Simple Tips That Make Indian Snacks The Healthiest Choice
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From spice infused curries to addictive street food, our favourite Indian recipes and delicacies are full of rich flavours and traditional regional spices. However, a lot of times the first words that come to our mind when we think of Indian food or snacks are: hot, spicy, oily, rich, and even creamy.

Consumers today, are trending towards health-conscious eating and have started looking for food options and recipes that are both healthy and tasty. With the different ways and styles of cooking, and emphasis being on healthy eating, here are a couple of tips that you can incorporate into daily cooking to prepare healthy food for your family, to ensure they consume the healthiest and tastiest foods.

Sauté vs Deep Fry

Sauteing food ingredients involves cooking food in a small amount of fat (oil) over high heat. Deep frying food is a cooking method in which food is submerged in hot fat/oil.

Sauteing instead of deep frying ensures that the ingredient is cooked either in its own fat, or minimal oil which is poured over it just to ensure that the food does not get burnt. Sauteing also ensures that the ingredient remains as flavourful as possible.

Here are some snack recipes that replace deep frying with sauteing:

Almond and Raw Banana Galawat

Serves: 12 patties, 25 g each

Preparation time: 7- 8 minutes

Cooking time: 18 - 20 minutes

Ingredients:

• Almond slivers (peeled) - 80 g

• Boiled raw banana - 150 g

• Almond paste - 25 g

• Cooking cream - 20 ml

• Refined oil - 15 ml

• Mace powder - 2 g

• Cardamom powder - 2 g

• Ginger garlic paste - 20 g

• Garam masala powder - 5 g

• Red chilli powder - 3 g

• Salt - to taste

• Tempura batter - 50 g

Method:

• Finely grate the boiled raw banana. Heat oil in a kadhai and add ginger garlic paste and saute it well to a light brown colour. Then, add the garam masala, red chilli powder and sauté. Then add almond paste, saute for a minute.

• Add the grated raw banana and cook it till the mixture leaves the sides of the kadhai. Adjust the seasoning and finish it with mace powder and cardamom powder. Cool the mixture and divide them into small equal dumplings. Give them a patty shape, coat with tempura batter and crumb with almond slivers.

• Grill the patties on a non-stick pan till golden. Serve hot.

Nutrient Analysis

Calories 1240 Protein 29 g

Total fat 85 g Saturated 8.6 g

Monounsaturated 36 g Polyunsaturated 22.6 g

Carbohydrates 94 g Fibre 2.7 g

Cholesterol 9 mg Sodium 16 mg

Calcium 332 mg Magnesium 330 mg

Potassium 1418 mg Vitamin E 27.5 mg

Chattpate Aloo

Ingredients:

• 3 cups potatoes boiled peeled and cubed in byte size

• 4 tablespoons oil, I like canola oil

• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, jeera

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 2 tablespoons green chili finely chopped, adjust to your taste

• 1/4 teaspoon chili flake

• 1 teaspoon finely shredded ginger

• 2 tablespoons tamarind paste (do not use concentrated Tamarind)

• 1/4 teaspoon sugar

• 1/4 cup cilantro chopped

• 2-3 tablespoons water

Method:

• Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Oil is the right temperature when cumin seeds crack immediately after being put in the pan.

• Add cumin seeds after seeds crack add potatoes and sprinkle the salt over potatoes.

• Saute until potatoes are light golden brown this should take about 6-7 minutes. Add ginger, green chilies and chili flakes. Stir for about a minute.

• Add tamarind paste, and sugar mix it well. Add water as needed about 2-3 tablespoons. Potatoes should be moist.

• Turn off the heat and add cilantro. Mix it well and serve chatpata aloo hot.

These snack recipes show how incorporating sautéing instead of deep frying, ensures that the food is still as tasty but healthier. These methods can be incorporated into preparing healthy food for kids.

Baked vs Fried

One of the best ways to lower fat consumption is to switch from fried foods to baked foods. Baking requires little or no oil. Instead of relying on fat to impart flavor, use marinades and herbs to spice up your meal. Simply topping baked chicken breast with lemon juice and black pepper, or marinading meats in a mixture of olive oil, garlic and rosemary before baking makes for a flavorful main course.

Here are a few recipe options that will help you achieve the same results with baking, as deep frying, but only healthier:

Baked Almond Kofta

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients for Kofta:

• Potato, boiled and mashed - 2 cups

• Nutmeg - A pinch

• Milk - 2 tbsp

• Almonds crushed –3/4 cup

• Green onions, chopped –1/2 cup

• Refined flour - 1 tbsp

• Egg – 1 no

• Salt –3/4tsp

• Pepper –1/2tsp

Ingredients for Crumbing:

• Eggs – 2 no

• Refined flour - for rolling

• Dry breadcrumbs - for rolling

Method:

• Place the mashed potato in a bowl and add almonds, salt, pepper, nutmeg, milk, green onions, flour, and 2 eggs. Mix them well and refrigerate for 15 minutes.Now roll them into equal-sized koftas.

• Place flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs separately in different plates. Cover each kofta with flour and dunk them in beaten eggs. After which give them a good roll in the breadcrumbs.

• Preheat an oven to 200c and bake the koftas till golden brown. Serve hot.

Nutrient Analysis

Calories 1152 Protein 48.84 g

Total fat 67.82 g Saturated 9.058 g

Monounsaturated 38.966 g Polyunsaturated 16.022 g

Carbohydrates 97.83 g Fibre 22.2 g

Cholesterol 392 mg Sodium 1966 mg

Calcium 460 mg Magnesium 392 mg

Potassium 2421 mg Vitamin E 28.96 mg

Roasted Almond dip with Baked Namakpara

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients for Almond Dip:

• Almonds roasted & crushed –1/2 cup

• Tomato chopped - 1 cup

• Garlic cloves – 2 no

• Sprig Basil – 1 no

• Lemon –1/2 no

• Salt –1/2tsp

• Pepper –1/2tsp

Ingredients for Namak Para:

• Refined flour - 250 g

• Sugar - 10 g

• Salt - 1 tsp

• Olive oil - 20 ml

• Water – 150 ml

Method for the dip:

• For the dip place the tomatoes in a bowl. Crush and then chop the garlic, add to the tomatoes. Finely chop the basil sprig and add to tomatoes with rest of the ingredients. Refrigerate for a while.

Method for the Namak Para:

• Prepare dough with the above ingredients. Give it a rest for 10 minutes. Now roll out very thin sheet and bake it in a pre-heated oven at 200c for 10-12 minutes.

• Remove and break into pieces. Serve with the almond dip.

Nutrient Analysis

Calories 1590 Protein 43.598 g

Total fat 58.88 g Saturated 5.975 g

Monounsaturated 37.609 g Polyunsaturated 12.16 g

Carbohydrates 227.2 g Fibre 18.3 g

Cholesterol 0 mg Sodium 1237 mg

Calcium 267 mg Magnesium 269 mg

Potassium 1213 mg Vitamin E 21.46 mg

Raw vs Boiled

Have you ever given raw ingredients (Fruits and vegetables) a thought, in order to maximize their nutritional content? Certain produce is considered to be at its nutrient best when uncooked, while others need heat to bring out the best in them.

Here are a few recipes that will give an insight into how one can serve uncooked vegetables and fruits, in a deliciously healthy way:

Almond, oranges and Roast Pumpkin salad

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 50 minutes

Cooking time: no cooking time

Ingredients:

• Pumpkin – 50 g

• Fresh Orange – 50 g

• Mixed Lettuce – 200 g

• Almond Flakes – 50 g

• Olive oil – 25 g

• Honey – 10 g

• Mustard – 10 g

• Almond paste – 20 g

• Balsamic vinegar – 20 ml

• Almond slivers toasted – 30 g

Method:

• Cut Pumpkin into wedges and marinate it with honey, rosemary and roast it for 30-35 minutes or until cooked at 180 C.Peel fresh orange and cut into wedges. Then, in a bowl, add olive oil, honey, salt and almond paste, and balsamic. Blend it and keep it aside.

• In a bowl mix all the ingredients, including lettuce, roasted pumpkin, then add dressing and plate it. Sprinkle with toasted almond slivers.

Nutrient Analysis

Calories 853 Protein 24.3 g

Total fat 70.7 g Saturated 6.9 g

Monounsaturated 48.9 g Polyunsaturated 14 g

Carbohydrates 39.7 g Fibre 10.4 g

Cholesterol 0 mg Sodium 121 mg

Calcium 356.2 mg Magnesium 324.9 mg

Potassium 817.8 mg Vitamin E 28.6 mg

Apple Sticks

Ingredients:

• 1 cup apple sticks

• 1/2 tsp lemon juice

• salt to taste

• ½ tsp chaat masala

Method:

• Slice whole apple into sticks (leave the skin on)

• Combine all the ingredients in a deep bowl and mix well

• Pack in an air tight container and serve when required

Other healthy cooking tips

Water soluble vitamins are destroyed easily during preparation and cooking. Hence, below are a few suggestions to minimise this:

• Scrub vegetables rather than peel them, as many nutrients are found close to the skin

• If you like to boil vegetables, use the leftover water to make soups or broths or use the same water to cook the vegetables in

• Use ingredients like almonds that are loaded with healthy fats and many essential nutrients to increase the nutrient value of your meal

• Almonds are rich in protein, vitamin E, fibre, riboflavin and many other essential nutrients which add the required nutrition to any dish along with extra flavour and crunch


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