Tandoori Chicken with less than 300 Calories

Currently HappinessStan is not quite so happy. Because HappinessStan is on a diet. Regular readers will know this happens with tedious frequency. But it’s not surprising given some of the creations that appear on this blog. Regular dieting is the only thing that prevents him ending up looking like a a cut-price Marlon Brando (during his later years).

Take a look at the ‘Most viewed’ posts to the right. It’s not a sea of quinoa and green smoothies is it. Sometimes there is a pic of a Roman shield that fretful fathers have searched for at specific times in the school year, but generally its cake and meat & pastry combinations people want to look at. And that is what I tend to cook, and tend to eat.

So with a heavy heart (and even heavier backside) I have decided to spend a period in abstinence. But unlike with previous dietary cycles (where I basically live off boiled chicken) this time I thought I’d have a go at preparing genuine ‘low calorie’ recipes (Brrrr… even writing that sends shivers down my spine)

So here we go. A new series of recipes with less than 300 calories a serving. But worry not. I will intersperse with proper food, which I prepare whilst other, more fortuitous souls, eat.

We shall kick off with Tandoori Chicken. Now how can you make anything remotely approaching something that is even getting close to Tandoori Chicken with a) less than 300 calories and b) no tandoor?

Good questions.


Anyway you will need (serves 2):


  • juice ½ lime
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 chicken breasts

For the marinade

  • 1 tub 0% fat Greek yogurt
  • Thumb sized piece ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric

Now this recipe was cribbed from the BBC Good Food bunch. Their recipe fed 8. It included the juice of 2 lemons. Given the above version tasted a bit like ‘Lime Chicken’, I would say they were over-zealous with the citrus element. Maybe this is one of those recipes that wasn’t eaten…

Mix the lime juice, paprika and chopped onion in a bowl. Add the chicken and combine.


Mix all of the marinade ingredients in another bowl.


Pour over the chicken and stir in.


Transfer to a sealable container and leave to marinade for at least an hour, but preferably three.


Turn on the grill and spread the chicken out on a baking tray lined with silver foil. Cook under the grill for about 15 mins, turning the chicken occasionally. You’re trying to get some charred bits (I think this is where they got the idea this could be called Tandoori Chicken).


Sprinkle on some greenery to cheer it up a bit and serve with rice if required (not me I’m too hardcore to have rice).


Verdict: Crap. Too dry, too citrusy. But it’s my fault because the original used chicken thigh fillets, which have a lot more fat. But then that would have defeated the idea of eating low fat recipes.

Next time: I make a cardboard sandwich.

21 thoughts on “Tandoori Chicken with less than 300 Calories

  1. Oh no!!! I was happy and sad all at the same time 😦 I’m sorry to hear it was too dry. Dry chicken is the worst!!! Yogurt, especially 0% fat, is a tricky SOB to cook with.
    I hope you post some more under 300 calorie recipes..but you still must keep up with the mouth watering food porn that I come here for…lol. Good luck!!!

  2. Have you tried my diet? It is very simple: I eat everything including stuff like steaks and foie gras, but I just eat less of it. It only works if you do it 5-6 days out of the week and it will work slowly, but steadily.

  3. I have to say that your honesty is refreshing. I think there are a lot of people out there who might just rave about a lo cal dish just so others will share their misery. Don’t stay on this diet for too long – we don’t want you getting all cranky pants.

  4. Don’t change your blog name or anything, I don’t think ‘Unhappiness Stan Lives Here’ is quite as catchy. It sucks when you spend time on a recipe and it’s crapola. I have taken up running so I can still eat (within reason) what I want. I run as far away from home as I can without a mobile, then I can’t phone anyone to pick me up, so I have to run home. I would love to tell you I love it but I don’t. Good luck! 🙂

    • Thats a very innovative way of doing running. I do rowing. In the lounge with the Simpsons on. (Static rowing obviously; I mean I don’t row around the lounge, it’s not big enough)

  5. Get a grip man! Buy a bike and do some miles. That way, you have to eat massive calories just to survive. I did a couple of hours on Sunday morning and burned over 1500 calories. Evening meal was roast rib on the bone, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. I had two helpings and was still calorie deficient. Bike and a bit of work = culinary happiness.
    Looking forward to the cardboard sandwich!

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