It has been a while since I cooked a chicken curry Paleo style for myself. Unfortunately the household is still not sold on at least attempting one meal that is free of gluten, dairy, unprocessed ingredients YET ! I live in hope that they will soon though. Head Chef in our home cooks a pretty similar curry, except he’s just not fussy about whether the products used are processed and generally will use Canola oil to cook. Todays dinner meal was inspired by my love for all things food and for looking for creative ways to enhance my meals so that my lifestyle change becomes sustainable.
For this curry I used 4 deboned and de-skinned chicken thighs and half a chicken breast, bone on. It is advisable to eat the skin if you are following a Paleo eating plan. My reasons for not eating chicken skin stem from my upbringing, deeply rooted in Islam, where the skin of the chicken is seen as unhygienic.
I always tend to cook my meals with ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil. This curry I cooked with olive oil, purely to gauge the difference in taste and to see if there is much of a difference. Coconut oil gives the curry a nutty taste, while ghee gives it a rich almost butter –like taste. Olive oil is pretty much neutral in taste. I wanted a spicy hot Durban curry so I didn’t skimp on the green chilli or the chilli powder. However, if this is your first attempt at cooking a curry, then I suggest you stick to the “safe” flavouring with the spices. Should you wish to increase the amount of chicken, then adust the spices per your taste, noting that chilli powder reigns supreme in quantity as compared to the other powdered spices. Tumeric powder should be your smallest quantity to avoid a bitter curry! You may add sweet potato or baby marrow chunks or cut up peppers or broccoli / cauliflower to bulk up your meal or to ensure a healthy mix of protein and vegetable.Note that a lamb or beef curry may be cooked using the same ingredients.
4 chicken thighs cut in half
1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil (you may use coconut oil or ghee)
1 small onion, grated
1 tomato grated
1 heaped tsp freshly ground ginger and garlic
2-3 green chili’s slivered
½ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp fennel seeds
½ cinnamon stick
1-2 cardamom pods
1 tsp chilli powder
A pinch of turmeric powder
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp garam masala
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander to garnish
· Add oil to a pot on medium heat on your stove top
· Once the oil is hot, add the cumin and fennel seeds, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and cloves and allow to sizzle for 1-2 minutes, once fragrant, add the onions, green chilli, garlic and ginger and curry leaves and allow to cook until the onions are translucent
· Thereafter add the powdered spices and mix well, at this stage you may need to add about ¼ cup water if they onions and masala is too try. Allow this to infuse while cooking for about 2-3 minutes
· Add the chicken to the mixture and cover the pot.
· After 10 minutes add the grated tomato and salt to taste and cook for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked and a thick gravy has formed.
· Garnish with fresh coriander once cooked.
Lemon and Garlic Noodles
4 baby marrows /courgettes
Juice of about a quarter lemon
½ – 1 garlic minced or grated
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Optional: 3-6 pitted olives, halved
· Using a julienne peeler or spiral kitchen slicer, cut the baby marrow into noodles, peel on
· Steam in a steamer or on the stove top for about 8 minutes, until the noodles are slightly soft
· Place the noodles in a colander and allow them to sit for five minutes to drain off any excess water
· Add the lemon zest and juice in a mixing bowl
· Whisk the olive oil and garlic and add salt and pepper to taste
· Toss the strained noodles with the lemon dressing
· At this point you may add the olives if you prefer, toss well.
· Serve warm or cold