Cookbook author Renu Dalal on incorporating health into tasty recipes, diets to follow & more

The cookbook author and daughter of chef Tara Dalal spills beans on how to make healthy food taste good and following a balanced diet, among other things.
Cookbook author Renu Dalal on incorporating health into tasty recipes, diets to follow & more
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With more and more people becoming health conscious today, the food industry is also all set to adapt to the customer's and consumer's needs. Daughter of ace chef Tarla Dalal, Renu Dalal let's us into how more industry experts are paving the way for change, making healthy food delicious and all the expert, insider tips on how to make those pakodas and samosas less oily! 
 
How has diet become an addition to interesting recipes?
Food has always existed in a state of flux, constantly responding and
evolving to new events and circumstances. And as our diets and tastes have evolved, recipes have also changed to keep pace. One of the biggest changes in recent years has been the surging popularity of vegan and vegetarian lifestyles. They’re dynamic, exciting, and growing faster than ever before, both in India and globally. Recipes have started to reflect this preference, with existing ingredients being used in new and interesting ways. 

Similarly, many people have begun to opt for gluten-free diets, either for health reasons or as a lifestyle choice. As a result, you’ll find restaurants, bakeries, and all sorts of establishments catering to this choice and tweaking their offerings accordingly. The same holds true for diabetics, who can now choose from sugar-free offerings when eating outside and find plenty of such recipes when cooking for themselves. 
However, the biggest influence has undoubtedly been the growth of the health movement. With people becoming more health-conscious than ever before, food has received a revamp. Full-fat and carb-heavy recipes have been replaced by low cholesterol and fat-free alternatives.
No matter what you eat and how you choose to live your life, you’ll find an enormous array of recipes that cater to you.    

Over the years people are becoming more health-conscious. Tasty food can be part of health. How do you define this?
There’s no question that food can be tasty, nutritious, and healthy all at the same time! The only difference is that healthy food requires a little more commitment and dedication to prepare. Even snack foods that have long been considered unhealthy can be good for you if prepared correctly. For example, someone trying to follow a healthy diet doesn’t have to give up their samosas and pakoras. All you have to do is air fry them, or reduce the amount of oil used.

 

Another factor to take into consideration is the ingredients you use. Certain recipes can replace processed foods with natural, nutritious alternatives. If you’re making a spaghetti dish, you can use a lower-carb alternative, or even swap out the wheat-based spaghetti for one made from vegetables, like spinach or zucchini. It all comes down to practice, experimentation, and a willingness to put in the time. 
 
Women don't usually take measures when it comes to their health. What diet can help any woman in India?
I strongly disagree with that statement. In today’s day and age, women are just as concerned about their health as men. In fact, I’d say they’re even more health-conscious than men since in many cases they’re responsible for cooking for the entire family! 
 But regardless of your gender, a balanced diet is the key to a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself. But it does require you to be mindful of what you are consuming. Eat but in moderation, make a hearty breakfast a part of your daily routine, and ensure that your food contains the right combination of proteins, minerals, and vitamins. 

I’ve always been an advocate of healthy living – it’s one of the lasting legacies of my mother – and I extend that philosophy to every part of my life, especially when it comes to cooking. All of my books, and my website, contain a wide selection of vegetarian recipes that stick to this principle. Some of my favourite and healthiest, dishes are a spicy moong and sev chaat, carrot and spinach soup, green pea and celery soup, lasooni palak, and methi ka subzi with besan ka dhapka. 

ALSO READ: Craving something sweet? Renu Dalal shares minimal prep Desi sweet recipes for that sweet tooth

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