Food for your gut: Broccoli bhajis with chia jam and raita
If you like traditional bhajis, give this healthier version a try. Broccoli is loaded with essential nutrients and according to nutritionist Lee Holmes, it has many therapeutic benefits, including detoxifying properties. It also fills and satisfies the tummy for a long time.
300 g besan (chickpea) flour
2 tablespoons brown rice flour
Pinch of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
Himalayan salt, to taste
500 ml filtered water
Extra virgin coconut oil, for shallow-frying
120 g broccoli florets
Chia jam and Carrot and beetroot raita (see below), to serve
- Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a medium bowl. Gradually add the water, stirring well to avoid lumps.
- The mixture should have a smooth, paste-like consistency.
- Heat some coconut oil (about 4 cm) in a medium, heavy-based saucepan over medium–high heat.
- Once the oil is hot (a small broccoli floret should sizzle and float), working in batches, dip the broccoli florets in the batter to coat well.
- Drop into the pan and cook until crisp on all sides. Lay on paper towel to drain off any excess oil while you cook the next batch.
- Serve warm with chia jam and carrot and beetroot raita.
This natural, sugar-free jam suits all doshas. Fruit jams are delicious, but obtaining the desired consistency and firmness usually requires a large quantity of white sugar. This recipe uses chia seeds to create a perfect consistency, and rice malt syrup to add sweetness to the apple and berries. Delicious on its own, it can be used as a topping for pancakes – or a dollop added to the mixing bowl will sweeten up cakes, and a spoonful added to the pan will highlight curries.
1 apple, cored and grated
125 g mixed berries
250 ml filtered water
90–120 g (1/4–1/3 cup) rice malt syrup, to taste
35 g (1/4 cup) chia seeds
- Combine the apple, berries, water and rice malt syrup in a small, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the consistency is thick.
- Remove from the heat, stir through the chia seeds and transfer to a sterilised jar.
- The jam will keep in the fridge for 5 days.
Carrot and beetroot raita
520 g (2 cups) sheep’s milk yoghurt
1 raw beetroot (beet), peeled and grated
1 carrot, grated
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small capsicum, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
Himalayan salt, to taste
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl by mixing gently with a spoon.
- The raita will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3–4 days.
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