Baby Potatoes

 

Fried Baby PotatoesBaby potatoes

Baby potatoes are the potatoes which are removed from the soil before they are fully grown. Because of this , baby potatoes have a sweeter flavor. Baby potatoes usually have a pale brown thin outer skin. They are used all over the world in a variety of dishes like salads, vegetable accompaniments to even main courses. Baby potatoes can be cooked using various recipes, can be baked, grilled, steamed, broiled, roasted, stir fried, etc.

Hi friends !If you are looking for a simple and spicy dish to go well with rice pilaf, this is a very easy recipe with baby potatoes.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4
Cuisine: Indian

Category: Side dish

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Kg small /baby Potatoes
  • 1 tsp Red chilie powder
  • 12 Sambar Onions (shallots)
  • 12 Garlic pods
  • 2 tbsp White vinegar
  • 1/2 level tsp Salt /to taste
  • 1/2 cup Oil

Method:

Step 1.

In a pressure cooker wash and put baby potatoes add three cups of water and close the lid. Place the cooker on high flame, the moment full pressure is formed, reduce the heat to low flame. After five minutes switch off the stove. When pressure cooker cools down to room temperature open the lid and take out the potatoes, peel the skin and keep aside.

Step 2.

Grind together without water, sambar onions /shallots / pearl onions, garlic pods, and white vinegar to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

Step 3.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Add and sauté the peeled baby potatoes over low flame for a few minutes. Keep on tossing well, so that the potatoes become golden brown and crisp all around. Remove the fried potatoes in a bowl and keep aside.

Step 4.

In the same pan add left over oil and heat , add the onion, garlic, vinegar ground paste and sauté for a minute ill garlic ginger paste slightly changes colour. Add fried potatoes to the fried paste and gently mix. Cover and cook over low flame, stirring and mixing the potatoes frequently.

Step 5.

After 5– 8 minutes of cooking on low flame, when the paste is well coated and blended with the potatoes ,( it would have coated the potatoes well). Switch off the stove.

Step 6.

Serve hot Garnishing it with finely chopped cilantro /Coriander leaves. It goes very well with rice pilaf.

Note:

If baby potatoes are not available big potatoes can be cut in big cubes.

Frying the potatoes in the beginning, before adding the onion paste will ensure a lovely golden colour and enhanced taste.

Ref.http://www.caloriecount.com/calories-fresh-easy-baby-potatoes-i296013

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.

 

 

 

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.

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.