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North Indian Punjabi Recipes

North Indian Punjabi Recipes
If Punjabi recipes tempt your taste buds, then this page is a must-visit. Take a peep into Anita Chahal aunty's kitchen and see what authentic Punjabi food is all about. You will also find fusion recipes from Anita aunty's Punjabi kitchen. Not to mention, she has started to share OPOS recipes as well.

Authentic South Indian Recipes

Authentic South Indian Recipes
If you love south Indian food, do not leave without checking this page. Dedicated to Chitra Balachander, a south Indian homemaker, the page is all about taking a journey into her south Indian kitchen. Travel with me to her kitchen to savor traditional south Indian food.

Mooli Ki Sabzi (Radish Stir Fry)

mooli ki sabzi
Radish recipes? Until a few years back, I would not have believed that radish could be used as a vegetable other than in raw form - salad!

Usually mooli or raddish is eaten in salad form, while it's greens are thrown away. I had never thought of using mooli greens until I was introduced to this lip-smacking stir fry at a friend's place. We had gone to his place to send him a formal invitation to our marriage. Memories there!! It was then that I learned how to drape a saree from his wife - after all, I was going to be an Odiya bahu (daughter in law)!!

Now coming back to radish recipes, you won;t believe that this humblest of salad vegetables, which is not so popular with the younger generation, can make a delightfully tasty stir fry and even curries!

Yes, mooli sambar tastes awesome. Check the recipe here.

The root vegetable is widely grown during winters and savored in salad form. It could be white or purple. The purple one is little more pungent than the white one.I like the white one.

According to Dietburrp.com, raddish benefits are aplenty. It is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

The Radish-Cancer Connection
One study done by Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University claims that  radish root is rich in Vitamin C, Isothiocyanates and Anthocyanins, which may help kill cancer cells. Further, the study claims that this could also help prevent free radical damage to DNA.

Food for thought for those who hate radish! It could be your key to fighting or preventing cancer.

Radish for Diabetics
Whether you enjoy radish recipes or salad, it supplies your body with a good amount of fiber and phytonutrients. Since it belongs to the root vegetable family, radish is enriched with antioxidants and low in carb.

According to a Japanese clinical study performed on diabetic rats, radish sprouts have blood glucose lowering properties, though more research is required to prove the same benefits for humans. However, since radish has low glycemic index, it is considered healthier salad vegetable for diabetics., which does not increase blood sugar levels.

Of course, raddish benefits diabetics and non-diabetics.

Radish for Better Renal Function
Being diuretic in nature, radish helps kidney functioning, helping remove toxins from the body.  For those suffering from kidney disorders, radish could prove to be a blessing. Especially if you are suffering from kidney failure and experiencing reduced urine output, radish can help filter out waste products and toxins, besides helping improve urine output.

Radish as Blood Purifier
Again for those with kidney disorders, radish can help remove toxins and purify blood. Because of kidney damage, their bodies are not able to eliminate waste and toxin buildup from the blood. As a blood cleaner, radish removes toxins and waste products, helping kidney disease patients manage their health better. Research even claims that some components in radish have anti-inflammatory properties.

A WORD OF CAUTION FOR KIDNEY PATIENTS
Given the aforementioned radish benefits, you need not take this as medical advice. Especially if you are taking renal medications, it is best to consult your doctor before starting on any alternative healing therapy. It is feared that radish can lower the curative effect of some medications.

Radish benefits for blood pressure, hypertension patients

Research studies claim that radish has blood pressure lowering properties, especially its greens. A report published in the Nutrition Research and Practice journal stated that radish leaves substantially help lower blood pressure.

Besides, radish has high potassium and low sodium, which helps balance sodium potassium levels in a hypertensive patient, preventing pressure from from spiking beyond normal levels.

You may have radish in salad form or try any of radish recipes to derive benefits from this seasonal vegetable.

Other radish benefits include:

  • Help jaundice patients due to its detoxification properties
  • Fight constipation due to high fiber and water content
  • Help fight cough and cold symptoms by improving immunity
  • Is a weight loss remedy
  • Is helpful in asthma due to its de-congestive properties
  • Helps gastric and piles patients due to its rich fiber content that aids in digestion
  • Improves skin health by hydrating skin cells. thanks to its antioxidant properties
  • Slows down the ageing process by removing toxins and improving cell regeneration (learn more about skin ageing here)
Okay enough of radish benefits, let's come to our mooli ki sabzi, which seems to have lost in recounting the immense benefits of this root vegetable.
radish recipes mooli bhajiya


Ingredients
Raddish greens
1 raddish
1 potato (optional)
Garlic pods (as many as you like - 10-12)
1 onion
1 tsp- mustard oil
salt, haldi
pinch of sugar
kalonji (nigella seeds)
pinch of hing
1 green chilly (optional)


Procedure
  1. Wash the greens thoroughly and pat them dry. I kept them for drying for 2-3 hours.
  2. Chop raddish and potatoes - the smaller the better!
  3. Crush garlic cloves. Keep them aside.
  4. Chop onion.
  5. Heat oil in a pan.
  6. Add hing.
  7. Drop nigella seeds in the heated oil.
  8. Turn the flame to low.
  9. Add garlic cloves. Enjoy the rustic garlic aroma. 
  10. Add green chilly and sliced onions and saute them until they turn brown.
  11. Add salt, sugar, and haldi.
  12. Next, add chopped radish and potatoes.
  13. Saute them for a couple of minutes.
  14. Now mix the greens.
  15. Mix well and cover & cook for 10 minutes on medium flame.
  16. Check after 10 minutes and cook more until the water dries up and the vegetables are cooked up.
  17. Enjoy mooli sabzi with rice or roti. I had it with both.




Sweet 'n Spicy Tomato Chutney With Bottle Gourd


spicy tomato chutney
The very thought of spicy and sweet tomato chutney makes your mouth to water! Isn't it?

It surely is a tongue pleaser and in my case, a soul pleaser as well! Have tried so many chutneys in the last one year that surprises me even to date!

After all chutneys and Indians have a deep relationship. Agree? We enjoy chutneys as much as our meals. In fact, no meal is complete without some form of condiment, and chutney undoubtedly tops the list. Other popular condiments include pickles, podis (what else?).

I have tried only these until now.

Tomatoes are a key addition to Indian meals. It won't be wrong to say that these rustic beauties enhance the taste of any vegetable. So Indian curries do not miss out on tomatoes. Trust me, tomatoes aren't just taste enhancers, they add to the aesthetic look of curries and are loaded with health benefits.

Let's do a quick recap of tomato benefits

  1. Rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and beta-carotene, manganese, and vitamin E
  2. Rich source of lycopene, which gives them the deep red color
  3. Lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides, and are thus known to contribute to heart health
  4. Prevent atheroscelorsis or plaque buildup in arteries 
  5. Prevent clumping together of platelet cells in blood 
  6. Loaded with phytonutrients that are known to benefit heart health
  7. Have anti-cancer benefits
Research is under way to link tomato benefits for bone health. 
sweet tomato chutney


Tomatoes for cancer?
The prime cause of many types of cancer is the chronic oxidative stress, followed closely by chronic inflammation. It is here that antioxidant-rich foods, such as tomatoes, can help prevent cancer. Antioxidants help fight free radicals that cause cancerous growth.

Especially, tomatoes have been known to lower the risk of prostate cancer in men.

Tomatoes come in many forms, shapes, and sizes - of course colors, including pear-shaped tomatoes from Italy, bright yellow tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and green tomato.

Tomato is referred to as pomme d'amour in French, which means "love apple," and Italians call it as "pomodoro" or "golden apple" .

Bottle Gourd Benefits
Let's come back to the tomato chutney recipe. Like every household, bottle gourd or lauki or ghiya, as it is called in Punjabi, is not too welcome in my home. But it still gets an entry, for I do not want to miss out on bottle gourd benefits, which are aplenty. So I try to experiment with this humble vegetable so both of us can enjoy its benefits.

You can include lauki in idlis, dosas, lentils, stir fries, sweets, desserts, and even chutneys!! Yay! I am coming to the spicy tomato chutney recipe.

A rich source of Vitamin A,C, and folate, bottle gourd is loaded with minerals, including magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. 

Health freaks are experimenting with lauki for its weight loss benefits. Apart from this, it is also known to help manage blood pressure and keep your heart healthy.

It has cooling and diuretic properties. This is the reason it is a summer time vegetable, enriched with water and minerals. As a result, it is known to help combat thirst symptoms in diabetics.

Bottle Gourd is rich in fiber, which makes it a value addition to your meals and can help curb hunger pangs. Thanks to its immense benefits, bottle gourd is part of complementary and alternative therapies. In Ayurveda, lauki, dudhi, ghiya, or bottle gourd is advocated for diabetes milletus, hypertension, weight loss, and liver disease. 

However, there is a word of caution on the use of lauki. When it comes to using lauki, take a small bite to see if it is bitter in taste. Bitter bottle gourd is claimed to have caused 3 deaths in India. The reason is still unclear. 


Now let's come back to the tomato chutney recipe. You have probably tried the tomato fengureek chutney I had shared a few days ago. I had learned the same from Priya Shiva, a fellow food blogger and friend. 

Taking inspiration from that recipe, which was a hit at my place and even at my parents' home, where I made it for my family there, I introduced lauki to the chutney. Voila! It was such a hit. Hubby dear couldn't realize he was eating lauki hidden in the chutney.

How could a wife not be happy when her hubby loves her experiment? Happy me!!!
'
tomato benefits

Ingredients 
2 tomatoes
Equal amount of lauki or even raw papaya (I have made it several times and the tomato chutney with raw papaya tastes too good)
salt to taste
1/4 tsp- sugar or gur (jaggery) or add 2 pieces of dates (khajur)
1/2 tsp Roasted methi dana powder
1 tsp oil
2 pinches of hing (asafoetida)
1/4 tsp- kali sarson (black mustard seeds)
1 or more green chillies (you may add red chillies as well)

Procedure
tomato lauki chutney

  1. Do you know tomatoes need some kind of fat for absorption in your body? How? Well, tomatoes are rich in antioxidant lycopene as well as beta-carotene. These nutrients require healthy fat for the body to absorb it and give you the benefits.
  2. Cut lauki into small pieces and keep it in hot water for 5-8 minutes so that it turns little soft.
  3. Add whole tomatoes as well to the hot water. 
  4. Next, take oil in a pan.
  5. Add hing and kali sarson.
  6. Let them splutter.
  7. Meanwhile, grind tomatoes, lauki, and green chillies together.
  8. Add this paste to the spluttering masala.
  9. Mix well.
  10. Throw in sugar and salt to the bubbling mixture.
  11. Give everything a good mix. Trust me you do not need to heat it longer. Saute the mixture for just 4-5 mins or little longer and you are done.
  12. Lastly, throw in roasted methi dana powder.
  13. Mix well again.
  14. You may garnish the tomato chutney with coriander leaves.
  15. Enjoy it as a dip or chutney with rice, roti, parantha, idlis, or snacks.
  16. Does the unique lauki chutney take your family by surprise? Do let me know!! I would look forward to hearing from you all!
  17. The sweet tomato chutney is sure going to be loved by your family. The bursting flavors of roasted fenugreek seeds are enough to tantalize the taste buds of anyone - whether a foodie or not.
  18. Pair this chutney with daliya idlis or oatmeal idlis or even suji idlis.
  19. Did I tell you can turn idlis into a toast? Do check the daliya idli toast post for more. You can easily cheat kids into eating healthy food this way.

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