Healthy Indian Recipes

Hi Friends,
Today is a great day, yesterday ended on a better note and sometimes that’s all you can ask for.

Staying on track with this weeks nutrition challenge let’s try some Indian food.

During the early years of our relationship my boyfriend and I stumbled upon a great looking Indian restaurant only a block for my former residence. I had never had Indian food but was excited to try it. It was delicious, all the spices, flavors, curries, and vegetables. This was a major food altering experience.

Since then we eat Indian food at least 3-4 times a month. It can be challenging to stay on my diet and avoid the yummy naan bread and cream based curries which why I sought out these recipes.

Indian food is great because he can chomp down on meat and I have a variety of vegetable dishes to choose from. This food, especially, is vegetarian friendly because of there culture. The main religion in Indian is — and they are required to refrain from eating any meat.   Why??

Let’s dive in

Tikka Masala
333 cals – 16.8g fat


2 medium onions, cut into wedges
5 cloves of garlic
2 tsp ground cumin, divided
1-1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1 (2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, sliced
1/2 up plain fat-free greek yogurt
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
6 skinless boneless chicken thighs 
3/4 tsp kosher salt divided
cooking spray
3 tbsp canola oil
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1-1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup half & half
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp cilantro leaves (fresh)



Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Place onion and garlic in food processor and process into smooth paste
Spoon 1/2 of paste into small bowl; cover, chill
Add tsp cumin, 1 tsp red pepper, and ginger to paste in food processor process until smooth
Stir in yogurt and lemon juice


Combine chicken and yogurt mixture in large ziplock bag or container, seal and marinate for at least 2 hours

Remove chicken from bag and discard marinade sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt evenly over both sides of chicken, place chicken on a rack and bake evenly, turing after 9 minutes at 375 degrees for 16 minutes


Let chicken stand for 10 minuts, cut chicken into bite sized pieces

Heat a large skillet over med-low heat add oil to pan; swirl to coat, add cinnamon stick, ,cook 1 minute or until fragrant stirring frequently

Stir in 1 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp red pepper, 1/4 tsp salt, coriander and turmeric; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly redue heat to low stir in reserved onion-garlic paste


Cook 12 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally simmer 2 minutes or until heated 

Sprinkle with cilantro (optional)

Saag Panner
337 cals – 17g fat – 19g protein


8 cups whole milk
1/4 cup & 1 tsp lemon juice
 5 tsp salt
4 pounds spinach, well rinsed and thick stems removed
8 cloves garlic
2 onions roughly chopped
2 serrano chiles, seeded
1 piece ginger (3 inch) peeled and roughly chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
seeds from 7 cardamom pods
3 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2  tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 canned tomato, chopped
1/4 cup non-fat greek yogurt
2 tsp garam masala

Line a colander with 2 layers of cheese cloth and set in the sink


Bring milk to 196 degrees in a large pot over med-high heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching


Remove from heat if it starts to boil, stir in 1/4 cup lemon juice


Milk with curdle, separating into cheese curd and a clear yellow whey

Pour into cheese cloth lined colander

Pull up edges of cheese cloth and gently squeeze out as much water as possible and form curds into a 6 – inch disk


Put cheese cloth wrapped disk on a large plate, top with a large cutting board or another sauce and weight down with a heavy pot
Put in fridge and let press at least 3 hours up to overnight

Saute onions in large sauce pan over med heat until they are soft, about 5 minutes

Add spinach and stir frequently until spinach is cooked 

Add cardamon, cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon, cook until spices darken about 2 mins add reserve onion paste

Add garam Marsala and remaining lemon juice, adjust salt and lemon juice to taste

Place spinach in blender and blend until almost smooth


Cook, stirring occasionally until flavors are blended, about 30 minutes


Cut paneer into 1/2 inch cubes and gently stir into spinach mixture, cook until paneer is heated through about 2 minutes
Serve hot

Recipe found at www.cookinglight.com

That’s all folks,
Peace & Love, 
Mary  



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