Category Archives: Indian

Indian Chicken Korma

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Indian Chicken Korma

In the interest of full disclosure, I feel that I must confess to you that this is NOT a “light” recipe. This is not vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, paleo, or dairy-free.

But it is dee-lish-shuss. For reals.

No joke.

Seriously, you guys.

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Trust me on this one.

Chicken Korma is one of those magical dishes that seems to fill up 95% of my plate whenever I visit an Indian food buffet. It is rich, creamy, full of spices and flavor, and just begs to be soaked up by a piece of fresh naan. If you’ve never tried your hand at making Indian food at home, this should definitely be your starter recipe. It’s much easier than you’d think, as long as you have a few basic Indian spices in your pantry.

The chicken does like to marinate for a while, so get it set in the morning before heading to work.

The ingredient list does look a bit long but DON’T FREAK OUT. Most of it is spices, and if you are missing any of them I’d highly suggest investing in a bottle (or buy in bulk, like me!). Nothing will open up your kitchen to more possibilities than a well-stocked spice cabinet!

The only thing you might have a hard time finding in your local grocery store is Garam Masala. You can try an Asian foods specialty store, or I’ve even had luck finding it at Cost Plus World Market. More recently I’ve been purchasing it on Amazon – you can find the link on my Products page.

Ready?

Okay, Go:

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients:

[For the Chicken Marinade]

  • 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp mild yellow curry powder
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

[For the Sauce]

  • 2 white onions, peeled
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 c. water
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced small
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger root
  • 1/2 c. ground almonds (food processor works great)
  • 1 c. coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 c. plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 small red chili, de-seeded and minced (I used dried, but fresh works, too)
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 4 tsp. mild yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander seed
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Drizzle the chicken with the oil and sprinkle on the spices, salt and pepper. Massage into the meat and cover, leaving to marinate for at least a couple of hours or overnight.
  2. Grill the chicken until fully cooked but not dried out. Set aside.
  3. For the sauce begin by pureeing together: 2 white onions , 6 cloves garlic, 1 cup water.
  4. In a large saucepan heat 3 tbsp olive oil (or ghee if you prefer).
  5. Add the pureed onion mixture and cook over medium heat for a few minutes stirring constantly. Add: tomatoes, ginger, ground almonds, coconut milk, yogurt, red chili, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, curry powder, nutmeg, salt, pepper, ground coriander, garam masala, cloves, cumin, and brown sugar.
  6. Simmer slowly for about 30-40 minutes then add the chicken and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and/or naan.

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Nutrition (per serving):

362 calories, 25 g. fat, 19 g. protein, 20 g. carbs, 5 g. fiber. WW PointsPlus: 10

Green Curry Mung Beans with Spinach

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Green Curry Mung Beans with Spinach

If you’re anything like me, you probably read the title of this post and are likely quickly losing interest in this recipe because you have no idea what mung beans are. But wait! Fear not, my child. I promise you that you can find mung beans in most any grocery store and they are very cheap and easy to cook. Most importantly, they do not need to be pre-soaked! I buy them in bulk at the grocery store, keep them in a mason jar in my pantry, and pull them out when I need to throw together a quick meal with no fuss.

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These little beauties are found mainly in Asian cuisines, particularly in Thai, Indian, and Filipino dishes. They are packed with all sorts of good-for-you nutrients, protein, and fiber. You can use them as you would green split peas or lentils (my favorite!). They have a slightly sweet flavor which works perfectly with the delicate coconut milk in this recipe.

As with most recipes calling for curry paste, feel free to swap out the green curry paste in this recipe with whatever you happen to have. Alternatively you can use regular curry powder if your pantry is looking a little bare; start with a few teaspoons, taste, and add more if needed. I typically purchase Thai Kitchen curry pastes which aren’t terrible expensive and are easy to find on the ethnic food aisle.

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I used two tablespoons to this dish as green curry paste is pretty mild. If you are using red, massaman, or panang, you may want to start with a little less and work your way up. Remember, it is always easier to add more than to try to take it out!

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I’ve also taken to purchasing coconut milk in these adorable little two-thirds-cup cans rather than the usual 15 oz. size. It’s the perfect amount for a dish like this and then I’m not trying to find a way to use up the leftovers from a full size can (like the time I attempted to make pina coladas – total fail!).

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This recipe is really a cinch to make. Simply saute an onion in oil until semi-translucent and slightly brown…

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Add in some ginger and garlic…

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Add your mung beans and let them toast…

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Then add three cups of water, bring it to a boil, reduce it to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 20 minutes.

IMG_0040This is my adorable little 3-quart enameled cast iron dutch oven. Isn’t she beautiful?

After twenty minutes, stir in some chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, curry paste, and seasonings, then re-cover and let cook for another few minutes until your mung beans are tender.

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Here are the beans when they are not-quite done…

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…and here they are when they are split and tender…

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They lose a bit of their vibrant green color by the time they are tender and look a little more like cooked green split peas.

Once the beans are tender, stir in some fresh spinach leaves…

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and let them wilt. Once they are dark green and wilted, taste the dish and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.

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Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro!

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I like to mold my rice into little bowls them turn them out onto the plate to impress the husband.

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I think it makes him feel special.

Be sure to take some out-of-focus pictures with your new lens….

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And, as always, spend so much time trying to figure out how to work your camera that the food gets cold before you can eat it.

Voila! Stay hungry, my friends.

Makes: 6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. mung beans, sorted (remove any debris)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 3 c. water
  • 2/3 c. coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. green curry paste
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. oil (I used grapseed)
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Dash ground coriander
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a 3-quart dutch oven or large covered pot over medium-high heat.
  2. When hot, add the chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until semi-translucent (about three minutes).
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute, stirring frequently so as to not burn the garlic.
  4. Add the mung beans and cook, stirring frequently, for 60 seconds until slightly toasted.
  5. Add the three cups water, stir, and bring to a boil. Let boil for 2-3 minutes then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add in the chopped tomato, curry paste, coconut milk, and seasonings, then stir, re-cover, and cook until mung beans are tender and splitting out of their shells (another 5 minutes or so).
  6. Add the spinach leaves and stir until wilted.
  7. Taste the dish and add salt and pepper as desired (I added quite a bit of both).
  8. Serve with rice and garnish with cilantro.

Nutrition (per serving):

216 calories, 9 g. fat, 10 g. protein, 26 g. carbs, 7 g. fiber. WW PointsPlus: 6

What’s your favorite way to cook up beans or lentils? 

One Pot Lentil Dahl & Rice

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One Pot Lentil Dahl & Rice

I adore one-pot meals. Well, technically, the husband does. I cook, and he does the dishes. Obviously, I have the better end of the deal because I love spending time in the kitchen. I try to clean as I go, but it is a rare occasion that I don’t leave the kitchen a mess by the time I’m finished.

Tonight, I kept the mess to a minimum because all of the delicious could be handled by one knife, one cutting board, and one pot. Plus, since it needed to simmer all by its lonesome for fifteen minutes, I had time to get the kitchen in order before the husband got home from grocery shopping for his grandma. It makes me feel very wifely.

I told him not to get used to it.

lentildahl7This was just a warm bowl of hearty, vegetarian deliciousness. The recipe couldn’t be simpler – prep your ingredients, add them one by one, stir it up, and let it simmer.

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Just look at those vibrant spices – cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, paprika, and garam masala.

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In addition to the ground spices, I also used some fresh ginger, coriander seeds, and garlic to really send the flavor profile over the top. To bulk up the dish I added potato, onion, and carrot. Basmati rice and brown lentils make the dish thick and filling.

lentildahl3To add a hint of freshness, I stirred in a bit of chopped pipicha (yep, the same pipicha from the Poblano Chicken Tacos recipe) during the last few minutes which brought a hint of anise to the dish.

Here’s the recipe:

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c. basmati rice
  • 1/2 c. brown lentils
  • 3 c. water
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. oil (I used grape seed)
  • 1 Tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh pipicha, chopped
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a 6-quart dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the whole coriander seeds and toast 2 minutes, until fragrant and golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Add onions, garlic, and ginger to the pot and saute until onions become semi-translucent, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, grind coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle until they reach a coarse pepper texture.
  3. Return the coriander seeds to the pan and add the garam masala, turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, salt, and paprika. Stir vigorously to allow the spices to toast without sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the potatoes and carrots to the pot, stir, and cook uncovered for 3 minutes. Add the sugar and a splash of water and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables develop a glaze-like spice coating as the sugar caramelizes in the pan.
  5. Add the lentils, rice, and water and bring contents to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until rice, lentils, and potatoes are cooked through and all of the water has been absorbed. Stir in the pipicha during the last few minutes and serve with a side of naan or sauteed greens.

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Nutrition (per serving):

237 calories, 3 g. fat, 4 g. protein, 50 g. carbs, 3 g. fiber. WW PointsPlus: 6

Note: This dish is VERY full of spices. If you prefer something a bit more tame, I’d recommend scaling back on the whole coriander seeds (or taking them out altogether), particularly if you aren’t sure whether or not you like coriander.

Chicken & Coconut Milk Spiced with Garam Masala

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Chicken & Coconut Milk Spiced with Garam Masala

Chicken and coconut milk spiced with curry powder and Garam Masala.

Chicken & Coconut Milk spiced with Garam Masala

Chicken & Coconut Milk spiced with Garam Masala

Tonight was one of those nights where I barely got dinner on the table at all. I called the husband while I was commuting home to hint at the idea of going out to dinner. He had a long day and just wanted to sit on the couch and relax, so I pulled myself together and made dinner.

I didn’t have anything planned for tonight so I had to get creative. Among the other strange things residing in my fridge and pantry, I scrounged up some chicken breast, tomato, onion, coconut milk, rice, and spices.

I buy onions in bulk and keep them in a big bowl on my counter. I find that they are a great way to bulk up dishes without adding a lot of calories. Plus, they’re cheap!

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I had tomato leftover from making some grilled flatbread pizzas and just happened to have a chicken breast thawing in the fridge.

I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, and garam masala, then seared it quickly in some olive oil and chopped garlic.

I threw in some chopped tomato and sliced onion and let everything get steamy.

cozyAfter the vegetables got some good color on them I added a can of light coconut milk (feel free to use full fat if you are into that sort of thing), some curry powder, and more garam masala. I let it simmer for about fifteen minutes while my rice was cooking then adjusted salt and pepper to taste.

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Quick, easy, low-fat, and delicious!

curryHere’s how I did it:

Makes: 4 servings, 1 cup each

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 oz. chicken breasts (I used one big’un)
  • One can light coconut milk
  • Half a large tomato, cut into large chunks
  • Half a large yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. Garam Masala
  • 2 tsp. Curry Powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil (coconut oil works great if you have it!)
  • Cilantro for garnish

Directions:

  1. Thinly slice the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and season with salt, pepper, and 1 Tbsp. garam masala.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Once hot, add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add chicken. Sear until brown on both sides.
  4. Add tomatoes and onion and stir to coat in spices.
  5. Add additional 2 Tbsp. garam masala and the curry powder. Stir and let the spices toast in the oil.
  6. Add the can of coconut milk and stir until spices are incorporated into the liquid.
  7. Bring the mixture to a boil and let cook for about a minute.
  8. Using the back of a wooden spoon, smash the cooked tomatoes to release their juices into the coconut milk.
  9. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook for fifteen-twenty minutes or until thickened.
  10. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
  11. Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice.

Nutrition (per 1 cup serving):

194 calories, 15 g. fat, 10 g. protein, 5 g. carbs, 2 g. fiber. WW PointsPlus: 5

What’s your go-to weeknight dish? What do you always have in your pantry for “dinner emergencies”?

Curried Carrot Soup

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Curry carrot soup with fresh sage, thyme, and tarragon. Simple, easy, and healthy!

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For Mother’s Day this past year I made a pot of this soup along with some “fancy” grilled cheese sandwiches (Havarti with pear and provolone with bacon, both on fresh focaccia) and panna cotta. Nothing brings a family together like food, and this soup is packed with flavor and warm fuzzy feelings.

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. baby carrots, peeled and washed
  • 5 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. butter (or lard for paleo)
  • 1 Tbsp. mild curry paste (or 1 1/2 tbsp. curry powder)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half (substitute coconut milk for paleo)
  • Fresh herbs (I used sage, thyme, and tarragon)

Directions:

  1. Heat a medium heavy pot with a lid over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the olive oil, butter, onions, and carrots and sauté for five minutes.
  3. Add 4 cups of the chicken stock, curry, and cayenne.
  4. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook until carrots are tender (about 15 minutes)
  5. Transfer one third of the contents of the pot to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Continue in batches with the remaining two thirds. Alternatively you can process this soup in the pot with an immersion blender.
  6. Return pureed soup to the pot and place over low heat.
  7. Stir in the heavy cream. If the soup is too thick, add remaining stock to achieve desired consistency.
  8. Adjust seasonings, adding salt if needed. Serve with crusty bread or grilled cheese.

Nutrition (1/8th of recipe):

160 calories, 9 g. fat, 5 g. protein, 15 g. carbs, 3 g. fiber. WW PointsPlus: 4