Best food is one you can enjoy without guilt

Down foodpath

For me food isn’t just food; it’s something around which my entire life revolves. It’s something that runs in my family, I feel very proud and elated in saying that I inherit all my cooking skills from my nani (grandmother), my mother and my father. While I learned innovation and uniqueness in cooking from my mother, the much-required perfection in cooking was achieved through my father.

I still remember the first time I tried cooking, when I was in Class 5 as a helping hand to my mother in the kitchen. All of us in the family have always been fond of cooking healthy and tasty food. Thus experimenting with the khichdi, dalia, poha, dahi, suji and all other healthy food items were a part of our daily routines.

However, my journey as a professional cook began during my high school summer vacations, when my maasi (maternal aunt) introduced me to her art institute. I started taking these three-hour classes and introduced the concept of ‘microwave cooking’.

I taught them around 100 recipes that can be easily cooked in microwave, which surprisingly was my personal record breaker!

At the young age of 18, I joined a cooking class with a batch of 45 ladies from the age group 40-50 years. The dedication with which they followed me, boosted
my confidence beyond my expectations.

This started off as a mere time-pass, but eventually ended up as the biggest turning point in my life. At that time I realised my never-ending passion for cooking. But being a vegetarian, I left it midway fearful of the prospects of having to cook non-
vegetarian food.

Today, I’m practising corporate law, but five years down the line, I see myself as the head chef of my dream food chain, ‘Food without Guilt’. The name itself signifies that
I will always cook food that is healthy, yet deliciously tempting.

I was following a regular yoga and gym regimen and ran out of options for cooking one day. I only had dalia (broken wheat) and vegetables in front of me. And hey presto! Dalia Rolls happened! They are one of the fantastic outcomes of my experimentation. The dish is tasty, healthy and irresistible. I can bet none can resist from having at least four of them at one go! It’s a dish one can have both for breakfast and for dinner. Since it’s easy to digest, it works wonders for the dinner and being very filling, serves as an ideal breakfast item.

As told to Garima Arora by Gopika Rathi


Dalia Rolls


1½ cup bhuna pisa         dalia (lightly browned,         finely ground )
 ½ cup suji (semolina)
 ½ cup besan
(Soak it overnight in         khatta dahi (sour             curd), for the batter)
 ¼ tsp of black pepper         powder
 ¼ tsp bhuna zeera
 ¼ tsp bhuna saunf
 ¼ tsp bhuna dhania         seeds
 2 finely chopped and         minced green chillies
 ¼ tsp grated ginger
2 finely chopped             (medium sized)
½ finely chopped
1 finely chopped carrot         and half a cup of             chopped French beans
Salt to taste

For Filling

  100 gms grated paneer
  2 tsp of finely chopped         coriander leaves
  half, finely chopped         onion
 ¼ tsp black pepper         powder
 Salt to taste


 In a bowl add  half a         glass of water and all         the chopped vegeta        bles to the soaked
 Make sure the batter is     not very thick, add
    water if required. Add         all the spices and stir         properly
Spread one tea spoon         of ghee on a non-stick         pan, pour the batter         and cook on low flame.
 Do not touch the             spread until light             brown from one side         (cook in low flame)
Cook in full flame for         another two minutes.
 Add a tea spoon of         ghee on the uncooked         side and slowly turn it         over (cook in medium         flame)
 When it becomes light         brown, add the filling         in a linear pattern         right in the middle of         the spread and fold it         in the shape of a roll,         make small-sized rolls         for convenience
 Serve it hot with mint         chutney and tomato         ketchup.

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