Category: Low Calorie

Paneer Jalfrazi

Not the traditional recipe, but one that is almost oil free and high on flavours
Not the traditional recipe, but one that is almost oil free and high on flavours

A quick fix hearty meal, is what this is. Jalfrezi is a type of Indian dish in which pieces of vegetables are fried in oil and spices to produce a dry, thick sauce. Since there is no gravvy involved, it can be stirred up in a matter of a few minutes. Jalfrezi can be made as spicy as you wish and in that lies its success to cater to different tastes. The other main ingredients include capsicums, onion and tomato. History dates the Jalfrezi back to the British Raj and  according to a new poll, the Jalfrezi is the most popular choice in Britain’s 10,000 Indian restaurants. This is not the traditional way of cooking this dish, but this quick fix recipe has all the flavours intact without being doused with oil.

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Dal Dhokli

Traditional Gujarati Dal Dhokli
Traditional Gujarati Dal Dhokli

This is as traditional as it gets! A Sunday afternoon lazy lunch with piping hot dal-dhokli. Its a perfect combination of proteins and carbs or rather dal and roti, but all mixed into one dish…the Indian pasta as my cousins often call it! Just like pasta, this dish needs to be made on the spot and served hot to really relish it. What’s more it can be enjoyed as a one-pot dish or you can enjoy it with some steamed basmati rice too. Either way, this is one dish that grows on you and can be made as festive as you wish–with simple easy additions of broken cashew nuts, raisins and dried dates (kharek).

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Baingan ka Bharta

Brinjal BhartaThis popular Indian dish is served in various ways. People from Gujarat blast the brinjals, skin and pulp them and serve it with chopped green onion, white onion, green garlic and raw powdered masalas with loads of oil. This is usually eaten on a cold day with bajra ka rotla and jaggery. Those in the north however cook the brinjal pulp yet again with onion and tomato and masalas. Some even add yoghurt. I prefer the double cooked version without the yoghurt.

What’s however interesting is that the roasted and pulped brinjal is also used for a lot of Mediterranean dishes, the closest rival is the classic Baba Ganoush or the egg plant dip!

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Khada Masala Aloo Sabji

khada masala alu sabjiAfter a hard day at work there’s nothing like coming back home to soul food. For me that’s absolutely basic indian food or ghar ka khanna. Hot roti’s with ghee, dal, potato sabji and a bowl full of yoghurt. Nothing and I mean nothing comes close to the happiness this simple meal gives my stomach.

I’ve cooked it in a earthern pot, but you could use any deep dish of your choice. If you want the potatoes to crisp up use a thinner base.

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Hot Dogs

 

Hot Dogs with crisp lettuce and homemade barbecue sauce
Hot Dogs with crisp lettuce and homemade barbecue sauce

The quintessential summer food, this is one of my favourite sandwich! Easy to make, meaty, with the right amount of fresh crispy veggies and barbecued ones and lots and lots of mustard. YUM! If I remember my history right, the dogs humble origins can be traced to Roman emperor Nero, whose cook Gaius may have created the first sausage, unknowingly. In Roman times, pigs were starved a week before they were slaughtered. While watching over the kitchen, Gaius realized that one of the pigs was roasted without cleaning. He stuck a knife into the belly to see if the roast was edible and out popped the intestines–empty because of the starvation diet but puffed from the heat. Gaius then stuffed the intestines with ground meats and spices the sausage was born!

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Healthy Apple Crumble

Sugar Free, Butter Free, Flour Free Apple, Cinnamon and Cranberry Crumble
Sugar Free, Butter Free, Flour Free Apple, Cinnamon and Cranberry Crumble

Of late all my food has the most important “free” word of which butter-free, sugar-free, oil-free and flour-free are my favourites. But to be able to use all these ‘frees” and turn around a traditional dessert into something refreshingly fabulous is an uphill task that requires several rounds of R&D.

For years together the apple pie has been my go to food. Be it a happy occasion or a pick me out of the dumps cooking session, the flavours wafting from the cinnammony-applee-buttery- pie cooking in the oven do things to the mind beyond one’s imagination. So to take this dish and convert it into something my diabetic husband could enjoy was always one of my goals. When we decided to cut away from self rising flour, I resorted to the humble oats and almonds to create the right bite. It tastes as good as the traditional version, what it lacks is the buttery crumble, but if you don’t mind add a dollop of butter when you bring the crumb together.

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Sugar Free Oil Free Chivda

Diwali speciality: Sugar free, oil free chiwda
Diwali speciality: Sugar free, oil free chiwda

Here’s another all-time Diwali favourite. You know its kind of strange no matter how many times I think of making these savoury items during the year, the only time I actually get down to doing it, is during Diwali, when I find the time (I don’t know how) to put together 11 different high intensity cooking dishes, and yet it doesn’t tire me out.

This version of the recipe, is specifically designed for Diabetics and those on a diet. I made 1 kg of the chivda with just 1 tablespoon of oil. 🙂 What’s more its ideal to munch on when hunger pangs hit.

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Sweet and Spicy Chicken Salad


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Sweet and Spicy Chicken Salad

Let’s not beat around the bush here, diet food is not always fun. And no matter how many recipe sites I go to or posts I surf through, I don’t usually find a recipe that brings a smile to my lips the way French Fries does! Why does diet food always need to be bland and uninspiring?

When I started off cooking for my diabetic husband knocking processed foods, carbs, fats and sugars was a priority. Salads became a must have. Then came the ordeal of making greens interesting and innovative. I mean how many kinds of salads can you make?

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Grilled Cinnamon Plums with Mascarpone Cheese

Fat-free five-minute dessert
Fat-free five-minute dessert

 

I love desserts. And I like them even better if they are easy to make and come with fresh ingredients–something I’ve learnt to indulge in post my die-hard fascination for MasterChef. Yeah I am a sucker for food shows and to meet Gordon Ramsay stands very high on my Bucket List. But till then I am happy to devour every cookbook of his and lay my hands on every recipe he has published. He seems to have the right knack of simplifying the most horrendously tricky procedures and making it super simple! But enough about my gushing love for him…

This is not one of his recipes, but is a version of Martha Stewart’s creation. And what I like about it, is its simplicity. My first restaurant, Skie Grille, in Utorda Goa was all about food off the grill, may be that’s why this recipe is close to my heart. Or may be it’s just the ease in creating it–all it takes is 5 minutes and can be made with ingredients found in every pantry.

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