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HEMAMALINI100 Posts: 3,099
2/22/12 11:40 A

Samosa is absolute favorite but it's deep fried so should be eaten occasionally. Everyday Indian food is based on lentils, vegetables and raita or salad ( which is called pachadi, koshimbir in India).All of this is served with rice and or chapati ( bread) which makes a meal complete protein.
Look online for Sanjeev Kapoor and his recipes , he is a very well known chef in India and he has lots of recipes on his website, some of them are low cal too.
For the spices- there are few basic spices used in Indian cooking. Turmeric, whole cumin, whole mustard, coriander powder , garam masala and cayenne powder. They may seem a lot but almost all the recipes call for these spices. If you are cooking Indian, it's worth buying all these spices and they store well too.Whole spices have longer shelf life.

MUM2TWO SparkPoints: (4,569)
Fitness Minutes: (5,808)
Posts: 28
2/21/12 7:41 P

I make samosas similarly and serve them with mint-coriander chutney or tamarind chutney. I seal the end with a paste of flour and water, so it does not open out. It tastes really good with a meat filling too (minced meat replacing the potatoes).

2/21/12 6:22 P

Indian Food is my favorite! My problem is I have no Idea, when it comes to cooking it.

JETB133 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (5,226)
Posts: 148
2/16/12 11:20 A

I just made these samosas for a vegan friend of mine this weekend and they were amazing!!! I don't ever measure so I don't have exact amounts, sorry!

Boil diced potatoes until tender but not mushy
Drain and "smash" potatoes with a hand held masher just enough so that they are still lumpy. I used rice milk to help with the smashing.
Stir in frozen peas

In a sautéed pan
Sautéed some olive oil, garlic, ginger, Garam masala, curry, pinch of salt, lime zest and juice from that lime. Transfer the potato mixture into the sautée pan and stir until the spices are well incorporated.
Let potatoes cool
Thaw phyllo dough sheets
Use cooking spray between each layer of phyllo instead of butter. Cut the phyllo into 3 inch strips. Spoon a small amount of potato onto one end of the phyllo and then fold up like you would fold a flag so that you end up with a triangle pouch of goodness!!! Repeat for as many as you can get.
Bake according to phyllo instructions.

I served these with a dip made of scallions cilantro garlic ginger and curry powder blended with 2 tsp of oliv oil and enough water to make it "saucy" but still thick.

These were time consuming....but so worth it!!! I think next time them I will make more and freeze a batch that can just be popped in the oven for a quick hors' devour or snack.
My guests, husband and kids loved these and are already asking me to make them again!
They are a great alternative to the samosas that are fried at the restaurants.

M_SGIRL SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (379)
Posts: 124
2/16/12 9:12 A

I made my own coconut milk last night. 1 C unsweetened, dried coconut in 1 C skim, nonfat milk. Great taste and far better control of the fat and sodium in the dish. This is a good option for Indian foods!

MUM2TWO SparkPoints: (4,569)
Fitness Minutes: (5,808)
Posts: 28
2/15/12 9:22 P

For years I have cooked Indian food with minimal oil and other rich ingredients. Some tips are:
I use only about 1 tsp oil to make my curry base (saute onions, garlic-ginger paste, tomatoes and spices), and ensure I cook on low flame for a few minutes (instead of on high very quickly). If the paste is getting too dry, I sprinkle some water (instead of more oil) and continue sauteing. I have also cooked without any oil, as onions can be sauted dry, but the little oil is needed when you use mustard seeds, cumin seeds etc.

Cream, cashewnuts etc are not typically used in everyday cooking. I use peanuts / cashews in some of my chicken curries, but in moderation, for parties. I use coconut milk in my fish curries, but instead of the canned variety use the powder which I reconstitute - this option has less fat.

I have successfully baked a lot of the typically deep fried Indian goodies (samosas, cutlets / patties, pakodas) - I brush them with a little oil.

Edited by: MUM2TWO at: 2/20/2012 (20:19)
M_SGIRL SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (379)
Posts: 124
2/8/12 8:23 A

Talking to a friend yesterday from India (who is a health nut), I asked her your question. She said that oils in Indian food are used primarily as a way to release and deliver the full potency of the spices. However, you CAN cut the oils to a minimum and get results that aren't very noticeable.

Her other suggestions were:

- replace coconut milk with coconut water and a few drops of concentrated coconut oil
- use greek yogurt in place of creams and other fats
- double veggies where possible, preferably grilled.

Hope this helps!

HEMAMALINI100 Posts: 3,099
2/7/12 7:52 P

May want to try Indian Cookery class, that will give you a good idea of Indian spices and how to use them. Then you can make your own Indian food.

KELEKONA Posts: 605
2/7/12 2:03 P

Ghetto curry:
A bit of any meat you can de-bone easily
Vegetables like green pepper, carrot, squash
A can of crushed tomatoes or skinless fresh
Curry seasoning
Sour cream, yogurt, milk, whatever you need to cut the spice.

Rice cooked with tumeric

Brown onions and meat, add vegetables according to density, add tomato last, add spices. A few minutes before serving, add dairy and stir it in until blended.

Basically play around with it. I think the Japanese version of curry is dairy-free and involves potatoes.

M_SGIRL SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (379)
Posts: 124
2/7/12 9:44 A

There's an entire low-fat Indian cookbook here on Spark.

Tandoori spice can be rubbed on any meat and make a wonderful Indian flavor, grilled or roasted, without any incremental fat or oil used. Serve with steamed veggies with a little curry compound butter. You get the mouthfeel of richness with great taste without loading on the fats. Naan (low fat) on the side with a good chutney or sauce and you are set!

One of my favorite use of Indian flavors is to slow cook a beef stew heavy on the cumin, tumeric, cinammon, garlic, onion powder, and fresh ginger. I make a dry rub of the spices except the ginger. Let the beef (or chicken or turkey) cubes marinate in them overnight - you need half the beef you would normally use. Use just 1 t of oil to pan fry the ginger, and then sear the beef. Sear shredded carrots when the beef is half done. Add tomatoes, no fat stock, curry leaves and let simmer. Add onions and lentils, plus more liquid. Cook until lentils are done. This is rich, hearty, full of flavor, high in fiber and REALLY low fat.

HEMAMALINI100 Posts: 3,099
2/6/12 9:12 P

When you cook at home anything can be healthy since it's totally under your control. I have a teaspoon measure in my oil bottle and only use olive oil to cook. Use lot of lentils , they are full of protein and don't require much fat to season them. They are naturally creamy when cooked right.
You can make any curry for 4 or 6 in 1 or 2 tablespoon of oil. Don't use cream or coconut milk for low cal meal, use Greek yogurt instead , that's what I do. My family is quite satisfied with this type of cooking , they don't miss the greasy food at all. I hope this helps.

BUUKWORM14 SparkPoints: (79,200)
Fitness Minutes: (78,629)
Posts: 960
1/3/12 12:33 P

Briyanis are great and can be much lighter, just watch the butter/oil.

This is great and pretty light (I use breast instead of legs). On the website check out Bal Arneson and Anjum Anand. Both do modern Indian. Anjum did a whole episode on light Indian cooking for a spa.

ESQUID SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 5
1/3/12 9:31 A

I love the flavors of Indian food but don't love the calorie density (cashews, peanuts, coconut milk ect) Does anyone know any Indian recipes that are less rich?

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