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29th May 2015

Fake-away: The lo-cal Indian feast that tastes too good to be healthy

Sophie White

So we’ve been ‘good’ all week but with the weekend bearing down on us the urge to go off-grid and consume EVERYTHING in sight is starting to threaten all our hard work. 

We all know the best way to stay on track is preparation. It is also important to not feel deprived of treats, this is why we’ll be making this fake-away feast on Saturday night. It will satisfy those Indian takeaway cravings with a fraction of the calories.

Chicken Jalfrezi

Serves 4.



  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 3 teaspoons turmeric
  • 3 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 (400g) tins whole pealed tomatoes
  • Mixed frozen veg (asian mix works best)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Rice (or cauliflower rice*) and fresh coriander to serve


1. Peel the onions, garlic and ginger and roughly chop the ginger and blend in a food processor until finely chopped.

2. Heat the groundnut oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the chopped onions, garlic and ginger. Cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and add to the pan.

3. Stir-fry over the heat until the onions have softened and the chicken is cooked. Add the chilli powder, turmeric, ground cumin and the ground coriander to the pan and stir together until well combined adding a splash of water if it is drying out.

4. Blend the tins of tomatoes in the food processor until smooth then add to the pan, bring to the boil, and then reduce the heat to allow the sauce to simmer. Add a couple of handfuls of mixed frozen veg and simmer for about 5-10 more minutes to heat through.

5. Add the salt and pepper to taste and stir in the butter. Serve with rice (or cauliflower rice if you are on really good behaviour) and fresh coriander.

*Make cauliflower rice for two by grating or blending half a head of cauliflower and then dry frying in a non-stick pan with a pinch of salt until it is warmed through.

Onion bhaji’s and raita dip

Makes 8 bhajis

onions bhaji with mango chutney. Indian cuisine


  • 60g oats
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • Approx. 2 tablespoons water
  • Half a large white onion, finely sliced in half moons
  • Spray cooking oil
  • 4 tablespoons of raita (see below), to serve
  • Fresh coriander, chopped, to serve


1. To make the batter, put the oats, the turmeric, the fennel seeds, the cumin seeds, the chilli flakes and the salt in a blender and blitz until the oats are fine. Add in the egg whites and the water, and blend again to combine. Pour the batter mixture into a bowl.

2. Toss the finely sliced half moons of onion in the batter until they are well coated.

3. Coat a non-stick frying pan with a little spray cooking oil and heat over a high heat. Using a fork, pick up quantities of the onion mixture and put it on the frying pan, flattening it out so that it is no more than 1 cm (less than ½in) at its thickest point. Cook in two batches of four bhajis each.

4. Fry each onion bhaji for about 3-5 minutes on either side and then place them on a lined baking tray in the preheated oven and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until they are crispy and completely firm.

5. Serve with the raita and the chopped fresh coriander.

Raita dip

Serves 2

tzatziki cucumber with yogurt


  • 250ml natural yoghurt
  • ½ cucumber, grated or finely chopped
  • large handful mint leaves, chopped
  • large pinch salt


1. Wrap the grated cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze out any excess water.

2. Combine the cucumber with the rest of the ingredients and serve.