Potato Fry

I love potatoes. But I try and keep the consumption of potatoes to a minimum to avoid loading up on fat and carbohydrates. But there are times when you really crave for pappu annam with hot hot aloo fry. I have some easy methods by which the carbohydrate and fat content in this dish can be reduced. Check this out for a tasty accompaniment with daal-chaawal.

Russet potatoes: 4 large
Olive oil: 2 tbsp
Chana daal: 1 tsp
Urad daal; 1 tsp
Curry leaves: one sprig
Asafoetida: 1/8 tsp
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Red chilies: 3
Salt: to taste
Chili powder: 1.5 tsp (adjust according to taste)

First point: always make this on a low flame in a non-stick skillet, this lets the potatoes crisp without needing all the extra oil.
Second point: Cut the potatoes to thin pieces and soak in water for 15 minutes. This helps us remove some starch from the energy machines!

Heat oil in the non-stick skillet on a low flame. Add the chana daal, urad daal, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, red chilies, asafoetida, turmeric. Let the curry leaves become crisp.
Add the chopped potatoes. Remeber to drain the water they were soaked in completely.
Let cook on a low flame for 15 minutes, or till they are crisp.
Add salt and red chili powder.
Serve hot with rice and daal.

Some interesting facts about potatoes:
Most of the vitamins and minerals in this vegetable are just below the skin, so if you peel the skin off, you lose most of them.
Deep frying potatoes is a big no-no. Deep fried potatoes contain a substance called acrylamide which is claimed to be a carcinogen.
Potatoes are not always bad for you. When baked or boiled, with skins intact, they are good sources of carbohydrates and vitamins.
There have been some reports that potatoes can cause a flare up of existing arthritis. You can always have a potato and check if it is causing any pain. If it is, it might be better to eliminate it from your diet.
An interesting read about potatoes and serotonin can be found at this site.

Vegetable Rice

I was watching a show on Food Network and I saw rice being cooked in a very unique manner, and I thought, no way! That wont work, or will it? I tried an Indianized version of their recipe, and it was so good, I had to add this recipe to my list of favourites. The good thing about this rice is that it can be cooked in a saucepan, and also that the grains of rice don't clump together. It tastes wonderful even when it is cold (very useful for my lunch box!)
The vegetables are all optional. Feel free to mix and match with your personal favourites.

Rice: 2 cups, medium grained, washed well and drained
Vegetable stock: 4 cups, can be substituted with plain water
Red bell peppers: 2, chopped
Green bell peppers: 2, chopped
Green chilies: 4, chopped
Onions: 1, red, chopped
Peas: 1 cup
Red Pepper Eggplant Spread: 4 tbsp (recipe)
Cumin seeds: 1 tbsp
Red chilies: 3, broken
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida: 1/4 tsp (hing, ingua)

To a large saucepan, add the olive oil, cumin seeds, red chilies, turmeric and asafoetida.
Add the rice. Saute for 5 to 6 minutes, till the rice looks crisp.
Add the chopped vegetables, including the green chilies and the frozen peas.
Saute till the onions look translucent.
Add the spread. Mix well. Add 2 tsp salt.
Add the vegetable stock or water. Cover and simmer till the liquid is absorbed.
Serve hot garnished with cilantro.

Nutritional Information:
Per serving of 169 gms (or 1/8th of recipe)
Calories: 237
Calories from fat: 22
Total fat: 2 gm (4% of DV)
Saturated fat: 0 gm (2% of DV)
Trans fat: 0 gm
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 608 mg (25% of DV)
Carbohydrates: 48 gm (16% of DV)
Dietary Fiber: 3 gm (10% of DV)
Sugars: 5 gm
Proteins: 5 gm

Vitamin A: 35% of DV
Vitamin C: 208% of DV
Calcium: 3% of DV
Iron: 10% of DV

Percent daily values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Values may vary based on individual dietary values.

Breakdown of caloric values:
Carbohydrates: 83% Fats: 9% Proteins: 8%

The Colors of Health

The Colors of Health