We all are set to enjoy monsoon and rain showers. Who can forget a sizzling hot plate of pakodas and a steaming cup of tea? But at the same time do not forget that monsoon brings the best breeding base for the disease-causing germs and bacteria. Also, your body system is not adapted to the season. So be mindful of what you eat. Fried food should be completely avoided to stay fit in this weather.
Though it is difficult to resist a platter of fried snacks, such as tikki, samosa, pakodas etc., but these foods become difficult to digest in the rainy season due to the high percentage of humidity present in the atmosphere. Due to this, the digestive system gets slow down and makes you indolent and obese. Stay away from these foods, otherwise, you will have to pay for it. Instead eat light snacks which are good in taste, light on the stomach and nutritious for your body. There are many healthy snacks to choose from which you can easily incorporate in your monsoon diet. These snack ideas include:
Besan chilla: It is one of the most popular snacks in Northern India which is quick to make, delicious to eat and very nutritious. It is crisp, low in calories and rich in protein. Besan chilla is made of chickpea flour, seasonal vegetables and mild spices. Take one cup of besan (chickpea flour). Add salt, red chilli powder, coriander powder, hing powder, grated carrot and cauliflower, chopped onion and tomatoes and finely chopped green chillies and coriander leaves. Mix all ingredients well and make a moderately thick batter to make chillas on a non-stick pan. Serve hot with green coriander chutney.
Semolina uttapam: Semolina is light on the stomach, boosts energy and makes you feel active. It also improves immunity. Suji uttapam is a dosa-like pancake made from semolina (suji) and yoghurt batter. It contains healthy toppings of colourful vegetables and few spices. Make a batter adding an equal quantity of yoghurt and water to one cup of semolina. Beat properly and keep it covered for an hour to rest. In the meanwhile, chop capsicum, grate carrot, chop onion, tomato, green chillies, coriander leaves and other vegetables of your choice. After an hour, add chopped and grated vegetables, salt and red chilli powder to the suji batter. The consistency of the batter should be a little thicker than dosa paste. If the batter is too thick, you can add little water to it. Heat a non-stick pan. Spread the batter and make uttapams. Serve with coconut chutney.
Oats chilla: Oats chilla is a quick and healthy recipe for a healthy snacking. Oatmeal is a very healthy cereal and it has got lots of health benefits. Oats made in the form of a pancake are good to eat on a rainy day. It keeps you in good health and vigour. Adding a few herbs, spices and vegetables make it even more healthy and flavourful. Take one cup of oats flour. Add water to make a thicker consistency than the regular chilla consistency. After adding vegetables and salt, the consistency will become a little thin. Add chopped garlic, onion, tomato, green chillies, coriander leaves, grated cabbage and chopped spinach. Add salt and red chilli powder. You can also add chilli flakes and oregano. Mix all ingredients well. Spread little batter one by one on a hot non-stick plate and cook until golden from both the sides. Serve hot with coriander chutney and tomato ketchup.
Suji appe: Suji appe is a light snack which makes you feel energised. They are quite healthy to improve immunity and digestion. Take one cup of suji. Make a thick batter adding equal quantities of water and yoghurt. Keep the batter aside in a covered bowl for an hour. After that add finely chopped vegetables, such as capsicum, onion, carrot and green chillies. Add salt and red chilli powder. Mix well. Make a tadka adding rai and curry leaves to one tablespoon of hot oil. Pour this tadka in suji paste. Mix well. Grease the appe mould. Just before pouring the prepared batter into the cavities of the mould, add one teaspoon full of Eno powder. Give a good stir. Immediately fill the cavities with the batter. Cook for seven minutes from one side on low flame. After seven minutes check whether appes are cooked from the bottom side. If they are crispy golden, just flip them around. Cook from another side also until golden crisp. Take out from the mould and serve hot with green chutney and tomato sauce.
Paneer tikka: Paneer tikka is a yummy snack dish which is made from paneer chunks marinated in yoghurt and spices. It can be grilled in tandoor and can also be cooked on a non-stick pan. Cubes of paneer, capsicum and onions are marinated and then roasted to perfection. This snack tastes amazing and is quite healthy too. Prepare a marinade first. Whisk a good amount of yoghurt, say two cups for 200 grams of paneer cubes in a big bowl. Add ginger-garlic paste, salt, red pepper powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, chat masala, kasuri methi, little mustard oil, lemon juice and finely chopped coriander leaves. Mix all ingredients well. Stir in paneer cubes, capsicum chunks and diced onion. Mix until well coated with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for three to four hours. Take out from the refrigerator and cook on a non-stick pan from all sides until golden crisp. It can be a healthful snack during monsoon.
Even though snacking has developed a bad image, snacks can be an important part of your monsoon diet. They can provide energy in the middle of the day. These healthy snacks can also decrease your hunger and keep you from overeating at mealtime. Try to limit the unhealthy snacks you eat.
Snacking mindfully is crucial especially during the rainy season!