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Healthy Substitutes You Must Make At Dinner

According to Ayurvedic principles, dinner should be light on the stomach and nutritious. However, these days we often succumb to the easy way out rather than the healthy way out. Dinner becomes a takeout option, or last night’s leftovers. The prana or life-force in plants is what makes them nourish our body, and Ayurvedic principles state that foods that are not cooked fresh tend to not be very good for balancing one’s doshas. Here are some easy you can try as a dinner substitute for a change.

  1. Quick pongal/khitchri: Khitchri is a nourishing, simple and easy-to-make dish that is also easily digestible. It is made by combining rice and moong dal together and cooking them until soft. You can garnish with coriander and black pepper. Coriander helps to pacify all the doshas and helps in counteracting the heating effects of onion. Turmeric (bitter) and rice (sweet) are considered the best balancing tastes. Pitta and Vata types can add vegetables also for more flavour and taste. A filling, healthy and nutritious dinner substitute. Serve with roasted papads for that extra crunch for your kids.
  2. Zucchini Soup: If you are looking for a very light dinner that will help you sleep well, a simple zucchini soup will help. It is light and smooth yet rich. You can eat it with bread as an accompaniment. Slice zucchini with 1 cm thickness and cook with a bit of vegetable oil (rice bran or sunflower oil are good options). After a few minutes add 1 cup or water and cook for about 5 minutes. Cook chopped onion and garlic until slightly brown. Finally blend the zucchini and garlic/onion with water using a blender until smooth.  You can add water depending on how thick you want the soup to be, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Rice with green beans sabzi: Beans are an excellent source of protein and cooked the right way can be a filling healthy dinner substitute. Boil green beans and cook them. Take sesame seeds, curry leaves and chilli and roast them in a tablespoon of coconut oil till they start sputtering. Add this to the cooked beans and put in grated coconut. Stir for a few minutes till the beans is cooked and ready. Serve with rice and sambar
  4. Cauliflower is an easy to cook and healthy vegetable fortified with vitamins and minerals. Prepare a light cauliflower sabzi which can be eaten with whole wheat chapatis made from organic flour. Cook it with chopped onions, tomatoes and blanched almonds for a healthy twist. Saunf or fennel seeds add a lovely flavour to this dish and chopped coriander completes the garnish. Add spices like garam masala and red chilli powder very sparingly to make it easy on the stomach.

These are some of the dinner substitutes you can make to your regular daily meals – they are very easy to prepare and light on digestion, while keeping doshas in check.

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