Indian food is so flavorful and perfect to warm up the body and soul on a winter's night. One morning my husband and I were craving Indian, but since Cooper was around 2 years old and going through a food throwing stage plus his inexperienced palate probably would have been more hassle than it was worth to go to a restaurant, I went on the hunt for a recipe.
I came across Indian Chicken II on Allrecipes.com and have never looked back. Of course I've wondered about how Indian Chicken I might taste, but this recipe is so good there's no need to look for another. We eat this with roasted cauliflower or even blanched (boiled for 3 minutes) green beans.
Why this recipe works from a nutritional perspective:
It contains ingredients like curry powder, ginger, garlic and onion which are considered to offer anti-inflammatory benefits. One of the main ingredients in curry powder is turmeric, which contains one of the "hottest supplements" to take called curcurmin. Curcurmin is a compound that gives turmeric/curry powder its golden yellow hue. It's touted to offer a host of health benefits for the brain and body. Just keep in mind you'd have to include it somewhat regularly to reap those benefits (among keeping up with other healthy behaviors), but the more diversity of spices, herbs and plants you include will provide both health and taste benefits-so spice it up! :) As an aside, I just discovered Chobani's lemon and keylime flavors have turmeric in the ingredients lists if you're looking for additional sources of turmeric.
It shouldn't be surprising that I love eating foods that with each bite may be helping my body stay as healthy as it can. So the fact that it contains yogurt (which is a rare ingredient for dinner meals in our household) thrills me to no end that this is somewhat of a regular in our recipe repertoire. Yogurt gives a boost of protein, probiotics and calcium. And yes, you'll still reap benefits from the probiotics even though they are heated.
Lastly, I used low fat yogurt and light coconut milk and it still is creamy. There is now some speculation that using full fat versus nonfat/lowfat products might not be as health-damaging as once thought (which I agree), but the bottom line for our family is that my husband and I aren't as active as we used to be and are getting older (read: slower metabolisms) so less fat also means less calories. Throughout the course of the day we tend to get our fat from nuts, peanut butter, avocado, so we're hitting our fat quotas for the day and is why I typically choose the low fat dairy options.
As for our son, now that he's three he still teeters and totters on the line of openness to food (but luckily he's done with the food throwing stage). Unfortunately for him, he's decided he's not ready for this dish, but when he's ready, boy will he be happy! Hope you all enjoy this dish!
In good health,
Indian Curry Chicken II
By Amanda Fetters from Allrecipes (slightly modified)
2 tablespoons olive oil or extra virgin unrefined coconut oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon white sugar salt to taste
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup plain yogurt (lowfat)
3/4 cup coconut milk (light)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup brown rice, cooked to package instructions
ONE: Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until lightly browned. Stir in garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, paprika, bay leaf, ginger, sugar and salt. Continue stirring for 2 minutes. Add chicken pieces, tomato paste, yogurt, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
TWO: Remove bay leaf, and stir in lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Simmer 5 more minutes. Stir in rice.