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3 Best Nutritious East Indian Recipes & Dietary Practices For Pregnant Women & Kids

September 2, 2022
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India is a country of diverse culture, rich heritage and regional cuisine that draws people around the globe towards it.

Pregnancy and lactation require a greater need for nutrition for a mother but the situation becomes more complicated when a pregnant or lactating woman follows or is forced to undergo certain dietary restrictions for the benefit of her baby. A mother’s diet affects the quality and quantity of milk, so a balanced and nutritious diet is advised, which is rich in calcium, vitamins, proteins and minerals.

East Indian cuisine predominantly contains Rice as its main Ingredient. It has a variety of food and the majority of the areas in east India encourage mothers to eat fish and rice-based foods. The food is mostly prepared in mustard oil and mothers are encouraged to eat papaya after their 30th week to induce pregnancy. The preparation and ingredients are not elaborate. Frying and steaming are popular cooking methods. 

Indians have a rich cultural heritage with different beliefs and practices. Breastfeeding is one such practice which is nearly universal and common for all infants. It is also influenced by religious and cultural ceremonies.

Breastfeeding though is a natural act; it is a behavior that needs to be learned. Places and communities play a very important role in it.

Different regions have different breastfeeding practices and recipes for recovering Post Delivery. North Indians prefer Panjeeri and Saunth/Gond Ladoos, while Methi Pak and Dink Ladoos are very common in West India, similarly to Macher Jhol and Sabudana Payasam in east India.

Panch Phoron is usually used in all preparations and it consists of fenugreek seed, nigella seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed and fennel seed in equal parts.

Pakhala is a recipe which is very commonly prepared for pregnant mothers and helps mothers as they are fermented, hence aiding in digestion.

Book an appointment with Ms. Abhilash V for Nutrition advices and Diet plans.

Must Read - Pregnancy Nutrition: Role of Eating Right

Pakhala 

Ingredients :

  • 1 cup Cooked Rice
  • 2 cups Water
  • ½ cup Curd
  • A Pinch of Salt
  • 1tsp Oil
  • ½ tsp Panch Phoran
  • 1 Pinch Asafoetida

For Seasoning : 

  • 2 Red Chillies 
  • Few Curry Leaves

Method- Is It Safe To Diet During Pregnancy?

  • Wash and cook rice in a vessel. Add water, curd and chopped coriander to the cooked rice and then add seasoning to it. 
  • Tip - Pomegranate can be added to the same to enhance its nutrient content and to add a dash of South Indian twist.

Book an appointment with Ms. Haripriya N for Nutrition advices and Diet plans.

Recipe for Lactating Mothers

Nolen Gurer Shabur Payesh (Sago Pudding with Dates-Palm Jaggery)

Origin - West Bengal, Kolkata

Ingredients :

  • ½ cup Sago (Sabudana)
  • ½ L Full Cream Milk
  • Chopped Mixed Nuts – Almonds, Cashew, Black Raisin and Walnuts
  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • Dates - Palm Jaggery 

Method -

  • Soak 1/4th cup of sabudana/sago overnight.
  • Soak the nuts for ½ hour and then chop them into small pieces. 
  • Into a pan, add 1 tsp ghee and roast the nuts till they become golden.
  • Meanwhile, heat the full cream milk in a heavy container and let it boil for 20 minutes.
  • Then, add the soaked sabudana/sago & chopped fried dry fruits and mix it.
  • Let it boil for 8 to 10 mins. When the required consistency is reached, then add jaggery and mix it well.

Book an appointment with Ms.Falak Hanif for Nutrition advices and Diet plans.

 Pediatric Practices in Eastern India

The eastern region of India comprises states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal. These regions are mostly coastal areas and the staple food for such regions is Rice. State-wise differences in the taste and preparations of traditional food vary, keeping rice as the main ingredient. 

Pediatric food practices in such regions are almost common when compared to other regions of India, but with some variation in preparation and name, it’s considered unique. 

The Bengal region has a traditional occasion known as the Rice Ceremony for children who are 6 months. It’s usually a day when people start feeding solids to the baby. In this celebration, mashed watery rice (added mostly with fish soup by non-vegetarians) is fed to the little one. It is celebrated as a get-together of all the close relatives to initiate food. 

Likewise, it continues after that by feeding other food as well like Lentils Kanji, Rawa Kanji, Veg Soups and N-veg Soups. Later, mashed preparations of cereals, pulses, vegetables and fruits are gradually introduced. 

These regions also produce milk in large quantities. So, they are famous for milk and milk product preparations like sweets (made up of chenna), ghee and khoa. The children of such regions enjoy dishes like Rasgulla, Mishit Doi, Momos, Thukpa, Rasmalai, Malpua, Jhal Mori, etc. There are a few more dishes like Thekua cookie (wheat flour and desiccated coconut) of Bihar, Dhuska from Jharkhand, Mishti Pulao from West Bengal and Dalma from Orisha. These recipes are easy to prepare and relished by all age groups.

Few more dishes from East-Indian cuisine are as mentioned below:

  • Odisha’s Santula, Chakuli Pitha, Pilaf, Kanika and Chhena Poda. 
  • Sikkim’s Gundruk and Chhurpi Soup, Thenthuk, Kinema Curry and Chambray.
  • Bihar’s Ghugni, Dal Pitti, Bhunjia, Churra and Sattu.

Must Read: Breastfeeding is a family affair

Thekua 

Ingredients :

  • 500 g Wheat Flour
  • 300 g Sugar
  • 2 tsp Ghee
  • 1 tsp Green Cardamom Powder
  • 2 cups Refined Oil
  • ½ cup Desiccated Coconut
  • 2 cup Water
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
Book an appointment with Ms. Jagriti Barar  for Nutrition advices and Diet plans.

 Method -

  • Prepare the sugar syrup by using a deep bottom pan by boiling 2 cups of water and 300 g of sugar by stirring.
  • Add Ghee to the syrup by mixing it well and allow it to cool at room temperature.
  • Knead the dough by adding all the other ingredients and also add the sugar syrup in batches while kneading. 
  • The dough should be not very soft but slightly hard like poori dough.
  • Divide the dough into small portions and roll it into small balls. 
  • Flatten the balls with your hand into cookie shapes or use a cookie cutter to give attractive shapes.
  • Deep fry the Thekua in the heated oil pan and fry until golden brown from both sides.
  • Repeat the same for more such Thekua cookies. 
  • Allow it to cool at room temperature and then serve your children to relish.
  • This can be stored in an air-tight container and can be enjoyed with milk for more than a week.

Book an appointment with Ms. Ms. Priscilla Marian for Nutrition advices and Diet plans. 

Written By :

Haripriya. N, OMR, Chennai

Falak Hanif, OAR, Bangalore

Jagriti Barar, Malad, Mumbai

Priscilla Marian, Kalyani Nagar, Pune 

Want to consult the Best Nutritionists/Dietitians in India? Please find the links below.
  1. Best Nutritionists/Dietitians in Bengaluru
  2. Top Nutritionists/Dietitians in Chennai
  3. Best Nutritionists/Dietitians in Mumbai
  4. Top Nutritionists/Dietitians in Pune
  5. Best Nutritionists/Dietitians in Chandigarh
  6. Top Nutritionists/Dietitians in Gurgaon
  7. Top Nutritionists/Dietitians in Noida

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