Did you know that India has nutrition guidelines, just like America does? Similar to MyPlate, India follows a food pyramid which recommends eating many fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, and fewer meats, oils, high-fat foods, and added sugar. Preparing Indian recipes is a fun way to incorporate more variety and flavor into your meals.
There are many things to consider when preparing traditional Indian cuisine. Here are a few tips to help you in the kitchen:
- Read before you proceed. Read through the recipe before you start cooking. Many Indian recipes have long cooking times or difficult steps. Keep these factors in mind as you select a dish to cook.
- Take it slow. Ease your way into cooking Indian food by preparing an Indian recipe for one element of your meal. Fill in the rest of your plate with foods from each group of MyPlate.
- Finding traditional ingredients. Many of the ingredients you will need can be found in the international aisle of the grocery store. If you can’t find the ingredients or spices you need, check your local international grocery store for a larger selection of specialty items.
Buying all the different spices found in Indian dishes can be costly. You can save money by growing your own herbs. Cilantro, mint, and parsley plants are easy to grow on your own. When you purchase fresh herbs, save any leftovers for later by freezing them. This allows you to keep herbs for a longer period of time so you don’t feel like you have to use them all at once.
To freeze herbs:
- Wash herbs by rinsing with water.
- Pat dry using a paper towel.
- Wrap sprigs or leaves in freezer wrap.
- Place the wrapped herbs in a freezer bag.
- Seal the bag carefully.
- Store in the freezer until you are ready to chop them up or add them to a cooked dish.
Combine vegetables, grains, and protein foods from MyPlate to make a tasty Indian curry or soup. You can complete the meal by adding a fruit and dairy side. Mango Lassi is a traditional Indian beverage that makes a healthy dessert for your meal.
With these tips and tricks in mind, what Indian dishes do you want to try cooking at home?