Use homemade sambal chilli paste for healthier dish

This dish, besides being low in calories and fat, is loaded with antioxidants.

It also has a high fibre content of 8.4g, or about 30 per cent of our daily fibre requirement.

Brinjals are low in calories yet high in fibre. They contain the phytochemical, anthocyanins.

Studies have shown that these phytochemicals can potentially help to reduce one's risk of cancer and inflammation.


  • Energy: 151kcal

    Protein: 6.1g

    Total fat: 6.5g

    Saturated fat: 1.7g

    Dietary fibre: 8.4g

    Carbohydrate: 20.4g

    Cholesterol: 4.7mg

    Sodium: 606.6mg

Plants in the "nightshade family", including brinjal, tomatoes, potatoes and bell peppers, produce a natural pesticide called solanine.

The content of solanine in a brinjal is 11mg and the toxicity limit is about 120mg for a person weighing 60kg. In short, it is safe to consume, and toxic only when eaten in large quantities (about 10 to 12 brinjals).

Dried tiny shrimps are a good source of protein and are very low in fat. They are rich in minerals such as calcium, which is essential for our bone health, and magnesium, which is essential for normal heart rhythm and muscle contraction.

This recipe can be made healthier by using a homemade sambal chilli paste or a chilli paste product with a lower sodium content.

Bibi Chia

Principal dietitian, Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2017, with the headline 'Use homemade sambal chilli paste for healthier dish'. Print Edition | Subscribe