Over the last few months, I have been on a pretty lean wedding diet but I am Indian and being Indian and dieting can kind of be the worst sometimes. I have picked up a few tricks along the way to make it easier.
Skip the carbs
When I go home for the weekend, my family typically cooks a lot of Indian but it’s all fairly healthy. We don’t use a ton of oil and basically eat my favorites like lentils and chick peas. I literally just eat a bowl of daal (lentils) by itself with a little yogurt and a salad of cucumbers and tomatoes with lemon and chaat masala (the most amazing indian start and funky spice). It hits the spot and I don’t miss the roti or naan! I find that eating it with a little achaar (Indian pickle) also helps.
Watch out for the yogurt
One thing I wish I realized earlier is that Indians love full fat yogurt and the calories can add up real fast. While we make our own homemade yogurt, it is usually made with full fat milk and I usually love a lot of it, so have been more aware of how much I am eating and usually measure it out to keep the calories down.
Chat masala is your friend
Chat masala or my magic spice as I like to call it is literally my best food friend. It’s tart, tangy, salty. It has dried mango powder which gives it a sour flavor, black salt which gives it an earthy salty flavor among lots of other things. It is packed with flavor and amazing while dieting. You’ll see it in every one of these recipes.
When I have a serious Indian craving but want to eat a little cleaner, one of my favorite things to eat is “Cholay Salad” or chickpea salad. This is super easy to make and I actually grew up eating it (not as a diet food).
1 can of chickpeas
1/2-1 lemon depending on the size
1/4 of a medium sized onion diced
7-9 cherry tomatoes diced
1-2 person cucumbers diced
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp chat masala
If you like heat, you can add one chili pepper or some cayenne to taste
Mix it all in a bowl and have a party in your mouth. You can literally adjust the ingredients however you like. You can also add in fun stuff like corn apples, anything! It’s amazing. I find it filling and eat it for lunch or keep it in the fridge for a few days and portion it out for a snack.
A random one I have really been enjoying is taking a dry pan and roasting some raw almonds or cashews in the pan and throwing on some salt, cayenne and chat masala for a quick roasted nut. It’s a quick punch of flavor and protein for a filling snack
Fruit chaat is a great mix of sweet and salty and so easy. I usually just grab whatever fruit I have on hand, but this is great with apples, oranges and bananas. I cut up the fruit, squeeze on some lime and again of course chaat masala and it’s delicious. So satisfying and has that crazy sweet/salty vibe. The best!
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