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Indian Food Choices: Navigating the Menu Options

Indian cuisine is all about rich flavours, diverse spices, and vibrant colours. However, looking at the menu and choosing the right meal can sometimes be overwhelming. This happens especially when you are looking for healthier choices.

In this blog, we’ll explore various categories of healthy Indian food options, including vegetarian, low-fat, and overall healthiest options, mainly focusing on restaurant selections.

Healthy Indian Food Options at a Restaurant:

1. Salads:

Many Indian restaurants offer salads with fresh vegetables, fruits, and nuts. These salads are light, refreshing, and nutritious, making them an excellent choice for a healthy starter or side dish. Here are some salad options:

  1. Sprouted Moong Salad
  2. Kachumber Salad
  3. Fruit Chaat
  4. Cabbage and Carrot Salad
  5. Chickpea Salad (Chana Chaat)
  6. Sprouted Lentil Salad
  7. Spinach and Walnut Salad
  8. Pomegranate and Mint Salad
  9. Mixed Sprout Salad
  10. Raw Papaya Salad

2. Tandoori Roti or Naan:

Next time you order some tandoori roti or naan, go for the whole wheat version. It’s a healthier pick compared to the regular white flour one. Plus, whole wheat packs in more fibre and nutrients, so you’re not just enjoying a tasty meal but also giving your body some extra goodness.

3. Grilled Seafood:

One of the healthiest Indian food options in restaurants is grilled seafood. Seafood dishes are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit heart health. You can prefer grilled over fried option and try:

  1. Grilled Shrimp Tikkas
  2. Grilled Fish Masala
  3. Tandoori Prawns
  4. Grilled Lobster Tails
  5. Grilled Salmon with Mustard Sauce
  6. Spicy Grilled Squid

Smart Ordering: Healthy Tips

  1. Ask for Less Oil: When ordering food, request your dishes to be cooked with less oil or ghee (clarified butter) to reduce the overall fat content.
  2. Choose Lighter Preparations: Opt for steamed, grilled, or baked dishes instead of fried options. This helps cut down on excess calories and unhealthy fats.
  3. Customise Your Order: Many restaurants are willing to accommodate dietary preferences and restrictions. Don’t hesitate to ask for substitutions or adjustments to make your meal healthier.

Healthy Indian Food Options In Daily Routine:

1. Incorporate Whole Grains:

If you want to boost your meals with some healthy grains, think about brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread (roti)! These grains aren’t just tasty; they’re packed with nutrients and fibre, which can help keep your digestion on track and your energy levels up throughout the day. Here’s how you can add them to your diet:

  1. Brown Rice Pulao
  2. Quinoa Upma
  3. Whole Wheat Roti
  4. Multigrain Dosa
  5. Whole Wheat Pasta

2. Lean Protein Sources:

You can choose dishes with lean protein sources, such as grilled chicken, fish, lentils (dal), or chickpeas (chana). These proteins are great for muscle repair and overall bodily function without excess saturated fats. Here are some tasty dishes featuring lean protein sources that you can enjoy:

  1. Grilled Chicken
  2. Baked Fish
  3. Lentil Soup (Dal)
  4. Chickpea Curry (Chana Masala)

3. Load up on Vegetables:

Indian cuisine offers a variety of veggie-packed dishes full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can customise your veggies like spinach, eggplant, and okra to suit your taste. Here are some options to try:

  1. Palak Paneer
  2. Baingan bharta
  3. Bhindi masala
  4. Tandoori Vegetables

Wholesome Indian Food Vegetarian Options:

1. Paneer (Cottage Cheese):

Paneer dishes are popular for vegetarians and are power-packed with protein and calcium. You can try these dishes for a satisfying and nutritious meal:

  1. Palak Paneer
  2. Paneer Bhurji
  3. Paneer Butter Masala
  4. Shahi Paneer
  5. Kadai Paneer

2. Vegetable Curries:

For a healthy diet plan, you can explore the variety of vegetable curries available in Indian cuisines, such as sambhar, avial, vegetable upma, etc. You can learn the recipes from YouTube or order a healthy and delicious meal online.

3. Dals (Lentils):

Dals are a staple in Indian cuisine and offer many options. Packed with protein, fibre, and essential minerals, they’re a top-notch option for vegetarians, offering a nourishing boost to your diet. Some flavourful Indian daal dishes that you can try are:

1. Dal Tadka

2. Dal Makhani

3. Chana Dal

4. Masoor Dal

5. Toor Dal

6. Moong Dal

The Best Low-Fat Indian Food Options:

1. Tandoori Dishes:

If you crave that irresistible smoky flavour but want to keep up with your healthy diet, tandoori dishes are your go-to! Treat yourself to Indian classics marinated in an irresistible blend of yoghurt and spices, then expertly grilled. Here are some must-try Indian tandoori delights:

  1. Tandoori Chicken
  2. Fish Tikka
  3. Tandoori Paneer (Cottage Cheese)
  4. Tandoori Shrimp
  5. Tandoori Momos (dumplings)
  6. Tandoori Mushrooms

2. Clear Soups:

One more healthy, low-fat option to start your meal is having a clear soup like dal shorba or tomato shorba. These soups are low in fat and calories but still bursting with flavour, helping you feel satisfied without overeating.

3. Steamed or Grilled Options:

When you are scanning the menu, keep an eye out for dishes labelled as steamed or grilled. Steaming and grilling help reduce the amount of added fats and retain the delicious flavours of the ingredients. You can have:

  1. Steamed Idlis (Rice Cakes)
  2. Grilled Fish
  3. Tandoori Chicken
  4. Steamed Vegetables
  5. Grilled Paneer (Cottage Cheese)
  6. Tandoori Vegetables
  7. Steamed Lentil Dumplings (Dal Dhokli)
  8. Grilled Shrimp
  9. Tandoori Roti (Whole Wheat Bread)
  10. Steamed Spinach (Palak)

Conclusion:

So, the next time you are looking at an Indian restaurant’s menu looking for healthy options, consider our wholesome and flavorful suggestions. With diverse ingredients and spices, there’s something for everyone’s taste and dietary needs in Indian cuisine.

This blog offers a comprehensive dining experience, blending comforting classics with adventurous new dishes while emphasising mindful choices for a nutritious meal. So, go ahead with your culinary journey, savour the rich flavours, and enjoy every bite!

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