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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chickpeas Corn Vada .Discover the liquid gold,Olive oil



Lets enlighten ourselves with a short lesson in the healthy fat we have been blessed with.

The Fat Choices
What kind of cooking oil do you commonly use? Lemme guess if you are from the Mediterranean or Middle east, most probably you'd be using the healthiest oil of all, the one and only ,the Olive oil.As for the majority of others, the vegetable oils like peanut or sunflower or corn or canola ,occasionally coconut or sesame or soy bean or Palm oil are known as the only good cooking oil or rather easily available and affordable.In my quest for the best kind of cooking oil in terms of health benefits and flavor ,the Olive oil emerges as the ultimate winner.

The Divine oil
The Olive oil has been around for thousands of years.Olive oil was sacred to Prophets Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad(peace be upon them).Its sacredness and good health benefits is mentioned several times in the Holy books.

Get the facts

A look at the nutrition facts of olive oil verses the common cooking oil,its clear what separates the Olive oil from the rest is the high content Mono saturated and Poly saturated fats,an absolute essential for heart and skin health,reducing risk of cancers ,controlling inflammatory conditions like arthritis and asthma .Other good sources of these good fats are rapeseed oil , hazelnuts and almonds.

How did I discover the liquid gold?
Born and brought in a place where Olive oil was a luxury ,used only for massaging or beautifying ,a far cry from regular cooking oil,I was blissfully naive about the wonder oil . The timely move to US and my son's diagnosis with asthma and the hunt for nature's best foods finally lead me to the marvel. And thankfully for those us living in US, even though pricier than vegetable oil ,the Olive oil is available in abundance.

Which Kind Of Olive oil to chose?
Olive oil is sold in different varieties,Extra Virgin,Virgin or light, depending how is processed.The best kind is the extra virgin olive oil aka EVOO,which is processed without any chemicals and also in higher in Vitamin E(the anti-oxidant vitamin).And beware of the cheaper brands,they could be adulterated with vegetable oil.

Make the Change
Do not alienate this nature's best food if its readily available in your stores.For starters ,who are used to cooking with mildly flavored oils,mix it with your usual vegetable oil and slowly make the transition for insuring your family's good health,more importantly for those with(or under the risk) heart disease or common inflammatory conditions like arthritis,diabetes,cancer,allergies,asthma to name a few.I personally buy both vegetable and olive oil ,use half and half in most of the recipes except for deep frying.

How much is sufficient?
If its super healthy,doesn't imply one can drink it cup-a-day to get the extra benefits.Nope even olive oil in excess in not good,consumption of about 2 tablespoon of extra virgin oil a day is sufficient for adults.

Cooking with Olive oil.
Olive oil has lower smoking point and also loses its nutrients when heated to high temperature.Hence its ideal in salads,stir fries and shallow frying.

Olive oil,the Skin nourisher
The ancient oil with richness of vitamin E is not uncommon in beauty products.
A head to toe body massage with olive oil before bath is best way to pamper your skin and hair, linked with reducing hair loss and wrinkles.

Also read this interesting post about how olives are harvested,in the own words of the Mediterranean blogger(Organically Cooked) living in the Olive haven,Crete(Greece),which happens to be the world's largest exporter of Extra Virgin Olive oil.

Recipe Chickpeas Corn Vada
OK,I'm starving ! lets get to the spicy snack of the day with wholesome chickpeas and corn.

Ingredients
1 cup corn kernels,fresh or frozen,if using frozen ,thaw
and squeeze out excess water.
1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas,drain all water
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ginger,grated
2 tablespoon coriander leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons chick pea flour(besan)
3 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive oil,little more if shallow frying

Method
Process the corn in a food processor or blender until coarsely chopped.Now add in rest of the ingredient except oil and flour and process some more until ingredients are well combined. Transfer to a mixing bowl and mix in the chick pea flour.
To Bake
Preheat Oven to 350F.
Line the baking sheet with an aluminum foil,drizzle 2 tablespoon of oil all over.The mixture is going to be sticky to work with,so lightly grease your hands with oil and take spoonful of the mixture and gently press on your palm to form a patty.Lay them in the lined baking sheet,placing them in rows about an inch apart.Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown,for a crisp topping,now turn the oven mode to broil and let cook for another minute or two for crispier vadas.
To Shallow fry
Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil in large non stick pan on medium heat.Shape the patties just like above and gently lay in the heated oil,let cook for 4-5 minutes before flipping and cooking for another 3-4 minutes until golden brown .Fry in 2-3 batches.Serve warm with your favorite beverage.

Also check out Anudivya's HealthyBaked Masala vadai ,she uses the uncooked Channa dal(Split bengal gram/lentil) instead of cooked chickpeas and corn, I'll try those crispy fritters for next time I'm in mood to bake my vadai.

The Chickpea corn vadas are in for the JFI :Chickpeas and FIC: Yellow. events.


The refreshing Lemonade award
Lovely bloggers Navita,Arundati,Varsha,Ann and Hema have presented me the Refreshing Lemonade award.Thanks dearies,I'm delighted:)

I pass this to all the zesty food bloggers who take time to visit my blog and leave the nice comments ,please accept this token of appreciation,you really refresh my day with your presence:)

56 comments:

Happy cook said...

Wow you baked them and they look so yummy.
I use most of the time olive oil for salades and italina food, otherwise i just use sunflower oil.
A very informative post.

Asha said...

Great info! I usually use Canola oil for general purposes including frying and extra virgin oilve oil for salad dressing, dips for bread and Pastas. Extra virgin oil is not good frying, regular olive oil is okay, Corn vadas look yummy.

Enjoy the award! :))

Cham said...

As Asha said I use only for dressing, pasta... I am bit cautious about using oil in my pan while cooking ... Looks crisp and tasty ur vada!

Varsha Vipins said...

Thanks for the enlightening post..I use olive n sunflower..just hated the taste of veg oil ,the very first time itslef..
Vada looks yum,,reminds me that I should try Falafal sometime..

AnuSriram said...

Thats a nice piece of info.. Vadas looks delicious!

Curry Leaf said...

Lovely and informative post dear.I use Vegetable oil and EVOO.It sure is the best.The vadas look yummier.I prefer shallow fry as they are crisper than baked ones as u have said

Priya said...

Very informative post, am using EVOO n canola oil nowadays..i use canola oil for bakes, they always used to turn prefect, u know wat i too baked my chickpeas vada just for dinner n am surprised to see here already Yasmeen, any telepathy:d

Gita's Kitchen said...

I use canola oil since I dont like the smell of olive oil when deep fyring...may be I try olive oil for baking and other stuffs and see...the vadas look very cripsy..love both the versions...

jayasree said...

Thanks for the informative post. Baking the vada is a good idea and looks yummy.

Enjoy your award.

sriharivatsan said...

Very informative post and vadas look yummy..Thanks for sharing..

Ann said...

Very much informative post..yes,thats true,many fake oilve oil available in market now..i usually go for canola oil and olive oil ,esp for frying.(even canola is been questioned sometimes,can see in wikipidiea.
The vada looks super delicious.
congrats on the award and you truly deserve many of them.

Vibaas said...

I use olive oil too, but not for deep frying. Love the baked version.

Vij said...

Gr8 info yasmeen! n as always healthy n delicious post! yummmmy!

Sharmila said...

That is a good writeup Yasmeen. I use olive oil only in salads as I am not sure of heating it right. Those vadas look perfect. :-)

Shama Nagarajan said...

yummy vadas....nice information

aquadaze said...

The corn vadas look yummy yasmeen! And yes, let me add my voice as well..very informative post :)

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i was very surprised to hear that olive oil is known in india. i feel the mediterranean is very lucky to have so much of it.

what is the most common oil/fat used for frying and cooking in general in india?

notyet100 said...

great post nd yummy entry,..

sowmya said...

thats a very useful info on olive oil and i have had so many doubts in my mind cleared after reading your post..vadas looks yumm and healthy too..

Navita said...

love the peeking corn..yum!
I agree with u on Canola...thts the only oil I ever use...

RAKS KITCHEN said...

Thanks for sharing info of Olive oil...
I have to still try:)

SriLekha said...

check out EFM-savory series round up and join with us in the EFM-Microwave oven series

Viki Xavier. said...

I love vadas and ur information is much useful dear. I use EVOO in all recipes even for cakes and biryanis . yes, it is really a sacred oil from olden days.But never fried in it. Ur suggestions are great.
Glad that I found ur blog:)
Enjoy the Lemonade:)

Cheri Sicard said...

I have never tried vadas, but I have a bag of chickpea flour in my pantry and was wondering what I was going to do with it (I misplaced the recipe I bought it for). These look and sound delicious. Are they traditionally topped with anything like chutney or other sauces?

anudivya said...

I use Olive oil for everything. And this looks fab! I made a set of bakes masala vadais once and this reminds me of them... yummy!

Yasmeen said...

Thank you all:)
Meditarrean kiwi,In our house it was usually the sunflower oil,occasionally the vegetable shortening and browned butter(ghee).

Cheri,yeah the green chutney with herbs like mint and chillies is popular with such crispy snacks or some hot and sweet chilli sauce is not bad either.

Anudivya,I remember that recipe of yours.I'll link back about it in my post I found it very helpful step-by-step recipe.

Sunshinemom said...

I use both carotino (expensive? Yes but healthy) as well as sunflower. I do use shortening rarely but recently a nutritionist friend who is also a good cook told me I could use margarine instead of shortening as it is not as bad and gives the same effect. But on a regular basis I rarely fry!! Forget the oil consumed, I hate getting my kadhai oily or sticky or even slightly burnt! But once in a while (Read as two months) I do make a deep fried snack.

Great information and good looking vadas:)

Yasmeen said...

Sunshine mom,I meant at my mom's place back in India.Here I use vegetable oil besides olive oil and also butter and ghee sometimes.Its true about shortening,one of the unhealthy fats to cook with.

anudivya said...

Yasmeen, Gosh... I think I came across not the way I wanted to. I did not want you to link back to my post... I was just fondly remembering my baked goody... I am sorry if I did not make myself clear! :(

Yasmeen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yasmeen said...

I was looking for baked vada recipes as proof that baking them does work,I was glad I found yours,Anu:)

nick said...

I'm Italian ,so glad the olive oil is part of our every day cooking.

Preety said...

wow baking rather than frying sounds more fun and healthy

Srividhya said...

Very useful information you have shared, thanks for sharing . After reading i have come to know how to use the oil, what yo use etc. So this month grocery list will surely include olive oil, as you said i am going to mix with the sunflower oil and use, later i will switch it over. Thanks for sharing once agsin, Baking a vada sounds great , since i don't have oven i will shalow fry.

pedatha.com said...

Hi Yasmeen, thats a really good looking recipe. Regarding oils, Ayurveda says that whatever is regionally and seasonally available is best suited to the people staying in that region.
Of course, these days, there is a lot of interest in olive oil, but we have also forgotten the goodness of homemade ghee in correct quantity. But quantity and quality have both taken a back seat amidst the prevalence of fast foods.
BTW, I like your pomegranate masthead.

Judy said...

Enjoyed browsing through your blog. Would love to exchange links with you. I'll add you to my blogroll if you'll add me to yours. Let me know: judyskitchen.blogspot.com.

Vibaas said...

Yasmeen, i had cooked chickpeas in my freezer. I slightly tweaked the ingredients with what i have and made it. It was super yum. I shallow fried in non stick pan with very little oil and it was still good. wasn't dry at all.

Poornima Nair said...

First time at your blog and its the most informative one...really helpful...i use EVOO for regular cooking and saffola for deep frying...vadas look delicious.

DİDEM said...

very useful info and delicious recipes...thanks

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A delicious speciality! I love oilive oil and chickpeas! Very healthy too...

Cheers,

Rosa

Simmi said...

Its usually vegetable oil in our house,olive oil is expensive.I like the corn vadas,very healthy when cooked in olive oil.

sam said...

thanks for all the useful info,I better start thinking about using olive oil in my diet.

Astra Libris said...

Your recipe sounds absolutely scrumptious, and I love how you offer the option of baking or shallow pan frying! Thank you for the great info about olive oil, too - it's always encouraging to have my love of olive oil reinforced! I even use it for baking - it's the greatest oil ever! You're right - we are so blessed to have it readily available...

Dershana said...

I use EVOO for dressings, italian dishes and the like;canola for the once in a blue moon frying :-)

The chickpea corn vada looks enticing, wish I could nip a few from ur kitchen ;-)

Jen said...

We use olive oil a lot,its a true blessing,other vegetable oils are no match with its goodness.

Malar Gandhi said...

Nice variation fromt he usuals, sounds very healthy to me...great info' too...

Vaishali said...

I love that you baked them, Yasmeen, and they do look very delicious in addition to being healthy.

Uj said...

Nice post about the Oils.. I too use EVOO for simple stir fry's and also for the regular side dishes or noodles etc. I love the fact that it doe not have smell.. For other purpose I use a combination of Olive oil and corn Oil.. don't know how far is it good.. I rarely deep fry.

Rajani said...

hi yasmeen... very informative post. olive oil is the best! and very daring of you to bake the vadas! and the recipe with corn and chickpeas sounds very innovative.

Trupti said...

thanks for sharing this nice info. First time here..you have a very nice collection here. Vadas looks very yummy

Kate said...

a very useful and informative post ! I've been loyal to olive oil for nearly 8 yrs now ! cant imagine food without it !

ms said...

Hi yasmeen,
Great info on olive oil! I like your chickpea corn vadas too. Nice entry for JFI Chickpea!
best,
ms

Anonymous said...

Hi Yasmeen,

The information you gave is totally different from the info I have. I had gestational diabetes during my pregnancy, hence saw the nutrition specialist, here in US. According to her, olive oil is not better than any of the oils, they are all the same, totally bad for the human body. And she also said it is all the made up things to keep the price higher for the olive oil. Until then I used it for salads, pastas and stir fries.. these days I use it for salads and pasta, for the rest I do not feel bad if I run out of it.. Just thought, so many people are mis-led by what you have researched. Thanks for the recipes. You are a very good photographer, all the dishes look amazing.

Yasmeen said...

surprising your nutritionist said that.You could do the Olive test ,which is a proof enough that unlike any other oil,olive oil never can clog the arteries.Do more research instead of taking the opinion of one nutritionist.
Thanks for your complements.Hope you visit again.

dermatology laser said...

These were really a great taste and a healthy foods!

Stephen said...

I preferred using OLIVE oil in baking, I dont know why but I just love it.. :)

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