Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Simple Nutritious Lunch

March happens to be National Nutrition Month. The idea is to get back to the basics and to enjoy foods that are nutritious and healthy. The choices that we make about food daily are very important especially if we have young children - the food decisions we make today are going to stay with them lifelong.

Growing up with the right choice of food will hopefully help them make the right food choices as adults. This was not a big deal when we were growing up because the plethora of food choices available to kids these days were not available then. Foods eaten by kids these days and what we grudingly call junk foods - everybody has a love(when savoring them) hate (when they end up in our hips and other parts of the anatomy) relationship with them. But these were special treats those days when an aunt or an uncle visited once in a while, who can forget the special taste of a Five Star candy bar or a Cadbury's Milk Choclate bar? hmmmmm. I doubt if kids relish them, now they just eat them.

With obesity, diabetes and other diseases on the rise in young children and adults educating kids on the right choice food is as important as education and character. A well balanced diet which includes protein, green vegetables and carbohydrates are essential for energy as well as health.

On to our Simple Nutrtious Meal, chappathis/rice with dal and a vegetable.

Brussel Sprouts and Moongdal
1. 1/2 Cup of Split Moong Dal cooked with a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp oil.
2. 1/2 red onion chopped
3. 4 garlic cloves chopped
4. 3 green chillies split
5. 5-6 Brussel Sprouts chopped (substitute green beans, cabbage, ridge gourd, brinjal or any vegetable you have on hand)
6. 1 tsp Sambhar
7. seasoning cumin,mustard,methi seeds,a pinch of asfoetida and curry leaves

1. In a pan, heat a tsp of oil and when hot add asfoetida, cumin, methi, curry leaves and mustard and when the mustard start to pop
2. add onions fry till translucent, add garlic and green chillies and saute for a minute add
3. the brussel sprouts saute few more minutes, add salt and when they start to sweat
add the sambhar powder and mix
4. add the mashed dal and enough water and salt.
5. let it cook for 5-6 minutes.

Kovakka(Tindoora) Fry
This is one vegetable that is easy to cook and there is not much that can go wrong with it. I have never tasted this vegetable back home. I have see the plants grow on fences and goats and cows relishing them. Well they were smart animals. But my first taste of this vegetable was at a friends house, and she had cooked it with onions and tomatoes, after some trial and error the one I have settled on is just frying kovakka with some sambhar powder till they start to turn black almost. This has become a favorite in our house now.

1. Kovakka washed and sliced into thin rounds
2. 1 tbsp sambhar powder (1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp corriander powder and 2 tsp chilli powder)
3. Salt and 1 1/2 tsp oil

1. In a pan heat oil add the kovakka and saute. They do not stick to the pan that easily and so keep moving them around every 5 minutes or so
2. When they just start to turn color add the salt and sambhar powder and saute them till you get to the desired state.

Serve with chappathis/rice and Dal.


  1. That platter looks delicious to me Indo!To my kids..Nah!:))
    I deliberately cook Indian food at least 4 days a week so they don't have a choice but to eat.They prefer American food,once they move out of the house,I know what they will choose eat everyday.Except Butter chicken,Tikka Masala,they don't like Indian food unfortunately.Oh well..more for me!:p

  2. Looks nutritious *and* delicious, ISG! You always amaze me with your variety of brussels sprouts dishes! I want to come over for lunch ;)

  3. Good one Indo. You are so right when you mentioned the Cadbury & 5-Star. Todays kids take everything for granted really
    I try to fool my little one by giving her two M&M (not the packet, only two of those tiny ones) when she is good, but then she claims she has been good on most days...:)

    Liked the dal too, we make a Moong Dal with all veggies too and I try to chuck almost all green things in the Dal

  4. I like tindora fry with chapathi..the food plate is looking so tasty!!

  5. Tindora is one veggie which is not regular in my shopping list. But looking at your recipe I guess I cld make it a regular for my chapaties. Thx for sharing this interesting recipe.
    Chk here for the Tindora chutney:

  6. thats abeautiful thali with my fav food. i can just live on this forever(with little yogurt and pickle:)

  7. So true I can't agree with you more on bad eating habits.
    Very healthy meal indeed ISG! Hey ISG I have a request to make, would you be able to either send me or post authentic chicken chettinad recipe?

  8. Hi Indo,
    Healthy thali.. I too make this dal often. It is true that kids today need healthy food. As My daughter is a pure vegetarian I give her lots of protein food and dals are a good source of protein. I give her moong dal atleast once in a week.

  9. That kovakka fry looks delish!one of my fav vegetables.The brussels sprout curry looks good too.Will try them this time.

  10. Looks very filling ISG. I love to eat such food every day and I will never get bored. This is such a comforting food :). I would love to have some rice too with all that, or may be just drop roti and eat rice :).

  11. Asha, thanks. Have been lucky so far my kids atleast the older one tells me she loves them. Hope it lasts forever.

    Linda those brussel sprouts are sure handy. I love them.

    Sandeepa as far as candy is concerned they'd do anything.

    Swapna thanks.

    Sanjana, I agree, Tindora is a recent acquistion for me, now that everybody likes it I cook it more often.

    Sia, yes ofcourse the yougurt and pickle which is part of any meal.

    KA, thank you, I have not made Chettinad Chicken yet, but sure why not will try and post it. I am from Kondu Naadu.

    Prema Sundar, how about you all? Yes kids love eating dals.

    ViniK thanks

    Shilpa yes comfort food at its best.

  12. your platter looks so simple yet very Tempting.liked your choice of menu.

  13. wow...Brussel Sprouts and Moongdal too..great...thanks for sharing

  14. Simply Good and Nutritious.

  15. I love brussel sprouts. your dal with sprouts looks great.


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