Ease your digestion with Firinda

Uncoated beans, used in the making of Firinda. Internet photo.

What you need to know:

Do not struggle to buy extra kilos of salad when a dish can aid the breakdown of food in your body.

Firinda is a type of bean sauce commonly consumed in western Uganda but which has also been adopted in other areas of the country not only because of its simple recipe but also its nutritional value and unique flavour.

Herbert Mugisa, a bachelor from Toro, who prepares and eats this sauce at least twice a week says that he likes the fact that you do not need to use cooking oil while preparing Firinda so he finds it a healthy choice.

To prepare Firinda, you need dry beans which could be soaked overnight in cold water or scalded in hot water and left to soak for at least two hours. According to other accounts from people who eat this dish, you could also half boil the beans but whichever method you choose, you need to remove the seed coat or testa.

The beans are then boiled without the seed covers. While boiling the beans, one could add ntula eggplants, bitter egg plants or garden eggs as they are sometimes called. When the beans are ready, they are drained, the ntula removed and the beans mashed with ghee.

Some of the advantages of a bean-rich diet include the fact that this food is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Manganese. Beans have more protein than most other vegetables, and are full of energy-sustaining complex carbohydrates, folate and fibre and even provide good amounts of calcium, iron and potassium.

Beans have the unique ability to provide energy over a sustained period of time which is slowly released into your blood stream. Also, beans are a great source of dietary fibre, which promotes a healthy digestive tract, helps lower blood cholesterol levels, and can reduce the risk of some types of cancer.

In a study titled, ‘Legumes: the most important dietary predictor of survival in older people of different ethnicities’, researchers studied the diets of men and women age 70 and older in Japan, Sweden, Greece and Australia, tracking their health status and food choices among nine different categories: vegetables, legumes, fruits and nuts, cereals, dairy products, meat, fish, and monounsaturated fats. They found that the consumption of legumes was the most important dietary predictor of survival among the elderly. Other studies suggest that eating beans may lower your risk of cancer, heart disease and obesity.

Ghee, the other component in the Firinda dish is said to improve digestion as it helps in secreting enzymes that digest the food. A spoonful of cow ghee consumption every day not just fulfills the fat requirements of body, but is also very easily digestible. Due to lesser and thinner fats in cow ghee, any preparations made from it do not induce sleep even after eating a good amount. Besides that, it adds taste and aroma to the food.

Ayurveda is a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent. From an ayurvedic perspective, the ingestion of ghee is like offering the finest of fuels into the fires of digestion-Agni. In accordance with this, ghee builds the aura, makes all the organs soft, builds up the internal juices of the body-Rasa, which are destroyed by aging and increases the most refined element of digestion-Shukra or Ojas, the underlying basis of all immunity and the “essence of all bodily tissues”. Ghee is known to increase intelligence-Dhi, refine the intellect-Buddhi and improve the memory-Smrti.

Like any clarified butter, ghee is composed almost entirely of fat. That is why ghee should be consumed in moderate amounts.
Additional information from amritadeva.com
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