07 July 2020

Kshemakutuhalam chapter 8, part 8 – good food, healthy life.

Well, in the last article we had read about the most cherished vegetable specially in Indian cooking – the Ashgourd. Now let us move forward and see some more fruits which are used as vegetables, just to indicate the variety and the amazing recipe spreads which were followed in ancient/medieval India….

1. Tenti phala – For those who aren’t familiar with this name, it a small fruit which are very commonly available in north India and are used in various ways including pickles etc. A young tenti fruit is first boiled/steamed in water. It is then made into a dish by frying in oil containing asafoetida. Veshavara is also added to it to enhance the taste. It can also be prepared by mixing with buttermilk and asafoetida. Author says that this dish tastes like Amruta (Nector). Further he also quotes that this vegetable is nutritious, enhances digestion, improves taste and is light for digestion. It can also be used by patients suffering from piles, worm infestations and any kind of poisoning.

2. Kantakaari – This is a little similar to brinjal and belongs to the same family. It is technically called solanum Xanthocarpum and is widely used as a medicine. It was extensively used as a vegetable too in India. This is again boiled a little with water and then smashed with the help of a stick when soft. It is then fried in ghee. Rock salt powder is sprinkled on it. This can be used a starter and it also helps people with cough. This fruit is spicy and astringent. It decreases vata and kapha doshas. It is light for digestion but hot in potency. It is again said as best for people with cough and respiratory issues.

3. Amalaki – now comes one of the most talked upon drug/fruit in Ayurveda and I’m sure people know it’s health benefits as well. Author says that we need to take well grown fruits of amalaki and cook it on hot coal (angaara). It is then mixed with ghee, jeeraka and salt. It is then made fragrant by sprinkling asafoetida. Such a dish stimulates digestion. And all of us are familiar with its benefit on health since it maintains the balance of all three doshas. It overcomes hemorrhage too. It is an overall rasayana.

4. Bittergourd – who isn’t familiar with bittergourd (called as karela in hindi).. author says that only the fortunate ones get to saviour bittergourd everyday. It is very beneficial for health. It is cooked by steaming in buttermilk and then fried in butter, later added with asafoetida and salt. Also, very small, young bittergourd is taken, tips cut off and fried in oil, then sprinkled with asafoetida, black pepper powder, salt. Bitter gourd in general is light, cold in potency. It is very good for people with kapha disorders, obesity and worm infestations.

There are so so many fruits which we dint know how to cook or dint know a proper method of cooking. Let’s try adopting these new methods and see what positive health benefits they bring to us.

Stay tuned !!! Happy time!!!

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