One of the most popular dishes served in restaurants across the country, veg kadhai is a mixure of various vegetables, cooked in a creamy and tangy tomato and onion gravy, and best served with naan, chappati, rice or roti. From the outside, this dish may seem healthy, but it's anything but. While the vegetables themselves are a good source of various nutrients, they are often overcooked, thus destroying their nutritional value. The base of the gravy is prepared by frying onions and tomatoes for a long time, using lots of vegetable or palm oil to give the gravy the desired consistency. Moreover, restaurants are known to prepare the base of the gravy days in advance and thus use extra oil to increase the shelf life of the base.
Ingredients: The dish is prepared using a mixture of vegetables such as carrots, green peas, potatoes, onions, and cauliflower and then fried to give it a crunch. The base of the gravy is usually made using onions that are slow fried till golden brown, tomatoes, ginger and garlic paste, and tomatoes and is cooked for a good few minutes so that it gives the gravy a grainy consistency, for which lots of oil is utilised to prepare the base.
Carbohydrates: A single serving of Veg kadhai will give you 22 grams of carbohydrates, or 88 kcal, and since the vegetables are overcooked, not only are the vitamins and minerals lost, even the fibre in them breaks down into starch. Vegetables in themselves are extremely healthy, as theiy are an excellent source of gfiber,vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, its how you prepare them that determines how much of these health benefits you get.
Fats: Since the base of the gravy is prepared using lots of oil, not only to fry the onions and tomatoes but also to give it a long shelf life, don't expect it to be low in fats. Each serving contains 18 grams of fat, or 162 kcal. Given that all the fats come from refined vegetable oil or palm oil, which has been shown to be pro-inflammatory, don't expect it to be beneficial the way healthy fats are. Have you read our blog about healthy fats yet? If not, then click here right now!
Protein: As is the trend with all Indian dishes, this dish contains a mere 6 grams of protein, or 24 kcal. Given that the dish contains 260 calories, protein makes up a mere 9.3% of the total dish. To make matters worse, the 6 grams of protein are incomplete, which means that your body cannot use them efficiently.
If you're craving some veg kadhai, then as always, we recommend that you prepare it at home, and begin by first using less oil, not overcooking, but, instead, lightly steaming your vegetables and using a protein source such as paneer, tofu, or soy chunks to make it healthy.
So there you have it, another popular Indian dish broken down for you, with a healthier alternative that you can opt for. We hope you keep following us for future updates.