Chicken Tikka Masala, The Healthy Way

Everybody I know loves a curry night and I haven’t cooked in a while. After stocking up on wine at Costco last week, I am looking forward to a Friday night in front of the TV.

When I was living in England I would get an Indian takeaway at least once a week with my family. We would always over order, stuff our faces and settle down to watch Saturday night TV together, this is a tradition I can’t wait to recreate when I have children. And something my parents still do every weekend, without fail.


My Family Home

Since living in LA, I am yet to find a good curry house, this was a problem in Australia as well. Now, I know that curry in England is not authentic Indian cuisine and that it has been sweetened and changed, less spice and more preservatives to please the English palate, but it is what I grew up with, it is what I love and it reminds me of home.

Now that I have slimmed down, I am having to swap out my usual weekly order of a stack of Popadoms reminiscent of the Leaning Tower of Pisa , a Chicken Korma with Pilau Rice, Peshwari Naan, Onion Bhajis and anything anyone else could not manage to eat. My family call me the dustbin. This is a bad habit, I am still working on.



These days if I go out for an Indian I will usually order Tandoori Chicken or Chicken Tikka as a main course with vegetables in order to skip the creamy sauces but as I am cooking my curry at home and I can monitor the ingredients, I am making a Chicken Tikka Masala using breast and thigh meat and swapping the cream for low-fat yogurt.

I have made variations of this dish before and I usually just wing it, adding spices we already have in the cupboard and making it up as I go along. This time, as I will be writing about it, I am using a Jamie Oliver recipe as a guide. See here. But I will make healthy substitutes and I never follow the recipe for quantities, I like to taste as I cook.

I haven’t had time to go to the store so I ordered all the ingredients from Whole Foods using Instacart to be delivered to my office, a great service for anyone with restricted time. However I am now going to have to lug all my food shopping on the Metro in order to get them home. Next time, I will have them delivered to the house.

Although I am keeping the curry clean, it is Friday and a little treat is needed to commemorate the end of another week at work. I will be making Onion Bhajis to accompany the Tikka Masala. These I have never made before so I am following another straight forward recipe from Jamie. See here.

Although Chardonnay or Pinot Noir are usually paired with this dish, these are my two least favorite wines, so I have decided to stick with what I know and get a bottle of my favorite wine, Cloudy Bay, Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. This has been my favorite wine for years now and in my opinion, it goes with everything.

The bottle of Cloudy Bay has been staring at me since last week as it lay looking lonely in the wine rack, just begging me to open it. Well, that’s how it felt. But I still had my 6lbs of pizza weight to lose so the wine had to wait.

I got to the office this morning and I was filled with dread as I remembered I had not put the wine in the fridge. Anyone who has a tough week at work must know the horrible feeling of getting home to a warm bottle of wine and having to wait for it to chill. That wait can feel like forever. Frantically I called my husband hoping he had not left for work. Of course, the man who will be late to his own funeral was still in the apartment and had read my mind. The wine was in the fridge.

So, as I tie up loose ends in the office, I am looking forward to the night ahead with a health curry and a bottle of my favorite wine. I will write a post about my curry and how it turned out, fingers crossed, it’s been a while.


My Favorite Indian Restaurant – The Purple Pakora, England




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