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When it comes to one of the most cherished and staple Indian dishes, paratha has to be at the top of the list. It is a favourite among many as a breakfast food and can be in stuffed or plain form. It is usually consumed with curd, butter, and pickle. Served hot, its crispy and flaky texture makes it a go-to dish during winters.
While many of you would perceive it as a carb and oil-heavy dish, parathas can also be made in a healthy way. It all comes down to the stuffing, grain, and quantity of oil we use. To gain insights on how to make parathas the healthy way, we spoke to Ms. Daljit Kaur, Head – Dietetics, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi.
1. Dough making: Parathas can be prepared in a healthy way “by adding multigrain, different kinds of cereals, and millets in the dough,” informed Ms. Kaur. She further recommends not using only maida or wheat when preparing the dough.
2. Nutritional quotient: “Wherever we go, the staple food is cereal,” said Ms. Kaur. Using a variety of grains would add to the nutritional profile. She stated that grains such as “jowar and ragi add nutrition to the paratha, as it contains roughage, calcium, and protein.”
3. Use of oil: With regard to cooking the parathas, she advised that, “Don’t fry or use too much oil, as small quantities of oil is enough to make the parathas.”
4. Filling: This is a critical part of the paratha making process as it adds taste, texture, and nutrition to this dish. “We can increase the nutrition by adding stuffing such as paneer (low-fat variant), gobi, and soya granules,” mentioned Ms. Kaur. She highlighted that these ingredients as filling options “will give nutrients like protein and calcium, and be good for health.” Further, she noted that children sometimes enjoy having foods such as chicken rolls, so, “non-veg can also be used as filling in the form of minced chicken along with spices and herbs,” said Ms. Kaur.
As a final tip, she suggested, “Use desi ghee, butter, and ensure that tawa is hot. Press the paratha properly on the tawa and let the heat cook it properly.”
So, ladies, make sure you add parathas to your diet but prepare them in a healthy way!