Nutritionally rich Indian recipes for better health
A pan-India cooking contest was held to explore the nutritionally rich Indian cuisine
Apan-India cooking contest was recently organised to get cooking enthusiasts put their skills to use. The objective of this contest was to bring forth nutritionally rich recipes from traditional Indian cuisine and reach it to the masses so that it helps people understand the importance of eating good, quality food. The contestants had to use a lot of traditional Indian ingredients, implement local ways of cooking and bring out the authentic flavours by using variety of millets, jaggery, fresh vegetables, and local spices.
CREATING NUTRITION-RICH SOLUTIONS
Talking about the contest, Karon Shaiva who is the brainchild behind organising the event, says, “We have a lot of professional knowledge of nutrition and food, but somewhere down the line, we have forgotten or don’t use our traditional ingredients due to convenience. Secondly, we are now fascinated about all these exotic superfoods easily available. We wanted to create solutions that are more effective on the ground and explore local, traditional and nutritional solutions. The idea of this contest is to encourage people to think differently and have a conversation about cooking healthy food. A small change can make a big difference in nutritional values.”
The contest had NGO workers who are work on various meal projects, professionals / catering students from the nutrition field, and an open category for home chefs, housewives or anyone who is interested in cooking nutritional food. The ones who participated in the cooking contest, had to send their recipes online. The initial round of screening saw 267 contestants, out of which only three from each state were selected who came to Mumbai for the last round which was a live cooking session. The 15 finalists cooked their dishes, plated and presented them to the judges — Chef Varun Inamdar, food consultant Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal and Prof Mahesh Kamble who selected the top three in each category.
The winners of each category share their recipes with us.
Recipe by: Neha Sathe, (winner from the professional/student category)
60-80 grams jaggery, ½ cup rajgira granules, ½ cup puffed rice, 1 tsp dried, roasted jackfruit seed powder, 5-6 finely mashed seedless dates, 1 tsp flax seeds, 1 tsp dried pomogranate seeds, 1 tbsp roasted groundnut powder, 1 tbsp ragi flour, 1 tsp horsegram flour, 2 tbsp ghee, 1 tbsp grated dry coconut
Take a bowl and add all the ingredients to it except jaggery and grated dry coconut.
Mix all the ingredients well by adding a teaspoon of ghee.
Heat a non-stick pan and add 1t bsp of ghee to it. Heat on a low flame and add jaggery. Stir it till it melts.
Add this chikki mixture to the pan and make a soft dough.
Brush a shallow plate with remaining ghee and spread the dough evenly.
Garnish it with dry coconut and let it set for 15-20 min.
Once it is set, cut the chikki into bars and remove it on a plate to serve.
MILLET MAGIC IN RAJASTHANI THALI
Recipe by: Garima Jain, (winner from the NGO category)
For the bati : 200 gms wheat flour, 200 gms jowar flour, 100 gms ghee, salt as per taste For the churma: 200 gms ragi flour, 50 gms wheat flour, 100 gms jaggery, 150 gms ghee, 50 gms nuts For the khichda: 200 gms bajra, 250 ml milk, 100 gms sugar For the dal: 50 gms urad dal, 10 gms chana dal, 2 tsp oil, 1 tsp chilly powder, ½ tsp turmeric, pinch of hing, cumin seed, chopped chilly and coriander leaves For the pulav: 100 gm minor millet, ½ tsp oil, 20 gms pomegranate and pea seed, 10 gms chopped chilly, coriander leaves, salt
To make the bati: Mix the wheat flour, jowar flour and salt. Add water in it to make small balls (batis).
Roast these batis in oven for 30 to 40 minutes at 120-140 degree C. Turn the batis while roasting. Add ghee to the batis.
To make churma:
Mix the wheat flour, ragi flour with lukewarm water and ½tsp ghee and make small balls. Roast these balls in oven for 30 to 40 minutes at 120-130 degree C. During the roasting it is mandatory to turn the face of balls.
Once they change colour, grind them. Add ghee, dry fruit and jaggery in it.
To make khichda:
Moist the bajra by sprinkling water on it and remove the outer cover of bajra. Mix milk and water in equal quantities and boil it for 30 -45 minutes. Garnish with dry fruit.
To make the dal :
Boil the urad and chana dal in a pressure cooker for 10 to 15 minutes.
Heat oil and add hing, chilli, green chilly, cumin seeds, and red chillies. Add the gravy, mix it well and boil the dal. Then add salt and garnish with coriander leaves.
To make pulav:
Boil the minor millets for 10 minutes and add salt. Heat oil and add the millets.
Garnish with pomegranate, pea and coriander leaves.
MOONG MATKI KANJI
Recipe by: Divya Divakaran, (winner from the open category)
1 cup rice, 1/2 cup soaked moong dal + moth bean, 1 small onion, 1 to 2 green chilli, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 4 to 5 tbps grated coconut, 2 tbsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seed, 5 to 6 curry leaves, water as required and salt as per taste.
In a pressure cooker, add washed rice, washed moong dal, moth bean, chopped onion, turmeric powder, green chilli, water and salt and pressure cook.
Once cooked, add grated coconut to it and mix well.
For the tempering, heat oil and add mustard seed and curry leaves to it. Once the seeds splutter, pour it over the rice and serve hot.