Spring is here and it’s the perfect time to lighten up our meal choices. Heavy, stodgy comfort food is no longer necessary now that the days are getting longer and lighter. Everyone has a little more energy – suddenly, it’s a much more appealing option to get out and about in the evening and pay a visit to one of London’s best Indian fine dining brasseries, rather than stay at home, cuddled up with a curry from our favourite takeaway.
However, is it really possible to enjoy delicious Indian cuisine and stick to a healthy, energising diet? When it comes to Indian food, there are certainly a good many recipes that make excellent winter warmers, rich in buttery ghee and cream – but they are certainly not the only options available on the Indian menu. In fact, it is perfectly possible to enjoy this delectable cuisine whilst giving your body the healthy fuel it needs to put a little spring in your step.
The savvy Indian food fan will find that, if they peruse the choices on offer, a few, simple food swaps can make all the difference to your energy levels and your waistline. With the variety of delicious dishes on the table and the exotic assortment of aromatic spices used to flavour the food, there are plenty of options to choose from…
- Pick Papadums as an Appetiser
Swap your deep-fried samosas and bhajjis for light and crispy papdums. These delicious, crunchy crackers are made with gram flour and provide a tantalising taste explosion when teamed with a variety of fresh chutneys and pickles. Plus they are fun to break up and share, turning your meal into a much more social experience.
- Take the Tandoori Option
Carnivores take heed – many curries based on red meat have high levels of saturated fat. Couple that with a curry sauce heavy on the ghee or cream and you can expect to spend the next few hours in a food coma, as your body struggles to digest your meal. However, if you feel strongly that meat must be on the menu, look no further than the classic tandoori dish. Baked in a clay oven and marinated in yoghurt, these dishes tend to be lean and served up with plenty of crunchy salad.
- Choose your Bread Wisely
Bread has endured a terrible reputation over the years in the field of nutrition, particularly due to the craze for the Atkins diet where low levels of carbohydrate are preferred to kick bodies into ketosis and losing weight. However, carbohydrates are an essential part of a balanced diet. Choose either bread or rice to accompany your meal to prevent over-filling yourself, and if you can’t live without a portion of warm, Indian flatbread, choose a whole-wheat roti, packed with fibre, rather than a thick hunk of white naan.
- Vegetarian Dishes are King
As a vast proportion of India follow a vegetarian diet for religious reasons, you can count on Indian cuisine to bring a variety of flavour some veggie dishes to the table. Lentils and chickpeas are high in fibre and protein so will fuel you up and fill you up, keeping you satisfied for longer.