Monsoon is the time when we should consider the dos and don’ts of healthy eating. This is the time when we are prone to many infections, joint pains, throat sensitivity and now, with the pandemic, we ought to be a little more careful.
Here’s what you should know about your monsoon diet:
* Although everything is available throughout the year, you should follow the seasonal and regional rule. Fruits like apples, jamuns, cherries, papayas, pears, bananas, etc., can help with immunity boosting.
* Increase your water intake, and drink warm water at regular intervals. Because of humidity, there’s water loss. Our body has its own immune response to fight infections, and sipping warm water at regular intervals can help it.
* Avoid too much salt and drinks like buttermilk and lassi. They may lead to water retention and you may feel aches because of swelling.
* Include more turmeric, garlic, fenugreek seeds (methi dana) and some bitter veggies like bitter gourd in your regular meals. Trust me, nothing can fight infections like our own Indian masalas. You have to keep using them in whatever way possible.
* Try steaming your food instead of boiling it. Prefer stews and soups over heavy curries. You can have some cheat meals once a while, but you should know the correct blend of monsoon kadhas (herbal decoctions) to keep you going.
* Lastly and most importantly, include millets in your diet. You will be amazed by the health benefits of these magical grains. Their rich fibre, antioxidants, phytochemicals and loads of vitamins, minerals and proteins will give you enough nutrition and alkalinity. Not to forget, immunity, too.
I love sneaking in millets, and even occasional cheat meals turn out to be super healthy! All my online 5 Days Millets Workshop participants can vouch for it.
The five-day sessions that are spread across 45 days, have got some of the amazing millets brownies, sushis, rusks, along with many salads, starters, dips, drinks, and even gluten-free breads and cookies. There is hardly anything left that does not have millets, which is why, I am really happy with Mangalore buns; I tried them with two of my favourite millet flours.
Read more for the step-by-step recipe, and club it with the monsoon special adhrak wali chai (ginger tea).
Millets Mangalore Buns
Ingredients: (Makes 8 buns)
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 tbsp jaggery powder
- ¼ cup yogurt
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup ragi (finger millet flour)
- ½ cup jowar (sorghum millet flour)
- Oil for deep frying
- In a large mixing bowl, take the ripe bananas and add jaggery powder to them. Mash it smoothly with the help of a fork and mix it all together.
- Now add yogurt, fennel seeds, baking powder and salt. Mix well.
- Start adding flours, whole wheat, ragi and jowar, and knead it all to form a dough. Please note if the mixture turns dry, add a little more yogurt.
- Grease the dough and keep it covered with wet muslin cloth for 2-4 hours.
- After the dough has risen enough, punch it down and knead it again for 5 minutes.
- Divide the dough in eight equal parts. Grease your hands and start rolling one part. Please note with millets flours, it may not be easy to roll and get the perfect round shape. You can always stretch it between your palms and enjoy making it without worrying about the shape. They will all look nice after frying.
- Deep fry the buns in hot oil at medium-low flame.
- You can serve these banana buns or banana pooris with any chutney or instant pickles. At my place they taste best with ginger tea and instant green chili pickle.
- Do try these buns today and let me know if this recipe is added to your monsoon menu.
Health benefits of banana and millets in monsoon season
Bananas are rich in vitamins and minerals. One of the most common monsoon diseases include gastrointestinal infections, and by easing the process of digestion, bananas help prevent these infections.
Millets are loaded with fibre that provide bulk to the stool and keep constipation — a common problem during monsoons — at bay. Millets keep the heart healthy and the potassium in them dilates blood vessels, allowing the blood to flow more easily.
(Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative Millets Cooking Workshops for all age groups)
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