Therefore I thought it would be useful to write a post on healthy Indian dishes that you can make at home which will leave you feeling full, satisfied and help you get those flat abs.
Have you ever used the internet for advice on healthy eating? Do you google “healthy food” and find endless lists of tasty but unhealthy recipes? There are so many recipes online claiming to be healthy but they simply aren’t.
Healthy Indian Dishes
How to Order a Healthy Meal at an Indian Restaurant
Indian food is typically enjoyed family style with many dishes instead of three courses. A popular way to order is what is known as a “thali meal,” which is a sampling of small dishes from appetizers to desserts.
“There are typically three or four curries in a thali, plus yogurt, chutney, veggie crudités, roti, and rice,” says Madhu Gadia, RD, CDE, a registered dietitian based in Iowa and author of The Indian Vegan Kitchen. “I will ask what curries are included and if it is possible to change a creamy curry with another dish. If not, I will just have two bowls of the same non-creamy curry or extra salad.” Gadia says a thali meal may be too much food, but you can always pack up leftovers to take home and eat at another time.
Naan (tandoor-oven-baked flatbread) is often served with the meal, but as delicious as it tastes, it is typically made from refined flour so is best enjoyed in moderation. The same goes for samosas (deep-fried, potato-stuffed pastries) and pakoras (chickpea-battered and deep-fried onions or veggies).
In general, you’re best sticking with a vegetarian or bean-based dish with a tomato-based sauce instead of a creamy one. Here are some more good choices to order at an Indian restaurant:
Healthiest Dishes to Order at an Indian Restaurant
This unleavened flatbread (meaning it is made without yeast) is made from whole-wheat flour and commonly accompanies other dishes. Typically, you tear off a piece of roti and use that to pinch and scoop up any of the other foods at the meal. One piece has more than 3 grams (g) of protein and more than 4 g of fiber, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data. For that reason, roti is a better choice than white rice because it will help keep you full longer. Research has also found that fiber such as the kind found in whole-grain wheat is what is known as a prebiotic and can help promote beneficial bacteria in the gut, which may have all kinds of health benefits that science is still uncovering.
2. Chana Masala
This dish features chickpeas (“chana” in Hindu) stewed in a sauce made from onions, tomatoes, and spices (masala). Research shows that a diet high in legumes like chickpeas is associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and obesity, and eating chickpeas specifically has been shown to improve heart health. These effects may be due to the plant protein and fiber chickpeas contain, according to USDA data. This dish tastes great with a whole-wheat roti or fluffy basmati rice. You can also find chickpea-based cakes (dhokla) or rice and lentil cakes (idly) on many menus.
This is another bean-based dish, which means it has plenty of plant protein and fiber, per USDA data. And kidney beans (rajma) specifically contain tons of antioxidants, which help fight compounds called free radicals, which are associated with aging and disease. In fact, in one definitive ranking of foods with the most antioxidants, published in The Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, kidney beans came in third. Here, they are simmered in a spiced onion, ginger, and tomato sauce and classically served with basmati rice.
“Daal” is the generic Hindi term for both raw and cooked split lentils. Typically daal is made from cooked split lentils simmered with spices such as cumin seeds or mustard seeds, turmeric, and garam masala, and garnished with cilantro. It is often enjoyed with rice or roti. Like legumes, lentils are rich in plant protein, fiber, and prebiotic carbohydrates, and regularly including them in your diet has been associated with a reduced risk of diseases, including diabetes, certain cancers, and cardiovascular diseases, most likely due to bioactive compounds known as polyphenols, according to a November 2017 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
5. Baingan Bharta
This dish is made from oven-roasted eggplant that is peeled, mashed, and cooked with spices, garlic, and tomatoes. It pairs well with roti. Eggplants are naturally low in calories, high in fiber, antioxidants, polyphenols, and other nutrients. The nutrition profile makes this dish a good option for heart health and blood sugar management.
6. Aloo Gobi
This popular vegetarian dish features aloo (potatoes) and gobi (cauliflower) cooked with onions and seasoned with spices such as cumin seeds, turmeric, and chili. In addition to being a good source of fiber, cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, a group that has been well studied for its anticancer benefits, likely due to a compound called isothiocyanates, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. The generous addition of turmeric may have additional benefits, although more research is needed.
This yogurt sauce or dip is similar to tzatziki seasoned with spices and herbs. There are a variety of raitas, but one of the most common ones you would find at a restaurant is cucumber raita. It is a perfect, cooling, and refreshing accompaniment to a spicy meal. Yogurt provides protein, calcium, and potassium, according to USDA data, and is also a good source of probiotics, live cultures found in many fermented foods that may boost immunity and overall health, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Cucumber contains both vitamin C and caffeic acid, which may help with decreased swelling and water retention.
8. Tandoori Chicken
This dish, which features chicken marinated in yogurt and spices, then cooked in a clay oven called a tandoor, is a healthier alternative to the popular chicken tikka masala, a dish of cubed chicken served in a rich, creamy sauce. The yogurt adds extra protein without a lot of added calories from fat.
The Healthy Indian Dishes
Healthy Indian Dishes are perfect for a healthy lifestyle, whether you’re just trying to lose a few pounds or you suffer from an illness and want to change your diet.
The first words that come to mind when one thinks of Indian food are: Hot, spicy, oily, rich, fatty and creamy.
Indian food, though hugely popular, is highly misunderstood. In fact, Indian food includes an array of healthy spices, due to which the dishes are cooked in a multitude of ways that help retain their nutrients. Indian food includes carbohydrates, proteins, fats, all the elements to make a balanced diet.
Find out which Indian dishes will help you maintain your waistline, with our list of top 25 healthy Indian dishes
Despite the fact that, buttermilk suggests that it is high in fat; buttermilk generally holds no butter and is actually low in fat. Buttermilk made from low-fat milk contains approximately 100 calories and 2gms fat per cup.
This is a solid stew made with chickpeas, legumes, and a variety of spices. One serving includes approximately 50 calories, 2.6gms carbohydrates, 15.0gms protein, and 1.8gms fat.
It is marinated in yogurt and seasoned in tandoori masala, and a combination of various spices. One entire leg piece includes approximately 260 calories, 13.0gms fat, 5.0gms carbohydrates and 30.5gms protein.
Rajma is a North Indian dish made of red kidney beans in thick gravy with lots of spices and usually served with rice and roti. One serving of 114gms cup consists of approximately 120 calories and 5gms proteins.
Hara bhara kabab
The crispy hara bhara kabab is a vegetarian kabab, a recipe full of aromatic spices, healthy ingredients and an marvelous taste. Per serving includes approximately 73 calories and 2gms protein.
A dish made with beans. The nutritional content of one serving is approximately 53 calories, 1.2gms fat, 8.0gms carbs, and 2.8gms protein.
Bhindi ki subji
This simple dish tastes great with hot chapatis or parathas and there you’ve got a terrific vegetarian meal. Servings of 50gms consists of approximately 80 calories and 5gms protein.
Sol Kadhi is a pink coloured appetizer drink from made from the Kokum fruit and Coconut Milk. It’s also good for your stomach after a Hot and Spicy meal. One glass consists of 138 calories.
Chickpea and spinach curry
Lots of fresh spinach brings the green color to this chickpea dish, and curry livens up the flavor. This dish is full of fiber. Per serving consist of approximately 142 calories.
A raita is a simple preparation made by adding fruits, vegetables or any other thing to beaten curds. One serving includes approximately 60 calories.
Lobhia curry is a popular north-Indian dish, where the soaked and cooked black-eyed beans are boiled in tangy tomato gravy, with the right blend of spices. One serving of medium bowl consists of approximately 198 calories.
Palak-da-Saag is a very famous and healthy Punjabi recipe usually served with roti or naan. Per servings includes approximately126.2 calories and 6.3gms proteins.
Bulgur wheat/ daliya is very light and healthy option for breakfast. It is an excellent source of fiber that helps to maintain healthy digestive system. Whole wheat daliya consist of approximately 85 calories per 170gms servings.
Stuffed with mashed potatoes, mixed with finely chopped spinach or any leafy green vegetables. One serving of 142gms consists of almost 100 calories and 3gms proteins.
Sprouted moong bhaji is a quick, easy and healthy dish. The protein rich sprout is very health-friendly. Per serving of moong bhaji includes approximately 125 calories and 4gms fats.
A North Indian specialty of roasted brinjals, skinned and made into a simple and exotic preparation. Serving size of 100gms consists of approximately 102 calories and 5gms fat.
Red pumpkin bhaji
This dish tastes so good & is excellent with soft chappatis, phulkas or with any Indian bread. It goes well with rice too. One serving includes approximately 151 calories.
Kobi chi bhaji
This is a very famous dish in Maharashtrian meals, and can be cooked in a variety of ways by adding tomato or green peas. One serving consists of approximately 65 calories and 2.2gms protein.
Masala coated fish steamed in banana leaves. One serving consists of approximately 290.3 calories and 13.6gms total fat.
This delicious and popular Parsi dish is made with chicken. Dhansak is traditionally served with brown rice and kachumbar salad. Per serving includes approximately 505 calories.
Light and fluffy idli makes excellent breakfast food items. This popular South-Indian dish can be enjoyed with sambhar or chutney. Traditionally idlis are made of rice flour, but you can make it healthier by opting for ragi or oats flour. One piece of idli contains just 39 calories.
Rawa upma is another South-Indian delicacy that is widely enjoyed across the country. Made with semolina and seasonal vegetables, rawa upam is a healthy breakfast option. One serving of rawa upma contains just 200 calories.
Poha is made of pressed rice and is cooked with seasonal veggies and peanuts. It is light and super healthy. It is garnished with onion and coriander which add a distinct flavour to the dish. One serving of poha contains just 250 calories.
Dhokla is a light and fluffy, famous Gujarati dish. It’s sweet and savoury flavours makes it an excellent breakfast or snack option. It is rich in nutrients and extremely healthy. 100 g of dhokla contains only 160 calories.
Chilla is made of different ingredients like moong dal chilla or chana dal chilla. It is prepared in light oil and is packed with protein. One chana dal chilla contains 200 calories.