Indian traditional recipes – some Punjabi greats
At the thought of Punjab one can picture the swaying wheat fields, the bhangra dancing farmers, the truck drivers singing merrily into the night while driving on the highways, the valiant soldiers of the Sikh and Punjab regiment and last but certainly not the least the delicious food whether it is sarson da saag and makai di roti or tandoori murg.
Punjabi food on the whole is full of rustic flavours. There is a profusion of dairy products like malai, paneer and dahi. Punjabi dals are a speciality too made of whole pulses like black gram, green gram and Bengal gram. They are cooked on a slow fire, often simmered for hours till they turn creamy and then flavoured with spices and rounded off with malai for that rich finish. The most famous vegetarian preparation of Punjab is, perhaps, sarson da saag accompanied with makki di roti. This is one of the most popular Indian traditional recipe from the Punjabi repertoire. One could have a tough time choosing between dahi bhalle, palak paneer, matar paneer, ma ki daal, rajma rasmissa, a variety of paranthas – stuffed or plain…alu parantha served with either aam ka achaar or butter is a typical, wholesome Punjabi breakfast. Breakfast on Sundays could probably mean chole-bhature and teatime could be samosas, paneer pakoras, tikkis, mathries…the list seems endless. Though the staple food is wheat, rice is also eaten but mostly on festive or special occasions. Rice is usually eaten as a pulao. Winter time is also the time to have sweet dishes like gajrela (gajar halwa), gulab jamun, phirnis like Strawberry Phirni, jalebis and pinni.
To say that tandoori chicken and murg makhani (butter chicken) have made Indian cuisine globally acceptable would perhaps be repetitive but certainly not refutable. Fresh water fish is available in plenty. Among the fish dishes fish amritsari and peshawari machli are very popular. Among the lamb preparations palak gosht, Patiala mutton and achari gosht come to mind. Another Indian traditional recipe that is world famous is the afore mentioned tandoori chicken. It is a dish whosoever tastes, keeps asking for more! It is cooked in a tandoor, which is an earthen oven fired with charcoal. Also known as Sanjha Choolha meaning common cooking place it tends to bind the people together. Tandoor cooking is one of the oldest ways of cooking food and can be traced back to the nomadic tribes of the North West Frontier who used to cook their food, which was mostly meat, in holes dug in the ground and fired with charcoal and dry cow-dung.

Punjabi food Festival in Hyderabad

Good news for Hyderabadis who are looking for excellent authentic Punjabi food. The Yellow Chilli Hyderabad is celebrating its Second Anniversary with a grand menu of pure Punjabi dishes…for your reservations contact Mr Tushar at 64645411. The Festival is on till 3rd of October so make the most of it.

There have always been queries put before me, it could be for any regional cuisine, Hyderabadi, or Punjabi or Gujarati to name a few, of how can the calories be snipped away in simple home cooking too. Eating a completely fat free meal is asking for the possible but eating such meals on a regular basis is asking for the impossible! Fat free food is low in the taste factor as also the satiety metre. Secondly, fats are needed by the body, at least the good fats are. The only solution is to keeping the meals light and frequent with techniques to snip away the calories smartly.

Cook with non-stick cookware. They are good for baking, grilling, sautéing and even for soup. Non-stick pans allow you to cook with no oil, or just a brush of grease or substitute fats with water or juice. You can change the cooking methods. If you tend to deep-fry a lot, change the mindset. Either bake, broil, grill, poach or sauté foods. Microwave is a blessing for those who want to cook using minimal oil. Learn the art of subtracting. Read the recipe and simply subtract the amount of fats and sugars. For example, replace half the butter with fruit puree for an equally moist cake; use one-third less sugar in cakes or cookies and use dried fruit, not sugar, to add sweetness to cereal. Eat lean meats and trim all visible fat before cooking. Go for white meat than red meat. For example, chicken breasts are lower in fat than drumsticks. Choose the skim milk, yogurt and cheese. Avoid use of condensed milk as it is very high in sugars. Eggs are the best protein source and also cholesterol! When cooking, just substitute two egg whites for one whole egg (the fat, cholesterol and most of the calories from eggs are in the yolks).

Most important is to downsize portions. Do this and half the battle is won. Make the servings in smaller size. Use smaller plates, and make any cake serve twelve instead of eight!

Here are some healthy snacks for you!

Baked Chatpati Shankerpali
Hot and sour idlis
Sprout bhelpuri

Till I write again

Sanjeev Kapoor

Be in total control: eat right without thinking!

How wonderful it would be if we were able to eat right without thinking? Small daily habits are what add or subtract calories. Let us look at the subtraction tactics very seriously! If you follow these regularly they can help you incorporate foods you need into your daily diet while removing those you do not need. As time goes, you will be in total control of your nutritional intake. And all the better for it!

Tip 1: At breakfast, put coffee in your milk instead of milk in your coffee. Fill your mug to the rim with skimmed milk first thing in the morning. Drink it down until all that is left is the amount you would normally add to your coffee; then pour your coffee on top. You just took in a quarter of the vitamin D you need every day, and a third of the calcium.
Tip 2: Drink two glasses of water before every meal. This will do two things: keep you hydrated and make you eat a little less. A study shows that drinking two glasses of water can make you feel less hungry, possibly reducing your food intake and aiding weight loss.
Tip 3: Always order your pizza with double tomato sauce and light cheese. Ah, wasn’t it the other way round? To skimp calories go slow on the cheese. And lots of tomato sauce means more lycopene intake which has benefits. The same hold true with sandwiches. Always stack up the tomato slices in a sandwich.
Tip 4: Go for onions in a big way if you like them. Onions are healthful being a good source of flavonoids that are heart friendly. So use lavishly on hot dogs, pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches.
Tip 5: Junk food lovers should drink two glasses of water afterward. The burgers, fries, submarines are loaded with fat and sodium, which can be harmful for your heart. Well, one cannot do much about the fat once it is eaten, but you can flush away some of the excess sodium by drinking plenty of fluids. Another associated tip: when you are asked what you would like to drink, always ask for iced tea.
Tip 6: Have an afternoon treat. A snack between lunch and dinner keeps off fatigue. It should not be a chocolate bar! It could be some yogurt, or some fruit (with skin on!) or crackers with cheese, a hard boiled egg or an apple…
Tip 7: Whenever you have salad, keep the dressing on the side. You can actually enjoy a salad with the taste of the dressing by first dipping your fork in the dressing then spearing a piece of lettuce. It might look weird to your neighbour but know that this technique can save you loads of calories without compromising on the taste.
Tip 8: Have a second helping of vegetables. Try and take in at least one and half cups of vegetables every day. Vegetables ensure long-term good health so what’s in this small measure? Have them!
Tip 9: Cereal can help at night too! Cereals are not only for breakfast but also helpful as a low-fat, low-calorie carbohydrate snack eaten before bed in case hunger pangs are keeping you awake. Cereal is also one of the easiest ways to reduce your fiber deficit.
Tip10: Do not miss the dessert. Always eat a little of it. Sweets signal your brain that the meal is over. Without them, you might not feel satiated – which might leave you prowling the kitchen all night for something to satisfy your sweet tooth.
More on Healthy recipes.
Some ideas for healthy eating :
Till I write again

Sanjeev Kapoor.