Saturday, August 29, 2009

Moong Dal Halwa II

This rich, delicious halwa is served warm and preferred to be eaten as a dessert at the end of the meal, in India.


  • 1 cup moong dal (split skinned green gram) powder
  • ½ cup ghee ( clarified butter)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 ½ cup sugar ( modify according to taste)
  • 1 tsp powdered cardamoms
  • 2 tbsp chopped cashew nuts (fried in ghee)
  • 1 tbsp Rose water
  • Few strings of Saffron (optional)


  • Heat ghee in a wok on medium heat, add moong dal powder and fry till it becomes light brown.
  • Add warm water and stir continuously. When it thickens, add sugar. Keep on stirring until it thickens again. Remove from heat.
  • Mix in Cardamom powder, Saffron, Rose water and nuts.
  • Garnish with nuts and serve hot.


  • I prefer grinding moong dal at home in dry grinder.
  • Before grinding dal to fine powder, rub the moong dal between two folds of kitchen towel to clean it from outside.

Do You Know?

Sweeteners are sugar substitutes added to foods for flavoring. Sweeteners other than sugar are added to keep the food energy (calories) low, or because they have beneficial effects for diabetes mellitus and tooth decay and diarrhea.

Some sugar substitutes are natural and some are synthetic. In the United States, five intensely-sweet sugar substitutes have been approved for use. They are saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, neotame, and acesulfame potassium.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chicken Ka Kheema (Minced Chicken with Peas)

This most easy minced chicken recipe is one of the tastiest. Serve Chicken Ka Kheema with hot Parathas (Pan-fried Indian flatbread).

  • 1 pound minced chicken
  • 1 Cup Green Peas
  • ½ cup crushed tomato
  • 1 tsp ginger grated
  • 1 tsp Garlic grated
  • 1 medium Onion finely sliced
  • 2 Green Chilies finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp shahjeera
  • ½ tsp Red Chili Powder
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tbsp Chicken curry powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped Coriander leaves
  • 1 boiled egg
  • Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pan and add bay leaf and Caraway Seeds. Fry till they turn slightly darker. Add onion and fry till lightly browned.
  • Add ginger, garlic, green chilies, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, chicken curry powder and crushed tomato. Fry till oil separates out.
  • Add minced chicken and stir-fry breaking up any lumps if formed.
  • Now add peas and salt. Simmer covered on low heat till minced chicken and peas are cooked well. If there is any water left dry it before serving by continuing to fry without any lid.
  • Mix lemon juice, garnish with boiled egg and coriander leaves.
  • Serve with Paratha (Pan-fried Indian flatbread).

Do You Know?

The fluctuation of leptin hormone (a hormone which regulates energy intake and energy expenditure, including appetite and metabolism.) and ghrelin hormone (a hormone which stimulates hunger) levels results in the motivation of an organism to consume food.

When an organism eats, adipocytes (cells which store fats in them) trigger the release of leptin into the body. Increasing levels of leptin results in a reduction of one's motivation to eat. After hours of non-consumption, leptin levels drop significantly. These low levels of leptin cause the release of secondary hormone, ghrelin, which in turn reinitiates the feeling of hunger.

Some studies have suggested that an increased production of ghrelin may enhance appetite evoked by the sight of food, while an increase in stress may also influence the hormone's production.

These findings may help to explain why hunger can prevail even in stressful situations.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Whole Wheat flour

Whole wheat flour is a powdery substance derived by grinding or mashing the wheat’s whole grain. The word "whole" refers to the fact that all of the grain (bran, germ and endosperm) is used and nothing is lost in the process of making the flour.

The most common type of whole wheat flour in United States is textured brown since it is made from red wheat variety.

In United Kingdom, white whole wheat flour is common which is made from soft white wheat variety.

White whole wheat has almost the same nutrient content as red whole wheat. However, soft white whole wheat has lower gluten content and contains a lower protein content (between 9% and 11%) when compared with harder wheat varieties like red (15%-16% protein content) or golden wheat. Due to higher protein content, red wheat flour needs more water than white wheat flour to prepare dough.

Soft white wheat is lacking in tannins and phenolic acid causing white whole wheat to appear and taste more like refined red wheat; it is whitish in color and does not taste bitter.

In terms of the parts of the grain used in flour, there are three general types of flour:

· Whole wheat flour is made from the whole cereal grains which contain bran, germ and endosperm.

  • Refined white flour is made from the refined cereal grains, which contain only endosperm.
  • Germ flour is made from the endosperm and germ, excluding the bran.

Benefits of whole wheat flour:

  • Whole wheat flour is more nutritious than refined white flour. It contains the macronutrients of the wheat's bran and germ (especially fiber and protein).
  • Whole wheat is a good source of calcium, iron, fiber, and other minerals like selenium.

Drawbacks of whole wheat flour:

  • Whole wheat flour has a shorter shelf life than white flour, as the higher oil content leads to rancidification. It is also more expensive.
  • Whole wheat flour adds a certain "heaviness" in baking items like bread etc. which prevents them from rising, as good as white flours, requiring more flour to obtain the same volume. It also needs more water to prepare dough due to bran, germ and higher gluten content.

Important to note:

It is important to note that any products made with flour can have the same effect on blood sugar, whether the flour is produced from whole grains or not. For example, whole-grain wheat bread and white bread can have the same glycemic index. Grinding grains into flour increases the surface area upon which enzymes work more quickly to convert starch into glucose.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Meethi Seviyan (Sweet Vermicelli)

Stir-fried Vermicelli is cooked in flavored sugar syrup.



  • In a saucepan take 2 cups of water. Add 1 cup of sugar, stir and boil for 2 minutes. Now add pinch of yellow color, saffron and cardamom powder. Keep aside.
  • Heat the ghee in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat, add clove and green cardamom; fry for a minute until fragrant. Add vermicelli and fry, stirring continuously, until golden brown in color uniformly.
  • Pour the sugar syrup over the fried vermicelli in pan and cook covered on low heat till it is done. Add rose water and switch off the gas. Cool to room temperature.
  • Fluff it up with a fork. Garnish with fried nuts and serve.


  • You can add 2 tbsp khoya powder to make it richer.
  • I used Bambino vermicelli in this recipe which is available in Indian Grocery Stores. Remember that amount of water required to cook vermicelli depends on the type of vermicelli used.

Do You Know?

Glycemic index is a useful meal-planning tool, especially when individuals monitor their own individual responses to foods.

Low glycemic food is especially helpful in assisting those who want to lose weight.Low glycemic index foods will increase the sugar levels in the body to sustain energy levels for longer periods of time. This means an individual, who wants to lose weight, will feel less inclined to eat because energy is being slowly released into their bloodstream. Health experts encourage using the glycemic index in conjunction with other meal programs to assist in managing diabetes and/or controlling weight.

The examples of low glycemic index foods are: few fruits and vegetables, grainy breads, pasta, legumes, milk, fish, brown rice etc.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bitter gourd Kadhi

Serve this nutritious dish with piping hot plain boiled rice.


  • 2 tbsp besan ( Gram flour)
  • 2 cups sour yogurt churned to get smooth paste
  • 1 bitter gourd (karela) sliced
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 5-6 green chilies longitudinally sliced
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp panch phoran
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 whole dried red chilies
  • ¼ tsp asafetida powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup of fresh finely chopped coriander
  • 1 cup Boondi ( It is a small pea shaped savory available in Indian Grocery Stores)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee


  • Mix yogurt, 8 cups of water, Bengal gram flour, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Whisk to ensure there are no lumps.
  • In a deep pan heat oil. Add asafetida powder and panch phoran seeds. When they stop spluttering, add garlic and whole red chilies.
  • Now add besan yogurt mixture to it and stir continuously. First cook on a high flame till the mixture boils. Simmer then and allow cooking slowly.
  • Add sliced bitter gourd, sliced onion and green chilies.
  • Boil for 8-10 minutes. Add water if necessary.
  • Add Boondi and chopped coriander leaves (keep few for garnishing). Take out in a serving dish. Adjust sourness by adding lemon juice.
  • Tempering: To make ‘tadaka’, heat ghee in a small pan, add pinch of asafetida and ½ tsp red chili powder, pour immediately over kadhi before chili powder gets burned.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander.
  • Serve hot with plain boiled rice or Roti and sabji of your choice.

Do You Know?

Fenugreek seeds contain a high percentage of mucilage - a natural gummy substance present in the coatings of many seeds. Although it does not dissolve in water, mucilage forms a thick, gooey mass when exposed to fluids. This soft mass is not absorbed by the body, but instead passes through the intestines and triggers intestinal muscle contractions. Both actions promote the emptying of intestinal contents. Therefore, fenugreek is a mild but effective laxative.

Masoor Dal Kebabs

It is great snack dish for whole family



  • Soak Masoor dal in water for 2 hours. Put soaked moistened Dal in a blender, or a processor with minimum possible water. Grind it coarsely. It should be grainy not a fine paste. Another way is to cook the soaked dal in pressure cooker till soft in two cups of water (just enough to cook the dal).
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan. Add garlic paste and the coarsely ground dal and sauté over medium heat to get rid of moisture.
  • When the mixture starts drying out add boiled mashed potato, roasted gram flour (besan), garam masala, red chili powder, chopped onion, chopped green chili, grated ginger, chopped coriander leaves, yogurt, salt to taste. The sautéed ground dal should be damp not wet. It should be firm like roti dough. Switch off the gas and keep aside to cool.
  • Knead the dal dough well till smooth and soft.
  • Divide the dough into equal parts. Roll each part into small balls, and then flatten them to look like little cylinders.
  • Roll each cylindrical cutlet in semolina or breadcrumb and refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Heat oil and deep fry on medium heat till crispy brown.
  • Serve hot with chutney of your choice.

Note: Semolina does not absorb the oil while frying so kebabs are dry and crispy from outside. It gives different appearance also.

Do You Know?

Lentils (Dals) and Beans are a huge part of the Indian diet. Not only are Dals delicious to eat and versatile, they are really good for health too.

Lentils are rich in protein. They lack only one protein, methionine. Adding grains, eggs, nuts, seeds, meat, dairy products, or egg will provide a complete protein.

Just one cup of cooked Daal can give you as much as 62 per cent of your daily dietary fibre requirement. Soluble fiber in lentils acts as a scrub brush, cleaning the digestive system. This type of fiber also decreases serum glucose and cholesterol, and decreases insulin requirements for people with diabetes.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What are culinary nuts?

Nut is a general term for the large, dry, oily seeds or fruits of some plants.

According to the botanical definition, nuts are a type of dry one-seeded fruits that are indehiscent i.e. they do not split apart along a single seam once they have reached maturity. The pericarp (fruit wall) becomes hard at maturity. Examples are Acorns (in oaks), Chestnuts, Hickory and Hazelnuts etc.

In culinary terms, however, the word nut is used more broadly to include fruits, and even seeds, that are not botanically qualified as nuts, but those have a similar appearance and culinary role. Any large, oily kernel found within a shell and used in food may be regarded as a nut. The term nut is also used to refer to various hard-shelled fruits or seeds.

Thus both botanical (true) nuts and non botanical nuts (various hard-shelled fruits and seeds) are included in the list of culinary nuts.

Culinary nuts are:

  • True nuts (dry indehiscent single seeded fruits): Acorns, Chestnuts, Hickory and Hazelnuts
  • Seeds of Drupe fruit (fleshy fruit with a single stone or pit) also called as Drupaceous nuts: Cashew nuts, Brazil nuts, Coconut, Walnuts, Pecans, Almond, Pistachio nuts
  • Seeds of Legumes (Dry dehiscent fruits): Peanuts
  • Follicle (Dry unilocular dehiscent fruit): Macadamia
  • Seeds of Gymnosperm: Pine nuts

Cashew nut is the seed of the drupe fruit which is kidney or boxing-glove shaped and grows at the end of the pseudo fruit.

The fruit (Capsule) of Brazil nuts has a hard woody shell, and inside contains 8–24 triangular seeds 4–5 centimeters long, packed like the segments of an orange; it is not a true nut in the botanical sense.

The Coconut is considered a dry fibrous drupe with a green, waterproof outer layer (exocarp), a thick, buoyant, fibrous husk (mesocarp) and a hard, woody, inner layer (endocarp) surrounding the large seed. The actual seed embryo is embedded in the coconut meat (endosperm).

Walnuts and Pecans are not true nuts but technically drupes, called drupaceous nuts. The husks are produced from the exocarp tissue of the flower while the part known as the nut develops from the endocarp.

Almond is the seed of the drupe fruit. The outer covering or exocarp of the fruit is a leathery grey-green coating (called the hull), which contains inside a hard shell, and the edible seed, commonly called a nut in culinary terms.

The Pistachio nut is the seed of thin walled drupe. The fruit has a hard, whitish exterior shell. The seed has a mauvish skin and light green flesh. The characteristic feature of the pistachio fruit is the semi-opening of the shell after maturity.

Peanuts are the seeds of the Legumes that are dry dehiscent fruits.

The fruit of Macadamia is a very hard woody globose follicle with a pointed apex, containing one or two seeds, dehiscing by the ventral suture in order to release seeds

Pine nuts are edible seeds of Pines which develop on the surface of cone scales, exposed to the environment.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ground Turkey Kebabs

These soft flavorful Ground Turkey kebabs make a great snack food.


For Marination:

  • 1 pound minced Turkey
  • 1 tbsp ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp green chili chopped fine
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onions
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves finely chopped
  • ¼ cup mint leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon/lime juice
  • 1 tsp brown cardamoms coarsely ground
  • 1 tsp black pepper coarsely ground
  • 1 tsp red chili powder(optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil


  • 1 egg
  • Fresh breadcrumbs of 2 slices of bread or 2-3 tbsp dry breadcrumbs
  • Cooking Oil for deep frying


  • Mix all the ingredients in the mince and marinate for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Combine marinated mixture, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Knead the mixture well like dough for Chapati (flat bread).
  • Now take approximately 2 tbsp of mixture in your hand. Place it in the center of your palm. Roll it to form a smooth ball.
  • Heat oil and deep fry until brown on medium heat.
  • Serve hot with green chutney and green salad.

Do You Know?

The Turkey is often cited as the culprit in after dinner lethargy. Turkey contains L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid (present in all proteins), which is documented with sleep inducing effect. Tryptophan metabolizes into serotonin and melatonin neurotransmitters that exert a calming effect and regulates sleep.

Actually tryptophan from turkey alone is not what makes us tired, it is the carbohydrate-rich (as opposed to protein-rich) meal that increases the level of this amino acid in the brain and leads to serotonin synthesis and thus contributes to the exhaustion and drowsiness after the meal.

Carbohydrates stimulate the pancreas to secrete insulin. When this occurs, some amino acids that compete with tryptophan leave the bloodstream and enter muscle cells. This causes an increase in the relative concentration of tryptophan in the bloodstream. Serotonin is synthesized and you feel that familiar sleepy feeling.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fruity Shrikhand ( Fruity Sweetened Yogurt)

My mother used to make Shrikhand very often; this was one of her favorite desserts. She used to enjoy it more with mangoes, either in the form of ‘Aamrus’ (mango puree) or chunks. I have loved it ever since.

Ideally Shrikhand should be made with whole or full cream milk yogurt but you can also make it with low-fat or diet yogurt. The nuts are optional. You can add pineapple, mango or oranges, whatever you like to give it a different flavor.

In this recipe, I added fresh fruits which are not common in Indian fruit markets. You can call it as ‘hybrid’ of traditional recipe of Shrikhand.


  • 2 pound fresh yogurt- whole milk or full cream unsweetened
  • 2-3 tbsp powdered sugar (modify according to your taste)
  • 2-3 tbsp Orange flavored Fruitrition
  • Fresh Blue Berries
  • Fresh Strawberries diced into small chunks
  • Dollop of Orange Sherbet (optional)


  • Hang the yogurt in a clean muslin or cheesecloth for 2-3 hours to completely drain all the whey from it.
  • Churn the drained yogurt well along with powdered sugar and Fruitrition in a bowl with the help of round part of the big serving spoon till it is smooth and creamy (for about 1-2 minutes).
  • Now mix half of the fruits in it and chill it for an hour.
  • Serve chilled with more fresh fruits and dollop of Orange Sherbet.

Note: If you do not have muslin or cheesecloth, add fruits directly to fresh thick yogurt and call it fruity yogurt.

Do You Know?

Berries and Oranges are rich in Vitamin C.

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water soluble antioxidant that performs a variety of roles in the body. It helps to promote healthy gums and teeth, aids in mineral absorption, and helps heal wounds.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


What is Bran?

Bran is the hard outer layer of grain (the grass fruit) and consists of combined aleurone and pericarp. Bran should not be confused with chaff, which is coarser scaly material surrounding the grain, but not forming part of the grain itself.

Significance of Bran for the Seed:

  • The aleurone layer surrounds the endosperm tissue (endosperm is the part of the seed which surrounds the embryo and provides nutrition in the form of starch) and functions for both storage and digestion.
  • During germination, aleurone secretes the amylase enzyme that breaks down endosperm starch into sugars to nourish the growing seedling.
  • In cereals with starchy endosperm, the aleurone contains about 30% of the kernel's proteins.
  • In multicolored corn, anthocyanin pigments in the aleurone layer give the kernels a dark, bluish-black color
  • Pericarp is the tissue that develops from the ovary wall of the flower and surrounds the seeds. It provides protection to seed.

Significance of Bran for the humans:

  • Bran is particularly rich in dietary fiber. It is often used to enrich breads (notably muffins) and breakfast cereals, especially for the benefit of those wishing to increase their intake of dietary fiber.
  • Eating bran is one of the quickest and best ways to increase fiber in the diet. It is indigestible and it increases the weight and size of the stool more than the fiber contained in fruits or vegetables. It does not irritate the lining of the stomach, small intestine or colon. It is not a laxative but promotes the movement of fecal matter through the colon in a natural way. Unlike drugstore laxatives or other natural strong laxatives, bran does not quickly purge out all the contents in your colon.
  • Bran is rich in omegas. Omegas are essential fatty acids that cannot be constructed within humans from other components by any known chemical pathways, and therefore must be obtained from the diet.
  • Bran contains 12% - 13% oil and studies have shown that rice bran oil is rich in gamma-oryzanol. This includes its ability to reduce plasma cholesterol, reduce cholesterol absorption and decrease early atherosclerosis, inhibit platelet aggregation, and increase fecal bile acid excretion. Oryzanol has also been used to treat nerve imbalance and disorders of menopause.
  • Bran contains significant quantities of starch, protein, vitamins, and dietary minerals.
  • Rice bran contains various antioxidants that impart beneficial effects on human health.
  • Bran oil may be also extracted for use by itself for industrial purposes (such as in the paint industry), or as a cooking oil, such as rice bran oil.
  • Studies have shown that some of the nutrients and phytochemicals present in wheat bran, may also protect against cancer. These include phytic acid and various phenolic components such as phenolic acids, lignans and flavonoids.
  • Rice bran oil's smoke point is 490 degrees F, higher than even grapeseed oil (480 degrees) or peanut oil (320 - 450 degrees). This means that even in the hottest of situations, rice bran oil won't smoke or breakdown. When cooking or grilling, you do not want your oil to smoke, because it imparts a negative flavor to the foods so when you use rice bran oil foods will taste better, and they will be less likely to stick to the grill or griddle when.

Important to note:

  • Some research suggests that there are particularly high levels of inorganic arsenic (a toxin and carcinogen) present in rice bran, and that any health benefits may not be worth the potential detriments. Other types of bran (derived from wheat, oat or barley) contain less arsenic than rice bran.
  • Due to the high oil content of bran, it tends to get rancid (decomposition of fats, oils and other lipids by hydrolysis or oxidation). To avoid rancidification it is best to store in refrigerator or in a vacuum-sealed container at a moderate temperature. Rancidification makes the bran bitter.

Significance of Bran for animals:

  • Bran is widely used as a major component in pet foods for rabbits and guinea pigs.
  • Rice bran is sometimes fed to horses for its nutritional value, particularly as a plant-based fat supplement. It is considered an excellent way to put weight onto a thin horse, without the problems associated with overfeeding grain.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Urad Dal Kachori

It is a traditional recipe of making awesome urad dal kachoris also called as 'Bedmi'. These are eaten with ‘Aloo ki sabji’ and U.P style ‘Aam ka achar’ (mango pickle).


For dough

  • 1 cup refined flour (maida)
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup fine semolina
  • Salt
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

For Filling:

  • 1 cup split skinned black gram (Dhuli Urad ki dal)
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds crushed coarsely
  • 1 tsp fennel (saunf) seeds crushed coarsely
  • 1 tsp dry mango (amchur) powder
  • ½ tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • pinch of asafetida
  • Salt to taste
For Frying: Cooking oil to deep fry


  • Mix the maida, wheat flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add oil, rub until fully incorporated and the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add warm water; knead to make smooth and pliable dough. Cover with moist napkin and keep aside for one hour.
  • Soak dal in water for two hours. Put soaked moistened Dal in a blender, or a processor with minimum possible water. Grind it coarsely. It should be grainy not a fine paste.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan. Add asafetida. Add the coarsely ground dal and sauté over medium heat to get rid of moisture. When the mixture starts drying out add all other ingredients to be added in the stuffing. The stuffing should be damp and not wet. Switch off the gas and keep aside to cool.
  • Make almost equal sized small balls of dough. Roll out the balls to approximately three to four inches in diameter. Put about 1 tbsp of stuffing in the center. Seal the edges together using a little water and roll into a round ball. Make sure most of the air escapes before the edges are sealed and ball is made. Press down the ball making it flatter. Roll it lightly, slightly thicker than puri with the help of oil or dry flour.
  • Heat the oil in a wok (kadhai); deep-fry the stuffed kachoris, a few at a time, on medium heat till they puff up and become crisp and golden.
  • Remove and drain the excess oil on absorbent kitchen paper towels.
  • Serve hot with Aloo Ki Sabji and pickle.


  • Replace water in part or whole with Dahi, or Buttermilk to make dough for ‘khasta kachori’. Lactic acid and fat in the Yogurt tenderize gluten.
  • Allow the dough to rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature, to permit the starches and glutens enough time to work through.
  • If you have stored dough in the refrigerator, let it come to room-temperature before rolling, otherwise the gluten will remain stiff resulting in hard dough.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lamb Chops

Lamb chops are simmered in a creamy yogurt sauce flavored with garam masala powder.



  • Mix yogurt, black pepper powder, ginger garlic paste, green chili paste, and salt together.
  • Marinate the lamb in this mixture for 30 minutes.
  • Heat ghee in a non-stick pan; add bay leaf, onions and fry till light brown.
  • Add the marinated lamb chops with marinade, garam masala, mint leaves, coriander leaves (save some for garnishing) and fry until the oil separates from the mixture.
  • Pour in half cup of lamb stock or water, stir and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the flame and simmer chops until the meat is tender. This dish, when cooked, requires the gravy that is enough to coat the meat thickly. If it is not so, cook the chops without lid to reduce the gravy to required consistency.
  • When gravy becomes thick, add sour cream and fry for 2-3 minutes. Adjust seasoning if needed. When ghee starts separating out, add rose water, lemon juice and sprinkle green cardamom powder.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and serve as a starter with salad of your choice.

Do You Know?

A meat chop is a cut of meat cut perpendicularly to the spine, and usually containing a rib or part of a vertebra and served as an individual portion. The most common kinds of meat chops are pork and lamb.

Dal ka Paneer Pakoda( Cottage Cheese Fritters)

For a change make paneer pakoda with moong dal flour which is easily available in Indian Grocery Stores.


  • 1 pound paneer (cottage cheese) cut into cylindrical shaped pieces
  • 1 cup Moong dal flour (available at Indian Grocery Stores)
  • ¼ cup semolina (Suji)
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp green chili paste
  • ½ tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp amchur powder (dry mango powder or chat masala or lemon juice)
  • ½ tsp red chili flakes
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooking oil to fry


  • Mix moong dal flour, suji and all other ingredients except for Paneer and cooking oil for frying. Add water to make batter of dropping consistency.
  • Beat batter in a blender for 4-5 minutes to incorporate air (this will make the batter fluffier).
  • Let batter rest for about ½ an hour at a warm place.
  • Sprinkle little salt, chili powder on the paneer cubes.
  • Dip each piece of paneer in batter and deep fry in oil on medium heat.
  • Drain on paper towels.
  • Serve the paneer pakoda hot with coriander / mint chutney or Ketchup.

Note: You can add ½ tsp ENO fruit salt to the batter before frying to make fritters crispier.

Do You Know?

If performed properly, deep-frying does not make food excessively greasy, because the moisture in the food repels the oil. The hot oil heats the water within the food, steaming it from the inside out; oil cannot go against the direction of this powerful flow because (due to its high temperature) the water vapor pushes the bubbles towards the surface. However, if the food is cooked in the oil for too long, much of the water will be lost and the oil will begin to penetrate the food.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Which is better for the body, Brown Rice or White rice ?

Rice (Oryza sativa) is one of the most important foods in the world, supplying as much as half of the daily calories for half of the world's population.

Oftentimes, rice is categorized by its size as being short grain, medium grain or long grain. Another way that rice is classified is according to the degree of milling that it undergoes. This is what makes a brown rice different than white rice.

Although brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories, carbohydrates and protein, the main differences between the two forms of rice lies in the essential nutrients which are lost during the processing of white rice.

Today brown rice is a staple for health conscious eaters who believe food should be consumed in its most natural state.

Before discussing anything about the brown rice or white rice, let us first understand the different parts of the rice grain.

Structure of a Rice Grain:

  1. Husk or hull is the outermost protective layer of a grain of rice present outside the grain.
  2. Bran is the outermost part or layer of a grain of rice present just below the husk. It consists of combined aleurone (protein rich outer most layer of seed coat) and pericarp (outer most layer of fruit). Bran is particularly rich in dietary fiber and Omegas and contains significant quantities of starch, protein, vitamins and dietary minerals.
  3. Germ in a cereal grain is the reproductive part that germinates to grow into a plant. It is the embryo of the seed. Germ is a concentrated source of several essential nutrients including Vitamin E, folate (folic acid), phosphorus, thiamine, zinc and magnesium, as well as essential fatty acids and fatty alcohol. It is a good source of fiber.
  4. Endosperm is the tissue produced in the seeds of most flowering plants around the time of fertilization. It surrounds the embryo and provides nutrition in the form of starch, though it can also contain oils and protein. This makes endosperm an important source of nutrition in human diet

What are Brown Rice and White Rice?

Brown Rice (hulled rice) is produced when only the outermost layer the husk or hull is removed.

White rice is produced when husk, bran and germ layers are removed during milling and polishing of rice.

Milling removes the bran and most of the germ layer. Polishing removes the aleurone layer of the grain-a layer filled with health-supportive, essential fats. Because these fats, once exposed to air by the refining process, are highly susceptible to oxidation, this layer is removed to extend the shelf life of the product. The resulting white rice is bright, white and shiny; but simply a refined starch (made up of endosperm only) which is largely deficient in its original nutrients.

Brown rice becomes rancid more quickly than white rice. At many places it is more expensive than common white rice, partly due to difficulty of its storage and transport.

Nutrients Contents of Brown Rice and White Rice:

The process of removing husk from the rice grain is the least damaging to the nutritional value of the rice but milling and polishing of white rice cause loss of several vitamins and dietary minerals. These processes destroy 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids.

By law in the United States, fully milled and polished white rice must be "enriched" with vitamins B1, B3, and iron. But the form of these nutrients when added back into the processed rice is not the same as in the original unprocessed version, and at least 11 lost nutrients are not replaced in any form even with rice "enrichment."

  • Brown rice is a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body's use of glucose and insulin secretion. They help out by keeping blood sugar levels under control, so brown rice is an excellent grain choice for people with diabetes.
  • Brown rice is an excellent source of manganese. This trace mineral helps produce energy from protein and carbohydrates and is involved in the synthesis of fatty acids, which are important for a healthy nervous system, and in the production of cholesterol, which is used by the body to produce sex hormones. Manganese is also a critical component of a very important antioxidant enzyme called superoxide dismutase. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is found inside the body's mitochondria (the oxygen-based energy factories inside most of our cells) where it provides protection against damage from the free radicals produced during energy production.
  • Brown rice is rich in Selenium. Selenium is an essential component of several major metabolic pathways, including thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, and immune function. Selenium has been shown to induce DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells, to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, and to induce their apoptosis, the self-destruct sequence the body uses to eliminate worn out or abnormal cells.
  • Small amount of fatty acids and fibers are also lost during the formation of white rice. Fibers provide bulk to the food in the intestine thus help in reducing constipation. The oil present in rice bran may help in lowering LDL cholesterol.
  • Deficiency of Vitamin B1 (thiamine) causes neurological disease called Beriberi in the people who are largely dependent on unenriched white rice.

Even though I strongly prefer the taste of brown rice, I wanted to know just how much better that brown rice is for you when compared to white rice. After comparing the nutrition that both brown rice and white rice have to offer, you may change your mind on which you choose to get.