We are entering that time of the year when finding motivation to stay fit can be difficult. During the festive break, while everything from buying gifts to finalising travel plans are prioritised, our healthy habits, exercise routines and diet have silently taken a backseat.
And because it’s wintertime soon, we are more likely to crave those calorie-rich foods. This is where we need to remind ourselves that moderation is key, and we can certainly choose to satisfy our cravings in healthier ways, too. Nothing is lost if you decide to stay fit and healthy with right eating habits. In fact, this is also when your immunity works wonders if you feed it with the right food.
Some tips to help us sail through these winter blues include adding more Omega 3 fatty acids to our meal as it reduces joint pains and stiffness, adding more fibre to control sugar levels and consuming more green and orange vegetables for better nutrient-absorption along with working out and sticking to our fitness regime.
In my quest to bring in healthier recipes with millets and other superfoods, here is Bajra aur Bhutte ke Kebabs (Kebabs with Pearl Millet and baby corn) that I recently demonstrated in my cooking workshop. Bajra or Pearl Millet is very effective in maintaining normal blood sugar. With rich fibre content, this golden grain is known to have the highest levels of potassium, calcium and iron among other cereal crops.
This is the season for Bajra. Make the most out of it. Start with these easy-peasy kebabs and you can always enjoy great taste without compromising on health benefits. Read more for its step-by-step recipe and let me know how it turned out on your platter.
Bajra aur Bhutte ke Kebab
8 – Steamed baby corn
1 cup – Boiled pearl millet (bajra) kernels
1 medium size – Medium size potato steamed and mashed
1 medium size – Grated carrot
1/2 cup – Green peas steamed and crushed
10-12 – French beans steamed and crushed
1tsp – Chopped ginger (or ginger paste)
2tsp – Chaat masala
1tbsp – Sweet gooseberry jam (Amla Murabba)
3tsp – Roasted gram flour (besan)
50gms – Cottage cheese (paneer)
Rock Salt to taste
2-3tsp – Cow ghee
8 Wooden skewers
*Thoroughly wash and soak bajra kernels for good 2-3 hours. Boil them with little rock salt and cow ghee. Steam all other veggies together in one steamer.
*Now heat little bit of cow ghee in a deep pan. Add ginger paste, mashed potato, grated carrot, crushed green peas and french beans followed by boiled and drained pearl millet. Roast till a nice aroma comes.
*Add chaat masala, gooseberry jam, roasted gram flour and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Add cottage cheese (paneer) and mix well. Add rock salt and mix again. Divide into eight equal portions.
*Coat blanched corns with some salt and pepper. Insert wooden skewers.
*Now take each portion of the kebab mixture and spread it around a baby corn in a cylindrical shape. Grease them all with cow ghee.
*Bake and grill at 200C for 15-20 minutes.
*Serve hot with your favourite dip.
Health benefits of pearl millet and baby corn
Pearl millet or bajra is rich in magnesium, which helps keep the heart healthy. It has potassium, which dilates blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily. This helps reduce overall blood pressure. Bajra also has soluble fibre that helps control sugar levels and keeps diabetes at bay.
For those trying to lose weight, baby corn may just prove to be a good bet, because of its relatively lesser starch content. Baby corn is an extremely nutrient-dense veggie and in addition to essential fibres and proteins, it is packed with Vitamin A, C and some vital antioxidants too.
Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative and healthy cooking workshops for all age groups.