Despite a temporary rise in heat and humidity, the winters are decidedly here. Why, even Mumbai is bringing out its warm wear! The red carrots and sweet green peas are piling up on every vegetable cart, and dinners are often laced with a bowl of warm Gaajar Halva.
Here are some more ideas for what you can pick up at the market and rustle up at home to enjoy the winter:
- Upma mix: A piping hot bowl of Upma loaded with vegetables can make for not just a filling breakfast but also an excellent option for a one pot meal. The Conscious Food Upma Mix is made using Dalia and Moong daal, as opposed to the usual Sooji (Rawa). This lifts the nutritive value of the meal and also provides a more satisfying mouth feel. Try using the same mix for Mediterranean flavors—infuse herbs such as thyme and rosemary in the “tadka” and add sundried tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini for a new dimension of flavor!
- Masala Tea: What better than a steaming mug of delicately spiced, warming tea as you watch the fog settle with your feet tucked in a blanket? Try the Conscious Food Masala Tea this season—green tea instead of black, and the addition of subtle spices make for the perfect winter elixir! If you like your tea without milk, stir in a spot of Harde Honey and tear a leaf or two of Tulsi or mint. Or better still—infuse the tea in your Christmas bakes!
- Strawberries and Mulberries: Time to indulge in the bright, plump, juicy berries of the season—make jams to make them last the year, freeze them for smoothies, make desserts or just pop them as you snuggle up with family for a Christmas miracle movie night! Pair them with a bottomless mug of hot chocolate!
- Bathua: This delicate winter green is used in so many avatars across the country. If you fancy a North-Indian style meal, try adding the leaves to a basic paratha dough and pair it with freshly churned butter or a comforting bowl of Kadhi. Or wilt the Bathua with a little green chili in a tadka of ghee and jeera, and add to smooth yogurt to make a raita. To the same raita, add a spot of Besan and water, a handful of peanuts and soaked chana daal, and boil to make a Kadhi, Maharashtrian-style—ask your vegetable vendor for a bunch the next time you go; you will find it a welcome change from the usual spinach and fenugreek!
- Knol-kohl: A knol-kohl or Kohlrabi, as it is more commonly known, belongs to the cabbage family and is often confused with Turnips or Shalgam because of the similarity in their appearance. Knol kohl can be made in much the same way as you would cook cabbage or cauliflower. Do try it in a delicately spiced stew with coconut milk or roast fat wedges in the oven with a rub of your choice.