Treasure’s from God’s own country!!!

And what else we discovered in God’s own country? After having a good dharshan at Guruvayoor temple  and just at the end of East Nada, found a cart full of healthy treasures – “White chillies”, “Kandhari chillies” (Kaandhaari Molagu),and local “Naarthanga” (Kaffir lime). Believe me, I have never seen White chillies and Kandhari chillies in my life before. Kandhari Chillies are pretty famous, small and a real hot chilli found in Kerala. The seller of these, explained the health benefits and various ways on how and where to use them. Kandhari chillies are known for its cholesterol control property, hence there are some companies making capsules out these. I was fortunate to have set my eyes and hands on them and now they are all happily pickling in my jar 😊

Choco Chip Cookies with Olive oil

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2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Stir together the flour,baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the vegetable oil, brown sugar and white

sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Blend in the dry ingredients, then fold in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Dal Makhani (Fat Free)

If you are on a diet and think that you cannot eat Dal Makhani. Here is an easy and fat free Dal makhani recipe. Taste wise no compromise. This can be cooked using only one pressure cooker. But I shifted my dal to the earthen pot after it was pressure cooked.

Dal Makhani/Black Dal
Ingredients:
1) 250gms Black Dal
2) 5-6 flakes of Garlic
3) 1 inch ginger
4) 1 medium size tomato
5) 5-6 pepper corns
6) 2-3 small green cardamom
7) 1 inch cinnamon
8) 2-3 small bay leaf’s
9) 2 tbsp of dhania/ coriander powder
10) 1tsp Jeera/ cumin powder
11) 1-2tsp chili powder
12) 1tsp turmeric powder
13) 1tsp amchur powder/ dry mango powder (optional)
14) ½ cup thick curd
15) Salt to taste
16) butter/ghee for garnishing (optional)
Method

Wash the black dal. Place the Black dal in a pressure cooker add enough water, to the dal add garlic, ginger, chopped tomato, pepper corns, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf. Pressure cook for 8-9 whistles on high and 20-30mins on sim/low flame.
Open the lid of the cooker when cool and all pressure is released. Mash the dal a little and cook the dal in the pressure cooker with the lid open. Now add the coriander powder, cumin powder, chili powder, turmeric powder, amchur powder (optional) salt and water. Mix well and let it cook. On high flame for 10mins and low flame for 20mins. Finally add the thick curd and cook for 5mins in high and 15-20mins on low flame. Garnish with ghee or butter (optional)

Black Dal and be eaten with roti, plain steam rice or jeera rice.

Please note – All masala/ spices can be added or reduced according to your individual taste.

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Hummus and Tahini Recipe

Hummus and Tahini recipe
Ingredients
200g chickpeas (Chole white Channa)
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Garlic clove
2tbsp Tahini paste
4 -5 tbsp water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp chili /paprika powder

I made my own Tahini with
2tbsp white sesame/til
1tbsp sesame/olive oil
2tbsp warm water
Grind all the above ingredients for the tahini paste.

Method to make hummus

1) Soak the Chickpeas (White channa) for 7-8hrs
2) Pressure-cook the Chickpeas till soft.
3) When the chickpeas cools, separate the chickpeas from the water.
4) In a food processor/ mixer grind the chickpeas and garlic with 4 -5tbsp of the water that was used to cook the chickpeas (you may add more water according to the consistency that you may require)
5) To the chickpeas and garlic paste add lemon juice and Tahini paste and mix well.
6) Garnish with Extra virgin olive oil and chili/paprika powder.

I use hummus as a spread on my rotis/rolls/bread, also use it as a dip for salad, kebabs and fries. I use it as a substitute to mayo.ImageImage

Plantain Stem / Vazhaithandu Raita

Plantain Stem / Vazhaithandu Raita

Ingredients

1) Plantain stem 8-10  inch  in length

2) I bowl of curd

3) 1 green chili

4) Few Coriander Leaves

Method

1)   Cut the Plantain stem into tiny cubes.  Cutting the Plantain stem is a little tricky. Cut them into thin rounds first and try to pull out the fiber as much as you can with the help of a knife and later cut them to tiny cubes.

2)   Put this in salt water and leave it in that salt water for sometime.

3)   Take a bowl of curd, remove the plantain stem cubes from salt water and put them in the curd. Add the green chili, chopped coriander leaves and season with salt. Let it soak for a while (30mins+)  before it is served.

Health Benefits of Plantain Stem

PLANTAIN STEM / VAZHAITHANDU

A potassium rich food with high fiber content and it has many other amazing health benefits.

Most people include banana in their daily diet, but very few have ever thought of including banana stem. The banana stem has many nutritive and health benefits. The stem is usually thrown away once the fruit is cut from the plant. So next time if you happen to find one, think of including it in your menu. Here are some good health reasons why banana stem must be part and parcel of your diet at least on occasions.

Banana stem is rich in fiber and helps weight loss.  Due to rich content, it helps body to feel full faster.  The intake of food gets reduced by including banana stem to diet.  It can be taken in the form of juice, but eating it as a whole provides more benefits. Including it once or twice a week can help people looking for ways to cut down extra pounds.

Like banana, banana stem is also rich in potassium and vitamin B6.  Vitamin B6 helps production of chemicals such as hemoglobin and insulin. Again, it improves the ability of body to fight against infection. Potassium helps effective functioning of muscles including cardiac muscles, prevents high blood pressure, helps nerve impulses and maintains fluid balance within the body.

It is a diuretic and helps detoxify the body. Some believe that banana stem can prevent and treat kidney stones. This is fact under study and the effectiveness has not been proven by the western world.

It can be taken as a laxative for constipation. Again, the rich fiber content prevents constipation. It cools the body. So overall, banana stem does wonders to our body.

How to include them in diet? Very tender ones can be used in salads and not so tender ones can be added to soups or as a steamed vegetable.

Slicing banana stem for dishes might be hard work, but it provides unmatchable health benefits.Its a cooling agent to our body , so use it weekly twice is recommended.Image

Radish / Mullangi Raita

Radish/ Mullangi Raita

Ingredients :

3 Medium size Radish

1 cup Curd

1tsp  oil

1-2 dry red chili

few curry leaves

1/4tsp mustard seeds

1/4tsp Urad dal

Pinch of  Asafetida

Salt to taste

Method

Grate the Radish and squeeze out the juice from it. Add curd  and salt and mix well. Take a small pan, add oil, when the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and when the mustard seeds splutter, add the urad dal,  dry chili, curry leaves and finally the asafetida.  Pour the oil with the seasoning on the radish curd miture and stir well.

Healthy salad/  Raita ready .

Health Benefits of Radish / MullangiImage

The health benefits of radishes have been known for millennia. Radishes have been used as both a food product and a medicine since before the Roman Empire.

Radishes are a root vegetable, originally cultivated as a crop in Europe and China. A member of the Brassicaceae – kale, broccoli, cabbage – family, the radish is a common vegetable consumed around the world because the plant is extremely fast growing. When seeds are planted, sprouts appear in as little as three days.

Radishes are one of the most ignored vegetables on your local produce aisle and they shouldn’t be! Radishes are extremely low in calories, naturally fat-free and carry a low glycemic load.

The Good Stuff in Radishes

  • Fiber
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • B vitamins

You simply can’t go wrong with adding this tart veggie to your total nutrition plan! Thin-sliced, radishes make a good snack option that preserves well. A cup of radishes contains only 19 calories!

They are also delicious tossed over salad or added to soups or stews. Mix shredded radishes into potato or macaroni salads.

Radishes: Big Health Benefits in a Little Package

Fight Cancer

Researchers at India’s Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University found that radishes induce apoptosis – meaning they kill cancer cells. Compounds called isothiocyanates and anthocyanins are found in abundance in radishes and have been proven effective in the fight against cancer in several studies. The study was published in the medical journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition in 2010. Their fiber content makes radishes particularly effective at preventing and fighting colorectal cancer.

Respiration

If you have chronic bronchial flare-ups, sinus infections or asthma, radishes can act as a natural decongestant.

Healthy Heart

The fiber, vitamins and minerals in radishes make them a smart choice for cardiovascular health. They’ve been shown to lower cholesterol, manage diabetes and regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Digestion & Detoxification

Your liver and gallbladder depend on bile to keep them running smoothly, and radishes have been shown to stimulate bile production. The sulfuric properties of radishes also help regulate bilirubin production and flush the excess from your blood. Left unchecked, this compound results in jaundice. The fiber content regulates bowel movements to flush toxins more efficiently and to help prevent constipation.

Research is currently being done on the black radish to verify that it increases oxygen in the blood and protects red blood cells from damage.

Weight Loss

The water and fiber content make radishes surprisingly filling, and the lack of calories puts them at the top of the “best diet” foods. The surprising number of nutrients found in these small vegetables means you aren’t skimping on nutrition while cutting back on fats, sugars and carbs. They hold up well and can be eaten raw or cooked. They add a unique flavor to many foods.

Kidney Cleanse

There are few foods that work as well as the radish at preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs). Drinking juice that includes radish eases the burning most experience during a UTI and shortens the length of time you’ll have to deal with the infection.

If you haven’t given these little root vegetables a chance, why not try adding them to your meal plan? The health benefits of radishes have been proven in countless studies and more research is being done all the time to find more medicinal uses.

Radishes may be small…but they certainly pack a punch!