How to Make Healthier Choices at an Indian Restaurant

It's no secret that Indian food is totally delicious, but with naan breads smothered in butter and thick curry sauces containing yoghurt and cream, not all Indian food will treat your waistline with kindness. If you are trying to be healthier with your eating choices, there is some great news. There is way more to Indian food than chicken tikka masala and tandoori breads. In fact, there's a whole range of delicious and healthy Indian dishes that are bursting with flavour. The next time you hit your local Indian restaurant, try one of the following dishes:

Chana masala. Chana masala is popular across India and is essentially a chickpea curry. If you are looking for ways to get lots of healthy protein into your diet while cutting back on meat, chickpeas are the way to go. Unlike meat, chickpeas are also packed with fibre, so they'll aid your digestive system. They can even make you feel fuller for longer, so if you want to feel satisfied after your meal, chana masala is a wonderful choice. Cooked with tomatoes, ginger, chillies and coriander, this is a simple dish that is meat-, dairy- and gluten-free.

Goan fish curry. If you are not vegetarian but you want to try something different from your regular chicken tikka masala, Goan fish curry is the dish for you. Goa is located on the coast of India where fish is abundant, and so it forms an important part of the local diet. From a health perspective, this is great because fish is packed with protein and has essential fatty acids but is far easier on your digestive system than meat. In a Goan fish curry, the fish is typically cooked in chillies, mango, tamarind, ginger, garlic and some spices. No dairy at all makes for a light but extremely delicious dish.

Erissery. Most of the food you'll find in Indian restaurants in Australia is from North India, but locate a South Indian restaurant and you will find a whole new bounty of exquisite dishes. Erissery is just one of these dishes, and it's that rare combination of being vegetarian and yet totally comforting and hearty (and healthy too!). The main ingredients of this thick stew from Kerala are pumpkin, black-eyed beans and coconut. Of course, you can also expect chilli, turmeric and a whole gamut of spices to really bring this healthy dish to life.

Request one of these meals at an Indian restaurant the next time you go out to eat, and you won't be disappointed!