We Indians are high on spicy and oily food, at least in most parts of the country. When we are asked to lose weight or to eat healthier for a physical condition, we want to do it in a fad way. Going for a western style diet may be a trendy way to announce that you are choosing a healthier life on Facebook; but do we really need a Kale or a Broccoli when we have the mighty Fenugreek leaves or Pointed Gourd?
We love to eat; let’s face it, many of us live to eat. Every Indian state has its own variety and specialties. There are numerous traditional and modern ways to cook vegetables the Indian way and believe you me; most of them are damn tasty.
Let’s look at the jewels our Sabji Mandis got!
Pointed Gourd or Parwal
Easy to digest, Parwal is a humble vegetable which is rarely grown outside of India. The vegetable is rated as one of the nutritious choices which is rich in vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and vitamin C. Parwal is also a very less calorie food and helps to keep your cholesterol levels in control. According to Ayurveda, Pointed gourd is also beneficial for purification of blood.
So, go grab those beauties next time you plan to buy Lettuce! (No offence to Lettuce though, as that too is a healthy option). If you may ask about the taste, once treated with respect and a little creativity, Parwal can do wonders. Below is ‘Potoler Dolma’ or stuffed Parwal, commonly eaten in Bengal where Parwals are stuffed with a tangy and tasty mixture of shrimps and masalas.
Plantain Stem & Flower
Plantain flowers and stems are commonly eaten in eastern India and parts of south India. It has got many local names, like ‘Mocha’ in Bengal. These small flowers are loaded with health benefits and are considered one of the best foods for lactating mothers and diabetics. It is also believed to help high blood pressure patients and cases of Ulcers.
Below is ‘Mochar Chop’ which is a fried ball made of Plantain flower and is unbelievably scrumptious when eaten with pungent mustard sauce. This delicacy is regularly consumed in eastern parts of the country.
Although typically this is a fruit but unripe jack fruit is cooked as a vegetable in some parts of India. Jack fruit is extremely rich in has potassium which lowers blood pressure. It is also a rich source of vitamin, minerals, carbohydrate, electrolytes, fiber and fat. Jack Fruit regulates the levels of thyroid in human body.
Unripe tender Jack Fruit curry or poriyal is eaten across Kerala. It’s also widely eaten across north-east and eastern parts of India.
Fenugreek leaves, lovingly called Methi in many parts of the country is a native of Indian subcontinent. Methi Saag is a super friend for your kidneys. Also for diabetics, Methi helps immensely to regulate insulin levels.
You can never run out of cooking ideas when it comes to Fenugreek leaves. It is eaten as dry side-dish, stuffing for Paratha (Indian bread), Fritters etc.
Time to dig in some Methi Pakora (Fritters) with hot chai when it rains! (and when it doesn’t, too)
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