Whether it's palak paneer or tikka masala or any curry dish, Indian food is enjoyed not only by its 1-billion-plus inhabitants in the world's largest democracy in the subcontinent, as well as the wide Indian diaspora, but also by hundreds of millions of non-Indian food lovers around the globe.
But if you're trying your best to cook the healthiest for you and your family, meaning, recipes that are low in sugar, low in sodium, low in quick burning carbohydrates, and not containing too much fat (fat is good, but remember one gram of it has more than two times the calories as protein and carbs), can Indian food be cooked any healthier?
Of course! Any traditional recipe can be modified without sacrificing too much taste, texture or nutrition for special dietary purposes.
So if your goal is weight loss or improved blood sugar levels, for example, here's how you can make Indian food healthier....
Obviously, you can replace rice with either any variety of Miracle Noodles
or Miracle Rice
. Miracle Noodle does not claim that its shirataki noodles taste just like regular noodles and rice, but if you cook them the right way
and add your favorite curries or other sauces, you'll feel like you're getting enough of the authentic visceral culinary experience.
You'll also want to make sure you're using enough, but not too much, saturated fat to cook with, in the form of coconut oil or unrefined palm or red palm oil.
You can also cook with or add to dishes, ghee butter instead of regular butter. Ghee has less fat and calories; it's butter without the milk fat, leaving just butter fat. If you're lactose intolerant, you may be able to digest ghee instead of regular butter.
One common complaint about Indian cooking is that there are too many ingredients in any one given recipe. While it may appear overwhelming, many of the ingredients are spices (or herbs). These plethora of spices give Indian recipes that rich flavor. So don't be overwhelmed by all the ingredients. If your pantry, though, only has 3 out of, say, 8 spices that are called for in a recipe, don't worry about it...cook it anyway. It'll still taste great.
But if you can, do add to your spice collection. Diversify your seasonings. Not only will you be rewarded with a different palate-tickling experience, you may also be boosting health. Spices, herbs and seasonings hold medicinal properties...but that's for another blog topic.
Another principle of Indian cooking is to take your time. Easier said than done in the busy, hectic Western world, where you have no free time after working all day, having to pick up the kids from school, tutoring, soccer practice and then race home and cook a healthy meal.
What to do about a recipe that calls for simmering for 45 minutes? Compromise. Just don't blast the stove top range on high; do a low-medium cook. Also, many simmering dishes are for the noodles to fully cook. But if you're using Miracle Noodles and Miracle Rice, they take just minutes to cook and will soak up the flavors of the curry or sauce almost immediately!
So let's dive right into one recipe that was actually supplied by a Miracle Noodle customer. It's also posted on the Miracle Noodle Recipe
page. Thanks to Sherry Flannigan of Ashland, Mississippi for providing the recipe for Healthy Bombay Chicken Curry with Miracle Noodle Angel Hair:
For this dish, Sherry says, "This Bombay Chicken Curry recipe is very versatile. Substitute lamb for the chicken or take out the meat, add chickpeas or cooked lentils for a vegan recipe.You can also have only the curried veggies over Miracle Noodles for a side dish.The side dish goes very well with chicken breasts baked in Red Palm Oil. Enjoy!"?
Olive oil: Enough to lightly cover bottom of large pan
1 Med. Yellow onion - diced
1 orange Bell Pepper - diced
2 Yellow crooked-neck squash - diced
2 med. Zucchini squash - diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato sauce
1 13-oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
4 Tbsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. Cumin
1 Tsp. salt or to taste
Approx. ½ Tbsp. Konjac, aka Glucomannan powder
2 cooked Chicken Breasts – cubed
1 package of Miracle Noodle Angel Hair (or Miracle Rice)
Prepare Miracle Noodles or Miracle Rice as per package instructions. Set aside. Add Olive oil to large pan, and sauté onions and bell pepper until tender. Add squash and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp curry powder, ½ Tbsp. Cumin and salt.
Add 1/3 can coconut milk and ½ can tomato sauce. Mix in and cover. Simmer. In separate, small sauce pan add remaining coconut milk, tomato sauce, 2 Tbsp. curry powder and ½ Tbsp. Cumin. Stir over low heat.
When sauce mixture is heated, begin shaking in small amounts of the glucomannan powder that will equal approximately ½ tsp while continuing to stir the mixture so it does not make lumps. When thickened, add sauce to large pan of veggies and stir in. Add cooked chicken cubes, cover and continue to simmer until cooked chicken cubes are thoroughly heated stirring the mixture so it doesn't stick. Serve over Miracle Noodles Angel Hair or Miracle Rice.
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