Are you one of those people who love the magic of the monsoon? Well, we would say who doesn’t? Romantic and pleasant, rains are indeed the best time to sit back, relax, watch showers and of course, enjoy delicious delicacies in the comfort of your home. With no dearth of fruits and vegetables adorning vegetable markets, one must be watchful of what to eat and what to avoid, as this season is also a host to various bacteria, viruses and pathogens that can pose many health problems. Amongst plentiful options of leafy greens, cruciferous, marrow and tuber vegetables, nature has been generous enough to us and bequeathed with root vegetables such as onion, sweet potato, yam, and stem tubers like beetroot, parsnip and tuberous roots like taro are abundantly available during this time. Not exactly roots per se, they are bulbous growths that emerge underneath, at the base of a plant. All of them are a powerhouse of nutrients, delicious to eat and the best part is, that do not nurture bacteria, unlike green vegetables, causing monsoon illnesses.
Why Should You Eat Fibrous Root Veggies?
Packed with fibre and antioxidants and low in calories, these bulbs, roots, and tubers absorb nutrients to feed the plant which makes them nutrient dense. Despite little high in starch, they boast of the following health benefits:
Aids Eye Health
Root vegetables are an excellent source of carotenoids. Carotenoids are beneficial antioxidants that protect your eye health and slow down age-related macular degeneration and ailments such as glaucoma and cataract.
Good for Weight Loss
Root veggies are packed with fibre, which can keep you satiated for long. This helps in losing surplus weight.
Boosts Immune System
Rich in Vitamin C, manganese calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and a good source of several antioxidants such as beta-carotene and chlorogenic acid, roots and tubers keep the immunity levels stronger hence are ideal to eat during the rainy season.
Chronic inflammation is linked to an increased risk of health anomalies such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes. All root vegetables have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation and keep these diseases at bay.
Isn’t it amazing how this array of vegetables not only consists of an impressive nutrient profile but is easily available throughout the year? Add them to your monsoon diet, get creative and try them boiled, mashed, baked, and even roasted. Well, for starters, gorge on these lip-smacking chats.
500 grams Kachalu
1/2 teaspoon rock salt
1 tsp red chili powder
2 tbsp dried mango powder
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp roasted cumin powder
2 coarsely crushed black cardamom
4 chopped green chilies
1 tsp ginger strip
Boil Kachalu in water, until it is soft and keep aside.
Mix dried mango powder, and red chili powder in 2 cups of water in another pan and keep it aside.
When Kachalu cools, peel off the skin and cut into thin slices
Mix spices, green chillies, ginger, lemon juice, dried mango powder and red chili powder in water.
Toss well using a spatula.
Cover it and keep it for a few hours
Wait for Kachalu to absorb most of the water
Kachalu chat is ready to serve
Kachalu a root veggie belongs to the same family as taro root. Slightly different from Arbi or taro root, it is round in size and slimy when cut. Tangy kachalu chat is an authentic Delhi delicacy. Laden with spices that are rich in beneficial compounds, the chat has Kachalu which is a rich source of dietary fiber and good carbohydrates.
Beetroot and Sweet Potato Chat
1 cup beetroot diced and boiled
1 cup sweet potato diced and boiled
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 green chili
4 tbsp oil
1/2 cup onion
5 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chat masala powder
1 cup cabbage
2 cups water
Steam vegetables in a pressure cooker and cook for 3 whistles
Cooked well, then peel them lightly and chop them. Keep aside
Chop the mint leaves, carrot, cabbage, onion and green chilli in a separate bowl
Mix lemon juice and chaat masala powder in a different bowl
Add oil to this bowl and whisk properly to prepare the dressing
Add this dressing to the chopped veggies
Mix all the ingredients into sweet potato and beetroot
Top it up with chaat masala powder