Aviyal

 

 

I have always felt that there is a definite similarity between Bengali and Kerala cuisines. In fact, why only the cuisines…..the people themselves look so similar.  Especially the women……. large eyes, curly hair, sharp features and who can deny their love for fish and coconut. Today I am going to write about a mixed vegetable dish from Kerala, which can be relished with everything….steamed rice, parathas, pooris, dosas, etc. It is very similar to our Bengali dish Shukto, especially with respect to the type of vegetables used in it. It’s a mixture of some hard and soft vegetables, cooked like a light stew. Here’s the recipe which I follow when I make it. It may differ from the traditional one but tastes no less….

Ingredients

Hard veggies

Drumsticks (Moringa) – 2 nos (cut in 1.5” pieces)

Kovakkai/ Kundri/Kundru/ coccinia (cut in long pieces) – 1 cup

Broadbeans/ avarakkai/seem ( side veins removed and cut in 2 pieces each) – 1 cup

Soft veggies

White pumpkin (cut in 1.5” long pieces) – 1 cup

Raw banana/Plantains (peeled and cut in 1.5” long pieces) – 1 cup

Yam / Oal/jimikand (cut in 1.5” long pieces) – 1 cup

Masala (to be ground together):

Cumin seeds – 2 tsp

Green chilies – 3-5 or as per taste

Ginger – 1” piece

Grated coconut – ½ cup

Other ingredients

Virgin coconut oil – 3 tbsp

Water – 2 cups or as required for gravy

Curry leaves – 2 sprigs

Coconut milk yogurt – 1 cup (whipped; it should be sour)

Salt – as per taste

Tempering (optional)

Coconut oil – 1 tsp

Whole dry red chili – 1-2

Method

1)      Steam the hard veggies for 10 minutes, remove and keep aside.

2)      Mix the ground masala, salt and water to the soft vegetables.

3)      Add the steamed hard vegetables to this and cook together, covered, on medium low heat till the veggies are almost done.

4)      Add curry leaves, coconut yogurt and coconut oil.

5)      Mix and simmer till the flavors combine well and the veggies are well done (make sure the veggies do not get mashed up…….so, don’t stir too much).

6)      Adjust salt if required, at this stage. Our Aviyal is ready!!!

My family loves this dish tempered and I do it this way……just heat a tsp of coconut oil in a tempering ladle, add the dry red chilies and fry till you get the aroma. Immediately transfer this to the prepared dish and cover. Leave for 5 minutes covered and serve hot!!

Methi Adai

Adai with Avocado coconut chutney

 

This is not how Adai is traditionally made, but I have arrived at this recipe, keeping in mind my family’s likes and dislikes. Traditionally Adai is a very spicy lentil pancake, with a lot of red chilies and other spices ground with the batter. But I usually avoid red chilies and my family rather likes lightly flavored stuff, hence, the following recipe…….hope you like it!!

Ingredients

For the batter:

Chana Daal (split Bengal gram)– ½ cup

Urad Daal (split Black lentil) – ¼ cup

Mung Daal (split mung)– ¼ cup

Millet brokens – 1 cup

Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp

Grated ginger – 1 tbsp

Green chili – 2-3 finely chopped or as per taste

Onion – 1 medium finely chopped

Grated carrots – ½ cup

Chopped Fenugreek leaves (Methi) – 2 cups

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Salt  – as per taste

Coconut oil – 1 tbsp for tempering and as required for greasing skillet to make Adai.

For tempering:

Cumin seeds – ½ tsp

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Asafoetida powder – ¼ tsp

Curry leaves – 5-6 crushed in the palm

Method

1)       Wash and soak the daals and millet separately overnight. Soak fenugreek seeds in a small bowl.

2)       Grind Chana daal to a coarse paste and other daals and millet to a fine paste, along with soaked fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds .

3)       Mix the other ingredients of the batter, and let it rest for 30 minutes. The batter should be thick.

4)        In the mean time you can prepare for the tempering and make your favorite chutney, which you would like to serve along.

5)       Heat oil in a small wok. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and let crackle.

6)       Add curry leaves and asafetida and immediately temper the batter with this oil.

7)       Mix and keep for 5 minutes. Heat the skillet till that time.

8)       Spread a ladleful of the batter on the skillet to make a like a pancake and sprinkle desired amount of oil on it.

9)       Cook on medium low heat till the edges of the Adai releases.

10)   Flip the Adai and let cook on low heat for some more time.

11)   Remove and serve hot with chutney.

Usually Adai is served with Aviyal, a mixed vegetable dish with strong coconut flavors. But I usually serve it with chutney, for breakfast. I also make Aviyal once in a while, whenever I have all the vegetables, needed for it. My next post will be on Aviyal, as it is made traditionally in Kerala!!

Rice Vermicelli upma

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I feel very fortunate that I stay in the south of India, because here I have learnt to make so many Gluten free foods. The South India and especially the state of Kerala offers a variety of Gluten free dishes. Vermicelli upma is a traditional snack of this region and I have tried to slightly tweak it to prepare a Gluten free snack for my kiddo, by using rice or millet vermicelli, as both kinds are easily available here. You can have many variations of this snack, as per your choice of veggies and their quantities, and spices. I make it this way……

Ingredients

Rice vermicelli (softened by boiling in hot water and salt, and strained) – 2 cup

Oil – 2 tbsp; any oil of your choice, I use coconut oil.

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Chana daal (split bengal gram) – 1 ½ tsp

Urad daal (split black lentil) – 1 ½ tsp

Cashewnuts (halved and fried to golden brown) – 1 tbsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Green chili – 2 (chopped) or as desired

Mixed veggies (carrot, peas, capsicum, etc) – 1 cup

Salt – as per taste

Ghee – 1 tsp(optional)

Method

1)      Heat oil in a skillet and add mustard seeds. Let crackle.

2)      Add the daals and fry till they redden.

3)      Add curry leaves and green chilies and sauté for 30 secs.

4)      Add the veggies and salt and sauté for 1-2 minutes.

5)      Add the rice vermicelli and mix well, gently.

6)      Adjust salt, add cashewnuts and mix well.

7)      Lower heat and add ghee.

8)      Cover and keep mixing gently, once in a while, for 5-7 minutes.

9)      Remove from heat and serve hot as evening snack.

Notes and tips

1)      If you want it to be spicier, you can sprinkle Chutney powder, mix thoroughly and eat.

2)      The Chutney powder can be bought from any spice shop or made at home by roasting separately Chana daal, urad daal, red chili, asafoetida, curry leaves and chopped garlic with little oil, and grinding together, with salt, to make a coarse powder.

Mixed vegetables – Shrimp stew

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This is a simple and fragrant dish, inspired by oriental cuisine, which is eaten in my house for Dinner. I usually serve it with steamed and tossed crunchy green beans or asparagus. This was made with shrimps, so I am giving this recipe, but I usually make this stew with chicken instead of shrimps. Here’s the recipe……
Ingredients
Large shrimps – 10-12 pcs (you can also use boneless chicken cubes instead; you will need to sauté chicken pieces in a skillet on low heat, till cooked. Then follow the same procedure)
Water – 1 cup (for shrimps)
Carrot (chopped in desired shape) – 1 cup
Cauliflower (cut in small florets) – 1 cup
Zucchini (chopped in desired shape) – 1 cup
Capsicum (cut in 1” squares) – 1 cup
Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
Lemon zest – ¼ tsp
Salt – as per taste
Black pepper powder – as per taste
Dried basil leaves (rubbed between palms) – as per taste
Arrowroot or tapioca starch – 2 tsp (dissolved in ½ cup water)
For the stock
Water – 1 litre
Bay leaf – 2 nos
Lemon grass stalk – 2 (chopped)
Ginger – 2”pc (julienned)
Green chili – 1-2 chopped (as desired)
Method
1) To make the stock, add all the ingredients in a deep saucepan, bring to boil and then simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hr. Drain and discard the solids. Reserve stock for use in the stew.
2) De-vein and clean the shrimps, add 1 cup water and ¼ tsp salt. Bring to boil and then simmer for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and keep aside.
3) Cook the vegetables (except Capsicum) separately by steaming or in the microwave. Do not over cook, we need crunchy vegetables at this stage.
4) Heat a deep pan and add olive oil.
5) Add the vegetables and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
6) Add the shrimps along with its broth and mix.
7) Add the stock slowly till you get the desired amount of soup. You can reserve any remaining stock for use in some other gravy later.
8) Add salt to taste, basil and pepper powder.
9) Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes or till the vegetables and shrimps are done. Add capsicum and lemon zest in the last 5 minutes of simmering and mix well.
10) Add lemon juice and mix.
11) Add dissolved starch and mix well. Simmer for another 1-2 minutes and remove from heat.
12) Serve hot!!

Please try and give me your feedback!

The Candida diet – our story

Introduction

Candida overgrowth has been a menace for me and my kiddo since quite long. I have had a long history of antibiotic treatment of my childhood bronchitis and strep throat, due to which my gut is in a very bad shape. I have systemic candida, which is a major reason for my sinusitis, migraine, Acid reflux,and Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS) since 20 odd years or more. My kiddo has a similar history of prolonged antibiotic treatment till 5-7 years of age, due to similar issues. It is worth mentioning here, that his first regression started at the age of 2 years, when he was treated for his recurrent ear and throat infections and wheezing, for about 6 months i.e. 18 months to 24 months. The most common antibiotics used for him were Augmentin and Cefalexin, during this period. Little did I know that all this will lead to such a prolonged struggle to eradicate Candida!!!

My kiddo too has a very bad gut. We got his stools tested for candida (GI effects test at Metametrix lab, USA) and it was double positive. The gut flora too was skewed. We were also thinking of getting the OATS test done for him, but this testing thing has been draining us so much financially that we did not go for it. Anyways, we had all the symptoms in him to confirm that: e.g.inappropriate laughter, sleep disturbances, bed wetting, aggression, hyperactivity, high pitched squealing, jumping, running, tiptoe walking, sugar cravings, gas/bloating, stimming, etc. Since we did not treat candida so very well initially, I feel it has become systemic for him too. Now, at the age of 12 years he is having dandruff, toenail infections and thrush too.

 

So…… we have a very long and difficult road ahead!!! I had been doing the GFCFSF diet for him all these years alongwith biomedical treatments, but not much improvement was seen. In fact, his hyperactivity and restlessness increased manifold after MB12 and oral DMSA chelation, suggested by our DAN doctor.  We had also done homeopathy with which he improved a bit, and then plateaued. We started with a natural healing protocol for him in June 2013 and also started new DIETS and supplements, so as to drive candida to death, through all possible means.

 

There are a lot of posts and websites which will give you a fair idea about Candida overgrowth and various methods people have adopted to get rid of it.  Diet is one of the most important aspects when you are dealing with Candida. Some of my favorite websites to read more are: http://www.tacanow.org/family-resources/what-is-yeast-overgrowth/ , http://bodyecology.com/the-body-ecology-diet-book.html, http://www.gaps.me/ , http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/ and many more blogs and websites. Hence, I am not repeating all that in my post. When I did my research and discussed with other autism parents, in a similar situation, I found that following a well balanced and easily digestible low carb/low starch diet was the key, alongwith other methods of killing candida,  replenishing the gut flora and strengthening the immune system. I will not go deep into the technical aspects of how candida gets eradicated, when we do this kind of diet, but simple explanation is that Starches/carbs/sugars feed candida, and when you deprive it of its food, it eventually dies off!! So, that was the basis of formulating the diet for my kiddo and me. Our diet is still evolving as there are continuous changes in likes and dislikes, family circumstances, resources and new researches.

The diet

GAPS!!!

When we started the healing protocol for my kid, we also needed to do grain free diet along with that. It was recommended that we follow the GAPS diet if we could. So, a decision was taken and all the grains were stopped slowly, many other restrictions were there in the choice of vegetables, lentils/pulses, etc (look up the GAPS diet legal foods list if interested) and Bone broth was to be included. It was a huge change for us as Indian food usually contains grains as staple food. Now, if there’s no grain, how would we fill our stomach? The obvious answer was Egg, meat, fish and of course vegetables. As recommended in GAPS diet, we changed our eating style, Proteins became our staple, cooked vegetables would be on the side and lots of bone broth to drink. I can share a sample diet here, which we used to follow:

Breakfast: {1 egg omlette with finely chopped greens and other veggies + avocado and coconut milk smoothie} OR {Mixed dals cheela added with grated veggies and coriander leaves + avocado-coconut chutney} OR {Zucchini or Carrot fritters (added with 1 egg and 1 tbsp almond flour) + avocado smoothie}

Snack 1:{1 cup broth + lentil chips/crackers} OR {1 cup broth + Banana chips} OR {Salad sticks with Hummus/coconut yogurt dip}

Lunch:{Boneless chicken breast steak (marinate and roast) + cauliflower mash} OR {Steamed or grilled fish + steamed and tossed veggies}

Snack 2: {Veggie cutlets+ nut milk/coconut yogurt lassi} OR {Pakode/dal vada/etc + nut milk/coconut yogurt lassi}

Dinner: Veggie soup with Bone broth + {Chicken casserole} OR {same as lunch}

Fortunately we are non-vegetarians so this was easier for us…..I don’t know how vegetarians/vegans do this diet!!!

We started the diet with a determination, and hence were able to pull off for quite some time. Some of my issues with this diet were

1)     My kiddo is a foodie and loves to eat anything and everything. Which meant the complete family would have to do the diet together or else it would fail. My kiddo would feel unhappy, grab from others and sometimes cry and become aggressive too. So we decided to do the diet as a family!!

2)     My husband and older son were not as determined and hence started objecting to the menus very soon. They also started craving for grains and hence ate out a lot. Sometimes they would bring some breads/ croissants home, after the younger kiddo slept off. The leftover resulted in diet infraction for my kiddo, the next day, quite a number of times.

3)     My mother-in-law is a vegetarian, so, I had to cook separately for her. Her food was not changed at all which meant she would have to eat separately (at a different time or in a different room). She used to be unhappy about that, and most of the times we ended up eating together (to make her happy), and my kiddo getting angry at not being able to eat whatever Grandma was eating.

4)     We were missing our Indian vegetable and non vegetarian curries which are mixed with rice and eaten or eaten with rotis. Although we were eating almost all the vegetables, we used to eat previously, the preparations/recipes were quite different and the Indian delicacies were being missed.

My kiddo was doing great on the GAPS diet. His yeasty behavior was quite under control, barring a few instances when he had diet infractions. After every diet infraction, he would regress in his behavior and I had to endure it till he would overcome it with time. This was the time I decided to introduce millets. Why millets? Because they are mildly alkaline in nature and not acidic like rice. For eradicating Candida or for that matter any pathogens in our body, we need to have our body alkaline…..we need to eat more foods which have an alkaline ash. Most of the proteins are already acidic in nature, hence we need to eat grains, vegetables and fruits which are alkaline. Millets were easy to cook and would easily replace steamed rice. Millet, Buckwheat and Amaranth flours would yield good Indian breads too. This made easier to re-introduce our Indian dishes in our diet and my folks were happier.

What about candida…..after introduction of millets? Well, I could see an obvious deterioration in his behaviors, esp stimming and occasional giggling. There was a change in attention and focus too. But it had not gone back to what it was before starting GAPS diet. Actually we were still doing the broths, still eating meat/fish/egg as main course and then would eat small amounts of millet with our favorite veggies.

Enter seizures!!!!

Suddenly in October 2013, my kiddo started having seizures, for the first time in his life. Our Neurologist diagnosed Myoclonic seizures and prescribed seizure medicines for him. He also warned us regarding his diet and told us about high ammonia in blood, sometimes causing seizures. He recommended low intake of protein, because protein metabolism produces ammonia and if the liver is stressed or the urea cycle is skewed, the ammonia levels in the blood may rise, which may in turn lead to seizures. Damn!! Did we screw up his systems with so much protein in the diet?!! I don’t know, but now it was time to re-design the meals.

Body Ecology Diet!

One of my facebook friends and a mother of two autistic kids, recommended this diet to me. I read the book, learnt the principles and was quite convinced that this was going to help my kid and is doable too. Although, it talks primarily about introduction of fermented foods in the diet, I was excited more about the food combining and the 80:20 rules (Please refer to the book to know more if interested. I love these pages too!  http://www.trueactivist.com/6-food-combining-rules-for-optimal-digestion/ and http://bodyecology.com/articles/80-20_rule_essential_to_diet.php#.U7Lo4oaQaE ). The guidelines of the diet helped me reduce Protein as well as starchy carbs and increase non starchy veggies. Best thing was that we could keep our Millets, Buckwheat and Amaranth. Hence an Indian meal plan with a little tweak in combinations and quantities would work very well here. I was very excited….all my issues were getting resolved, with a promise to eradicate Candida too! Phew!!!!

I have not started the fermented foods recommended in the diet yet, as we have poor access to the Body Ecology products here in India, but the meal philosophy is now in place. It’s working quite well now. My kiddo is much more connected, attentive and focused. He is less hyperactive and has very little yeasty behavior left.

Our current meal plan looks something like this:

8:00 am Breakfast: {1 egg + Stir fried vegetables (sauce to vary daily)} OR {Millet Idli/Dosa + Sambar + Chutney} OR {GF poori Vegetable curry}

10:30 am Snack 1: Soaked almonds or almond milk

12:30 pm Lunch: {Boiled Millets + Thin Dal soup + 2 types of vegetable dishes (should contain at least 4-5 types of veggies)} OR {Millet Khichdi/Bisibele bhath(with lots of veggies) + Pan seared veggies + coconut Yogurt}

2:30 pm Snack 2: Crackers/salad sticks + dip

4:30 pm Snack 3: {Quinoa/millet upma with lots of veggies} OR {vegetable cutlets with dip} OR {veggie toast (on Flax bread)}

7:30 pm Dinner: {Chicken & veggie stew} OR {Chicken & veggie Paleo casserole} OR {Grilled chicken/tikka + Stir fried veggies} OR {GF Roti/Paratha + I veggie dish containing at least 2-3 types of veggies + Raw salads}

I am intending to add the fermented foods very soon, to complete the diet. Till then I am giving Digestive enzymes and probiotic capsules to my kid. I also give MCT oil as a supplement as it is known to help kill candida. Many people give Raw Virgin coconut oil instead, as VCO too contains MCT oil. I also make sure we eat steamed, baked, pan seared or grilled food and try to limit frying. This is because frying makes the food acidic and we don’t want that (as explained earlier)!! You may want to look up the acidic – alkaline foods list to understand this better, and the Body ecology diet book too explains how to balance the meals, so that the overall health improves!!

Happy healing!!

Coconut milk Yogurt

When my kiddo went casein free, I kept wondering how to replace his yogurt which he is so fond of. I looked up on the net for various forms of vegan yogurts and did my own experiments to finally arrive at this delicious yogurt recipe. I use store bought coconut milk, because I have got best results with that. The Dabur coconut milk which we get in India has some additives. It does contain emulsifier (INS 433) and Cellulose (INS 460), but there are no preservatives/flavor enhancers. I use freshly made coconut milk for smoothies, gravies etc, but for yogurt and sweet treats, I like this packaged milk for a good consistency!! You can choose to use home made coconut milk instead, if you are not comfortable with the idea of using the packaged one!!

For fermenting, I use a high potency probiotic, which I was already giving my kiddo at a regular basis. It is called Theralac, each capsule of which has: Lactobacillus acidophilus 10 million CFU, Bifidobacterium Lactis 10 million CFU, and some other strains. I generally avoid any Strep strains in the probiotics I use for my kid as he has PANDAS and for such kids it is advisable to keep away from Strep in any form!!!

So, here comes my recipe of coconut milk yogurt……

Ingredients:

Coconut milk –  2 cups

Agar agar powder – 2 tsp (you may use powdered gelatin instead if you are not vegan)

High Potency Probiotic Capsules – 2

Method:

  • Divide the coconut milk, sprinkle agar agar on 1/2 a cup of coconut milk and keep aside for 10-15 minutes.
  • Stir vigorously and bring it to boil till the powder dissolves completely.
  • Strain and mix with the remaining coconut milk and warm the mixture to body temperature ( 97 deg F; it should feel little warm if you dip your finger)
  • Open up the probiotic capsules and mix with this warm coconut milk mixture.
  • Cover and keep at a warm place for fermenting for at least 8 hours, or till you get the desired sourness.
  • Transfer to the refrigerator and cool for at least 4 hours.
  • The yogurt will be perfectly set and ready to eat.

You can whip this yogurt with any fruit of your choice for a yummy dessert, use for Indian curries calling for Curds/yogurt or even eat it just like that with Parathas or steamed rice, as we eat our dairy yogurt!!

 

Buckwheat Crackers

This Buckwheat thing has become a staple in our family, perhaps due to the easy availability of this Gluten free flour here. Also, I feel you can make many varieties of breads, snacks etc as it is little sticky in nature and doesn’t crumble as a dough, like millet and Sorghum flours. Recently I tried these crackers and it was an instant hit. It tastes delicious with home made  mayo or even Coconut yogurt dip.

Here’s my simple recipe…..

Ingredients:

Buckwheat flour – 1 cup

Tapioca starch – 1/4 cup

Flaxseed powder – 1 tbsp

coconut oil – 2 tbsp

Ghee – 1 tbsp

Sesame seeds – 2 tsp

Dried herbs and spices – as desired (I used dried parsley and garlic flakes; coarsely ground black pepper, and other spices also go well)

Salt – to taste

Method:

  • Mix flour, salt and rub oil and ghee in it thoroughly.
  • Add sesame seeds, herbs, spices and mix well.
  • Sprinkle little warm water and form a hard dough. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Roll out 1-1.5 mm thick Rotis, cut with a serrated cutter or any plain pizza cutter, in desired size.
  • Prick the cut pieces with fork and keep aside.
  • Preheat oven to 250 deg C and bake the crackers, on a cookie sheet, for 12-15 minutes.
  • Cool inside the oven and serve with your favorite dip.

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This is a healthy alternative to fried crunchy stuff which kids are very fond of these days, and also tastes very good. It can very easily be served to guests too, even if they are not gluten free!!

Daal Pitha

This is a yummy savory snack from Eastern India. It can be a healthy GFCF snack, as it is steamed and uses up very little oil. My kids love to eat this snack in the evenings or after school as it is quite filling for their tummies. I am sharing the traditional method here, as my mother used to make, but there can be many variations, depending on your taste. The filling can be altered in many ways and even made sweet if you want. I will leave that creativity to you all and continue with my recipe…..

Ingredients

Raw Rice flour – 2 cup

Water – 3 ½  cup

Chana daal – 1 cup (soaked in water for 2-3 hrs)

Cumin seeds – 2 tsp

Garlic paste – 1 tbsp

Chilli(green or red as desired) paste – 1 tsp or as desired

Salt – as per taste

Oil – as required for greasing hands and steaming vessel + 1 tbsp for seasoning

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp or as desired

 

Method

1)      Coarse grind the soaked chana daal and add salt, 1 ½ tsp cumin seeds,  garlic paste and chilli paste. If it has excess water, you can heat the chana daal mixture in a kadai/skillet stirring continuously. The resulting mixture should be such that you can fill it in the pithas easily,and should still be moist.

2)      To prepare the pitha dough, boil 3 ½  cup of water in a skillet, add salt and ½ tsp cumin seeds.

3)      Add rice flour to the boiling water slowly, stirring it continuously, so that there are no lumps.

4)      Gather the dough thus formed and knead it thoroughly, with oiled hands. Let cool.

5)      Divide the dough into desired number of parts and make smooth balls.

6)      Flatten each ball, with hands and fill the daal mixture.

7)      Fold it to make gujiya like shape (the shape shown in the picture). Work  the seam with oiled hands so as to get smooth edges.

8)      Steam these pithas in a greased steamer till the filling gets cooked and an inserted knife comes out clean.

9)      Take out the pithas from the steamer and let cool.

10)   Cut these pithas in tranverse sections of ¾ to 1 cm thick slices.

11)   Before serving, you can either add a tadka of 1 tbsp oil and mustard seeds or simply stir fry the slices in 1 tbsp oil . Serve this with green chutney.

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I know it is a lengthy process and takes a lot of practice to get to perfect Pithas, but I can assure you, its really worth the effort. Just a small tip…..try to make small batches first. This will minimize any wasted efforts!!

P.S. On a different day, I had made the sweeter version using a mixture of Date palm jaggery, grated coconut and cardamom powder, as the filling and NO SALT in the rice flour dough. They are called Puli Pithe or Sheddho Puli in Bengali They came out really yummy, but I could not serve them to my Autistic kid as he is off all forms of sugar. Others enjoyed a lot though. You can serve them with melted jaggery or Jhola gur.

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Buckwheat Roti (Kuttu ki Roti)

This Gluten free roti is a hit at our place. Even my 18 year old NT kid doesn’t mind replacing his wheat roti with this, at a regular basis. A healthy option, as it omits the use of boiled potato or boiled plaintain, as a binder and hence results in a low carb roti. Addition of flaxseed powder makes it even more healthier

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Buckwheat flour (Kuttu ka atta),
  • 1 heaping tbsp flaxseed powder,
  • salt to taste
  • Ajwain to taste (optional)
  • Coconut oil or ghee to grease hands
  • Hot water, as required for kneading the dough

Method:

  • Mix thoroughly with hands, make a well and pour hot water.
  • Keep mixing with a spoon as you pour till you get a sticky dough. Cover and keep for 30-45 minutes. The dough will harden a bit as flax soaks up some water.
  • Grease your hands with coconut oil/ghee and knead to get a smooth dough.
  • Divide and roll the rotis, using some dry buckwheat flour to dust, so as to prevent sticking on the rolling surface.ImageImage
  • Cook like wheat roti and serve with ghee and your favorite curry.

Please try this and give me your feedback!!!

P.S. I had tried making poori using the same flour mix, rubbed with little oil prior to making the dough with hot water, rolling smaller rounds from the dough, and deep frying in coconut oil. The pooris came out extremely good and my kiddo enjoyed it.  You too can enjoy making pooris once in a while.

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GFCFSF food groups and raw materials

In my last post I had mentioned about the GFCF and grain free food menus. I thought I will share our usual GFCF meal practices and some basic information about the raw materials I would use for making them. When I used to make my meal plan, I would make sure we ate similar stuff what we’ve grown up eating (just replace the restricted ingredients with appropriate or legal ingredients) because I feel the plan is more sustainable, when done like that. Also, it reduces the chances of occasional indulgence and resulting diet infraction, because the kid is already satisfied!!

So, jumping straight to the food groups, relevant to Indian families:

1)      Staple;  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner:

  • Rice of various types: Plain rice, pulao, biriyani, teheri, lemon / tomato /coconut rice
  • Roti/paratha/poori: made with millet, buckwheat, sorghum, tapioca or arrowroot starch and flaxseeds.
  • Dosa/Uthappam: made with Urad dal and Millet.
  • Idli; with or without grated veggies, base would be Urad dal and Millet.
  • Puttu : made with rice flour or millet flour
  • Adai/Pesarattu: made with various dals whole or husked
  • Appam: made with rice and coconut milk
  • Idiyappam: made with rice flour or millet flours
  • Khichdis/Bisibelebhath: made with Millet /Rice and dals

2)      Dals and Curries:

  • Plain dal; North Indian, Gujarati, South Indian
  • Rasam/Sambhar, various types
  • Whole pulses: chhole, rajma,  whole mung, Black channa
  • Koottu with veggies/leafy veggies
  • Vegetable dals; like lauki dal as made in North India
  • Poriyals, Stir fries, Bhartas
  • Curries/gravies, various types
  • Mixed vegetables like Aviyal, Chadchadi, shukto etc
  • Koftas; veg / non-veg

3)      Brunch or evening snacks:

  • Venn Pongal
  • Sundal; can make different varieties with various whole pulses
  • Uppuma made with Millet rava and veggies
  • Semiyan Uppuma or seasoned Idiyappam made with Rice/millet semiyan/Idiyappam
  • Cutlets/chops; veg/ nonveg
  • Savoury Kozhakattai/ momo; filled with Dal mixture, spicy potato or Chicken
  • Rice Paper spring rolls
  • Pakoras/bhajjis
  • Crunchy snacks like potato/plantain chips, Murukku, ribbon pakoda, Bhujia sev, etc
  • Medu Vada

4)      Chutneys/dips/spreads and raitas (freshly made; no pickles are allowed):

  • Coconut chutney/Tomato chutney/Brinjal chutney/Paruppu /dal chutney
  • Raitas of choice using coconut milk curd
  • Tomato/capsicum salsa/guacamole/avocado chutney with coconut
  • Yogurt dip/GFCF mayonnaise
  • Tahini/Hummus

5)      Other food menus (Occasional):

  • Soup +Grilled Fish/chicken + Steamed/stir fried veggies
  • Egg + GFCF Bread+ Steamed/stir fried veggies
  • Veggie /chicken casserole + Garlic Bread
  • GFCF Pizza + Raw salads
  • Soup + GFCF Wrap

6)      Sweet treats:

  • Sweet Pongal/Chakkarai pongal
  • Millet rava halwa with some fruits
  • Mung dhal halwa
  • Nuts/ dried fruits halwa
  • Singhada halwa
  • Cakes, muffins, pancakes, waffles
  • Pies/tarts
  • Cookies
  • Mouse/panna cotta/fruit yogurt

7)      Drinks:

  • Smoothies, various types
  • Chhachh (made from coconut milk curd)
  • Almond Milk
  • Mocktails; various types made with fresh juices
  • Hot Broth ; Chicken/vegetables

 

Here is the list of raw materials I use for making the above foods

  • Grains/seeds/flours to be avoided are
  1. wheat , including wheat flour, maida, rava
  2. rye/barley
  3. Oats; oat flour found in some of the health food stores are Gluten free though
  4. Corn and corn flour
  5. Soybeans, soymilk and soyflour
  • Grains/seeds/flours to be eaten are
  1. Rice (minimize white rice and try to use brown rice and flour as far as possible)
  2. Millets; all kinds are good: includes little millet, foxtail millet, Kodo millet, Ragi/finger millet, Bajra /Pearl millet
  3. Quinoa
  4. Buckwheat (Kuttu)flour
  5. Waterchestnut (Singhada) flour
  6. Tapioca flour/starch
  7. Arrowroot starch
  8. Sorghum/Jowar flour
  9. Amaranth/rajgeera flour
  10. Nut flours, esp almond flour, coconut flour
  11. Readymade GF flours available at health food stores and websites
  • Milk and milk products to be avoided; Ghee is ok , better if made at home but organic ghee found at health food stores are good.
  • Milk/milk product substitutes used by us are
  1. Almond milk
  2. Coconut milk
  3. Coconut milk curd
  • Oils used are
  1. Organic coconut oil for South Indian curries, deep and shallow frying
  2. Organic extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil for raw dressings, baking and greasing
  3. Extra virgin Olive oil for vegetable stir fries and grilled veggies/chicken/fish
  4. Organic cold pressed Mustard oil for North Indian curries
  • Sweet dishes can be made using raw wild honey and maple syrup in moderate quantities(don’t use if cooking/heating),  Stevia or Xylitol. Avoid all forms of sugar, including jaggery, palm and coconut sugar, etc.
  • Iodized table salt can be replaced with Himalayan Salt or Sea salt as far as possible.
  • All other ingredients like Dals/ pulses/lentils, spices and Fruits/vegetables : try to use fresh produce and organic as far as possible.

Hope the above compilation will be useful to people who are just starting and are clueless about how and where to start. If you have decided to start the diet, please go very very slow in removing restricted ingredients and slowly introduce the legal ones. This will be less overwhelming to the kids as well as the parent. Happy healing!!!!