580. Makhana and Paneer Salad
According to the Ayurveda(Indian traditional medicine), food is divided into 3 main groups, Satvik (Satvic), Tamasic and Rajasic. Food not only nourishes the body but affects the mind too. In this fast paced world our food is not only loaded with chemicals through fertilizers, canning, processing but we tend to overindulge in fast foods that are bad for our body, mind and health.We all get tempted by cheesy pizzas, delish bakes, silky chocolates.
Satvik foods are smooth, savory, easy to digest, light and fresh. Satvik foods encourage mental clarity, good health and peace.Foods belonging to this group are rich in Prana(life force). Foods included in this category are basically lacto vegetarian foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, fresh diary products, grains and pulses, natural sugars, nuts and seeds.Consuming these foods balances out the destructive gunas and keeps our mind calm, positive and healthy. Following a satvik diet eliminates the Tamasic and Rajasic guna within us.
Rajasic foods are pungent, spicy, salty, sour, stimulants and irritants. Consummation of foods belonging to this category like hot spices, strong herbs, caffeinated drinks, chocolates, plants belonging to the onion and garlic family are not good if over consumed. Its causes one to become angry, agitated, assertive and sometimes hostile.
Tamasic foods are heavy, dull, tasteless,old, rotten, depressing and foul in nature. Foods belonging to this group like meats, fish, eggs, alcohol, processed foods,tobbaco, vinegar, preserved foods, fatty foods, causes one to become lethargic, dull and lead a stagnant life.
To encourage a Satvik diet there are certain rules that one needs to follow:
1) Avoid foods that are overcooked, undercooked, burnt or that are stale.
2)No meat, fish, eggs
3) No stimulants like alcohol, tobbaco, drugs, caffeine.
4) Don’t eat food cooked in the microwave.
5) Don’t eat refined foods, like white flour, white sugar, canned foods.
6) Always eat while sitting down and don’t rush through your meal. No TV meals.
7) Consume fried foods in moderation.
8) Make healthy choices.
9) Exercise and meditate.
The holy month of Shravan encourages Hindus to follow a satvik diet. During this month prayers are offered to Lord Shiva, many festivals take place during this period and devotees fast the whole month. Some follow a strict diet of of only fruits and milk, some do not consume any grains, lentils, beans and pulses during this period and some eat a normal satvik meal only once a day. During this month Hindus avoid meat, fish, eggs, alcohol, tobacco, onions and garlic. Some don’t even consume hing (asafoetida).
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For our 52nd theme On #FoodieMonday#Bloghop we decided to prepare #Satvikfood. I decided to prepare a salad, keeping the satvik foods in mind. This salad can be eaten during the fasting month of Shravan and also during Ekadashi. I used paneer and makhana as the main ingredients. Makhana is fox nut or gorgon nut, a white seed from the prickly water lily plant.They are a good source of protein, fiber, magnesium, potassium,iron, zinc and phosphorus.According to Ayurveda makhana has the property of restoring vital energy in the body and is good for kidney functions.In India fox nut is usually roasted or fried and added to curries, kheers or eaten as a snack.
MAKHANA AND PANEER SALAD
1 cup makhana (fox nuts)
100g (approx ½ cup) paneer cubes
1 small cucumber
½ cup red(yellow or orange) pepper cut into slices
8-10 cherry or plum tomatoes
8-10 cashew nuts
8-10 mint leaves
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 green chilli, cut into rings
½ tsp ginger slivers
¼ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp cumin powder (jeera powder)
½ -1 tsp amchur powder (dry mango powder)
½ tsp sendhu salt (or sea salt or Himalaya rock salt)
¼ tsp coarse pepper powder
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
- Heat one tbsp oil in a pan over medium heat. Add makhana and roast for 1-2 minutes, stirring all the time till they become crunchy. Remove the makhana from the pan and leave it on the side till required. Store the makhana in an air tight container when it becomes cool.
- Heat the remaining oil. Add cumin seed, chilli and ginger. Add paneer, almonds, cashew nuts and chopped pepper.Saute till the pepper is just a bit soft but crunchy and the paneer is lightly browned.
- Let the mixture cool down completely.
- Cut tomatoes and grapes into halves. Add to the cooled paneer mixture.
- Cut cucumber into thin wedges and add to the mixture.
- Add mint and coriander leaves, cumin powder, salt, pepper, amchur and chilli powders.
- Add makhana just before serving. Mix well and serve immediately.
- Use lemon juice instead of amchur powder.
- Use ghee(clarified butter) instead of oil if you consume oil during fasting.
- Add fruits of your choice.
- Remember to add fried makhana just before serving otherwise they will become soggy.
- Roast the nuts instead of stir frying in oil.