Categories: Healthy Eating

Love Indian Food? Here’s 3 Healthy Indian Recipes You Must Try!

Indian food doesn’t need to be unhealthy

When people think about Indian food, I’m guessing they tend to immediately think ‘Unhealthy’. Whether it’s palak paneer or stuffed aloo parantha, this cuisine is famous for being extremely delicious yet quite unhealthy at the same time. I’m keen to change this misconception, so here’s 3 healthy indian recipes that can help prove that theory wrong.

The diversity of Indian Food

Like me, many people are die-hard fans of this cuisine due to its exotic Indian spices . Each spice being different from the other in numerous ways.

Having a diverse culture, India is blessed with extreme taste variations in food, which I believe cannot be compared to any other country in the world.

However, in this modern world, people want to eat healthy and organic food in order to avoid health issues and Indian food tends to be something they then avoid or eat less of.

The traditional ways of preparing Indian food is not only something to behold and one of the main reasons I love and admire Indian food so much, it is also the biggest factor when it comes to ensuring the Indian food you eat is healthy.

Good news

Well, I have good news for all those who are health-conscious and love Indian cuisine….

To turn Indian recipes into a healthy dish, you only need to make a few small tweaks to the recipe.

Tips on how to make Indian recipes healthier

So, here are few quick tips on how to make every Indian dish a healthier one:

  1. Even the famous Indian restaurants do this. This cuisine is often misunderstood, thinking all it requires is a lot of butter. But, that’s not the case. Traditional dishes were made of vegetable oils, a much healthier alternative.
  2. When using tomatoes, cook in a pan for 20-30 minutes on a low flame. This lowers the acidity, so there is no need to add sugar.
  3. Garlic and ginger are used in most dishes, so make a paste and keep them frozen. This is a quick, easy and healthy way to use them.
  4. Bake samosas instead of deep-frying them.

So what makes Indian food so irresistible?

Made with rich sauces and traditional ingredients, Indian cuisine is made with such strong, unique flavours it offers a very diverse, delicious taste. I make Indian dishes in a very traditional & healthy manner meaning I can enjoy the food I love without having a guilty conscience.

Strangely it’s the mismatch of flavours that ends up being one of Indian foods biggest strengths. Some of the ingredients used are so varied and different it’s hard not to be pretty shocked when you know the extreme combinations. They should not work together BUT just do!

A need for healthy eating

Pace of life, growing stress issues and obesity are making it vitally important to eat a healthy diet. Whilst people know this fact, they do not tend to know the best food items that can help them achieve this goal.

A healthy diet should include consumption of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, heart-healthy fats, high quality proteins and water.

The nutrients included in food are essential for the support of day-to-day activities. It protects the cells from the environment and even repairs them.

Protein rebuilds injured tissue and promotes a strong immune system, whereas, fats fuel the body.

Vitamins and minerals function throughout the body to support the bodies processes.

In addition to this, calcium and phosphorous are essential to strengthen the body.

A healthy diet will offer all these. For example adding Turmeric into your diet can be a fantastic way to get natural pain relief.

So lets take at look at 3 scrummy healthy indian recipes that help you gain many of the above….

3 fantastically delicious and healthy Indian recipes

Some Indian dishes, tweaked to maximise health benefits:

1. Indian-Spiced Eggplant & Cauliflower Stew

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of curry powder, 1 teaspoon of gram masala, 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds, 2 tablespoons of canola oil, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1 large onion (sliced), 1 teaspoon of grated ginger, 1 15-ounce of chickpeas (can), ¾ teaspoon salt, 15-ounces of diced tomato, 1 1-pound eggplant, (cut into big chunks), 3 cups of cauliflower florets. ½ cup of water (mineral is best)

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven over medium heat.
  2. Add garam masala, mustard seeds, curry powder and toast,
  3. Stir them all until the spice turns dark. Transfer all of this to a bowl.
  4. Add garlic ginger, oil, and salt to the pot and then cook until it softens. Around 3-4 minutes should do it.
  5. Stir in eggplant, tomatoes, chickpeas, cauliflower, water and the spices.
  6. Keep it simmering.
  7. Stir occasionally until the vegetables are tender (takes 15-20 minutes).
  8. Serve with a dollop of yogurt.

When it comes to healthy indian recipes this one is one of the most simple, yet tasty to make.

2. Lemon Rice – Healthy & Tasty  

Ingredients:

¼ cup of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of canola oil or grape seed oil, ¾ teaspoon of kosher salt, 2 cloves of garlic (sliced), ½ teaspoon of black mustard seeds, 1/3 cup cashew or peanuts, ¼  tablespoon of ground turmeric, ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds, 1 small serrano or green Thai chilli, 3 cups of cooked brown basmati rice.

Directions:

  1. Combine the salt and lemon juice in a bowl until dissolved perfectly.
  2. Heat oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat.
  3. Add a few mustard seeds when these pop and sizzle , reduce the flame to medium, quickly add the chilli pepper, cumin seeds, garlic, nuts, cumin seeds, and curry leaves.
  4. After this, cover the pan as needed. Stir and cook until nuts turn brown for say 2-4 minutes.
  5. Remove it from heat and stir in turmeric, lemon juice and rice. Enjoy!

3. Tandoori TofuIndian Grilled Tofu

Ingredients:

½ teaspoon of ground coriander, ½ teaspoon of ground cumin, 1 teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric, 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons of paprika, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, 2/3 of a cup of nonfat yogurt, 2 14 ounce packs of extra-firm Tofu, 6 tablespoons of sliced scallions, fresh cilantro for garnishing.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the grill at medium temperature.
  2. Put paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, coriander, cumin and turmeric in a bowl.
  3. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat and then add lemon juice, garlic and the spice mixture. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Cut tofu into 6 pieces; pat dry.
  5. Use about 3 tablespoons of the spiced oil to brush both sides of the tofu.
  6. Sprinkle remaining ½ of the salt over them.
  7. Oil the grill rack. Grill the tofu for at least 3-4 minutes per side.
  8. Combine the left over spiced oil in a small bowl along with the yogurt.
  9. Serve the grilled tofu with the yogurt sauce.
  10. Serve hot and enjoy.

Enjoy the taste of authentic indian dishes from the comfort of your own home!

Onions play a huge part

Onions are used in most Indian dishes, however, not many people know about its huge health benefits and how to best preserve it.

Onions are rich in flavours and are high in antioxidants, such as flavonols (builds cellular antioxidant level), quercetin (lowers blood pressure), and diallyl sulfide (a compound that is responsible for promoting a healthy heart and strong immunity level).

Onion also offers Vitamin C which is very important for health. Healthy indian recipes must have onion in!

How to choose the best onions?

Buy onions that are firm and do not include cuts, sprouting or bruises. The skin of the onion should be strong and shiny, it must also be tightly closed to the neck.

The smell of an unclosed onion should be mild, as strong odours indicate spoilage.

Storing your onions

Onions need to be stored in a cool, dry place and most importantly, well-ventilated. However, most important is that onions must be kept away from sunlight as it makes the onions bitter.

Moisture rots onions, so avoid damp places.

It is not advisable to keep the onions in the refrigerator as the lack of air circulation can spoil onions.

Indian food does not have to be unhealthy

Hopefully by now I have convinced you how healthy Indian can be with the right ingredients and by using more traditional cooking techniques.

And if you have never tried Indian food, you’re missing out! Every dish has something unique about it and it will be a new taste sensation!

Why not start by trying something at an Indian buffet restaurant, explore this cuisine and find the dishes you love the most. If not every dish, I’m sure you will find something you love.

Healthy Indian recipes come in all shapes and sizes and I have only just touched the surface with these 3 ideas.

Let Us Know

What healthy Indian recipes do you know and love? Please let us know in the comments below….

Calm Happy Healthy

We exist to do all we can to help make life a richer, more inspiring and enjoyable experience, for you our reader. By aiming to help you realise that you have the power and ability to change what needs to be changed to improve your health, state of mind, diet, energy levels, reduce stress and do your bit to help look after the environment. Live a Calmer, Happier and Healthier life.

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