Indian Food

As with most ethnic cuisines, there are pros and cons to Indian cookery. Beginning with the pros, Indian food emphasizes high carbohydrates such as basmati rice, breads, lentils, chickpeas, and vegetables, all accented with an array of spices. The most common veggies are spinach, cabbage, peas, onions, eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, and green peppers. The con is that fat can easily find its way into many of the entrees, breads, and vegetable side dishes.

Scrutinize the menu and watch out for the word ghee, which is clarified butter used frequently in Indian cooking. Other oils that are used for sauteing and frying are sesame oil and coconut oil. Although sesame oil is unsaturated, it's quite the contrary for coconut oil—arteries beware! If salt is an issue, forego the soups, and ask the waiter to please prepare your meal without any added salt.

Include

  • Tamata salad
  • Mulligatawny soup (lentil, veggies, and spices)
  • Chicken or beef tikka

Tandoori chicken*, beef, or fish*

Chicken*, beef, and fish* saaq (with spinach)

Chicken*, beef, and fish*

Vindaloo (with potatoes and spices)

Shish kabob

*Gobhi matar tamatar (cauliflower with peas and tomatoes)

Matar pulao (rice pilaf with peas)

Papadum or papad (crispy, thin lentil wafers)

Coriander, tamarind, and yogurt-based sauces

*Chapati (thin, dry whole wheat bread) *Mango, mint, and onion chutney

Avoid

Anything made with ghee (clarified butter) Coconut soups

Samosas (fried vegetable turnover)

Korma (meat with rich yogurt cream sauce)

Curries made with coconut milk or cream

Pakora (fried dough with veggies)

Saaq paneer (spinach with cream sauce)

Creamy rice dishes

Fried breads

Honeyed pastries

Naan (leavened, baked bread)

Kulcha (leavened, baked bread)

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