Last night I was at a hurda party. I know you don’t know hurda, it isn’t some exotic grain, crossing continents to land on the ‘diet/health’ food section. It is just humble, local and unripe jowar. As the winter eases out and the summer sun makes an appearance, Gujarat eats poong and western Maharashtra eats hurda. Friends, families and kids all come together in a celebratory mood to eat them along with garlic, peanut, coconut and blackpepper chutneys, and jaggery and curd. Sounds exotic, ha? It tastes even better.
Other than the natural feelgood hormones that meeting family and friends release, these hurda and poong parties serve a huge physiological purpose too. The immature grain is sweet to taste (will remind you of sweet corn) and is rich in protein, fibre and minerals. The chutneys and the curd make it easier for the body to assimilate the minerals, specially calcium and iron, without loading the gastro-intestinal system.
Our joints and bones don’t really feel up to the mark in winters so to begin the summer season with a dose of amino acids, calcium and iron is just what the doctor ordered. The only thing is it doesn’t taste like medicine, it tastes yummy. So it’s like getting an immune booster not just for yourself, but for friends, family and children.
Whoever initiated this tradition had wisdom beyond comprehension of modern nutrition science and dieticians. I mean our poor health affects us, yes, but even when loved ones feel under the weather it affects us. The hurda and the poong parties are just one of the many rich traditions that India has had that maintain our health and improve our well-being. I pray that we don’t lose our food traditions in our mad rush to lose weight.
@Male unblocked: You only represent the wankers among us men.
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