Blog Nutrition Recipes 3 Healthy Curry Recipes To Turn To When You Need Comfort Food

3 Healthy Curry Recipes To Turn To When You Need Comfort Food

When it’s cold out, there’s nothing more soothing than helping yourself to a warm, hearty meal. Comfort foods like a bowl of chili, a plate of pasta, or a helping of mashed potatoes can warm your body and soul.

It’s even better when your comfort food is loaded with good-for-you nutrients. Curry is a top contender among healthy comfort foods. Spicy, rich, aromatic, and packed with vegetables or lean proteins, curry dishes not only satisfy your taste buds but also provide essential nutrients.

Let’s explore some healthy curry recipes that can bring warmth and wellness to your dining table.

What Is Curry?

Curry is a type of dish that originated in South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, and Nepal. It typically consists of a sauce or gravy made with a blend of spices, herbs, and other ingredients such as vegetables, meat, fish, or legumes.

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Is Curry a Healthy Option?

Curry is often a healthy option simply because it uses a variety of spices, herbs, and vegetables that are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. These powerful ingredients may support your immune system, reduce inflammation, and provide numerous other health benefits (6).

Here are some of the common ingredients used in curry recipes with their health-promoting properties.


Turmeric is the star ingredient in most curry dishes. It contains a compound called curcumin, which has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects (18). 

Curcumin has been suggested to help alleviate symptoms of arthritis, protect brain health, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer (5).


Cumin is another staple spice in curry dishes, and it’s known for its distinctive earthy and nutty flavor. It’s rich in iron, an essential mineral that helps with red blood cell production and oxygen transport in the body (12).


Coriander is known for its bright green leaves and seeds that are often used as a spice in curry dishes. It contains phytochemicals that possess antioxidant, anticancer, neuroprotective, and anti-inflammatory activities (4).


Ginger adds a spicy and slightly sweet flavor to curries. It has an abundance of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that may help with nausea, muscle pain, and menstrual cramps (15).


Garlic is a staple in many cuisines and an essential ingredient in curry dishes. It contains allicin, a compound that has potent antibacterial and antiviral properties (2). Garlic consumption can support your immune system and potentially reduce the risk of colds and flu (11).

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Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper adds heat to curries, but it also has numerous health benefits. It contains capsaicin, a compound that may help with pain relief, weight loss, and reducing inflammation (3).

healthy curry recipe  


Cardamom is a highly aromatic spice commonly used in Indian cuisine. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (16).

Curry Leaves

Curry leaves are often used in Indian cooking to add a unique flavor and aroma. They are rich in antioxidants and may have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects (9).


Curry usually includes a source of protein, such as chicken, fish, or legumes. These ingredients add texture and flavor and provide essential nutrients like iron, zinc, and B vitamins.


Curry dishes often contain an abundance of vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, cauliflower, spinach, and more. These veggies are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins, not to mention their role in satiety (how full you feel) (7).

Read more: Steamed dumplings: One Recipe That’ll Change Your Snack Game

What Ingredients Can Make a Curry Unhealthy?

Deep-fried, high-fat, high-calorie, and overly salty or sweet ingredients can make a curry dish less healthy.

Here’s a list of some ingredients to keep an eye out for if you’re hoping to make a healthy curry:

  • Deep-fried foods (like pakoras) – deep frying introduces a high amount of oil, which can increase the calorie content significantly
  • High-fat meat (like lamb or beef) – these meats are typically higher in unhealthy saturated fats compared to leaner choices like chicken, fish, or legumes
  • High-sodium ingredients (like soy sauce, bouillon cubes, and canned curry sauces) – excessive salt intake can contribute to high blood pressure (13).
  • Coconut milk – high in saturated fat, coconut milk can make a curry dish calorie-dense.
  • Ghee or clarified butter – contains high amounts of saturated fat which is not as heart-healthy as other types of fat (17).
  • Cream or heavy cream – adds a creamy texture and flavor to curries, but is high in calories and saturated fat.
  • Processed meats (like bacon, sausage, or deli meat) – these are often high in unhealthy fats, sodium, and preservatives.
  • Sugary ingredients (like honey or brown sugar) – can add unnecessary calories without providing any nutritional value.
  • Butter or margarine – contains high amounts of saturated fat which is not as heart-healthy as other types of fat (17).
  • Canned vegetables – these often contain added salt and preservatives. Rinsing them off can help, or try using frozen as a similarly convenient alternative.
  • Store-bought curry pastes or sauces – these may be loaded with salt, sugar, unhealthy fats, and preservatives.
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Of course, as an occasional indulgence, it can be enjoyable to have a creamy curry or one made with red meat. But for everyday meals, you may want to stick to lean proteins and use healthier cooking methods like grilling, steaming, or roasting.

Which Curry Is Healthiest: Thai or Indian?

It’s challenging to say which cuisine is healthier since it depends on the individual dish’s ingredients and preparation. Both Thai and Indian cuisines offer plenty of healthy options, including curries.

Thai curries tend to be lighter and less creamy compared to Indian curries. They often use coconut milk as a base, while Indian curries may use cream or yogurt. However, both cuisines use a variety of spices and herbs that offer significant health benefits.

What Is The Healthiest Curry?

The healthiest curry contains a variety of nutritious ingredients and uses healthier cooking methods. It’s typically lower in unhealthy fats, salt, and added sugars.

Here are some easy healthy curry recipes to try at home:

Healthy Curry Recipe for Weight Loss (14)

Three words; spinach, chickpea, and potatoes. And a whole lot of spices! This simple dish is rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals – the perfect addition to your healthy curry recipes. Serve it with a side of rice or quinoa for a complete meal.


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger, chopped
  • 1 green chili, chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400g salad potatoes (such as Charlotte) cut into chunks
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 100g spinach, chopped
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp garam masala


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger, and green chili, and sauté until the onions are translucent.
  2. Stir in the ground cumin, coriander, and turmeric until well combined with the sautéed onion mixture.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pot, stirring well to incorporate with the mixture.
  4. Once the tomatoes are heated through, add the chopped salad potatoes to the pot, stirring to mix the ingredients.
  5. Cover the pot and let the mixture simmer until the potatoes are cooked halfway through.
  6. Once the potatoes are semi-cooked, add the drained and rinsed chickpeas, stirring well to combine with the curry.
  7. Continue to simmer the curry until the potatoes are fully cooked and the flavors have melded together.
  8. Stir in the chopped spinach until it wilts and blends into the curry.
  9. Add the juice of half a lemon and sprinkle the garam masala over the curry, stirring well to combine.
  10. Adjust the seasoning to taste, and serve your healthy curry with brown rice, naan or quinoa.
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Quick Antioxidant Smoothie Recipes For Improved Immunity

Servings: 4

Nutrition (per serving): 224 calories | Carbs: 32g | Protein: 8.8g | Fat: 5.3g | Fiber: 6.9g fiber | Saturated: 0.5 g | Sugar: 6.9g | saturates

healthy curry recipe  

Healthy Curry Recipe with Chicken (8)

Chicken, especially skinless chicken breast, is one of the leanest and healthiest protein sources, making it a perfect addition to any healthy curry recipe. This flavorful chicken curry is packed with spices, vegetables, and creamy coconut milk.

You can check out our detailed post on; salmon veggie curry recipes if you prefer fish curry over chicken curry.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced (from a 1 and ½ inch piece)
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced into ½” strips
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk don’t use lite
  • 1 lime, squeezed
  • 3 cups spinach


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, add diced onion, minced garlic, and fresh ginger. Cook until the onions become translucent.
  2. Stir in yellow curry powder, red curry paste, and ground coriander until thoroughly mixed with the sautéed onion mixture.
  3. Add the sliced red bell pepper to the pan and stir well to ensure it’s evenly coated with the spice mixture.
  4. Now, add the diced chicken pieces to the pan. Season with salt and black pepper, and stir well to combine. Cook until the chicken is browned on all sides.
  5. Pour in the full-fat coconut milk, ensuring to stir well, so that the spices and coconut milk are properly blended.
  6. Reduce the heat and let the curry simmer until the chicken is cooked, and the flavors have fully melded together; this should take about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Add the freshly squeezed lime juice to the curry, and stir well to combine.
  8. Stir in spinach until it wilts and blends into the curry.
  9. Taste the curry and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  10. Your healthy chicken curry is ready to serve. Pair it with rice or naan.
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Servings: 4

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Palak Paneer Curry with Spinach Sauce (10)

Top on our list of healthy Indian curry recipes is this creamy, vegetarian curry made with chunks of cheese (paneer) simmered in a spinach-based sauce. This low-calorie Indian curry recipe is rich in calcium and protein, and an excellent option for vegetarians.


For Spinach Puree:

  • 250 grams spinach or 5 to 6 cups roughly chopped spinach
  • 1 to 2 green chilies or 1 Serrano pepper or 1 to 2 Anaheim peppers – chopped
  • 1 to 2 small to medium garlic cloves – roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1-inch ginger – roughly chopped
  • 3 cups water for blanching spinach
  • 3 cups water for ice bath

Other Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee (clarified butter) or butter
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small to medium tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped onions or 1 small to medium-sized onion
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic or 4 to 5 small to medium garlic cloves
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped tomatoes or 1 small to medium-sized tomato
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (ground turmeric)
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne pepper or paprika
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) – optional
  • ½ cup water or add as required
  • ¼ or ½ teaspoon Garam Masala – add more if required
  • 200 to 250 grams Paneer or tofu
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat cream or 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi leaves (dry fenugreek leaves) – optional. kasuri methi is crushed and added right toward the end. just before adding cream.
  • salt as required

For Garnish:

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cream (low fat or heavy cream or cooking cream) or butter for garnish – optional
  • ½ to 1-inch ginger – julienne
  • Lemon or lime wedges or slices


  1. Start by preparing the spinach puree. Take 250 grams of spinach and 1-2 chopped green chilies, a few chopped garlic cloves, and a piece of chopped ginger.
  2. Blanch the spinach in 3 cups of boiling water for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. After blanching, quickly transfer the spinach to 3 cups of ice-cold water for an ice bath. This stops the cooking process and helps retain the bright green color.
  4. Blend the cooled spinach along with the green chilies, garlic, and ginger in a blender until it becomes a smooth puree. Set this aside for later.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil or ghee in a pan and add ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds and 1 small to medium tej patta. Allow them to sizzle in the hot oil for a few seconds.
  6. Add ⅓ cup of finely chopped onions to the pan and sauté until they turn golden in color.
  7. Stir in 1 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic and cook until the raw smell of garlic goes away.
  8. Add ⅓ cup of finely chopped tomatoes, ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon of red chili powder, and a pinch of asafoetida. Cook until the tomatoes soften.
  9. Now, add the spinach puree to the pan and mix it well with all the ingredients.
  10. Pour in ½ cup of water, cover the pan, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
  11. Stir in ¼ or ½ teaspoon of garam masala according to taste.
  12. Add 200 to 250 grams of paneer or tofu to the spinach mixture and mix well. Let it cook for 5-7 minutes.
  13. Add 2 tablespoons of low-fat cream or 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream for a rich taste.
  14. Crush and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of kasuri methi leaves over the curry. Add salt to taste.
  15. Serve your Palak Paneer Curry garnished with cream, julienne ginger strips, and a side of lemon or lime wedges. Enjoy this healthy and rich curry with a side of naan, roti, or rice.
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Servings: 4

Nutrition (per serving): Calories 265 | Carbohydrates 8g | Protein: 10g| Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat 1g | Monounsaturated Fat 7g | Cholesterol 43mg | Sodium: 419mg | Potassium: 437mg | | Fiber 2g | Sugar: 2g

Read more: Vegan Tempura Recipe: How To Make a Crunchy, Plant-Based Snack

healthy curry recipe  


  • What is the Healthiest Indian Curry to Have?

The healthiest Indian curry is arguably the Chana Masala, a chickpea-based curry packed with fiber and protein, but low in calories and fat. However, there are many healthy curries out there. 

  • Why is Thai Curry Better Than Indian Curry?

The preference between Thai and Indian curry is subjective and depends on individual taste. However, some people may find Thai curry preferable due to its lighter and more aromatic qualities, often from the use of ingredients like lemongrass, lime leaves, and fresh chili. Others may prefer the warm spices of Indian curries.

  • Is Rice Good or Bad for You?

Rice is a good source of energy as it’s rich in carbohydrates. It also contains essential minerals. Whole grain or brown rice is sometimes thought of as a healthier option due to its higher fiber content, however, white rice tends to contain less arsenic than brown rice. So eat whichever you prefer.

To get more insight on healthy rice options check out our previous publication: Types of Rice: A Grainy Tale of Taste and Texture.

  • How Healthy is Tikka Masala?

Tikka Masala, a creamy tomato-based curry, can be quite healthy when prepared with lean proteins like chicken or tofu and a moderate amount of cream. It offers a good balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. However, like any dish, it should be consumed in moderation, especially if you’re watching your calorie intake.

The Bottom Line

Curry dishes are not only delicious but also packed with health benefits. 

With a variety of spices, herbs, vegetables, and proteins, they can be a nutritious and comforting meal option for any occasion. Give these healthy curry recipes a try and experience the warmth and wellness they provide.