Curries with no worries!

Working on a new concept for takeaways! I will let the suspense build up a bit and as soon as our trials take some shape I will let you know. Met one person from UK recently, Andy, and he is simply loving Indian food here! He can eat at any restaurant, and savour any Indian cuisine. Offered him a pack of buttermilk and on having the first few sips made a few faces…but as he finished the pack he wanted to know if he could carry some packs back home for his girlfriend! That’s the magic of Indian food!

Till some years ago, Indian food abroad had this picture of only being some spicy curries. But now the world is aware of the vastness and the richness of Indian cuisine. For us Indians, what is life without curry? In fact, life is not without hurry and worry too! Jokes apart, rich and heavy curries are enjoyed only once in a while and given the modern health challenges it is best to ‘skim’, ‘trim’ and ‘slim’ the curries. Indian food has many curries to be proud of and there are possibilities of some low calorie avatars too.

Curries are mostly made with a base of fat, onions, tomatoes, whole spices or even with nuts and coconut. At home, preparing curries in minimum oil is no longer an uphill task. Thanks to non-stick cookware and ingenuity of budding cooks! Pureed fresh spinach can make a rich base for mixed vegetables, or tender sweet corn kernels, or even paneer (as in palak paneer!). Make a puree of blanched spinach with some ginger, garlic and green chillies. Start cooking it in the tempered oil and add the masalas and vegetables or chicken. Puree fresh ripe tomatoes with ginger, garlic and green chillies. Sauté in a non-stick pan till a little dry. Then add boiled dal, or steamed vegetables and of course you can highlight the curry with red chilli powder and garam masala powder. Want a low cal makhni? Tomatoes are pureed with onion, garlic, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, red pumpkin, cumin seeds, kasuri methi, salt and red chilli powder. As you sauté this paste in one teaspoon of oil, keep ready some low fat milk (instead of cream) and a paste of cornflour with some sugar. Add these and simmer for a minute. Finish off the dish with the addition of your choice (grilled chicken or marinated chicken or steamed vegetables or paneer). See the pic of team working in the kitchen.

Let us add a couple of different recipes to our repertoire of healthy curries. Koftas are generally fried before being dunked in curry. But this one shuns oil. And also enjoy absolutely low calorie spinach with corn which takes on great flavour by virtue of being the best and the freshest of the season!

Tamatar Murgh Kofta, Corn in Spinach, Drumstick Curry

Till I write again
Sanjeev Kapoor

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