Tired of Khichdi? Here Are 5 Easy Desi Comfort Foods To Cook When You’re Sick
Here are 5 easy-to-cook comfort foods from different states of India for the time when you're sick.
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Our relationship with food begins the day we are born. It is the only thing that the body craves – the one thing that dictates our happiness for the longest time when we are young.
Even as we grow older, food never stays just nutrition, or just calories and protein, but something that’s firmly attached to our memory, senses and feelings of well-being.
No wonder, it is food we all turn to in times of stress, distress and anxiety. And this is where comfort foods come in, and become a part of our menus.
Well, actually there is science behind how comfort foods work. Anything that gives us pleasurable feelings triggers a reward centre in our brain.
It is the part that works on dopamine and endorphins that are chemicals which make us feel good.
This is why certain foods create actual and very real “comfort” in our minds by boosting happiness too.
Often its the memory attached to them that is at work, but at times it is the nutrients in the food too that bring in real measurable comfort and stress reduction.
Khichdi is one such bonafide comfort food. There is an absolute consensus on that. It is made in almost every household in some form or the other, and it always comforts.
But then, Khichdi is not the only dish that can comfort you.
There are many others that you can try. Go on and arm yourself with a whole new repertoire of healthy comfort foods from across India.
Maharashtrian Phodnicha Bhat
This Maharashtrian version of lemon rice is prepared mostly as a breakfast dish with previous day's rice.
Temper 1 tsp mustard seeds and a pinch of cumin seeds in 1 tbsp oil.
Add 1 chopped green chilli and few kari patta.
Add a chopped onion, some salt and fry till translucent.
Add 1/2 tsp each of turmeric powder and red chilli powder.
Stir in 1 cup of cooked rice and let the rice get heated through for about 2-3 minutes.
Turn off the stove and add a pinch of sugar and lemon juice. Mix well.
Rajasthani Jau (Barley) Ki Ghat
Add one cup buttermilk to 2 tbsp barley powder. Keep aside.
Meanwhile boil one cup water, add 1 chopped sliced onion and salt.
Add this buttermilk / barley mix to the above boiling water and stir continuously for 4-5 minutes (don’t let it curdle).
When the mixture becomes slightly thicker, turn off the heat.
Let it sit overnight (no need to keep in the fridge). It’ll become like a thick rice pudding.
In the morning, add half cup of yoghurt, sprinkle cumin powder and red chilli powder (optional), and dig in.
Kambu Vella (Bajra Jaggery) Pongal From Tamil Nadu
Slightly dry roast 3/4th cup broken bajra till a bit hot.
Pressure cook the 1/4th cup green gram dal, roasted broken bajra (bajra : dal – 70: 30 ratio) with 3 cups of water till soft.
Heat some ghee and add a few cashews and raisins.
When slightly golden brown, add jaggery and add it to the pongal.
Sprinkle some cardamom powder on top.
Sattu Ke Ladoo From Bihar
Lightly roast 500 gm sattu with 500 gm jaggery.
Transfer this mixture to a large plate.
Add elaichi powder, finely chopped cashews and pista.
Knead and shape into laddoos, adding coconut milk as required.
Soruchakli From Orissa
This pancake made with rice flour and lentils is usually eaten with coconut or jaggery.
Wash equal amounts rice and urad dal and soak them separately overnight.
Grind both separately to make a smooth paste and then mix them.
Add salt, grounded or pounded sauf (fennel seeds), and ginger to this mix, all 1 tsp.
You can add some very finely shredded green chillies, carrots, onions, coriander leaves and mushrooms (all optional) to the mix too.
Add water to get the right consistency of the paste (thin but not too runny).
Heat and grease a non stick pan or tawa, pour a ladle full of batter and spread it evenly into a thin, round shape.
Cook for a few minutes, then flip and cook on the other side. You can pair it with last nights leftover curry too.
(Kavita is a nutritionist, weight management consultant, and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico), Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa), and Fix it with foods.)
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)
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