Daily diet of oats
A bowl of oats a day is perfect if you are trying to prevent or are currently dealing with heart disease or diabetes. Studies have shown that diabetics given foods rich in oats experience much lower rises in blood sugar than those given white rice or bread.
Oats contain a specific type of fibre which has cholesterol lowering properties. This makes it an extremely beneficial food for post-menopausal women with high cholesterol and high blood pressure levels.
Unique antioxidants have been found in oats which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. And what is more, oats are also a protection against breast cancer for pre-menopausal women.
Oats are full of minerals, especially calcium and phosphorus. The regular consumption of oats helps maintain strong bones as well as strong teeth. Oats are also a good source of magnesium and iron too. With 6.1 gm of protein per one cup (one-half cup raw), oats are a good source of protein. Being rich in the B-vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin and niacin, they are extremely important for energy production.
As you will now note, oats are a true “superfood” and adding them to your daily diet will not only boost your energy levels, but your immune responses as well!
The writer is a Mumbai-based nutritionist.
2 cups oats
2 tbsp rice
Buttermilk/yoghurt (enough to soak and cover the oats)
2 green chillies
Salt to taste
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
Jeera or cumin (optional)
1. Add the rice and oats into a bowl carefully seeing that all the husk (if any) is removed. To this add the buttermilk or yoghurt and allow the mixture to soak for 20 minutes.
2. When done pour into a blender and grind well.
3. Add salt, hing, chopped green chillies, coriander and a little water to get a dosa batter consistency.
4. Heat a dosa tava and start making your dosas. (This dosa will be a bit soft but very tasty.)
Like the lady in Goodness Gracious Me said, you can apparently make anything with ‘a small aubergine’. Seriously though — what a glorious vegetable. Yotam Ottolenghi has an entire chapter in his book called the Mighty Aubergine. Nigel Slater accords it a sexiness akin to the fig. I despise the fig so I can’t grasp the weight of that compliment but there is something quite irresistible about the way it yields to heat and fire, exuding a warm smokiness as the flesh melts into a mass. The Bengalis flour it and fry it, we all make bharta in our own ethnic ways, there’s moutabal and/or baba ganouj, the Greeks stuff it, you can just chop it, fry it up with garlic and toss it into pasta with herbs… yes, and you know at least 10 more things you can do. So here are a selection of international recipes one or two are classics like the Melanzane Parmigiano (Parmesan aubergine) and one is quite rare, the Ajvar. They’re all super easy and call for no rare ingredients or complicated implements. And each is more delicious than the next.
2 roasted aubergines, skinned
(you’re looking for about 2 cups of roasted aubergine)
2 cloves of garlic
1 small onion finely chopped
½ cup of brandy
½ cup of cream
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of nutmeg
1 bay leaf
Toasted pine nuts and chilli flakes for garnish (optional)
Roughly chop the roasted aubergine flesh. In a wide pan, on a gentle flame, start sautéing the onion, bay leaf and garlic until the onion is very soft but not brown. Throw the aubergine flesh into the pan and continue sautéing. Now, using a tadka spoon or a deep stainless steel spoon, set the brandy alight and pour it into the pan and quickly stir. The flames may shoot up so be alert but the alcohol will quickly burn and the flames will subside. If you’re trying to impress anyone, this is a good move to practice. Pour in the cream, season with salt and pepper and nutmeg and taste. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Blend the entire mass and pour into a small bowl or tureen. Garnish and leave to set.
Aubergine with miso Orange Sauce
6 baby aubergines
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons tahini (or ground white sesame seeds)
1.5 tablespoons honey or 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon miso paste
Cut the aubergines twice or so until the stem and open them out to make a ‘flower’ or dragon fly. Brush with olive oil and salt and grill them or fry them.
Make the sauce… In a pan, heat all the ingredients except honey (if you’re using sugar, add the sugar. Honey doesn’t take well to heat.) Add a few tablespoons of water and making sure the sauce remains at simmer (so the miso doesn’t burn) stir around. Add honey later when the flame is off.
Serve the aubergines with the sauce on the side and drizzled over and maybe some wedges of orange for extra citrus zest.
This classic, with the breadcrumbs taken out, works as a main rather than a side or can be piled up on big hunks of toast as part of a picnic or a brunch for the day after the night before. My friend Rishad makes this with just layers of fresh basil and thinly sliced aubergines (he is so pernickety about slicing them thin though!). His is a lower fat version and just as delicious.
2 large aubergines sliced
10 / 12 fresh tomatoes
200 gms basil leaves
parmesan* to grate
1 tennis ball sized hunk of mozzarella*
2 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
*I used an Indian brand of both mozzarella and parmesan with excellent results so don’t sweat trying to score some fresh or gourmet cheese.
Prepare the sliced aubergines as directed in the prep note or just slice them, lightly salt them and fry in a pan in olive oil until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.
Now, deal with the tomatoes. Blanch them in boiling water. Then slice the tops off and they will pop out of their skins. Discard skins and seeds, roughly chop and put in a hot pan with olive oil and a bit of salt and a few basil leaves shredded and stir on a high flame for about 20 minutes until you get a hunky sauce.
In an oven proof dish, start layering like so: tomato sauce, slices of aubergine overlapping, basil leaves, grated parmesan, slivers of mozzarella, few spoons of beaten egg… build it up and aim to finish with a nice layer of aubergine slices. Brush with the last of the tomato sauce, some mozzarella and pour the rest of the egg over. Now pop into a hot oven (I used our rickety microwave on standard grill setting) for about ½ an hour. You can eat this immediately or leave it in the fridge and eat later on hot toast or as a light meal on its own.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s Roast
Aubergine with saffron yoghurt
Aubergines and yoghurt go great together — even as a dip. In this recipe, the yoghurt becomes a dressing to gild the grand aube. Individually, the aubergines and the yoghurt sauce will sit in the fridge for upto three days according to Ottolenghi. This is great if you want to spread your party prep out… This is a brilliant side to grilled meats and other vegetables. I say the basil leaves are optional because they distract from the subtle deliciousness of the saffron in the yoghurt.
2 cups of hung yoghurt
2 tablespoons e.v. olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, chopped very fine
½ cup pomegranate seeds
Toasted almonds or pine nuts
Slice the aubergines fine, brush with olive oil and put on a grill until they are nicely browned. Season with salt.
Combine the olive oil, some salt and garlic and mix with the lemon juice. Stir in the hung yoghurt. Take two or three teaspoons of boiling water and steep your saffron strands in it for about 15 minutes. Then add the entire thing to the yoghurt. Stir well, keep in the fridge for about 1 hour.
When ready to serve, pile the aubergine slices, spoon the yoghurt over and garnish with nuts and seeds.
This is adapted from the Dean and DeLuca cookbook. They say it’s an East European ketchup that’s great with grilled meat and cheese. This is a great recipe — very smoky and delicious and it has a gorgeous colour as well.
1 big roasted aubergine
2 roasted red peppers
2 /3 roasted fresh red chillies
¼ cup red wine
splash of white vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
A pinch of salt
2 cloves garlic
You’re looking for almost equal parts aubergine and red pepper flesh. Start sautéing the garlic and then add the flesh. When it’s warmed up, tip in the red wine, the vinegar and the chillies. My well travelled friend, cookbook author Tushita, just sent over a tin of chipotle chillies in adobo sauce and while aware that I was mixing Continents like metaphors, I couldn’t resist adding two or three in. (Otherwise, flame roasting regular chillies will do). Cook on a very low flame for about 30 minutes. Then blend the entire mass, mount with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil and store in the fridge for when you need. This sauce also works as a marinade.
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“suhas patil” <firstname.lastname@example.org 15-12-2010