Monsoons are notorious for the increased number of illnesses they bring. Every year, there are a host of diseases, that end up in thousands being hospitalized. The increased humidity affects our bodies by slowing down digestion and decreasing immunity. One way to stay safe is to follow the precautions against water borne diseases and to eat right.
The basic diet guidelines to be followed during monsoons are to eat fresh, hot food and to avoid overeating. It is also recommended to include garlic, turmeric, brown rice, buttermilk, cooked green leafy vegetables and monsoon specific fruit. In general, avoid oily and heavily spiced meals, opting for ingredients with a bitter taste. Here is a list of 5 recipes that are sure to boost your immunity and keep you healthy during the wet season.
1. Moong Dal Khichdi
Khichdi is a tridoshic food, which means that it helps to balance the three doshas. Moong dal is the most easily digestible of all the lentils, and the garlic and turmeric add a lovely flavor to the simple dish.
- 1 cup basmati rice
- ½ cup moong dal
- a pinch of cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 green chilli, slit
- 1 tbsp ghee
- salt to taste
- Wash the rice and dal and keep it aside. Melt the ghee in a pressure cooker and add the cumin seeds.
- Once they splutter, add the garlic and green chilli and fry. Follow with the turmeric, garam masala, washed rice and dal.
- Add salt and 2 cups water and cook for three whistles. Stir well before serving.
2. Bitter Gourd Stir Fry
Bitter gourd is the most recommended vegetable for the monsoon. This dish packs a punch with the gourd and garlic, while the tomato adds color. You may add some salt to the cut gourd before cooking to get rid of the bitterness.
- 1 large bitter gourd or 2 small ones, chopped
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- Salt to taste
- Vegetable Oil
- Heat oil in a pan and add the crushed garlic and fry for a few seconds.
- Add the tomato and cook till mushy. Add the chilli powder, gourd and salt and fry till cooked.
3. Masala Chai
The masalas in chai have many benefits like reducing gas, stimulating the appetite, boosting metabolism and warming the body, making it perfect for your digestion during the monsoons !
- 3 tsp tea leaves or tea dust
- 2 cardamom pods
- ½ inch piece cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ½ cup milk
- sugar to taste
- Grind the cardamon and cinnamon together. Bring to the boil 3 cups of water along with the ground spices, ginger and then turn it off and steep for 3 minutes.
- Strain the water, add milk, sugar and tea and bring to the boil again. Steep for 3 minutes, strain and pour into cups.
4. Pumpkin and Zucchini Soup
This healthy soup is very popular among weight watchers, owing to their low calorie count and high nutritional benefit. With huge amounts of Vitamin C, this is an immunity super-dish !
- 1 cup pumpkin, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup zucchini, chopped
- 1 stick celery
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- Put all the ingredients into a large saucepan. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, till the vegetables are well cooked. Add more water, if it appears dry.
- Blend the contents of the saucepan. Strain and pour into bowls, or have the chunky version if you wish.
5. Barley Methi Paratha
Two monsoon superfoods come together in this paratha, a staple in most Indian households. The spices in it are a nutritional bonus !
- 1 cup atta or whole wheat flour
- ½ cup barley
- 1 cup methi/fenugreek leaves
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp garam masala
- salt to taste
- Vegetable oil or ghee
- Mix the atta and barley in a large bowl till well incorporated. Add the spices and salt and mix again.
- Mix in the ginger garlic paste and methi leaves. Make a well in the centre and add warm water, a little at a time, mixing into a soft dough. Let it rest for half an hour.
- Pick out a golf ball-sized piece of dough and roll it out into a thick circle. Place it on a heated tava/griddle and cook on both sides till brown, adding ghee or oil as required. Serve hot.
All these recipes have very few steps and don’t require too many ingredients. They can also be customized to your family’s tastes. Have a warm and healthy monsoon !
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