Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is also called “alternate day fasting” or “intermittent energy restriction.” It is the process of fasting and feasting alternately. It consists of eating very little or nothing at all on certain days of the week or times of the day.

‘Intermittent fasting’ involves alternating cycles of eating and fasting without specifying which types of foods can be eaten on non-fasting days. On a fasting day, a person’s intake is often limited to non-calorific fluids such as water, tea, coffee and diet drinks, or it may allow a very restricted amount of daily calories. Intermittent fasting has gained popularity over the past decade, but many people are still confused about what fasting entails. Intermittent fasting involves a short period of not eating followed by a period of eating freely. Fasting does not equate to starvation, and with all intermittent fasting regimens, get to eat every day.

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Intermittent fasting is in trend and type of eating pattern in which we have to practice to limit the food intake in a way, that cycles between defined periods of fasting and non fasting. Intermittent fasting is a type of eating with restricted calorie consumption or use reserved calories as fuel for the body.  It is the type of fasting restrictive diet and thus it is categorized under FAD Diet.

During periods of fasting, it’s important to consume lots of protein. Consuming at least 50 grams of protein on the fast day will help keep hunger at bay and muscle mass high. Examples of high protein fast day meals include shakes with lots of Greek yogurt, fruits and veggies, or a large salad with lean meat, eggs, legumes or nuts. Intermittent fasting regimens involve periods of not eating followed by a period of eating freely. It is important to consume protein during periods of fasting. Intermittent fasting can be an effective way to achieve a healthy body weight.

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Types of intermittent fasting

There is more than one way to implement intermittent fasting, and different methods will produce different results.

  • A 20-hour fast every day. This fast ends with one big meal each evening. During the 20 hour fasting period, raw fruits, vegetables, and some lean protein is allowed.
  • The 5:2 system. In this method, fasting is done any two non-consecutive days of the week. On fasting days, either one can consume nothing at all or limits to 500-600 calories. The other 5 days of the week, eating isn’t restricted.
  • The Eat-Stop-Eat diet – This is a variation of the 6:1 diet which can include two 24-hour fasts per week; this involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
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  • The 16:8 diet – This is a type of fasting for 16 hours per day by consuming all meals within an eight-hour window. Also called the Lean-gains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. Then fasting for 16 hours in between.
  • Extended overnight fast. In this version  just lengthen overnight fast to last 14 hours. In other words, to fit regular meals into a span of 10 hours and fast for 14 hours overnight. This way most of the fast occurs while sleeping – painless.
  • Alternate day fasting. This consists of eating regularly one day, 20% of your normal intake the next (about 400 calories), and repeating that pattern continuously.

The most researched intermittent fasting methods are included and explained:

1. Lean-gains Daily Intermittent Fasting:

It is a 16–hour fast followed by an 8–hour eating period. Lean-gains intermittent fasting is done every day, so it becomes very easy to get into the habit of eating on this schedule. This is a great method for achieving and maintaining a lean physique.

  • Fast for 16 hours every day (about 8 hours of the fast will take place while sleeping).
  • Eat first meal of the day after the 16-hour fast.
  • After 8 hours first meal, start another 16-hour fast.
  • It does not matter when to start the 8-hour feeding period.
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2. Weekly Intermittent Fasting 

If one is looking to bulk up or keep weight on, then this is a great option. Since this is only cutting out two meals per week and can enjoy many physiological benefits of fasting without losing weight.

  • Fast for 24 hours every week (about 8 hours of the fast will take place while sleeping).
  • In this example, lunch on Monday is the last meal of the day. Then fast until lunch on Tuesday.

3. Alternate Day Intermittent Fasting (Fast for alternating 24-hour periods)

This style of intermittent fasting is often used in research studies, but, it isn’t very popular in the real world.

  • Every other evening start a 24-hour fast (about 8 hours of the fast will take place while sleeping). In the example below, would finish the dinner and begin a 24-hour fast on Monday at 8 pm.
  • Break the fast and start a 24-hour feeding period every other evening. For example, one can start fasting on Monday at 8 pm and eat the next meal on Tuesday at 8 pm.
  • Ideally, the alternate day intermittent fasting schedule should allow to eat at least one meal a day.

Fed and Fasted

There are some true benefits of fasting, as well as some dangers, and some claims are not backed up by science.

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Based on studies over the past two years from the National Institutes of Health and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, when done correctly, fasting can have positive benefits. Scientists are still researching on the topic, but so far there is good news. Intermittent fasting has been linked to decreases in weight, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and inflammation. Diabetes, heart disease, and blood sugar levels were also lowered in people who fasted. Fasting wasn’t linked to significant fatigue or mental impairments either.

Fasting every other day, or going for too long without food may led to serious starvation-like effects such as heart and organ damage and muscle loss. People also stayed hungry while they fasted, no matter how long they kept up the diet.

Fed state

  1. Insulin high.  2. Glucose high. 3. Burning glucose. 4. Storing fat.

 Fasted State

  1. Insulin low. 2. Glucose low. 3. Liberating fat. 4. Burning fat

Changes that takes place during Fasting

  • Human Growth Hormone (HGH): The levels of growth hormone skyrocket, increasing as much as 5 -fold. This has benefits for fat loss and muscle gain.
  • Insulin: Insulin sensitivity improves and levels of insulin drop dramatically. Lower insulin levels make stored body fat more accessible.
  • Cellular repair: When fasted, cells initiate cellular repair processes. This includes autophagy, where cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells.
  • Gene expression: There are changes in the function of genes related to longevity and protection against disease. These changes in hormone levels, cell function and gene expression are responsible for the health benefits of intermittent fasting.

Fasting is an effective way of achieving a healthy body weight.

In a recent year-long study, adults with obesity lost 6% of body weight (approximately 13 pounds) and maintained this weight loss with alternate day fasting. Studies also support the use of 5:2 and 16:8 for weight loss. After 3-6 months of 5:2 or 16:8, people with obesity decreased body weight by 3 – 7% (8 -15 pounds). Intermittent fasting can also help reduce the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. Recent evidence shows that fasting can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol by up 15%, triglycerides by up to 25%, and raise “good” HDL cholesterol by up to 10%. Blood pressure also decreases by 5 -10 mm Hg with various fasting regimens. Reductions in diabetes risk have also been observed during periods of fasting. For instance, intermittent fasting has been shown to lower blood glucose, insulin, and improve insulin sensitivity in people with obesity and pre-diabetes. Reduction in risk for heart disease and diabetes can be attributed to weight loss associated with intermittent fasting.

More recently, it’s been shown that intermittent fasting may help slow aging and extend lifespan. In a very recent study conducted at Harvard University, fasting was shown to help keep certain cell components in a “youthful” state, which may in turn improve life expectancy.

More and more scientific evidence shows that fasting is a great way to lower chronic disease risk, slow aging, and achieve a healthy body weight.

The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

  • Fasting simplifies our day by reducing the number of meals you have to prepare.
  • Intermittent fasting helps to live longer. Scientists have known for a long time that restricting calories can lengthen life. Intermittent fasting activates many of the same mechanisms for extending life as calorie restriction.
  • Intermittent fasting may reduce the risk of cancer. A small amount of medical research has indicated that fasting might be helpful in the fight against cancer.
  • Fasting can help to get lean. Fasting puts body in a fat burning state that is rarely reach while following a normal eating schedule.
  • Intermittent fasting is much easier than traditional diets. The reason most diets fail is because we don’t follow the diet over the long term. Fasting is a weight loss method that is remarkably easy to stick to long-term.
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  • Aids weight loss.
  • Protects heart health.
  • Improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Protects brain functioning.
  • Inhibits cancer cell growth.
  • Reduce bad cholesterol
  • Reduce aging process
  • Improves metabolism
  • Promotes longitivity
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves neurodegenerative diseases
  • Normalizes blood pressure
  • Promotes fat loss.
  • Improves cellular regeneration and repair.
  • Improves lipid parameters
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Improves allergies.

 Safety and Side Effects

Hunger is the main side effect of intermittent fasting. One may also feel weak and our brain may not perform as well as you’re used to. This may only be temporary, as it can take some time for our body to adapt to the new meal schedule. If we have a medical condition, we should consult with the doctor before trying intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting has an outstanding safety profile. There is nothing dangerous about not eating for a while if one is healthy and well-nourished overall.

Safety should be taken if someone have these problems:

  • Have diabetes.
  • Have problems with blood sugar regulation.
  • Have low blood pressure.
  • Take medications.
  • Are underweight.
  • Have a history of eating disorders.
  • A woman who is trying to conceive.
  • A woman with a history of amenorrhea.
  • A woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding.

People with type 1 diabetes or women who are pregnant or nursing should not try these diets. Moreover, children are not advised to try fasting as it may impede their growth. Keep in mind that intermittent fasting is just one option for weight loss. While some people may find fasting easier to stick to than daily calorie restriction, others may not. All in all, people should choose a diet that they can easily incorporate into their lifestyle and stick to long-term.

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Overall, there is quite a lot of contrasting findings in relation to intermittent fasting, but the one common message is that more evidence is needed to examine the effects of this method; in particular longer-term human studies. However, current research indicates that intermittent fasting can be an effective method to promote weight loss, so this may be worth considering for some individuals, while weighing up the pros and cons of intermittent fasting as discussed in this article.


  • Our ancestors would have had periods of fasting depending on food availability.
  • Some people prefer an ‘all or nothing’ approach when trying to restrict calories for weight loss compared to a ‘moderation’ approach.
  • Promoters of intermittent fasting report a host of long-term health benefits, such as increased longevity, improved metabolic health, improved weight loss and a reduction in diseases, e.g. heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.


  • May lead to tiredness, headaches, lack of concentration and poor mood.
  • May be dangerous if unsupervised by a medical professional depending on the person’s age, medical history and lifestyle.
  • Not a very balanced approach, potential to interfere with metabolic rate.
  • An overall lack of evidence and no significant differences in outcomes found between more moderate daily restriction and this extreme fasting approach.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to the most common questions about intermittent fasting.

Can I Drink Liquids during the Fast?

Yes. Water, Coffee, tea and other non-caloric beverages are fine. Do not add sugar to your coffee. Small amounts of milk or cream may be okay. Coffee can be particularly beneficial during a fast, as it can blunt hunger.

Isn’t It Unhealthy to Skip Breakfast?

No. The problem is that most stereotypical breakfast skippers have unhealthy lifestyles. If you make sure to eat healthy food for the rest of the day then the practice is perfectly healthy.

Can I Take Supplements While Fasting?

Yes. However, keep in mind that some supplements like fat-soluble vitamins may work better when taken with meals.

Can I Work out while Fasted?

Yes, fasted workouts are fine. Some people recommend taking branched chain amino acids  (BCAAs) before a fasted workout.

Will Fasting Cause Muscle Loss?

All weight loss methods can cause muscle loss, which is why it’s important to lift weights and keep your protein intake high. One study showed that intermittent fasting causes less muscle loss than regular calorie restriction.

Should Kids Fast?

Allowing child to fast is probably a bad idea.

Ragi dosa


Ragi dosa

  • Author: Meenu Agarwal
  • Prep Time: 45 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Cuisine: South Indian
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Ragi Dosa are nothing but finger millet crepes/pancakes made with ragi flour. This gluten free recipe can be served as a Breakfast or Dinner meal with a side accompaniment of home made chutneys/raita’s or vegetable and dal preparations like Sambhar. Ragi is easily digestible and very nutritious and is excellent for infants, lactating mothers and for those recovering from illnesses.


  • Ragi flour-1 cup
  • Rice flour-1/4th cup
  • Sour curd-1/4th cup
  • Green chilli chopped-1
  • Coriander leaves chopped-2 tbsp.
  • Oil-1 tbsp.
  • Salt-as per taste
  • Water-as required to make thin consistency


1. Take Ragi flour, rice flour, chopped green chillies and curd in a large bowl.

2. Add 1½ cups water and salt. Mix well and keep batter aside for 30 minutes to settle. Batter should have pouring consistency like buttermilk. If required, add more water to get the required consistency.

3. Add chopped onion and coriander leaves and stir to mix well.

4. Heat dosa tawa/griddle over medium flame. Stir the batter before making each dosa. When tawa is medium hot (see tips), smear oil on the surface, take ladle full batter and pour it over tawa (from the 2-3 inches height) from center to the side in circular motion. Try to keep few empty gaps in between to allow it cook evenly. Do not spread the batter. Drizzle 1-teaspoon oil around the edges of dosa and cook until color of top surface changes to brown, it will take approx. 1-minute over medium flame.

5. Ease out dosa with spatula and flip it over another side, cook for 30-40 seconds over medium flame.

6. Turn off flame. Fold crisp and hot ragi dosa and transfer to a serving plate and serve with coconut chutney.


  • Serving Size: 4
  • Calories: 250-260Kcal
  • Fat: 18-20g
  • Carbohydrates: 35-40g
  • Protein: 8-10g

Chana dal dosa


Chana dal dosa

  • Author: Shampa Banerjee
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Cuisine: South Indian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Dosa is a very popular South Indian food. Chana Dal Dosa is a variety of the regular Dosa we eat. It is primarily eaten during breakfast. Chana Dal Dosa is a pure combination of health and taste. It combines cereal protein and pulse protein to improve the overall quality of protein that goes in our body. Chana Dal Dosa can be served with Sambar and Chutney.


  • Rice : 1/2 cup
  • Chana dal: ¼ cup
  • Urad dal: 1 tbsp.
  • Fenugreek seeds: 1/4th
  • Green chilli: 1-2 nos.
  • Salt as per taste


  1. Soak rice, urad dal , chana dal and fenugreek seeds in water for 4-5 hours
  2. Then put rice, urad dal, chana dal and fenugreek seeds in a mixer-grinder. Add water and grind to make a smooth paste.
  3. Transfer the batter into a deep bowl and mix well. Cover the lid and keep aside to ferment in a warm place for 10-12 hours.
  4. Once fermented, add 2 tbsp of water and salt. Mix well to make a smooth dosa batter.
  5. Heat a non –stick tava in high flame then sprinkle little water on tava and wipe it off
  6. Pour a ladleful of batter on it and spread it in a circular motion.
  7. Smear a little oil over it and cook on medium flame till the dosa turns golden brown and crisp
  8. Serve with sambhar and chutney


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 126Kcal
  • Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Protein: 6g

Keywords: #healthybreakfast

Moong Dal Cheela/Pancake Recipe


Moong Dal Cheela/Pancake Recipe

  • Author: Mubarra
  • Prep Time: 5 - 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minute
  • Category: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Moong dal Cheela/Pancake is a healthy, delicious and quick to make recipe that can be consumed as a breakfast or snack item. It can be made with minimal ingredients and within minutes given, that the Moong dal is soaked overnight or for few hours before preparation. It can be served without any sides but it tastes best when served with homemade chutneys/pickle/curd/raita.




  • 1/4 cup Moong Dal (whole or split with husk) 
  • 1 tablespoon Green Peas
  • 1 tablespoon Water
  • 2 teaspoons of finely chopped Onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon of finely chopped Ginger 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of finely chopped  Coriander leaves 
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4  teaspoon of finely chopped Green Chili 
  • 1  teaspoon ghee or Oil


  • Wash and soak the moong dal for around 3-4 hours prior to making the batter.
  • Then take the soaked and drained moong dal, blend it in a mixer along with green chillies, green peas, ginger, using little water to make a thick paste.
  • In a bowl, add onion, coriander leaves, salt and the blended moong dal and peas paste.
  • Mix well and add water to make a thin dosa like batter. Remember to add water in small batches to get your desired consistency (Medium thick consistency)
  • Heat a large nonstick frying pan on medium-high heat. Add a little oil to coat the pan.
  • Pour a ladle full of batter when the pan is hot and flatten out until 1cm thick. 
  • Pour a little oil on either side and cook until golden brown.
  • Flip and cook on the other side. 
  • Serve hot with any Chutney/Pickle/Salsa/Curry


The Moong dal Cheela/Pancake can be stuffed with or topped with vegetables of your choice to make it more nutritionally balanced.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 167.75 Kcal
  • Fat: 5.325 g
  • Carbohydrates: 21.11 g
  • Protein: 8.79 g

Keywords: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snack, healthy, vegetarian, Protein, weightloss

Mixed Vegetables preparation



Mixed Vegetables preparation


This mixed vegetables preparation with added Paneer is not only easy to prepare, but also has the goodness of vegetables and different flavours from the spices used which makes it an overall delectable nutritious dish.


Onion (freshly chopped) – 1 medium

Mushrooms – 6 – 8 (sliced)

French beans – 4 – 6 (chopped)

Green capsicum – ¼ (chopped)

Yellow bell pepper – ¼ (chopped)

Tomato (deseeded) – ¼ (chopped)

Cauliflower florets – 2-3

Paneer – 100 gms

Carrot – ½ (chopped)

Green peas (boiled) – ½ cup

Salt – to taste

Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Red chili powder – 1 tsp

Coriander powder – 1 tsp

Garam Masala – ½ tsp

Tandoori Masala – 1 tsp

Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp


1) Take a heavy bottomed kadhai. Add oil and heat it. Add cumin seeds and sauté for a minute.

2) Add chopped onions and stir well. Sauté till transparent. Add salt and mix well.

3) Add all the above listed chopped vegetables to the sautéed onion and cover it with a lid. Cook for 4-5 minutes on low medium heat stirring occasionally.

4) Add boiled peas and mix well. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes.

5) Add seasonings: Turmeric powder, salt, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, tandoori masala. Mix well.

6) Add chopped deseeded tomato to the pan and mix it well. Cover and cook on low medium heat.

7) Add paneer cubes to the vegetables and mix well. Cover and cook on low medium heat.

8) Add freshly chopped coriander leaves on top. Serve hot and garnish with chopped ginger on the top.


  • Serving Size: 2
  • Calories: 65 - 75 KCAL
  • Fat: 5 - 7 GM
  • Carbohydrates: 15 - 20 GM
  • Protein: 4 - 6 GM


Aloo – Peas (Dry)



  • Author: Meenu Agarwal
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30


This Aloo-Peas dry preparation is an easy and simple North Indian cuisine recipe prepared with basic ingredients : Potatoes and peas. This vegan and gluten free recipes makes and excellent pairing with steamed rice/roti for as an ideal lunch or dinner choice.


Potato – 2 medium size (diced)

Peas – ½ cup (half boiled)

Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp

Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp

Fennel seeds – ¼ tsp

Green chilies – 1-2 finely chopped

Red chili powder – ½ tsp

Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp

Coriander powder – 1 tsp

Amchoor powder – ¼ tsp

Garam masala – ¼ tsp

Salt – to taste


  1. Heat a non-stick pan. Add 1 tbsp. oil. Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, green chilies. Mix well.
  2. Add diced potato to the pan, half boiled peas, mix well.
  3. Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt. Mix well.
  4. Simmer the flame & cover the pan with the lid.
  5. Stir occasionally & check if the vegetables are soft.
  6. Add the remaining seasonings & mix well.
  7. Cover the pan & cook for 1-2 minutes more. Stir it well.
  8. Add some coriander leaves & mix.
  9. Serve hot with a drop of lemon juice over it.


  • Serving Size: 2
  • Calories: 100 - 110
  • Fat: 7 - 10
  • Carbohydrates: 35 - 40
  • Protein: 6 - 8

Hummus dip



Hummus dip

  • Author: shampa Banerjee
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes


Hummus is an extremely popular dip that is widely used all across the Middle-East. Hummus is made with chickpeas, sesame seeds and some other healthy spices. It is both healthy and tasty, and literally takes minutes to prepare.


  • Chickpeas : 25g
  • Olive oil: 2 tsp.
  • Sesame seeds:10 g
  • Coriander powder: 1/2 tsp.
  • Paprika powder: ½ tsp.
  • Garlic pods: 2-3 nos.
  • Lime :1 no
  • Salt as per taste


  1. Soak raw chickpeas in water overnight.
  2. Boil chickpeas and put them in a container. Also keep the water in another pot.
  3. In a frying pan roast sesame seeds. Put the roasted sesame seeds and add a teaspoon of olive oil on a mixing bowl. Mix them well to make tahini paste.
  4. Put tahini paste, boiled chickpeas, garlic pods, lemon juice, roasted cumin powder, olive oil (1/2 tsp.) and salt in a mixer-grinder. First mix them without water and then add water which was used for boiling chickpeas.
  5. Mix well and serve adding olive oil (1/2 tsp.) and paprika powder on top.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 116Kcal
  • Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Protein: 7g

Bhetki paturi


BHETKI PATURI (Barramundi Fish Wrapped in Banana Leaf)

  • Author: Shampa Banerjee
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Cuisine: Bengali


Bhetki Paturi is a popular Bengali dish where fillets of Bhetki fish are cooked by wrapping them in banana leaves. This recipe can be prepared using other types of fish as well. To prepare Paturi very little oil is needed as the cooking is mostly done by steam. Bhetki Paturi is both incredibly delicious and healthy.


  • Bhetki fillet : 2 pcs (200 g)
  • Mustard oil: 1 tsp.
  • Poppy seeds: 1 tbsp.
  • White mustard seeds: 1 tbsp.
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tsp.
  • Curd: 1 tbsp. (Optional)
  • Green chilli :2-3 nos.
  • Lime :1 no
  • Salt as per taste
  • Banana leaf / foil paper (For covering the fish)


  • Marinate the bhetki fillets with 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice and salt for 15 minutes.
  • Mix white mustard, poppy seeds and green chillies well in a mixer-grinder with one teaspoon of water.
  • Add turmeric powder, salt, curd and mustard oil and mix until a smooth paste is formed.
  • Cover the bhetki fillets with the mixture evenly and add 2-3 drops of mustard oil on top.
  • Take a rectangular banana leaf and place one spiced up bhetki fillet on it. Cover the fillet properly with the leaf using a thread. If you are using aluminium foil instead of banana leaves, make sure to cover the fillet properly. Repeat the process with the second fillet.
  • Place both the covered bhetki fillets onto a pan and close the lid. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on medium flame. Turn them upside down and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Turn off the flame and leave them inside the pan for another 5 minutes with covered lid.



  • Serve bhetki paturi with brown rice or pulao.


  • Serving Size: 2
  • Calories: 225 kcal
  • Sugar: 0
  • Fat: 7g
  • Carbohydrates: 0
  • Protein: 31g

Keywords: #healthyfish #omega3fattyacids #hearthealth

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