The pandemic has confined us to indoors, and like many of my family and friends who have taken to cooking something new every day and eating as a resort, I am guilty of it too. No offense here, for I believe in enjoying food, and my meal time. Indian cooking is truly magical. Right from the right ingredients to masking unwanted flavors it is a simple ritual, an elaborate festivity, a fond memory or a first cooking experiment!
Whether we eat to live or live to eat, maintaining a balance is very important. Food directly controls a lot of our lifestyle – from emotional well being and moods; it can bring us health and be medicine, can cause weight gain or weight loss. Which is why dieting is popular. With the rise of diet regimes like Paleo, Keto, Caveman, Atkins and many other diets even back home, it is easy to get confused. Those tiktok videos and pintrest boards make it look super easy, but personally I did not find it adaptive to Indian cooking. Hence this post!
Can we balance Indian meals at all?
Of Course! Indian meals by design are super balanced and cover all essential food groups. Look at our thali for instance. Be it the north Indian thali, or the South Indian rice version, it has the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats power packed with minerals and vitamins. Our mothers and grandmothers always insisted on cooking. Serving fresh, hot food and sneer upon processed packaged food even today! Home cooked meals are always simple, flavorful, lightly spiced as opposed to the popular opinion of the restaurant version of spicy Indian food.
The essential idea is to help you understand that you don’t have to put in Herculean efforts in Indian diet plans, because it is brilliant by design. We need to pay little attention to the way you make them, and plan it better and you are sorted!
Here are a few easy tips to pack nutrition into your everyday Indian meal:
The Indian meal guide:
Always choose seasonal, locally available ingredients. Imprint this in our mind – when the food is prepared with fresh ingredients we don’t need elaborate spices or procedures, and it will still taste as flavorful.
Make sure you cover all the food groups
Carbohydrates – rice, whole wheat or millet
Proteins – Eggs, lean meat, lentils
Fats – Most Indian oils are traditionally cold pressed and everyday cooking used them judiciously. Oils vary based on geography from cotton seed to mustard, from coconut to groundnut.
Vitamins and minerals – seasonal vegetables and fruits, with generous dairy products.
The Indian meal prep:
The cooking method or technique largely depends on the kind of fuel available. Since traditionally India used coal and gobar to fuel its cooking needs, the cooking techniques are boiling, blanching, stir-frying or seeping. Mind you, if pooris and kachoris or vadas and bajjis just popped in your mind. This post is about everyday cooking. Stick to simple cooking methods. Parboiled or steamed vegetables gently spiced are extremely flavorful when they are fresh.
Melons in summers, roots and crab dense vegetables in summer. Nature’s larder is a blessing. We always get what we want when we know how to look. We need more crabs to keep us warm in the winter months. Hence we have all the juice sweet potatoes, beet root and gajar, while we need our body to replenish all those lost fluids during harsh summers. So we have water filled gourds, melons – turai, bottle gourds, pumpkins and tinda flooding the market. Fresh seasonal fruits too give us our requisite vitamin and micro nutrient doses. A certified online nutritionist & fitness coach will guide you through meal plans that go with your work out regime
Explore millet options:
Indian cooking used to be very informal and made use of whatever was available. Remember your grandmother cooking with whatever was available, unlike us where we decide what to cook, make a shopping list and then cook. Don’t be afraid to explore. For instance rice and wheat are staples today, but millets are widely used in a lot of rural households. They are an acquired but extremely healthy taste. Replace the rice in your idly batter with barnyard millet, or the sooji in your upma with little millet. Or sample some good old ragi-sankati (finger millet porridge) with some curry. A true culinary adventure and extremely nutritious.
Millet’s are an amazing way to add roughage, complex carbs and fiber to your meal. Indian cooking is extremely flexible and fun. A certified nutritionist at Trina Roy will guide you through meal plans that go with your work out regime, body composition, body type, age and fitness goal. Our team of certified experts will help you choose from the best sustainable diet plans online. Our happy clientele base is growing by the day, and we are happy to be a part of everyone’s transformation journey.