During the pandemic, staying at home has made us dig deep into traditional foods. Interestingly, these foods are very nutritious and can boost our immunity. Some of them though have a local historical base, but with time have trickled down to the last inch of the country’s borders and across too.
A single pot and anytime comforting dish, made with lentils and rice. It can be cooked in the ‘satwik’ way or along with garlic and onion. The accompaniments may be clarified butter, chutneys, curd and evergreen papad. This is the first dish which the child has and also while you recover from illness and most of the time it is the first solid food post surgery.
No Indian food is complete without chapattis along with vegetables or lentils. These chapattis are high in fibre and complex carbohydrates. The character of the chapattis changes if they are stuffed with radish, fenugreek leaves, paneer or cauliflower — it depends on your creativity. These add to your nutrition and are lean and clean. Dab it with clarified butter or simply with butter and wash it down with curd milk.
This has its roots in Bihar, but enjoys quite a popularity quotient in eastern India. This has a base of horse gram along with pulses and cereals. One can consume it as a chokha, paranthas, as a drink, namkeen, halwa or even make it a baby food. The insoluble fibre content cleanses the colon, prevents bloating and best for the diabetes challenged persons.
This superfood is high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus along with other minerals. This recipe is tasty till the last bite and though it is cooked with rice, along with cooked and flattened rice, each household has their own typical mix. Though fusion has taken place with the Idli, we have variants with semolina and vermicelli. One can try stuffing the Idli with spinach, nuts and paneer, thereby making it more nutritious. This is free from cholesterol and saturated fats.
An anytime snack made with gram flour, semolina, ginger-chilli paste, lemon juice and dabbed with mild spices. This is steamed and not fried but variants are coming out when it is air fried. For the vegetarian this is a good source of protein. This is a good source of vitamin A, B1, B3, and C along with folic acid and dose of magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, potassium minerals.
We can call it whey which it is not, but this is what is left after churning the butter from the cream. It is a thirst quencher during the summers. Have it with a pinch of black salt or Himalayan salt or flavour it with cumin and mint leaves. This has loads of vitamins and minerals, like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.
These are some of the super foods which have been recommended by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Thus sit with your grandparents and dig out the recipes. I am sure they will be part of the list of superfoods.