Summer has arrived here, in Mumbai. The heat left me stunned when I went for my walk last evening, and today, it’s even hotter …it’s only going to get worse day by day.
As the season changes, it becomes important that we plan meals that help us stay cool from within. For, apart from staying indoors during the day time, wearing cool cottons and staying hydrated, it’s only the food that we eat that will provide us with the cool respite we crave during summer.
So, today, I decided to make myself a cooling pumpkin raita for lunch. It’s what mum prepares often and I love, immensely.
PUMPKIN AND CURD RAITA
Pumpkin – 200 gms
Curd – 1 cup
Finely chopped green chilli – 1
Salt – to taste
Sugar – a half a teaspoon
Ghee/Oil and cumin seeds – for tempering
Finely chopped fresh coriander leaves – for garnishing
Pumpkin – Antioxidants such as beta carotene (found in orange coloured vegetables and fruits) that helps protect the body from cancer, heart diseases and age-related degeneration.
It contains Vitamin C, fibre and potassium that keep the heart healthy.
Curd: Has high protein and calcium content that keeps the bones healthy and the body energised through the day. It helps in better digestion thanks to the live bacteria and is good for the skin, too!
Wash the pumpkin thoroughly and slice off the skin. You don’t need to throw away the skin, but can use it to make this crispy chutney–my mum’s recipe.
Chop the pumpkin in cubes and pressure cook for 10 minutes.
Once cooked, bring it out and allow it to cool.
After cooling, squeeze out the water of the pumpkin and mash it well.
Beat the thick curd in a bowl and add salt and sugar as per your preference.
Add the mashed pumpkin to the curd and mix well.
Heat ghee in a tadka pan. If you don’t have/use ghee, use oil. Mum insists on using ghee as it tastes better and adds to the nutritional value of the pumpkin raita.
Crush half a teaspoon of cumin seeds in your palm and add it to the hot oil.
Allow the cumin to sputter and then add finely chopped green chilli. Switch off the gas and add this to the raita.
Garnish with coriander and serve.
The Vitamin A-rich pumpkin is low in calories and rich in fibre.
Curd is loaded with the good, gut-friendly bacteria and helps in digestion.
Combining these two gives you a recipe that’s good for your heart, your skin, your digestion and also helps you stay cool in summer!
My lunch for today…
Do try out this cool pumpkin raita and let me know if you enjoyed it!
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