Chef Kunal Kapur's creative hacks

As work from home continues, snacking remains at an all-time high. Making mindful choices is imperative given the current times, where our health is of utmost importance. The hassle of daily life leads us to choose the easiest way out to cope up with hunger pangs -- ordering from a food delivery platform or binging on easily available packaged foods.

According to Mintel, snacks play a significant role in total food intake for the day which demands them to be functional and provide sensorial satisfaction. Over 98 per cent of snackers have indulged in varieties of salty snacks in the last few months. However, indulging in a salty-savoury snack is not always a mindful option for keeping our health in check. Over the past year, we have adjusted to the new way of life and most of us have adopted a dose of self-care to keep active and lively. Many are now on the watch for guilt-free recipes but do not want to compromise on taste.

Chef Kunal Kapur shares a few mouth-watering snack hacks that can help satiate cravings in the most convenient manner.

Rajma Salsa

Who says that rajma can only be enjoyed as a curry? Rajma is a rich source of dietary fibre, which helps in maintaining cholesterol levels. Very often we want to take short breaks between work, to munch on something light and crispy. Instead of a bag of flavoured, salty potato chips, you can choose to make crackers from the leftover chapatti or have your most loved khakhra with homemade dips and sauces. Rajma Salsa can be easily prepared at home with finely chopped tomatoes, onions, and coriander. In fact, you can also use the same meal-time preparation of the rajma gravy or curry and flavour it in different ways for an exciting sauce. Just remember to boil some extra rajma the next time.

Quinoa Cheela (Quinoa Pancake)

There are multiple ways to consume quinoa; quinoa upma, poha, cutlets and even cheela. Quinoa is loaded with protein; it is a versatile alternative to other pulses. Grind a bowl of soaked grains and add chopped vegetables of your choice like carrots, capsicum, and more to prepare the batter. Prepare these thin and crispy pancakes on a hot tavah. Toss sliced green chillies, black mustard seeds and grated coconut in a pan as an accompaniment or enjoy it with some fresh mint chutney. Quinoa cheela is perfect for when you want to take a short yet filling bite if you have missed a meal.

Desi Oatmeal (Spiced Oats)

Oats are incredibly nutritious and filled with many other benefits making them the ideal mindful snack. The Indian palate is naturally inclined towards freshly prepared foods and delicious flavours like chutney, curry, lemon, masala, and tomato; ready-to-cook products have now started to include these tastemakers into their compositions. Indulge in a bowl of mouth-watering Saffola Masala Oats, which comes in variants like Classic Masala, Masala & Coriander, Curry & Pepper, Peppy Tomato and Veggie Twist. Desi oatmeal can be enjoyed with fresh nimbu, bhujiya sev, roasted peanuts, sour cream with spring onions, basil pesto, crackling spinach and much more. You can opt for this during evening-time when you need something savoury and filling.

The Bhel Twist

Try Bhel with a twist. Make it with pomegranate, pears, sprouts, sweet corn, cornflakes, boiled chana, oats -- you name it! Bhel is a refreshing, customizable and quick to prepare snack option perfect to satisfy your early evening or late-night cravings. For flavouring, try lemon juice, gud ki chutney, coriander chutney, fresh green chillies.

Don't forget to accompany your snack with refreshments! Here are a few beverage pairing hacks, so you can enjoy a burst of flavours.

Grab masala chai spiced with fresh ginger, haldi, cardamom pods, and sweeten with jaggery. Sip it out of an earthen kulhad for a truly Indian experience. Try ghar ki lassi flavoured with fruits of your choice like mango, apple, banana, and sprinkle with cinnamon or powdered pista. Else, keep it simple with a honey-ginger tea that can be enjoyed both hot and cold and spiced with various condiments.

Improving your snacking habits involves making small changes every day and choosing conscious alternatives. With a plethora of ingredients to choose from, you can get really creative during snack time!          - IANS