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We all know that this year India will be celebrating its 72nd Republic Day. For every nation, this day holds utmost importance because of the Constitution coming into effect. For India, one of the largest democratic countries in the world too, this day is remembered and celebrated with great enthusiasm. We, as Indians, have always taken pride in our country that is culturally rich and has diversity in religion, caste as well as food, region-wise. 

 

We have bravely crossed the previous year of a global pandemic and while we recover from it fully, this year the celebration will certainly be different and restricted. However, that wouldn’t dull our patriotic feeling and the spirit of solidarity. While talking about the richness of Bharat, I felt the urge to talk about nature’s bounty that bestows us with so many seasonal fruits and vegetables. Here, I’m going to pay gratitude for our Indian food ingredients that correlate with the season. I will entail ingredients that are in line with the colours of the Indian flag.

 

The Tiranga Pride!

 

Saffron: Indicates the country’s strength and courage. Orange foods help promoting healthy eyes, fighting cancer and makes the skin healthy. 

  • Starting with santra (orange) – mostly grown in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Rajasthan, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Karnataka. Nagpur has been nicknamed as the ‘orange city’ because of the large variety of oranges that are grown and sold there. Beside the pulp being a great source of Vitamin C, other parts of the orange tree also have importance – like the peel is used in perfumes and soaps for the aroma, the flowers and seeds are used in cooking oils, soaps, etc., the wood is used for furniture, walking sticks, etc. It has varied medicinal uses – fighting back acne, sores/ulcer, relieving stomach and intestinal issues are some of them. 

For awesome santra recipes: https://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/All-recipesearch.aspx?Search=santra&course=&cusine=&recipetitle

  • Kaddu (pumpkin) aeons ago, was known as the ‘emperor of the garden’ and was considered as a symbol of fruitfulness and health. It became popular among the people for its easy cultivation and long shelf life. India is the second-largest pumpkin producing country in the world. Did you know that a pumpkin is made of over 90% water? 

For awesome kaddu recipes: https://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/All-recipesearch.aspx?Search=kaddu&course=&cusine=&recipetitle= 

  • Gajar (carrot) is the second most popular type of vegetable after potatoes. Did you know that Mahatma Gandhi was the proponent of carrot soup in his youth? As he was a strong believer of superfoods and loved to experiment when it came to desi ingredients. 

For awesome gajar recipes: https://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/All-recipesearch.aspx?Search=gajar&course=&cusine=&recipetitle= 

White: Indicates peace and truth. White foods help in lowering cholesterol/blood pressure, detoxify the liver and is good for skin health. 

  • Kaju (cashewnut) got its colloquial name from the Portuguese word caju, which means a nut. Cashewnuts are often used as a substitute for milk/cream in vegan diets. The Portuguese brought cashews to Goa in about the year 1560. It became popular amongst Indians as they discovered its healing properties. Later, it also became a cheese alternative.

For awesome kaju recipes:  https://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/All-recipesearch.aspx?Search=kaju&course=&cusine=&recipetitle= 

  • Til (sesame seeds), apart from being famous in the tales of Ali Baba Chalis Chor to magically open a sealed cave, these earthy, crunchy seeds have been used in cleansing rituals as a symbol of immortality in funeral ceremonies throughout our history. Upon ripening, the seeds split, releasing a pop and this possibly indicates the origin of the phrase ‘open sesame’ in the folk tale. Also, during wars in olden times, sesame seeds were rationed for soldiers who required strength in order to survive strenuous tasks. 

For awesome til recipes: https://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/All-recipesearch.aspx?Search=tilwa&course=&cusine=&recipetitle= 

  • Phoolgobhi (cauliflower) has been in cultivation in India from the last 150 years. The flower heads of cauliflowers are often called ‘curds.’ Cauliflowers are a friend of the heart along with supporting hormonal balance, being great for the immune system as well as the brain.

For awesome gobhi recipes: https://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/All-recipesearch.aspx?Search=gobhi&course=&cusine=&recipetitle

  • Doodh aur dahi (milk and curd/yogurt) have over 6 billion consumers across the world. Where more than 1,000 new dairy products are introduced each year. These ingredients have been a part and parcel of the Indian households too since times immemorial. Legend mentions that yogurt was discovered by a shepherd who forgot some milk for a while and by the time he remembered, it had turned into something denser and tastier. 

For awesome dahi recipes: https://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/All-recipesearch.aspx?Search=dahi&course=&cusine=&recipetitle

 

Green: Signifies fertility, growth and auspiciousness. Green foods signify the promotion of healthy blood and heart. 

  • Palak (spinach) is an edible flowering plant of the amaranth family. In early history, it was declared as the ‘crown prince amongst vegetables’ as it was considered good for the liver when suffering from jaundice and activated the bowel movement. The juice form was effective in preventing cough and chest ailments. 

For awesome palak recipes: https://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/All-recipesearch.aspx?Search=palak&course=&cusine=&recipetitle

  • Bathua (chenopodium) is one of the most common seasonal greens in India. Besides adding a distinctive flavour to various dishes, did you know that applying bathua paste to wounds or burns can help them cure! Suffering from mouth ulcers, dental pyorrhoea, bad breath and other dental issues? Just chew on some raw bathua leaves and get relieved. 

For awesome bathua recipes: https://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/All-recipesearch.aspx?Search=bathua&course=&cusine=&recipetitle=  

  • Methi (fenugreek), besides the lovely, nutritious, friend of the heart and digestion system methi saag, there’s a tea that you can make with fenugreek seeds and de-stress yourself instantly! All you need to do is lightly crush 1 teaspoon methi dana, soak in a cup of boiled water and steep for 1-3 hours. Strain the tea and add honey along with lemon to taste. Drink it warm or at room temperature.

For awesome methi recipes: https://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/All-recipesearch.aspx?Search=methi&course=&cusine=&recipetitle

  • Matar (green peas), winters are the best time in India, when markets are full of fresh green peas that can be turned into the tastiest of paranthas, puris, sabzis or just snacks that would satiate your souls. Did you know? The proper etiquette for eating peas globally, is to squash them by the back of the fork.

For awesome matar recipes: https://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/All-recipesearch.aspx?Search=matar&course=&cusine=&recipetitle=

 


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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.