Recipes: Puri Bhaji and Mozzarella Sticks with a healthy twist

Jun 06, 2015, 08:00 IST | Suprita Mitter

Indulging in healthy, delicious dining can be an expensive affair. Celebrity chef Saransh Goila offers calorie-friendly alternatives to create simple, Indian favourites with a healthy twist

Puri Bhaji
This is a classic favourite. For the bhaji, purely made with potatoes and laden with ghee, add a lot of vegetables and substitute potato with sweet potato. In this recipe, we use ghee at the end for aroma and satisfaction.

Celebrity chef Saransh Goila
Celebrity chef Saransh Goila

Olive oil can be used for the rest. To make healthier puris, add spinach puree or any vegetable puree into the dough and fry it in healthier oil, like canola oil.


For Puris
>> 1/2 cup spinach puree
>> 11/2 cups wheat flour
>> 1/4 cup semolina
>> Water to knead dough
>> Salt to taste
>> Canola oil to fry

For Bhaji
>> 2 cups grean peas
>> 1 cup boiled carrot, cut into small cubes
>> 1 cup pumpkin, par boiled and cut into small cubes
>> 1 cup sweet potato, par boiled and cut into small cubes.
>> 2 green chillies (chopped)
>> 1/2 tsp ginger (chopped)
>> 3-4 pinch turmeric powder
>> A pinch of asafoetida
>> 1 tsp dried mango powder (amchoor)
>> 2 tsp coriander powder
>> 1/2 tsp chilli powder
>> 1 tsp lemon juice
>> 1/2tbsp olive oil
>> 1 tbsp coriander leaves (chopped)
>> 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
>> 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
>> 1 tsp ghee
>> Water as required

Method For Puris
>> Mix all the ingredients of puri, to knead soft pliable dough, and keep aside for 15 minutes.
>> Divide the dough into small balls and then roll each ball into small puris.
>> Deep-fry puris in canola oil. Drain oil once taken out of the pan and wipe extra greasiness.

For Bhaji
>> Heat olive oil in a pan and add cumin and mustard seeds, and allow them to splutter.
>> Add ginger and chili to the above and stir. Add hing.
>> Now add boiled green peas, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder and chilli powder and toss for 1 minute.
>> Add approximately 1 1/2 cups of water and lemon juice to the above. Stir well and let the bhaji cook for 10-12 minutes on medium flame. Add amchoor powder. Take it off heat.
>> Put the bhaji in a bowl and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
>> PuriBhaji is ready to eat. Serve hot.

Mozzarella Sticks
While you can’t substitute the cheese (which in right quantities is not unhealthy) you can avoid deep-frying this party favourite. Even if it’s baked, the taste and crispiness is the same. I’ve used an oven in this recipe; it tastes good in an air fryer too. Also, you can add powdered walnuts in the coating an easy way to make sure kids eat nuts.

>> 10 mozzarella cheese sticks, chopped finger-sized batons.
>> Flour to dust
>> 1 egg, slightly beaten
>> 1 cup bread crumbs
>> 1/2 cup panko crumbs (optional for extra crispness)
>> 1 teaspoon paprika powder
>> 2 tsp garlic powder
>> 1 tsp oregano
>> 2 tsp walnut powder
>> Salt to taste

>> Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius. Line a baking sheet with foil.
>> Freeze mozzarella sticks until hard (about 30 minutes).
>> Place flour in one bowl and egg in a second bowl. In a third bowl, add bread crumbs, panko crumbs, paprika powder, garlic powder, oregano and walnut powder, and combine.
>> Toss the cheese sticks in the flour to coat, then in the egg mixture, then in the crumb mixture. Dip each coated cheese stick into the egg mixture one more time, and back in the crumb mixture one more time. Freeze sticks for about 15 minutes.
>> Place cheese sticks in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
>> Bake for 5-8 minutes, then turn and cook another 5-8 minutes on other side until golden and crispy.

>> You can always brush a stroke of ghee towards the end of a dish, so the aroma spreads and it appeals to your palate.

>> Use interesting and tasty vegetables, instead of potatoes, for filling that needs to be deep-fried.

>> Use wholesome flours instead of maida. I tried nachos with nachni flour and they were good. Ragi, jowar, bajra and singhada also work.

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