Tag Archives: fitness

Delish GReen BEANS with coconut

Many moons ago, when my mom had to leave for India for an extended period of time to care for my grandfather, she wrote down a bunch of recipes of the staple, time honored dishes that my family from Kerala had served for generations in their kitchen. Before I had any money to buy any sort of cookbook, these recipes became my guidepost; a primer that ensured that I would carry on creating the tastes of my mother, grandmothers, aunts and more in my kitchen. Of course, in the rush to give me these recipes, mom sometimes missed writing exact quantities or an ingredient, but they were enough of a foundation to enable me to cook.

Beans Poduthol, also called as Thoran, is a simple dish of whatever veggies are on hand, some oil and spices and lots of freshly grated coconut. It is the kind of dish that is not only super yummy and healthy, but also makes me feel with every spoonful that all will be okay in this world.

Ingredients:

  • A pound of beans, washed, destringed and cut into small pieces
  • A tbsp of oil (traditionally coconut oil is used)
  • A tsp of mustard seeds
  • A tsp of urad dal (skip if you don’t have this, it adds crunch)
  • One or two dried red chili pods broken
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Four tbsps freshly grated coconut
When I copied mom’s recipe into my first attempt at organizing recipes.

How to:

1. Heat oil in a pan.  Fry the mustard seeds, urad dal (if using) and dried chilly pods.  When the mustard seeds start popping, add the beans, turmeric powder, salt and cumin powder and toss well.

2. Cover and cook till the beans are cooked, yet crunchy (about 10-15 minutes).

3. Add the fresh coconut and toss a few times.

Enjoy!

PS. You can prepare cabbage, spinach, carrots, and raw bananas in a similar fashion.

A Delicious brEAKFAST made from the unloved end pieces of bread

Please don’t judge me. I do not like the bookend pieces of bread that come in every loaf. The thick, slightly stubby pieces that I eat with reluctance, only to not waste them. But this morning, faced with four of those slices that I had saved from two packs of the low carb 647 bread, I decided to do something a little different; something that turned out to be super delicious. I have always loved the dish called poha, flattened rice flakes made into a delicious savory breakfast with onions, tomatoes, spices and more and that’s exactly what I decided to do with the four lonesome pieces of bread. The result was a delicious breakfast that I totally enjoyed with a steaming cup of cappuccino. Oh and one nice benefit of this dish was that I used a bunch of odds and ends lurking in my fridge.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • A pinch of asafetida
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 1/4 inch piece of ginger finely chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small tomato, finely chopped
  • A handful of baby spinach finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 end slices of bread with crust cut into small cubes
  • 1 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
  • A tbsp of fresh, grated, coconut (optional)
  • A tsp of lemon juice (optional)

How to:

1. Heat oil in a pan for a minute and then add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and asafetida.

2. When the mustard seeds stop crackling, add the green chilies, ginger, and yellow onion. Sauté for five minutes.

3. Add the tomato, baby spinach, turmeric powder, and salt, and sauté for a couple of minutes.

4. Add the bread cubes, and toss so all the veggies and spices are mixed in well with the bread cubes.

5. Turn off the heat, garnish the dish with the finely chopped cilantro, freshly grated coconut, and the lemon juice (if using).

6. Divide into two bowls and enjoy hot with a cup of coffee or tea.

EASY, CREAMY, SPRING onions

Can you ever go wrong with spring onions in any form? If you ask me, the answer is never. I use them to add a finishing touch to dishes, as a veggie in omelets, as a flavor punch in sautéed veggies, and so much more. But this particular dish takes my mom’s and my love for spring onions to a whole new level. Neither of us grew up eating it as kids, but discovered it at some point when we lived in Mumbai, where it was commonly served as part of the local Maharashtrian cuisine. It is just so easy to make, is ready in under 15 minutes and disappears even quicker from the plate. My only complaint is that even with five bunches of spring onions, there is only enough for two to indulge in heartily with some rotis.

Ingredients:

  • 5 bunches of spring onions, washed, roots removed, and finely chopped (both greens and whites)
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil (I used vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 dried red chili pods broken
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps chickpea flour

How to:

1. Heat oil in a pan for a minute and then add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chilis, and asafetida.

2. When the mustard seeds stop crackling, add the spring onions, turmeric powder and salt. Mix all the ingredients well, cover and let it cook for about 10 minutes on a medium flame, tossing once in between.

3. Add the chickpea flour and mix well immediately to prevent clumps.

4. Let it cook for another minute or two.

5. Serve with rotis or dig in with a spoon!