In present times, if there is one crucial lesson that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it is to eat healthy, balanced, nutritious meals to augment our disease-fighting potential. Though the second wave of coronavirus infections in India is gradually receding now, maintaining immune system functions and building resistance is key for optimal wellbeing. With regards to this, a rather beneficial ingredient to combat illness is the humble lemon, ubiquitously found in every home. Bright yellow lemons have been an integral part of Indian cuisine since time immemorial, being used to prepare dal, rasam, pickle/achaar, tea and lemonade. Besides the tangy flavour that this tiny, round to oval citrus fruit imparts to an array of desi dishes, lemons are truly a blessing for good health, being imbued with ample essential nutrients.
Lemon Nutrition And Health Benefits:
Inherently low on calories and fats while comprising abundant reserves of vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and iron, lemons accelerate weight loss, enhance immunity, boost metabolism, fortify bones and detoxify the blood of impurities. In addition, they possess a treasure trove of citrine polyphenol antioxidants that enrich skin texture, slow down ageing and even promote hair growth, supplying thick, long and lustrous tresses.
Wholesome Indian Lemon Recipes That Can Be Made In A Jiffy:
And here’s some more good news – these small-sized fruits obtained from the evergreen flowering tree scientifically termed Citrus limon, are available all year round and can be easily incorporated into the daily diet. Wondering how? Well, look no further, here are two simple recipes of aromatic lemon rice – a popular South Indian dish and shikanji nimbu pani – a cooling beverage from North India. Plus, you don’t have to spend hours cooking in the kitchen, for these recipes can be made quite fast - within just 30 minutes and will surely not only tantalize your taste buds but also uplift overall health.
2 small lemons
1 ½ cups rice
4 – 5 cups water
Salt, as per taste
2 tbsp sesame/gingelly oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal
3 tbsp peanuts
2 red chillies
3 green chillies, slit vertically
1 tsp turmeric powder
A pinch of hing
A bunch of curry leaves
Boil rice with a proportionate amount of water 1:3, in a pressure cooker and once done, carefully put it in a clean wide vessel.
Add a bit of oil, required amount of salt to the boiled rice and mix well.
Slice the lemons in half and squeeze the juice from them into a bowl.
In a kadai, heat the sesame oil in medium flame, put in the mustard seeds and once they crackle, add the urad dal, peanuts, red chillies.
Transfer the green chillies, turmeric powder, hing, curry leaves to the kadai, stir for just 1 minute and turn off the stovetop.
Combine this sauteed spice mix and fresh lemon juice with the boiled rice, then modify the salt and sesame oil for taste if needed.
Enjoy the tasty lemon rice for lunch along with potato fry, coconut chutney or papad.
Lemon contains profuse amounts of vitamin C that contributes to better immunity and keeps cough, cold, fever and other diseases at bay. Rice supplies calories and carbohydrates for instant energy, while also being rich in dietary fibers for smooth digestion. Bestowed with healthy unsaturated fats, sesame oil fosters heart wellness while peanuts are a storehouse of proteins, thereby nurturing the growth, development of tissues, organs and strong muscles.
1 large lemon
5 cups water
2 tsp cumin powder
Rock salt, as required
Sugar, as per taste
A fistful of mint leaves
6 ice cubes
Cut the big lemon into two equal portions.
Pour the water into a large bowl and crush the lemons into this to extract the juice, removing the seeds.
Now add the required amount of rock salt and sugar along with the cumin powder to the lemon infusion.
Stir thoroughly until the sugar dissolves, then pour the mixture into 3 tall glasses with 2 ice cubes in each of them.
Garnish with mint leaves and sip on the refreshing shikanji mid-day or in the evening.
Laden with bone-fortifying minerals of calcium, magnesium, lemon lowers the risk of debilitating illnesses like osteoporosis, arthritis and also prevents anaemia, fatigue, thanks to its high iron content. Cumin comprises carminative properties to relieve gas, flatulence and enhance gut health. With noteworthy decongestant traits, rock salt effectively resolves sinus infections, blocked nose and sore throat, for improved respiratory health.