Food & Nutrition

Delicious low calorie items that you can order from an Indian takeaway

Published by Finn Hayden

When we order a takeaway, we're generally accepting that it is likely to be higher in calories than if we were to make the food at home. This is especially true of an Indian takeaway, as many Indian restaurants will use a lot more calorie-packed ingredients such as oil and cream than we'd use if we were cooking an Indian at home.

However, this isn't to say that it's impossible to order lower calorie items from an Indian takeaway - you definitely can, and we wanted to highlight some of the best low calorie dishes that you can order from an Indian so you can enjoy your food without worrying about calories. Let's get into it:


Any curry which is made with cream, yoghurt, or coconut milk is one to avoid, as these ingredients can add huge amounts of calories to a dish. So popular dishes like Korma and Tikka Masala (pictured) are probably best avoided if you're wanting a low calorie option. Curries like Bhuna, Jalfrezi, Rogan Josh, and Vindaloo are typically made without any dairy products which usually makes them lower in calories, but you'll want to check with the restaurant to be sure.
People might think that chicken would be the best meat to go for in your curry for a low calorie option, but actually meat such as lamb is usually lower in calories compared to chicken. But if you can go for prawns this is even better, as prawns contain about half as many calories as chicken and the same amount of protein (which helps to keep you feeling full).

Naan bread

Your best bet with naan bread is to go for a plain naan and to avoid anything like a peshwari or a garlic naan. The reason for this is simply that most Indian restaurants will use desiccated coconut and almonds to make peshwari naan, 2 ingredients which are high in calories. And even the garlic flavour of a garlic naan will be made using butter. If the restaurant sells chapatis then you could opt for this instead of a naan bread, as often even plain naan bread will be made with butter whereas typically chapatis are just flour and water.
naan bread


Indian cuisine has some of the best sides of any world cuisine in our opinion, with options like pakora (pictured), samosas, and more. The issue with many of these sides is that they're fried, which immediately makes them high in calories. Luckily, there are some Indian sides which tend to be slightly lower in calories but which are still delicious - cauliflower is used extensively in many Indian side dishes, and is a great low calorie and filling vegetable to consume. Aloo Gobi is a mix of cauliflower and potato which might not be as crispy and tasty as vegetable pakora, but is still packed with flavour.
vegetable pakora

Final thoughts

Hopefully this guide helps to show you that you can order certain dishes from an Indian takeaway which are lower in calories, and you won't have to compromise too much on taste!
Let us know if you've tried to make any of these changes to your Indian takeaway orders and how you got on!

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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