A traditional Indian food is more beneficial for the post-delivery recovery. It is as important for an Indian mother/ new mother (jachcha or prasuta in Hindi) as pregnancy diet. After delivering a baby, a new mother became really weak and delicate; she needs extra care to regain health and energy as she had before pregnancy. As a practice, 42 days care of a new mother after delivery is given much importance; it is called post-partum period. Any negligence during this period may cause many other physiological problems to the new mother.
In India, post pregnancy care is treated as important as pregnancy. A traditional Indian diet has been given to a new mother for regaining health and energy after delivery in all the Indian communities, only the constituents are changed. There are certain elements which are essential in the Indian post-delivery diet. Though, these foods are high in calories but very good to regain energy.
Recipes of the traditional Indian foods, such as- harira, poppy seeds halwa, laddu, panjiri etc., are given here which are in use from the generations. Our elders (mother, mother-in-law, grandmother) recommend these traditional foods to recover fast after delivery.
Recipes of Food after Delivery for Indian Mother:
1. Harira for Indian Mother:
Harira is a traditional Indian food given to new mother (jachcha) just after delivery in Indian homes. It is a healthy, tasty and nutritious diet that helps to regain the health and shape of the uterus of a mother as it was before pregnancy. It is also good for digestion as it clears intestine. Ingredients used in Harira, like- turmeric, dry ginger cumin seeds, gur and almonds- reduce body pain, cramps and provide energy to Indian mother (prasuta). It also helps new mother to produce more breast milk.
Carom seeds (ajwain) ¼ tsp
Turmeric (haldi powder) ¼ tsp
Dry ginger (sonth) powder 1 tsp
Cumin seeds (Jeera) powder ½ tsp
Almonds (Badam) 4-5 pieces
Nutmeg (jaiphal) powder 1 gm
Piper longum (Pippali) Powder 1 gm
Dry dates (Chhuhara) 1
Edible gum (Gond) 1 tsp
Clarified butter (Ghee) 2 tsp
Jaggery (gur) 2 tbsp
Recipe of Harira:
- At first, collect ajwain, jeera, sonth (50 gm each) & jaiphal, pippali (20 gm each); grind all the ingredients separately and store into a jar for further 10 days use.
- Then, chop almonds & dates and keep aside.
- Similarly, break jaggery in small pieces.
- Now, heat 2 spoon ghee in a pan and deep fry edible gum (gond) in it .
- And then, add powder of dry ginger, cumin seeds, turmeric, jaiphal, and pippali in the remaining ghee and roast.
- When all the ingredients became golden brown, put jaggery and 1 cup water in the pan.
- After the mixture comes to boil, let it cook for 4-5 minutes and stir the mixture in between.
- Finally, add almonds and dates in the mix and put it off from the flame.
- Now, serve it warm to the new mother. You can give a glass of milk after harira.
Some people make harira in thick form and some use it in watery form. You can make it according to your family tradition. For example, you can increase quantity of ghee as per your taste up to 4-5 tsp and gur up to 4 tbsp. Likewise, you can also decrease or increase quantity of dry fruits as per taste and requirement. Similarly, you can skip piper longum (long pepper) in summer season because it is hot in nature.
Harira is given to Indian mother after delivery for 10 days in the morning. After 10 days, Milk harira is given to new mother for fast recovery.
2. Milk Harira for Indian Mother:
Indian mother (prasuta in Hindi) should stop to consume harira after 10 days and start to take ‘Milk harira’ daily from 11th day after delivery.
Milk 1 glass
Almonds (Badam) 10-12 pieces
Pistachio 5-6 pieces
Poppy Seeds (khus khus) 1 tsp
Elaichi (green cardamom powder) ½ tsp
Clove (Laung) 1
Turmeric (haldi powder) ½ tsp
Jaggery (Gur) 1-2 tbsp
Clarified Butter (Ghee) 2 tbsp
Dried Dates (Chhuhara) 1-2
Saffron (kesar) 7-8 strands
- At first, soak almonds, pistachio, dates and poppy seeds in water (separately) overnight.
- Next day morning, peel the almonds and pistachio; keep 3-4 almonds aside for later use.
- Simultaneously, grind poppy seeds, remaining almonds, pistachio and dates in a grinder.
- Then, heat 2 tbsp of ghee in a pan and add turmeric powder, clove and almond paste in it and fry.
- After that, add milk in this mix and boil for few minutes.
- In addition, mix sugar or jaggery in the milk and again boil on medium heat for few minutes.
- Milk harira is ready to use; put it off from the flame.
- Before serving, add elaichi powder, saffron (kesar) and remaining almonds (chopped) in it.
- Now, you can serve the milk harira warm to Indian mother.
Milk harira is very good to regain health and energy after delivery. It should be given to new mother (jachcha) up to 40 days after delivery.
Harira should be prepared fresh every day; don’t refrigerate it. Remember, new mother should not drink water after taking harira for at least 1 hour; milk is permitted.
3. Khus Khus Halwa for Indian Mother:
‘Khus khus ka halwa’ is very nutritious and tasty traditional food. It is given to new mother for warmness and strength after delivery. It has calcium and phosphorous along with magnesium which is very good for the bones. Because, poppy seeds (Khus khus) is hot in nature, therefore extremely beneficial in winters.
Khus khus 50 gm
Clarified Butter 2-3 tbsp
Milk ¾ cup
Sugar 2-3 tbsp
Almonds (sliced) 4-5 pieces
Green cardamom powder ½ tsp
Soak poppy seeds (khus khus) in water for 4-5 hours or overnight.
- Slice almonds thinly and make powder of elaichi.
- In the morning, drain water from poppy seeds and grind with very little water or milk to make thick paste.
- Now, heat 1 tbsp ghee in a non-stick pan, add paste of poppy seeds and fry on low flame till it turns to golden brown. (you can add more ghee if needed).
- After frying, take out khus khus paste in a separate bowl and pour milk with sugar in a pan. Cook it until the sugar dissolves completely.
- Then, add khus khus paste in it and stir continuously till it gets thick consistency.
- When the paste turns to semi solid and stop sticking in the pan, khus khus halwa is ready to serve.
- Put it off from the flame and transfer into a serving bowl; garnish with sliced almonds and cardamom powder and serve hot.
4. ‘Gond ke Laddu’ for Indian Mother:
‘Gond ke laddu’ is a certain type of traditional Indian food which is delicious as well as nutritious. Generally, these laddu are offered to new mother by the elders (mother, mother-in-law or grandmother) during the first forty days after delivery. These ‘Gond ke laddu’ help new mother to regain energy and strength after child’s birth.
As history says, these laddu were initially invented by the father of Indian surgery and medicine – ‘Susruta’ for medicinal purpose. ‘Gond ke laddu’ have warm properties and very good for nursing mothers. Ingredients used in these laddu are edible gum, ghee, jaggery, nuts, dry fruits, and natural herbs. Gond is very nourishing and is rich in calcium and protein. In addition, it also prevents backache and joint pain generally occurred after delivery. ‘Gond ke laddu’ are rich in fat and fiber and provide enough energy to new mother after delivery.
Ingredients used in ‘Gond ke Laddu’:
Gond (Dink) 200 gm
Ghee 500 gm
Almonds 200 gm
Jaggery 750 gm
Dried Coconut 100 gm
Poppy Seeds 100 gm
Mixed Cashew nut, Raisin,
Makahana, Dried dates) 400 gm (100 gm each)
Nutmeg 1 piece
Green Cardamom 20 gm
Dry Ginger Powder 50 gm
5 Herbs (Peeparamul, pipali,
safed museli, ashwagandha,
kamarkas) 100 gm (20 gm each)
Haliv seeds 50 gm
- At first, chop all the dry fruits in very small pieces one by one and grate dried coconut well. Even you can grind them in a blender to make slightly coarse powder.
- Secondly, slightly roast all the herbs like- pipali, jaiphal, kamarkas etc. and grind (after cooling) to make fine powder.
- Then, break down edible gum in small pieces, so that it can deep fry properly.
- Pour some ghee in a heavy coated pan or kadhai to fry (deep) edible gum.
- Now, deep fry gond in the ghee on medium flame by adding small amount of gum (2-3 tsp at a time). When the gond fluffs up completely, remove it in a big bowl and crush it. (Don’t add all the gond at once, it will not be fluffed up completely).
- At the same time, fry (not deep fry) all the chopped dry fruits in the remaining ghee until the colour changes to golden brown. Remove the mixture in the same big bowl and keep aside.
- Furthermore, pour 2 tbsp of ghee to heat in the same pan and add jaggery (coarsed) to melt on low flame. Stir it till the jaggery melts and starts to bubbles.
- Remove it from the flame and add this melted jaggery in the gond and dry fruits bowl.
- At last, add the powdered herbs like- sonth, museli, pippali etc- and elaichi powder in the mixture and mix well till the all ingredients are incorporated well with each other.
- Now, make laddu of this mixture by applying ghee on palm and tie into round balls. After making all the laddu, leave them as it is for 2-3 hours; then store into a container.
Some people offered ‘Gond ke laddu’ to new mother just after delivery for 10 days. As per belief, it helps to regain the shape of uterus as before pregnancy. From the 11th day, they offered the same laddu mixing with some wheat flour and sugar (instead of jaggery). You can make changes in the above recipe as per your family tradition.
These ‘gond ke laddu’ are rich in nutrients as well as calories. Therefore, it is advisable to consume in moderation, otherwise it may cause excess weight gain. However, you can give it to new mother (jachcha) as a mid meal.
Ingredients given above is a standard measurement; you can make changes as per your taste. For example, if you like light sweet laddu, you can reduce the quantity of jaggery or sugar. If you don’t want to eat so much ghee, you can reduce the quantity. But our elders stressed on the importance of ghee as it is high in calcium and gives strength to the new mother after child’s birth. Nevertheless, it is advised to consume clarified butter (ghee) in moderation. Similarly, you can also reduce or increase the quantity of dry fruits. If you like, you can add some wheat flour but fry it with some ghee before adding.
5. Panjiri for Indian Mother after Delivery:
Panjiri is basically a staple from Punjab Region of India. It has been used in India for nursing mothers since thousands of years. Panjiri is known as the healing food for new mothers. Recipe of panjiri varies from region to region. But commonly it is a traditional base of whole wheat flour and/or semolina fried in clarified butter or ghee. A variety of dry fruits, seeds like- pumpkin, melon, sunflower and nuts are added to make it nutritious. Jaggery or sugar (powdered) is also added to sweeten the panjiri.
Panjiri, just like ‘gond ke laddu’ helps to get the uterus of new mother back to its normal size and shape; it also help in removing the waste fluid from the uterus. In addition, it keeps the body warm from inside and helps to heal up after child’s birth.
Ingredients for Panjiri:
Wheat Flour 200 gm
Semolina 100 gm
Gond (coarse powder) 200 gm
Ghee 500 gm
Almonds 200 gm
Jaggery or sugar 500 gm
Chopped Dates, Cashew nuts,
Makhana, Raisin 400 gm (100 gm each)
Dried Coconut 100 gm
Poppy Seeds 100 gm
Nutmeg 1 piece
Green Cardamom 20 gm
Dry Ginger 50 gm
5 Herbs (Peeparamul, pipali,
and kamarkas) 100 gm (20 gm each)
Mixed seeds (Pumpkin,
melon, sunflower) 100 gm
Ajwain (powdered) 50 gm
Fennel seeds 20 gm
Recipe of Panjiri for New Mother:
- Firstly, deep fry edible gum in 300 gm of ghee until it puffed up (like gond ke laddu); keep them aside as well.
- Fry all the dry fruits and seeds one by one in the same pan until they turn to golden brown and keep them aside to be cool.
- Similarly, fry all the herbs in the same ghee to make fine powder and remove in a bowl.
- Next, roast the grated coconut slightly and keep it aside to be cool.
- In the remaining ghee, roast the whole wheat flour and semolina (sooji) one by one, till the colour of the flour turns to golden brown.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let the flours to be cool.
- And then, add all the dry fruits and seeds except melon seeds in a blender to grind coarsely (dardara).
- At the same time, mix powdered jaggery or sugar well in the flour and sooji.
- At last, mix all the ingredients (including herbs powder) well and panjiri is ready to use for Indian mother.
- You can store it into an airtight jar and can preserve for 2-3 weeks (depends on the weather).
All the traditional Indian foods given above, are safe and can be used in normal delivery. But in case of caesarean section (C-section) delivery, it is better to ask your doctor.
All the herbs such as- kamarkas ( Butea frondosa), Pipali (piper longum), peeparamul (piper longum root), ashwagndha, safed museli and different seeds (pumpkin, melon, sunflower) remain available for sale on any super store or Ayurvedic shop. You can also purchase them from online stores like- Amazon.