CHENNAI: Exam mode is on. While students turn pages and highlight paragraphs, parents adjust recipes to give their children healthy foods to boost performance. City-based chefs Natchiyar S and Mallika Udhayakumar share a few healthy recipes for hard-working students.
1. Beetroot pulao
Benefits | Beetroot helps students relax and lowers blood pressure.
Basmati rice: 1 cup, Cumin: 1/2 tsp, Green chilli: 1, Ginger garlic paste: 1 tsp, Ghee: 2 tbsp, Beetroot: 1, Salt: as required, Mint and coriander leaves: few
- Soak basmati rice for one hour.
- Chop the beetroot (without the skin) and keep aside.
- In a cooker, heat the ghee and sauté the cumin and green chilli.
- Add ginger garlic paste into it and sauté well.
- Add the chopped beetroot into the mixture and sauté well.
- Add coriander leaves and mint leaves and sauté for two minutes.
- Now, add the basmati rice, salt, 1½ cup of water and mix well.
- Close the lid and allow to cook in a pressure cooker for two whistles. This dish can be served with raita.
Benefits | The drink will control appetite and helps the students’ concentration.
Cotton seeds: 50 grams, Foxtail millet flour: 1 tbsp, Sugar: 3 tbsp, Sukku (dry ginger): ½ tsp, Cardamom powder: ½ tsp, Coconut milk: ½ cup
- Soak cotton seeds overnight. Wash them thoroughly in running water. Blend with a cup of water, then filter and squeeze the cottonseed milk.
- Heat and bring to boil cottonseed milk. Continue heating while stirring.
- Blend foxtail millet flour with water and mix well. Add this into the cottonseed milk.
- Add sugar, cardamom powder, and sukku and keep stirring as it thickens.
- As the raw smell goes away, add coconut milk and serve.
Dates: 100 g, Milk: 1 cup, Condensed milk: ½ cup, Ghee: 2 Tsp, Cashew: 10,
Dry grapes: 10
- Boil dates in milk for 15 minutes and set aside.
- Add condensed milk to the mixture. Meanwhile, chop the nuts and dry grapes.
- Heat ghee in a pan, add the chopped nuts and fry till crispy.
- Give the date mixture a quick stir to make it slightly thicker, then add the roasted nuts and serve.
4. Ragi Ladoos
Ragi flour: 1 cup, Dates: 1 cup, Cashews: 10-15 (Chopped), Dry Grapes: 10-15, Ghee: 1/4 cup, Cardamom powder: 1/2 tsp
- In a pan, add the cashews and grapes. Fry with little ghee and keep aside.
- Take ragi flour and sauté it in low flame till a nice aroma fills the air.
- Grind the dates (remove seeds) in a blender.
- Now, heat the ghee, add the grounded dates, ragi flour, dry grapes and nuts, and cardamom powder. Mix it well.
- With a little ghee in your hands, roll the mixture to form a ladoo (instead of ragi flour you can add multi millets flour too).
- This dish will give students energy and boost their immunity.
- Ragi prevents insomnia, headaches, and anxiety.
5. Rajma kebabs
Ghee or olive oil: 2 tbsp, Asafoetida: a pinch, Cumin seeds: 1 tsp, Black cardamom seeds: 4-5, Garlic paste: 2 tbsp, Ginger: 1 tbsp, chopped finely, Onion: 1, medium sized, grated, Tomato puree: 1 cup, Tomato ketchup: 2-3 tbsp, Chilli powder: 1 tsp, Salt: to taste, Garam masala: 1 tsp, Green chilli: 1, finely chopped (optional), Chopped coriander leaves: 2-3 tbsp, Whipped yoghurt: 1 tbsp, Rajma or red kidney beans: 2 cups, boiled and mashed roughly,
Breadcrumbs: 6-7 tbsp
- In a pan, mix the ghee or olive oil with a pinch of asafoetida. Add cumin and cardamom, let it splutter.
- Add the garlic and ginger paste. Once it browns a little, add onions and saute till golden brown. Add the tomato puree, ketchup, chilli powder, garam masala, green chillies and salt.
- Once the masala starts to separate from the sides of the pan, add whipped yoghurt, coriander and rajma. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir continuously till the masala separates from the pan from all sides. Let the mixture cool for a while. Once cooled, add part of the breadcrumbs to make elongated kebabs.
- Roll the kebabs in more breadcrumbs to form a crusty exterior. Keep them in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- In a non-stick pan, add some ghee and place the kebabs. Fry all sides till the breadcrumbs turn brown.
Benefits | The recipe is rich in protein and fiber,
minerals, calcium and iron.