June 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Puri Puffed Bread

Cooking Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 10-12


1    Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 Tsp Salt
1    TBsp Oil or Butter
Water to knead dough
Oil for frying

How to Prepare:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and make a smooth dough.
  2. Set aside for couple of hours.
  3. Grease both hands and knead dough for a couple of minutes. 
  4. Divide into equal parts.
  5. Roll it and flatten with hands.
  6. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat. 
  7. Roll the dough to make a round shape as much as possible. 
  8. Fry them gently one after another. 
  9. Drain the puris on paper towel for excess oil.

  • The shape of puri does not matter. 
  • Oil has to be a certain temperature so puri can puff up.
  • Be careful of oil not to get on hands. 
  • Puri goes with Mango pulp and lots of veggies.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Khaman Dhokla - Spongy Chana Dal snack

Khaman Dhokla

View the video: "Preparing Khaman Dhokla"

As a vegetarian I am often asked about the protein values in my food. I personally believe in protein derived from a plant source.  Channa Dal is also called Bengal Dal.  Today I am going to share a recipe which is very nutritious,  low in fat, low in carbohydrates and high in protein.  It is very low in the Glycemic Index.   It does not raise your blood sugar.  In research, a scientist has found that these beans are excellent for diabetic patients. This recipe requires some practice and may be a little hard to make for new cooks.  This recipe also requires a special steamer with a rack and Thali  or round aluminum pan  approximately 7" or  8" so that it fits in the steamer.

Chana Dal or Bengal Dal

Cooking Difficulty Level: Difficult
Cooking Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Cooking Time: 45 Minutes
Recipe Type: Vegan (omit Yogurt & use Lemon Juice) & Jain (omit Ginger) & Gluten Free

2    Cup Channa Dal
1/2 Cup Rice
1    Cup Yogurt
Touch Astofedia
1 & 1/2 Tsp Salt
3 or 4 Cups Water
1    Tsp Baking Soda or ENO available
          at Indian grocery store
1    Tsp Fresh Lemon Juic
1    Tsp Grated Ginger
1    Tst Fresh Chopped Hot Chillies
1/4 Cup Oil
1    Tsp Black Mustard Seeds
1    Tsp Cumin Seeds
1    Tsp Sesame Seeds
4    TBsp Chopped Coriander Leaves
1    Tsp Sugar

How to Prepare:
  1. Wash & soak the Dal for 5 hours in warm water.
  2. Drain and grind coarsely.  
  3. Add yogurt and little water to make a batter.
  4. Take care not overgrind and do not make it watery.   Grind enough to make the batter pour almost like pancake batter. 
  5. Add salt, ginger, astofedia, sugar and mix well. Set aside.
  6. Now bring to a boil approximately 3-4 cups of water in a steamer.  The water level has to be below the rack.
  7. Lightly oil the round pan. 
  8. Pour the batter in the pan.
  9. (This is the trick for puffy dhokla:) On top of the pan of batter, add 1/2 Tsp of baking soda.  And then on top of that, add the lemon juice.
  10. Watch for it to bubble. Save the bubbles in the batter.  Mix the batter in a pan in a circular motion.
  11. Place the pan on the rack above the boiling water in the steamer.  Allow it to steam for 15 minutes.
  12. After 15 minutes, open the steamer (care should be taken not to scald yourself) and insert a knife or flat spatula.
  13. If the batter sticks to the knife, leave it to steam five more minutes.
  14. Take the pan out of steamer and let it cool down for five minutes.
  15. In a small pan heat the oil on medium heat.  
  16. Add sesame seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chopped jalapeƱo pepper and chopped cilantro to garnish.
  17. Spread over the pan. 
  18. Cut pieces into desired shape. 
  19. Transfer to a serving plate with a flat spatula.
Out of Steamer in a Flat Pan
Khaman is ready to serve with sweet and spicy chutneys.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Healthy Snacks By The Numbers

This is to our health!  Today in the supermarket there are so many different varieties of snacks that one will definitely get confused. I am more interested in our young people who are on their own and often get lost in what is a healthy or unhealthy snack. I ran across an article in National Geographic that had the following cheat sheet. This rating was developed by Yale University.  The Overall Nutritional Quality Index is based on nutrients, vitamins, sugar and salt as well as the impact on blood pressure and other health concerns.  I hope this guideline will make it very easy to snack on healthy snacks.  I know my readers will definitely enjoy this!

Broccoli 100  Apple Chips 24
Blueberries 100 Bagel 23
Orange 100 Canned Tomato Soup 23
Green Beans 100 Reduced Fat Sour Cream 22
Pineapple 99 Instant Chocolate Pudding 20
Radish 99 Swiss Cheese 17
Squash 98 Bacon 13
Apple 96 Dark Chocolate 10
Cabbage 96 Hot Dog 5
Tomato 96 Milk Chocolate 3
Clementine 94 Saltine Crackers 2
Watermelon 94 Milk 1%    81
Mango 93 Couscous 72
Nonfat Milk 91 Oatmeal 61
Fresh Eggs 91 White Rice 60
Grapes 91 Milk 2% 55
Banana 91 Whole Milk 52
Avocado 89 Canned Peas 49
Oatmeal 88 NY Strip Steak 44
Blackberries 83 Orange Juice 39
Salmon 82 Canned Peaches 37
Almonds 82 Dried Apples 34
Pecans 82 White Bread 32
Brown Rice 82 Hamburger 25
Snapper    82 Green Olives 24
Shrimp      75 Peanut Butter 23
Pistachios 70 Sherbert 23
Canned Pineapple 60 Roasted Salted Peanuts 21
Club Soda 56 Fried Egg 18
Canned Kidney Beans 53 Diet Soda 15
Pasta 50 Pretzel Sticks 11
Prunes 45 Salami 7
Vanilla Yogurt 43 Cheese Puffs 4
Chicken 39 Apple Pie 2
Lobster 36 Popsicle 1
Tomato Juice 32 Soda 1
Raisins 26

I found few handy snacks that are a "must" to buy:
  1. Blue Diamond Natural Almonds, Oven-Roasted, No Salt: High in omega 3 fatty acids.
  2. Sun Sweet California Prunes, Individually Wrapped:  Easy to take along.  Good fiber and fruit count, they are surprisingly good.
  3. I keep mix of dried cranberries, almonds, cashews, raisins, roasted soy beans and walnuts.  This makes an instant handy snack in a Ziploc bag that travels well and is easy to carry.
  4. I buy blueberries and then wash and drain them in their plastic container. They're easy to put in cereals or to munch on as a snack.
  5. I buy fresh bananas and different kind of berries, apples, and grapes.  Then I wash, cut and mix them together, sprinkle on chat masala and WOW! Instant fresh food.  Impress your date without much effort.
  6. Left over fresh fruit that's about to go bad: Wash, cut and freeze them.  Make a smoothie by adding milk and blending.  Bingo.
  7. I've found that yogurt is a great snack with high protein values.  Greek yogurt has double the protein.  It is available without gelatin also.
  8. A Pear provides one full day's source of fiber which keeps your digestive system healthy.
  9. An apple a day keeps doctor away.
  10. Carrot and celery sticks with peanut butter is another popular snack.