Here are some ideas on foods to try before the winter ends! Eating seasonal foods is a healthy option and as well caters to tasting those yummy foods before the onset of spring and summer.
Winter season is marked by a steep decrease in the temperatures in northern India. The northern parts of the country experience snowfall too. Regions in the plains are also no different. People clad in warm clothes are a regular sight. Compared to the north, the southern states do not experience harsh winters. Weather is lovely throughout. Winter season is marked by huge agricultural produce. Grains vegetables and also variety of fruits flood the local markets. The season also coincides with the harvesting season of rice, potatoes, sugarcane, sesame etc.
Makki roti with saag
Since there is a fall in temperature, our body needs foods that keep it warm throughout the season. Staple food of wheat flour chapattis is replaced with missi rotis, bajra rotis, makka rotis and it is best paired with the seasonal sarson ka saag, mixed saag or any other leafy preparation. Laden with huge amounts of ghee and ginger, garlic, saag is a very good immunity booster which provides nutrition as well as energy to the body. It helps to keep the body warm. Makka roti saag should be tried in this weather .
Custard apple recipes
There is also abundant increase in the fruit produce, and sitaphal or custard apple is one fruit which is available in this season only. It can be had as it is or you can prepare sitaphal kheer or custard apple rabri . it is easy to prepare and can be given to the kids as well. I had a sitaphal tree in my backyard where I lived before. Being a north Indian our family did not know about this fruit. But when they tasted it they were so amazed. Earlier we used to give away the fruits to the people but afterwards we only gave away less. Sitaphal is extremely delicious and kids love it.
Red carrot recipes
This season is marked by a huge production of vegetables. Carrot, sweet potatoes, potatoes, radish, turnips etc can be found all over apart from the seasonal leafy veggies. Carrots are a favourite in indian households in winters not just for curry preparation but also for halwa. Laden with carotene and vitamins it is absolutely healthy. Carrot halwa is cooked using milk and sugar and nuts are also used to enhance the flavours. It is a must in the winter season as the carrots are more juicy at this time.
Chapattis and parathas are staple food in the north. Parathas are extremely popular in the northern states compared to the south. As veggies are abundant in every household, stuffed parathas are cooked and eaten with lots of butter and jaggery.
Makka parathas, aloo parathas, mooli ke parathey methi k parathey , gobhi k parathey are some of the parathas which are relished by everyone. Kids also love them and they are a good tiffin option as there is no fuss of making a different curry. They can be given away with a piece of pickle. They are equally healthy .
Good old khichdi
Another item which is relished during the winter season is khichdi. Cooked with the new rice produced in the fields mixed with lentils it is also one important preparation made throughout the country. Our festival of Sankranti is especially marked by cooking a variety of khichdi throughout India. Urad dal khichdi in east, moong dal khichdi in south and toor dal in bisi bele bhaath are noteworthy. The process of making khichdi is almost same in all areas, excepting for a few changes. It provides natural immunity to the body during winters and is usually paired with accompaniments. There is a saying “ khichdi tere teen yaar- ghee dahi aur achar”. There is a fourth accompaniment too- papad.
Herbal drinks to fight infections
Apart from these foods try to keep the seasonal diseases at bay by drinking kadha (herbal concoction) which is a reduction of pepper, cloves, big cardamom, tulsi leaves and ginger.
Cook together cinnamon, a bit of mishri or sugar, bay leaf, a bit of tea leaves in two glasses of water. Now, reduce this to about half of the volume and can be consumed on a regular basis to keep the cold infections at bay.
Hope you will try the above recipes before the season ends and post your feedback. Happy cooking!