Healthy Indian Recipes

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Toor Dal with Drumstick Vegetables (Indian Lentil Recipe) Recipe

If you're not familiar with drumsticks, they are long, thin, green pods commonly used in Indian cuisine. They are often used in sambar soup but they can also be a substitute for spinach or green beans in dal dishes.

I prepared toor dal, which is the most common lentil paired with drumsticks, although I've seen this dish prepared with mung beans and chana dal (garbanzo) as well. To guarantee optimum tenderness, I choose immature drumsticks at the market; otherwise they become a little too fibrous. When the lentils are soft and gravy-like, drumsticks are added. The drumsticks are chewed until all the artichoke-like texture is eaten, then the outer skin is discarded. If you can get your hands on some, give them a try. They're definitely out of the ordinary.


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Sambhar Recipe (Indian Soup) Recipe

Sambhar Recipe (Indian Soup)

11.08.10 by Jackie

Sambhar is a South Indian dish made of toor dal, vegetables, turmeric powder, curry leaves, tamarind, cinnamon sticks, whole dried red chiles, cilantro, roasted coriander seeds and other Indian spices. It resembles a soup; and is often served alongside idli (rice cakes) or dosa (Indian crêpe).

To make my version of sambhar, I start by boiling toor dal with a lot of vegetables, such as Indian eggplant, drumsticks, okra, carrots, turnips, pumpkin, sweet potatoes or Idaho potatoes and tomatoes, shallots and onions. Then I let the vegetables simmer until the lentils are cooked through.

If you’ve ever had sambhar at an Indian restaurant and wanted to make it at home, now you can. It’s very easy, healthy and filling.

Drumstick Recipe with Picture
Drumsticks.


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Baigan Bharta Recipe (Indian Eggplant Dip) Recipe

If you're an artichoke and spinach dip lover and don't feel guilty about the calories, baigan bharta is for you. Eggplants are chopped into small pieces, boiled until softened and drained. Then they are sautéed in oil until all the liquid has evaporated. After that, the eggplants are flavored with onions and many Indian spices. Once the mixture cools completely, yogurt is added and folded into the eggplant mixture. Raw onion is also added for a little bite to the Indian-style dip. Though non-traditional, I also add fromage blanc, which helps give a creamy and rich texture to the dip; it's also lower in calories and has less cholesterol than cream cheese.

Today was Game 1 of the World Series, featuring our hometown San Francisco Giants. I made this dish and served it with warm tortillas chips for Lulu and the girls to munch on while they watched the game. I don’t understand baseball, but I can definitely say that the food was a home run. That’s a baseball term, right?

Eggplant Dip Recipe with Picture


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Mattar Tofu Paneer (Indian Tofu Recipe) Recipe

Mattar paneer is a dish made with peas and Indian cheese. This time, I decided to make the same flavorful dish, but with fewer calories. To accomplish this, I substituted firm tofu in place of traditional paneer cheese.

I fried cubes of tofu the same way as I would paneer, then simmered them in a delectable, creamy onion and tomato curry sauce with green peas. If you’re looking to make a foray into veganism, this is the perfect way to start (see tips).

Of course, if - like my father-in-law - you feel cheated by the absence of golden chunks of fried cheese, you can always try the traditional mattar paneer recipe. I won’t tell!


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Dahi Bhalla Recipe (Indian Lentil Fritters in Yogurt Sauce) Recipe

Dahi bhalla is a very common dish in Indian cuisine. Hot fried lentil fritters are soaked in cold water, gently pressed then smothered in a thick yogurt sauce. What makes the dish so special is the combination of sweet tamarind chutney that marries very well with the tanginess of the yogurt. It can be eaten as a snack or appetizer. The dish may be fried, but it’s packed with nutrition so you can enjoy it without feeling that guilty.

For added flavor, I added both chopped dates and date syrup to the tamarind chutney. This dish can be prepared in advance and assembled at the last minute, which is very convenient. Serve with cilantro and mint chutney on the side and you'll have yourself a very flavorful appetizer.


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