Summers are beating upon us and it only seems to get hotter. It is therefore wise to alter your diet to suit the season so that you don’t bring indigestion or such issues on yourself.
Honestly, it is a tad tough to find a butter chicken dish appetising on a hot summer day, so we look at some breezy options to enjoy. We thought of compiling a checklist of some eats, of course healthy…what were you thinking, for you dear reader.
Granny’s wisdom always assured us good health if we stuck to veggies and fruits of the seasonal. And why not, nature has installed them in the marketplace for a reason. They are more flavoursome and loaded with goodness. Seasonal produce vanishes once the season is gone, so hurry.
Here is what you need to do…
Thanda, thanda cool, cool curd
We are talking about dahi. An excellent probiotic food and perfect for hot summer! If thick curd is not you ‘cup of katori’, make lassi out of it. Blitz it with a little honey or jaggery, a pinch of rock salt, cool it for a while and slurp! Another option is to make chaas. Yet a perfect glass of cooling drinks which is healthy. Add a little jal jeera powder, rock salt and cut dhania to the chaas. Add salt to taste.
Feel like a king; grab a concentrated sherbet in rose, strawberry, shikanji, khus and such flavours. Make a glass of sherbet with crushed ice. Enjoy. Alternatively, you can also add milk, especially to rose, strawberry or khus flavoured sherbet. Drop in sabja seeds, crushed ice and slowly drink up that delicious drink.
Note: If you are having any sherbet with lots of crushed ice in it, preferably sip. Try not to gulp it down and your body may get hit by the ‘supercool’ ice when the weather around is in sweltering. These varying temperatures are known to start of a common cold, etc.
Other drinks like aam ka panna (with a mint leaf sitting on top of the sherbet), nimbu paani (optionally with some crushed mint leaves), milkshakes, barley water (add sugar to taste) and of course our humble tender coconut.
Watermelon and other melons
Your juiciest fruit in summer, the melon also happen to be the healthiest. And what’s more, you can eat them in various ways. Munch on them with lemon squeezed on it or blitz it to make juice. If neither works for you, add them in a salad. They will keep your tummy cool and keep common colds at bay.
Mangoes are seasonal and really good for you so do not give them a miss. Keep in mind they are considered ‘heaty’. So, gorge on them with an eye on this point. You can also enjoy mango lassi or milkshakes. It’s a great way to convince kids to have this irresistible fruit.
Dodhi or Lauki
Before you turn up your cute nose, we are pointing out to raita. Grate the dodhi and boil it for a few seconds. Don’t let it get too soft, your dodhi must have some bit in it. Once cool, drop it in crud. Add rock salt, jal jeera powder and mix well. We have also seen that a few drops of honey can heighten the taste, yet we leave the sweet bit to you. Don’t mix it too much. Garnish with crush mint leaves or dhania leaves. It is superb! In fact, this can be an ideal mini-meal on a hot, hot summer day. Not to mention it is good for weight loss. Cool, you got the point.
Take lettuce, and some new entries like kale, iceberg lettuce, cucumber and tomato and mix them all well. Add a few drops of extra virgin olive oil, a dash of balsamic sauce, a pinch of roasted sesame seeds and go…no wait. Add some cut celery leaves for that fine dining flavour and crushed nuts (walnut or peanuts) for the crunch. Mount watering na…
You can add any type of salad leaves, of your choice. Make it zesty. Add tomato, zucchini, red pepper tofu or paneer. It can make for a lunch too.
Other vegetables that stand out in the heat of summer are:
Ash Gourd (a variety of lauki): A simple sabji will work wonders with this lauki.
Padval: A Maharashtrian favourite, simple tadke waali sabji with varan bhaat is extremely fulfilling.
Kaddu: Perfect to make a pumpkin sauce. Boil and blitz. It is extremely healthy and your eyes will love you.
Turai: Yet another favourite of every cuisine, it is fulfilling and healthy.
So have fun this summer and remain healthy.