Sunday, March 25, 2012

Palak Lamb

Wow, can you believe? This is my fiftieth post. Ok, ok... I agree I write a post once in a blue moon. Nevertheless, my blog in fact keeps growing slowly and I sooo love it for that. Fine, over to the post... ;o)

Recently I got a craving for lamb, since it was quite a long time that we had lamb meat in our diet. So, we purchased lamb from our favorite butcher and on that Sunday when we planned to cook it, I was not in a mood for an elaborate Lamb Biryani. Neither did I want to cook the same old curry. Wanted to try something different and suddenly this idea of Palak Lamb popped up. Believe me, I had tasted this dish in some Indian restaurants here. Though the curry would be decent, the lamb would always be a big failure. So, there I got the trigger for an adventurous ride of making my own.

My husband suggested that I look for a recipe somewhere on the net, but I was bent on making my own and did not refer anywhere. I had the exuberant taste in mind - how it must taste and just went on doing myself. I have noted down the recipe I used and have given below.

Serves: 6
Preparation Time: 45 mins


Lamb - 1 kg
Fresh Spinach Leaves - 400 g
Onion - 2 big, finely chopped
Green chillies - 2 to 3
Tomatoes - 2, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 2 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Corainder leaves - fresh, a handful, chopped
Whole gram masala - Cloves, Cardamom, Cinnamon - a few pieces each
Lemon juice - juice of half a lemon
Salt - to taste
Oil - 3 tbsp


Remove the visible fat from the lamb completely. Cut it into bite sized pieces and clean thoroughly. In a bowl, add the lamb pieces, 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste, 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and the juice of half a lemon. Sprinkle some salt and mix them well with your hands. Cover with a fresh foil and refrigerate for about 1/2 hour.

In the meanwhile, chop the onions, tomatoes and chillies and keep them ready.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the whole gram masala pieces. When hot, add the cumin seeds, chopped onions and a pinch of salt and sauté well till the onions turn translucent. Now add the remaining 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste, chopped green chillies and 1/2 tsp turmeric. Sauté for a few minutes till the raw smell goes off and add the chopped tomatoes. Give a stir and let the tomatoes cook and become soft and mushy.

Now add the red chill and coriander powders and sauté for about a minute. At this stage, add the marinated lamb pieces and chopped coriander leaves. Mix them all well and adjust the taste if necessary. Close the lid of the cooker and put on the whistle. We have not added a single drop of water till now as it is not necessary. The meat would cook well in its own juices and from that of the tomatoes. Let it cook for about 5 - 6 whistles.

In the meanwhile, clean the spinach leaves and chop them roughly. In a broad pan, heat about 1/2 cup of water and add the spinach to them and close with a lid. This is to blanch the spinach. Please do not overcook it. Once cooked, drain the spinach leaves, let them cool a little and with an electric blender, puree it to a thick consistency.

After the pressure is out of the cooker, open the lid and there you find the most delicious curry. The meat would be cooked well and it must be so soft that it could easily be removed from the bones. This is the perfect stage. Now add the pureed spinach and give a gentle mix. Done !!

This goes well with pulavs, cooked white rice, naans, rotis and turkish breads.

You know what, this was the best Palak Lamb that I have ever tasted anywhere. I have now taken an oath never to order this dish in restaurants anymore. The curry smelled so fresh with spices, the meat so well cooked and soft. We had it with hot white rice and every spoonful was delicious and yummy. My husband too appreciated it a lot and we both took ourselves extra servings. Home made is always the best!! Well, being a foodie is more of an advantage. Just follow your taste instincts and you will get to eat what you want. :)

Tips and Health Info:
Lamb meat is a rich source of protein and contains a high amount of unsaturated and Omega 3 fatty acids, folates and vitamins. So, it is not all that bad. However, one third of the fat from Lamb are saturated. So, a moderate amount of consumption is recommended. Take care with the selection of fresh lamb meat while purchasing and with the hygiene while preparing.

Spinach, as we know is a good source of plant iron and rich in folic acid, vitamins and calcium. So, this delicious and healthy combo is a real treat to pregnant women and to others too.

Toxoplasmosis is a condition, caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma. Most of the human population is susceptible for infection with the parasite, though the effects are not so dramatic. For a pregnant woman, it is of special concern because there is a chance that the baby gets affected from the mother, which might result in severe consequences for the baby. Only a small percentage of women of child bearing age is actually immune. In Germany and many other countries women are tested during the early stages of pregnancy. If the mother is found to not have enough immunity against Toxoplasma, the doctor advises to take the precautionary measures. Whenever consuming meat, it must be thoroughly cooked. Raw or undercooked meat including sausages, where the parasites are more probable to occur, must be completely avoided. Also, only pasteurized milk should be consumed. For more info, please refer here and here.

Such meat preparations where we cook the meat thoroughly is advisable for pregnant women, where one can enjoy the delicious richness of meat along with their health benefits without any worries :)

Sending this as an entry to Healthy Morsels - Pregnancy and Gimme Green by Chef Al Dente.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thoughts to munch on - Healthy Morsels

Dear Foodies,

This is a quick and short post to thank you all for the support which you give for our group event Healthy Morsels. We are really happy and excited to see all the entries flowing in this short period, so thank you again.

We would also like to take this opportunity to inform you about our humble group which we have created in Facebook. Earlier in our announcement post,we have given a small note about our Facebook page, Healthy Morsels- Food Blogger's Event. This page has now been transformed into a group with the same name as Healthy Morsels- Food Blogger's Event.

The core theme of this group is to have many interactive sessions among both bloggers and non bloggers. The discussions would be related to the current theme of the event. We would like to invite you all to Healthy Morsels group, join in our discussions and share the knowledge with us. Please visit our group by clicking the link here and let's start our healthy interactions from here... Feel free to also invite your elderly family members and friends to our group, so that they can also benefit by participating in the discussions and sharing their thoughts and wisdom.

A kind request: Bloggers please do not post any recipes in the Facebook group. You can continue to link your entries for the event, as always, in the Linky given in our blogs. Non-bloggers are welcome to post their recipes related to the theme in the Facebook group page.

Looking forward to your continued support and encouragement....

Healthy Morsels Team

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Green Beans Salad

A long gap again since my last post. For the past few days, I have been busy with my first event on blogspace, Healthy Morsels - Pregnancy. Praises be to the God, it is going well and I'm thrilled and excited about it. Apart from that, work has been very busy, paired with travel and I hardly get any "me" time. Just wish to take a long long leave and relax. Well, it is time again for Blog Hop, an event by Radhika of Tickling Palates, something I have been ceremoniously doing and enjoying as well.

This time, I got to visit Sweatha's blog - Tasty Curry Leaf. You know what, the very first post that popped up as I opened her space attracted me and I made my mind - this is it what I'm going to try. Nevertheless, I browsed her space good and I found lot of interesting and different dishes. She has posted a variety of food from international cuisine and I'm sure everybody would get something to their liking there.

Coming to the salad, this is a very simple, easy to prepare warm salad. For the original recipe, please look here. I pepped it up a little, so providing the recipe here.

Preparing Time: 15 mins
Serves: 2


Tender Green Beans - 200 g
Cherry Tomatoes - a handful
Fresh Basil leaves - 2 stalks
Garlic - 2 pods
Butter - 1 Tbsp
Walnuts - 4 to 5
Pepper - to taste
Salt - to taste


Cut the beans to bite sized pieces. Blanch them in hot boiling water until just cooked and tender. This might take about 7 to 10 mins. Take care not to overcook them.

In the meanwhile, heat the butter in a heavy bottomed pan. Slice the garlic pods to thin slices. Wash and tear the fresh basil leaves. Add the garlic and basil leaves to the pan and sauté a little.

Wash and halve the cherry tomatoes. When the basil leaves wilt, add the tomatoes and walnuts to the pan and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add required salt now.

Drain the beans, add to the pan and give a stir. Done !! Garnish with freshly ground pepper and serve warm.


I prepared this lovely salad for an evening dinner and we both really loved it. It was light, healthy and tasted fantastic with the light note of butter, basil and garlic. It can be pepped up with different types of nuts or cheese. I'm sure this would make a good show as a warm salad in party buffets. Thank you Sweatha for this comforting salad recipe.

Health Tips:

Green beans are a rich source of dietary fibre, helps reduce cholesterol and a good source of vitamins and minerals. Fresh beans are rich in folates, which is very essential for the cell division phase and hence a must in the preconception and early pregnancy periods. For more info, refer here.

Carrying women can prepare such simple salads, which does not take much effort and at the same time helps in the healthy development of the foetus. Care should be taken not to overcook such vegetables so as to maintain their nutritional values.

Sending this healthy salad as an entry to Tickling Palate's Blog Hop Wednesday Week 15, Taste of Pearl City's Anyone can Cook Series 43 and to our own event: Healthy Morsels - Pregnancy.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Healthy Morsels - The journey begins...

We, Lecker and Yummy Recipes, SchmetterlingWords and Taste of Pearl City, are happily announcing the launch of the much awaited "Healthy Morsels", a joint venture from us. As some of you would have already guessed, the idea behind is very simple - to nourish ourselves healthily. We are faced with different nutritional needs at different phases of our lives. Through "Healthy Morsels", we aim at identifying these needs and to enrich our knowledge how best these needs could be adressed. This is an event with you all for us all.

"Healthy Morsels" would be a running program, with every cycle focussing on a particular theme. Each theme would roughly signify a particular stage of human life. Our beloved readers, bloggers and non-bloggers alike, are all invited to cook or bake something, which you consider is best suitable with the theme. That is, you could prepare a food item which is best consumed during that period, write about it and share it with us. Since the objective is to benefit from the wisdom of each other, it would be great if you could share useful health tips and the nutritional benefits of your food in accordance with the theme. At the end of each cycle, we would post a round up of all the shared entries for the theme, which would be a reference source for everyone in the future.

Excited with the idea and wish to be part of "Healthy Morsels"? Of course, you would be having questions. We love questions!! We have tried to answer some of them below.

What do I share?

You can share with us a recipe for a food item, which could be a starter or a beverage, a main meal or a dessert, even cookies or other goodies. We accept both vegetarian and non vegetarian recipes.The only criteria is that it should match with the theme in focus. Sharing of additional information about the health benefits along with the recipe is appreciated. Archived recipes are accepted too, if you think it matches well with the theme. There are no limits to the number of entries you would like to share.

When do I share?

A new theme for "Healthy Morsels" would be announced every two months, on the first day of a month. You could share your recipes from the day of announcement till the 15th of the following month (totally 45 days). We would be preparing the round-up and posting it in two weeks time. At the start of the next month, a new theme would be announced.

How do I share?

If you are a blogger, after posting your recipe in your blog, you can link your post with the help of the Linky tool found at the end of the announcement post. Since it is a team event from the three of us, you can link it to any of our blogs. It would be automatically linked to all the three blogs.

If you do not own any blog, of course, you are still entitled to be a part of the fun. We have created a Facebook page specially for you where you can share your recipes and photos with us. If you are not a big Facebook fan, you can still send your entries to our gmail ID:

Any constraints?

Yes, we have thought out a few simple rules, which would just help us to better organise.
  • Your recipes have to be linked back to either one of our announcement pages.
  • We highly appreciate the use of our logo, so as to spread the word.
  • Archived posts should be updated with the link back to the event announcement.
  • Strictly avoid linking recipes which include pork, alcohol and gelatin.
  • Bloggers are requested to refrain from posting your recipes at the FB page and use the Linky exclusively. This would give room to other readers who do not have a blog to share their ideas too with us.

What do I gain?

Apart from the implicit benefit of getting to know about different ideas, new recipes and useful infos, "Healthy Morsels" does come with a fun factor. At the end of every cycle, we would be publishing the round up of all received entries. Among them, we would select three entries, based on the relevance to the theme and the beneficial content provided. These special entries would be finding their place in our "Healthy Morsels - Hall of Fame" - an appreciation to the ones who have excelled. The "Healthy Morsels - Hall of Fame" would be published in our blogs as well as in our Facebook Page and it would remain there forever. Members entering the "Healthy Morsels - Hall of Fame" would receive a special Logo as an acknowledgement.

At the end of six cycles, we would be having totally 18 members in the "Hall of Fame", three for each theme / category. We would be conducting a poll for public voting for these nominees, where one winner for each category would be selected based upon the number of votes received. These 6 winners would be receiving a special recognition, which remains a secret at this moment.

I have another question!

At any time, feel free to contact us with your queries or concerns at our gmail ID: We would try to answer as soon as possible. Apart from that, you are heartily welcome to share your suggestions and likes in our FB page too.

Well, what is the first theme?

Our first theme goes "Pregnancy", an extra-ordinarily special phase of human life. Carrying a new life within, the most beautiful moment for a woman, is exciting as well as thrilling. Our taste buds start right from the mother's womb. A woman is clouded with different thoughts and emotions during this time. The physical and emotional balance of a woman is very decisional for the healthy development of the child within. So, you mothers and mothers-to-be, share with us the sweetest moments you have experienced before, during and after your Pregnancy, how good you nourished yourself, what did your mothers advise you to eat and how beneficial was the food intake for you. All men out there, feel free to share your experiences like what you cooked specially for your carrying wife / partner, how excited are you about your new arrival, etc. with us. Please link your entries from March 1, 2012 to April 15, 2012.

More Information on Pregnancy?

Good nutrition should always be a priority, but when you're having a baby it becomes even more important. After getting pregnant the first thing that a woman thinks is to eat well so that she and her baby have a healthy and relaxed pregnancy time. While in pregnancy, all the nutritional needs are increased in order to meet the needs of the developing baby, it is vital to stick to good health habits. She needs lot of stamina to deal with the early pregnancy symptoms like fatigue, nausea and morning sickness and also for enduring the various pains and to have a safe delivery. Also, pregnancy is the time when her eating habits during these magical 40 weeks directly affects another life.

The decision to incorporate wise food choices into her eating plan before and during pregnancy will give proper strength to her uterus for holding the fertilized egg, will help to promote a healthy environment for her baby, normal birth weight for the baby, improved fetal brain development, a speedy recovery of the body after delivery. We all want to give our children the best start in life, so it’s not surprising that a lot of pregnant women get a little panicky about what they should and shouldn’t be eating. It is also this time, the people who love and care for her will also advise what to eat and what not to eat. She enjoys this special attention for the next nine months and even after that :).

Some important steps to a healthy pregnancy include eating a balanced diet; gaining the right amount of weight; enjoying regular physical activity; taking a vitamin and mineral supplement if recommended by a physician; and avoiding alcohol, tobacco and other harmful substances. It is better to eat healthy rather than eating anything!

A well-balanced diet should include the following foods:

Folic Acid: It is essential for the normal development of the baby's spine, brain and skull, especially during the first four weeks of pregnancy. It is, therefore, important to start taking vitamin supplements with Folic Acid before one gets pregnant to reduce the risk of neural tube defect. Sources include fortified foods like cereals, pastas and breads, supplements and natural food sources of folate. Celery and Spinach are great sources of folic acid and iron. It is advised to consume spinach in its natural form without overcooking and thereby not destroying the folic acid. Other folic acid rich foods include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, parsnips, eggplant and asparagus, fruits like papaya, kiwi, dates, figs and even bananas. The best way to get the most of the folic acid is without cooking, just to fix up a bowl of salad with a tasty dressing and enjoy.

Whole grains: High-fibre breakfast cereals, brown or wholewheat breads and rolls, maize meal or oats porridge, brown rice, pasta, cereals, and brown rice.

Whole fruits: Apples, pears, peaches, nectarines and melon. Since acids can cause heartburn, caution should be taken with the amount of acidic fruits intake like oranges, pineapples, lemons and limes.

Vegetables: Leafy greens, bell peppers, eggplant, squash and mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, zucchini, dark green lettuces, green beans, asparagus.

Healthy fats: Extra-virgin olive oil, walnuts, almonds and avocados.

Protein: Chicken, fish, beef, red meat, turkey, tofu, nuts, legumes (beans), milk, eggs, cottage cheese, whole grains, wheat gluten, soy cheese.

Iron: Maternal iron deficiency anemia is a pregnancy risk. High-iron foods include spinach, leafy greens, beans, fortified cereals, red meat, chicken and fish.
Vegetarians can increase iron absorption by combining plant-based sources of iron with vitamin C-rich foods. For example, spinach salad with mandarin oranges or cereal with strawberries.

Calcium: During pregnancy, calcium is needed for the healthy development of a baby’s teeth, bones, heart, nerves and muscles. When a pregnant woman does not consume enough calcium, the developing baby takes it from her bones. Calcium-rich foods include low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt or cheese or calcium-fortified cereals and juices.

Magnesium: Whole grain breads, cereals, brown rice, nuts, tuna,eggs, spinach, whole-oat oatmeal, black tea, strawberries, avocados.

Foods that could be avoided: It is better to avoid extra calories from added sugar and fats, which can lead to unhealthy weight gain. Cutting down on foods like regular soda, sweets and fried snacks is advisable. Some cheese are unsafe during Pregnancy. For details, please refer here.

Post Delivery: A mother's diet immediately after delivery not only determines which nutrients her little one gets, but her food choices can also affect her entire breastfeeding experience. Her diet impacts the amount, taste and quality of milk she produces. Zinc, calcium and iron are some nutrients critical to breastfeeding. Drinking atleast six to eight cups of liquids like water, milk or juice helps with milk production and prevents dehydration and constipation; limiting caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea and soda which pass through the breastmilk causing the baby irritable and fussy; avoiding alcohol,smoking and second hand smoking which interfere with the milk flow and is dangerous to the health; taking a multivitamin supplement thats is specially formulated for breastfeeding moms are some of the things to be taken care of.

Sources of information:

For Postpartum(After Delivery) Nutritional information:


There are many pregnancy diet recommendations, but we believe a diet should be individualized to a person’s unique physiology. Please always consult a registered physician before planning on any diet as pregnancy affects every woman differently. This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE.

We eagerly await your enthusiastic participation in the "Healthy Morsels" journey. Bring along your experiences and expert tips and advices from your moms and grandmas. Lets make this sail more eventful and fun-filled and leave a legacy ! :)