Keep it light

Published Dec 9, 2018, 12:15 am IST
Updated Dec 9, 2018, 12:15 am IST
well-known, Delhi based foodie divya Burman shares some low carb recipes for a healthy lifestyle.
Chinese Garlic Soy Chicken with Snow Peas.
 Chinese Garlic Soy Chicken with Snow Peas.

In today’s day and age, where people do not have much time to excercise, it is very important that we eat right. Eating a healthy balanced diet isn’t that complicated. All you need to do is make sure your diet contains foods from all the major food groups such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meat. However, one thing that you need to avoid for sure is carbs.  

Eating fewer carbs can have impressive health benefits. In fact, there are at least 23 medical studies that have found that low-carb diets can cause up to two to three times more weight loss than low-fat diets. Decreasing your carb intake can also have numerous other health benefits, such as reducing your blood sugar, blood pressure and triglycerides or improving your “good” HDL cholesterol.


Well-known, Delhi based foodie Divya Burman is a staunch believer that one should avoid carbs if they want to lead a healthy life. She tends to stay away from white flour, white pasta and major carbohydrates which only convert into unhealthy sugar in the body.

In her quest to prepare low-carb food, Divya has also come up with some interesting alternatives that you can use instead of high-cal ingredients. For example, one can use spiralised zucchini instead of spaghetti, cauliflower rice instead of polished white rice and shirataki noodles instead of regular noodles.





12 medium sized prawns washed, shelled and deveined
8 cloves garlic
6 small green chillies
1 bowl Thai basil leaves
4 tbsp oil
2-3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar/sweetener
1 tsp soya sauce


Take the garlic and chillies and bash with pestle and mortar.
In a saucepan on high flame, heat the oil.

Add the garlic and chillies mix. Sauté till fragrant and slightly brown in colour.
Now add the prawns and the oyster sauce.

Cook further and add fish sauce and sugar. If you would like more gravy, add a little water. Taste the sauce for salt.


Lastly add the Thai basil leaves. Toss for 10 seconds and remove from the flame.
Serve this delicious dish as a snack or with rice.


1 Make sure you do not overcook the prawns as they will become too hard. Prawn cooking time is two to four minutes maximum.
2 Serve this lovely dish in iceberg lettuce leaves for a prettier look.
3 The basil leaves should only be lightly tossed and not overcooked.


Zuchinni in spicy arrabbiata sauce

(Zuchinni is one of the best vegetables to use with a spiraliser. You will almost get the feeling that you are eating spaghetti but without the calories or the carbohydrates. I feel everyone should buy a spiraliser and there are so many different ones available now. You can use a spiraliser for squash, beetroot, carrots and zucchini. All you have to do is spiralise your vegetable and toss in your favourite pasta sauce. The spiraliser tricks your mind to believe you are having pasta and yet you are enjoying a super
delicious no-guilt meal.)



2 large zuchinnis spiralised into thin noodles. Pat water out with a paper towel.
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
for arrabbiata sauce
1.5 kg red tomatoes
100 gm onion, chopped
50 gm garlic, chopped
500 gm Italian tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chilli flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
A few basil leaves
1 tbsp parmesan cheese

Chinese Garlic Soy Chicken with Snow Peas

(A delicious chinese chicken recipe that I made for the kids. This has snow peas added in it so you are done with the green vegetables. Of course, you could substitute snow peas with broccoli or any other green vegetable.Serve 3-4)


1 pound chicken thigh/breast, cut crosswise into ½ inch-thin strips
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
¼ tsp  finely ground white pepper
1 tsp ginger juice
2 tbsp peanut oil
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
¾ tsp red chili flakes
½ cup roughly chopped  onion
A handful of snow peas, trimmed
for the sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp  soy sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp Chinese rice wine, or dry sherry (optional)
½ tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cornflour



In a large bowl, toss chicken strips with toasted sesame oil and white pepper. Marinate for 10-15 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together rice vinegar, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Chinese rice wine (if using), brown sugar and cornflour. Set aside.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add one tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces, spreading it out as much as possible. Sear for one minute without stirring until the edges are lightly browned, then stir to cook all sides until just cooked through — about two to three minutes more. Transfer chicken to a bowl and set aside.


Reheat the same wok. Put in another tablespoon of oil, add in garlic, ginger, and red chili flakes. Stir-fry over low heat for about 10-15 seconds, or until aromatic, taking care not to burn the garlic. Turn up the heat to high and now add in snow peas and onion, and stir-fry for another 30 seconds. Toss the ingredients well. When the snow peas are bright and almost crisp-tender, stir in the cooked chicken. Then take the prepared sauce, give it a stir, and quickly pour it into the wok, cooking until the sauce thickens. Add in one or two tablespoon of water if needed, toss well, and cook for a further 30 seconds or till the mixture is hot and bubbly. Turn heat off, and transfer to a serving plate.



1 You can add green beans instead of snow peas as well as mushrooms.
2 A garnish of toasted sesame seeds always looks beautiful.
3 You could add a red bell pepper, sliced, to make the dish look colourful
4 Serve in a large iceberg lettuce cup for added beauty.



Marinate the chicken mince in oyster sauce, spring onion greens, soya sauce, star anise powder, sesame oil and ginger juice. Please check for salt.
Turn the gas on medium flame. Stir fry the garlic and ginger in one teaspoon sesame oil till fragrant. Add green chillies.
Now add this mixture to the chicken mince.
Marinate for at least an hour. Take the spinach leaf and put the chicken mince into it and roll to form a nice chicken roll. Create about two inch length pieces.
Now put your steamer on and steam spinach chicken rolls till cooked, and spinach is well wilted.
Serve with your favourite sauce.


200 gm minced chicken
1 tbsp ginger, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
1.5 tsp spring onion greens,
finely chopped
¾tsp green chillies, finely chopped
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp soya sauce
A little star anise powder
Salt to taste
1.5 tsp sesame oil
Spinach leaves, cut and microwaved in a manner so you can roll the
chicken mince in them
¾ tsp ginger juice (an amazing