Pulses By The Season
Pulses or legumes are a food group which includes beans, lentils and peas. They are one of the most nutritious and versatile foods available. They are also one of the oldest cultivated plants. The remarkable health benefits of legumes are so wide-ranging and all-embracing that they could fill a book! Characteristically, pulses are full of high-quality protein, low in fat, high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. They also proffer beneficial fats and potent cholesterol-lowering fibre.
Diets rich in beans and lentils are being increasingly used to lower harmful LDL cholesterol levels, manage heart conditions and successfully handle diabetes. Considering their benefits, this food group can be leveraged to get the right amount of nutrition to keep us healthy in every season.
Super delicious protein-packed winter recipes
In winter our bodies crave warm and comforting food. These cravings automatically lead us to calorie rich foods, which often contain high amounts of fat and sugar. While we satisfy our cravings, our bodies need high-powering protein rich foods to battle the cold winters. Come winter and the markets are also full of fresh, robust produce loaded with natural goodness. When it’s chilly, it is prudent to opt for protein-based foods. A protein-rich food keeps you fuller for longer and is more satiating.
In India, winters are a time to gorge on hot, steaming, yummy moong soup, bite into ghee-laden besan kaju halwa and gooey boondi laddoos. This is the time to eat rajma chawal guilt free, garnish your kali dal with dollops of butter and cream, demolish tangy matar tikki and polish off spicy Gujarati Undhiyu filled with special winter veggies and legumes.
Protein-based delectable summer recipes
Moong and moong dal are the most favoured summer pulses. In fact, they are recommended by Ayurveda as they are easier to digest and ideal for the summers. Moong is good for you in summer when seasoned with cooling cardamom.
Curry made from moong dal with a fresh tangy flavour from mint and tomatoes makes a very good summer meal with rotis and cold chaas! Another popular summer choice is the masoor. It is light and flavourful. Made by meticulously blending different roasted lentils, ghee and sugar, moong-besan halwa is finger-licking good and another wonderful option for the summer.
Nutritional value of pulses
In addition to being store-houses of proteins, pulses provide us with a wide array of anti-oxidants and phyto-chemicals which exert potent health promoting effects as well. Some protein sources that are a good idea in any weather are -
- Soy: Soy is super versatile and can be consumed in a host of different forms –boiled soy, soy nuts, tofu, tamari and tempeh.
- Chickpeas or chole or channa: Undeniably a staple with most Indian households, chole have a delicious nut like taste and a buttery texture. While we Indians are big on chole bhature, or even a simpler chana masala, the Middle East-inspired hummus and falafel are also hugely popular.
- Lentils or dals: Without a doubt, all the dals – toor, moong, urad and masoor are an indispensable part of Indian cooking. Easy to cook, they play a predominant role in Indian soups, curries and stews across the varied cuisines of India.
- Mung beans or moong: Native to India, the moong moong is also tremendously versatile and is incorporated in soups, curries and salads.
Use Tata Sampann Pulses as they are not subjected to oil, water or leather polishing procedures and are sourced from the best farms in the country. As they are unprocessed, Tata Sampann products retain their natural nutritional content. With the ideal low-moisture content and packaging, these pulses and dals are of better quality, almost worm-free and without any fillers. Experiment and try-out what types of pulses you prefer in your recipes, to make your meals nutritious and appealing!
"Overview of the Health Benefits of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption for the Dietetics Professional", Journal of the American Dietetics Association 2000.
This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s). Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author(s).