BARRY FREEMAN gives his verdict on some healthy-option curries from the recently opened Thindian takeaway in Chapel Brow, Leyland.
Yours truly is old enough to remember when Indian food was considered a vaguely healthy alternative to our traditional Northern diet of deep-fried battered batter and suet.
Well, it’s boiled rice int’it?
This was long before, obviously, we had either heard or knew the meaning of the word ‘ghee’. Imagine our surprise when it turned out ghee, or clarified butter – basically butter with all the healthy solids strained off – was right up there with lard when it came to lethal cuisine.
Indeed, my first encounter with the word was when a much-loved local newsagent keeled over and perished at a ridiculously young age and, in the course of expressing my condolence, was informed by his widow in no uncertain terms that the finger of suspicion pointed at ghee.
This in mind, the decision by the owners of Thindian Food To Go to forego all that lovely butter in favour of light cooking oils might well be a shrewd one.
That the commitment extends even further, to exclude artificial flavourings and colours, and you begin to see why this is also a brave step.
How will an audience raised on brightly coloured mega-MSGed curry respond?
Speaking as a paid up member of this contingent I can assure them there is nothing to fear. We stuck in a fairly regulation order – onion bhaji, chicken jalfrezi, chicken
korma, rice and chapati – and if we’d eaten without knowing the emphasis was on health we would never have twigged – aside from the obvious lack of ghee lake swimming on top.
The colours were a little muted, for sure, but flavours were quite the reverse.
My jalfrezi packed a real spicy wallop, good chilli heat, herby flavour, the vegetables were fresh and lively, the chicken plentiful and tasty.
The korma was the most obvious ‘victim’ of the ban on colours, but in all honesty I’d take a soft beige over some of the day-glo gloops I’ve seen served up in the name of this classic ‘one for the ladies’.
The portions possibly erred on the modest side – prompting thoughts of the old joke about a diet Mars Bar (half a Mars Bar) – but we still had some bits left over for a taste of tasty leftover next day.
We ordered to collect and the food was ready to go as and when promised. A good start for a bold venture.