As a food writer and baker I am asked all the time: “How do you eat all this gorgeous food every day and still stay the same size?” I’ve lost count of the number of times this question has been put to me. And every time someone asks it, the first thing that pops into my head is: “I just eat healthy food.”

I’m no health freak. I never even feel as though I go out of my way to eat a healthy diet. I was brought up in a family where Mum cooked delicious food from scratch every day – in those days in India we didn’t have canned food, bottled cooking sauces, spice packs or ready meals, which meant for most people there was not much choice. I would see my aunts and neighbours all making meals that were healthy and quick to put together.

My dad is a vegetarian, which meant we always had predominantly vegetarian food. Things are the same in my kitchen now – my husband is vegetarian, but my children love fish and chicken, so they appear in our meals now and again.

I’m not a doctor, but I know that the food I cook uses a minimum of oil and ghee; that the produce, whether vegetables, fish or chicken, is fresh; and that the basic spices are good for you.

Chetna Makan’s guide to cooking healthy and delicious Indian food

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