Usually, Indian thali is considered as an entire package of balanced diet. We generally include roti, daal-rice, vegetables, salad and raita in our lunch and dinner. Similarly, in breakfast we include sandwich, pasta, noodles, eggs, parathas, upma, poha, idli, uttapam, sprouts, juice and fruit salad. Of course, you may be able to cook these foods but do you know the right and healthy way to prepare these food items? Let’s find out the right style of cooking…
Pasta, noodles or macaroni
These are usually made during breakfast. For good health, use multigrain or whole wheat pasta, noodles or semolina macaroni. Do not use semi cooked noodles available in the market because those are perishable. Always boil such food items at home. Usually, people prefer semi boiled pasta or noodles but it could be harmful for your health. The right way to boil this is to add one tablespoon refine oil in water, one teaspoon salt and one teaspoon vinegar and then cook well. After cooking drain out the water and wash it off with cold water. This will not let the ingredients stick to each other.
Healthy tips: To increase the nutritional factor in it, add lots of green vegetables.
Eggs: Egg is the best source of protein and eating boiled eggs is the best option. You can also make a water poach of this. For this boil water in a deep pan. Then take a non-stick ladle, apply few drops of cooking oil in it and break the egg. Sprinkle black pepper and salt according to taste and keep the ladle in the deep pan in such a way that it does not get fully immersed. After 5 minutes, when the egg is cooked properly, serve it hot with low fat cream and toast.
Healthy tips: LDL cholesterol is found in high quantioty in egg yolks which is very harmful for heart. So, overweight people or heart patients should eat only the egg white.
Parathe: Always prepare a soft dough for this. To soften the dough you can also add one teaspoon refined oil. Parathas stuffed with green vegetables is the best option for a healthy meal. You can choose from the seasonal vegetables for this.
Healthy tips: If your child does not like green vegetable stuffed paratha, you can boil all the vegetables, make a paste of and make soft dough with this.
Sprouts: This is a balanced combination of protein and vitamin C. Now packed sprouts are also available in the market, but it is not considered safe. So, it will be better if you prepare sprouts at your home. Soak gram and whole yellow lentils for 12 hours. Drain out the water. After 8 hours it will germinate. Many times people complain of gas problems after eating raw sprouts. To avoid this you can steam sprouts before eating.
Healthy tips: If you are suffering from diabetes, add a handful of fenugreek to the yellow lentil and gram mixture. This will keep your sugar level balanced.
Chapattis: If you buy processed flour, please read instructions mentioned on the packet properly. If the amount of bran is less in your flour, add bran, soybean, and millet flour according to your taste. Keep it aside for 10 minutes so that the chapattis are soft and fluffy. If your family members do not like the taste of mixed flour, add besan (gram powder), onion, green coriander, salt and parsley with flour and make missi roti.
Healthy tips: Always use bran flour to make chapattis. It will help in digestion.
Rice: There is notion that draining out excess water after boiling the rice remves the starch from it. But doing this drains out only one or two percent of starch from rice. So, it depends upon you which way you would like to cook rice. The only thing you shold keep in mind is that while eating rice include lotsof green vegetables because the fibre found in vegetables help in the digestion of the starch or carbohydrate present in the rice.
Healthy tips: Brown rice contains huge amount of fibre. That is why it is very beneficial for our health.
Idli: Usually women prefer processed instant idli mix available in market. But, preservatives present in it are very harmful for our health. So make idli at home. If you do not have enough time, add eno powder or curd in semolina and prepare instant idli mix at your home. If you are calorie conscious person then rava idli is the best option for you rather than rice idli.
Healthy tips: Usually, people eat idli with coconut chatni instead of sambar. But coconut chatni has more calories in comparison to sambar. So, always try to make sambar at home to eat with idli because it’s good for your health.
Vegetables and fruits: We should eat only seasonal fruits and vegetables. As far as possible, try to eat unpeeled vegetables and fruits because they contain a fiber which keeps constipation at bay. However, now-a-days harmful pesticides are sprinkled on vegetables. So before cutting the vegetables soak them in hot water for five minutes and wash it properly. Do not wash vegetables after cutting as it drains the present vitamin. Do not cook green vegetables for long duration as this will reduce the minerals present in them. But, keep in mind that you should cook carrot for a long duration because doing this increases the amount of nutritional element lycopene present in carrots. Eating boiled or baked potatoes is best option for health. But remember that french fries and aaloo tikkis contain huge amount of carbohydrate with fat which is harmful for health.
Healthy tips: Green vegetables contain antioxidant elements which helps our body to fight diseases. So always try to include coloured vegetables and fruits in your meal.
Pulses (daal): To avail the nutrition present in all the pulses, make mixed daal by mixing chanaa, moong, urad and masoor dall together. While frying the daal, use desi ghee in less quantity. Some people feel heaviness after having daal. This is because of the protein present in it. If this happens, eat daal in lunch instead of dinner.
Healthy tips: Unpeeled pulses contain huge amount of fibre. So use such pulses instead of soaked ones.
Chicken, red meat and fish: Eating these three items after roasting or steaming is more beneficial. If you cook these food items in gravy, keep a check on the amount of oil and spices used. To avoid bird flu infection, cook chicken only after boiling it at 100 degree celsius for five minutes.
Healthy tips: If your age is more than 40 and you have high cholesterol problem, you must avoid eating red meat.
Salad: For preparing a salad you can use cucumber, tomato, carrot, radish, onion, cabbage and lettuce.
To save time some women cut the salad before the main course of food is prepared. But this reduces the taste and nutritional element present in the salad. So prepare salad only ten minute before serving meal.
Cut vegetables immediately after taking them out from the refrigerator. This will make the salad more crispy and tasty. Use lemon, oregano, basil and hung curd instead of olive oil and white cream as dressing as olive oil and white cream contain more calories. Usually, one plate salad in shared by 4-5 people. But this does not benefit any of them. Every person in the house should be served one bowl salad each.
Healthy tips: Salad should always be taken before the main course meal. The fibre present in salad helps in maintaining proper weight.