Apr 21

Bread upma- Best leftover Lunch

Bread upma is healthy snack. It famous among all Indians.  Many forms of bread upma found.  My recipe is simple and tangy. This recipe is different among all other bread upma recipe. It can be eat with tea, milk or anything. You can use leftover breads at home. This is one of the best leftover snacks. Bread upma is good for breakfast; snack with tea or as appetizer. It is very good option for kids snack. Let’s start with the ingredients.

Ingredients:

8 slices left over breads

1 tomato

Half onion

2 green chilies

2 TSP. tomato ketchup

½ tsp. turmeric

¼ mustard seeds

¼ Asafoietida

Salt as per taste

Recipe:

Make small pieces of breads. Sprinkle water on the bread pieces. Let it is stand for 5 minutes. Chop onions and tomatoes finely.  Finely chop green chilies. Take a pan and turn on heat. In a pan add 1 tsp. oil. Once oil becomes hot, add mustard seeds and asafetida and green chilies. After mustard seeds pop up, add onions. Sauté onions until it become transparent. Add tomatoes and sauté for 1 minute. Add turmeric and salt. Now add tomato ketchup and Sauté for 1 minute. Add bread pieces to the gravy and mix well. Allow to sauté for 2 minutes. Bread upma is ready.

Apr 20

Weekly Update

Saumya’s Kitchen

This week, I was on a diet. I followed the GM Diet and managed to lose some weight. I wrote in detail about each of the days-what I made, how I felt, how much water I consumed and most of all, how much weight I lost. Starting with a fruits only day, going on to vegetables, then a mix of veggies and fruits followed by bananas and then chicken. Its not been easy despite the fact that there are no limits to how much you can eat. The temptation of other foods is just so great. If you plan to follow this diet, go on and read my posts-I have some nice recipes for each of the days.

I also wrote two guest posts this week at my professor’s blog. The first was on what I learned about myself from blogging. In that post, I reflected on my journey as a blogger and how it taught me that I am just a novice at both-cooking and the art of writing well. It is a continuous learning experience and I need to push myself to get better at it. What I do know, is that blogging has helped me cover a large part of the way. It has pushed me to research new cooking methods, new ingredients, health benefits of everyday ingredients among so many other things. And writing a post everyday meant bringing variety to the style yet maintaining a certain standard. Also, being required to elaborate substantially on a topic to make a minimum of 600 words has taught me to place my content in such a way that I can write more with ease and yet not be repetitive.

Another guest post I wrote was about the hardest part of blogging. I did not have to think much about this. The hardest part about blogging has always been content for me. I don’t have an issue in writing and in making a sensible 600 word post- as long as I know what I am writing about. The past 2 months or so have taught me that cooking should not have been my topic of choice. I should have picked a topic that I was already more comfortable with. However, I chose a topic I was just getting to know and that is what made it a challenge. I don’t regret it, however. It pushed me to learn more and publish more. It even made me cook more and my husband is very happy about that!

That’s what this week was all about. 1 more week to the end of the course. Hopefully, I will see you even beyond that. :)

Apr 19

How to Make Indian Bread or Roti

Making roti is very simple for those who have some practice with it. For a novice like me, it was a hard thing to learn. I didn’t know how to make the dough, or how to roll the roti and why it would not fluff up. With practice and over time, I got better and learned the best way to make it. Below are the steps.

First, we need to make the dough. Take about 2 cups of atta (whole wheat flour) and about half a glass of warm water (heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds). Add the water to the flour slowly and mix well. Keep mixing and adding the water till the flour has combined into one lump. Remember to keep kneading it for about a minute even after the dough is done. This helps keep it soft. The dough should not be sticky and should be easy to knead. If it sticks to your hands, it is too watery. If it is too hard to knead, it needs more water. This is important to make soft rotis. If the dough does not come out well, the rotis will not come out well either.

Now, to make rotis. First, take a little ball of dough and make it round with your hands. Then add a little dusting powder and flatten it.

Roti Making: Take small ball of dough

 

The next step is to roll the dough to make it flat, thin and round . Don’t worry if it is not round- that comes with years of practice, and I am still at irregular shapes :)

Rolling the dough

While rolling the dough, keep in mind that the pressure applied should be even, so as to make it round. If you apply more pressure on one side, the shape will be irregular. With lots of practice, the dough will automatically turn round and the dough will take a round shape.

Make it as round as possible

 

Once the dough has been flattened, it is ready to place on the heat. Don’t make it very thin because the heat will make it crisp if it is very thin. Leave it a bit thick.

Almost round roti ready for heat

 

Place the dough on the heat. Use a griddle or tawa. Non stick ones work best but any griddle will do.

Roti on griddle

Allow the heat to change the color of the roti to a slightly dark color. At this stage, flip the roti. After a few seconds, bubbles will begin to form. At this stage, transfer the roti to direct heat. Direct heat helps the roti to fluff up.

In India, most houses have stoves with flames. If you have a stove that has flames, you can place the roti directly on the flame. If using a coil, you can use a mesh on top of the coil to avoid burning. Placing the roti directly on the coil will burn the roti.

Roti fluffing up

 

Allow the roti to fluff up completely and cook for a few seconds.

Fluffed roti

Flip after a few seconds- there should be brown spots on the roti.

Brown spots on roti

 

Allow the other side to cook the same way and remove from the heat. Roti is ready! If you like, top it with a little butter or ghee. This adds to the taste. But if you are watching calories, the roti is good to eat as is.

I have also written a post on tips to make a soft roti. Read that to find tips to ensure your roti is soft and does not become hard.

Apr 19

GM Diet Day 5

Day 5 is here! It is chicken day :) Although the original diet calls for beef and tomato, I am not much of a beef eater. I don’t mind hamburgers but I would much prepare making something at home without the extra calories of a burger. Besides, the recommendation is to have lean beef. So, I will be cooking chicken today. Since I am not much of a tomato eater either, I will add tomatoes to the chicken that I am cooking.

Here is my recipe for the chicken. I tried to avoid adding too many spices to keep with the spirit of cleansing the system. The quantity of chicken allowed is limited to 1.25 lb. so I went and bought that much boneless skinless chicken. It is very important that the chicken be skinless since the skin contains a lot of calories and fat.

Marinade the chicken in lemon juice, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp garlic, salt and pepper. Let it marinade for about 1 hour. Next, take a non stick pan and add about a teaspoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds-about a teaspoon should be good. Once the cumin seeds start to sputter, add the tomatoes. I think 3 tomatoes can safely be added to this dish. The remaining 3 will just have to be consumed as salad. Cook the tomatoes till soft and then add the chicken. Cover and cook till chicken is done. Chicken is cooked through when the inside of the chicken is white. Do a taste test with a small piece. Do not overcook else the chicken will become tough and will not be easy to eat. At this stage, you can add some oregano if you like.

Dieters chicken

Dieters chicken

You can visit this site as well for some ideas.

The other thing to have today is the soup. Do not omit this. It is essential to keep the diet balanced. Veggies have a lot of vitamins and dietary fiber that is required by the body. Also, if you omit this, you may get headaches and feel tired.

I ran out of the soup and was too lazy to make more, so my energy levels were not so good today. I did feel tired and even had a mild headache. I realize on hindsight that it is not a good idea to eat less or to not eat exactly what is required. So, make sure you eat the 6 tomatoes and the beef or chicken and the soup-at least two bowls through the day.

Water consumption is supposed to increase by a quart today-about 2 more glasses of water. This is not hard if you have been drinking the required 10 glasses so far. In fact, 10 glasses are very easy to consume. I just timed out my water consumption and increased the 2 glasses some time between meals. Another note- it is best to consume about 3-4 glasses before lunch. That way, you have about 4 glasses till around 6 in the evening and then another 3 by dinner. Too much water consumption late evening will mean a sleepless night. So, plan out your water consumption.

Weight loss was insignificant despite not eating properly. About 250 grams I think. Hardly anything. Total weight loss to date has been about 2 kgs. Got a day to go…not hoping for much more. I am guessing most of the weight loss has been from water, but perhaps there is a little bit of fat as well. But I will update you tomorrow on what the weighing machine says.

Tomorrow is unlimited meat and vegetables. Should be easy to follow. I made another batch of chicken to last me through the day tomorrow. Besides, tomorrow there is no requirement of tomatoes, so I should be much better off. Making some soup as well so as not to face issues :)

Apr 18

GM Diet Day 4

Already on Day 4 of the diet! This is way easier than I had thought it would be. I have not cheated even once and even though there have been temptations, I have managed to survive them.

Today is the bananas and milk day. Now, I am not a fan of milk- I prefer yoghurt to milk any day. So that is what I did-I substituted the 3 glasses of milk with 3 large bowls of yoghurt. If you are going to follow the yoghurt diet, and like to add variety, you can make a raita. Since the diet does not allow for any fried foods, just add the spices and have the yoghurt as it is. You can also add veggies since the soup has veggies and that is allowed. Tomatoes and cucumber work well. You could even try bananas in the yoghurt-a little experimental I agree, but worth a try!

The other thing you can eat is bananas. I love bananas. In fact I can eat bananas any time of day. But, this is a high calorie fruit and most of the calories come from sugar. So, its not a very good food for those on a diet, but for the purpose of this diet, bananas have been chosen to compensate for the other nutrients missing in the diet. Besides, the other food being consumed-milk and veggie soup, contains very low calories.

Bananas for Potassium, Manganese and Vitamin C

Bananas are rich in Potassium, Manganese and Vitamin C. They are also a good source of vitamin B6 and dietary fiber. It also contains some vitamin A, calcium and Iron. And the best part is that bananas are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.

A way to make the bananas easier to eat is to cut them in pieces and season them with a little salt and lemon juice. But, as always, keep the salt to a minimum.

Although eight bananas are allowed through the day, I had only seven, 2 in the morning, 2 for lunch and 1 in the evening. The soup is great to keep you full. Each meal was accompanied by a large bowl of yoghurt. Surprisingly, I did not need much of the soup and was pretty satiated with just the bananas and the yoghurt.

Water consumption was also pretty easy. I managed to have a little more than the required 10 glasses :) It feels really great to be able to have so much water and cleanse your system. I hope I can continue to have as much water even after the diet is over.

Weight loss was insignificant today. I am a bit disappointed. I was hoping for some more weight loss since I have crossed the mid point in the diet. Most of what I have read from other people’s experiences indicates that weight loss continues through till day 5.  Anyway, even if I don’t lose much weight, I will be glad to have done the diet for its cleansing effects.

Energy levels were just fine today. I did not feel any different than I would, had I been eating a normal diet. I think the nutrients in the food I am eating as part of this diet are more than enough for the sedentary lifestyle that I am living. I did skip my walk though. Perhaps, for a more active person, the energy levels may suffer.

I am really excited about tomorrow. Meat is allowed and I am going to be cooking chicken. The only trouble is with consuming 6 tomatoes. Hopefully, I will be able to put some in the chicken and have some raw. Will keep you posted.

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