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Iron is said to be one of the most essential elements for life on earth including those of human beings. It is needed in our system for a number of vital and highly complex processes which continuously take place on a molecular level which are indispensable to our life for the very fact of transportation of oxygen to various parts of our body. Our immune system is dependent on iron for its efficient functioning at all times and so do physical and mental health call for a good amount of iron in order to perform at optimum levels.

Iron is also used by our body to form hemoglobin in our red blood cells which is required for a normal metabolism and also removing waste substances from the body. Therefore, comes the importance of iron since it is meant to help the red blood cells to carry oxygen to various parts of our body. Almost two third of the iron found in our body is found in hemoglobin which is also the protein in the red blood cells which carries oxygen to the various tissues.

Smaller amounts of iron are found in myoglobin, a protein that helps supply oxygen to the muscle and in enzymes that assist biochemical reactions in cells. While most of us feel and think that we are consuming good amount of nutrients in our diet there is a need to check if iron is constituting a fair amount of role too as a part of the daily diets in our kitchens for us and our families, a little awareness and precaution is always advisable specially in these pandemic times.

It is important to highlight the 3 Main Functions of Iron:

1. To carry oxygen from the lungs and supply it to various parts of our body.

2. Maintaining a healthy and strong immune system so that the body can protect itself from antigens like viruses and bacteria etc.

3. Aiding energy production in the body since it is a constituent of several enzymes.

 It is also important to speak a little about Anaemia:

Since it is a condition found in most people when their hemoglobin levels are less in the red blood cells due to which various complications can take place as well which can be prevented by medication and an iron rich diet as well.

Let us see some of the common symptoms of Anaemia:

1. Feeling of Fatigue.

2. Irregular heartbeats.

3.  Periodic chest pain.

4. Constant dizziness.

5. Paleness in skin.

6. Cold hands and feet.

7. Shortness of breath.

8. Insomnia issues.

9. Leg cramps.

10. Continued weakness.

Eat your Iron: Keep a check on the list of Iron Rich Foods.

It is possible to have a good variety of iron rich foods and ingredients as a part of our day to day meals in order to keep the levels at par. while the list is quite long and varied with veg and non-veg varieties of iron rich foods here are a few of them listed as under:

Some of the Popular Iron Rich Foods:

1. Red meat, poultry like turkey, chicken,liver and eggs.

2. Fish and seafood, shellfish, shrimps, oysters and prawns.

3. Iron fortified whole grain breads, rice, pasta and cereals.

4. Bananas, avocados, raisins, sultanas, dates, apricots etc.

5. Legumes, lentils, pulses like rajma, lobia, black eyed peas etc.

6. Hemp seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds.

7. Brussel sprouts, green peas, broccoli, spinach, kale etc.

8. Soy beans, millets, tender coconut malai, tofu, potatoes.

9. Baking unsweetened chocolate, tomatoes, amaranth leaves.

10. Figs, chickpeas, sesame seeds, citrus fruits like orange etc.

Here are a few Iron Rich Recipes to try out in your Kitchens:




Prawns- 12- 16 no medium- large sized, cleaned, deveined & washed.

For the marination on the prawns: apply and leave aside for 15 mins.

Olive oil/oil-1 tsp

Salt and crushed black pepper to taste

White vinegar-1 tsp

Mixed herbs- ½ tsp

Chili flakes-1/2 tsp

Soy sauce- 1 tsp

To saute the prawns further:

Oil-1 tsp

Lemon grass- 4-5 pieces’ cut

Ginger- 1 tbsp. shredded

Slit green chilies- 2 no

Spring onions- 2 tbsp. chop

Salt and pepper to taste

Tomato ketchup-1 tbsp.

Red chili sauce- 1 tsp

Water- ½ cup

Spring onion greens- 2 tbsp. chop for garnish.

Corn flour water solution- 2 tbsp.

Sesame seeds- 1 tsp.


1. Prepare all the ingredients for the prawn exotica

2. Marinate the prawns and keep aside for 15 mins.

3. Heat oil in a skillet/pan saute the lemon grass, ginger, chilies and onions for 15 seconds.

4. Add in the marinated prawns and saute on a high flame for 1 minute add little water or stock and reduce the flame and add the sauces and seasonings to taste.

5. Allow to cook the prawns for 6-8 minutes and add the corn flour solution to thicken it all up a little.

6. Finally serve hot garnish with some greens, sesame seeds, micro greens etc.




Chicken liver- 250-300 gms

Oil- 1 tbsp.

Garlic- 1 tsp chopped

Onion- 1 small chopped

Slit red chilies- 1 tbsp.

Salt and pepper to taste

Thai red curry paste- 2 tbsp.

Lemon grass/ galangal or ginger/ fresh basil leaves- as desired.

Water- 2 cups

Coconut milk- 2 cups thick.

Tender coconut shreds-2 tbsp.

Corn flour solution-2 tsp if needed to thicken.

To serve with- brown rice or whole grain bread.


1. Prepare the ingredients for the chicken liver recipe.

2. Heat oil in a pan add in the Thai elements as listed above and add in the Thai curry paste- red/green/yellow as desired and add little water.

3. Now add in the chicken livers and saute them well with the Thai flavors in the pan and add little water to allow the livers to cook, simmer for 10 mins. [ add some additional veggies as well of your choice]

4. Add in the coconut milk and continue cooking the chicken livers for another 4-5 mins, add the corn flour solution and thicken it slightly, garnish with tender coconut shreds, Thai chilies, basil leaves, roasted crushed peanuts and serve with jasmine rice/ brown rice/ brown bread etc.




For the base of the salad:

Kale/assorted greens/lettuce varieties-2 cups

For the body of the salad:

Boiled chicken cubes- ½ cup

Boiled eggs- 2 no cut into wedges

Cooked/boiled chicken liver- ½ cup

Broccoli/french beans/ tomatoes/cucumbers- 1 cup cut.

For the dressing of the salad:

Olive oil-1 tbsp.

Lime juice- 2 tbsp.

Fresh orange segments-1/4 cup

Mustard paste- 1 tsp

Date puree- 2 tbsp.

White vinegar-1 tsp

Salt and crushed black pepper to taste

Chopped parsley- 1 tbsp.

For the garnish of the salad:

Hemp seeds/ sunflower seeds/ micro greens/ raisins/ almonds- 2 tsp as desired can be used.


1. Prepare all the ingredients for the various parts of the salad.

2. In a presentation salad bowl or salad plate arrange the base and the body of the salad to ensure all elements are visible.

3. Combine together all ingredients for the dressing mix them well and keep ready, drizzle it just before serving the salad.

4. Garnish as desired and serve the salad chilled ideally with some toasted whole grain garlic toasts.




Millets- 1 cup ideally foxtail variety.

Carrots/beans/peas/potato/eggplant/cauliflower- 1 cup mix assorted cut vegetables of your choice can be used here.

Oil/ghee-2 tsp

Bayleaf- 2 no.

Peppercorns/cloves- 3- 4 no.

Ginger garlic paste-1 tsp

Slit green chilies- 2 no

Chopped onion-1 small

Chopped tomato- 1 medium

Salt to taste

Turmeric powder- ½ tsp

Coriander powder- 1 tsp

Red chili powder- ½ tsp

Mint and coriander leaves- 2 tbsp.

Roasted crushed peanuts.

Curry leaves- 10-12 no.

Mustard seeds- ½ tsp

Cumin seeds- ½ tsp

Hing-1/4 tsp

Water- as required.

Lime juice- 2 tbsp. add just before serving and mix well.

To serve with – pickle/ papad/ bowl of curd/ raita.


1. Clean the millets, lightly dry roast them for a minute or so and keep aside to cool.

2. Heat oil/ghee in a pan add in the hing and all ingredients for the tempering or tadka and allow to splutter and crackle.

3. Add in the ginger garlic, chilies, onions and saute well.

4. Now add in tomatoes and all spices, salt to taste and also add in the millets and bhunao for 1-2 minutes, add warm water double the quantity to start with first, cover and simmer allow the pulao to cook.

5. Stir and check if more liquid is needed for the millets to absorb and cook, add accordingly and continue cooking. Finally add in the mint and coriander, peanuts and dash of lime juice mix well and serve hot.




Unsweetened dark chocolate- 150- 200 gms slab cut into small pieces.

Soy milk/ low fat milk – 2 cups

Honey- 1 tbsp.

Raisins- 2 tbsp.

Dates- 3- 4 no chopped

Brown bread- 2-3 slices

Peanut butter-2 tsp.

Almonds- 2 tsp sliced


1. Prepare all the ingredients for the warm chocolate pudding.

2. Grease an oven proof dish with little oil or butter and keep aside.

3. In a saucepan warm up the soy milk and add in the honey, raisins, dates and mix well.

4. Apply the peanut butter on the brown bread slices and cut into small cubes add the bread into the soy milk mixture.

5. Allow to cook the bread in the milk for 2 mins, add in the dark chocolate and mix well, pour the mixture into the baking dish add in the nuts and cover with a foil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees Celsius for 20-25 mins and serve warm with a fresh fruit salad on the side.

Dr. Kaviraj Khialani- Celebrity Master Chef, is a Mumbai based food- health & lifestyle consultant. With around 25 years of quality experience with hotels, airlines, consultancy – training & development he is a recipient of several national awards & global recognitions. Chef Kaviraj is specialised in over 33 international cuisines and loves fusion cooking, creating new recipes and sharing his experience with foodies around the globe. He has also been featured on star plus & colors television on several food shows. He may be contacted via email: / WhatsApp- 9820939336.

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