Healthy with Spice

Traditional Indian recipes please the body and senses.

By Monica Bhide


Coriander and cuminCelebrate Legumes
"Indian cuisine celebrates legumes (lentils, peas, and beans) and enables you to cook and eat these amazing plant-based proteins in so many different ways. You'll never tire of them, and you'll get your daily dose of fiber, protein, and complex carbs," says Anupy Singla, author of Vegan Indian Cooking. To make cooking legumes even healthier, Mehta suggests a pressure cooker, a common appliance in most Indian kitchens. It speeds up cooking and helps the ingredients retain their nutritional value.

Avoid the Obvious Dangers
As with any cuisine, there are dishes to be watchful of. With breads, stick with whole-wheat breads like chapatti and tandoori breads and stay away from the white-flour naan. Deep-fried foods like samosas are best enjoyed in moderation.

Indian cuisine, with its abundance of spices and focus on vegetables and whole grains, is a terrific way to add flavor and raise intake of antioxidants naturally. Adds Bains, "We know spices taste good, and weight-for-weight are the most antioxidizing foods available to us—there is no better reason to cook and eat spice-laden Indian dishes."

Try these exclusive recipes:

Cauliflower with Peas
Coriander-Scented Baby Potatoes
Masoor Dal with Garlic

Originally published in Organic Gardening Magazine, Oct/Nov 2013