Food is one of the three elixirs of life. Food, Water, and Shelter are the three main pillars of sustenance. Indian tradition has always treated food as one of the most sacred commodities a human being can possess. Gods are worshiped here with various offerings of dishes made specifically to please them. Though traditions aside, Indian cuisine has always been one of the highest calorific value cuisines in the world. Here are the top 20 Indian food items that one should eat in moderation in order to maintain good health.
At a whopping 308 kcal per piece, this yummy snack is a definite no-no on a regular basis. By caloric breakdown, it is 52% fats, 42.5% carbs, and a meagre 6.5% protein. This savoury pastry is made of dough of refined flour, oil, and salt with a spicy potato filling inside. It is deep fried in ghee or clarified butter or vegetable oil until it is a crispy golden brown. Mmmm…mouth-watering isn’t it? A perfect recipe for great taste and a not-so-great one for weight and health maintenance, this tasty treat is better had about once or twice a month first thing in the morning to avoid the most harmful effects of consuming it, which involve minor issues like heartburn to major ones like obesity and coronary thrombosis.
2. Jalebi- Fafda
A popular Gujarati street food as well as a breakfast meal, Jalebi and Fafda as a combination are extremely delicious. The sweetness of the Jalebi combined with the saltiness of the Fafda with a dash of chilli. It is one of the best combinations of flavours the food gods graced us with. Yet, a single serving of Jalebi fafda with all its trimmings contains around 750 calories. Whoa! Doesn’t seem that appealing now, does it? Especially when you think about that wedding you just have to attend next month and the dress you are wishing to fit into, before the occasion. Both major components of the meal being deep fried in ghee or vegetable oil along with excessive usage of sugar and salt, these can cause weight gain in a jiffy if you make a habit of having them. Gujju friends…beware!
3. Vada Pav
Come on Mumbaikars! Admit it, some day or the other, when you woke up late, dressed up quick and have to rush for office, school, class or whatever, foregoing the healthy breakfast your mom/wife made, this yummy snack has helped you get rid of those pesky morning hunger pangs. But now, when we tell you, that a single serving of Vada Pav contains a huge 290 calories, we are sure you would start valuing home food much more. Yeah you heard that right, 290 calories. The tasty vada inside, deep fried in oil, and filled with spicy potatoes, along with the white bread bun, often known as the poor man’s burger in India, might be a lifesaver in tight situations but you better not make a habit of it; if you wish to still fit into your college jeans that is.
4. Rogan Josh
No we aren’t banning this dish off your plate forever, but you must know, Rogan josh is a rich curry made of tender cubed lamb, full fat yogurt, aromatic spices, and lot of oil. Yes, you heard it right. It is extremely rich and full of fat. If this doesn’t reduce your enthusiasm about it, the red meat of the lamb is a sure calorie and cholesterol booster. It is advisable thus, to reduce consumption of this dish or at least have a minuscule portion size.
5. Bhajia and Pakoras
Chai and Pakoras or Bhajias as they are called during rains, are the best comfort food ever. Onions dipped in spicy gram flour batter and deep fried to golden crispy goodness… oof! But these yummy golden treats are very high in calorific value and the oil absorbed by onions go straight into your tummy. So better moderate it.
6. Gajar Ka Halwa
This yummy treat reminds us of our home and our moms. It is exquisite, but a single serving has around 346 calories. Not so great after dinner now, isn’t it? Especially, after the heavy Indian dinners that include very high on calories food. So if you want to look great in that pencil skirt or that pair of skinny jeans, please forget this dessert or have just a tiny nibble of it and not 2 whole bowls.
7. Medu Vada
Meduvada is one yummy South Indian dish we love having with thick Sambhar and chutney. The salty vada, with a crispy golden exterior and a spongy white interior, soaks up the tangy thick sambhar which explodes in your mouth with a burst of flavours. 342 calories gone in a shot. Are you sure you are going to burn all that off in the next workout session you have? Keep it in mind while you gobble this tasty dish down.
When Eid beckons round the corner, you often ring up that Muslim friend of yours, wishing them Eid Mubarak, secretly wishing they end up inviting you home for Iftaar party. We have all been there and this sinful delicacy with its aroma, and tender meat takes our heart away. Single servings tally up to 726 calories.
9 Butter Chicken
Butter chicken is one of the most popular Indian dishes ever. Even in other countries, it is sort of the poster child for Indian Cuisine. But this yummy dish has around 438 calories per boneless 4-5 Oz of chicken breast. That, together with all the butter and spices are enough to make your waistline spread, make you obese, and cause heart problems.
10. Puri Bhaji
Puri Bhaji is a popular breakfast meal made in most of the households. A very tasty and filling dish, Puri and Aloo Bhaji is a fluffy deep fried Indian bread and spicy potato curry duo which make us pine away for our moms, our homes, lazy Sunday mornings, and granny’s tales. These beautiful puri’s, when well done look so delicious that it is often difficult to resist devouring 4-5 of them. But a single serving consisting of 2 puris and a cupful of bhaji pack a whopping 726 calories. Good for breakfasts, but is the health risk worth the taste? Better have it rarely.
Kachoris are crisp puris filled with spiced gram, salt, chillies, chaat masala, and sometimes paneer. A crisp bite brings on a flood of exquisite medley of flavours onto your tongue and the homemade mint chutney makes it even more beautiful. You lose yourself in it. And Bam! 3-4 down already! And that easily tally up to a 1000 calories. How are you going to lose it? Better prevent than cure as nobody wants to work harder right? Just kidding, please workout whatever your diet is!
12. Pav Bhaji
Pav is buns toasted with butter and bhaji is mashed potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, peas, and other vegetables with spices cooked long enough to be a curry made in heaven. This is served with chopped onions, a dollop of butter, and slices of lemon. It carries a total of 600 calories per serving.
13. Aloo Parantha
Ok, now imagine a thick parantha filled with a spicy potato filling served with homemade spicy mango pickle or ketchup. Mouth-watering isn’t it? It is a beautiful mix of carbs and we are sorry to say, too many carbs when consumed would require to be burned off, so once you eat that yummy parantha, be ready for an hour worth of HIIT! These bad boys contain around 584 calories per serving of 2 paranthas.
Panipuri is one really famous street snack for the entire India. How we love lining up in front of the panipuri wale bhaiya and have our fill of these deep fried globs filled with spicy chutney, potatoes, sprouts, and khattapani! Sounds healthy but when we take the fried puri, we end up eating a lot because they are just so irresistible. The vendor’s dirty hands and the fact that he probably dips in multiple places before it hands you the glorious puri, sort of make us cringe now. So reduce the chances of diarrhoea & dysentery because of unhygienic condition, and reduce the frequency of consuming this or make this at home.
15. Chole Bhature
Chole Bhature is the quintessential dish to have in Punjab, or in the whole North India for that matter. Spicy chick peas served in heavy rich gravy along with a spongy fried Indian bread called bhatura, which is yummy. In very plain words, you are signing up for a lot of flavours and a whopping 1200 calories per serving. For most of us on a diet, you know this mean complete sabotage. Rest in your hands!
Rasmalai is basically the creamier and tastier version of its healthier and more popular cousin Rasgulla. It is basically rasgullas soaked in a creamy sweet sauce made of milk, butter, and dry fruits. It is very heavy in calories and on your stomach too. 250 calories per serving makes it a dessert to be had as a tiny snack rather than as a dessert.
17. Malai Kofta
Malai Kofta is exactly what you hear; lots of cream or malai, spices, sugar, salt, and soaking deep fried koftas or dumplings made of paneer and vegetables. It is very flavourful and mild on the palate, but because of the high dairy content in it, lactose intolerant people are in danger of allergies. For others, the high calorific content is a danger sign too.
18. Butter Naan
Naan is a kind of thick spongy yet unleavened bread that is baked in a coal oven and then slathered with a thick concoction of butter and garlic with herbs until its positively glistening with goodness…wait what about the hundreds of calories you are consuming? It is really difficult to shed the 372 calories you consume with just a single serving of this treat, so better reduce its intake and schedule it in the mornings rather than nights for better digestion as our tummies reduce their digestive activities at night.
19. Aloo Tikki
Potatoes, spices, and oil; we won’t say anything else. There is 278 calories in a regular plate of aloo tikki chaat that you so love, from the chaat wale bhaiya nearby.
Achaar is one of the most eaten side dishes in India. Parantha, puri, roti, cheela…. all of these we have with generous helpings of achaar, not realising the amount of salt, spices, and preservatives we are taking into our bodies. Indian cuisine has much healthier alternatives to these dishes which would satisfy your taste buds with much lesser number of calories and better nutrition. We only need to moderate consumption a few of such dishes as above in order to maintain maximum fitness and good health.