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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.