Tonight I made three curry dishes for supper that were healthy, low fat and tasty.
- Beetroot curry (Theldala)
- Lentil dahl
- Chicken and okra curry
Rick Stein's Beetroot Curry
This Rick Stein recipe is a Sri Lankan recipe and I love the way the beetroot remains slightly crunchy. It's very healthy and low in calories, fat and carbs, as follows:
Serves 4 | 163 calories per serving, 10g fat, 18g carbohydrate
- 750g raw beetroot, trimmed of their leaves and peeled
- 3 tbsp. coconut or vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 7.5cm (3 in) cinnamon stick, broken into smaller pieces
- 10 - 12 curry leaves
- 2 green cayenne chillies, thinly sliced
- 150g onions, finely chopped
- 15g garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp unroasted Sri Lankan curry powder (see below for recipe)
- 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 125g chopped tomatoes (fresh or tinned)
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Cut the beetroot across into 7-8mm thick slices and then cut each sliced into 7-8mm wide batons.
- Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cinnamon and curry leaves and leave to sizzle for a few seconds unti lthe mustard seeds stop popping. Add the green chillies, onions and garlic and fry for 5-6 minutes until soft and lightly browned.
- Stir in the curry powder, chilli powder and turmeric, cook fo a few seconds, then add the beetroot, tomatoes and 1 tsp salt. Cover and cook over a medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring regularly until the beetroot is just tender but still very slightly crunchy. Add a couple of tbsp of water during cooking if it starts sticking to the base of the plan but ideally leave it to cook in its own juices. Uncover, stir in the lime juice and serve.
- Here is the recipe for the curry powder that you need in the Beetroot Curry. It makes a lot of curry powder but can be retained in a jar for up to 3 months.
Unroasted Sri Lankan Curry Powder
- 1 tbsp uncooked long-grain or basmati rice
- 50g coriander seeds
- 25g cumin seeds
- 25g fennel seeds
- 7.5cm cinnamon stick
- 1 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp cardamom seeds (from about 10 green pods)
- 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 3 dried red Kashmiri chillies
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- Heat a small, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat.
- Add the uncooked rice and shake it around until it is lightly golden.
- Tip it into a small bowl and leave to cool.
- Then mix with the spices, dried chillies and turmeric powder and grind everything (in batches if necessary) into a fine powder. I did mine in an electric coffee grinder that I use solely for spices. I didn't make it too fine so it has some texture.
- Store in an air-tight container. Use within 3 months.
I bought a lot of okra in the local market so wanted to make a curry with them and two chicken breasts that I had in the fridge. I also wanted to use some of the Sri Lankan curry powder I had just made so I adapted a recipe and came up with the following dishes which are both low in calories but extremely tasty.
This dahl recipe is really really simple but delicious served with other spicy dishes. Don't be put off by the somewhat unappetising photo that I took!
- 250g red lentils
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
- Put the onion, ginger and lentils in a saucepan with enough water to just cover and bring to a simmer.
- Cook for 20 minutes or until tender, adding more water if you need to.
- Season with salt and pepper and pinch of cayenne pepper if you like it spicy.
Chicken and Okra Curry
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into pieces
- 200g okra trimmed
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 fresh green chilli, sliced (include the seeds)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- Coriander, a handful, chopped
- 0% fat Greek yoghurt
- Heat a little oil in a frying pan and add two tbsp of the Sri Lankan curry powder and the cumin seeds, green chilli and garlic.
- Fry for a few minutes and then add the chicken breast pieces and okra.
- Toss them into the spice mix well and fry until the chicken pieces are browned on all sides.
- Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and simmer on low-medium heat until the chicken is cooked.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle with chopped coriander.
- Serve with a dollop of yoghurt.
The combination of the three dishes — beetroot curry, lentil dahl and the chicken and okra curry — was fantastic. And the best thing is I have enough for the next few days as well as a container of homemade curry powder!