Now that Ramzan’s here, this is the perfect time to detox and get to healthy eating. While you’re bulking up on hearty food, and satisfying your day-long cravings, this can prove to be difficult.
Most of us opt for healthy breakfasts to begin with so that covers sehri. Its’ iftar when we tend to cave in and stuff ourselves. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
We got you covered with these healthy recipes for a healthier Ramzan.
1. Baked Samosas
This goes for all fried food with starch like flour and potatoes. When you fry foods with starch, they will soak up the oil like a sponge.
However, instead of frying, try baking them. When you bake the same foods, you need less oil and its more nutritious as a result.
- 2 tbsp olive (zatoon) oil
- 1 tsp red or yellow curry powder (mix mirch masala)
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin (zeera)
- 1/2 tsp chili powder (laal mirch masala)
- 1/8 tsp – 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 2 medium potatoes, finely diced
- red/ green chili peppers to taste, seeded and chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup water
- about 1 1/2 cups green peas, fresh or frozen and thawed
- 10 egg or spring roll wrappers/ whole wheat wrappers
- 1. Stir-fry the spices with oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat.
2. Stir the spices for about two minutes.
3. Add the vegetables, raise the heat to medium and stir-fry for another five minutes.
- 1. Stir in the garlic powder and water.
2. Cover the skillet and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes with occasional stirring.
3. Turn the heat down a bit midway through the simmering, if you need to.
4. Stir in the peas and cook for a few more minutes until heated thoroughly.
5. Take the skillet off the heat and allow the samosa filling cool to room temperature.
- 1. Preheat the oven to 375. Take two racks (or more based on the size) with cookie sheets and a good coating of nonstick spray.
2. Fill in your samosa and line the racks. Then add another coating of nonstick spray.
3. Pop them into the oven for about eight minutes.
4. Get them out, turn them over before popping it back in to evenly cook the other side. After another eight minutes. Take them out and eat!
2. Whole-Wheat Chicken Sandwiches
While there a lot of people that do eat dinner immediately after iftar, some just settle with heartier snacks. Sandwiches really check off that box.
- 1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (zeera)
- 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce
- 4 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breast halves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (kaali mirch)
- Vegetable oil
- 4 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
- 4 small romaine lettuce leaves
- 2 plum tomatoes, each cut lengthwise into 4 slices
- Combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, cumin and hot sauce in a small bowl.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Add the chicken to a large nonstick skillet coated with vegetable oil and cook for five minutes over medium-high heat. Five minutes on each side.
- Reduce heat to low. Cover the skillet and cook for another five minutes or until done.
- Remove from heat and cut the chicken into diagonal slices.
- Spread one tablespoon of mayonnaise on each of four slices of bread. Add a leaf of lettuce, 1 chicken breast half and two tomato slices.
This is technically dressing or sauce that you can use with your foods. Its far better than ketchup. While plum, apple and mango chutney are great, there are healthier options as well. Hummus is far more healthier. While most people eat it with veggies and bread, this healthy recipe is a substitute for any filling/dipping sauce.
- 1 and 1/2 cups (250 grams) boiled chickpeas (channay)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup well-stirred tahini (tillon ki chutney)
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive (zatoon) oil, (more for serving)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (zeera)
- Salt to taste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of water
- Dash ground paprika or sumac (for serving)
- Add the tahini and lemon juice to the bowl of a food processor and process for one minute. Then scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and process for another 30 seconds.
- Throw in the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice mixture. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and process for another 30 seconds or until well blended.
- Take half of the boiled and drained chickpeas and process for one minute in the food processor. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, add remaining chickpeas and process until thick with a smooth consistency.
- Slowly add water to thin down the consistency to a dipping sauce.
- Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Before you serve the hummus add a drizzle of olive oil and dash of paprika.
4. Chicken Lettuce Wraps
While starchy foods are more filling, they end up as fat. That’s why we have to pack in a good quantity of proteins into our sehri and iftar in Ramzan.
Ditch the bread and opt for lettuce wraps instead.
- 6-7 leaves iceberg lettuce
- 250 gm chicken
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup spring onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger, finely crushed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp soya sauce
- 1 tbsp siracha/tobasco sauce (optional)
- Heat oil in a skillet and fry ginger and garlic for two minutes.
- Add onion, chicken, spice, and sauces and cook for 10 minutes.
- Then add green onion and take the skillet off the heat.
- Place iceberg lettuce on a plate and add the cooked chicken. Add additional sauces like siracha for taste, wrap and eat!
5. Fruit Chaat
Whatever fruits you prefer. Even dates and nuts of your choice can make it to this dish.
- Dice all fruits to a reasonable size and mix in a large bowl.
- Add apple, tamarind(imli), or mango chutney if you like. Avoid adding sugar or store bought sauces.
- For an added kick add black pepper or chat masala if you like.