Top tips for healthy Indian cooking

Mehernosh Mody, behind the eclectic menu at West London's La Porte des Indes, shares his top tips for keeping your Indian dishes authentic and healthy...

Indian dinner

Use oil sparingly...

Olive oil has been found to have great health benefits but should be used only for stir-frying and pan-frying, and just a splash is needed. It is not recommended for deep-frying due to the large quantity required. Using non-stick cookware can help you to limit the use of oil when cooking curries.

Cut down on fat...

If trying to cut down the fat content of your meal, change the menu and cook Indian dishes and breads that require no frying.

Substitutions for coconut milk...

For adding richness to a dish, try using skimmed milk, cashew nut paste or poppy seed paste instead of the regular coconut milk or cream.

Try tandoori...

Tandoori chicken
Grill, boil, steam and bake instead of frying where possible. Tandoori grilling is the best form of cooking where minimal or no oil is used and the intense heat cooks the food quickly, sealing in all the nutrients.

Simple swaps...

Opt for wholemeal flour instead of plain flour when making chappatis or parathas and swap white rice for brown basmati.

Lighten the load...

Bulk up dishes using healthy legumes such as sprouted beans and lentils. You will still get a substantial meal but using less meat will make your dish lighter.

Better-for-you bases...

While coconut products such as creams and milks have health benefits, the fat content is usually high so opt for tomato bases rather than creamy curries or use low-fat yogurt as a substitute.

Try out Mehernosh's tips in our favourite Indian recipes

Do you have a top healthy tip for cooking Indian cuisine? Tell us below...

Comments, questions and tips

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26th Mar, 2017
Just few tips for healthy life.. Replace oilve oil for curries.. Use Back salt and rock salt instead of white salt.. Use Flax seeds powder in Indian gravy curries.. Use honey instead of sugar in smoothies or milk shakes
4th Jun, 2015
It seems like it would be a good idea to share insights on how to eat healthy indian food. Usually my wife and I would ask the chefs what type of ingredients each indian food contain. We do it so that we can be aware of what things are good for us and the kids to eat.
23rd Feb, 2015
I love the tips you shared for Indian food and I would like to share a blog with you. They also write very informative blogs. Website -
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27th Jan, 2014
Want to avoid oils / fats? Indian base: toast ground spices gently in a DRY pan. Into a food processor put onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic curry leaves, fresh dhania, chillis etc. Process to smooth. Simmer chopped meat, chicken or whatever (NOT FISH, add this directly). Drain, keep the stock. Simmer meat and tomato mix together with a splash of the stock. Italian: As above, with appropriate herbs.