By Akhila Gullapuram, MS, RD
Who doesn’t like crispy treats? Vadas, pakoras, kachoris, samosas are all yummy but with lot of oil in it and mostly bought from outside. These fried foods can be a good choice for people who are trying to gain weight if cooked at home. However it can be harmful for arteries if eaten on a regular basis. Varied texture, variety, new color in food is a welcome change. Especially if there are some restrictions to follow in a diet, mind can really wander only towards the foods which are so called “forbidden”. In today’s era when people with no health problems take precautions to avoid long term health repercussions, is it not practical to follow health precautions for a person with a chronic health problem?
Many patients and families during diet consults report liking fried foods more than a regular healthy meal. I needed an alternative for all those patients who like to eat crispy treat every day for their meals. Some of them many times report having no appetite at all. They feel so much better after learning what and how they can eat more variety! It is not always adequacy issue but food becomes boring to those who had been enjoying crispy treats most of their days earlier.
Trying new recipes every day is not practical for everyone. Past weekend I decided to make my ordinary meal of dal, chawal little crispy, just to make it little interesting, save too much of additional cooking and thinking of a new recipe. I chose to make it salt-less just to see the acceptance level by the people who eat salt. My family was skeptical when I announced what I was planning to serve but I didn’t have to worry at all when I saw their plates were empty, they were feeling full and no one came to know that there was no salt in the food! Changing texture did the trick!
Here is the recipe which is nutritious, incredibly simple, source of iron, calcium, protein and with minimal calories from fat. The best part is you can eat little larger portions. Providing food with variation is the key to keep up the appetite. Cravings can be reduced by including healthy and not so healthy options in moderation by appropriate planning.
If you normally eat rotis for your meals, then you can try making methi khakras. It is not only crispy, but nutritious if cooked as in the recipe. It can be a handy snack for travelling or for any time.