Sunday, January 10, 2016

Burrito Style Black & Kidney Beans -and An Indian Dietary Guideline?

What is new in the Dietary Guidelines released in 2016? Nothing that we don't know really. We all eat far more sugar than we should, as for the sodium, the more pre-packaged, processed foods we eat the more sodium we ingest. If you think dietary guidelines are arrived at keeping just the public's best interest at heart than you are sadly mistaken. Politics, lobbying and everything in between happens before it gets published. While the dietary guidelines ask to restrict sugar and sodium and increase vegetables, fiber and whole grains intake, some of the recommendations for restricting red meat were left out to appease special interest groups apparently.

The advisory committee wanted to include guidelines to keep sustainability while making food choices. But that would have made me give a pat on the back for the Obama guys. I don't need to have worried about that because they obviously left that out. Read this link on NPR.

Anyway keeping the dietary guidelines in mind what if we came up with dietary recommendations keeping an average Indian diet in mind? The Indian meal consists predominantly of carbs, a lot less than the recommended requirement for vegetables and even less of protein and a small amount of dairy. As for sugars don't have to worry about it in the regular meal but that gulab jamoon and dessert category is another matter altogether.

So if we modified our diet for our sedentary life styles maybe some of the problems associated with a high carb diet can be avoided like diabetes, high cholesterol, belly fat etc., Fresh home cooked Indian food is by far a lot better than any diet for sure. Instead of the rice/bread heavy meals we are used to, turn that on its head and increase the vegetable side dish, make it a point to add more pulses and lentils, replace white rice with millets and less carb intensive grains. Increase green leafy vegetables, beans and sea food. If we can get away from eating too much sugar we are already in a well maintained diet plan.

To achieve carb reduction, I have a recipe for today which offers a wide variety of possibilities. The Burrito style Black & Kidney beans serves a good supporting cast for any recipe. The way you prepare the vegetable could be an Indian style dry curry or stir fry. With just 1/4 cup of cooked rice, fill the rest of your bowl with lot of vegetables, onion and tomato salad, corn and beans that we are cooking today, you are well on your way to reducing your white colored food intake.

The recipe is really simple and if you have a crockpot or a pressure cooker it should be done in no time. With the crockpot the actual cooking time might be longer but the actual work is the same. I like to use dried beans rather than canned beans but if you are using canned beans I have a different set of steps.

Soak the dried beans overnight, wash and get it ready. Get the onions, ginger and garlic ready.
Take the beans, onion, garlic and ginger with 3 cups of water and cook for 3-4 whistles.
Once the steam subsides ope the pressure cooker, add the chili, cumin powders and salt and let it boil for about 5-10 minutes if required.

Related Recipes:
Cilantro Lime Rice - Recipe
Fish Burrito - Recipe
Eggs with Fennel and Tomato Burrito

Burrito Style Black and Kidney Beans
Preparation Time:15 minutes (overnight soaking of the dried beans)
Cooking Time:25 minutes
  1. 2 cups of black beans + 1 cup of red kidney beans (or canned beans)
  2. 1/2 red onion chopped
  3. 4 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
  4. 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
  5. 1/2 tbsp red chili powder
  6. 2 -3 tsp cumin powder
  7. salt to taste
  8. 2 tsp of oil if required
    Using dried beans
  1. Soak the dried beans overnight and just before cooking beans wash the beans in at least two changes of water.
  2. In a pressure cooker take the washed beans, onions, garlic and ginger. Add 3 cups of water and about 1/2 tsp of salt. Cook for 2-3 whistles.
  3. Open the lid add the chili and cumin powders and more salt if required. Mix and let it boil for another 5-10 minutes depending on how watery or thick you want the beans to be.
    Using canned beans
  1. If using canned beans wash the beans.
  2. In a saute pan heat oil and saute the onions,ginger and garlic till the onions turn slightly brown.
  3. In a sauce pan add the beans and about 1/2 cup of water and the sauteed onions and the red chili powder and cumin powder. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, add salt and turn off the heat.
  1. The amount of water added to the beans depends on how watery you want the cooked beans to be.

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