Chicken Changezi, a classic North Indian dish, can be made healthier by opting for leaner proteins, Greek yogurt, olive oil, portion control, and mindful cooking techniques while retaining its deliciousness.
Chicken Changezi is a classic North Indian dish known for its rich, creamy tomato gravy and succulent pieces of chicken. Chicken Changezi has a rich history that traces its roots to the Mughal era. According to legend, this dish originated during the rule of Emperor Genghis Khan, and it was named "Changezi" in his honor. In Delhi, "Chengez" is the pronunciation equivalent of "Genghis," hence the name Changezi Khan. While it's uncertain whether Genghis Khan himself ever savored this curry, the name has endured through time.
While undeniably delicious, traditional recipes often pack a hefty calorie punch due to the generous use of cream and ghee. Fortunately, there are ways to enjoy this mouthwatering dish in a healthier, lighter form without sacrificing flavour.
1. Leaner Protein:
Choosing leaner protein sources is a crucial step in creating healthier meals. Opt for cuts of meat like skinless chicken breast or turkey, as they are lower in saturated fats and calories compared to fattier cuts. These lean proteins offer essential nutrients like protein and B vitamins without the excess fat content, promoting heart health and weight management. Incorporating lean protein into your diet can help you maintain a balanced and healthier lifestyle.
2. Greek Yoghourt for Creaminess:
Greek yoghurt is a nutritious alternative to heavy cream, adding creaminess to dishes while being a healthier choice. It's rich in protein, calcium, and probiotics, supporting digestive health. Its tangy flavour complements various recipes, making it a versatile ingredient. Swap out cream with Greek yoghurt in recipes like soups, sauces, and desserts to reduce saturated fats and increase protein content. This substitution enhances both taste and nutrition, making your meals creamy and health-conscious.
3. Use Olive Oil:
Olive oil is a heart-healthy alternative to traditional cooking fats like ghee or butter. It's rich in monounsaturated fats, which can lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Olive oil also provides antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Use it for sautéing, roasting, or dressing salads to reduce saturated fats in your diet. Its distinct flavour and health benefits make it an excellent choice for cooking and promoting overall well-being.
4. Spice it Up:
Spices not only add flavour but also offer health benefits. Incorporate ginger, garlic, and a mix of ground spices like coriander, cumin, and garam masala into your recipes. These aromatic spices can enhance the taste of your dishes while providing anti-inflammatory and digestive advantages. Their natural flavours can help reduce the need for excessive salt or fats, making your meals healthier. Spicing up your dishes not only adds complexity to your palate but also contributes to your overall well-being.
5. Portion Control:
Practising portion control is a key strategy for maintaining a balanced and healthier diet. By moderating the quantity of food you consume, you can manage calorie intake and prevent overeating. Use smaller plates and bowls to naturally reduce portion sizes and avoid going back for seconds. Pair your meals with fibre-rich foods like vegetables or whole grains to feel fuller for longer. Portion control supports weight management and promotes better digestion, helping you achieve your health and wellness goals.
6. Mindful Cooking:
Mindful cooking involves a thoughtful and conscious approach to preparing meals. It includes using cooking techniques that minimise excessive oil or fats, such as sautéing with minimal oil or opting for non-stick cookware. Paying attention to ingredient choices, portion sizes, and cooking times ensures healthier outcomes. By being aware of the cooking process, you can create dishes that are not only delicious but also align with your nutritional goals, promoting overall well-being and a balanced lifestyle.
Chicken Changezi Recipe
500g chicken breast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste
½ cup tomato puree
½ cup greek yoghurt
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
1 tsp chaat masala
1 tbsp kasoori methi
Salt to taste
¼ cup cashew paste (for richness)
Fresh coriander leaves for garnish
Heat oil in a pan and sauté the chopped onions until they turn translucent.
Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for another few minutes until the raw smell disappears.
Stir in the tomato puree and cook until the oil starts to separate, indicating that the tomato has cooked thoroughly.
Add the chicken pieces and cook until they turn white on all sides.
Mix in the greek yoghurt and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, allowing the chicken to absorb the flavours.
Add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chaat masala, crushed kasoori methi, garam masala, and salt. Cook until the spices are well incorporated.
Pour in the cashew paste to give the gravy its rich, creamy texture. Simmer for another 5-7 minutes.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with naan, roti, or steamed rice.
Chicken Changezi, a beloved classic of Indian cuisine, can be made healthier without compromising on taste. By making simple ingredient swaps and mindful cooking choices, you can savour this dish guilt-free. Healthier Chicken Changezi not only allows you to enjoy its delightful flavours but also supports your overall well-being, making it a win-win for your taste buds and your health. So, go ahead and indulge in this revamped classic for a satisfying, nutritious meal.