Recipes | Healthy vegetarian indian curries (2024)

My extravagance is my little kitchen garden, these plants & flowers are the very first thing I look at and talk to every morning, it gives me so much pleasure” said mom caressing the tender bean climber near her chair. Mom’s little kitchen garden is indisputably one of the best kept secrets of the recipes she dishes out year after year. Fresh vegetables or aromatic herbs, you name it and you get it from this modest 20×20 sq. feet kitchen garden of hers. I really admire how dutifully she manages her time between cooking, gardening and doing routine mundane chores single- handedly.

It’s a delight to watch her pinching tendrils, tying ropes to support the tender climbers, plucking weeds, carefully drafting the saplings from plastic sachet to soil beds and remembering the age of every plant.

During my recent visit to hometown I tasted some of the vegetables from her garden and wished I could make one another trip soon to Udaipur just for those ruby red pomegranates, unripe deep green Guavas, cute little rocky hard custard apples which I missed eating. She did keep seeds for me from last year’s harvest.

Reaching high…ridge gourd climber at mom’s home…

My heart skipped a beat whenever I saw a baby gourd emerging out from the flower, the ridge gourd climbing on the telephone cable looked so pretty. There is nothing like sitting in a garden surrounded by greens and sipping a hot cuppa in morning…and that is what I did during my stay in Udaipur.

The other day she plucked a fresh yellow pumpkin and cooked a few recipes for me, I bet a Pumpkin never tasted that delicious before. I tried all her recipes at my home with small changes and my family is now a Pumpkin convert.

Coconut is rarely (read never) used in most of the recipes in Rajasthani cuisine, garlic and onion is also avoided in the community I belong to.I added coconut milk to the first recipe after I tasted and loved the Pumpkin-coconut combo for the first time at a friend’s house in Mangalore, India.

1. Quick Pumpkin Curry in Coconut gravy

Recipes | Healthy vegetarian indian curries (3)


  • 2 cups diced pumpkin cubes
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 4-5 garlic pearls
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

Recipes | Healthy vegetarian indian curries (4)

Method; Dice pumpkin into small cubes, do not remove the skin. Chop garlic and green chilly finely. I used ready-to-use coconut milk in this recipe. You can make fresh coconut milk or use grated coconut here.

Heat oil, add fenugreek seeds (methidana), chopped garlic, green chilly and sauté for a few seconds do not burn fenugreek seeds or garlic in the recipe.

Add diced pumpkin cubes, turmeric powder, salt and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.

Pour coconut milk and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Take off the flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve the Pumpkin curry with rice or flat breads.

2. Healthy Lentil and Pumpkin Curry

Recipes | Healthy vegetarian indian curries (5)

I remember how me and brother avoided anything Pumpkin when we were small. This lentil curry or stew with pumpkin disguised in it was one sure shot recipe mom knew we would never say no to. She made sure that all the vegetables in the curry was mashed before it was served on the dinning table.

The recipe is so simple, cooks in no time and yes, most importantly full of nutrients too. Add all the ingredients into pressure cooker, go around doing other morning chores and you are done with a recipe which goes well with either rice or flat breads.

Recipes | Healthy vegetarian indian curries (6)


  • 1 cup diced pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup lentil
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. oil


  • 1 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder

Recipes | Healthy vegetarian indian curries (7)

Method; Wash lentil or Massor daal and soak it till you assemble all the ingredients for the recipe.

Chop pumpkin into small cubes, do not peel pumpkin skin. Peel and roughly chop onion and carrot. Make ginger-garlic paste using a small ginger piece and 3-4 garlic pearls.

Heat 1 cup of plain water in a pressure cooker and add diced pumpkin, onion, whole tomato, carrot, lentil, turmeric powder in it. Let it cook on high heat for 2 whistles.

Let the pressure cooker cool down completely before opening it. Open the cooker and mash whole tomato with a ladle. Give a good stir to incorporate all the cooked ingredients in the cooker.

Heat a small wok and crackle mustard seeds, add ginger-garlic paste and rest of the spice in it and sauté for a few minutes.

Pour the tempering over the cooked lentil and pumpkin mixture garnish with chopped coriander eaves and serve hot with rice or flat breads.

3. Cottage cheese Koftas in Pumpkin gravy

Recipes | Healthy vegetarian indian curries (8)


For Koftas

  • 1 cup Cottage Cheese
  • 2 bread slices/2 tbsp. soya granules
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. oil

For Gravy

  • 1 1/2 cup diced pumpkin cubes
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup yogurt/curd
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tsp. chilly powder
  • 2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste

Method; Crumble fresh homemade Cottage cheese and the bread slices coarsely. In a large bowl add crumbled cottage cheese, bread, coriander leaves, black pepper, salt and mix well. If you are using soya granules, soak them in warm water for 10 minutes. Squeeze completely and add to the cottage cheese and make koftas.

Make small balls with the above mixture. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a flat pan and shallow fry all the balls till they turn golden brown in colour.

Peel and chop onion and pumpkin, dice tomatoes.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil, add chopped onion, diced tomato, pumpkin cubes and sauté for 6-7 minute on medium heat.

Blend sautéed onion, tomato and pumpkin into fine puree.

Heat remaining oil in a wok and add cumin seeds. Pour pumpkin puree in the wok, add chilly powder, coriander powder, salt and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.

Whip yogurt lightly with a fork and add it into the pumpkin gravy. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and take off the flame.

soya granule and cottage cheese koftas

Add the Koftas just before serving and garnish with chopped coriander leaves and a tablespoon of fresh cream.


  1. Do not chop tomato if you are adding it along with lentils in the cooker, it will hamper the cooking of lentil.
  2. You can replace cottage cheese with 2-3 slices of breads or boiled potatoes to make the Koftas in the above recipe.


Recipes | Healthy vegetarian indian curries (11) Recipes | Healthy vegetarian indian curries (12) Recipes | Healthy vegetarian indian curries (13) Recipes | Healthy vegetarian indian curries (14)Recipes | Healthy vegetarian indian curries (15)

Recipes | Healthy vegetarian indian curries (16)

Recipes | Healthy vegetarian indian curries (2024)


What is the healthiest Indian curry? ›

Any Indian curries that are tomato-based, like tandoori, madras, jalfrezi, rogan and bhuna, are the lowest in calories. They average around 200-300 calories. If you want an even healthier option, consider a sauce-free dish like fish tikka (which is only 180 calories).

Are Indian vegetable curries healthy? ›

Mixed vegetable curries can be an excellent source of essential nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, making them a healthy addition to your diet. Vegetables are low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in vitamins and minerals, making them an essential part of a balanced and nutritious diet.

What is the secret ingredient in Indian curry? ›

It's the ringer that makes so many Indian dishes exceptional. It's a flavor that you can't pinpoint in a dish or even fully explain but that lingers on your taste buds long after all the other spices. Once you start cooking with asafoetida, every Indian dish you eat without it will taste like it's missing something.

What is the secret to good Indian curry? ›

Tips for the Perfect Curry
  • Use fresh spices. For the best results, always try to use fresh spices. ...
  • Give the spices a toast. ...
  • Wrap up your whole spices. ...
  • Blitz your tomatoes. ...
  • Onions are the key. ...
  • Don't overcook your chicken. ...
  • Keep your garlic and ginger fresh. ...
  • Add exciting toppings.

Which Indian curry is best for weight loss? ›

Best 5 Lowest Calorie Indian Food You'll Love
  1. Tandoori Chicken. A classic Indian dish, tandoori chicken is both low in calories and bursting with flavour. ...
  2. Vegetable Biriyani. Vegetable biriyani is a delicious and healthy Indian dish with flavour and low calories. ...
  3. Chana masala. ...
  4. Raita. ...
  5. Aloo gobi.

Is Indian curry healthy or unhealthy? ›

Now you might just think of heavy creamy curries when Indian cuisine comes to mind, but the reality is that many ingredients used in Indian food are extremely healthy. Vegetables, legumes and spices are all healthy ingredients, present in most popular Indian dishes.

Is Indian curry good for weight loss? ›

Indian cuisine is famous for its vibrant spices, and many of them offer remarkable health benefits. Spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, and ginger add depth and flavor to dishes, boost metabolism, and aid digestion. These spices can help you burn calories more efficiently and promote overall well-being.

Which vegetable curry is good for weight loss? ›

Eating non-starchy vegetables with low glycemic loads accelerates weight loss and prevents blood sugar spikes. A mixed vegetable gravy is an Indian Dish at the heart- it is not about getting fancy, it is just about making a yummy wonder out of veggies that have been laying in the fridge for long.

Is Indian or Thai food healthier? ›

Thai also tends to have fewer carbohydrates than other ethnic cuisines like Indian or Chinese. This makes Thai a great choice for those who are trying to lose weight! Thai is most often cooked with coconut oil, which is high in MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides).

How do restaurants make curry so creamy? ›

The actual sweetness and creaminess of such curries meanwhile, usually comes from fried onions and either cashews and/or dairy products. Instead of (or in addition to) onion, ground coconut may be used. White poppy seeds and/or watermelon seeds are also used in some creamy sauces.

What spice makes Indian food smell? ›

Asafoetida, a smelly, acrid spice beloved by Indians, has been used to lace their food for centuries. But it was never cultivated in the region - until now.

What is the tastiest Indian curry? ›

10 Best Curries to Try
  • Goan. This dish is a combination of spices and flavors that are unique to the region of Goa in India. ...
  • Dhansak. Dhansak Curry is a popular Indian dish that originated in the state of Maharashtra in India. ...
  • Rajma Masala. ...
  • Bhuna Gosht. ...
  • Kerala. ...
  • Massaman. ...
  • Thai Red Curry. ...
  • Thai Green Curry.
Dec 20, 2022

How do you add depth to Indian curry? ›

The easiest way to fix a bland and tasteless curry is by adding spices like red chili powder, cumin, coriander, garam masala, curry leaves and turmeric.

How to make curry taste like restaurant? ›

Simple suggestions for restaurant good quality curries:
  1. Fry your onions till they are golden brown.
  2. Fry your spices but don't burn them. ...
  3. Use good quality spices. ...
  4. Seasoning. ...
  5. Use fatty yoghurt (greek style works) in curries to make them richer. ...
  6. Patience. ...
  7. Use a neutral vegetable oil. ...
  8. Experiment.
Jun 24, 2018

Which curry is healthier? ›

Generally, dishes like dal (lentil curry), vegetable curry with lean protein like chicken or fish, or dishes with plenty of vegetables and spices, like chana masala (chickpea curry) or saag (spinach curry), can be considered healthier options.

What are the low calorie Indian foods? ›

15 Low-Calorie Indian Foods
  • Moong Dal Cheela. - These savoury pancakes are not only easy to make but also packed with protein and fibre, making them a perfect choice for a healthy breakfast. ...
  • Sabudana Khichdi. ...
  • Cucumber Raita. ...
  • Palak Khichdi. ...
  • Oats Idli. ...
  • Bhel. ...
  • Dhokla. ...
  • Upma.

Which is healthier chicken tikka or tandoori chicken? ›

Chicken tikka is packed with protein, fibre, fat, and carbohydrates. It contains 0.7 grams of fibre, 4.2 grams of protein, and 5 grams of net carbs. On the other hand, Chicken tandoori is enriched with protein, fibre, and carbohydrates. It has 8.7 grams of net carbs, 1.8 grams of fibre, and 17.5 grams of protein.

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