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How to choose a healthier Indian takeaways
Indian food is the ultimate in comfort-based eating. From spicy hot to creamy mild, its indulgence fits the palate just when you need it.
The problem is it's basically unhealthy. Curry sauce of any kind from an Indian restaurant has had onions fried in an enormous quantity of ghee - that's how the sauce is thickened and given that beautiful backdrop of flavour. Not to mention the salt levels, the cream, coconut ...
But you don't have to pick the unhealthiest options to satisfy your cravings.
Try some variations from the suggestions below and give yourself a new way of dealing with the fat content.
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Knock the offered starters on the head - nearly all are deep fried, from puri (fried bread), to the humble onion bhaji, or tasty samosas, there's no way to avoid it without saying no. But there are always poppadoms ... Sure, they're deep fried - plain bad news for a diet - but why have four? Why not just two, with a pickle tray for starters?
Follow that up with tandoori meat, which is oven-baked, either chicken or lamb or a bit of both, a couple of chapatis and either a lentil dahl or a vegetable bhaji (a chunky vegetable sauce) and you've got a takeaway to complete your satisfaction, for around the same price of a curry with pilau rice. Better still, tandoori king prawns might be pricey, but they're even less fattening than chicken. If you must have a curry, get one with a lentil-based sauce, like a dhansak.
Avoidance, for many, is the proverbial red rag. The less you're allowed, the more you want it. The key is to notice how full you are and stop before you burst. Save it for tomorrow - if there's enough left for breakfast, that's satisfaction twice for the same price!
Tips for the Fat Conscious Indian Takeaway Eater
Boiled rice is simple and without the added fat content that you might find in pilau or fried rice.
Chapatis are made with wholewheat flour; more fibre content than the famed naan.
Tandoori meat or prawns have all of the flavour without the frying given to meat in a curry.
Dahls and vegetable bhajis have plenty of fat and salt, but you don't have to soak your entire meal in them.
Lentils (dahl) and chickpeas (think chana chaat) have loads of fibre. Remember, during the digestive process, fat molecules bind to fibre molecules and make the journey all the way through your system. It's the best kind of slimming there is!