Monday, July 25, 2016

Pluot (Plum) Dates Crisp

Pluots are cross between plums and apricots. Totally tempting fruit with its juicy and tart flavors. This Pluot crisp recipe is so simple to put together and bake,you'd want to try this often while the pluot season lasts.
To keep this more naturally sweet , I add raisins and chopped dates for the chewy sweetness which compliment very well with the tart flavor of pluots.

Health Benefits of Pluots
Some of the health benefits of pluot include its ability to help your immune system, regulate your digestive system, increase your overall fluid intake, boosts your vision, prevent certain cancers, prevent diabetes, and speeds up the recovery process of your body.[source]
Read about health benefits of Dates in this post.


Serves 3-4
For Topping
1/2 cup Whole wheat flour(very fine ground)
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
2 tablespoon organic butter softened or Pure Ghee(clarified butter)
1 tablespoon brown sugar or 2 teaspoon Agave Nectar
2 tablespoon raisins
2-3 Dates ,pitted and chopped
pinch of salt

4 plums or pluots ,pitted and sliced

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. Arrange the slices of pluots in oval ramekins(6 oz capacity) ,I had to use 2 of these. Or you can use pie tray 9 inch or a 8X9 inch baking tray
3.Mix all the topping ingredients in a mixing bowl.
4.Spread the topping mixture over the fruit in baking tray
5.Bake for 25-30 minutes ,until bubbly,oozing from sides and lightly brown on top
6.Let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm with Chunky Cherry ice cream

For more detailed pictures of the recipe watch the video at Health Nut Youtube channel

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ragi(finger millet) Chocolate Pudding

Ragi(Finger millet) benefits: 

Nutrition : Finger millet’s flour is also a good source of Calcium ,Minerals, Vitamins and some good number of Essential Amino Acids which are essential for human body.
Health Benefits : Control diabetes ,helps in weight loss ,treat anemia ,good for bone health and lowering cholesterol. [Source]

This luscious pudding is made with super nutritious finger millet ,also known as Ragi ,which is widely grown in areas of African and Asia. All the nutrition from the wonder millet plus the chocolaty flavor of cocoa powder makes this an awesome breakfast and a healthy snack

Secret to make this just right is to constantly stir it, especially towards the end when the pudding thickens. So don't get busy with anything else or this could get very lumpy

Serves 2 for snacks or serves 1 for breakfast


  • 2 cups reduced fat milk
  • 2 tablespoon(about 5 teaspoon) Ragi flour
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 2 teaspoon brown sugar or granulated sugar or 1 teaspoon of Agave nectar
  • In a small saucepan,start heating the milk on medium-low,while the milk warms,stir in the ragi flour
  • Keep stirring until well mixed. 
  • Now mix in the cocoa powder ,sugar(or sugar substitute) ,vanilla and continue to stir constantly as it thickens about 4-5 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off when mixture is thick and pudding like consistency.
  • Serve warm with dried fruits and nuts or just plain without any topping.
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Monday, July 18, 2016

Ragi(Finger Millet) Almond Cocoa Milkshake

Summer Cooling drink ,so simple to make. Cooked finger millet flour is blended with raw almonds ,bit of sugar and cocoa for lightly sweet and mellow summer drink
Find the finger millet flour in Asian Stores ,will be posting more about this wonder millet in upcoming posts. For now enjoy this chilling nutritious drink.

3 tablespoon of Finger Millet flour (Ragi flour)
2 cups of water

6-8 Raw Almonds
1-2 teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of sugar (1/2 teaspoon of stevia natural sweetener)
1/4th teaspoon of pure vanilla(optional)
1 cup ice cubes


  1. Turn on heat to medium ,pour water(about 1 1/2 cup) in a small skillet, mix in the finger millet flour,add sugar and keep stirring occasionally,add little more water if needed. Cook until smooth pudding like consistency is reached about 3-4 minutes. 
  2. Turn off heat,let cool 2-3 minutes
  3. In a Vitamix add ice cubes ,1/4 cup of water,raw almonds and vanilla until smooth and blend until smooth. Mix in the flour mixture and blend little more until smooth. Chill in refrigerator for an hour and serve .  

Friday, July 15, 2016

Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani - Secrets to Perfect Biryani

I have posted many Biryani recipes earlier ,in this post I'm sharing the Original Dum Biryani method with more detailed steps in video (scroll to the bottom of post)

There are 2 ways to Cook Biryani

 1. Pakki Biryani - In which meat is cooked before layering with almost cooked rice.Here is the Lamb Briyani recipe posted earlier
 2. Kacchi/Dum Biryani - In which meat is uncooked before layering with half cooked rice. Here is Lamb Dum Biryani posted earlier

This recipe is for Kacchi or Dum Biryani ,which is more packed with flavors and this is how its traditionally prepared in Hyderabad.

Note some of the secrets to cooking perfect biryani [I've shared this before ,but this is so essential that I'm reminding them again in this post :) ]

*Use a meat tenderizer like raw papaya paste to quicken the cooking process .Marinating overnight is also effective in tenderizing the meat. For chicken biryani meat tenderizer can be skipped
*Use heavy bottom wide skillet to prevent any burning.
*Marinate the meat for at least 3-4 hours.
*Rice should be cooked just partially with a bite to it before layering with meat. use good quality Long grain basmati rice.
*The layering of meat and rice should be done promptly .Do not allow rice to cool.
*Use fresh ground spices and fresh herbs for the most flavorful biryani
*The lid of the skillet should be a good fit.Use the dough seal  to seal of the lid of the skillet .To make the dough seal mix a cup of wheat flour with water enough to form a firm dough.
*If your skillet is not thick at bottom ,rest your skillet on an iron tava below when cooking on low heat

Serves 4-6
4 cups (1/2 kg) Long grain Basmati rice
1 teaspoon of meat tenderizer(raw papaya paste) - optional for chicken. 
2 lbs (about 1 kg) Chicken cut in medium pieces
1 tablespoon Ginger garlic paste
1 1/2 cup Thick Yogurt 
1 tablespoon Garam Masala -  Ground spices cloves, cinnamon ,coriander seeds and cumin seeds
few whole spices - pepper corns , cloves ,tej patta ,cinnamon stick ,cardamom
1 cup fresh cilantro(coriander) and mint,coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon hot chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 medium Onions,thinly sliced 
1 lime, juiced
3 teaspoons salt
pinch of saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoon warm milk
3-4 tablespoon canola oil (for frying onions)


Marinate Chicken

*Marinate cleaned chicken with yogurt and other spices for 3-4 hours(or overnight in refrigerator). Thaw for an hour before cooking.

Fry Onions and Partially Cook the Rice

*In a large heavy bottom skillet heat the oil and add onions and pinch of salt. Fry until golden brown ,strain all oil and set aside.
*Rinse the rice in cold water 3-4 times and soak for 10 minutes. 

*In the same skillet in which you fried onions(remove the oil) add about 8 cups of water along with whole spices(Tej patta ,cinnamon and cloves) and salt and bring to a boil.Drain all the water from soaked rice and carefully add to the boiling water. Let cook while occasionally stirring . When the rice is half cooked start the layering .

Layer with meat 

*While rice is cooking gather all the ingredients(the marinating chicken,fried onions,chopped herbs,lime juice and saffron milk) to make the layers promptly .
*When rice is half cooked,drain all the water using a colander.Return the skillet to the stove on medium high heat.
*Add 1 tablespoon of left over oil from fried onions. Lay all of the marinated chicken evenly on the bottom.
*Sprinkle half of the fried onions,lime juice and the herbs all over.Now spread the partially cooked rice.Then sprinkle the saffron milk all over rice along with the remaining lime juice,fried onions and herbs.

Seal and Cook

*Cover and seal using the prepared dough.Cook on medium high heat for 25 minutes then reduce to medium heat , and cook for another 25 minutes. One can also have an iron tava(pan) under skillet if it fits. After turning off heat let rest for 30 minutes before removing the seal and mixing the layers of rice and chicken.

Enjoy with Family and Friends!
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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Roti Chicken Snack - Roti pockets

A wholesome snack ,this is also great for lunch boxes. The secret to making these crispy is to roll the flat bread very thin. If the flat bread is thick ,it may not cook properly and can turn to be a hard to chew.

For Homemade Roti [ Flat Bread ]
2 cups Whole wheat flour
2 tablespoon toasted Wheat Germ(optional)
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds(optional)

For the stuffing
2 cups of cooked shredded chicken
1 small onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon of cumin and coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 tablespoon of canola oil(or little more for shallow frying the pockets)


Step 1 Prepare the dough
Take a mixing bowl add all the dry ingredients mix them. Make a well in the middle of dry mixture pour in the water and oil. Mix until the dough is of right smooth consistency. knead for couple of minutes ,cover and let rest for about 10minutes before rolling.

Step 2 Make the stuffing
Add oil in pan ,heat on medium high.
Add the shred chicken ,spice mix and sauce. Stir fry for a minute. Turn off heat and cool completely.

Step 3 Rolling the Paratha
Divide the dough in to about 8-10 portions and roll in to balls. Sprinkle a little flour(I prefer All purpose flour) on the rolling surface. Use a rolling pin to roll them in to round thin flat bread(roti) about 6-8 inches in diameter

Step 4 Fold the Pockets
Spread about 2 tablespoon of cooked chicken mixture on each of the rotis. Fold once ,then close the open ends. 

Step 4 Pan Fry the pockets
Preheat a non stick pan at medium high flame. Add a tablespoon of canola oil. Shallow fry the pockets,2-3 at a time flip once after 2-3 minutes and let cook another 1-2 minutes until lightly brown on both sides. You can pack these in lunch boxes . To serve as snack ,slice in smaller pieces and serve with any yogurt dip. 

Watch the Video for more detailed pictures -