Category: Workout Vratham

WV6 ~ Chard with Chickpeas

Workout Vratha Pusham ~ Deva Ganneru (Plumeria/Frangipani) from Backyard

A glass of ragi ganji without sweetener
Fistful of pressure-cooked chickpeas
Few pieces of apple

A cup of Kasuri methi chole
A big bowl of tomato rasam
Carrot-cucumber raita

A glass of cold ginger buttermilk

A cup of homegrown chard sautéed with chickpeas. Simple to make and tasty.
Dear Vijay brought Khaman from local Swami Narayana Temple. Had two pieces of Khaman.
A cup of hot, hot tomato rasam
Dinner was at 7PM. Felt hungry around 10, had a glass of cold buttermilk

An hour of kickboxing and an hour of weights and abs class at the gym. Excellent teachers and I actually enjoy attending these classes. – morning
Gardening – evening

In retrospect:
Good day. Thinking of putting a stop to online food diary after day 7. Writing and sharing about daily intake feels monotonous and purposeless.

Homegrown Chard

Chard with Chickpeas

I sowed some chard seeds at the beginning of June. Now they are young plants. The tender leaves have robust spinach like flavor. When cooked with protein-rich chickpeas and Bharath seasoning, they tasted quite good. Beans and greens, I could never get tired of this combination.

Chard leaves and tender stems – finely chopped about 8 cups
Cooked chickpeas – one cup
Red onion or shallots – finely chopped, about a cup
Red chilli-garlic powder – a tablespoon
Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon
Salt -1/4 teaspoon or to taste
Lemon/limejuice – 2 tablespoons
From masala dabba: Tadka ingredients

In a big skillet, heat a tablespoon of peanut oil. From masala dabba, add and toast a teaspoon each cumin and mustard seeds. Sprinkle a pinch of asafetida and sauté to fragrance. Add the onions and cook to soft.

Add the chard and chickpeas to the onions. Mix well and cover and cook until the chard has wilted. At the end, add the chilli-garlic powder, turmeric and salt. Stir well and cook for couple of minutes. Add enough lemon/lime juice to sharpen the flavor and adjust seasoning to taste.

Serve straight from the skillet with rice or roti. Good on its own too.

Chard Chickpeas with Khaman
Chard Chickpeas with Khaman ~ for Meal Today

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.

WV5 ~ Steamed Cauliflower

Sanna Jaaji (Jasmine) from Backyard
Sanna Jaaji (Jasmine) from Backyard

2 pesarattus (moong dosa) with peanut chutney
A cup of ragi ganji without sweetener

1 pesarattu with a cup of brinjal-tomato curry. The brinjals are homegrown and tasted quite good with tomato masala.
A cup of moong dal rasam
Half carrot and half apple

A glass of cold ginger buttermilk

A cup of steamed cauliflower florets with salt and black pepper
A cup of brinjal tomato curry
A cup of moong dal rasam
For dessert: apple grated and added to a cup of soy milk

Cleaned the whole house. Vacuum, mop the tile floors etc, two hours of sweat inducing workout – morning
Stitched new curtains for the living room. Felt very accomplished and tailory – evening

In retrospect:
Complaint-free day.

Steamed Cauliflower

Tears stream when cauliflower appears on the plate, those were the days from The Wonder Years. From running away to reluctantly having and now actually enjoying cauliflower, I finally feel I made peace with this white ghost like haunting vegetable. When steamed and served, even without any special seasonings, cauliflower shines with sweet simplicity. A delayed revelation.

Steamed cauliflower preparation is easy. Cut cauliflower into big sized florets. Take them in a steam basket.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Insert steam basket and cover. Steam until the cauliflower florets are just tender. Remove the basket and serve the florets warm.

I prefer mine plain. Sometimes I also add a sprinkle of salt, black pepper and lemon juice. Good food.

Steamed Cauliflower Florets
Steamed Cauliflower Florets ~ For Meal Today

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.

WV4 ~ Ginger Buttermilk (Allam Majjiga)

Nitya Malli from Frontyard
Nitya Malli (Vinca/Periwinkle)

A glass of ragi ganji without sweetener
Was in a rush, so just had few pieces of apple

Half cup of leftover Pea Sprouts Soopa with Kale
One cup of Spinach sautéed with onion and fresh garbanzos
One cup of Tomato dal in rasam consistency

A glass of ginger flavored buttermilk from homemade yogurt

One cup of cut carrots and cucumbers
One big bowl of hot tomato rasam
For dessert: half apple grated and added to a cup of cold soymilk. No smoothie but tasted good on this warm summer night.

Weights and Abs class, and an hour walk at the gym – morning
Gardening in the evening

In retrospect:
Busy day, stressed out by evening and that triggered carbo cravings. Big bowl of hot, hot tomato rasam and cold ginger buttermilk saved the day.

Indian Yogurt, Ginger and Kavvam
Indian Yogurt, Ginger and Kavvam

Ginger Flavored Buttermilk (Allam Majjiga)

Ginger buttermilk saved the day many times in my life. My mother prescribes it to comfort stomachache, headache, sunstroke and lack of energy. It’s a cure-all elixir in her world. Continuing the tradition is this amma’s daughter. There is a saying in the Sutras “Just as nectar is for Gods, buttermilk is for humans”. I believe it.

Preparing buttermilk at home is very easy.

Take a ladle full of homemade yogurt in a glass. Add a pinch of salt. Churn with a Kavvam (traditional wooden churner from Bharath) until well blended. Then add a cup of water and churn again until a light froth appears on top.

To flavor the buttermilk with ginger: Take a thumb sized fresh ginger. Peel the skin and grate it finely. Take the grated ginger with your fingers and squeeze the ginger juice into buttermilk. Churn again until well mixed.

Enjoy this refreshing drink after a meal. You could also add few pieces of crushed ice or ice cubes for that cold effect. Ginger buttermilk is a neat alternative, if you are trying to avoid caffeinated drinks.

Allam Majjiga
Allam Majjiga ~ for Today’s Meal

WV3 ~ Pea Sprouts Soopa with Kale

A glass of ragi ganji without sweetener
One boiled egg, white only

1 gatti vada with chana dal in a cup of veggie-rich sambar
1 boiled egg, white only
Half carrot and half apple

A small cup of ginger tea without sweetener
Remaining half of industrial-sized Fuji apple. Apples are huge here.

A cup of pea sprouts soopa with plenty of fresh kale from backyard, which was grown on dear Kay’s recommendation. Fresh and filling, good food
A cup of veggie-rich sambar and one papad
A glass of cold and delicious buttermilk from homemade yogurt

15 minutes cycling, mile walk, and high intensity step aerobic class for one hour – Morning. Gardening work in the evening.

In retrospect:
Mild stomach discomfort because of all the guggullu. Should include more ginger, hing and lemon.
Peaceful and pleasant day.

Sprouted Yellow Pea with lone green pea sprout in the center (Yellow Vatana Sprouts)

Pea Sprouts Soopa with Kale
(for four or two for one or two meals)

Dried peas from Bharath are available in two colors. Green and yellow. Like fraternal twins, they are from the same family but are different taste and texture wise. Today’s recipe is with yellow dried peas with one lone green one.

The yellow peas are soaked in plenty of water overnight, then kept in a muslin cloth covered for a day for sprouting. The pea sprouts are then cooked with kale and seasoned with traditional Bharath flavors.

Why take the trouble to sprout? It’s because the sprouting process makes the legumes and lentils easily digestible and also increases nutritional value. The following recipe is based on Vatana Ambat of Karnataka/Maharashtra. Creamy pea sprouts and silky greens, it’s a decent soopa particularly when you are in no mood for fancy fixings. Give it a try.

Yellow Peas (yellow vatana) sprouts – 2 cups
Fresh Kale, finely chopped – about 4 cups
Red onion or shallot, finely chopped – about half cup
From masala dabba – tadka ingredients
For Traditional Bharath Flavor:
Toast half teaspoon methi seeds to fragrance. Take them in mixer. Add two tablespoons of fresh coconut gratings and one inch piece of tamarind, five red chillies and pinch of salt. Blend to smooth paste.

Step 1: Place sprouted peas and two cups of water in a pot. Add half teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, until peas are fork tender. Takes about 15 minutes.
Add the kale to peas and continue to cook until they collapse. Add the blended Bharath flavoring. Mix well. If the soopa looks too dry, add about half cup of water. Simmer on low heat for five minutes.

Step 2: At the end of the cooking, do the onion tadka: Heat a tablespoon of peanut oil in another pan. Add pinch each – hing, cumin and mustard seeds and a sprig of curry leaves. Toast to fragrance. Add the onion. Fry to crisp. Stir in turmeric and toast for couple of seconds. Add this onion tadka to simmering soopa. Enjoy hot with ghee, rice or roti. Good on it’s own as well.

Pea Sprouts Soopa with Kale
Pea Sprouts Soopa with Kale ~ Meal Today

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.

WV2 ~ Paneer Tomato

A cup of ragi ganji without sweetener
A small bowl of leftover apple-cherry salad

About half cup of Paneer tomato. Very tasty and flavorful. Parents also liked this paneer curry.
A cup of yellow vatana(peas), soaked overnight, pressure-cooked and then sautéed with onion and cherry tomatoes and seasoned with hing, salt and black pepper. Generously doused with fresh limejuice.
A glass of tomato rasam

A glass of delicious buttermilk with homemade yogurt

2 chana dal based vada in a cup of sambar soopa
Small serving of carrot-cucumber raita
Few cherries

Friends came over for a visit and stayed for dinner. Did a ton of house work. Cleaning, cooking, then cleaning again. On my feet almost the whole day. I believe in a way this is also a form of exercise.

In retrospect:
Should have something at least by 9 in the morning.
Exhausting yet excellent day.

Paneer and Tomato

Paneer Tomato
(for four or two, for one or two meals)

Paneer tomato tastes as heavenly as it looks. It captures some of the delectable flavor of summer season and puts the summer tomatoes to good use. Paneer provides added interest and some nutrition but without all the heaviness associated usually with paneer based curries. The recipe is from Sunitha’s website on recommendation from Kay. Thank you both for this wonderful recipe.

6 big tomatoes (about an orange size)
12 to 15 half-inch cut paneer cubes
1 shallot or red onion – finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic-cilantro paste
1 tablespoon – coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon – salt
1/4 teaspoon each – red chilli powder and turmeric
1 inch piece cinnamon, 1 bay leaf, 1 cardamom, 4 cloves
From masala dabba: Tadka ingredients

Step 1: Cut tomatoes into big chunks. Take them in a pot. Add cinnamon, bay leaf, cardamom and cloves. Also a cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer. When tomatoes reach mushy-soft stage, turn off the heat and remove the pot from stovetop. Wait until cool, and then take them all in a blender and puree to soft without adding any extra water.

Step 2: In a pan, heat a tablespoon of peanut oil. From masala dabba, add a pinch of cumin and a sprig of curry leaves. Toast to fragrance. Add onion and sauté to soft. Stir in ginger-garlic paste and fry for couple of seconds. Next goes the pureed tomato and the seasoning. Salt, red chilli powder, turmeric and coriander powder. Mix and cover the pot. On high heat, cook the tomatoes until the sauce thickens. Add paneer cubes. Simmer on low heat for another five minutes.

Serve warm with rice or roti or pasta. Good on it’s own too.

Paneer Tomato
Paneer Tomato ~ for Meal Today

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.

WV1: Apple~Cherry Salad

Thick ganji like ragi malt without sweetener.
A cup of brown chickpea guggullu

1 cup of dal in rasam consistency
1 cup of brown chickpea guggullu with plenty of backyard cherry tomatoes
small cup of homemade yogurt

Glass of cold buttermilk from homemade yogurt

Cup of toordal rasam with key lime pickle
A big bowl of apple-cherry salad with homemade yogurt. Delicious and sweet, loved this refreshing and light salad for meal.

About an hour walk on sightseeing day trip.

In retrospect:
Didn’t feel deprived in anyway and surprisingly no hunger pangs.
Busy but beautiful day.

Apple and Cherry

Apple~Cherry Salad
(for two servings)

1 Fuji apple
12 Bing cherries
1/2 cup homemade yogurt
Pinch each – salt and crushed black pepper

Peel the apple skin. Cut and remove the seed part. Dice the apple to bite-sized pieces.
Make a cut in the middle and remove the pit from cherries. Chop each half into two.
Take yogurt in a cup. Add salt and black pepper. Combine well. Add the cut fruits. Mix and serve.

Apple and Cherry Salad
Apple~Cherry Salad for Meal Today

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.

A Workout Vratham

In a fit as fiddle family, an awkward acoustic guitar aspired to be fit as flute.

So made the year 2009 “Fit as Flute” Year.

Started working out regularly and paying attention to the meal portions. It was going well but the passing time brought a no-progress plateau.

Then came the inspiring Kay to the rescue with a workout vratham.

Just like any venerable vratham, there is a time limit (duration) and food restrictions. July 18th – 31st, two weeks. No grains and no sugar. Allowed are legumes, lentils, greens and vegetables. Exercise regularly and eat sensibly. This is the plan and join in, she invited us all. Kay’s workout vratham sounded promising to overcome the plateau. She also has a detailed list of do’s and don’ts, which was very helpful for meal menu planning.

So here I am, my first ever vratham of this nature and naturally little bit apprehensive. Mainly because I intend to maintain a food dairy during this time. Hoping it would go smoothly without any hungry hiccups.

Peace and quiet are part of the vratham sampradayam. Follow if you must but keep the comment obnoxi-noise down. I would appreciate that very much.

July 7th, 09 In Retrospect

Breakfast (7 AM):
A cup of Ragi Malt sweetened with jaggery
One slice of toasted whole wheat-nut bread with strawberry jam

Lunch (12 PM):
One chapati
Small cup of Palak Chole
Small glass of Tomato Rasam
Small spoon of refreshing and cooling Dadhojanam
Sweet and Juicy Mango, two pieces

Evening (4 PM):
A cup of Ginger tea sweetened with honey.

Dinner (7 PM):
One chapati
Small cup of Palak Chole
small spoon serving of Chickpea Guggullu
Small spoon of refreshing Dadhojanam
Sweet Mango, two pieces at 8PM.

Morning Workout (9-11 AM):
Walked an hour. Weights class, an hour at the gym.

Evening workout (3-6 PM):
Did some yard work. Spruced up the front yard and planted 6 hibiscus, 12 tiny periwinkle plants.

In Retrospect:
Pleasant day.
Missed taking photos of palak chole for the Mahanandi. Next time.

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