Argy-Bargy Onion Bhaji

At the weekend we sat down for a dinner at our favourite Indian restaurant called Sri Ananda Bahwan, an institution in our area.

As a diabetic, it is quite difficult to navigate such an exotic menu. I have to be conscious of the carbohydrates I am eating. Picking dishes that have fewer carbs will make my blood sugar level easier to control with insulin.  

Choosing the right dishes to eat requires will-power.  I have to steer away from that delicious looking naan that seems to somehow call my name…” Antonia, Antonia eat me!” Not today Mr Naan.   

Having been to this restaurant a few times since being diagnosed, I have established a few don’ts for me:

  1. Don’t order a Milo Ice – this is an iced milo, or chocolate drink, that is divine on account of the condensed milk that that the milo drink swims in. Condensed milk is bound to make my blood sugar level go haywire.
  2. Stay clear of Mango Lassi –  a mango and yoghurt drink. Again extremely sweet. Mango has many carbs making it an unsuitable choice. They may even sneak some condensed milk into this one too. Everything tastes better with a bit of condensed milk.
  3. No to the Naan bread – Naan, nah.
  4. Avoid super saucy curries – e.g. Korma killer.
  5. No argy-bargy if you avoid that onion bhaji!

On this occasion, the waiter came over and brought us some complimentary jalebi for dessert, yum. For those of you who don’t know what jalebi is, it is a fluorescent orange Indian sweet that has been deep fried and then soaked in sugar syrup. It took a while for my father to convince my brother that jalebi is not made of carrots (nor is as healthy) and therefore really quite edible.   

The waiter stabbed the last jalebi with a fork and extended his arm towards me. I declined. Never in his years of serving customers had someone declined a complimentary jalebi. I tried to explained that the sugary delicacy was a no go. There was no knowing what such as sweet could do to my blood sugar levels.

He looked at me with the saddest eyes. My Dad thought he saw the waiter’s eyes almost water.  He clearly couldn’t imagine a life without jalebi, however, I don’t think he really understood the issue because a few minutes later he returned with complimentary gulab jamun.  Gulab jamun makes jalebi look like a cake walk for a diabetic.

Glucose upon publishing: 5.4mmol/L

PS I am delighted to report that my tactic of taking my curry beating insulin shot 2 hours after my last mouthful of curry worked a treat and my glucose didn’t go above 10mmol/L.  The timing of insulin shots after meals is one of my new developing skills which I will write about on another occasion.  I think it could be my secret sauce…..

Quiz – which one is which?

4 thoughts on “Argy-Bargy Onion Bhaji

  1. Sadaf Lynes August 2, 2020 / 9:40 pm

    Great post! Glad to see you are successfully navigating the challenges of choosing healthy dishes from an Indian menu! Not an easy task. I can see why he brought the Gulab jaman over- jalebi is sugar , flour water and saffron. Gulab jaman has milk/cream in it so stands to reason, is ‘healthier’!

  2. J.-B. Chauvet August 3, 2020 / 3:16 am

    Your father took me there. Damnable good food😊

    • Regina Yeap September 6, 2020 / 4:51 pm

      Is it always chapati and Dahl that you can eat? Have you discovered anything else suitable for diabetics in Indian food?

  3. Chris Vere August 4, 2020 / 7:04 am

    Great work and a good read. Love Indian and always have a fab Gulab jamun to finish, an absolute favourite 👍🏼

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