Nutritional research during the past four decades in india and elsewhere has shown that it is beneficial to health to have a variety of combinations of cereals and pulses in our daily diet. Several Indian sweets and other food preparations are based mainly on cereals (notably rice and wheat) and pulses. Knowledge regarding the nutritive value of such Indian food preparations is a valuable aid to wise food selection. Information currently available on this subject is rather scanty except for a brochure brought out by the Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore. This booklet contains the method ofpreparation and nutritive value of nearly 200 recipes commonly prepared in the several regions of the country. The recipes were actually prepared once again in the Diet Kitchen of the Nutrition Research Laboratories and were found to be well accepted by persons hailing from different regions of India.
It is hoped to enlarge on the information presented in the booklet in future editions. In the meantime, the material presented now will be found valuable and useful by the enterprising and resourceful Indian housewife in preparing something new and at the same time, nutritious, in her home. The booklet may also be useful as an aid for teaching home science students. In providing nutritious menus for school lunches, community feeding centres and for institutions like hostels, restaurants and cafetarias.
Dr. S.C. Balasubramanian, officer – in – Charge of the Education and training Section, provided valuable help to the authors in the finalisation of the booklet.
Information on the method of preparation of several common Indian food preparations, along with their nutritive value. Will be particularly helpful to housewives and persons in charge of catering establishments in preparing tasty and nutritious dishes.
The present booklet is an attempt at fulfilling this objective. Between its covers are presented method of preparation and nutritive value of about 200 recipes, based chiefly on rice and wheat. These have so far not been published.
The details regarding the methods of preparation were collected through home-visits and careful personal enquiry from housewives hailing from different parts of the country. Each dish was prepared once again in the Diet Kitchen of the Laboratories, using the same amounts of ingredients, and the yield of the cooked product noted.
The nutritive value of the cooked product was calculated from the values for the raw materials used in each recipe as given in Health Bulletin No. 23 brought out by these Laboratories. The vitamin values are not given since it has been found that wide variations in vitamin values can result even with minor variations in the methods of cooking. In general, it may be stated that cooking with soda involves loss of B-complex vitamins, and cooking with exposure to air results in loss of vitamin C. On the other hand, use of tamarind or lime protects vitamin C. Rancidity also affects certain vitamins adversely. The sooner a dish is consumed after preparation, the better will be the benefit with regard to the vitamins one derives there from.
At the end of each recipe, the yield of the cooked product is given and towards the end of the booklet, the nutritive value of a 300 g. Portion of the cooked is given in a tabular form.
The quantities of fat or oil, indicated under ingredients in preparations which involve frying in deep fat, represent only the amount of fat or oil actually absorbed by the preparation concerned. In practice, a larger amount than indicated has to be used for frying and the fat or oil left is used in other preparations.
The term "baking" means the use of either an electric oven or an improvised oven such as a vessel containing hot sand.
A preliminary chapter deals with general principles of nutrition and serves as a background for understanding the value and importance of nutrients like calcium and proteins, data on which are presented later. Housewives and other users of the book would profit much by a perusal of these pages.
Recipes common to the whole country are presented in the beginning. The rest of the recipes have grouped under four regions – East, West, North and South of India. They are further sub – divided under each region as sweets and savoury preparations based on wheat and rise respectively.
An appendix at the end gives the Hindi equivalents of English names of common Indian foodstuffs.
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