Are raw foods safe?

Most of us worry about having uncooked foods wondering if they could lead to severe gastronomical problems like indigestion. You would be surprised to know that most, the key word being “most,” vegetables and fruits can be eaten raw! And some are better that way especially tomatoes, carrots, apples and peaches. Of the grains, I have only eaten sweet corn raw and I would beware because grains tend to expand after being eaten. As we all eat chapattis and bread, the question of chewing on wheat grains just does not arise. Even if you do have some, chew thoroughly. In the same way, dried beans are not raw, they are dried. So there is no way they can be chewed without being properly soaked and cooked. But it is safe to eat green beans raw. Nuts and seeds for the most part can be eaten raw but are tastier toasted or roasted. 

A raw ingredient often has an entirely different character than when it is cooked. We can generally use raw ingredients as a garnish in a cooked dish: some bean sprouts (moong), shredded cabbage, spinach, thinly-sliced onions, carrot matchsticks etc. can add both colour and texture to a cooked dish. Another common use for raw ingredients is in salads, since salads are often expected to be fresher and lighter than other foods. Chopped capsicums can lighten and brighten a grain based salad. Chunks of fresh coconut and oranges can make a good instant breakfast dish. And there is the ever popular green salad, for which there are so many different kinds of lettuce available. 

Outside India, two well-known raw foods are sushi (a Japanese specialty consisting of seasoned cooked rice topped with sliced raw fish or rolled in sheets of seaweed with fish, vegetables, etc.) and steak tartare (very lean, high-quality raw meat served coarsely ground with onions and seasonings and sometimes with raw egg). 

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.