Ratha Saptami one of the important Hindu festivals. This festival marks the tilt in Earth\’s axis signalling the end of winter and onset of spring. The tilt in axis has an effect on how the Sun\’s light falls on the earth. The Sun moves from the sound-east to north-east direction. This also has its influence on your health. In the Hindu Calendar, we say that the Sun is moving from Dakshinayana to Uttarayana. There is a shift in day temperate from the day of Ratha Saptami. On this day people worship the Sun as Surya Narayana and their family deity. Food preparations change. The Indian Gooseberry finds its importance in this season. Gooseberry preparations such as gooseberry thokku is a very tasty lip smacking dish.
Change in season also marks a change in the type of foods we need to consume so that we can continue to maintain good health. Amla or gooseberry is one of the wholesome fruits that is an immune booster as well as a healthy treat. Today, I am bringing you one such healthy and tasty preparation called Gooseberry Thokku.
Ingredients required to prepare Gooseberry Thokku
- Gooseberry – 250gms (9-10 nos. approximately)
- Green Chillis – 4 nos.
- Til Oil – 4 teaspoons
- Mustard – 1 teaspoons
- Asafoetida (hing) – 1/2 teaspoon
- Turmeric – 1 teaspoon
- Fenugreek (methi) – 1 teaspoon
- Salt – to taste
- Jaggery – 2 teaspoons or as per taste
How to prepare Gooseberry Thokku
- Dry fry fenugreek and grind it to a fine powder
- Cook gooseberries in a pressure pan (2 whistles)
- In the meantime the gooseberries are getting cooked;
- Coarse grind green chillis
- When pressure of cooker reduces;
- Take gooseberries out and grind them coarsely
- Pour oil into a dry pan
- Put the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter
- Add turmeric, asafoetida and fenugreek powder
- Add salt and green chillis paste
- Then add ground gooseberry and jaggery
- mix well
- Allow the mixture to cool down and store it in a dry glass jar
Your Gooseberry thokku is ready…
Serving Gooseberry Thokku
Gooseberry or amla thokku makes an excellent side dish with chapatis and as a topping on bread. You can also mix it with rice. Make sure you mix rice and ghee before serving gooseberry thokku.
What to avoid during this seasonal transition
Every season influences the body and different types of bodies respond differently to seasonal changes. Here are certain general guidelines to follow.
Consume diluted milk, 1 teaspoon honey, beans, carrots, radishes, beetroot, onions, ash gourd and pumpkin. Avoid butter, cheese, paneer, Indian wheat breads, whole milk and curds. Jowar roti, Ragi ball are good to eat. Chew your foods well and keep your digestion light so that your body doesn\’t accumulate toxins. You can eat gooseberry or amla thokku in plenty.
Consume semi-diluted milk, 1/2 teaspoon honey, beans, carrots, beetroot, onions, ash gourd and pumpkin. Drink buttermilk with grated fresh ginger is good for your body type. Reduce butter, cheese, paneer. Avoid Indian wheat breads, whole milk and curds. Jowar roti, Ragi ball are good to eat. Drink 50ml water during meals so that digestion is good. Consume little quantities of Indian gooseberry thokku.
Consume diluted milk, 1 teaspoon honey, carrots, radishes, beetroot, onions, ash gourd and pumpkin. Reduce butter, cheese, paneer. Avoid Indian wheat breads, whole milk and curds. Jowar roti, Ragi ball are good to eat in the mornings only. Drink warm water. Keep your diet light. Consume moderate quantities of Indian gooseberry or amla thokku.
Since the weather might still be cool at times, it is better to keep your body warm until the third week of February when spring begins.
Spring brings new life into the plants, it is also the time for the body to be reconditioned with new energies. This is the best time to start all Ayurvedic treatments and therapies. The body will be ready to be reconditioned to good health during this period.
Best clothes to wear
Cottons are best to wear during this season. Wear loose fitting clothes that are able to breathe and keep the body protected from cool air and at the same time will prevent heat from getting trapped.
Spiritual Practices to undertake
Meditation is the best practice to undertake during this time. Yoga is considered a physiological-psycho-spiritual practice. This is also the best time to begin your yoga practice. Internal cleansing of your body with Ayurvedic churna and lehyam is also beneficial during this season. This season is also good to begin oil massages with specific oils to maintain good health.
Indian traditional practices are ripe with deep scientific know how that is not yet known to the western medical science. These practices help the body-mind-soul connect harmoniously. Indian traditional practices are markedly visible during seasonal festivals. Specific food preparations mark seasonal transitions which differ according to geographical location. No two regions of India have the same food type. Different regions have their endemic food types and preparations, rituals and practices that are suitable for their area. You can ask us for a diet that is suitable for your body type.
— Mahesh Krishnamurthy