Healthy Low Calorie Tikka Masala

Healthy Low Calorie Tikka Masala

Tikka masala is usually not a low calorie dish. It is filled with delicious butter and cream. It is very rich and creamy – absolutely one of my favorite Indian dishes. But when I like something I want to eat it pretty often and this would not be a good idea; therefore I transformed tikka masala dish into a low calorie option but keeping the flavors intact.

The good news is that Indian dishes are heavily seasoned with tons of different spices so getting rid of the delicious fat does not make the dish bland.

How many calories is tikka masala?

Tikka masala can be as high as 1,200 calories per serving when you order the dish at a restaurant. The restaurant’s main goal is to make the dish as tasty as possible. Adding lot of butter and cream will do the job. There is 100 calories in one tablespoon of butter and 100 calories in one once of cream, and that’s is a very small serving. You can be sure that there is more than one serving of each in a restaurant version of tikka masala.

This low calorie recipe uses vegetables to thicken the sauce and evaporated milk instead of cream. This way I was able to bring calories down to 316 per serving.

healthy tika masala

What can I use instead of cream in healthy tikka masala?

You can use coconut milk instead of cream in tikka masala dish – coconut milk is lower in calories than cream. I like to use evaporated milk as it is even lower in calories and has a good flavor.

healthy tika masala

What to serve this low calorie tikka masala with?

Since the calories are already low, I like to serve it with rice but there are other great options like:

  • quinoa
  • buckwheat
  • riced cauliflower (to reduce the calories even more). I like to mix regular rice with riced cauliflower. This way I increase the volume of the rice without lots of extra calories.
  • naan – traditionally, this type of bread is used
  • pita bread
healthy tikka masala

What will you need to make low calorie tikka masala

  • tons of vegetable:
    • eggplant – great for thickening the sauce. You won’t taste much of it as it falls completely apart – just make sure you dice it finely (look at this video)
    • bells peppers – I used green and red peppers. Any color of peppers will work in this recipe
    • onions
    • butternut squash – this is a great vegetable to add as it adds sweetness and due to its starchy texture, thickens the sauce as well
    • jalapeno or another spicy peppers. If you do not like spicy dishes, you can skip jalapenos
    • garlic – peeled and chopped
    • ginger – peeled and grated
  • evaporated milk – my favorite substitute for cream. Lower in calories and still full of flavor
  • protein – anything you like. Usually it is chicken but I used pork tenderloin.
  • bacon grease or butter for greasing the pan
  • tikka masala spices:
    • cinnamon
    • turmeric
    • sweet paprika
    • cumin
    • cardamom
    • salt and pepper to taste
healthy low calorie tikka masala

How to make low fat, low calorie tikka masala

Chop all vegetables in small (half an inch) chunks.

chopped butternut squash
chopped eggplant
chopped peppers
chopped onions
chopped jalapeno
chopped garlic and ginger

Prepare the spices: 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp sweet paprika, 1/4 tsp turmeric, pinch of nutmeg. Crash 4 cardamom buds with your knife, just so they slightly open and release aroma.

spices
cardamon

Chop pork tenderloin (or whatever protein you use) into medium size pieces.

pork tenderloin

Heat a large pan and add a very small amount of oil. Add pork and cardamon and sear until brown. Add few pinches of seasoning and salt.

Once browned, remove from the pot.

healthy tikka masala
healthy tikka masala

Add onions, bell peppers, garlic and ginger. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.

add onions
bell peppers healthy tikka masala

Next, add chopped eggplant and butternut squash. Sprinkle in spices and season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook on medium high heat until vegetables soften: 15 – 20 minutes.

healthy tikka masala
healthy tikka masala
healthy tikka masala
healthy tikka masala

Add tomatoes and evaporated milk. Stir and cook for 10 minutes, until the stew thickens.

tomatoes for healthy tikka masala
evaporated milk healthy tikka masala

Add pork and cilantro. Cook for 2 minutes.

healthy tikka masala
healthy tikka masala
healthy tikka masala

Healthy Low Calorie Tikka Masala

Healthy low calorie dinner idea that taste absolutely amazing. If you love the creaminess and flavor of tikka masala you will fall in love with this easy recipe.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3
Calories 316 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 20 oz pork tenderloin
  • 1 medium eggplant 17-18 oz
  • 2 medium onions 10-11 oz
  • 5 medium bell peppers (mix different colors) 20 oz
  • ½ butternut squash (peeled and chopped) 15 oz
  • 1 can evaporated milk 12 oz
  • 1 tsp bacon grease, oil or butter
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 4 – 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp grated ginger 0.5 oz
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Spice mix

  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 4 cardamom buds
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Chop all vegetables in small (half an inch) chunks.
  • Prepare the spices: 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp sweet paprika, 1/4 tsp turmeric, pinch of nutmeg. Crash 4 cardamom buds with your knife, just so they slightly open and release aroma.
  • Chop pork tenderloin (or whatever protein you use) into medium size pieces.
  • Heat a large pan and add a very small amount of bacon grease or butter. Add pork and cardamon and sear until brown. Add few pinches of seasoning and salt.
  • Once browned, remove from the pot.
  • Add onions, bell peppers, garlic and ginger. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Next, add chopped eggplant and butternut squash. Sprinkle in spices and season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook on medium high heat until vegetables soften: 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and evaporated milk. Stir and cook for 10 minutes, until the stew thickens.
  • Add pork and cilantro. Cook for 2 minutes.
Keyword healthy dinner ideas, healthy dinner recipes, healthy tikka masala, low calorie tikka masala, tikka masala

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