Kheer/Indian rice pudding

Kheer rice NG

Kheer native names Payasam, payasa, ksheeram, fereni

Place of Origin: South Asia

Region or State: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal , Banladesh

Kheer is a South Asian rice pudding made by boiling rice, broken wheat, tapioca, or vermicelli, Samwat ke chawal with milk and sugar; it is flavored with cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashew nuts, pistachios or almonds. It is typically served during a meal or as a dessert. It is also known in some regions as payasam, payasa, gil-e-firdaus and fereni. Kheer made from this special kind of rice called Samwat ke chawal / parsai ke chawal ke kheer, is very delicious and easy to make.

Hi friends! There is a long list of the special kind of food which can be consumed during the winter season. Here is a simple and delicious recipe of creamy rice pudding /Indian pudding / Rice Kheer delicately flavored with saffron, cardamom, and almonds. This can be enjoyed with Semolina pancakes /Malpuas to satisfy your sweet tooth .

Prep Time : 30 minutes

Cook time : 45 minutes approx.

Serve : 6

Level Of Cooking : Medium

Cuisine: Indian

Course: Desserts

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice (usually basmati)
  • 1 1/4 liter Milk toned
  • 4tbsp slivered Almonds
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 6 Green cardamoms, powdered
  • 1/2 tsp Saffron

Method:

Step 1.

Wash chawal /rice well and soak in water for 1/2 an hour.

Step 2.

Take milk in a deep heavy bottom pan and bring to boil on high flame. Add drained chawal / rice to the milk and lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally.

Step 3.

Cook till the  chawal /rice is fully cooked and the milk has reduced to approximately half.

Step 4.

Add sugar, saffron and keep cooking till the sugar has fully dissolved.

Step 5.

Add slivered almonds and cardamom powder and cook for another ten minutes. The kheer should be thick but of dripping consistency.

Step 6.

Kheer is ready to serve, garnish with slivered almonds and serve hot or chilled as per liking.

Note:

During summer Kheer / indian pudding can be cooled and kept in the refrigerator until it is time to serve.

 

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Methi Aloo

Methi Aloo NG

Methi Aloo /Potatoes with Fenugreek Leaves

In the Eastern cultures, especially India, fenugreek leaves are more widely used as compared to seeds primarily due to its immense nutritional benefits. While the seeds of this plant are used only for the flavour, the leaves have herb nutrition value in them.

Hi friends ! Methi Aloo is a delicious dish made with fenugreek leaves, potatoes and a combination of spices. Fenugreek is a green leafy vegetable with a unique taste that is packed with nutrients. There are many health benefits of fenugreek. This dish is delicious in addition to being healthy!

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Serves : 4

Cuisine : Indian

Course : Main

Ingredients

  • 400 gms fenugreek leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 medium size potatoes peeled , cut into small cubes( about 1 cup of cubed potatoes)
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafetida/hing
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil
  • 2/3 level tsp salt / or salt to taste

 Method:

Step 1.

Wash peeled and cut the potatoes in small cubes and soak them in water. Wash the Methi /fenugreek leaves and chop them finely, keep aside.
Step 2.

Heat the oil in a wok / heavy bottom pan over high flame. When a little smoke starts emitting from the oil mustard oil is ready reduce the flame to low.

Step 3.

Add asafetida powder and then add finely chopped methi / Fenugreek leaves ,potatoes stir. Add red chili powder, and salt. Mix it well and cook uncovered for the first 8-10 minutes on slow flame.

Step 4.

Now cover and cook until potatoes are tender and well blended with Methi /Fenugreek leaves it should take about 12-15 minutes. Keep stirring intermittently .

Step 5.            

After potatoes cooked well, switch off the stove. Serve Methi Aloo hot with any Indian bread of choice.

Nutritional Benefits Of Fenugreek Leaves:

So, when we talk about the benefits of fenugreek we are particularly referring to its greener parts. Here are a few good health tips related to fenugreek. Nutritional Benefits Of Fenugreek: Fenugreek leaves are basically a kind of green leafy vegetables unless you dry them for storage (kasuri methi). So they will give you all the goodness associated with green vegetables. The fresh leaves of the Methi plant have a slightly bitter under taste and can be cooked just like we cook spinach. It is a very good source of iron. That is why fenugreek, both its seeds and leaves are considered medicinal for curing anemia. In fact, even if you follow standard medicine, patients with low hemoglobin count are usually put on a diet of fenugreek and other vegetables like spinach and lettuce. Fenugreek has herb nutrition in it. If you crush the fresh leaves of Fenugreek or make a glass of juice out of them, it could be the perfect health drink to control the hormonal level of insulin in the blood. Fenugreek is a kind of similar to bitter gourd when we consider the bitter taste and properties of regulating insulin. It is a must note point for diabetics. Fenugreek could give competition to Spinach as a rich source of vitamin K. Commonly spinach is the traditional answer to all your vitamin K needs but fenugreek has almost as much or more of this vital nutrient. It is a very good source of roughage because is basically comprised of leaves. It will fulfill your body’s fibre requirements abundantly. Traditionally methi or fenugreek is supposed to be very beneficial to people who have a persistent problem of constipation. This is because they supply the missing ‘bulk’ to your faeces and thus make bowel movements smooth. Surprisingly, fenugreek is also a great source of protein and nicotinic acid. These nutrients lend benefits of fenugreek that are specific to hair. It foster hair growth and is good for the general health and shine of hair. Inspite of so many benefits people sometimes don’t prefer to eat fenugreek because of its bitterness, especially in the dried form when the concentration of the bitterness increases. The solution is to either eat it fresh or add the dried leaves to foods like dals, curries or mix it or knead the flour to make tasty methi parathas! Either ways the benefits of fenugreek as a nutritional bonanza need to be utilised to the fullest. Read more about: health benefits, nutrition

Read more at: http://www.boldsky.com/health/nutrition/2011/benefits-fenugreek-leaves-130911.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

 

Sesame Delicacy / Til Laddoos

IMG_3838.jpgSesame Delicacy / Til khoyaLaddoos

 

Sesame seeds add a nutty taste and a delicate, almost invisible, crunch to many Asian dishes. They are also the main ingredients in tahini (sesame seed paste) and the wonderful Middle Eastern sweet call halvah. They are available throughout the year.Sesame seeds may be the oldest condiment known to man. They are highly valued for their oil which is exceptionally resistant to rancidity. “Open sesame”—the famous phrase from the Arabian Nights—reflects the distinguishing feature of the sesame seed pod, which bursts open when it reaches maturity. The scientific name for sesame seeds is Sesamun indicum.

Sesame Delicacy / Til Khoya Ladoo

Hi friends ! Here is another recipe for the winter season. Specialty of this recipe is total success to even a first time cook too ! Winter is the season to have Sesame seeds laddoos or other sweets made of sesame seeds. They are scrumptious and give body warmth during cold season.

Preparation time : 5 minutes

Cooking time : 10 minutes

Level of cooking : Easy

Cuisine : Indian

Category : Indian Desserts

Makes : 15 Laddoos

Ingredients :

  • 1 1/2 cup white Sesame seeds (Til)
  • 2 cup Khoya /Mawa/ grated
  • 1/2 cup Sugar (as per taste 1/4 cup can be increased for sweeter taste)
  • 16-18 Almonds, finely powdered
  • 1 tbsp slivered almonds (for garnishing)
  • 3 Green Cardamoms

Method :

Step 1.

Clean sesame. Heat a heavy bottom pan / kadahi /wok and dry roast sesame till they turn light brown (Sesame are roasted very quickly, takes about five minutes). Cool and grind in a mixer. Keep aside.

Step 2.

Grind sugar finely in the mixer. Remove the skin of the cardamoms and grind the seeds.Keep aside.

Step 3.

Grind the almonds to a fine powder, keep aside.
Step 4.

In a pan , fry khoya for two minutes. Turn off the stove. (You can also use a microwave for the same).

Step 5.

Add ground sesame seeds, almonds to the fried khoya and mix well. To this mixture add ground cardamoms and sugar blend it well.The sesame laddoo mix is ready.

Step 6.

Make small table tennis ball size  laddoos from this mix. Garnish the laddoos with slivered almonds. Fresh delicious laddoos are ready to serve , they can be stored for 1-2 weeks.

Note:

  •  Wait for the Laddoo mixture to cool a bit, before making the laddoos.
  • For best results apply a little clarified butter on your palms before starting to make the laddoos .

How to Select and Store

Sesame seeds are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins. Just as with any other food that you can purchase in the bulk section, make sure that the bins containing the sesame seeds are covered and that the store has a good product turnover to ensure maximal freshness.

Whether purchasing sesame seeds in bulk or in a packaged container, make sure there is no evidence of moisture. Additionally, since they have a high oil content and can become rancid, smell those in bulk bins to ensure that they smell fresh.

Unhulled sesame seeds can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place. Once the seeds are hulled, they are more prone to rancidity, so they should then be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

Health Benefits of Sesame seeds:

Not only are sesame seeds an excellent source of copper and a very good source of manganese, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, and dietary fiber. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.

Rich In Beneficial Minerals

Sesame seeds are an excellent source of copper, a very good source of manganese, and a good source of magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, molybdenum, and selenium.

How to Enjoy

A Few Quick Serving Ideas
  • Add sesame seeds into the batter the next time you make homemade bread, muffins or cookies.
  • Use the traditional macrobiotic seasoning, gomasio, to enliven your food. You can either purchase gomasio at a health food store or make your own by using a mortar and pestle. Simply mix together one part dry roasted sea salt with twelve parts dry roasted sesame seeds.
  • Sesame seeds add a great touch to steamed broccoli that has been sprinkled with lemon juice.
  • Spread tahini (sesame paste) on toasted bread and either drizzle with honey for a sweet treat or combine with miso for a savory snack.
  • Combine toasted sesame seeds with rice vinegar, soy sauce and crushed garlic and use as a dressing for salads, vegetables and noodles.
  • Ref.http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=84

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

 

Chili Paneer/cottage cheese

Chili Paneer

Chinese cuisine includes styles originating from the diverse regions of China, as well as from Chinese people in other parts of the world including most oriental nations. The history of Chinese cuisine in China stretches back for thousands of years and has changed from period to period and in each region according to climate, imperial fashions, and local preferences. Over time, techniques and ingredients from the cuisines of other cultures were integrated into the cuisine of the Chinese people due both to imperial expansion and from the trade with nearby regions in pre-modern times, and from Europe and the New World in the modern period. In addition, dairy is rarely—if ever—used in any recipes in the style. In India people created their own distinct flavors of Chinese cuisine.Chinese society greatly valued gastronomy and developed an extensive study of the subject.

Ref:  Wikipwedia

Hi friends! Here is an easy recipe of  Chilli Paneer. It is a yummy and nutritious recipe from Chinese cuisine to Indian flavor. Chilli Paneer can also be eaten along with Veg chow mein or fried rice.

Ingredients :

For Batter:

  • 1/2 cup Corn flour
  • 1 tbsp Maida /All purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Soya sauce
  • 1/2 level tsp salt / or salt to taste

Other Ingredients :

  • 200 grams Paneer
  • 1 Green Capsicum , cut into 1″ square pieces
  • 1/2 cup Spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 2 tsp Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Soya Sauce
  • 2 tsp Chilly Sauce
  • 2 Green Chilies , finely chopped
  • 1tsp Ginger , finely grated
  • 2 tsp Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Salt /or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper Powder 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Chili flakes

Method :

Step 1.

In a bowl take all the ingredients for the batter and make a smooth, thick batter by adding gradually (approximately ¼ cup of ) water.

Step 2.

Dip the paneer / cottage cheese pieces in the batter, coating the pieces nicely and deep fry in hot oil till the paneer /cottage cheese pieces are golden brown. Drain on a tray lined with absorbent paper and keep aside.

Step 3.

Heat the oil in the pan, on high flame, sauté ginger, garlic and green chilies for a minute or so. Add green capsicum and fry for two minutes.

Step 4.

Take one tbsp corn flour in 1/4 cup water till all lumps disappear. Add the tomato sauce , chili sauce, soya sauce, Vinegar, sugar, chili flakes, black pepper corn flour paste and salt and allow it to come to a boil. Now add paneer / Cottage cheese pieces, mix all the ingredients on a low flame till everything is well blended thoroughly.

Step 5.

Serve immediately garnished with the spring onions. This scrumptious, piping hot Chili Paneer can be enjoyed with noodles or fried rice.

Paneer is a type of cheese. It is the Indian name for cottage cheese. Paneer, unlike other cheeses, has not been matured and it is rather bland. Cheese is nutritious food made mostly from the milk of cows but also other mammals, including sheep, goats, buffalo, reindeer, camels and yaks. The milk is curdled using some combination of rennet (or rennet substitutes) and acidification. Bacteria acidify the milk and play a role in defining the texture and flavor of most cheeses. There are hundreds of types of cheese.

Health Benefits of Cottage Cheese:

Cottage cheese provides many health benefits, including a high protein content, as well as significant calcium, phosphorus, and potassium contents, and it can be used for weight management.

Reduced Risk of Breast Cancer: The calcium and vitamin D found in dairy products, especially in cottage cheese, reduces the risk of breast cancer. Research conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health by Shin et al. found that in case of premenopausal women, the level of calcium and vitamin D actually helped in reducing the risk of breast cancer. This particular study was conducted over a period of 16 years.

Rich in Protein: One of the biggest benefits of cottage cheese is the high amount of casein protein found in it. It is believed that cow’s milk contains the highest amount of casein protein among various milks. The amount of protein contained in cottage cheese is ideal for vegetarians in supplying them with the required amount of daily protein. Cottage cheese does not require any amount of cooking and it can be consumed directly.

Best Foods for Pregnant Women: Cottage cheese is recommended for pregnant women along with athletes due to various essential nutrients found in it. For example, pregnant women need calcium and cottage cheese is a very good source for it. Cottage cheese also contains phosphorus, which is an important element found in bones that is also recommended during pregnancy.

Rich Source of B-Complex Vitamins: B-complex vitamins found in cottage cheese are helpful in various metabolic activities in our bodies. Some of them include vitamin B12, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, niacin, and folate.

-Vitamin B12 is needed for proper brain functioning and helps in absorbing iron.

-Riboflavin helps in converting carbohydrates into energy.

-Pantothenic Acid acts as a synthesizer that helps in forming proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and amino acids in our body.

-Thiamin helps in converting sugars into energy in the pyruvate dehydrogenase system.

-Niacin, on the other hand plays an important role in digestion, energy production, and cholesterol reduction.

-Folate helps in fetal development in pregnant women, helps in producing red blood cells and keeps the heart healthy.

Strengthens Bones: Calcium is one of the major elements associated with milk and their products. Some of the benefits of calcium-rich foods include bone strengthening and weight loss. The amount of calcium in cottage cheese is 8% of the daily recommended value. Calcium, found in milk and milk products such as curd or cottage cheese, helps in building strong bones throughout childhood and adulthood. Eating calcium-rich foods during pregnancy and later years is helpful, especially in osteoporosis and colon cancer. It also helps the nervous system in sending nerve impulse and controls weight gain and heart disease. These are just a few of the benefits of eating calcium-rich foods like cottage cheese.

Heart-Friendly and Maintains Blood Sugar Levels: Cottage cheese is a good source of magnesium. In the human body, most of the magnesium is concentrated in our bones. Magnesium also acts as a catalyst, promotes biochemical reactions, activates various enzymes in the body, maintains muscle and nerve functioning, and supports the immune system. It helps in maintaining blood sugar levels and prevents heart attacks, constipation, psychiatric disorders, migraine, and collagen.

Prevents Strokes and Controls Anxiety: Apart from other nutrients, cottage cheese contains potassium. Potassium acts as a fluid-balancing element in the body and is an important component in neural activities of the muscle and brain. It also relieves muscle cramps. Intake of potassium on a regular basis prevents the risk of getting brain stroke, since it lowers blood pressure and the contraction of vessels. It is also helpful in decreasing stress levels and anxiety. Potassium, along with sodium, act as electrolytes, but potassium does not have the side effects of sodium such as increased blood pressure and cardiovascular stress.

Ref. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/animal-product/health-benefits-of-cottage-cheese.htm

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

 

 

Almond soup

Almond soup copy

Hi friends! here is a recipe with the goodness of apple and the richness of almonds, which makes this soup extra special for this winter season.

Prep Time : 5-7 minutes

Cook time : 15 minutes

Serve : 4

Level Of Cooking : Easy

Cuisine : Continental

Course : Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple , finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Almonds (18-20 almonds ),soaked for an hour
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 Leeks, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Onion ,( 1 small size onion)
  • 1 tbsp Corn flour
  • 2/3 tsp Salt /or salt to taste
  • 1/4tsp Black pepper, freshly ground

Method:

Step 1.

Wash the apple, finely chop (approx 1 cup) keep aside. Wash leek well and finely chop, finely chop onion, grind almonds to a paste and keep aside.

Step 2.

In a heavy bottom pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add, finely chopped onion, apple, leek and almond paste. Cook for 2-3minutes.

Step 3.

Add three cups of water and boil for 5-8 minutes. Switch off the stove. Cool to room temperature and strain.

 Step 4.

In a blender take the strained vegetables and add little soup to it and puree. Add the pureed vegetables to the strained liquid and mix well.

Step 5.

Add cornflour (dissolve it in two tbsp of water ) simmer for two-three minutes.

Step 6.

Serve soup hot garnished with slivered almonds.

 

Eating a snack of apples and almonds helps fuel your activity throughout the day and also offers health benefits:

Fiber

Both apples and almonds are rich in fiber, so combining these foods makes for a fiber-packed snack. As a result, you’ll likely feel satisfied long after your snack, because the fiber helps fill your stomach and slows digestion to keep you going until your next meal. If you suffer from cardiovascular disease or diabetes, apples and almonds offer additional health benefits by helping control your blood cholesterol and sugar levels. A snack of one large apple and an ounce of almonds contains 8.9 grams of dietary fiber — 42 or 32 percent, respectively, of the recommended fiber intake on a 1,500- or 2,000-calorie diet, according to Colorado State University.

Fat

Apples contain several nutrients but lack healthy oil; each large apple contains only 0.38 grams of total fat. However, eating fat each day is essential to your well-being, since fats help facilitate hormone production and provide a source of energy. Eating almonds with your apple boosts the snack’s fat content, with each ounce of almonds providing 6 grams of healthy, unsaturated fat. Getting your dietary fat from healthy sources, such as almonds, benefits your cardiovascular system, lowering harmful cholesterol levels and the risk of type 2 diabetes, notes the Linus Pauling Institute.

Vitamins

Apples and almonds have complementary vitamin contents. Apples provide a source of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, while almonds contain vitamin E. Consuming these two vitamins together benefits your health. Normally, your body relies on vitamin E for its antioxidant capabilities, and consuming this nutrient protects your cells from oxidative damage. However, without adequate vitamin C, your body uses up the active vitamin E, leading to an accumulation of an inactive form of the vitamin that no longer protects your cells. Consuming an apple along with almonds ensures that your body has both vitamins E and C to help support continued vitamin E function.

Snack Ideas

If you’re interested in pairing apples and almonds for their health benefits but the thought of eating a whole apple with a handful of almonds sounds dull, get creative. Roughly chop the apple and almonds, then combine them in a bowl with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a raw, apple crisp-like treat. Alternatively, drizzle warm, all-natural almond butter over a thinly sliced apple, or mix almond butter with Greek yogurt to make a healthy dip for apple slices.

Ref. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-apples-almonds-4240.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

 

Sarson ki bhurji

SAANJHACHULLHA

saron ki Bhurji G   Makki ki roti with bhurjiSarson ki bhurji                                                 Makki ki Roti

Main Name: Mustard Green
Biological Name: Brassica juncea
Names in other Languages:Mostaza (Spanish), Moutarde (French), Sarson ka sag (Hindi), Kadugu ilai (Tamil), Kadugu ila (Malayalam), Ava akulu (Telugu), Rai Ni Bhaji (Gujarati), Sorisa sag (Bengali), Mohari-chi pan (Marathi), Sarson-da-sag (Punjabi), Sarson ka sag (Urdu)

Hi friends! Winter is a very good season to eat seasonal delicacies that are not only finger-licking good, but are also packed with multiple benefits that help you stay warm and strengthens your immunity. Winter chills may sometimes lead to mineral deficiencies in the body which need to be supplemented through proper diet. Comfort food like Mustard Greens/ Sarson ka saag with makki ki roti are well-known for their nutritional properties.

Ingredients:

  • 500 gms Mustard Greens/ Sarson ka saag
  • 18 cloves of Garlic
  • 2 tsp ginger, finely grated
  • 3 Green chillis, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp corn flour /…

View original post 738 more words

Mixed Flour Uthappams

Utthapam onion tomatoMixed Flour Uthappams

Uthappams or ooththappam or Uthappa is a dosa-like dish made with a batter. Unlike a dosa, which is crisp and crepe-like, uthappam is a thick pancake, with toppings cooked right into the batter. Uttapam is traditionally made with different toppings such as mixed vegetables, tomatoes, onion/ shallots, chilies, cabbage, coconut etc. It is generally eaten with sambar or chutney.

Hi friends ! Instant uthappams always salvage the situation when nothing is planned for breakfast. Here is the most simple, easy and never failing instant uthappams recipe for you all.

Makes: 4 Uttapams

Prep time:5 minutes

Cooking time:10 minutes

Cuisine: Indian, South Indian

Category: Breakfast

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Rice flour
  • 1/2 cup Maida /All purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Suji rawa /Semolina
  • 1/2 cup curd /yogurt /Dahi, thick slightly sour, whisked
  • 2 medium size onions, very finely chopped
  • 2 medium size tomatoes, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Green chili paste
  • 2 tbsp Coriander/ Cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 2/3 tsp Salt/ or to taste
  • Oil,to cook uttapams

Method:

Step 1.

In a mixing bowl mix all purpose flour/ maida ,suji rava/semolina ,rice flour, salt , baking soda.

Step 2.

Add to step1 mix whisked curd / yogurt / Dahi and gradually add sufficient water to it and mix until lump free batter is formed.

Step 3.

The batter should be thick but of pouring consistency Keep this aside for 15 minutes.

Step 4.

Add green chili paste, cumin seeds and finely chopped coriander/Cilantro leaves, and mix it well.

Step 5.

Pour a ladle full of batter on a hot non stick tawa /gridle spread it in a circular motion on the tava lik we make a dosa taking care that the quantity of batter will be more than a dosa as the uthappam is thicker. top the uthappam with a handful of the onion, and tomatoes .

Step 6.

Pour 1 tbsp oil approx over and around the uttapam, cover it with a lid and cook for 1 -2 minutes on medium flame.

Step 7.

Turn / flip the uthapaam when cooked on one side. The onion, tomato side gets cooked flip it back this side also gets cooked and light golden brown in colour.

Step 8.

When the uthappams are crisp and cooked on both sides, serve hot with hot sambar and coconut chutney. Uthappams can also be served with coriander chutney .

Note:

  • These uthappams are best eaten hot because cold uthappams turn soggy.
  • when on high flame do not pour the batter on the hot non -stick tawa / gridle . Reduce the flame to low before starting to pour the batter for the next uthappam.
  • Always stir the batter before pouring for the next uthappam.
  • There are many instant variety dosas like Rawa doas, BesanDosa, Wheat flour Dosa and Oats Dosa to name a few.

Health Benefits:

Traditional Indian recipes are very tasty, quite nutritious, many are low in calories and fat if prepared at home. These days, the trend of eating out in restaurants has gone up. The food available there may not be as nutritious and low in fat and calories as that prepared at home. Also the quality of oil may also be open to discussion. It is not known if the restaurant cooks are using same oil repeatedly many times. Reusing oil for frying repeatedly will make the recipes unhealthy. It is therefore prudent to do home cooking and enjoy!

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Raw Banana Cutlets

Raw banana cutlets G

Raw Banana Cutlets

Hi Friends! Another of my never failing , healthy, delicious cutlet recipe with raw bananas and potatoes. It can be ready in no time, a perfect tea time snack.

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes

Cook time: 10-15 minutes

Cuisine: Indian

Course : Healthy snack/Appetizers

Serves: 4

Cooking time : 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 400 gms Raw bananas
  • 2 medium size boiled Potatoes / to give 2/3 cup mashed
  • 2 tbsp Buckwheat flour/Kuttu ka aata
  • 2/3 level tsp salt /or salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 green chili , finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp Green coriander/ Cilantro / dhaniya , finely chopped
  • 10 Cashew nuts, lightly roasted, and cut into small pieces
  • Oil – to fry cutlets

Method:

Step 1.

Wash the bananas properly, put bananas in a pressure cooker, add 1/2 cup of water. Close the cooker lid and place the pressure cooker on a high flame. The moment full pressure is formed, switch off the stove. When cooker cools down to the room temperature, open the lid and take out the bananas. Remove the peel of each banana, mash in a mixing bowl and keep aside.

OR

Place the bananas in a microwave safe dish and cook in the microwave for 3 minutes. When bananas cool down to the room temperature, remove the peel from all bananas and mash. Keep mashed bananas aside.

Step 2.

Wash the potatoes properly, and put in a pressure cooker, add 1/2 cup of water. Close the cooker lid and place the pressure cooker on a high flame. The moment full pressure is formed, switch off the stove. When cooker cools down to the room temperature, open the lid and take out the potatoes. Remove and peel the potatoes, mash in a mixing bowl and keep aside.

Step 3.

In a mixing bowl take mashed potatoes, bananas, buckwheat flour / Kutu ka aata,salt, black pepper, green chilies, grated ginger and green coriander. Mix all the ingredients well . Divide the mixture into eight equal portions and keep aside.

Step 4.
In a non-stick pan take two tbsp oil and heat. Take each portion of the mixture in your hands, roll it into a round ball then press gently with your palms to flatten it. Slide gently as many cutlets as the pan can take easily fry in hot oil. Fry on medium flame till both sides turn light golden brown. Carefully take out the cutlets in a tray lined with the paper kitchen towel.

Step 5.

Serve hot with coriander / mint chutney.

Notes:

  • For best results, while using boiled potatoes, for preparing any type of cutlets , do not use the potatoes immediately after they are boiled. Cool them in the fridge for 1/2 an hour or so and then use for making the cutlets.
  • If NOT making cutlets for fast/Navratri vrats, you can use corn flour instead of Buckwheat flour/Kuttu ka aata

The Health Benefits of Green Bananas :

4 Body Benefits of Green Bananas

GREEN BANANAS ARE HIGH IN FIBER.

Just one cup of boiled green bananas contains 3.6 g of fiber, which satisfies 14 percent of your daily value! And as you may or may not already be aware, there is a decent correlation between the consumption of high fiber food and lowered instances of disease, such as diabetes. Bottom line? The stuff is good for you.

GREEN BANANAS INCREASE YOUR BODY’S ABILITY TO ABSORB NUTRIENTS.

Green bananas contain compounds called short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which nourish the cell tissue lining of the small intestine, dramatically enhancing the body’s capacity to absorb nutrients .

GREEN BANANAS ARE HIGH IN POTASSIUM.

Just like yellow bananas, green bananas are just as high in potassium. For instance, just one cup of boiled green bananas contains 531 mg of potassium. Compare this with the American Heart Association’s recommended intake of 4,700 mg of potassium per day.

GREEN BANANAS CONTAIN RESISTANT STARCH.

By definition, resistant starch (RS) is any starch that is not digested in the small intestine but passes to the large bowel. And according to research conducted by Janine Higgins of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, there is strong evidence to suggest that RS intake is associated with several changes in metabolism which may have positive health benefits such as:

  • Decreases glycemic and insulinemic responses
  • Lowers plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations
  • Improves whole body insulin sensitivity
  • Increases satiety, and reduces fat storage.

Ref. http://runjanellerun.com/2013/06/the-health-benefits-of-green-bananas/

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Sarson ki bhurji

saron ki Bhurji G   Makki ki roti with bhurjiSarson ki bhurji                                                 Makki ki Roti

Main Name: Mustard Green
Biological Name: Brassica juncea
Names in other Languages: Mostaza (Spanish), Moutarde (French), Sarson ka sag (Hindi), Kadugu ilai (Tamil), Kadugu ila (Malayalam), Ava akulu (Telugu), Rai Ni Bhaji (Gujarati), Sorisa sag (Bengali), Mohari-chi pan (Marathi), Sarson-da-sag (Punjabi), Sarson ka sag (Urdu)

Hi friends! Winter is a very good season to eat seasonal delicacies that are not only finger-licking good, but are also packed with multiple benefits that help you stay warm and strengthens your immunity. Winter chills may sometimes lead to mineral deficiencies in the body which need to be supplemented through proper diet. Comfort food like Mustard Greens/ Sarson ka saag with makki ki roti are well-known for their nutritional properties.

Ingredients:

  • 500 gms Mustard Greens/ Sarson ka saag
  • 18 cloves of Garlic
  • 2 tsp ginger, finely grated
  • 3 Green chillis, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp corn flour / makki ka aata
  • 3 tbsp curd / yogurt/ Dahi
  • 1/4 tsp hing / asafetida
  • 1tsp Cumin seeds/jeera, finely powdered
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 2/3 tsp Salt / or as per taste
  • 3 to 4 tbsp mustard Oil

Method:

Step 1.
Take Mustard Greens/ Sarson ka saag leaves, wash them and finely chop them and keep aside.

Step 2.

Now in a blender take garlic cloves, one green chili and grind them into a fine paste.

Step 3.

In a wok / kadahi/ pan, take mustard oil when oil smokes reduce the flame, put hing / asafetida, add garlic chili paste, cumin seeds powder, coriander powder, salt and turmeric powder. Fry this on medium flame for 3-4 minutes.

Step 4.

Add finely chopped Mustard Greens/ Sarson ka saag leaves to it and cook covered on medium/low flame till it is well blended and cooked.

Step 5.

Mix 3 tbsp curd / yogurt/ Dahi with 2 tsp of corn flour. Add it to the bhurji and mix well.

Step 6.

Cover the lid and cook for 4-5 minutes more. Serve hot with Makki ki roti.

How many calories in mustard greens (per 100 gm):

Mustard greens have about 20 calories per 100 gm of weight.

How to Buy Mustard Greens/ Sarson ka saag:

  •  Always try to purchase green colored mustard greens instead of opting for the red or purple colored leaves.
  • Make sure that the mustard greens you have purchased are fresh and crisp.
  • The green color of mustard greens should be lively. Avoid buying mustard leaves which have yellow or brown spots on the surface.

Mustard Green Storage Tips:

  • Do not store freshly purchased mustard greens for more than 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Keep your mustard greens inside a plastic bag before placing it in the refrigerator. Make sure that all the air from the plastic bag has been removed before storing the mustard greens.

Health Benefits of Mustard Greens/ Sarson ka sag :

  1. Mustard green is known for its detoxification qualities. The sulfur-containing nutrients, phytonutrients and glucosinolates, present in mustard greens help to activate the detoxification enzymes in the human body and also regulate their activities. The detox support is directly related to the risk of acquiring cancers of the bladder, breast, colon, lung, prostate and ovarian. No detoxification in our bodies means that cells will eventually become cancerous.
  2. Mustard green is also one of the best known antioxidants available in the market. The antioxidant support given by mustard green helps in reducing the risk of oxidative stress in the body cells.
  3. Mustard green is also known for its anti-inflammatory benefits which help in building the messaging molecules in the body.
  4. The anti-inflammatory qualities of mustard greens assist in the prevention of several cardiovascular diseases, like heart attacks, ischemic heart diseases, and atherosclerosis.
  5. Regular consumption of mustard greens is beneficial for lowering the amount of cholesterol in the human blood; thus, leading to a healthy heart. Consuming steamed mustard leaves increases the rate of cholesterol lowering ability, thereby preventing unwanted inflammation that can otherwise cause problems for blood vessels and blood circulation, leading heart attack and ischemic heart disease.
  6. With many vitamins and minerals present in mustard greens, they promote proper functioning of the immune system and other bodily processes, regulate digestive processes, develop bones and other ligaments connecting the bones, and monitoring the bowels and digestive tract.
  7. The presence of vitamin E in mustard greens in significant amounts is excellent for taking care of skin and hair by giving you healthy skin and lustrous, strong hair.
  8. Mustard greens have considerable value in treating a number of disorders, like gout, sciatica, menopause symptoms, neuralgia, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, bruises, tendonitis, flu, common cold, eruptive sores and boils.

Ref. http://www.foodofy.com/mustard-green-nutrition-facts.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Saffron/Kesar milk

 

Saffron milk/ Kesar milk

Hi friends ! Here is a very healthy drink for the approaching Winter ! Saffron flavored milk enriched with almonds, cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, dried dates/ Sūkhē khajūra/ chuhara and served hot. You will never be able to say NO!!!

Preparation Time : 5-8 minutes

Cooking time : 15-20 minutes

Servings : 4

 Cooking time: 25 minutes

Cuisine: India ,Uttar Pradesh, North India

Course: Beverages

Level Of Cooking : Easy

Ingredients:

  • 20 Almonds blanched and roughly chopped
  • 3 cups Milk
  • 6 Green cardamoms, finely powdered
  • 4 dried dates/ Sūkhē khajūra/ chuhara, stone removed ,sliced
  • a pinch Nutmeg powder
  • a pinch saffron strands
  • 3 tbsp sugar

Method:

Step 1.

Heat milk in a thick-bottomed pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer on low heat for fifteen minutes.

Step 2.

In a food processor grind the almonds to a smooth paste by adding a little milk while doing the grinding. Add almond / badam paste , cardamom powder, a pinch of saffron and nutmeg powder to the simmering milk and continue to boil for another five minutes.

Step 3.

Add sugar stir, boil for another two minutes, remove from heat. Serve warm in individual glasses.

The King of Spice: Saffron

The undisputed King of all these spices is the Saffron, which, when included in the recipe, gives a royal touch to any dish, savory or dessert. Also known as the Golden Spice, Saffron is unique in many ways. Exquisite, elusive, exclusive, exotic, delicate and the most expensive, this is a spice to be reckoned with and is worth its weight in gold! Elusive because saffron is the stigma of the saffron flower (Crocus Sativus) and each saffron flower contains only three stigmas. These stigmas or saffron threads are handpicked by elderly women from the centre of the crocus flower and it takes anywhere around 70,000 to 250,000 flowers to get one pound of saffron. Thankfully however, only a very little quantity is required to be added to a dish to get that distinctive aroma, flavor and color.

Buying, Storing Saffron:

There are three important criteria to look for while buying saffron

  • Saffron threads (Stigmas) are all red and have no other color.
  • Saffron threads must be dry and brittle to the touch.
  • Saffron aroma is strong and fresh, never musty. 

Storing: Saffron has to be stored in an airtight container away from heat, moisture and light. If stored carefully saffron can retain its potency, aroma and coloring properties for almost three years.

 Cooking Tips:

  • Saffron has to be soaked in water, liquor or the cooking liquid so as to best release its flavor and essence. For one teaspoon of saffron strands use three teaspoons of liquid and soak for around one or two hours to get best results.
  • Do not use wooden vessel to mix saffron as wood absorbs the saffron easily.
  • Turmeric can be used as a cheaper substitute for saffron to obtain the color, but not the flavor.
  • Though a smaller quantity of powder is required in recipes in comparison to saffron strands, it is not very feasible as the powder has a shorter shelf life.

 Ref: http://readanddigest.com/the-king-of-spice-saffron/

Uses Of Saffron

Saffron is widely used in many cuisines around the world, including India. It is used in Indian sweets and sweet dishes, to make syrups, to color food and flavor both food and beverages.

Saffron is also used in the cosmetic and perfume industry. It is used to dye fabrics. In India, it is a part of religious and marriage festivities.

Ayurveda, Unani and Chinese medicine have used saffron traditionally for healing and even Western medicine uses it to treat certain health conditions.

According to Ayurveda saffron balances the tridoshas and increases body heat.

Nutrients In Saffron

  • Saffron contains over 150 volatile oils that yield aroma of which safranal is the one that gives it its hay like flavor.
  • Among the non volatile compounds, alpha-crocin gives saffron its distinct yellow orange color.
  • It also contains, lycopene. zeaxanthin, alpha and beta carotenes etc.
  • Saffron is extremely rich in manganese and has very good amounts of vitamin C, iron, potassium, phosphorus and copper.
  • It has good levels of folates, niacin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and Vitamin A.

Health Benefits Of Saffron:

Saffron has an amazing number of health properties among them are anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic, antipoisonous, cardiotonic, carminative diuretic, stimulant, lactogogue, sedative, aphrodisiac, immunomodulating and antioxinant properties.

Saffron can be taken in foods or beverages to derive its health giving benefits.

Saffron can be used to suppress appetite to control weight. This can be beneficial to those who wish to control their overeating habits.
8 to 10 strands of saffron can be steeped in a cup of warm water for 20 minutes to make a saffron tea like drink. that will provide this benefit. 1 gram of saffron can make 50-60 cups of this saffron tea.

Ref. http://hubpages.com/health/Saffron-Or-Kesar-Health-Benefits-And-More-Of-This-Most-Expensive-Spice

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Kuttu ki Puri

Kuttu ki puri

Kuttu ki Puri/Indian Buckwheat bread

Buckwheat / Kuttu:

A member of the genus Fagopyrum; annual Asian plant with clusters of small pinkish white flowers and small edible triangular seeds which are used whole or ground into flour. Energizing and nutritious, buckwheat is available throughout the year and can be served as an alternative to rice or made into porridge. While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel making it a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens. Buckwheat flowers are very fragrant and are attractive to bees that use them to produce a special, strongly flavored, dark honey.

Hi friends! Kuttu Ki Puri is a very delicious and crisp bread . You can make Kuttu Ki Puri by following this easy recipe

Prep Time : 10-15 minutes

Cuisine: Indian

Course: Breads

Cook time : 5-10 minutes

Serve : 4

Level Of Cooking : Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 cups kuttu ka atta/ Buckwheat flour
  • 2 medium size potatoes boiled, peeled and mashed , to give one cup mashed potatoes
  • 1 level tsp salt / or to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

Method:

Step 1.

In a mixing bowl take Kuttu ka atta/ buck wheat flour, mashed potatoes and salt mix well and knead into stiff dough, with the water. Cover and leave the dough for at least twenty minutes.
Step 2.
Divide the dough into 10-12 portions, and shape each portion into round, smooth balls, apply little oil in your hands, to make it easy to handle the dough.

Step 3.

With a rolling pin, roll each dough ball portion into a thin rounds and keep ready for frying in a tray.
Step 4.

Heat sufficient oil in a wok / kadai or deep pan. Slide the rolled dough (puris) into the oil slowly and deep fry till golden. Press gently with a slotted spoon in the centre, so that puri puffs up. Drain on an absorbent Kitchen paper before transferring on to a serving dish.

Step 5.

Serve them hot with Aloo ki sabzi.

Note:

Boiled and mashed Potatoes or Arbi / Colocacia has to be added to Kuttu ka Atta as it cannot be easily kneaded with just water. The Puris get crisp and tasty when the flour is kneaded with Potato or Arbi.

Health Benefits of Buckwheat :

Buckwheat is a very good source of manganese and a good source of copper, magnesium, ,dietary fiber, and phosphorus. Buckwheat contains two flavonoids with significant health-promoting actions: rutin and quercitin. The protein in buckwheat is a high quality protein, containing all eight essential amino acids, including lysine.

  • A Grain That’s Good for Your Cardiovascular System

Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Buckwheat is also a good source of magnesium. This mineral relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery while lowering blood pressure—the perfect combination for a healthy cardiovascular system.

  • Better Blood Sugar Control and A Lowered Risk of Diabetes

The nutrients in buckwheat may contribute to blood sugar control. In a test that compared the effect on blood sugar of whole buckwheat groats to bread made from refined wheat flour, buckwheat groats significantly lowered blood glucose and insulin responses. Whole buckwheats also scored highest on their ability to satisfy hunger.

  • Helps Prevent Gallstones

Eating foods high in insoluble fiber, such as buckwheat, can help women avoid gallstones, shows a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

  • Health-Promoting Potential Equal to or Even Higher than that of Vegetables and Fruits
  • Lignans Protect against Heart Disease

One type of phytonutrient especially abundant in whole grains such as buckwheat are plant lignans, which are converted by friendly flora in our intestines into mammalian lignans, including one called enterolactone that is thought to protect against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers as well as heart disease.

  • Prevent Heart Failure with a Whole Grains Breakfast
  • Fiber from Whole Grains and Fruit Protective against Breast Cancer

Tips for Preparing and Cooking:

Tips for Preparing Buckwheat

Like all grains, buckwheat should be rinsed thoroughly under running water before cooking, and any dirt or debris should be removed. After rinsing, add one part buckwheat to two parts boiling water or broth. After the liquid has returned to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

How to Enjoy

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

  • Combine buckwheat flour with whole wheat flour to make delicious breads, muffins and pancakes.
  • Cook up a pot of buckwheat for a change of pace from hot oatmeal as a delicious hearty breakfast cereal.
  • Add cooked buckwheat to soups or stews to give them a hardier flavor and deeper texture.
  • Add chopped chicken, garden peas, pumpkin seeds and scallions to cooked and cooled buckwheat for a delightful lunch or dinner salad.

Ref. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=11

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

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Spicy Kebabs

Lentil Kebabs with dip

Spicy Kebabs with yogurt dip

Hi friends! Everybody likes Kebabs. Not all kebabs have to be made with meat! Try out these scrumptious, easy, vegetarian lentil kebab recipe. It is high fiber, tasty and, perfect to serve at lunch or as evening / party snack with any spicy chutney/ dip. This recipe is a superb and yummy substitute for meat kebabs that all will enjoy. Make these Indian-style crisp lentil Kebabs for perfect party snacks or a starter.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Sabut Masoor /red lentils
  • 1 medium size onion, or / 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 12 cloves of garlic, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro/ Coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon juice or juice of 1 small lemon
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2/3 tsp salt / or salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

For garnishing:

1 medium size onion, cut into rings.

Method:

Step 1.

Wash and soak sabut Masoor / red lentil overnight in cold water, drain and keep aside.

Step 2.

For the lentil kebabs, tip the drained sabut Masoor / red lentil into a food processor and blend until coarsely mashed, but not puréed.

Step 3.

Transfer to a mixing bowl and add chopped onions, chopped garlic and chopped Cilantro/ Coriander leaves. Add salt, green chilies and freshly ground black pepper and mix well.

Step 4.

Take about 2 Tbsp of the mixture in your hands (You can oil your palms if it’s sticking) and roll into kebabs. The mixture is thick enough to hold its shape.

Step 5.

Take sufficient cooking oil into a deep heavy bottom frying pan and place over medium flame . To test if the oil is hot enough for frying, put a small piece of onion in it, if the onion sizzles in the oil and comes on the surface fast, the oil in the pan is at the correct temperature for frying Kebabs.

Step 6.

Gently slide in Kebabs one by one in hot oil , until the pan is fairly full but not overcrowded. We need to fry them in batches. Fry for 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden-brown and cooked through.

Step 7.

Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on Paper kitchen towel to drain out the excessive oil before serving.

Step 8.

Serve the hot and spicy kebabs with the spicy coriander/ cilantro/mint chutney or can serve these with cucumber dip too.

Yogurt Dip:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt/ Dahi/ curd
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, minced or 1 tsp dried mint leaves powder
  • 1 cup cucumber pieces, cucumber peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 tsp Salt /or to taste

Method:

  1. Place the yogurt, cucumber in a blender and puree on high speed until blended. While blending, gradually add the mint and salt. Dip is ready!

Lentils Storage Tips:

  • Lentils a longer shelf life. You can store lentils in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place. This way they can be stored for up to twelve months.
  • Lentils purchased at different times contain varying stages of dryness and hence, should be stored separately as they will require different cooking times.
  • Cooked lentils have a relatively shorter life. If kept in a covered container in the refrigerator, they can remain fresh for about three days.

Health Benefits of Masoor dal (Lentils): 

  • Lentils are extremely rich in soluble fiber, which forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract, thereby helping in removing bile from the body. It further helps in eliminating and reducing blood cholesterol levels.
  • The soluble fiber in lentils has the property of trapping carbohydrates. It slows down the digestion and absorption process, hence preventing major changes in blood sugar level throughout the day. This helps diabetic patients.
  • The insoluble fiber in lentils leads to the feeling of early satiation; hence, people eat less and gain fewer pounds. Besides, insoluble fiber is indigestible, which passes through the body adding just a few calories.
  • Lentils are rich in flavones, a class of antioxidants with antioxidant properties. Studies have proved that regular consumption of lentils can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
  • Lentils prove to be significant for a healthy heart as they prevent heart coronary problems. Fiber in the lentils reduces blood cholesterol levels and plaque forming on the walls of the arteries, thereby eliminating the risk of stroke or other cardiovascular diseases.
  • Besides fiber which contributes to the health of the cardiovascular system, lentils contain folic acid and magnesium, significant for reducing the level of homocysteine, a compound known to be dangerous for the heart and artery walls. Also, lentils promote better blood flow and passage of oxygen and nutrients to the organs.
  • Rich in the antioxidant, molybdenum, lentils assist the body in breaking down harmful substances hence reducing allergy symptoms. This antioxidant is also essential for preventing impotency, particularly in older men, and avoiding anemia.
  • Researches indicate that the vitamin E found in lentils helps prevent the risk of Parkinson’s disease, though the exact connection is not yet determined.

 Ref. http://nutrition.indobase.com/articles/lentils-nutrition.php

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Litti-Chokha

Littis   Chokha 1

Litti-Chokha

Hi friends! Cuisine from Bihar is definitely delicious, mouth-watering. Today’s recipe for you is a dish, baked from wheat flour dough that is stuffed with a mixture of roasted gram flour and spices, called Litti and served with Chokha (roasted and mashed brinjal/ aubergines/ egg plant and potatoes) is a food for all occasions in Bihar. “Litti- Chokha” is a traditional dish of Bihar and Jharkhad. It can be served as an evening snack too. One of the winter delights! It can be prepared round the year but tastes amazing during winter. Easy to make and scrumptious, check out right away!

Litti

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes

Servings: 12

Preparation Time: 15-20 minutes

Category: Main course

Cuisine : India, Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern Uttar Pradesh

Ingredients:

For Litti Dough:

  • 2 cups Wheat flour/Atta
  • 1 tsp Onion seeds / Kalonji /Nigella sativa
  • 1 tsp Carom seeds / AjwainKalonji
  • 1 level tsp Salt / or to taste

For Litti Filling/stuffing:

  • 1 cup Sattu
  • 1 flake Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Cilantro /Coriander leaves , finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Ginger finely grated
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt / or to taste

Method:

to make filling / Stuffing for Litti

Step 1.

In a mixing bowl take Sattu, salt ,chopped garlic, Cilantro /Coriander leaves , green chili, ginger and lemon juice mix all the ingredients. Add required amount of water to make the mixture damp and easy to fill. Keep aside.

to make dough for Litti :

Step 2.

In a mixing bowl take the flour add the Onion seeds / Kalonji /Nigella sativa, carom seeds / Ajwain and salt. Mix the ingredients well and add gradually water to knead the mix in to a soft dough.

Step 3.

Divide the dough into twelve equal portions. Take each portion of dough at a time roll it into a ball between your palms. Press the rounded dough between your palms , so that the dough spread into two inch thick flat and round surface.

Step 4.

Stuff 2 tsp of filling in the center of each flattened portion of the dough, and bring the ages of the flattened dough together to close gently so that filling of the Litti is intact.

Step 5.
When all the Littis are ready , we can either bake in a preheated oven at 180C or roast on wood charcoal.

OR

Step 6.

Take a pressure cooker, grease the cooker with one tablespoon of ghee. Place the pressure cooker on medium high flame . (and remove the whistle from the lid and keep it aside). When the cooker becomes hot, put the Littis or the stuffed round balls of dough one by one in the cooker. Making sure to keep only that many Littis as are in one line or in one layer only and are not on top of each other.

Step 7.

Place the lid on the cooker and close it. Let Littis cook on low flame for 15 -20 minutes. Make sure that you shake the cooker well gently with hands without removing the lid every two -three minutes.  The cooker can be rotated sideways and turned upside down gently ( see that cooker lid is tightly closed). This process will help in cooking the Littis from all the sides properly.

Step 8.

OR Bake/Roast till all sides are golden and light brown spots come on the surface of the litti. In case baking / roasting not possible use Step 6 for equally good results.

Step 7.

When all Littis are cooked, dip in pure ghee or melted butter and serve with Chokha and green chutney of coriander/ cilantro.

Note: In this recipe with step 6,7

  • Littis are cooked with no ghee.
  • Lttis can be cooked faster.
  • No oven required.
  • Multi-grain wheat flour can be used to make healthy and equally delicious litties.
  • Roasted gram flour can be used instead of Sattu.

Chokha

Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

Servings: 6

Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes

Category: Main course

Cuisine : India, Bihar, Jharkhand, Eastern Uttar Pradesh

Ingredients

  • 1 medium size brinjal/ aubergine /egg plant, roasted ( to provide 1 cup mashed brinjal/ aubergine /egg plant)
  • 3 medium size tomatoes, roasted (to provide 2/3  cup tomato puree )
  • 2 medium size potatoes, boiled and mashed (to provide 1 cup mashed potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup mustard oil
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp lime juice /1 small size lime juice
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Salt/ or to taste

Method:

Step 1.

Take the brinjal/ aubergine /egg plant, coat the entire surface of it with a tsp of mustard oil. Roast the oil coated brinjal , rotate it to cook properly on a medium flame till well cooked from all sides and the skin has charred completely. Switch off the stove and soak the roasted brinjal/ aubergine /egg plant in water. When cool, peel and mash. Keep aside.

Step 2.

Similarly roast the tomatoes on high flame. Peel and puree the charred tomatoes.

Step3.

On a high flame place a heavy bottom pan / wok / kadahi and put mustard oil in it and heat till mustard oil is smoked out. Reduce the heat to low flame and fry this puree (from step 3)in the oil for 8-10 minutes till the puree is well fried and turns a deep red.
Step 4.

Peel and mash the boiled potatoes , add the mashed potatoes and mashed brinjal/ aubergine /egg plant into the kadai and mix well till well blended.

Step 5.
Into the mixture add the red chili powder, turmeric and salt finely chopped green chilies and cook on a low flame, stirring constantly. Add chopped onions and mix well and switch off the stove.

Step 6.

Serve hot after sprinkling the lime juice, garnish with fresh coriander.

Litti-Chokha is a great health food.

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Paneer Tikkis/cheese Cutlets

Vrat ki tikki 1Paneer Tikkis/ Cottage cheese cutlets

Cottage cheese provides many health benefits, including a high protein content, as well as significant calcium, phosphorus, and potassium contents, and it can be used for weight management.

 

Hi friends! here is a recipe for your Navratri fast that can never go wrong! You can simply enjoy these tikkis as snacks any other time of the year too. These Paneer tikkis can be prepared instantly and easily for the navratri Vrat. Delicious to eat and simple to make.

Navratri Fast

Navratri literal meaning is ‘nine nights’ and during these nine days the celebration of Durga Puja in India. Nine different incarnations of the Goddess Shakti, Adi Shakti, or the original creator, observer and destroyer of the universe, are worshipped during these nine days. The festival is part of the Hindu tradition and different regions in the country follow different rituals to perform puja on this auspicious occasion. In Eastern India, the last five days of Navratri the Goddess Shakti is worshipped in the form of Durga, in the Northern and Western parts of India people worship nine different incarnations of the Adi Shakti. People Observe fasts during this sacred period, as it is a popular belief that the Goddess fulfill the wishes of their devotees. Fasting has always been part of Indian festivities. Science has attested to the health benefits of fasting.

Ingredients:

  • 150 gms Paneer / cottage cheese
  • 2 medium size boiled Potatoes / 2 t cups mashed or grated boiled potatoes
  • 2 tbsp, Buck wheat flour / kuttu ka atta
  • 10 Cashew nuts, lightly roasted, coarsely powdered
  • 1 Green chili , finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Ginger, finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp Salt/ or as per taste
  • 1 tbsp Cilantro/ fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • Ghee /Oil – for frying

Method :

Step 1.

Cook the potatoes in a pressure cooker with two cups of water. The moment pressure is formed, reduce the heat to low flame for 5 minutes, switch off the stove. Cool the cooker to room temperature, open the lid take out the potatoes, peel and mash the potatoes. keep aside.

Step 2.

In a mixing bowl grate paneer/ cottage cheese. Add mashed potatoes, salt, finely cut green chilies, finely grated ginger, cashew nuts, Buck wheat flour / Kuttu ka atta. Mix everything really well and make a soft dough.

Step 3.

Divide the mixture into eight equal parts. Roll each part of the mixture into round shape and pat each round in an oval.

Step 4.

Preheat three tbsp ghee /oil in a wok / non stick frying pan for frying Tikkis. Place Tikkis in hot ghee /oil for frying. Place 3 to 4 tikkis in the hot ghee /oil and fry until they turn golden brown in color from all sides.

Step 5.

Take out fried Tikkis on a paper kitchen towel lined plate. Similarly fry all the Tikkis.

Step 6.

Serve hot with Vrat wali chutney of coriander/ cilantro.

Nutrients in Cheese

Cheese is produced throughout the world; it is an ancient food with origins that predate recorded history. It is a dairy product made from pressed milk curds. Different varieties are made from unripened (fresh) cheese or ripened (aged) cheese.

Cheese is a delicious and nutritious food that is very versatile. You can add it to other dishes or eat it by itself. It’s convenient and portable. There are more than 300 varieties of cheese—including American, Cheddar, Mozzarella and Colby—many of which are available in various flavors, forms (chunks, slices, cubes, shredded, grated, crumbled, sticks, spreads) and packages to meet consumers’ needs.

Health Benefits Of Cottage Cheese:

The health benefits of cottage cheese include weight loss, a good supply of protein, B complex vitamins and healthy fats, and a reduced risk of breast cancer. Cottage cheese is also a good source of various minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and selenium which all play vital roles in many of the body functions.

Reduced Risk of Breast Cancer: The calcium and vitamin D found in dairy products, especially in cottage cheese, reduces the risk of breast cancer. Research conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health by Shin et al. found that in case of premenopausal women, the level of calcium and vitamin D actually helped in reducing the risk of breast cancer. This particular study was conducted over a period of 16 years.

Rich in Protein: One of the biggest benefits of cottage cheese is the high amount of casein protein found in it. It is believed that cow’s milk contains the highest amount of casein protein among various milks. The amount of protein contained in cottage cheese is ideal for vegetarians in supplying them with the required amount of daily protein. Cottage cheese does not require any amount of cooking and it can be consumed directly.

Best Foods for Pregnant Women: Cottage cheese is recommended for pregnant women along with athletes due to various essential nutrients found in it. For example, pregnant women need calcium and cottage cheese is a very good source for it. Cottage cheese also contains phosphorus, which is an important element found in bones that is also recommended during pregnancy.

Rich Source of B-Complex Vitamins: B-complex vitamins found in cottage cheese are helpful in various metabolic activities in our bodies. Some of them include vitamin B12, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, niacin, and folate.

-Vitamin B12 is needed for proper brain functioning and helps in absorbing iron.

-Riboflavin helps in converting carbohydrates into energy.

-Pantothenic Acid acts as a synthesizer that helps in forming proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and amino acids in our body.

-Thiamin helps in converting sugars into energy in the pyruvate dehydrogenase system.

-Niacin, on the other hand plays an important role in digestion, energy production, and cholesterol reduction.

-Folate helps in fetal development in pregnant women, helps in producing red blood cells and keeps the heart healthy.

Strengthens Bones: Calcium is one of the major elements associated with milk and their products. Some of the benefits of calcium-rich foods include bone strengthening and weight loss. The amount of calcium in cottage cheese is 8% of the daily recommended value. Calcium, found in milk and milk products such as curd or cottage cheese, helps in building strong bones throughout childhood and adulthood. Eating calcium-rich foods during pregnancy and later years is helpful, especially in osteoporosis and colon cancer. It also helps the nervous system in sending nerve impulse and controls weight gain and heart disease. These are just a few of the benefits of eating calcium-rich foods like cottage cheese.

Heart-Friendly and Maintains Blood Sugar Levels: Cottage cheese is a good source of magnesium. In the human body, most of the magnesium is concentrated in our bones. Magnesium also acts as a catalyst, promotes biochemical reactions, activates various enzymes in the body, maintains muscle and nerve functioning, and supports the immune system. It helps in maintaining blood sugar levels and prevents heart attacks, constipation, psychiatric disorders, migraine, and collagen.

Prevents Strokes and Controls Anxiety: Apart from other nutrients, cottage cheese contains potassium. Potassium acts as a fluid-balancing element in the body and is an important component in neural activities of the muscle and brain. It also relieves muscle cramps. Intake of potassium on a regular basis prevents the risk of getting brain stroke, since it lowers blood pressure and the contraction of vessels. It is also helpful in decreasing stress levels and anxiety. Potassium, along with sodium, act as electrolytes, but potassium does not have the side effects of sodium such as increased blood pressure and cardiovascular stress.

Improves Biological Functions: Zinc found in cottage cheese is about 4% of the daily recommended value.  In the human body, it is found in the brain, muscles, bones, kidneys, liver, prostate, and eyes. It helps in the metabolism of DNA and RNA.  Zinc is one of the trace elements whose presence in our body helps in improving the immune system, digestion, diabetes control, fights stress and anxiety, cures night blindness, improves ocular health, prevents appetite loss, prevents prostate disorder, fights various infections and also acts as an antioxidant.

Improves Digestion: Cottage cheese contains phosphorous, which plays a major role in the formation of DNA and RNA. It is a major component in forming bones along with calcium. Phosphates also help in digestion, excretion, and in the production and extraction of energy in the cells.

Antioxidant Properties: Selenium is a trace element found in cottage cheese. It is required in very small quantities, not more than 50 mcg to 70 mcg in adults. Selenium is useful as an antioxidant that protects cells and DNA from damage. It is also believed that an optimum intake of selenium-rich foods reduces the risk of prostate cancer. New study suggests that a diet rich in dairy products may slightly extend lives of people diagnosed with colon cancer.

A Few Things to Consider:

There are certain risks involved in eating cheese, both of the cottage and grocery varieties. Some of these are particular risks for those people suffering from diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure).

Higher Levels of Sodium: Salt is a major ingredient used at various stages of cheese and yogurt preparation. As per the research conducted by Demott, Hitchcock, and Sanders at the University of Tennessee, an average of 3.7 mg/g to 4.5 mg/g of sodium chloride is found in various dairy preparations, including cheese. The findings are almost double the federal government’s approved salt content level (2.7 mg/g).

Bacterial Contamination: One may experience bacterial contamination by eating cottage cheese or any other dairy product, if the milk has not been pasteurized properly. One of the most common diseases that is associated with unpasteurized milk, improperly cooked meat, poultry, and fish is listeriosis, which is caused by Listeria monocytogenes. This bacteria is particularly known to be risky for pregnant women and their developing fetus.

Cholesterol Levels in Cottage Cheese: The level of cholesterol in cottage cheese depends upon the type of milk used for preparing it. If whole milk is used for cheese preparation, the cholesterol content would be as high (33 mg per 1cup) as compared to low fat milk (10 mg per 1 cup) or no fat milk (4 mg per 1 cup). So, if you are health conscious, use low fat versions of cottage cheese to avoid extra fat intake and excessive cholesterol.

Ref. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/animal-product/health-benefits-of-cottage-cheese.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Samwat Ke Chawal Ki Kheer

Samwak ke chaval kheer

Samwat Ke Chawal Ki Kheer

Kheer from India: Alternative names Payasam, payasa, ksheeram, fereni

Place of Origin: South Asia

Region or State: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal , Banladesh

Kheer is a South Asian rice pudding made by boiling rice, broken wheat, tapioca, or vermicelli, Samwat ke chawal with milk and sugar; it is flavored with cardamom, raisins, saffron, cashew nuts, pistachios or almonds. It is typically served during a meal or as a dessert. It is also known in some regions as payasam, payasa, gil-e-firdaus and fereni. Kheer made from this special kind of rice called Samwat ke chawal / parsai ke chawal ke kheer, is very delicious and easy to make.

Samwat Ke Chawal or Sama ke chawal or Barnyard millet is a wildly growing grain which is actually a seed not grain Sama ke chawal or Barnyard millet is vastly used during Navratri fasting as it is rich in complex carbohydrates and protein .It is considered an ideal food for fasting days in North India

Hi friends! This  year the Navratri festival season began from October 13, 2015. During the nine days, of Navratri people observe a strict diet but there are certain kinds of food which can be consumed. The cuisine during fasting is actually irresistible and more mouth-watering . There is a long list of the special kind of food which can be consumed during the Navratri vrat or fast. Here is a simple and delicious recipe for you.

Prep Time : 30 minutes

Cook time : 45 minutes approx.

Serve : 6

Level Of Cooking : Medium

Cuisine: Indian, (vrat or fasting time)

Course: Desserts

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Samwat ke chawal / parsai ke chawal
  • 1 1/4 liter Milk toned
  • 12-15 cashew nuts
  • 2 tbsp slivered Almonds
  • 12-15 Raisins
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 6 Green cardamoms, powdered

Method:

Step 1.

Wash Samwat ke chawal /rice well and soak in two cups of water for 1/2 an hour.

Step 2.

Roast slivered almonds and cashews lightly in microwave. After cutting the cashews into small pieces keep aside slivered and roasted almonds and cut cashew pieces aside.

Step 3.

Take milk in a deep heavy bottom pan and bring to boil on high flame. Add drained Samwat ke chawal / rice to milk and lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally.

Step 4.

Cook till the Samwat ke chawal /rice is fully cooked and the milk has reduced to approximately half.

Step 5.

Add sugar and keep cooking till the sugar has fully dissolved. Add raisins,cut almonds and cashew nuts and cardamom powder and cook for another ten minutes. The kheer should be thick but of dripping consistency.

Step 6.

Kheer is ready to sreve, garnish with slivered almonds and serve hot or chilled as per liking.

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Masala Kamal Kakri/ Lotus stem

Kamal kakadi masala 1Masala Kamal Kakri/ Lotus stem

Lotus Stem. Hindi Name: Bhein or Kamal Kakri. Also known as lotus root it is a root vegetable from India and China, used widely in Indian, Chinese and Japanese food. They are the edible parts of the lotus flower which is found under water. It is usually crunchy and is fairly sweet and has a flavor like water chestnut

Crunchy, delicate flavored, lotus root is an edible rhizome (root) of lotus plant. Almost all the parts of the plant: root, young flower stalks, and seeds are being used in the cuisine.

Lotus is herbaceous, perennial aquatic plant belonging to Nelumbonaceae family. Scientific name: Nelumbo nucifera. It is popular as renkon in the Japan. Since centuries, lotus has held high esteem in the far East regions, especially in Chinese and Japanese cultures.Also known as lotus root it is a root vegetable from India.It is usually crunchy and  has a flavor like water chestnut. It has a delicate flavor.

Hi friends!  Here is delicious , easy , never failing recipe of mine with thinly sliced Lotus stem cooked in a variety of masalas. You will like to have this dish on your menu regularly.

Ingredients:
    • 200 gm lotus stems
    • 1 tsp ginger, finely grated
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • 2 tsp coriander seeds
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1/4 tsp asafetida
    • 1/2 tsp chili powder
    • 2 tsp Amchoor /dry mango powder
    • 1/2 tsp garam masala
    • 1/2 cup yoghurt 1/2 tsp salt or /Salt to taste
    • 2 tbsp Olive oil or any other cooking oil
    • 2 tsp Cilantro /coriander leaves, finely chopped

Method :

Step 1.

Lightly peel / scrape off the outer layer of the lotus stems and wash well as they are generally caked with dry mud.

Step 2.

Cut the stems into diagonal, 1/4 cm thick slices. Keep aside

Step 3.

In a pressure cooker take one cup water and add the sliced lotus stems. Close the lid and place the cooker on high flame. The moment full pressure is formed reduce the heat to low flame. After fifteen minutes switch off the stove. when cooker cools to room temperature, open the lid and take out the lotus stem slices in a bowl.

( If there is no pressure cooker available, boil in 5-6 cups of water simmer till tender. Takes about 30-45 minutes. Drain and cool. )

Step 4.
In a grinder take ginger grated, 1 tsp cumin seed and two tsp coriander powder, add quarter cup of water. Grind the ingredients to a fine paste. Keep aside.

Step 5.

Take heavy bottom pan/ wok / kadahi add oil to it when it is little hot add asafetida to it. when asafetida is light pink in colour, add cumin seeds.
Step 6.

When cumin starts crackling add the ground ingredients (step 4), fry for few seconds. Add the steamed / cooked Lotus stem slices (step 3), amchoor / dry mango powder to the mixture, and stir well.

Step 7.

Add the whisked yoghurt and the garam masala powder cook over high flame, bring it to boil , reduce the heat and cook for ten minutes on low flame, gravy thickens. Switch off the stove.

Step 8.

Serve hot, garnished with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves with any Indian bread of choice.

Health benefits of Lotus root:

Lotus stem is very healthy being a great source of dietary fiber. It contains minerals like copper, iron, zinc, magnesium and manganese. It boosts the production of red blood cells. It has a high content of vitamin C which helps to protect our body from scurvy and increases immunity.

  • Lotus root is one of the moderate calorie root vegetables. 100 g root-stem provides about 74 calories. Nevertheless, it composed of several health benefiting phyto-nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
  • Lotus rhizome is very good source dietary fiber; 100 g flesh provides 4.9 g or 13% of daily-requirement of fiber. Dietary fiber together with slow digesting complex carbohydrates in the lotus root help reduce blood cholesterol, sugar, body weight and constipation conditions.
  • Fresh lotus root is one of the excellent sources of vitamin C. 100 g root provides 44 mg or 73% of daily-recommended values. Vitamin C is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant. It is required for the collagen synthesis inside the human body. Collagen is the main structural protein inside the body, required for maintaining integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body protect from scurvy, develop resistance against viral infections, boosting of immunity, wound healing and to scavenge cancer causing harmful free radicals from the body.
  • In addition, the root contains moderate levels of some of valuable B-complex group of vitamins such as pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), folates, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and thiamin. Pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) acts as a coenzyme in the neuro-chemical synthesis in the brain which influences mood. Adequate pyridoxine levels help control nervous irritability, headache, and tension. It also cuts heart-attack risk by controlling harmful homocysteine levels in the blood.
  • Further, the root provides healthy amounts of some important minerals like copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, and manganese. Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as cofactors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Along with iron, it is also required in the production of red blood cells.
  • Crunchy, neutral yet delicate flavor of root lotus is because of its optimum electrolyte balance. It composes agreeable ratio of sodium to potassium at the value 1:4. While sodium gives sweet taste to the root, potassium acts to counter negative effects of sodium by regulating heart rate and blood pressure.

Ref. http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/lotus-root.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Shakar-para

shakerpareShakar-para

Home made Shakar-paras  a treat, Yummy!

Hi  friends ! Here is an easy  recipe to make delicious Shakar-paras today. Taste is medium sweet, crispy yet melt in your mouth! Traditionally served as a snack to guests during janmashtami Diwali but excellent snack to be had throughout the year . Shakar-paras are prepared in two ways.  In one recipe sugar or jaggery is kneaded in the dough of  shakar-paras and in the second recipe shakar-paras are sugar or jaggery coated later. In my this recipe I have made Shakar-paras with sugar kneaded in the dough. As you will see it is very easy to make sweet.

Preparation time : 30 minutes

Time for frying: 20 minutes

Cuisine: Indian, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka

Course: snacks

Serves : 6

Ingredients :

  • 2 1/2 cups All purpose Flour /Maida
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup Chick pea flour / Besan
  • 1/2 cup Ghee
  • 3 tbsp fresh Cream / Malai from boiled and cooled milk
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds / Til
  • Oil – for frying

Method:

Step 1.

Sift flours, powder the sugar finely in a grinder, keep aside.

Step 2.

In a mixing bowl take all purpose Flour /Maida , Grind sugar finely, rice flour, Chick pea flour / bengal gram flour /besan, mix well and add ghee, fresh Cream / Malai from boiled and cooled milk and powdered sugar ,cream mix and rub in very well.

Step 3.

Add sesame seeds / Til Knead a soft firm dough by adding milk very slowly as required . Cover and keep aside the dough for 30 minutes.

Step 4.

Divide the dough into four equal portions. Roll out each portion into a 1/4 ” thick flat round circle.

Step 5.

Cut the rolled dough circles into diamond shaped Shakarparas with a knife . keep in a greased tray for frying.

Step 6.

Heat oil in kadahi /wok or a deep heavy bottom pan, put cut diamond shaped Shakar-paras in hot oil. After putting the shaker-paras in hot oil reduce the heat to medium low flame. Fry till they turn light golden brown, turning regularly.

Step 7.

Remove the fried Shakar-paras on a tray lined with paper kitchen towel to drain excessive oil.

Step 8.

When all the Shakar-paras are fried, cool and store them in an air tight container.

Note:

Very hot oil while frying will cook the shakar-para from outside but will not be cooked properly inside.

It is rich in carbohydrates, making it an instant source of energy.

Shelf life: It has a long shelf-life. Once it cools completely, store in airtight container , will stay good for weeks.

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Palak stir fry

Saag paneer

Stir fry Saag paneer / Spinach with cottage Cheese

Cook this simple , delicious super quick Saag paneer / Spinach with cottage Cheese recipe. It is a healthy, delicious Spinach /Saag salt and red chili powder recipe. Serve the Saag paneer /  Spinach with cottage dish with roti or parathas.

 

Preparation Time : 1o-15 minutes

Cooking time : 8-12 minutes

Cuisine: Indian, North Indian

Course: Main Course-Veg

Level Of Cooking : Easy

Servings : 4

Ingredients:

  • 750 gms palak saag /spinach , finely chopped
  • 150 gms paneer pieces cottage cheese/ paneer
  • 1/4 tsp Asafetida / hing
  • 1 /2 tsp Red chili powder / or to taste
  • 2/3 tsp level salt / or Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil / or any cooking oil

Method:

Step 1.

Wash well spinach / palak saag and drain it. Chop spinach/ palak saag finely and keep aside.

Step 2.

In a wok / jadahi / heavy bottom pan heat oil , add Asafetida / hing powder sauté until light golden brown.

Step 3.

Add chopped spinach, salt, chili powder , cover and cook on low flame for 8-10 minutes till spinach / palak saag is cooked.

Step 4.

Grate cottage cheese / paneer add it to the spinach / palak saag , mix and cook on low heat for a minute more.

Step 5.

Serve hot with Indian breads of choice !

What is Cottage Cheese/ Paneer?

Cottage cheese (paneer) is a mild flavored cheese curd dairy product that is prepared from loosely packed cow’s milk. It is prepared by allowing milk to curdle and then draining it almost completely. The milk is curdled by adding lemon juice, vinegar or chemical enzymes. Milk goes bad quite often and curdles naturally. In such cases too, people often use the curdled milk to prepare cottage cheese. It is not pressed after draining however, so the curd that is retained is not compact. This curd that is left behind is then washed or rinsed out to get rid of the acidic content that is normally present in curd. The product that is left behind is a sweet curd cheese. Cottage cheese prepared in this manner has a bland and mild taste, making it a great addition to various types of food as it brings out the flavor in other ingredients.

Cottage cheese can be found in different styles and may differ slightly depending on the different types of milk that it may be prepared from, with different fat levels or there may also be some variation because of the method of preparation. Cottage cheese may also be sold as chunks, not in the loosely packed curd form and this kind of cottage cheese is produced by pressing cottage cheese to get rid of all of the whey. Like milk, cottage cheese is a perishable food and should be consumed within a week to ten days of preparation.

Something about paneer: Paneer is a fresh and delicate cottage cheese made from whole milk in India. Paneer is rich in nutrients and making it involves long and complicated procedures.
Cottage cheese can be found in different styles and may differ slightly depending on the different types of milk that it may be prepared from, with different fat levels or there may also be some variation because of the method of preparation. Cottage cheese may also be sold as chunks, not in the loosely packed curd form and this kind of cottage cheese is produced by pressing cottage cheese to get rid of all of the whey. Like milk, cottage cheese is a perishable food and should be consumed within a week to ten days of preparation.

Health Benefits of Cottage Cheese:

Cottage cheese is often thought of as a dieter’s food because of its nutritional profile. It certainly is a healthy food and is often seen as such because of its high protein and calcium content and low fat content. It is also a good source of numerous other nutrients and is extremely easy on the digestive system.

Protein Rich: Cottage cheese is a great source of protein and it’s not surprising that most nutritionists recommend the inclusion of cottage cheese as an important ingredient in almost any vegetarian diet. The exclusion of meat from your diet significantly affects protein intake and increasing cottage cheese consumption is one of the best ways to offset this lack of protein in the diet. Just one cup of cottage cheese (226 gm) will give you 28 gm of protein. This means that it will give you 56% of required daily intake of protein.

Most of us are well aware of the importance of protein, but we often tend to regard it as not entirely necessary. However, this couldn’t be less true. As one of the essential nutrients, protein is absolutely vital for our health and wellbeing. Protein is especially important for bodybuilding, fitness and sports enthusiasts, as protein is essential for muscle growth and repair. It is also extremely important during pregnancy, as protein drives fetal development and brain growth.

Diabetes Friendly: Cottage cheese is low in carbohydrates and high in protein, making it a great addition to any diet for diabetics. It is even listed as a healthy food choice by the American Diabetes Association because the low carbohydrate content and protein dense food ensures that energy is released into the body slowly, without causing any of the spikes in blood sugar levels. This also means that unlike certain high energy foods it doesn’t just give you a sudden burst of energy that peaks and falls just as quickly. While a cup of cottage cheese gives you 28 gm of protein, it contains just 6 gm of carbohydrates.

Satiating: The low-carb and high protein profile of cottage cheese also makes it a great health food for anyone with a weight problem that stems from overeating or from snacking on unhealthy foods. The slow release of energy from this protein dense food ensures that you get adequate energy without the sudden bursts in energy levels characteristic of other high energy foods. This makes it a good addition to your diet as a ‘between meal’ snack to satiate your hunger and prevent you from binging on junk foods.

Skeletal and dental health: Cottage cheese is also an excellent source of calcium making it a healthy food choice for everyone. While problems like osteoporosis that are associated with calcium deficiency or inadequate calcium intake usually set in later in life, calcium intake during childhood and youth has a considerable impact on bone health later in life. Try and include more cottage cheese in your diet, especially if you don’t consume much milk and other milk products.

Weight Loss: Cottage cheese is also a great source of conjugated linoleic acid or CLA. CLA forms when the chemical composition of linoleic acid gets altered by bacteria. There are claims that CLA offers a variety of health benefits such as increasing body metabolism and promoting weight loss, cholesterol lowering effect and cancer risk reduction. Unfortunately, most good sources of CLA like beef, lamb and veal also contain excessive amounts of fat. Butter, another source of CLA is also high in saturated fats. Cottage cheese is therefore a healthier source of CLA, especially if you are a vegetarian.

Keep in mind, that none of these claims about the efficacy of CLA have been substantiated with evidence so far.

 Ref. http://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/health-benefits-of-cottage-cheese.htm

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Suji Methi crackers

Suji methi namak pare 1Suji Methi crackers

Hi friends! here is a quick and easy to do recipe of  a healthy snack for you all enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour / maida
  • 1 cup semolina/ Suji
  • 3 tbsp Kasuri methi
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or any other cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup cold water, to make the dough
  • Oil – for deep frying

Method:

 Step 1.

Soak the kasuri methi in half cup of water for 30 minutes.

Step 2.

In a mixing bowl take all purpose flour / maida, Suji / semolina, and salt together and rub the 1/4 cup oil in lightly so that the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Step 3.
Add soaked kasuri methi along with the water it was soaked in, knead into a stiff dough adding gradually required amount of water.

Step 4.

Cover the dough and set aside for at least 15 minutes.

Step 5.

Divide the dough into 28 equal portions. Make tiny smooth balls and roll out the dough gently into a 1/4 cm in thick circles each. Prick with a fork all over the surface.

Step 6.

Heat the oil in a wok /kadhai till a tiny piece of dough dropped in, rises to the top at once. Then, put in as many six discs or as will fit in comfortably.
Step 7.

Reduce the heat to medium flame, turn occasionally. Fry till light golden brown on both sides.
Step 8.
Lift out and place on absorbent paper Kitchen towel. Fry the rest similarly.

Step 9.

Cool and store in an airtight container.

Health benefits of Kasuri Methi:

Used as an accent flavor for curries and meat, kasoori methi are fenugreek leaves used in Indian cooking. Their taste is a cross between celery and fennel with a bitter bite. Although used in small amounts, kasoori methi may help you get more fiber, calcium and iron.

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Baghare baingan / spice stuffed baby brinjals

Baigan Baghare 1Andhran Baghare baingan

Brinjals/ Egg plant are known as baingan in Hindi. This vegetable is known as the king of vegetables. Brinjals/ Egg plant  are high on nutrients, and have many health benefits and therefore it should be consumed at least once a week.Well cooked Brinjals/ Egg plant is very delicious.

Hi friends ! Brinjals/ Egg plant are good for weight loss as they are low in calories. Brinjals/ Egg plant are also rich in fiber which helps in  the feeling full for longer period and prevents us from overeating. Here is a very tasty yet easy to cook recipe for an awesome result! Baby Brinjals/ Egg plants stuffed with spice mix and cooked on slow fire.

Preparation Time : 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Curse: Main Indian, Vegetable dish

Cuisine: Indian , Andhra pradesh

Serves : 6
Ingredients:

  • 250 grams baby brinjals/ egg plant / baingan
  • 2 medium size onions, chopped into small pieces
  • 12 pods Garlic, mashed well
  • 1 tsp Ginger , finely grated
  • 2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red chili powder
  • 2 tsp Sesame seeds /til
  • 2 tbs Peanuts
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Poppy seeds /khuskhus
  • 2 tbsp Dry coconut /copra, finely desiccated
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek / Methi seeds
  • 1 level tsp Salt / or to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tsp Tamarind pulp
  • 1 sprigs Curry leaves
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil

Method:

Step 1.

Wash thoroughly baby brinjals/ egg plant / baingan and slit the brinjals, lengthwise, into four, but leave the stems on, so the eggplants remain joined at the stem. Keep aside.

Step 2.

In a heavy bottom pan /wok /kadahi dry roast cut onions till they turn light golden brown. keep aside for cooling.

Step 3.

In a heavy bottom pan dry roast together cumin seeds, coriander powder, sesame seeds, peanuts,  poppy seeds, dry coconut and fenugreek seeds till they begin to give out a nice aroma, stirring continuously on medium to low flame. Switch off the stove ,cool the roasted spices.

Step 4.

In a grinder take together roasted onions, roasted spices, ginger, garlic, salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder and  sugar and grind to a very fine paste.

Step 5.

Add tamarind pulp to the spice paste and mix well. Stuff  each baby brinjals/ egg plant / baingan with this spice paste  and keep the left over spice paste aside.

Step 6.

In a heavy bottom pan / wok / kadahi heat olive oil add curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds. Gently slid in the stuffed brinjals and sauté for about ten minutes on medium flame.

Step 7.

Add the left over spice paste to the sauteed baby brinjals/ egg plant / baingan and mix gently. Add one cups of water, bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low flame cover and cook till the baby brinjals/ egg plant / baingan are fully cooked.

Step 8.

Serve hot. An excellent accompaniment to boiled white rice or any Indian bread of choice!

Health benefits of Brinjals / egg plant / Baingan :

Prevent cancer

Fibre and antioxidants are just two of the nutrients that make brinjal a food that can keep cancer at bay.

Great for weight loss

Brinjals are great for weight loss as they are low in calories with 100g of the vegetable containing just 25 calories. It is also rich in fiber which helps in promoting the feeling of satiety which means that eating a small serving will make you feel full and prevent you from overeating.

Prevent heart disease

Like most fruits and vegetables, brinjals too are great for your heart. Being rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin B-6 and phytonutrients like flavonoids, this vegetable lowers the risk of heart disease. The presence of antioxidants keeps your arteries healthy and prevents heart attack.

Controls blood pressure

Brinjal contains potassium, an important mineral, which plays a key role in maintaining electrolyte balance in the body. It also helps in neutralizing the effects of sodium on the body thereby aiding in blood pressure control. Apart from this, increased intake of anthocyanins that are present in high amounts in brinjal, also lowers your blood pressure.

Good for diabetics

As brinjals are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber content, they are known to be good for people suffering from diabetes. This is because, the high fiber causes helps in controlling blood sugar levels in the body by controlling the absorption of glucose from food.

Lowers cholesterol in the body

Brinjals is rich in chlorogenic acid that acts as a powerful antioxidant agent, lowering cholesterol levels in the body.  It also contains high amounts of fibre that increases the absorption of blood cholesterol by the liver to produce bile.

Gives your skin a natural glow

As we age, our skin undergoes free radical damage which can cause the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on our faces. The antioxidants and vitamins present in brinjals can prevent this from happening. Additionally, it is also high in water which flushes toxins from your body and gives your skin a nice and healthy glow.

Good for your brain

Eating brinjals can prevent brain damage as it contains phytonutrients that can protect your cell membranes. These phytonutrients are also known to boost memory function and aid in transferring messages from one part of your body to another.

Help you to quit smoking

Apart from these benefits, brinjal is also known to have nicotine and thus helps in quitting tobacco. However, you’ll have to eat 10 kg of the vegetable to get as much nicotine into your body as a cigarette.

Tips you should follow while incorporating brinjal in your diet

  • Instead of metal knife, use a stainless steel knife to cut the vegetable as it prevents the chemical reaction between pytochemicals present in brinjal and metal.
  • As you cut brinjal, put them in salt water or sprinkle salt over the pieces. This removes the compounds that render bitter taste to the vegetable. It also makes your dish more tasty and palatable.
  • Brinjal can be added to any dishes like sambhar, pizza or pasta or can be consumed even in fried, baked, sauted, grilled, roasted or steamed form.

Ref. http://www.thehealthsite.com/fitness/health-benefits-of-brinjal-baingan/

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

Green Peas Pilaf/ Matar Pulav

Rice pilaf with peas

Green Peas Pilaf/ Matar Pulav

Hi friends ! Here is a delicious easy to cook and serve recipe using Basmati rice / long grain rice. Basmati rice has wonderful aroma, literally translated as ‘the fragrant one’ . Basmati rice is a unique species of rice originating from India. Just like all species of rice, basmati is available in white or brown versions, depending on the extent of the milling process. Like jasmine rice, it has its own unique smell. In the case of basmati, this smell is due to the presence of a chemical called 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, which is found in basmati rice at about 90 parts per billion. That’s about 12 times more than in other types of rice, giving basmati its special aroma. Brown basmati rice is comparable to other types of brown rice in nutrient content (although it does contain about 20% more fiber compared to most other types of brown rice), and white basmati rice is comparable to other types of white rice.

Cooking time: 20 minutes approx.

Cuisine: Indian , North Indian

Course : main

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 250 gms uncooked long grain rice/ Basmati rice in India
  • 225 gms onions, chopped thin lengthwise
  • 2  cups / 200 gms shelled green peas / fresh or forzen
  • 1  Cumin seed / Jeera
  • 1 black cardamom/badi elaichi
  • 2 small green cardamom/hari elaichi or choti elaichi
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1″ cinnamon stick / 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp gram masala
  • 4  tbsp olive oil / any cooking medium
  • 600 ml water
  • 2 level tsp salt /  or salt to taste

Method :

Step 1.

Wash the rice well and soak it for 15 minutes.

Step 2.

Shell the peas, keep aside. Cut the onion length wise and keep aside.

Step 3.

Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed vessel add cumin seed, when starts crackling add black and green cardamoms, and cinnamon. Fry for a few seconds.

Step 4.

Add chopped onions and fry on medium heat for few  minutes till the onions are light golden brown.

Step 5.

Add to the above seasoning rice, green peas, water and salt, gram masala. Mix well and bring to boil on high heat. Once starts boiling, reduce heat and cook covered on low flame for 15-20  minutes or till all water evaporates and rice is well cooked.

Step 6.

Serve hot garnished with black pepper powder with bottle gourd raita or Indian curries of your choice!

Basmati rice is a healthy ‘supergrain’:

Basmati is gluten-free and low in fat. It contains all eight essential amino acids, folic acid, and is very low in sodium and has no cholesterol.

Basmati has a low to medium glycaemic index, meaning that energy is released at a slower, steadier rate leading to a more balanced level of e

Ref. http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=365

Ref. http://www.tilda.com/our-rice/why-basmati-is-best

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Potato cury / Dahi aloo

Potatoes in curdPotato cury / Dahi aloo

Whether mashed, baked or roasted, people often consider potatoes as comfort food. It is an important food staple and the number one vegetable crop in the world. Potatoes are available year-round as they are harvested somewhere every month of the year.

The potato belongs to the Solanaceae or nightshade family whose other members include tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and tomatillos. They are the swollen portion of the underground stem which is called a tuber and is designed to provide food for the green leafy portion of the plant. If allowed to flower and fruit, the potato plant will bear an inedible fruit resembling a tomato.

Potato cury / Dahi aloo

Hi friends! a very easy to prepare recipe. Dahi Aloo/ potato curry with puris was everyone’s favorite dish for breakfast/ brunch, especially in the olden days, when people lived in joint families and puris were considered to be the quickest to make.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 6-7 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients:

  • 200 gms potatoes boiled and peeled
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds /jeera
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds /saunf, powdered
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida/hing
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder /haldi
  • 1 1/2 cup curds / yogurt/dahi , whisked
  • 1 tbsp olive oil/ or any other cooking medium
  • 1/2 tsp salt / or salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp green coriander , finely chopped

Method :

Step 1.

Boil the potatoes. Peel and cut the potatoes in small cubes in a mixing bowl. Keep aside.

Step 2.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds and asafetida. When the cumin crackles, add the, fennel seeds powder, coriander powder, chili powder and turmeric powder and sauté for a few seconds.

Step 3.

Add the boiled and cubed potatoes, salt and sauté till the spices /masala coats the potatoes evenly.

Step 4.

Add whisked curd mix and stirring continuously bring to a boil. Switch off the stove. Serve hot, garnish with the finely chopped coriander.

    Note:  Very good accompaniment with this curry  is Puris / Indian bread .

Health benefits of potatoes:

Potatoes are a very popular food source. Unfortunately, most people eat potatoes in the form of greasy French fries or potato chips, and even baked potatoes are typically loaded down with fats such as butter, sour cream, melted cheese and bacon bits. Such treatment can make even baked potatoes a potential contributor to a heart attack. But take away the extra fat and deep frying, and a baked potato is an exceptionally healthful low calorie, high fiber food that offers significant protection against cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Our food ranking system qualified potatoes as a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fiber, and pantothenic acid.

Potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity. Among these important health-promoting compounds are carotenoids, flavonoids, and caffeic acid, as well as unique tuber storage proteins, such as patatin, which exhibit activity against free radicals.

Blood-Pressure Lowering Potential

UK scientists at the Institute for Food Research have identified blood pressure-lowering compounds called kukoamines in potatoes. Previously only found in Lycium chinense, an exotic herbal plant whose bark is used to make an infusion in Chinese herbal medicine, kukoamines were found in potatoes using a new type of research called metabolomics.

Until now, when analyzing a plant’s composition, scientists had to know what they were seeking and could typically look for 30 or so known compounds. Now, metabolomic techniques enable researchers to find the unexpected by analyzing the 100s or even 1000s of small molecules produced by an organism.

“Potatoes have been cultivated for thousands of years, and we thought traditional crops were pretty well understood,” said IFR food scientist Dr Fred Mellon, “but this surprise finding shows that even the most familiar of foods might conceal a hoard of health-promoting chemicals.” Another good reason to center your diet around the World’s Healthiest Foods!

In addition to potatoes, researchers looked at tomatoes since they belong to the same plant family—Solanaceae—as Lycium chinense. Metabolomic assays also detected kukoamine compounds in tomatoes.

The IFR scientists found higher levels of kukoamines and related compounds than some of the other compounds in potatoes that have a long history of scientific investigation. However, because they were previously only noted in Lycium chinense, kukoamines have been little studied. Researchers are now determining their stability during cooking and dose response (how much of these compounds are needed to impact health).

Vitamin B6—Building Your Cells

If only for its high concentration of vitamin B6—1 medium potato contains over one-half of a milligram of this important nutrient—the potato earns high marks as a health-promoting food.

Vitamin B6 is involved in more than 100 enzymatic reactions. Enzymes are proteins that help chemical reactions take place, so vitamin B6 is active virtually everywhere in the body. Many of the building blocks of protein, amino acids, require B6 for their synthesis, as do the nucleic acids used in the creation of our DNA. Because amino and nucleic acids are such critical parts of new cell formation, vitamin B6 is essential for the formation of virtually all new cells in the body. Heme (the protein center of our red blood cells) and phospholipids (cell membrane components that enable messaging between cells) also depend on vitamin B6 for their creation.

Vitamin B6—Brain Cell and Nervous System Activity

Vitamin B6 plays numerous roles in our nervous system, many of which involve neurological (brain cell) activity. B6 is necessary for the creation of amines, a type of messaging molecule or neurotransmitter that the nervous system relies on to transmit messages from one nerve to the next. Some of the amine-derived neurotransmitters that require vitamin B6 for their production are serotonin, a lack of which is linked to depression; melatonin, the hormone needed for a good night’s sleep; epinephrine and norepinephrine, hormones that help us respond to stress; and GABA, which is needed for normal brain function.

Vitamin B6—Cardiovascular Protection

Vitamin B6 plays another critically important role in methylation, a chemical process in which methyl groups are transferred from one molecule to another. Many essential chemical events in the body are made possible by methylation, for example, genes can be switched on and turned off in this way. This is particularly important in cancer prevention since one of the genes that can be switched on and off is the tumor suppressor gene, p53. Another way that methylation helps prevent cancer is by attaching methyl groups to toxic substances to make them less toxic and encourage their elimination from the body.

Methylation is also important to cardiovascular health. Methylation changes a potentially dangerous molecule called homocysteine into other, benign substances. Since homocysteine can directly damage blood vessel walls greatly increasing the progression of atherosclerosis, high homocysteine levels are associated with a significantly increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Eating foods rich in vitamin B6 can help keep homocysteine levels low. In addition, diets high in vitamin B6-rich foods are associated with overall lower rates of heart disease, even when homocysteine levels are normal, most likely because of all the other beneficial activities of this energetic B vitamin.

A single baked potato will also provide you with over 3 grams of fiber, but remember the fiber in potatoes is mostly in their skin. If you want the cholesterol-lowering, colon cancer preventing, and bowel supportive effects of fiber, be sure to eat the potato’s flavorful skin as well as its creamy center.

Vitamin B6—Athletic Performance

Vitamin B6 is also necessary for the breakdown of glycogen, the form in which sugar is stored in our muscle cells and liver, so this vitamin is a key player in athletic performance and endurance.

Ref.http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=48

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Paniyaram/ spiced dumplings

Paniyaran 1

Paniyaram /spiced dumplings originated in Tamil Nadu ,south of India, these are made in a special utensil or cookware called paniyaram chatti which have molds in it like a muffin pan . It is the traditional cookware used for making the paniyaram / spiced dumplings and gives the them round ball like appearance. It is made with rice and black lentil/ urad dal batter . These are basically called appams or spicy dumplings, and are generally served for breakfast or as a snack. These are also known in South India as Kuzhi paniyaram ,appe, guliappa, gulittu, and gundponglu, etc.

The batter is made by soaking the ingredients like rice, black lentils and Fenugreek seeds overnight in water, grinding the contents, then letting the batter ferment. Salt is added after mixing, the batter and  is poured into the cookware pan’s compartments and placed on a low flame. After couple of minutes, the appams / paniyaram / spiced dumplings are flipped over to cook from the top . The Kuzhi paniyaram /spiced dumplings are ready to serve when they turns golden-brown  all around .

Hi friends !masala paniyaram/ spiced dumplings are very easy to make. These can be made with leftover idli batter at home. There are different versions of masala Paniyaram / spiced pancakes. Here is one recipe for you to enjoy!

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cook time : 10 minutes

Cuisine : Indian , South Indian

Course: Breakfast / healthy snack

 Serves:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups idli batter
  • 1 medium size onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely grated
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida/hing
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder(optional)
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro / coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut
  • 2 tbsp carrot, finely grated
  • 1/4 tspsalt if required

Method:

Step1.

In a mixing bowl take the left over batter , add coconut, onions, green chili, ginger, carrot and salt, mix well.

Step 2.

On a medium flame heat the paniyaram chatti/ dumpling cookware with circular moulds . In each mould add a drop of cooking oil.

Step 3.

Take a spoonful of the batter mix and put in each mould leaving 1/4 of the mould empty.

Step 4.

Reduce the heat to low flame and allow the batter mix to cook for 1-2 minutes.

Step 5.

When the batter is firmed in the moulds, turn each paniyaram/ dumpling, in each mould with the help of a skewer or tip of the knife so that the other side get cooked and becomes golden brown.

Step 6.

Check the paniyaram/ dumplings for even cooking, turn once or twice for uniform cooking. Remove the cooked paniyaram/ dumpling from the cookware mould and serve hot with coconut chutney / sambar or both chutney and sambar.

 Note: Many variations can be tried with the basic recipe.

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Malpua /Semolina Pancake

Malpua 1Malpua kheer 1

Prep Time:10 min

Cook Time : 10-12 min

Serves : 6

Hi friends!Semolina Malpua – A delicious and simple semolina sweet. Sweet semolina mixture is just  fried to make this delicious sweet.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup Semolina
  • 1/4 cup All purpose flour / Maida
  • 100 gms / 1 cup khoya grated
  • 6 Green cardamom seeds, finely powdered
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp Saffron
  • 6 tbsp pure ghee or / Oil to fry

Method:

Step 1.

For the malpua batter:

In a mixing bowl take the semolina / suji, all purpose flour, grated khoya, powdered cardamom, baking soda and salt. Add hot water slowly, mix it to form a smooth thick batter.

Step 2.

Leave the batter for some time ( 10 -15 minutes).

Step 3.
For making the malpua:

Melt 1/2 a tsp ghee in a non stick pan on low heat for a few seconds. Take the batter one ladle at a time, with the back of the ladle spread the batter a little(2″-3″) in circular motion in the center of the non stick pan. Drizzle some ghee round the malpua / pancake.

Step 4.

Turnover/ flip the malpuas/ pancakes and cook the other side. Cook for a while till the malpuas’s/ pancake’s edges starts getting red. Remove the malpua from the non stick pan and dip the malpua/ pancake in sugar syrup.

Step 5.

For Sugar Syrup:

Boil sugar, water, and saffron. Keep stirring occasionally and remove from fire when thick.
Step 6.
After a minute or so take out the malpua from the sugar syrup and Place on a plate. Make all the malpuas/ pancakes this way and serve layered in a plate garnished with pistachios and slivered almonds.

Note: Traditionally Malpuas / pancakes are served with rice pudding / chawal ki kheer.

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

Moong Dosa /Pesarattu

Dosa MoongMoong Dosa /Pesarattu

Prep time: Soaking overnight

Cook time: 5-6 minutes

Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: Indian, Andhra Pradesh

Serves: 4

Makes: 6-8 Dosas

Hi friends! Here is one more recipe for healthy breakfast. Dosa is one of the most popular Indian breakfast. There are many varieties of Dosas . Dosa is like a pancake. This recipe of Moong Dosa or Pesarattu is a healthy and delicious breakfast recipe of Andhra Pradesh. It can be served with Upma.

Ingredients:       

  • Cup Moong sabut / Green gram whole/ pesalu
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1 medium size onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green chili finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, finely grated
  • 1/8 tsp Asafetida / hing
  • 1 tsp cumin seed / jeera
  • 1 tbsp cilantro / coriander
  • 1/2 cup olive oil / or any other cooking oil for frying dosas

Method:

Step 1.

Wash Moong sabut / Green gram whole well. Soak the Moong sabut / Green gram whole overnight in 500 ml water.

Step 2.

Grind the soaked and drained Moong sabut / Green gram whole , asafetida, green chili, ginger, coriander leaves, salt with some water into a thick smooth paste. Remove the batter in a mixing bowl.

Step 3.

Add the rice flour to the batter and mix well.

Step 4.

Place a non-stick tava / griddle over medium flame. Grease the non-stick tava / griddle lightly. Test by sprinkling a few drops of water on it if water sizzles right away non-stick tava / griddle is ready for making dosa.

Step 5.

Pour a ladle full of the batter mixture onto the non-stick tava / griddle and spread evenly with the back of the ladle, about six to eight inches in diameter.

Step 6.

Sprinkle some of the finely chopped onions, green chilies and coriander leaves. Drizzle oil at the sides and in the center. When the batter begins to dry a bit, gently pour one tsp of oil over and around it again. Wait for about 20-30 seconds, then flip the dosa using a spatula.

Step 7.

Press the dosa very gently with the spatula all around to ensure even cooking, when dosa is golden brown on both sides. Flip it over again and add a big spoonful of mixed vegetable upma in the center of the dosa /pesarattu, fold it once with the help of spatula and remove from non-stick tava / griddle, slide it gently on a plate.

Step 8.

Sprinkle some water on the non-stick tava / griddle, and repeat this process for making the remaining dosas /pesarattus. This batter gives approx 6-8 Dosas /pesarattus.
Step 9.

Serve hot. Coconut / cilantro/ coriander chutney is an excellent accompaniment to this dosa .

Dosa, Dos and Don’ts for best results:

Do use a moderately hot griddle/ tava for dosas
Do use a grinder / blender for the batter
Do place the batter in 70-80 degrees F for fermentation
Don’t start making dosas using chilled batter
Don’t make dosas on an unseasoned griddle/ tava
Don’t use poor quality rice and dal
Health benefits of Green Gram or Moong whole /sabut:

Green Gram or Green Moong: A Superfood for Weight Loss and Much More

Here is a super food I really love and enjoy not only because it keeps me full but it also helps me lose weight. It has many properties that are beneficial for us especially when we are starving ourselves in the name of being on diet.

Yes, I am taking about the good old Green Gram or Green Moong. We can have it in many forms. We can soak it and make a healthy dal to have with roties or brown rice, we can sprout it and make a healthy salad from it. There is also one interesting way that I doubt most are not aware of; we can dry roast the dal and dry grind it into flour to make some healthy and tasty roties/ parathas or wet grind it to make healthy versions of dosa, idli or uttapa.

Now here are some reasons why you should give so much thought to Green Moong:

  1. It’s loaded with Goodies: It is rich in Vitamin A, B, C and E and also in many minerals including iron, calcium, and potassium. Not to forget it is a powerful source of vegetarian protein.
  2. It good to Shed Some Unwanted Weight: It is considered a healthy weight loss food as it is a low fat food rich in proteins and fibre. It curbs cravings and keep us full for a long time. It detoxifies the body and benefits the metabolism as well as immune system.
  3. It’s good for the Heart: It helps to lower the high cholesterol level in the blood system. Regular intake of Green Moong reduces bad cholesterol and improves the flexibility of arteries and veins. It also regulates the blood pressure.
  4. Keeps a check on the Blood Sugar Level: Green Moong is full of complex carbohydrates in form of high fibre, which aids digestion. Complex carbs also stabilizes blood sugar and controls its sudden rise after meal, while keeping body’s energy at a balanced level. Green Moong can be highly beneficial for people having a high blood sugar level.
  5. It’s Anti-fungal, Anti-bacterial and Anti-Cancer: Green Moong contains Vitamin B-1, Vitamin C and Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine). Regular consumption of diets rich in Vitamin-B6 help you develop resistance against contagious agents that cause diseases. As per Ancient Chinese medicine it also contains anti-cancer properties.

It’s Amazing for Skin:

Moong bean dry grinded powder serves as an effective facial scrub or face mask. It makes skin smooth and youthful while minimising skin problems like acne, spots, tan or wrinkles. It is mild enough to be used as a daily face cleansing agent. For dry skin add milk or cream or honey to it. For oily skin add rose water or tap water to make a paste. Apply a thin layer and wash off when it dries. You can add a pinch of turmeric powder for a natural glow.

Ref. http://www.thevibrantwriter.com/green-gram-or-green-moong-a-superfood-for-weight-loss-and-much-more/

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Pizza bases

Pizza base 1Pizza dough For Pizza bases

Hi friends ! Here is a simple and easy recipe for pizza dough made with fresh yeast that is delicious .

Yields: 10 portions

Ingredients:

  • 500 gms.Fine flour (maida)
  • 25 gms.Fresh yeast
  • 250 ml Milk
  • 5 gms Salt or / salt to taste
  • 20 gms.Sugar
  • 50 ml Oil/ olive oil or any other cooking oil

Method:

Step 1.

Sieve flour and salt together. Dissolve yeast, sugar in warm milk and keep aside till frothy.

Step 2.

Make a soft dough with the ‘milk yeast mix’ by adding it to the sieved flour, finish the dough with an oil coating.

Step 3.

Cover it with wet cloth, leave for proving (15-20 minutes).

Step 4.

When proved divide the dough into ten equal parts. Round off each part for intermediate proving ( 10 minutes).

Step 5.

Then roll out each round dough ball into a base of 8” diameter and place in a baking tray, prove till double in size.

Step 6.

Prick the bases with a fork and bake in a hot oven ( 375 degrees Fahrenheit) till half baked (blind baking).

Step 7.

Top with desired filling, sprinkle grated cheese on top and finish baking till golden brown in colour.

Health benefits of pizzas:

The Great Misconception

Many of us would categorize pizza as a type of fast food, putting it together with many of the greasy and unhealthy meals such as hamburgers and cheeseburgers. However, this is certainly not the case. Although pizza is often sold the same way as those other fast foods, it contains so much healthy and nutritive elements that is can simply not be on the same list.

The Healthy Pizza

Believe it or not, one of the main qualities of pizza lies in the tomato, one of the main ingredients. Tomato contains a certain antioxidant, highly beneficial in fighting and preventing many types of cancer, especially that of the mouth and stomach, colon or lungs. It is an interesting fact that the processed tomato found in pizza contains even higher concentration of this antioxidant due to the water extraction during the production process. Pizza dough is also rich with some important antioxidants and, miraculously, some can even be amplified during the baking process.

Other Healthy Ingredients

The list does not stop here. For example, onions, being the common ingredient, rich in vitamins, lower the sugar levels in one’s blood and level the blood pressure. Olives and red pepper without which most of us cannot even imagine our pizza, are excellent for regulating cholesterol and are rich with vitamins as well.

The Endless Possibility of Pizza

One of the main qualities and characteristics of pizza is its diversity. Its basics being the dough, tomatoes, cheese and some vegetables, you are free to combine many other, possibly healthy elements with it. This way, you yourself are able to boost the nutritive and health value of this meal.

For example, by adding chicken, or any other meat, you enrich your pizza with carbohydrates and proteins. Also, by adding many different types of vegetables, you may increase the vitamin value and diversity, making it even healthier for you to consume. It does not stop here, however, since you can modify the dough and the sauces as well as types of cheese which go into your pizza. The toppings may vary as well since you can even include different types of fruit and even eggs, making the list practically endless. That being said, the health benefits of this meal truly depends only on you and your own creativity.

Conclusion

Pizza is not a fast food meal. Pizza is what you make. If you have the will and are creative enough, by getting just a little bit of information, you can make this meal contain all the healthy ingredients our organism may need daily and thus show the true power and value of this, truly remarkable dish.

Ref.http://ic.steadyhealth.com/health-benefits-of-pizza

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Tori Delicious

Tori Delicious 1 Tori Delicious

Hi friends! Here is another very simple, easy to make and delicious recipe for you all.Tori Delicious this dish/ sabzi (Ridge gourd) is loved by some and not appreciated by many . Its natural flavor and taste is not enjoyed by many, but turai /Tori has a basic quality, it absorbs all other flavors wonderfully and makes the dish amazingly delicious. Tori Delicious is a very simple dish delicately spiced and blended with moong dal, is not too spicy.
Turai / tori/ (Zucchini) is a nutritious, low in calories and a versatile vegetable. It can be prepared using a variety of cooking techniques.

Main Name: Zucchini
Biological Name: Cucurbita pepo
Hindi Name: Tori, Turai
Names in other Indian languages: Peerkan kai (Tamil), Oru pachakkari (Malayalam), Beera Kaaya (Telugu), Turiya, Ghisoda (Gujarati), Jhinge, Jhinga (Bengali), Dodke, Shira?e (Marathi), Janhhi (Oriya), Turai (Urdu), Tori (Punjabi)

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes (slow fire cooking)

Cuisine : Indian, North Indian

Course: Main, Vegetables

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 250 gms Tori/Turai/ Smooth or Sponge Gourd
  • 1/2 cup Moong daal / Yellow green gram lentil husked
  • 1 medium size tomatoes ,chopped and pureed
  • 1 medium size Onions ,finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Ginger /adrak, finely grated
  • 12 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup curd / yogurt / Dahi
  • 2/3 level tsp Salt/ or salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 level tsp chili powder or adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp Coriander / dhania powder
  • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin /geera
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 2-3 tbsp Olive oil / or Pure ghee

Method:

 Step 1.

 Wash and peel the Tori/Turai/ Smooth or Sponge Gourd and cut it in small cubes. Keep aside.

Step 2.

Finely chop onions and puree tomatoes and keep aside. Wash Moong daal / Yellow green gram lentil husked nicely and keep aside.

Step 3.

 In a heavy bottom pan heat the oil, add cumin seeds, when cumin starts crackling, add finely chopped onions in it.

Step 4.

Fry the onions till light golden, add minced garlic and grated ginger, sauté for few seconds. Add chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder in it. Fry these spices for a few seconds.

 Step 5.

Now add finely cubed Tori/Turai/ Smooth or Sponge Gourd in it, mix well. Cover and cook on low flame till Tori/Turai/ Smooth or Sponge Gourd is soft, add washed Moong daal, tomato puree and further cook covered on low flame till daal is soft/ cooked well .

Step 6.

When Tori/Turai/ Smooth or Sponge Gourd, tomatoes , daal is cooked and well blended (and 75% of water is evaporated) add curd / yogurt / dahi mix well, cook for couple of minutes more, add fresh lime juice.

 Step 7.

Switch off the heat. Garnish it with finely chopped Cilantro / Coriander before serving. Serve hot with Indian bread of choice!

Smooth or Sponge gourd:

Health Benefits of Zucchini/Smooth or Sponge gourd:

  • Incredibly low in calories, zucchini makes a great way of filling your stomach without worrying about the calories being carried along with it. With just a couple of calories, you can include zucchini in your diet plan.
  • Regular consumption of cheesy, doughy foods with high sodium levels or other processed foods can leave your body yearning for water. With a high water concentration, vegetables like zucchini contribute to hydration, thereby fulfilling the body’s water requirement.
  • Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which is required by the body to prevent health conditions, like scurvy and other illnesses, including heart conditions and certain types of cancers. Zucchini is a great source of vitamin C that helps in overcoming the deficiency of this vitamin.
  • Zucchini contains dietary fiber which lowers cholesterol by attaching itself to bile acids which are produced by the liver from the cholesterol. Since the fiber binds so well to the bile acid to instantly digest fat, the liver is induced to generate more bile acid.
  • The high levels of vitamins A and C present in zucchini keep the cholesterol from oxidizing in the body’s blood vessels, thereby delaying the onset of atherosclerosis.
  • Dietary fiber is known for promoting healthy and regular bowel movements, which help in preventing carcinogen toxins from settling in the colon. Zucchini has dietary fiber present in high amounts which avoids the risk of different kinds of cancers.
  • Studies indicate that zucchini contains phytonutrients which assist in reducing the symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BOH), a condition where the prostate gland enlarges, resulting in complications with urination and sexual functions in men.
  • With the presence of magnesium in considerate amounts, zucchini helps in lowering the risk of heart attack and strokes to a great extent. Besides, it also contains folate which is necessary for breaking down the amino acid homocysteine, which when increased, can lead to heart attack and stroke.
  • Zucchini is ideal for people suffering from asthma and other respiratory allergies as it increases one’s immunity due to the high vitamin C content. Furthermore, it also helps in controlling the symptoms of any autoimmune disorders which can lead to internal inflammation of organs.

Ref.http://recipeclout.india-server.com/zucchini.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Instant Moong Dal

Panch DalInstant Moong Dal

Moong dal /green gram husked is packed with protein and low on carbs,  and is one of the best sources of protein for vegetarians . It is part of all most all  Indian vegetarian menus, it is tasty and filling.

Hi friends ! Here is a recipe for you, “Instant  moong dal”, plain, simple, spiced lentil, very healthy and delicious and Moong dal is a dieter friendly dal too! This type of dal has minimal calorie and is a rich source of iron and potassium..

 Recipe cook time: 5 -7 minutes

Course: Main

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup moong dal /yellow dal / husked
  • 12 cloves garlic , finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger , finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric/ haldi powder
  • 1 level tsp Salt / or to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds /jeera
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Ghee/ butter
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 medium size onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Cilantro /Coriander , finely chopped

Method:

Step 1.

Wash moong dal very well, keep aside with 500 ml water.

Step 2.

On a high flame in a pressure cooker take washed moong dal with 500 ml of water, add ginger, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and chopped garlic. Close the lid. The moment full pressure is formed, switch off the stove.

Step 3.

When pressure cooker cools down to room temperature, open the lid blend the dal mixture and keep aside.

Step 4.

In a pan heat butter/ ghee, add cumin seeds. When cumin starts crackling add the seasoning to the blended dal. Bring it to boil.

Step 5.
Add lemon juice mix well and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with boiled rice or any Indian bread of choice!

Health benefits of Moong dal/ green gram husked:

1.It is good source of protein and dietary fiber.
2.It is low in fat and rich in potassium ,calcium and B complex vitamins.
3.It is easy to digest and not like other pulses which are heavy for digestion.
4.Dietician always recommend to eat fibrous lentils at least three times a week.
5.The fiber in these lentils help to decrease high cholesterol.
6.Mostly this dal is cooked for sick persons in home.

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Kamal Kakdi /Lotus stem Koftas/ dumplings

lotus root            Kamal Kakadi Kofte 2

Kamal Kakdi /Lotus stem Koftas/ dumplings

Lotus root, known as renkon in Japan and Lián ou in Chinese, hold a special place since older times in their cultures. The roots as well as lotus seeds, raw or cooked, have found application in variety of oriental recipes in East, Southeast Asian, and Pacific regions.

To prepare, break the root at nodal intersections into individual parts. Wash it thoroughly in cold running water before use. Trim the ends. Peel its inedible outer tough skin using a paring knife to expose ice-white, daikon (radish) like flesh underneath. It can be cut into cubes, or chopped to fine sticks in a ways desired as in other vegetables. Rinse the slices immediately in the vinegar or acidulated (lemon) water to prevent from discoloration.

Hi friends! today I have prepared Kamal Kakdi /Lotus root Kofte/ dumplings. It is a tasty, nutritious and easy to make curry.

Kamal Kakdi /Lotus root Kofte/ dumplings

Cooking time : 20-25 minutes

Servings : 4

Cuisine: Indian

Course: Main Course-Veg

Level Of Cooking: Easy

Ingredients:

For koftas / dumplings

  • 250 grams Lotus leaves cleaned grated and soaked in water
  • 2 medium Potatoes , boiled peeled, grated
  • 1 medium size Onion, finely grated
  • 1 level tsp Salt / or to taste
  • 1 ” ginger piece , finely grated
  • 1/4 tsp Red chili powder
  • 4 tbsp Gram flour /besan/ chick pea flour
  • 1 tbsp Corn flour
  • Oil to deep fry

For Gravy

  • 2 medium size Onions, grated
  • 2 medium size Tomatoes, grated
  • 2 ” piece Ginger, finely grated
  • 15 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro/ coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 level tsp Salt / or to taste
  • 1 tsp corn flour
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

Method :

For lotus stems/ kamal kakdi koftas or dumplings:

Step 1.

Wash lotus stems/ kamal kakdi well. Scrape lightly each lotus stems/ kamal kakdi. Grate the lotus stems/ kamal kakdi in a mixing bowl.

Step 2.

Add boiled ,peeled and grated potatoes into the same mixing bowl with grated stems/ kamal kakdi bowl. Add salt, ginger, red chili powder, gram flour and corn flour and mix well. Shape into small balls and keep aside.

Step 3.

Heat sufficient oil in a kadai, slide in gently the stems/ kamal kakdi balls and deep fry on medium heat till golden. Drain on a paper kitchen towel to remove excessive oil.

For Gravy

Step 4.

To make gravy heat oil in a non stick pan. Add onions and sauté till translucent and light golden brown.

Step 5.

Add grated ginger, garlic paste and mix and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, roasted cumin powder, red chili powder mix well and sauté for few seconds.

Step 6.

Add tomato puree and mix and continue to sauté. Add 1/2 cup water and mix. Sauté, stirring, till oil begins to separate. Add 2 cup water and mix.

Step 7.

Mix Corn flour in 4 tbsp water till lump free. Add this to the gravy and cook till the corn flour gets cooked and blended.

Step 8.

Drain kofte / dumplings and add to the gravy and simmer for a few minutes. Add coriander leaves, salt, garam masala powder and mix. Cover, reduce heat, cook for 7-8 minutes.

Step 9.

Serve hot garnishing with finely chopped coriander/ cilantro.

Health benefits of Lotus root:

  • Lotus root is one of the moderate calorie root vegetables. 100 g root-stem provides about 74 calories. Nevertheless, it composed of several health benefiting phyto-nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
  • Lotus rhizome is very good source dietary fiber; 100 g flesh provides 4.9 g or 13% of daily-requirement of fiber. Dietary fiber together with slow digesting complex carbohydrates in the lotus root help reduce blood cholesterol, sugar, body weight and constipation conditions.
  • Fresh lotus root is one of the excellent sources of vitamin C. 100 g root provides 44 mg or 73% of daily-recommended values. Vitamin C is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant. It is required for the collagen synthesis inside the human body. Collagen is the main structural protein inside the body, required for maintaining integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body protect from scurvy, develop resistance against viral infections, boosting of immunity, wound healing and to scavenge cancer causing harmful free radicals from the body.
  • In addition, the root contains moderate levels of some of valuable B-complex group of vitamins such as pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), folates, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and thiamin. Pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) acts as a coenzyme in the neuro-chemical synthesis in the brain which influences mood. Adequate pyridoxine levels help control nervous irritability, headache, and tension. It also cuts heart-attack risk by controlling harmful homocysteine levels in the blood.
  • Further, the root provides healthy amounts of some important minerals like copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, and manganese. Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as cofactors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Along with iron, it is also required in the production of red blood cells.
  • Crunchy, neutral yet delicate flavor of root lotus is because of its optimum electrolyte balance. It composes agreeable ratio of sodium to potassium at the value 1:4. While sodium gives sweet taste to the root, potassium acts to counter negative effects of sodium by regulating heart rate and blood pressure.Ref.http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/lotus-root.html

Selection and storage

Lotus root (renkon) harvest begins by August and last until fall. Traditionally, farmers sink thier legs in knee-deep ponds and try to feel for the rhizome guiding their toes, which are then dug out by hand. Southeastern region of China and lake Kasumigaura in Ibaraki prefecture in Japan are known for renkon production.

From a distance, lotus rhizomes appear as big size bananas arranged in sausage pattern. While buying, look for clean, firm roots with smooth unblemished skin. Fresh roots are readily available year-round in major cities in the USA. One can also buy sliced, canned, and freeze-dried roots in the supermarkets or Japanese and other Asian stores.

Once at home, place the roots in cool, dark place away from humidity for 3-4 days. Uncut rhizomes can stay fresh for up to 2 weeks inside the refrigerator.

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Oats Dosas

Oats Dosa 1

Oats Dosa

Hi friends ! Doasas are crispy savory pancakes/ crepes from South India is a staple food in its home region. In entire country too, Dosas are hugely popular. Instant dosas always come handy when nothing is preplanned for breakfast. There are many instant version dosas, my oats dosa recipe is easier to make than you think ! The good thing about these dosas is that they are thin and crisp and are delicious and healthy for you.For complete range of various breakfast options do check out my recipe menu.

VARITIES OF DOSAS: There are more than hundred different varieties of Dosas in India with a brilliant blend of taste, flavors, nutritional balance and seasonings. Oats dosas are special Dosas in this catagory and make healthy, nutritious breakfast or  great all time snacks! There are many instant version dosas, my Oats Dosa recipe is easier to make than you think !This recipe of Oats dosa is simple, easy,instant and gluten-free recipe. Once tasted, will definitely become hot favorite!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white oats, I used Quaker’s quick white oats
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1 carrot, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup yogurt , whisked well
  • 1 pinch asafetida
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 2″ ginger piece,finely grated
  • 1 tsp salt / or salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp cilantro/ coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 level tsp ENO fruit salt,Regular / 1 small pouch
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil

Method:

Step 1.

Make fine powder of oats in a grinder, keep aside.

Step 2.

In a mixing bowl take the powdered oats, rice flour, salt, asafetida, cumin seeds  and whisked yogurt, mix the ingredients well. Gradually add water as needed to make batter consistency of dosa/ pancake mix. Set aside for about ten minutes.

Step 3.

Add green chilies, finely chopped cilantro /coriander, grated carrots, add  ENO fruit salt mix it well, batter will become little frothy.

Step 4.

Place a non-stick tava / griddle over medium flame. Grease the non-stick tava / griddle lightly. Test by sprinkling a few drops of water on it if water sizzles right away non-stick tava / griddle is ready for making dosa.

Step 5.

Pour a ladle full of the batter mixture onto the non-stick tava / griddle and spread evenly with the back of the ladle, about six to eight inches in diameter.

Step 6.

When the batter begins to dry a bit, gently pour one tsp of oil over and around it. Wait about 20 seconds, then flip the dosa using a spatula.

Step 7.

Press the dosa very gently with the spatula all around to ensure even cooking, when dosa is golden brown on both sides, fold it once with the help of spatula and slide it gently on a plate.

Step 8.

Repeat this process for the remaining dosas.

Step 9.

Serve oat dosa hot. The best accompaniments with the Oats Dosas are coriander/ coconut/ curry leaves or tomato chutney.

Note:

  • The key for the perfect and crisp lacy dosas lies in the consistency of batter, so please stick to the measurements provided in the recipe.
  • Mix the batter well before use.
  • The tawa / griddle used to prepare dosas, preferable should be flat an iron or non-stick tawas work best, use a properly heated tawa /griddle ( not cold , not too hot) for best results.
  • For the instant dosas pour the batter mixture onto the tawa / griddle and spread in a circular way evenly with the back of a ladle, about six-eight inches in diameter.
  • Dosas are best when eaten hot. Cold Dosas turn soggy and become slightly sticky.
  • For complete range of various chutney options do check out my recipe menu.
The Benefits of Eating Oatmeal Every Morning :
Whole Grain

Oatmeal is a whole grain, and eating whole grains can lower your risk for several diseases, including high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Oatmeal also contains lignans, a plant chemical that has been found to prevent heart disease. The food label on your package of oats should list one ingredient: whole grain oats. Avoid prepackaged oatmeal that may be high in both sodium and sugar and lower in beneficial fiber. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommends eating whole grains to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, whole grains such as oats are a source of iron, magnesium and B vitamins.

Lower Cholesterol

Eating oatmeal can lower your cholesterol, especially your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. If you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol, consider adding oatmeal to your daily menu. MayoClinic.com even recommends oatmeal as one of the top five foods to eat to improve your cholesterol numbers.

Lower Weight

Oatmeal is a source of fiber. That means when you eat oats for breakfast, you’re going to feel full for a long time. Breakfast foods high in sugar and fat can make you feel full for a brief period, but then you’re hungry again. A breakfast smoothie, consisting of blended oats, fruit and ice, can satisfy your hunger easily until lunch.

Oatmeal Options

If you’ve tried oatmeal before and didn’t like it, reconsider. Combining fruit or nuts with your oats while they’re cooking adds more nutrients. Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg give great flavor to your oats. Limit any sugars and let the natural flavor of the fruits and spices take over. Blend your oats with different fruits into a healthy oatmeal smoothie. Because oatmeal is such a beneficial food, try to find a different way to eat it every day.

 

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

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Broccoli Salad

Brocolli salad.JPGBroccoli Salad

Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking time : 10 minutes

Cuisine: Fusion

Course: Salads

Level Of Cooking: Easy

Servings : 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 small head Broccoli
  • 1 small size potato boiled and cut into tiny cubes
  • 1/2 cup walnut kernels
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Dijon’s mustard paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt / or Salt to taste
  • 6 cloves Garlic , crushed
  • 4tbsp extra virgin Olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider/ Vinegar
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp Sesame/ Til seeds , toasted

Method :

Step 1.

Remove the broccoli florets keeping the stems . Cut each floret vertically into halves.

Step 2.

Boil 4 cups water in a pan, add broccoli florets and salt , leave the florets in hot water foe 5-7 minutes.

Step 3.

Remove the broccoli florets from the hot water and refresh in ice cold water. Drain the water and keep the florets aside .

Step 4.

Take walnuts in a small microwave proof bowl, add 1 cup of water. Microwave it for two minutes. Take out keep aside to cool.

Step 5.

Take a boiled potato, cut it into tiny cubes, keep aside.

Step 6.

For the salad dressing, take extra virgin olive oil in a mixing bowl, add crushed garlic cloves, apple cider/or vinegar, salt, sugar, mustard paste, fresh lime juice and red chili flakes and mix well.

Step 7.

In a mixing bowl take broccoli florets, potato cubes, walnut kernels and add the prepared salad dressing and mix well.

Step 8.

Transfer the salad into a serving bowl. Just before serving sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top and serve .

two heads of broccoliBroccoli belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, collard greens, rutabaga and turnips. These nutrition powerhouses supply loads of nutrients for little calories.

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Baigan/Brinjal / Aubergines Stir fry

Brinjal Fry AndhranBrinjal / Aubergines Stir fry

Cooking With Brinjals / Aubergines /Eggplants:

Brinjals / Aubergines /Eggplant  is a vegetable that can be prepared in a variety of ways. It is excellent when grilled, stuffed, roasted, sautéed, puréed or served in soups or stews. It can also be used to make curries, stir-fries and kababs. Eggplants offer endless possibilities to try something different this year and in years to come. Brinjals / Aubergines /Eggplants offer endless possibilities to try something different now and in future too. Naturally low in calories, fat and sodium, Brinjals / Aubergines /Eggplant is also high in fiber and an excellent source of potassium, as well as folic acid, copper, vitamin B6, vitamin A, and magnesium.

Hi friends !

If you can’t remember the last time you ate Brinjals / Aubergines /Eggplant, this is the season for something new. As a gardener, be adventurous. Grow a new variety in your garden. As a chef, be creative. Try my new simple yet delicious recipe Brinjal / Aubergines Stir fry for your table.

Preparation Time : 5-6 minutes

Cooking time : 15-20 minutes

Cuisine: Indian, Andhra pradesh

Course: Main, Vegetables

Cooking Level : Easy

Servings : 4

 Ingredients:

500 gms. Long Brinjals, Cut into Vertically Long Pieces

1/4 tsp Turmeric

2/3 tsp Salt

For masala / Paruppu podi :

2 tsp Coriander powder

1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds

1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds

2 Red Chilies, whole

2 tsp black gram dal / udad dal

2 tsp Chana Dal/ bengal gram dal

3 tbsp Olive Oil or / any cooking oil of choice

Method:

Step 1.

Heat1/2 Tea Spoon of Oil in a pan and fry White Gram, Chana Dal, Coriander Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Fenugreek Seeds, Red Chilies. Transfer the mixture into a tissue paper for the oil to get absorbed.

Step 2.

Grind this mixture to powder and keep it aside for use later.

Step 3.

Add remaining oil in a fresh pan. Add cut long pieces of Brinjals / Aubergines /Eggplant to the hot oil and let it cook covered on low flame. Stirring it at a regular intervals.

Step 4.

After the Brinjals / Aubergines /Eggplant is half cooked add Turmeric and Salt.

Step 5.

After a few minutes add the masala /ground powder/ Paruppu podi .Cook for 5-6 minutes more, switch off the stove.

Step 6.

Serve hot with steamed rice or Indian breads of choice !

Some tips for cooking Brinjals / Aubergines /Eggplant for the new chefs :

Use good varieties that have been developed of Brinjals / Aubergines /Eggplant for good flavor.

The Brinjals / Aubergines /Eggplant’s flesh discolors fast after being cut so it should be used right away. If you want to cook little later cut Brinjals / Aubergines /Eggplant slices / pieces can be lightly sprinkled with lemon juice to help prevent browning. Also, slice eggplant with a stainless steel knife to avoid blackening.

Brinjals / Aubergines /Eggplant is more than 90% water, the larger fruits also tend to release water when cooked. We can reduce the excess moisture by marinating the slices or cubes of Brinjals / Aubergines /Eggplant with salt for 1-2 hours. Drain, rinse thoroughly to prevent excessive saltiness, and pat dry on a kitchen towel before using.

When deep-frying or pan-frying eggplant for the first time note that it absorbs high level of oil. To avoid excessive absorption of oil by the Brinjals / Aubergines /Eggplant prior to frying, the pieces / slices can be coated with bread crumbs or a flour.

Health benefits of Brinjals / Aubergines /Eggplant :

Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions. Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like the eggplant decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality, diabetes, heart disease and promotes a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy and overall lower weight.

Heart health

The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and phytonutrient content in eggplants all support heart health. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating foods containing flavonoids is affiliated with a lower risk of mortality from heart disease. Consuming even small quantities of flavonoid-rich foods may benefit human health.2

Several studies show that consumption of the flavonoids known as anthocyanins has played a major role in lowering risk of cardiovascular disease. One particular study revealed that those who consumed more than three servings of fruits and vegetables per week containing anthocyanins had 34% less risk of heart disease than those who consumed less. In another clinical study, researchers found that increased intake of anthocyanins was associated with significantly lower blood pressure.

Blood cholesterol

Research on the effects of eggplant consumption in animal studies has shown that rabbits with high cholesterol that consumed eggplant juice displayed a significant decrease in weight and blood cholesterol levels.5

Laboratory analyses of the phenolic compounds in eggplant reveal that the vegetable contains significant amounts of chlorogenic acid, which is one of the most powerful free radical scavengers found in plants. Chlorogenic acid has been shown to decrease LDL levels, and also serves as an antimicrobial, antiviral, and anticarcinogenic agent.4

Cancer

Polyphenols in eggplant have been found to exhibit anti-cancer effects. Anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. They protect body cells from damage caused by free radicals and in turn prevent tumor growth and invasion and spread of cancer cells. They also stimulate detoxifying enzymes within cells and promote cancer cell death.3

Cognitive function

Findings from animal studies suggest that nasunin, an anthocyanin within eggplant skin, is a powerful antioxidant that protects the lipids comprising cell membranes in brain cells from free radical damage. It has also been proven to help facilitate the transport of nutrients into the cell and wastes out.6

Research has also shown that anthocyanins inhibit neuroinflammation and facilitate blood flow to the brain. This helps prevent age-related mental disorders and also improves memory.

Ref.http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/279359.php#possible_health_benefits_of_consuming_eggplant

 Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

Gram Flour/Besan Uttpam

Besan Dosa with cheese 1

Gram Flour / Besan Uttapam

Gram flour, also known as garbanzo bean flour, chickpea flour, or besan, is a pulse flour made from ground chickpeas. Used in many countries, it is a staple ingredient in Indian, Pakistani, Nepali and Bangladeshi cuisines.

Hi friends! Gram Flour / Besan Uttapam is a tasty dish for breakfast or as a snack. This recipe is easy and quick to prepare and can be served with coriander / cilantro chutney. It is a favorite dish of the family for breakfast, folded with cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gram flour / besan
  • 150 gms fresh cottage cheese / paneer, grated
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 level tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp Ajwain / Carom seeds
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp cilantro / coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp of oil to cook

Method:

Step 1.

Grate the the cottage cheese/ paneer and keep aside.

Step 2.

In a mixing bowl take Gram Flour / Besan, rice flour , add salt, baking soda, carom seeds, coriander powder, red chili powder slowly add water mix to make a smooth batter. The mix consistency of pancake batter or Dosa batter.

Step 3.

Take  a non-stick pan /tava and place on medium flame. To check the heat level required, test by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. Water should sizzle right away.

Step 4.

Pour about 1 ladle of the batter onto non- stick pan / tava stick and spread evenly with a back of ladle. Starting from the center, with spiral movement spread the batter outward evenly to form a circle about 6″ in diameter.

Step 5.

Immediately after spreading the batter onto non-stick pan /tava , spread evenly two tbsp grated cottage cheese/ paneer, 1 tsp finely chopped cilantro / coriander leaves on the dosa.

Step 6.

When batter starts to dry a little, slowly spread little cooking oil over and around it. After 30 seconds; flip the uttpam using a flat spatula. Press the uttpam lightly all around with the spatula to make the cheese and uttpam cook evenly until crisp and golden brown on both sides.

Step 7.

Repeat the process for the remaining uttpam. Serve uttpam hot with cilantro / dhania / coriander chutney.

Note:

Quick spread of the batter on hot non-stick pan / tava, will make the spreading easier and will give better results.

Health benefits of Besan/ gram flour:

Besan flour, or gram flour, may not sound familiar until you hear its third name: chickpea flour. The characteristic nutty flavor from finely ground chickpeas gives besan flour the ability to create tasty, simple breads that stand on their own with few ingredients. It also stands above wheat flour in protein and folate content.

Basics

Besan flour is naturally higher in protein than wheat-based flours. One-half cup contains 10 grams of protein, compared to 8 grams in whole-grain wheat flour and just 6 grams in white flour. One-half cup of besan flour has 178 calories and 3 grams of total fat. Even though that’s double the fat of whole-wheat flour, 70 percent of the fat in besan flour comes from healthy unsaturated fats that can lower cholesterol. The same portion has 5 grams of fiber.

Vitamins

One-half cup of besan flour has 201 micrograms of folate, compared to 26 micrograms in whole-wheat flour and 182 micrograms in enriched white flour. If you consumed an entire half-cup of besan flour, you’d get 50 percent of the recommended daily intake of folate. This important vitamin is critical for the production of proteins and genetic material. In this role, folate is especially important during periods of rapid growth. When taken before and during pregnancy, it helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. The same portion of besan flour is a good source of thiamin and vitamin B-6. Thiamin converts food into energy, while vitamin B-6 is needed for the synthesis of red blood cells and the neurotransmitter serotonin that regulates appetite and mood.

Minerals

Besan flour delivers a boost of iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Well known for its role carrying oxygen, iron also functions as an antioxidant and it’s needed for the production of collagen. Magnesium causes muscles to relax, which helps maintain vascular health and regulates blood pressure. Phosphorus combines with calcium to form the primary compound used to build bones. It also carries lipids through the body and activates enzymes that produce energy. One-half cup of besan flour has 2 milligrams of iron, 76 milligrams of magnesium and 146 milligrams of phosphorus.

Preparation Tips

Besan flour is usually mixed with water, olive oil, yogurt or milk to make a paste that can be any consistency depending on the desired use. The paste is seasoned with any combination of parsley, cumin, coriander, turmeric, red chili, rosemary, onion or garlic. It’s traditionally cooked in a skillet to create a flatbread called socca or fried into fritters. Use a thick besan flour batter to coat and fry vegetables or add small shrimps to a thin batter and fry them into appetizer-like pancakes.

Gluten Free

Besan flour doesn’t contain gluten, so it makes a good substitute for wheat flour in gluten-free diets. Depending on the food you’re making, the bean taste may not create the best result. Try mixing besan flour with white rice flour, making sure that the total amount is the same that’s called for in the recipe. You’ll probably need to adjust the fluids to create the same consistency achieved with wheat flour. If you’re making yeast dough, you’ll need to add about 1 teaspoon of guar or xanthan gum for every 1 cup of flour so that the yeast can rise.

Ref. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/nutrient-besan-flour-3167.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

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Stuffed Bitter gourd /Karela -2

Bitter gourd stuffed 2Stuffed Bitter gourd /Karela -2

bitter-melons in a vine

Bitter gourd /Bitter melon / Karela is one of popular edible pod vegetable in many Asian countries. It is grown widely as a field crop as well as backyard vegetable and, in fact, is among the most bitter tasting of all culinary vegetables.bitter-melons in a vine. Bitter gourds hanging down in a vine. This variety commonly found in Indian subcontinent. Noted for pointed ends. Bitter melon is a temperate/tropical vegetable probably originated in South-East Asia. Like in other members of the Cucurbitaceae family, it too is a fast-growing, trailing or climbing vine with thin stems and tendrils which require trellis to support their climbing vines.Bitter gourd pods are characterized with soft lengthwise ridges and uneven pebbly surface. Depending up on the cultivar type, its immature pods can be light to dark green and have oblong or oval shapes with a pointed tip at the blossom end. Internally, the flesh is white with rough edged seeds, somewhat similar to ridge gourd seeds in appearance. As the fruits begin to mature, they gradually become hard, turn yellow or brown in color.

Hi friends! Bitter gourd / Karelas stuffed with fresh Indian spices is irresistible. The spicy onion masala stuffing works wonders with Bitter gourd / Karelas. The stuffed Bitter gourd / Karelas are best enjoyed with Indian breads.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes Approx.

Servings : 3

Level Of Cooking : Easy

Cuisine: Indian

Course: Main Course-Veg

Ingredients:
6 medium sized bitter gourd /karela

  • For stuffing the bitter gourd / Karela :
  • 2 big onions, finely grated
  • 1 level tsp salt / or as per taste
  • 1 tsp  cumin seeds /jeera roasted and powdered
  • 2 tbsp coriander /dhania powder
  • 2 tbsp Fennel seeds, powdered
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder /haldi
  • 1/2 tsp Red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp dried mango powder /amchur
  • 2 tbsp Mustard oil / or any other cooking oil

For Serving the bitter gourd / Karela :

  • 2 medium size onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium size tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil / or any other cooking oil

Method :

Step 1.

Wash and with a peeler peel the bitter gourd / Karelas and keep the peel / scrapings aside for using later.

Step 2.

In boiling, water add 1 tbsp salt and put the bitter gourd / Karelas in it. When the bitter gourd / Karelas become a bit softer take them out of the water.

Step 3.

Let the bitter gourd / Karelas cool. With a sharp knife. Slit each bitter gourd / Karela length wise on one side,  if the seeds are big scoop out and discard them.

Step 4.

Mix wheat flour, little turmeric powder and salt apply the mixture inside and out side of the bitter gourd / Karelas and keep asides for 1/2 hour. This will reduce the bitterness of the bitter gourd / Karelas.

Step 5.

For preparing the masala for stuffing the bitter gourd / Karelas:

Heat oil, add grated onions, salt, turmeric, roasted cumin powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and dry mango powder/amchur and cook on low flame till light golden brown.

Step 6.

Take out the mixture from the pan in some other container and let it cool. Stuff this well cooked masala tightly in each bitter gourd / karela. Tie thread all around the bitter gourd / karelas so that the mixture doesn’t comes out from the slit. keep aside.

Step 7.

In a pan take 3 tbsp of oil and heat it. Slide gently all the stuffed bitter gourd /karelas in the pan and fry it on low flame, keep turning the bitter gourd / karelas at regular intervals till it is golden brown. Cover and cook for few minutes.

Step 8.

For Serving the bitter gourd / Karela :

Step 9.

Heat the mustard oil in a non-stick pan add sliced onions, sauté till turns translucent.

Step 10.

Add the tomatoes, bitter gourd scrapings, turmeric powder, red chili powder dry mango powder, salt and coriander and mix well.

Step11.

Sauté till the mixture leaves oil and keep aside. Take out this well cooked mixture in a serving dish and place the stuffed cooked bitter gourd / karelas on this mixture after removing the threads.

Step 12.

Serve hot with any Indian bread of your choice like chapatti, paranthas etc.

Health benefits of Bitter gourd / Karela (Bitter melon) :

  • Bitter melon is very low in calories, carrying just 17 calories per 100 g. Nevertheless, its pods are rich sources of phytonutrients like dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
  • Bitter melon notably contains phyto-nutrient, polypeptide-P, a plant insulin known to lower blood sugar levels. In addition, it composes hypoglycemic agent called charantin. Charantin increases glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis inside the cells of liver, muscle and adipose tissue. Together, these compounds may have been thought to be responsible for blood sugar levels reduction in the treatment of type-2 diabetes.
  • Fresh pods are an excellent source of folates, carrying about 72 µg/100g (18% of RDA). Vitamin folate when taken by mothers during their early pregnancy time, would help reduce the incidence of neural tube defects in the newborn babies.
  • Fresh bitter melon is an excellent source of vitamin-C (100 g of raw pod provides 84 mg or about 140% of RDI). Vitamin-C is one of the powerful natural antioxidants which helps scavenge deleterious free radicals from the human body.
  • Further, it is an excellent source of health benefiting flavonoids such as ß-carotene, a-carotene, lutein, and zea-xanthin. It also contains a good amount of vitamin-A. Together, these compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging, cancers and various disease processes.
  • Bitter melon stimulates easy digestion and peristalsis of food through the bowel until it is excreted from the body. Thus, it helps in relieving indigestion and constipation problems.
  • In addition, it is a moderate source of B-complex vitamins such as niacin (vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, manganese and magnesium.
  • Early laboratory tests suggest that certain phyto-chemical compounds in bitter melon might be effective in the treatment of HIV infection.

Ref. http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/bitter-gourd.html
Note:

Bitter gourd / karelas may contain alkaloid substances like quinine and morodicine, resins and saponic glycosides, which may be cause intolerance in some people. Their bitterness and toxicity may be reduced somewhat by parboiling or soaking in salt water for upto 10 -30 minutes.

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Chaulai Bhurji /Amaranth Greens

Amaranth greenChaulai Bhurji /Amaranth Greens

Hi friends! Today I am going to share an extremely nutritious  recipe of Chaulai Bhurji /Amaranth Greens. It has a salty flavor, learn how to make delicious and very easy Chaulai Bhurji/ Amaranth Greens by following the easy steps.

Amaranth, tender-: Amaranthus gangeticus

Names in other Indian Languages: Notya (Bengali) , Chaulai sag (Hindi) , Dantu (Kannada) , Cheera (Malayalam) , Math (Marathi), Thandukeerai (Tamil) , Thotakoora (Telugu)

The word ‘Amaranth’ is derived from the Greek term ‘amarantos’ meaning ‘unwithering’. The term was applied to Amaranth for its hearty characteristics that for the people that used it, came to symbolize immortality. The Hindi term for Amaranth, Ramdana, means God’s own grain. This bountiful seed is grown all throughout India from the high slopes of the Himalayas to the many coastlines of the country. Numerous different Amaranth varieties are grown throughout the country, but the Himalaya region is known as the Amaranth ‘centre for diversity’ for the number of varieties that grow in the region. This crop is also a native species to the Andean region of South America, including Argentina, Peru and Bolivia. In the Andes region it remains widely grown today. This crop has been called ‘Incan Wheat’ because it was a staple food for the Incas, but was used long before this time. Today the grain often goes by the name kiwicha. In North America/Europe where this crop is sometimes sold, it occasionally goes by the name ‘love-lies-bleeding’ due to its bright, fluorescent colour ranges.

Amaranth is a hardy crop, high in fiber. Using amaranth in combination with wheat, corn or brown rice results in a complete protein level as high as the value found in fish, red meat, or poultry. The grain is very easy for the body to digest and so is traditionally eaten during fasts, and given to those who are recovering from illness. Amaranth is consumed as both a vegetable and a grain. The leaves of the plant are frequently used in countries throughout Africa, the Caribbean, China and even Greece in various dishes and stir-frys. In China, it is believed that eating Amaranth greens are great for improving eye sight, and in countries throughout Africa it is recommended by doctors for people with low red blood cell count. The Hills People in India believe they get their strength from the daily consumption of this super grain! Commonly, the grain is popped before it is consumed which is often made into gruel called sattu or laddoos. The grain can further be ground into flour and mixed with other types of flours to make everyday staples like chapatti.

While amaranth may be known as a ‘forgotten food grain’ its taste and exceptional health benefits recognized around the world make it a grain that is still prominent in the lives of people in many different places and should not be soon forgotten!

Ref. http://seedfreedom.in/amaranth-a-himalayan-treasure/

Prep Time:10 minutes

Cook Time :20 minutes

Recipe cook time : 25 minutes

Course : Main

Cuisine : Indian, Uttar Pradesh

Serves : 4

Ingredients

  • 500 gms.Chaulai  /Amaranth Greens
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 2 medium size Onions ,finely chopped
  • 1 Green chili, finely chopped
  • 12 Cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 level tsp Salt/ or salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil or any cooking oil of choice

Method :

Step 1.

Wash and soak in cold water with a pinch of salt for ten minutes.

Step 2.

Drain and finely chop the Chaulai  /Amaranth Greens, keep aside.

Step 3.

Heat oil in a wok /Kadahi /pan, add chopped onions and fry till light golden, add finely chopped garlic saute for twenty seconds or so.

Step 4.

Add  turmeric, chili powder, salt and chopped Chaulai  /Amaranth Greens, stir and cook on low heat till the water dries.

Step 5.

Then fry for a few minutes and remove from heat.Serve with hot chapatti, boiled rice etc.

Note:

Do not add any water to chopped Chaulai  /Amaranth Greens while cooking.

Health benefits of Cholai or Chaulai or Amaranth leaves

– Good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate,thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin

– Good source of minerals eg calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese

– Regular consumption reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

– Improve antioxidant level.

– Strengthen immunity.

– Saag form helps to cure constipation.

– Blood purifier.

– Drinking 15-20 gm cholai juice reduces swelling in eyes due to heat, reddishness and improves eyesight.

– Mix 25 ml Cholai juice with misri and drink to reduce burning sensation in urine and calm down body heat.

– Drinking Cholai juice purifies blood and removes toxic substances from the body.

Ref. http://www.bimbima.com/health/post/2012/09/18/health-benefits-of-cholai-or-chaulai-or-amaranth.aspx

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition, Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Brinjal /Aubergines fry

Brijal fryBrinjal /Aubergines fry

The scientific name of brinjal/ aubergine is “Solanum melongena” and is a member of nightshade family. It is a member of the genus Solanum which is related to both potato and tomato. Brinjal is also called as Egg plant because it is named by Europe farmers in 18th century as they  actually look like white and yellowish goose or hen eggs, hence it is named as Egg plant. It is believed that brinjal is originated in Indo- Burma region and is distributed in south East Asia, southern Europe, China and Japan.

Brinjal /Aubergine is a common vegetable that is grown in all most all parts of India. It comes in different varieties of colors like yellow, green, dark purple, reddish purple and white. It tastes good when it is cooked or fried rather than eating it raw because the raw fruit somewhat tastes bitter. It is used in some of the Ayurvedic medicines due to its medicinal properties also extremely advantageous through the health perspectives.

Hi friends! here is a simple easy and delicious recipe to add on to the Vegetarian main course.

 Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking time : 15 minutes

Servings : 4

Cuisine: Indian

Course: Main

Level Of Cooking: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 300 gms long purple Brinjal, cut into long thick strips
  • 1 medium size potato, peeled, cut into long strips
  • 1 medium size Onion, cut into Slices
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida / heeng
  • 1/2 tsp Bengal Gram dal
  • 1/2 tsp Black gram dal
  • 1/4 tsp Red Chili powder
  • a small pinch Turmeric powder
  • 2 sprigs Curry leaves
  • 1/2 level tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil /cooking Oil
  • To be mixed into a marinade:
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oil

Method:

Step 1.

Combine the brinjals /Aubergines thick strips with the prepared marinade and toss gently. Keep aside for 15 minutes.

Step 2.

Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan / wok / kadahi and add mustard seeds.

Step 3.

When mustard seeds start crackling , add cumin seeds and dals. Fry for a few seconds until the dals turn light golden brown in colour, add the curry leaves.

Step 4.

To the step two seasoning add cut potatoes strips, marinated brinjals /Aubergines and turmeric powder, chili powder , salt and mix well.

Step 5.

Cover and cook vegetables on low flame till soft and well cooked. Switch off the stove and transfer the contents to a serving bowl .

Step 6.

Garnish with coriander and serve hot with steaming boiled rice or Indian bread rotis.

Health benefits of Brinjals / Aubergines:

Brinjals /Aubergines , known as baingan in Hindi, is known to be king of vegetables.  High on nutrients, this vegetable has many health benefits and hence, it should consumed at least once a week. Although a lot of people don’t like the taste, if cooked well, it can be extremely delicious. Here is why this vegetable should be on list of groceries the next time you shop for vegetables.

Prevent cancer

Fibre and antioxidants are just two of the nutrients that make Brinjal /Aubergine a food that can keep cancer at bay. Fibre helps clear the toxins present in your digestive tract and has been found useful in the prevention of colon cancer. Additionally, the antioxidants help in fighting free radical damage to your cells which helps keep cancer at bay.

Great for weight loss

Brinjal /Aubergine are great for weight loss as they are low in calories with 100g of the vegetable containing just 25 calories. It is also rich in fibre which helps in promoting the feeling of satiety which means that eating a small serving will make you feel full and prevent you from overeating.

Prevent heart disease

Like most fruits and vegetables, Brinjal /Aubergine too are great for your heart. Being rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin B-6 and phytonutrients like flavonoids, this vegetable lowers the risk of heart disease. The presence of antioxidants keeps your arteries healthy and prevents heart attack.

Controls blood pressure

Brinjal /Aubergine contains potassium, an important mineral, which plays a key role in maintaining electrolyte balance in the body. It also helps in neutralizing the effects of sodium on the body thereby aiding in blood pressure control. Apart from this, increased intake of anthocyanins that are present in high amounts in brinjal /Aubergine, also lowers your blood pressure.

Good for diabetics

As brinjal /Aubergine are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber content, they are known to be good for people suffering from diabetes. This is because, the high fiber causes helps in controlling blood sugar levels in the body by controlling the absorption of glucose from food.

Lowers cholesterol in the body

Brinjal /Aubergine is rich in chlorogenic acid that acts as a powerful antioxidant agent, lowering cholesterol levels in the body.  It also contains high amounts of fiber that increases the absorption of blood cholesterol by the liver to produce bile.

Gives your skin a natural glow

As we age, our skin undergoes free radical damage which can cause the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines on our faces. The antioxidants and vitamins present in brinjals /Aubergines can prevent this from happening. Additionally, it is also high in water which flushes toxins from your body and gives your skin a nice and healthy glow.

Good for your brain

Eating brinjals can prevent brain damage as it contains phytonutrients that can protect your cell membranes. These phytonutrients are also known to boost memory function and aid in transferring messages from one part of your body to another.

Help you to quit smoking

Apart from these benefits, brinjal /Aubergine is also known to have small quantity of nicotine and thus helps in quitting tobacco.

Tips you should follow while incorporating brinjal /Aubergine in your diet:

  • Instead of metal knife, use a stainless steel knife to cut the vegetable as it prevents the chemical reaction between pytochemicals present in brinjal /Aubergine and metal.
  • As you cut brinjal /Aubergine, put them in salt water or sprinkle salt over the pieces. This removes the compounds that render bitter taste to the vegetable. It also makes your dish more tasty and palatable.
  • Brinjal /Aubergine can be added to any dishes like sambhar, pizza or pasta or can be consumed even in fried, baked, sauteed, grilled, roasted or in steamed form.

Ref. http://www.thehealthsite.com/fitness/health-benefits-of-brinjal-baingan/?gclid=CjwKEAjw_MisBRCTuNPfoMqU4ngSJACrJv1V1wHMItH-2DzS-hzF_J6DV3lyJebwMXxWUk1A_auePRoCFzvw_wcB

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition, Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Kala Namak / Black Salt

Kala Namak / Black Salt

Whole Kala Namak salt crystals

Kala Namak or Himalayan Black Salt (Urdu کالا نمک; Bengali Biit lobon (বিট লবণ); Newari Be Chi; Nepali Birae Nun (बिरे नुन) ; Hindi काला नमक   Marathi काळं मीठ ;kālā namak; Gujarati સંચળ Sanchal; Tamil இந்துப்பு; Malayalam ഇന്തുപ്പ്) also known as sulemani namak, black salt, or kala loon, is a type of rock salt, salty and pungent-smelling condiment used in South Asia. The condiment is composed largely of sodium chloride with several other components lending the salt its colour and smell. The smell is mainly due to its sulphur content. Due to the presence of Greigite (Fe3S4, Iron(II,III) sulfide) in the mineral, it forms brownish pink to dark violet translucent crystals when whole, and, when ground into a powder, it is light purple to pink in color.

Production

The raw material for producing kala namak was originally obtained from natural halite from mines in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan in certain locations of the Himalayas salt ranges, or from salt harvested from the North Indian salt lakes of Sambhar or Didwana and Mustang of Nepal

Traditionally, the salt was transformed from its raw natural forms into commercially sold kala namak through a reductive chemical process that transforms some of the naturally occurring sodium sulphate of the raw salt into pungent hydrogen sulfide and sodium sulfide. This involves firing the raw salts in a furnace for 24 hours while sealed in a ceramic jar with charcoal along with small quantities of harad seeds, aamla, bahera, babul bark, or Sajji. The fired salt is then cooled, stored, and aged prior to sale. Kala namak is prepared in this manner in Northern India with production concentrated in the Hisar district, Haryana. The salt crystals appear black in colour, and are usually ground to a fine powder which is pink in colour.

Although the kala namak can be produced from natural salts with the required compounds, it is common to now manufacture it synthetically. This is done through combining ordinary sodium chloride admixed with smaller quantities of sodium sulphate, sodium bisulphate and ferric sulphate, which is then chemically reduced with charcoal in a furnace. Reportedly, it is also possible to create similar products through reductive heat treatment of sodium chloride, 5-10 percent of sodium carbonate, sodium sulphate, and some sugar.

Composition

Kala namak consists primarily of sodium chloride and trace impurities of sodium sulphate, sodium bisulfate, sodium bisulfite, sodium sulphide, iron sulfide and hydrogen sulfide.

Sodium chloride provides kala namak with its salty taste, iron sulphide provides its dark violet hue, and all the sulphur compounds give kala namak its slight savory taste as well as a highly distinctive smell, with hydrogen sulphide being the most prominent contributor to the smell. The acidic bisulfates/bisulfites contribute a mildly sour taste. Although hydrogen sulphide is toxic in high concentrations, the amount present in kala namak used in food is small and thus its effects on health are negligible: Hydrogen sulphide is also one of the components of the odor of rotten eggs and boiled milk.

Indian Black Salt

Indian black salt has been used as a condiment for many hundreds of years in Asian countries surrounding the Himalayan mountains. It was originally obtained from either natural volcanic mines in Northern India and Pakistan or the surrounding salt lakes of Sambhar or Didwana.

Potential Health Benefits

Indian black salt is considered a cooling spice in ayurvedic medicine and is recommended for many health issues such as constipation, indigestion, heartburn, bloating, flatulence, goiter, poor eyesight and hysteria, according to the book “Herbs that Heal.” In India, black salt is sometimes recommended to people on low-salt diets due to hypertension because it’s believed to be lower in sodium content compared to regular table salt. Of course, the composition of Indian black salt varies quite a bit and depends mainly on whether it’s manufactured using traditional or modern techniques. Synthetically made black salt has a sodium content very near to regular table salt. Discuss your salt options with your doctor if you have high blood pressure.

Uses

 

Kala Namak is used extensively in South Asian cuisines of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan as a condiment or added to chaats, chutneys, salads, all kinds of fruits, raitas and many other savory Indian snacks. Chaat masala, an Indian spice blend, is dependent upon black salt for its characteristic sulfurous hard-boiled egg aroma. Those who are not accustomed to black salt often describe the smell as similar to rotten eggs. Kala Namak is appreciated by some vegans in dishes that mimic the taste of eggs. It is used, for example, to season tofu to mimic an egg salad.

Kala Namak is considered a cooling spice in ayurvedic medicine and is used as a laxative and digestive aid. It is also believed to relieve intestinal gas and heartburn. It is used in Jammu to cure goiters. This salt is also used to treat hysteria, and for making toothpastes by combining it with other mineral and plant ingredients.

Cooking Benefits

Indian black salt is used extensively on Indian food, including chutneys, yogurts, pickles, salads and all kinds of fruits. It’s often appreciated by strict vegans because it mimics the taste of eggs in tofu and other vegetarian dishes. During the hot Indian summer months, it’s also sometimes used to flavor cool drinks, which is a practical way to replace sodium lost through excessive perspiration.

Ref. http://www.livestrong.com/article/557587-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-indian-black-salt/

Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kala_Namak

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

Sesame -Seeds

Sesamum indicum - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-129.jpgSesamum indicum 2.jpg

Kingdom: Plantae      (unranked): Angiosperms  (unranked): Eudicots (unranked): Asterids

Order:   Lamiales Family: Pedaliaceae Genus: Sesamum Species: S. indicum

Sesame (/ˈsɛsəm/; Sesamum indicum) is a flowering plant in the genus Sesamum. Numerous wild relatives occur in Africa and a smaller number in India. It is widely naturalized in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds, which grow in pods.

Sesame seed is one of the oldest oilseed crops known, domesticated well over 3000 years ago. Sesame has many species, most being wild and native to sub-Saharan Africa. Sesame Indicum, the cultivated type, originated in India. Sesame is highly tolerant to drought like conditions, and grows where other crops may fail.

Sesame has one of the highest oil contents of any seed. With a rich nutty flavor, it is a common ingredient in cuisines across the world. Like other nuts and foods, it can trigger allergic reactions in some people.

The world harvested about 4.8 million metric tonnes of sesame seeds in 2013.The largest producer of sesame seeds in 2013 was Myanmar.The world’s largest exporter of sesame seeds was India, and Japan the largest importer.

Flower of Sesamum indicum

Sesame in Panchkhal valley, Nepal

Magnified image of white sesame seeds

It is an annual plant growing 50 to 100 cm (1.6 to 3.3 ft) tall, with opposite leaves 4 to 14 cm (1.6 to 5.5 in) long with an entire margin; they are broad lanceolate, to 5 cm (2 in) broad, at the base of the plant, narrowing to just 1 cm (0.4 in) broad on the flowering stem.

The flowers are yellow, tubular, 3 to 5 cm (1.2 to 2.0 in) long, with a four-lobed mouth. The flowers may vary in colour with some being white, blue or purple.

Sesame fruit is a capsule, normally pubescent, rectangular in section and typically grooved with a short triangular beak. The length of the fruit capsule varies from 2 to 8 cm, its width varies between 0.5 to 2 cm, and the number of loculi from 4 to 12. The fruit naturally splits open (dehisces) to release the seeds by splitting along the septa from top to bottom or by means of two apical pores, depending on the varietal cultivar. The degree of dehiscence is of importance in breeding for mechanised harvesting as is the insertion height of the first capsule.

Sesame seeds are small. The size, form and colours vary with the thousands of varieties now known. Typically, the seeds are about 3 to 4 millimeters long by 2 millimeters wide and 1 millimeter thick. The seeds are ovate, slightly flattened and somewhat thinner at the eye of the seed (hilum) than at the opposite end. The weight of the seeds is between 20 and 40 milligrams. The seed coat (testa) may be smooth or ribbed.

Sesame seeds come in many colours depending on the cultivar harvested. The most traded variety of sesame is off-white coloured. Other common colours are buff, tan, gold, brown, reddish, gray and black.

Sesame seed is sometimes sold with its seed coat removed (decorticated). This is the variety often present on top of buns in developed economies.

Sesame seeds nutrition facts

One of the first oil seeds known to humankind, sesame seeds have been widely employed in culinary as well as traditional medicines for their nutritive, preventive, and curative properties. Sesame are an important sources of phyto-nutrients such as omega-6 fatty acids, flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants, vitamins, and dietary fiber with potential anti-cancer as well as health promoting properties.

Sesame plant is a tall annual herb in the Pedaliaceae family, which grows extensively in Asia, particularly in Burma, China, and India. It is also one of the chief commercial crops in Nigeria, Sudan and Ethiopia. Scientific name: Sesamum indicum.

Sesame requires well-drained sandy soil and tropical environment to flourish. It grows about 5 feet in height and bears plenty of pink-white foxglove type flowers. The pods appear soon, containing white, brown, or black seeds depending upon the cultivar type, arranged in rows inside. Each pod (2-5 cm in length) is a long rectangular box like capsule with deep grooves on its sides. A single pod (1 to 2 inches in length) may contain up to 100 or more seeds.

Sesame seeds are small, almost oblate in shape. Toasted seeds feature pleasant, nutty flavoror.

Health benefits of sesame seeds

  • Flavorful, crunchy sesame seeds are widely considered healthy foods. 100 g of seeds carry 573 calories. Although, much of its calorie comes from fats, sesame contains several notable health-benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for wellness.
  • The seeds are especially rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid, which comprises up to 50% fatty acids in them. Oleic acid helps lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL or “good cholesterol” in the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet which is rich in mono-unsaturated fats help prevent coronary artery disease, and stroke by favoring healthy lipid profile.
  • The seeds are also very valuable sources of dietary protein with fine quality amino acids that are essential for growth, especially in children. Just 100 g of seeds provide about 18 g of protein (32% of daily-recommended values).
  • In addition, sesame seeds contain many health benefiting compounds such as sesamol (3, 4-methylene-dioxyphenol), sesaminol, furyl-methanthiol, guajacol (2-methoxyphenol), phenylethanthiol and furaneol, vinylguacol, and decadienal. Sesamol and sesaminol are phenolic anti-oxidants. Together, these compounds help stave off harmful free radicals from the human body.
  • Sesame is among the seeds rich in quality vitamins, and minerals. They are very good sources of B-complex vitamins such as niacin, folic acid, thiamin (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and riboflavin.
  • 100 g of sesame contains 97 µg of folic acid, about 25% of recommended daily intake. Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis. When given to expectant mothers during their peri-conception period, it may prevent neural tube defects in the newborns.
  • Niacin is another B-complex vitamin found abundantly in sesame. About 4.5 mg or 28% of daily-required levels of niacin is provided by just 100 g of seeds. Niacin helps reduce LDL-cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition, it enhances GABA activity inside the brain, which in turn helps reduce anxiety and neurosis.
  • The seeds are incredibly rich sources of many essential minerals. Calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and copper are especially concentrated in sesame seeds. Many of these minerals have a vital role in bone mineralization, red blood cell production, enzyme synthesis, hormone production, as well as regulation of cardiac and skeletal muscle activities.

Just a hand full of sesame a day provides enough recommended levels of phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins and protein.

See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:Sesame seeds (Sesamum indicum), whole, dried,
Nutritional value per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 573 Kcal 29%
Carbohydrates 23.45 g 18%
Protein 17.73 g 32%
Total Fat 49.67 g 166%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 11.8 g 31%
Vitamins
Folates 97 µg 25%
Niacin 4.515 mg 28%
Pantothenic acid 0.050 mg 1%
Pyridoxine 0.790 mg 61%
Riboflavin 0.247 mg 19%
Thiamin 0.791 mg 66%
Vitamin A 9 IU <1%
Vitamin C 0 0%
Vitamin E 0.25 mg 2%
Electrolytes
Sodium 11 mg 1%
Potassium 468 mg 10%
Minerals
Calcium 975 mg 98%
Copper 4.082 mg 453%
Iron 14.55 mg 182%
Magnesium 351 mg 88%
Manganese 2.460 mg 107%
Phosphorus 629 mg 90%
Selenium 34.4 µg 62.5%
Zinc 7.75 mg 70%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-ß 5 µg
Crypto-xanthin-ß 0 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 0 µg

Selection and storage

Sesames can be readily available in the spice stores all around the year. You may choose from whole, husked or air-dried, toasted seeds in these stores. There may be black, brown, yellow or white color seeds packed in air-seal packs as well as in bulk bins. Husked seeds appear white.

Sesame composes significant proportions of unsaturated fats, and hence, should be stored in airtight containers to avoid them turn rancid. At home, place them in cool dark place. If stored properly, dry seeds generally stay fresh for several months. Store hulled “white” seeds always inside the refrigerator.

Avoid old, offensive smelling (rancid) seeds.

Culinary uses

Sesame seeds have a delicate nutty flavor. Their flavor indeed becomes more pronounced once they are gently roasted under low flame heat for a few minutes.

Sesame seeds are used liberally in cooking. The seeds ground with olive or any other vegetable oils to prepare semi-solid, flavorful paste, which is then added to different cuisine.

  • Dry, roasted sesame seeds and vegetable oil are ground into a thin light brown color paste known as tahini. Tahini is one of the main ingredients in famous middle-eastern dip, hummus.
  • Dry fried seeds sprinkled over toasts, biscuits, breads, cakes, salads, stir fries, etc.
  • The seeds are largely used in the manufacture of margarine in Europe.
  • The seeds are used in many traditional south-Indian sweet delicacies, often mixed with roasted peanuts, almonds, and jaggery.
  • Roasted and crushed seeds often sprinkled over salads, desserts, particularly sundaes and other cream based preparations.
  • Gomashio is a Japan’s specialty, which uses ground sesame seeds.
  • Sesame oil obtained from the seeds is one of the most sought after cooking oil in Malaysia, Indonesia and southern states of rural India.

Safety profile

Sesame seed allergy is a kind of hypersensitivity reaction in some sensitive individuals. Generally, the reactions include hives, dermatitis and itching. Sometimes, the disease manifestation may be severe and may lead to serious physical symptoms like vomiting, stomach pain, swelling of lips and throat leading to breathing difficulty, chest congestion, and death. It is, therefore, sesame products may be avoided as food in these individuals. 

Ref.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sesame

Ref.http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/sesame-seeds.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

Green chickpeas curry

Green Chick peas Image    Green chickpea curry

dried Green chickpeas / green chanas / sukha hara Chanas

Hi friends ! Another of healthy and simply delicious recipe of chickpeas it has numerous benefits to offer to healthy eaters. Dried Green chickpeas / dried green chanas/ Hara Chanas is protein rich curry is a good accompaniment with basmati rice or any Indian bread of your choice.

Main Name: Chickpea

Biological Name: Cicer arietinum

Names in other Indian languages: Kothu kadalai (Tamil), Kadala (Malayalam), Sanagalu (Telugu), Chana (Gujarati), Chola (Bengali), Harbara (Marathi), Buta (Oriya), Chole (Punjabi), Chana sabut (Urdu)

A staple of Middle Eastern, African, and Indian cuisines, chickpeas are believed to be one of the oldest cultivated beans, dating as far as 5,400 BC. The first record of consuming chickpeas can be traced back to about seven thousand years back. They were first cultivated in the Mediterranean basin around 3000 BC amongst Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans and were then introduced to other subtropical regions by the Spanish and Portuguese explorers in the 16th century. Gradually, the Indians who had immigrated to other countries brought back chickpeas and integrated them into their cuisines. Today, India is the largest producer of chickpeas, supplying around 80 to 90 percent of the world’s production. Other commercial producers include Pakistan, Turkey, Ethiopia, and Mexico.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried Green chickpeas / dried green chanas / sukha hara Chanas
  • 2 medium size onions, finely chopped
  • 4 medium size tomatoes, cut into small pieces and pureed
  • 1/2 tsp Red chili powder
  • 2 cloves, powdered
  • 4 peppercorns, powdered
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 ” piece Ginger, finely grated
  • 15 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 tsp Salt / or as per taste

Method:

Step 1.

Wash dried Green chickpeas / dried green chanas / sukha hara Chanas well and soak it overnight in 600 ml of water.

Step 2.

Peel wash and cut the onions fine, keep aside.

Step 3.

In a pressure cooker take the soaked dried Green chickpeas / dried green chanas / Hara Chanas along with the water soaked in. Add finely chopped onion and salt to it and place the cooker on high flame. The moment full pressure is formed, reduce to low flame for twenty minutes. Switch off the stove.

Step 4.

Let the cooker come to room temperature, open the lid and take out the cooked dried Green chickpeas / dried green chanas / Hara Chanas in a mixing bowl. Keep aside.

Step 5.

Wash tomatoes well. Cut the tomatoes into small pieces and put them in a blender and puree it. Keep ready.

Step 6.

Mince the garlic cloves, peel and finely grate the ginger, keep aside.

Step 7.

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan, add cumin seed , wait till it crackles. Add Bay leaves sauté for few seconds, add powdered cloves, peppercorn, Cinnamon, coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder . Mix and sauté for few seconds add ginger garlic paste fry for few seconds . Then add pureed tomatoes and cook covered on low flame , till oil starts to surface.

Step 8.

Now add to the sauce pan cooked dried Green chickpeas / dried green chanas / sukha hara Chanas along with the onions and water it is cooked in. Mix it well.

Step 9.

 On high flame, bring dried Green chickpeas / dried green chanas / sukha hara Chanas and masalas

to a boil and reduce to low flame and cook for 15-20 minutes more. Switch off the stove, serve hot with steamed rice or any Indian bread of your choice like fresh naans, parathas, chapattis etc..

Health benefits of Dried Green chickpeas / dried green chanas/ Hara Chanas:

Rich in both types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, chickpeas escort the trapped bile acids out of the body and lower cholesterol levels, thereby contributing to cardiovascular health.

The insoluble fiber content in chickpeas helps in preventing digestive disorders, like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis; hence, promoting positive digestive health.

With folate and magnesium in high amounts, chickpeas protect the body from cardiovascular diseases. Folate reduces the levels of the amino acid, homocysteine which causes damage to the lining of arteries and increases the risk of blood vessel blockages.

With a rich supply of soluble fiber, chickpeas help in balancing blood sugar levels; thus, providing support to diabetic patients suffering from highs and lows of blood sugar levels.

The high fiber content in chickpeas induces feelings of satiety, thereby cutting down the intake of unwanted calories and keeping your appetite under control.

An excellent source of the trace mineral manganese, chickpea boosts production of energy and defends against several diseases.

Molybdenum is a mineral and an antioxidant important for stimulating the body’s mechanism for reducing symptoms of energy, helping with impotency in men, fighting against tooth decay and irritability, and preventing anemia. Molybdenum is found in chickpeas in abundance.

Chickpeas contain phytochemicals called saponins which are highly beneficial for the health of women. They act as antioxidants, providing protection against osteoporosis, lowering the risk of breast cancer, and minimizing hot flushes in post menopausal women.

Chickpeas help in meeting your daily iron requirements. The deficiency of which reduces the delivery of oxygen throughout the body, resulting in feelings of weakness and tiredness, difficulties in concentration, and increasing the risk of infections.

A good source of iron, chickpeas also help with the proper functioning of the human system and preventing conditions, like anemia, weakness, hair loss, headaches, and other critical health concerns.

Regular consumption of folate is important for the production and maintenance of new cells, particularly during periods of rapid growth, like during pregnancy and infancy. Women, who consume adequate amounts of folate during their childbearing years, can reduce their risk of delivering babies with a neutral tube defect.

Enriched with the amino acid tryptophan, chickpeas are a good source of serotonin which regulates fluctuating moods and sleeping disorders. Eating chickpeas before bedtime leads to calmness and induces a good night’s sleep.

Ref. http://recipeclout.india-server.com/chickpeas.html

 Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

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Kulfa / Purslane Bhurji

Kulfa Bhurji

Kulfa / Purslane bhurji

Hi friends ! Looking for an easy yet tasty Kulfa/Purslane recipe? Learn how to make Kulfa/ Purslane Bhurji using healthy ingredients.We love  Kulfa ki bhurji . Kulfa / Purslane has thick and spongy leaves, and reddish stems, both of which are edible.

Botanical name : Portulaca Oleraceaa

Indian name : Kulfa

Kulfa Image 1

Although purslane is considered a weed in the United States, it may be eaten as a leaf vegetable. It has a slightly sour and salty taste and is eaten throughout much of Europe, the middle east, Asia, and Mexico. The stems, leaves and flower buds are all edible. Purslane may be used fresh as a salad, stir-fried, or cooked as spinach is, and because of its mucilaginous quality it also is suitable for soups and stews. Australian Aborigines use the seeds to make seedcakes. Greeks, who call it andrakla (αντράκλα) or glystrida (γλυστρίδα), use the leaves and the stems with feta cheese, tomato, onion, garlic, oregano, and olive oil, add it in salads, boil it or add to casseroled chicken. In Turkey, besides being used in salads and in baked pastries, it is cooked as a vegetable similar to spinach. In Albania it is also is used as a vegetable similar to spinach, mostly simmered and served in olive oil dressing, or mixed with other ingredients as a filling for dough layers of byrek. In the south of Portugal (Alentejo), “baldroegas” are used as a soup ingredient.

Names of this green leafy vegetable in other languages:

  • Bengali: Lunia, Bara Lunia
  • Hindi: Kulpha, Khursa,
  • Gujarati: Luni bhaji
  • Maharashtrian: Ghol
  • Tamil: Pachiri
  • Telugu: Gangapaayala, Peddapaayala, Payala kura, Peddapaavila aaku koora, Goli Kura
  • Kannada: Doddagoni Soppu
  • Arabic: Ba’le, Bakli, Farfhin, Arnuba, Bighal, Barabra (Maghrib), Rijl, Rujila, Al-hamqa, Al-baqla, Badalqa, Kharqa
  • Armenian: Perper
  • English: Purslane, Garden purslane, Pigweed, Hogweed
  • French: Pourpier potager
  • Greek: Glystiritha, Andrakln
  • Italian: Portulaca, Porcellana, Perchjazza (Bari, Apulia)
  • Spanish: Verdolaga
  • Turkish: Semizotu, Temizlik (Aksaray Province)
  • Urdu: Kulfa ki bhaji

Purslane / Kulfa is actually a super food. High in omega 3 fatty acids, purslane also possesses a variety of other nutritional benefits. Making appearances in farmers’ markets and even fancy restaurants, purslane should also become a household staple, as it is a potent health remedy.

What is Purslane?

Often labeled as a “weed,” purslane is actually a succulent herb. The plant is formally known as portulaca oleracea and less affectionately called little hogweed. The plant looks similar to the common jade plant and generally has fleshy, round leaves growing from a thin stalk.

The flavor components alone are often enough to make individuals try the herb. The leaves are the most important part of the plant and offer a moisture-rich bite similar to the crispness of a fresh cucumber. The leaves also render a note of lemony tang with a bit of a peppery finish.

Taste is not the only reason to eat this plant, however. It is considered by many as “a miracle plant.” Purslane / Kulfa literally has the highest level of omega 3 fats than any other green plants. It also boasts an assortment of other vitamins and nutrients.

 

Ingredients :

  • 500 gms Kulfa / purslane, washed and finely chopped
  • 2 Medium size onions, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp Chana dal / Bengal gram split
  • 1/4 tsp Asafetida / hing
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 level tsp Red Chili powder
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil or any other cooking oil

Method:

Step 1.

Heat the oil in a wok / kadahi / pan add asafetida / hing, sauté for few seconds till turns pink.

Step 2.

Add onions and fry onions in hot oil. When onions turn light golden, add Kulfa / Purslane, washed Chana dal / Bengal gram split, red chili powder and salt.

Step 3.

Mix well, sauté for a minute. Cover and cook on low flame till Chana dal / Bengal gram split is well cooked. Switch off the stove.

Step 4.

Serve hot with steamed white rice or any Indian bread of choice.

Health Benefits of Kulfa / Purslane:

In addition to its nearly 400mg of omega 3 fatty acids per serving, purslane also offers a variety of other nutrients.

The tender, leafy plant also possesses a number of nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and potassium.These nutrients make the plant an effective herbal refreshment for health and wellness.

Its high concentrations of omega 3 fats make it an effective treatment for boosting heart health, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and controlling symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism.

Its nutrient profile also make it an effective treatment for diabetes, asthma, migraines, and osteoporosis.

The herb can even prevent cancer, promote skin health and boost immunity.

While labeled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a “noxious weed,” Kulfa / purslane is actually a beneficial health supplement. Above all, it is a taste and treat combination !

Ref. http://www.earthclinic.com/herbs/purslane.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

 

 

Panna /Green Mango Drink

Aam panna 1 copy Aam panna

Panna /Green Mango Drink

Hi friends! I am introducing a delicious summer drink Panna, it is a raw mango drink. This is made with green cooking mangoes. It is a very well-liked drink for hot summer days. In India and Pakistan people prepare a very refreshing drink from fresh raw mangoes. it’s sweet and sour in taste. The pulp of raw mango should be mixed with cumin seeds, black pepper, and black salt. Blend and serve this chill drink in sizzling summer to overcome dehydration. The summer has almost reached its peak and we need such summer coolers to cool our self’s. Raw mangoes are also good source of B vitamins that are beneficial to maintain good health it can be used in preparing numerous dishes. Due to the presence of vitamin C, they are highly beneficial in strengthening immune system. It helps in throwing away from all waste products from the body.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time : 15 minutes

Course : Beverages, Cold beverages

Cuisine : Indian, North Indian

serves : 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 raw green cooking mangoes
  • 1/2 cup sugar/ 6 tbsp sugar/as per taste
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black salt
  • 1 tsp cumin seed , dry roasted and powdered
  • 1 tbsp dry mint leaves, powdered
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • fresh mint leaves, few leaves
  • Ice cubes

Method :

Step 1.

Wash the mangoes well and place them in the pressure cooker on high flame with three glasses of water.

Step 2.

The moment full pressure is formed reduce the heat to low flame for 10 minutes. Switch off the stove, let the cooker cool down to room temperature, open the lid and remove the mangoes and water in to a mixing bowl.

Step 3.

After cooking the raw mangoes, the peel comes off easily. Scrape the pulp from the peels and mangoes, collect the cooked mango pulp in a bowl discard the peels and seeds.

Step 4.

Blend the mango pulp along with the water it was cooked in add sugar, black salt, salt, cumin powder, dry mint leaves powder and black pepper powder.

Step 5.

Aam panna/ raw mango drink is ready. Store it in a decanter /bottle / jar in the fridge.

Step 6.

Serve with ice cubes and garnished with fresh mint leaf.

Health benefits of Raw mangoes:

Tenderizing Agent

Mango, both in its green & ripe form is a very good tenderizing agent due to these same enzymes, therefore ideal to include in any marinade.

Gastro-Intestinal Disorders

Unripe green mangoes are beneficial in the treatment of gastro-intestinal disorders. Mix one chopped raw mango with honey and salt. Consuming this mixture is very much effective in curing for summer diarrhoea, dysentery, piles, morning sickness, chronic dyspepsia, indigestion and constipation.

Heat Stroke

Raw mango guards you from negative effects of excessive hot temperature. The harmful sunrays and sizzling winds are dangerous to the health of your skin. To prevent from excessive loss of water from the body, you may consume raw mango sprinkled with salt. This simple snack quenches your thirst. Heat stroke leads to extreme exhaustion & weakness, which can be treated with raw mango drink. You need to cook raw mango in hot ashes and mix the pulp with sugar. This recipe provides amazing energy. Drinking raw mango juice helps in preventing from extreme loss of sodium chloride.

Scurvy

This remedy is highly popular in the scriptures of Indian traditional medicines. Dried powder of raw mango that is prepared after drying in sun is highly useful in the treatment of scurvy (Scurvy is a disease resulting from a deficiency of vitamin C).

Herbal Remedy for Bilious Disorders

Unripe mangoes are an excellent fruit remedy for bilious disorders or liver disorders. The acids contained in the unripe, green mango trigger the secretion of bile and act as an intestinal antiseptic. Consumption of green mango with honey and pepper alleviates biliousness, and thereby diseases like urticaria and jaundice.

Blood Disorders

The fresh green raw mango is highly valued for its ability to cure blood disorders. It increases the elasticity of the blood vessels and helps the formation of new blood cells. It aids the absorption of food, iron and prevents bleeding tendencies. It increases body resistance against tuberculosis, anaemia, cholera and dysentery.

Precaution

We know excess of anything is bad, so avoid eating raw mangoes in-excess. Their excessive intake may cause throat irritation, indigestion, dysentery and abdominal colic. One should, therefore, not consume more than one or two green mangoes daily. Drink water immediately after eating raw mangoes as, it clots sap and makes more irritated. Do not eat raw mango without draining its sap. The intake of sap may cause gastro- intestinal, throat, and mouth infection.

Ref. http://www.khanapakana.com/article/ced410b8-af11-4a98-a330-0b784a162737/-raw-mango-natural-benefits-and-curative-properties

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition, Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

 

Raw Papaya curry

Raw papaya curyRaw Papaya curry

Hi friends! Green papaya is a powerful fruit full of essential nutrients and enzymes to promote digestive health. Since enzyme levels decline as the fruit ripens, raw papaya is picked when it is still green to retain all of its natural enzymatic qualities.

Raw Papaya curry

Ingredients:

  • 4 Raw papaya small size, cut into medium size pieces
  • ½ cup Grated Coconut
  • 1 medium size Onion , finely chopped
  • 6 cloves Garlic , minced
  • 2 Green Chilies
  • 1/2 tsp Salt / or salt to taste

For Seasoning:

  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Dry Red Chilies
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida / hing
  • 2 sprigs Curry Leaves
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil

 For the marinade:

  • 2 tbsp Curd / yogurt / dahi
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

Method:

Step 1.
Peel the skin of the papaya, clean from inside, remove seeds and wash well.

Step 2.

Cut the papaya into small pieces. Marinate the pieces in a mixing bowl with salt, turmeric , red chili powder and half cup of whisked curd for 2-3 hours .

Step 3.

Place a pressure cooker on high flame add marinated papaya pieces and half cup of water, close the lid of the pressure cooker. The moment full pressure is formed, switch off the stove. let the cooker cool to room temperature, open the lid and remove the papaya in to a bowl. The papaya is soft and it turns transparent when it is cooked.

Step 4.
Grind the grated coconut, garlic, onion, green chilies with 1/4 cup of water to a very fine paste.Keep aside.

Step 5.
For seasoning heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan. After a minute, lower the heat and add the mustard seeds wait for mustard to crackle, add asafetida, the curry leaves and fry, add the ground coconut masala to the seasoning. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add steamed papaya to the masala, mix well. Cook for 4-5 minutes on low flame, switch off the stove.

Step 6.

Serve hot with steamed rice or chapattis.

Health Benefits from Green Papaya:

The anti-inflammatory virtue from the papain in papaya greatly reduce inflammation in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout and asthma.

The rich fiber in papaya bind to cancer-causing toxins in the colon and is eliminated from the body during bowel movements.

Papaya is commonly known for its fine and natural laxative virtue which aids digestion. Taken regularly, it can help habitual constipation, bleeding piles and chronic diarrhea.

The three very powerful anti-oxidants in papayas help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol forms dangerous plagues that can eventually cause heart attacks or strokes.

Vitamin A available in papaya helps to reduce lung inflammation. So it is useful for active as well as passive smokers.

The papain in unripe papaya is extremely beneficial for those who are deficient in gastric juice, have excess of unhealthy mucus in the stomach, dyspepsia and intestinal irritation.

Consumption of unripe papaya juice help to contract the muscle fibers of the womb, resulting in proper and regular menstrual flow. It is especially helpful in cases of menstruation cessation in young ladies due to cold or trauma.

The juice from unripe papaya is highly beneficial in treating skin disorders like acne and psoriasis. When applied to wounds, it prevents pus formation and swelling. Paste made from unripe papaya when applied to the face, may remove pigmentation or brown spots, and making the skin smooth and delicate. Try it.

Immerse cut ripe papaya in vinegar for a week, then consume twice a day with meals until spleen is normalized.

Drink honey mixed in fresh juice from unripe papaya regularly over inflamed tonsils for diphtheria and other throat disorders. It dissolves the membrane and prevents infection from spreading.

 Ref.http://www.amicusfoods.com/green_papaya.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

 

Tomato Chutney

Andhra DosaAndhra Tomato Chutney withPoha dosa / Attukula Attu .

Hi friends! Among the myriad varieties of chutneys, a special mention must be made of this easy to cook, delicious Andhra tomato chutney. It is a very good accompaniment to Poha dosa / Attukula Attu .

Nutritional Value of Tomatoes

The many health benefits of tomatoes can be attributed to their wealth of nutrients and vitamins, including an impressive amount of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as significant amounts of vitamin B6, folate, and thiamin. Tomatoes are also a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper. Tomatoes also have dietary fiber and protein, as well as a number of organic compounds like lycopene that also contribute to the overall health benefits that tomatoes can confer to our health!

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Serves: 4

Cuisine : Indian, Andhra Pradesh

Course: Chutney and Dips

Level : Easy

Ingredient:

  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Asafetida / hing
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsps olive oil

Method:

Step 1.

Wash and cut tomatoes into small cubes. Heat two tsp oil in a pan, add cumin seeds sauté till cumin starts crackling, add asafetida. when asafetida turns light pink in colour add tomato cubes and green chilies.

Step 2.

Cover and cook on low flame till tomato turns soft. Switch off the stove and cool.

Step 3.

Grind the cooked tomatoes along with salt to a smooth paste. Remove in a small serving bowl.

Step 4.

For seasoning, heat a tsp of oil in a pan, add mustard seeds , when mustard starts crackling add asafetida, dry red chili, few curry leaves and turn off heat. Pour this seasoning over the chutney and serve with Attukula Attu /Poha dosas.

Health Benefits of Tomatoes:

The health benefits of tomatoes have been known to mankind since ancient times. Tomatoes are rich sources of antioxidants that have been proven to be effective against many forms of cancer. Some of the other health benefits of tomatoes are as follows:

Abundant Source of Antioxidants: Tomato contains large amount of lycopene, an antioxidant that is highly effective in scavenging cancer causing free radicals. This benefit can even be obtained from heat-processed tomato products like ketchup. The lycopene in tomatoes defends against cancer and has been shown to be particularly effective in fighting prostate cancer, cervical cancer, cancer of the stomach and rectum as well as pharynx and esophageal cancers.

Rich Source of Vitamins and Minerals: A single tomato can provide about 40% of the daily vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant which prevents against cancer-causing free radicals from damaging the body’s systems. It also contains abundant vitamin A and potassium, as well as iron. Potassium plays a vital role in maintaining nerve health and iron is essential for maintaining normal blood health. Vitamin K, which is essential in blood clotting and controls bleeding, is also abundant in tomatoes.

Reduces Cholesterol and Protects the Heart: The lycopene in tomatoes prevents serum lipid oxidation, thus exerting a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases. The regular consumption of tomatoes has been proven to decrease the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. These lipids are the key culprits in cardiovascular diseases and lead to the deposition of fats in the blood vessels.

Counters the Effect of Cigarette Smoke: The two main components of tomatoes, coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid, fight against nitrosamines which are produced in the body and are the main carcinogens found in cigarettes. The presence of vitamin A in such high quantities has also been shown to reduce the effects of carcinogens and can protect you against lung cancer.

Improves Vision: Vitamin A, present in tomatoes, aids in improving vision, as well as in preventing night-blindness and macular degeneration. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that can be formed from an excess of beta-carotene in the body. A lot of vision problems occur due to the negative effects of free radicals, and vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant.

Digestive Health: Tomatoes keep the digestive system healthy by preventing both constipation and diarrhea. It also prevents jaundice and effectively removes toxins from the body. Furthermore, tomatoes have a large amount of fiber, which can bulk up stool and reduce symptoms of constipation. A healthy amount of fiber helps to stimulate peristaltic motion in the smooth digestive muscles, and also release gastric and digestive juices.

Lowers Hypertension: Daily consumption of tomatoes reduces the risk of developing hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. This is partially due to the impressive levels of potassium found in tomatoes. Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it reduces the tension in blood vessels and arteries, thereby increasing circulation and lowering the stress on the heart by eliminating hypertension.

Manages Diabetes: A study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that daily consumption of tomatoes reduces the oxidative stress of type 2 diabetes.

Healthy Skin: Tomatoes aid in maintaining healthy teeth, bones, hair and skin. Topical application of tomato juice is even known to cure severe sunburns. Daily consumption of tomatoes protects the skin against UV-induced erythema. Tomatoes rank high in the preparation of anti-aging products.

Prevents Urinary Tract Infections: Tomato intake also reduces the incidence of urinary tract infections, as well as bladder cancer. This is because tomatoes are high in water content, which can stimulate urination, so tomatoes are a diuretic in certain ways. This increases the elimination of toxins from the body, as well as excess water, salts, uric acid, and some fat as well!

Ref. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/tomatoes.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

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Poha dosa or attukula Attu

Andhra Dosa Poha dosa or attukula Attu

Hi friends ! this Dosa recipe is an Andhra Pradesh specialty and is known as Attukula Attu or Poha Dosa. It is an amazingly soft, spongy, porous dosa. Is fluffy inside and crisp on the edges and makes a delicious week end breakfast. It can be served with tomato chutney and sambar like any other South Indian dosa.

Prep time : Soaking over night + 15 minutes

Cook time : 30 minutes

Cuisine : Indian , Andhra Pradesh

Course : Breakfast

Serves: 12 dosas

Ingredients :

  • 2 cups rice sona masoori (variety of rice) gives good results
  • 1/2 cup poha/ Flattened rice /also called beaten rice
  • 1 1/2 cup sour curd whisked with 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 tsp salt
  • oil for frying the dosa

Method:

Step 1.

wash the rice and poha / Flattened rice /beaten rice in a bowl. Soak the rice, Fenugreek seeds and poha in the buttermilk mixture over night.

Step 2.

Grind to a smooth batter along with the soaked in buttermilk. Add soda ,salt and mix well. Keep aside for 1/2 an hour.

Step 3.

Heat a non stick tava or griddle take a ladle of batter and spread the batter and make a ¼ inch thick dosa.

Step 4.

Drizzle oil on the dosa and around the edges. Cover the dosa with a lid and cook on medium flame for 1-2 minutes till the base is cooked and crisp and the top is soft and spongy. Flip and cook the other side.

Step 5.

Serve poha dosa hot with Tomato /coconut chutney and pumpkin sambar.

 

Andhra Pradesh cuisine is a cuisine of South India native to the Telugu people from the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It is also the cuisine of the Telugu-speaking population of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu with slight variations due to local influences. Generally known for its tangy, hot and spicy taste, the cooking is very diverse due to the vast spread of the people and varied topological regions.

All three regions — Coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema and Telangana — have distinctive cuisines, where in semi-arid Telangana state region millet-based breads (roti) is predominant staple food, while rice is predominant in irrigated Andhra and Rayalaseema regions and ragi is popular in Rayalaseema regions which is predominantly semi-arid. Many of the curries (known as koora), snacks and sweets vary in the method of preparation and differ in name, too.

The state is the leading producer of red chili, rice and millets in India influences the liberal use of spices — making the food one of the richest and spiciest in the world. Vegetarian as well as meat and seafood (coastal areas) feature prominently on the menus. Dal (lentils), tomato and tamarind are largely used for cooking curries. Spicy and hot varieties of pickles form an important part of Telugu cuisine.

Ref.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telugu_cuisine

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

 

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Raw Mango curry

Raw mango curryRaw Mango curry

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cuisine: Indian ,South Indian

Course: Main , side dish

Cook time: 15 minutes

Level :Easy

Serves: 4

Hi friends! This is my summer season posting. It is a delicious curry which is made with few ingredients. It is Mango season and raw mangoes are available , this raw mango curry is a good accompaniment to steamed rice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium size Raw Mangoes
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt/ or salt as per taste
  • 1 tsp Ginger, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup Thick Coconut Milk
  • 1 cup thin coconut milk

Masala to grind:

  • 1/2 cup Grated coconut
  • 2 Green Chilies
  • 6 Garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

For Seasoning:

  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 1 Small onions, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves
  • 2 Dry red chilies
  • 1 tbsp Coconut oil

Method:

Step 1.

Wash and chop the mango into medium pieces.

Step 2.

On high flame place the pressure cooker , add the raw mango cubes and one tea cup water, turmeric powder, chili powder, 1/4 tsp salt and close the lid. As full pressure is formed, switch off the stove. Let the cooker cool down to room temperature, open the lid and remove the cooked mango pieces in a mixing bowl.

Step 3.

Grind coconut, green chili, garlic cloves and cumin seeds with little water to make a smooth paste. Keep it aside.

Step 4.

In a pan, heat the oil add mustard seeds, when mustard starts crackling, add fenugreek seeds. Add the curry leaves and dry red chilies, grated ginger, sauté for 1-2 minutes, add chopped onions. Fry onions till light golden in colour and add coconut masala paste and mix well.

Step 5.

Now add cooked mango along with little water. (can use same water used for boiling mango).

Step 6.

Add 1/4 tsp salt and mix well. Curry should be of medium consistency and simmer for about 5-6 minutes on a low flame. Switch off the stove. Serve hot with rice.

  Health benefits of mangoes:

Lowers Cholesterol

Eating mangoes regularly can keep cholesterol levels in check. The high vitamin C, pectin and fiber content present in mangoes helps lower cholesterol levels, especially the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol as well as triglycerides in the blood. At the same time, they help increase the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.

Plus, mangoes are a rich source of potassium, which plays a key role in increasing blood flow in the nervous system, which in turn controls heart rate and blood pressure. They also reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

 Rejuvenates Skin

Mangoes are amazing for your skin and are often used in face masks and scrubs. Being a great source of antioxidants, particularly vitamin C, mangoes help keep your skin healthy and glowing.

Plus, the vitamin A and beta-carotene in this fruit can restore, rejuvenate and revive your skin with vigor as well as give it a beautiful shine. Mangoes can also reduce dark spots, blemishes and acne.

To enjoy beautiful skin, do not throw away the skin after peeling a ripe mango. Rub the skin over your face, allow it to dry for 10 to 15 minutes, and then rinse it off with warm water. This simple remedy will make your skin soft and blemish-free!

 Prevents Heat Stroke

To reduce your risk of getting heat stroke, it is important to maintain the fluid level in your body. Being a rich source of potassium, mangoes help maintain the sodium level, which in turn regulates the body’s fluid level and protects you from heat stroke.

During the summer days, you can eat ripe mangoes or raw green mangoes daily to help cool down and rehydrate your body quickly. If you are eating ripe mangoes, soak them in water for one hour before eating to enhance their cooling effect.

You can make a healthy drink with raw mangoes to prevent heat stroke. Boil two raw mangoes in two cups of water until they become soft. When cool, squeeze out the pulp of the boiled mangoes and add it to a glass of cool water. Add rock salt and sugar for taste. Drink it once or twice daily.

 Improves Vision

Mangoes are also food for your eyes. The high amount of vitamin A present in mangoes is an important nutrient for eye health. Vitamin A promotes good eyesight and prevents various eye-related disorders like night blindness, cataracts, macular degeneration, dry eyes, soft cornea and general ocular discomfort.

Also, the flavonoids like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin present in mangoes are essential for good vision.

So, eat mangoes daily to improve your vision. Just one cup of sliced ripe mangoes fulfills 25 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin A.

 Alkalizes the Whole Body

This popular summer fruit also has an alkalizing effect on the body. The tartaric acid, malic acid as well as the small amount of citric acid found in mangoes help maintain a healthy alkaline level in the body.

This in turn prevents several health problems like chronic metabolic acidosis, kidney disease, muscle impairment and weakened bones.

Eating mangoes on a regular basis helps maintain the normal and slightly alkaline pH of the blood between a healthy 7.35 and 7.45. This helps transfer more oxygen throughout the body, increases energy levels, combats weight gain and prevents various digestive problems and osteoporosis.

 Aids Digestion

The high fiber content in mangoes helps digestion and elimination of waste products, as well as normalizes bowel movements. They can also help prevent gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease, according to a study published in Gastroenterology in 2013.

In addition, the fruit can provide relief from constipation and stomach ulcers. Mangoes also have enzymes that increase the breakdown of carbohydrates and protein, thus promoting conversion of food into energy.

Eating both ripe and unripe mangoes on a regular basis will improve digestion and reduce your risk of different types of gastrointestinal disorders.

Fights Cancer

The promising anti-carcinogenic properties of mangoes come from its high fiber and vitamin C content, along with the presence of several phenols and enzymes.Several studies have shown that the anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant compounds in mangoes can protect against colon, breast, lung, skin, leukemia and prostate cancers. Some of the antioxidant compounds found in mangoes that help fight cancer are quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methyl gallat.The anti-cancer compounds in mangoes effectively target and eliminate harmful cancer cells, without harming healthy, normal cells.The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute based in Boston recommends drinking one to two glasses of mango smoothies daily as part of a healthy diet for those who suffer from cancer.

Boosts Immune System

The high amount of vitamins C and A in mangoes plays a key role in keeping your immune system healthy and strong. Vitamin A is essential for proper immune system functioning.

It also maintains healthy skin and mucosal membranes, minimizing the risk of entry of various harmful bacteria and fungi. Vitamin C keeps the skin healthy and restricts the entry of infectious particles. It also boosts white blood cell production that strengthens immunity.Plus, mangoes have 25 different kinds of carotenoids that are good for your immune system. A strong immune system can easily fight common diseases like cold, flu and infections.Summer is here and so are the tasty and delicious mangoes. Considered the ‘king of the fruits,’ mangoes are loved by people of all ages and are eaten fresh more than any other fruit in the world. The sweet and aromatic taste of mangoes can refresh the mind and make you feel happy.

The health benefits of mangoes come from its rich content of nutrients, bioactive compounds and fiber. Mangoes are one of the richest sources of vitamins A, C and E, as well as minerals including potassium, magnesium, copper, calcium and phosphorus. They are also packed with pre-biotic dietary fiber and poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidant compounds.

Improves Memory

Mangoes also promote brain health and improve concentration level. According to a study published in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, there are several components in mangoes that help increase cholinergic function and decrease oxidative stress. This, in turn, enhances memory.The glutamine acid provided by mangoes is also known to boost memory and promote mental alertness. Plus, mangoes contain vitamin B6, which is vital for maintaining and improving brain function.

Ref.http://www.top10homeremedies.com/kitchen-ingredients/top-10-health-benefits-mangoes.html/3

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Raw Banana curry

 

Raw bananana curry

Raw Banana curry

Hi friends! One benefit of green bananas is the high resistant starch content.  For anyone trying to avoid food with high sugar content, green bananas are an option whereas yellow bananas are not.  So those suffering from Type 2 Diabetes can eat the unripe fruit while maybe ripened bananas are not as compatible. Unripe bananas also have pro-biotic bacteria, a friendly bacterium .  In addition, green bananas also help you absorb nutrients better, particularly calcium.

Cuisine : Indian, south Indian

Course: Main, vegetarian

Level : Easy

Serves : 8

Ingredients:

  • 4 Raw Bananas small size, cut into medium size pieces
  • ½ cup Grated Coconut
  • 1 medium size Onion , finely chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic , minced
  • 2 Green Chilies
  • 1/2 tsp Salt / or salt to taste

For Seasoning:

  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 2 Dry Red Chilies
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida / hing
  • 2 stalks Curry Leaves
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil

 For the marinade:

  • 2 tbsp Curd / yogurt / dahi
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

Method:

Step 1.

Place the raw banana pieces in a mixing bowl, marinate with curd, turmeric powder and salt and red chili powder. Keep aside for 2-3 hours.

Step 2.

In a blender take the grated coconut, green chilies, onion and garlic and grind them well. Keep aside.

Step 3.

Place a Wok/ kadahi/pan on high flame for seasoning and heat coconut oil in it. Add mustard seeds, when it starts crackling and add red chilies and curry leaves.

Step 4.

Add the marinated banana pieces and cover and cook on low flame, till soft. Stir intermittently.

Step 5.

Mix in ground coconut, onion, green chilies mixture. Cook for 3-4 minutes more.

Step 6.

Serve hot .

Why You Should Eat Green Bananas

Of course, you’ve eaten a banana – but have you ever eaten a green banana? If not, maybe you should. Eating green bananas offers some advantages you won’t get from eating the ripe, yellow fruit. What are the health benefits of green bananas?

Health Benefits of Green Bananas:

Green bananas aren’t a new exotic breed of fruit. They’re the unripe version of the same old banana most people know and love. Green bananas are “starchier”, but the type of starch they contain is resistant starch. Resistant starch is a type of starch that isn’t digested in the same way as most starches. Instead of being broken down, they pass through the intestines unchanged – which gives them the characteristics of an insoluble fiber.

Eat Green Bananas and Reap the Benefits of Resistant Starch

The resistant starch that comes from eating green bananas has some interesting health benefits. It may even help with the battle of the bulge. High fiber foods and foods that contain resistant starch increase satiety and reduce overall calorie consumption, probably due to their effects on digestion and satiety hormones.

According to one study, the resistant starch in green bananas increases the rate of fat burning by blocking the ability of the body to use carbohydrates as fuel. When the body can’t burn carbohydrates as fuel, it’s forced to use fat instead. Foods high in resistant starch also increase insulin sensitivity, which can help people with type 2 diabetes better control their blood sugars.

Another Reason to Eat Green Bananas

Resistant starch has another important function. It helps to keep the digestive tract healthy by acting as “food” for friendly, probiotic bacteria. These good intestinal bacteria ferment the resistant starch in green bananas and use it to make energy. This helps to drive away bad bacteria that can cause anything from a bad case of diarrhea to chronic colon problems. When resistant starch is fermented it produces short-chain fatty acids that help to keep the colon healthy, and, possibly, reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Another surprising benefit? The short-chain fatty acids produced by the fermentation of resistant starch increases the ability of the body to absorb nutrients – especially calcium.

Other Health Benefits of Green Bananas

All bananas are a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium, and green bananas are no exception. People on low carb diets often avoid bananas because of their higher sugar content, but eating green bananas, in moderation, could have benefits for both dieters and diabetics.

Ref. http://www.aviva.ca/article.asp?articleid=173

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Kadahi Paneer With Kasuri Methi

Kadahi paneer KMKadahi Paneer With Kasuri Methi

Hi friends! Quick and easy nutritious Paneer / cottage cheese grated, cut, marinated and cooked with cream, kasuri methi, cashew nuts, tomato, and a variety of Indian spices.

Ingredients:

  • 200 gm paneer/ cottage cheese
  • 3 medium size tomatoes
  • 1 ” ginger, finely grated
  • 15 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seed, roasted and powdered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 whole red chili
  • 1/4 tsp mace
  • 1 tsp Kasuri methi
  • 2 black pepper corns
  • 1  onion medium size , finely chopped
  • 15 cashew nuts, powdered
  • 1tbsp fresh cream
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil / clarified butter
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice

For the marinade:

  •  2 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method:

Step 1.

In a mixing bowl cut half the paneer / cottage cheese into tiny cubes and grate the other half. Marinate the paneer / cottage cheese with the mixture of ginger and garlic paste, salt and red chili powder. Keep aside.

Step 2.

Cut tomatoes into small pieces. Heat oil in a wok / Kadahi add bay leaves, green cardamoms, whole red chili, black pepper corns, mace, cloves, sauté for few seconds.

Step 3.

Add minced garlic and finely grated ginger. As the garlic turns golden brown, add the tomatoes, salt and cook covered on low heat. Cool and puree the tomato mixture in a blender. Keep aside.

Step4.

Grind the cashews in a grinder. Heat a tbsp of oil in a wok / Kadahi and add cumin, when it starts crackling, add chopped onions. Sauté the onions till golden and add the pureed tomatoes, Kasuri methi, powdered cashew nuts, cook covered for 8-10 minutes on a low flame.

Step 5.

Add marinated grated and cubed paneer / cottage cheese, mix , cover and cook. Add cumin powder, cream and mix well.

Step 6.
Add lemon juice and cook for a minute or so on low flame. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with any Indian bread of choice.

Paneer/cottage cheese is a type of cheese that was originally found in the area that today encompasses Iran, India and Pakistan. It is a high protein food; it is often substituted for meat in many vegetarian entrees of Indian cuisine. It is commonly used in curried dishes. Paneer is quite easy to make at home. Bring 2 litres of fresh whole milk to the boil. Add 2 table spoons of vinegar or lemon juice or curd and stir well. Put aside. After the milk has curdled, wrap it in a clean muslin cloth, rinse with fresh water and drain well. Form a ball and place it under a heavy saucepan for approx. 20 minutes. 200 g of your paneer is ready. 100 gms of paneer made from cow milk provides 18.3 gms of protein, 20.8 gms of fat, 2.6 gms of minerals, 1.2 gms of carbohydrates, 265 kcal of energy, 208 mgs of calcium, 138 mg of phosphorous. It contains reasonably good amounts of fat and cholesterol. It would be better to avoid it for those with hypertension and diabetes due to its high fat content. It can however be used in small quantities for such patients one or twice a week. It is suitable for all age groups. Cheese is nutritious food made mostly from the milk of cows but also other mammals, including sheep, goats, buffalo, reindeer, camels and yaks. The milk is curdled using some combination of rennet (or rennet substitutes) and acidification. Bacteria acidify the milk and play a role in defining the texture and flavour of most cheeses. There are hundreds of types of cheese. Different styles and flavours of cheese are the result of using different species of bacteria and moulds, different levels of milk fat, variations in length of aging, differing processing treatments (cheddaring, pulling, brining, mould wash) and different breeds of cows, sheep, or other mammals. Other factors include animal diet and the addition of flavouring agents such as herbs, spices, or wood smoke. Whether or not the milk is pasteurised may also affect the flavour. Paneer is a type of cheese. It is the Indian name for cottage cheese. Paneer, unlike other cheeses, has not been matured and it is rather bland. While making paneer from milk, don’t throw away the paneer water. This nutritious water can be used for making soft dough for chapattis or can be used to cook dals. Yoghurt is what we commonly called curd or dahi. It is a wholesome food rich in protein and riboflavin. The versatility of yoghurt or curd in cooking is amazing. It can be used in desserts, dips, breads, soups, rice, salads, and vegetable dishes.

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Matra / dried peas Chaat

Matra chaat G  

Matra  Chaat / dry peas Chaat

This is a delicious spicy, very healthy, cooking medium free snack. Matar Ki Chaat can be served as a snack or as a main dish with Indian bread Kulchas.

Although dried peas belong to the same family of beans and legumes, they are classified in a separate group due to the preparation. The fully matured pea pods are dried to get dried peas. It is harder and starchier than that of fresh peas and can be readily used when fresh peas are not available. Dried peas are available in yellow, green, and red colors. Health benefits of dried peas are numerous due to their nutritional value.

Prep time : Soaked overnight + 15 minutes cooking time

Cuisine: Indian

Course : Main / snack

Serves : 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup matara / dried peas
  • 1/2 tsp salt / or salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black salt / or salt to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin seed, roasted and powdered
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder, dry roasted
  • 1/4  sp black pepper
  • 1/4  tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp ginger juice, (finely chopped and squeezed)
  • 1 tsp red chili powder / or to taste
  • 2 tbsp tamarind pulp

For Garnishing

  • 2 tbsp ginger finely chopped

Method:

Step 1.

Wash and soak matra / dried peas in four cups of water overnight.

Step 2.

On high flame place the pressure cooker with the soaked matra/ dried peas along with the water soaked in, and salt. The moment pressure is formed, reduce to low flame for 5 minutes. Switch off the stove. Let the pressure cooker cool down to room temperature. Open the lid take out well cooked matra / dried peas in a bowl and keep aside.

Step 3.

Dry roast the coriander powder for half a minute, add roasted cumin seeds powder. Add the cooked matra / dried peas and mix cook on low flame. Add pepper, red chili powder, ginger juice and tamrind pulp, mix well cook for 5-6 minutes.

Step 4.

Garnish with finely cut ginger threads , serve hot . If serving for main course, serve with Indian bread Kulchas.

 Health benefits of Matra / dried peas:

They are packed with dietary fiber and are a good source of nutrients such as proteins, molybdenum, thiamin, folate, potassium, and phosphorus.  Half a cup of cooked dried peas provides: 

  • 144 calories
  • 26 g carbohydrates
  • 10 g proteins
  • 10 g dietary fiber
  • 1 g fat
  • 2 mg sodium
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • Since dried peas have high fiber content, they have a cholesterol lowering effect.
  • People with diabetes, hypoglycemia, or insulin resistance problems suffer from irregular glucose metabolism. Dried peas helps to maintain blood sugar levels as it slows down the burning process, thereby providing steady amounts of glucose to the blood.
  • A cup of dried peas provide 65.1% of the daily value of fiber, and the fiber helps to relieve constipation and prevent gastrointestinal disorders.
  • The isoflavones present in dried peas prevents health conditions like prostate and breast cancer.
  • Dried peas are good sources of iron and by eating a quarter cup of peas daily, one can meet 8% of his/her daily iron needs.
  • Other dried peas benefits include the lowering risk of heart disease. The ingredients folate and magnesium present in dried peas help to maintain the level of homocysteine and help to avert heart diseases.
  • Dried peas are rich in magnesium and potassium. The former helps to improve blood flow, and the latter helps to maintain blood pressure, thus lowering the chance of plaque buildup in blood vessels.
  • Sulfites that are commonly used in salads and processed foods cause headache and disorientation. Molybdenum present in dried peas play a vital role in detoxification of sulfites. One can obtain 196% of the daily value of molybdenum by consuming a cup of cooked dried peas.
  • Dried peas are also great protein snack with fiber that helps with weight loss. They will curb hunger pangs by keeping the blood sugar levels under control.

Ref.http://www.diethealthclub.com/therapeutic-value-of-different-foods/beans-and-legumes/dried-peas.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.

Lotus Seeds and green peas Curry

lotus seeds and green peas curry 1Lotus Seeds and green peas Curry

After trying out the shallow fried lotus seeds as a healthy snack, here is a delicious curry with the lotus seeds.

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups Lotus seeds
  • 2 medium size Tomatoes
  • 2 medium size Onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Ginger , finely grated
  • 15 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 12 Cashews, powdered
  • 1 cup Green Peas , fresh or frozen
  • 2 peppercorns, finely powdered
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 3 Clove, powdered
  • 1 tsp Fennel / saunf seeds, powdered
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 tsp Salt/ or as per taste
  • 1tabsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp Curd / yogurt/ dahi , whisked
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

Method:

Step 1.

In a heavy bottom pan, put the ghee/ oil and when hot add the lotus seed stir fry until crisp over medium low flame. This takes 5-7minutes. Keep it aside.

Step 2.

Roast the cashew nuts in the microwave for two minutes. Cool and put in a grinder. Powder the cashew nuts in a grinder and keep aside.

Step 3.

In a pressure cooker take green peas add 1/4 cup of water. On a high flame when full pressure is formed, switch off the stove. When pressure cooker cools down to room temperature, open the lid and keep the peas aside.

Step 4.

Cut each tomato in two halves to blanch. In a pressure cooker take the cut tomatoes add 1/4 cup of water. On a high flame when full pressure is formed, switch off the stove. When pressure cooker cools down to room temperature, open the lid and take out the tomatoes in a small bowl, remove the skin from all four pieces with a fork and put them into a blender, along with cashew powder to it and blend the mix. Keep aside.

Step 5.

Cut the onions in to small pieces put in the pressure cooker add 1/4 cup of water. On a high flame when full pressure is formed, switch off the stove. When pressure cooker cools down to room temperature, open the lid and take out the onions into a blender jar. Blend the onions in to a fine paste and keep  aside.

Step 6.

Heat oil in a wok/ Pan / kadai add green cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, fennel / saunf powder and sauté lightly add the onion paste and sauté for 5-8 minutes on medium flame. Add ginger paste and garlic paste and sauté for half a minute.

Step 7.

Add blanched tomatoes, cashew nut powder paste. Cook for five to seven minutes on low heat. Add salt and turmeric, red chili powder, mix well. Add 3 cups of water bring it to boil add the peas mix well and cook for another 5-7 minutes on low heat.

Step 8.

Add the fried lotus seeds, whisked curd / yogurt / dahi and mix thoroughly . Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and switch off the flame. Add the lemon juice now and mix it well.

Step 9.

Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves. Delicious Lotus seeds Curry can be served with Indian breads of choice!.

Health and beauty benefits of Lotus seeds:

Lotus seeds, commonly known as makhana in India, are the seeds of the water lotus plant. The seeds are small, round and white or off-white in appearance. They are the edible seeds of lotus flower which can be roasted or fried. Lotus seeds are used for nutritional and healing properties in Chinese medicine. The lotus seeds are highly useful in terms of nutritional benefits and are low in saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol; high in magnesium potassium, thiamine and phosphorus. Besides being edible, the lotus plant has many health and beauty benefits as well. You can use makhana seeds in desserts, rice porridge, soups and stir fry dishes.

Lotus seeds are also a good source of protein, iron and zinc, which makes them extremely nutritious. They contain the anti-aging enzyme, which assist repair damaged proteins. Due to this anti-aging propery, many cosmetic companies are trying to include the seeds in their products. Along with it, the seeds have a natural flavonoid which prevents inflammation. Lotus seeds have an astringent property which benefits the kidneys and helps to restore vital energy within the body. The sweet and neutral taste of makhana seeds nourish the spleen and alleviate diarrhea. Makhana seeds are endowed with sedative properties and are used to treat insomnia or restlessness. The lotus embryo is useful for heart because of its bitter and cooling properties. Also it can help dilate blood vessels, thus reducing blood pressure.

According to western research, the seeds are antiviral which help fight the herpes 1 virus. Also it has been founded useful in lowering hypertension. One of the vital medicinal benefits of lotus seeds is stopping chronic diarrhea. Due to astringent properties, the seeds are consumed to help relieve the symptoms of diarrhea and improve appetite. Other major benefits of lotus seeds include palpitations, insomnia and irritability. They are also used to control bleeding.

Since makhana seeds are high in fiber, it helps to avoid constipation. Also they help the body to remove the waste; prevent the accumulation of toxins.  Lotus seeds are low in calories, fat and high in fiber and thus helpful in diabetes. It lowers the blood sugar level. The seeds are recommended for women during pregnancy and post natal weakness; helps in female infertility. The makhana seeds are also used in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatic pains. Further, the seeds are beneficial in weight loss too as they are high in fiber and low in calories .Lotus seeds are also very useful in anemia. The lotus seeds can be digested by all age groups. They are a healthy snack for children .Just roast the seeds a bit and add a pinch of salt.
Ref. http://healthyfoodsonly.blogspot.in/2012/11/health-and-beauty-benefits-of-lotus.html

Nick’s kitchen medical Disclaimer:

  • Nick’s kitchen is for Vegetarians. It sometimes provides education and support to individuals who want to become vegetarian, or move toward a more vegetarian diet.
  • Nick’s kitchen provides some information on vegetarian and vegan diets to the best of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Nick’s kitchen does not claim to be health care professional, nutritionist, nor does it claims to treat any illness through vegan or vegetarian diet.
  • If you have a medical condition,Nick’s kitchen recommend that you consult your health care professionals before changing your diet.
  • Any changes that you make to your diet, and the results of those changes, are your decision and your responsibility.