Low Fat Masala Curry

Oooh, winter nights are drawing in and the temptation of warming, spicy food is never greater. But pause for a moment before you reach for a take-away menu, how about passing on the high-calorie, high-fat, high-salt option and tucking into a healthy, quick home-made curry? Not only is this the health-wise option, it’s also the wallet friendly choice before pay-day!

Ingredients:

Serves 4 (or 6 with the extra chickpeas/lentils – see below)

  • 2 onions (sliced)
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger (peeled and chopped)
  • 4 handfuls of fresh spinach or 4 “chunks” of frozen
  • 2 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 600g bite-size chunks of raw chicken or enough prawns (fresh or frozen) to feed 4

Be aware, this recipe makes a lot of sauce! (I never see the point of using ½ a tine of tomatoes in a recipe as the other ½ only ever moulders in the fridge). Anyway, because of this you can either

a) save yourself time by transferring ½ the sauce to a plastic container after step 6 and freezing for another night or

b) adding extra chickpeas or tinned lentils at stage 7 to bulk up the super-healthy low-fat protein and fibre.

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan with a lid.
  2. Add the cumin seeds and toast for 2 minutes, stirring so they don’t burn.
  3. Add the onions with a tablespoon of water and cook with the lid on, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn until translucent.
  4. Add the chopped garlic, ginger, tomatoes, tomato puree and salt and stir well.
  5. Add red chilli, coriander, garam masala, and turmeric powder. Stir and simmer gently with the lid on for 20 minutes
  6. Turn off the heat, ladle into a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth sauce.
  7. Pour the sauce back into the pan and add the spinach and chicken / prawns.
  8. Bring back to a simmer and maintain until the chicken / prawns are cooked through.
  9. Serve with rice and a low fat raita.

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