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Dishing up healthy treats with Anuradha Sawhney

Anuradha Sawhney, author of the cookbook Back To The Basics, will be conducting a demo on Ayurvedic vegan cooking in Pune. She shares some healthy recipes for MiD DAY readers

Roasted mushrooms and mixed vegetables salad

Ingredients: For salad
> 1 packet (200 gms) mushrooms

> 6 to 8 baby corn

> Half a head of broccoli

> 1 zucchini, 6 inches long

> Half a head of red cabbage

For dressing
> 1 tbsp flax seeds

> 1 garlic clove

> 1 tsp fresh lime juice or more to taste

> Salt to taste

> Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method: Salad
> Clean the mushrooms and cut them into halves.> Put a papad roaster or non-stick tava or griddle on low heat. Carefully arrange the mushrooms on this in a single layer. (do it in batches if necessary.)

> Turn them occasionally, till they are cooked. They will release water, so be careful if using the papad roaster. Remove from heat and set aside.

> Wash the baby corn and cut them into thin slices.

> Bring a pan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the baby corn and boil for 2 minutes.

> Remove from heat, cover and leave the baby corn in the hot water.

> Wash the broccoli and cut it into 1-inch florets. Add the florets to the pan containing the baby corn.

> Wash the zucchini, and cut it lengthwise into quarters. Do not peel it. Dice the quarters into 1-inch pieces.

> Put the zucchini into the same pan of hot water (but about 5 minutes after the pan was removed from the heat).

> Drain the vegetables after another 5 minutes. The broccoli and the zucchini should still be crunchy. Leave them in a colander to drain thoroughly.

> Wash and cut the red cabbage into 1-inch bits. Set aside.

Dressing
> Roast the flax seeds on a tava or griddle over low heat, till they are fragrant. Remove and set aside to cool.

> Crush the garlic clove with the back of a spoon and separate the strands slightly.

> Place it in a small bowl with the lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside for 15 minutes.

> To assemble the salad

> Put the mushrooms and drained vegetables in a salad bowl and toss gently.

> Sprinkle the roasted flax seeds on top.

> Add the red cabbage and lastly pour the salad dressing on top.

> Mix well but gently and serve immediately.

Corn daliya laddoos

Ingredients:
> Organic corn daliya 200 grams

> Jaggery 1 cup

> Green cardamoms 20 to 25

> Extra virgin coconut oil

Method:
> Soak the corn daliya overnight.

> In the morning, wash the daliya and steam for 20 to 25 minutes.

> Grate the jaggery. De-seed the cardamoms and crush the seeds lightly.

> Melt the jaggery, add the rest of the ingredients.

> Cook till the mixture thickens then quickly make into laddoos and keep aside to cool.

> Enjoy this healthy version of the traditional boondi laddoos.

Okra pulao

Ingredients:
> 1 cup whole okras

> 1 cup chopped red, green and yellow peppers

> 2 cups cooked brown rice

> 1 tbsp cumin seeds

> 1 tbsp fennel seeds

> 1 tsp red chilli powder

> Salt taste

> 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:
> Remove the head and ends of the okras.

> Cook the okra in the oil first, then add the different peppers and salt to taste. Add 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tbspwhole cumin and 1 tbsp fennel seeds). 

> When the vegetables are cooked, add two cups of cooked brown rice and toss everything together.

> Cover the pot for two minutes on low heat and then serve hot.

Tips and tricks

> Use ceramic pans and pots. They are easy to cook in, keep clean and don’t have the toxins associated with non-stick and Teflon pans.

> You can ‘fry’ onions without oil. Heat a non-stick or ceramic pan, add the chopped onions and stir them. They cook in the water they release. If they start to stick, sprinkle some water or vegetable stock and keep stirring. You can cook them till they are translucent or till they are deep brown. Remember, oil is just a medium.

> Non-dairy milk can be substituted for milk in any recipe. The different non-dairy milks are rice, soya, cashew, almond and peanut milk.

> When peas are in season and cheap, shell them, dry them in the sun and store them. When you want to use them, take them out and soak them in water before cooking with them. Their taste is much better than their frozen counterparts.

> An easy way to get browned, cubed tofu is to slice the whole piece of tofu horizontally into the thickness you want. Brown both sides in a pan. Remove and keep aside to cool. Once cooled, cut them into cubes.

> To get as much nutrition in your diet as possible, keep it varied. One way to do that is to use different whole grain flours. Whole grains have fibre and fibre is great for your body. Buy the grains yourself and get them ground.

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