Healthier choice recipe: Tomato curry made light

Healthier choice recipe: Tomato curry made light
PHOTO: Healthier choice recipe: Tomato curry made light

SINGAPORE - Lighten up a dish of curry by using low-fat cream and low-fat evaporated milk, instead of full cream, to make vegetable makhani (tomato curry).

In addition, use oil that is high in unsaturated fat, such as soya bean oil, corn oil and peanut oil, instead of oil that is high in saturated fat, such as ghee, butter and blended vegetable oil. Full cream is high in saturated fat, which is converted into low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol, in the blood.

In excess, it is deposited on the artery walls, narrowing the arteries and raising one's risk of heart disease and strokes.

In these ways, Mr Milind Sovani, chef and director of Indian fine-dining restaurant Song of India, made his dish healthier with the help of the Health Promotion Board.

He said: "This extremely popular sweet and sour makhani curry also helps to dispel the myth that all Indian food is hot and spicy."


Vegetable makhani (tomato curry) (Serves four)


100g cauliflower, cut into florets
100g carrot, cut into 1cm cubes
50g French beans, cut into 1cm lengths
50g green peas
250g tomato puree
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
1 tbs sunflower oil
2 tbs honey
¾ cup water
1 tbs low-fat cream
2 tbs low-fat evaporated milk
Salt, to taste


Blanch all the vegetables in boiling water, then drain the water.

Cook the tomato puree over slow heat till it starts to boil.

Add chilli powder, garam masala powder, ginger powder, fenugreek leaves, oil and honey. Mix well and cook for four to five minutes. Stir continuously. Add in ¾ cup of warm water and let the mixture boil.

Reduce the heat and stir in the cream and low-fat evaporated milk.

Season the mixture with salt and cook for a few more minutes to get a nice, smooth sauce. Add in all the blanched vegetables and mix well. Let the curry cook over a slow fire for three to four minutes.

Remove and serve hot. The dish goes best with pulao (Indian dish of rice cooked with spices) or naan (a type of Indian flat bread).

(Per serving)

Energy: 134 calories
Protein: 3.5g
Total fat: 5g
Saturated fat: 0.7g
Cholesterol: 1mg
Carbohydrate: 20.4g
Dietary fibre: 2.2g
Sodium: 327mg


Blanch vegetables in water instead of oil, to reduce the amount of oil used.

Use fresh herbs and spices and tomatoes to enhance the flavour of dishes naturally. This will reduce the need for salt.

Consumption of high levels of sodium, found in salt, has been linked to the development of high blood pressure.

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