Articles on cuisine

Which Is Healthier, Rice or Chapati?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
No Indian meal is complete without rice or chapati or both. These staple elements of Indian cuisine are either a part of breakfast, lunch or dinner or all three.Of late, the growing fitness fad has raised questions on nutritional value of all the edibles, including rice and chapati.Let’s dissect the pros and cons to make your life choices easier and read more know which rice is best for losing weight?Both food items have similar carbohydrate levels and calorific value, but different nutritional value because chapati contains more proteins and fibres than rice.Rice is easier to digest because of its starch content, whereas roti digests slowly. However, due to slow digestion roti keeps you full for longer, which is a big plus for weight watchers.VitaminsBoth rice and chapati provide Folate, a water-soluble B-vitamin. Rice is a better source of Folate than chapati.MineralsEach serving of chapatis provides you with calcium, phosphorus, iron and potassium, whereas rice provides the same amount of iron but less phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Rice doesn’t contain any calcium.VerdictChapatis contain more fibre, protein, micronutrients and sodium. Rice doesn’t contain any sodium. If you are watching your sodium intake, then rice will be a better option.Whole wheat and multi-grain chapatis are the most preferred variants of chapatis, whereas brown rice is the most preferred.Read more to know about health benefits of brown rice. Both wheat and rice have a similar glycemic index, which means that they raise the blood sugar level to the same extent.Get more information on healthy blood sugar level.As long as you restrict the quantity, it does not matter what you eat. If 2 portions of cereals as 1 chapati and 1 small bowl of rice are consumed, it is definitely alright.So, don’t just avoid rice, simply watch the portion size

How to Eat Healthy Chinese Food

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Eating out is a fun and easy way to socialize with others and relax at the same time. Chinese food is one of the favorite cuisines because there are so many flavorful dishes. Although, many of the foods at Chinese restaurants are cooked with dark meats and a lot of oil, so they are loaded with calories, fat, sodium and even sugar. It's possible to eat healthy, yet still palatable foods while dining at a Chinese restaurant, provided that you know what keywords to look for on the menu.Different Steps of Choosing Healthy Chinese food:AppetizersSpring rolls are smaller than egg rolls and have a thinner wrapper. Usually, they are filled with vegetables and rice. Chinese soups are also low in calories. One serving of wonton, hot & sour or egg drop soup is a wise option to choose. Avoid the fried noodles that often come with these soups. Sprinkling them on top increases both the calorie and fat content.EntreesAvoid sweet and sour pork or chicken, fried dishes and crispy beef. Large portion sizes can turn a low-calorie meal into a calorie-laden feast. Try shrimp with lobster sauce, which is composed of shrimp in a light wine sauce with egg, mushrooms and scallionsVeggies"Buddha's Feast" is a vegetable side dish that comes either steamed or stir-fried. The steamed option is lower in calories and includes a variety of vegetables, such as snap peas, asparagus, black mushrooms, broccoli, baby corn and carrots.GeneralIn general, there are five traditional Chinese cuisines from five different regions in China. Cantonese is the cuisine of southeast China and, in general, is known for lighter fare. While not all Cantonese food items are low-calorie, many tend to be a better choice and include such options as lightly cooked meat and vegetable dishes. Dishes made with fish, other seafood or chicken and lots of vegetables are usually the best choices calorie-wise. Also look for key words on the menu that indicate healthier preparation methods, such as steamed, "Jum" which means poached and/or "Kow" which means roasted.Preparation:The preparation method helps determine whether a Chinese take-out dish is healthy. Your best bet is to choose something that is barbecued, broiled, poached, roasted or steamed. Menu terms to look for include chu, shu, jum and kow. Stir frying may be a good option if you choose vegetable dishes, but rice and noodle dishes absorb too much oil to be healthy when stir fried. Avoid dishes that are battered, breaded or fried.Considerations:Many Chinese take-out options are high in salt. Make your choices of healthy Chinese food by asking the chef to prepare them without soy sauce and MSG, and limiting the amount of extra sauces that you add to your meal. Servings are large, so share with a friend or pack at least half in a container to enjoy healthy Chinese food for a later meal. This will help keep you from eating excess calories in one meal.Recommendations:Ask that the chef use minimal oil and only half the sauce, or to prepare your take-out food in vegetable stock. Request extra vegetables, or order a side of steamed vegetables to mix in with your main dish in order to get healthy Chinese food. Then serve and eat your food with chopsticks to minimize the amount of sauce you eat and to help you eat your meal slowly so you eat less. Start your meal with soup or steamed appetizers instead of fried appetizers, and drink water or tea instead of soda.

Recipe – Make Unhealthy Samosas Healthy

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Samosas are the ultimate moral war in the unhealthy world of Indian snacks. They are irresistible, but so unhealthy. If only there could be healthy samosas, life for many would be easy. Read to know what makes samosas dangerous?Well, we have some good news - a recipe for you to make healthy samosas. We still haven’t found a place where you can get healthy samosas, but we can tell you how to make them healthier.The maida (refined flour) used for the crust acts inside your body the same way sugar would. It has a high glycemic index, so it spikes your blood sugar, and promotes fat storage.So, you know, even samosas are not sweet, they’re not good for diabetics. Then, the samosa is deep fried, so the outer crust absorbs all the oil and gets loaded with calories.To further drop its health quotient, the unhealthy samosa is stuffed with potatoes that are cooked in oil and fat!But worry not, make the following three swaps in the samosa recipe, and your samosas will be much healthier.Samosa RecipeStep 1- In the dough, instead of using only maida (refined flour), mix in equal amounts of atta (whole wheat flour). So, the samosa will still retain its flaky and crisp crust, but will have more fiber, protein and vitamins.Step 2- Instead of deep frying them, bake them in an oven. This saves all the calories and your heart from all that saturated fat and cholesterol.Step 3- Instead of the same potato stuffing, use other veggies like peas, carrot, cauliflower. You can even stuff them with any kind of cooked meat, and turn up their protein content.So, make these swaps in your samosa recipe, and load up on these samosas!

Recipe - Make Unhealthy Samosas Healthy

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Samosas are the ultimate moral war in the unhealthy world of Indian snacks. They are irresistible, but so unhealthy. If only there could be healthy samosas, life for many would be easy.Well, we have some good news- a recipe for you to make healthy samosas. We still haven’t found a place where you can get healthy samosas, but we can tell you how to make them healthier.The maida (refined flour) used for the crust acts inside your body the same way sugar would. It has a high glycemic index, so it spikes your blood sugar, and promotes fat storage. Read here for details. So, you know, even samosas are not sweet, they’re not good for diabetics.Then, the samosa is deep fried, so the outer crust absorbs all the oil and gets loaded with calories. To further drop its health quotient, the unhealthy samosa is stuffed with potatoes that are cooked in oil and fat!But worry not, make the following three swaps in the samosa recipe, and your samosas will be much healthier.- In the dough, instead of using only maida (refined flour), mix in equal amounts of atta (whole wheat flour). So, the samosa will still retain its flaky and crisp crust, but will have more fiber, protein and vitamins.- Instead of deep frying them, bake them in an oven. This saves all the calories and your heart from all that saturated fat and cholesterol.- Instead of the same potato stuffing, use other veggies like peas, carrot, cauliflower. You can even stuff them with any kind of cooked meat, and turn up their protein content.So, make these swaps in your samosa recipe, and load up on these samosas!

Why South Indians Swear by Curd Rice

Ms. Nisha Singh, Dietitian/Nutritionist
The fire-extinguisherFreshly made curd is loaded with good bacteria that help your body absorb more nutrients and aid digestion. Curd helps you digest spicy food without the burning sensation. No wonder you were given curd rice to eat whenever you had a stomach upset as a kid! The edible cosmeticCurd makes for the most delicious midnight snack or a diet breakfast. Treat it like an alternative to junk food and have it with fruits or cornflakes. Curd’s low calorie count keeps your metabolism healthy and keeps you feeling full for long. It also has anti-aging and slimming properties. Now isn’t that a double bonus?The Versatile HeroFresh curd is bland in taste making it the most versatile base for sweet or savoury dishes. So whether you are making paneer or cucumber raita, make sure you add a dollop of curd.Beat the heat this summer with sweet lassi or salty chaas!The Bone BuilderCurd has one of the largest quantities of calcium and vitamin D amongst vegetarian foods. So if you want to keep your bones strong even after you’re on the other side of thirty,having curd daily is a must.  The Coolest Side DishEver wondered why we Indians consume curd with fried or greasy food like aloo parathas, jalebis and murrukus? The reason behind this is that curd helps the body to clear the greasy food down your throat and reduces the effect of cholesterol-increasing foods on your body.Having curd however is not always beneficial for all*. If you have Asthma, or respiratory problems,you must avoid having chilled curd. If you have acidity issues then make sure the curd is fresh and not sour.Now does it surprise you to know why a typical South Indian meal is incomplete without ‘curd rice’? Keep in mind these hidden benefits and begin your journey towards fitness with that spoonful of creamy goodness!*Consult your dietician to know how much curd you can include in your diet based on your health.

Are Gulab Jamuns Healthy?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Gulab jamun is a milk-solid -based dessert, similar to a dumpling dipped in sugar solution. Like the laddu, it is amongst the most recognised sweets from India and is consumed in every corner of the country. Though the round shape and the name ‘gulab jamun’ is the most commonly used, it is made in different sizes and shapes and sold with different names in different regions of India. But the base ingredients and preparation is the same. It is made mainly from milk solids, freshly curdled milk. Gulab jamun is often served at weddings and festive occasions. How Healthy is Gulab Jamun ?A plate of 2 gulab jamuns has approximately 300 calories. It only provides saturated fat and sugar. It has absolutely no nutrition and benefit. Since it is cooked in sugar and even served in sugar syrup, it is a dangerous food for diabetics and will adversely affect any weight loss plan. It will spike your blood sugar levels, slow your metabolism, make you crave for even more unhealthy food, is packed with saturated fat, simple carbohydrates and empty calories. Try to eat as few as possible. Or even better, completely avoid them. Following are the ingredients which are used in preparation of this sweet:Refined flour (for dough)Sugar (for soaking)Oil (for frying)Milk Solids (for dough)Approximate Calorie contentCalories - 150 KcalFat - 8 gCholesterol - 10 mgSodium - 40 mgCarbohydrates - 16.5 gFiber - 0gProtein - 2 gAs you can see, it has absolutely nothing to offer in terms of nutrition and is nothing short of a junk food, leading to weight gain and blood sugar spikes.If you’re a gulab jamun fan, here are some tips to help you avoid them:• Drink plenty of water before heading to the dessert counter at weddings or parties, where gulab jamuns and other sugar heavy desserts are a common sight.• If you are being served dry fruits, choose the dry fruits over gulab jamuns and other unhealthy desserts.• Exercise regularly. Regular exercise will help control your cravings for gulab jamuns and other unhealthy foods.• Since gulab jamuns will be consumed post meal in most cases, try to eat a high fibre, balanced meal to minimise your post meal sweet cravings.