Seven Top Tips for healthy Indian Cooking
Saturday, December 31st, 2016
It’s New Year’s Eve and the importance of my fat fighting mission for 2017 is at the forefront of my mind. If you have been following my blog, you may well know that I am planning a skydive and need to lose weight. The sense of urgency has kicked in and I need to get focused and fund raise as much as I can for my chosen charity; Kipbag, donating sleeping bags and essentials to the homeless, here’s the website to read more: https://www.kipbag.com/
I am good friends with the Hitzone family and have two sessions per week with Colin, the fitness trainer, along with their High Intensity Training, I shall be dancing regularly with my Morris Dancing friends in Shrewsbury and there are plenty of beautiful walks locally that I shall be exploring.
Knowing that I could never live without delicious Indian meals, my home style cooking will be tweaked with weight loss in mind and I shall be sharing the journey with you.
I shall start with curries, here are my top tips for cooking the tastiest, healthiest Indian curries:
- Temper whole spices – if making a curry from scratch, start by frying your whole spices first, this is NOT necessary when using my curry masala because I have roasted those spices for you, but essential if you are cooking a curry from scratch. I heat a pan, add the spices to warm through, then add a splash of oil, heat for a couple of minutes before adding the onions.
- It is important to cook your onions really well and sometimes boil them and liquidise before frying in a little oil, the onions need to caramelised, golden and cooked through for a good curry base.
- Cook your vegetables and meats raw in your curry sauce for maximum flavour, this will tenderise your meat and save you an extra frying pan to wash! The exception to the rule is when cooking with lentils, pulses, leftovers and spicy potatoes, I boils those first but any meat, fish, vegetables, I will be cooked from raw in the curry sauce.
- A slow cooker can be your friend when cooking super healthy. I prefer to make my curry sauce on the hob and seal the meat, veges in the sauce and then place in the slow cooker to cook through, this is my preferred style of cooking, especially with lamb. Daals (lentils) are so tasty when cooked in the slow cooker, I boil the lentils in the slow cooker, without any spices or salt and then add onions, some curry masala, salt and watch them come to life, such a time saving and easy way to cook healthy curries.
- Going healthy doesn’t mean missing out on my favourite dishes, I can add protein rich nuts, beans and pulses to my curries and make my own nut milks by blending soaked almonds or cashews in water, rather than use cream.
- Quite often, I will finish a curry with fresh tomatoes, onions, coriander, a squeeze of lemon or lime and chillies to add extra flavour and texture, without giving in to my butter cravings.
- Season your dishes well, salt, pepper, cumin and garam masala are my best friends, bringing dishes to life and keeping me away from oily pickles.
I look forward to hearing about your healthy cooking in the new year and appreciate any tips to hep me along the way.
Thank you to those of you that have supported my journey, encouraged, helped along the way, cooked with me, used my spices, have a fabulous, healthy and super duper 2017!
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Lajina Leal, Founder, Lajina Masala
Lajina had a Corporate Career as an Accountant for many years and whilst discussing an impending redundancy in an Indian restaurant with her friends, they persuaded her to set up an Indian Cooking School.
The fun started in October 2013 and the business has grown from strength to strength.
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