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On course for a healthy feast

Low-fat, tasty recipes that promise to make this Diwali a memorable affair

  • Carrot dhokla with green chutneyImage Credit:
  • Chicken with peanuts wrapped in lettuceImage Credit:
  • Laajawab chicken curry made with almond pasteImage Credit:
  • Satrangi Sabzi made with seven vegetables, served with spinach paratha and cucumber-carrot raitaImage Credit:
  • Cream crackers topped with low fat labneh and cottage cheeseImage Credit:
Tabloid on Saturday




8-10 leaves of iceberg lettuce

200g chicken breast, boneless, chopped fine

1 tbs olive oil

1 big onion, sliced long

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 green chilli, chopped fine

1 medium green or red pepper, sliced

1/2 cup peanuts, unsalted, roasted

1 tbs chicken masala (dry)

1 tbs lemon juice

3-4 tbs coriander leaves, fresh, chopped

Salt to taste

Wash thoroughly and cut lettuce leaves into a round shape. Soak in ice water.

Sauté chopped garlic and green chilli in olive oil. Add the chicken and cook till crisp. Add green peppers, peanuts (keep some for garnish), chicken masala, lemon juice, coriander and salt. Sauté till peppers are cooked, but crunchy.

Dry lettuce leaves.

Place a heaped spoon on each leaf, garnish with crushed peanuts and coriander leaves and serve hot or cold.



200g crackers, low fat

1 cup labneh, low fat

4 tbs grated paneer (Indian cottage cheese)

2 tbs carrot, grated

2 tbs green pepper, finely chopped

2-3 tbs coriander, fresh, chopped

2 tbs mozzarella cheese

1 tbs black olives, sliced

Salt and white pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven at 120 degrees Celsius.

In a bowl, mix labneh, carrot, green pepper, coriander leaves, paneer, salt and white pepper.

Spread a teaspoon of the mixture on top of a cracker.

Place slice of black olives and sprinkle a little mozzarella cheese.

Bake in the oven until cheese melts.



1 cup semolina

1 cup yoghurt, beaten

1/2 cup carrot, grated

2-inch piece of ginger, grated

2-3 green chilli, finely chopped

1/4 tsp soda bicarbonate

1 tbs lemon juice

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 sachet Eno fruit salt

Sugar and salt to taste

1/2 cup water

1l water

For tempering

2 tsp mustard seeds

2 green chilli

8-9 curry leaves

1 tsp olive oil

1 tbs fresh coconut, grated

Mix all ingredients, except fruit salt, in a bowl. Mix fruit salt with half cup water and immediately pour into the mixture.

In a large saucepan, bring to boil 1 litre of water.

In a greased shallow tin, put the mixture and steam over medium flame for 15 minutes and on slow flame for another 5-7 minutes. The dhokla should be spongy when done.

Heat olive oil small pan. Splutter mustard seeds, green chilli and curry leaves and pour over the dhokla. Garnish with grated coconut. Serve with coriander-mint chutney.

Coriander-mint Chutney


1 bunch coriander

1/4 bunch mint

1 small onion

2-3 green chillies

Salt to taste

Juice of half a lemon

Pinch of brown sugar

3-4 tbs water

Blend all ingredients to a smooth paste. Serve with dhokla.

Main course


This is a Mughlai dish, traditionally made with clarified butter, cream and almond paste to give it texture. We restrict it to just the use of almond paste and still get the same texture.


500g chicken drumsticks

1 tbs curry powder

1 medium onion

100g fresh coriander leaves

50g mint leaves

2-inch piece of ginger

3 cloves garlic

1 tbs coriander

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Salt to taste

2-3 tbs olive oil

1/2 cup skimmed yoghurt

1g saffron, dissolved in water

10 almonds, soaked in warm water

11/2 cup water

Clean chicken and marinate it with salt and yoghurt for 30 minutes. Grill in the oven at 150 degrees for 20-25 minutes or shallow fry it.

Grind onion, coriander and mint leaves, ginger, garlic and dry spices with a little bit of water.

Heat olive oil in a pan and fry the ground masala until oil separates.

Make a paste with soaked almonds (keep some for garnish). Add to the masala and cook for 5 minutes. Add saffron water, salt and curry powder. Add the grilled chicken. Add water and cook on low flame 5-7 minutes.

Garnish with mint and coriander leaves, and almonds.


Satrangi Sabzi is a Sindhi dish usually made with deep-fried vegetables. We cut down on the fat, cooking with just two tablespoons of olive oil

1 big onion, chopped

1 tbs ginger and green chilli

2 cups tomato puree

1 bunch spinach, chopped

1 big potato, cut long

1 carrot, cut long

10-12 beans

200g fresh mushroom

150g fresh babycorn

250g snow peas

1 tbs garam masala

1 tbs coriander powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

2 tbs olive oil

Salt to taste

1/2 tsp sesame seeds

Sauté the potato, carrot, beans, mushrooms, babycorn, snow peas in one tablespoon of oil and keep aside. Add the rest of the oil and sauté onion and ginger-chilli paste until lightly brown. Add tomato puree, chopped spinach and cook till oil separates. Add turmeric, coriander powder, garam masala and salt. Mix in the vegetables. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Garnish with sesame seeds.




2 cups whole wheat flour

1 bunch fresh spinach

1/2 cup paneer, grated

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 green chilli, finely chopped

2-inch piece of ginger

1 cup yoghurt, beaten

1/2 tsp garam masala

1 tbs olive oil

Salt to taste

Chop, wash and blanch spinach, cool and puree.

Mix all ingredients, except olive oil and paneer, and knead into a dough. Keep aside for 30 minutes.

Roll into 2” diameter discs. Stuff with a little paneer, and roll into 6”diameter disc. Use dry flour if sticky.

On a hot griddle, cook until crisp on both sides, coating with a little olive oil.



250ml low fat yoghurt

1 medium carrot, grated

1 medium cucumber, cubed

1 green chilli, finely chopped

1 tsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

Salt and black pepper to taste

Fresh coriander for garnish

Whisk the yoghurt, salt, sugar, chilli powder and cumin powder.

Add carrot, cucumber and green chilli. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve chilled.

— Recipes by Gahana Khatwani. Khatwani is in the process of setting up professional classes. For more information log on to or write to