If you’re told that the chatpata ‘Dahi Vada’ can help you lose weight, then how would you react?
The lip-smacking, quintessential, classic North Indian delicacy Dahi Vada or Dahi Bhalla as it is popularly known, can certainly be included in your weight loss regime, totally guilt-free. All you have to do is just tweak the recipe and the cooking procedure. Let us see how.
Dahi Vada is basically a snack item where deep fried lentil dumplings are served with a yoghurt sauce. The elements which make it unhealthy are – being deep-fried, added sugar in the yoghurt/dahi & accompaniments and the unhygienic way by which it’s usually made at the roadside eateries. So, to precisely give Dahi Vada a healthy twist, firstly it should be home-cooked, the dumpling shouldn’t be deeply fried, the added sugar component should be suitably eliminated and some additional ingredients need to be included in the recipe to enrich its nutritional profile.
The dumplings or vadas are usually made of Urad Dal or Black Gram Lentil. Urad Dal in itself is a very good source of protein (23.06 gm/100 gm). It is also rich in Calcium, Magnesium and B Vitamins. Whole Green Moong/Sabut Moong and Oats can be used to substitute Urad Dal to improve the nutritional profile of Dahi Vada. Both being high fibre ingredients (Green Moong: 17.04gm /100 gm & Rolled Oats: 10.5 gm/100 gm), certainly improve the overall fibre content of the dumplings. High-fibre foods are beneficial for weight loss as they take time to digest, induce satiety and keep one full for a longer period of time. High-fibre foods also have the following advantages:
- Being rich in complex carbohydrates, blood glucose levels don’t spike instantly which helps in diabetes control
- Reduces food intake by controlling binge eating and food cravings
- Aids in managing heart health, blood pressure and constipation
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Cereals are found to be rich in methionine amino acid and deficient in lysine amino acid while pulses are rich in lysine amino acid and deficient in methionine amino acid. The combination of oats (cereals) along with moong and urad dals (pulses) also improves the overall protein profile of Dahi Vada.
Secondly, let us focus on the cooking method. The Dahi Vada dumplings are usually deep fried. Instead of deep frying, they can be steamed to significantly minimise the oil intake and reduce the caloric load. On steaming the dumplings, the intake of unhealthy fats, especially saturated fat and trans fat is also considerably reduced. This is indeed a healthy twist as consumption of unhealthy fats has often been found to be the leading cause of obesity and cardiovascular problems. Nowadays, idli/appe moulds are very commonly available in the market which can be conveniently used to steam the vadas.
Another major innovation in this snack item, can agreeably aid in your weight loss. The secret ingredient is none other than a pinch of the Weight Loss Spice Mix which can be sprinkled over Dahi Vada before consumption. Spices are usually known for their culinary applications. However, Ayurveda has recommended the health benefits of spices since ages for their miraculous beneficial properties. Spices are also known to aid weight loss. Spices improve our digestive system and accelerate the body’s metabolism. They are thermogenic in nature which helps in improving the body’s fat-burning ability.