Enjoy your curry without the calories

Nutrition team

Indian cuisine has become a firm favourite, with Chicken Tikka Masala being officially announced as the favourite meal in the UK. For many of us, there’s nothing better than a good curry!

But with its rich ingredients - butter, oil, coconut milk and creamy sauces, not to mention pilau and fried rice and naan bread to go along with it, a curry can be a diet disaster waiting to happen.

Let’s look first at the ready-made jars of curry sauce available. Most curry sauces provide 7 to 10 grams of fat per 100 grams of sauce and this serving works out at around 150 calories (2 Totals). This is really not too bad!

But when you make the dinner, you don’t just have curry sauce. Let’s make things a little more interesting and count up the cals of a full curry meal.

200g of Curry Sauce - 300 cals
A glug of oil for cooking the meat – 90 cals
An average (90g) serving of lamb – 340 cals
An average (180g) serving of rice – 250 cals
Naan bread – 520 cals.

That’s a grand total of - yikes – 1500 calories and nearly 20 Totals! That’s a full day’s calorie intake for a lot of people.

So how do we cut down the cals without missing out?

First of all, be careful about the sauce you choose: Chicken Tonight Sizzle & Stir, for example, offered me a Korma with 21 grams of fat per 100 grams while Knorr’s Fruity Curry sauce had a fraction of the fat content with only 2.7 grams per 100 grams of sauce.

Remember, you can also slim down a sauce by adding some low fat yoghurt, fromage frais, milk or just water – this will make a little sauce go a long way.

Next, we’ll cut down on the oil. It’s very easy just to pour in oil without really knowing how much you’re using so be careful just to use a teaspoonful.

Swap the lamb for chicken, use a tablespoonful of uncooked rice per serving and replace that naan bread with lots of lovely veggies and you’ll have saved one thousand calories. So that’s 500 cals for a generous meal using an average fat, not even a low fat, sauce!

And if you prefer the ready-made version, most supermarkets do come up with the goods. Here are some of our favourites:

M&S Count on Us Chinese Chicken Curry and Rice - 320 cals and 8g fat in 450g pack

Tesco Healthy Eating Chicken Tikka Masala and Rice – 330 cals and 8g fat in 350g pack

M&S Count on Us Malaysian Chicken Curry and Noodles - 360 cals and 9g fat in 400g pack

Co-op Chicken Curry with Rice – 300 cals and 12g fat in 300g pack

Sainsbury’s Be Good To Yourself Chicken Jalfrezi with pilau Rice – 430 cals and 5g fat in 450g pack

M&S Count on Us Chicken Korma and Rice - 420 cals and 7g fat in 400g pack

Tesco Healthy Eating Chicken Korma and Rice - 480 cals and 9g fat in 420g pack

Sainsbury’s Be Good To Yourself Chicken Tikka with Pilau Rice - 510 cals and 6g fat in 450g pack

Sainsbury’s Be Good To Yourself Chicken Korma with Pilau Rice - 510 cals and 10g fat in 450g pack

Safeway Chicken Balti with Rice - 430 cals and 30g fat in 400g pack

So, by just checking the label on the back of the pack, you can still have your curry – without the calories!

Start a diet plan at tescodiets.com

Thanks to tescodiets.com who have provided this article.