I was heading out for dinner and on the lookout for something guilt free, low carb, vegetarian, tasty and packed with spices. The decision was already made for us… It had to be Indian.
Jaipur Indian restaurant, found on Georges Street, Dublin, never fails to impress.
Though a great deal of traditional Indian cooking is packed with cream and oils, one can also eat very healthily at an Indian restaurant – you just need to opt for tomato based dishes, avoid indulging in poppadoms and naan breads, and mix and match the menu a little.
Contrary to popular opinion, Indian food is fantastic for your body. Ginger, which is used in the vast majority of Indian dishes, has been shown to fire up the digestive juices, ease joint and muscle pain, and boast aphrodisiac properties, while garlic contains high levels of vitamin C and vitamin B6.
We popped into Jaipur (the sister restaurant of Ananda in Dundrum). I love it there; delicious meat-free and low carb options abound. I chose a vegetarian dish called ‘Channa Amritsari’ (slow cooked spiced chickpeas with ginger and tomato, and finished with a hint of tamarind and fresh lime).
Chickpeas are deliciously nutty and very versatile. An Indian staple, chickpeas are not only a great source of vegetarian protein, but packed with soluble fibre, which has been linked with healthy weight loss and stable blood sugar levels.
Tamarind is excellent for curbing sugar cravings, so I asked manager, Saji, to load it on. I felt satisfied and finished it off with some fresh mint leaves and hot water. If you are opting for naan bread, at Jaipur, you can order a coeliac-friendly version, which is made with chickpea flour, carom and fenugreek.
I also always order a side of spinach, which is called ‘Patta’, though I sometimes order basmati rice when I am really hungry. There is plenty of protein and complex carbs in the chickpeas – and I find my order keeps me fuller for longer. It’s fun to mix and match dishes, especially if you’re avoiding meat, as it offers more variety.
Of course, at Jaipur, there is plenty to choose from, and all the spices and herbs will have your metabolism, libido and antioxidant levels soaring!
But it’s not just the food which makes this place a hit; the atmosphere is welcoming and calm, while the crisp, well-lit décor, white table linen and comprehensive wine list speak of quality and sophistication.
It’s no wonder that Jaipur now boasts five branches in Dublin! With tasty food, seamless, friendly service and a great ambience, it seems to have discovered the recipe for lasting success.
Erika Doolan – Nutritionist