Weddings may have been hit hard by the current epidemic, but we’ve proven that you don’t need the whole town over for a memorable experience. Regardless of the size of your guests, one thing that will be absolutely mandatory is food! Restaurants may be closed in some areas, but caterers and delivery companies are still going strong. Which means you and your spouse can dish out pre-covid quality meals - but for less people! Not only will that go easier on the wallet but you’ll be able to cater the best food for a wedding in Bangladesh.
The absolute staple to every Bengali wedding, pulao and biryani are your carbs of choice that everything falls under. Mishti Pulao is incredibly popular and its slightly sweet taste blends perfectly with mutton curry. It’s hard to go wrong with Biryani too, it is the culinary quintessential for South Asia and goes well with almost everything.
Another staple that will have all your guests drooling. Kosha Mangsho is authentic Bengali mutton curry that is cooked with goat meat, potatoes, onion, ginger, garlic, mustard oil and yogurt, Its recipe is more complex than one would believe at first glance, but its colourful ingredients certainly blend well with any hearty meal.
A vegetable dish that can either substitute other curries or complement your biryani, Dhokar Dalna is a decadent vegetable dish that soaks fried lentil cakes with tomato and coconut based curry for a myriad of flavours and texture. It certainly is not something for fitness buffs, but at a wedding, everyone deserves to go all out and this is one of the best vegetarian dishes to set eyes upon.
To balance out the heartiness of mutton and curry, Chingri Malai provides a lighter alternative with its prawns at the forefront. The dish is spicy in nature and uses coconut milk with an array of spices. Relatively speaking, this would be the go to if you’re looking to warm up or take a break from the heavier eats on this list.
Much like the Dhokar Dalna, having a Tikia can balance your plate if you’re facing a curry overload. Tikia has a well rounded collection of ingredients that can seem like much to some if coupled with too much biryani or mutton curry. Tikia is a fried cake that consists of meat (commonly mutton) and potatoes.
Finally, Borhani is a top pick for washing down the heavy dishes listed. Mixed with yogurt, mint, coriander and even chilli, this beverage is a classic Bengali pairing with any meal. It may seem like an unorthodox concoction to those outside South and SouthEast Asia, but if you ever attend a Bengali weapon, this is the first drink you should try.
Many places are closed for the time being due to the unrelenting nature of the current epidemic, and that means losing out when searching for your favourite sweets. The conventional ice-cream or chocolate cake is easy enough to get in convenient stores and supermarkets, but if your sweet tooth beckons for handmade local dishes, you’ll want to have the know-how to make some yourself. With easy to find ingredients, here are three Bangladeshi desserts you can do yourself.
South Asian deserts have a ton of milk-based desserts; but Rasgulla is one of our favourites and has simple ingredients and steps to follow. It is true that you’ll have to curdle the milk and put some time in to bring the cheese out, but the rest from there should be simple. Boiling milk and adding lemon juice with vinegar is the first step. This will sit till it curdles - cool off the pot with some ice after.
To get the best bits out, pouring the mixture into a thin cloth will filter out all the lemon flavour as you proceed to prepare the Chenna. The goal is to squeeze out as much water as possible and let it sit for up to three hours. It’ll have to be moist until then so that you can begin to knead. This process will take some attention to detail, as kneading for too long will shrink the rasgullas after it has been reheated.
After popping in sugar and cardamom seeds into a boiling pot, the final result should be satisfying. It is critical to maintain the consistent temperature when boiling so that the Rasgulla texture can be just right. This entire preparation is no quick task, but the required ingredients are easy to find in any grocery store and it can be done with nothing but a boiling pan and a cloth. It’ll take practice to knead perfectly, but as the old adage goes - practice makes perfect! You can find the steps here.
Shemai is one of the most satisfying desserts to have after a heavy meal. And since it isn’t a solid dish, you won’t have to worry about texture and kneading at all. This treat wil take significantly less time to prepare and it starts with stirring butter with vermicelli with some sugar, raisins and almonds thrown into the mix when the aforementioned has turned brown.
The heat will have to be reduced for about 10 minutes before adding the whipping cream. The final step is to put the result into the refrigerator. Yes, that is all there is to it, but holds its own among the best despite such simplicity. If you are looking for a more decadent version, you can replace the milk with condensed milk or even powdered milk! You can find the ingredients and steps here.
Saving the most sinful for last, Malpua is a Bangladeshi staple that can look akin to a pancake to the untrained eye, but this dish is deceptively easy to prepare and requires very few ingredients to get started. Malpua is meant to be deep fried, which means it would be highly advisable to make this a less-than-frequent treat.
The first step is to create the batter by preparing all-purpose flour or maida with semolina, sugar, crushed fennel seeds and evaporated milk - regular milk is also possible but boiling will be required. You’ll want to mix the batter thoroughly enough that there won’t be lumps. It’ll need to rest for a couple of hours after. The sugar syrup part comes after, where you’ll mix water with sugar and green uncrushed cardamoms.
The deep drying part is pretty straightforward and you can use your favoured oil for this part. Some eyeballing is required as you’ll have to pour the batter to form a pancake shape of about 2”-2.5” in diameter. When flipped and fired till brown, your prepared sugar syrup comes in and is fried for an extra 30 seconds. Other than perfecting the pancake-like shape, this dish will require minimal effort with a juicy payoff! You can find the recipe and instructions here.
It’s hard to deny how alluring curry can be to staple South/ South East Asian cuisines, even if it can be one of the most sinful things out there. The classic fish or chicken curry is undoubtedly decadent and having too much of it will force you to put on some pounds if coconut milk and yogurt are used in excess. But worry not, with the right kind of planning - it definitely is possible to have in your diet, and here’s how.
Introduction to Curcumin
Curcumin can be found within the turmeric that is a core ingredient in curry. Curcumin is responsible for giving the dish its yellow hues and has consistently demonstrated attributes of being anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant and anticancer. Despite these “cleansing” benefits, the chemical plays no part in increasing one’s metabolism and is not made as an alternative to hefty meals for weight loss. That being said, curry can be consumed together with the aforementioned alternatives such as salad, pasta, wholewheat bread. Despite the dish not being at full power when used with the listed ingredients, it definitely does enhance the flavour to a bleak diet while still offering something delicious.
What does Curcumin have to do with weight loss?
Frankly speaking, a moderate amount. Curcumin can never provide any high-fiber benefits that food and vegetables can dish out (even if curry is vegetable based), but it doesn’t clash with any of those choices either - nutritionally anyway. An experiment was conducted at the USDA Agricultural Research Service back in 2009: Rats were given a high-fat diet with and without Curcumin and the former had exhibited weight loss thanks to curcumin. That’s not to say that it’ll be the go-to topping for every salad you’ll ever eat, but it certainly won’t throw a wrench into your fitness plans.
Additionally, the standard laws of weight loss do apply: which means that regular cardio, reasonable portions of food and a large amount of discipline are all still required. When preparing your curry, a few useful tips to keep it light is to replace regular coconut milk with its light counterpart, or even using nonfat yogurt altogether. To keep things even healthier, going for lean meat and fish would gently nudge you away from fattier choices.
What curry dishes should you be looking for?
There are many smart ways to turn curry into a low-calorie treat that will keep you on track, but to name a few: Spinach Chickpea and potato curry is a vegan dish that keeps things light - with a reasonable amount of carbohydrates and vegetables that will avoid bloat of any kind. Going vegan isn’t a hard and fast rule to adhere to when making curry work, but it does serve as a decent guideline to weed out temptation such as fatty meat and regular coconut milk.
Next up will be lamb bhuna. When it comes to spices, this dish won’t be pushing any boundaries: Crushed cardamom pods, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and black peppercorns are all innocent additions that work well with the basmati rice, lamb neck fillet and turmeric. Admittedly this dish will be fried with groundnut oil, but it does wonders for your taste buds when your determination to eat another salad begins to wane.
If you’re looking for something filling and heavy without facing the consequences of a Big Mac, then this coconut and peanut aubergine curry has you covered. Half-fat coconut milk will be the secret ingredient that puts the randomness of coriander seeds, tamarind paste and peanut butter into something cohesive and brilliant. It won’t be the world’s healthiest dish, but it gives you a good break during the week in the midst of your weightloss programme.
The second wave of COVID19 is knocking on the door. Many countries have already experienced an increased rate of viral infection. The authorized vaccine is yet to release. Now we must focus on healthy eating to strengthen our immunity system. Healthy foods are not always expensive. Though being highly affordable, the organic food ‘Sweet Potato’ – locally known as ‘Misti Alu’ – is miraculously beneficial to the human mind and body. In this article, we are going to talk about the health benefits of Sweet potato.
One average-sized sweet potato can supply about 112 calories, 0.07g of fat, 26g of Carbohydrate, 2g of protein, and 3.9g of Fiber. In addition to these, sweet potato is enriched with a bunch of significant nutrients including Vitamin A, B, C, D, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, thiamin, zinc, etc.
The American Heart Association (AHA) advises people to consume potassium-rich foods instead of sodium enriched foods to promote the cardiovascular system. Sweet potato is a rich source of potassium. According to USDA, about 100g of mashed sweet potato contains about 475mg of potassium. The required DV (daily value) of the potassium of adults is about 4700mg.
Potassium can play a diverse beneficial role in health. This nutrient not only removes excess fluid from the body; but also maintains the sodium-balance. These actions contribute to preventing strains on the heart, lower down the blood pressure, regulate the rhythm of the heart, and heal muscle contractions.
Copper deficiency can lead to diverse complications such as blood pressure, LDL cholesterol deposit, homocysteine, etc. Regular consumption of sweet potato can relieve you from these conditions; but how? Sweet potato delivers the essential nutrient Copper that helps to produce fresh red blood cells in the body contributing to improved heart health and functions.
Sweet potato is highly enriched with antioxidants. Consumption of 100g serving of baked sweet potato, you get 19.6 mg of organic vitamin C. The DV of required vitamin C for men and women is 90mg and 75mg respectively. Vitamin C deficiency can cause severe skin disease Scurvy. Lack of vitamin C in the human body can promote iron shortage leading to anemia.
Vitamin C intake can repair tissues and heal wounds. What is more? Vitamin C and Vitamin A can promote the anti-aging process of the body-cells. Besides leaving anti-tumor effects, these nutrients strengthen the immune cells of the body to prevent the attack of viruses and infections. During the coronavirus pandemic situation, Sweet Potato must be included in the everyday diet to fortify your natural immunity system.
The beta-carotene properties of Sweet potatoes functions as a potent antioxidant. This provitamin is converted to the vitamin-A inside the body cells. These antioxidants can prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals and thus cut down the risk of cancers, especially lung cancer and prostate cancer.
In sweet potatoes, about 80% protein is stored as sporamin. Study shows that this special kind of protein inherits anti-cancer properties. Researches also forecast that sporamin may restrain the development of cancer cells in the colorectal, tongue, and gallbladder areas. Though there is no superfood to check cancer single-handedly, sweet potato can keep your immune strong against cancer.
Sweet potato is a slow-burning starch food carrying complex carbohydrates and fiber. About 100g servings of baked sweet potato supplies about 3.3 grams of fiber. Are you scared about consuming sweet potato because it is a starchy food? Don’t worry! The fiber contents of sweet potatoes can prevent the spike in blood sugar.
This food can make you feel full for a longer period. Therefore, sweet potato can help you fight obesity. And some reaches have shown that sweet potato intake may regulate blood sugar in the cases of type 2 diabetes.
Sweet potatoes bear brain function inductive nutrients including +choline, manganese, etc. Choline supports the process of cognitive developments as well as brain-growth. It can also promote the synthesis process of neurotransmitter acetylcholine that works for sending messages to the brain- cells.
On the other hand, Manganese can bind to neurotransmitters and assist the movement of electrical impulses throughout the body in a faster way. One cup servings of baked sweet potato can deliver about 43% of the DV of manganese.
Do you have the tendency of forgetting things frequently? Sweet Potato can help you. The anthocyanins content of sweet potatoes may bear memory-enhancing properties. Furthermore, Sweet potatoes promote relaxation and calmness of mind by virtue of its magnesium property. Magnesium deficiency can enhance the risk of mood swings, depression, and headaches.
The dietary fiber can prevent constipation; maintain healthy digestive functions, and cuts down the risk of colorectal cancers. Sweet potato also bears resistant starch that preserves the “good” bacteria living in the gut area. Adding the fiber-enriched food sweet potatoes to your regular diet, you can improve your digestive health in a natural way.
Moreover, some Studies revealed that Sweet Potato can also improve the healing process of ulcers and wounds in the stomach. If you can add sweet potato to your regular balanced diet, it may lessen inflammation. The Cyanidin property of sweet potatoes can reduce the inflammation of the digestive tract and other parts of the body.
Sweet potato is an excellent natural source of beta-carotene or vitamin A. Consumption of one sweet potato can deliver 400% of the daily required amount of Vitamin A to the human body. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for preserving eye health.
Besides this, Sweet potato carries some other nutrients that also contribute to improving vision and eye conditions. Among these, nutrients, there are some potent carotenoids, such as lutein, alpha-carotene, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, etc. Furthermore, research shows that sweet potatoes contain anthocyanins, a group of antioxidants that also contains vision enhancing properties.
On the whole, sweet potato is no less than a superfood for its multifarious benefit to the mind and body. However, like any other food, the surplus consumption of sweet potato can harm your health. Sweet potato contains oxalates that bind the calcium and other minerals. Excess oxalate intake may encourage the formation of stones in the kidney. Therefore, people who have a history of kidney stones should consult with doctors before eating sweet potatoes.
There are many who aren’t out of the woods yet as far as working from home is concerned and that kind of confinement can get anyone feeling a little peckish. Instead of succumbing to the craving for sinful things in the kitchen, going vegetarian once in a while can provide a good amount of nutrition and detox, while keeping you mostly bloat-free. With these fast vegetarian dishes you can make at home, you may just develop a long-term taste for it.
Warm Roasted Cauliflower and Spinach Salad
Salads are usually one of the biggest chores when it’s time to work for that summer body, but this recipe certainly breaks the mold and can be a treat without having a goal in mind. Unlike a traditional salad, you will begin preparing this dish by prepping your oven for a light roast. Pumpkin spice, white wine vinegar and pomegranate seeds are the main ingredients that add a robust collection of flavours to enhance the standard cauliflower and baby spinach. Olive oil and shaved pecorino cheese added will give this dish a hearty finish that will leave you satisfied. You can find the ingredients here.
Baked Eggplant Parm
If you happen to have slightly more time on your hands and want to dive into something heavier, this dish will have everything you need. Preparing an eggwash with salt, pepper, parmesan and Italian seasoning will be the first step as you whip out your baking sheets for the oven concurrently. After dipping the eggplant into the eggwash and baking it for half an hour, it’ll be cheese galore when you add mozzarella and parmesan into the mix before another 15 minute bake to finish it off. This dish is a vegetarian alternative to the classic chicken parm, but certainly can holds its own. You can find the full ingredients here.
Quinoa Bowl with Avocado and Egg
The name of his dish is definitely self explanatory, but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a meal that could appease every millennial ever. More for the morning, this bowl will take mere minutes to prepare by first whisking oil, vinegar and salt. After adding quinoa, tomatoes, beans and cilantro into the mix, crack two eggs into the pan between two to three minutes and you’re basically ready. It takes 15 minutes in total and energises you for your day with its rich protein and Omega-3 qualities. The best part is this meal is less than 350 calories, and its ingredients are all extremely simple to find. To see the full list of ingredients and steps, click here.
Black Pepper Tofu with Bok Choy
Something for the fans of Asian delicacies; this vegan dish is dead simple to make and is one of the lighter meals on this list. Stir-frying is the name of the game, but don’t fret if you do not have a wok at home. To begin, dice tofu into cubes and add salt, peppercorn and wok oil (vegetable, peanut or coconut). These ingredients will spice up (literally) your tofu ever so slightly before adding the black pepper sauce. To create this magical sauce, you will need to prepare soy sauce, chinese cooking wine, brown sugar, more peppercorn and chilli paste. This topping will be the golden formula that brings your tofu and bok choy together for a complete and light dish. You can find the ingredients and steps here.