Break your fast, the healthy way

Break your fast, the healthy way


During the month of Ramzan, Muslims look forward to breaking the fast with  an array of delectable dishes. However, many are tempted to make a grab for the treats that are laid out on the table — rich, fried food, laden with calories.

This may appear to be the tastiest way to end the day-long abstinence from food, but surely not the healthiest one.

Ideally, one must indulge in nutritious, light food, full of nourishment and energy. Needless to say, after 14 hours of fasting, it is better to fill the tummy with food that is easy to digest then to gorge down something that leaves one with gastric complaints.

Badam Hareera
Ingredients: Boiled milk — 1 litre, almonds — 10 to 12, dry grated coconut — 1 and 1/2 table spoon, poppy seeds (khush khush) —  half a tablespoon, green cardamom — 3 to 4, sugar —  2 or 3 tablespoon, ghee — 1 tablespoon, cinnamon sticks —   2 inches long,  
Method: Soak the dry coconut, cardamom and khush khush for at least 2 to 3 hours.

Soak the almonds separately. Then make a smooth paste of khush khush, cardamom and coconut in a mixer using water, not more than half a cup. Strain the paste to ensure it is even and smooth. Take the soaked almonds (you can peel them if you want but better to use them with skin), cut them in small pieces and grind them smoothly and keep aside.

In a wok, heat ghee on a slow flame and add the cinnamon sticks. When it is slightly done, and emits an aroma, pour  milk into the vessel carefully. As you  do that, ghee will appear on the surface. Add sugar and stir for ten minutes.

Take the cardamom, khush khush and coconut paste and mix it in the milk, keep stirring while you add the paste. Take the almond paste and mix it in with the milk. Keep stirring it for at least fifteen minutes.

When the milk gains consistency, Badam Hareera is ready. Nothing would energise one more than a warm glass of this stuff.

Ingredients: Rice (ordinary) — one cup, moong dal — half cup, chickpeas — half a cup (thoroughly boiled), onion — 1 medium size, finely chopped, curd — half a cup, evenly beaten, oil — 1 table spoon, red chilli — 1 teaspoon, turmeric — a pinch, salt — to taste, coriander powder — half a teaspoon, cumin powder —  half a teaspoon, lemon juice — 1 teaspoon, ginger-garlic paste — 1 teaspoon, fresh mint and coriander leaves.

Method: Roast the rice and moong dal slightly in a pan, without oil. Soak this is water for half an hour. Take another vessel and prepare the broth. First, fry the onion till it turns golden-brown in colour and then add ginger-garlic paste. Add curd and all the spices one by one, except lemon juice, mint and coriander leaves.

In a pressure cooker, add moong dal and rice and let it cook up to four whistles. Once the rice and moong softens well enough, mix it together with a spoon, and add some water as it should not be too thick. It must have a slightly loose consistency like a soup.

Add this rice-dal soup to the broth along with boiled peas, mint and coriander leaves and let it cook for fifteen minutes in an open vessel. Keep stirring it continuously. When it gives out a heavy aroma, turn off the stove and add lemon juice. The soup, which is an inspiration from Iranian cuisine, is ready.

For those who like a bit of non-veg, add fine chicken shreds or minced mutton to the broth. And those who can’t have enough of vegetables can add carrots, beans or peas to it.

Fruit chat
Ingredients: Apple, banana— 2, water melon — 1 cup, chickpeas —  1 cup (boiled), pomegranate — 1 cup, oranges - 1
For seasoning: Chat masala — 1 teaspoon, sugar — 1 to 2 teaspoon, black pepper — 1 teaspoon, salt —  half a teaspoon

Method: This is possibly the most nourishing and easiest of all the items one can have to break the fast. Cut up all the fruits into small cubes. You could also cut them in various shapes. Take a big bowl and mix together fruits, chickpeas and pomegranate. Add the spices one by one and mix well with a spoon. Leave this mixture in the fridge for some time, to let all the spices and fruit juices mix well. Your chilled fruit chat can be eaten after one hour of refrigeration.

There is no restriction on the selection of fruits; any seasonal juicy fruit can be used for making fruit chat. You can add some variety to this conventional and fairly popular food by adding whipped cream to it, but then leave out black pepper, chat masala and salt, to avoid a clash of flavours.

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