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.