In ancient Hindu scriptures, the cow named as “Kamdhenu” or the divine cow, which fulfils all desires. Due to the multiple benefits from cattle, there are varying beliefs about cattle in societies and religions. As per vedic texts:
- Horns symbolizes the gods
- Four legs symbolizes the ancient Hindu scriptures or the “Vedas”
- Udder symbolizes the four objectives of life, including material wealth, desire, righteousness and salvation.
Sushrutha(800 BCE) mentions human milk and the milk of the cow, buffalo, goat, and sheep, describing the distinct qualities of each. As per Ayurveda, milk has unique nutrition that cannot be substituted by any other foods.
So lets check 6 most famous health foods of India from thousands of years.
1. Indian Yogurt or Dahi or Curd
India has a rich heritage of traditional fermented foods, significantly known for their tremendous nutritional and therapeutic properties, and great economic potentials. So curd is one such food.
- Dahi is used in daily diet as a potential source of B-complex vitamins, folic acid, and riboflavin
- It is rich in lactic acid bacteria and demonstrates probiotic effect, which helps in intestinal health.
2. Rabdi (Rabri) – Sour Pearl Millet Porridge
Rabri is traditionally prepared in Rajastan with pearl millet flour. Pearl millet is very helpful in weight loss and is well recommended grain for diabetic patients.
Ingredients to prepare Rabri
|Bajra flour (pear millet flour)||½ cup|
|Curd (well beaten)||1 cup|
|Cumin powder (roasted)||1 pinch|
|Mint leaf||For garnishing|
Method to prepare Rabri
- In a mixing bowl take curd, bajra flour, salt along with 2 cup water.
- Using a hand whisk, mix everything well till no lumps found.
- Now heat ghee in a pan.
- Add asafoetida and saute for 10-12 second.
- Next pour the curd-flour mixture and stir well.
- Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Soon, the liquid starts to thicken.
- Turn off heat and allow the mixture to cool down completely.
- Pour into serving glass or bowl, sprinkle some roasted cumin powder.
- Garnish with mint leaves and serve along with bajra roti or any meal !
3. Ginna (Kharvas)
Ginnais an Indian milk pudding made from cow or buffalo colostrum, the first form of milk produced within one or two days of giving birth.
It originates in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. It is also popular in the states of Karnataka (Ginnu Haalu in Kannada) and Andhra Pradesh (Junnu Paalu in Telugu).
How to prepare Ginna? Check this link
In Summary, ginna is prepared by steaming a mix of colostrum, milk, and jaggery or sugar until it coagulates into a jiggling solid. Cardamom, saffron, nutmeg or sesame is added for flavoring.
Sandesh is a famous Bengali sweet. It is made with only milk and sugar. Channa is the basic ingredient used in the preparation of sandesh. Lightly flavored with cardamom, this is an easy sweet to make during the festive season!
How to prepare sandesh? Check this recipe by Sanjeev Kapoor.
Lassi is a traditional milk beverage consumed in summer season for refreshment and is prepared from dahi (Indian yoghurt).
There are many variations and flavors with which lassi is prepared. Basic recipe includes blending curd with water, sugar, salt, and spices such as cumin seeds and coriander leaves.
Check this awesome lassi recipe from CookingShooking channel:
Traditionally buttermilk was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cultured or fermented cream. In India, traditional buttermilk is referred to as chaas in Hindi or moru in Tamil, majjige in Kannda or majjiga in Telugu. In Nepal, buttermilk is called mohi.
Buttermilk is as rich a source of calcium and protein as milk. It is easier to digest and, with the presence of live cultures, helps in intestinal health. Buttermilk is consumed with meals and is suggested in the ayurvedic system
Over to You
In summary, milk and milk based food are core part of Indian food system from ages. They are traditionally used to make various dishes and deserts across India in many different ways. I hope you may already know most of these recipes, if not, give it a try and let us know how it turned out.