Love Indian food? Send your taste buds dancing tonight with this Chicken Tikka Masala recipe with culinary nutrition Expert Anne Assassi.

Indian food is incredibly delicious, but you may not deem it as a healthy option if you’re watching what you eat. But I beg you to think differently!

If you cook curry in your own kitchen (which is not daunting at all), you can see exactly what’s going into it. It can not only be diet friendly, but extremely healthy to boot. The recipe below uses little in the way of saturated fat, and only utilizes a few tablespoons of peanut oil and a little bit of yogurt.

The results? Exceptional.

I hear the word “clean eats” being thrown around a lot.  I believe it’s a term that is ill-defined and can be misleading. Some may think that “clean eats” is only eating raw, or only eating basic foods such as steamed chicken breast and broccoli.

I am here to tell you that this chicken tikka masala meets my definition of clean eats.

This is because the dish is well-balanced with protein, carbs, and fat, and has several spices and herbs that are super good for you. Also, studies have shown that many spices used in Indian cuisine also serve as antioxidants and may play a role in cancer prevention.

While turmeric and garlic are anti-inflammatory, cumin and cayenne may promote weight loss, fenugreek is rich in minerals, and garam masala is a wonderful mix of several extremely healthful spices.

Here’s a delicious recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala which has been paired with a kale and chickpea recipe from EatingWell.  It’s a great way to use up any kale you have growing in your garden! Plus the garbanzos add just a little extra fiber to really round out this dish.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Serves 4

  • 1.5 lbs chicken thighs, poked with a fork, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 6 tbsp Tandoori Paste
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • Peanut Oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2-3 serrano chilis, deseeded, chopped
  • 1″ piece of ginger, peeled, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cayenne (or more to taste)
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 lb roma tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 5 cashews (optional)
  • 4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Steamed basmati rice + mint chutney, to serve

Indian-Spiced Kale & Chickpeas

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1 1/2 pounds kale, ribs removed, coarsely chopped (see Tip)
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala, (see Ingredient note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
For the full recipe and instructions, make a visit here!

Anne Assassi, MS, RDN is a private practice dietitian and health coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area. A lover of home-cooked culinary creations, Anne helps individuals discover the art of healthy eating as an enjoyable creative experience in our homes that allows us to be our healthiest selves. Connect with Anne to create your most inspired and healthiest kitchen!