Every day, we are exposed to a host of celebrities and brand marketing initiatives — endorsing health-food brands, conducting workout and yoga workshops, organising marathons and cyclathons, and so on.
However, in their day-to-day lives, people also come up with ways, worthy of emulating to stay healthy and fit. HT Café speaks to a few such Mumbaiites who, in their own way, are doing their bit to build a better, fitter Mumbai.
Sarojini Jose, a retired teacher, gives a quirky twist to health drinks. Talking about Chukku Kaapi, a ginger and jaggery-based drink, she says, “It is a cherished recipe that was passed on to me by my mother. Our ancestors were wise in teaching us kitchen cures for minor ailments. Instead of opting to pop the pill for cold and cough, this remedy is better,” adding, “Those who have had this drink tell me that they feel better immediately, that their throat is soothed and the congestion is relieved.” Being a diabetic herself, she is always coming up with new recipes that are safe for diabetics such as the Coconut Water with a Twist.
“I came up with this drink because having plain coconut water or serving it to guests was a little boring. Saffron was incorporated as a means to add natural food colour. And, for kids, juice means something sweet, so I added the honey,” she explains.
Coconut water with a twist
1 glass coconut water
3-4 strands of saffron
1/2tsp basil seeds
Put the strands of saffron in coconut water and keep aside for an hour.Around the same time put the basil seeds in half a cup of water and let it soak. In an hour both the ingredients would be well-soaked. The coconut water would have an orange tinge and the basil seeds would now have a wispy white layer. If there’s excess water in the soaked basil seeds, drain them. Then add the soaked seeds to the coconut water and serve. If the coconut water isn’t sweet naturally, or if the drink is served for kids, add honey as needed.
1inch piece dried ginger, well-pounded
1tsp palm jaggery
A handful of fresh basil leaves
Add all the ingredients to one large mug of water and bring the water to boil After the water boils, it will deepen in colour within a minute. Turn off the fire. Place a heavy lid on the pot and wait for two minutes. Serve piping hot.
The mother of six-year-old twins, practised medicine before she took the plunge to become Atta Girl. She churns healthy batters for idlis, dosas, appams, etc. Atta Girl is the brainchild of almost two years of self-discovery, patience and hard work. When asked why she opted for it, she says, “There came a point when I said, ‘I cannot see any sick patients anymore’, and I realised the root cause is the food that is being consumed. Also, I wanted to take up something that let me devote enough time to work as well as my kids. This seemed to be the most ideal job that served both purposes,” she adds.
Her batters comprise of 70% concentration of the cereal ragi (millets). She describes herself as a foodie and makes batters specifically for south-Indian dishes. She explains, “I love south Indian food. I make dosas and idlis every other day at home. So, it was the perfect choice”.
Ragi Idli Poha
1tbsp ghee or oil , 1tsp mustard seed, 2-3 green chillies, finely chopped, 2 onions chopped
1/4tsp, turmeric powder, Few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves, Few curry leaves
2 potatoes, boiled and chopped, 100gm peas, boiled, 4-5 wholegrain idlis
Salt and lemon juice to taste
Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add green chillies and onions, and sauté Add the boiled peas and potatoes, and stir well for a few seconds. Add turmeric powder, and salt to taste.Break the idlis and crumble them in coarse pieces or cut them into small squares and mix it in the pan. Sprinkle some water and mix well again. Add some lemon juice and chopped coriander and serve hot.
Bonnie, a home-baker, started by taking orders for cakes and sweets from relatives and friends. She gained instant popularity. However, it was an order that she received from the mother of a one-year-old that changed the way she baked. This mum insisted that the cake for her kid should not include any sugar or artificial sweetener. She says, “I tried explaining to the lady that sugar not only sweetens but also adds a certain texture to the cake that cannot be substituted. But she insisted. After a lot of attempts I baked a wholewheat banana muffin where I used honey, apple stock and bananas to sweeten the cake.” Since then there has been no looking back. By experimenting frequently, she has come up with more dishes such as Apple and Cinnamon Yogurt Cake, Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies and Low-fat Cheesecake using hung curd and 70% Dark Chocolate Nut Clusters.
Oatmeal and Raisin Cookie
115gm butter, 100gm brown sugar, 30gm honey, 140gm oats,
125gm wholewheat flour,1/2tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp baking soda, 100gm raisins
In a bowl, whisk together oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and raisins. Beat butter and brown sugar till light and creamy, and then add honey. Add the dry mix and stir till the mixture has combined well. Let the cookie dough chill in the refrigerator for around four hours. Preheat the oven at 160 degrees celsius, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop the dough onto the parchment and bake for 20 minutes.
Wholewheat sugar-free banana muffins
4 bananas, ripe n 1/3 cup coconut oil (any other oil will also do)
1 egg ,1tsp vanilla extract ,1 1/2 cup wholewheat flour, 1tsp cinnamon powder,
1tsp baking soda, 1tsp baking powder, 1 cup walnut (optional)
Sift the wholewheat flour, cinnamon powder, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl. Walnuts, if used, should be mixed with the flour. Beat the egg with bananas and oil. Add the vanilla extract. Gently fold the dry mix together, do not over mix it. Fill the muffin tins and bake at 170 degrees Celsius for two minutes. Let it cool and serve.