Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or happily cushioned in a couch for the past decade, you'd know that superfoods have taken over the world. These are nutritioned-packed powerhouses in the world of food that offer a lot within their usually small built. A lot of these have travelled their way from different parts of the world, and in the process, are a lot harder (and more expensive) to procure. The good news is, there are several Indian counterparts to these ingredients,
Daliya instead of Quinoa
Quinoa, a superfood that is known for its high-fibre, high-protein seed often mistaken for grain due to its texture when cooked. Quinoa, which has been a major part of the diet in South America countries, especially by the Aztec civilisation has made its way to India too in the past few years. There are a few alternatives to quinoa that are readily available, including daliya (bulgur wheat) and amaranth seeds.
Sabza instead of Chia seeds
Supermarket aisles and smoothie bowls--it’s hard to miss chia seeds these days. The superfood, with origins in Southern American countries, rose to Internet health food fame in the past ten years. The seeds, which inflate when soaked in water, are rich in antioxidants and are said to help with weight loss. They are, also, unfortunately painfully expensive. Luckily, we have an Indian alternative to chia seeds--sweet basil seeds, or better known, sabja seeds. Widely grown in India and other sub-tropical regions, sabja have many similar qualities to chia, help cool our bodies, and are a fourth of the price.
Amla instead of Goji berries
Amla is a jack-of-all-trades fruit in India. You’ll find Indian mothers urging their children to have the sour fruit, or sneaking it into a mixed juice glass. A high source of vitamin c, amla helps build high immunity, is good for the eyesight, and are a rich source of antioxidants, among many other redeeming qualities. Have amla to replace the increasingly popular Japanese goji berries, which are also famous for being power-packed with vitamin C.
Coconut oil instead of Olive oil
A recent wave declared olive oil the healthiest, low-cholesterol oil to cook foods in. The Mediterranean oil has taken the prime spot in most recipes, and been used to replace our usual Indian oils, butter and even, sometimes ghee. But it has been found that our locally produced oils, such as coconut, mustard, peanut or even sesame have similar health benefits as olive oil. Coconut oil, which has been the base of most South Indian foods, has recently even been identified as a superfood in the west. Good news for us; let’s get back to the basics.
Cabbage and spinach instead of Kale
You can pass a chips aisle without spotting dried kale chips. Kale called a ‘super green’ is supposed to be packed with antioxidants and vitamins. However, many of these qualities are readily loaded in ingredients you can easily buy in India--spinach and cabbage included.