FOR many of us, Indian food conjures up images of a naughty but nice takeaway with all the trimmings, or a quick and calorific curry ready meal.

But chef Dipna Anand is determined to prove that there are healthy ways to enjoy all your favourites, from tandoori dishes to Bombay potatoes, without sacrificing flavour.

“A lot of people think Indian food is oily and greasy, and it can't be made without a lot of butter and ghee, but that's not the case at all," says the 30-year-old, whose family has run the award-winning Brilliant Restaurant in London, since the Seventies.

“You can still make, for example, a fantastic chicken tikka masala without using the butter and oils and fats. As long as you balance the spices, that's what gives the dish its flavour and taste."

Think delicious Indian cuisine cannot be good for you? Think again, says Dipna Anand. Jeananne Craig reports

Anand was inspired to research low-fat Indian cuisine as a schoolgirl after her father, Gulu, had a wake-up call after suffering a heart attack.

“He was eating a lot of oily, greasy food, so I wanted to do something aimed at people who were controlling their weight but still loved Indian food,” she explains.

After landing top marks for an A-level project on the subject, the low-fat options were added to the Brilliant menu and, says Anand, “they took off”.

She has now written her first cookbook, Beyond Brilliant, which features healthy dishes among its more than 40 recipes.

“Some of the recipes in the book date back 65 years, they were passed from my grandfather to my dad and now passed on to me," says Anand, whose favourite inclusion is the tandoori lamb chops.

Want to try that dish at home? Here is a recipe from Beyond Brilliant.

TANDOORI LAMB CHOPS (Makes 12 pieces)

Ingredients 10 lean lamb chops 3 green finger chillies, made into a paste 1tbsp ginger/garlic paste 75g raw papaya (or unripe pineapple), made into a paste 11/2tbsp white vinegar 1tsp salt or to taste 3tbsp chopped fresh coriander for garnish Spices: 1tsp cumin powder 3/4tsp turmeric powder 3/4tsp red chilli powder 1/2tsp white pepper powder 1/4tsp nutmeg powder 1/4tsp green cardamom powder (ground cardamom seeds) Method Lightly slit the lamb chops on either side (three gashes on each side, not too deep).

Mix all the other ingredients together into a bowl thoroughly using a whisk.

Once the ingredients are completely combined together, add the lamb chops to the marinade and coat, using your hands to mix.

When the lamb chops are coated, leave in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or preferably overnight for the meat to soak up the flavour better.

To cook the lamb chops, lightly grease an oven tray, lay the lamb chops flat on the tray and cook for about 25 minutes at 180C. Turn the chops over half way through cooking to cook evenly on the other side.

 Beyond Brilliant by Dipna Anand, RMC Books, £19.95.