The Flour Works- or does it ?
Quick-Fix Indian- a new cookbook by Ruta Kahate

Reversing heart disease- no oil diet- Sweet potato and red lentil soup- Ratalu and masoor dal


Lately we are cooking a great deal of  no oil recipes. This has been an attempt to follow a Dr Dean Ornish type of diet to reverse heart disease along with yoga, lots of exercise and meditation. Needless to say we have all lost weight, a hefty 10 kg in two months, quite painlessly.

Cooking without oil or butter or fat of any kind seems impossible when you begin this diet. However we are now so used to it we don’t miss it at all, except when passing a vada pau stall and the siren scent of fried food assails our senses.

Today I cook Indian, Mediterranean, South Asian and all types of food without a drop of the dreaded stuff. Nobody has complained and every bowl and plate has been wiped clean.

I generally begin with a good basic recipe. For example take this one for a sweet potato soup

Sweet potato soup


2 onions

3 garlic cloves

1” piece of ginger

800 gms sweet potatoes/ ratalu

1 apple

100 gms red lentils/ masoor dal

2 tbs chopped coriander.

½ cup + 4ml water.

Juice of 1 lemon

Method: Mince the onions and garlic then chop the sweet potatoes and apple into bits. Grate the ginger and chop the coriander. Wash the lentils.

Heat a pan and add two teaspoons of curry powder. Roast the spice a bit but don’t let it burn. Add a half cup of water and the garlic and onions. Poach the onions for 8 minutes till soft.

Now add the chopped potato, apples, grated ginger and coriander. Add the washed lentils. Add 400 ml water.

Cook for 30 minutes till the seet poatatoes are soft and the lentils cooked.Take off fire and cool. Add the lime juice.

Season with salt and pepper and blend till smooth. This makes a hearty tasty soup for 4 people.

I like this as it tastes a bit like a thick Mulligatawny soup . I sometimes add a green chilli to the poaching onions at the start if I want a bit more fire.