They aren't unhealthy per say (it's not like I eat pizza every day), it's that the way it is prepared/stored isn't exactly ideal. Most of what I ate was frozen food that was heated in the microwave. That's fine for stuff like frozen rotis etc., but I started worrying about the frozen curries etc. Those come in (a) flimsy plastic containers which (now apparently) are notorious for leeching plastics into the food and (b) contained more oil/salt than I really need in that curry. Now clearly (a) is bad (especially since plastics stick around for almost forever)... but how bad does matter. Either way, I figure cutting that part out can only help me. And clearly for (b) - no doubt if I could reduce that I could be a bit healthier.
So, now I've started cooking more religiously. It's a fusion of north and south indian cooking - which means the south indian tastes and flavors I prefer, combined with the resilience of north indian preparation (i.e. they last longer in the fridge).
My top recipe is definitely the Chana Masala (which has a slight south indian twist to it... although I plan to make it a bit more north indian when I add a clove or two of garlic to it).
A few nights ago, I got bored of making the same thing over and over and wanted to try something different. Specifically... I wanted to make a form of broccoli curry. Greens (dark greens especially) are important. Even though Chana Masala is very healthy (chick peas are loaded with protein and fiber)... I don't get as many greens in my diet as I'd like (apart from the Tabouli in my falafel pitas for lunch). Besides, broccoli in particular has an awesome mix of healthy stuff (I am so scientific in my definitions) that I was really interested in.
Problem is, south indians (well all indians really) don't use broccoli in our (traditional) cooking. So I had to come up with some random recipe to make it work. I'm sure recipes exist (probably similar to the one I came up with; and you'll see why in a second)... but where's the fun in that?
So I decided to go with the same "base" as my chana masala recipe, tweak it a tad, and replace the chick peas with broccoli. Should work right? Well it did! I have to tweak the recipe a tad to get the flavor just right... but over all - it worked out great! I always feel like broccoli has a weird (but strong) taste to it (some people call it a "healthy vegetable taste" which to me translates as... ick). Overpowering that taste is a little difficult. But, my preparation should (theoretically) keep things healthy, while still overpowering the flavor just enough so I will actually eat my vegetables!
For those out there who are curious... here's the recipe + method.
3 "stalks" of broccoli
2 cloves of garlic
3-4 medium green chillis
1.5 teaspoons of Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of Red chilli powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
*It is very important to keep stirring after this point. You definitely do not want pockets of spice since water isn't added to mix stuff up till much later