The staple Indian diet consists of rotis, dals (lentils), beans and pulses, along with vegetables, rice, chicken and meat curries, and other meal accompaniments like idlis, dosas, chutneys, and uttapams. Given the length, breadth and diversity in this country, it’s next to impossible to list each and every snack and dish here. But, basic meal components like these stand out:
- Dal or lentils
- Curries – Either beans or pulse based, or chicken or meat based.
- Rice, roti, dosa, paratha – Essentially a grain-based meal accompaniment (with a certain level of starch content).
Let’s look at some calorie, fat and protein counts for these basic Indian dishes:
- Roti: 85 calories per roti with a 6” diameter. Fat content – 0.5gms.
- Dal (urad) with tadka: 154 calories per 150gms. Fat content – 6gms
- Rajma/chana/lobhia: 153 calories per 150gms. Fat content – 5gms
- Average mixed vegetable: 142 calories per 150gms. Fat content – 15gms (based on oil usage)
- Average chicken curry: 300 calories per 100gms. Fat content – 15 to 35gms (based on oil and types of cut – skinless, lean etc)
- Plain dosa: 125 calories per medium dosa. Fat content – 3gms
- Idlis: 132 calorier for two. Fat content: 3gms
- Curd rice: 190 calories per 100gms. Fat content: 7gms
- Coconut rice: 368 calories per 100gms. Fat content: 15gms
As you can see, the calorie counts in most staple daily food items are suitable for a good balanced day’s food intake. With curd, lentils, chicken, fish and beans also being good protein sources with healthy fats, the typical Indian meal is low-fat and low-calorie. Each of these dishes also come from simple processed or mostly fresh produce foods. This means that they comprise of good carbs, healthy natural protein, and resistant starch (a component found to be beneficial in weight management diets).
Image courtesy: Google Image search