The health tag helps, too, in today’s times of awareness. What I find fantastic about Peruvian food is that Peruvians eat healthy without trying too hard. Their healthy habits are ingrained, and not of the “running-after-the-next-fad-diet” kind. Plus, in Peru, they cook with superfoods as a habit, not as an afterthought; Peru in fact is called the cradle of superfoods — and this obviously helps!

It’s no surprise that Peruvian cuisine has taken off fabulously and found acceptance in the “world” looking for and latching on to any way of eating that promises health. Those who track food feel that it is the next great world cuisine — especially for people looking to eat healthy, gluten-free and vegetarian. In India, Peruvian food is still taking baby steps, and places where one can get authentic dishes are slowly opening up.

They let the quality of produce be the hero — and this satisfies as well as nourishes.

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The food is being accepted well, and that’s probably because the four major pillars of Peruvian food — corn, potato, legumes and tubers are all already familiar foods in India, and this naturally draws us towards the cuisine. The health tag helps, too, in today’s times of awareness.

I recently enjoyed a great meal at Nueva in Delhi, a restaurant that dishes out South American cuisine. There I sampled their extensive range of the traditional Peruvian delicacy ceviche and came back absolutely charmed, and yes, feeling healthier, too!

Ceviche, eaten extensively in Peru, is naturally gluten-free and pescatarian and delectable!

Peruvians eat a lot of maca.

It is true that the ingredients that make a meal make all the difference. The traditional Peruvian diet is based mainly on whole foods, mostly gluten-free ingredients, and many super foods. Peruvians eat a lot of maca, berries like camu camu and pichuberry, purple corn, lima beans, avocado, sweet potato, corn and a fruit called aguaje — all loaded with antioxidants.

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And their mainstay is quinoa, which, thanks to the awareness about its health benefits, is fast becoming a kitchen shelf favourite everywhere.

Peruvians have been munching on this now hot superfood for many generations. Another dish I tried at Nueva was the Quinoa pudding, a traditional Peruvian recipe; so basically their desserts are healthy too.

Another thing that I feel really works for this cuisine is that their food is a fusion of spicy, sharp and fresh flavours. It very clearly follows the mantra “less is more”.

They let the quality of produce be the hero — and this satisfies as well as nourishes.

Ceviche, eaten extensively in Peru, is naturally gluten-free and pescatarian and absolutely delectable! Courtesy: Dishmaps

It’s not just the superfoods, this cuisine has a repertoire of some extremely healthy dishes too, like the very popular roast chicken that Peruvians eat with a spicy, tangy green sauce made with fresh peppers, cilantro, and garlic. Soups — from light broths to hearty, almost stew-like bowls of seafood — are a favourite and occupy a pride of place in this cuisine, and this gladdens my nutritionist heart no end.

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Another simple rule that’s top notch is that they believe in and stick to fresh produce; Peruvian refrigerators, I am told, are usually just for milk and beer!

Finally, what also works for them big time is that for a Peruvian home, lunch is often the main meal of the day, mostly enjoyed around the table at home, with the family. This makes a lot of sense, health-wise.

So I say not only is going out for a Peruvian meal a very good idea, there are a lot of food lessons, too, that we can pick up from them and emulate. #KhabarLive

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