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Tag: Healthy

How to Make Oil Free Pakoras? Don’t Waste Cauliflower Stems SuperFood

It’s that time of the year, rains ruining your travel plans and messing up your laundry duties. We all need the warmth and feel good factor of bhajiyas and pakoras with chai but with all the goodness of no oil of-course. So I’ve come up with a few recipes to do just that.

Cauliflower stem and leaf pakora:

It’s the monsoon season, vegetable prices are soaring and one can’t afford to throw away any edible portion of vegetables especially when they are so expensive. Did you know the actual raw yield of a head of cauliflower is just about 55%. If you purchase 1 kg cauliflower for 63 rupees which is the prevailing rate. You are essentially dumping 28 rupees worth of perfectly edible cauliflower in the bin which is wrong on so many levels.

Making this cauliflower stem pakoras is incredibly simple and is sure to brighten up a gloomy monsoon evening. Best enjoyed with a cup of piping hot chai.

 

Print Recipe
Cauliflower stem pakora
Course Snacks, Vegetarian
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Snacks, Vegetarian
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash the cauliflower, destem the florets and keep aside. We will not be using the florets. You may use the florets for your regular sabji or any other purpose. Once cut you can store the florets immersed in water for upto 24 hrs in the refrigerator.
  2. Roughly chop up the stems, leaves and the stalks. In rare cases the cauliflower comes whole along with the larger leaves that completely envelope it. Make sure you don’t include these as we want to make sure that the pakoras don’t have too much leafy content which will leach out water and not allow them to crisp up adequately.
  3. Once this is done put all of these contents in a blender and blitz the mixture till it is finely chopped up but not to a paste. Add some salt to the mixture, mix and keep it aside. The salt is added for seasoning ofcourse but also to ensure that the leafy portion lets of some of the excess moisture. Moisture being the enemy of crispyness.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the batter and keep it aside. Keep water for boiling. Squeeze the blended cauliflower and drain the excess water. Now add it to the batter, check the consistency as mentioned in the ingredient list.
  5. Once the water is boiling, add the batter in small dolops either with a spoon or your hands. The batter will be sticky so keep a bowl of water handy so that you can quickly rinse your fingers before dropping the next pakora. The boiling process is to make sure that the contents of the pakora are cooked and it gives structure for us to be able to spread out on a baking tray. Poach for about 2-3 mins, drain and cool in the refrigerator. Cooling in the refrigerator will help in the drying out of the surface of the pakoras and help in the browning process in the oven.
  6. Grease a baking tray with 1 tsp of oil and spread it. Preheat the oven to 200*C, add the pakoras to the tray and bake. After about 2 mins, increase the temperature to max, around 250*C. You might have to turn them around slightly to achieve even browning.
  7. After about 5-7 mins it should be crispy, golden brown and ready. Serve hot with ketchup or sauce of your choice.
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3 Healthy Homemade Soups to warm your Soul

Healthy Homemade Soup

Healthy Homemade Soup

A much awaited monsoon brings immense thrill & excitement to everyone, right from the kids to the oldies. The happiness we feel when we embrace the first showers is immeasurable after the sultry hot summer. It spills freshness all around. It makes everything around so beautiful & green; an absolute pleasure for our eyes. Every being on the planet comes back to life and our spirits are at their peak.

I call it a ‘time to rejuvenate’…

Undoubtedly with the change of the season come flavors of the season.

No, I am not talking about that irresistible adrak wali chai with pakoras but soups to warm our soul!!!

As the weather takes a 360 degree turn, my throat becomes sore and my craving for hot liquids goes to the top of the list. For me, apart from relieving my sore throat it works as a great appetizer too. I love soups, I prefer it over any mocktail, soft drinks or any fizzy sugary drinks that come loaded with unnecessary calories. Believe me you can simply elude extra sugar each time you step out for a meal, it makes a lot of difference in the long run.

Soup is a versatile dish, which can be made with broth by adding any kind of meat, sea food, veggies or herb. Many soups are had for their health benefits as well as for the flavor and its revitalizing effects.

Asian soups bring flavors from the world on one table; from Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, China, Mongolia, Vietnam to the Philippines boast some amazing soups.

One can eat soup as a meal. I personally experienced this on my trip to Thailand.

What I observed is that people here start their day with their staple diet, a bowl of rice or some kind of soup with noodles & greens in it.

No matter what time you walk in any shops or malls you will see them truly savoring their meal to the core. They give importance to their meals and find no shame in taking time to savour it fully. No wonder every few meters you will find a food cart.

I have tried some simple Homemade soups which can be quickly made with any ingredients available at home, and the best part is that one can innovate with them as per the availability and stir up a delicious pot of soup.

This is a simple clear soup with few ingredients but will burst with flavor

 

Simple Clear Soup

Mushroom

Carrots

Sweet corn

Bak choy

Ginger

Garlic

Chicken stock

Green chilies

Salt & pepper

Cilantro leaves

Simply sauté the finely chopped ginger, garlic & chilly in a wok. Then add in the chopped veggies. Sauté it for a min then add the chicken or veg stock depending upon your choice, then add salt & pepper, a dash of vinegar is optional.

I had added a tastemaker in my second variation which was good too but optional and garnish it with loads of cilantro just when your are about to serve.

And all it takes is 10 min. This soup is detoxifying. My husband doesn’t have a palate for veg soups but on my insistence when he tasted, vhe loved it and asked me to get one bowl for him too… 😉

Some other few favourite soups which I make often are

Chicken soup

1 whole chicken with bones

Garlic

1 onion

1 carrot

Celery

Noodles (optional)

Available herbs at home Basil, thyme, parsley

Salt & pepper

5-6 cups of water

Add everything together into the big pot, cover & simmer it on low for an hour or so. Once all the ingredients are well infused with flavor gently remove the chicken on the pan. One can shred few pieces & add to it or serve it just as it is. Add some noodles too. It might get easier to convince little children for one bowl as I work this trick on my son as he is fond of noodles. This whole hearty soup made with fresh ingredients is simply delicious & excellent for cold & sore throat.

 

Paya Shorba

Paya soup known as ( Lamb Trotters ) I simply love it! It’s a fantastic soup packed with nutrients (calcium) & high on flavor. 

Ingredients

Lamb trotters (Well washed & thoroughly cleaned)

Ginger – 2 inch

Garlic – 10 cloves

Green Chilies- 5-6

Onion-1

Chickpea flour-1 tbsp. (optional)

Coriander leaves- sprig

Salt & Pepper- as per taste

1 tbsp. oil

Blend ginger, garlic & chilly paste and sauté in oil for a minute then add the lamb trotter’s bones to the pressure cooker & cook it for 5 whistles or 15 -20 min.

Once the pressure is released in another pan sauté lengthwise, finely sliced onions for 3 min then add the stock, trotters,1 tsp chickpea flour (optional) to the stock in a bowl first to prevent any clumps and then to the soup. Add salt & pepper. Garnish it with coriander leaves & serve hot.

Also adding little turmeric in the beginning & chopped curry leaves adds extra zing to the soup that’s how my mother would prepare.

When the bones are sautéed with ginger garlic chilly paste in oil it releases a fantastic aroma and the juices are well infused which brings out the best in a bowl.

A well noteworthy tip is including any sort of clear broth which is flavoured with a few spices and with your choice of veggies & meat, this will bring wholesome nourishment to your soul & body, which is very satisfying and packed with nutrients.

 

I hope you find these simple homemade recipes fun and easy to make. Now don’t waste any time, quickly indulge in making some hot soups with love and warmth, and serve it hot to your loved ones on a rainy evening.

 

 

 

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