We always knew grandma was right. When she fed you cold sherbet from an earthen pot or par-boiled rice that had been stewed for hours or ragi rotis carefully cooked on a stove, the various greens and pickles and preserves she made with love. If you find yourself harking back to her words and recipes, seeking to recreate the warmth of her kitchen, looking for local greens and grains, here are six easy ingredients to stock up on.
Like me, if you’ve spent summer vacations in the hills, you’ll know this refreshing drink made from flowers. Also known as Rhododendron, a forest flower that grows in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. Traditionally, the Burans flower is made into a juice which is served as a refreshing bright red drink. It’s a great source of potassium, calcium, iron and Vitamin C. The drink gets the red colour from flavonoid called quercetin which has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties.
Once a staple for the entire country, millets such as jowar (sorghum), ragi and bajra are packed with high fibre and nutrition. Click here to read more health benefits of millets. According to experts, in comparison to rice and wheat, growing millets requires less water and almost no chemicals. They also grow in arid regions such as Rajasthan where rainfall is scarce. Millets were being cultivated in the region for hundreds of years before market pressures led farmers to abandon local foods for commercially-lucrative crops. For this reason, Sunny Gandharva started a restaurant, Millets of Mewar, that serves millet preparations.
If you're planning to switch to a more millet-rich diet, it’s advisable to transition gradually to help your digestive system adjust. Millets are versatile and can be had in the form of not just chapati but also pancakes and baking cakes, cupcakes and cookies. Check out these millet recipes for more ideas. If you're not in the mood to cook, these restaurants in Mumbai have millet dishes on their menu.
Also known as Indian gooseberry, this immunity booster is a beauty food for your skin and hair. Click here to read more health benefits of amla. Grate with some ginger in a 2:1 ratio and eat. Follow it up with a glass of water and enjoy the sweetness.
In addition to turmeric, chilli, coriander powder, it’s time to add flaxseed powder to the spice box to add to shakes and salads alike. Flaxseeds are high in fibre, low in carbs, gluten-free and helps lower cholesterol.
An Ayurveda concoction, also known as turmeric tea or golden milk—it is nourishing, has healing properties and is easy to whip up. Blend ground turmeric, freshly ground black pepper, milk and some ghee and simmer to cook in a stainless-steel pot. Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric can help reduce heartburn, stomach pain, joint pain and inflammation. Click here to read more health benefits of turmeric. To get a dose of the goodness of turmeric you can consume it as a shot before you begin your day. Take out the mixer. Throw in some raw turmeric, honey and ginger root and mix. Turmeric will also help you cure common ailments during monsoon and come in handy for your skin care routine as well.
Yoghurt and Sugar
A traditional custom is to have a spoon full of yoghurt with some sugar for good luck before exams, job interview and first days. The science—yoghurt is a coolant and a digestive agent, while the sugar gives a burst of energy to tackle the day.
Cover Image Courtesy: Akkil Suvarna
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