Your Cancer Diet: Best Recipes from Telugu Cuisine

by Dr Krishna Priya
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An intensive cancer treatment can have side-effects like loss of appetite, loss of taste, nausea, vomiting etc. However, it’s very important to ensure that you keep up your daily nutritional intake during this time as extreme loss of weight or energy can delay your treatment and recovery. 

If you belong to the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh regions, or have a preference for Telugu cuisine, you can continue to enjoy your favourite dishes while maintaining your nutritional intake. 

In this blog, Senior Dietician Dr Krishna Priya gives you some of the choicest dishes from the Telugu cuisine, with recipes that are adjusted for a cancer diet. With these dishes you can maintain your high protein intake, as well ensure sufficient fibre for better digestion. 

A cancer diet not only helps you recover much faster, but also helps to reduce the side-effects. If you suffer from co-morbidities like diabetes, high blood pressure etc, you may need a customised diet for your condition. Onco.com’s cancer dieticians can help you with a customised diet suited to your type of cancer, the mode of treatment you are on, your current health condition and any allergies or food preferences you have. Contact us on 79965 79965 to get your customised diet plan. 

You can also find a non-vegetarian, South Indian meal plan for cancer patients here.

If you prefer a vegetarian cancer meal plan, you can click here.

 Best Cancer Diet Recipes from Telugu Cuisine

  • Cheesy Oats Pesarattu

best telugu diet for cancer

Ingredients

½ cup green moong (whole)

¼ cup rolled oats (instant oats)

½ cup raw rice

½ tsp methi seeds

Shredded cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)

2 green chillies

1 inch ginger

½ cup coriander leaves

Ghee for greasing the pan

Salt to taste

1 cup sliced green capsicum

1 sliced onion

100 gms paneer 

½ cup tomato ketchup or any spread of your choice

2 tsps coriander leaves, chopped

Method

  • Soak the green moong, raw rice and fenugreek seeds together for 7 hours, or overnight. 
  • In a mixer, powder the oats and keep aside. 
  • Grind the soaked ingredients, along with the chillies and ginger. 
  • Add the oats powder to this batter. Add water if required, to get dosa-like consistency. 
  • Add the chopped coriander leaves to the batter. 
  • In a bowl, mix together the capsicum, paneer, onions and remaining coriander leaves. 
  • Heat a dosa pan and grease it with ghee. 
  • Spread the batter on the pan, like pancakes. 
  • Cook both sides till crisp. 
  • Spread the ketchup or spread on one side.
  • Top it with the vegetables and sprinkle with the shredded cheese. 
  • Serve warm.
  • Urad Dal Ladoo

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Ingredients

1 cup urad dal

⅓ cup sugar

⅓ cup ghee

3 – 4 pods of cardamoms (elaichi)

Method

  • Heat a heavy bottomed pan.
  • On low flame, roast the urad dal till it is golden brown. 
  • Cool the well-roasted urad dal on a plate.
  • Grind the cooled urad dal, along with the cardamom, into a fine powder. 
  • Separately powder the sugar.
  • Mix the powdered urad dal with the powdered sugar.
  • Melt the ghee in a pan, and add it to the urad dal and sugar powder. 
  • Using a spatula, mix it together till it becomes a thick mix.
  • You can now roll the mix into laddoos. 
  • To make them last longer, store the laddoos in an airtight container. 
  • Bobattlu (with wheat flour)

bobatlu for cancer nutrition

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup chana dal

1 cup jaggery

1 ½ cup water for cooking the chana dal

Water for kneading the dough

3 tbsp ghee

¼ tsp cardamom powder

Salt to taste

Method

  • Add a pinch of salt and the ghee to the flour. 
  • Using water, knead it into a smooth dough. Set aside for two hours.
  • Soak the chana in water for an hour. 
  • Drain and cook the chana in 1 ½ cups of water, in a pressure cooker. It will take about 5 whistles on medium flame for it to be cooked through.
  • Once cool, drain the chana and grind it in a mixer with jaggery, a pinch of salt and cardamom powder. Make sure the paste is smooth.
  • Roast the mixture in a pan to remove any remaining water. 
  • Roll the mixture into small balls, to be used as stuffing for the Bobabtlu. 
  • Roll the dough you set aside into balls. You should have the same number of balls of dough and channa.
  • Flatten the flour balls into circles large enough to place the channa ball in the centre. Pull up the flour around the channa ball, covering it fully. 
  • Pat these balls in flour and roll them out like rotis. 
  • Cook these bobbatlu on the pan, evenly on both sides. Use ghee on each side. 
  • Serve warm.
  • Mango Rice

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Ingredients

2 cups cooked rice

1 raw mango, shredded 

¼ cup peanuts

2 sprigs curry leaves

2 dry chillies

¼ tsp turmeric

3 tbsp oil

1 inch ginger

1 tbsp chana dal

1 tbsp urad dal

1 tsp mustard seeds

Pinch of asafoetida (hing)

Salt to taste

Method

  • Add a tbsp of oil to a deep pan and heat it. 
  • Roast the peanuts in this oil till they are golden brown.Set aside for later. 
  • Add the rest of the oil in the pan. Splutter the mustard seeds. 
  • Roast the chana dal, urad dal, and red chillies. 
  • Add in the ginger, green chillies and curry leaves till the leaves turn crisp.
  • Add the hing, salt and turmeric. 
  • Add the mango, cook with the pan covered, till the mango is soft and pulpy.
  • Add in the rice, a little at a time, to allow you to mix through properly. 
  • Turn off the flame and add in the peanuts as garnish when serving. 
  • Beetroot Rasam

best curries during cancer

Ingredient

2 cups beetroot (peeled and chopped)

2 tbsp coconut (grated)

6 cloves of garlic (crushed)

½ onion (chopped)

1 cup tamarind juice

2 tsp oil

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp urad dal

A pinch of asafetida (hing)

2 sprigs of curry leaves

2 green chillies

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp chilli powder

¼ cup finely chopped mint and coriander leaves

Salt to taste

Method

  • Cook the beetroot for ten minutes or till soft, adding water only if required. 
  • Puree the cooked beetroot with the coconut. Set aside.
  • In a pan, heat oil. Splutter the mustard seeds. 
  • Roast the urad dal, cumin seeds, curry leaves and add hing. 
  • Add the garlic cloves and saute till they turn golden brown.
  • Add the onions and the green chillies. Saute till the onions have softened.
  • Add the tamarind, salt and turmeric. Boil this for five minutes.
  •  Add the beetroot puree. Add water if required. This mix needs to have the consistency of rasam. 
  • Finally add the chilli powder, coriander leaves and mint leaves. 
  • Serve warm. 
  • Chicken Pulao

what to eat during targeted therapy in india

Ingredients

250 gms chicken (cubed)

1 ½ cups basmati rice

2 ½ cups water 

2 tbsp curd

1 onion (chopped)

1 tomato (chopped)

2 tbsp oil

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

½ tsp red chilli powder

A pinch of turmeric powder

1 tsp garam masala

1 bay leaf

1 star anise

½ tsp cumin seeds

6 cloves

4 cardamoms

1 inch piece of acacia bark (dalchini)

¾ tsp fennel powder (saunf)

2 tbsp mint leaves (finely chopped)

2 tbsp coriander leaves (finely chopped)

Salt to taste

Method

  • Wash and soak basmati rice for 20 minutes
  • Marinate the chicken in curd, red chilli powder, salt, ginger garlic paste and turmeric. This will tenderise the chicken. 
  • Heat oil in a cooker. Add the spices: bay leaf, star anise, cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom, dalchini and fennel powder.
  • Add onions and green chilli. Saute till the onions turn golden brown. 
  • Add the marinated chicken and cook it till it turns white. 
  • Add the tomato and cook till it turns mushy. 
  • Add the mint and coriander leaves. 
  • Add water and bring to a boil. 
  • Add the salt and the drained rice. 
  • Pressure cook till one whistle on medium heat. 
  • Fluff up the rice before serving.
  • Millet Cake 

cakes for cancer patients

Ingredients

60 gms millet flour (any type)

50 gms sugar

20 ml milk

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Whip the eggs in a bowl, till they are fluffy. 
  • Add a little sugar at a time and keep whisking. Stop when stiff peaks form. 
  • Now, add the millet flour first, a little at a time and fold it in. 
  • Add the milk and the vanilla next. 
  • Pour this into a greased cake pan. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes. You can know if the cake is baked through by inserting a toothpick in the centre. If it comes out clean, then the ready is ready to be taken out of the oven. 
  • You can dust powdered sugar over the cake if you prefer that. Slice and serve. 
  • Palak and Dal – Dry 

South Indian recipes to improve strength during cancer

Ingredient

250 gm spinach leaves

½ cup arhar dal (split toor dal)

I finely chopped onion

2 fresh chillies

3 pods of garlic, finely chopped

½ tsp red chilli

¼ tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp garam masala

Salt to taste

Oil for stir frying

Method

  • Wash and chop the spinach leaves.
  • Cook the arhar dal with water till it is half cooked.
  • In a pan, heat oil. 
  • Splutter the cumin seeds in the oil. 
  • Then, add the garlic and the red chillies.
  • Once the raw smell of garlic fades, add the onions. 
  • Saute the onions till they soften. 
  • Add the spinach, turmeric and salt. Stir for a 4 -5 minutes. 
  • Add the arhar dal, and stir till the dal is cooked. 
  • Add the red chilli powder and the garam masala powder and stir well  before turning off the flame. 
  • Sarvapindi

Hyderabad cancer diet options

Ingredients

3 cups rice flour

2 cups water

1 cup spinach leaf (finely chopped)

1 cup spring onions (finely chopped) – optional

2 green chilled, crushed

A few sprigs of curry leaves

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

Method

  • In a pot, boil two cups of water.
  • Add in the rice flour and mix well. 
  • Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl and allow it to cool. 
  • Add the spinach leaves, spring onions, curry leaves, salt and crushed chillies to the batter. 
  • Rest the batter for ten minutes.
  • Then roll it into 12 balls.
  • Press out each ball into roti shape on a pan, on medium flame. 
  • Drizzle oil and cook both sides evenly.
  • Once brown spots appear, you can take the roti off the pan. 
  • Serve with yogurt. 
  • Gongura Chicken Curry (Less Spicy)

tasty options during cancer

Ingredients

500 gms chicken

1 ½ cups gongura leaves

1 onion (finely chopped)

1 tsp garam masala powder

2 tbsp poppy seeds paste

1 bay leaf

2 cardamoms

2 cloves

1 inch cinnamon

½ tsp cumin seeds

¾ tbsp ginger garlic paste

A pinch of turmeric powder

¼ tsp red chilli powder

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

Method

  • Marinate the chicken with ginger garlic paste, turmeric, chilli powder and salt. 
  • Dry roast the poppy seeds till they turn crunchy.
  • Make a paste out of the poppy seeds by powdering them in the mixer and then adding a little water. 
  • Saute the cleaned gongura leaves with a tsp of oil. 
  • When the leaves lose their moisture and shrink in size, turn off the heat. 
  • Once cooled, blend the leaves into a paste. 
  • Saute the whole spices; cumin, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom in oil in a pan. 
  • Add the onions and curry leaves. Saute till the onions soften.
  • Add the chicken and garam masala. 
  • Cook the chicken till it turns white and soft, adding water as required. 
  • Add the gongura and poppy seeds paste. 
  • Mix well and cook till the gravy reaches the right consistency. 
  • Add salt to taste. 
  • Serve warm with rice or roti. 
  • Egg Dosa

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Ingredients

1 cup dosa batter

2 eggs

1 thinly sliced onion

¼ cup grated carrot

A few sprigs of coriander leaves, finely chopped

2 tsp oil

Salt to taste

Method

  • Heat a tawa and grease it with oil. 
  • Pour the dosa batter to make a dosa.
  • When the dosa is semi-cooked, break an egg on it and spread the yolk across the dosa. 
  • Add a sprinkling of the onions, coriander leaves and carrot over the dosa.
  • Flip it and gently press down to cook the egg fully.
  • Flip back and serve warm. 
  • Crispy Bhindi Recipe

fried foods during cancer treatment

Ingredients

500 gms okra (bhindi)

2 tsp peanuts

1 -2 red chillies

2 tbsp coriander seeds

2 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tsp bengal gram

1 -2 garlic pods, crushed

2 tbsp desiccated coconut

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

Method

  • Dry roast the cumin seeds, bengal gram, red chillies, coriander seeds and peanuts in a pan. Cool them and then powder them together. 
  • Add salt, coconut and crushed garlic to this powder. 
  • Heat oil and deep fry the bindi. 
  • Sprinkle the powdered masala over the deep fried bhindi while they are still hot. 
  • Mix well and serve. 
  • Green Peas Vada

easy recipes for cancer patients

Ingredients

2 cups frozen peas

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

1 tbsp chopped cashew nuts

1 green chilli, finely chopped

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

Method

  • Boil the peas and grind them in a mixer. 
  • Add the ginger garlic paste, chilli and cashew nuts. Mix well. 
  • Shape the mixture into small vadas. 
  • Shallow fry the vadas on a pan using oil. 
  • Flip and fry till they turn golden brown. 
  • Serve warm. 

Find more recipes:

High protein breakfast recipes for a cancer diet

Iron-rich cancer diet recipes

Soup recipes to improve your appetite during cancer

 

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