A curry could be any one of a broad category of dishes that are made with a complex combination of spices and herbs. Curries can be "wet" or "dry," vegetarian or meaty, mild or fiery... and perhaps most importantly, they can be healthy or unhealthy.

The term "curry" first appeared during the 17th century, when British settlers coined it from "kari," an Indian word for sauce, to describe a wide variety of the unfamiliar spicy dishes they found in India. But the dish itself appears to have originated over 4,000 years ago, when it was invented by the primitive Indus society in the late third millennium BC.

Commercial curry powder, in turn, first appeared in British recipe books starting in the 18th century. Today's chili powder may contain, among other spices, turmeric, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dried chilies, black pepper, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, mustard seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, peppercorns, and/or bay leaves.

The exact health benefits of curry depend on the specific spices you use in your recipe, but you're likely to stumble upon a powerful concoction. Coriander, for instance, is a powerful anti-bacterial agent. Turmeric can benefit your liver, increase bone regrowth, and reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Cardamom and sweet basil are vasodilators, which means they can reduce your blood pressure. Black pepper can lower your cholesterol levels, improve your gut health, and reduce your appetite. Last but not least, cayenne pepper and many of the other spices commonly found in curries can improve your digestion and speed up your metabolism!

But there's a catch. The curries you order at your local Indian restaurant may be alarmingly high in sugar or include carby noodles and creamy sauces that are sure to sabotage your weight loss journey.

However, that doesn't mean you can't whip up something just as yummy and way better for you yourself. The following recipes will give you all of curry's impressive health benefits and intense flavor without any of the caloric downsides.

Cold Curried Chicken Salad


  • 100 grams diced chicken
  • 1 apple diced
  • Celery diced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced onion
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder or to taste
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Dash of onion powder
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of turmeric
  • Stevia to taste


In small saucepan, lightly sauté chicken in lemon juice until lightly brown. Add 1 cup water and spices. Stir well and simmer over low heat until liquid reduces to form a sauce and chicken is cooked well. Add water as needed to create the consistency you want. Chill, add chopped apple and celery, or omit the celery and serve over a green salad. Makes 1 serving (1 protein, 1 vegetable, 1 fruit).

Chicken Curry


  • 100 grams cubed chicken
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or water
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder or to taste
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Dash of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Stevia to taste
  • Cayenne to taste


Dissolve spices in chicken broth in a small saucepan. Add chopped onion, garlic, and chicken. Add Stevia to taste for a sweeter curry. Sauté chicken in liquid until fully cooked and liquid is reduced by half. Additional water may be added to achieve desired consistency. Serve hot or cold. Makes 1 serving (1 protein).

Curry Prawns


  • 100g prawn meat (head and tail removed)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste (2 cloves minced)
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin salt/black pepper (to taste)


Preheat fry pan over MED heat. Add garlic. Cook until translucent, 5-10 mins. Add prawn meat, seasonings, and water.Mix & stir fry until cooked thoroughly, 2-3 mins. Makes 1 serving (1 protein).

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