HealthOpinion

Food & Nutrition: The Season of 3 P’s

Palate: Food that pleases our palate during the monsoon season.
Petrichor: earthy fragrance of the first rains.
Pluviophiles: lovers of rain.

The hypnotic sound of the pitter patter raindrops is best enjoyed sitting with a cup of chai and bhajiyas. Getting drenched in the rains, the splashing of raindrops on and around us gives joy and happiness especially for the pluviophile, a lover of rains.

Monsoon is that time of the year when we long for hot and steaming food. Whether it’s a cup of hot tea or warm coffee, or a plate of steaming momos, bhajiyas, soups or a roasted corn cob. Seasonal food can be so appropriately balanced to meet this requirement. Commonly available fruits and vegetables are plums, peaches, pears, cherries, litchi, jackfruit, pomegranate, corn, various gourds.

Ways to enjoy seasonal produce:

Usually jackfruits are on their way out mid monsoons but what stops us from using the flour instead?

Soup with chicken dumplings made of jackfruit seed flour:

Benefit:

Hot soup is a favourite among many and as known, chicken soup may help in soothing a sore throat or aid in alleviating the symptoms of a cold. To make dumplings, the use of jackfruit seed flour gives added nutritional value to the soup.

How to prepare it:

Add 2-3 tablespoons of jackfruit seed flour to rice flour and roll in minced chicken with garlic and herbs and steam the dumplings. Leeks, onions, carrots, beans cooked with the chicken broth adds extra flavour and nutrients.

Corn and pomegranate chaat:

Benefit:

This combination has the goodness of both fibre, protein, essential micronutrients and antioxidants.

How to prepare it:

A very simple recipe is to combine boiled corn and pomegranate seeds, finely chopped cucumber, greek yoghurt, herbs like basil, oregano or mint are as per choice, salt and pepper to taste. Mix it well.

A roasted corn on the cob too is an all time favourite during monsoons.

 

 

 

 

Bottle gourd kheer (dudhi):

Benefit:

Bottle gourd is a low calorie vegetable with 96 percent water. It is high in Vitamin C and soluble fibre.

How to prepare it:

This is made with grated gourd, stirred in with a teaspoon of ghee to add flavour and to reduce the water content. Pour milk and keep stirring it to prevent it from sticking to the sides of the pan, once it thickens, top it up with jaggery, cardamom powder and sliced pistachios.

 

Steamed muthia:

Benefit:

Steamed and hot muthia made from grated bottle gourd is a filling evening snack to relish instead of deep fried food.

How to prepare it:

A combination of dry coriander, chilli, cumin, turmeric powder, mixed with wheat flour, gram flour, semolina and grated bottle gourd. To it fennel, carrom seeds, ginger garlic paste, and curd provide the necessary flavour and taste. After steaming it, temper it with grated coconut, coriander and asafoetida.

Peppermint tea:

Benefit:

Mint or peppermint both belong to the same family of herbs, with similar medicinal properties. Known for the menthol content it can relieve an itchy throat, headaches or migraines and prevent infections or seasonal allergies due to its anti inflammatory properties.

How to prepare it:

Add a handful of mint leaves to hot water, by either rubbing the leaves between your hands or grind them a little and allow it to steep for 8 minutes, strain it. Add lemon slices. Or if using a peppermint tea bag steep it in hot water for 5 minutes. Lemon and honey are optional.

Kothimbir Vadi:

Benefit:

Pan made vadi are an absolutely delicious monsoon snack to munch on. Coriander is a good source of dietary fibre and micronutrients whereas protein comes from the gram flour that goes in to make it.

How to prepare it:

Coriander leaves patted dry, cut finely are mixed in with gram flour 2:1 ratio. To it ginger garlic paste, turmeric, coriander, chilli, cumin powder and garam masala need to be added. Salt and spice as per taste. Combine these and knead, if required add water. Make a dough in a cylindrical shape and steam it. Cut in slices and pan fry.

 

Author: Komal Lala,

               Nutritionist

Komal Lala is a nutritionist and a health coach, certified in weight management and clinical nutrition from ACSM, a Diploma in health education DNHE, PG in Clinical Nutrition. She is affiliated to NSI (Nutrition Society of India) and IAPEN (Indian Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition).You can contact her at [email protected]

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