Spring has sprung! Mornings are pleasant and as the mercury rises during the day, appetites take a nosedive. Here are some ways to beat the heat and enjoy the bounty of the season.
Ice Apples (Tadgola)
Tadgola or Nongu are fruits of the Palmyra Palm, and are available for a short period in the Indian spring and summer. These are loaded with essential minerals such as sodium and potassium, and help in keeping the body hydrated. Eat them fresh on their own as a midmorning or 4 o’clock snack or add to salads and smoothies.
Red Amaranth (Laal Maath)
Tender, young red Amaranth leaves are a spring produce that you simply cannot miss; the vibrant pink-purple colour of the leaves will call out to you from vegetable cart or supermarket alike. Stir-fry the larger leaves with some garlic and chilies for a quick stir-fry, add the really tender ones to salads, or blanch and blend into a yogurt-based raita that will steal the show with its colour! Laal Maath is loaded in antioxidants and is rich in dietary fibre as well as Vitamin A and iron.
Sprouted Finger Millet Flour (Ragi Atta)
When a grain is sprouted, it makes more nutrients “available” to the human body. Millets and tough grains such as wheat also become more easily digestible. Replace all or part of your regular roti flour with this sprouted Ragi atta, which has cooling properties and provides the body with iron and calcium as well. You could also use it for baking cookies (cocoa and Ragi are best friends!) or for making yogurt-based porridges.
Green Cardamom (Elaichi)
Green cardamom is considered a cooling spice, and therefore, its consumption is recommended in the summers. Use a small pinch of green cardamom in your lemonade or replace the cinnamon in your breakfast oats with a pod of bruised cardamom to flavour the milk. You will enjoy the change of flavour and benefit from its benefits at the same time!