There’s a common myth that to get in better shape or stay in it, you need to eat a diet of steamed, bland, tasteless, sugarless, fat free food. But that’s not true at all. Lets take Mughlai food as an example. When you think of Mughlai food, you probably think greasy deliciousness – no good for you. Again, wrong (about all of it being greasy).
Its about making the healthier choices in it. For e.g. all the tandoori kebabs are high protein and relatively low on oil. They are marinated in some oil to make them moist and help them absorb flavor, but then they are cooked in a Tandoor, with no added fat. Tandoori kebabs are packed with protein. Protein takes longer to digest in our system, thus it leaves you feeling full for longer. Chicken/fish based kebabs are better choices than red meat, since its easier to separate the fat, or often, its just lean meat that’s used for cooking the kebabs.
Even the Tandoori vegetarian is not all bad. In a Tandoor, they get caramelized on the outside, adding that hint of sweetness, making it delicious. While they are still somewhat raw on the inside, so it preserves more nutrients than completely cooked vegetables.
With lentils, its best to go with yellow dal, since the black dal (maa ki dal) is cooked in cream, which loads it with fat. Chana is also a good option, since its got lots of fiber and protein. Raita is yoghurt based, and you know how good yoghurt is for your health.
Feel free to gorge on the raw or vinegar based onions/green chilli (don’t worry about the breath- that’s why we have after mints). Sprinkle lots of lime on your kebabs – it makes them moist and delicious, along with adding all that Vitamin C, which helps to build immunity.
What you want to avoid is the curried and masala rich food- like the butter chicken, kadai meat, etc. They have high fat content from the cream and oil that is used. And its saturated fat, so its the kind that clogs your arteries and raises cholesterol and blood pressure. Also, avoid kebabs that are made from mince meat like sheekh kebab. Mince meat often has a lot of fat in it and the cooking process also uses some, so these kebabs are loaded with calories. The Naan is mostly made from refined flour (maida) which basically has the same effect on your body as sugar.
The next time you hit that Mughlai food joint, use this guide to decode your healthy options and you should be set!Author Information — this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo