Cool Fare To Beat The Heat

Tasty recipes that are easy on your stomach

5/11/2018 7:46:23 PM
written By : Nithya Subramanian Print

What is considered cool may actually be hot and what is hot may actually be cool. Well, if all this is confusing and you are wondering what pop fad is being referred to, we are talking about the age-old tradition of classifying food. 

Both Ayurveda – the ancient Indian medicinal system – and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have classified food as hot or cold based on the impact it has on human bodies,

According to Ayurveda, there are three body types, vata (wind), pitta (bile) and kapha (mucus) while food is broadly classified based on their potency (Virya) into two types: Ushna (hot) and Shita (cold). Each ingredient in a recipe has cooling or heating effects that directly affect the digestion process and metabolism. Hence, while preparing a meal, it is important to balance the hot and cold aspects, while keeping in mind the requirements of the body type and seasonal changes.

Similarly the Chinese too are quite conscious of the food they eat. The cooling properties and heatiness are related to the balancing of the yin and yang energies. The energies of foods refer to their capacity to generate sensations - either hot or cold - in the human body. The five kinds of energy in TCM are cold, hot, warm, cool and neutral, and this refers not to the state of the food but its effect on our bodies. 

For example, according to Ayurveda, freshly cooked dal, which has high external temperature, is a cooling food while frozen ice-cream falls under the heaty food category. Similarly, amongst the Chinese, tea has cold energy, even though it is drunk hot.

Interestingly both Chinese and Indians have similar foods that fall in their cold foods category. Bananas, watermelons, kiwis, vegetables such as eggplants, tomatoes, mushrooms, lettuce, dairy products like milk, yoghurt, soy products such as tofu are common to both.

This month, when summer is at its peak. we feature easy recipes made of cooling foods.



2 cups watermelon, diced finely

1/2 cup cucumber, diced finely 

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup red capsicum, finely chopped 

1 green chilli, diced finely

1/4 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped 

2 tbsp honey

2 tsp lime juice


1. Combine watermelon, cucumber, onion, capsicum, chilli and coriander leaves in a large bowl. Add honey and lime juice and stir to coat.

2. Chill for at least half an hour in the refrigerator.
Serve with tortilla chips.



450 grams Greek yogurt or hung curd

2 pinch saffron threads

1 tbsp lukewarm water

5 tbsp powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp green cardamom pdr

1 tbsp pistachio nuts, crushed

1 tbsp almond nuts, crushed


1. Place the Greek yogurt/hung curd into a mixing bowl and mix it smooth.

2. In a small bowl add the saffron strings and water. Soak for a few minutes. 

3. First add sugar and cardamom powder to the yogurt. Mix well.

4. Next add saffron, crushed pistachios and almonds. Mix the whole content well. Refrigerate for a few hours.



2/3 cup panko, divided

1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced

2 tbsp finely chopped green onions

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground red pepper

1 large egg, lightly beaten

250 gm lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed

1 tbsp olive oil

1 lemon, quartered


1. Combine 1/3 cup panko and the remaining ingredients except crab in a large bowl, stirring well. Add crab; stir gently just until combined. 

2. Place the remaining panko in a shallow dish. Using wet hands, shape crab mixture into 4 equal balls. Coat balls in panko. Gently flatten balls to form 4 patties.

3. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add patties; cook for three minutes on each side or until golden. Serve with lemon wedges.

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