Friday nights – when all you want to do is get home, put your feet up and watch some telly while tucking into your favourite takeaway.
But here are some staggering facts about the eating habits of Britons and how many calories are consumed on an average with a takeaway meal. According to Tefal’s ActiFryday Report:
- From a study of the 5 most popular dishes it was found that the nation consumes 12,400 tonnes of saturated fat through takeaway’s alone.
- Brits eat upto 2900 calories and 161 grams of fat in their most popular takeaway meal.
- Friday is the most popular day to order.
Not surprising then the survey revealed this shocking statistic –
BRITONS FEAST ON MORE THAN 12,000 TONNES OF SATURATED FAT FROM TAKEAWAYS EACH YEAR
Am sure you are as shocked after reading these statistics as I was. So naturally when Tefal asked me to take on their Actifryday challenge – to swap a typical Friday night takeaway for a healthier alternative – I was in.
I decided to give the Chicken Tikka Masala recipe that they sent me a go. Why? Because I have always been very intrigued by the recpie for Chicken Tikka Masala – a dish that I only ate when I first came to the U.K few years ago. CTM as it is popularly called, is without doubt the nations favourite British-Indian curry. Part of it’s popularity is attributed to the fact that it’s origin is quite disputed and many have staked a claim as to the dish being their own invention. While some believe that it was dish born out of necessity to satiate the British palate’s need to serve chicken in a gravy which can be mopped up with naan or rice, it is also believed that it is a variation of butter chicken. Many also firmly believe that it’s roots like in Mughlai cuisine and it was one of the many culinary inventions that were born to suit the English palate, when the migrant population from post partition India, Pakistan and Bangladesh came into Britain. Of course I was not going to follow the recipe without making some changes of my own. I normally make all my own masala’s and marinades from scratch and all of them can be stored and/ or frozen to be used later. I used half of the tikka masala paste I made and froze the rest. Find my easy recipe for tikka masala on my blog here.
Since this is a recipe which aims to reduce the fat content the double cream that normally goes in the curry is replaced by low fat natural yoghurt. Figuring out how to use my new Tefal Actifry XL was not difficult at all and the instruction booklet is quite simple to follow too. Once the removable parts has been hand washed and dried completely , I set about making a Chicken Tikka Masala. Here is my modified version of the Chicken Tikka Masala recipe:
- 500g boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 2cm pieces
- 100g Tikka Masala curry paste
- 2 pots (150g size) natural low fat yoghurt
- 1 ActiFry spoon of vegetable Oil
- 1 Large finely chopped onion and made into a thick paste
- 390g canned premium chopped tomatoes made into a puree
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 1 onion gravy flavour pot – I used Knorr
- 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
- 150ml of water
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar – I used a substitute -Natvia
- 2 teaspoons on lemon juice
- Salt as per taste
- a handfull of fresh coriander leaves chopped fine – to garnish
- In a large bowl mix the Tikka Masala paste with 4 tablespoonsof yougurt. Add the chicken in the coat then cover. Leave the marinate in the fridge for atleast 4 hours or ideally overnight – this will ensure the flavours have really seeped in, into the chicken.
- Heat oil in ActiFry for 2 minutes. Add the onion paste and cook for 5 minutes. I simply chopped the onion fine in my food processor and sprinkled some water to give it movement and gave it 2 spins at low speed. Result was a thick onion paste which is a much better way to use the onion in this recipe in the Actifry.
- Add the marinated Chicken and cook for a another 10 minutes. This ensures that the Actifry is hot enough to bruise the ends of the chicken giving it a similar treatment to what the griddle pan will. But of course the bruising is minimal and cannot be compared to grilling the meat. But this is where the addition of smoked paprika in the chicken tikka paste plays a big role as it works with the chicken and the cooking process to impart a much better smoky effect than without.
- In a small glass bowl crush the chicken stock cube, add the onion gravy flavour pot and smoked paprika and pour 2 tbps of hot water. With the back of a spoon mix well until a thick paste is formed.
- Add the tomato puree, the mixture with the stock and water cook for another 10 minutes. Add salt to taste but keep in mind that the chicken stock cube contains a lot of salt so taste some of the gravy base before adding additional salt.
- Remove the CTM into a bowl and then stir in remaining yoghurt. Then add the sugar and mix well.
- Add the lemon juice mix well and top with a handful of freshly chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve with steaming hot basmati rice, jeera rice or naan.
If you would like to view the original recipe from Tefal click here. To save time you can purchase the tikka masala paste too.
Both hubby and me were quite satisfied with this low calorie version of CTM and it definitely can hold it’s own in terms of taste. Of course the texture of tandoor grilled chicken tikkas and the unmistakeable creaminess of double cream is missing. But it’s a win -win on 2 very important factors :
- Saving on unnecessary calories from the grease and oil from a takeaway. Thus eliminating the risk of eating artery clogging saturated fats.
- Tefal Actifry is easy to use and very easy to cook in. With a little effort and planning it’s not at all difficult to produce a delicious curry – a healthier alternative to your takeaway- at home.
The Tefal ActiFry Express XL is available from John Lewis RRP £249.99, subject to availability and price may differ.
*With thanks to Tefal for sending me a Tefal Actifry XL for review. No request was made for a positive review. As usual all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.