Indian Culinary Pairs That Are A Nutritional Hit
Bonny Shah

Bonny Shah
24 July 2020

This article is authored by Bonny Shah. Bonny is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator.

From complex to simple, Indian cuisines are home to some outstanding dishes that not only taste amazing but also provide exceptional amount of nutrition. These culinary pairs are well known for their taste all over the world as they combine two different elements to create irresistible flavour and nutritional profile. Whether you are a fan of simple curd rice or can’t imagine an indulgent meal without some paalak paneer, irrespective of their stature, these dishes nourish your body by providing tons of nutrition, all on one plate.

1. Idli Sambar
An unbeatable South Indian combo - the little wonder Idli, packed with protein, fibre, carbohydrates, contains no fat or cholesterol and the nutritious glory of the spicy and tangy Sambar that includes a variety of vegetables, making it a rich source of fibre and anti-oxidants. Sambar is also protein rich as it is made from dal. By itself, one bowl of Idli-Sambar is a complete meal – it can help add to your nutrition palate and also help boost immunity.

2. Paalak Paneer Eat Breakfast
A favourite across all kinds of foodies, Palak Paneer is one of the very few dishes that is high on taste as well as nutrition. Palak, also known as Spinach, comes loaded in vitamins and paneer, also known as cottage cheese is a great source of calcium and protein. It’s a rich source of dietary fibre that helps control appetite; and the calcium & phosphorous content helps improve muscle and heart function too. Yummy nutrition is that easy!

3. Rajma Chaawal
The perfect tiffin recipe, isn’t it? This classic tangy preparation is loaded with Rajma, also known as kidney beans, tomatoes, onions, which together help improve cholesterol and blood pressure. Anti-oxidants and Vitamins boost immunity and is good for diabetic individual. Chaawal (rice) is a great source of carbohydrates for energy and is low in fibre, thus helping control diarrhoea. To make a healthy version of this, you can try pairing rajma with brown or red rice. Make sure you increase the serving of rajma compared to chawal to absorb maximum benefits.

4. Curd Rice and Pickle
A dish that is simple, tasty and very easy to make – originated in South India, but devoured in summers by North India too! The easiest recipe ever, curd rice, even known as Dahi Chaawal, aids digestion, acts as a coolant, helps boost immunity, and even helps calm the stress. All of this due to the rich source of curds that is rich in probiotics, anti-oxidants, good fat. With a decent serving of pickle, this tasty dish is it.

5. Puran Poli and Amti
Puran Poli is made with Chana dal, also known as Split Bengal Gram, wheat flour (atta), Ghee, Jaggery, Elaichi (cardamom), Kesar (saffron) and Jaifal (nutmeg). Every ingredient spells nutrition and health. Dietary fibre, proteins, complex carbohydrates, B-complex vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium and other minerals only help improve the digestive system and overall health. With Katachi Amti, a spicy tangy dal preparation, this dish is a hit.

6. Goan Prawn Curry Rice
Packed with flavour, intense spices and one of the most healthy seafood options, Prawn Curry Rice that was birthed in Goa, has made its place in everyone’s taste buds. Prawns coupled with the goodness of tomatoes, and the richness of coconut milk and spices, brings umpteen health benefits to the table. Prawns are high in protein, low in carbs and contain very little fat. They are also rich in minerals, contain in magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and copper. Not to forget, they are an excellent source of Vitamins A, D, E, B1, B2 and B3. The Omega-3 fatty acids are known to help reduce risk of heart diseases.

7. Dal dhokli Eat Breakfast
This comforting meal is a staple in Gujarati households. It combines nutritional goodness of dal with carbohydrates and fibre present in whole wheat flour. You can also choose to add vegetables to increase the nutritional value of the meal. Adding peanuts can also add a unique flavour to the dish and is a source of good fats. Used unpolished dal from the Tata Sampann range to ensure that you get all the natural goodness and proteins from the dal. Make this your go-to dish for a light dinner on weekdays.

8. Dal khichdi
Though many mistake this to be a meal for the ailing, the humble khichdi has many benefits. It is a one pot meal that is not only quick to make but also contains many nutritional benefits. While the khichdi made for those who are unwell is a simple mixture of moong dal and rice, there many innovative versions of khichdi including non-vegetarian variants that can be tried if you are healthy and fit. The combination of rice and dal makes it a source of complete protein. Rice provides required carbohydrates; dal makes up for the protein content and adding vegetables to this adds to the fibre content. Khichdi is a complete meal in itself and pretty quick and easy to cook - rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, this makes a great dish. Take a look at some creative khichdi recipes

Next time you try one of these dishes, relish them knowing that you are nourishing your body with wholesome nutrition. Do you have a go-to quick meal or a dish which is a complete nutritional hero? Do share it with us in the comments below.


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