Win the cold war this season

The monsoon isn’t just about the rains. It also brings with it a host of viruses and bugs that challenge the immune system. And to avoid falling prey to them or even recovering from them, eating the right food can make all the difference.

“During this season, we’re prompted to skip workouts and curb outdoor activities,” explains Gautam Mehrishi, corporate executive chef at hotel Sun-n-Sand, Juhu. “One needs to eat light food, which can disintegrate in the body easily.” The chef adds, “Street food is not safe. One can go for steamed idli with sambar, or roast bhuttas and make pakodas at home.” He also recommends boiling  vegetables and drinking water, and converting meats into soups to enhance flavour and aid in digestion.
“During this season, all the nutritive properties of the fish are diverted towards the roe, so they aren’t healthy. The ecological balance is also disturbed by fishing in this season,” he advises, adding, “Avoid consuming raw, oily and spicy foods and foods that are high in protein.”

Here are some recipes from him and other city chefs, to help you get through the season.

Oak ash chevre, orange and walnut salad— Smoke House Deli

* 60 gm oak ash chevre (goat cheese)
* 30 gm grapes 
* ½ orange (segments)
* 10 gm pine nuts
* 10 gm walnuts
* 40 gm iceberg lettuce
* 30 gm lollo rosso
* 30 gm romaine
* 100 ml passion fruit juice
* 100 ml vinegar
* 10 ml olive oil
* Salt and pepper

* Wash all the leaves well.
Dip them in ice cold water, take out and set aside.
* Reduce the passion fruit juice and vinegar together until syrupy.
* Cut and deseed the grapes.
* Roast the pinenuts and walnuts until golden brown.
* Mix lettuce, half of the passion fruit juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, together in a large bowl.
* Mix the leaves well so that each leaf is coated with the dressing.
* Cut roundels of chevre and keep on a plate.
* Next, place the lettuce on top of the chevre.
* In the same mixing bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and the remaining passion fruit reduction.
* Place this on top of the lettuce and serve chilled.

Red pumpkin bhajiya— Hotel Sun-n-Sand

* 1 cup grated pumpkin
* 1 large onion, chopped lengthwise
* 4 tbsp besan flour
* 2 tbsp rice flour
* 1/2 tsp (optional)
* 1 to 1.5 tsp ginger garlic paste
* 2 sprigs curry leaves
* Salt to taste
* Oil for deep-frying

* In a mixing bowl, combine the flours, chopped onions, grated pumpkin, salt, red chili powder, ginger garlic paste and curry leaves, and mix well. No need to add extra water.
* Heat oil to deep fry. Take a small portion of pumpkin mixture and drop into the hot oil.
* Deep fry the fritters until golden brown and crispy and remove from the oil.
* Serve with hot tea.

Cure for coughs

Fusion tea— Temperance Deli

* 5 gm fresh lemongrass
* 5 gm dry ginger
* 5 gm tea leaves
* 100 ml water

* Heat the pan and pour water into it.
* Mix fresh lemongrass, dry ginger and tea leaves and put into the vessel.
* Boil for 3 to 4 minutes.
* Serve with sugar on the side.

Rice porridge

It acts as medicinal food in the monsoon. It is also called marunnu kanji and is best eaten on an empty stomach early morning or for dinner. The main ingredient is a special kind of rice, locally called njavara. It is cooked in cow’s milk. Coconut milk is added towards the end. For taste, add black pepper, cloves, cardamom, and herbs such as tulsi and mint. It is cooked using jaggery and onions sautéed in ghee. Consume every day for 7-10 days. It is highly recommended in ayurveda and they call it a ‘therapy diet’


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