Monday, June 25, 2012

Tandoori Chicken Breast Sandwich

As tasty as it sounds, this recipe is a perfect lunch. This recipe can be put together with minimal effort yet yeild maximum value in terms of taste and nutrition.

1. Tandoori Flavoured Chicken breast slices (can be found at supermarkets)
2. Brown bread, 2 slices
3. Olive oil margarine or mayonnaise for those who are not watching the calories
4. Black pepper
5. Cucumber slices
6. Lettuce (iceberg or romaine), broken
7. Tomato slices (optional)
8. Cheddar cheese slice

1. Spread margarine over the both slices of bread on one side
2. Place a slice of chicken breast, then cheese single, then cucumber, then lettuce, and finally tomato.
3. Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper.

Serve cold.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Restaurant Style Shahi Bhindi (Okra)

Bhindi is a vegetable that is liked by many. It is also one expensive vegetable in North America. There are many ways to cook Bhindi including a popular yet simple one as described here.

However, the type of Bhindi found at restaurants taste and look different and seem to have a more elaborate list of ingredients as well as a different style of cooking. The attempt below is an endeavour to replicate that flavour and look. I would say I got pretty close in reaching my goal. The only difference was in the use of potatoes instead of bell peppers. An effort that yields nice results really makes me happy. This one is a typical North Indian cuisine.

This is a tribute to all those people who inspire me to cook.

Serves 6-8

1. 2-3 cloves of garlic
2. 1 inch ginger
3. 1-2 green chili (optional)
4. Onions, 4 small, cut in cubes
5. Hing, 1/2 tsp
6. Mustard seeds, 1 heaping tsp
7. Cumin seeds, 1 tsp
8. Turmeric powder, 3-4 heaping tsp
9. Coriander powder, 4-5 tsp
10. Red chili powder, 2-3 tsp or to taste
11. Salt, to taste
12. Tomatoes, ripe, 2, cubed
13. Garam masala, 2 tsp
14. Amchoor (dried mango) powder, 2-3 tsp
15. Chopped coriander leaves, fresh, about a fistful.
16. Potatoes, 3, cubed
17. Oil, 5-6 tbsp
18. Tomato paste, 3 tsp
19. about 1 pound okra, washed, dried and then sliced, head and tails removed.

1. Heat a wide mouthed, deep bottomed, non-stick wok.
2. Add generous amounts of oil
3. Add mustard seeds and hing and let the seeds crackle.
4.Now add cumin seeds and let it sizzle.
5. Shred or grate the ginger garlic and chili and add it to the oil.
6. Fry for a couple of minutes or until the ginger garlic look cooked (it will start to change colour and the raw smell will disappear)
6. Throw in the onions and caramelize.
7. Add in coriander powder, turmeric powder and saute for 5-10 mins. If you feel that the spices are starting to burn, add a couple of drops of water to prevent that.
8. Now add tomato paste and cook on high heat until it leaves the oil.
9. Add potatoes and cook until the brown.
10. Add the okra and cook without a lid until the okra starts to brown or wilt slightly.
11. Add in salt, amchoor powder, red chili powder and garam masala.
12. Mix with a gentle hand.
13. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves/fresh cilantro.

Serve warm as an accompaniment to Roti.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Healthy Recipes and Diet Plan to lose >3 Pounds in 1 Week

Priyanka practising Yoga at Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
If you know me and/or read my post below, you would know what food means to me and how important it is in my life. Being a food-fanatic delivers many benefits but also poses some risks. The cons of being a foodie is that it is easy to lose track of healthy eating and sight of timely eating. It is easy to get carried away while navigating from one food blog to another and being inspired by so many versatile and delicious recipes. During the journey of blog-hopping, it is easy to be tempted by food pictures and enraptured by the yummy sounds of how it would taste. This often leads me to be cooking up more meals than what my tummy needs without keeping a log of the nutritional value/calorie intake.

My love for food so contradicts my obsession with being healthy, fit, and a fashionista. Thus, this food-fanatic often goes on health-plans and fitness routines. In order to tone up my body, I prefer to eat limited portions while being mindful of when I eat and how.

Lately, I created a diet plan for myself. I lost 3.3 pounds in 1 week. Many of my friends and followers wanted to know the recipe for success. I think this blog is a great medium to share how I achieved my goal. I believe that being a Food-Fanatic in the real sense means being attracted by the right kinds of foods, finding appeal not only in flavours but also in nutritional content. A food-fanatic who prophets or gives more attention to palatableness and little weight to wholesome eating is like someone with a soul less body. I have begun to realize that a true food-fanatic should not only practice but also preach a healthy lifestyle. Because food is not only about satisfying the taste buds but also about providing the body with the right kind of nourishment.

  1. Start slow and give yourself breaks. You know it won't be easy to change an existing lifestyle and go out of the comfort zone so be easy on yourself. Listen to your body and give yourself a gradual entry into the plan/regime.
  2. Believe you can do it. Confidence and commitment are key. So is the discipline to stick to your goals.
  3. Break your goals into SMART (Specific, Manageable, Attainable, Realistic, Time based) ones. For example, my goal was to lose 5 pounds in 2 weeks.
  4. Before you eat, ask yourself: Am I really hungry. Stop is the answer is NO.
  5. When your hunger level is tolerable, fill yourself up with water. Try to do this as much as possible and get 8 litres of water in.
  6. Make sure you are taking multi-vitamins.
  7. Limit your portions especially when it comes to carb intake. Stop eating right before you feel you are getting full.
  8. Do not starve yourself.

Day 1
Breakfast: 1 slice of multi-grain bread with olive oil margarine and Indian chai without sugar
Lunch: Anything you want as you want to start slow
Dinner: Green beans stir fried in soy sauce and chili garlic sauce.
Snack: Real cheese, half a banana, glass of milk

Day 2
Breakfast: Oatmeal (brown sugar and Cinnamon) with milk and a handful of dried blueberries and chai without sugar
Lunch: Broccoli sauteed with sesame seeds and soy sauce
Dinner:  Repeat lunch
Snack: Trail mix (dried fruit)

Day 3 
Breakfast: Oatmeal (brown sugar and Cinnamon) with milk and a handful of dried blueberries and chai without sugar
Lunch: Lentil Soup (dal) and salad
Dinner: Repeat lunch
Snack: Olives, glass of milk

Day 4
Breakfast: Oatmeal (brown sugar and Cinnamon) with milk and a handful of dried blueberries and chai without sugar
Lunch: Watermelon
Snack: Edamame and olives
DinnerVegetables, a ton of tomato soup

Day 5
Breakfast: Oatmeal (brown sugar and Cinnamon) with milk and a handful of dried blueberries and chai without sugar
Lunch: Kala chana cooked Indian style
Dinner: Repeat lunch
Snack: Cashews, glass of milk

Day 6
Breakfast: Oatmeal (brown sugar and Cinnamon) with milk and a handful of dried blueberries and chai without sugar
Lunch: Any sabzi or soup
Dinner: 1/2 roti and sabzi (any without aloo)
Snack: Strawberries, glass of milk, green tea

Day 7
Breakfast: 1 slice of multi-grain bread with olive oil margarine and Indian chai without sugar
Lunch: Only sabzi (bhindi, chole, cabbage)
Dinner: Limited portions of Tehari rice
Snack: Papaya and cooked chicken

Day 8
Breakfast: Oatmeal (brown sugar and cinamon) with milk and a handful of dried blueberries and chai without sugar
Lunch: White Rice and chicken
Dinner: Only sabzi/vegetables
Snack: Edamame with rock salt, tomato soup

More links:
Healthy eating recipes
More diet plans
14 day to slim you diet
Executive weight loss

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tehari (Stir fried Rice)

A gastronome like me has many foodie dreams. These dreams are never-ending and the more my  grub-dreams are fulfilled, the more dreams they seem to spark off. It's like a chain reaction - one meal cooked leads to ideas or wishes for another, and then the other leads to a few more.

This blog testifies my unconditional devotion and compassion towards grub. A good part of my life revolves around food - thinking about it, writing about it, and taking pictures of it. Then planning meals, grocery shopping, and cooking meals for family. My love for food is also food for love. Craving eatables, tasting flavourful feasts, and gorging on homely servings, for me, is the best part of life.

Take me anywhere in this world and on the top of the agenda would be to try the regional cuisine of that area...

Speaking of regional areas, here is one such recipe that is typical of U.P. 

Serves 8.

1. 5 cups of washed rice
2. Salt, 5 tsp or to taste
3. Mustard seeds
4. Heeng
5. Cumin seeds
6. Oil
7. Peas
8. Turmeric powder, 2 tsp
9. Red chili powder, 2 tsp or to taste
10. Coriander powder, 4-5tsp

1. Heat a non-stick wok.
2. Add oil, mustard seeds, and heeng.
3. When the mustard seeds crackle, add cumin seeds.
4. Add about 2 tsp turmeric powder and then raw rice.
5. Mix well.
6. Cook for about 5 mins on medium high heat stirring continuously.
7. Add coriander powder, red chili powder and mix again.
8. Add peas and cook for another 5-7mins.
9. In a rice cooker, add water and this stir fried rice.
10. Add salt.
11. Steam rice until fully done.

Serve warm as a one-pot meal or with a side of tomato soup.

A morsel of this for me? I'm sorry. Nothing less than a full-fledged serving. Thank you. Luckily enough, this was my first carb intake in three days. Dieting is not easy - I tell you!

On this note, I'd like to express my gratefulness to have so many sources, inspirations, cuisines, as well as whims to throw together all kinds of recipes and fire up my stove. It keeps me going. One steady and strong inspiration and source of recipes has been my Mom. Just like this one. Thanks, Mom!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Chooda Matar/Cheevra Matar (Flattened Rice Flakes and Green Peas Pilaf)

Choora Matar is a variant of Poha. When you are bored of the mundane, try this recipe and you will be surprised how small changes can yield such wonderfully anew results. Chooda Matar is typical Banarasi cuisine. It is often had as breakfast or a snack. The delicacy shares the same name as this recipe yet it lends distinctive flavours and has unrelated cooking styles.

This Pilaf is unique in its own way. While rice flakes fulfill the appetite, the ethnic Indian spices spell its magic of tastefulnessess. The goodness of green peas and the zest of lime, the aroma of fresh cilantro herbs and the kick of ground black pepper all come together in one meal to make this a personal favorite.

1. 6 cups matar (green peas)
2. 2 cup poha (flattened rice flakes)
3. 1 tsp mined ginger
4. 2 red Thai chili, chopped
5. Mustard seeds
6. Cumin seeds
7. Salt to taste
8. Turmeric powder
9. 3 tsp Coriander powder
10. 1/2 tsp sugar
11. Oil
12. 1 tsp Black pepper, ground
13. Freshly chopped cilantro
14. Lemon juice, 3 tsp

1. Heat a wok.
2. Add oil, mustard seeds.
3. Let it crackle.
4. Then add cumin seeds.
5. Add ginger and saute until lightly brown
6. Add green chili and mix.
7. Add turmeric powder.
8. Add peas and salt.
9.Cover and cook until the peas soften
10. Wash the poha and mix it with coriander powder, sugar, black pepper, cilantro.
11. Then add this to the cooked peas.
12. Cover and cook for 10 mins on low heat, stirring occasionally.
13. Add lemon juice and mix.

Serve warm and jazz it up with freshly made Dhania ki chutney.

Thanks, Mom, for sharing this recipe with me.

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