8 Low Calorie Indian Curries that are Healthy
cutting down more calories is still possible.
Low calorie Indian curries are the way to go when it comes to loving Desi food and losing weight.
Indian cuisine is full of rich-flavoured dishes but it usually means they are high in calories. Food is usually cooked with lots of oil and butter is added to most dishes.
Weight loss is mainly down to calories and it is all about how many you consume based on your height, weight and age.
Usually, it is about 2,500 calories per day for a man and 1,800 for a woman.
For good weight loss, you should gradually reduce your calorie intake.
And while Indian food can be seen as quite difficult to find low calorie options, there are dishes that are low in calories.
Ingredient changes and preparation methods can reduce calories even further.
With that said, here are eight low calorie Indian curries that are healthy.
Daal dishes are a staple within the Indian subcontinent and there are different types of lentils used to make the dishes like split red lentils and common green whole lentils.
The dishes are usually eaten with rice, roti and naan and are typically quite healthy. They are full of protein, fibre, vitamin B6 and folate.
The most common way of making daal is to create a type of soup made from onions, tomatoes and various spices.
Even though daal is healthy, cutting down more calories is still possible.
The most obvious way is to cook them in tomato-based sauces as opposed to creamy ones. They are made with butter and cream and that results in a high-fat content.
A tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of cream is 15 grams of fat. The daily fat intake is between 44 and 77 grams. That is potentially 35% in just one dish.
On the other hand, a tomato-based sauce cuts out the additional fat and reduces the number of calories in the dish.
Having a tomato sauce also makes for more heat and chillies are known to help with weight loss.
A popular low calorie Indian curry, chana masala is especially popular at street food stalls. Also known as chole, the dish’s main ingredient is chickpeas.
It is cooked in a tomato sauce with onions and loads of spices like garlic, ginger, chillies and sometimes dried mango powder.
Chana masala is already very nutritious as it contains iron, fibre and vitamin B.
But the inclusion of oil when cooking does add to the calories which may be a factor especially when trying to lose weight.
Simply avoid using any oil (1 tablespoon of olive oil has 119 calories). It may only get rid of a few calories but every little helps when monitoring calorie count.
As a popular street food item, chana masala is usually served with puri. Within the home, it is advised that puri is avoided as it is a fried bread which will add to the number of calories eaten.
The lower calorie alternative is the same ingredients just without any oil.
Traditional curries tend to be high in saturated fat and calories.
But a healthy option is fish masala as it contains fewer calories.
Choosing the type of fish can also decrease the number of calories. Fatty fish and those which are high in omega-3 are the best to have when losing weight.
Fish like cod, flounder and sole are some to consider when wanting to enjoy a low calorie curry.
When making fish masala, cook it in a tomato-based sauce instead of a cream-based sauce as it is far less fattening and will go a long way when losing weight.
Serve your low calorie fish masala alongside brown rice instead of regular white rice. In a 100g serving, white rice contains 130 calories while the same serving of brown rice has 111 calories.
Vegetable sabzis tend to be healthier than meat equivalents as they will not contain saturated fats.
The key difference is in the preparation and the cooking of them.
Using rapeseed oil or olive oil instead of ghee, alternative vegetables and different spices are all factors in reducing calories.
Limiting to healthier oils will help with the overall fat content of your dishes.
Alternative vegetables like sweet potatoes, kale, pumpkins, butternut squash, mixed greens, broccoli and celery are all low in calories and superb additions to your Indian diet.
Spices are excellent for higher metabolism, especially, chilli-orientated ones including paprika and chilli powder.
So, have a go at making vegetable sabzis which are low in carbohydrates and fats.
This may be a surprise but chicken jalfrezi is a low calorie Indian curry.
This is because it is packed with peppers and chillies, two ingredients that do not go overboard when it comes to calories.
It is made in a tomato-based sauce, which is healthier than cream-based sauces as they are high in fat.
When it comes to cooking, this curry is similar to a stir fry and is quite dry in consistency, meaning there is less chance of any unnecessary calories sneaking their way in.
The average serving size has around 163 calories and while you can enjoy this dish on its own, if you want a low calorie accompaniment, opt for brown rice.
This spicy vegetarian curry is prepared by mashing grilled aubergine and mixing it with tomatoes, onions, herbs and spices.
Aubergine is good for diabetics as it prevents blood glucose levels from increasing.
Grilling the aubergine over charcoal gives the dish a smoky flavour.
This curry is full of flavour and low in calories, boasting just 112 calories in one serving.
In addition to the low calories, baingan bharta has 5.3 grams of fat and 13 grams of carbohydrates.
It is also high in fibre, meaning it is a popular dish to have when trying to lose weight.
Cooking this dish with healthier oils will reduce the calorie count even more.
Vegan Mushroom Masala
Vegan mushroom masala curry is an easy, one-pot dish that packs in a lot of flavour.
It is a comforting, hearty curry that is a dream for anyone who loves mushrooms.
Tender mushroom chunks are mixed with onions, tomatoes and spices for a flavourful meal.
It is a delicious curry and one serving contains just 126 calories, making it a great option for weight loss.
The addition of it being vegan means there are no saturated fats to drive the calorie count up.
One of the lowest calorie Indian curries is saag.
This leaf vegetable dish can be made from spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, finely chopped broccoli or other greens.
Fresh mustard leaves are an excellent source of Vitamin C too. A cup of chopped leaves will fulfil about 80% of the day’s requirement of Vitamin C.
It is then cooked with an array of spices.
Given that it contains nothing but leafy green vegetables and spices, it is no surprise that one serving contains less than 200 calories.
These curries are low in calories, making them perfect to eat when losing weight.
Making changes in the ingredients and cooking methods can reduce the number of calories even more without compromising the flavour.
This will benefit you in the long run. You will be able to realise that the calories within Indian food can be controlled while also enjoying their delicious flavours.