Everyone loves a curry – a trip to a curry house where you try new and exotic takes on old favourites, a takeaway from your local where your eyes are definitely bigger than your belly, or hell, even a jar of Patak’s chicken korma with shop-bought naans at home is a meal to be celebrated. But all that oil, fat and (depending on how delicate your palate is) cream comes at a price, with a study finding that your typical Indian takeaway meal contains more calories than your entire recommended daily allowance.
But there’s no reason why curries should be off-limits when you’re losing weight. What you need is to build up a repertoire of low-calorie curries. Homemade curries aren’t quite as calorific as their takeaway counterparts, which are often so high in calories purely because of massive portion sizes and liberal amounts of oil used in cooking. You can make a healthy curry that slots perfectly into your calorie allowances at home, and for British Curry Week this week, we’re sharing some of our low-cal faves.
7 amazing low-calorie curries to make this week
Calories per portion: 500
Say what you will about Jamie Oliver and his rather extreme views on how to tackle Britain’s obesity crisis, but there’s no denying that the man knows his way around a kitchen. This recipe for tandoori chicken is left to marinade overnight, giving it a great depth of flavour, and it’s served with roasted broccoli – a great low-carb alternative to rice and naan. Get the recipe here.
Mushroom rogan josh
Calories per portion: 106
This vegan recipe is easy to make with ingredients you can keep in the cupboard ready for whenever you need something quick and satisfying. Serve with rice, or do as recipe creator Jack did and have it on toast for a unique breakfast. This recipe is a smidge over 100 calories, which is crazy, so load up on veg, fluffy rice, garlic naan and chutney too. Get the recipe here.
Turmeric cauliflower pilaf
Calories per portion: 297
We’re not massive fans of cauliflower rice generally, finding it to be flavourless and a poor replacement for rice. But this recipe shows that when it’s seasoned properly and paired with golden raisins and creamy almonds, it’s a decent substitute for rice, and perfect for those trying to cut down on carbs. Get the recipe here.
Thai-style fish curry
Calories per portion: 481
This recipe is delightfully green and wonderfully fresh, with the curry paste made from scratch. Perfect if you’ve got some time and want to impress, but equally as good with all the herbs and spices blitzed in a food processor. Yes, it takes some time, but it is 100% worth it. And fish is great in a curry, so give this one a go if you want a change from your usual chicken or lamb curries. Get the recipe here.
Calories per portion: 291
The Hairy Dieters’ first book is one that I have used until it has quite literally fallen apart. It’s a must for anyone looking to slash calories while keeping the taste of your favourite takeaways, and this recipe for chicken korma is one of the best fakeaways in the book. Not as easy as opening a jar or calling for a takeaway, but it’s another that’s worth the effort when it comes in at under 300 calories.
Calories per serving: 243
If you like your curry hot, you’ll like this. This recipe toasts the spices before using, which really brings out their flavour. Using garam masala is a great shortcut, and this is a quick and easy recipe you can make for any weekday dinner. Get the recipe here.
Calories per serving: 48 (which is good, because I could very easily eat about 12 servings)
According to Indian cook Hari Ghotra, Saag aloo isn’t typically found in traditional Indian cuisine (and tbh, this list is full of those much-loved dishes that have a decidedly British twist), but it is a delicious side dish and is one of my favourite things to order from my local Indian takeaway. Spinach and potatoes combine with spices and tomatoes to make this side dish a worthy addition to any curry night. Get the recipe here.