Thursday, April 5, 2012

Coconut Chicken Curry with Invisible Vegetables

I had never had curry until I spent some time on the island of Okinawa.  Both my husband and I loved it!  After leaving Okinawa, we wanted to keep eating curry on a regular basis, so I began using a Japanese packaged curry mix from the grocery store.  Now that I'm actually paying attention to what we eat, I've noticed that that curry mix has MSG in it (not surprising).  It also contains canola oil, and artificial colors.  Canola oil, MSG, and artificial coloring are three things I try to completely avoid in our diet, so this curry mix was basically the devil.  Not to mention the fact that it is conventional canola oil, which brings with it the high possibility of being a genetically modified food.  In case you didn't know, canola is one of the four major GM crops.  Looks like it was about time to find a new curry recipe!

I used this recipe from All Recipes, but adapted it slightly.  First of all, I try to avoid buying canned tomato products and use fresh tomatoes instead -- tomatoes are acidic and can exacerbate the leaching of BPA in the cans.  Secondly, my family wasn't going to tolerate onion or tomatoes, so that issue had to be dealt with.  Third, I never cook with vegetable oil, so coconut oil is the obvious substitution.  Fourth, if there is a packaged ingredient that I can make at home, I try to opt to do that.  In this case, the coconut milk.

I began by heating the oil & curry seasoning in a cast iron skillet.  After two minutes, I added garlic.
[Note: I thought about making my own blend of spices for the curry seasoning, however it would have been more expensive to buy all the spices separately than it was to buy this $4 bottle.  So, maybe next time.  In case you're wondering, the ingredients are: Turmeric, coriander, cumin, lemon peel, black pepper, freeze-dried whole lemon powder, cardamom, cinnamon, and garlic, cayenne.]

I added the chicken (two organic free-range chicken breasts, chopped) and tossed it to coat it in the curry oil.

Next, I chopped two tomatoes and half an onion.  I placed them in a casserole dish and baked them at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

The veggies went straight from the oven into the blender to be pulverized.

Ta-da!  Invisible veggies.

Next, I made the coconut milk.

I dumped the chicken, liquid veggies and coconut milk into the crock pot and let it simmer for a couple hours.

I found that the sauce was too thin for my liking, so I decided to thicken it with flour.  I melted 4 tablespoons of butter over the stove and slowly whisked in 4 tablespoons of flour, then whisked that mixture into the curry.  

I would say this was a very mild curry.  I would have enjoyed it more if it had a richer flavor... perhaps more curry seasoning next time? At any rate, my son and daughter both ate it, so it was a success in that aspect!  My husband's first words after his first bite: "I taste onion." - I just can't win with him! :)

1 comment:

  1. "I taste onion." BAHAHA! This really made me laugh. I can't win with my husband either. He always has something to say. "It's great... the only thing is..." Haha. It's whatever. :)