Fruit Chaat

by Shivani Khanna

2015-16-3--20-24-20

During religious fasts one abstains from regular meals. Fruits are popularly eaten either by themselves, as juice or fruit chaats. Local and seasonal fruits like Papaya, Apples, Pears, Bananas, Pomegranate are eaten during the Navratri fasting.

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To make a fruit chaat, you need to dice your fruits, spice it up with salt and chilli powder and give it a sweet and sour flavour by adding sugar and lemon juice.

2015-17-3--08-14-55

Fruit Chaat

Ingredients ~

250 gms combination of fruits of your choice
100 gms cucumber
50 gms boiled potatoes
1 lemon, juice
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp powdered sugar
chilli powder, optional

Method ~

1. Peel and dice all the fruits, cucumber and potatoes evenly.
2. Add the salt, sugar, lemon juice and chilli powder if using, to the diced fruits. Mix well. Adjust the seasoning to your taste.

Note ~ Add the sugar and salt just before eating. If added too early, the fruits leave their juices and soften up. If you like the chaat to be syrupy then by all means add the sugar and salt an hour in advance.

 

 

Makhana, Melon Seeds & Peanut Namkeen

by Shivani Khanna

2015-18-3--11-56-23

Makhana

Euryale ferox or Fox Nut, also known as Makhana in Hindi  is a flowering plant classified in the water lily family which grows best in locations with hot, dry summers and cold winters. The plant produces starchy white seeds that are edible and  are collected in the late summer and early autumn. The seeds may be eaten raw or cooked.

In India, in the northern and western parts of the country, Euryale ferox seeds are often roasted or fried, which causes them to pop like popcorn and are eaten with a sprinkling of oil and spices. Makhana is an auspicious ingredient in offerings to the Goddesses during festivals and is used to show reverence. Makhanas are used to make a porridge/pudding called Kheer of Makhana or ‘Makhana  Kheer’ .

Makhana represents an outstanding source of carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. These seeds are low in saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol and have a substantial amount of minerals such as magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. ~ Wikipedia

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Melon Seeds

The melon is a cooling and nutritious fruit and found in abundance during the summer time in India. Being low in calories and having a high water content, the melon is a refreshing and healthy food. The melon seed is a grayish white hard shell with a white inner kernel, which is soft and oval in shape. The seeds of the melon are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, fats and other nutrients. They  have a nutty and sweet taste. They can be eaten raw or roasted.

2015-18-3--12-03-17

Peanut

The Peanut or Groundnut is a species in the family Fabaceae, commonly known as the bean, pea or legume family. The peanut is not technically a nut but rather a legume. Peanuts are often referred to as a nut in common English. Peanuts can be eaten raw, used in recipes, made into oils, textile materials, and peanut butter, as well as many other uses.

In the Indian subcontinent, peanuts are known as a light snack by themselves, usually roasted and salted and often sold roasted in pod or boiled with salt. They are also made into little dessert or sweet snack pieces by processing with refined sugar and jaggery.  Another use of peanut is as cooking oil.

Peanuts are rich in essential nutrients and are an excellent source of several B vitamins, vitamin E, several dietary minerals, such as manganese, magnesium and phosphorus and dietary fiber. They also contain protein in a higher proportion than in many tree nuts.

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A healthy namkeen is made by gently tossing the makhana, melon seeds, peanuts and potato chips in ghee with just a sprinkling of salt and red chilli powder.

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Makhana, Melon Seeds & Peanut Namkeen

Ingredients ~

100 gms makhana
100 gms peeled melon seeds
100 gms shelled peanuts
100 gms dried potato chips
salt, chilli powder to taste
vegetable oil for frying
2 tbsp ghee

Method ~

1. Dry roast the melon seeds and the peanuts individually in a hot wok.
2. Heat the oil and fry the dried potato chips till they double in size.
3. Cut each makhana into two pieces.
4. Add the ghee in the hot wok and roast the makhana pieces. Add the roasted melon seeds, peanuts and potato chips.
5. Sprinkle salt and chilli powder and stir to coat the mixture.
6. Serve hot or cold.

 

Sabudana Tikki

by Shivani Khanna

Tapioca Sago is generally known as  SABUDANA in Hindi.  Sago is a produce, prepared from the milk of Tapioca Root. It is a very nutritious product as it contains Carbohydrates and appreciable amount of Calcium and Vitamin-C.

The root, received from the farms is hygienically cleaned in water & after peeling the skin, it is crushed, allowed to pass the milk after retaining all fibre & impurities. The milk is settled in a tank for nearly 3 to 8 hours, thus all residual impurities float to the top of the tank & are drained out of the settled milk. From this settled Milk Cake, globules are made on a very simple indigenous machine. After sizing the globules by filtering through sieves, it is roasted on hot plates or heated in steam, depending upon the desired final product. Sago in globular shape is then dried under direct sunlight on big platforms. ~ Sabuindia

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As Sabudana is mainly starch which contains carbohydrates, it is great for a quick boost of energy, and is often served in India for breaking fasts during religious festivals. Sabudana  can be cooked in either savoury or sweet dishes. Sabudana are dried globules which need to be re-hydrated. This is the tricky part. The best way to re-hydrate them is to spread them out on a flat plate and sprinkle water over them. They will absorb the water. This process needs to be repeated till the sabudana pearls/globules are soft to touch.

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Sabudana being flavourless, can be used in a number of dishes. When made into tikkis it gives a crunch to the potatoes. Adding chopped green chillies and crushed peanuts further enhances the flavour of the tikki.

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The potatoes are mashed along with the sadudana pearls. Salt and red/green chillies are used to give it taste. The peanuts give it added crunch. While shaping the tikkis, it helps to oil your palms with vegetable oil. This helps to prevent the tikki batter from sticking to the palms and makes it easier to roll the tikki into shape.

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Sabudana Tikki

Ingredients ~

200 gms sabudana
1 medium potato
50 gms roasted peanuts
1 small green chilli, optional
1/3 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
vegetable oil for frying

Method ~

1. Re-hydrate the sabudana pearls by placing them on a flat plate and sprinkling water over them occasionally till the pearls feel soft to the touch.
2. Boil the potato. When cool, peel it and either grate it through a fine grater or mash it.
3. Crush the peanuts coarsely and remove the skins that may separate from the peanut.
4. Chop the green chilli if using.
5. Grease your palms with a little vegetable oil and mash all the ingredients together.
6. Season with salt and red chilli powder.
7. Roll the batter into small balls and flatten them to form tikkis/cutlets.
8. Heat vegetable oil in a wok and when hot gently drop the tikkis in and fry till golden in colour.
9. Serve with Imli Chutney during a fast. Otherwise you can serve with Green Coriander and Mint Chutney.

 

 

Kuttu & Singhara Atta Pakora

by Shivani Khanna

2015-18-3--12-06-17

Kuttu or Buckwheat is not a cereal grain but actually a fruit seed, therefore eaten during religious fasting in India. It is also a suitable substitute for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens.

Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Buckwheat is a good source of magnesium which relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery while lowering blood pressure.The nutrients in buckwheat may also contribute to blood sugar control. Eating foods high in insoluble fiber, such as buckwheat, can help women avoid gallstones. It  is good at drawing out retained water and excess fluid from swollen areas of the body.

2015-18-3--12-09-17

Singhara or Water Chestnut is a fruit therefore eaten during religious fasting in India. It can be eaten raw, boiled or as flour, after drying and grinding. Singhara is indigenous to India and used in Ayurveda to cure various diseases.

Singhara is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamin B, C, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iodine and contains no fat. It is a natural antioxidant, prevents wrinkles and protects from UV rays. It helps to prevent sugar,ulcer, gout and heart diseases and is used for treating diarrhoea, dysentery, thyroid problem, swelling and bronchitis. It contains iodine, manganese and other minerals that help in proper functioning of thyroid.

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Kuttu and Singhara flour do not contain gluten and are low on the glycaemic index. Thus, they help in releasing slow energy when eaten during religious fasts. Both flours have high nutritional value and so are perfect for breaking fasts.

2015-18-3--15-15-01

Kuttu & Singhara Atta Pakora

Ingredients ~

1 cup kuttu flour/atta
1/3 cup singhara flour/atta
2 medium potatoes
salt, red chilli powder, ajwain to taste
vegetable oil for frying

Method ~

1. Boil the potatoes, peel and grate them.
2. Mix both the kuttu and the singhara flour/atta.
3. Add the salt, red chilli powder and the ajwain to the flour.
4. With your hand, mix in the grated potatoes. Add just enough water to lighter the mixture and bind it all together.
5. Heat vegetable oil in a wok.
6. Wet your hands and drop small balls of the pakora batter into the hot oil. Reduce the flame to medium and cook the pakoras till crisp on the outside and cooked inside.
7. Can be eaten hot or cold. Serve with Imli Chutney, Raita, Khatte Aaloo ki Sabji, Khatti Arbi ki Sabji.

 

Kuttu Paneer Pakora

by Shivani Khanna

2015-18-3--12-06-17

Kuttu or Buckwheat is not a cereal grain but actually a fruit seed, therefore eaten during religious fasting in India. It is also a suitable substitute for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens.

Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Buckwheat is a good source of magnesium which relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery while lowering blood pressure.The nutrients in buckwheat may also contribute to blood sugar control. Eating foods high in insoluble fiber, such as buckwheat, can help women avoid gallstones. It  is good at drawing out retained water and excess fluid from swollen areas of the body.

2015-18-3--12-09-17

Singhara or Water Chestnut is a fruit therefore eaten during religious fasting in India. It can be eaten raw, boiled or as flour, after drying and grinding. Singhara is indigenous to India and used in Ayurveda to cure various diseases.

Singhara is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamin B, C, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iodine and contains no fat. It is a natural antioxidant, prevents wrinkles and protects from UV rays. It helps to prevent sugar,ulcer, gout and heart diseases and is used for treating diarrhoea, dysentery, thyroid problem, swelling and bronchitis. It contains iodine, manganese and other minerals that help in proper functioning of thyroid.

2015-16-3--21-27-28

Paneer or Cottage Cheese is a fresh cheese made by curdling hot milk by adding lemon juice, vinegar or yogurt to separate the curds from the whey. The whey is separated by hanging the curds in a muslin cloth and the resulting cheese is called paneer.

Paneer is a source of protein for vegetarian people and helps to fulfill their protein need of the body. It has a high level of calcium and phosphorus which helps in building strong bones and teeth. It also  has Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Omega-6 Fatty Acids which help in fighting rheumatoid arthritis. The presence of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat in paneer helps in lowering the body weight. It also has high level of dietary fibres which help in digestion by improving the metabolism. It has high levels of  vitamin B and enhances blood formation, assists in more nutrients absorption by the body and strengthens the liver.

2015-16-3--21-25-13

Kuttu and Singhara flour do not contain gluten and are low on the glycaemic index. Thus, they help in releasing slow energy when eaten during religious fasts. Both flours have high nutritional value and so are perfect for breaking fasts. Paneer is a high protien food and provides instant energy.

2015-17-3--07-03-40

Kuttu  Paneer Pakora

Ingredients ~

1 cup kuttu flour/atta
1/3 cup singhara flour/atta
250 gms paneer/cottage cheese
salt, red chilli powder, ajwain to taste
vegetable oil for frying

Method ~

1. Cut the paneer into batons or cubes.
2. Soak the paneer in water and add salt. This helps in adding the salt flavour to the paneer itself.
3. Mix both the kuttu and the singhara flour.
4. Add the salt, red chilli powder and the ajwain to the flour. Spread on a plate.
5. Heat vegetable oil in a wok.
6. Take the paneer and roll it in the dry atta mixture.
7. Cook in the hot oil till crisp.
8. Can be eaten hot or cold. Serve with Imli Chutney, Raita, Fruit Chaat.

Bhuna

by Nirupama Khunnah

‘Bhuna’ a humble snack made of puffed and beaten rice, roasted gram and peanuts tempered in fragrant mustard oil, spiced with salt, ground turmeric, coriander, red chilli and mango powder is a favourite of the ‘Khunnah’ family.

DSC01223Nirupama Khunnah, married at age 19 into the large Khunnah family was the oldest of the five daughters-in-law. Extremely traditional, the family consisted of three generations. With regular visits by relatives, the women of the family were perpetually in the kitchen cooking snacks and full meals. Bhuna, a staple snack was always available.

6The ‘Bhuna’ recipe has it’s origins two generations before Nirupama Khunnah married into the family. The recipe has lasted through the generations due to its delicious taste and easy availability of ingredients. There was a reluctance to part with the recipe from mother-in-law to daughter-in-law and so on. Only by secretly watching it being made did the later generation replicate the recipe. It’s ingredients are all ‘andaza’ or in approximation, but Nirupama Khunnah has penned it down for us.

11Puffed rice is a common ingredient in Indian street food snacks. It’s traditionally made by heating rice in a hot sand filled oven, the heated sand helps to puff the rice. It’s also called ‘laiyya’, ‘murmure’ ‘muri’. As it has no taste of its own, it’s addition helps in adding volume in both savoury or sweet preparations.

2Similarly, Beaten Rice or rice flakes, is another common ingredient in Indian snacks. Rice is parboiled, rolled, flattened and then dried to produce flakes. The flakes come in different thicknesses depending on the pressure used in the flattening process. It’s called ‘Poha’, ‘Powa’ and is easy to digest and used extensively all over India in savouries and sweets.

Roasted Gram or ‘Chana’ is easily available and a cheap snack in India. It is dry roasted with skin on over a slow flame to crisp. The skin helps to enhance the flavour and it can be bought with or with out the skin. It is a nutritious and healthy snack on its own or can be added to other savouries.

1Peanuts or ‘Moongphalli’ are another common snack staple in India. They are eaten raw, roasted over hot sand, boiled or salted. It is highly nutritious and adds crunch and flavour to savouries. Peanut oil is widely used in cooking.

4Mustard oil or ‘Sarson ka Tel’ is oil extracted from black Mustard seeds. It’s very pungent and aromatic. To get the full flavour you use it raw like in pickles. To reduce its pungency, it is boiled to smoking point, left to cool completely and then used in cooking. Many people use half mustard oil and half vegetable oil to reduce the flavour further. It has many health benefits.

Nirupama collects all the ingredients and systematically sautes each ingredient in mustard oil. In the end she tempers it with mustard seeds and sprinkles the spices over the whole lot and leaves it to cool and the flavours to blend.

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Bhuna

Ingredients :

250 gms puffed rice/laiyya
100 gms beaten rice/poha
100 gms roasted gram/chana
100 gms peanuts
200 ml mustard oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp dried mango powder
1 tsp salt
2 dried whole chillies

Method :

1. Add the peanuts to the wok/kadai and dry roast them till fragrant. Take out in a plate.
2. Add 100ml mustard oil to the wok/kadai. Heat till fragrant. Roast the gram/chanas till it changes colour. With a large spatula remove it from the wok and collect in a tray large enough for all the ingredients.
3. Roast the peanuts in the oil and remove and add to the roasted gram/chanas.
4. Add more oil to the wok and saute the beaten rice. Again remove and add to the ingredients on the tray.
5. In the remaining oil, temper the mustard seeds and the whole chillies. Add the puffed rice/laiyya and sprinkle half of all the spices. Stir to mix.
6. Stir the remaining spices into the oil roasted ingredients on the tray. Add the puffed rice/laiyya also to the tray. Mix thoroughly.
7. Adjust the spices to your taste though on cooling the intensity of the spices lessens and the whole Bhuna crisps up.