Nutritional Value Of Staple Indian Foods

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Published on: 07-Sep-2022

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Nutritional Value Of Staple Indian Foods

Nutritional Value Of Staple Indian Foods

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India is not only diverse in religions and traditions but is home to vivid food cultures. The nutritional value of staple Indian foods, their taste and texture, is different in every region. Devi Annapurna is considered the goddess of food in Indian culture. We Indians love our food from the bottom of our hearts. 

Food is a necessity for all living beings. It is essential for our body because it gives us the energy and nutrients required for various bodily functions. Our culture offers an endless variety of cuisines across the length and breadth of this land. Each food item has its nutritional value and benefits. 

Table Of Contents

1. Indian Food Culture

2. History Of Indian Food And Food Habits 

3. Regional Influence On Indian Cuisine

4. Staple Food Grains Of India

5. Nutritional Value Of Staple Food Of India

6. The Final Say

Indian Food Culture

Our culture dramatically emphasises being a good host and considers the guest as God (Atithi Devo Bhava). Whether there is marriage, meeting, birthday or other functions, dining and cuisine are significant aspects of Indian culture and lifestyle. Our cuisine differs not only in taste but also in preparation techniques. It exhibits a flawless blending of numerous eras and many classic recipes pass from generation to generation. 

Several civilisations have left their mark on Indian cuisine, contributing to its present and current form. Indian cuisine comprises a wide range of regional and traditional dishes indigenous to this country. Various cultural preferences and customs all significantly contribute to our Indian cuisine.

The variety of cuisines also depends on local climatic conditions, social conditions, and geographical location, which define our food habits. 

The most defining feature of all kinds of Indian cuisine is the extensive use of herbs, spices, and vegetables.

History Of Indian Food And Food Habits

Indian food reflects the subcontinent’s 8,000-year history of contact with numerous groups and cultures, which gave rise to various tastes and regional cuisines in today’s India. However, many invasions and different races came from other parts of the world, such as Portugal, Britain, the Dutch, the French, the Mughals, Persians, etc.

As a result, our country saw an influence of their respective cuisine on Indian cuisine. The fusion of cuisines presented mouth-watering and delicious kinds of whole new foods. 

The history of Indian cuisines traces back to Vedic people who resided in the country centuries ago. For example, rice and vegetables are cooked together according to the ancient Hindu literature Mahabharata. The term came to be known as “pulao” or “pallao” is used to describe the dish in old Sanskrit writings like Yjavalkya Smriti (Ayurveda).

Our ancient scriptures also discuss the classification system that categorises any food item as sattvic, rajasic, or tamasic. It was developed in ayurvedic tradition and its consequent effect on the human body, mind, and nature. 

During the “Bhakti” movement, some people adopted vegetarianism; thus, a favourable environment made it possible to grow various fruits, vegetables, and cereals all year round. At the same time, many traditional Indian dishes have vanished into history. 

Portuguese and British rule introduced new foods and cooking techniques such as “Baking” from European culture. As a result, the most popular Europe cuisines include tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and peanuts. 

Regional Influence On Indian Cuisine 

India is divided into east, west, north and south. Therefore, every part impacts the cuisine based on the regional culture, choices and availability of food items. 

For instance, food in north India has a strong Central Asian influence. On the other side, states like Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh strongly use chapatis as a staple cuisine.

In contrast, most dishes are prepared around rice in Kashmir. But, again, various flours, including wheat, rice, maida, besan, and others, are used to make these chapatis.

Along with chapatis, these areas produce comparable bread like Tandoori, Rumali, and Naan. However, in the northern region, the impact of Mughlai food is quite obvious. 

Western India is renowned for its distinct flavour and variety of foods. Gujarat and Rajasthan are the states that best exemplify desserts. There is an immense variety of dal, besan and achar. In areas like Maharashtra, the cuisine is frequently a fusion of both north and south cooking techniques.

Portuguese influence may be seen in Goa and the Konkan region. However, the Bengali and Assamese culinary traditions are evident in eastern India.

Bengalis eat rice, fish, and a variety of milk-based desserts, including Rosogolla, Sandesh, Cham-cham, and others. 

Since most of the states in southern India have coastal borders, they make extensive use of spices, fish, and coconuts. People of Tamil Nadu usually use tamarind to add sourness to their meals, and those of Andhra Pradesh use excessive chillies.

Instead, it just enhances the flavour of the food. The lamb stew, appam, Malabar fried prawn, idli, dosa, fish, and rice puttu are just a few of Kerala’s delectable meals. 

Staple Food Grains Of India 

Staples in the Indian diet also vary by region, like usage of Besan in western Indian cuisine, fish and rice in eastern Indian cuisine, paneer, ghee and flours in north Indian cuisine etc. Wheat and rice are the primary staple food of India. Other staple foods of India include pearl millet, rice, refined wheat flour, and a variety of lentils, such as masoor, tur, urad, and moong.

Lentils may be used as a whole like dhuli moong, or dhuli urad are used extensively. In addition, some pulses, such as chana or chole, rajma, and lobia, are widespread, particularly in the northern regions.

Sunflower, cottonseed, and soybean oils have recently gained popularity all over India. Vanaspati ghee, a type of vegetable oil that has been hydrogenated, is quite famous for cooking. Ghee, also known as desi ghee, is frequently used, especially in the northern part.

At the same time, it is also seen that many households use sesame oil, which is used in the south because of its sweet, nutty aroma.

We also use whole or powdered chilli pepper, black mustard seed, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, asafoetida, ginger, coriander, and garlic in our cooking, which is the most significant and commonly used flavouring spices.

Nutritional Value Of Staple Food In India

The nutritional value (per 100 g) of some of the staple food grains of India is as follows:
 

S.No

Food item

Calories (kcal)

Protein (grams)

Fats (grams) 

Carbs (grams)

1.

Barley

354

12

2.3

73

2.

Wheat

364

10

1

76

3.

Rice

374

8

1

81

4.

Bajra

360

12

5

67

5.

Jowar

349

10.4

1.9

72.6

6.

Milk (Cow)

149

8

8

12

7.

Curd

98

11

4.3

3.4

8.

Sago/Tapioca

332

1

1

83

9.

Honey

304

0.3

0

82

10.

Ghee

900

0

100

0

11.

Cooking oils (all)

900

0

100

0

12.

Toor dal

343

22

1.5

63

13.

Masoor dal

353

26

1.1

60

14.

Urad dal

350

24

1.5

60

15

Moong dal 

347

24

1.2

63

16.

Chana

364

19

6

61

17.

Rajma

333

24

0.8

60

18.

Lobia

336

24

1.3

60

19.

Fish

28

20

13

0

20.

Chicken

239

27

14

0

21.

Banana

89

1.1

0.3

23

22.

Apple

52

0.3

0.2

14

23.

Mango

60

0.8

0.4

15

The Final Say 

Indian cuisine has long been praised for its excellent use of herbs and spices. Our food is renowned for its wide variety and delicious dishes. Generally, South Indian and North Indian cuisines combine most cooking styles, varying from region to region. Wheat, rice, and pulses are among the staple foods in India. 

Indian cuisine’s palette has changed significantly in modern times. Due to globalisation, many Indians have travelled to other countries. Vice versa, thus adding a lot of new fusion recipes, e.g., Pizza is from Italy. Still, Indie-Tandoori Pizza is a fusion for Indian taste buds. Therefore, it has resulted in the Indianisation of many international cuisines.

 

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Comments (1)


P

Pranshu

Staple Indian foods such as rice, wheat, lentils, and millets are rich in essential nutrients. Rice provides carbohydrates and energy, while wheat is a good source of fiber and proteins. Lentils and pulses are packed with proteins, iron, and B vitamins, and millets offer a range of nutrients including magnesium, phosphorus, and antioxidants. Ensuring the nutritional value and safety of these staples is crucial for public health. Equinox Labs, the top food testing lab in India, excels in analyzing the nutritional content and safety of staple foods. Their expertise guarantees that these essential foods meet high standards, supporting the health and well-being of the population. www.equinoxlab.com

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