Give your monsoon chai-time favourites a healthy upgrade with these recipes

5 healthy evening snack recipes that are perfect for a rainy day

Give your monsoon chai-time favourites a healthy upgrade with these recipes

There are always enough reasons to love the monsoon. For one, it brings with it a much-needed respite from the scorching heat. Add to that the opportunity of gorging on mouth-watering fried foods and copious amounts of tea and what you have is the perfect season. Having said that, unfettered binging could take a toll on our health, which along with the weather-change factor might not be a great idea in the long run. So, this season, we're helping you switch things up a bit.

Elaborating on this, Dr. Juhi Agarwal, clinical nutritionist at Self Care by Suman a nutritional and wellness clinic says, "Even though monsoon fosters this irresistible urge to binge on pakodas, vada pav and samosa alongside your masala chai, it also brings with it the likelihood of developing a host of infections like common cold, flu and gastroenteritis. As such, it is pivotal to keep up your health and immunity in check by consuming nutritious and wholesome food during this time."
She advises opting for low-calorie snacks that are easy on the stomach, and to help you in that direction, here are a few fun-but-harmless recipes to bookmark.

Corn And Rajma Bhel

This bhel can be your go-to evening snack. Rajma gives the chaat a boost of protein and soluble fibre to make it wholesome. The dish also has minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium and manganese, vitamin B1 and folic acid.


½ cup uncooked rajma (kidney beans; soak for 6–8 hours)

1 cup fresh corn (from cob) or sweet corn kernels

1 medium boiled potato, peeled and diced

1 medium capsicum, finely chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 green chillies, finely chopped

Fresh coriander, finely chopped

1 tsp chaat masala

¼ tsp black pepper powder

30 gm Feta cheese

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp butter

Salt as per taste


Pressure-cook the kidney beans with 2 cups of water and ¼ tsp salt and for 4 whistles. Strain and keep aside.

Pressure-cook the corn for 6 whistles. Strain and keep aside.

Melt butter in a pan. Sauté onion, capsicum and green chillies for 4 minutes.

Add corn, kidney beans, potatoes, chaat masala, black pepper powder and salt; sauté for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat; add lemon juice, Feta cheese, sugar and coriander.

Baked Vada Pav

The same great taste of a vada pav, but fortified with paneer and baked, not fried. This recipe uses very little oil and thus is low in fat. The paneer increases the nutritional value of the snack because of the high protein content. We think it's an absolute winner!


8 slices whole-wheat or white bread (4" x 4") or French baguette

1 ltr fat-free milk

4 medium boiled potatoes, peeled and diced

3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 green chillies, finely chopped

10–15 curry leaves, finely chopped

Fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

½ tsp mustard seeds

¼ tsp turmeric powder

Juice of 2 lemons

Salt as per taste

1 tbsp oil


Bring milk to a boil and turn off the flame. Immediately add the juice of 1 lemon and stir until the milk curdles. Strain through a muslin cloth, making sure all the liquid or whey is removed. What remains in the cloth is paneer.

Preheat the oven at 160°C for 7–8 minutes.

Heat the oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds; once the seeds begin to splutter, tip in the garlic, green chillies and curry leaves. Sauté for half a minute.

Add potatoes, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well.

Transfer to a large plate and cool.

Crumble the paneer and combine with the potato mix, along with coriander and juice of 1 lemon.

Mash this mixture lightly by hand and divide it into 8 portions.

Lightly toast the bread. Spread the mixture on the toasted bread and bake in a preheated oven for 5-7 minutes. Serve hot.

Sweet Potato Chaat

A warm and fibrous snack to satisfy your cravings. This chaat makes use of sweet potatoes, best known as shakarkandi in India, which you'd be surprised to know don't actually belong to the same tuberous family as the potato. But their starchy and creamy texture make them an ideal substitute for regular potatoes in most dishes. Recently labelled as a superfood, sweet potato is good for the eyes, controls blood pressure, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties too.


1 medium sweet potato

2 tsp of tamarind chutney

1 tsp of red chilli powder

1 tsp of chaat masala

1 green chillies, chopped finely

2 finely chopped onions

Fresh coriander leaves, chopped finely

Salt as per taste


Boil a sweet potato. Peel off the skin and chop it up into medium-sized pieces and divide it into 2 bowls

Add 1 tsp of tamarind chutney to each bowl

Add a pinch of salt, red chilli powder and chaat masala to each bowl with the chopped onions, chillies and coriander

Mix it up and enjoy!

Quinoa Upma

Traditional upma is made protein-rich, gluten-free and colourful too, with a little help from quinoa grains and veggies. This tasty preparation also doubles up as a good source of protein, fiber, iron and vitamin B6.


½ cup tricolour (white, red, black)/regular quinoa, pre-rinsed, uncooked

½ medium onion, finely chopped

¼ cup carrots, finely chopped

¼ cup French beans, finely chopped

¼ cup peas, shelled

½ cup red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp ginger-chilli paste

¼ tsp turmeric powder

¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)

4-6 curry leaves

2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp sugar

Salt as per taste

2 tsp ghee


Place quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and run it under cold water for a few seconds. Shake off any excess water.

Heat a non-stick pan and dry roast the quinoa for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add roasted quinoa, cover with a lid, lower the flame and simmer gently for about 8-10 minutes or till all of the water is absorbed. Stir occasionally. (You will know when the quinoa is done because it will look like it has popped open—revealing the germ of the kernel.) Set aside to cool.

Heat ghee in the same pan; splutter the cumin seeds.

Add curry leaves and hing.

Add onions; sauté until translucent.

Add ginger-chilli paste, carrots, French beans, peas and salt.

Cover and cook for 3 minutes.

Add bell peppers. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.

Add quinoa and cover it and cook for 2 minutes.

Switch off the flame.

Immediately add lime juice and sugar. Fluff with a fork and keep covered for 2 minutes.

Pesto Tomato Toast

Pesto is high in Vitamin A and C, calcium and iron, but make it fun by turning it into this pesto and tomato toast. The best part? Store the extra pesto in the freezer for up to one month and say goodbye to packaged/bottled sauces.


2 cups of basil

2 tbsp of olive oil

⅓ cup of pine nuts

6 pods of garlic

4 slices of bread (whole wheat, gluten-free or multigrain preferred)

2 tomatoes, sliced

½ cup of fresh mozzarella cheese

Salt as per taste

Pepper as per taste


Blend the basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper till it becomes a paste. Keep aside.

Toast the bread.

Add pesto on each slice of bread

Place the sliced tomatoes on top of each slice of bread

Add fresh mozzarella cheese on each slice of bread

Garnish this with a pinch of pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

This article provides general information and discussions about health, nutrition and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.

Tarvene Shahpuri

Tarvene Shahpuri

Tarvene is a chocolate and chai fiend who is constantly on the hunt for cute cafes. You can catch her baking some Biscoff cheesecakes or binge-watching Netflix shows. She likes filling up her free time painting, listening to music or going on long drives.

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