On a bit of a health kick? Forget fad diets and embrace the delicious and nutritious power of healthy Indian food, instead. 

Indian cuisine is renowned for its spectrum of vibrant flavours, aromatic spices, and diverse array of dishes. Whilst many people may indeed associate Indian food with rich, indulgent curries and decadent sweets, the truth is that this fascinating culinary tradition offers a plethora of healthy options that can be easily integrated into your day-to-day diet. 

In today’s blog post, we’re going to make a case for the power of healthy Indian food. Together, we’ll explore the cornerstones of a nourishing, flavour-rich Indian cuisine, and suggest delicious ways to incorporate it into your daily meal plans. 

Tap into the power of spices

One of the distinguishing features of Indian cuisine is its masterful use of spices. Many of these spices not only add depth and complexity to the flavours of dishes but also bring a host of fantastic health benefits, making them an essential component of healthy Indian food. 

Turmeric, for instance, contains curcumin, known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Cumin aids digestion, while coriander is rich in dietary fibre and can help lower cholesterol levels.

Fans of sweet, earthy flavours will also be pleased to learn that cinnamon is one of the most nourishing spices out there. Packed with antioxidants, and boasting a wealth of antibacterial and antifungal properties, cinnamon has the power to reduce inflammation, manage type-2 diabetes and reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. 

To incorporate these spices into your everyday diet you can have a go at experimenting with homemade spice blends. Try adding turmeric to soups, stews, and even smoothies. The likes of cumin, coriander and cinnamon can all be sprinkled over roasted vegetables or used as a seasoning for lean proteins. Be creative, and don’t be afraid to find out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to flavour. 

Close-up photograph of cinnamon sticks.

Explore lean proteins

For those looking to make healthier choices with their diet, Indian cuisine offers a variety of protein-rich options that go beyond the stereotype of heavy meat-based curries. 

Lentils, chickpeas, and other legumes are staple ingredients in a great many Indian dishes. They are not only excellent sources of protein but also provide essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre, encouraging us to think beyond the usual health-kick protein staples such as chicken and salmon. 

Consider incorporating lentils into soups, stews, or salads, or try your hand at a delicious Indian daal (lentil curry). Chickpeas can be marinated in spices and roasted for a crunchy snack or used as a base for a nutritious and satisfying curry. 

A bowl of Indian daal curry topped with coriander.

Prioritise plant-based options

Whilst many of the stalwarts of Indian cuisine in British culture include the likes of rich lamb curries and sizzling platters of tandoori meats, vegetarianism is deeply rooted in Indian culture, and many traditional dishes are inherently plant-based. 

By taking the emphasis off meat and dairy in your diet, you can draw inspiration from the Indian diet and embrace a vast array of vegetables, fruits, and legumes to create colourful and nutrient-packed meals.

Vegetable-based curries, such as bhindi masala (okra curry) or baingan bharta (roasted aubergine curry), are not only delicious but also offer a medley of vitamins and minerals. 

To find out more about the significance of plant-based food in Indian – and specifically, Punjabi – cuisine, click here. 

Why not try some of these delicious dishes?

If you’d like to try whipping up some delicious, healthy Indian food at home, or are wondering what to opt for next time you dine with us, try some of the following flavourful, nutritious dishes…

  • Bhindi Masala 

Cooked with plenty of delicious Indian spices and herbs and containing tender pieces of okra, Bhindi Masala is a staple Indian dish that is incredibly aromatic, very nourishing, and full of flavour. Try it for yourself at home with our exclusive Sachins’ recipe, available here. 

  • Dal, dal and more dal!

We absolutely love dals here at Sachins, and are forever flying the flag for the nutritiously abundant power of this humble dish, which is a key cornerstone of Indian cuisine. For a big hit of nourishing protein, we recommend taking your pick from traditional dal dishes such as dal makhani, channa dal or tarka dal, all of which utilise different types of legumes and spices to create their unique flavour profile. Here at Sachins, our delicious Channa Dal is incredibly light and healthy, and is a real crowd-pleaser, so why not try it next time you dine with us?

  • Salmon tikka 

For a healthy and quick midweek meal, why not try marinating some protein-rich salmon fillets in an aromatic tikka spice blend and popping them in the grill? This is a super-simple go-to meal that mimics the flavoursome dishes achieved in Indian cuisine with the use of a tandoor oven. For a true tandoori experience, choose our Salmon Tikka 3 Ways next time you dine with us here at Sachins, and enjoy mouthwatering salmon marinated in three different South Indian spice-blends, and barbecued in the tandoor. 

Healthy Indian food at Sachins 

Here at Sachins, we believe that the aromatic spices and vibrant ingredients that form the pillars of healthy Indian food can truly elevate your culinary experience and contribute to a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. Opt to dine with us here at our iconic Forth Banks restaurant, located in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne, and we can advise you on the best healthy dishes to select for optimum nourishment (and flavour!). 

Keen to sample the tantalising flavours of Indian cuisine? Book your table with us here.