Despite Indian cuisine being one of the healthiest cuisines in the world misconceptions do exist about the recipes. People love eating fast food for its taste, forgetting its low nutritional value. Fortunately awareness is spreading to encourage people to eat healthy food which leads to a better life.
A typical Indian meal consists of vegetables, whole meal breads, rice and lentils.
Excess fat and salt will make the dishes less healthy. It is always possible to make Indian food healthy by following a few simple steps. The spicy ingredients in Indian cuisine are intended to cure many ailments and increase the immunity of muscles and nerves.
Minimal Use of Oil
Olive oil has many health benefits, but is best only for stir-frying and pan-frying. Deep-frying is discouraged as a large quantity of oil is required. Non-stick cookware will limit the use of oil. Cut down the fat content in a meal by choosing dishes and breads that need no frying.
Use very little butter and ghee when cooking at home. Sunflower, rapeseed and olive oils work well with spices. Using less salt to flavour food is good, it will not overshadow the taste of individual spices.
Tips to Reduce Fat Content
- Say no to cream, rather use low-fat yogurt in curries
- Snack on unsalted nuts and avoid deep-fried pakoras and bhajias
- Eat fruits
- Use tofu instead of fatty paneer cheese
- Drink tea with semi-skimmed milk
- Consume a few green items at all mealtimes
Less Coconut Milk
Make your dish rich by using skimmed milk, cashew nut paste or poppy seed paste rather than regular coconut milk. Grill, boil, steam or bake instead of frying. Tandoori grilling is the best method of cooking as very little oil is used.
Replace plain flour with whole meal flour for chappatis or parathas and opt for brown basmati rice instead of white rice.
Use healthy legumes such as sprouted beans and lentils to make a substantial meal, using less meat for a lighter dish.
Coconut products such as creams and its milk do have health benefits; however the fat content is very high. It is best to use tomatoes and low-fat yogurt as substitutes for a healthier meal.
All changes in eating habits should be done gradually. Slow changes in the diet will reduce cravings for chocolates, cakes, sweets and kormas. Adopt good eating habits and an active lifestyle.
To conclude, for those eating out at restaurants and in need of advice for eating healthier authentic Indian food; choose tandoori dishes which have little sauce and are baked not fried. Baked food is always better for the heart. Any Indian restaurant will encourage you to have more unleavened flatbreads such as tandoori rotis to truly appreciate the taste of yummy curries.