Posted on: 29 December 2015Share
It can be difficult to fit takeaways and restaurant visits into your healthy eating plan. One cuisine in particular that you may have considered scrapping is Indian. Thinking of Indian food often conjures up visions of rich, creamy, oily dishes--full of flavour, but also full of calories and fat. Thankfully for your taste buds, this misconception is just that - a misconception. While there are some Indian dishes that lean on the more unhealthy side, most Indian restaurants, such as the Royal India Restaurant, serve plenty of balanced meals. Here are the top 3 healthy Indian foods for you to try this year.
Find it in: Saag Aloo, Saag Paneer, Saag Gosht
If you've ever seen the old cartoon Popeye, you'll remember the titular character chugging canned spinach to boost his strength. Unsurprisingly, there's plenty of truth behind the show's portrayal of this leafy green. Notably rich in iron and vitamins, spinach promotes energy production and healthy circulation – all for just 23 calories per 100 grams. The Hindi word for dishes containing such leafy greens is saag – look out for tasty saag aloo (spinach and potatoes), saag paneer (spinach and cheese) or saag gosht (spinach and meat) on the menu.
Find them in: Chana Masala, Chana Dhal Soup
At a cool 3g fat per 100 grams, chickpeas are the perfect low-fat, filling legume. High in protein, fibre and minerals, chickpeas can improve your bone strength, digestion and heart health. Translating to chana in Hindi, chickpeas frequently feature in Indian cuisine. Sample Chana Dhal Soup (made from dhal – split chickpeas) as a starter, or try a main course of Chana Masala (a dry, citrusy curry dish).
Find it in: Raita, Lassi
The calorie and fat content of yogurt vary depending on whether it is low- or full-fat, but all types of yogurt have additional nutritional value. This dairy ingredient provides a healthy dose of animal protein and calcium, as well as "good" probiotic bacteria. Its health benefits include promoting healthy bones strength and blood pressure, and it may even help you feel less hungry. Yogurt (known as dahi in Hindi) can be requested as an accompaniment to spicy curries, helping to quell some of the fiery heat. However, it also features as a main ingredient in two popular Indian sides. Lassi, a Punjabi drink made with yogurt, spices and sometimes fruit, is a delicious complement to any meal. Try the traditional flavour of salted lassi or the sweet flavour of mango lassi. Raita, another yogurt-based side, combines the ingredient with cooked or raw vegetables. If you're ordering a flatbread with chutney, raita makes the ideal addition.