My version of the Indian classic Butter Chicken is a high protein dream. Combine chicken breasts, Greek yoghurt and nut butter and you get a whopping 52g of protein a portion!
AND my version actually has butter in it (not a lot, but enough..) whereas many healthier versions call themselves ‘butterless’ Chicken. It STILL manages to have only 15g of fat a portion.
I always assumed that Butter Chicken was difficult to make, but I recently did an Indian cooking class with Rupen Rao when he was visiting Scotland and this was one of the dishes we made. I’ve adapted Rupen’s recipe slightly to cut down on fat (Rupen’s more authentic version calls for chicken thighs rather than breasts, dried fenugreek leaves which you need to get from an Indian supermarket rather than ground fenugreek and cream instead of nut butter).
A note on the nut butter: in the video you will see that I used cashew butter. Indian cooking often uses ground cashew nuts as a thickener so I was trying to be authentic. BUT in my practice run I used peanut butter (as I didn’t have any cashew) and it actually tasted better. Plus it’s cheaper and easier to find.
The recipe & full macros (calories, protein, fat & carbs breakdown) can be found in my book High Protein Classics.
Let’s face it, Chicken Tikka Masala is not supposed to be low fat. Whenever I’ve bought a ‘healthy’ ready meal version, it has always been tasteless. It is supposed to have lots of ghee and cream in it.
Having said that, I’m really pleased with this recipe! I’ve replaced the cream with Greek yoghurt and I’ve used minimal oil.
I decided to use regular Greek yoghurt rather than 0% fat Greek yoghurt for the extra creaminess (the regular version has only 5g of fat per 100g (and 9g of protein!) so is hardly going to ruin your diet). I usually buy the 0% stuff because Greek yoghurt, together with eggs, is probably my main source of protein so I eat a lot of it – I suppose it’s like the difference between full-fat and semi-skimmed milk: you get used to the lower fat stuff and forget how good the full fat version is. But if anyone fancies giving this recipe a go using 0% Greek yoghurt, please let me know how it goes 🙂
A note on spiciness level: for me, a heaped tablespoon of tikka spice mix in the sauce (step 6. below) was perfect, but my mum found it a bit spicy, so ½ a tablespoon would be better for a milder curry.
315 calories | 40g protein | 9g fat | 18g carbs
The full recipe can be found in my book High Protein Classics – order it here.
Palak Paneer is a long-time favourite of mine (ever since I went to India as a teenager) but for a long time I struggled to make it well. One day, after making yet another tasteless batch, I threw in some jalfrezi paste that I happened to have open in the fridge as a last resort….and amazingly, it turned into one of the best versions of the dish I’ve ever tasted!
I’m quite sure that using jalfrezi paste is not very authentic…but it’s easy and quick. Although paneer cheese can be quite difficult to find (I did manage to find some in my local big Sansburys), if you do manage to find some, be sure to give this dish a bash. It has 20g of protein a serving (quite a feat for a vegetarian dish) and only takes minutes to make. To make it super low-carb you can serve it with caulirice rather than regular rice (which is exactly what I’ve done in the video – again not very authentic but I’ve just got back from eating lots of croissants in France and my clothes are a bit tight..).
without any accompaniment:
340 calories | 20g protein | 19g fat | 22g carbs
with 100g of caulirice:
482 calories | 23g protein | 20g fat | 25g carbs
The full recipe is included in my book High Protein Classics – order it here.