One ground rule of eating better (for your health) food is to ensure enough micronutrients in our diet on a daily basis. These micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals), so called because they are needed in very small quantities, are extremely potent and can help keep our health, weight, and functioning of the body on track.
And the easiest way to fill in the gaps in our diet for these nutrients is by eating a dollop of a home made chutney everyday, at least in one meal. Eleven chutneys to make and eat are:
Raw Mango Chutney
Chop 250 gm raw mangoes and grind into a coarse paste with 2 red chillies, a pinch of hing, 2 tbsp desiccated coconut, 2 tbsp jaggery and salt to taste. Add on top 1 tsp heated mustard oil to which curry leaves have been added.
Why? Raw mango delivers multiple vitamins - Vitamin C, A, E, and minerals like calcium, magnesium and niacin that are brilliant for our hearts health and immunity. It is really good for our digestion and helps keep constipation at bay. Plus it is inherently cooling.
Boil 100 gm tamarind in water. Remove the stones and just take its fleshy parts and make into a paste. Now, add 50 gm jaggery, black salt and black pepper to taste, a pinch of dried ginger powder and cook for a few minutes, and mash smoothly.
Why? Tamarind delivers a lot of magnesium and calcium, so is greta for our bones. It is high in fibre and is a natural laxative. Plus it contains tartaric acid which is a powerful anti-oxidant
Deseed 500 gm amla, cover and cook in just enough water till soft.
Now cook on sim the cooked amla in 300 ml water and add 300 gm sugar and 1 star anise to it. Reduce this and keep stirring constantly on very low heat, till the water has reduced and thick paste is formed. Cool and blend the residue and add a pinch of black salt to it.Cool down and keep in airtight glass bottle.
Sugar-free amla chutney: boil 2 deseeded amlas till soft. Grind half a cucumber and 2 green chillies. Mix all together an 1 tsp hot mustard oil and salt to taste.
Why? Helps stock up on vitamin C, our best bet to boost the immunity and keep flu, cold and myriad other viruses at bay. Vitamin C is also
helps to contend free radicals thus prevents from many diseases and also has strong laxative properties.
Place in grinder 100 g green coriander leaves, 2 garlic. An inch of ginger, 2 green chillies and grind with a little water. Finally just add some lemon juice.
Coriander Stems Chutney
Fry a green chilli in a little bit of oil for a min. Then hand pound the roasted chilli, washed 100 gm coriander stems, 2 garlic cloves, few roasted peanuts, add salt to taste and squeeze in some lemon juice.
Why? Coriander chutney recipe is loaded with micro-nutrients our body needs - vitamin A, B, C & E along with minerals like calcium, phosphorous, iron, and magnesium. Plus it aids in digestive juice secretion.
Grind 50 gm peanuts, 1 tomato, an inch of ginger and 2 green chillies. Add salt to taste and add ataxia of mustard seeds and kari patta splut-tered in mustard oil.
Why? Peanuts are a cheap source of good quality protein. They deliver d oleic acid, which is a greta for our heart. In fact they are a complete heart health package as they also deliver the antioxidant vitamin E, folic acid (reduces homocysteine levels). Finally the pairing of niacin (pea-nuts are loaded in it) with resveratrol makes peanuts a great Alzheimer’s disease prevention food.
Heat a little bit of oil and add mustard seeds and curry patta, fenugreek seeds, then fry 3 tsp of black gram dal (urad dal), 2 chopped onions, 5 red chilies, 2-3 cashes and an inch of tamarind. Let it cool. Then grind it.
Why? This chutney gives you the allicin advantage, a phytochemical that boosts circulation and warms the body from inside. Allicin also cleanses and nourishes the entire body, particularly the liver. Raw onions also contain alliums compounds that help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Watermelon Rind Chutney
Take only the white portion of the rind (separate the pink inner flesh, and also trim off the outer green skin) and cube into half inch pieces. In a pan add in the rind cubes (3 cups), ½ cup sugar, ½ cup minced ginger, 1 tbsp green chilli, and garlic each, ½ cup vinegar, ½ cup water, 2-3 crushed black peppercorns, and ½ tsp salt. Bring to boil over medium
heat, then let it simmer for fifty minutes. Keep stirring. All the sugar will dissolve and it will become translucent and tender. Now let it cool, trans-fer into an airtight container and chill for a day to let the flavours settle.
Why? The rind delivers good amount of vitamin A and C, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B 6, zinc and other important nutrients. Plus Lyco-pene and citrulline in this rind can help to neutralize free radicals in the body that are disease causing. And it is extremely low calorie.
Cook 30 gm garlic and 2 green chilies in mustard oil for a few minutes. Cook and it is ready to eat.
Why? Garlic chutney helps in lowering blood cholesterol and boosting the digestion. It also helps lower blood sugar and increase the energy and boost the immune system.
Tomato Onion Chutney
Heat a little bit of oil, add 3 chopped tomatoes, 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped green chillies and a few garlic pods. cookfor 5-7 minutes. Now, it is ready to serve.
Why? Tomatoes deliver vitamin C, A, K, folate, and potassium, are low in sodium and cholesterol, and help ward off inflammation from the body.
(Kavita Devgan is a nutritionist, weight management consultant, and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of The Don't Diet Plan: A no-nonsense guide to weight loss, Fix it with Food, Ultimate Grandmother Hacks, and Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People.)
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