Crispy, butter-soaked Masala Dosa with a generous aalu filling...did you salivate? Malasa dosa was listed as one among the 'Top 10 foods to try before you die' by Huffington Post. This was the only dish chosen from India's plethora of recipes. A dosa may look like a simple dish, a comfort food, but don't be deceived! Not only is it a complex amalgamation of flavour and cooking technique, but it is also a packed full of calories.
Let's deconstruct a Masala Dosa Thali for you and look at the various components and their nutritional factors. A regular plate of dosa will also have a bowl of Sāmbhar, some coconut and tomato chutney. One serving of Masala dosa smeared with red chilli chutney, potato bhaji and coconut chutney (contains polished white rice, urad dhal/black gram dhal, oil(hydrogenated oil/palm oil/other vegetable oils with butter/ghee, boiled potato without skin, onion, coconut, roasted Bengal gram dal, spices, herbs and chillies)
But hey! That is not a bad thing. You need to be ready to burn the excess calories. A standard and simple rule that we all understand are that if our caloric intake exceeds the calories we burn, then the excess calories are deposited as fat in our body, which increases one’s body weight.
If we start counting the calories of masala dosa and compare it with nuts/paneer/sprouts/meat the nutrient and health benefits that the latter provides will compel us to refrain from fast foods, but this should not stop you from eating the world’s most desired pancake.
Instead, it is better to modify the recipe to reap the benefits of dosa. From a dietitian’s perspective, masala dosa that is served in a restaurant is not healthy, so when one places this dish under a dietetics magnifying lens, the following are it is unknown nutritional values which are underrated by researchers:
The extra calories from masala dosa require more than an hour of swimming to expend, but it takes just a few minutes to gulp it! If we analyze the above calories consumed for one meal, it is only 25% of your day’s requirement as a healthy individual.
Also Read: 4 Healthy Foods To Eat After Morning Workout
Pros and Cons of masala dosa:
- It is a fermented product which enhances beneficial nutrients, digests quickly, absorbs better and aids in gut health.
- Tasty and appealing.
- Provides a combination of all essential nutrients, including carbs, protein, fat, calcium, fibre etc.
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- It contains fast releasing high carbs from white rice and potato, which gushes into your blood to increase your sugar levels.
- Excess calories are stored as fat to improve your bodyweight if you do not exercise.
- It is not a great source of protein to help you with weight loss.
- The type of fat added in masala dosa at restaurants contains trans fat which should be less than 1% according to the American Heart Association, but this exceeds the limit due to the use of unhealthy hydrogenated oils.
- It is a poor source of micronutrients such as iron and calcium, which is commonly prevalent among our Indian population.
- Dosa at restaurants are fermented by using soda which is a source of sodium, and with other sources of salt through different types of chutneys and potato preparation, it exceeds your actual requirement and can exceed your blood pressure.
- Hygiene in which uncooked chutneys are prepared, kind of water used is still questionable and a route of infection in those with weak immunity.
A healthy makeover to ‘Masala Dosa’
- You can modify the recipe of masala dosa by preparing it With fibre-rich grains, i.e. by adding some amount of brown rice/ red rice/millets/lentils with a topping of vegetables, peas or paneer to enhance protein content.
- Use of ghee, regular cooking oil, coconut, herbs and spices, when used in moderation, is still beneficial to keep the taste and the aromas of the recipe intact to relish your home-made makeover to one of the tastiest dishes of India.
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