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Treat up yourself to the best but eat well & rest is also one of the citations these days which we need to look at and follow up while we are on the way dealing with Covid-19. Since we all are aware that we need a strong immunity level built up taking place during the recovery days, a few tips from our culinary collection can also assist us do it well.

Most people these days are adapting themselves to various styles and methods and combo treatments from allopathy to Ayurveda, naturopathy and more! We must, however, take all advice and reconfirm any readings with our nutritionists and then only take up one or more of them to help better suit our system and help it heal faster.

Firstly, we need to be strong come what may, since stress pulls down our immunity levels drastically which is not a good sign. Instead, we need to be calm, patient and slightly more alert once the tests are positive. Let us now look at a few helpful pointers listed below as suggested by a few experts and studies on the culinary Covishield.

Trivia on Culinary Aspects Associated with corona virus and its variants:

1. Drink warm/lukewarm water at least 3 to 4 litres, throughout the phase. Continue following it for days and weeks to go.

2. Alter your diet immediately as we have heard “You are what you Eat!” Now it would be “Eat light, feed wise & rest right to sit up upright to face the tide!” it is time to eat limited, but nutritious and low in oil & fats, sodium and spices.

3. It is suggested to be on a protein rich diet ideally while recovering; it would be great to be on vegetarian diet which is also protein rich. Also follow the policy of ‘cook fresh, eat fresh!’ Do not store the cooked food for a long time and re-heat & consume.

4. As a guide to keeping inflammation and bacterial growth at bay, we would suggest to keep wheat away from the diet for a few days and also keep away wheat based products for a while. Instead, it recommended to consume brown rice, pulses like rajma, black eye peas, and opt for gluten free flours like oats flour, soy flour etc for your chapattis etc.

5. We also need to keep away sweets and sugar in all forms. Hence, avoid your favourite Gulab jamuns, malai sandwich or rossogulla, phirni etc for some time – it’s time to revamp your diet.

6. Mucus formation needs to be taken care of in the system during such times; therefore, it is suggested to avoid milk and milk based/dairy products from the diet for a while.

7. On a positive note, one can try consuming roasted pounded Flaxseed powder, 1 -2 tsp per day, depending on your intake capability and your body’s acceptance. Also try having organic honey a tsp or so daily as it offers multiple benefits.

8. We have often heard of fresh turmeric being great when it comes to remedial measures and it has been handy in our kitchens since ages. Try fresh ground turmeric paste with a little crushed black peppercorns and a few tulsi leaves and have it as a mix in the morning to start your day on an empty stomach, it has worked for many.

9. During this recovery and rebuilt of strong immunity levels in our body it is important to make healing energy available on our plates as well and what better than a small portion of boiled rice, with dal which is made non-spicy, less oil and salt (a little drinkable works well). Furthermore, we are aware of the best nutri rich voted Indian favorite dal khichdi- have this made with yellow or green moong dal, mildly to low in spices and salt levels. For the dessert and sweet tooth lovers go for a small portion of ripened sweet papaya!

10. To take positive culinary moves to waive off the positivity from the test reports, include tisanes or herbal teas, ginger- cinnamon tea or a combination of black pepper and tulsi chai. Have this few times a day in small portions with no sugar or milk; you can try adding giloy though!

11. Drumsticks is a great immunity booster. Have a nice light soup made with drumsticks- I make this like a shorba but with no oil, just with curry leaves, pepper, ginger, choose between ajwain or jeera,  a touch of lime, turmeric, fresh coriander, mint with cut up drumsticks in boiling water with a pinch of pink or Himalayan salt (if available). Cook the drumsticks in the soup pot, extract and strain out the flavors of the drumstick, nice and mild, sip on this amazing soup for a few days!

12. A few foods from the Pre-Biotic category are also helpful and come handy here to boost up our immunity levels. For instance, gradually we can start using a little garlic, ginger, onion, ripened banana, fresh coconut, fermented foods, brinjal and even raw tomatoes in our healthy cooking drive to also support good gut bacteria in our system which goes for a little toss due to antibiotics.

13. Experts also suggest including sattu in the special diet after the initial few days it is possible to do a desi protein shake kind of concept here and sattu goes well with roasted jeera powder as well, having a couple of spoons of this mixture should be good.

14. Sprouted and ground moong dal or mix dal dosa or cheela concept being made with very little oil on a non-stick tava with light seasonings and flavorings like ginger and onion should be good to start now, can also use little sprouted kabuli chana once in a while in the above.

15. For those who wish to opt for eggs, may think of including 1-2 boiled eggs or a simple omelette to go once in couple of days with some multi-grain bread or gluten free slice bread.

16. Almonds soaked overnight and eaten in the morning would be a good start to the day. Have 6-8 of them per day, along with these one can also think of having raisins, figs or Anjeer as available or any other dry fruit of your choice.

17. We all need a little twist of taste on our palate during these times. Try a sweet potato and sprouted cooked/boiled moong dal tikki, with a touch of ginger, green chili, salt and coriander /mint and have them like small tikkis shallow fried on a non-stick with very little oil. For a change, add a little crushed melon, sunflower seeds for a crunch in them.

Here are few recipe suggestions which can be easily made and are healthy as well:

1. HEALTHY OATS IDLI

Oats Idli

Ingredients:

Oats -1 cup

Rava/sooj-1/2 cup

Curd-1/4 cup

Water- 1 cup to be used and adjust texture.

Salt to taste

Lemon juice- 2 tsp

Cooking soda/ fruit salt- ½ tsp

Carrot-2- 3 tbsp. grated

For the tempering:

Oil/ghee- 1 tsp

Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp

Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp

White urad dal- 1 tsp

Chana dal-1/2 tsp

Ginger-1 tsp grated

Cashews- 2-3 no. chopped

Hing- 1 pinch

Green chili-1 no chop

Curry leaves-4-5 no.

Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp. chopped

Method:

1. Firstly, dry roast the oats in a non-stick pan for a few mins, cool slightly and grind it to a powder using a dry grinder.

2. Now heat the oil/ghee and prepare the tempering as listed above, add in the rava and powdered oats and mix them well on a low flame add salt and keep aside to cool completely.

3. Add water and curd or use buttermilk to make a nice batter for the idlis, adjust the texture and cover, set aside for 10-15 mins, now add lemon juice, carrot, coriander, nuts to the batter and finally add fruit salt and mix well.

4. Place the idli maker on the flame meantime with water, grease the idli moulds and pour the batter in each mould and continue with the steaming process once it comes out clean with a toothpick, carefully remove the idlis and serve with coconut chutney.

2. HEALTHY SATTU SHAKE

Sattu Shake

Ingredients

Sattu atta- 2 tbsp.

Almond powder/ cashew powder- 2 tsp

Soy milk- 1 and a half cup

Green elaichi powder- ¼ tsp

Raisins-1 tsp chop

Dates- 2-3 no. chop

Turmeric powder-1/4tsp

Saffron- 2-3 strands

Method:

1. Prepare all the ingredients for the shake.

2. In a pan add the soy milk, add in the chopped dates, saffron, turmeric, add the sattu, nut powder and cook well for 3-4 mins.

3. Add elaichi powder, raisins and bring a light boil and simmer for 2 mins.

4. Serve the health shake warm to slightly hot and enjoy this 2-3 times a week.

3. MIX DAL CHEELA

Ingredients:

Toor dal- 3 tbsp.

Yellow moong dal-3 tbsp.

White urad dal- 2 tbsp.

Brown rice/white rice- 3 tbsp.

Oil- to cook

Sooji- 2-3 tbsp.

Green chili-2 tsp chop

Ginger- 1 tsp chop

Hing- ¼ tsp

Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp. chop

Salt to taste

Method:

1. Clean the dals and rice, wash them well and soak them all together in water around 4 cups for around 2-3 hours.

2. Drain the water grind with green chili, hing, ginger to a coarsely fine paste, add few tsp of water as needed.

3. Remove into a bowl, add in the sooji and mix well, cover and keep aside for 15-20 mins.

4. Using a non-stick tava, grease it lightly, using a round spoon/ladle pour the cheela batter onto the tava and spread it evenly.

5. Spray or drizzle very little oil on the sides to assist in cooking once it gets a light nutty brown color, remove and serve hot with chutney or little curd.

4. DRUMSTICK SOUP

Drumstick Soup

Ingredients

Drumsticks- 2-3 scrape them a little from the top with a sharp knife and cut into smaller pieces and washed.

Oil-1 tsp

Cumin seeds- ¼ tsp

Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp

Curry leaves- 4-5 no

Green chili-1 no chop

Salt to taste

Ginger- 1 tsp chop

Water- 4-5 cups

Black pepper powder- ¼ tsp

Lime juice- 1 tbsp.

Coriander leaves- 1 tbsp.

Method:

1. Prepare all the ingredients for the healthy soup.

2. Heat oil add in the tempering ingredients add in the drumstick pieces and salt, pepper, water and bring to a boil, simmer for 15- 20 mins or 3- 4 whistles using a pressure cooker.

2. Cool down slightly and press down and extract the drumstick pulp into the soup, strain the entire mixture in to a fresh sauce pan and bring it back to a boil, now check for salt, add lime and coriander and serve hot.

5. NUTRI RICH MOONG DAL KHICHDI

Moong Dal Khichdi

Ingredients:

Boiled brown rice/white rice- 1 cup cooked.

Yellow moong dal- 1 cup boiled and mashed

Oil/ghee- 1 tsp

Hing-1/4 tsp

Ginger- 1 tsp chop

Slit green chili-1 no

Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Curry leaves- 4-5 no

Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp

Coriander powder-1/2 tsp

Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp.

Tomato- ½ cup chop.

Lime juice-2 tsp.

Roasted crushed peanuts- 1 tbsp.

Method:

1. Prepare all the ingredients for the khichdi recipe.

 2. Heat oil/ghee add in the ginger, hing, chili and tomatoes.

3. Add in the spices, salt, boiled dal and rice and mix well.

4. Cook on a medium flame for 8-10 mins.

5. Adjust texture using hot water and get the khichdi to a slightly

Mashed texture, add lime juice and crushed peanuts.

6. Serve hot garnished with fresh coriander.

Keeping it simple- light & easy is the key! do not be in a rush to go very heavy on the intake of foods high in carbs, fats etc. look at the balance in the nutrition chart for a couple of months from here, have adequate sleep and take good rest. Avoid too much of physical activity do not strain your mind, brain and body too much with work pressure/stress etc for few weeks, as we agreed upon Health is Wealth! Take regular medications as prescribed, do continue a few steam inhalations, and also salt water gargles couple of times a day. Revitalise yourself and revive all those aims, goals and ambitions after a little break and me time, which is most needed during these times.

Stay Safe, Eat Healthy and Stay Fit!