Ready to dress up in a yellow saree or suit? After all, it’s Basant Panchami, which celebrates the arrival of spring. This year, it falls on January 26, which is also observed annually as Republic Day in India. On Basant Panchami, yellow is not only the dominant colour in clothes, but also food. We all know that turmeric is one common ingredient that gives a nice and natural yellow colour to foods, and it also offers health benefits. Take out your kitchen tools and gear up to prepare some lip-smacking and healthy Basant Panchami foods with turmeric as the star ingredient.
HealthShots took cues from Haripriya. N, executive nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Chennai, to come up with a list of turmeric-dominant drinks and dishes.
Turmeric is a commonly used spice and a key ingredient in curry powder (benefits of turmeric). She says curcumin is an important component of turmeric. It gives turmeric its yellow colour, and also has anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties.
Here’s how you can incorporate turmeric in your meals
1. Early morning beverage: Turmeric lemon water
• A pinch of organic turmeric powder
• Warm water
• A pinch of black pepper
• 1/2 of a lemon
• Extract the lemon juice and mix it in 150 ml of water.
• Then add a pinch of turmeric and black pepper powder to it.
• Stir well and then serve it.
Turmeric and black pepper together aid better absorption of curcumin. This prevents sore throat, cold and other infections, boosts immunity and keeps you fresh in the morning.
2. Breakfast: Turmeric scrambled egg toast
• 2 large eggs
• A pinch of turmeric powder
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 teaspoon of cooking oil
• Large tomato and capsicum (chopped)
• Handful of spinach
• 2 slices of wheat bread (toast)
• Whisk the eggs, turmeric, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl and set it aside.
• Heat oil in a small frypan and sauté the tomato for 2-3 minutes, until soft.
• Add spinach and continue cooking for another minute or two then set it aside.
• Pour the eggs in a pan and cook over a low heat. Keep the eggs moving by pushing side to side across the pan with a spatula.
• When the eggs are almost done, add spinach, capsicum and tomato.
• Serve it hot with bread slices.
Haripriya says that it is a perfect breakfast with turmeric as the main star. It is a balanced meal with protein, complex carbohydrates, phytonutrients and anti-oxidants (anti-oxidant rich foods).
3. Lunch: Spiced yellow dal with rice
• 1/4 cup split yellow mung beans
• 1/2 cup basmati rice (cooked)
• 1 teaspoon oil or ghee
• 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
• 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds, fenugreek, ginger, cumin
• 1/8 teaspoon asafoetida
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 cup of water
• 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
• Salt as required
• Rinse the mung beans and rice together under running water until the water runs clear.
• In a heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard and fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, ginger, turmeric, and cumin and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
• Add beans and rice and stir until they are coated with the spice mixture.
• Add water and bay leaf to the rice and bean mixture and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook until the beans and rice are soft, but not mushy.
• After 15 to 20 minutes, serve it hot with any vegetable curry.
It is a combination of plant protein and can be easily digested. Turmeric helps in digestion better and prevents gaseous formation or any discomfort.
4. Dinner: Turmeric chappati with hung curd
• 2 cups chapatti flour (250 gm approximately)
• 1/2 teaspoon turmeric or haldi powder
• 1/2 teaspoon carom or ajwain seeds
• 1 tablespoon dry fenugreek leaves
• 1 green chilli (chopped)
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon oil
• Lukewarm water to make dough
• 2-3 tablespoons flour for dusting during rolling out
• A little ghee
Prepare dough with the ingredients and then make chapatti out of it. Serve hot with curd. Packed with fiber, protein and micronutrients, it can prevent seasonal infections as it’s a combination of anti-oxidants and probiotic.
5. Bedtime: Golden latte
• 200 ml skimmed milk
• 2 pinches turmeric
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• Jaggery as needed
• Pour milk in a sauce pan, add turmeric and crushed pepper.
• Whisk and mix it well, make sure everything is mixed properly.
• Bring the milk to boil and finally add jaggery. Filter it and then serve hot.
A blend of turmeric, pepper and hot milk will help to prevent infections and induce sleep.
Try these turmeric-based foods for Basant Panchami, and beyond.