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Mumbai food: 3 healthy recipes for those fasting during Ramzan

While breaking the 15-hour daily fast during Ramadan, the body needs nutritious and easy-to-digest food. the guide invited two home chefs and a nutritionist to plan a balanced, tasty diet

  Chicken & Cheese Salad
Packed with lean white meat, cheese and lots of veggies

Chicken and Cheese Salad. Pics/Atul Kamble
Chicken and Cheese Salad. Pics/Atul Kamble

Ingredients
a) For Roasted chicken
500 gm chicken breast full  
2 tsp green chilli sauce
1 lime
½ tsp Pepper powder
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
b) Salad dressing
½ cup hung curd
2 tsp mustard sauce
2 tsp Mint sauce
1 tbsp Olive oil
½  tsp pepper powder
1tbsp cream cheese
1 tbsp mayo (optional)
Salt to taste
Veggies (max 500 gm combined)
Broccoli
Iceberg lettuce or any other lettuce
Baby corn
Corn kernel
Bell peppers all three colours
Cottage cheese

METHOD
>> Marinate the chicken for 15 mins with green chilli sauce, lime and pepper powder. Roast the chicken with one tbsp of oil both side till  cooked well. Make slices or chunky pieces. Keep aside.
>> Mix all ingredients for salad dressing together and keep aside.
>> Blanche each of the vegetables for five minutes in hot water and then julienne them except for lettuce and broccoli.
>> Add grated cheese. Mix herbs or Indian spices like chopped green chillies as per taste. Toss it up.
>> Lay lettuce in a bowl and add all veggies, the chicken pieces and the salad dressing and garnish with grated cheese of your choice. Sprinkle the herbs or spices.
>> Gobble this healthy salad directly or have it with garlic bread, ideally, during iftaar.

Recipe courtesy: Shagufta Syed, home chef and founder of the The Foodie's Spring

Nutritionist's take: "It's good to indulge in calorie-dense food once in a while to treat yourself if you are on a balanced diet at other times. The lean protein in the salad helps prevent muscle loss, especially while fasting. But it's to be consumed sparingly," suggests nutritionist Karishma Chawla, Eat Rite 24x7.

Chicken Shepherd's Pie
The goodness of chicken and potatoes in a baked avatar

Shagufta Syed
Shagufta Syed

Ingredients
For White Sauce
2 tbsp All Purpose flour
½ stick butter
½ tsp pepper powder
Salt to taste
250 ml milk
1 tsp mixed herbs

For Chicken
500 gm chicken
boneless cut into very small pieces
½ tsp pepper
Salt to taste, 1 lime
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste, Oil  

For Mash Potatoes
300gm boiled potatoes (mashed)
2 chopped green chilies
½ cup chopped coriander
½ tsp All spice mix
Salt to taste          
2 tbsp cream cheese
400 gm Processed and pizza cheese (half of each)

METHOD
>> Marinate the chicken with pepper, lime, salt and ginger-garlic paste for 15 minutes. Cook the marinated chicken till all moisture evaporates and is tender and ready.
>> Heat butter. Add all purpose flour to it and roast it slowly, and gradually add milk and cook till a thick consistency is acquired. See that no lumps form. Add pepper salt and mixed herbs. Add the cooked chicken to the mixture and keep aside.
>>Add chopped chillies, coriander, all spice mix and cream cheese, to the mashed potatoes. Keep aside.
>> Grate both the cheese and keep aside.
>> Pre heat the oven on 185 degree Celsius for 10 mins.
>> Spread out the chicken mixture in a 9x9 casserole. Add one layer of cheese (3/4th of the quantity), the next layer will be the mash potato mix and then spread the remaining cheese, sprinkle the mixed herbs.
>> Bake for 25 to 30 mins.
>> Garnish with desired veggies.
>> Keep it on a cooling rack
>> Enjoy it as is or with garlic bread hot, or store in the refrigerator. Eat it as mini meals between iftaar and sehri.

Recipe courtesy: Shagufta Syed, home chef and founder of the The Foodie's Spring

7 Tips to healthy fasting
1. Hydrate yourself throughout the allowed period of eating and drinking.
2. Can have two meals and two mini meals to stabilise blood sugar levels (complex carbohydrates) and minimise muscle loss (lean complete protein).
3. Include some form of fibre in every meal in the form of low glycemic fruits, vegetables and salads as they aid digestion.
4. Emphasis must be on complex carbohydrates: jowar, bajra, nachni, oats, quinoa, dalia and brown rice rather than white rice or maida products. These help to stabilise sugar levels  and maintain energy levels.
5. Lean proteins, e.g., eggs, chicken, fish , turkey, low fat milk and milk products, help in muscle repair and to prevent muscle loss.
6. Fibre in the form of low glycemic fruits help in metabolism and aid digestion.
7. Essential fatty acids in the form of fish oil caps and flaxseed are a must.

Nutritionist Karishma Chawla
Nutritionist Karishma Chawla

Nutritionist's take: "A good food item for first-class protein, this pie will help preserve a lean body mass," says nutritionist
Karishma Chawla.

Konafa
A classic Egyptian dessert popular in the month of Ramadan

Konafa. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
Konafa. Pics/Datta Kumbhar

Ingredients
a) The syrup
½  cup jaggery
½ cup water
1 lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
b) The Crust
250 gm Kataifi pastry
120 gm ghee
Handful of blanched almonds, pistachio and raisins. Grounded
c) For the filling
½ cup fresh cottage cheese (soft)
1 cup dry fruits
1 tbsp honey
2-3 tbsp milk


Home chef Bhakti Mehta Khatri

METHOD
>> Making the syrup: Combine the jaggery and water in a saucepan. Stir to mix, then put on medium heat and cook until jaggery dissolves. Bring to boil, then simmer the mixture on a low flame for 10 minutes until slightly syrupy. Add the lemon juice, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into a jar or jug and set aside to cool completely.
>> Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
>> Grease a round cake pan with some ghee.
>> Place the blanched almonds
>> Make the crust: Shred the pastry into small pieces, you can use your fingers or kitchen scissors. Place the shredded pastry into a large bowl. Pour the melted ghee. Use your fingers to rub it into the pastry. Place 2/3 of the pastry into the prepared cake pan, spreading it to cover the base and sides completely.
>> Make the filling: Combine the ricotta and the sugar/honey in a bowl. Add milk, one tbsp. at a time just until the mixture loosens up slightly.
>> Pour the filling into the base of the pastry. Spread it evenly. Close the openings with the remaining pastry.
>> Bake in the oven for 45-55 mins until the edges are deep golden.
>> Remove from the oven and while it is still in the pan and hot, pour the cool syrup all over the Konafa.
>> Let it rest for 10 mins, flip over onto a serving plate
>> Garnish with grounded dry fruits. Serve warm.

Recipe courtesy: Bhakti Mehta Khatri, home chef and founder, Tableya Masri

Nutritionist's take: "The honey and dry fruit (almond) used are good for health. However, considering the high sugar content, one should have it only once a week. A wise thing to do would be to avoid eating an entire dessert by yourself, especially at night, when the BMR is the lowest. You can apply a three-bite rule while breaking the fast," advises nutritionist Karishma Chawla.

Your fast food guide

FRUITS: Indulge in low glycemic fruits like apple, pear, orange, sweet lime, guava, papaya and peach every day. Have high-sugar fruits like mango, kiwi, litchi twice a week.

DAIRY PRODUCTS: Low fat milk and milk products (cottage cheese) come under the bracket of lean complete protein that helps to preserve lean body mass.

VEGETABLES: All kinds of vegetables can be consumed. Limit intake of potatoes, yams and beetroot as they are high on sugar.

What is Kataifi pastry?

Kataifi pastry

Most of you would have spotted the white dough of sewaiyyan in stalls during Ramadan. Two varieties are available — fried and non-fried. To make Konafa, we need the non-fried one, known as Kataifi pastry. The way to differentiate Kataifi pastry from the fried sewaiyyan is the presence of oil in the sewaiyyan, and secondly, if you place the sewaiyyan in a bowl of water it retains its texture, whereas the Kataifi pastry will turn into a lump of dough.

To make Konafa rolls



Apart from baking it like a large cake, you can also make Konafa rolls using Kataifi (or Kadaif) pastry. In this method, you will be required to place the filling on a lump of Kataifi dough and then roll it out, covered from all sides. Arrange multiples of these rolls in a baking tray. Grease the kataifi rolls using ghee and then bake as advised in the recipe. Apart from a healthy alternative during fast, you can also serve it to your guests during Eid.

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