Diabetic and missing your favourite dishes? Worry no more…
We all know that diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to produce sufficient insulin or is incapable to use it appropriately which leads to blood sugar level fluctuations. I agree that a diabetic diet needs care and one needs to be watchful with the diet, following specific recipes for diabetics. However, there are wider and healthier options of diabetic-friendly foods in a vegetarian diet that are not only hearty but are a sure delight to your taste buds!
A diabetic doesn’t always have to have boring or bland dishes; just need to be selective and careful in what you pick and add to your diet. Diabetics need a routine that includes small frequent meals to keep their blood sugar levels under control.
Diabetes can be well managed with proper diet control, right and regular medication along with a healthy lifestyle. When we say a balanced diet it certainly includes pulses, cereals, fruits, and vegetables. Jowar, Bajra, Quinoa, Oats, Barley are some healthy cereal options. Including plenty of fibre-rich foods and avoiding starchy foods can certainly help in lowering blood sugar levels. Plus, sprouts aid in reducing fat and promoting a healthy heart.
There are various choices and ways where diabetics can still enjoy their favourite food while levelling blood sugar. Well, this is absolutely possible with better substitutes and healthier options. Sharing with you 7 unique vegetarian Recipes for Diabetics which every diabetic will enjoy. These simple, low-calorie recipes are great to maintain blood glucose levels.
Excited to check out on them? Here, we go….!!!
1. Quinoa pulao
Quinoa is known to have a complete protein that has heart-healthy fats along with loads of fibre and minerals with folic acid too. Quinoa pulao is one healthy, filling, nutritious, and a gluten-free one-pot meal that can be loaded with veggies like peas, carrots, beans, cauliflower,etc., Quinoa is a good alternative to rice and excellent for preparing some lovely recipes for Diabetics.
Quinoa – 1 cup
Oil – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp (crushed ginger and chopped garlic can be used as per taste)
Finely Chopped onion – 1 cup, approx. (2 medium-sized onions)
Carrots chopped – 1 cup approx. (two medium carrots)
Green peas – ¼ cup
Capsicum – 1 chopped
Corn, mushroom, beans as per yourchoice
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Water – 1 and 1/2 cup
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Chopped coriander for garnishing
- Take a medium-sized pressure cooker and add oil to it. (I prefer making quinoa in a pressure cooker)
- When the oil is heated, add cumin seeds, then add ginger garlic paste (or grated, as per preference). Saute till the raw smell leaves.
- Add onion and let them turn translucent.
- Now, include cut veggies of your choice (carrots, capsicum, mushroom, corn, peas, etc.,)
- Add salt to let the veggies soften and cook.
- To the cooked veggies, add turmeric powder, chilli powder and garam masala.
- Then, mix well and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Once the veggies are done, add water, washed quinoa to the veggies, and pressure cook for 2 whistles on medium heat.
- Let the pressure release and then open the cooker to check with a spoon, the fluffiness of quinoa.
- Finally, add a dash of lemon juice and finely chopped coriander and serve with curd.
2. Sprouts Salad
Sabut moong dal – 1 cup
Moth dal (Matki) – 1 cup
Kabuli chana 2 tbsps (optional to taste)
Sabut methi dana – 2 tbsp ( Methi seeds contain fibre and help lower the blood sugar levels).
Finely sliced onion – 1 medium
Finely diced tomato – 1 medium
Finely chopped green chilli – 2
Chat masala – 1 tsp (optional)
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Black salt to taste
1. First, soak the above-mentioned dhals for making sprouts. Dhals can be sprouted in varied ways:
(i) Spread on steel sieve
(ii) Keep the soaked dhals in a muslin cloth for 2 days
(iii) Use a sprout maker
2. Once the sprouts are ready, put them in a mixing bowl. To this add onion, tomato, chillies, salt, and lemon juice.
3. Give it a nice mix and garnish with chopped coriander. Now, yummy salad is ready to relish!
3. Moong Dal Chilla
Moong dal chilla is vegan as well as gluten-free, breakfast. A healthy and wholesome mix packed with potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc, and various vitamins needed for our body. A must-try recipe for Diabetics.
- Green chilka moong daal/ yellow moong daal – 1 cup
- Finely chopped green chilly – 1 no.
- Grated ginger – 1-inch piece
- Red chilli powder – 1tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Hing/ Asafoetida – a pinch
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Chopped coriander – 1 tbsp
- Oil ( just a bit, if required)
- Salt to taste
- Water (approx. 1 cup)
- Wash and soak Moong dhal for approx. 3-4 hours
- Drain the excess water (water to be kept aside for later use, if required.)
- Grind the dal in a mixer along with ginger, green chilli and cumin seeds.
- The batter should be fine just like the dosa batter.
- Transfer it to a bowl and add salt, red chilli powder, and coriander to it.
- Now heat a nonstick Tawa.
- Pour a big spoonful of batter on hot Tawa and spread in a circular motion to make a round shape.
- Let it cook. Then flip the chilla and cook form the other side. (Non-stick Tawa generally doesn’t need oiling but if needed just add a little bit on sides).
- Once done transfer it to plate and serve hot with tomato/garlic/mint and coriander chutney or dip of your choice.
4. Methi Bajra Chapathi with Flax Seeds
Methi bajra chapatti is highly recommended for diabetics. With two flours which are full of nutrients, they are a good source of protein, low on carbs, high in fibre with a Low Glycemic Index.
- Bajra flour – 2 cups
- Fenugreek/ Methi fresh green leaves – a bunch full (approx. 1.5 cups)
- Flaxseed crushed/ powdered – 2 tbsp
- Water – to make the dough
- Salt to taste
- Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Green chilly finely chopped – 1 no.
- Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
- Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Oil – 2 tsp
This chapatti dough can be made with raw methi leaves or sautéd, as per preference.
- In a pan add oil, splutter jeera.
- Then add ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder to it
- After this, add finely chopped methi/ fenugreek leaves to the pan and sauté a bit with salt.
- Add salt. Once cooked, it will look like methi sabji.
- Let it cool and then add it to bajra flour in a big bowl.
- To this, add flax seeds powder and a little salt (bear in mind that salt is added to methi as well).
- Now add water and form a soft dough for making chapattis.
- Keep it covered for half an hour.
- Later, make small balls out of the dough.
- Roll the methi bajra rotis and cook them on Tawa
- Now, Methi Bajra Chapatis are ready to consume with Moong Dhal or Bhindi Sabji!
5. Ragi Thalipeeth/ Nachni or Finger Millet Roti
Finger millet/ Ragi thalipeeth is a tasty replacement for roti. Excellent for weight watchers too!
- Ragi/ Nachni/ Finger millet flour – 2 cups
- Finely chopped green chillies – 2 nos
- Finely diced onion – 1 medium
- Grated coconut – ½ cup
- Cumin seeds 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 1tsp
- Red chilly powder – ½ tsp
- Curry leaves – 6-10 nos
- Chopped coriander 1 tbsp
- Salt to taste
- In a large bowl, combine ragi/ nachani flour, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and salt.
- Add onion, green chillies, coriander, curry leaves, ground coconut, chillies and cumin seeds and mix well.
- Now, add water little by little to form a soft dough.
- Then, take a sheet and apply little oil over it to roll /spread this roti (it’s better to spread with hands) so that it doesn’t stick to the sheet.
- Grab a handful of this mix, pat and spread the dough with hands, especially using your palms to flatten and make it round like thick roti (Thalipeeth is a little thick as compared to regular rotis).
- Use water in between as it may stick to your hands while patting and spreading the thalipeeth.
- Cook this on a pan from both sides.
- Once done remove and serve with chutney/dal/Sabji or curd.
Note – You can add grated radish, cabbage or any green leafy veggies or even leftover dhal to thalipeeth mix.
6. Chana Dal/Chickpea with Spinach
Dhals and pulses are high in protein. Adding green spinach enhances the nutritional value, thus becoming extra beneficial for the diabetics.
- Chana Dal – 1 cup (soaked 4-6 hours or overnight)
- Onion -1 medium size finely chopped
- Tomato – 2 medium sizes finely chopped
- Ginger finely chopped – 1-inch piece
- Garlic- 3-4 pods finely chopped
- Green chilli – 2 finely chopped
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds 1 tsp
- Mustard seeds ½ tsp
- Ghee/ oil 1 tbsp.
- Salt to taste
- Water for cooking dal
- Spinach, washed, finely chopped 2 cups
- Pressure cook the soaked dal (2 cups of water for 1 cup of dhal) for 3-4 whistles, adding turmeric powder.
- In a pan add ghee, then mustard and cumin seeds. Let them splutter and then introduce chopped onion. Sauté for 5-6 minutes or until the onion turns golden brown.
- Add the chopped garlic, ginger, and green chilli and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Finally, add spinach and water. Bring to a boil and cover. Cook until the spinach wilts. (This might take around 8-10 minutes).
- Now add the spinach mixture and salt to the cooked dhal and combine it. You may also add water to adjust the consistency, as required.
7. Radish, Cucumber, and Lime juice with Mint and Coriander Leaves
This lip-smacking, refreshing drink, perfect for summers is a wonderful detoxifier that improves digestion. Radish is full of vitamin C, zinc, and phosphorus which is beneficial in reducing blood pressure. Cucumber supports healthy kidneys and balance sugar levels.
Fresh herbs like mint and coriander can be added to this juice that enhances the taste and flavour.
- Cucumber (with skin) – 2 medium size (approx. 2 cups)
- Radish – 2 no’s. (approx 2 cups)
- Coriander – a handful
- Juice of half a lemon
- Mint – 10-15 leaves
Blend all the ingredients in a juicer/blender and enjoy it fresh.
I’m sure the above-listed recipes for Diabetics will guide you in conducting a healthy life-style and maintaining a balanced blood glucose level. As diet plays an important role in controlling the blood sugar levels, avoid these below-mentioned foods to lead a stress-free life:
- Processed, refined and canned foods
- Sugar and starchy foods
- Carbonated beverages and drinks
- Fried foods (try to bake, steam, or sauté your food instead)
Some simple ways to stabilise blood sugar:
- Eat more fibre-rich foods
- Include more greens in your diet
- Exercise regularly
- Control intake of carbs
- Monitor blood glucose levels regularly
- Maintain blood pressure and cholesterol levels well within targets
- Choose foods with Low Glycemic Index
- Drink enough water (key to lowering high blood sugar)
THE GOLDEN RULE: Lead a systematic, determined and well-principled way of life with an ease of mind, appropriate physical activities, a well-balanced diet, meditation and yoga to keep diabetes in check!
Note: The pictures in the article are representations only and not the actual outcomes.