Coconut Rasam Curry Chicken — An Introduction to Indian Cooking

Recipes

Nov 20
Chicken Curry

You and I probably both hate the recipe sites we find today filled with popups and stories about how the recipe came about, how the family loved it, and photographs of ever step in some crazy procedure (I’ve even found one showing the gal washing her hands) and then, to top it off, there’s clickbait all over the place.

We don’t do any of that crap here. We don’t have popups, we don’t have clickbait, we give you the recipe. We don’t list the preparation times and the nutrition, because our readers know we are an educational charity focused on health and wellness, and they know our recipes are healthy. That’s what it’s all about here. (We apologize for not having a “print recipe” feature; this just isn’t a recipe site. When I’m cooking (and I use my recipes) I use my phone open to the page. Sometimes, I will copy the text of the recipe into a file and then print it.)

However

I am going to tell you a little bit about curry before we start. If you want to jump directly to the recipe, click here: Recipe.

Traditional Curry

All curry powders are different, and are made depending on tastes. Some like them spicier (hotter) and some like them sweet (yes, there are sweet curries) and some like them slightly bitter.

So here are the main spices of traditional curry powders:

  • coriander
  • cumin
  • turmeric
  • chili peppers (we use cayenne)

The order they are listed in is their “amount order” also, in that there is more coriander than the rest and the chili peppers are in the smallest amount.

Because our recipes are health oriented, and because turmeric is the blandest of those spices, we always use a lot of it in our curries (as you’ll see if you start reading our recipes).

Also, I personally like the fragrance of the cumin over the coriander (which is the seed form of cilantro, by the way). So we use a lot of cumin.

Other ingredients often found in curry are:

  • fenugreek
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • fennel
  • cinnamon
  • clove
  • mustard
  • cardamom
  • caraway
  • black pepper
  • nutmeg

Fenugreek is quite bitter, but can add a nice kick to your recipes. Since we always use ginger and garlic in our recipes, we never even think of it as being a part of the curry powder.

Those of you who’ve played around with Indian recipes will notice that these additional spices nearly make up what is known as Garam Masala, which is, basically, cumin, coriander, green and black cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns, fennel, mace, not to forget those dried chilies. The quantities and combinations create endless varieties, so be aware of that if you are ordering them online.

However, because of some of the bitter properties of these spices, I like to leave the recipe in the fridge over night allowing them to get to know each other and blend in with each other, or as my Sicilian grandmother used to day, the spices need to “make a little love.”

Now here comes the little monkey wrench I tossed into this recipe:

Rasam Powder

This has many variations. I originally ordered it because we had Rasam Soup at an Indian restaurant. I came home and learned that there were about three thousand ways to make that soup. So, I first went online and ordered some organic Rasam Powder. Then I just made my regular tomato soup (no bisque) in my Nutribullet, added a small can of tomato diced tomatoes (because I remember the soup being chunky), and added about four tablespoons of this powder to it. I tasted it and it needed a bit of salt, and a good shake of cayenne pepper and boy if it wasn’t darn close to the recipe we had at that restaurant.

Here are the “standard ingredients” to Rasam Powder

  • coriander (seeds)
  • red (hot) chili
  • fenugreek
  • cumin
  • too dal (split pigeon pea)
  • chana dal (split chick pea)
  • black pepper
  • hing

Now it’s the hing that is the most interesting spice (with an interesting name: devil’s dung) in this recipe, and sadly my rasam powder did not contain it. So, the next time I made the soup, I ordered hing separately. It’s holy Moses bitter if you try it raw. But it is very fragrant and is an Ayurvedic remedy for digestive disorders (gas, bloating, intestinal worms) and is anti-inflammatory. It does mellow out in recipes.

My Curry Powder Recipe

The main ingredient is turmeric, and I use at least as much turmeric as cumin, sometimes more. I use a little less coriander, but we sometimes sprinkle the final results with cilantro, and that lends a great fragrance to the recipe. Sure my curry would contain garlic and crushed ginger, but, like I said, they are going in there no matter what. And we crush our garlic and let it sit for ten minutes always (so that the fine, healing phytochemicals are made by the enzymes in the crushed garlic).

To increase the bioavailability of the curcumin in the turmeric, we always cook with coconut oil, and we always add black pepper. And we like it spicy, so there’s always cayenne pepper in it.

That is the basic recipe, though sometimes a bit fenugreek is added and sometimes garam masala, but again, those recipes have to rest over night.

The curry in this recipe isn’t really curry. I found so many recipes using only turmeric and calling themselves curry, I decided to try something different. Just turmeric and that organic rasam powder above (and of course the garlic, ginger, and black pepper).

The Recipe

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1 Tablespoon butter

1 medium red onion, chopped

shallots (the same amount as the red onion) chopped (white onion if you can’t get shallots)

1 Tablespoon Celtic Sea salt

3 – 5 cloves garlic, crushed (depending on taste)

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 ½ Tablespoon curry powder

3 Tablespoons Rasam powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 Tablespoon tomato paste

13 oz coconut milk powder

17 oz chicken broth (low sodium)

1 ½ pounds of chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces

Juice from half a lime and cilantro leaves chopped up

Black Pearl Rice or Miracle Noodles

Optional: mushrooms

Directions

Start your rice. We never use white rice except for sushi. Black Pearl Rice has the antioxidants of blueberries and fiber to slow digestion and keep your blood sugar from spiking. (Simply the Best used to sell it, but in 10 years, they sold two packs. That link is to our affiliate program with Amazon.) And miracle noodles can be used if you want to drop the calorie count in this recipe.

Next, using a submersion blender, blend your Coconut Milk Powder with the chicken broth, the Celtic Sea Salt, and black pepper.

Note: if you have chosen to add mushrooms, and they are dehydrated, a cup or half a cup of chicken broth for the mushrooms to absorb.

Grease up your skillet with the coconut oil and butter, add the onions and shallots and fry up on medium heat till they’re translucent.

Add the tomato paste, the spices (turmeric and rasam powder), garlic and ginger. Mix in thoroughly, and when satisfied, add your coconut milk concoction, stir well and cover.

Cut up your chicken and add that.

Cook until the chicken is done, stirring occasionally. I like to let it cook at least 15 minutes which allows the sauce to thicken.

When serving, we put the chicken and sauce over the black pearl rice, squeeze the lime over it and sprinkle with chopped cilantro leaves.

You’ll love it.

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