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What can I have at the Indian?

Lady Marmalade

Bad girl warning...
I really didn't want to be eating out this early in a new diet but I can't really get out of going to an Indian restaurant with family on Saturday. What are the best options for low cal and/or low fat dishes? I'm prepared to stick to veggie dishes if that keeps the cal/fat content down. I'd rather not have plain boiled rice as it can often cause stomach upsets if it hasn't been prepared/stored properly, what other side dishes could I have?
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Hi LM,

I would go for the chicken tikka, with some salad, may be some poppadums and mango chutney to start, ooh its making me hungry just thinking about it.
Chicken tikka's not a bad idea (no, not the masala :p). But seriously, Indian restaurants cook an awful lot in ghee which, while yummy, is also about as fatty as fats get :) 100g of ghee is over 900 calories.

Try to stick with things which are baked rather than fried, such as Tandori meats (again, ensure you're not ordering a Tandori + sauce such as a Tandori Masala, as most of the lower-heat sauces have a lot of cream in them). Try also to avoid breads (including poppadoms, nan, chapati, etc) and paneer (which is also lovely because of its yummy cheesy fat).

If you need sauce (oo-err) go for something more tomato-based like a Rogan Josh. Try to stick with chicken, as beef and lamb are fattier. The average Indian restaurant's Chicken Rogan Josh is about 550-600 calories. Madras is another tomato-based sauce, which comes in at around 600 calories (don't forget these are excluding the rice).

Try also to just avoid anything fried (Samosa, bhaji, etc). That's common sense. I'd also, alas, avoid the mango chutney. It can come in between 25-40 calories for a tablespoon, and you'll get through a lot more than that with a whole poppadom (itself around 50-60 calories).

Finally, if possible, eat something before you go. A salad, some fruit, something that means you're more likely to leave food on your plate at the restaurant. A hundred calories of salad at home could save you 400 calories there. That way you've done the polite thing of turning up, and you're not leaving hungry because you're worried about the calories.
Thats really good advice above, I'd like to wish you a good time :) haha. I am too thinking about an indian this weekend, though we might end up at the thai place instead... Hmm
Hmm. Thai food. Again, avoid any main dish that comes wet or fried. I think, alas, this leaves you with very few options. Thai tends to be heavy on the full fat coconut milk or peanuts / peanut sauce, but if you can avoid that (and the fried fishcakes and such) you should be relatively okay.

If you can stick to, say, a Pad Thai, that's usually around 400 - 450 calories (just for the Pad Thai. No mixing it with fried pork :p). If that's not going to be enough, try a soup for starter - gai tome ke or tom yam average about 100 - 150 calories.

Me? Obsessed with asian food? How can you tell? :D

Lady Marmalade

Bad girl warning...
Thanks guys, I feel a whole lot better about going now! I'm probably going to go for either a veggie curry dish (tomato or onion/spinach based) with a couple of spoons of pilau rice, or a tandoor or tikka chicken dish with salad and maybe share a veggie side like gobi aloo with OH. I guess my calorie intake for the day will still be higher than normal but that's bound to happen from time to time...


wants to get super fit!
Chicken Shazlik and spinach as a side order! Yummy!!!
But not sag paneer :D

Not all Indian restaurants do the same, so I'm hesitant to suggest specific regional dishes. But if the restaurant does Punjab food you're in for a treat!

Lady Marmalade

Bad girl warning...
In the end I had sizzling chicken shashlik which came with plenty of veggies and a gobi aloo side. Oh, and a tiny bit of OH's cheese naan... The shashlik was a bit greasy but YUMMY. It was nice to leave the restaurant not completely bloated and uncomfortable due to rice/bread intake. But then I went and ruined it by eating LOADS of popcorn at the cinema... oh well!

I have no idea how many calories the meal was, not v. confident with making my own estimates as yet.

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