7 Easy And Healthy Breakfast Recipes – #2

Do you remember the 7 Easy and Healthy Breakfast Recipes I had shared a few days ago as a part of my Instagram project – #NoWhiteBreadBreakfast? Well, I have managed to add more recipes to the project and thought I would compile them. This time I made a mix of classic Maharashtrian, south Indian and Punjabi dishes along with some muffins and a quick-fix super healthy breakfast bowl.

Whole wheat sugarfree banana muffins

Whole wheat sugarfree banana muffins

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An open letter to Rasna

Dear Rasna,

The other day I was in a supermarket buying summer coolers when I spotted you. At first, I couldn’t recognize you between the packets of Tang and ice teas; you all looked the same to me. I think that clarifies my initial indifference; I wasn’t trying to ignore you, not deliberately at least.

In order to reunite with you I bought a packet. It had a fancy name of a foreign kind of orange; looked like you were trying hard to impress. You were never about real fruit and added vitamins. Those fads are for juice companies. You were always about fun and taste and that’s what all the kids loved about you. You were our one glass of bliss after a game of langdi-kabaddi or kho-kho in hot Sun. You were the stuff all birthday parties were made of. We never had to buy Coca Cola or Pepsi for our friends cause we knew you’ll always be there with your orange, mango, cola, khus khus and tutti frooti flavours (11 flavours in total). You were there to lift our spirits after a tough day at school; you were there to calm us down before a tough exam; you were there to make play times better and to make study times bearable. Every time we lifted a glass of you we said “I love you Rasna” aloud, and that love came straight from the heart.


Rasna, you have changed so much. The small carton you came in is replaced by a packet and you are just a powdered form. What happened to that small bottle of flavour which was always used as a whistle after being emptied? Sugar too is premixed so there’s no family bonding over mixing sugar in water, adding powdered and liquid flavour to it, filling it in bottles and then treating ourselves to that first glass. Our next generation will never know that making Rasna meant quality family time. It was our first lesson of team work; the tasks divided based on experience among the kids, closely supervised by the adults. There won’t be fights over that last bit of concentrate left in the bottle. The side door of the fridge will never look colourful again. 

It’s not just the way you look has changed, your colour and taste is different too. You are not bright orange anymore; you look like an orange juice and taste synthetic.

Your ads too were about innocent kids and their birthday plans. That area has been taken by adults; now you have Karishma Kapoor and Virendra Sehwag promoting you. Why did you stop being kids’ friend and grew up? Why did you betray our love?

Rasna, without your old self, life’s not the same. I miss you, Rasna!

A distraught kid of the 80s



Beetroot chops recipe

Do you know how I love making bread rolls, aloo tikkis and chhole bhature on Sundays? Deep fried Indian snacks are my guilty pleasures hence I try adding healthy ingredients in my recipes. The lowers the guilt factor to a certain extent. I stuff bread samosas with seasonal vegetables or make aloo tikkis stuffed with peas. In one of the issues of BBC’s Good Food India, I saw this recipe of beetroot or chukandar chops. I liked the idea and thought of trying it. The original recipe is sourced from the magazine to which I added some dry mint powder and mixed roasted seeds. I’ve recently grown fond of seeds (flaxseed, melon seeds, pumpkin seeds, cucumber seeds) and try consuming them on a daily basis. While I like to eat them plain, straight from the bottle, the husband throws a fit. So I sneak them in tikkis, salads etc (please don’t tell him). In this recipe I used the roasted mixed seeds from Godrej Nature’s Basket’s Healthy Alternatives section


Ingredients
For patty
Potatoes (boiled, peeled and mashed) – 3 medium sized
Bread slices (I used brown bread) – 3 slices
Dry mango powder (amchoor powder) – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Green coriander (chopped) – 1 tbsp
Green chillis (chopped) – 2
Salt to taste

Cornflour – 2 tbsp
Water – 1/2 cup
Oil – 2 tbsp

For filling
Beetroot (peeled and grated) – 2 medium
Carrot (grated) – 1 medium
Dry pudina powder – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Ginger (chopped) – 1 tsp
Raisins – 1 tbsp
Roasted peanuts (crushed) – 2 tbsp
Mixed roasted seeds (flax-seeds, melon seeds, pumpkin seeds, cucumber seeds) – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tsp

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients of the patty together and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they splutter add ginger and saute for a minute.
  3. Throw in beetroot, carrot and rest of the ingredients and saute for 4-5 minutes. Let it cool.
  4. Divide potato mixture in 6 equal parts. Flatten each one on your palm, keep a little filling in the centre, close it and roll them into flat patties.
  5. Mix cornflour in water to make a paste.
  6. Heat little oil in a nonstick pan, dip each patty in the cornflour paste and place it on the pan.
  7. Fry till they turn golden on both sides.
  8. Serve with green mint chutney and sliced onions.

War of Gujarati thalis – Thackers Vs Samrat

Sometime in August last year I visited a restaurant which is now my new favourite for vegetarian, especially Gujarati food. Thackers, at Girgaon Chowpatty a favourite among the Gujaratis living around that area. In a true foodie/Gujarati spirit, the locals queue up at Thackers for lunch/dinner every weekend. The restaurant serves an a la carte menu of Gujarati delicacies along with Continental and Indian dishes but is more famous for its Thali.

A short drive away from Thackers is Samrat restaurant located near Churchgate Station. This too, like Thackers is popular among those who love Gujarati food. Apart from traditional Gujarati thali restaurant also serves regular Indian and Continental food.

Last weekend, after a drive to Marine Drive with family we decided to go to Samrat for dinner. Since we’d picked it over Thackers I couldn’t stop myself from comparing the two. Here too, we ordered thalis and couple of dishes from the a la carte menu.

The thali at both the restaurants had traditional dishes including farsan (fried or steamed snack), subzis, dal, kadhi, rotis, puris, thepla, rice preparation, dessert and chaas (buttermilk). At Thackers we were served dhokla and bhajiya as farsan while Samrat served fried gawar ki fali (cluster beans), matar ki kachodi – deep fried Indian pastry stuffed with green peas and dhokla – steamed rice flour cakes. Farsan at both the places were good, we like the ones at Samrat a little more. I prefered the subzis served at Thackers; we were served aloo ki subzi, undhiyu and a palak subzi at Thackers. At Samrat we had chhole instead of the palak subzi. We also had Surti dal and kathol – a combination of pulses, at Thackers. The kadhi at Samrat was tad too sweet while the one at Thackers had a good balance of sweet, spicy and tangy flavours. Now coming to the most important part, rotis. Fresh, thin, hot and ghee laden rotis were served at Thackers but the ones at Samrat disappointed us. They were cold, uncooked and dry and even after repeated requests we weren’t served hot rotis, we had to switch to eating puris. The puran-poli and thepla was nice though.

From the a la carte menu at both the places we ordered panki – rice pancakes steamed in banana leaves. At Thackers (Rs 85) the panki was thin, hot and had a robust flavour of garlic. It came with a green chutney which complemented the dish perfectly. The panki at Samrat (Rs 140) was disappointing, it was thick, cold and had a stale taste. it was served with a green chilli pickle which couldn’t save the dish either.

Dessert was good if not great at Samrat, we had gulab jamuns and fruit custard. At Thackers we were served rasmalai which was a perfect end to the meal.

Apart from the quality of food there’s a vast difference in price too. While a thali at Thackers will cost you Rs 295 you’ll have to shell out Rs 355 at Samrat which is as much as the thali chains like Rajdhani, Maharaja Bhog and Panchvati Gaurav. However, these chains serve much better food with variety of dishes and quick service.

After trying out thalis at both Thackers and Samrat, my vote goes to the former for their authentic and fresh food, pleasant service and pocket friendly price.

Fried Rohu in Mustard and Ajwain

Given that I am such a big fish eater it only makes sense to start the blog year with a fish recipe. Rohu is a river water fish and it’s taste in itself is so sweet that you don’t need too many spices to prepare it. This one is a very Bengali/UP preparation with just mustard and ajwain seeds. Cooking in mustard oil creates some magic in the kitchen and I for one cannot resist the aroma. The recipe is simple. Try it and thank me later.

Ingredients
Rohu (cut into small pieces) – 500 gms 
Mustard seeds – 1 tbsp
Ajwain seeds – 1 tbsp
Mustard oil – 4 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon – 1/2
Method:
  1. Wash the fish, marinate in turmeric powder and salt, keep aside for half an hour.
  2. Wash away the turmeric powder and salt.
  3. Mix salt, red chili powder, mustard seeds and ajwain seeds together. Add this mix to fish pieces.
  4. Heat oil in a pan. Add fish pieces and shallow fry till they are crispy on the edges.
  5. Sqeeze lemon juice on top and serve with green chutney.