As India celebrates its 75th Independence Day on 15th August 2021, we must remember the rich and diverse culture of our country that has been carried forward for so many years. It starts with hoisting the national flag early in the morning, kids singing patriotic songs as well as an exchange of sweets and greetings. People enjoy the day with their families at home by watching patriotic programs on television and fly kites with friends that symbolize a culture of free spirit and freedom.
Since the day is all about celebrating the country’s freedom besides vibrant and diverse culture, what better than celebrating it through food? Food is one of the best ways of celebrating an occasion or expressing your emotions. Whenever there is an occasion for celebration, the first thing to come to our minds is to cook delicious and elaborate meals for it. So it is only given that we celebrate such an important event of Indian history with food.
This Independence day while we may not be able to go out and watch the Indian flag being hoisted, here’s a simple and healthy recipe that you can make that both adults and kids will enjoy. Sandwiches are very easy to make and for a tricolor sandwich, you can use different ingredients to give it Indian flag colors. For orange, I used grated carrot and snack tomato. For white, mozzarella cheese. For green, avocado, and green kiwi. Just take a few slices of bread and include ingredients of your choice. As it’s a non-heat recipe, your kids can easily make it too.
Ingredients : Fresh bread – 2 slices
Avocado Spread : 1 Ripe Avocados, pitted and peeled Black salt – 1/4 tsp Juice of half lime Black pepper to taste, optional
Toppings : Sliced cucumber – 1 small Snack Tomatoes, sliced Few Blueberry Green Kiwi (sliced) – 2 Mozzarella cheese & slice Grated carrot– 1 small
Other Ingredients : Juice of one lemon, Salt to taste
Lightly toast your sliced bread until golden brown in a toaster.
Chop, slice, and keep topping ready.
In a bowl add grated carrot. Mix little lemon juice and salt. Keep it aside.
In a bowl, mash together 3 ripe avocados with the help of frock. Mix lime juice, black salt, and black pepper. Mix it well and Avocado spread is ready.
First sandwich – Place sliced snack tomato, mozzarella cheese and then avocado spread with some cucumber slices. Finally place a blueberry on mozzarella cheese.
Second sandwich – Place sliced snack tomatoes , mozzarella cheese slice and then sliced kiwi with some avocado spread. Finally place a blueberry on mozzarella cheese slice.
15th August is celebrated as a national holiday in India to remember this date and to pay homage to those who fought for India’s freedom in the past. Great leaders and freedom fighters like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Rani of Jhansi – Rani Lakshmi Bai, Subhash Chandra Bose, Sukhdev, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Chandra Shekhar Azad are few of the many to whom India owes its freedom. And it’s never too late to remember all these heroes, who had sacrificed their lives for India.
The President of India delivers the ‘”Address to the Nation” on the eve of Independence Day. India’s Prime Minister unfurls India’s flag and delivers a speech at the Red Fort in Old Delhi. Flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programs are held in the state capitals and often involve many schools and organizations. In the cities around the country, the National flag is hoisted by politicians in their respective constituencies. In various private organizations, the flag hoisting is carried out by a senior official of that organization.
Growing up in India, we woke up early morning to attend the flag hoisting ceremonies and parades at our school every year. Some years our school participated in a huge parade where all schools came together to celebrate and sing patriotic songs. India’s flag and its tricolors were all around us.
When the whole Nation is filled with the celebration mood, why not give a patriotic flavor to the food. Celebrate this day with the spirit of nationalism in hearts, digging into the delightful food. So today I surprised my family with Tricolor salad – Carrot Noodles With Orange Juice Dressing, Crispy Sesame Tofu with Greek Yogurt Dressing, and Baked Broccoliwith Spicy Cucumber
Carrot Noodles With Orange Juice Dressing
Rather than thin slices or half-moons, the spiralizer transforms carrots into curly noodles. For making carrot noodles I used a julienne peeler. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a compound your body changes into vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes healthy. And beta-carotene helps protect your eyes from the sun and lowers your chances of cataracts and other eye problems.
Homemade salad dressings are my favorite. They are so much better than the store-bought versions and healthier. You get to control what goes into them and skip out on all the preservatives. Oranges (My Favorite Fruit) make a great base for any salad dressings because they are naturally sweet, a little acidic.
Crispy Sesame Tofu with Greek Yogurt Dressing
Tofu is a good source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also a valuable plant source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese. In addition to this, it also contains magnesium, copper, zinc, and vitamin B1. Most recipes (roasting, frying, stir-frying, or deep-frying) require the tofu to be drained well and patted dry before cooking. Why does Tofu need to Be Pressed? Because moist tofu doesn’t absorb marinades or spices and splatters in the pan. Pressing improves the texture of tofu as well.
How to press Tofu? First, wrap a block of tofu in a kitchen paper towels (Fold a kitchen paper towels into quarters to increase the absorbency). Then again wrap tofu with a clean kitchen towel. Place wrapped tofu on a chopping board. The essence of pressing tofu is to apply steady weight to squeeze out the moisture from the block. I put a chakla (flat circular rolling board) or you can put a big pot filled with water.
Baked BroccoliWith Spicy Cucumber
Broccoli is a good source of fiber, protein, iron, potassium, calcium, selenium, and magnesium as well as vitamins A, C, E, K, and a good array of B vitamins including folic acid. Broccoli is my favorite vegetable, and this roasted broccoli is my favorite way to enjoy it. It results in the best-tasting broccoli with a perfect texture that is crispy, tender, perfectly seasoned with garlic, and Indian spices.
TriColor Salad | Carrot Noodles With Orange Juice Dressing , Crispy Sesame Tofuwith Greek Yogurt Dressing| Baked Broccoli with Spicy Cucumber
This salad may require a little extra effort but it’s so worth it. Spiralized carrot ‘noodles’ replace traditional pasta and soaked in spicy orange dressing. The ‘noodles’ along with other healthy veggies – Crispy baked sesame tofu and baked broccoli with garlic.
Carrot Noodles With Orange Juice Dressing
Carrot noodles – 4 A pinch of salt
Spicy orange dressing : Fresh orange juice – 1/2 cup (from 2 oranges) Juice of half lemon Extra virgin olive oil – 1 tsp
Spices for dressing : Roasted cumin powder – 1/4 tsp Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp Red chili flakes – 1/2 tsp Roasted fennel powder – 1/8 tsp Black salt – 1/8 tsp Dry coriander leaves powder – 1/4 Salt to taste
For the spicy orange dressing – Place fresh orange and extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice with spices in an airtight container and shake well, or whisk ingredients in a bowl.
In a large microwave safe bowl add carrots noodles with a pinch of salt and sprinkle some water. Microwave high for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes let it cool completely.
Once carrots noodles cool down completely mix with spicy orange dressing.
Marination Ingredients : Roasted cumin powder – 1/4 tsp Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp Grated garlic – 3 tbsp Black salt – 1/8 tsp Olive oil – 3 tbsp Juice of one lemon Salt to taste
Serve with Greek Yogurt Dressing : Greek yogurt ( 1 cup)combined with lemon juice (2 tbsp), garlic powder (1/4 tsp), and salt to taste. Mix it well and serve.
In a small bowl combine the olive oil and all marination ingredients. Pour this mixture over tofu cubes. Let it sit for about 20 minutes.
Take marinated tofu cubes and coat them with sesame seeds.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, at 200 C. Tossing the tofu halfway, until the tofu is deeply golden on the edges.
Toss baked tofu with greek yogurt dressing and serve.
Baked BroccoliWith Spicy Cucumber
Broccoli cut into florets of even size – 2 big size Cucumber cut into lengthwise – 2 medium size
Marination Ingredientsfor broccoli Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp Grated garlic – 3 tbsp Olive oil – 3 tbsp Juice of one lemon Salt to taste
Spices for Cucumber Salad Roasted cumin powder – 1/4 tsp Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp Black salt – 1/8 tsp Juice of one lemon Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 200 C.
In a large bowl toss the broccoli florets with marination (ingredients mentioned above) until lightly coated.
Arrange the broccoli florets in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Roast at 200 C for 20 minutes until cooked through (check by poking with a fork, should be fork tender) and lightly browned.
In a big bowl add cucumber with spices (ingredients mentioned above) and mix them well.