I love Indian monsoons. The pitter patter of the rain, the lush green and the delicious food that comes along. What I certainly don’t love about the monsoon is the number of allergies and infections it brings along.
With so much moisture in the air and hardly any sun, our immunity is at its lowest. An easy way to deal with this would be to eat lots of immunity boosting foods. One such food is mushrooms. They are very rich in Vitamin B and have tons of antioxidants (especially selenium), both of which play an important part in building a healthy immune system.
Mushrooms are also a great source of vegetarian protein and contain all 17 essential amino acids needed by the body. Now, healthy foods don’t necessarily have to be tasteless. So this monsoon, give my mushroom sandwich a shot!
(Quick Tip: Do wash the mushrooms properly before chopping.)
Recipe - Hung Curd and Mushroom Sandwich
This hung curd and mushroom open sandwich recipe is a favorite in our household. You can make a close sandwich out of this as well if you want. Just spread the hung curd as mentioned, add the mushroom filling, top with another slice and grill it in the sandwich maker. The closed version is perfect for school tiffins and the open one is always a win as an evening snack or breakfast.
- Heat butter in a heavy bottom pan. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and cook till done.
- Don’t overcook the mushrooms. Add salt and pepper and mix well.
- Take off the heat and add chopped coriander leaves.
For the open sandwich: Toast the bread lightly in toaster or gas stove. Cut in desired size and shape. Spread a thin layer of hung curd on it. Add a generous amount of mushroom filling on top. Garnish with chopped almonds and serve.
For the closed version: Spread a layer of hung curd on a slice of bread. Add a generous amount of mushroom filling on top. Sprinkle some chopped almonds. Cover with another bread and grill in a sandwich maker.
Other Immunity Boosting Foods
- Vitamin C rich foods: Getting enough Vitamin C everyday alone can solve half of the problem honestly. And as nature always does, it gives the Vitamin C rich Jamun in monsoon season. A bowl of jamun a day whether eaten as fruit or added in smoothies is enough to fulfill your Vitamin C requirement for the day.
- Garlic: Whether it is garlic-pepper rasam or garlic daal, garlic has always been a part of monsoon food in India. And this traditional wisdom has a solid scientific basis. Garlic contains allicin which is highly effective in killing microorganisms responsible for infections.
- Indian spices especially Turmeric and Black Pepper: That turmeric acts as a brilliant antibiotic is a well known fact. Black pepper and turmeric also have antimicrobial and anti inflammatory properties that help in boosting immunity. So this monsoon, drink a glass of Golden Turmeric Latte or our good old Haldi doodh every night.
- Yoghurt and other fermented foods: Fermented foods contain probiotics which are great for our digestive health. So whether it is yoghurt, kimchi, kombucha or idli get the fermented foods back in your diet to stay off stomach infections this monsoon season.
- Dry fruits and nuts: Nuts are not just for winter. Dry fruits like almonds, walnuts and dates can provide us the essential vitamins and minerals required for building immunity. They contain vitamin E, niacin and riboflavin.
- Tea: A good old cup of chai is not just good with our pakodas while it rains, it also helps in building immunity. Tea contains the wonder things polyphenols, flavonoids, and antioxidants that help in destroy free radicals in your body. So this monsoon, have a cup or two of green or black tea to keep healthy and well hydrated.
(Monika Manchanda is an ex-IT professional turned into a food blogger, consultant, home baker and an amateur food photographer. She loves music, writing, food, and travel, but not necessarily in that order! She can be reached at email@example.com)
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