I walk on a road lush with dreams,
a road of forgotten and veiled dreams,
sometimes slowly, sometimes gaily,
sometimes lost, sometimes profound,
I walk a road of unknown mysteries,
fervently finding my way through the endless path.....

Friday, November 24, 2017

Fight iron deficiency with this delicacy!


The commonest nutritional deficiency disorder present throughout the world is iron deficiency but its prevalence is higher in the developing countries. 

Iron deficiency anaemia is the top cause of disability in India since past 10 years. 
It is most common in children below the age of 3 years and in women specially in reproductive age group of 13 years to 40 years. 
In children, the reason for it being rampant is, the staple is milk which is unfortunately, low in iron. Thus, causing low haemoglobin levels or anemia as a result. 

In adults, amount of iron loss is 1 mg daily in males and non-menstruating female, while in a menstruating woman there is an additional iron loss of .5-1 mg daily.  So, women in reproductive age group are more prone to iron deficiency anaemia, both in developing as well as developed countries. 


An average diet contains about 10-15 mg of iron, out of which only 5-10% is normally absorbed. In pregnancy and in iron deficiency, the proportion of absorption is raised to 20-30%. 

However there is a catch here. Iron from diet containing haem is better absorbed than non-haem iron. 

Haem iron is found mainly in animal products like chicken ,fish and some part of meat . 
Whereas, vegetables and nuts contain mainly the non-haem iron. 
Thus, Vegetarians needs to make extra effort to not just make sure that they are consuming iron rich foods but also that these foods are absorbed better. 

Absorption of non-haem iron is enhanced by factors such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), citric acid, amino acid, sugars, gastric secretions and hydrochloric acid. Iron absorption is impaired by factors such as medicinal antacids, milk, pancreatic secretions, tannates contained in tea. (Source: Textbook of Pathology by Harsh Mohan) 



1) Chicken

2) Turkey
3) Salmon
4) Tuna
5) Beef
6) Oysters
7) Mollusks 


1) Legumes 

 - Soybeans
 - Lentils
 - Beans
 - Peas

2) Nuts

 - Almonds
 - Cashews

3) Seeds

 - Hemp
 - Flax seeds
 - Sesame

4) Vegetables

 - Spinach
 - Broccoli 
 - Kale
 - Potatoes
 - Mushrooms

5) Fruits

 - Mulberries
 - Olives 
 - Amaranth

6) Whole grains

 - Oats
 - Quinoa 

As mentioned earlier, Vegetarian sources contain non-haem iron which is absorbed less effectively as compared to haem iron. But vitamin C along with such sources can enhance iron absorption. Also, there are some sources which contain higher Vitamin C  content along with iron and thus are good sources especially for strict vegetarians. 

Foods high in vitamin C include:
  • fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, kiwis, guavas, papayas, pineapples, melons, and mangoes
  • broccoli
  • red and green bell peppers
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cauliflower
  • tomatoes
  • leafy greens

The recipe I am going to share here is a very nutritious one. And is particularly good for vegetarians looking for their daily iron share in a tasty way. 

It contains :

- Broccoli
- Almonds and Cashews
- Red and green bell peppers
- Tomatoes
- Mushrooms
- Bean
- Olives

and you can always experiment with many other vegetables and nuts! 

Here we go...


BAKING TIME : 25 Minutes
SERVES : 4-5


1) Vegetables ( All cut cubed sized )
- Broccoli - 1 small 
- French Beans - 100 gm
- Mushrooms - 50 gm
- Baby corns - 50 gm
- Yellow and red bell peppers - 1 small each
- Sweet corns - 50 gm
- Carrots - 2-3
- Any other vegetable of your choice

2) For Tomato Sauce
 - Tomatoes - 2
 - Ginger - 1 small piece
 - Garlic - 3 pods
 - Basil Leaves - 4-5
 - Cashews - few
 - Almonds - few
 - salt - according to taste

3) For white sauce 
 - Milk - 2 cups
 - Butter - 1 tbsp
 - Maida - 2  tsp
 - Black pepper powder - 1/4th tsp
 - salt - according to taste

4) Mozzarella cheese - grated - As much as you like!

1) Steam boil all the cubed vegetables until soft, add a little salt and keep them aside.

2) In a pan, take a little oil and add saute all the ingredients of tomato sauce namely , tomatoes, ginger, garlic, basil leaves, almonds and cashews. Also add a little salt. 

3) After they have cooled a bit, grind them into a smooth paste without adding any water.

4) Now, evenly mix the tomato sauce with the boiled vegetables and keep aside.

5) For white sauce, take a pan, add maida and butter. Roast it for few minutes. Then slowly add milk ad keep stirring vigorously as you do so to avoid formation of lumps. 

6) After the sauce begins to thicken, add black pepper and salt. You can also add some grated cheese in the end. Switch off the flame and keep it aside.

7) In the meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. 

8) Take about a 1.5L rectangular or an equivalent sized baking dish and very lightly grease it with olive oil or vegetable oil.

9) Now layer the vegetables and tomato sauce mixture. 

10) Next, pour over the white sauce liberally.

11) On the top, add grated mozzarella cheese.

12) Now, place your dish in the pre-heated oven and bake it on convection mode for 20 minutes and then grill mode for 5 minutes. 

13) The cheese on top will melt while the vegetables will be nicely cooked. 

14) Serve hot.

Contains Broccoli, beans, Mushrooms, Bell peppers, Almonds, Cashews - All packed with Iron.

Iron rich delicacy - Baked Vegetables!
Livogen has taken the initiative of helping women fight iron deficiency. This post is a little contribution in the same direction.Visit their website to know more.

For any health related queries, you can contact me on my mail ID

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tangy Tomato Chicken - An iron enriched delight!

Iron is one of the most essential element for the human body. It is involved in numerous biological processes of the body. The average adult human contains about 0.005% body weight of iron, or abut four grams, of which three quarters is in hemoglobin- a level that remains constant despite only about one milligram of iron being absorbed each day, because the human body recycles its hemoglobin for the iron content.

Iron is most available to the body when chelated to amino acids and is also available for use as a common iron supplement. Glycine, the cheapest and most common amino acid is most often used to produce iron glycinate supplements.

According to World health organisation, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder in the world, even through the mineral is present in a variety of foods.

Being a doctor, I come across patients with iron deficiency and low hemoglobin very frequently. 
The deficiency symptoms may range from nausea, weakness, ringing and buzzing sound in ears (tinnitus) and many other clear or vague symptoms.

But, a great deal of them can be covered by dietary changes alone. The good news is, iron is found in varying quantities in many a food items that we consume on a daily basis. 
In fact, most of the times, we don't even need to give special attention to our body's iron demand and needs as it is easily met on it's own.

Although, many a times, due to special circumstances specially in case of females, one needs extra iron as demanded by the body. Like in case of pregnant women, iron demand is increased and needs to be tackled by diet as well as supplements to keep the hemoglobin levels normal.

Talking about foods particularly rich in iron -Jaggary (gur) comes on top. It is regarded as the cheapest and richest source of iron. (Undoubtedly, delicious too).

There are many other cheap and easily available sources. Common ones being spinach,oats, nuts,soybean, fish, lentils, tofu , chicken, dates, bread etc. 

Out of these, I think, Chicken is my favourite source. Chicken is not just easily available but can also be cooked easily and is a very versatile food product.
One can eat it by simply boiling it or as a main dish, make rolls or fried snacks. The options are endless. And it tastes delicious early single time (remember KFC?) 

However, not all parts of a chicken provide the same amount of iron. Chicken liver supplies 11.63 milligrams of iron per 3.5-ounce serving, or about 65 percent of the nutrient’s daily value. Equivalent servings of chicken heart and chicken giblets supply about 50 percent and 36 percent of the daily value for iron, respectively. Chicken breasts and light meat broilers or fryers contain just over 1 milligram of iron each per 3.5-ounce serving, or roughly 6 percent of the daily value. Dark meat broilers or fryers have slightly more iron, providing about 7 percent of the nutrient’s daily value per 3.5-ounce serving. (Source -here)

Here I would like to share a very simple Chicken recipe that can be served as a main dish. It contains all the basic ingredients and can be cooked pretty quickly. No marination time, no lengthy procedures but a very delicious , tangy, rich and not to mention iron rich gravy.


Preparation time : 15 minutes
Cooking time : 35-40 minutes
Serves : 6


Chicken : 1/2 kg or about 6 pieces
Tomato : 3 Large (Pureed) 
Onion : 2 Medium ( Coarsely chopped) 
Ginger - Garlic Paste : 1 Tbsp
Red Chilly Powder : 1 tsp or according to taste
Coriander Powder : 1/2 Tsp
Garam Masala Powder : 1 tsp
Salt : According to taste
Refined Oil ( you can use any other oil as well) : 2 tbsp


1) In a wok, take oil and add coarsely chopped onion. Fry it till golden-brown and then sieve through excess oil and keep it aside to cool a bit.( We need to grind it later) 

2) In the same oil , add chicken pieces, cook for about a minutes. Then add ginger-garlic paste, salt and Red chilly powder ( I add it to the chicken directly as it provides enhanced flavour and colour).

3) Fry it till raw smell of spices as well as chicken goes away ( usually 10-12 minutes) and it becomes brownish like this ,

4) In a grinder, add roughly chopped tomatoes, golden- brown onion and grind it to a smooth paste.

5) Add this paste to chicken and also add garam masala here.

6) Simmer the flame and cover it after giving a nice stir. 

7)) Let it cook for about 20-25 minutes, till chicken is soft and oil comes on the surface. Occasionally stirring in between. 
Doesn't it look simply mouth-watering? And believe me, it is extremely easy to cook and tastes delicious while being equally nutritious at the same time. 

8) Once the chicken curry is cooked completely, add a few drops of lemon juice if not sour enough. 

9) Take it off the flame and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves. 

10) Serve hot with Roti or Naan. 

PS: I am helping in raising awareness against iron deficiency through these recipes with contain iron-rich ingredients in association with Livogen. 

For more details, check this out -

Wishing you a happy, healthy and nutritious life!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Mixed Dal - Lentils deliciously 'mixed' with iron!

Did you know? Just 100 grams of lentils provide 45% of your daily iron needs!
Iron plays a integral role in the formation of hemoglobin in blood and myoglobin in the muscles, both of which carry oxygen to the cells.
That is why fatigue and tiredness are usually the first symptoms people notice when they are low in iron. For vegetarians, getting enough iron, is particularly challenging. Regularly including lentils in your diet can help boost your iron intake. (As per )

Lentils are a cheap and easily available  source of iron. It's easy and quick to cook and goes well as a main or a side dish with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisines.

I chose 'Mixed Dal' because it contains four different varieties of Dals (Lentils) and tastes delicious.
It is extremely easy to make and not to mention that it requires all those spices and other ingredients which are readily available in our homes.

Now presenting you the recipe of Mixed Dal - A nutritious dish, rich not just in iron but also other minerals and vitamins necessary for the healthy development of our body.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15- 20 minutes
Serves : 4


Moong Dal (Split yellow lentils) - 1 Tbsp
Masoor Dal (Split Red Lentils) - 1 Tbsp
Urad Dal (Split Black Lentils) -1 Tbsp
Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram) - 1 Tbsp
Turmeric - 1/2 Tsp
Red chilly powder -1/4th Tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 Tsp
Coriander powder - 1 Tsp
Salt - To taste
Ginger gastric paste - 1 Tsp
Onion( Finely chopped) - 1 cup ( 1/2 cup fried for garnishing)
Ghee - 1 Tbsp
Coriander leaves - Few for garnishing


1) Wash and soak all the lentils, either separately or together for about 45 minutes to one hour. (If you are in a hurry then you can soak then in warm water for 15 minutes) This will reduce the cooking time.

2) In a pressure cooker, add all the four lentils, ghee, spices like turmeric, red chilly powder, garam masala, salt, coriander powder, finely chopped onions and ginger garlic paste. Also add 2 cups of water.  Give it a stir to mix everything properly.

3) Now cook until 3 whistles and then on simmer for 5 minutes.

4) Switch off the flame and open the lid only when steam has completely escaped.

5) In a small pan, add about 1Tbsp of ghee and then add half a cup of finely chopped onions. Cook until golden brown.

6) Dish out the cooked Mixed lentils in a bowl and garnish with crisp onions and finely chopped green coriander leaves.

7) Your iron rich, nutritious dal is ready. Serve hot with naan or roti.

Nutritional information:

Iron : All lentils contain about 7.5 mg/ 100 grams

Besides being rich in Iron, they also contain nutrients like Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fibers, Folic acid, Calcium, Sodium , Potassium and Zinc. Also Vitamins like A, B3, C.

So, when are you cooking Mixed Dal at your home? 

If you want to know more about problems and health issues due to deficiency of iron, check out