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Healthy Indian Cuisine: A Guide to Eating Well

Indian cuisine is known for its rich flavors and spices, but it is often associated with unhealthy eating habits. However, this is not entirely true. Indian cuisine can be healthy and nutritious if you know what to look for. In this article, we will guide you through the basics of healthy Indian cuisine and provide you with tips on how to eat well.

The Basics of Healthy Indian Cuisine

Indian cuisine is diverse and varies from region to region. However, there are some basic principles that apply to all types of Indian cuisine:

  • Use fresh ingredients: Indian cuisine relies heavily on fresh herbs, spices, and vegetables. Using fresh ingredients not only enhances the flavor but also provides essential nutrients.
  • Choose lean protein: Indian cuisine offers a variety of protein sources, including lentils and beans. Choose lean protein sources to reduce the intake of saturated fats.
  • Limit the use of oil: Indian cuisine uses a lot of oil in cooking. However, you can reduce the amount of oil by using non-stick cookware and measuring the oil before adding it to the dish.
  • Choose whole grains: Indian cuisine offers a variety of whole grains, including brown rice, quinoa, and millet. Whole grains are rich in fiber and essential nutrients.
  • Use spices wisely: Indian cuisine is known for its spices, which not only enhance the flavor but also provide health benefits. For example, turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, while cumin aids digestion.

Healthy Indian Dishes

Now that you know the basics of healthy Indian cuisine, let’s take a look at some healthy Indian dishes:

1. Dal

Dal is a lentil-based soup that is rich in protein and fiber. It is a staple in Indian cuisine and is often served with rice or bread. To make it healthier, use less oil and add more vegetables like spinach or kale.

2. Plant Based Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken is a popular Indian dish that is marinated in yogurt and spices and then grilled. It is a great source of lean protein and is low in fat. To make it healthier, use plant based chicken alternative (like jackfruit) and serve it with a side of vegetables.

3. Chana Masala

Chana masala is a chickpea-based dish that is rich in protein and fiber. It is often served with rice or bread. To make it healthier, use less oil and add more vegetables like tomatoes or bell peppers.

4. Vegetable Curry

Vegetable curry is a dish that is made with a variety of vegetables and spices. It is a great source of fiber and essential nutrients. To make it healthier, use less oil and add more vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower.

Healthy Indian Snacks

Indian cuisine offers a variety of healthy snacks that are perfect for a mid-day snack or a party. Here are some healthy Indian snacks:

1. Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas are a great source of protein and fiber. They are easy to make and can be seasoned with a variety of spices like cumin or paprika.

2. Masala Popcorn

Masala popcorn is a healthy and flavorful snack that is made with popcorn and a variety of spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric. (VNT recommends switching the popcorn out for popped lentils. See recipe in the snack section of our blog for instructions).

3. Vegetable Cutlets

Vegetable cutlets are a healthy and delicious snack that is made with a variety of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and peas. They are often served with a side of chutney.

Conclusion

Indian cuisine can be healthy and nutritious if you know what to look for. By choosing fresh ingredients, lean protein, whole grains, and using spices wisely, you can enjoy the rich flavors of Indian cuisine without compromising your health. Try some of the healthy Indian dishes and snacks mentioned in this article and enjoy the benefits of a healthy diet.