Raise your hands if you are a snackaholic and crave for a mouthwatering evening snack while you are stuck with home-cooked food only. I believe snacks keep us going between meals and are a vital part of our diet. They are great for curbing mid-time hunger pangs while providing us with energy.
For those working from home or even those going out, the way of living has been changed drastically. You must now think twice before eating anything outside and make choices wisely. In view of not eating outside food, boredom and stress have made many of us unlock our culinary skills. While some of us are choosing healthy food, the other lot is getting inclined towards unhealthy, carbohydrate-rich foods. These not so good food habits can often leave one feeling lethargic and bloated by the end of the day.
Following the same routine of munching unhealthy food each week can lead to inevitable weight gain. So, in order to keep a check on your lingering taste buds, you need to be more mindful in choosing snacking options that contain low to moderate calories, less salt, sugar and no trans-fats.
If you think these details are little on the higher side or too much to look into, you can opt for mid-meal snacks that are high in protein and fiber. A kick start to this can be preparing your own meals/snacks.
Bafauri is a “bhojpuri cuisine”. Cooking lentils in a steamer makes this appetizer even more healthier. So, break the monotony of fried snacks and bite on a healthy homemade snack.
Here’s what you need:
Ingredients (per 1 serving):
¼ cup chana dal/split chickpeas
½ small onion
½ small bell peppers
¾ tsp chili powder
¾ tsp ajwain
¾ tsp baking soda
¾ cup chopped coriander
¾ tsp turmeric powder
¾ tbsp oil
Water as required
Salt as required
For Garlic Tomato Chutney:
½ tsp chopped green chili
½ tsp chopped garlic
½ tsp chopped coriander
¼ tsp mustard oil
½ tsp lemon juice
Salt as per taste
How to prepare:
– Take soaked chana dal (for 3-4 hours) and drain the water. Grind it to a smooth paste. (Add little water while grinding, if required)
– Transfer this thick lumpy paste to a mixing bowl.
– Add finely chopped green chilies, next add chopped coriander.
– Now, add chopped onion, garlic, ginger and bell peppers.
– Next to this comes baking soda, turmeric powder, chili powder, ajwain seeds and salt.
– Followed by oil and water, mix and prepare a thick batter.
– You can grease your steamer plate with a cooking spray to avoid sticking the batter.
– Pour a spoonful of batter into each mold of idli cooker and steam these cakes for 20-25 minutes on a medium flame.
– Once done, demold the bafauri carefully and plate.
Garnish the dish with some more chopped coriander leaves.
Serve hot with chutney.
Garlic Tomato Chutney:
– Rinse tomatoes with water and then place them on the grill rack or stove directly to roast.
– Turn them often to cook from all sides. Roast until they are cooked from within.
– Remove the charred skin of tomatoes, once they are cool and after that dice them up.
– Add the chopped tomatoes in a mixing bowl.
– Now, add the remaining ingredients to it.
– Mix well and check for the taste.
Nutrition Facts per serving:
Calories: 80 kcal
Protein: 4 g
Carbohydrates: 10 g
Fats: 2 g
Fiber: 5 g
Let’s look at the health benefits:
— Chickpeas contain a wide range of nutrients and are a great source of plant protein and fiber. A study in 2006 found that fiber in chickpeas was responsible for the reduction in bad cholesterol levels. The presence of a nutrient, choline, in chickpeas can improve the functioning of the nervous system. This can help in muscle control learning and memory enhancement.
— Garlic has a range of health benefits, both raw and cooked, of which the most significant being antioxidant and antibiotic properties. It can also enhance heart health. But, make sure to continue taking your daily medicines if you have any heart disease.
— Ajwain seeds/carom seeds are often used in meals / tea / dough along with other spices and herbs or sprinkled raw on fruits and vegetables for its aroma. Its health benefits are not just limited to provide flavor. Ajwain is also rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Ajwain seeds can also provide instant relief from indigestion and acidity. Other benefits include the lightening of acne scars and halting premature greying of hair.
These health-boosting benefits can not only help in avoiding hunger cramps but also add a special zing to the taste palate. We agree that preparing a restaurant-taste meal/snack at home could be time-consuming and tiring, but there is a solution to every problem. Refer to this quick fix vegan recipe that is as easy as making idli. A toothsome and wholesome snack that is high in protein and fiber and a very fine alternative to any fried delicacy.
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)
 Pittaway, JK, et al. Dietary supplementation with chickpeas for at least 5 weeks results in small but significant reductions in serum total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterols in adult women and men. Ann Nutr Metab. 2006;50(6):512-8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17191025
 NIH. Choline. 2019. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Choline-HealthProfessional/
 Emory University. Garlic oil component may form treatment to protect heart. 2011.