Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Healthy Patty Chaat

The ever-increasing love for Chaats (savory,spicy,street food) is the sign of a true Bombay-ite. The best street food in India,particularly the chaats hail from Bombay.

Growing up in an Urban yet traditional home,eating street food wasn't exactly entertained much.The result,the deprivation from eating street food and a mandatory chore for mother to do every time I craved for it.Then it felt so unfair.Though today the little one at home hardly eats anything store bought.Perhaps,the emphasis on eating home cooked stuff became clearer now better than ever before.

Salute to the street food is a must! Building a recipe that would utilize fresh,nutritious ingredients and yet maintain the savory,spicy flavours intact is quite tough.But,there's no harm trying,isn't it?

Here's a healthy version of "tikki" chaat (patty snack) which skips the "ragda/chole" (the white bean sauce or gravy served over the patties) and chopped onions.If you miss it too much,feel free to add it :)

For the Patty aka Tikki...

1. 1/2 c raggi/malt/nachani flour.
2. 2 eggs (organic would be lovely).
3. 1/2 c chopped fenugreek leaves (methi)
4. 5 tbsp boiled black eyed beans.
5. 3-4 peeled,shredded potatoes.
6. salt to taste.
7. 2-3 tsp cilantro-cumin powder.
8.1 bread slice.
9. 1-2 tsp garam masala/curry powder.
10. 3 tbsp oil/cooking spray (to set the patties on a pan from burning or getting stuck).
11.10-12 grapes-cut in half.

For the quick "ragda"/sauce"...

1. 1/2 c non-fat plain yogurt.
2. red chili sauce.
3. 1/4 c sev (fried noodles).
4.chopped fenugreek leaves for garnish.

Assemble it all

1. Mix all the ingredients mentioned for the patty (break the eggs,beat and add them too). Make small balls,flatten them like a burger patty and let them on a flat pan to cook,changing sides.The crust would be crisp once they cook.Set them aside (about 20).

2.Fold in the red chili sauce (As per desired) into beaten yogurt.

Finish and Serve..

Place the patties (2 per serving) in a dish,spoon the sauce over it followed by the chutney and sev.Finally garnish it with chopped fenugreek/cilantro!

Believe it folks,they tasted awesome! A healthier option to street food!

Methi Mutter with Pseudo Malai !!

Guys,the Body flow yoga class and cardio schedule is just awesome! It's refreshing for at-home moms like moi-meme! I would not want to miss it for the world!

These days my focus is on cooking quick,nutritious one dish meals (courtesy:7 month old at home who keeps a close eye on every move of mine 24x7 :D) that keep our tummies in shape for all good reasons.So,if you have your goodies,do share with CWM!

Indian food...hmmm...CWM is a desi (Indian,no offense meant) at heart,appetite and palette gladly.The only issue with many Indian delicacies is the high amount of calorie intake with emphasis of fatty ingredients.Accepting this as a challenge in my endeavor to successfully cook healthy,low cal meals without crash dieting or cutting down the essential   nutrition through proteins,fats,carbs,iron and folic acid etc.

"Methi Malai Mutter" is a very popular rich,creamy and traditional Indian dish.It's an all time family favourite.

As mentioned in the other blogs,fusing the fancies of west in simply eastern cooking is something out of the world.Striking balance in this ordeal is crucial. Western recipes often have gravy/sauce made from vegetable/legume purees.Its a great way to cut on dollops of cream,cashew nuts,cheese,khoya (unsweetened condensed milk in solid form) and whole milk,thus controlling the fat/calorie intake per serving.

This recipe shall replace the traditional usage of dairy (cream,milk and khoya) totally.

At the finger tips...

1. 2 c soaked,washed and pressure cooked Black eyed beans (chavali) or any other white beans.
2.  1-2 c fresh fenugreek (methi) leaves,cleaned,washed and finely chopped.
3. 1 c green peas (if frozen,thawed).
4. 2-3 tsp oil (veg/olive).
5. 2 tsp black pepper.
6. 1 small portion of cinnamon stick.
7. 2-3 cloves.
8. 1 tsp fennel seeds (sauf).
9. 1 tsp cumin seeds.
10. 1 tbsp garam masala/curry powder.
11. 1 bay leaf.
12. 1 tsp finely chopped ginger.
13. 1-2 tsp garlic powder/fresh minched garlic.
14. 4 cashew nuts (optional).
15. 1-3 c water.
16. 1 tsp ghee/butter (optional).
17.1tsp cardamom powder/crushed whole.

The Pureed fake Malai (cream)...

1. Blend the beans,pepper,bay leaf,cinnamon,cashew,ginger and garlic until smooth and creamy,adding little water for ease.Set aside,the puree/gravy is ready.

(**The ginger and garlic are optional.Without the spices and condiments,the puree could be given to kids with little salt !!)

In the saute pan...

1. Saute the fenugreek leaves over crackling cumin seeds in hot oil. Add salt and other dry ingredients in it.Allow it to cook for a while.

2.Add the puree and peas to it and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Tasted Awesome...
Its an awesome side dish that could be served hot with rice pilaf,naan/roti! Try it to believe it :)


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Quinoa Fake Fried Rice

I rediscovered the goodness of Quinoa recently and went ga-ga over it! Decided to substitute rice/semolina with Quinoa during the last few months stay in US.

Fusion cuisine is one of my all time favourite styles of cooking. Eats meets West is a style that requires a acquired liking or else it falls flat on the tongue,never reaching the palette.

Indo-Chinese cuisine is an awesome example of fusion cooking.I wanted to infuse the methods of this style in preparing Quinoa,various ways! Its a good way to make such cheat meals to incorporate nutrition and taste both.

So,CWM's cooking a fake fried (rice) Quinoa with loads of veggies!! In the words of Barney Stinson,Chef Suit up!


1. 2 Cups cooked quinoa (As per the instructions on the cover).
2. 1 thinly sliced onion/shallot.
3. Thinly sliced bell peppers (1 of each colour).
4. 1 carrot shredded (washed,peeled).
5. 4-5 Cremini (or other variety of mushrooms) mushrooms.
6. 3 tbsp. tomato ketchup.
7. salt to taste.
8. 1 tbsp. low iodine soy sauce.
9. 2-3 tbsp red chili sauce/paste.
10. 1 tsp rice vinegar
11. 1tsp.sugar. (optional)
12. 1 clove of garlic-minced.
13. 1/4 th green onion-finely chopped.
14. 1/4 th cup cabbage-finely chopped.
15. 1 tomato thinly sliced.
16. 1 tbsp. vegetable oil.

(**you may add or subtract veggies as per your choice)

Awesome-ness in the making...

1. Saute garlic,onion and bell pepper over hot oil for few seconds. (this is how we fake fry :P)
2. Add sugar,cabbage,mushrooms,carrots over the mix and allow it to partly cook.
3. Keeping the veggies still crisp enough, add the ketchup,vinegar,chili sauce and soy in it and mix well.
4. Add the cooked Quinoa (faking rice) in it and switch the gas off. Mix the ingredients well. 

The un-fried Quinoa is ready! And,table suit-up guys,Feast!

CWM'S Quote: "We are born with a palette and appetite (both could be hereditary/genetic).As we grow wiser,we adapt and flourish our appetite with newer foods and drool over them for the rest of our lives.I call it "acquired taste" syndrome.In this series of introductions and first dates with new gastronomy,we tend to dislike those soul foods that we grew up eating. This recipe might not appeal to the conservative eaters,so understand the likings of the diners before serving this".

Monday, March 19, 2012

Black-eye peas Rice

My yoga classes run late over the weekdays and cooking thereafter has to be real quick and dirty! Something that combines the taste,health and nutrition is what busy bees are always looking for,is it not?

Lentils and legumes constitute a fair portion of our meals.Traditionally,a Bramhin household like ours would have a typical lentil/legume curry with loads of jaggery,tamarind,cilantro,coconut served with rice and poli (bread,chapati,roti) with no garlic,ginger and onions.They are quite a NO-NO when gray haired are around in particular :D

Often CWM likes to infuse lot of styles and not follow stereo types all the time.So,though garlic,ginger and onions are not regulars on my chopping block,they aren't total strangers too!! So,here's my twist to the typical chavli usal (black eye peas curry) and rice!

The Zing Station..

1. 3 portions of uncooked,washed,whole grain basmati rice.
2. 5 portions (measurer same as for rice) of water.
3. 1 clove of garlic,finely chopped.
4. 1 thinly sliced shallot.
5. 6-7 pearl onions.
6. salt to taste.
7. loads of cilantro.
8. 1 petal of star anise.
9.1 tbsp turmeric powder.
10. pinch of asofoetida.
11. 2 green chilis finely chopped.
12. 1 tbsp. garam masala powder.
13. 3 tbsp. tomato paste.
14. 1tsp.mustard seeds.
15. 1tbsp.vegetable oil.
16. 1 c black eye peas (washed,soaked for 10-15 min)

Saute and Pressure cook..

1. Allow the mustard seeds to crackle in hot oil along with asofoetida.Add the turmeric,green chilis and garlic and onions (shallots and pearl). Saute them until the onions shrink.
2. Add all the dry ingredients except cilantro. Saute rice and beans over the spices.
3. Add water,cilantro and tomato paste,stir and shut the lid.
4.Let it pressure cook until 3 whistles.
5.Serve with curds,raita or pickle.

It tasted awesome! Nutrition at its best! One dish meal in less than 30 min!!


Left Over Triscuits over Wheat thins,what say??

A rainy Sunday post noon,renders a perfect time for ginger spiced chai and fried food,isn't it? Don't all my fellow Indians crave for it???

Ah,well but the increasing dress sizes,the journey from 6 to 12 is so hard for the wall mirror to forget! So,here's a little change we would sip through our ginger spiced chai with some healthy baked snack.Most times one ends up eating the salty,trans-fat-full,store bought biscuits/triscuits.And that's really sad :(

A while ago,I had made the Potato-dill biscuits by chefinyou.They had turned out pretty well exhausting minimal resources.Was wondering if my leftover potato-bottle gourd soup could be used to make the triscuits that I plan to make using the base recipe by chefinyou.

Gladly decided to give it a kick!

Here's my ordeal:

Leftover business with pantry twists..

  • 1. 4 c all purpose flour/maida.
  • 2. 5 tbsp butter, softened
  • 3.  Salt to taste
  • 4. 3 tbsp dried thyme
  • 5. 2 c leftover potato-bottle gourd soup
  • 6. 2-3 tbsp milk, as required (skimmed)
  • 7. pepper
  • 8. 1tsp.ajwain/owa
  • 9. 1 pinch baking powder

I have modified the original recipe to suit my ingredients/choices.In case you want to stick to the original one,use the link!

Mix It Up,Pile,Roll and Bake

1. Preheat your oven to 450F. Sift the flour in a bowl.
2. Add the butter, salt and the soup. Give it a stir until combined.
3. Add all the dry ingredients.Mix it up.
4. Make a soft, pliable dough by kneading with milk.
5. Roll out the dough on a well floured surface until fairly thin.
6. Cut into desired shapes,I chose the diamond shape-similar to the triscuits :P
7. Grease a baking sheet, place these cakes on it and bake for 20-25 minutes or until risen and golden.

Loved eating these crunchies! Hope you guys would do so soon!!


ps:my new camera is on its way,so the photos are on my husbands iphone4.they will see the light soon :P  (anybody listening?)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A hearty Saturday lunch!

After an awesome yoga class in the wee hours of the day (it's weekend so 9.30 am sounds like 2 am to most :)) wanted to have a hearty meal.

Nothing great really,but just wanted to swipe my refrigerator clean before the newer produce moves in over the weekend.So,here I was with one big bottle gourd (lauki/dudhi),some dried thyme and a couple of potatoes waiting for a bright spark to light! 

Finally thought of soup after a monologue (was supposed to be a discussion though) with my husband Rohan (isn't that a household thing? :P).

For those who might be wondering if CWM has any intentions to finally share a soup recipe,here's a hearty soup recipe that cuts the dairy (Read:No cheese,milk,heavy cream) ingredients completely (apart from 1tbsp salted butter)!

Here's my version of hearty with sufficiently odd ingredients...

The odds from the refrigerator..

1. One whole bottle gourd (de-skinned,diced)
2. 3 potatoes (small ones,de-skinned and diced)
3. 1tbsp salted butter
4. loads of water
5. 2tsp thyme
6. 1tsp black pepper
7. salt to taste
8. Crushed garlic and ginger (1tsp)

What next?
1. Add the butter in a pressure cooker (any crock pot with a lid) and as it melts push in the ginger-garlic.Saute.
2. Slide the potatoes and bottle gourd.
3. Add loads of water,let it simmer for 5 min,then blend in a mixer until creamy.
 4. Shift it back to the cooker;add all the spices and allow it to pressure cook (2 whistles).
5. Set it aside until the lid's ready to be opened.
6.Serve hot with your choice of rustic bread.

Enjoy a hearty lunch over a rainy weekend!! Something better (nutrition wise) over pakodas and fritte!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Tinned Creamy Cheese-y No-No's

Reading up a couple of blogs and websites just clicked on It's a decent website for all sorts of cuisines.But,the "healthy" section really isn't healthy (IMO) since they have added loads of cream,cheese,tinned/frozen veggies in it.No idea how the inclusion of these ingredients makes healthy,high in nutrition recipes!

Indian cuisine is predominantly infamous for being high calorie-d,spicy and full of oily delicacies.Surprisingly,an average Indian consumes less than 500 calories per meal daily.The basic meals in any Indian household are home-made,fresh,rich in carbs,iron,vitamins,folic acid and proteins.A vegetarian meal might be a little deficient in protein as paneer,chicken and eggs are not included in everyday meals.
I must acknowledge that those who have "ghee" everyday (in controlled amounts) are sharp brained and have a flawless skin! Not sure if highly processed cheese/condensed milk do that to you

I'd prefer my traditional meal (any regional meal in India) over the pastas and soups made from frozen veggies etc (Microwave is the mantra)

Chopping,Cutting,grinding are such fun activities.They are a stress buster! Replacing these to quick and easy lean meals would have a big NO!

How about cooking fresh soups,salads,breads and gravies with fresher ingredients (really,it's okay if they aren't organic! anything is better than tins and frozen bags!) on a daily basis? For those who are always on the go might want to cook food for a couple of days and refrigerate,isn't it?

Let's eat healthy and stay fit for the world to be a better place to live!