The monsoon clouds are on their way out from most parts of the country and the festive season has already started. Our systems are just about recovering from the sluggish digestion of the rainy season, so it only makes sense to go slow with introducing rich foods. Here are our top picks for the month to help you strike a balance between festive food and digestive wellness.
Considered one of Ganesha’s favourite fruits, the pomelo or Papanas is a great source of Vitamin C and A (eat for great hair, skin and to keep infections at bay). Also full of dietary fibre, this citrus fruit is a great choice for diabetics. Eat the flesh on its own or sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper and pink salt. You could also add it to salads in combination with lettuces of your choice.
Pumpkins are harvested by the truckloads from August to September in most parts of the country. This versatile vegetable is full of flavor—use it in stews, soups and subzis but also try grilling slices of pumpkin with a honey-chili glaze to serve as a side or add to salads. Grate them and use them in cakes (much like carrot cake) and you have a winner!
Make green tea your beverage of choice for the season—drink it warm to keep the change-of-season allergens (and resultant sniffles) away or drink cold, with a fresh fruit juice or simply a squeeze of lime instead of a cola—save on calories and tank up on antioxidants!
Apart from being one of those flavours that add oomph to everything from cocktails to apple pies, cinnamon is also an excellent digestive spice. Brew your green tea with a small piece of cinnamon or add some ground cinnamon on top of your breakfast cereal. Feel like a dessert? Stew some seasonal pears (peeled but kept whole) with whole spices such as cinnamon and star anise and a few rinds of fresh orange. Serve warm with a spot of vanilla ice cream or softly whipped cream.
In terms of carbohydrates, it’s still too early to switch to complex, heavy options such as jowar and bajra. Instead, experiment with a variety of rices—short grain white rice to eat with daals, red rice to go with fish curries, brown rice to add to idli and dosa batters, black rice for salads and puddings—the options are endless!