Close your eyes and imagine on a cold wintery night… sitting with plate of piping hot sarson ka saag, makki ki roti, Jaggery, fresh white butter and pickled radish. Doesn’t it bring water in your mouth, warmth in your heart and memories in you brain back. Eating seasonal foods has always been a part of Indian households but with fast paced life, we started looking for instant foods which consumed a little time to cook and available anytime. But some of us forgot the joy of eating that warm comforting food that our mother’s gave us and in line with what was available in the season.
Winters meant warm foods like spinach, methi, bathua, carrots, peas , mustard greens, radish paired perfectly with bajra or makki roti ,fresh butter and jaggery. Everything on the plate had a role to play. Millets for warmth, greens for vitamins, butter for the assimilation of those nutrients and jaggery to avoid flatulence. Similarly there were Summer foods that worked for keeping us cool and light in the scorching heat like gourds, rice, khus, yogurt, jowar, wheat. But now we get everything in every season and have forgotten this cyclic balance that our bodies need.
Over the past few months I have been trying to work on grains that can be easily incorporated into my diet without giving too much of hassle. As a mother of two I barely have time to cook feast in the kitchen but that doesn’t mean I should neglect the quality of my meals.
So let me tell you how I have diversified my nutritional profile with these easy tips:
Addition of Ragi/Jowar flour to your basic besan cheela in the ratio of 1:1
Adding vegetable purées to idlis, dhokla, Dosa, cheela, chapatis.Eg. Spinach/coriander moong dal dhokla, beet root parantha, carrot Dosa, tomato Cheela .
Always plan your meals and then go grocery shopping, helps in keeping a tab on our intake.
One pro tip would be kneading the millet flour dough with hot water just before the meal. The rotis are soft, rollable and can even be stuffed to make any parantha of your choice easily.
Craving for pizza, wrap, quesadillas , replace the base with a jowar/ragi roti, it’s crisper and thinner.
If you want to increase the nutritional value of your humble dal chawal. Add a tsp of sesame seeds to your ghee ka takda.
Learn the art of lacto-fermentation , a beautiful way to store seasonal produce and eat it with your meals when you don’t have time to cook a dal/sabzi. All it takes is salt and water. Like the leftover rice kanji, beet root kanji, carrot kanji, watermelon pith pickle, lacto-fermented amla and many more.
Lastly listen to your body when you consume these foods, it will automatically change your way of life to live in that joy forever.
Author : Shradha Goel