Vegetables only

Healthy Heart diet- Fat free- Vegetarian Biryani Pulav

2. Reversing heart disease with Indian food.

This is the second in a series of recipes that may help in reversing heart disease. An Indian recipe without a drop of oil.

The main problem with Indian food is that almost every recipe calls for an initial sauteeing of onions and spices in oil and the seasoning at the end again done in oil.

One way of dealing with that is to dry roast onions in a kadhai. They get caramelised, which is the intention of browning, and achieve a good flavour, so the oil will not be missed much. 

Biryani with Masoor dal/ Pulav with whole red lentils

Vegetarian Biryani without oil



2 cups rice ( wash well till water is completely clear)

1/2 cup  akha masoor dal / whole red lentils ( wash and soak for 45 minutes)

3 large onions ( cut into long thin pieces)

3 bay leaves/tej patta

10  peppercorns/ kala mirch

6 cloves/lavang

6 cardomom/elaichi

1 " stick of cinnamon/dalchini

1 1/2 tsp  ginger garlic paste

1/2 tsp turmeric/ haldi

1 tsp rock salt

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp garam masala powder



Brown onions by roasting dry in a kadhai  for 10 minutes, turning occasionally.

In a 5 litre pressure cooker, dry roast the whole spices- the cinnamon, bay leaves, peppercorns and  cloves. Add the ground ginger garlic paste and the browned onions and  stir till well mixed and the spices cook a little.Add the turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Mix well again. Now add the soaked lentils/masoor and the rice. Add 2 and a half cups of water, and the garam masala. Mix again then cover with the lid and put a small stainless steel katori/vessel over the whistle on top. Cook for 20 minutes on a medium low fire. Turn off the heat and let stand.

Serve hot.

Delicious with raita or  sambar.


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.

Green Bean Casserole- A New Way with an Old and Worn out dish


I can't figure out why nobody likes green beans.

Coming from a country where green beans were full of string and inedible just ten years ago,I am so thankful for them today ,in their new version, available everywhere, and known as "Frash Bean" i.e. french beans they are wonderfuly juicy and flavourful.

They are great as an accompaniment to any meat or poultry dish, not just on Thanksgiving but all through the year.

Here is one of my favourite ways of cooking them.


500 gms green beans, topped and tailed.

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

250 gms/ 1 cup tomatoes chopped

1 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 tsp sugar

Salt And black pepper to taste

1/2 cup water

1 tbsp chopped parsley


Heat the oil and suate the onions till soft about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for a another couple of minutes.Now add the rest of the ingredients except the beans and parsley and cook covered, on low heat for 10 minutes.

Add the beans and the parsley, cover again and cook for about 20 minutes till the beans are tender.

Serve hot or cold garnished with a  teaspoon of walnut oil.

This is easy and YUM.