What is your favorite flour?
Flour has always been an integral element of the fundamentals of Indian food. It doesn’t matter if the cuisine is from North India, South, East or West; Every housewife relies heavily on a basic type of flour for her daily preparations.
The interesting thing is that most modern Indian cuisines rely heavily on a particular type of flour, such as Besan flour, wheat flour, or rice flour. What is even more disturbing is that due to the advent of Western cuisine and the influence of fast food, independence and the invisible dominance of some not-so-healthy varieties like refined flour (also called Maida), they have started to show some unpleasant effects.
Lifestyle-related diseases such as obesity and blood pressure imbalance are on the rise. At the same time, the deficiency of important nutrients is gaining a widespread impact in all other households.
This is probably the best time to go back and delve into the history of India and its heart. The core of Indian cuisine lies in a mixture of different flavors and flours. Far-flung villages and the country’s rural population have been harvesting locally grown food for years and that includes a mixture of flours that gives them strength and stamina to handle physically intensive tasks such as farming, harvesting, forestry livelihoods, etc.
This is a wake-up call for urban consumers and it’s about time we realized that just scraping our daily food intake will not help us drive our long-term health goals in any way. It is easy and sometimes forgivable to lose important nutrients in the daily routine and the rapid blur of life. But sooner or later, small and large symptoms serve to remind us that our body needs everything in a good, balanced and multidimensional way.
Avoiding one-dimensional eating habits is the first step to achieving that balance. Try to instill more types of flours in your daily diet. Not only do they provide essential fiber for the functioning of the digestive and kidney systems, but they also inject important vitamins and energy sources that the human body needs.
Have a good mix of organic ragi, kiss, bajra, etc. in the daily dough of wheat flour and rice it would further enhance the flavor and variety that every Indian table desperately seeks. In fact, many interesting recipes are enhanced with the use of varied proportions of ragi, wheat, etc., and many veggies and snacks turn amazing in a quick mix of good rice or besan flour. They range from Gujarati Dhokla, Rajasthani Baati or Rotla, Maharashtrian Thalipeeth, to South Indian Idli or porridge or Mudde varieties. Of course, you can also make delicious cookies or cakes with this amazing mix.
Once you start to develop the habit of using and mixing these flours into your routine, you can also start experimenting with many dishes and take advantage of organic variants that add more health to this energy mix.
Ragi and millet flours give strength and other flours give vigor. They also help strongly in weight loss and regulation of metabolism. Problems such as cholesterol levels or diabetes can be easily eliminated with a careful mixing of various grains and flours in a good recipe.
They lack the buttocks that other flours have. They contain fiber that other flours lack. They are low in unsaturated fats. Their natural and unrefined characteristics immediately differentiate them from the usual flours that are usually consumed in a hurry or out of habit. They are best used in their natural form and therefore do not need polishing, which is what gives them a distinct place in the food system.
These healthy organic flours like besan and rice flour are also now just as readily available and as affordable as their not-so-healthy counterparts. They are not tasteless, they can be whipped into any recipe and, in addition, they combine flexibly in various formats.
Packed with nutrition and ripe with minerals, iron, calcium, etc., this is the same multi-grain wonder that granola bars of the western world provide. Why not go for something Indian and at your fingertips to get the same benefits package?