The winters is a time to take stock and warm the body and mind with not just layers of winter clothing but also warm and comforting food. The average winter diet during the colder months of the year helps the body stay warm and replenish its resources often lost to the biting cold outside in which the human is functioning. Winters in India especially in the North are biting cold with the temperature often falling below 0* Centigrade in different parts of the country. This is why winter food or more specifically food for the winter season in India has such a significant culinary place in the hearts and minds of people all over the country and the world.
5 Tips to make it a warming winter
We thought of 5 possible and very easy to follow home tips to make it a winter diet where you will be warm inside out thanks to just small additions and tweaks to what is your regular diet. Take a look.
Dry fruits are nutritious for the body as you would already know and they also have a warming effect on the system. Figs or anjeer, are specific dried fruits that will help you stay warm during winter months. Another excellent example of dry fruits that you can consume during winters are dates. Dates are commonly consumed in India, by adding chopped pieces of them to a warm and comforting glass of milk. Figs and dates are also great sources of calcium and iron and are also naturally warming in nature apart from being a high source of boosting energy in the body.
2.Ghee to cook your food
Ghee or clarified butter is a wonder lubricant to be cooking your food in, especially during the winters. The Ayurvedic wonder ghee makes it a winter essential that should be used to keep naturally warm during the winter months. Ghee as we know is rich in unsaturated fat, and this is specifically why it is responsible for keeping the body temperature higher and warm and also supplying it with much needed energy. An energetic body also naturally dispels the sluggishness which is often experienced during winter months.
3.Root Vegetable Consumption
One of the best things to do during the winter is consume foods that are seasonal and as a part of your winter diet. Root vegetables are specifically foods that are available especially in the winters and are also naturally warming. Some of the most warming root vegetables include carrots, radish, potatoes, onions and garlic. These root vegetables are digested slower by the body, and this also helps to generate more heat. It is important to Include more root vegetables as a part of your winter diet because this helps you to stay warm. Root vegetables are also seasonal and fresh, and hence, are even healthier for the body.
Drinking warm beverages in the cold months of the winter is not an unusual phenomenon. Lots of people prefer to keep warm by brewing up pots of tea and coffee as they try and get through the day during the winter months. One good way to keep even warmer while you’re guzzling these beverages is to sweeten them naturally with honey rather than any other sort of sweetener. Honey is naturally warm in nature can even be added even to hot salads as a sweet and tangy salad dressing.
5.Spices to Warm your Food
As Indians we usually use spices to add more flavour to the foods that we eat but one other way to use spices in your winter diet is also to warm up the food and hence the body. Certain spices such as cloves, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, etc. not only add extra flavour to your winter food but also great quantities of warmth. Spices could be added to curries, teas and coffees and essentially to any wintery hot beverage or gravy that one is cooking up.
6.Winter Food Recipe Ideas
Now that you have a few handy tips on how to stay warm, let us also give you a list of some quick winter recipes to help you out with a warming and yummy winter diet. Take a look.
Sarson Da Saag
- 750 gm sarson da saag/ mustard leaf (roughly chop)
- 250 gm spinach (roughly chop)
- 100 gm moolipatta / white radish leaf (roughly chop)
- 30 gm mathua (roughly chop)
- 30 gm ginger (diced)
- 8 green chilli (slit & deseeded)
- 45 gm rice
- 60 ml mustard oil
- 15 gm makki ka atta / maize flour
- 200 gm white butter
- 100 gm jaggery / gur
- 1 nasturtium (edible flower)
- Salt to taste
- Put all the ingredients, except maize flour, gur and white butter, in a handi/pan.
- Add water 2 litres of water, bring to a boil, reduce to low heat and simmer until the greens are tender for about 45 minutes.
- Remove handi/pan from heat and churn with a wooden churner.
- Return handi/pan to heat, add maize flour, cover and simmer over very low heat, stirring at regular intervals, for 1 hour.
- Remove and adjust the seasoning.
- Pour in a bowl, and add large dollops of butter.
- Add a few petals of edible flower and serve with gur and Makki ki Roti.
Shalgam Ki Sabzi
- 500 Gram Turnips (chopped and washed), peeled
- 2 large Onion , chopped
- 2 Tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp Garlic and ginger, grated
- 2 Green chillies , chopped
- 1 tsp Sugar, cumin powder and coriander powder
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 cup Water
- 2 tbsp Butter / oil
- to taste Salt
- Coriander leaves to garnish., finely chopped
- Heat the butter / oil in a pressure cooker till it is medium hot.
- Add the chopped green chillies, grated ginger and garlic.
- Fry briefly.
- Add the chopped onions and saute on medium heat for 3 minutes or till the onions are lightly browned.
- Now, add the chopped tomatoes, salt, and the turmeric, cumin and coriander powders.
- Stir fry on medium / low heat for 3 minutes or till the fat leaves the sides of the cooker.
- Add the chopped turnips and mix.
- Add the water and stir well.
- Close the cooker and bring to maximum pressure on high heat.
- Now, reduce the heat and cook on low level for about 15 minutes.
- Open the cooker after all the steam has escaped. Add the sugar and very lightly mash the cooked turnips.
- Keep on the flame for a few minutes to dry out excess water if any.
- Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
- 4 Medium florets of cauliflower (blanched in hot water with salt and turmeric)
- For deep frying oil
- For the filling:
- 1/2 cup processed cheese, grated
- 10-15 raisins
- 2-3 tbsp fresh pomegranate (anaar)
- 2-3 tbsp cashews, chopped
- Handful of coriander leaves, chopped
- 2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp khoya (crumbled)
- For the batter:
- 350 gms besan
- 1 tbsp ajwain
- 2 tbsp garlic
- to taste salt
- Red chilli powder
- Water (to make the batter)
- In a pan of hot water add salt, turmeric and gobhi. Blanch till the gobhi is softened a little.
- Mix all the ingredients together. Add in enough water to make a semi-thick batter.
- In a bowl add the all filling ingredients and mix with your hands to make a soft, gooey mixture.
- Stuff the blanched gobhi with this mixture in all the crevices.
- Coat the stuffed gobhi in the batter and deep fry till golden and serve.
Well, there you have it. A list of ideal winter diet tips and recipes to get you through the cold months of the winter. These winter diet tips and recipes will have you feeling warm and fuzzy while still supplying the body with plenty of energy and replenishes the system.