April 13, 2016

Mumble's Lab - The 1st Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Parlour in Kolkata

“The odd coloured egg was shaking uncontrollably. Suddenly it cracked open and out came a cute baby penguin- Mumble! His parents fed him chocolates, oranges & strawberries mixed in milk. He tried all kinds of milk based items and at last stumbled upon ICE-CREAM. Ice Cream had found a permanent spot in his heart ever since.” - Mumble's Lab
I have only seen the usage of liquid nitrogen on screen when it comes to food. For that, I must thank the Master Chef series on television. When I first got an invitation to visit this place where they make ice cream with liquid nitrogen I was pretty excited. They assured that I am going to love every bite of the ice cream that has no cream, no egg. Ahem, No Egg, No Cream!! I puckered my brows for a while with a thought how it would taste? Should I visit? But the food blogger inside me doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to experience a different world of ice cream making. So here I am. 
Mumble’s Lab is the 1st Ice cream Parlour in Kolkata that is offering liquid nitrogen ice cream. The ambiance is that of a lab with various equipment and Pipes. There are flavours in the form of equations on the walls Inspired by the periodic table. Most of all there is a strong branding of their penguin mascot – Mumble and his story about the origin of Liquid Nitrogen ice cream (LN2). I met the owner Devina Parakh after reaching there and had a quite interesting chat over few flavours of Ice cream. Devina said: “Five years ago, we had our first go at a nitrogen ice cream parlour in London. Ever since we’ve been working on bringing this innovative culinary from back home”. A glimpse of our conversation:
Devina Parakh - the owner
Why the name mumble's lab?

We wanted to give our brand a mascot. We had three options - polar bear, reindeer and penguin, the three animals you generally associate with snow. We figured, a penguin would be cute and we could add colour to the penguin. We named it mumble - after the character mumble from Happy Feet so that it would be easier for people to associate with our mascot. 

What are the Signature flavours that Mumble’s Lab is proud of? 

Ginger honey basil, Orange caramel, Holi special – Thandai, Bournvita et al

Which flavour customers are enjoying?

Apart from our signature flavours the customers are in love with the Nutella with red Velvet / Hazelnut topping. In last two months ,we have sold over thousand scoops of Nutella. Customers are in love with the texture and freshness of the ice cream. We are providing a platform to try their own flavours (our caption - your ice your way) which have been highly appreciated. 
 
Holi special – Thandai. I tried this one and loved it.
What is your Future planning?

We are planning to open new outlets in different parts of the city. We are also moving into catering events and parties. We are also trying to incorporate liquid nitrogen in desserts. We are currently also trying to incorporate milkshakes in our menu. 

Do you run offers/discounts for the Customers?

We keep running offers every now and then. As of now, if a customer checks in on Facebook or likes our page on Instagram we are giving them a free topping. 
 
The signature orange caramel won my heart
Anything you would like to share the people of Kolkata?

Many customers come to Mumble's thinking we are using dry ice and not liquid nitrogen. Most people are not aware of what LN2 is. Liquid nitrogen maintains a temperature of -196 degrees Celsius which is way lower than the coldest place on earth. It is only used to freeze the mixture instantly. The ice cream in itself does not have any liquid nitrogen since it all evaporates. LN2 is tasteless, odourless and colourless. It does not enhance or change the taste of the ice cream in any way. It is not harmful to consume liquid nitrogen ice creams. The liquid nitrogen which we are using is food graded. Also, many customers come to us asking us for fresh fruits in the ice cream. We would like to elaborate on this. Since every scoop is made to order and we cannot guarantee the taste of fresh fruits, hence we are not using fresh fruits in the ice cream. If we did, it would lead to a lot of inconsistency. The USP of our ice creams is:

- Fresh since every scoop is made to Order 
- No cream - we do not use any cream in our ice creams 
- No preservatives - we do not use any preservatives, hence, the ice creams do not have a very long shelf life.
- 100% vegetarian - most people assume that ice cream has egg. Our ice creams do not have any egg. 
- We do not add sugar in most of our ice creams 
- Customers can customise the ice cream the way they like. For instance - In ginger honey basil - if you want it less sweet, and more ginger. While placing the order the customer can request for the same and the ice cream can be customised accordingly. 
In the coming months, we will promote our tagline "your ice your way" where customers can get their ingredients and we can make the ice cream for them. We cannot guarantee the taste, but it would be the first of its kind giving the customers an avenue to try what they like. Also, we are planning to host a recipe competition in the coming month. Wherein, customers can bring their ingredients and try their desired flavours. If they are convinced with the taste, they can leave us the recipe. At the end of the competition, we will work on the flavours according to the recipe provided by the participants with our chef. The winners of the competition will have their recipes on our menu along with their names. And we would be awarding them with a prize. 

Instead of the traditional ice cream parlours which serve a variety of flavours, we decided to start with 9 flavours. We are and would be incorporating new flavours every now and then, giving the customers a reason to come back again and again to try the new exciting flavours or to even stick to their personal favourites. 

Is there any option to take away?

We have not started it yet. We are working on it. So we guess pretty soon we can offer the takeaway option to the customers.

My verdict:
If I am not satisfied enough then I never recommend to my readers to visit so and so eateries. I highly recommend Mumble's Lab. Mainly where you are getting an opportunity to enjoy almost calorie-free ice cream, a guilt-free indulgence. The prices of the ice creams are also very reasonable varies from 120 (INR) to 280 (INR). So go and visit and then please give me your feedback if you liked it or not.

(Disclaimer: I was invited by Thinkquisitive as a guest)

Shahi Garam Masala Chicken

Another new year stepped in. Wish you all good luck and happiness. All of you stay hearty and healthy. Eat well and a balanced diet. Drink gallons of water and juice to avoid dehydration from this scorching heat. This year summer is proving to be the hottest in regard to the past years. Any way, we never fail to celebrate any occassion that comes to our way whether it is too hot, or too cold. On this auspicious occasion of Bengali New year I wish you all Shubho Nababarsho. Hope this year will be a prosperous year for all of you. Enjoy the dish.
Ingredients:
Boneless Chicken - 200gm
Onion - 1 medium size
Ginger & Garlic paste - 1 tspn
Tomato - 1 small
Yogurt - 1 tspn
Turmeric Powder - 1/ tspn
Cumin Powder- 1/2 tspn
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tspn
Red chili powder - 1/4 tspn (More or less)
 Whole Shahi garam masala - (Cinnamon - 1 small stick, Black pepper - 1-2, All Spice 1-2, Mace, Green Cardamom 1, Black Cardamom seeds - 2-3, Clove - 1-2, Bay leaves - 1 )
Shahi Garam Masala Powder - 1/4 tspn
Ghee - 1 tspn
Oil - 1 tspn
Salt & Sugar as per taste.

Method:
1. Cut the boneless chicken into thin slices.Mix all the powdered spices and salt except the shahi garam masala with yogurt and make a smooth paste.  Marinate the chicken for a while.
2. Chop the onion and tomato separately.
3. Heat oil in a pan. Then add ghee. Add the whole garam masala. Once they splutter add the chopped onion. Saute till they turn semi brown.
4. Add the ginger garlic paste. Saute till turns brown. Add the Tomato. 
5. Once the tomato is cooked well and starts to loose oil add the chicken. Keep on cooking on medium flame till the chicken turns soft and tender.
6. Add the shahi garam masala and sugar (If needed). Blend nicely with the chicken. Once it is dry and well cooked, Take it off the stove and serve with rice or roti.
Note:
You can add potato if you want. 
For the veg version, the recipe works well with paneer and mixed vegetables.
**Shubho Nababarsho**

April 9, 2016

Celebrating Bengali New Year with Phulkopy Posto/ Cauliflower with Poppy Seeds

Bengali New year is heading and this time, I always feel nostalgic because I miss those wonderful days of my student life, my friends, and my teacher and above all my family. We cherish the different phases of our life. But I bet everyone will echo the same that the student life is the best time that everyone wants to get back it again and again. On this context, sharing few of my childhood memories which are engraved in my heart so deeply that every year on this very day I feel profoundly nostalgic and sad to get those days back.

I always felt exceedingly blessed when I thought that I had completed my education from Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, a place founded by Rabindranath Tagore. The natural beauty of the place infuses its elegance through the mode of education. The freedom of creativity and ideas always evince through the various festivals celebrated on the auspicious occasions of special calendar events. During my school days, this Bengali New Year celebration used to start a week ahead. Those days are crystal clear to me. I can still visualise the little girl holding her mother’s or father’s hand heading towards the crafts shop to buy a bunch of white blank cards with full of excitement. The next few days passed within a fraction of moment with full concentration on filling the blank cards with all those imaginary creative mentation. In our school, the best part of Naba Barsho (New Year in Bengali) celebration is the exchange of these self-created cards. Each and every student used to create cards by his/her own hand and would gift it to his/her friends or would make friends by exchanging the cards. The new day becomes emblematic for inviting new friends, divulging one’s talent through the cards and a learning process of acculturation. Now coming at this age I realise the hidden truth of the festivity. But then that was only a satiated fun to amplify the friends’ group and also an exhibition of talents. Self-written short poems used to be scripted in the cards too.
Another fun of this day was to stand in a long queue in the scorching heat only to get a Kachori and two sweets. In our school premise, this snack used to be distributed to the students on this day. These most common bites used to become too tasty and sumptuous only on this very day. Now I am never going to get back those days, the tastes. Only what I have the fragrance of the sweet retention and an urge to make alive few of those memories through my daughter. My father has few of those New Year cards made by my sister and me in his collection. Sometimes I will surely share those with you all.


True Bong nature defines us as the epicureans who are head over heel in love with food. And when it comes to cleanliness Bengalis are very particular to keep their kitchen Clean to maintain the hygiene, not just looking clean and sparkling we make sure there is not a single cockroach in the kitchen. I grow up seeing my mother using Godrej LAL HIT. And I follow her steps too. It has become a ritual to use LAL HIT at least once a week to keep my Kitchen an anti-cockroach zone. Now LAL HIT even comes with deep reach nozzle, due to which I can easily spray it in places where cockroaches hide like a sink outlet, under the fridge, under the dustbin, under the cylinder etc. Say it Non Veg or Veg dishes, Bengalis will be always seen smacking there fingers and burping with utter satisfaction. I have shared most of the time Non- Veg delicacies. But this time I am going to share a Veg-Bengali Dish. Posto/ Poppyseed is one of the important ingredients and also very common in the daily meal mostly in the west Bengal cuisine. Last time I have shared Chhana Posto/Cottage Cheese with Poppy Seeds, where I got a raving feedback. Many tried it in the following days and my inbox got flooded with appreciations. I always feel like a blessed blogger when I get the feedback from my readers considering the true success of blogging. So now let us move to the recipe with out wasting much time:
Phulkopy Posto/ Cauliflower with Poppy Seeds
Ingredients:
Cauliflower: 1 medium size
Poppy Seed - 3 tbspn heaped
Mustard Seeds- 1/2 tspn
Ginger paste: 3/4 tspn
Tomato: 1 small (Optional- See Note)
Salt & Sugar : As per taste
Mustard Oil: 4 tbspn + 1 tbspn (If needed)
Raisins: Handful Soaked (Optional)
Ghee: Few drops.
Method:
1. Cut the cauliflower in to semi small florets. Clean nicely. 
2. Boil water desolving a tea spoon full salt. Pour the florets in to it and boil for 3-4mnts. Staring and reserve.
3. Soak the poppy seeds for 5-10mnts then make a smooth paste out of it.
4. Heat 4 tbspoon of  oil in a Kadai or a deep dense pan. Make sure that the oil is hot enough. Add the cauliflower in small batch and fry till they turn brown. Strain the excess oil and then reserve them on a kitchen towel/Tissue. Repeat the same with the remaining batches.
5. Check how much oil is remaining the pan/Kodai. If more oil needed then add. Temper the mustard seeds till those sputter then add the tomatoes (If adding) and the ginger paste. Saute nicely till oil starts to separate. Add the cauliflower florets and mix nicely. Add the poppy seed paste and 1/2 cup water. Cook till the Cauliflower is cooked and the the juice dried up. Add the raisins and few drops of ghee. Fold gently and then take it off the flame and serve with hot rice.
Note:
1. You can add potato along with the Cauliflower. If potato is added then fry how you have fried the Cauliflower.
2. Tomato I hardly use. So I felt it tasted better without the Tomatoes.

This recipe is off to the ongoing online event: Poila Baishakh with Veg-Bengali Dishes by Kolkata Food Bloggers:


(Disclaimer: This Post is in association with Godrej LAL HIT)


April 8, 2016

Celebrate Hygenic Poila Baishak with Godrej Lal Hit

All over the world if there is a Bengali community, a festive mood will be all around for sure. Mainly they never fail to celebrate the main festivals like Poila Baishak, Durga Puja, Dol (Holi), Pous Parbon etc.“Baro mashe Tero Parbon” (13 festivals in 12 months)- That is how the Bengalis are known as. Each festival has its own essence and dictum. When it comes to celebrating Bengali New Year 'Poila Boishakh' I have some distinct memory to share. 

During my student life, I used to celebrate Nababarsha in a different way. If wearing new clothes is a ritual in Bengali tradition during the festive seasons, we used to buy blank cards to draw and gift to the friends and teacher on the auspicious day of Poila Baishak in Santiniketan . When Bengalis will be seen wrangling around the shops buying new clothes, giggling and gulping on roadside puchka's almost covered with shopping bags, we used to be found engrossed in drawing greeting cards and writing small poems all by ourselves. Our childhood in Santiniketan missed all the humdrum of the "Chatra Sale" offers where the huge discounts are like receiving lottery all of a sudden. I miss those days.

In Santiniketan we used to celebrate Rabindranath Tagore's Birthday on Poila Baishak. A musical journey used to start a week ahead, when we rehearsed on one of Tagore's dance dramas making the atmosphere all melodious and orchestral to celebrate his birthday and Poila Baishak both together. The rhythmic atmosphere still rings in my mind.

Poila Baishak celebration makes the atmosphere all bright and spirited to welcome a brand new Bengali new year with the resolutions to deliver in the coming days. And giggling and chatting over some delicious and sumptuous foods with friends and family can't be completed without that. I was grown up celebrating each festival with Food. Polishing of a sumptuous meal and then taking big burps over hajmola are still so fresh and alive. Yes, I try to replicate the same way my mother does.

I can’t think that a Poila Baishak got missed without having Chingri machher malaikari or Koksha Mansho along with Pulao and doi mach. After getting married I continued the food journey in the same way like my mother used to do. Even I always try to follow my mother’s footsteps the way she reigns over the household.
I have seen my mother very particular about always keeping the kitchen and rooms very clean and hygienic so that we should not get any contact with the germs carried by the insects. For my mother cleaning the household is like a ritual before Poila Baishak and Durga puja. I have often seen her holding the Godrej Lal hit at the end of the day spraying around the corners of the drainage pipes. Again I followed my mother’s footsteps. Godrej Lal Hit has become a part and parcel of my/our life when it comes to maintaining hygiene and cleanliness.

To know more about the product you can visit:
Or 
 order the product online HERE
Wish you all Shubho Nababarsho..
[Disclaimer – This post is in association with Godrej Lal Hit.]

April 6, 2016

#ProductReview - Chef's Basket instant Creamy Tomato Pasta

"We believe in the art of cooking. And we believe that with a little help anybody can cook. We put our all to create the freshest and the most authentic recipes from around the world so that trying new cuisines need not remain a restaurant affair. Our food is natural with no artificial preservatives or added colour and is prepared under the intricate eye of our chefs. The products we bring to you have come a long way. They have undergone rigorous research, repeated testing and continual improvement. They still do." - Chef's Basket
You might often get confused to choose the right band for instant meals. Personally, I don't encourage having instant foods. But our lifestyle is rapidly changing and driving us to spend less time in the kitchen. Even our taste buds often need a change that is the reason that almost every household kitchen pantries own a few collection of ready to eat meals to survive on at a desperate need. Though not as a daily practice, we all love to indulge in this guilt quite a few time. Now the question rises to choose the right brand that should qualify the taste, usage of less preservative and reaches a parameter to call it near to healthy. Recently I received to review the Creamy Tomato Pasta product from Chef's Basket.
Chef's Baskets started their new venture on providing instant meals which right now have two sections - Italian and Oriental. The oriental section comprises of Four types of ready to eat noodle boxes.The Italian experience is called as "Italian luxury with the finest herbs and Durum pasta" where they offer three types of Pasta flavours - Creamy Tomato, Cheesy Alfredo Pasta and Chunky Arrabiata Pasta. I received the Creamy Tomato flavour to taste and share my experience with it.
To be honest I am a bit choosy when it comes to ready to eat meal boxes. I have very few on my list to recommend to try out. Mainly because every instant food has a typical flavour that will not give you the feel of a comfort food or a homemade food. Ah, maybe I expect too much. But honestly, when I tasted this one, I didn't feel that I was trying an instant food. The first bite gave a feel of a homemade food. The taste, the spices, the seasoning all were balanced that enhanced the pungency of a comfort food. The portion was pretty good where one adult and a kid could easily adjust (mainly, a mommy and her kid - For the daddy one pack is more than enough.:) ).
The box comes with 5 items - Pasta, Pasta Sauce, Italian herbs, Chilli Flakes and Sea Salt. You have to add the Sea Salt along with the pasta to boil. In a separate pan add some oil/butter saute some vegetables and then add the pasta sauce. Simmer for some time and then add the boiled Pasta. Cook for a minute and your pasta is ready. It is simple to make. Adding vegetables can be skipped. It only helps to make the taste better, a feeling of home-cooked food that's all. I love garlic so I added some garlic and sprinkled some Parmesan on the top of it. I should mainly mention the sauce which is very different from the store bought sauce but very similar to what we make at home.
If you ask about the price it is 99/- (INR). It might sound a bit pricey in regard to the other ready to eat meals. But Chef's Basket gives you the assurance of 100% natural, no preservative and no artificial colour. But the ingredients contain gluten. Therefore, when you are getting good food the money doesn't matter. I even tried out their Cheesy Alfredo Pasta and I will again stick to my opinion. It is easily available in the markets like Spencers, In & Out in Kolkata. So first try out and then let me know your feedback too whether you liked it or not.

April 3, 2016

Mochar Ghonto (Dry Banana Blossom with coconut)

This year after almost 14 years I was in Santiniketan and became a part of Basantosav, one of the famous festivals of Santiniketan on HoliTo be honest, when my mother requested to visit Santiniketan, during this time, I was trying to avoid. I know it must sound very weird, but I never found Basantotosav interesting anymore. I never liked to accept the truth that I could not take part in the functions and I would be considered as a mere tourist. I never liked to enjoy Basantotosav without my friends. There was a time when I used to take part in each and every function of Basantotsav. Basantotsav was then an integral part of our life.  But this time, thanks to lil K who brought back the old memories and helped me to cherish them alive. When I reached Santiniketan the rehearsals were going on in full swinging. The Stage was getting constructed. All the more busy and festive scenario were seen all around.  I met the Lil K whom I wanted to see since she was born. After we stepped into Santiniketan, I hardly found her at home, rather she would be found engrossed watching the rehearsals of Chitrangada and other Basantotsav related functions. I used to get 3 hours break from my 10 months old's feeding hours. Within that break hours, I would rush to the rehearsals and invigorate those 3 hours to the fullest. Most of the time I felt an elated "I" inside me dancing with joy that rhythm often blurred my eyes in the form of tears. I started revisiting the memories that I locked inside me. The city life almost choked all the memories and I, too never wanted to dig them out. Again, thanks to Lil K whose spirited soul brought back my spirit again. Despite the huge crowd, despite all the restrictions that rudely forced me to accept, that I was not part of the Fest anymore, rather I was just a mere tourist who came to visit the Fest, I had fallen in love with Basantotsav again. And all the credit goes to lil K who infused the spirit of Santiniketan in her soul and enjoyed it from the core of her heart. The colour of Dol did emblazon my soul too.
Now let me come to the Mochar Ghonto recipe. Mochar Ghonto is a kind of dry dish made out of Banana Blossom. It is very common in a Bengali kitchen. I could still feel the taste the way my mamoni (My elder aunt) used to cook the dish. Till date that was the best ever Mocha Ghonto I have tasted so far. But I am pretty late to store the recipe from her. I had a distinct idea that she used to add a pinch of Hing/ Asafoetida in most of her dishes and Mochar Ghonto was no exception too. This recipe I have adapted from my mother. Ad I found my MIL also cooks in the same way. Enjoy the recipe here:
Mochar Ghonto
Ingredients:
Mocha (Banana Blossom) - 1 medium size
Potato - 1 medium size (optional)
Grated coconut - 3/4 cup
Whole Garam Masala - 2 each (Cardamon, Clove & Cinnamon)
Bay leave- 1-2
Oil - 2 tblspn
Ghee - 1/2 tspn
Turmaric Powder -  1/4 tspn
Salt and Sugar as taste
Method:
1. If you are using the whole mocha/banana blossom them you have to remove the blossoms after peeling away the outer leaves and clean. Then you have to take out a stem inside and chop finely. (See HERE how to peel a banana blossom)
2. Boil the chopped mocha for 15mnts adding little bit of salt and 1/4 tspn  turmeric powder.
3. Strain the excess water and reserve.
4. Cut the potato in cubes.
5. Take a Kadai and heat oil. Fry the cubed potatoes till they turn semi brown. Reserve them in bowl draining the excess oil. 
6. Now add the Whole Garam Masala and Bay leaves in the remaining oil. Once they start to splutter, add the boiled mocha. keep on frying for 5 minutes in a medium flame.
7. Add the coconut and the potatoes. Add salt and sugar as per taste. Then keep on sauteing till the texture become dry and you will get a nice flavour of cooked coconut. Add ghee and serve with rice.

Few more recipes with Banana Blossom:
Mocha Chingri (Non - Veg)

March 27, 2016

Eggless Butterless Cake Rings Soaked in Strawberry Syrup

Now a day I am on an Eggless butterless cake baking spree. I made eggless cakes several times, mainly when the orders asked for. But I never dare to try eggless butterless cake thinking of the outcome - May be I have to trash it down. Being an ardent baker it is a shame for me if I don't expertise with all the versions that a baking pro asks for. So I buckeled up myself and started to experiment the Eggless butterless cakes in my kitchen. I started to make in a small amount with the minimum mesurments that a cake needs to be baked. To my surprise, I was super thrilled when I tasted one. It was soft, moist, spongy and hard to believe that it was an eggless butterless cake. I add a little bit of olive oil to make the texture more perfect. My walnut cranberry eggless butterless cake loaf was loved by those who bought in the KFB's Bakers Showcase 2016. So here is the simple version of making eggless butterless cake. I added strwaberry syrup to give it a more tastier version. Stay tuned I will be posting many more less calorie, Eggless butterless cakes.
Ingredients:
For the cake:
All Purpose Flour: 1/2 cup
Baking Powder: 1/2 tspn
Baking Soda: 1/2 tspn
Olive oil: 1 tblspn
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Yogurt: 2 tbspn
Milk - 1/4 cup (More or less)
Vanilla Essence: 1/2 tspn

For the Strawberry Syrup:
Strawberry - 2 cups chopped
Sugar - less than half cup (More or less - see notes)
Lemon juice: 2 tspn

Method:
Make the cake:
1. Mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda together. Reserve.
2. Mix all the other ingredients under cake and make a smooth paste.
3. Add the flour and fold nicely. If you need more milk add. The batter should be semi-runny.
4. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree C. 
5. Grease the cake ring moulds. Pour the batter in the cake rings and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. One can use cupcake moulds too. If using cupcake moulds then fill 1/4 of the cup.

Make the syrup:
Heat a pan and add the chopped strawberries. Cook in a medium flame with a lid on for 5 to 6 minutes. When the strawberries will start to loose its juice and become soft add the sugar. Cook till the sugar gets completely dissolved and the strawberries come to a mushy consistency. Add the lemon juice and stir. Now take off the pan and cool. Then strain the pulp and the juice out. Use the syrup. You can use the pulp too if you want.

Note: 
If you want to make it a chocolate Eggless butterless cake then add 1 tblsp cocoa powder to 1/2 cup flour.


February 23, 2016

#Lightmealchallenge - Pan Grilled Chicken Salad in Peanut Butter Sauce

 “You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.” 


Almost every day I retire to my bed - tired, suffocated with a replete stomach - with the promise that tomorrow would be the new start for me. It is the high time to watch my diet now. And that day never arrives. Sadly this is the #Storyofmylife - Don't tell me it's yours too!!! I know many of us are walking on the same lane. So let us do one thing - let us join hands together to give a quick start to the #lightmealchallenge. (How? focus on the foot Note of the blog post).

Continuing to the  #Storyofmylife - Every day I wake up considering the day to give a quick start to my "lose weight" regime.  But every time I end up in a plateful of rice enjoying a typical Bengali full meal thali. I have a good reason for gaining weight (that is how I console myself) because of my post-partum starving twinges. Being a feeding mom, I am always alarmed by my hunger pangs and that leads me to gain some extra pounds almost every day. I was so proud after delivering my second baby that I came back to shape within a month and fitting into my old slim fit clothes perfectly. But then gradually I started to gain weight, as a feeding mom, my intake of plenty of healthy nutritious food to supply the baby proper diet started to increase day by day. In the last 9 months, I have gained almost 6 kilos extra because apart from living on healthy and nutritious food I am eating too much. And it is such a letdown for me. I was never a diet prone person or rather I can say dieting is not my cup of tea. Once I had visited a dietician 4 years back. Obediently I strictly followed the diet regime for 7 days after the dieticians food chart. On the 8th day, my desperate soul forced me to rush to a food court and gobbled up a bowl full of oily Chicken Haka Noodles (the portion was for two persons) all alone as if I was deprived of food for a long time. My husband and my daughter were totally surprised at my action. They kept on staring at me and to each other. When I was done, they burst into laughter. But I felt like I got all the happiness of life in that bowl of noodles. I felt nothing could be more blessed than that moment. And that was the end of my dieting session. I realised then that the greedy foodie with a big fat belly inside me would never allow me to win over a diet session. So I decided to have light meals mostly that should be tasty, healthy and less in calorie.

So the conclusion is losing weight is not a matter of joke. One has to dedicatedly and religiously follow his/her daily meal for months after months. There is a wrong conception I have seen mainly in the teenagers that dieting means to survive on one or two meals a day or hardly eat anything. But they remain totally ignorant about the fact that how much damages this is making inside their body. If one really wants to lose his/her weight one should visit a good dietician who will give a proper guidance to lose weight. If you don't want to visit a dietician then you can always watch your diet by creating your own healthy light meals avoiding all the junk, greasy calorie intake foods. This will help you not to gain the extra pounds rather if you maintain it on a regular basis with some 30 to 60 minutes work - outs - you are definitely going to shred some weight. It will also help you to stay healthy. Before my pregnancy, I love to wrap up my meals in a one pot healthy dish. And that not only kept me feeling light, healthy but energetic too. 

Few things I have learnt from my past experiences are:
i. Never skip the breakfast and have a heavy breakfast. Skipping breakfast leads one to gain weight remember that.
ii. Four meals a day is a must. Stay on light  meals but never skip.
iii. If you feel hungry often have some fruits or a cracker. Or make some healthy fat-free small bite-size snacks made at home.
iv. Work out for at least 15 minutes is a must. Just walk in the room for 15 minutes in that will be a big help for one.

So I decided to go back to my light meal habit again. Here I am sharing one such recipe that you can give a kick start with the #lightmealchallange regime as I did. Enjoy the recipe and know how you can also be a part of this #lightmealchallenge at the end of the post.
Ingredients:
Boneless Chicken Breast - 4
Olive oil - 2 tbspn  

For Marination:
Peanut Butter - 2 tblspn
Dark Soy Sauce - 1 tspn
Sweet Chili Sauce - 3 tspn
Rice vinegar - 1 tspn
Fish Sauce - 1 tspn (optional)
Honey - 2 tblspn
Brown Sugar - 1 tspn (optional - See Notes)

For salad dressing -
Peanut Butter - 1 tblspn
Vinegar/ lemon juice - 1 tspn
Soy Sauce - 1 tblspn
Warm water -  2 tspn

Olive oil - 1 tspn
Chopped garlic - 2 tblspn full (more or less)
For the salad -
Any vegetables after one's choice - Assorted that fill 4 bowls.
(I used Boiled carrots, boiled Broccoli, Cucumber  and Letus leaves)
Salt and pepper as per taste.

Method:

1. Mix all the sauce under marination nicely in a smooth paste. Add salt and pepper as per taste.

2. Prick the Chicken breasts with a fork and then add them to the sauce. Mix nicely so that the chicken breasts get evenly coated with the sauce.

3. Marinate the chicken overnight if possible. Otherwise for 2 to 3 hours.

4. Take a grill pan. Heat oil. Add the chicken breasts and fry both sides in medium flame till they are done. Don't over cook. Otherwise, they will become hard. It will take approximately  8-10 minutes for each side. Take them off on a plate.

5. Now strain the burnt residue of the sauce from the pan and discard. Add the remaining oil. Heat it.

6. Add the chopped garlic and saute till they start to change colour.

7. In a small bowl,  add all the other ingredients under salad dressing make a smooth paste.

8. Add in the pan and just cook for a minute in high flame and take it off.

9. Take a big mixing bowl and add the vegetables for the salad after your choice. Add the dressing and mix well. Add salt and pepper after your choice. Mix well. 

10. Serve the vegetables in four serving bowls.

11. Slice the pan grilled chicken breasts and top them on the vegetables and enjoy. You can mix it with the vegetable and then serve. 

Notes:
1. Brown sugar is totally optional. It will give the dish a colour and an extra tinge of sweetness which can be avoided always.
2. The chicken breast can be added with some sauteed vegetables too.
Now join me to this Stay Healthy, Stay Fit & Stay Lite - #LightMealChallenge:
Rules:
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  • Please post recipes that help you to stay light, fit and healthy.
  • Share your experiences on serving light meals.
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  • Last date of posting all links is 24th March'16.
And also don't forget to visit our 2nd Annual Bake Sale by KFB.