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Karlyachi Chutney (Niger seed Chutney)

Niger seeds are called ‘karli’ in Marathi and Ramtil in Hindi. This seed originated in Ethiopia and is still cultivated there as an oil seed and can grow in poor soils, heavy clay soil, or even waterlogged soils. Niger seeds are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and important amino acids including linoleic acid.
Both the two main omega fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6 are polyunsaturated essential fatty acids which means the body doesn’t have the enzymes to produce them and we need to get them from external sources for optimal health. They are important as they help regulate blood clotting and play a role in inflammation. The Omega-3s and the antioxidants in Niger seeds help reduce inflammation and are beneficial to reduce conditions like depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder by neutralizing free radicals in our body. They may even help treat conditions like rheumatism and because of the magnesium, potassium and zink in them help in relieving conditions like insomnia or restlessness by helping to calm Circadian rhythms. These seeds have also been seen to be beneficial in fighting symptoms of the flu and colds, improving scars, burns, and rashes and prevent constipation, bloating, cramps, hemorrhoids and other gastrointestinal issues. On the other hand, high amounts of Omega-6s can cause chronic inflammation leading to diseases like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and many types of cancer. Omega-6 is majorly found in soyabean oil and other refined oils.

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Peanut and Dried Coconut Chutney

Peanuts are said to have originated in South America but are now a staple in many parts of India, especially Maharashtra. They are not nuts but are actually legumes like green peas, soybeans, and lentils, but have almost the same health benefits as the more expensive nuts like walnuts. Peanuts are acidic in nature when roasted and are better eaten soaked overnight. However, their shelf life is short in the soaked form. They contain a good amount of magnesium, folate, vitamin E and copper, which help prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels. On the other hand, many plant-based doctors recommend heart patients avoid consuming ANY ingredient that has fat in it and peanuts have a good amount of it. 22 to 30% of the total calories are proteins and 100 gms of peanuts contain almost 50 grams of fat making them a delicious and satiating snack or part of a meal. This is why peanuts have found a fond place in the diet of rural India. Peanuts have a low-glycemic index so release energy into the blood stream at a slow pace. This means that they don’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels and have shown to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Peanuts also contain a good amount of fibre, an ingredient that helps reduce inflammation and helps keep bowel movement smooth. The thin papery skin contains many antioxidants and phytochemicals and is beneficial to fight free radicals so eat your peanuts whole!

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Alsi ki Chutney with Coconut (Flaxseed Chutney)

Flax seeds are rich in the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Flax seeds are usually ground before eating them to release the oil locked up inside the fibrous structure of the seed and which cannot be released when eaten whole.

Flax seeds also have high amounts of protein as well as soluble and insoluble fibre, which help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels and promote digestive health by providing the required food for beneficial gut bacteria. Flaxseed powder is often used to replace egg for its binding quality when mixed with water, and so it is recommended to drink plenty of water when one eats flax seeds. The proportion is usually 3 parts of water to 1 part of flax seed powder. This mixture is also a natural laxative.

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