Low carb indulgence

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Sep 8, 2019, 6:40 am IST
Updated Sep 8, 2019, 6:40 am IST
You don’t have to compromise on the taste while dieting.
Spicy Goan Prawn Curry
 Spicy Goan Prawn Curry

You don’t have to compromise on the taste while dieting. These  flavourful  keto-friendly recipes  will satiate  your cravings and also make you lose weight.

It’s not a surreal dream—there’s actually a diet where you can have cheeses and meats and also lose weight. It’s called the ketogenic diet, and it’s a high-fat, low-carb eating plan that could help you lose a few pounds. Originally introduced to treat children with epilepsy, this diet, over the years, has grown to become a weight-watcher’s favourite. But one must make sure to not eat more than 20 grams of carbs while the overall diet should be split into 25 per cent protein and 70 per cent fats.  

 

How does keto work?
Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for our body and while we can also get energy from fats, it’s often stored as a backup. When on a keto diet, your body is deprived of carbs and hence it goes for the stored fats for energy (this process is known as ketosis). It’s important to make sure that you provide enough fats and minimal carbs so that your body adapts to choosing fats as the primary source of energy. Not only weight loss, but this century-old diet plan also has other benefits as well. A study by Pulsus journal, which ran an experiment to find long term effect of the diet found that apart from inducing weight loss and improving body mass index, it also helps reduce LDL cholesterol, blood glucose and increase HDL cholesterol.

What to eat?
Carbs are literally everywhere. From biscuits, bread to rice and even pulses, carbs are a part of almost all food items. That’s why it’s important to scour through the nutritional value of each product before adding them to your cart. Starchy veggies and sweet fruits should be avoided and you can fill your plates with green leafy veggies and nightshades such as eggplant, capsicum and tomatoes. A popular misconception is that you have to give up all your favourite dishes on this diet. But with easy substitutions, you can have everything. Here are a few recipes to start with.

CHINESE CABBAGE dumplings
Even on keto you need to watch your calories, because ultimately you need to burn more calories than you eat in order to lose weight. This version of dim sum is perfect if you want something light and without the unwanted carbs you get from having flour-wrapped dimsums.

Ingredients:
Chicken mince: 250 gms
Egg white: 1
Spring onion: 2 tbsp
Carrots, chopped: 2 tbsp
Mushroom: 2 tbsp
Chilli garlic paste: 1/2 tsp
Soya sauce: 1 tbsp
Chicken stock cube: 1/2
Pepper and salt: to taste
Sesame oil: 1 tbsp
Chopped ginger: 1tbsp
Castor sugar: 1 tsp
Ginger grated: 2 tbsp
Finely chopped lemongrass: 1 tsp (optional)
Chinese cabbage: 1

Method
Mix the chicken mince with all ingredients except for lemon grass and cabbage and marinate for  at least 4 hours or overnight.
Remove and blanch the leaves of cabbage in hot water.
Now take cabbage leaves and put a tablespoon of mince in the centre of leaf and tie them up with spring onion greens.  
Steam well for 20 minutes in a steamer and serve in a bamboo basket with your favorite sauces

ZOODLES AGLIO OLIO
Zoodles are a low-carb alternative to your regular noodles. These spiralised zucchini strands can be eaten as salad or with any pasta sauce.

Ingredients:
Chopped pancetta/bacon: 3 tbsp
Spiralised zucchini: 2
Red pepper flakes: to taste
Chopped garlic: 5-6 cloves
Extra-virgin olive oil: 4 tbsp

Chopped fresh parsley: 2 tbsp
Himalayan pink salt: .½ tsp
Ground black pepper: to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese: to taste

Method
Using a spiralizer or peeler, make the zoodles. If you don't have a spiralizer, use a regular vegetable peeler to vertically peel long, thin strips of zucchini. This will in the form of a wider noodles like fettuccini.
Transfer zucchini spaghetti to a large bowl and set aside. Use a kitchen towel to blot out the water from the zoodles.
Cook the pancetta or bacon in oil and keep aside. Now in the same oil, add olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes in a large skillet over low heat. Cook until the garlic gets to a pale gold color.
Turn the heat on high, add zoodles, and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Make sure that you don’t overcook it. Add parsley and toss it through.
Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese. Toss and serve.

Chicken Dry Roast
This low-carb flavourful chicken recipe is perfect if you are in the mood for something spicy. Adjust the chilles to your liking.

Ingredients:
Oil: 2 tbsp
Chopped onions: 2
Ginger garlic paste: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 2 sprigs
Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Garam masala:1/2tsp
Kashmiri degi mirch: 1 tsp
Turmeric:1/2 tsp
Dhaniya powder:1/2 tsp
Boneless chicken: 1 and few bones cut into bite size pieces
Black pepper: 1/2 tsp
Chopped Kashmiri red chillies: 3
Ketchup/tomato puree: 1 tsp

Method
In a non stick pan, add 2 tsp oil. Then add the chopped onions and 1.5 tsp salt and cook till it’s golden in colour.
Add ginger-garlic paste and continue cooking.
Add curry leaves and saute.
Now add turmeric, coriander powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and Kashmiri deg chilli and let it cook on low flame for two minutes.
Add chicken and black pepper. Cover on low flame and check after 10 minutes.
Now increase the flame and cook the chicken with its gravy. Add the Kashmiri chopped chillies, ketchup and some more curry leaves. Check the seasoning.
Cook till the gravy is dryish and sticks to the chicken.

SPICY GOAN PRAWN CURRY
This Keto-friendly Goan Prawn Curry is full of flavours. Just serve this with steamed cauliflower rice for a truly satisfying meal. Add crackled curry leaves and mustard seeds in the end for that extra zing

Ingredients:
Medium Prawns or Shrimp (cleaned and deveined): 20

For ground masala:
Dried red chillies: 8-10
Garlic cloves: 6
Whole peppercorns: 1 tsp
Whole coriander seeds: 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Tamarind: 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp
Grated coconut: 1/2 cup
Coconut Milk: 1.5 cup
Water or stock: 3/4 cup

For the curry:
Coconut Oil: 2 tbsp
Mince Ginger: 1 tbsp
Finely chopped onions: 1/2 cup
Finely chopped tomatoes: 3
Salt to taste

Method
Marinate the prawns with salt. Grind all the ingredients mentioned under ground masala to a smooth paste and set aside.
In a pan, heat coconut oil and add ginger and onions. Saute the onions till they are light golden brown in colour. Then add tomatoes.
Cook the tomatoes for 5-7 minutes till they break down easily with the back of a spoon.
Add the ground masala and salt and let it cook.
Reduce the flame and simmer the masala for 10-15 minutes till the colour deepens slightly.
If you would like a smoother curry, blend this masala and add it back to the pan. Add the water or stock and keep cooking.
Add the prawns to the gravy and cook them for 7-8 minutes. Check for salt and sourness.
Sprinkle curry leaves on top, mix well and switch off the flame. Let the curry rest for 5 minutes before serving with cauliflower rice.

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