Curries are an integral part of Indian cooking. If our meals are to be healthy, we must make our curries healthy. As we all know, traditional Indian menus are developed with staples (rice, wheat) as the focus and the curries are mainly to add taste and flavor to them. That is the reason for listing rice and Indian breads as main dishes and curries as side dishes in Indian menus. Where as ,in western menus, rice and breads are accompaniments to main dishes consisting of meat, fish and vegetables. In other words, we eat more rice or wheat ( roti, chapattis, paratha)than vegetables, meat, fish etc. It means that our diet is high on carbohydrates and low on proteins, vitamins and minerals .To correct this basic defect, we must reduce the intake of rice or rotis and eat curries and salads.
Generally speaking, south Indian curries, especially the vegetarian curries are lower in fat than the north Indian curries. These curries when prepared in traditional way, involve prolonged frying of plenty of onion, garlic, ginger, tomato and other spices in generous amounts of fat. This method can be modified to make the curries healthier.
Ground onion , garlic and ginger need more oil or ghee while frying to prevent them from burning. So, use them finely chopped and if a smooth gravy is desired, grind them after frying.
When frying these ingredients with less fat, the heat should be low. So, leave it on a low flame and let them cook slowly to soften and mellow the flavors, stirring occasionally.
Alternately, combine them with little fat and microwave without covering. If the wattage of the microwave oven is 100 and above, use only medium hi, or 70% power.
Another way is to lightly fry them in little oil and then pressure cook with tomato and spices.
Some of these methods are used in the following recipes :