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Category Archives: Smart Cooky

Adai (Low GI Savoury Pancakes)


Prep Time: 4 hours soaking    | Cook time: 4 mins per Adai    |  Makes: 20 Adais

As you know, if I can’t cook it fast, I don’t cook it! It can stay in a slow cooker for eight hours, but the effort from me must be minimal, because like everything else, while I am time poor, I am a health conscious foodie 🙂  And add to that mix is trying to give these recipes to my kids who are from the “Take away” generation that wants everything “NOW” and have enough money to make it happen! So all my recipes are a touch of Maggi! Fast to cook, good to eat, fills you up, is nutritious, inexpensive, and leaves a lot of room for innovation!

One such dish is the humble Adai! I just love this dish, for its versatility and its dosaikal-14-0281.jpg
wholesomeness! Like a one stop shop for Proteins, Vitamins and everything else the body needs while using the K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple and Snappy 😉 ) principle!

So let’s see this really innovative adaption where I have kept the carbs low and proteins high, making it a Low GI food that will keep you full forever!

Ingredients

  • Oats – ½ cup
  • Parboiled rice – ½ cup
  • Quinoa – ½ cup
  • Split chick peas (Channa dal) – ½ cup
  • Green Mung beans (Hara Moong) ½ cup
  • Brown Lentils (Masoor Sabut)- ¼ cup
  • Washed Black gram (Urad dal) ¼ cup
  • Small onions/shallots (Finely chopped) – ¾ cup
  • Drumstick leaves (Murunga yelai) 1 cup
  • Grated Carrot – ½ cup
  • Coriander leaves chopped – 4 tbsp
  • Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
  • Ginger 1 inch piece
  • Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
  • Red & Green chillies – to taste
  • Salt to taste

 Method

  • Wash and soak the Quinoa, Rice & lentils.
  • Grind them together in a blender, along with dry red chillies, ginger, Asafoetida, salt and required water. In the last round of grinding add the oats.
  • You can make the batter to thick or thin depending on whether you prefer the adai thin and crispy or thick and soft.
  • To prepare, take a spoonful of the batter and spread it on a pan like a pancake. Pour some oil around the sides and then make a hole in the centre with the spoon and add the oil there too.
  • Cook both sides until golden brown.
  • Leave the Adai little longer on the pan, if you want it crispy.

Voilà… your healthy Adai is ready to serve with jaggery and Avial (recipe to follow)

Protip:

  • Quinoa can be replaced with Buckwheat and Parboiled rice with plain rice or brown rice.
  • Drumsticks leaves can be replaced with any green leaf you like or have or can be eliminated completely
  • The dry ingredients can be soaked for an hour, a night or a day, whichever is convenient with the best results showing up when soaked for a minimum of four hours.
  • You can replace grated carrots with grated radish, raw papaya, grated cauliflower or grated broccoli. While being healthy it will add a splash of colour. Be careful to stick to 1 cup, to make the pancake spreadable.
  • The Adai is perfect for Breakfast but makes a delicious lunch, dinner or snack item too!
 
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Posted by on June 7, 2017 in Smart Cooky

 

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Almond Coconut Red/Green Chutney


Try this Chutney recipe to add a more filling touch to a light meal. A Low GI chutney, this will keep you fuller longer. You will not compromise on taste and you have the added benefit of a high protein food. Fast to cook, good to eat and great for health!

Ingredients:

Fresh grated coconut-1/2 cup
Whole Almonds-6 to 7Almond Chutney
Small onions-4 to 5
Tomato – 1 large
Red chillies (dry) – 3 medium
Tamarind extract-1/4 tsp
Salt-as required

Seasoning:

Curry leaves-4 to 5
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Dried red chilli-2
Oil-2 tsp

Method:
Dry fry the almonds in a pan for 3 minutes. Peel and chop the small onions. Grind all the ingredients together in a blender to smooth paste along with some water. Pour the chutney in a serving bowl. Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds and then add the curry leaves and dried red chilli. Pour the seasoning on top of the chutney.

Variation: 

Eliminate Onions, tomatoes red chilly and garlic adding a bunch of coriander and green chillies for a more “Saatvik” option. green-coconut-chutney

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2017 in Smart Cooky

 

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Iced Tea


54ead82b99fe3_-_everything-you-need-to-know-about-iced-tea-mdnStudies show that drinking tea regularly may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and diabetes and promote healthier teeth and gums and stronger bones. How? Tea is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids, which are most potent when tea is freshly brewed.

There is no better way to have tea than to brew it yourself. When you make your own iced tea at home instead of using a powdered mix or buying it bottled or from a fast-food restaurant or coffee shop not only do you save money but can also control the calories by limiting how much sweetener you add (or by not adding any at all).

The added benefit of having this crisp and cool beverage is that it cuts down craving for foods rich in sugar! So here’s how you do it

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 3 green tea bags
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • Juice of half a lime

PREPARATION

  1. Pour boiling water in a pitcher filled with mint leaves, tea bag and honey.
  2. Let steep for 5 minutes; remove tea bags.
  3. Refrigerate until chilled.

VARIATION

You may use any flavoured tea bag for example, Peppermint, Chamomile, Apricot, Jasmine as a variation. You may chop fresh fruit and allow to steep with tea for a more natural and fresh flavour.

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2017 in Smart Cooky

 

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Flax Seed Molagai Podi


imagesFlax seeds are among the world’s top 127 Health food items. It is the number one source of omega-3 fatty acids while also being rich in Lignans and fiber. The omega-3 essential fatty acids helps combat heart diseases, diabetes and menopause related problems. They are a very good source of dietary fiber,energy-producing vitamin B1 and free radical-scavenging manganese. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of flaxseeds also make them a logical candidate for cancer prevention and migraines.  

Here’s a fast to cook and good to eat recipe for a chutney powder. Eat smothered in gingelly oil with idlis and dosais, or smother on top of pan fried gluten free bread for a healthy breakfast/snack option

INGREDIENTS

Urad dal – 1 1/2 cups
Chana dal – 1/2 cup
Flax seeds – 1/4 cup each
White Sesame seeds – 1/4 cup
Red chilies – 10 to 15
Asafoetida – 1 tsp
Powdered Jaggery – 2 Tbsp
Oil – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste

METHOD

  1.  Dry roast the flax seeds and sesame seeds in a skillet, on low flame until light golden brown.  Seeds will start popping after 2 minutes.  Transfer the seeds to a plate to cool.
  2. In the same skillet, add the oil, urad dal, chana dal and red chillies.  
  3. Roast on a low flame until golden brown.  Make sure to keep stirring while roasting.  This will take about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Switch off the flame and add asafoetida and mix well.
  5. Let it cool completely.
  6. Add required salt and grind the cooled dal, sesame – flax seed mixture and jaggery into a coarse powder.
  7. Mix the powder well.  Let it cool completely before storing in a dry, airtight container.
  8. Serve with Sesame oil (nallennai).

VARIATIONS

You can add a i1/4 cup of chia seeds for protein. It also helps in filling you up as it is a low GI food. You may eliminate jaggery if you are cutting down on sugar intake. I like to add some curry leaves dry roasted and powdered with the rest of the ingredients. 

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Posted by on March 2, 2017 in Smart Cooky

 

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Pumpkin Kootu


White Pumpkin KootuKootu is generally a lentil or yoghurt based dish with one or more vegetables and is quite popular in the South of India.
This dish is generally an accompaniment to main dishes like Sambhar, Kozhambu and can be eaten with rotis or puris as well. The dals or lentils mentioned in this preparation can be either directly cooked till it softens or can be pressure-cooked . It cooks in minutes directly on the stove if hot boiling water is used to cook the dal. In this recipe I have used the slow cooker to enhance the food value and flavour.
Kootu is highly nutritious because of the combination of lentils and vegetables and is well balanced. To keep it light have it with Brown rice, Quinoa, Buckwheat or Multigrain Chapatis to make a complete meal.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ Cups White Pumpkin (chopped into small cubes)
  • ¼ Cup Yellow Moong Dal
  • 3 Cups Hot Boiling Water
  • 2 Tsp Sambhar Powder
  • ½ Tsp. Asafoetida Powder
  • A pinch of Turmeric Powder

TO BE GROUND

  • 1-2 Green Chillies 
  • 2 Tbs Freshly Grated Coconut
  • ½ Tsp. Cumin seeds
  • 1-2 Tsp. Salt

SEASONING

1 Tsp. Ghee
1 Tsp. Mustard seeds
1 Tsp. Urad dal
1-2 whole red chillies
few Curry leaves

METHOD

  1. Dry roast the moong dal in a heated pan for about a minute on a low flame
  2. Add the pumpkin, the boiling water, turmeric, sambhar powder and let it boil in slow cooker on high heat for about 3 hours
  3. In a blender, GRIND the grated coconut, cumin seeds, salt and green chillies with a bit of water into a soft mixture.
  4. Add this mixture to the cooked dal and pumpkin mixture
    Let it simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a small pan
    Add the mustard seeds, when it crackles, add the urad dal, red chillies and curry leaves.
  6. Pour the seasoning into the prepared Dal.

VARIATION

 This recipe can be followed using any of these vegetables – Chokoes, Beans, Double Beans, Cabbage, Snake Gourd, Ridge Gourd, Carrots, 

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2017 in Smart Cooky

 

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Palak Paneer


549766Ever been to an Indian restaurant and ordered this dish of smooth, vibrant green, medium spicy spinach gravy with soft paneer cubes? Well, here is a ‘fast to cook and good to eat’ recipe for this popular restaurant style dish from Punjab, North India. 

Remember, cooking is fun when it doesn’t take time to cook it and the results are amazing! When made at home, you can make it with the best freshest ingredients! Just follow this recipe to the tee and you will not go wrong!

Ingredients:

 For Paste:

Onions – 1 cup (2 medium), sliced

Tomatoes –  1 small can (or 1 cup fresh)

Cashew nuts – ¼ cup (soaked for half an hour)

Green chilies – to taste

Ginger – ¼ inch piece

Garlic – 5-6 cloves

Spinach – 6 cups (1 medium Bunch)

Salt to taste

As is

Paneer – 7 oz (200 grams), 1/2 inch cubed

For Tempering (baghaar)

Ghee or butter – 3 teaspoons

Black salt – ¼ teaspoon

Dried fenugreek leaves (Kasoori Methi) – 1 teaspoon

Garam masala (or Kitchen King Masala) – 1 teaspoon

Heavy whipping cream (Malai) – 2 tablespoons

Method:

Put all ingredients for paste in a microwaveable bowl and cook on high for 10 minutes (time suitable for 1000watt microwave). Remove and cool completely. Then blend.

Allow the blended mixture to simmer in a slow cooker along with paneer pieces on high for 2 hours.

In a thick bottom pan, heat the ghee and add the black salt, garam masala and kasuri methi.

Add the “baghaar” to the cooking spinach mix and cook for another hour and a half on low.

Garnish with cream, raw Spanish onion, grated paneer and fresh coriander and serve hot with naan, chapaati, paratha, toasted Turkish or Lebanese bread, Quinoa or rice pulao.

Pro tip:

  • The kids will never find out if you throw in a little broccoli to the paste!
  • Add a cup of milk instead to cashew for the same creamy taste
  • Cook in a pan for 40 minutes if you are in a hurry instead of slow cooker.
 
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Posted by on May 20, 2016 in Smart Cooky

 

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Ghee


Modern science now verifies what Ayurvedic health science has said for thousands of years: Ghee has a host of health and cooking benefits and is good for the mind and spirit. It is the powerhouse of health. It promotes positivity, memory, stimulates secretion of gastric acid that aids digestion and empowers the immune system.

 The humble Ghee can replace oil in cooking or can be added to breads, rice, lentils, vegetables and desserts. And here is how you can make it in the slow cooker, easily and be sure it won’t burn!

ghee-in-slow-cooker-4

 INGREDIENTS

  • 250g unsalted butter
  • One sprig of curry leaves (optional)

 

Method: 

  • Place the butter in the slow cooker and cook for 3.5 hours – 2 hours on HIGH
  • Open add the nicely cleaned curry leaf sprig as is and leave for 1.5 hour on LOW setting.
  • Depending on the model and temperature of the slow cooker it may take longer for ghee to cook.
  • Turn off and allow to stand for some time till absolutely cold.
  • Pour ghee in a glass, stainless steel or copper jar.

Points to remember :

  • Keep the lid slightly open throughout the process of cooking. Butter contains water and there will be some foaming and bubbling, therefore keep the lid slightly open for steam to escape.
  • If there is any water content left while making ghee, then ghee can spoil.
  • Boil ghee till its golden yellow in colour and it will stay good for more than 2-3 months and even more.
  • Depending on the model and temperature of the slow cooker it may take longer for ghee to cook.
  • If straining ghee in a glass jar, allow it to cool down or else the hot ghee will break the jar.

Pro tip:

  • vista_candle_diffuser_largeIn winters when the ghee solidifies use a ceramic candle diffuser to melt it before serving! Besides looking beautiful, the aroma tickles the taste buds which helps with secretion of gastric juices that in turn help digestion!

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Smart Cooky

 

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