There’s a little restaurant tucked away in the middle of town called the Bombay Cafe. The hubby and I enjoyed some delicious coconut curry and tikki masala, along with some very friendly service. A week later and I’m craving Indian food again. Some people shy away from ethnic food when they’re preparing a meal for their kids. Not me. I figure the more flavors I expose them to now, the more willingly they’ll enjoy a variety of cultural cuisines all throughout their life. Now I just need to come up with a gluten free naan bread recipe…mmmm. Anyway, there are some fantastic health benefits to curry spices.
Take turmeric – a traditional Indian spice that gives the classic yellow tint to curry. Turmeric not only makes your curry taste good, but is also a super spice (no that’s not one of the spice girls).
It’s an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, as well as boosts brain function, regulates blood pressure, combats depression, and may inhibit cancer cells from multiplying (with the help of black pepper to aid in absorption).
Didn’t know your tikki masala could do all that did ya?
So I went to my spice cupboard and started pulling out spices. I needed some Indian curry in a hurry using what I already had in the kitchen – some coconut milk, chicken tenders, garlic, and spices. You can buy curry powder already blended, but making it yourself really doesn’t require much more effort and you can adjust the spice and flavor to your liking.
Homemade Chicken Tikki Masala:
1 – 1/2 lb. chicken tenders, cubed
Salt and pepper
1-2 tbsp. organic coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 -1/2 cans full fat coconut milk
curry seasoning blend (recipe below)
Coconut Mint Yogurt Sauce (recipe below)
2 cups organic brown rice, cooked in 4 cups water + some salt and pepper
small handful cilantro, leaves trimmed and finely chopped for sprinkling over everything
Start the brown rice while you cut and prepare the chicken. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet, add garlic and simmer for just a minute. Throw in the chicken and lightly salt. Brown the chicken on all sides for several minutes. Once it’s browned pour in the coconut milk and curry blend. Stir to incorporate all the spices. Now just sit back and let it simmer on low to marry all the flavors while the rice finishes.
Curry Seasoning Blend:
1-2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground clove
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1-1/2 tbsp. turmeric
2 tsp. chili powder or ground red chili peppers
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
1 tsp. coconut sugar
Mix together all the ingredients in a small bowl. I only added 1 tsp. black pepper for a nice mild flavor the kids could enjoy too. You can adjust the heat by upping the black and red chili pepper amounts.
Coconut Mint Yogurt Sauce:
1 tbsp. lime juice
2 leaves fresh mint, finely chopped
2 sprig fresh cilantro, leaves trimmed, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. pink salt
Stir together and drop a dollop of yogurt on each plate.