A crispy exterior stuffed with lentils and a mixture of different spices, the humble Dahi kachori, which was once popular in North India, has taken the country by storm. Served with sweet curd, a spicy and sweet chutney, and garnished with sev, this mid-day or evening snack is sure to keep your taste buds excited. But how exactly do you calculate the macronutrients? How can you figure or calculate whether or not they fit into your daily calories? Does one dahi kachori contain 200 kcal? Or 500 kcal? Or is it worse? Don’t stress! Today’s Know Your Calories blog will help you find all the answers.
Ingredients: Crispy on the outside and stuffed with flavourful spices and chutneys, the outer layer is prepared using refined flour, and while it may be stuffed with lentils, the quantity is too insignificant to gain any nutritional advantage. This dish, deep fried in oil to give it that crispy and flaky exterior, is by no means lean and healthy. Served with curds that are sweetened using refined sugar and a sweet sauce that again contains refined sugar, not only are you getting high levels of unhealthy fats but sugar as well. If you would like to know more about healthy and unhealthy fats, then click here to read our blog. Topped with sev, which is deep-fried and garnished with coriander and occasionally a few pomegranate seeds, this dish isn’t for those looking to get into shape, at least not to be consumed regularly.
Carbohydrates: A single Dahi kachori contains 28 grams of carbohydrates, or 112 kcal, most of which comes from the refined flour that acts as a crispy puri in which the lentils are stuffed. While this dish does contain 4 grams of fibre that comes from the lentils, you are also getting a lot of simple carbohydrates, and maida in particular is known to cause a spike in blood sugar levels, besides destroying the good bacteria in your gut. Over time, as refined flour is also known to cause an insulin response, over time, this can lead to weight gain and type 2 diabetes as well, especially if not regulated properly. Doused in curds and chutney that is sweetened using refined sugar, your blood glucose levels are in for a roller coaster ride.
Fats: Since this dish is prepared by deep-frying the rolls in oil, which is often reused multiple times, this is not just unhealthy, but is outright dangerous as it can prove to be highly carcinogenic. Each Dahi kachori contains 7 grams of fat or 63 Kcal, all of which is derived from the oil that is used to deep-fry the kachori and the sev as well. If you observe this oil, it resembles something similar to dark sludge, and that’s because the oil is burnt, meaning it has been heated to beyond its smoking point, and once that is done, the oil is rendered unfit for human consumption. This, however, becomes almost impossible to regulate with road-side eateries, as they do not follow any sort of quality-control measures.
Protein: As expected, the most important macronutrient, i.e., protein, comes in at just 5 grams, or 20 kcal. While some of the protein does come from curd, it is a complete protein. Since the curd is sweetened using sugar, all its probiotic benefits are lost as well. The remaining few grams of protein come from the lentils, which are again a good source of protein, but are so sparingly used that you will stand to gain absolutely no nutritional benefits from them.
If you’re looking for a healthier option, then you can prepare the same dish at home by first swapping the maida for whole wheat flour. Secondly, you can try baking it, and while it may not give you the same flaky and crispy texture as the deep-fried one, it does come pretty close. You can also sweeten the curds using a natural sweetener. If you’re unsure about which sweetener is best for you, you can click here to find out more. Another wise move would be to increase the quantity of lentils in the kachori itself, which will increase the protein content and will make it a much healthier snack.
For every unhealthy dish, there’s always a healthy or at least healthier option or a healthier way to prepare it. Do keep following us to know more about your favourite dishes.