Oil-free and chilli-deprived food need not mean tasteless fare. Here are a few dishes that prove that

Ask anyone recuperating from surgery or convalescing after illness, what they are eating, and they will grimace. But healthy and less spicy food does not have to be boring. Here are some recipes that will have the patient smiling once again.

Poosanikkai kootu


White pumpkin (peeled, diced, boiled): one cup

Boiled dal (toor or yellow moong): one cup

Grated coconut: quarter teaspoon

Cumin-pepper powder: A pinch

Coconut oil: a few drops

Mustard and jeera: for tempering

Coriander and leaves: for garnish

Salt: To taste


In a kadai, dry roast mustard and jeera. Add the dal and boiled pumpkin. Bring to a boil. Add a pinch of cumin-pepper powder and salt to taste. Add the grated coconut and drizzle a few drops of coconut oil (optional). Garnish with coriander and curry leaves. Serve with hot rice, daliya or roti.

Tomato-onion chutney


Tomato (chopped): Two

Shallots: Four

Big Onion (diced): One

Bengal gram: a teaspoon

Urad dal: a teaspoon

Salt and jaggery: to taste

Asafoetida: to taste

Mustard: for tempering

Gingelly Oil: optional


Dry roast Bengal gram and urad dal. Add asafoetida, shallots and diced onion. Cook using a little oil (optional) till the onions turn brown.

Add the tomatoes and cook till the mixture thickens. Add salt and a little jaggery to taste. Cool and coarse grind in the mixer. Dry roast mustard or temper using a little gingelly oil and garnish.

Note: Add salt at the end or serve it at the table to minimise salt consumption.

Sweetlime juice

(makes two glasses)


Sweetlime: 6

Honey: half a teaspoon


Using a hand juicer, extract the juice from the sweetlime. Set aside. Transfer the fibre and seeds in the juicer filter into a bowl.

Manually extract the seeds. Add the fibre back into the juice.

Add honey for taste.