Skip to main content

Magic goodies from the market

Last time we talked about the goodness in some of the produce that is amply available during the winters. The list of such healthy foods available during winters does not just end here. Let us take another round of the vegetable market and see what else is available and what goodness do they hold.

Mustard: Though imprinted on our memories by the efforts of late Mr Yash Chopra, Mustard or sarson does more than providing beautiful background for film songs. Mustard leaves make for a wonderful vegetable in the months ranging from November to March. It is rich in phyto-nutrients which aid in prevention of many diseases. This leafy vegetable belongs to the Brassica family, the other members of which include cabbage and broccoli. The mustard leaves are rich source of anti oxidants boosting body’s immune system. It is also rich in Vitamins A, C, E and K aiding eyesight, healthy skin and mucous membrane. Mustard is low in fat and sodium content and is an excellent source of folic acid. The mustard seeds used as a spice are helpful in digestion and are a store house of calcium, selenium, magnesium and phosphorous among other essential minerals. Mustard also yields the mustard oil, which is an important part of kitchens in India. It has been known to aid not just digestion but has also been found to effective sinusitis to a certain extent. The oil is also known for its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. The high content of vitamin E in the oil helps improve skin health as well.

Peas: It is surprising how much goodness the tiny peas in a pod pack in. The plant belongs to the legume family. Like all legumes, the peas are rich in iron and Vitamin C. Peas as a source of Iron is mainly important because the amount of iron found in peas is hardly matched by any other non-animal source. Peas also contain a carotenoid (that which has Vitamin A activity, responsible for good vision and act as anti-oxidants) called lutein which is known for its anti-aging properties and reduces the risk of cataract. The Vitamin C helps in developing resistance against infections in our bodies. Peas are also a rich source of essential B-complex vitamins.

Ginger: It has earned fame as a spice, a delicacy as well as for its medicinal properties.  Ginger is a rhizome of a plant to which others like turmeric and cardamom belong. In India no mention of a winter session is complete without the mention of the masala tea of which ginger is the main constituent. This is so because ginger is known for its immunity boosting powers. It is used for enhancing the flavour of curries and pulses. Dried ginger is also used in our country for various food preparations whereas pickled ginger is used in both the Chinese and Japanese cuisines. In Western cuisine ginger is used in preparing traditional sweet foods like the gingerbread, ginger biscuits and ginger ale. Besides being used for its flavour, ginger forms a basic ingredient of food in many cultures because ginger stimulates digestion by helping in absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in our body. It also provides gastrointestinal relief, meaning thereby that as well as counters the effect of any kind of sickness. Ginger’s anti inflammatory properties have been known to be effective in countering chronic pains.

There are more vegetables, fruits and not to forget nuts like peanuts which are must haves in this cold season. You must also include all of them in your daily diet to ensure that you are able to get the maximum benefit and the result will reflect in healthy bones, glowing skin and lustrous hair.

(This post first appeared as a column in The New Indian Express on Jan 4, 2013. You can read the link here :


Anil Gupta said…
Dear Amu ,
I am veering to the idea ( after reading some of your outpourings) that one day you'll make an excellant food critique. Am i right or am i right ? In any case try and prove me wrong. with blessings and love.
amu said…
Deaaaar Mama
Love you tons for saying this!! Lots of love otherwise, Amu

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: Eeny Meeny, MJ Arlidge

A spine chilling novel where Detective Inspector Helen Grace makes her first appearance. Read it for a prose that doesn't meander or wastes time in getting to the point.


I have bee postponing writing about Eeny Meeny because I wanted to be in a certain mood to write this review. There has only been one other book besides this one that has given me a sleepless night. That book was Agatha Christie's 'And Then There Were None'.

There is nothing graphic or gory in either of these books over which I might have lost sleep but the sheer reason for which people were being murdered, shook me up. Of course And Then There Were None is very atmospheric, that whole abandoned island, the morose weather, crashing sea waves- is enough to spook you. It is the woman herself- Agatha Christies- who is a master storyteller, you might just say.

Getting back to Eeny Meeny, credit should be given to Arlidge for creating a spell binding narrative doled out in small,…

Book Review: The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith #1

Precious Ramotswe- Botswana's only and finest female private detective makes her debut with this book which is divided into short stories like chapters, full of warmth, wit and intuitive charm, taking our detective to solve a case in strange locations amongst still stranger people.
The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith is everything that you might expect from a thriller novel and then some more. The book perhaps might seem like the life story of Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's only and finest female private detective, from her birth till the time she sets up her agency and you might be tempted to give up, (if you are in search of blood and gore) but I would suggest against it.
The book not only gives you the entire history of the now thirty-five years old and large (but the traditional way) Precious Ramotswe and some of Botswana as to what this place and its people are like, but I believe that the very skilled Mr Smith is just setting the …

Seeking thrillers- Why I am reading mystery books this year

If you have been following me for sometime, you might know that I am on a personal mission to read as many first thrillers where a Detective or a Detective Inspector makes an appearance, from world over. So far, I have read some awesome Detectives etched by writers from the Nordic countries (Jo Nesbo, Helen Tursten, Kristina Ohlsson),  the US (JK Rowling aka Robert Galbraith) and this one that I am going to review next, from England (MJ Arlidge, this though is his fifth on the link). I have also read some remarkable stand alone thrillers like No time for Goodbye and the Japanese masterpiece Devotion Suspect X (which I think kicked my obsession with finding the first ones of the series and which was so mind-blowing that its review isn't even comprehensible slink to another one of his works that is also so so good. Must rectify that one someday though when I can get over the awesomeness).

You might wonder why am I doing it. Even I think what is this going to achieve and I don't…

Book Review: No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay

If you would want to give your system a shock or a jolt then this book is for you. If you are facing a reader's block and thrillers are your thing then read this book. Pick this book if you want to have a good time page after page.

The Plot

No Time for Goodbye by the Canadian author Linwood Barclay is a nail biting thriller that is as simple and humane as it is complex. As a 14 year old Cynthia Bigge is dragged from her boyfriend's arms by her father who finds her sloshed in his car one night. Next morning Cynthia wakes up to find that her parents and brother have disappeared without leaving a single trace or note for her. The house is spic and span as her mother likes to keep it, nothing is out of place or amiss to suggest any kind of foul play and still no one can seem find anything about her family. On the twenty-fifth anniversary of this event, Cynthia agrees to feature in a documentary about this. A few days later strange things begin t…

Book review: Unwanted by Kristina Ohlsson #1

Someone is abducting small children and leaving their dead bodies with UNWANTED scribbled on their foreheads. Fredrika Bergman is an academician and a civilian, and a new entrant on the investigation team whose instincts and insights are being ignored by her senior male colleagues at the Police department. Will the culprit keep getting away or will the team come together past its differences and nab him?

Whoever said a book will take you to places that you might not otherwise get a chance to visit. While I would say that reading any author is like going inside his head and at times there you will find how a psycho thinks and works and there you might also find the wonder and inquisitiveness of a small child.

Unwanted by Kristina Ohlsson is a thriller that will take you through many Swedish towns and cities in search of the perpetrator of a crime that takes place in Stockholm. A young child of six, Lillian, is abducted from a crowded train. No one notices that t…