Saturday, September 22, 2007


Cheese and Broccoli Tikkis

“Merry go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush!” That’s how kids should be throughout the day… merrily going about their daily tasks, academics, games and what not, full of spirit! Punctuate their days with healthy snacks and meals and be assured that their activities are not punctuated with cumbersome coughs and sneezes and tiredness! Most mothers think “fatter the child, healthier he is” and thrust fatty foods down their throats just for the sake of it. Contrary to this is the fact that a child can be called healthy when he is active, free from diseases, infections and is growing well (as per his age).

It’s all about making nutritious food appealing and fun for kids-as appearance counts as much as taste. But it is a tough task fulfilling the demands of your child who will not settle for simple homemade food and persuasion leads to an even adamant child.
So, to make your task easier, I have come up with a book ’GROWING KIDS COOKBOOK’ dedicated completely to the mothers out there. Divided in 5 sections and comprising of 50 delicious and visually appealing recipes, providing necessary nutrients. Besides recipes we have also include some fun and learn activities for your kids to help him develop motor skills, coordination etc.

The first section of this book, called “Run, Run All Day”, comprises recipes that are made using carbohydrate rich foods along with moderate amounts of fat. For kids to grow physically and to build a healthy body structure, they require nutrients like protein, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium etc. The section “My Bones… Strongest” is full of recipes that are rich in such nutrients. As kids go to school and interact with many others, they tend to contract colds and other contagious infections quite easily if their immune system is not strong enough. “No More Colds” section includes foods that are rich in nutrients like vitamins C and E, beta-carotenes, zinc and selenium that boost your children’s immune power. “Moving Through the Digestive System” is a vital section that provides you with recipes full of fibre to ensure easy digestion. And finally, last but most important, the section titled “I Scored the Highest” comprises recipes that enhance brain power and soothe examination jitters… This section includes recipes rich in nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, fat, B-complex vitamins, zinc, iron and calcium.

With healthy and visually appealing recipes like Golzeme, Apricot Orange Cookies, Green Peas and Corn Bhel, Oats Pineapple Sheera and Chana Spinach Rice, I’m sure it will be easy to tempt your children to willingly consume nutrient rich ingredients!

So grab a copy of this collection and make more and more of healthy delicacies for your little one with lots and lots of love, from you, and from me as well to ensure the holistic health and growth of your child.


Given a choice, kids will say nyaaaaah to broccoli, but they are a must-have because of their nutritional benefits! So, tempt them with these yummy tikkis made with a combination of broccoli and cheese. Use olive oil to cook these tikkis as it is rich in vitamin E.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes. Cooking Time: 15 Makes 4 tikkis.

1 tsp olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped onions
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp finely chopped green chillies
½ cup finely chopped broccoli
Salt to taste
¼ cup boiled and grated potatoes
2 tbsp grated mozzarella cheese
¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs for coating
2 tsp olive oil for cooking

1.Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, add the onions, ginger-garlic paste and green chillies and sauté for 2 minutes while stirring continuously.
2.Add the broccoli and salt and sauté on a slow flame for another 5 to 7 minutes or till the broccoli is almost cooked.
3.Remove from the flame, add the potatoes and mix well. Keep aside to cool.
4.Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and shape each portion into small rounds.
5.Press a little in the centre of each round to make a depression and put 1½ tsp of cheese and shape them into flat tikkis (approximately 1½” in diameter).
6.Roll them in the bread crumbs. Keep aside.
7.Heat a non-stick pan and cook each tikki using ½ tsp of oil till they turn golden brown on both the sides.
8.Cut each tikki into 2 pieces and serve hot.
Nutritive values per tikki
Vitamin C: 9.8 mg
Vitamin E: 0.5 mg
Vitamin A: 318.0 mcg


Lollies are an all-time favourite… to the extent of being one of the most interesting aspects of childhood! Unlike their commercial counterparts, these fruit lollies don't use artificial flavours and colours. Instead, they provide lots of nutrients including vitamins C and A. Ensure that the fruits are completely ripe and sweet to avoid adding any extra sugar.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes. Cooking Time: Nil. Serves 4.

½ cup freshly squeezed pineapple juice
½ cup freshly squeezed black grape juice
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

1.Take 4 candy moulds of desired shapes, pour 2 tbsp of pineapple juice at the bottom of each mould and refrigerate to set.
2.When fully set, insert candy sticks and pour 2 tbsp of black grape juice in each candy mould to make a layer and refrigerate to set without disturbing.
3.When fully set, pour 2 tbsp of orange juice in each candy mould and refrigerate again to set for atleast an hour.
4.Just before serving, hold the moulds under a running tap and take out the lollies.
Serve immediately.

Nutritive values per serving
Vitamin C: 30.1 mg
Vitamin A: 493.2 mcg

To view the book simply click on "GROWING KIDS COOKBOOK"

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Dal Makhani
Day in and day out I get queries from many troubled housewives and anxious young chefs as to what Jain food really is, and about how to cook it? Even those who have been ordering Jain food instead of Asian vegetarian meals on flights, admit that they don’t really know what Jain food is. Many think that Jain food is simply vegetarian food cooked without certain root vegetables. Only a handful of people actually know that cooking Jain food involves complying with many, many more rules.

Jainism is not just a religion, but a beautiful way of life. The Jain scriptures clearly define the ways and means to live life, including clear instructions about what foods should be eaten and even what type of water should be drunk. The scriptures delineate how and when food must be prepared and consumed, and even specify when one should fast, how food should be preserved for later use and so on. Jains believe that all living beings have souls. Hence, killing of any living creature, be it a plant or a human being, is considered an act of violence.

The Jains have divided all foods into three broad categories: tamsik, rajsik and satvik. Tamsik foods involve killing of animals and countless bacteria, and when eaten they trigger lust, anger and other negative feelings. Rajsik food is prepared to satisfy the human senses of taste and flavour, and for nourishing the body. These foods include fried and fatty items, which are not easily digestible. Satvik food is prepared with ingredients, which cause least amount of violence. These include grains, lentils, fruits and certain vegetables. Satvik food is believed to stimulate morality, compassion, bliss and spirituality.

Jains avoid root vegetables such as carrots, yam, beetroot, onions, ginger, garlic and potatoes. Root vegetables or kund mool are distinct from fruits and other vegetables, because the entire plant as well as the bacteria residing in the soil are killed when they are uprooted to be consumed. Bahu beej, or vegetables and fruits that contain many seeds, such as eggplant, are also avoided. In an effort to minimize violence towards living beings, including plants and even bacteria, Jains renounce root vegetables as they advance in their spiritual journey.

For each of you, Jain cooking can be a revelation. You’ll realise as you cook that it is indeed possible to cook delicious meals even without using ingredients like potatoes, onions and garlic, which we otherwise take for granted!
So, if you have Jain friends coming over for dinner or in-laws who are very particular about their Jain meals, then simply whip these delectable JAIN RECIPES and win all their praises...


Tasty and appealing, these colourful capsicum rings are the perfect complement for a hot cup of tea.

Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 5 minutes. Serves 4.

3 medium capsicums
1 cup grated paneer (cottage cheese)
½ cup boiled, peeled and mashed raw bananas
6 tbsp finely chopped mint (phudina)
3 tsp finely chopped green chillies
3 tsp corn flour
Salt to taste
Corn flour for coating
Oil for deep frying

1.Cut the stems of the capsicum and de-seed them.
2.Cut them into 10 mm. thick rings and keep aside.
3.Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, except the capsicum rings, and mix well.
4.Stuff this mixture in the capsicum rings, pressing tightly.
5.Press each rings between your palms to make sure the stuffing does not fall off.
6.Coat the capsicum ring with cornflour form all sides and deep fry in hot oil till they are golden brown.
Serve hot sprinkled with the chaat masala.


Cooking in accordance with Jain rules only seems to add to the taste of the ever popular Makhanwala!

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 15 minutes. Serves 4.

2 cups mixed vegetables (French beans, raw banana, cauliflower, peas)
3 tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato sauce (no garlic, no onions)
½ cup coconut milk
2 tsp cornflour
2 tbsp cashewnut powder
3 peppercorns
2 cloves (lavang)
25 mm. (1”) cinnamons (dalchini)
2 to 3 cardamom (elaichi)
3 whole dry red chillies,broken into pieces
3 tbsp butter
Salt to taste

1.Boil a vesselful water and immerse the tomatoes in it for one minute.
2.Remove, de-skin and de-seed tomatoes and chop finely. Keep aside.
3.Heat the butter in a pan, add peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and red chillies.
4.Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till mashed.
5.Add the sauce and boiled vegetables and mix well.
6.Dissolve the cornflour in the coconut milk and add to the gravy.
7.Add the ½ cup water and bring tc a boil.
8.Add the salt and cashewnut powder. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander.


The world famous Dal Makhani now in a Jain style.

Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes. Serves 4.

¾ cup whole urad (whole black lentils)
2 tbsp rajma (kidney beans)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2 green chilles, slit
25 mm. (1") stick cinnamon (dalchini)
2 cloves (lavang)
3 cardamoms (elaichi)
1 tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
¼ tsp (dry ginger powder) soonth
1½ cups fresh tomato pulp
¾ cup (150 grams) cream
3 tbsp butter
Salt to taste

For the garnish
2 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tbsp butter

1.Clean, wash and soak the whole urad and rajma overnight. Drain and keep aside.
2.Combine the dals and salt with 2 cups of water and pressure cook till the dals are overcooked. Whisk well till the dal is almost mashed.
3.Heat the butter in a pan and add the cumin seeds.
4.When the cumin seeds crackle, add the green chillies, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and sauté well.
5.Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, dry ginger powder and tomato pulp and cook over a medium flame till the oil separates from the tomato gravy.
6.Add the dal mixture, ¾ cup of water and salt if required and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
7.Add the cream and mix well.
8.Serve hot garnished with the coriander and butter.

Handy tip: You will require 4 medium tomatoes to make 1½ cups fresh tomato pulp.


Parathas just got more interesting. An unusual combination of cabbage and paneer for the filling adds a novelty value to this dish!

Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 30 minutes. Makes 5 parathas.

1 cup whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp melted ghee
Oil for cooking

For the stuffing
1 cup grated cabbage
½ cup crumbled paneer (cottage cheese)
2 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tsp finely chopped green chillies
Salt to taste

Other ingredients
Whole wheat flour (gehun ka attta) for rolling
Ghee for cooking

For the stuffing
1.Sprinkle salt over the cabbage and keep aside. After 10 minutes, squeeze out the water.
2.Add the paneer, coriander, green chillies and salt and mix well. Keep aside.

How to proceed
1.Sieve the flour with the salt.
2.Add the ghee and mix well.
3.Add enough water to make a soft dough.
4.Knead well for 3 to 4 minutes.
5.Divide the dough into 10 equal portions.
6.Roll out each portion of the dough into a round of about 100 mm. diameter with help of a little whole wheat flour.
7.Spread a little stuffing on one round and cover with another round. Press the sides well.
8.Cook on a hot tava (griddle) on both sides using a little ghee until pink spots come on top.
9.Repeat with remaining dough and stuffing to make 4 more parathas.
Serve hot.