Chicken tikka masala

Hi everyone, the Lentils Challenge results are out and it was quite a competition. There were a lot of awesome recipes submitted by some strong contenders! Check out the winners on their website. Although I didn’t win, I would like to thank you all very much for your support and best wishes! I think that was a victory in itself! 🙂 I am currently on vacation and so away from my blog. Anyways, I thought I should share this special recipe – a healthy version of the popular restaurant dish, chicken tikka masala. Hope you can try it out on the weekend! Download or share the recipe card.

Know your nutrients: This restaurant style dish is lower in calories and lower in fat, besides being packed with protein and flavor. Ingredients have been thoughtfully chosen to bring out the restaurant style flavor. The thick gravy does not contain cream or a ton of oil, but a nice tomato puree that blends in with the sauteed onions. Enjoy with a bowlful of salad and whole wheat roti or phulkas, since it does not contain fiber. Mint-yogurt chutney complements this dish very well. I will post the recipe of the chutney soon. Do send me your comments if you try.

Per serving: 159 cals | 18 g protein | 7 g total fat | 1 g fiber

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Fish Curry – Red curry with Tilapia

 

Fish curry

This dish is for all those who love seafood. For those who don’t like fish in particular, may also like tilapia as it is very mild in flavor. A true Mumbaiite can’t live without fish…they are literally like fish out of water LOL. Its quite a treat to enjoy a variety of fish in Mumbai, whether it is pan fried, steamed or served in a curry. Fish can be pan fried plain or covered in a spiced batter or stuffed with some amazing chutneys & then pan fried. There are so many mouth-watering curries prepared in different styles depending on the region & its specialty spice combinations. Of all the curries, the ones containing coconut taste the best. I am not particularly fond of fresh or desiccated coconut as a garnish but when it is ground with other spices or used in coconut milk form it takes the dish to a whole new level. It is celebrated even in small amounts! 🙂 Coconut is commonly used in coastal cuisines because of the easy availability of coconuts. Imagine yourself dining on a beach under a thatched roof- watching the sunset while enjoying a variety of fish dishes in the gentle, salty breeze!!! A perfect seafood dinner shall I say? 😉

I love coconut in the form of coconut milk, which is also used in the Thai cuisine. But use coconut in small amounts as it is high Saturated fats.

Fish is also steamed in banana leaf and served with chutneys. Baking fish is more of a western style of cooking. I don’t enjoy deep fried fish but it is quite common in India. I feel that most of the time the flavor of the fish is lost or it becomes tough & dry. I usually satisfy my fish cravings whenever I am back home & request my mom to make her specialties. However, to vet my appetite I have learned to cook tilapia & cod in Indian or Thai style or salmon in a western style. Pan frying or making curries or stews are some simple & quick ways to cook fish.

In the US, if you are concerned about Mercury content of fish, here are some ways that you can learn to make safe choices:

  1. National Resources Defense Council has compiled a guide based on data from FDA & EPA : click here.
  2. American Heart Association lists recommendations, benefits vs risks of consuming fish : click here.
  3. Monterey Bay Aquarium advises on what farmed or fished varieties of fish have less impact on the environment: Seafood Watch Enter the name of the fish and you will see the recommendations.

Fish is a very good source of protein, low in fat, and some varieties contain omega 3 fatty acids which are good for your heart. Even though I have used coconut milk in this recipe, it is a reduced fat version and is used in small amount for 6 servings. 

Per serving: 117 cals | 11 g protein | 1 g fiber | 7 g total fat | 1.75 g saturated fat

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Rogan Josh (Lamb Curry)

Looking for a dish to cook for your valentine? Try this slow cooked lamb curry! Enjoy a glass of wine and some appetizers while the lamb is cooking. And, you might feel it was worth the wait.

Its okay to have red meat once in a while, especially for a candle-lit dinner. Make sure you trim off as much visible fat as possible. This dish is definitely healthier than what you would order in a restaurant. Balance it with my carrot & apple mint raita (recipe to follow soon) and whole wheat naan or roti.

Per serving: 176 cals | 13 g protein | 12 g total fat | 1 g fiber | 1 mg iron

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Spinach & Kale salad with Chicken Sausage & Whole Wheat garlic toast

I had never eaten a sausage before Neeraj served it to me for breakfast one morning. It looked good when it was pan fried with onion and tomatoes. It was Trader Joe’s spicy jalapeno chicken sausage!! I loved it!! We tried different chicken sausages thereafter, however, I didn’t develop a palate to appreciate the tough, less flavored sausages. I would be happy to take suggestions on what other varieties to try (though I don’t eat pork and beef). Anyways, this salad serves as a nice, light dinner! Vegetarians/ vegans can easily substitute the sausage with…..read the recipe! 🙂

Per serving (including the bread): 360 cals | 19 g protein | 20 g total fat | 6 g fiber

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PHO (Noodle soup with your choice of protein)

 

pho3b

 

This is my take on the Vietnamese Pho! I really like the concept and its easy to make it very nourishing by adding lots of vegetables. I have used lots of bell peppers in this recipe to come up with the most basic and quickest yet flavorful soup. But you can easily add vegetables of your choice- broccoli, carrots, pak choi, green beans, tomatoes, sprouted beans etc depending on the vegetables and time you have. The ginger, garlic and cilantro combination impart a very cleansing effect to the soup. I would prefer to use whole wheat vermicelli or partial whole grain pasta next time with this soup, not just for the fiber content but for a better taste. However, I tried this soup for the first time with the regular egg noodles. It’s best to cook them a little al dente. You can serve this with pan-fried tilapia or shrimp. Vegetarians can add 1½ cup of cooked kidney beans or any other beans to the vegetables to incorporate some proteins in the meal.

Per serving: 243 cals | 16 g protein | 4 g fiber | 15 g total fat

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