Yes-Indian food is great, especially for those of us who love spices.But when eating Indian food in a restaurant, you need to know what you are ordering so you do not end with a lot of calories.Here are a few tips to help you eat better, with fewer calories.
First things first.Indian curries are normally laden with butter, cream and ghee.So before ordering, always ask how the curry was made.
Preparations with legumes (like daal and chana masala) are relatively low in calories, and are equally tasty.
Choose roti (made out of whole wheat) over naan (made out of white flour).
You will probably get both rice and bread (in the form of roti or naan).I try to eat either the rice or the roti, but avoid eating both.
But I completely understand what you mean about the butter, cream, and ghee. It can also get really heavy after a while, which is why I tend to lay off. Personally, I think some cuisines are just lighter than others. I love South Indian cuisine because of the flavors but I find there's also a smaller amount of some of the less desirable ingredients. South Indian thalis are great (perhaps sans the greasy puri) because you get a taste of everything in small amounts, and it usually seems pretty healthy (lots of veggie items, etc.).
My partner and I work out and around a large variety of Bay Area communities as itinerant artists. We can always depend on a huge, inexpensive meal at Indian buffets at lunchtime. What I have noticed, for myself, is I cannot grab too many things, of too many varieties at the buffet, or I get digestion freak-out. I have learned that I can eat the wonderful, fattening curries in moderation, with some rice or naan, and have a hit of saag. But! If I try to eat a green lettuce salad with that I am in trouble for a few hours after the meal. I also recommend dal instead of rice if you are fore-going meat in your meals. I always feel refreshed after an Indian meal, like I had gone to some one's home and had a home-cooked meal.
Today a few co-workers and I went downtown for lunch at an Indian restaurant. That was probably my first time in an Indian restaurant (I take that back, I went to a take-out place across the street from my apartment in London) and the first thing I noticed were a lot of veggies and a lot of carbs. The food was great, but I can see how some of it can be unhealthy.
Generally, I don't like Indian food. I wish I did as it is my husbands favourite. I traveled in India for two years and had too many bad experiences.
But there are a few places that are absolutely delicious and are really wholesome. When it is made with fresh ingredients and vegan, then I can enjoy it (once in a while)