Maiya’s is one of the legendary names in the culinary world specially in South India. Mr. Yajnanarayana Maiya started the famous MTR restaurant in Bangalore way back in 1924 and his son Mr. Sadananda Maiya has been taking care of the business since more than 4 decades now. Now they have sold that business and diversified into Maiya’s restaurant which is there in Jayanagar and Maiya’s fast food business. It was a honor for me to recently be invited to the launch of the healthy menu at Maiya’s restaurant in Jayanagar and also have a tete-a-tete with Mr. Sadananda Maiya himself!
You must be thinking can a restaurant meal be healthy and have low calories? The good people at Maiya’s believe it can be! I was really surprised to know that as generally Maiya’s regular meal has a lot of calories though it’s very delicious. But Mr. Sadananda Maiya personally felt that as 1 in 5 Indians are diabetic or has high blood pressure, there must be something done to set a precedent in restaurants offering healthy food. In India, every 33 seconds, somebody dies of a heart disease! Weight gain, cancer, and bone diseases are other major health concerns. So Mr. Maiya decided that he will serve only healthy food in his restaurant every Wednesday. I felt that it was a huge risk they were taking business wise but he wants to care for his customers’ health too rather than just look at this initiative commercially.
Mr. Sadananda Maiya was speaking about the magic of millets as the wholesome goodness of our own local millets and grains have nourished us throughout the ages. There are many health benefits from eating millets including:
1) Low carbohydrate content which makes it diabetic friendly
2) Rich in fiber that helps remove “bad” cholesterol and reduces blood pressure
3) Glutten free which is important for those who are not able to digest wheat, or have other digestion problems
4) Rich in Thiamine or Vitamin B1, which helps increase the metabolic rate and boosts heart and brain health.
5) Great source of calcium and other vitamins
The healthy menu consisted of preparations from different millets like foxtail, little, kodo and ragi and avoided rice and wheat totally.
We tried out the Lunch menu as you can see in the pictures. Utmost care and effort was taken to create a balanced , nutritious meal that had all the macro and micro nutrients in the right proportion, while still being low in calories and fat ! We indulged in the millet and wholegrain-based thali menu which assists in weight and sugar management goals. Safe and diabetic friendly, the entire thali meal is just 500 calories and provides the entire day’s requirements of healthy fiber, minerals and most vitamins. The icing on the cake is that there is no cholesterol, saturated fat or chemicals to worry about as Maiya’s does not add anything to their food that does not add to our health!
Most regular ‘thaalis’ or ‘buffets’ we eat contain anywhere between 1500 to 2000 plus calories! Can you imagine my surprise when I heard that this thali has just around 450 calories but also costs just Rs.150? Ain’t that cool? One of my favorite items was the Kichdi which was really delicious even though it was very nutritious too!
Other items I liked was the jowar roti, foxtail millets and of course the kadi which was really tasty even though it had all the best nutrients.
I loved the the sweet made with Dates as it was totally guilt free! With regards to the drinks served with the thali, it was an antioxidant rich health juice called “Sea of Health” which had strong dose of Vitamin C from lemon, pineapple and guava. The health benefit of having that juice is that it is a great antioxidant, prevents heart diseases, cancers and enhances skin health too!
It was a wonderful afternoon spent with Mr. Sadanand Maiya and other top food bloggers from Bangalore. Here are more details about the Healthy Wednesdays promotion:
SNACKS: 7 AM – 11AM & 4 PM – 8 PM
400 CALORIES COMBO BREAKFAST: 7AM – 11.00 AM
450 CALORIES THALI + A whole range of other Health Menus : 12 Noon – 2.30 PM & 7.30 PM – 10.00 PM
(Only at Jayanagar outlet)
Summer Health Coolers : 7 AM – 10 .00 PM