The recently concluded Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan between July 23, 2021, to August 8, 2021, saw some spectacular performances by the top sportspersons from countries around the world, including India. The nation witnessed the highest number of Olympic medal winners - a total of 7, with 1 gold, 2 silver, 4 bronze. Indeed, Mirabai Chanu, Lovlina Borgohain, PV Sindhu, Ravi Kumar Dahiya, Bajrang Punia, Neeraj Chopra and the Indian Men’s Hockey Team have made every citizen proud and serve as an inspiration for scores of youngsters.
And while these sporting superheroes have no doubt showcased their strengths in different athletic, individual and team events like weightlifting, boxing, badminton, wrestling, hockey, javelin, they share a common weakness not just with one another but also with the general public. Yes, you guessed it right, it is certainly food and more specifically, good old mom-made “Ghar Ka Khana”, which is not only served with warmth and love amidst one’s family but is also packed with essential nutrients of proteins, fibres, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, to uplift overall health.
Wondering what these stars of Indian sport like to eat on a relaxed day at home, when not undergoing intense training at the gym or tiring practice sessions in the field/court? Then search no more, simply foray this feature, to discover delicious, nourishing recipes of Churma – a wheat, ghee and sugar-based dish from Haryana – Neeraj Chopra’s most-liked sweet and Sana Thongba – a customary paneer (called Sana in Manipuri) and peas curry (termed as Thongba in Manipuri) from Manipur that features prominently in Mirabai Chanu’s preferred home-cooked fare.
1 cup wheat flour
¼ cup semolina/rava
8 – 10 almonds, sliced
1 tsp elaichi/cardamom powder
5 tbsp ghee
5 tbsp sugar
Prepare a dough by combining the wheat flour, semolina and ghee in a vessel.
Shape the dough into even-sized round, flattened balls.
In a kadai, heat ghee on medium flame and slow cook the balls of dough so that they turn golden brown on all sides.
Remove excess ghee using tissue and pulse the fried dough balls in a blender to obtain a coarse mixture.
To this, add the sugar, almonds and elaichi powder and serve the churma warm as such as a sweet dish or along with dal baati (lentil stew and hard wheat rolled bread) for lunch.
Wheat flour offers ample carbohydrates and calories for instant energy, while ghee is a storehouse of healthy unsaturated fats for heart wellness. Almonds are rich in B vitamins, which aid in regulating digestion, metabolism and elaichi comprises carminative traits to reduce bloating, flatulence, as well as decongestant properties to cure cough and cold and enhance lung functions.
2 cups paneer, defrosted and cut into cubes
½ cup green peas
2 tbsp mustard oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 green chilli, cut into pieces
1 onion, finely cut
1 potato, boiled, peeled and chopped
1 cup milk
A bunch of coriander leaves
Salt, as per taste
Heat mustard oil in a pan on medium flame, add the cumin seeds and once they crackle, add ginger garlic paste, green chillies and onions.
Sauté for 5 minutes until the onions become brown and the raw smell fades.
Transfer the potatoes and fry them for about 2 minutes, then add some water, cover the pan and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
Now add the milk, green peas, turmeric powder, salt, cook for 1 minute, then add the soft paneer cubes and warm for 7 – 10 minutes to allow the flavours to be absorbed completely.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve the Sana Thongba hot with warm rice and ghee or jeera pulao.
Laden with proteins and calcium, paneer promotes growth, development, muscle strength and fortifies bones and joints. Green peas are rich in vitamin C for robust immunity, vitamin K for optimal blood clotting and wound healing processes, as well as dietary fibres for gut health. Profuse volumes of vitamin A, carotenoid antioxidants in coriander leaves promote eyesight and prevent vision-linked disorders like AMD, glaucoma in old age.