There's more to snacks than just potato chips!

eat Healthy
Last Updated 17 September 2014, 14:00 IST

Diversity is one of the characteristics that best describe India. And like its diverse culture, even its food culture is also quite diverse. One can actually see so many variations of just one dish alone.

Socialising and snacking is an integral part of an average Indian. It is a tradition at Indian homes to serve you with a variety of snacks, mostly homemade, and tangy pickles as accompaniments. But, snacks are often classified as junk because they are typically fried and are not seen as contributing towards general health and nutrition.

Indeed, when it comes to ready-to-eat snacks, the one thing that immeditely comes to mind are potato chips and while eating them we actually don’t realise about the side effects of having packaged snacks.

Talking about healthy snacking, Ratib Al Ghriwati, executive chef, Rrala’s Habibi, said, “Nothing can replace fruits when it comes to healthy snacking. Fruits are rich in fibre and hence should not be taken in liquid form. A fruit salad is great when it comes to healthy snacking. Other than this, popcorn can help fill you up instantly because of its calorie content. Roasted almonds are a great option too, other than breads, low fat yoghurt.”

To stay healthy people should limit the consumption of processed foods. Packed food is full of sodium, the consumption of which should be curbed to stay healthy. Also, processed foods contain artificial sugar, fats and addictives. They can be convenient but not at all healthy.

Chef Deepak, Shraman, The Ashok, said, “It is true that a lot of us end up eating potato chips or wafers when it comes to snacks, but there are few more options which can be easy to cook and healthy like baked kale chips, kettle corn, homemade granola, black bean and cheese enchiladas with ranchero sauce, etc.”

Other than this, bread paneer rolls are probably the easiest and quickest snack that one can make with bread slices and paneer filling. Methi ke pakode are also a quick snack. The flavour and bitterness of the methi leaves complement perfectly with the besan, onion and spices in the pakoda batter and it doesn’t take longer than 15 mins to get cooked.

Chivda, popularly called the Bombay Mix can also be eaten as snacks. It can be a healthy alternative to potato chips as it is made from dry lentils, chickpeas, peanuts and puffed rice. Murukku, also known as Chakli is a delicious and crispy snack. It is typically made from rice flour batter mixed with urad dal flour spiced with asafoetida, cumin, ajwain and chilli. The batter is squeezed through a murukku mould with a star-shaped nozzle to form a circular spiral coil and then deep fried till they turn golden and crispy. This can also be served as an evening snack with tea or coffee.

(Published 17 September 2014, 14:00 IST)

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