Winter is almost here and it’s a season to stay warm and enjoy the seasonal delicacies. Although there are many different ways to stay warm in winter, the importance of food can’t be overlooked. In this post, I am sharing few healthy Indian winter foods to keep you warm. As someone who is from northern India and someone who has enjoyed yummy winter delicacies, I am sharing a list that can help you to stay warm and safe this winter.
Memories of winter food –
My mom was a wonderful cook and would cook many different winter dishes. I still remember the taste of yummy atta pinnies, mix veg (gajar, gobhi, and shalgam) pickle, and Sarson ka saag. The best part about winter is that you get a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables in this season. I remember eating mixed veg pulao with carrots, peas, and cauliflower which we used to relish with homemade raita and pickle.
Healthy Indian Winter foods to keep you warm –
- Indian spices/ condiments – Do you know our Indian masalas or spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, fenugreek, clove etc have medicinal properties? These are the best when it comes to staying warm in winters. You can use them in any Indian veg recipe either as whole or as garam masala. Also, you can use them to make concoctions and have it either early morning or sip it throughout the day.
- Dry fruits/nuts – In the winter season, the weather is such that you don’t feel like getting out of your blanket and do anything. The overall energy is low and that’s why you need foods that are energy boosters and help you to stay active. Eat soaked almonds and walnuts in the morning to start your day. Also, include them in your bowl of breakfast along with oats or porridge. They are not only a good source of energy but are rich in vitamins and minerals. Dates are very good for winters too. See this yummy and healthy walnut halwa recipe.
- Green leafy vegetables – The best part about the winter season is fresh green vegetables such as mustard leaves or sarson, palak or spinach, and many more. Sarson ka saag and Makki ki roti is the best combination of healthy and taste and it’s on top of my list of healthy Indian winter foods. Make sure you make the best use of greens this winter season.
A quick makki ki roti recipe –
Makki ki roti is maize flour roti made by mixing maize flour with little wheat flour to make it soft. To make the dough, mix Makki ka atta, salt, and oil in a bowl with till everything is combined. Knead the dough with warm water and keep it aside for few minutes. To make Rotis, use your hands instead of rolling board and pin (chakla belan). I remember my mom used parchment paper as it sticks on the hands and breaks easily. So, use your fingertips to flatten it out and cook on tawa with little oil.
- Root vegetables – The vegetables like carrots, beetroot, sweet potatoes are loaded with nutrients and you can include them in your meals easily. Gajar ka halwa is another winter delicacy that you can make and enjoy. Check out this list of winter fruits and vegetables.
- Foods like ghee, til, jaggery gond – Many people avoid ghee thinking of it as their enemy but it’s not! Include ghee in your meals daily stay warm in winters and also to keep your bones strong and healthy. Gond is an edible gum which is used in ladoos and pinnies, and it’s beneficial to keep you warm in winters. I make gond laddoos with whole wheat flour, dry fruits, and gond every winter for my kids. These are super healthy and have a long shelf life. You can’t miss this jaggery and dates chutney recipe.
- Indian herbs – Make use of our Indian herbs like ginger, garlic, and tulsi to stay warm in winters too. Some ways you can use them – Ginger and tulsi tea, use lots of ginger and garlic in your dishes or make ginger and chilly pickle and have it with your meals.
Other than these, don’t forget to drink water and stay hydrated. Many people think they don’t require water as much as in summers but it’s a myth. Make sure you drink water to stay energetic. I hope you find this post helpful. If you have any winter special foods, do let me know in the comments below.