Cheat Meal Ideas:
The Indian Cheat Meals:
Indian food is not only delicious but it’s also very nutritious. Indians are known to eat a lot of vegetables and fruits which are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients. They don’t just eat them because they’re tasty or even because they taste good; they do so out of necessity since there isn’t much else available in their diet.
So, what makes Indian food so special?
Well, it’s mostly based on the fact that Indians eat a lot of different foods at one time. If you want to get full quickly then you need to consume lots of calories. And if you want to lose weight fast then you need to consume fewer calories than usual. Hence, Indians have developed a variety of different recipes that contain both these requirements.
There are many types of Indian food such as dal makhani, vada pav, biryani etc. But today we will focus on some popular ones like chapatis (flat bread), rotis and parathas. These are all flatbreads made from wheat flour and usually stuffed with various fillings such as meat or fish filling, vegetables or fruit filling etc. They are absolutely delicious and can be served on their own or with a curry.
Vada pav is probably one of the most popular Indian street foods which consists of a spicy potato filling inside a soft bread bun. This delicacy was originally from Mumbai (Bombay) and was created as a quick, cheap snack for people working in the city. The name vada pav literally means potato ball bread. It’s also known as vadapav or vade paav and is available at most street food vendors in India.
It’s like a hamburger but instead of a beef patty it has a spicy mashed potato filling inside it.
Another popular bread which you can have with curries is the roti or chapati (whole wheat bread). This is a very healthy bread since it’s made from whole wheat and is baked.They can be served plain with curry or can have a stuffing of vegetables, herbs and minced meat. This is one of the staple foods in the Asian countries and is eaten by people of all ages.
Chapatis are usually made by the women in the house and served with the curry in family meals. You can also get them from street vendors who sell them with various curried vegetables.
Parathas are similar to chapatis except they are much fluffier because they have more stuffing inside. These filling usually consists of cooked vegetables, spinach, potatoes and even eggs. They can be made really spicy or just have a plain taste. Parathas are usually served with curries and eaten with the hands.
You can also have them without any curry and just have it with some plain yoghurt, butter or even sugar.
In addition to these breads, there is also another type of stuffed bread called kulchas which are usually baked instead of fried. Again they are served hot and can be eaten on their own or with a variety of curries.
So, if you’ve had enough of fried foods, then why not try some healthy breads that are not only tasty but also nutritious. Don’t forget to have a glass of lassi with all these dishes since it will help you digest them easily.
Rice is one of the most consumed food grains in the world and is the main food for over half of the world’s population. This versatile food can be eaten at any time of the day and with a range of side dishes. It can be grouped into long, medium or short grain rice depending on their length and texture. Long grain rice is less sticky than the others and is usually fluffier.
When cooked the grains remain distinct. They are usually light in colour like the Basmati rice and take a longer time to cook.
In India, medium grain rice is mostly consumed and this is what we will be dealing with for the rest of this article as this is the most common type of rice. This type is usually shorter than the long grain but a little longer than the short grain. When cooked it turns out sticky but not as much as the short grain rice. This one is the most commonly cultivated in India.
Last but not least is the short grain rice, this type is also known as glutinous rice and is usually used for making sweet dishes, as the name suggests this type of rice is very sticky. Since it’s sticky it tends to give a very soft feel when cooked and because of this soft characteristic it’s usually used for making desserts and sweet dishes. It has very little nutritional value.
When it comes to cooking, all types can be cooked in different ways but for the purpose of this article we will only concentrate on some of the most common methods.
Probably the simplest form of rice and it can be eaten on its own or with a variety of curries, this type requires very simple preparation. For 1 person you will need 0.5 cup of rice, vinegar or salt for flavour and 2 cups of water. First you need to rinse the rice until the water is clear, then add the water and vinegar or salt (if using) and let it soak for 10 minutes.
After the time is up, drain the water then place the rice and water in a pot and bring it to the boil. Once the water is boiling, let it continue to do so for about 2 minutes then turn the heat low, turn the heat off and place a lid on the pot, leaving it like that for about 12 minutes. Letting all the steam finish cooking the rice. After the 12 minutes is up, remove the pot from the heat and fluff up the rice, it’s now ready to be eaten.
This type of rice is also very easy to make into pilaf. To do this you will need the same amount of ingredients except instead of letting the water and rice boil, you fry the rice in a little butter or oil until it gives off a toasted smell then add the water and bring it to the boil, turn the heat down low, place the lid on the pan but leaving a slight opening and let it steam for about 10-12 minutes.
1.5 cups of long grain rice
0.5 cup of onion
1.5 cups of tomato puree
2 tsp of curry powder
1 tsp of salt
2 cups of water
1 tbsp of vegetable oil for frying
Wash the rice in several changes of water, drain and add to a saucepan with the 2 cups of water and half a teaspoon of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, cover and turn off the heat. Leave for 12 minutes.
Meanwhile slice the onion finely and fry gently in the oil until golden. Add the curry powder and cook for 1-2 minutes longer. Add the tomato puree, stir well and simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the remaining salt and serve with the rice.
1 cup of long grain rice
1 cup of chopped onions
1 tsp of ginger paste (or finely chopped fresh ginger)
1 tsp of garlic paste (or finely chopped fresh garlic)
2 medium potatoes boiled, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
0.5 tsp of chilli powder
0.5 tsp of garam masala (We get this from the asian section of our local supermarket)
1 tsp of cumin seeds
2 tsp of vegetable oil
1 tsp of butter
1 tbsp of lemon juice
Wash the rice until the water runs clear, then leave to one side. Finely chop the onions and add to a frying pan with the oil and butter. Cook on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly. The onions should be golden and soft.
Meanwhile add the cumin seeds to a dry pan and heat until they start to pop, then turn off the heat immediately and set one side. Once the onions are ready, tip the cumin seeds back into the pan and add the ginger paste, garlic paste and chopped potatoes. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
Now add the chilli powder, garam masala and lemon juice, stir well then add the rice and stir until all the ingredients are well mixed. Once the mixture is fairly dry, take off the heat and leave to one side.
Once it’s cooled a bit, tip onto a large piece of greaseproof paper or baking parchment and use the paper to mould it into a log shape. Wrap the paper tightly around the rice then twist the ends like a Christmas cracker to seal it. Leave to one side for at least 1 hour.
Once the rice has rested, slice off as many rounds as you want and make into pakora shapes. Heat enough oil for deep frying to 180 degrees and carefully lower the pakoras a few at a time. They should be ready within 2 minutes or when they are a golden colour.
Drain on kitchen roll and serve warm with tomato chilli sauce.
This recipe is also great as a slow cooked curry or baked in the oven with a sprinkling of paprika on top for a lovely crispy finish.
I also use the same mixture to make veggie burgers. Simply leave out the rice, add an extra potato and bind with 2 eggs instead.
Sources & references used in this article:
The Shredded Chef: 120 Recipes for Building Muscle, Getting Lean, and Staying Healthy by M Matthews – 2012 – books.google.com
Shredded Steel Sample Pack by J Goldberg – 2013 – Sentinel
A Step-by-Step Approach to Successful Fat Loss by SUBF Fast – steelfitusa.com