Life is Sambhar

Long days of sweltering heat and humidity were getting quite unbearable. Then when it rained yesterday, my husband and I happily welcomed the refreshing change. In my opinion, the rainy season is a season to recharge your mind, body and soul.

While enjoying the rain, we both had a craving for idli and piping hot sambhar to warm us up. Luckily I had idli batter at hand and so started preparing this delicious dish right away.

Steaming hot fluffy idlis with spicy Sambhar is certainly a mouthwatering treat. Not only that, this traditional Indian dish is very well balanced considering nutritional values too. Let us walk through and examine this dish through the eyes of a nutritionist.

  • The fermentation process increases the bioavailability of proteins and enhances the vitamin B content of the food.

  • As the idlis are steamed, fat content is low and so, the dish is easily digestible.

  • Use of dal and rice in idli is a good combination, as the amino acids in them complement each other.

  • Sambhar is loaded with numerous vegetables like drumstick, pumpkin, brinjal, okra, tomatoes, thus making it rich in fiber and vitamins.

  • It is a complete meal in itself.

  • Sambhar has low glycemic index.

The ingredients in sambhar masala like black pepper, turmeric, asafoetida, ginger, garlic, cinnamon; curry leaves confer special advantages from the health perspective and make Sambhar a truly versatile preparation.

As the Sambhar was boiling, I offered Prineel (my husband) a taste. He noticed a slight sweetness along with something bitter in the Sambhar and asked me about it. I told him that I had added a dash of jaggery, methi seeds and tamarind.

Jaggery- helps improve digestion, acts as a cleansing agent, relieves constipation, boosts energy, is rich in minerals and so is a healthy sweetener.

Methi or Fenugreek seeds-remove body toxins, aids digestion, reduce risk of heart disease, control heart rate and blood pressure. They are also a rich source of phytochemicals, cure roundworm problem, boost testosterone level and are an excellent functional food for Diabetics.

Tamarind-significant level of vitamin C, vitamin E, Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese and dietary fibre. It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.

Jaggery, methi seeds and tamarind help to balance the flavors of the Sambhar. I simply love the burst of flavors in Sambhar - semi-spicy, tangy and daintily sweet.

While enjoying the sambar, I started to ponder. LIFE IS LIKE A "SAMBHAR" with different experiences, circumstances and people.

Not all days are same, some are good, while some really try our patience.

But that is life! We have to experience the spice, bitterness as well as the sweetness.

Never let the challenges, circumstances, people, negative thoughts or bad mouthing pull you down.

In worst situations, be like an Idli that absorbs the Sambhar and tastes better. Come out of the problem as a better person.

Do enjoy this traditional and healthy bowl of Idli and Sambhar.

By :

Archita Bandellu ( Know More)

Sports & Clinical Nutrition Expert

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