Republic day is more than just a holiday. It’s what gives us a sense that we are free to make our decisions; after all Indian constitution was constituted on this day! And we hope you’re not just making decisions that are fit but also the ones that’ll make you fit too. We are Indians! And not just by nationality but by heart, mind, and soul. We love our country and we love food as much too. More if it’s our ‘desi khaana’. So, we thought why not combine our love for our nation and our local food. We bring to you a healthy ‘dil se’ Indian menu this Republic day! Here’s to all of us. This republic day, celebrate the burst of flavours from all over India.

Tandoori Chicken From North India

From up north we have tandoori chicken. Do we really need to say what you have to have with Tandoori Chicken. We hope not! *wink*

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Serves – 2

Chicken – 500 grams (skinless, cut into pieces)
Yogurt – 1 1/2 cups
Garlic – 2-3 cloves (minced)
Garam Masala – 2 teaspoons
Chilli Powder – 1 teaspoon
Lemon Juice – from 1 whole Lemon
Ginger – 1 teaspoon (grated)
Salt as per your taste

How to go about it:

Make slits in the chicken pieces to help them absorb the marination well. Smear it with lemon juice and salt and set aside for 15-20 minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt with garlic, ginger, garam masala, and chilli powder. Marinate the chicken well with this mixture, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Remember, the longer the marination the better, so you could also leave it overnight. Get your grill ready. Preheat it and oil the grill grate. Grill the marinated chicken until done. Garnish with coriander, cut lemons and serve hot!Tandoori Chicken

Shukto From Bengal – Eastern India

This authentic and super healthy Bengali dish is packed with veggies and goes great with hot, steamed rice.

Serves – 2

Potato – 1 (cut into medium sized pieces)
Bitter Gourd – 1 (deseed if needed and cut into medium sized strips)
Beans – a handful (chopped)
Eggplant – 2-3 small (cut into medium sized pieces)
Raw Banana – 1 (cut into medium sized strips)
Sweet Potato – 1 (medium to small size)
Drumsticks – 2 (cut into medium pieces)
Ginger Paste – 1 tablespoon
Bay leaf- 1 or 2
Bori – 6-8
Fresh Mustard Paste – 2 tablespoons
Mustard Oil – 3 tablespoons
Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon
Randhuni Phoran- 2 and 1/2 teaspoon
Chilli Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Fennel seeds Powder – 1 tablespoon
Randhuni- Powdered – ½ Tablespoon
Water – 1/2 cup
Salt as per your taste

How to go about it:

In a medium bowl, soak all the cut veggies and raw banana in water with turmeric and salt. Set aside. In a pan heat oil, add the randhuni phoran, bay leaves, and ginger paste. Fry until the paste starts to become golden brown. Add the boiled veggies and toss it for a couple of minutes. Add water and let it simmer. Before taking out from the heat, add mustard paste, Randhuni, fennel powder, and turmeric. Add little water and cook covered until the vegetables are tender. Add the fried bori and cover it for a couple of minutes and serve hot!Shukto

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Pitla Bhakri From Western India

This Maharashtrian dish, Pitla, is not just healthy but extremely filling too. And we’re giving you this combination with Gujarati bhakri instead. Let’s gorge on!

Serves – 2

For Bhakri –
Jowar Flour – 1 cup
Hot Water – 3/4 cup (more if needed)
Salt as per your taste

For Pitla –
Gram Flour – 1/2 cup
Green Chillies – 2-3 (finely chopped)
Garlic – 4-5 cloves (minced)
Water – 2 cups
Onion – 1 (chopped)
Turmeric Powder – 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida – a pinch
Red Chilli Powder – 1 teaspoon
Mustard Seeds – 1 teaspoon
Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
Oil – 1 tablespoon
Curry Leaves – 7-10 nos.
2 cups of water
Coriander – 1 tablespoon (finely chopped)
Salt as per your taste

How to go about it:

Let’s make the Pitla first. Because bhakri needs to be eaten hot, right from the pan! In a mixing bowl, add gram flour, turmeric, chilli powder, salt, and mix them together. Add water little by little and mix them together to form a smooth paste. Add in the remaining water to this, mix well and set aside. Heat oil in a pan on medium-high flame. Add the mustard seeds, asafoetida, cumin seeds, garlic, curry leaves, and green chillies. Add in the onion and fry until golden brown. Add salt, mix, and add the gram flour paste. You’ll soon notice it’ll start to thicken. Keep stirring continuously and while adding water to bring it to desired consistency. Cover and cook for another 5-7 minutes while stirring occasionally. Garnish with chopped coriander and set aside.

For the bhakri, add water little by little to the flour and mix using a spoon. Once the heat of the mixture is reduces, use your hands and knead the dough. Ensure it’s not too runny or very stiff either. Adjust using more flour or water until the right consistency is reached. Split into portions and roll them into balls and then make rotis. Toast it on the pan using a little oil as needed.Pitla Bhakri

Bisibelebath From The Southern Region

Though Bisibelebath is a native Bangalorean dish, is pretty popular among most of the Southern India and maybe all over too. This is super yummy and a very healthy dish. It’s a complete meal in itself and you can experiment with adding different and more vegetables. We are sure you’ll love it.

Serves – 3

For the masala – Roast in oil/ghee and powder
Fenugreek Seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
Coriander Seeds – 1 1/2 teaspoons
Cumin Seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
Sesame Seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
Chana dal – 1 teaspoon
Urad Dal – 1/2 teaspoons
Cloves – 1-2
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch bark
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Black Pepper – 1/4 teaspoon
Dried Red Chillies – 5
Dry Coconut – 1 1/2 teaspoons
Curry Leaves – from 1-2 strands

Other ingredients –
Rice – 3/4 cup (uncooked)
Tur Dal – 1/4 cup
Onion – 1 (medium sized, cut into large cubes)
Potato – 1 (medium sized, cut into cubes)
Peas – 1/4 cup
Carrot – 1 (medium sized, cut into cubes)
Tamarind – 1 packed lump
Jaggery – 1 chunk (about an inch)
Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon
Peanuts – 2 teaspoons
Cashews – a few
Ghee – 1 or 2 tablespoons

How to go about it:

Soak the dal and rice separately for about 30 minutes before pressure cooking them for about 5 whistles (may vary depending on your cooker!). Soak the tamarind in warm water and set aside. Roast the peanuts and cashews in ghee, transfer to a bowl, and set them aside too. Add some oil, and fry onions in a cooking pot and once they start to brown add in the other veggies. Stir fry for a minute and add water. Par boil the veggies and add in the jaggery, squeezed tamarind’s water, and the masala. Mash the boiled dal and add in go the cooked rice and dal to the pot. Mix everything well and let it boil for about 3-4 minutes. Add the fried peanuts and cashews and serve hot.Bisibelebath

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Moong Dal ka Halwa From Central India

From the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh, we have the very popular moong dal ka halwa! This yummy Indian dessert is healthy too! So here we go.

Serves – 2

Moong Dal – 1 cup
Semolina – 3 tablespoons
Oil – 200 ml
Sugar – 1 cup
Water – 1 cup
Cardamom Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Mixed Nuts – 2 tablespoons (almonds, pistachios, cashews – chopped)

How to go about it:

Soak the moong dal overnight in sufficient water. Drain water and grind it coarsely. Ensure not to use too much water while grinding. In a pan on medium flame, add sugar and water. Bring to a boil while stirring continuously until the two combine well and you don’t see any more sugar crystals. Add cardamom powder and stir well. Turn off the flame and set aside. In another heavy bottomed pan, add oil, and heat it over medium flame. Add in the semolina and roast until light brown. Add in the ground moong dal paste, reduce the flame and cook until it thickens and the oil begins to come up on the sides. Remember to stir continuously until it’s dark golden brown. Pour in the sugar syrup and mix well. Now, you need to let this sit until the syrup is absorbed by the halwa. The best way to know is when the halwa starts to leave the sides. Turn off the flame, garnish with chopped nuts and enjoy.Moong Dal Ka Halwa

So go ahead and enjoy these yummy, truly Indian recipes. We hope you love them as much as we do, because our ‘dil’ is always ‘hindustani’. If you like this article then don’t forget to share with your friends too. Any questions and feedback are welcome in the comments section below. Until then, eat healthy, live fit! And Happy Republic Day to you, Jai Hind!


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