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March 29, 2010


I have mentioned in some of my previous posts that I am a Dietitian/Nutritionist by profession, the maximum number of people I meet in my practice are overweight and want to lose weight "fast" even to the extent of near starvation!, they tell me about the pathetically low number of nutrient deficient calories they are consuming, and in a desperate voice tell me that they are -"still not losing a single pound", another frequent visitor is that person who has invariably managed to lose some pounds but after a few months has regained the lost pounds and added some more!!I have been seeing an alarming number of these kind of cases so was prompted to write down this post today, now most of us are fighting a forever going on battle with weight loss, some have expressed their thoughts very lucidly like Lynn, and some of us just continue silently with a yo-yo like pattern picking up snippets from magazines, the net, newspapers anything which gives a shortcut to weight loss.To understand why these people are not losing weight we first need to understand that why eating less doesn't always work-If you cut out 1000 calories per day from your maintenance level, that will add to a 7000 calorie deficit in a week, there are 3500 calories in a pound of stored fat so cutting out 7000 calories should give you a weight loss of 2 pounds per week, Right ?, No wrong! It rarely happens that way!!There is a very simple explanation to this- The body has a survival mechanism that kicks in the minute it senses that the number of calories it is getting is lesser than normal, since the human body cannot distinguish between "dieting" and "starvation", it naturally thinks that you are starving and will hold onto it's reserve of calories, thus dieting actually makes you "fat"!
So I guess it makes sense to stay away from very low-calorie diets as these affect your life in many ways like-

  • maybe initially you will lose weight but it will become progressively more and more difficult
  • binging and cravings will go up
  • your metabolic rate will slow down
  • you will feel weak and tired all the time
  • chances of rebound weight gain are high
  • Decrease only a small number of calories (for your RDA see here).
  • Start exercising a lot more to burn that fat, weight training is highly effective.
  • Divide your meals into 6 smaller meals so that your metabolism is high throughout the day, increase intake of protein(calculate the number of calories and macro-nutrients in your diet here).
  • Refrain from both fasting and feasting.
  • Remember it is more important to be fit and healthy.
  • Be patient!.
If you thought that "Nutritious" and "delicious" don't go together then you are in for a happy surprise!It is often thought that Healthy food is bland and boring and if you think so too then these recipes are just for you :)

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March 25, 2010


This tangy pickle is my favorite, and I got the recipe from a colleague who used to regularly bring it in her tiffin.I think I have added a few of my own ingredients along the years and now a jar is always there in my fridge.
This thokku is used in many ways as a bread spread, a vegetable, a chutney and with freshly steamed rice too, great when you want an instant perk up to a regular meal, it is also bursting with Vitamins and since very little oil is used it also qualifies as really healthy.
The tomatoes I used were plucked straight from the garden and so were the curry leaves :)


  • Fresh red and ripe tomatoes-1/2 kg
  • Curry leaves- 5-6
  • Oil-1 tbsp
  • Asafoetida-a pinch
  • Methi seeds-a pinch
  • Deggi mirch-1 tsp
  • Red Chilli powder-1/2 tsp OR 1 Green chilli chopped
  • Salt to taste
  1. Wash and dry tomatoes.
  2. Chop roughly into small pieces
  3. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan, add the asafoetida, curry leaves and methi seeds, let sputter.
  4. Add tomatoes and cover, cook for 20 minutes, then add deggi mirch and seasoning.
  5. Cook till oil separates
  6. Spoon into clean glass jars and cool, refrigerate
  7. This chutney lasts for several weeks in the fridge

Tomatoes growing in my garden

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March 22, 2010


There is something wildly addictive about this drink, which comprises of Water and Black Carrots!
Yes I am referring to the ever popular "kanji", I remember as a child we used to love it but my mom always gave us little, as it is supposed to be enjoyed in little quantities, my guess is that too much upsets the stomach or perhaps because of the kick it has, it was off limits for kids :)
They also say that it is best enjoyed chilled while basking in the sun, I have a bottle chilling and just the thought of it is making me salivate, it is so impossibly delicious and great for weight watchers, yet incredibly simple to make.
The carrots used are the black variety, that lend a gorgeous shade to this drink.

  • Black carrots-4
  • Water-2 liters
  • Mustard seeds-2 tbsp(powdered)
  • salt-2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder-1/2 tsp
  1. Wash and scrape the carrots, be prepared to have your hand stained purple or wear gloves.
  2. Chop Carrots into longish pieces.
  3. Take a big glass jar, big enough for 2 liters of water and combine all the ingredients together, give it a good shake.
  4. Leave jar in the sun for 5-6 days for the drink to ferment and sour.
  5. Taste the kanji, adjust salt if required, chill and serve in glasses with a fork to fish out the pieces of carrots.

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March 19, 2010



I totally disliked besan cheelas as a child, reason being mom used to make tasteless big blobs of cheelas, seemingly uncooked in spots and serve them for breakfast, they used to kill my appetite on the spot....Don't get me wrong, my mom cooks up some superb fare but sadly for some things she completely succeeded in putting them off for life for me.
Until I recreated and re tasted these...
Now first let me explain what cheelas or pooras are, they are thin pancakes or crepe like, primarily made of besan(chickpea flour) to which a variety of seasonings and fillings can be added.In this recipe I have combined the benefit of Bengal gram with chickpea flour crepes and swiss chard plucked fresh from my garden.I suppose this recipe is good for Vegans and all those following the South beach diet and looking for a new recipe.


  • Chickpea flour(besan)-1/2 cup
  • Ginger+garlic paste-1/2 tspGreen chillies chopped-1
  • Coriander- few leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Ajwain seeds-1/4 tsp
  • Bengal gram(chana dal)-1/2 cup
  • Ginger+garlic paste-1/2 tsp
  • Swiss chard-1/2 bunch (substitute with spinach if unavailable)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Turmeric-1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala-1/2 tsp
  1. Prepare the filling first-Combine half of the swiss chard and the chana dal well as the rest of the ingredients listed under filling.
  2. Add about 1/2 cup-3/4 cup water and give 5-6 whistles in the pressure cooker or till Bengal gram is tender, dry up any remaining water by keeping on low flame, keep aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the cheelas or crepes, add just enough water to make a pancake like consistency.
  4. In a nonstick pan smear very little oil and spread out the batter like dosas, cook till brown on both sides, make pancakes like this out of all the batter.
Take a cheela and spread out the chana dal mixture on it, layer with some more fresh Swiss chard, roll up, cut and serve with mint chutney and tomato ketchup.Enjoy!

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March 11, 2010


As the first Dahlia blooms in my garden I know Spring has finally arrived, the days are lovely sunny and warm and my soul which had been hibernating in the cold Winter's has now put forth fresh new leaves like the grape vine in my backyard, and I feel a new life has been infused into me.
Today at the farmer's market we came across some very fresh mushrooms and instantly I knew I had to buy them for my husband's absolute favorite- Mushroom pakoras, for Vegetarian's they pack a surprise since they taste almost like fish pakoras and are really irresistible.
The recipe is an old favorite and the blend of mushrooms with garlic and a light sprinkling of ajwain gives these pakoras a gorgeous flavor and taste.
Try these,they are really lovely...

  • Fresh mushrooms-250 gms
  • Fresh garlic cloves (crushed)-6-7
  • Vinegar-2 tbsp
  • Ajwain-1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric-1/4 tsp
  • Chickpea flour(besan)-1/2 cup
  • Refined oil for deep frying
  • Salt and red chilli powder to taste.
  • Wash and cut mushrooms into bite size pieces.
  • Combine besan with all the other ingredients and add just enough water to make a thick batter consistency.

  • In a large bowl combine mushrooms with the batter and adjust salt, mix well to ensure each piece is coated.
  • Heat oil for deep frying, drop in the mushroom pieces into hot oil, fry till golden and crisp.
  • Drain on kitchen towels
  • Serve hot with tomato ketchup.Super party food!

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