Postpartum Diet: Indian Recipes
Motherhood is so blissful but it does test you at every step. Managing my diet has not been a piece of cake. Whether it was following gestational diabetes diet in last trimester of pregnancy or now following the postpartum diet. I can definitely see the benefits of following the gestational diabetes diet as me and baby had controlled blood sugar levels after delivery.
Also, the postpartum diet which I have been following, thanks to my Aai has been facilitating my recovery, healing and boosting milk supply which is so crucial in these early days.
I used to post the pics of my lunch, dinner and snacks on the Mommies @Crave Cook Click group where members encouraged me to write a consolidated blog post for the postpartum recipes. This group has been really support during my prenatal and postnatal phase. You can join it by clicking on the link here.
During initial days of postpartum which are the 1st 40 days, there are some vegetables which are recommended to be consumed and some to be avoided
Vegetables that are good alternatives include:
- carrots (gajar)
- green beans (frans beens)
- sweetcorn (makai)
- pumpkin (kaddu/sitaphal)
- apple gourd (tinda)
- sponge gourd (tori)
- snake gourd (chichinda)
- bottle gourd (lauki/ghiya/doodhi)
The following foods are said to cause gas and crying.
- cabbage (patta gobhi)
- cauliflower (phool gobhi)
- onion (pyaaz)
- garlic (lehsun)
- broccoli (hari gobhi)
- brussels sprouts (choti bandh gobhi)
- turnips (shalgam)
- kidney beans (rajma)
- chickpeas (chhola)
The following herbs or seeds are often used as part of the Indian diet, especially during confinement, and are said to increase breastmilk supply. Some are used to reduce gas, heartburn and colic. As long as you consume these in small quantities, they are generally considered safe for your baby:
- fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
- dill seeds (suwa)
- garlic (lehsun)
- fennel seeds (saunf)
- carom seeds (ajwain)
- cinnamon (dalchini)
- cumin (jeera)
- asafoetida (hing)
List details from www.babycenter.in/
Postpartum Diet as per different parts of India
- North Indian confinement period diet includes mainly of ladoos, parathas, and kheers which are prepared with broken wheat, ajwain, methi, millet, besan, fennel, gond (edible gum taken from the bark of trees) dry fruits, sesame, semolina, aliv seeds, turmeric, and fenugreek.
- Ghee is added to almost every item that are prepared for the mother
- Turmeric milk is given on every morning. This is prepared by adding a pinch of freshly ground turmeric to milk while boiling
- Garlic milk which increases lactation is also given
- Broken wheat porridge is given as it reduces the chances of constipation
- Roti made with millet is included in the diet as it is a rich source of fiber aids digestion
- Khichdi made of moong dal and rice is served as it is a rich source of carbohydrates
- Ajwain parathas which are good for lactation is a dinner option and ajwain is also believed to help in cleaning the uterus
- Water is boiled with fennel seeds and is given to mother frequently to increase the breast milk
- Water boiled with fenugreek seeds is given after food in the morning to ease back pain and joint pain
- Water boiled with jeera seeds (cumin) are found to fight against infection and gas formation
- Kheer made with aliv seeds are given for desert. Aliv seeds increase breast milk
- Belly binding is done with large cotton cloth. This will provide repositioning the uterus, perfect position during feeding baby and put the stomach muscles back together
In South India, when a delivery takes place, an elderly member of the house will take charge of preparing pathiya samayal – a well-balanced nutritional food for the new mother.
- In South India certain food items that are avoided during post-partum. They are pickles, chilies, spices, oily food, sour curd, and fruits like grapes. Instead of toor dal, which is the main ingredient of South Indian dishes, moong dal is used as toor dal causes gas problems
- Food is prepared by using ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, mustard, caraway seeds, turmeric, fenugreek and freshly prepared curd which is not sour
- Fenugreek leaves, gourds both bitter and bottle, drumsticks are all used in south India for preparing food for the new mother
- Half teaspoon of turmeric is mixed with lukewarm water or milk and is given to new mom daily once as it will increase the healing of internal wounds
- In South Indian states other than Kerala beetle leaves are given to the mother after food as it is believed to be good for speeding up digestion
- Dry ginger powder with jaggery or dry ginger powder in lukewarm water is given to new mom
- Steamed food items like idly and idiappam are preferred for breakfast. Usually, it is served with a spoon of homemade ghee and if needed a little sugar
- After noon food items of ‘pathiya samayal’ (you will get the recipe online) is served
- At night, before seven ‘o’ clock dinner is served which is usually rice porridge along with flame roasted appalamand manathakali vathal (known as black night shade in English and makoy in Hindi) fried in ghee
Postpartum Care In Ayurveda
Diet during confinement period in Ayurveda is designed in such a way to balance the vadha dosha. The digestive system is also very sensitive during this period so Ayurveda insists of start with eating easily digestible food and gradually go back to regular diet towards the end of confinement period.
- Warm, fresh and oily food that tastes sweet (Don’t mistake this as refined sugar.) In Ayurveda, sugar means natural sweetness providing food like honey, rice, fresh fruits or even yam), sour and salty are focused
- Cold foods are avoided as they are hard to digest and will draw water from the body causing constipation and promote gas formation
- Salads are also not recommended in Ayurveda during confinement period as they create gas
- Timing and quantity of meals are another important factors. Breakfast around 8 am, lunch around 1 pm, and dinner around 6 pm. Notice the 5-hour gap between each meal. Breakfast and dinner should be light but the lunch should be heavy
- Dried fruits can be taken but should remember to peel the skin of almonds
- Kashayams, lehyams and arishtams will be given to the mother to rebuilt the resistance power, increasing the lactation, and rejuvenate the body after delivery
Other useful articles
The recipes mentioned in this post are made by my Aai which are super healthy and form a balanced diet during postpartum period.
Jowar Bajri Thalipeeth
Dink Dry Fruit Ladoo
1 cup jaggery
1/2 cup dry coconut (kopra/kobbari) (we used desiccated coconut)
1/2 cup water
2 tea spns ghee
1/8 tea spn nutmeg powder
1/8 tea spn cardamom powder
1 date cut into tiny pieces
1 tbl spn raisins
1 tbl spn edible gum(dink/anTu)
2 tbl spn cashews chopped into small pieces
2 tbl spns walnuts chopped into small pieces
2 tbl spns almonds chopped into small pieces
2 tbl spns poppy seeds (khus khus)
Dry roast coconut till it tuns slightly brownish. Take it out on a clean plate.
Heat ghee and add edible gum. The gum puffs up like small balloons. With a spoon take out on a plate, leaving behind any remaining ghee in the pan.
Add the cashews, almonds and walnuts, fry till they start to turn brown. Add poppy seeds and fry till they pop. Add raisins and dates and fry for few moments. Take out on same plate.
Bring to boil 1/2 cup water, add jaggery and cook till it forms syrup. To know whether the syrup is done, take some water on a plate and put a drop of syrup on it. If it sits like a crystal, syrup is done.
Add all the fried ingredients and mix well. Add nutmeg and cardamom powder. Mix well.
Make laddus when the mixture is still warm. Apply some ghee to palms before trying to hold the warm mixture. If the mixture dries out, sprinkle some water and heat it for few seconds.
Makes about 12 laddus
Recipe Courtesy: http://www.aayisrecipes.com/
Sprouted Methi Pulao
Basmati rice – 1+1/2 cups
Methi sprouts – 1+1/2 cups
Shallots ( sambar onions)- 15-20
Tomatoes- 2 chopped
Garlic – 10 cloves
Butter – 1+1/2 tbsps
Bay leaf – 1
Cloves – 4
Cinnamon – 1 inch
Cardamom – 4
Jeera powder – 2 tsps
Pepper powder – 1 tsp
Dry mango powder ( amchur)- 1 tsp
Wash and soak basmati rice for 15 mins.Drain and keep it aside.
Peel , wash and slice the shallots and garlic.
Heat butter in a pan. Add bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. Sauté for few seconds and then add the sliced shallots and garlic. Continue to sauté till the shallots and garlic become translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes and methi sprouts and sauté for few seconds.
Now add the rice. Mix well and sauté for few mins. Add jeera powder, pepper powder and dry mango powder and mix well. Add 2+3/4th cup of water, salt to taste and mix well again. Check for the seasonings. When the water starts boiling, reduce the flame, close the pan with a lid and cook till the rice becomes soft and dry. Gently fluff the rice with a fork.
Serve the sprouted methi rice hot with ghee.
Recipe Courtesy: http://www.anubalaskitchen.com/
1 1/4 cups chopped fenugreek (methi) leaves
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
1/4 cup besan (bengal gram flour)
1 1/2 tsp ginger-green chilli paste
1 1/4 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
a pinch of baking soda
1 1/2 tbsp oil
salt to taste
Combine the methi leaves and little salt in a bowl, mix well and keep aside for 5 minutes and squeeze out all the excess liquid from the methi leaves.
Combine the methi and all the remaining ingredients in a deep bowl and knead into a soft dough, using approx. 1 tbsp of water.
Divide the mixture into 15 equal portions and shape each portion roughly into an oval by rolling it between your palms and fingers. Steam the muthias. Once done, chop them in circles.
In a pan, add heat oil, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Add the steamed and chopped muthias. Stir well and serve hot.
Fried version: Heat the oil in a kadhai and deep-fry the steamed muthias, a few at a time on a medium flame till they turn golden brown in colour from all the sides. Drain on an absorbent paper. Serve immediately.
Recipe Courtesy: www.tarladalal.com
50 gms soaked fenugreek (methi) seeds
250 ml milk
250 gms whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
200 gms ghee
200 gms sugar
50 gms crushed almonds (badam)
1 tbsp powdered edible gum (gaund)
1/2 tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
a pinch saffron (kesar) strands
Take a pan, dry roast the wheat flour over a slow flame while stirring continuously till it turns golden brown. Keep it aside.
Heat the ghee in a pan, add the the fenugreek seeds and roast it over a slow flame while stirring continuously till it turns golden brown.
Add the gum into it and roast till the spluttering stops.
Add almonds and roasted wheat flour into it and mix well.
Put off the flame and allow it to cool.
Add the powdered sugar,cardamom powder and saffron to the roasted mixture and mix well.
Divide the mixture into 30 portions and shape each portion into round laddus using your hands.
Store in an air-tight container.
Recipe Courtesy: www.tarladalal.com
Sprouted Methi Vegetable
fenugreek sprouts – 1 cup
onions – 1/2 cup (chopped)
garlic / poondu – 1 clove
tomatoes – 1/2 cup (chopped)
oil – 1 tsp
mustard seeds / kadugu – 1/2 tsp
cumin seeds / seeragam – 1 tsp
curry leaves / karuvepilai – few
red chilly powder / milagai podi – 1 tsp
turmeric powder – manjal podi – 1/4 tsp
salt / uppu – to taste
This process starts before one day. Make sprouts using fenugreek seeds
Chop onion and tomatoes and keep all the ingredients ready
Heat one tsp of oil in a fry pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida and when it splutters add curry leaves
Now add chopped onion, garlic and sauté for few minutes till it turns pale
Next add chopped tomatoes. Sauté for few minutes, close and cook till tomatoes becomes mushy
Then add red chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt
Sauté till raw smell leaves the pan and oil oozes
Now add one cup of water. Close and cook for few minutes
When it boils well and oil floats on top as shown in the photo below
Now add the sprouts to the gravy
Keep it in medium flame for 2-3 minutes. Check for taste and add salt if needed
Transfer to a serving bowl and serve as side dish along with rice, roti, Phulkas or naan
Recipe Courtesy: http://poongodi.com/
Methi Leaves with Moong Dal
1/4 cup soaked yellow moong dal (split yellow gram)
2 cups chopped fenugreek (methi) leaves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic (lehsun), grated
2 green chillies, chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp besan (Bengal gram flour)
1 tsp oil
salt to taste
Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the onions, garlic and green chillies and sauté for 1 minute.
Add the turmeric powder, fenugreek leaves and salt and cook for a few minutes.
Add the soaked moong dal and ½ cup of hot water.
Sprinkle the besan, mix well and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, till the moong dal is cooked.
Serve hot with rice or rotis.
Recipe Courtesy: www.tarladalal.com
Methi Leaves Pulao
Basmati Rice – 1 cup
Onion – 2 medium size
Ripe Tomatoes – 3
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Methi leaves – 1 cup tightly packed
Salt as required
Ghee/Butter – 1 tsp
Coriander powder -2 tsp
Chilli Powder -1 tsp
Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
Garam masala -3/4 tsp
For the seasoning
Oil – 1 tbsp
Jeera/cumin seeds -1 tsp
Fennel seeds/sombu -1 tsp
Bay leaf -1
1 cup Bob Mills Steel Cut Oats
Jaggery as per taste
Cook the oats well in 3 cups of water
Once fully cooked add jaggery, dry fruits and milk. Cook for another 10 minutes.
Serve it hot.
Masoor Bhat & Palak Onion Veggie with Chapati
2 Cups Basmati Rice
1 Cup Whole Masoor
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp Malvani Masala
2 Bay leaves
4 Black paper
Water 4-5 Cups
6-7 Curry Leaves
Grated fresh coconut
Mix masoor and rice and soak for 1 hour.
In a pressure cooker add oil once it heat add curry leaves, bay leaves, black paper, clove, cinnamon and saute for few seconds.
Add ginger garlic paste and onion stir it till onion turned into golden brown.
Add masoor and rice and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add masala and salt and hot water stir it.
Close the lid of pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles.
After 10 minutes pressure is released open the lid and add coriander leaves and grated fresh coconut and serve hot.
Recipe courtesy: www.maharashtrianrecipes.com
Palak Onion Vegetable
3 cups palak
1 cup shredded coconut
1 slit green chilli
salt as per taste
In a pan, heat oil
Add onions and chilli and sautee until onions are translucent. Now add shredded coconut and cook for 10 mins.
Finally add palak, salt and cook for 10 minutes
Aliv Kheer Recipe
1/2 cup Aliv Seeds
Jaggery as per taste
Soak aliv in sufficient water(approximately 1 1/2 cup) for 3-4 hours. Aliv should get swollen.
After 3-4 hours, put these aliv on medium flame and let it cook for 5-10 mins. Stir occasionally. Color will get little denser.
Add jaggery and crushed dry fruits. Wait till jaggery gets incorporated completely.
Add cardamom powder and milk. Cook for 10 mins
Serve it hot.
2 cups Wheat Flour
2 cups Methi(Fenugreek) Leaves
2 Green Chillies
Salt as per taste
Pluck 2 cup Methi leaves, wash it properly in water 2-3 times.
Chopp the leaves and take it in a large bowel to make a dough for parathas.
Add 2 cups wheat flour to it.
Add salt as per your taste.
Add 2 chopped green chillies. You can add extra chillies if you want it more spicy.
Mix it properly and add water as required to make a soft dough like roti.
Divide the dough into 2 round shapes like balls to make 2 thick big parathas. You can divide it to 4 parts if you want thin parathas.
Take half cup wheat flour in a plate for dusting
Now take one portion of round shape dough and place it on rolling pan, dust it with wheat flour, press gently and roll it to round shape parathas.
Heat a pan and after 2 mins once the pan is heated place paratha on it.
Check if the paratha is slightly cooked from one side and if colour changes slightly. Its time to Flip the paratha. Turn it on other side and let it cook.
After 1 min apply ghee or oil on the paratha and flip it again.
Now apply ghee or oil on other side of Methi paratha. Let it cook properly from both the sides till it becomes crispy and slight brown spots appear on it.
Remove it from the tava or pan and place it in serving dish. Your crispy Methi Parathas are ready.
Recipe courtesy: Magic tadka.com
Gajar Ka Halwa
You can follow the recipe mentioned here
Soak Aliv in coconut water overnight
In a pan add jaggery and shredded coconut and mix well
Add the coconut water soaked aliv to the pan
Cook until the mixture comes together.
Make ladoos and refrigerate them to last for more than a week
Palak/Spinach, Cleaned and Chopped – 1 bunch/packet
Toor Daal – ½ cup
Masoor Daal – ¼ cup (If not available, substitute with toor or moong daal)
Onions, sliced – 1
Peanuts – 1 fistful (Optional but recommended)
Goda Masala – 2 tbspn (Levelled)
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tspn
Tamarind – 2” piece (Soaked in water for an hour)
Jaggery – 1 tbspn
Jeera/Cumin Seeds – ½ tspn
Garlic – 4-5 pods
In a pressure cooker, boil daal, palak, peanuts and onions together . Take 2-3 whistles.
After the steam is gone, open the cooker and add goda masala, red chilli powder, pulp of tamarind, jaggery, garlic and jeera and boil it for another 5 minutes or till it is thick enough. Make sure it is a little thick in consistency.
Recipe Courtesy: http://afoodiecancooktoo.blogspot.com/
Moong Dal & Shepuchi Bhaji
1 cup Moong daal (without husk), soaked for 10 minutes before cooking
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt, to taste
2 tablespoons ghee or butter (mixed with 1 tbsp oil)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 clove garlic, sliced finely
5 fresh curry leaves
2 tsp chopped cilantro
1 inch ginger, julienned
Drain the moong lentil and add to a saucepan. Cover with water and add turmeric, and allow to come to the boil.
When it reaches a boil, turn low, skim any froth, and allow to cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the lentils are soft and cooked through. If the lentils dry up, add a little water as they cook. The end result should be the consistency of thick soup.
When cooked, place in a serving bowl and prepare the tempering. In a small frying pan, heat the ghee.
Add the cumin seeds allow to splutter, add the sliced garlic, and when it turns slightly brown and add the curry leaves. Only let these splutter for a couple of seconds and do not let the garlic brown too much or else the ghee might taste quite acrid
Immediately pour this over the cooked lentils and garnish with cilantro leaves and ginger and sprinkle a little garam masala on top.
Recipe Courtesy: Food52
Lal Bhoplyachi Bhaji
1/2 kg – Red Pumpkin
1 tbsp – fresh grated Coconut
2 red – chillies
1/2 tsp – Turmeric
1/2 tsp – Fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp – Mustard Seeds
1 inch cube – Jaggery
1 tbsp – oil
Salt to taste
A pinch of Asafoetida
Cut the pumpkin into 2-inch cubes (they will shrink with cooking).
Heat the oil in a skillet or wok and add the mustard seeds, red chillies, turmeric and asafetida.
When the mustard seeds pop, stir in the fenugreek seeds. |Add and Sautee the pumpkin in the seasoning.
Cook covered for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Use a steel plate as a lid for the skillet.
Pour a little drinking water on it.
As this heats, it helps in cooking the pumpkin.
When you remove the lid to stir, you can pour in some hot water, if the bhaji requires moisture.
Once the pumpkin is half-cooked, add the jaggery and stir well.
Add the coconut to the bhaji just before the pumpkin is cooked through.
Stir once more and serve.
Recipe Courtesy: http://www.bawarchi.com/
2 cup milk
sugar as per preference
1 tbsp ghee
Make small pieces of chapati
In a deep pan, add milk and sugar. Let it boil.
Add chapati pieces.
Pour it in a boil and add ghee before having