In the good old days, it was not the stale air from air conditioners that kept us cool; delicious, healthy and flavourful foods did the trick instead. Now stay doubly cool with these traditional masterpieces from the kitchens of India.
Surati Kadhi: An everyday simple dish eaten in Gujarati homes.
Ingredients: 250g yoghurt; 2 tbsp besan; 1/2 tsp canola oil; 1/2 tsp ghee (optional); 1 tsp cumin powder; 1 tsp green chilli; 1 tsp ginger paste; 2 tbsp sugar; Fresh curry leaves, 1 glass water.
Method: 1. Beat the curd and besan to a creamy consistency by gradually adding water. 2. Add all the ingredients, except cumin and oil. 3. Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly and let simmer for 15 minutes.4. Heat the oil, add the cumin and stir fry for a few seconds and add to the dish.5.Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with rice.
Nutritional info per serving: 115Kcal, 6g pro, 18g carb, 2g fibre, 62mg sodium, 3.3g fat, 1g sat fat
Shukto: A traditional Bengali dish of mixed vegetables with bitter gourd. The ingredients can be varied according to taste and availability.
Ingredients: 100g medium-sized potatoes, 100g sweet potatoes, 100g white radish, 100g drumsticks, 100g plantains, 100g broad beans, 100g small bitter gourd, 100g brinjal, unpeeled, 2 tbsp mustard oil, 12 small matar dal bori(nuggets), 2 tsp ginger paste, 1 tsp black mustard paste, 1/2 tsp carom seed paste, 2 1/2 c water, Salt to taste, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp ghee (optional), 2 tbsp milk, Roasted panch phoron (fenugreek, kalonji, cumin seed, radhuni or celery seed and fennel)
Method: 1. Peel and cut lengthwise into 1 1/2 -inch pieces of the potatoes, sweet potatoes, white radish, drumsticks, plantains, broad beans, small bitter gourd and brinjal. 2. Heat the mustard oil to smoke in wok. Reduce heat and fry the bori. Remove from pan and keep aside. 3. Saute the two kinds of potatoes, the drumsticks and bitter gourd in the same oil for 3 minutes over medium heat. 4. Add the rest of the vegetables and pour over the ginger paste, black mustard paste and carom seed paste mixed in the water and strained through a fine muslin strainer. 5 .Add salt to taste, cover and cook until the vegetables are done. 6. Add the boris, bay leaves and the ghee, cook for another 2 minutes. 7. Add the milk, cover and remove from heat. 8. Serve at room temperature, after sprinkling roasted panch phoron powder on it. Nutritional info per serving: 180Kcal, 6.5g pro, 25g carb, 8g fibre, 215mg sodium, 7g fat, 1g sat fat
Fish Tenga: This typical Assamese curry is traditionally made with the fruit Elephant Apple or Ou Tenga, but we used lemon instead. Tenga also refers to any souring agent.
Ingredients: 4 pieces Rohu fish, 4-5 tomatoes, sliced, 1/2 bottle gourd, finely chopped, 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed, 1 1/2 tbsp mustard oil, 2 green chillies, slit, 1 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp mustard seeds, 1 c water, Salt to taste, fresh coriander.
Method: 1. Wash and lightly fry the fish pieces in 1 tablespoon mustard oil, turmeric and salt. Set aside. 2. Heat the remaining oil, add the mustard.seeds and when they start to sputter add the finely chopped bottle gourd. Stir for some time, add the tomatoes and fry till tomatoes are done. 3. Sprinkle salt and turmeric and add water according to required consistency. 4. Add the fish and cover with a lid. Let it cook on a low flame and bring to boil. 5. Add the lemon juice and sliced green chilles and cook for 5-10 minutes.
Nutritional info per serving: 210Kcal, 11g pro, 18g carb, 4g fibre, 600mg sodium, 13g fat, 2g sat fat
Kaalen: This classic Kaalen, from Kerala is a tart mango and yoghurt curry. Here we've added vegetables to make it more nutritious and wholesome.
Ingredients: 1 c of cubed raw mangoor, 1/2 c raw mango and 1/2 c of cubed bottle gourd/raw papaya/white pumpkin, 1/2 c water, 1tbsp coconut oil/canola oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, a pinch of fenugreek seeds, a handful curry leaves, 3 dry red chillies, 3-4 shallots, sliced, 3 1/2 c yoghurt, whipped. For the coconut paste: 1 c grated coconut, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp chili powder, a pinch of turmeric powder
Method: 1. Steam the mango and vegetables with green chillies, water and salt, in a vessel, till the water has evaporated or until cooked. 2. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, red chillies and shallots. Lower the flame and add the coconut paste and stir gently. Don't brown the paste. 3. Add the cooked mango, veggies and yoghurt. 4. Keep stirring on a low flame till the curry thickens for about 3 minutes. 5. Serve with steamed rice.
Note: When reheating this dish, do so on a low flame and not for too long,otherwise it will curdle.
Nutritional info per serving: 285Kcal, 14g pro, 28g carb, 4g fibre, 162mg sodium, 14g fat, 11.25g sat fat
Ingredients: 4 raw mangoes, 1 c organic sugar or 1/4 tsp stevia, 1/2 tsp small cardamom, a pinch of saffron, 3 glasses water
Method: 1. Squeeze out a little juice from the mouth of the mango first, else the drink will be bitter. 2. Boil the mangoes in 3 glasses of water.
3. Remove the skin and seeds and strain the pulp in the leftover water from the mangoes. 4. Add the sugar, cardamom powder and saffron.5. Mix and serve chilled or on ice.
Note: In case you do not want to use saffron and cardamom, you may use roasted and ground cumin powder and salt.
Nutritional info per serving: 270Kcal, 2g pro, 40g carb, 4g fibre, 100 mg sodium, 1g fat, 0g sat fat
Sweet and Sour Salad
Ingredients: 250g cucumber, diced small, 1 tbsp roasted peanuts, chopped, 1 tbsp fresh grated coconut, 1 tsp roasted white sesame seeds, 2 green chillies, finely cut, 1/2 tsp sugar, Salt to taste, 1 tbsp dry roasted channa broken and sauteed in 1/2 tsp oil, and a pinch of asafoetida
Method: Mix the above and serve.
Nutritional info per serving: 105Kcal, 3g pro, 5g carb, 2g fibre, 155mg sodium, 3g fat, 3g sat fat
Mango & Lime Custard Tart: There is nothing like a nicely chilled Mango and Lime Custard Tart after a summer lunch. Even better is a lighter version of the tart leaving you feeling satisfied (without the guilt). Ingredients: Crust: 3/4 c baking flour, 1/2 c wholewheat flour, 1/4 c organic raw sugar, 4 tbsp white butter, 4 tbsp cold water. Lime custard: 3 egg yolks, 1/3 c organic raw sugar, 2 tbsp organic wholegrain thickener (we used one from FabIndia) 1 c skimmed milk, 1 tsp butter, 1 tsp lime zest
Topping: 2 mangoes, sliced
Method: 1. Mix the two flours and sugar. Add the cold butter and mix until grainy. Mix in the cold water to form a dough. Flatten the dough with your hands in the tart pan and leave it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
2. While the crust is setting, warm the milk, add butter and lime zest to it. Leave aside to infuse.
3. Beat the eggs, sugar and thickener till fluffy. Slowly add half the milk mixture into the egg mixture while beating. 4. Put the remaining milk in a non-stick pan and stir in the egg mixture. Stir well on medium heat till the lime custard thickens. Remove from pan and leave to cool. 5. Line the crust with butter paper and place red beans as a weight on top. Bake the crust for 15 minutes at 180 degree C. Remove the butter paper and bake for another 30 minutes till the crust is golden brown. 6. Once the crust is ready, leave to cool, then add the lime custard and bake at 150 degree C for 25 minutes.7 When the tart is ready and cooled, place fresh mango slices on the custard layer and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Nutritional Info per serving: 233 Kcal, 8.2 g fat, 4.6 g sat fat, 31.9 g carb, 0.7 g fibre, 4.1 g pro, 48 mg sodium