How to make healthy chicken curry?

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Why not try this lighter version of the Indian takeaway classic from Angela Nilsen. This tomato-based curry is packed with extra spice and peppers. A much healthier choice than heading to the takeaway! 

Healthier Chicken Balti

This recipe serves 4.


450g skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp hot chilli powder

1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil

1 cinnamon stick

3 cardamom pods, split

1 green chilli

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 medium onion, coarsely grated

2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped

2 1/2 cm piece ginger, grated

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp garam masala

250ml organic passata or canned chopped tomatoes

1 red pepper, deseeded, cut into small chunks

1 medium tomato, chopped

85g baby spinach leaves

Handful fresh coriander, chopped

Chapatis or basmati rice, to serve (optional)




  1. Place the chicken in a medium bowl. Mix in the lime juice, paprika, chilli powder and a grinding of black pepper, then leave it to marinate for at least 15 minutes, preferably longer.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large non-stick wok or sauté pan. Tip in the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, whole chilli and cumin seeds. Stir-fry briefly just to colour and release their fragrance.
  3. Stir in the onion, garlic and ginger and fry over a medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes until the onion starts to turn brown.
  4. Add the remaining oil, then drop in the chicken and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until it is cooked through.
  5. Mix the turmeric, cumin, ground coriander and garam masala together. Tip into the pan, lower the heat to medium and cook for 2 mins.
  6. Pour in the passata or tinned tomatoes and 150ml water, then drop in the chunks of pepper. When starting to bubble, lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 mins or until the chicken is tender.
  7. Stir in the tomato, simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Add the spinach and turn it over in the pan to just wilt.
  9. If you want to thin down the sauce, splash in a little more water.
  10. Remove the cinnamon stick, chilli and cardamom pods, if you wish, before serving.
  11. Scatter with fresh coriander and serve with warm chapatis or brown basmati rice, if you like.
  12. For a low carb or less heavy alternative, grate a cauliflower and briefly stir-fry in a splash of coconut oil +/- a few spices for ‘cauliflower rice’.


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