Everyone should indulge a little when they dine out, but sometimes you just want to keep an eye on things. If you’re trying to eat as healthy as possible, going out for that healthy Indian meal can be a little confusing.
Lots of places still don’t outline exactly what’s in their dishes or how many calories each one contains, so it could be easy to feel overwhelmed at what to choose, particularly as curry houses often have extensive menus. But don’t fret! We’ve put together a little advice on how to pick some of the healthiest options, as there is plenty of low-calorie healthy Indian food out there, all very nutritious and bursting with flavour.
Tandoori dishes include meat, seafood and vegetables which have been marinated before being cooked in a traditional tandoor clay oven. By effectively baking the meat, not only is the dish succulent and tender, but it avoids using lots of oil and ghee, making the end result low-calorie and often very healthy.
Often the dishes are marinated in yoghurt and spices, although cream marinades are used too. Check with your restaurant to see what method they use so you can decide which is best for you. Lots of tandoori dishes come as dry dishes, which are ideal for keeping an eye on your health, as they’re full of flavour without too many calories. It’s also worth noting that chicken, vegetable and seafood options generally contain a lot less fat than lamb or beef options.
Rice & Poppadoms
There’s an array of sides and starters available at Indian Restaurants, but if you want to play it safe then rice and poppadoms are some gorgeously tasty yet healthy, simple options.
Ask for boiled rice over pilau as that’s made using oil for flavouring. If you want something else to your rice, ask for your boiled rice with mushrooms or vegetables mixed in. Lemon rice is also a great alternative to fried rice or pilau, as it’s full of flavour that packs a punch with very little added to it.
Poppadoms are a great side and starter an can replace a naan bread, onion bajis or samosas (if you can sacrifice them!) as a lighter, lower calorie option. Top with raita, a cool cucumber dip, or tomato sambal rather than chutney if you’re wanting to watch your sugar intake.
Palak and Tomato Dishes
The main culprit to watch out for if you fancy a lighter Indian meal is the rich, creamy curries that are always on offer. Often made with butter, cream, ghee and coconut milk, these dishes are delicious and full of flavor, but aren’t a great choice for everyone. Palak (spinach) or tomato dishes are a super alternative to these and don’t compromise on great flavours.
Dishes such as chicken jalfrezi, lamb bhuna and palak paneer are all great options with a great variety of heats and flavours among them.
Have you got any other suggestions of great healthy Indian options when you’re eating healthily? Let us know in the comments!
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