The world has a lot of misconstrues about Indian foods. Most of the people salivate at the thought of savoring those sumptuous Indian dishes, but whenever the question of health comes to the fore, they draw their tentacles in. It is because Indian foods are either thought to be too spicy for the palate and the intestines to stomach or too oily for the body to register and if there is a combination of both, you think it will either blow your mind or throw your physiological functioning in disarray. But all of these are assumptions, as Indian food is definitely not synonymous with a lot of cream and calories. Did you know that organic ghee reduces bad cholesterol levels and increases the level of the good cholesterol in your body? So next time you gasp at the sight of that sweet-scented liquid, floating on your meal in all its glory, think twice.
In this season of love we bet you would rather want to stoke your fire with some ghee and spices that are actually healthy, than screw your noses at those bland salads that you think you are compelled to consume to live a robust life. No, healthy does not mean insipid. Here is a look at 3 tasty and healthy Indian recipes that you should try out this Valentine’s Day.
1. Masaledar Cholay
A scintillating dish from Punjab, it is prepared with chickpeas and a variety of spices. It is easy to prepare and oh so good to eat.
- Garlic- 8 cloves
- Chopped Jalapenos/green chilli- as per preference
- Chopped ginger- 2-inches
- Vegetable oil- one and a half Tbsp
- Diced onions- 3
- Cumin powder- 2 Tbsp
- Coriander powder- 1 Tbsp
- Cayenne pepper/red chilli powder- ¾ Tbsp
- Diced tomatoes- 3
- Boiled chickpeas- 750 gms
- Water- 2 cups
- Coriander sprigs for seasoning
- Salt to taste
- Make a fine paste out of the garlic, ginger and green chilies using a food processor.
- Place a pan on the flame and drizzle the vegetable oil in it. Add the cubed onions and sauté them in medium to high flame.
- Once the onions start turning brown, add the garlic-ginger-chili paste and sauté it.
- Add the dry masalas including the red chili powder, cumin and coriander in to the pan and mix well. Add a splash of water if necessary to stop the dry spices from burning.
- Add the tomatoes and mix well. Cook until the raw smell of the tomato evaporates. Add the chickpeas and the water into the pan.
- Bring the mixture to the boil and add salt. Mix well and finally add the coriander leaves. Turn off the flame
- Serve hot with phulkas or naan and yoghurt.
2. Desi BBQ Chicken:
If you thought that a barbeque should only incorporate American flavors, think again. This mouth watering recipe fuses the authentic barbeque experience with Indian spices and flavorings. Try preparing this for your loved one during this month of love.
- Vegetable oil
- Finely diced onion- 1
- Minced garlic- 3 cloves
- Minced fresh ginger- 3 Tbsp
- Ketchup- 1 Tbsp
- Tomato puree- 1 cup
- White vinegar- 1/3 cup
- Tamarind puree- 1/3 cup
- Molasses/Gur (jaggery)- 1/3 cup
- Red chilli powder- ¼ tsp
- Garam Masala powder- 2 tsp
- Chicken breast- 4 pieces of around 170-200 gms each
- Pinch of sugar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Place a flat-base pan on the flame. Add the oil. After the oil heats up, add the onions and sauté until they become translucent.
- Add the garlic and ginger. Cook until the raw smell evaporates. Add the ketchup, tomato puree, vinegar, tamarind, jaggery, sugar and red chili powder. Let this mixture simmer for a while over low heat.
- Once the mixture is reduced to form a sticky sauce, add in the Garam Masala powder. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper.
- Place a grilled pan on the flame. Apply oil over the chicken pieces and also season them with salt.
- Grill the chicken pieces for 7 minutes on each side. Brush the BBQ sauce on both sides and grill further for another two minutes.
- Once the chicken is done, brush on the remaining sauce on the chicken and serve hot. Pair it with wine and make your evening truly romantic!
3. Triple Delight Bites:
A healthy desert combining the richness of dark chocolate with the benefits of bananas and the taste of peanut butter, this desert recipe will leave you wanting more.
- 2 ripe bananas, sliced.
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- ¾ cup baking dark chocolate
- One and a half tablespoons of coconut oil
- Lay down a grease-proof paper on a baking tray. On this paper, place half of the banana slices. Add a dollop of peanut butter on these slices. Place the other banana slices on top of this to form a kind of sandwich.
- Put the tray in the freezer until the peanut butter in the middle freezes.
- Take a small pan and heat up the coconut oil in it. Add the dark chocolate into the oil and melt it down under very low heat. You can use a double boiler for melting the chocolate as well.
- Coat the banana and peanut butter sandwiches with the molten chocolate. Allow the mixture to cool and then freeze it for at least an hour.
- Take them out and enjoy them cold, without any guilt of excess calorie intake.
Try out the 3 recipes listed above and you are sure to impress your partner. Apart from being excessively tasty, all three recipes will ensure that your health targets are not disrupted. So, this Valentine’s Day enjoy with your loved ones, but ensure to do so in a healthy way.