Monday, 5 December 2011



You love food. So does everyone else. But sadly, we have to be conscious about the calorie intake, nutritional values and negative effects of what we eat and drink. And a lot among us are wary of the increasing waistline that destroys our ‘size zero’ or ‘six pack’ dreams. So we fall back on the promising diet plans; we avoid fried snacks and try eating bland; we cut down on rice, potatoes, sugar, spices, ghee and butter. And we give up some of our favourites that we had relished for years.

In such a situation, Shubhra Krishan may come to your rescue. No, she is not a nutritionist. She has been a ‘lifestyle journalist’, which means she got to interact with some of the best chefs in the country in action. That and her own experiences in cooking yummy, healthy food that is not high on calorie, result in her recent book, Thinner Dinner. The ‘slim-n-sexy’ recipes are written in a chatty way. Krishan garnishes them with stories about how they came about all of a sudden. Like, she recalls how she came up with ‘low fat’ aloo-ki- parantha on a rainy evening when she was listening to Kishore Kumar hits. Stuffed with boiled potato — which has no fat, she says — the indulgence climbs up several notches, thanks to chopped chilli, onion, garlic and coriander. And our taste buds are perfectly satisfied. Such simple tips and tricks are what drives this book. The colourful photographs and illustrations in this book add to its sleekness. The recipe boxes make things easier.

Be it vegetarian or non-vegetarian, the food she offers looks dashing and seductive. From soup, salad, sizzlers, pizza toppings to our desi gastronomic pleasures, this book tries to touch a vast range of food. So, we have the ravishing yellow moong-ki-daal with heeng and ghee along with green chillies, ginger and turmeric that will satiate your ‘daal craving’ wonderfully. Then there is the Couscous Salad in which you just cook the couscous in boiling, salted water for few minutes, before adding it to a crunchy salad of onions, tomatoes, rocket leaves, oilve oil, lemon juice, and basil leaves.

If cauliflower is on your mind, Krishan suggests to add cheddar or skimmed milk to it when you prepare ‘baked cauliflower.’ The idea of ‘fruit butter’ with apple, minus the butter, is interesting too. The list of such food is quite long. It suffices to say they give the ordinary and extraordinary food a healthy makeover.

This, then, is more than a book of recipes. It is an invitation to healthy, tasty food. So, just get going and prepare the dishes. Relish them, as you too come up with similar innovative ideas. But don’t forget to share them with us.

Thinner Dinner
Shubhra Krishan
Genre: Non fiction / Food
Publisher: Westland
Pages: 137
Price: Indian Rs 395