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Top Low-Cal Indian Dishes at Restaurants

Sticky tandoori spiced chicken wings served with pilau rice, lime slices and cilantro. Top view, blank space
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Introduction: Low-Cal Indian Dishes

Indian cuisine is known for its delicious flavors and aromatic spices. However, it is also notorious for being high in calories and saturated fats. But fear not, there are plenty of low-calorie options available at restaurants that are just as tasty as their heavier counterparts. These dishes are perfect for anyone looking to indulge in their favorite Indian flavors while also maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

With a little bit of knowledge and some careful ordering, you can enjoy a satisfying meal that won’t leave you feeling guilty. Here are the top low-calorie Indian dishes to look for on restaurant menus.

Tandoori Chicken Skewers: Healthy & Tasty

Tandoori chicken skewers are a popular appetizer found in many Indian restaurants. They are a great option for those looking for a healthy, high-protein dish. The chicken is marinated in yogurt and spices before being grilled in a tandoor oven, which gives it a delicious smoky flavor.

One skewer of tandoori chicken contains approximately 150 calories and 25 grams of protein, making it a great option for anyone looking to watch their calorie intake while still getting their daily dose of protein. Pair it with a side of cucumber raita, which is a yogurt-based dip with cucumber and spices, for an extra burst of flavor.

Chana Masala: A Protein-Packed Option

Chana masala is a flavorful vegetarian dish made with chickpeas and a blend of spices such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric. It is a great option for those looking for a protein-packed meal that is also low in calories.

One cup of chana masala contains approximately 220 calories and 11 grams of protein. It is often served with a side of basmati rice, which can add some extra calories, so consider swapping it out for a side of steamed vegetables instead. Chana masala is also a great option for anyone following a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Vegetarian Thali: A Balanced Meal

A vegetarian thali is a traditional Indian meal that consists of a variety of dishes served on a large platter. It usually includes a lentil dish, a vegetable dish, rice, bread, and a yogurt-based side dish.

This meal is a great option for anyone looking for a balanced and filling meal that is also low in calories. The lentils are a great source of protein and fiber, while the vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals. One serving of a vegetarian thali contains approximately 400-500 calories, making it a filling and satisfying meal that won’t leave you feeling hungry.

Saag Paneer: A Nutrient-Rich Dish

Saag paneer is a popular North Indian dish made with spinach and paneer, a type of Indian cheese. It is a nutrient-rich dish that is also low in calories. The spinach provides essential vitamins and minerals such as iron and calcium, while the paneer is a good source of protein.

One serving of saag paneer contains approximately 300-400 calories, depending on the restaurant. Pair it with a side of whole wheat naan bread for a satisfying and filling meal.

Chicken Tikka Masala: A Healthier Take

Chicken tikka masala is a classic Indian dish that is beloved by many. However, it can often be high in calories and saturated fats. Luckily, there are healthier versions of this dish available at many restaurants.

Look for chicken tikka masala that is made with a tomato-based sauce instead of a cream-based sauce. This will significantly reduce the calorie count while still providing the same delicious flavor. One serving of chicken tikka masala made with a tomato-based sauce contains approximately 350-400 calories.

Dal Makhani: A Low-Fat Lentil Dish

Dal makhani is a popular Punjabi dish made with black lentils and kidney beans. It is a low-fat dish that is high in fiber and protein. The lentils and beans provide essential nutrients such as iron and potassium.

One serving of dal makhani contains approximately 250-300 calories, making it a great option for anyone looking for a filling and healthy meal. Pair it with a side of steamed vegetables or whole wheat bread for a complete meal.

Baingan Bharta: A Spicy Eggplant Delight

Baingan bharta is a flavorful vegetarian dish made with roasted eggplant and a blend of spices. It is a great option for anyone looking for a low-calorie, low-fat meal that is also high in fiber.

One serving of baingan bharta contains approximately 150-200 calories, making it a great option for anyone looking to watch their calorie intake. Pair it with a side of brown rice for a complete meal.

Masala Fish Curry: High in Omega-3s

Masala fish curry is a delicious and healthy option for anyone looking for a low-calorie meal that is also high in omega-3s. The fish is marinated in a blend of spices and then cooked in a tomato-based sauce.

One serving of masala fish curry contains approximately 250-300 calories, depending on the type of fish used. The fish provides essential omega-3s, which are important for heart health. Pair it with a side of steamed vegetables or whole wheat bread for a complete meal.

Conclusion: Satisfy Your Cravings, Stay Healthy

There are plenty of low-calorie Indian dishes available at restaurants that are just as tasty as their heavier counterparts. From tandoori chicken skewers to masala fish curry, there are plenty of options to choose from. By making a few small adjustments to your order, you can enjoy a satisfying meal that won’t leave you feeling guilty. So go ahead and indulge in your favorite Indian flavors, knowing that you are staying healthy and on track with your fitness goals.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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