Dieters beware! Some styles of Indian cooking are vegetarian, which is great for including proper nutrition, but don’t let that lull you into thinking that these foods are low-calorie diet dishes. Plenty of fat is used in Indian cooking — usually clarified butter called ghee.

Roasting tandoori style (in a clay oven called a tandoor) is a good lowfat cooking method, but other dishes are often stewed and fried. Indian breads are many and varied, ranging from chapatti to high-fat, deep-fried poori. Often, the chef gives the breads a shimmer of butter before serving them.

Indian cuisine doesn’t focus on meat; rather, it uses carbohydrates, such as basmati rice (an aromatic long-grain variety) and lentils as its foundation. Vegetables are a part of almost every dish, and the sauces are enriched with yogurt, not cream.

Choose more of these:

  • Chutney

  • Dahl (lentils)

  • Masala (curry)

  • Matta (peas)

  • Paneer (a fresh milk cheese)

  • Pullao or pilau (rice)

  • Raita (a yogurt and cucumber condiment)

Eat less of these:

  • Chickpea batter used to deep-fry

  • Ghee (clarified butter)

  • Korma (cream sauce)

  • Molee (coconut)

  • Poori (a deep-fried bread)

  • Samosas (fried turnover appetizers)