Shakshuka is an exclamatory delicacy. Poached velvelty eggs sink in the rich tomato sauce. An Arabic staple dish traditionally served in cast iron pan or Tajine with bread. (Ideal accompanied by while wine.) A powerpacked breakkie or even an early dinner….here is my take on Shakshuka!
Onion 1 medium chopped, Tomatoes 2 chopped, Capsicum 1chopped, Parsley 1 tabsp, Olives 5-6 diced, Garlic 2cloves finely chopped, Salt, Pepper, Oregano and chiliflakes 1/2 tsp each. Tomato ketchup 4/5 tabsp, Sun-dried Tomatoes 5/6, Mozerella cheese 2 tabsp, Feta Cheese crumbled as desired, Olive oil 2tabsp, Plum relish 1tabsp, Chicken stock 1 cup and Eggs 2.
Heat oil in a pan saute garlic, onions, tomatoes, Capsicum. Stirfry for a couple of minutes. Add the ketchup, Plum relish and keep stirring. Now add chicken stock and seasoning. Add diced Olives and Sun-dried Tomatoes give it a good stir. Add cubed feta and drizzle Mozerella all over. Let the mixture blend into a thick rich sauce. Once the sauce is ready slowly slide in eggs and garnish with Parsley. Cover and lower the heat. Let the eggs poach in the tomato sauce.
(Another option is transfer the sauce into an iron cast pan or Tajine, slide the eggs into the sauce and in a preheated iver bake it for 10/15 mins at 220°)
Serve hot with Focaccia or any loaf of bread.
Goodness is the only investment that never fails!
While we think about the best option and time saving factor, Granola bars is the answer to opt for healthy lifestyle. These bars can just keep you away from the binges. Wholesome and power house of all essential nutrients, here’s my take on the Granola bars.
Ingredients – (for 30 bars)
Oats (rolled) 5 cups, chopped almonds 1 cup, honey 3/4th cup, Butter 100 grams, brown sugar 3/4th cup, vanilla extract 2tsp, salt 1/2 tsp, cranberries 150 grams, chocochips 150 grams, flaxseeds powder 1/2 cup, sesame seeds 1/2 cup.
In a large baking tray mix the oats, chopped almonds, sesame seeds and flax seed powder. Bake the mixture for 10 mins. Make sure you stir the mixture after every 2 -3 mins. While the oats mixture is baking prepare the sweet ingredients. In a sauce pan take butter, sugar, vanilla and honey. On medium heat blend the mixture till the butter is melted. Take is away from the heat. Now drizzle this mix over the freshly baked oats mixture. Mix thoroughly with a spatula. Now add the cranberries and chocochips. Mix till you see the chocochips melt to bind the mixture. Transfer this mixture to lined (well greased aluminum foil)trays. Spread evenly and press it with a broader knife or a spatula firmly. Refrigerate for 1/2 an hour. Take a chopping board and cut them into bars. Store it in an airtight container.
Enjoy the anytime snack or a breakkie!
Another variety to keep the boring menu off while fasting are the dosas, not the regular ones but the ones made of Samo seeds or Vari or upawasacha bhaat. Simple yet flavoursome. This one was suggested by my Ma , as she was worried about my fast, that’s her love as always. Anyways, here’s is my take on dosa ani Ratalee for the Navratri !
Dosa – Samo seeds 1 cup soaked for half an hour, freshly grated coconut 1 tabsp, green chilli’s 2/3, ground peanuts 1 tabsp, curds 1 cup, lemon 1 tsp, cumin seeds 1 tsp, salt to taste, ghee 1/2 tabsp.
Ratalee – sweet potatoes 1/2 kg, salt and freshly ground pepper, butter 1 tabsp.
In a blender take the soaked and then drained samo seeds, add curds, lemon juice, coconut, peanuts, green chilli’s, salt and cumin seeds. Grind it to fine consistency. Heat a non stick griddle. Pour the batter with a laddle in a circular motion to make thin dosas. Drizzle a tsp of ghee and flip it over. Cook it till it turns golden. Serve hot with Ratalee.
For the Ratalee, simply boil or bake the sweet potatoes till tender, slice them, season it with salt and pepper and add a dash of butter. Enjoy the crispy dosa and sweet potato bhaji.
Shingada (water chestnut) is a very healthy option for those following fast, especially Navratri. Since the body receive less of nutrition and one feels low during the fasting period, use of shingada is very beneficial since it is full of protein, vitamin and minerals. It is low in fat, but high in potassium, gluten free and fibrous fruit. Shingada is indigenous in India and is used to cure many disease. So many benifits and when it is used in making halwa the taste too is enhanced. I make a simple halwa, thanks to my Rajputana roots I prefer using Jaggery over sugar. So here is my take on this power packed quick halwa.
Shingada atta (water chestnut flour) 1 cup, Jaggery 3/4 cup (I use the organic crushed one), 2 large tab so ghee, 2 cups milk, 1 cup water, cardamom powder 1tsp, a pinch of saffron, nutmeg powder 1/2 tsp and a pinch of pink salt. Almonds chopped for garnish a handful.
Heat ghee in a pan and roast the atta till it changes it’s colour to a slightly darker shade and becomes fluffy. Add milk , saffron and stirfry with a whisk continuously. Add Jaggery and some water, cover it and let it cook for 5 mins on low heat. Add cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and garnish it with almonds. Sprinkle a small pinch of salt, to cut the sweetness and clear the palate, mix well and enjoy it hot or cold.
Indian Chinese is not only popular but is demanded in every household. One of the most popular chicken dish in this cuisine is the Chilli Chicken. While making Indian Chinese one should keep the time frame in mind, that is cook just before serving and for a shorter period and always on high flame. Spicy, sweet and tangy is polished off in minutes… everytime I make it.
Boneless chicken 500 grams cut into small pieces, ginger and garlic finely chopped 1 tabsp each, soy sauce 1tabsp, oyster sauce 2tabsp, salt to taste, pepper 2tsp, chilli flakes 1tsp, whole dried Chilli 3/4, honey 2tabsp, cornflour 3tabsp, milk 1/2 cup, ginger garlic paste 1tabsp. Oil for frying and 2/3 tabsp for stirfrying . Onions and Capsicum chopped in chunks 2/3 each.
Marinate the chicken in ginger garlic paste, add salt to taste, sprinkle cornflour and add milk. Mix well and keep it aside for a few minutes. Milk gives a creamy soft texture to the chicken. Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the marinated chicken. Frying should be on high flame and not more than 2minutes each batch of chicken. Remove the oil and keep only a couple of tabsp oil in the wok. Keep the heat of high flame. Saute chopped ginger garlic chillis and Capsicum onions for 2/3 minutes. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt and pepper. Stir fry for another minute. Add the fried chicken and coat it with the sauce , ginger garlic, capsicum onion mixture thoroughly. Drizzle honey and stir-fry for another minute. Serve hot with rice.
When you get this strange and strong cravings for something sweet but have to watch your weight at the same time, this recipe is the perfect one to curb your cravings and satisfy your sweet tooth. This recipe has all the goodness of healthy elements plus have skipped the naughtiness of sugar, butter and refined flour. A wholesome experience indeed!
Ingredients: (makes 15 muffins)
Oats 2cups, Greek yoghurt 11/2cups, honey 2 tabsp, ripe bananas 2, eggs 2, cinnamon powder 1tsp, pink salt 1/2 tsp, vanilla extract 1tsp, baking powder 2tsp, choco chips 1cup.
Mix bananas, yoghurt, honey and eggs in a blender. Take a bowl and mix the dry ingredients like the oats, cinnamon powder, salt, baking powder and chocochips. Fold in the blended mixture slowly and add vanilla extract. Preheat the oven at 180 degree for 10 mins. With the help of a spoon fill the lined muffin tray upto 3/4th. Bake it for 18/20mins on 180 degrees.
Another option one can use the same mixture for pancakes.
Enjoy the Healthy treat!
Sunday is the binge day where in we all relish desserts. Most of the time it is either the Gaylord (Churchgate) or COO – Country of origin (Napeansea Road). We just end up eating as my friend David says “Trash” which is refined flour and sugar. Keeping the Healthy aspect in mind I made these tarts, using the 50:50 ratio…. Healthy : Trashy all I can say. So here is my take on the Tarts.
Shortcrust pastry : (8tartlets)
250 grams multigrain atta /flour, 250 grams refined flour /maida, Butter 150 grams, cinnamon powder 1tsp, brown sugar 1tabsp and salt half a tsp. Milk 2/3 tabsp for binding.
Cream cheese 2 tabsp, Greek yoghurt 2/3tabsp, whipped cream 2 tabsp, melted white chocolate 2/3 tabsp, fresh mulberries 2cups or if mulberries not available take strawberries and finely chop it.
Short crust pastry :
Chop the chilled butter into small cubes and in a big mixing bowl combine it with the maida and multigrain atta. Do not over work the process , use minimum touch and bring it to a sandy texture as fast as you can. Season with salt. Add sugar and cinnamon powder. Now bring it to a tight dough consistency by adding a tabsp of milk at a time. Roll the dough and cut as per the the size of the tart dishes. Cover the base and sides of the shells evenly and keep it to cool in the fridge for 20mins. Prick it with a fork so that it doesn’t fluff up. Bake for 20 mins at 200 degrees. Once baked, keep it on the wire rack to cool.
In a glass bowl, simply blend in the cream cheese, yogurts and whipped cream. Drizzle and stir the melted white chocolate. Make a nice velvety mixture. Now add the mulberries. The mulberries are very delicate fruit, so it will immediately start oozing out its juice and colour. Fold in lightly and fill in the cooled tart shells.
Enjoy the tarts with 50% less of guilt.