Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lentil Veggie Pancakes.

Whenever I am searching for something which is high in fibers, low in calories and carbs, I always opt for lentils.

Mixed veg dhals, lentil soup and lentil pancakes are instant hit with me.

I have done a version of lentil pancakes in one pf my past posts here and here.

The pancakes that I am going to talk about today make for a great breakfast with a boost of protein and veggies. They taste really good and keep you full for a long time.


1. Same quantity of yellow mung dal bean and channa dal. You can mix and match the lentils. I sometimes use white urad also.

2. Mix the lentils and soak overnight. Next morning drain and wash well. Grind to a fine smooth paste. Add water accordingly to make a smooth paste (neither thick nor runny).

3. 1 small onion finely chopped.

4. 1 small tomato fine chopped.

5. 1 small bowl paneer crushed.

6. green chilies finely chopped.

7. 1 bowl french beans finely chopped and steamed. I add little water in the bowl and microwave for 3 minutes and I get steamed french beans.

8. Salt and black pepper to taste.

9. Finely chopped green coriander.


Damn simple.

1. Heat non stick pan with few drops of oil. Stick to 1 tsp oil for 2 pancakes.

2. Now pour the batter on the pan. Do not add lots of batter and make the pancake thick, come on we are on a diet and we cannot blow it by eat huge thick pancakes. SO keep the thickness of your pancake medium.

3. Arrange the veggies on the top of pancake. Sprinkle salt and black pepper. Also sprinkle drops of oil over the veggies (so that when you turn the pancake the veggies will get a crisp texture)

4. Once the bottom side is cooked, flip the pancake and let the veggies cook for 2 minutes. The veggies are cooked if you are able to move the pancake.

5. Server hot.

Treat your hunger with tasty low cal food.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baked Vadas

Whenever I visit the market the fried vadas call my name and the temptation is very hard to resist. Once the vada is safely in my stomach, the guilt seeps in and the realization of the amount of oil just consumed in one fancy moment. There is also this uncomfortable feeling which stays for an hour, the feeling when the system tells us that we have just eaten something really heavy.

In my case heart rules the head and tongue rules everything. In short I have to listen to my temptations sooner or later where food is concerned.

SO, I went and bought myself cupcake and muffin plates, not to make muffins and cupcakes but to make vadas and bhajiyas, with the proper crunch and the crisp but of course with less oil.


1. You can use any type of lentils. Here I have used equal portions of white urad daal and chaana daal. Soak them overnight, next morning drain and grind to a smooth mixture. Add salt to the mixture while grinding.

2. 1 handful chopped french beans.

3. 1 grated carrot.

4. 1 cup grated cabbage.

5. Feel free to add any other veggies you want.

6. 2 tsp oil(to make 12 vadas).


1. Add the veggies to the lentil paste.

2. Coat the muffin tray with oil.

3. Use your hands to arrange the vadas in the try.

4. Drop oil on top of each vada.

5. Pre heat the oven at the highest temperature for 5 minutes.

6. Pop in the tray, vadas are done in 15 minutes. You can inset a knife to see if the vadas are done (if it comes out clean they are cooked from inside), they should be firm and crisp.

7. Enjoy!!!!. Hot cup of tea with lovely hot vadas, what else we need from life.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Baked Kachories

In my house back in my childhood, daal kachories were hot favorite and we always used to have a jar full of these round tasty beauties. So back in my fat childhood, whenever I was hungry all I had to do was go up to that jar and have few of the tasty kachories, by few I mean 3-4 at a time.

When I grew up I wanted to learn to make these kachories and the recipe for the soft tasty kachori was quite simple. Knead the white flour with at least 1 cup of oil, and then fry the stuffing also with oil and then last but not the least deep fry the damn thing.

It was absolutely essential to add oil to the dough so that the kachories were soft, it was absolutely essential to add oil to the daal stuffing so that the daal mixture won't stick to the pan. Great days, great memories but like all good things the days of deep fried kachories had to end but what remained was the taste.

So once again when I was hunting for a nice mini meal which can keep me full for 2 hours and won't make me feel bloated and stuffed and is easy on my weight, I just couldn't stop thinking about how misunderstood these kachories were. If prepared properly they actually make a great filling low cal mini meal.

Before I give you the recipe a word of caution, whenever you opt for the baked version of traditional deep fried snack remember, to make kachories and samosas soft a lot of oil goes in kneading the dough, so even if they are baked they are deadly. Always keep this fact in your mind while buying these devils dressed as baked.


1. Green Peas Mixture : In one teaspoon of oil, add 1 tsp cumin seeds. Add green peas and stir fry till they are soft. Add spices of your choice like red pepper powder, garam masala, coriander powder etc and salt to taste. Let it cool and then mash.

2. Daal Mixture : Soak white urad daal for 4-5 hours and then drain. In one teaspoon oil, crackle cumin seeds, add little hing and then stir fry the daal, also add the spices of your choice and salt to taste. Cook it till its done. The best way to do it is to add some water and cover. We need to cook it till the water completely evaporates and what is left behind is the dry cooked daal. Keep it to cool and then coarsely grind it.


1. In 1 cup wheat flour use 1 tablespoon white flour and salt to taste. You can avoid the white flour but little white flour give kachories the typical kachori flavor.

2. Add 1 tsp of ajwain to the above mixture.

3. Use milk to knead the dough, as we are avoiding oil we need milk to make the dough soft.

4. Once you knead the dough, pour 1 tsp of oil on the dough and again knead it, at this point the dough should be smooth and soft.


1. Stuffing mixture

2. Dough.

3. 1 tsp of oil, keep aside for brushing.

4. 1 tsp of white flour for dusting.


1. Just roll out small dough ball.

2. Put the stuffing and close the dough ball. Dust with little white flour. You just need a pinch on both sides.

3. Roll out the kachori.

4. On a baking tray, spray oil OR dip a finger tip in the oil and then grease the tray. Arrange the kachories. Again dip the finger tip and apply oil on both side of the kachories. Use 1 tsp oil kept aside for this purpose.

5. Bake. The daal kachories puff up while baking.

Baking trick

1. Pre heat the oven on the highest temperature. It takes 10-15 minutes.

2. Pop kachories in the oven and turn side after 10 minutes.

3. Kachories are done when they turn brown.


You won't miss the deep fried version. You can carry one to the office and it makes for a great mini meal. You can make a batch for the whole week and keep in the fridge. Its a small portable version of roti-sabji OR daal -roti

Just in case:

If you don't have an oven, do it on the pan and then keep it in the fridge. You can make a paratha and then cut into 4 pieces and store.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hurry Curry Paste

One of my friends called me for dinner. She was in her last trimester, so I went to her house fully prepared to help her out for the dinner party. To my great surprise she greeted us with 4 amazingly tasty dishes . I just couldn't help myself from being impressed. And then she let me in to her secret. She showed me a bowl of curry paste that she prepares for the week and it helps her to cook meals real fast when she is feeling tired or not well.

Since then this paste is a blessing for me too. I prepare a big box of it and keep it in my fridge and it churns out really tasty dishes and I am not boasting but the dishes are tasty enough to be compared to restaurant food (minus the oil though).

The basic paste is quiet simple, the ingredients needs to be thoroughly cooked and the bulking agents such as coriander powder needs to be added in good amount. So, on busy days all you have to do is take out 2 - 3 table spoon of the paste, heat it in water and your thick gravy is ready. You can then go on to add any vegetables to it. It tastes real good with beans and lentils too.


1. 4 big onions chopped finely

2. 3 medium size tomatoes chopped finely.

3. 1 whole bunch of garlic.

4. 2 - 3 inch long ginger.

5. whole garam masala - 4 green cardmons, 4 whole black peppers, 3-4 cloves.

6. 5 table spoon coriander powder - This is the bulking agent.

7. 3 teaspoon garam masala.

8. 1 tsp cumin seeds.

9. 1 tsp oil.

10. Crushed dry methi - 2tsp.


1. Heat oil and add cumin seeds, whole masala and let them pop.

2. Add the onions and let them cook till they turn brown. If you think they are sticking to the pan then add little water.

3. Once the onions are cooked, add tomato, ginger, garlic and the dry masala except for the dry methi (which we will add last)

4. Cook the mixture till the tomatoes turn dark red. You can add water to let the mixture simmer. Once you get the thick consistency, add the methi and mix well. Switch off the gas and Leave the mixture to cool.

5. Grind to paste and store in a jar.

Few Dishes with The Curry Paste

1. Paneer Makhni
(Ofcourse without butter) - All you need to do is add water to 3 tablespoon of the paste, 2 table spoon milk and let it cook. You can add any other masala of your choice for example paneer masala and don't forget to add the salt. The dish is ready in flat 5 minutes.

2. Baked Kofta Curry

3. Egg Curry - This one is the sure shot winner. All you have to do is make the gravy out of the curry paste and then add egg masala to it. It tastes just awesome.

4. Chole - Once these beans are boiled, add 2 table spoon curry paste to the boiled beans and give 2 pressure cooker whistles.

5. Beans - I mix this paste with green veggies like french beans or okra.

6. Palak Paneer - Again a very quick tasty dish to prepare. Grind spinach, add the paste and let it cook for 2 minutes and then add paneer. Simple and tasty.

You can prepare soyabeans, rajma, daal palak, mixed daal and what not. The options are limitless and the beauty of this paste is that all dishes taste different even though they are made with the same paste and apart from 1 tsp oil in the paste, rest of the dishes are made with no oil.

This is a one life saver curry paste.

Quick, easy and low cal dishes in minutes, now thats what I call instant food..


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baked Mathri

This dish was invented out of desperation. I was looking for a mini meal option which was around 150 calories and which could keep me feeling full for atleast 2 hours. I wanted to avoid going the BISCUIT way because when I am hungry I can easily finish a packet of biscuit. So, I started searching for something that can be considered as complex carb, will not make my sugar levels rocket high and will take care of my hunger as well.

So, I mixed the complex carbs like oats, wheat barn together and baked them and the result was quiet good.

Before you start with this recipe let me be honest with you and tell you that it does not taste like traditional mathri, it looks like mathri but taste different but good.

Also the use of yeast is optional, I use it to make my mathri more chewy but I am planning to avoid it from the next batch that I make.


1. 1 cup oats
2. 1 cup wheat bran
3. half cup wheat flour.
4. Flax and sesame seeds (2-3 tablespoon), ground into powder.
5. 1 tsp oil.
6. Handful crushed peanuts (optional)
7. 2 large onions finely chopped.
8. Onion seeds.
9. 1 - 2 tsp of white flour for dusting (optional)
10. 2 tsp yeast (optional)
10. Salt to taste.


1. Mix oats, wheat,barn, add in the onion, peanuts and seed mix, add the yeast and salt and add water to bind into a dough. The dough not be like a roti dough, it will be crumbly and sticky.

2. If you are using yeast then leave the flour to rise for half an hour. If you are not using yeast then directly proceed to step 3.

3. Divide the dough in small round balls. Now, sprinkle little white flour on each dough ball and flatten. Dip your finger in the oil and just slightly brush on both the side of the mathri, add the onion seeds and press them well in the mathri.

4. Slightly grease the baking tray.I use oil spray. Remember to keep the amount of oil less, for 12 mathries I use 1 tsp of oil. A slight oil quoting is required to give them the crisp and hard texture.

5. Bake the mathries at highest temperature of your oven. You need to check on them after 10 minutes and also change the side. Take them out when they are crisp and hard.

6. Cool and store in the fridge. They behave themselves for a week.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Weight Loss and Busy Bee

The biggest myth about weight loss is that you do not have to eat. The only truth about weight loss is that not only you have to eat, you have to eat lots and that too healthy stuff.

With lots of healthy eating things become a bit more interesting if you are Ms. Busy Bee.

If from the moment you get up from bed till you hit it back at night, you have no idea where your day pass by then its possible that weight loss and exercising is the last thing on your mind. Right now as I am in the busy bee shoes, I suddenly have a great respect for women who are busy and are opting for weight loss.

With a tight busy schedule we tend to put ourselves at the bottom of the to do list. There are only 2 basic rules for weight loss, one is to eat right and the other is to exercise. SO how can you follow the rules when you are busy the whole day and feel tried at the end of the day to exercise.

1. Being Prepared: At the end of the day when you are mentally and physically drained, its very convenient to reach out for a junk option. Remember, a roti and sabji is far better than a cheese sandwich and burger.

As weekdays are crazy busy for me, on weekends I cut and keep my vegetables in the fridge. It takes 2-3 hours of a movie or TV viewing while I chop and store.

It makes life very easy. Your meal is prepared in flat 10 -15 minutes.

The pic below is the stock of my cut vegetables which help me to get through my week.

Keep daal, daliya and curd ready in your fridge. Sometimes when the moment you enter in home you are hungry as hell. A bowl of daal, daliya accompanied with vegetable dish and raita keeps me sane and prevents mindless eating.

2. Snacking on the run : Even if you do not feel hungry while at work put an alarm in your clock to snack. This will stop you from feeling extremely hungry during dinner time. I find 5 soaked almonds quiet satisfying and a great mini snack. I soak them overnight and the carry them with me in an aluminum foil.

If you workout after office hours then make sure to eat something light one hour before exercising, this will keep your energy levels high and you won't feel drained out. I bake lots of oats and wheat bran mathries and carry one with myself everyday to work. I eat it one hour before hitting the gym. As oats and bran both are complex carbs it gives me a full feeling and keeps my energy up enough to exercise.

3. Exercise:
I will be lying to you if I say that you will be motivated to workout when you feel tired, having said that many ladies including me do go to the gym in spite of a busy schedule. When my days got busier my motivation to hit the gym went down the drain, so I sat down and decided on the things I can do and the things I can't. It seem that I can manage 45 - 50 minutes of exercise 5 days a week. Once I decided on 5 days a week, if I missed out on weekdays I hit the gym on weekends.

4. If you cannot invest straight 50 minutes to exercising : Then best way to do is to break the exercise in 10-15 minutes slot. Just in case if you think it won't work then let me tell you that exercising in small breaks is far better than not exercising at all. I went through the initial period of adjusting with my busy schedule and there was no time nor strength left for me to exercise. So for those days I negotiated. 10 -20 minutes in morning and 20 minutes in evening when I am back at home. So from doing nothing at all I managed atleast 30 -40 minutes of exercising in a day.

You can read any health article, any research paper and they will tell you that exercising in small slots work and you can also take my word for it that it works. It works because, something is always better than nothing.

Remember being healthy and looking good is your dream not anybody else's, so its you who will have to work for it and no one else will do this for you.

Its your battle and only you CAN rise for the fight.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baked Bread Rolls

The oval shaped bread rolls contain in them such beautiful childhood memories and their crisp outer crust hides the soft warmth. They have always been my favorite and favorite of lots of people I know.

They are easy to make. For all my school picnics this is what I used to take.

The only problem with the traditional bread rolls is that they are small calorie bombs. A nice fat bread roll always requires 2 bread slices and is always stuffed with lots of potatoes and then deep friend.

Even if I am dieting, eating just one bread roll is criminal and eating 2 means I have already eaten 4 breads plus lots of potatoes. In past I used to eat 4 of these for breakfast and then few in evening or night if there were any left overs.

A traditional bread roll contains big slice 2 breads which amounts to approx 150 plus calories alone, then potato mixture adds 50 more calories to it and lots of oil. So one bread roll stands anywhere above 300 plus calories.

The baked counter part
makes use of just 1 medium size bread which is 60 calories, makes use of 1 big potato which is divided into 4 parts and extremely less oil. So the baked one stands somewhere around 120 approx calories. The best part is you need not have just one, you can always go ahead and have two.

Rate Meter : Whenever I make a low calorie version of traditionally oily dish, I try to analyze how close to the taste the low cal version is and if I will switch to the low cal version for good. These bread rolls taste exactly like the fried ones, the only thing that they miss is that brown color that we get from deep frying and they also miss the oily greasy sensation that one gets while eating the bread rolls.

The best part is they can be made in advance and can be reheated in microwave, they don't go soggy while reheating.


1. 4 small/medium size breads.

2. Milk to soak the breads. Add 1 tsp sugar to the milk.

3. 1 boiled large mashed potato.Add in finely chopped onion, green chillies, 1 tsp coriander powder, salt, red chilli powder to make the mixture.

4. 1 tsp oil.


1. Soak one bread at a time in the milk and then squeeze out the liquid.

2. Put the potato mixture in between the bread and roll to give it a oval shape. If it breaks don't worry, just firmly shape it and the bread will seal itself.

3. Put in the fridge for half an hour.

4. After half an hour take them out of the fridge. Arrange on a light greased baking tray. Take 1 tsp oil in a bowl, dip your fingers and coat each bread roll with the oil.

Remember, we will use 1 tsp oil for 4 bread rolls. Try to coat the bread rolls evenly with oil.

5. Pre heat the over 240 degree C for 20 minutes and then put the bread rolls in. They are done in 20 minutes but you will have to check them after 10 minutes to change the sides. If you want you can increase the temperature of the oven because there is nothing that needs to be cooked in these bread rolls, we just want the crisp hard crust of the bread.

6. Serve Hot and enjoy

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chinese Veg Fried Daliya

I just love Chinese food and I can eat any diet food which is disguised in some way as a Chinese dish.

I made this daliya out of my craving to have lovely Chinese veg fried rice.

The idea behind this dish is to have more of veggies and less of cereal(daliya). Though you can use more quantity of daliya its best to stick to 1 medium katori if you are making it for yourself only.

It tastes fabulous just like a Chinese dish.


1. Finely chopped veggies of your choice.

2. Ginger and garlic and green chilies finely chopped, quantity as per taste.

3. 1 tsp oil (I used sesame oil but feel free to experiment)

4. 1 medium bowl pre cooked daliya (Cracked/Broken wheat).

5. Salt and black pepper to taste.

6. 1/4 tsp Vinegar (we just need a small amount so be careful here)

7. Chings Veg oyster sauce 1/4 tsp OR Soya sauce 1/4 tsp.

8. 1/2 tsp Tomato Sauce (optional)


1. Stir fry the veggies on high heat.

2. Once the veggies are crisp and done, add the daliya.

3. Add vinegar and stir well.

4. Add sauces and mix well.

5. Add salt and black pepper.

6. Keep stiring the daliya on high heat for 2 minutes.

7. Serve hot and enjoy.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Award Time

29 April 2012

Got a lovely Versatile Blogger award from Siri from Siris Food Flavours. She has a wonderful blog with lovely delicious recipes. Thanks Siri.

 21 April 2011

It was such a nice surprise to open my email and see these lovely awards. These were given to me by lovely Jyothi of The Weight Watcher Blog. Thanks a ton girl.

So, as per tradition, I need to spell out 7 facts about me. Here goes: (oh man this is gonna be tough.)

1. I am a learner. If something excites me I will dig it and learn it.

2. I like cooking but hate cook everyday.

3. I prepare whole day's meal in one or 2 hours and then do not go back to work in the kitchen.

4. I love sizzlers, they always make me drool.

5. I have recently developed weakness for softies that too a local pink one.

6. I am a Buddhist and I simply love being one.

7. I am a tea lover.

I’d like to pass on this award to some of my favorite bloggers…

1. Me Versus Fat

2. Health Food Desi Vedishi