Friday, March 11, 2016

Cauliflower rice and Kale tomato dal

I recently heard the term "reality inflicted diet". A lot of folks these days are paying special attention to their food habits. Maybe I'm surrounded by my friends who are in that age group when your metabolism slows down, your appetite has built up from the careless eating (read binging :P ) and with lives getting busier, you have very little time for focused exercise. There are others who genuinely like to try and eat healthy out of interest and there are the few of us who have to follow the "reality inflicted diet"! :)
No matter what your reasons are, it's probably a good idea to watch what you eat and generally focus on getting fitter.

That said, there are tons of diets, tons of theories - many of which completely contradict each other and it's almost impossible to know for sure what is the best thing to do. After reading about no carbs, no fats, all carbs, all fats and the other theories, I have come to the conclusion that the least we could do is to follow a balanced diet, try and incorporate all food groups, pay special attention to fruits and vegetable intake with every meal.

I often try and come up with healthy versions of different meals like : One pot wholesome soup , Dal Makhani with a healthy twist , Multigrain Bisibele bhat.

My friend Rakhi recently suggested one such meal and I promptly tried it. I pretty much replicated exactly what she did and I think it is a wonderful substitute to our otherwise carb heavy comfort food- rice and dal. Rice and dal has the potential to be a perfectly balanced meal provided you eat it with other sides like a salad and veggie side that way naturally reducing the amount of rice and dal you'd end up eating.

The rice is substituted by grated pan fried cauliflower and served with a kale and tomato dal. You've got your serving of greens, proteins and veggies, at the same time, going easy on the carbs. You could also mix pan fried cauliflower to bulk up rice or quinoa thus increasing your serving of veggies.

Cauliflower rice:

Use this on it own with dal or mix it with some cooked rice.
Grated cauliflower or florets pulsed in a food processor. I use my ninja food processor. - about 3 cups
After pan frying it will roughly yield about 2 and 1/2 cups.
Salt to taste
Olive oil - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Finely chopped cilantro - 2 tsp or more
Chaat masala(optional) - 1/2 tsp

1) Heat oil in a non stick or cast iron pan. The cauliflower might stick to stainless steel or get too watery.
2) Add the grated cauliflower and pan fry it for 5-6 minutes till the raw smell goes away and its almost cooked. Since its finely minced it would cook pretty quick.
3) Add salt to taste, chopped cilantro, lemon juice and the chaat masala. Mix it well and turn off the heat.
4) Ready to eat with dal!

Kale tomato dal:

This is a very simple dal flavored primarily with ginger garlic and the veggies. I did not use too much masalas and just used the pressure cooker to bring it together. Quick, easy and satisfying. 

Dal : Use any kind of dal. I used a mix of toor, moong and masoor dal. - 1 and half cups
Chopped kale - 1 and half cups
Chopped tomato - 1 large
Finely chopped garlic - 1 tbsp -- Or use ginger garlic paste
Finely chopped ginger - 1/2 tbsp
Finely chopped green chillies - per your taste
Finely chopped onion - 1/2
Olive oil - 1 tsp

For tempering :
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida  - a pinch or 2
Turmeric powder/haldi - 1 tsp

1) Wash the dals till water runs clear and keep aside
2) Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the ingredients under tempering. Add these in quickly and don't let them burn.
3) Add the ginger garlic chillies and onions. Fry for a min. Then add in the kale and tomato, fry for a couple of minutes till kale is slightly wilted.
4) Add the washed dal and salt. Add water- enough to cook the dal (about 3 and half cups to 4 cups) depending on the variety of dal used. Check seasoning.
5) Cook the dal in the pressure cooker for about 4-5 whistles. If you have a gas burner, reduce the heat to low and let it cook for another 5 mins. The dal will get completely cooked this way. If it's an electric burner, it will continue cooking for a little bit even after turning it off.


1 comment: