• Saturday, February 28, 2015


Healthy Ramadan

By Asma Aziz

During the month of Ramadan, it is especially important to prepare healthy and easy to digest meals for breaking the daylong fast. It can be difficult to make preparations while fasting, so I am sharing some tips that can save time and reduce a lot of hassle. Ramadan Karim to all the readers!

Tips to save time:
Boil fresh chicken with a little garlic and ginger paste, ground pepper and salt. Cool, then shred the meat and freeze it. This can be used later in Chinese style noodles and rice, sandwiches, etc.
Freshly squeeze a large amount of lemon juice and freeze it in ice trays. After it freezes, remove from the ice trays and store the frozen lemon juice cubes in zip lock bags.
Boil, then make pastes from various types of daals/lentils (for use in piyajus, haleem, dahi bara, etc.) and freeze them in separate containers. Then cut the frozen pastes into cubes on a chopping board, and place these into separate zip lock bags (with tags to avoid confusion) and freeze for later use.
You can also make ginger paste, garlic paste, and onion paste and freeze them in a similar way.
Fried onions (bereshta) can also be frozen for later use.
Samosas, rolls, etc., can be frozen as well. Defrost these before frying and serving.
Mango lassi
1 cup ripe mango (chopped)        
1 cup plain yoghurt            
½ cup milk                
Sugar to taste
Ground cardamom, a pinch
Put the mango, yoghurt, milk, sugar and ground cardamom in a blender and blend for 2 minutes. Serve chilled. Garnish with a little extra cardamom powder if desired.
Honey mango lassi
1 cup ripe mango (chopped)    
1½ cup plain yoghurt        
2 tbsp honey            
2 cups ice             
 Puree the mango in a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until the ice is crushed and the lassi is frothy.
Chinjrir (shrimp) piyaju
1 cup mushur daal (lentils)                             
½ cup shrimp (cleaned)            
Coriander, a pinch
Cumin,     a pinch
Turmeric powder, a pinch
1 cup onion (sliced)                
Green chilli (chopped),     according to taste
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves    
Salt to taste
Oil, for frying    
Wash the mushur daal, then soak in water for about 2 hours. Wash the shrimp, and grind it together with the daal to form a coarse paste.  Add all the remaining ingredients except oil into the paste.  Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Shape the paste into flat fritters and fry until golden brown.
Fruit chaat
2 pear                        , 2 apple                     
2 banana, 2 guava                     
1 papaya (medium size)             
1 orange                    
100 gm grapes                        
½ cup chick pea (boiled)                
1½ tsp mint leaves (chopped)                 
3 tbsp lemon juice                     
1 tsp cumin powder (freshly roasted and ground)    
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
Chaat masala to taste
Black pepper to taste
Peel and cut all fruits (except grapes) into small cubes.Put diced fruits, grapes and chickpeas in a bowl. Add mint leaves, salt, lemon juice, cumin powder, sugar, chaat masala and black pepper. Toss together thoroughly and serve chilled.
Shahi haleem
1½ kg beef or mutton (cut into small pieces)    
1 cup wheat                `    
¼ cup chana daal                
½  cup mashkolai (mash) daal            
¼ cup moong daal                
¼ cup mushur daal                
½ cup rice                    
2 cups oil                    , 2 cups onion (sliced)                
1 cup yoghurt                    
2 tbsp ginger paste                
1 tbsp garlic paste                
2 tsp chilli powder                
1 tsp coriander powder             
1 tsp turmeric powder            
2 tsp garam masala                
Salt to taste                        
Fresh mint leaves (finely chopped)
Fresh coriander leaves (finely chopped)
Green chilli (finely chopped)
Ginger (finely sliced)    
Onion (thinly sliced)
Lemons (cut into quarters)
Wash and soak wheat and chana daal overnight. Boil and mash into a paste. Boil all other daals and rice together, and mash into a paste. Combine both pastes. Heat oil in a pot and fry onions until golden brown.
Add yoghurt, all the spices, salt, with a little water if necessary, and cook for a few minutes. Add the meat and half a cup of water. Cook for several minutes while stirring, until the meat is very tender or almost shredded.  Add the wheat and daal mixture along with 2 cups of water.  Bring it to a boil, stirring continuously. Place a girdle under the pot and cook for another 30 to 40 minutes over very low heat. Serve hot, with all the garnishes.
Date rolls
Dates are nutritious, high in fibre and naturally quite sweet. Although moderation is still required, foods with natural sweetness from dates are better for diabetics compared to other food sweetened with sugar.
½ tsp ghee                
¾ cup dates (finely chopped)        
1 tbsp almonds (chopped)        
1 tbsp pistachio (chopped)        
1 tbsp walnuts (chopped)        
2 tbsp poppy seeds or sesame seeds    
Heat the ghee in a nonstick pan. Add the dates and cook over low heat, stirring continuously, for 5 to 7 minutes or till they soften. Remove from flame and add the almonds, pistachios and walnuts, and mix well. Divide into 6 equal portions and shape each into a roll. Coat each roll with poppy/sesame seeds and refrigerate to set.

Published: 12:00 am Tuesday, June 24, 2014

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