Eggplant and Basella.

Get a large eggplant and chop it up. You can also use the smaller brinjals.
When buying the eggplant play special attention to its base. It will either be shaped like a line or a circle. You must buy the circle. These have way fewer seeds and are less bitter.

Wash and clean the Basella leaves.

Heat oil and drop in some dry red chilies, cumin, sesame seeds, fenugreek seeds, saunf, onion and curry leaves.

Once they have all softened add the eggplant.

You will need to cook them till they have softened completely.
To achieve the perfect softness you will need to cook them covered on low flame. But keep a close watch every few minutes so that they don’t get burnt at the base of the vessel.

Adding salt will help hasten this process.

Add the leaves and cook till they have also softened.

This is a fantastic meal by itself. You don’t need any accompaniments for this lovely eggplant dish.

Lentils and Greens with Chana Dhal and Chukke ki Bhaji

This is a very tasty addition to my plan for healthy lunch boxes. It went perfect with some fried pomfret.

Soak channa dhal for some 15 mins. Longer is better but if you are short on time add a pinch of cooking soda.

Saute chopped onions and green chilies. Add some ginger garlic paste once the onions turn pink.

Add the channa dhal and cook till they are partially softened.
Now in goes some turmeric powder and a little red chilly powder.

Once mixed toss in some mutton. I use bones with marrow instead of meat. My kids like this marrow a lot more than meat.
The bones will change color and then you add in a good amount of water, salt and coriander powder.
Pressure cook for a whistle.

Open when its safe and add chopped chukke ki bhaji and two tomatoes.

Pressure again for a whistle.

Once the pressure has subsided, open and check the seasoning. Add salt if needed. Cook on high flame if you want to reduce it. But drinking it like a soup is the best way to enjoy it.

Perfect as a standalone dish or use it as an accompaniment for roti or rice.

Fresh Pumpkin Puree

Chop up a pumpkin into small pieces.
Heat Olive oil and add cumin, caraway and sesame seeds.
Toss in the pumpkin and cook covered on low heat for ten minutes.
When the pumpkin is soft enough to be Hi mashed, let it cool down a bit.
Puree it.

Bring it back to heat and add tomato puree. I used a combination of soft and regular cheeses.
Once the cheese has melted into the puree, check for salt. Add as per taste.

Let it cool a little before you dive in.

Served it for dinner with some grilled tuna.

Beans, Potato and Mutton

Saute onions, once translucent add ginger garlic paste.
Raw smell gone, add meat. Color changes to white, add turmeric, red chilly powder and coriander powder.

Mix well.

Add potatoes, water and salt.
Pressure cook for exactly one whistle.

Pressure gone, open and add the beans, tomatoes and freshly chopped coriander.

Add a little coriander powder and optionally garam masala.

One more round of pressure cooking for exactly one whistle.

Enjoy it with rice or roti.

Spinach and Poha

Spinach Poha
Poha cooked with Spinach for a healthy breakfast

A super simple but very healthy breakfast option when running against the clock.

I use the thick Red poha because they have a great taste.
Put them in a colander and pour some over them. Lightly squeeze them and let them sit damp.

Wash and finely dice spinach.

Heat a little oil and fry some peanuts. Add the spinach when the peanuts start cracking up. Saute for 2-3 mins. Because its finely diced the spinach will cook really fast.
Add the Poha and switch off the stove. Mix it to evenly warm the Poha. It does not need any cooking.

There is no need of salt in this dish. You may want to add but its not really needed.

Garnish with fine sev and optionally chopped coriander.

Chicken and Amaranth Leaves

You might find the chicken pieces used in this recipe a little surprising. I buy whole chickens from the shop and then cut it myself.
This way I don’t have to deal with badly smashed bones and uneven sizes.

Each chicken gets divided into three portions.
1. Whole Legs
2. Boneless Breasts.
3. Everything left over.

This recipe uses the “everything left over”.

Heat butter and oil. Saute onions, shallots (if available), garlic and green chilies. Add some turmeric and coriander powder. A pinch of nutmeg powder is optional.

Drop in the chicken pieces and add a little water. Some salt.

Pressure cook for one whistle.

When safe, open and add Amaranth leaves, tomatoes and (optional) radish along with its leaves

As soon as the leaves are wilted. Close the pressure cooker without the whistle and switch off the heat.

Let it stay in its own steam for some time. It also helps retain the heat for a longer time.

Serve in a bowl so you can get the best of everything and the lovely soup as well.

Enjoy on a cool evening.

The added bonus is that this is a super low carb dinner with a healthy dose of protein and minerals.

Coconutty Pumpkin, Spring Onions and Cabbage

Its no surprise that I have so many recipes, which feature pumpkins. I love it.
Not only does it have an inherent sweetness but when you look at its nutrition chart, you can’t help but add it in your regular diet.

Just 26 calories and 7 grams of Carbs in 100 gms.
Loaded with Vitamin A bringing in almost 170% of your RDA.

As usual its a super simple recipe. Finely dice cabbage, spring onions and slightly larger pieces of pumpkin. Leave the skin on. Once cooked it softens and tastes great.

Dry roast some cumin, coriander seers, sesame seeds and fennel seeds. To this add some fresh ginger and green chilies. Powder them in a blender.

Heat some coconut oil in a large dish. Once its heated, add all the vegetables and the powdered masala.

Mix them well and cook covered on low flame for 10 mins. Check in between and toss them up.
Once the pumpkin has softened the dish is ready.

Season with salt before serving it.

The freshness of the dish will surprise you.

A fabulous dinner that is low in calories its almost free.