Indian Food works as ambrosia for food lovers because of the variety of dishes it offers on its menu. Luciano Pavarotti rightly said, “One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” A balanced diet is necessary for healthy living and Indian food with its range of vegetables, fruits, leaves, spices and sauces offers just that along with enticing and mouth-watering flavors as an added bonus. Indian food is what you choose to make of it, so excessive use of oil or spices can make the food digress towards an undesired path. Here are some tips that can be helpful in picking the healthy options from an Indian Food Menu:
Indian food is known for its spices and condiments but an unpopular notion related to Indian food categorizes it as nothing but a mixture of oil and spices. The quantity of oil and spices to be used in any dish depends upon the person cooking that dish and hence, s/he is responsible for making the food healthy or unhealthy. Indian spices are in demand because of their two-fold advantages. The spices not only make the food enriching but also have certain medicinal properties. For example, turmeric is an antioxidant and prevents inflammation of joints. Cumin seeds help in boosting the immune system of the body, ginger helps in relieving cold and black pepper is used to cure constipation.
Pulses are a very good source of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Pulses are also rich in protein and dietary fibre that helps in controlling blood sugar level and also in digestion. Moong dal is specifically beneficial if one has started a slimming diet regime since moong dal is known for its low fat content.
Paneer is the favourite item on the menu for vegetarians and also for some non-vegetarians. Paneer is made from milk and the calorie content of paneer depends upon the quality of milk used. For low calorie paneer savouries, it is important to take care that the milk used for making paneer is toned milk. The taste of the dish remains unchanged but the calories are cut down which is wonderful for a healthy diet. Paneer is a classic combination of good taste and health as it is rich in proteins and calcium.
Vegetables form the most vibrant part of the Indian food menu because of the multiplicity of colors and tastes. A healthy Indian food menu is bound to have vegetables like palak paneer, paneer lababdar, baingan bharta, zafrani kofta, vegetable korma, etc. To keep the dishes healthy, the curry should be made using yoghurt. Cream should be avoided and the myth that healthy food cannot be tasty will be busted immediately.
Curd is another milk-based product. It is made from fermented milk and is great for weight loss. Just like paneer, curd too should be made from toned milk because lower fat content is important for a healthy diet. Curd can be used in a variety of dishes and can substitute cream in case one wishes to impart a creamy texture to the dishes. Curd can be used to make different kinds of raitas and can be churned to make buttermilk.
Multigrain flour—made from a combination of wheat, jowar, bajra and barley—is rich in fibre content and provides a lot of energy to the body. It is better to avoid greasing the breads with oil or butter in order to keep the diet healthy.
Sometimes, one faces difficulty in understanding the composition of certain exotic sounding dishes. So, it is better ask about the dish before ordering it. It is never too late to shift to healthier options on the Indian food menu, and for that, a visit to the nearest Indian Buffet Restaurant is imminent.