So you want to start eating healthy? And obviously you’ve scoured high and low ( a Google search) for some ways to make eating at home healthy. Since Google doesn’t seem to care much about Indian eating habits, you get results where you end up clicking through slideshows of apple and peanut butter slices and some cereals you’ve never heard of. Of course, greek yoghurt is bound to be in there somewhere. Which is fine, really, you could eat those things. Except you will probably have to immgrate to the place or atleast start earning in their currency to afford those things in India. We put together a list of things you can do to make everyday meals healthier – Indian style. These are small tweaks that can make big changes.
Don’t curry, be happy
A good Indian meal isn’t complete till the last of the curry hasn’t been mopped up with a paratha. While curries are yum, they can also pack in a lot of calories, thanks to the copious amounts of cream and butter.
Instead of skipping on the cream altogether which will also make family members skip the meal, add hung curd. Hung curd offers a similar consistency without the whopping calories cream comes with. Remember to bring the curry to a nice boil, add the curd and not heat it on a high flame, the curd could end up separating.
Bhel me out
Bhel is a lovable street snack that is kind of irresistible. I mean, it’s crunchy and sweet and tangy and just, what’s not lovable about it. But a bhel comes loaded with potatoes, sev, puri and chutneys that can ruin your healthy eating plan. Worry not, there’s ways to have this without the generous sprinkling of guilt.
Replace: Potatoes, sev and puris
Yes, yes, I know you love all of these. But I promise, you won’t even know they are gone. Replace the potatoes with sprouts, throw in moong, chana, whatever catches your fancy, they do taste yum. You can even mash kidney beans and throw them in. Simply skip the sev, it’s bad and add in some cornflakes at the end for an added crunch. It works. Trust me.
Hands up if you like sandwiches. And that’s almost everyone. Sandwiches can be healthy or they can be a Subway sandwich. Yes, you have no idea how many calories you are throwing in with that cheese and mayo add those bunch of extras. The Bombay Sandwich is only marginally better topped with dollops of butter.
The obvious thing to do is replace white bread with brown bread. But there’s more. If you want to skip the bread completely, replace it with homemade parathas. Throw in the same ingredients and make a roll or stack up the veggies, chutney and cheese on parathas and let them gently cook on the tava. Badly kneaded this info, didn’t you?
Let’s admit it, you haven’t tasted north Indian food till you’ve tucked into an aloo paratha. And if you come to Mumbai and don’t taste the vada pav, well, go back. The delicately spiced potatoes with fried flour and the melting butter warm the cockles of your heart but also create clots in it.
Okay, I am not even going to say don’t fry it, bake it because, duh. But if you want to make the heart cloggers even healthier, replace some part of the potatoes with paneer or cottage cheese. Mash the potatoes and paneer together for the filling and spice it like you would and nobody is going to be any wiser.
Make every meal a fine dining experience. Okay, it may not exactly fine dining with the maid threatening to leave quickly and the plates being 4 different colours, but you can have a 3 course meal. Here’s where you bring in the health and dump the fried ruiners –of –health.
Replace: Fried starters
Start every meal with a huge spoonful of raita or veggies like carrots in every plate.You can serve carrot and cucumber sticks with hung curd to start the meal. Once everyone is a little less hungry, bring out the mains. If the mains are anything, say , like ragda patties, top them off with more veggies instead of just the onions. This way, everyone ends up eating more healthy and less fried food.
All images have been taken from Pinterest.