Most of our browsing history will surely contain different articles and videos on diet plans. Our little research is sure to show that almost all the effective diet plans are low in carbohydrates and high in fat. When we take a step further to see if we can make the diet a part of your lifestyle, some of us are hesitant as the menu comprises of fancy recipes with a heavy western influence, which would be a huge turn off for our desi taste buds. A number of our very own Indian foods are a rich source of fat and protein from which you can make your favourite Indian recipes and still witness a healthy transformation.
Kick start your day with some soaked almonds to stay energetic throughout the day. Soak 5-6 almonds the previous night and peel of the skin and have them the next morning in empty stomach. A handful of roasted almonds are also a satiating snack option when hunger pangs strike in the middle of the day.
Butter and Ghee
Butter is a definite ingredient in an Indian’s refrigerator. A hundred gram of butter contains just 0.1 gram of carbs and 81 grams of fats. You can make most of your recipes with butter that makes your food not only LCHF friendly but also tasty. But obviously you can’t indulge in parathas oozing in butter.
Ghee is a mainstay in every Indian kitchen. Top up your dishes with a spoonful of ghee to up the fat quotient along with enhancing the taste of the food.
This is a tasty addition to the list and is most of our favourite and not to mention versatile ingredients. Paneer alone will put an end to your menu planning woes. You can quickly stir up a paneer bhurji for breakfast or evening snacks, grill them or make paneer kebabs and tikkas for lunch and dinner. Paneer salads are also healthy and taste delicious.
Here is where you start weaving your magic. There are loads of Indian vegetables that are low in carbs and versatile enough to create multiple recipes. All gourd variety (ash, bottle, bitter, ridge, ivy gourd/kovakkai), night shades (tomatoes – ripe and raw, brinjal – all varieties, capsicum – all colours, ladies finger/ okra), Beans (French beans, cluster beans, brad beans, etc.), Spinach (all varieties – palak, amaranth, mustard greens, raddish greens, etc.), other traditional Indian vegetables like Drumstick, Chayote (chow-chow), Mushrooms (all types), Radish, Knol-khol and vegetables from the cruciferous family (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, etc.) can be safely consumed.
Understanding this, it is easy to deduce that only tubers (potatoes, yam, celeriac, etc.) and most of the underground vegetables (beets, carrots) are either to be avoided or minimized to the possible extent.
Red Kidney beans and Kala Chana
Most of us would die for a comforting bowl of rajma chawal or a chole; but you have to eliminate the chawal (rice) and roti/ poori. You can enjoy red kidney beans gravy as they taste equally good and are loaded with proteins and packed with high fibre. Similar is the case for Kala Chana or Black Chickpeas. There are countless recipes you can make with these. So get creative with your LCHF diet by making salads, sundal or tikkis.
Curd is great for the low carb diet as a 100 gram of curd contains only around 3g of carbohydrates. Hung curd or Greek Yoghurt has even less carbs. It is also a rich source of fats and proteins which is all you would need while following this diet. It cools your body, keeps you full and improves your gut health. You can replace store bought mayonnaise with hung curd in your dressings, add them to your smoothies and make raithas. You can also replace your hot beverages with a cool glass of buttermilk during summers.
It is best made at home from full fat milk. To make hung curd, just strain the set curd using a thin muslin cloth to remove the water.
Soy is a rich source of protein and fat – 72% of soybean is protein and just 5-6% carbohydrate. You can add soy regularly in your diet to meet your protein requirements. You can have soy milk; make gravies, salads and stir-fries with tofu. Soy chunks are a huge hit these days. You can make a number of gravies or replace meat with soy chunks in several recipes.
Sprouts are packed with protein and essential nutrients which you definitely wouldn’t want to miss in your fitness journey. You can make sprouts salads with a bit of salt and a generous topping of lime juice and coriander leaves, just boil them and they are good to eat, you can also make usal and sundal with sprouts as they also complete your meal and keep hunger at bay.
Moong dal is not only tasty but also contains a whopping 22g of proteins in every 100 grams. Cooking them is also tasty and they are light on the stomach yet improve your satiety. Dals, salads, soups, pancakes (chilas) and several other recipes can be a part of your meal plan.
We all know eggs are a rich source of proteins and fats. Eggs are one of those versatile ingredients that taste best in any cuisine. We can make bhurjis, omelettes and a number of Indian stir-fries and gravies with eggs. You can simply have boiled eggs everyday to heal your body and build muscles.
Go ahead and enjoy your low carb desi food that is not only a treat for your taste buds, but for your health as well.