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Vol. XXVIII No. 19, January 16-31, 2019

Are dosas making us fatter?

Everything, it seems, made us fatter in 2018.

Now, a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, claims that dosas, made of apparently innocuous rice and urad dal batter, are not as healthy as we have always thought and gorged on.

One masala dosa contains 1,023 kcal, which is almost half of the calorie requirement of an individual in a day, the study says.

So, if you eat two masala dosas, you are done for the day.

What? Hold my coconut chutney, please!

According to a fitness tracker, one masala dosa contains as much as 387 calories. (This figure is also no less shocking!).

Another tracker measures it at 498 calories. Well, we can do some adjustments here and there, but it’s not over 500 calories apparently.

Meanwhile, one plain dosa (without the potato filling) contains 133 calories.

But the study that researcher Rebecca Kuriyan and associates conducted took samples of masala dosas sold by eateries in Bengaluru.

And their intention was not to shame the usual ‘North Indian’ way of healthy eating by falling on ‘South Indian’ dishes. The study was to compare the portion size of meals frequently ordered in the US and other countries, including Brazil, China, Finland, Ghana and India.

According to them, the ideal calorie size per meal should be somewhere between 100 to 600 calories.

Well, we must say that we are confused, because if dosas are not healthy any more, then we don’t know what to do with our lives.

The findings are really shocking to parantha-fed Indians to whom the crisp rice-dal envelope cooked in minimum oil has been the be-all and end-all of ‘healthy food’.

But of course, we won’t give up.

We will blame the specific eatery for stuffing their dosas with too much of potato curry and then using an unnecessary amount of oil to cook it.

Also, the study said that it’s not recommended for weight-watchers. For the rest, it’s fine.

Still, we have found some ways out:

We won’t overeat our dosas and idlis, just because they come with a ‘healthy’ tag.

We can try to stick to plain dosas occasionally.

We will reconsider whether we will eat butter dosa, butter idli, idli Manchurian.

If cooking at home, we can instead experiment with different kinds of batter – ragi dosa, rava dosa, oats dosa, etc.

Surely, we can never stop loving dosas, despite knowing what we may have to do to burn the same amount of calories.

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