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A cool diet for the summer

Rohini Cardozo e Diniz | April 28, 2006

The food you eat in summer should be light and easily digestible.

Yesterday, we suggested how you could include lots of liquid coolers in your diet.

Today, we bring you some simple recipes and diet mantras to help you beat the heat.

Try cold soup

Swap heavy dinners for cold soup and sandwiches or have a sandwich, salad and fruit juice. Here is a recipe for Cold Cucumber Soup.

Serves 6


1 kg fresh cucumbers
500 gm curd
150 ml milk
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp capsicum, chopped


Chop up one cucumber finely and the others into big pieces.

Add three cups of water to the big cucumber pieces and cook till soft.

Blend in a mixie after cooling.

Add curd, milk and salt to taste to the cucumber puree. Mix well.

Heat one tablespoon of butter and fry the finely chopped cucumber along with one tablespoon of finely chopped capsicum for a few minutes.

Add to the soup. Mix well and chill. Serve cold.

Chutney with amla

This is yet another cooling food, which is a healthy substitute for butter. Chutney, when prepared with amla, is an antidote for fatigue. You could substitute amla for lime or tamarind.

~ Ingredients

1 bunch coriander leaves
3 medium-size onions
3-4 flakes garlic
Juice of � lime/ juice of 1 marble-sized ball of tamarind/ 1 amla, grated 
2 green chillies


Clean and wash the coriander leaves (kothmir) well.

Grind into a paste with three medium sized onions, three to four flakes garlic, lime juice/ tamarind juice/ grated amla, green chillies and salt to taste.

Tarla Dalal's curd rice

Renowned cookery expert Tarla Dalal had, in one of her recipe books, this unusual recipe for curd rice. This recipe is rich in protein, calcium and Vitamin A. Curd rice, incidentally, is a perfect summer meal.

Serves 2

~ Ingredients

2 katoris rice
1 katori curd
1 small cucumber
1/2 carrot, grated
1 tbsp coriander, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
A pinch asafoetida
2 tsp 
urad dal
Salt to taste

Put the cooked and cooled rice in a large bowl.

Add thick fresh curd, finely chopped cucumber, grated carrots, finely chopped coriander leaves and salt to taste. Mix well. In another pan, heat oil and season some cumin seeds.

When they crackle, add urad dal (split black gram) and asafoetida (hing).

Saut� for a minute and pour over the rice and mix well. Serve immediately. 

Eats for kids

Instead of giving children commercially available ice candies that are nothing but frozen sugar syrup laden with additives and flavours, try these Vitamin C-rich recipes.

Ice lolly

Use any juicy fruits you already have in your larder to whip up ice lollies.


Oranges/ sweet limes/ mango/ pineapple/ watermelon/ muskmelon
A little sugar (optional)


Chop the fruit into small pieces.

Add a little sugar if needed and mix well.

Spoon the fruit pieces into kulfi moulds and freeze them in their own juices.

Unmould and serve.

Ice cream

Banana and curd makes this a healthy ice cream that children will love.

Serves 4


2 cups curd
1 banana
Honey to taste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence/ Pinch of elaichi powder


Combine the curd, banana, honey and half teaspoon of vanilla essence/ pinch of elaichi powder in a mixer till smooth.

Pour into kulfi moulds or ice lolly moulds and freeze.

Unmould and serve.

Diet mantras

~ Avoid spicy, oily dishes and fried foods. Excessive amounts of chilli, pepper and garam masala are irritating to the digestive system. Instead, season foods with small amounts of jeera, fresh coriander and mint (pudina) as these are milder and also act as digestives. 

~ Your diet should include plenty of fresh juicy seasonal fruits such as oranges, sweet limes, strawberries, grapes, guavas, watermelons, jamuns, banana, papaya, etc.

Sprouts, salads, raita, curd rice, solkadi rice (kokum curry rice is a Konkani speciality), sandwiches, etc, along with the fruits, provide all the nutrients needed by the body -- particularly Vitamin C and the B-complex vitamins that help build resistance against the colds and fever that are very common during this season. 

~ Mangoes and jackfruit, available in plenty during the summer, are rich sources of b-carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A and stored by the body in the liver.

This is sufficient to meet the body's Vitamin A requirements for at least six months.

However they are heat-inducing and high in calories, so they should be eaten in moderation (two big or three small mangoes per day). Excessive consumption can lead to a weight gain, skin eruptions and diarrhoea.

Diabetics should be particularly cautious and not eat too many mangoes as it can cause the blood sugar levels to skyrocket.

Too much of jackfruit can lead to indigestion.

~ Curd is a great summer food as it is cooling, contains proteins in the predigested form and is richer in B-complex vitamins as compared to milk.

It also contains bio-available calcium, phosphorus and magnesium and a variety of probiotics or friendly bacteria that have many beneficial effects on health.

~ During summer, avoid porridges of nachni (ragi) as it increases the body's heat level. Keep this in mind when weaning babies and cooking for small children. 

Share your favourite summer recipes with us. The best recipes will be featured on  

Rohini Cardoso e Diniz is a consultant dietician with Naomi's Fitness Centre and manages a private practice in Goa.  

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Number of User Comments: 1

Sub: Informative

Very informative...I have been waiting to know heat-inducing food items which were listed in the article.

Posted by Priya


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