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Aloo Moongfali Sabji (Potato Peanut Sabji)

Potatoes are a versatile root vegetable and a staple food in many households and are packed with a variety of nutrients. Most of the nutrients are just below the skin so they’re better if cooked and consumed with the skin. Keeping the skin on ensures you receive the maximum amount of nutrients from the potato. Potatoes are rich in compounds like flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acids, which are antioxidants and help to neutralize potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals. When free radicals accumulate, they can increase the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Colored potatoes like purple potatoes (not very common in India) can have three to four times more antioxidants than white potatoes. However, potatoes when fried or cooked with a lot of oil are pretty unhealthy, so it’s best to avoid French fries or fried potato dishes.

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Curry Leaf Chutney (Karuveppilai Podi)

Curry leaves contain compounds that function as antioxidants that play an essential role in keeping your body healthy and free from disease. Antioxidants remove potentially harmful free radicals and suppress oxidative stress, a condition that’s associated with chronic disease development. They may help improve the fighting power of the body against cancer cells, as well as reduce the risk of getting heart disease and help improve the condition of the brain and its neurological system. Most importantly, it is said to be great for the growth of hair and to prevent graying. 🙂

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Haadgyachya Fulanchi Bhaji (Haadga or Heta Flower Sabji)

This is a wild flower that’s a delicacy in rural India and often flowers in the month of February and sometimes in August or September. It’s also known as Agastya or Agathi in Ayurveda and the botanical name is Sesbania grandiflora.

According to Ayurveda, it has many medicinal properties and the leaves of this tree have been used in traditional medicine since ancient times. The pod, young flowers and seeds are all edible and are popular in traditional cuisines especially in rural areas. The flowers and leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals and are said to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic effects. They are popular for their highly nutrient qualities, which include high protein and very high calcium content. Different parts of the tree are also said to contain properties that help treat diarrhoea, dysentery, night blindness, cataract, digestive disorders and even cancers.

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Daali Kanda (Moong dal with onion)

Moong bean is a legume native to India and is a low-carb, high-protein bean. In fact, moong is one of the best plant-based sources of protein. They’re rich in essential amino acids or those that your body is unable to produce on its own. It is rich in fiber, especially if it is used with the green skin on it. It is also rich in potassium and manganese, some B vitamins, and along with the fiber enhances the body’s capacity to fight and rectify lifestyle diseases like heart problems, diabetes, and hypertension. Like other legumes, it also contains resistant starch which is great for the gut microbiome. It’s much easier to digest than other pulses and legumes. Sprouted moong beans are better nutritionally and contain more free amino acids and antioxidants. In fact, sprouted moong may contain as much as six times more antioxidants than regular mung beans. So, all in all, it’s a great addition to your meals.

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Ansa Phansachi Bhaji

Fruits are a great source of energy and nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Additionally, fruits supply dietary fiber, which may help lower the incidence of cardiovascular disease and reduce unnecessary weight gain. Fruits are a source of phytochemicals that function as antioxidants, phytoestrogens, and anti-inflammatory agents and support protective mechanisms for the body. Coconut is a great source of natural fats and lots of fiber. Cooking fruits, or vegetables for that matter, causes the loss of a great amount of water-soluble vitamins, and the longer a food is cooked, the greater the loss of nutrients. Raw foods are more nutritious than cooked foods because enzymes are also destroyed in the cooking process. Enzymes are heat sensitive and deactivate easily when exposed to high temperatures. So, it’s best to eat fruit uncooked and in its natural form, but we can always enjoy a traditional food once in a while.

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Raw Mango Kadhi

Raw mango is available for almost 5 to 7 months of the year and is a very versatile ingredient. It is used in preserves, chaats, chutneys, main dishes, and beverages. It is high in vitamin C, calcium, magnesium which is useful for releasing toxins from the body. Raw mangoes are also high in niacin, which helps boost cardiovascular health.

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Tomato Vada (Stuffed Tomatoes)

Tomatoes are a very versatile fruit and rich in vit C, vit K and folate. They are also rich in potassium that is beneficial for blood pressure control.
Sprouts are an excellent source of protein, fiber and vit C. The proteins and peptides in bean sprouts may also help reduce the risk of cancer by slowing the the growth of cancer cells. All in all, this dish is nutrient dense and delicious at the same time.

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Khamang Kakdi (Cucumber Peanut Salad)

Cucumbers are a great fruit to keep you hydrated because they are 95% water. So ‘eating’ your water is a great way to keep that thirst away. They are low in calories and rich in fiber so aid in digestion and help you stay regular and avoid constipation. The phytonutrients (plant chemicals) in cucumbers that are called lignans may help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, and some cancers. The antioxidants such as beta carotene in cucumbers can help fight free radicals in your body, unpaired electrons that damage cells and generally lead to disease. They have small amounts of vitamin K and vitamin A that help blood clot and keep your bones healthy respectively. Vitamin A also enhances the function of vision, the immune system, and reproduction. It also makes sure organs like your heart, lungs, and kidneys work the way they should.

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Bharleli Foogi Mirchi (Stuffed Capsicum)

Commonly known as Shimla Mirch in India, capsicums or bell peppers are low in calories and exceptionally rich in vitamin C, which increases the absorption of iron from your gut. Eating raw bell peppers along with iron-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables may help increase your body’s iron stores, cutting your risk of anemia. They are also loaded with other antioxidants.

Sesame seeds are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and are often added to provide a nutty flavor and crunchy texture. Sesame seeds contain lignans and phytosterols, which are plant compounds that can help lower cholesterol. Phytosterols are also believed to enhance your immune response and decrease your risk of certain cancers. The sesamin and sesamolin in sesame seeds are known for their antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Antioxidants are important to your health because they protect your body against various diseases by slowing down damage to cells. They’re also packed with copper, which helps make red blood cells. Sesame seeds are an excellent source of manganese and calcium, both of which help your bones grow healthy and strong.

Coconut can be eaten raw, dried, or as flour, is delicious and easy to incorporate into both sweet and savory dishes. Coconut meat contains large amounts of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), a type of saturated fat that is much easier for the human body to digest than animal fats. These fats, also called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), have been demonstrated to boost the endurance of trained athletes. Although coconuts are high in calories because of their fat content, they are also very high in fibre making sure you don’t consume too much by giving you a sense of fullness with very small amounts.

Besan (chickpea/ garbanzo bean flour) also known as gram flour has been a staple in Indian cooking for centuries. It is from the legume family and is lower in carbohydrates and calories but very rich in protein, iron, folate, and manganese apart from other vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. It is packed with fibre, is lower in calories than other flours and is very filling. It has a lower glycemic index thus preventing a spike in blood sugar. It is a great alternative to use as a gluten free flour. it’s lower in carbs and calories yet richer in protein and fiber.

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Kobicha Zunka and Pithla (Cabbage and Chickpea Flour Dish)

Besan or chickpea flour is very versatile has been a staple in Indian cooking for centuries. It is used in a variety of dishes like cheelas, pakodas, curries, sweet laddus. It’s also a very economical ingredient because it grows in quantity when it is cooked with added water.

Chickpea flour is full of vitamins, minerals, resistant starch, and antioxidants that help fight free radicals. It is packed with fiber and has a low glycemic index (GI) releasing energy slowly. It is also higher in protein than wheat flour and provides nearly all of the essential amino acids we need. The high fiber, resistant starch, high protein content and its low GI all help to keep you satiated for a long time while nourishing the cells in the body. It also has 25% fewer calories than refined wheat flour helping to maintain weight by helping you feel full without adding calories with the same amount of food you would otherwise consume.

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