When you think of ethnic foods in a restaurant one might assume it is all healthy. Sadly that is not the case most of the time. Many people may get the impression Indian food from India is the healthiest of all, because many Indians are vegetarians. There is certainly truth in that general statement, but did you know a lot of Indian food is high in fat and calories as well as low in nutritional value? The most popular dish of all that most westerners are familiar with is curry.
In the North Indian dishes the thick curry sauce that tops rice is made with heavy cream and ghee, which is clarified or unsalted butter. Also, many Indian foods from the north are heavily fried in oils. The South Indian foods have rice as their main staple, along with the tamarind spice and a variety of vegetables. I myself love the thick, spicy curry sauces. Unfortunately those are not the most healthiest to order. If you want to visit an Indian restaurant, but don’t have a clue as to what are the healthiest foods, you need not fret. This is an in-depth guide that will assist you and point out some of the Indian foods that are low in fat, calories and provide better nutrition.
10.) Roti – Just like with any western restaurant you get bread with a meal. Roti is a flat bread made with wheat flour or a whole wheat flour blend. Most Indian restaurants serve naan (nan). This is bread made from white flour that in brushed with butter or ghee right before it is served. In a serving of roti it is 84 calories, 1.5g fat, 3g protein, 0mg sodium and 0g fiber.
9.) Sambar Dal – This is a thick stew made with chickpeas, other legumes, onions, and a variety of spices. It is only 50 calories, 2.6g carbohydrates, 15.0g protein, and 1.8g fat.
8.) Vegetable Korma Curry – Here is a healthy vegetable curry dish that is also a classic. It is very popular in Indian restaurants, so this should not be difficult to order. The good news is there is only 5.3g fat, 1.4g protein, 8.7g carbs, and 88 calories.
7.) Arhar Dal – Another variety of this South Indian stew dish made with beans. The nutritional content is only 53 calories, 1.2g fat, 8.0g carbs, and 2.8g protein.
6.) Chicken Tikka Masala – You will have no problem ordering this highly popular Indian dish. It is served in Indian restaurants all over the world. This highly requested chicken curry dish features the chicken chunks marinated in spices and yogurt. It is then baked in a tandoor oven and served in a masala sauce that is tomato- based. Unfortunately it is a little bit more in nutritional content than the vegetables dishes mentioned earlier. The chicken tikka masala is 260 calories, 16.0g fat, 27.0g protein, and 2.0g carbohydrates.
5.) Tandoori Fish – Now we feature a North Indian dish from the Punjab region of northwest India. The nutritional content is high, because is it served in butter and cream. However, this is another popular Indian dish that is not as high in fat and calories as other dishes. It lists for one serving 380 calories, 17.6g fat, 0g fiber, and 32g protein.
4.) Chicken Biryani – We go back again to the South Indian cuisine for this rice-based dish that contains chicken and rice flavored with saffron or turmeric. There are 834 calories, 35.2g fat, and 134mg carbohydrates.
3.) Aloo Curry – Back once again to a vegetable dish that’s actually a potato curry.You’ll find there are only105 calories, 14.4g carbohydrates, 1.2g protein, and 5.0g fat.
2.) Chana Masala – A very popular spicy vegetable dishin South Indian cuisine that features chickpeas. The chana masala has 243 calories, 4.7g fat, 9.1 fiber, and 9.0g protein.
1.) Tandoori Chicken – If you like really like spicy chicken then this is the Indian dish for you. It is marinated in yogurt and seasoned in tandoori masala, a mixture of spices that features cayenne pepper. The chicken is oftentimes cooked in a clay oven called the tandoor or it is grilled. This is another favorite dish globally. There are only 260 calories, 13.0g fat, 5.0g carbohydrates and 30.5g protein