4 Nutritious Recipes to Help Strengthen Your Immunity

Have you been wondering how to build your immunity in the COVID-19 pandemic? These natural ingredients will help you.

Recipes by Kaveri Jain. Photography by Aadi Jain

A healthful, balanced diet plays a vital role in staying well, and building a strong immune system has become essential in the time of coronavirus. Foods like turmeric, ginger, blueberries, pumpkin, garlic, sunflower seeds, peppers, broccoli, lemon, sweet potato, yogurt and so on must be included in your daily diet to boost immunity.

Here are some delicious yet nutritious recipes that strengthen your immune system and make you stronger from within.

Roasted Pumpkin and Beetroot Salad

Ingredients (serves two):
300 to 400 gm pumpkin, peeled and diced into cubes; 1 tsp salt; 2 tbsp olive oil; 4 medium beets, cubed; 2/3 cup walnut halves caramelised with maple syrup; 2 tbsp mixed seeds; 3 tbsp pomegranate.

For the dressing:
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar; 4 tbsp olive oil; 2 tsp maple syrup; 1 tsp mustard; ½ tsp salt and pepper; 3 to 4 cups mixed salad leaves of choice


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. In a bowl, toss the pumpkin, beetroot, olive oil and salt.
  2. Scatter on a flat oven tray and roast for 20–25 minutes in the oven until soft. Remove and cool.
  3. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a bowl, and then set aside.
  4. Scatter the salad leaves in a bowl and add beetroot, pumpkin, walnuts, seeds and pomegranate.
  5. Drizzle dressing on top, and serve.

Pumpkin and Chickpeas Yellow Curry with Red Rice

Cooked red rice or any rice of your choice; 1½ tbsp coconut oil; 1 onion finely chopped; 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger; 2 tbsp minced garlic; 1 red chilli chopped; 2 cups boiled chickpeas; 4 tbsp yellow Thai curry paste; 3 cups peeled and cubed pumpkin; 400 gms coconut milk; 2 tbsp maple syrup; 1 tsp salt; 1 tsp ground pepper; 1 tbsp tamari; 1 cup chopped broccoli; 2 tbsp lemon juice; ¼ cup roasted cashews

For serving (optional):
Fresh coriander; lemon juice


  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add coconut oil, onion, ginger, garlic and sauté for a few minutes.
  2. Add curry paste, stir. Add pumpkin, cook for 5 mins. Add the chickpeas and broccoli, cook for 2 mins more.
  3. Pour coconut milk, maple syrup and mix. Add turmeric and salt, and stir. Simmer over medium heat for 5 mins.
  4. Add the lemon juice and top with roasted cashews. Garnish with coriander and lemons.
  5. Serve hot over rice.

Turmeric Ginger Rosemary Lemonade

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 litre water
2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
2 inches of fresh turmeric, peeled and sliced
Fresh rosemary
A pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp honey (or any sweetener)
The juice of 2 lemons


  1. Add the ginger, turmeric and black pepper to a saucepan with one cup of water. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 mins. Let it sit for 15 mins to cool.
  2. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a jug, add in the rosemary.
  3. Let it cool, then add the remaining water, lemon juice and honey, and mix. Taste and add more honey if desired.
  4. Serve the lemonade over ice. Enjoy!

Gingery Apple Cabbage Sauerkraut

6 cups red or green cabbage, finely chopped; 2 tsp sea salt; 1 cup thinly sliced radish; 1 apple, thinly sliced or chopped; 2 tbsp fresh ginger (grated); 4 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Sterilise a one-litre mason jar by pouring boiling water over it (even the lid). Keep it aside to dry and cool.
  2. In a large bowl, throw in the finely chopped cabbage and top with salt. Massage the cabbage for 7–8 mins, or till it softens and releases water.
  3. Add radish, apple, ginger, and garlic and massage once more for 4–5 mins.
  4. Put the mixture in the jar, press down and pack tightly. Make sure there is 1–2 inches space between the sauerkraut and the lid. Seal with the lid and keep to ferment in a closed cabinet (ideal temperature is between 20–30°C). Fermentation will happen between 24 hours to 10 days.
  5. Make sure to open the jar once a day to release air. Press the vegetables down ensuring there is liquid on top.
  6. Taste after 48 hours to check if it’s tangy enough (it takes 3 days in Delhi).
  7. Once ready, keep it in the fridge. It will last 3 months. Enjoy with salads sandwiches and just like that!

First published in eShe’s May 2020 issue

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