Food

Plum rasam, anyone? Here's the recipe!

Just the mention of the word ‘plum’ can take your mind to Christmas and plum pudding, preferably cooked by Mrs Weasley from Harry Potter . Of course, neither plum cake nor pudding has anything to do with the fruit (it was a pre-Victorian term for raisins), and Christmas is a long way away. Until then, the actual juicy deep-red fruit is in season, and we’ve brought together dieticians and a chef, to give us the lowdown on what’s good about it, and how best to eat it.

Plums have the nutritionists’ thumbs-up, thanks to their antioxidant properties. “Buy the fruit that is a rich dark purple. Those are the ones that contain the maximum amount of anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant that helps kill free radicals and reduce nerve-cell damage,” says nutritionist Anju Sood. They also have xanthophylls and carotenoids, all converted into vitamin A and D. “Given that it is high in fibre, it follows that it has a low glycaemic index,” says Sood, pointing out its usefulness to people with diabetes.

Manjari Chandra, a senior nutrition consultant with Max Healthcare, Delhi, says that “plums have micronutrients like zinc, selenium, copper, and magnesium, the most potent being selenium, which is not always present in our regular diet.” Plums are also beneficial to people with high blood pressure. “The potassium in them reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack,” says Sood.

“If you’re well, it’s best to have it with the skin, to up the fibre, but if you have a gastrointestinal disorder, say an inflamed or injured gut, you can take it off,” says Chandra. You can also use the pulp for a smoothie or shake. And since anthocyanin is not water soluble, you can “cook them lightly, letting them stew a bit without losing any of the nutrients,” says Sood. She also recommends supplementing a breakfast meal, say oats, with a bowl of chopped plums to make a filling and healthy snack.

Roasted Plum and Quinoa Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Roasting time: 8 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Refrigerating time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients

6 Indian plums

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp organic honey

1/2 tsp olive oil

1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 cup water

4 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves

1/4 bunch lettuce

1/4 tbsp walnuts, broken and lightly toasted

2 tsp pepitas, lightly toasted

For the dressing:

2 tbsp pomegranate juice

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

02 tsp organic honey

1/2 tbsp olive oil

Salt, white pepper - to taste

Method:

Preheat the oven at 180 C; slice the plums into four, discard the seeds.

Sprinkle cinnamon powder, honey, and 25 ml of water and roast evenly for 8 minutes.

In a saucepan on low flame, add the quinoa and 1/2 tsp olive oil. Sauté for a few seconds until the quinoa starts to pop. Add 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt to the saucepan and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat, let it simmer for 15 minutes, until the quinoa is light and fluffy.

In a salad bowl place the lettuce, you may chop it, add the roasted plums, quinoa, cherry tomatoes, broken walnuts, pepitas. Mix lightly.

Refrigerate for 15 minutes; add dressing (mixed separately), toss it lightly and serve

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Plum rasam

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

200 gm of Indian plums

1 large tomato

1 slit green chilli, 1 tsp ginger, grated

2 tsp rasam powder, more if required

Water – as required; salt – to taste

For the tempering and the garnish:

1 tsp olive oil

A pinch of asafoetida

1 sprig of curry leaves

1/4 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp black peppercorn, lightly toasted and crushed (optional)

2 whole red chillies (optional)

2 tsp cilantro, chopped

Method:

Blanch tomatoes in hot water, plunge in cold water and remove the skin and chop it roughly.

Peel the plums, boil in hot water for 5 minutes. Remove seeds and let them cool.

Grind them both together into a smooth paste. Add grated ginger, green chillies, rasam powder, salt and water.

Pour in a non-stick deep pan, simmer.

Add oil, a pinch of asafoetida, curry leaves and mustard seeds on a heated pan and pour over the prepared plum rasam .

Serve hot garnished with chopped cilantro.

Recipes and photos: Reetu Uday Kugaji, chef, blogger, hospitality and food consultant.


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Printable version | May 11, 2022 6:23:33 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/a-plum-job/article24551497.ece