Comfort food is soul food. We all feel the need, the want of the warmth of hot soup, coffee or hot chocolate to get a smile on our face. But sometimes that is not satisfying enough and we yearn for some more. Soul food often changes with our emotions and with the seasons.
Food should give you happiness and satisfaction. I truly feel sorry for those on constraints of so-called diets that hamper this thought. The link to how we feel and what we eat is not just mind connected. Our body reacts to the love and attention we give it. Many may feel that this kind of food will be the unhealthy kind but balance out the intake and you can always reap the benefits.
I am going to list you my favorite soul food for the different seasons and do hope you will share the same with me.
Living in Maharashtra, I have grown up eating the best and the sweetest bajre ki roti. Bajra a carb, rich in Vitamin B (Niacin, Riboflavin, Thiamine, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folate) that is B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, it also has minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc and selenium. Bajra having a low glycemic index, one can easily add a spoonful of pure ghee (good fat; omega3).
A generous helping of gavar or cluster beans which provide the protein as well as dietary fiber makes for a whole meal. Cluster beans are also rich in potassium, magnesium, iron, and B6. It is a wholesome meal and a soul-satisfying one.
Mumbai summers are a killer with the humidity draining the life out of you. Chilled coconut water (calcium, magnesium, potassium and Vit C) and panipuri with ragda instead of potato give the perfect relief and a full tummy. The ragda, made out of white peas/chickpeas/black chana makes for the proteins, iron, calcium, potassium, VitA and VitB while the puri balances the carbs. Just make sure you don’t cross 5/6 puris and eat them for lunch.
For dessert you can have frozen watermelon cubes with chaat masala. This would pretty much cover all the dehydration the sweltering heat might have subjected you to.
I have grown up on Pav bhaji. The sizzle of the butter melting on the hot tava, still gets me salivating. Just make sure not to make a paste of all those crunchy fresh veggies that you put in. Cauliflower, capsicum, peas, potato, tomato, onions, tempered with all the spices. You have a cauldron of Vitamins and minerals in front of you. Limit your carbs in the form of the pav and you can gorge on the bhaji. The perfect immunity raise that you need to combat the cold and cough that the rains may have in store for you.
Soul food is not something we eat every day. It is food that gives us an emotional high, soothes our tensions away. We cannot get stressed about eating that! So don’t think of it as cheat meals because we are then telling our bodies that they have to be punished for the same. Eat your comfort food as a gift to your body, as nourishment and see it respond to your love. Do share your soul food with me.