[NEWSLETTER] Indian Cuisine Health Benefits + Myths
Spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, cayenne pepper, black peppercorns, cloves and saffron, and many others are used in powdered form or whole. The spices are used to intensify the flavor of the dish but each spice used in Indian cuisine has a number of health benefits such as some have anti-inflammatory properties, some spices reduce cholesterol and others help in lowering blood sugar. All kinds of vegetables such as eggplant and okra and fruits such as mango and pomegranates are also used in Indian cuisine. Lean sources of protein such as chicken and fish make up for a complete meal as well as there are lots of vegetables and fruits in the diet. Different types of fats are also used and both saturated fats like ghee and coconut oil as well unsaturated fats like peanut oil or vegetable oil are used. Indian Cuisine utilizes a number of ingredients to provide nourishment and healthful benefits to the body. Grains such as rice, wheat, millet, sorghum, etc. are used in grain form or made into batter form to create pancakes. It also abundantly uses lentils and beans such red lentils and beans like red kidney beans. These are good sources of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates reduce cholesterol and also help with blood sugar. Spices are used in abundance. A good number of dairy sources like cream, milk, yogurt, and paneer cheese are used in various dishes.
Like the Mediterranean diet, the Indian diet uses vegetables and fruits in their cuisine. So Indian cuisine is a medley of all different flavors which creates a symphony on the plate. Not only is it tasty but it helps you to feel good with your energy and health. It is mostly low calories with plenty of vegetables, dairy, and lean protein.
India is a diverse country with many different states and each of these states have their own cuisine, different set of spices and different tastes. Indian food has received a bad rap about being spicy. It is true that some Indian dishes are spicy but you can control the spices according to your taste. If you cannot tolerate spice just don’t add the chiles and the different mixtures (masala) to the dish.
Indian food can make you fat
Lots of Indian dishes are made with plenty of vegetables. Vegetables are low in calories. There are lots of lentil and bean dishes which have no oil or very little oil. It is a very healthy cuisine complete with carbohydrates, fat, and protein.
All Indian food has curry
When you talk about Indian food; curry is the first thing which people visualize. Yes, there are curries in Indian cuisine but it is way diverse and varied. The word curry originated in England. Indian cuisine hardly ever uses curry powder. Indian cuisine uses garam masala which is a blend of different spices and each garam masala blend has a different flavor.
Indian food is very hard to cook
Not true. Once you have a feel for the ingredients and know how to use them. Indian cooking uses a variety of ingredients and spices and it becomes easier to use them. Onion, garlic, and ginger are used as a base for many sauteed dishes.
Indian food is very spicy and hot
Not true. The Spiciness of the dish depends on the addition of chilis or cayenne pepper or black pepper. Sometimes ginger is used in copious amounts in the dish. If any of the above-mentioned ingredients are added in large amounts then the dish will become spicy. The spice can be controlled according to how much heat can be tolerated.
Naan is the only bread in India
Naan is not the only bread in India. Naan is a very popular bread in and outside India. There are a variety of breads such as Kulcha, Paratha, Stuffed Paratha, Dosa which is a fermented Pancake. Breads are also made with different grains such as Chickpeas, Millet, Sorghum, and Rice.
Indian food is high in calories
Indian food has a ton of variety. Unfortunately, the food which you find in restaurants has extra amount of cream and nuts.
English Cucumber 1
Green Chili 1 or 2 chopped finely
Greek Yogurt 2 cups
Garlic 1 clove
Mint 6 to 8 leaves
Sugar 1 teaspoon
Salt 1/2 teaspoon
Olive Oil 2 teaspoons
Method of Preparation: ------------------------------ 1. Peel the cucumber and cut into fine pieces. Chop the green chili and the garlic clove. 2. In a large bowl mix the yogurt, all the cut cucumber, chili garlic and mint, 3. Add salt, sugar and olive oil, give it a nice stir and serve cold or at room temperature.
Saffron is derived from the flower of Crocus Sativus a perennial plant. Saffron is said to originate in Greece or Iran. At present times saffron is used in India, Spain, Iran, and many European countries. Saffron is the most expensive spice. The price in retail ranges from $500 to $5000.
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