New Year’s Eve on December 31 signifies cheerful celebrations - be it going out with friends, hosting relatives at home, or a simple dinner with family while enjoying a game of cards or an entertaining movie. Even as we bid adieu to 2021 and gear up to welcome 2022 with a list of goals to accomplish in all domains - professional, personal, fitness, travel, the primary focus on all our minds is undeniably our own health as well as the health of our near and dear ones. Ensuring physical, mental, emotional wellbeing and staying disease-free has taken centrestage not just in the past year in 2021 but long before that; ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020.
And when it comes to health, food is a crucial component in that it is the main source of essential nutrients including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibers that the body needs to function well. In the past two years of partial to complete lockdowns, people have increasingly adopted the practice of eating wholesome home-cooked meals, with recipes of plant-based proteins and immunity-boosting dishes being prepared regularly in many households. While lentils including moong dal, toor dal, masoor dal obtained naturally from plants and being ideal for vegans and vegetarians alike are enriched with proteins, turmeric - the golden spice - has emerged as the hero ingredient synonymous with uplifting the immune system in recent times of the new normal.
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So go ahead, whip up these tasty, healthy recipes of lentil soup and turmeric tea, to safeguard the health of yourself and your family as well as set foot into the new year carrying the practice of good health forward.
Nutritious And Comforting Recipes For Enhanced Overall Health:
¼ cup moong dal
¼ cup toor dal
2 tomatoes, finely cut
1 large carrot, chopped into tiny pieces
2 tbsp ghee
1 small onion, finely cut
1 small piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp black pepper powder
A sprig of coriander leaves
Wash the lentils in lukewarm water and drain out the excess liquid.
Heat ghee in a pan on low flame, sauté the onion, ginger until the raw smell fades and then add the tomatoes and carrots.
Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, add the moong dal and toor dal along with salt and turmeric powder and mix well pouring a bit of water.
Transfer the contents of the pan to a pressure cooker, cook for 3 – 4 whistles on medium flame and then turn off the stovetop.
Allow the pressure to be released completely and mash the mixture thoroughly.
Now heat a bit of ghee in a vessel, sauté the garlic for 1 -2 minutes so it emanates a strong aroma, then add the red chilli powder, cumin powder and black pepper powder.
Warm the mashed dal blend in another vessel, top it off with the ghee-infused spice mix and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
Serve this protein-packed lentil soup hot along with warm rice and ghee for lunch or dinner.
Moong dal and toor dal offer ample essential amino acids which form proteins required for growth, development, enzyme activity, muscle strength and metabolism. Ghee is a storehouse of healthy unsaturated fats for heart wellness, while coriander leaves abound in vitamin A, calcium, phosphorous for enhanced eyesight and fortified bones and joints.
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 ½ cups water
1 tbsp jaggery powder
¼ tsp dry ginger powder
A pinch of crushed black pepper
Heat water in a saucepan along with jaggery powder and let it boil.
Now add the turmeric powder, dry ginger powder and crushed black pepper and heat for 2 more minutes.
Filter the blend using a strainer into two or three cups.
Sip on this soothing turmeric tea in the evening whilst biting into some snacks and cookies.
Bestowed with curcumin – a powerful antioxidant, as well as vitamin C and polyphenol compounds, turmeric delivers valuable anti-inflammatory properties to bolster immunity, build resistance to disease and even prevent chronic disorders like diabetes and cancer. Jaggery is laden with iron that enhances blood circulation, averts anaemia and fatigue, while cumin powder comprises useful decongestant bioactive components that dispel respiratory issues of cough, cold, fever and augment lung health.