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Translation of the South Asian Food Survey data
  • The South Asian Food Survey has been available to dietitians since its publication in 2000. It provides nutrition composition information on dhals, curies, and biryanis cooked by Punjabi, Pakistani, Gujarati, Bangladeshi and Ismaili households.

    The Ismaili Nutrition Centre sets out to translate this data into diet — to convert the scientific facts and figures into user-friendly recipes and culturally appropriate dietary advice.

    The following steps have been taken to ensure that the recipes are practical and tasty, yet stay true to the original findings as far as possible:

    • Portion sizes have been based on the MAFF Handbook. This, and the total cooked weight data from each recipe, facilitated a suggested number of servings per dish.
    • The original data was based on 100 grams, but nutrition composition per serving is more valuable to the user, so each recipe has also been analysed per serving.
    • Traffic light criteria were assigned to each recipe using UK government guidelines.
    • The research provided specific weights for ingredients, and for practical purposes, many were converted to household measures. The data in the nutrition composition tables will therefore be at variance from the published figures.
    • Recipes from the research were collected for scientific purposes, so cooking instructions needed to be developed.
    • Some of the original recipes were created using copious amounts of fat, saturates and salt. The Nutrition Centre hosts these recipes to be true to the original source; despite the fact they are not to be encouraged. The Healthy Hints that accompany each recipe illustrate how recipes can be modified for health.


    1. The Composition and Nutrient Content of Foods Commonly Consumed by South Asians in the UK by Patricia A Judd, Tashmin Kassam-Khamis, Jane Thomas. Published by the Aga Khan Health Board for the UK, 2000.
    2. Food Portion Sizes (Maff Handbook) 3rd Edition by Food Standards Agency (Author), Alison Mills (Editor), Sejal Patel (Editor), Helen Crawley (Editor). 2002

    Publications related to the South Asian Food Survey

    • 2002 L Sevak, P Mangtani, V McCormack, D Bhakta, T Kassam-Khamis, I dos Santos Silva, Validation of a food frequency questionnaire to assess macro- and micronutrient intake among South Asians in the United Kingdom, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
    • 2000 Tashmin Kassam-Khamis, Judd P. A., Thomas J.E, Frequency of consumption and nutrient composition of composite dishes commonly consumed in the UK by South Asian Muslims originating from Bangladesh, Pakistan and East Africa (Ismailis). Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 13, 185-196.
    • 1999 T. Kassam-Khamis, K. Nanchahal, P. Mangtani, I. Silva, A. McMichael, A. Anderson, Development of an interview-administered food frequency questionnaire for use amongst South Asian ethnic women in Britain. Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics, 12, 7-19.
    • 1997 T. Kassam-Khamis, P.A. Judd, J.E. Thomas, Lowering fat in the diet of South Asian Muslims in Britain – building on traditions. Abstracts, 16th International Nutrition Conference, Montreal, Canada 308:PR72.
    • 1996 T.Kassam Khamis, J.Thomas, P.Judd, Eating Habits of second generation South Asians in the UK. Scandinavian Journal of Nutrition 40:S84-S86.
    • 1995 T.Kassam-Khamis, P.A.Judd, J.E.Thomas, L.Sevak, S.Reddy, S.Gonatra, Frequency of consumption and nutrient composition of composite dishes commonly consumed by South Asians originating from Gujerat and the Punjab. Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics 8:265-277.
    • 1995 Tashmin Kassam-Khamis, Pat A. Judd, Jane E Thomas, Diversity of diets amongst South Asian Muslims in Britain. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 54:3:133A.
    • 1993 Kassam, T.N., Judd, P.A., Thomas, J.E., Development of a food composition database for use with South Asian groups in the United Kingdom. Abstracts, 15th International Congress on Nutrition, Adelaide, Australia 1:291.

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