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Dr Rupy Aujla’s new recipe book – COOKS – is all about
simple, flavour-busting dishes designed to
transform your health and wellbeing.

Nutrition has never tasted so indulgent – with more than 100 recipes COOKS is a showcase on how food has the power to support a healthier, happier life.

svg+xml,%3Csvg%20xmlns%3D%27http%3A%2F%2Fwww.w3 - Recipes for a healthier you - by Dr Rupy

COOKS is Dr Rupy’s fourth book following his bestsellers Doctor’s Kitchen 3-2-1, Eat to Beat Illness and The Doctors Kitchen. We love his pioneering approach where a joy of cooking blends with the science of food as medicine.

Perfectly timed for those new year “get fit – get healthy” resolutions, the vibrant recipes in COOKS go against quick-fix diets and promote a positive way of eating well for life.

COOKS includes recipes for brunches and dinners, healthy feasts and desserts, vegetarian and vegan dishes as well as gluten and nut-free options, there are super simple dishes including traybakes, prep ahead meals, casseroles and less than 30-minute meals

Celebrating flavours from an array of different cultures, there’s a dish to suit and inspire everyone. Here we’ve chosen three that taste just as incredible as they look.

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Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

This sweet and spicy dish is simple to make, the caraway and nigella seeds lend an undertone of earthy flavours countered by earthy garlic and chilli. Make this vegetarian by substituting the prawns with more beans.

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
240g white onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 red chillies, finely chopped
2 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp nigella seeds
2 tsp dried oregano
500g tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp honey
50g feta, crumbled
200g chard or spinach leaves, roughly chopped
20g basil, roughly chopped (reserve some leaves to garnish)
1 x 400g can giant white beans or butter beans (or any other white bean), drained and rinsed
200g raw jumbo prawns, shelled and deveined

Preheat the grill to high.
Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until soft and translucent, then add the garlic, chilli and seasoning and cook for 2 minutes to colour and infuse their flavour.

Toss in the caraway and nigella seeds with the oregano and stir into the onions for 1 minute before adding the tomatoes, tomato purée, honey and feta. Cover and cook for 12 minutes until the tomatoes have fully broken down and the feta has melted into the sauce. Add a splash of water if it sticks to the bottom of the pan.

Uncover the pan and stir so that all the ingredients combine with the sauce, then add the green leaves and basil, reserving a few basil leaves to garnish, and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until the greens have wilted.
Add the beans to the sauce and place the prawns on top. Simmer for 2 minutes then transfer to the grill for 4 minutes to finish cooking the prawns and caramelise the top of the dish.
Garnish with the reserved basil leaves and serve.

For a smoother sauce, blend the chilli, garlic and onion in a small processor before cooking.
For even more flavour, toast the caraway and nigella seeds for 1–2 minutes and crush in a pestle and mortar before adding.

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Serves 4 generously
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 40 minutes
A take on Hainanese chicken, with aromatic flavours, delicious spices and plenty of greens to serve with flavoured rice.

1 x 1.5kg chicken
50g fresh ginger, sliced
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled, bashed
4 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tsp black peppercorns
3 star anise
6 cloves
300g short-grain brown rice, rinsed well

To serve
400g choi sum or pak choi
300g ripe tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
4 spring onions, shredded
Small bunch of coriander, torn
4 tbsp Cheat’s Quick Chilli Oil or Chinese chiu chow chilli oil (shop-bought)

Put the chicken into a large stockpot and pour over enough cold water to completely cover.
Add the ginger, garlic, tamari or soy sauce and spices, then bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes, skimming the surface occasionally to remove any impurities.

Remove from the heat and leave to stand with the lid on for 10 minutes, then transfer the chicken to a baking tray, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest.
Strain the poaching broth into a jug, skim off any fat, then pour 600ml back into the pan (any leftover broth can be chilled or frozen).
Add the rice, bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to stand with the lid on for a further 10 minutes.

When the rice is nearly ready, steam the choi sum or pak choi in a separate pan for 2 to 3 minutes until wilted.
Take the chicken breast off the bone and cut into thick slices. Pull the thigh and leg meat away from the bone.
Season the rice with a little extra tamari or soy sauce, if needed.
Serve the chicken with the rice, choi sum, tomatoes and cucumber, drizzled with the chilli oil. Garnish with the spring onions and coriander.

3 tbsp light olive oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp tamari or light soy sauce
1⁄2 tsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove, grated
1⁄2 tsp chilli flakes

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and warm gently until the garlic starts to fizz. Remove the pan from the heat, stir for 1 minute then leave to cool.

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The recipe tester commented that this meal “… looked like you’d been in the kitchen all day when in reality the prep took no time at all!” This stunning feast offers a collection of complex flavours – nobody will realise it’s fully plant-based.

Serves 5 to 6
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

3 tsp garam masala
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground turmeric
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large cauliflower (750g), quartered, leaves removed, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 200ºC fan.
Mix the spices and oil in a bowl with plenty of seasoning. Brush onto the cauliflower quarters and leaves, adding a little more oil if needed.
Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes until golden, turning the cauliflower and ruffling the leaves halfway through.

Serves 5 to 6
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

500g baby aubergines, halved lengthways
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp black pepper
4 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200ºC fan.
Mix the aubergines, spices and oil in a roasting tin, coating the aubergine pieces well.
Sprinkle with plenty of salt and bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes until golden.

Serves 5 to 6
Prep time: 10 minutes, plus soaking
Cook time: 20 minutes

2 tbsp coconut oil
40g fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 star anise
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (or paprika)
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp cumin seeds
400g red lentils, soaked for 10 minutes then drained
1 vegetable stock cube
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
300ml hot water
200g spinach, roughly chopped

Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
Add the ginger, spices and plenty of seasoning and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the lentils and cook for a further 1 minute.
Crumble in the stock cube, pour in the coconut milk and hot water, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until the lentils are soft, adding more water if necessary to stop it drying out.
Add the spinach for the last 2 minutes of cooking to gently wilt.

Serves 5 to 6
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

200g spinach, roughly chopped
300g kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
300g spring greens, stems removed and roughly chopped
500ml hot water

For the tarka
4 tbsp avocado oil or coconut oil
12 curry leaves
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes

Place the chopped spinach, kale and spring greens in a large pan.
Add the hot water and plenty of salt and pepper, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until broken down.
Blend with a stick blender; the mixture should be fairly thick (you can add a tablespoon of coconut yoghurt to thicken, if needed).
Meanwhile, in a small pan over a medium heat, make the tarka (a spiced oil mix).
Add the oil, curry leaves, spices and some salt to the pan and cook for a few minutes until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Then throw over the saag in the pan to serve.

250g coconut yoghurt
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of garam masala
Cooked brown basmati rice
Mango pickle

Whip the coconut yoghurt with the lemon juice and salt to taste and dust with a pinch of garam masala to serve.
Serve with brown basmati rice, flatbreads and mango pickle

COOKS by Dr Rupy can be found at Waterstones, Amazon and all good bookshops.

Images and recipes extracted from COOKS by Dr Rupy Aujla (Ebury Press, £22)

Photography by David Loftus