How to make a rice meal more balanced and a salad more appealing | making meals low glycemic

Many times I get queries regarding the use of rice as a daily staple. Especially after a new found fear of gluten, and a consciousnesses about lowering carbs, many people are realising they can neither depend on wheat nor on rice as a daily staple.

Indian subcontinent is basically divided in two parts if you consider the staple carbohydrate source of the people.

Rice and roti (wheat).

Rice eating people have always been in dilemma with low carb diets and weight loss targets. Rice being the only grain that brings satiety on a platter.

The Roti (wheat) eating too have started looking for alternatives as Gluten seems to be the new evil. Eating any amount of other carbs doesn't give as much satiety as that particular food we grew up with. The food that has comforted us all our lives.

A comfort platter is still affordable. Just start thinking about the accompaniments of your 'food'.

Food is almost synonymous with either rice or roti in my part of the world and I know many of you would agree with this. A bowl of daal can never be a food but a bowl of rice with just some ghee and salt or sugar is food to many people I know, I recently am realising seeing many blogs that a tomato rice, tamarind rice, coconut rice or a plateful of plain boiled rice with just a chutney for accompaniment can be a complete meal.

Just like a bowl of instant noodles.

And I am not joking. I have seen many people who help themselves with just 2 tablespoons of daal for a whole mound of rice, they say they love rice. This is like saying I have a sweet tooth. Quite clearly it is addictive and you don't even enjoy the real taste of it.

Just think whether you enjoy the sugar or the lemon in a lemon tart. The chocolate or the sugar in a deep dark crumbly brownie. If it really was a sweet tooth it would have satiated with just sugar. It is the sugar spike in the blood, and the momentary happy feeling following that makes you have the sugar with different flavorings each time.

Rice is way better than sugar.

But if you want to enjoy the taste of rice , just get out of the 'spiked up sugar in the blood' addiction and taste the real grain. Less is more in that case.

This platter includes half cup of loosely packed cooked rice and it is quite filling and satiating as a complete meal. A side dish of boiled green peas with a green chutney gravy, a spring onion and potato subzi and a flavorful tangy salad.

Would it make a filling meal for you?

Here is the green peas in green gravy decoded for you...

The green peas are just boiled with a little water and salt , in the microwave. Can be pressure cooked if they are mature and tough. A green chutney made with lots of coriander greens, a little garlic, little cumin seeds and green chillies and salt to taste. 

A cup of chutney for a cup of boiled green peas. 

The potatoes and spring onion subzi is a quick one too. 

Two medium sized potatoes, boiled , peeled and cubed(1 cup) are stir fried first in hot oil (1 tbsp) with a pinch of whole cumin seeds. 

A little turmeric, red chilly powder and my everyday curry powder(2 tsp) is added and bhunoed till fragrant.  

Chopped tomatoes(1 cup) added with salt to taste and mixed and cooked till mushy.

Chopped green parts of spring onion(2 cups packed) added and mixed and tossed just till they wilt. That's it.

Now the colorful salad....

Ripened pineapples, cubed in convenient size(1 cup) , Chopped tomatoes (1 cup) and chopped red onions(1/4 cup) are tossed with some chaat masala to taste.

A salad is more appealing if it is easy to assemble too.

I know pineapple may be a chore to peel and chop.

My trick is to let it ripe fully, so it is softer to work with. Then I slice the pineapple in one inch thickness, place the slices on my chopping board and just remove the peel by cutting them away. These slices keep well in the fridge for couple of days and make nice and convenient smoothies for me too.

And this salad makes a meal by itself when accompanied with some khakhras or crackers.

I know many people who can eat salads like this for a meal. The only grudge for them is chopping. Working a little to get healthier meals can save you from running a few miles to shed the wrong kind of meal gone into the adipose..

Though running or strength training is a pleasure in itself , a healthy body progresses to become fit by any standards.

So no compromises on health. Fitness would follow.

Do you still dread rice?


  1. real balanced meal. I often make a similar potato curry but the peas curry is a neat idea. have to try soon.

    1. Thanks Sayantani.
      This peas in green gravy is a favorite breakfast for me too :-)

  2. Looking at the plate, am feeling hungry now :-( One question, do u cook the peas & chutney together???

    1. No, the chutney is raw and the peas cooked. One cup green chutney to one cup boiled green peas.

  3. oh my oh my .. delicious and what a healthy foooood :)

    I am so hungryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy


  4. Rice indeed is a versatile food. Just as roti eaters can eat several of them with just an onion or green chillies with salt, we rice eaters can mix it with some chutney or even several varieties of chutney powder or dress it up as a mixed rice with lemon, coconut, roasted til and chillies...the list is endless and have it with maybe curds or a papad. Filling...

    Loved the peas dish here. :)

    1. I just wanted to warn some people of gobbling several of rotis or a mound of rice with chutneys or podis :( You yummy description would deter many :-)

  5. Lovely ideas, all of these and so colourful too :) I have never thought of having pineapple with onion and tomato ..only with other fruits. This should be a good change and an addition to the salsd repertorie :)

  6. Delicious n healthy balanced meal.

  7. those peas look great and oh my the gluten free craze had hit India too then

  8. Healthy and delicious complete meal..SIMPLE YET YUMMY..

  9. All of these dishes look delicious. No matter what the latest fad or the new evil food...Ignore it. Rice (carbs) or not evil foods. They have sustained millions of people for thousands of years. Wheat is only bad if you are truly allergic to gluten...We must continue to enjoy our food it is what sustains us, and seals our family bonds.


    1. Absolutely Velva..the food sustains us and seals and nurtures family bonds as well. Overdoing any particular ingredient or food group is not advisable though.


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