Thursday 19 February 2015

Spinach Treat

Spinach is a vegetable which is packed with nutrients yet we all dislike it especially children. I am sure making kids eat spinach is a difficult task with all mothers - even my son doesn't go well with this healthy vegetable.
Spinach is a wonderful green-leafy vegetable often recognized as one of the functional foods for its wholesome nutritional, antioxidants and anti-cancer composition. Its tender, crispy, dark-green leaves provide it the tangy flavor in many recipes worldwide. Power packed with many water and fat soluble vitamins (like Vit. K, Vit. C, Vit. B complex), their precursors (like beta-carotene) and various minerals, it is in top list for dieters as well. 100gm of spinach provides merely 23 kcals and is an excellent source of fiber with very less fat content. Below are listed the benefits of these dark green wonder leaves - # Great source of phytonutrients and anti-oxidants fundamental for health promotion; # One of the richest source of iron, approximately 25% of daily intake; # Excellent source of Vit. C and Vit. K; # Extremely helpful in cholesterol management as it is very low in fat and very high in fiber; The goodness of Spinach is also linked with the famous cartoon character Popeye. Popeye is said to find energy from spinach whenever confronted with a problem/ challenging situation.
Being a nutritionist, I understand the science behind this green leafy vegetable but putting it practically into use for my 7 year old gave me a headache too. Experimenting with cooking, especially, healthy and low calorie kind has been a hobby. So this time I thought of experimenting with these dark coloured leaves. The recipe I chose was Palak Patta Chaat, which is very famous in Northern India, especially Delhi. Originally this recipe finds its way in being deep fried and too high in calories but I chose to make it low calorie, trying to save the goodness of the leaf as well. So heres what it turned out like and I am sharing the recipe for the same. What do you need:(for two people) Big Spinach leaves (4-5 in nos.) Boiled and mashed potatoes (3) 1 cup finely chopped onions 1 cup finely chopped coriander Gram flour (besan) - 1/2 cup Green chillies (according to taste) Red Chilli Powder (According to taste) Chaat Masala (According to taste) Garam Masala (According to taste) Salt (according to taste) Oil How to make: 1. Wash and dry the spinach leaves thoroughly. 2. Soak the gram flour (besan in water just enough to make a thick paste as in batter and add red chilli powder, garam masala, salt and lemon juice, all according to taste. 3. To the boiled and mashed potatoes, add finely chopped onions and coriander leaves. To this add green chillies, red chilli powder, chaat masala, garam masala and salt. 4. Heat a non-stick pan and put few drops of oil and spread. 5. On each washed spinach leaf, spread the boiled potatoes covering the whole leaf and on the top spread the gram flour better. Put this side on the pan and let it fry. On the other side of the of the leaf, spread the gram flour batter. 6. When one side is done, flip over to the other side and let it fry. Add some oil if required. 7. Palak Patta Chaat is ready. Serve hot with coriander and imli chutney.