Prep & Cooking time: 35-40 minutes
Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, protein, fibre, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and (per serving) is low in sugar and saturated fats!
OK, so it was another curry night here at Eat2Health, but (to some of you) this recipe might seem a little like it’s from Cheaty-McCheat’s kitchen… and we can appreciate that this idea is partially true! We sourced and used a reasonably healthy (jarred) curry sauce. Everyone is entitled to have a ‘night off’ from a full-blown cooking marathon from time to time…we just have to be mindful about the products we choose to use, and of course consider ways in which we can easily improve the nutritional balance of our meals…
Which is what we took on board when using this sauce!
Our product instructed the user to cook it with chicken and fresh chillies and then serve it with naan bread. Firstly, this might be the authentic and traditional method, but the chicken is a no-go for us. Secondly, we’ve commented about how we feel about naan bread before…and thirdly, where are the recommendations for vegetables?! Even though this sauce was made from some veggies (but the first ingredient was water by the way!), it’s not going to go far to account for your 5-A-Day quotas.
We decided to use hearty potatoes, robust peas and some fibrous and nutritious tomatoes, bell peppers and spinach instead! We added extra flavourings, such as the ginger, chilli and turmeric etc. because we knew the tomatoes would dilute the sauce slightly; herbs and spices are always a healthier way to flavour your meals without adding extra salt.
The result was a delicious and healthy meal! Balti’s by nature are tasty, tangy and not overly spicy; admittedly I found ours a bit spicy… I guess the ginger, chilli and mustard seeds added some extra heat! Once I just added some plain/unsweetened soya yoghurt, everything was fine! 🙂 You could also try serving this curry with some of our savoury flat bread (as a tasty addition and/or to diffuse the heat!), but we found this curry super filling as is.
Per serving the sauce provided: 62kcal, 3g Sugar, 4g Fat, 0.3g S/Fat and 0.5g Salt. Like any processed foods, the fat, sugar and salt contents must be considered; there is no point in buying a product with very little sugar and/or fat but it still contains high/unhealthy levels of salt (and vice versa!). Amusingly (to us anyways!) this product we used had less salt (per serving) than our favourite baked beans that we occasionally buy!
One last thing before we cook! As it’s coming to the end of the UK’s ‘National Salt Awareness Week’, we hope that you’ve been taking note of some of the advice brought to your attention not only by us, but by lots of other social media sources! Let’s all work hard at getting the national salt intake average down from 8.1g to the government recommended levels of 6g/day.
Let’s all Eat2Health everyone (#lesssalt!)!
- The word Balti roughly translates to ‘bucket’. This is because the word refers to the type of cookware used and not to the ingredients. This type of curry is traditionally cooked in a steel or iron (and even copper coated) pan that looks quite similar to a Chinese ‘wok’; the pan is called a karahi (a ‘Balti pan/bowl’).
Traditionally it can be prepared with meat and vegetables and is served with naan bread; it’s considered a medium-hot curry (but we think this rating can be loosely translated- depending on your heat threshold!).
- Per serving (*based on 4 servings), this recipe provides you with approx. 4 portions of fruit/vegetables towards your 5-A-Day!
1kg Baking potatoes
300g Frozen garden peas
200g White onion
4g Garlic cloves
90g Raw ginger root
16g Red Chilli
100g Frozen sliced bell peppers
140g Frozen spinach
Fry spray (low-fat cooking oil)
4g Brown mustard seeds
285g Balti curry sauce (one jar)
400g Tinned plum tomatoes
Wash and chop the potatoes into small bite-sized pieces.
Place the potatoes into a large saucepan full of cold water or a medium-low heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain.
In the meantime, place the peas into a steamer pot with some water. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Steam for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Drain.
Meanwhile, place the bell peppers and spinach into two separate microwaveable dishes. Place the dishes into the microwave. Heat the vegetables on a defrost setting. Drain.
In the meantime, peel and dice the onion and garlic. Wash, peel and grate the ginger. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and dice the chilli.
Place a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Spray it with a little low-fat cooking oil.
Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened.
Add the bell peppers. Mix to combine.
Add the turmeric and seeds. Mix to combine. Gentry fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Pour in the sauce. Add the tomatoes. Stir to combine.
Add the potatoes, peas and spinach. Gently stir to combine.
Allow to curry to simmer for approx. 5 minutes (or longer if desired). Remove from the heat.
Cover with a lid. Allow it to rest 5-10 minutes (if you have time). We always find that the flavours taste best when the meal is not boiling hot!
Serve warm. Ladle into a large serving bowl and garnish with some fresh coriander and mustard seeds(if desired).
- Make this a two-pot dish! Cook all of the ingredients in one large saucepan (except the potatoes) and adjust the cooking times accordingly.
- Use a variation of vegetables and/or legumes, pulses or baked tofu! Curries are very adaptable and taste great with most plant-based foods! Non-vegans can add a combination of lean meat, poultry or fish with a medley of vegetables!
- Create your own balti paste using fresh ingredients; make it as neutral or as spicy as you like!