What is chicken pasanda?
Healthy Chicken Pasanda is a delightful and rich dish from the heart of Mughlai cuisine, originating in the royal kitchens of North India. The term “Pasanda” is derived from the Urdu word “pasande,” which translates to “favourite.” This name is fitting, as Chicken Pasanda was indeed a favourite of the Mughal emperors and its also by far my favourite curry too. The dish is characterized by its creamy and fragrant curry, often made with marinated and pan-fried meat, traditionally beef or lamb. However, in this healthy rendition, we’ve chosen tender chicken breasts, creating a low-calorie curry that still offers all the flavourful richness of the original.
Chicken Pasanda, a healthy curry, strikes the perfect balance between flavour and nutrition. It’s a sumptuous dish that brings the royal heritage of Mughal cuisine to your table in a guilt-free, low-fat package. Give this recipe a try and indulge in the deliciousness of Indian cuisine, all while staying mindful of your calorie intake at just 310kcal per portion.
What makes chicken pasanda healthy?
A healthy curry, such as Chicken Pasanda, offers a plethora of health benefits. By incorporating ingredients like fat-free Greek yogurt and ground almonds, this recipe delivers a luxurious, creamy texture without the guilt of excessive calories or unhealthy fats. This makes it an ideal choice for individuals conscious of their calorie intake but unwilling to compromise on taste. Additionally, the inclusion of lean chicken breasts provides essential protein for muscle health. The carefully selected spices, including turmeric, renowned for its potent anti-inflammatory properties, coriander, packed with antioxidants and digestive benefits, and garlic, known for its immune-boosting qualities, not only enhance the dish’s flavour profile but also infuse it with numerous potential health advantages. These spices not only elevate the taste but also contribute to the overall well-being of those savouring this delectable and health-conscious curry.
Step 1: Prepare the ingredients
Begin by preparing the ingredients. Thinly dice the onion to allow it to caramelize evenly, imparting a sweet and savoury flavour to the dish. Finely chop the garlic to ensure its aromatic essence permeates the curry. I find it really helpful to pre measure all of the ingredients so they’re ready to add in without any last minute rushing. Measure out all of your spices, yogurt and dice your chicken into bitesize chunks.
Step 2: Sauté the onions and garlic
In a spacious, non-stick pan set over medium heat (oil is always optional in my recipes, if you’re oil-free, add a splash of water where needed to stop things sticking), add the dices onions and cook until they transform into a golden brown hue. This process may take time, but it yields a depth of flavour that’s worth the patience. Then, add the finely chopped garlic and cook for a minute until it turns fragrant. The garlic should soften and release its delightful aroma throughout the mix.
Step 3: Add the chicken and spices
Introduce the chicken breasts, carefully cut into bite-sized pieces. Let them cook until they acquire a gentle browning, locking in their succulent juices and intensifying their flavours. Now, it’s time to infuse the chicken with the aromatic spices. Add the curry powder, ground coriander, turmeric, cardamom pods (lightly crushed), and salt. Ensure the chicken is evenly coated with this spice blend. This step guarantees that every morsel of chicken is infused with the warm, aromatic spices, enhancing its overall flavour.
Step 4: Make it saucy
Pour in the vegetable stock and let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes. This time allows the chicken to become tender and thoroughly cooked, absorbing all the wonderful flavours of the spices without the need for additional fats. Add the ground almonds and sultanas, allowing the curry to simmer for an additional 5 minutes. This time frame permits the flavours to meld together, the almonds acting as a natural thickening agent and the sultanas adding a touch of natural sweetness.
Step 5: Make it creamy
To achieve the creamy consistency that characterizes chicken pasanda, turn the heat down as long as you can and stir in the fat-free Greek yogurt and continue to simmer for a few more minutes until the sauce thickens. It’s essential to make sure that the yogurt is fully incorporated into the mix, creating a luscious, velvety texture. If your hob heat is too high then your yogurt will split and your dish will be lumpy. It wont make you ill, but it certainly wont be pleasant.
To elevate the dish’s texture and provide a delightful crunch, garnish it with a sprinkle of flaked almonds. Serve your healthy Chicken Pasanda alongside a side of pilau rice, and savour the sumptuous flavours of this guilt-free, low-fat curry.
Chicken pasanda variations:
- Vegetarian Option: Create a vegetarian rendition by substituting the chicken with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) or an assortment of vegetables, such as cauliflower, carrots, and bell peppers.
- Spicier Version: If you enjoy curries with an extra kick of heat, consider adding chopped green chilies or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the dish.
- Nut-Free Version: For those with nut allergies, you can eliminate the ground almonds, though this would deviate from the traditional “pasanda” style. However, the rich flavours of the spices and creamy consistency can still be maintained. You could experiment with nutritional yeast to get that nutty vibe.
Is it possible to make this dish dairy-free?
Yes, for a dairy-free version, substitute fat-free Greek yogurt with a plant-based alternative, such as almond or coconut-based yogurt.
Can I prepare this in advance?
Absolutely, Chicken Pasanda can be made in advance and reheated when you’re ready to serve. Ensure you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Can I freeze Chicken Pasanda?
Yes, you can freeze Chicken Pasanda. After allowing it to cool, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to three
Why not try:
If you love all the sides that come with a traditional Indian meal, why not try these scrumptious and low calorie baked onion bhaji’s?
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