was no solution and I wasn't willing to eat it that way. So I thought I'd use some creativity and this is what I did and discovered a new dish, which I proudly call "cheela Shikha" at times.

INGREDIENTS: (As told to Swati Vishnoi by Shikha Rawat,mediaperson) Boil rice, or rather overboil rice for about 30 mins. Add some black pepper, red chilli power and salt to taste. Mix well all the ingredients. Add some besan and mix well till it becomes a fine paste. Heat some oil in the pan. Spread the mixture like a dosa in the pan. Let it cook on one side and then turn it without breaking. Cook on other side. Add some more oil if it sticks to the pan. Garnish with hara dhaniya and hari mirch.

So the next time you do something accidentally, just add some creativity and relish your tasty accident. Over boiled rice Black pepper Red chilli powder Salt, to taste Cooking oil

Asian Age -Handy Tips ( 22/11/09)

Red bell peppers (which are fully ripe bell peppers) not just add a splash of vivid color to the dish, but they are also a great source of vitamin A than green or yellow peppers. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C.

To remove bitterness from karela (bitter gourd), slit it from the middle and rub a mixture of salt, wheat flour and curd over it. Keep aside for half an hour, before cooking.

Slice the bhindis (okra) lengthwise and dip it in a thin besan batter. Deep fry and serve it with a chutney to enjoy a yummy snack.

When using mushrooms in any recipe, add a little lemon juice to bring out their flavour.

HTBrunch -Hypertension

THESE DAYS, hypertension is a very common problem. It is a lifestyle disorder ­ not somehing you are born with, but something acquired due to a faulty lifestyle. Hypertension can vary depending upon different personality types.
People with a `pitta' personality, for instance, who suffer from hypertension, are usually prone to headaches, red eyes and digestive problems.

In the `kapha' kind of hypertension, we see that people, besides having high blood pressure, will also be obese and prone to high cholesterol.

In the `vata' kind of hypertension, we find that blood pressure keeps fluctuating and is connected to stressful situations. These people also have problems sleeping and suffer from gas.

You can use an integrated method to manage hypertension.
NUTRITION: The main emphasis is on avoiding foods that promote high blood pressure and replacing them with foods that lead to a normalising of blood pressure. Avoid non-vegetarian options, eggs, alcohol and tobacco.

Foods that help during an attack of high blood pressure are vegetable juices ­ both raw and fresh juices containing parsley, celery, spinach, carrot and raw potato. These ingredients act at many levels in the circulatory system to decrease blood pressure. Firstly, they help to balance the calcium, sodium and potassium levels of the body.

These salts have a key influence in normalising the flexibility of the blood vessels, which ultimately helps in the lowering of blood pressure.

Many research papers have also proved that consuming a clove of garlic daily has a beneficial effect in lowering blood pressure. Amla, in any form, is also beneficial. Other foods that are helpful include watermelon seeds and khus khus seeds ­ these should be crushed, mixed with a little milk and taken at night with an apple.

During an attack of high blood pressure, you must restrict the quantity of food and at night, just have an apple with a glass of skimmed milk to which the crushed seeds have been added.
PRANAYAM AND YOGA: Yoga is excellent when it comes to controlling high blood pressure. You can do the following pranayams ­ anilom vilom, sheetali, ujjayi and brahmbari ­ to manage episodes of high blood pressure. Omkara meditation ­ chanting `Om' ­ is a powerful way to control your nerves.
LIFESTYLE THERAPIES: Chamomile tea and chamomile oil are very relaxing for sufferers.
Lavender oil can also be applied on the pulse points at night before you go to sleep, and inhaled.


HT - Quick recipe-Nov,2009

Tomatao,carrot & zucchini soup

Ingredients: 1 medium finely chopped onion, finely chopped 2 cloves, 1 tsp ground coriander, 4 medium sliced carrots, 1 medium zucchini, sliced and halved, 5 diced tomatoes, 3 cups chicken broth, 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped.
Heat 2 tsp canola oil on medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic until soft. Add ground coriander and stir well. Add carrots and zucchini, followed by tomatoes and broth. Boil then reduce heat, cover. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add fresh cilantro.
Stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer into a blender and blend until smooth.

HT Cafe ( 22/11/09) Lazeez Lauki

As the vegetable carts groan under the weight of the season's bounty, the writer in me gets an inspiration. It's a good time to take a good look at all the fresh stuff. I will take you through a few paras on a cousin of cucumber called lauki! What, did you say? It's not your favourite vegetable? And what do I have to say so much about it? Well, you don't know what happens when a chef puts on his thinking cap! Weight watchers' friend Lauki, which is also called dudhi, is bottle gourd in English, named thus because of its container-like shape.
But lauki in our house is considered a versatile vegetable--next to potatoes. Potatoes make you feel heavy in the stomach. Lauki has the reverse effect. No wonder, in our daily `watch-the-diet' planning of the menu, lauki takes on various forms.
Versatile gourd A Punjabi home would have lauki koftas at least every fortnight. And yes, I'm a Punjabi, so we do have lauki koftas often. But there's a difference--we steam them whereas most others deep fry the koftas.

But more on this later. These are then dunked in spicy onion tomato gravy. We make a lot of lauki raita too. It should be thick and chilled with a light sprinkling of red chilli powder and jeera powder. It's also a good accompaniment with any pulao. My wife, Alyona makes dudhi thepla and it's fascinating to see how she rolls them out so thinly! We have them straight off the tawa without oil! It's difficult to make dudhi muthia without oil, or any muthia for that matter, but my research on it will continue.
Why is lauki light?
It's suggested that one never eats raw lauki. But the juice of the vegetable is beneficial as it is cooling, calming and a good diuretic that helps to detox in summers.

Also, it helps to bring down the cholesterol levels. In the range of health juices, lauki juice with a pinch of salt wins because it gives relief from excessive thirst. So if you've had some fried stuff and feeling too stuffed, top it with a glass of lauki juice. Lauki is 96 per cent water, so it's light on the stomach. But can we go without the kadai? I mean deep fried food, specially the thin slices of lauki, sprinkled with salt, red chilli powder, amchur and then coated with besan and fried? These pakoras will fascinate your guests. Or dress up the lauki in a mussallam recipe. It requires rich ingredients like ghee, khoya and cashewnuts, but it's a royal Hyderabadi presentation.
Sweet and sour Or take another variation of lauki cooked with freshly roasted garam masala and tamarind and a generous amount of freshly scraped coconut. In a simple meal, steamed rice goes well with lauki chana dal, specially if the perfect sweet-sour punch is added. Another quick thing to do is pressure cooked lauki with aloo in tomato gravy. It goes well with both roti and rice.

So, as you eat Steamed Palak and Lauki Koftas for Sunday lunch, say well done, to yourself as you master the techniques of no-oil cooking and prove that lauki is, by no stretch of imagination, a low-key vegetable.

By Sanjeev Kapoor ­ Master Chef, Author, Television Host. Reach him at enquiry@sanjeevkapoor.com

Steamed Lauki and Palak Kofta

Method Add a little salt to 250 grams grated lauki and leave it for five minutes.

Squeeze lauki to completely remove excess water.

Blanch and chop two bunches of palak. Squeeze out excess water.

Combine the two with three boiled mashed potatoes, 2-3 chopped green chillies, 1 tablespoon raisins, 3 tablespoons coarse rice powder, 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala, half teaspoon of ginger paste, half teaspoon of garlic paste, 1 chopped onion and salt to taste in a large bowl.

Divide into 20 equal portions and shape into oval shaped koftas.

Steam them in a steamer for 15 20 minutes. Set aside.

Heat a non-stick pan.

Roast 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste, 1 teaspoon garlic paste and 1 chopped onion on medium heat for five to six minutes.

Add 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder, 1 teaspoon roasted crushed kasoori methi and two tablespoons of water and cook for a minute.

Add puree of 5-6 tomatoes, 1 1/2 tablespoons honey and salt. Add one cup of water and simmer for 10 minutes.

Arrange the steamed koftas on a serving plate, pour the gravy over and serve immediately. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

HT ,Mumbai ( 8/11/09) -Bihar's Kisan Chachi.

Woman on the wheel


She tours villages with tips for better farming and empowering women. Meet rural Bihar's `Kisan Chachi' RAJ KUMARI HAS SUCCESSFULLY MOBILISED AROUND 350 WOMEN OF SARAIYA BLOCK TO FORM 35 SELF HELP GROUPS

Ruchir Kumar ruchirkumar@hindustantimes.com

At first, 54-year-old Raj Kumari Devi appears no different from millions of rural Indian women. Indeed, for life would have taken a predictable turn for this sturdy matriarch of Anandpur village in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district -- 80 km northeast of Patna -- had she accepted her situation as the wife of an unemployed farmer.

Instead, she took to the fields as a farmer, despite opposition from her father-in-law. That was in the early 1980s. Today, documentary producers are queuing up to tell the story of Raj Kumari -- popularly known as `Kisan Chachi' -- who has been honoured with the Kisan Shree award.

The feat? In a region famed for growing cannabis and tobacco since the 1970s, she has persuaded farmers to switch to mango, banana, litchi, papaya and vegetables.

Raj Kumari began her journey to empowerment by selling elephant's foot (oal) pickles at Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) stalls at district melas (fairs). She then picked up the spade and shovel, and got down to doing farming, hitherto, a male domain.

"When I was younger, I was an active health services volunteer. When I learnt that chewing tobacco leads to cancer, I vowed to stop farmers from growing it. I started giving them tips on fruit and vegetable farming. Since finance was a major concern, I asked the women to set up Self Help Groups (SHGs), and then apply for loans from banks under the Swarn Jayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana, which they did," she says.

Today, Raj Kumari employs women to prepare pickles for commercial purposes, for wages of Rs 50 per day. She has successfully mobilised around 350 women of Saraiya block to form 35 SHGs, which assures them of a comfortable living.

For these women, Raj Kumari is the interface between the banks and the SHGs -- cycling up to 30 km every day, dispensing tips on agriculture and business. Says, Meera Devi (45), secretary of Khushboo SHG, "Kisan Chachi has changed our lives. Now, we are at least assured of two meals a day."

Closer home, the lone ranger has single-handedly managed to marry off a daughter and packed off the other to pursue a BCA course in Muzaffarpur.
But Kisan Chachi is not done yet.

Having unsuccessfully contested the 2006 Panchayat elections for the post of mukhiya, she will give it another shot the next time. Why politics? "I will have more opportunities to serve people and I know I will succeed, too."

HT ,Mumbai ( 8/11/09) -Women's health

Heart diseases
Heart disease and stroke kill more than 8.5 million women worldwide, which is more than HIV, wide, which is more than HIV, tuberculosis and malaria deaths put together. In India, women account for half of the annual 3 million deaths from the two diseases.

Yet, the risk for women remains under-estimated, both by doctors and women themselves. On an average, women develop heart disease 10 years later in their life than men, but they rapidly catch up after menopause because of ovarian hormone deficiency that favours hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, central obesity and the metabolic syndrome.

Adding to risk is the fact that nine out of 10 women in India over 50 years have low levels of heart-protective good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein or HDL) and almost half have high blood levels of C-reactive protein (levels of this protein increase during systemic inflammation), both factors that heightens risk.

Obesity in women also plays havoc with their lipids (blood fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides, high levels of which cause heart attacks and stroke). According to the National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development, 37.5 per cent women in Punjab, 34 per cent of the women in Delhi and 30 per cent in Kerala are obese, with almost all reporting abdominal obesity (tendency to put on fat around the stomach), both independent risk factors for diabetes and heart disease.

Complicating matters further is the fact that women have atypical heart attack symptoms. Instead of the telltale symptom of angina (burning sensation, tightness or pain in the chest), women may just experience breathlessness, weakness, unusual fatigue, cold sweat, giddiness or neck and shoulder pain. With fatigue or weakness, many do not even realise they are experiencing a heart attack when they get one.

The good news is that the world is waking up to the gender bias in scientific research. Only 50 per cent of the clinical trials conducted in the last three years have enrolled both men and women. They showed an analysis of studies by gender at the Red Alert for Women's Hearts Conference in France on November 5. Professor Stramba Badiale of the Istituto Auxologico Italiano reported that of the 62 randomised clinical trials published in Europe between 2006 and July 2009, only 33.5 per cent of the enrolled participants were women.

Till they get the balance right, women should start getting treated for heart disease even with two of these risk factors: smoking, family history of a parent or sibling having heart disease before 50 years, overweight, hypertension, low good cholesterol, high triglycerides or high blood sugar.

A pear shaped body ?
Genetics are responsible for your pear-shaped body, but lifestyle management can help you look your best by Veenu Singh HOW OFTEN have you looked at your friend and longed for a body like hers? Her hourglass form is so gorgeous, but your disproportionate shape, with its wide lower body and slimmer upper body, reminds you of nothing so much as a pear. Body shapes are usually based on the size of your features and the overall balance of your body. Men and women have different body shapes, and women tend to have bodies that are either apple- or pear-shaped. As it happens, a large number of women have pear-shaped bodies. BODY BASICS A pear-shaped body is larger below the waist than above it. If you are a pear, you will find that your hips are slightly wider than your shoulders and that you tend to gain weight below your waist. Pears usually have small chests and flat stomachs. Apples, on the other hand, are generally bigger on the top half of their bodies than the bottom half. They commonly have slim hips and a large chest and stomach. Apples tend to gain weight above the waist or along the back.

"A pear-shaped body makes you prone to storing weight below your waist," says Dr Dr Sandeep Buddhiraja of Max Healthcare, Delhi. "This makes you more prone to problems like osteoporosis as there is extra pressure on the knees, as well as varicose veins. While those with an apple shape are more prone to heart diseases and even some kinds of cancer, pear shapes have to be very careful about their bone health."

Though your body shape is determined more by genetics than anything else, you can control the possible illeffects of your shape with lifestyle management ­ eating the right kind of foods and doing the right kind of exercise.
FIGURE IT OUT "Pear-shaped people need to be cautious about the kind of food they eat and the lifestyle they lead, as refined and junk food together with a sedentary lifestyle can make them look obese," says Brunch columnist Dr Shikha Sharma.

"Eat only minimally at night," says Sachi Sohal, senior dietician at B L Kapur Hospital. "Avoid refined and processed foods, and try to have three servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables on a daily basis. Most important, control your sweet tooth as too much sugar is bad news if you have a pear-shaped body."

As far as exercise is concerned, if you have a pear-shaped body, you need to not just target the lower area, but also work out in a way that helps maintain good body proportions.
"Yoga and pranayam can be beneficial in this regard," says Dr Sharma. "Kapal bhati, anulomvilom, surya namaskar, bhujhangasan, vajrasan, and veerbhard asan, under the supervision of a qualified yoga therapist are useful asanas."

The idea, says Reebok master trainer Nisha Varma, is to focus on exercises that will balance the top half of your body with the bottom half.
"You will also want to try to thin down your lower half," adds Varma. "To achieve this, focus on aerobic activities that work out your lower body, and resistance exercises that will build your upper body to look filled out. For the lower body, use lighter weights and perform high repetitions of exercises."

Some of the best exercises for this include: cycling (with low resistance); jumping rope; leg lifts and dips; push ups and shoulder presses; swimming; brisk walking and cross training.

"If you can't swim, walk about the shal low end of the swimming pool, in about shoulder deep water," says Varma. "If your work requires you to sit for long hours, sit and stand every hour, or walk up and down the stairs as much as possible. And maintain a good posture. That also helps."

veenus@hindustantimes.com SHAPE UP Start your day with two glasses of lukewarm water. Eat at least three servings of fruit a day. Avoid sweets as much as you can.

Drink 10-12 glasses of water including 3-4 glasses of lukewarm water a day. Avoid breads and refined cereals especially at breakfast and dinner.

Drink herbal teas. Don't skip breakfast; make it the heaviest meal of the day. Try to avoid salt after 7.30 pm.

Avoid packet soups, diet drinks, junk foods and fruit juices. Avoid heavy combinations like rajma and rice, chicken and rice.

By Veenu Singh.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

HT Brunch ( 8/11/09)-Skin care in Winters.

AS WINTER draws near, it's time for us to pay attention to our skin. At this time, skin does not have to fear acne, sweat rashes, prickly heat or sunburn, and it is also possible for us to eat foods like nuts that cannot be consumed in summer. Since different people have different skin types, it is important to work with your skin type to achieve a fabulous complexion.
KAPHA SKIN TYPES: People with a kapha constitution typically have soft, smooth, naturally blemish-free skin and only need to watch out for puffiness and water retention. For this, they can opt for a sauna (with a wet towel for the head). This opens up the sweat glands and helps remove toxins. Kapha people are prone to sinusitis, so steam inhalations, preferably with herbs to clear the nasal passages, are beneficial. This skin type can get body massages with powder or herbs, followed by steam and a moisturiser. Heavy oil is not required because the skin has adequate oils. Kapha people only need to boost their circulation, through exercises like brisk walking, yoga, cross-training, etc.
PITTA SKIN TYPES: Individuals with this skin type will find that their skin looks best in winter. To rev up their blood circulation and bring a glow to their face, they can run or jog in order to sweat. Follow this with a body temperature shower and then a spray of cool room temperature water.
Pitta people benefit from cool face packs that contain natural antibiotics, like neem, cinnamon, turmeric and clove. These can be added to a base like Fullers earth, papaya or sandalwood. Gentle exfoliation and application of moisturisers is good.
They can also drink water with herbs like jasmine, chamomile etc., to flush toxins from the liver.
Amla in any form greatly benefits these people, as does a body massage with olive oil.
VATA SKIN TYPES: People with vata constitutions find winter a problem, as they suffer from dry skin and body pain at this time. They benefit hugely from body massages with heavy oils like sesame. Sessions in the steam room are useful, as they are moisturising and warming. To improve their skin, vata people should use heavy moisturisers and exfoliate their skin gently with mung dal paste followed by a moisturiser. This will clear their skin of blemishes and make it glow.



ASIAN AGE ( 15/11/09)
STIR-FRIED HONEY PANEER INGREDIENTS 2 cups cottage cheese, cubed 2 tbsp corn flour Salt and pepper, to taste Oil, to shallow fry 2 tbsp sesame seed oil 5-7 garlic cloves, grated 3-4 green chillies, sliced ¾ cup baby onions, halved ¾ cup green bell pepper, cubed ¾ cup red bell pepper, cubed Salt, red chilli flakes and crushed peppercorns, to taste Lemon wedges, for garnish INGREDIENTS FOR SAUCE 2 tbsp vinegar 1 tbsp tomato ketchup 1 tbsp Soya sauce 1 tbsp honey 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce METHOD Keep the cottage cheese cubes in a strainer to drain out water completely.

Sprinkle cornflour, salt and pepper over it, dust well and shake off extra flour.

Deep-fry the cubes in preheated oil till golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok, stir-fry the garlic and green chillies for a minute, then add the onions. Sauté for two-three minutes and add all the bell peppers.

Season it with salt, red chilli flakes and crushed peppercorns and stir-fry on high heat for two-three minutes.

Reduce to simmer, then add all the sauces and sugar, and stir in the golden brown cottage cheese cubes.

Toss gently and mix well until dry and well coated. Remove from heat, arrange on a snackserving platter and garnish with lemon wedges.

Serve hot with rice.

HT Cafe ( 8/11/09)-Methi Chaman Biryani by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

Ingredients Mix together 1 2 cups yogurt, salt to taste, 1 teaspoon turmeric 1/ powder and one tablespoon each of ginger and garlic pastes in a bowl. Add 300 grams paneer, cut into cubes, and 1 cup of sweetcorn kernels. Mix well and marinate for about half an hour in a cool place.

Cook 1 2 cups Basmati rice in four cups of boiling salted water, 1/ along with 2 green cardamoms, 1 black cardamom, 3-4 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon and 5-6 peppercorns till almost cooked. Drain and keep the rice warm.

Soak a generous pinch of saffron in a cup of warm milk.

Heat two tablespoons of ghee in a thick-bottomed pan. Add 2 large sliced onions and 2 chopped green chillies and sauté, stirring continuously, till the onions turn a light golden brown.

Add 1 tablespoon each of ginger and garlic pastes and mix well.
Add 1/2 small bunch chopped methi and cook over high heat for ten minutes, stirring continuously. Add marinated paneer and corn.

Add 2 tablespoons coriander powder, 1 tablespoon cumin powder and 1 teaspoon red chilli powder and mix thoroughly.

Add salt, 1 teaspoon of the garam masala powder and 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves. Cook for five minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Arrange half the quantity of cooked methi, corn and paneer in a handi and spread half the quantity of cooked rice on top. Sprinkle a little garam masala powder, a few ginger strips, half the saffronflavoured milk and a few hand torn fresh mint leaves.

Layer the remaining methi, paneer and corn mixture on top of the rice, followed by the cooked rice. Sprinkle some more ginger strips, saffron milk, 1 teaspoon of garam masala powder and some more hand torn mint leaves over the top.

Melt one tablespoon of ghee and drizzle it over the dish.

Cover the handi with a lid and seal the edges with the atta dough. Place the handi on a heated tawa and cook over a low heat for fifteen minutes.

Serve, garnished with a cup of fried onion slices and raita.

Mumbai Mirror ( 8/11/09) Recipes

MASALA IDLI by Chef Kedar Bobde
2 ½ cup whole urad (polished), ¼ cup idli rice, ¼ cup parimal rice, 1 tsp fenugreek seeds, ¼ cup cooked boiled rice, pinch of salt.
½ fresh coconut, 2 tbsp roasted Bengal gram, 1 green chilly, ½ cm ginger, a pinch of salt.
1 tbsp cooking oil, 2 bori chillies, ½ tsp mustard seeds, few curry leaves, a pinch of heeng, pinch of red chilli powder, pinch of turmeric powder.

• Soak lentils and the two kinds of rice separately, with some fenugreek seeds for five hours.

• Grind them together along with cooked rice to a thick batter.

• Put the batter in a greased idli mould and steam them for seven minutes in an idli steamer. Demould and allow to cool.

• Grind together all the ingredients of coconut chutney. Keep aside.

• Heat oil. Crackle in mustard, chillies, curry leaves and heeng. Add chilly powder and turmeric powder.

• Add two tbsp of coconut chutney. Add the cold idlis and toss it till the masala coats all over them.

• Serve hot with coconut chutney on the side.
Regular masala idlis come in the fried version. However, the tadka given here eliminates that deep frying element, making it far healthier. A tip: during the fermentation process, add a bit of curd. The probiotics will go a long way in ensuring good gut health.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

HT Cafe ( 5/11/09)-A spoonful of ginger.

A golden anti-inflammatory In a study of people with osteoarthritis of the knee, those who took ginger extract felt less pain and needed fewer painkillers than those who got a placebo To relieve arthritis pain, take fresh ginger juice, extract or tea; you can also rub ginger oil into a painful joint In general, do not take more than 4 grams of ginger daily, including that contained in foods, such as ginger ale Do not take ginger if you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood thinners, including aspirin; ask your doctor first if you have gallstones and are having surgery SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND MEDICAL CENTER, MCT PHOTO SERVICE GRAPHIC: PAT CARR

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mumbai Mirror ( 4/11/09) Pain killer

Your body can end nagging aches and pains without medicines. Find out how

You always knew your body was capable of a lot, but did you know that your body can heal itself from heartburn and even cure tummy trouble? As much as doctors would have you believe that you need medicines to cure even these minor ailments, the truth is that sometimes it is your body that can fight its own battles. Read on and tap into the amazing feats that you can perform.
Hiccups just before a big presentation? Don't fret. Plug your ears with your fingers and silence them. You get hiccups when the vagus nerve, which stretches from the head right down to the abdominal organs, is irritated. Branches of the nerve also reach the auditory system. Therefore, by stimulating the nerve endings there by means of touch, you could stop the hiccups.
Heartburn is most likely to occur at night because when you lie horizontal for several hours at a stretch, your stomach acids collect around the oesophagus. But there's a way around this — just use a thicker pillow. When your head is elevated, acids are less able to pool.
Spicy food, eating after a gap of several hours and of course street food, make stomach aches all too common. If you suffer from tummy aches immediately after a meal, chances are the food you've eaten has caused an imbalance in your stomach acids. Sip on some soda to get almost instant pain relief. Carbonated water and drinks help strike that natural balance again.
Who hasn't been in a situation where you are on the verge of tears, but don't want to break down in public. All you need to do is gently tickle the roof of your mouth with your tongue. With this simple action, you end up confusing the signals in the pharynx that play an important role in crying. The result — you save yourself some embarrassment!
Nobody likes needles, but what if we told you could reduce the pain from a jab by simply coughing. Don't believe us? We've got science to back us up. Coughing vigorously increases your blood pressure for that short span of time. And studies have shown that hypertension reduces your ability to feel pain. So next time you walk into the doctor's office to get your flu shot, cough out loud.
Shaving nicks and cuts are pretty common and often tend to bleed for quite a while. Next time you cut yourself, head the freezer and using some pressure, rub an ice-cube over the affected area. The ice causes the capillaries under the skin to constrict and this in turn reduces blood flow to the region.
(Dr Ramesh Modi, consultant physician at Wockhardt hospital, Mulund and LH Hiranandani hospital, Powai) — CO-ORDINATED BY KIRAN MEHTA

Monday, November 2, 2009

HT Cafe ( 3/11/09)

Need to lose weight? Well, a new diet book has been launched called the Don't Diet Diet Cookbook.

Written by Suman Agarwal and Tinu Shanghvi, the premise of the cook book is that all diets today involve starvation, eating disgusting food, avoiding fats, milk or carbohydrates completely; or are based on myths that certain food groups such as carbohydrates and proteins should not be mixed.

Instead this book advocates eating three tasty low-fat meals a day, containing carbohydrates, fats and proteins in each meal.

It states that avoiding fats is dangerous as it can lead to flaky skin, acne, muscle and joint problems and hormonal imbalances.

According to the authors, the average woman should never eat less than 1,200 calories a day and the average man 1,800; and people should eat every three hours.

However it is not all good news as the book advocates the com plete avoidance of cakes, pastries, cold drinks, ice cream, paneer, and fried foods such as samosas and pani puri.

But the glossy hardback book contains a range of western and Indian recipes such as Parsi Dhansak, Chana Dal Palak, and spinach and nutmeg soup , each with the number of calories and fats next to them and clear instructions.

Agarwal has a certificate in food and nutrition from Oxford University.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

TOI ( 1/11/09) MISS MILLET’S FOOD FEST-Green solution.

Millet is almost a forgotten grain in Punjab. But it’s making a comeback in kitchens, thanks to spunky Gagandeep Kaur who has recruited a small army of village women for an innovative campaign to grow and eat a crop that could be a climate change solution(Nandita Sengupta | TNN)

Chandigarh: Robust women wielding long spoons expertly roast some 20 rotis on a black iron tawa atop a blazing chulha. Others forcefully knead yellow dough and slap rotis into perfect rounds. This strenuous work doesn’t stop their robust banter. Meanwhile, hundred-loads of rotis are churned out in just a few hours.
This is no ordinary team. Neither are the rotis. The 15 women in the makeshift kitchen are farmers who came together for a food fest one lazy Sunday last month, indulging city-dwellers in the long-forgotten tastes of bajra, jowar, ragi, kangni and other millet in rotis and khichdi. The fest is called Bebe di Rasoi, and it’s named after a millet-based recipe book.
It’s part of a larger culinary battle by a small group of women — to bring millet back to the dinner table. The Bebe di Rasoi seems the ideal way to do so. Millet, small, hard and collectively called coarse grains, was once a staple of the Indian diet, but gradually fell off the food map when the focus shifted to growing, distributing and consuming rice and wheat. This, despite millet being naturally pest-free and very nutritious.
Andhra Pradesh-based P V Satheesh, head of India’s millet network of farmers and state-level societies, explains, “With monoculture farming and the government in the 1960s buying only rice and wheat for the Public Distribution System, millet faded from mainstream agriculture.”
But all is not lost. Impetus has been added to the return-to-millet campaign in the form of a young turbaned Sikh woman named Gagandeep Kaur. Beyond the tented kitchen, this vivacious woman flits between supervising cooking and hobnobbing with the massed throng, a kirpan glinting casually at her belt. A pair of stylish frames gives her a certain gravitas. It’s no surprise when the 27-year-old tells you she was once a university lecturer.
Kaur has travelled the long road from teaching computer engineering to advocating millets at a considerable clip. Ever since the Ludhiana girl heard Krishi Virasat Mission’s chief Umendra Dutt espouse the cause of millet, she’s been sold on the idea. “We know about pesticide residue in food, the growing incidence of cancer. Medicine can’t be the answer to health problems, what you eat is,” she says.
She’s derisive about New Age pill therapy. “Nowadays, beta-carotene is the in-thing but as supplements, in capsules. Why go for pills when bajra, ragi and jowar have so much nutritional value? Almost 90% women in Punjab are anaemic. They need a millet diet,” declares Kaur.
Unsurprisingly, she is focused on reacquainting people with the food habits of yore. “Millet is what Nanak Baba used to eat. Adding millet to crop mix brings in diversity and keeps the soil healthy,” she says.
But Kaur found that it wasn’t enough to tell farmers about the soil benefits of growing millet or the health advantages of eating it. “When the government doesn’t procure, why would farmers grow it if they don’t get a price for it?” she asks. Realizing that policy change was easier said than done, she decided to re-introduce a taste for millet by roping in ordinary village women. Her first step was to encourage women to start small kitchen gardens.
Within months, she introduced the women to the idea of cooking and serving millet. Most of the women were clueless, she found, and the older ones were able only vaguely to recall recipes. “Our first food fest had only 30 women,” recalls Kaur. “Some got jowar laddus, others khichri. They exchanged recipes and tips. But the big moment was when the kids gave the thumbs-up.” Soon enough, Kaur was writing Bebe di Rasoi, by the simple but arduous process of traveling through 10 villages for two months to collect recipes. Nine months on, Kaur spearheads a thriving movement to reclaim millet as a food staple.
It’s a movement whose time has come, says Satheesh, whose NGO Deccan Development Society have monthlong interactions with farmers on organic farming. “Punjab’s monoculture farming demanded lots of chemicals and plenty of water. As a result, the soil turns sterile. Climate change is now an added challenge,” he says.
Wheat is a thermal-sensitive crop and global warming will ensure it ‘disappears’, warns Satheesh. Further, rice fields with their stagnant water produce methane, a greenhouse gas. “Punjab has to rethink what it wants to do. One of the answers lies in millet. Plus, it was a part of the state’s past,” he says, noting ‘tremendous interest’ in Kaur’s work among the urban middle-class.
They say the way to a man’s heart is through the stomach. The piping hot bajre di khichdi, the fast-depleting piles of bajre and kodrey di roti, the exotic aroma of chibbran di chutney and generous helpings of makki da dalia may be testimony to this – as also the success of Kaur’s strategy.
In India, eight millet species are commonly cultivated.Also called miracle crops, they promise ‘nutrition security’
Drought threatens roughly one-third of the total cultivated area in India. Growing a mix of millet may be the way forward.
Women are spearheading the 'bring-milletback' campaign targeted at farmers and the common man
Adding a quantity of 'little millet' to idli mix makes idlis softer. Take note that chefs don’t share these 'little' secrets easily


We all love to hang out with our friends and enjoy our favourite food at favourite places. Some like to binge on popular McD' burgers, while few prefer Pizza Hut's delicacies. But well, let's accept it; you can't afford to enjoy such stuff on a daily basis, especially if you are a college fuchcha, and struggling to live on your own as a paying guest. But as they say, where there is a will, there is a way. I am a first year BA student in Delhi University who's new to Delhi and I have no qualms in admitting that I have a crazy fetish for garlic bread.
And so, with some innovative thoughts and a bit of help from my roommate, I have formulated a new recipe of my own, which tastes as good as the original garlic bread from any popular food joint. So far, I have given a taste "my kinda garlic bread" to some of my friends, and everyone just seems to love it. So whether you are one of those garlic bread lovers, or game for experimenting with anything new, here's the recipe of my `brand new' garlic bread.
INGREDIENTS 4 bread slices 100 gm butter Chopped garlic 2 tbsp oil Black pepper Salt, as per taste Mustard sauce
METHOD Chop full garlic and mix it with 100 grams of butter. Add some tomato ketchup to it and make a paste. Now add a dash of black pepper and salt (as per your taste). Now blend it all till it becomes a fine paste. Now comes the fun part as the next step might sound weird and messy, but you can easily get the trick if you practice it a few times.
So, now apply the paste evenly on the bread slices. You can even cut the bread into funny shapes if you want to add the zing factor. Heat some oil (preferably half a teaspoon) in a non-stick pan, and fry the slices you have prepared.
Now all you need to do is to serve it along with some mustard sauce, and here you are, ready to enjoy the taste of garlic bread, right at your home. And, if you notice this whole thing would not take more than fifteen minutes to prepare.
As told to Garima Shah

When you are working as a professional from a very early age, and spend two-third of your time in office, chances are that no matter how successful you are at your workplace, when it comes to the department of cooking, you are really miserable.
And this is what happened with me, a computer professional who's working right from the age of 19. Cooking was a nightmare, especially when I came back from office late in the evening. I used to feel pretty irritated at times to be so dependent when it came to food. So I decided to come up with something easy -- a meal which even a person like me could prepare, and that too without putting much effort.

I learnt this special recipe from my aunt, and the best part about these filling paranthas is that it uses only the leftover stuff from lunch and other meals, thus making it easier for you to prepare, and utilising the ingredients as well.

So if you too are not so good when it comes to cooking, have a look at my recipe and enjoy the sense of achievement of making a meal on your own.
INGREDIENTS Since this is a recipe prepared by making use of leftover stuff from lunch or breakfast, one can be innovative and add various things depending on their preference and options. But the overall basic ingredients are listed here.

1 cup cooked rice 1 bowl cooked dal (preferably mix) 1 chopped onion and tomato 3 green chillies (finely cut) Pickle masala, as per taste 2 cup wheat flour 2 tbsp oil METHOD Mix flour and cooked dal in one bowl properly. Now heat some oil in a nonstick pan, and then add chopped onion till it turns golden brown in colour.

Now add chopped tomato and chillies to pan, and when the whole mixture becomes a rich brown colour paste, add the rice and pickle masala to it and mix thoroughly. Keep it on simmer for around two minutes. Now keep the mixture aside to cool.

Meanwhile, start making small balls of the dough prepared initially, and put the tava on gas. Stuff the balls with the rice mixture prepared and make paranthas of it the usual way.

At the end, serve those yummy and filling paranthas with some chutney and pickle. (As told to Garima Shah)