Tips for Eating Indian Food

Updated:Jun 14,2010
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Indian food has its good and bad points. It's good because it includes lots of grains high in fiber and less animal protein. Legumes and vegetables are also commonly used — another plus. The problem is that much of the food is prepared with ghee (clarified butter) or is fried or sautéed. Coconut oil and milk, which are high in saturated fat, are also used often.

Tips:
  • Start with salads or yogurt with chopped or shredded vegetables.
  • Choose chicken or seafood rather than beef or lamb.
  • Choose dishes prepared without ghee.
  • Order one protein and one vegetable dish to cut down the saturated fat and calories.
  • If sodium is a concern, skip the soups.

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Samosas (stuffed and fried vegetable turnover Papadum or papad (crispy, thin lentil wafers)
Korma (braised meat with a rich yogurt cream sauce) Chicken or beef tikka (roasted in an oven with mild spices) or chicken or beef tandoori (marinated in spices and baked in a tanoor, or clay oven). In either case, ask if they will base with light margarine instead of butter.
Curries made with coconut milk or cream Curries with a vegetable or dal base; shish kabob; or tandoori chicken or fish
Pakora (deep-fried dough with vegetables) Gobhi matar tamatar (cauliflower with peas and tomatoes)
Saaq paneer (spinach with cheese cubes and cream sauce) Matar pulao (rice pilaf with peas)
Sauced rice dishes Fragrant steamed rice
Fried or stuffed breads Chapati (thin, dry, whole-wheat bread) or naan (leavened, baked bread topped with poppy seeds)