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Tag Archives: Coconut oil

Time for Some Curry!!

We tried to go for Indian food in Nanaimo yesterday but the restaurant we were going to (Tandoori Junction) closes between lunch and dinner and with the ferry schedule as it is these days, we just can’t get there in time or wait around for them to open for dinner. So…got to make my own. Here’s my take on Butter Chicken. I added coconut milk and spicy chillies. Butter Chicken usually isn’t too spicy but I grew some chillies this year and figured, ‘Why not?’.

So here’s my recipe.

Spicy Chicken Coconut Curry, Serves 4 Print

chicken curryThis is my take on a butter chicken that is so popular with western diners in Indian restaurants. I still remember when I discovered it for the first time. I was in heaven!

This time I decided to spice it up and add some coconut so it’s definitely not a traditional butter chicken recipe. Serve it over rice for a gluten free meal. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making ghee (butter melted down and milk solids skimmed off), you can use a combo of coconut oil and butter. This works quite well and adds another layer of coconut taste to the dish. The coconut oil has a higher smoke point than butter and helps prevent it from burning. You can marinate the chicken in yogurt or kefir for a few hours if you like. Usually butter chicken recipes require this. Throw some Garam Masala in the yogurt too. It just adds to the flavour. The yogurt adds a bit of creaminess as well.

2 tablespoons Ghee, see directions below
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 -inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 jars or cans tomato sauce, 15 oz
1 to 2 tablespoons Garam Masala , available in most super markets or make your own, see below
1 cinnamon stick
2 small hot red chilles, fresh preferably or dried (more if you really like HOT!)
Celtic or Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
1 ½ cups chicken stock (organic or home made)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 lemon, juiced

How to make Ghee:

Put the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Melt the butter slowly and make sure it does not sizzle or brown. Increase the heat and bring the butter to a boil. When the surface is covered with foam, stir gently and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Gently simmer, uncovered, and undisturbed for 45 minutes, until the milk solids in the bottom of the pan have turned golden brown and the butter on top is transparent. Strain the ghee through a sieve lined with several layers of cheesecloth. The ghee should be perfectly clear and smell nutty; pour into a glass jar and seal tightly.

Garam Masala:

2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon cardamom seeds
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
2 dried red chilles, broken in pieces, seeds discarded
2 tablespoons turmeric

Toast the coriander, cumin, cardamom, peppercorns, fennel, mustard, cloves, and the chilles in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat just until they smell fragrant, about 2 minutes. In a clean coffee grinder, spice mill or mortar and pestle, grind the toasted spices together to a fine powder. Add the turmeric and give it another quick buzz to combine. Use the curry powder immediately, or store in a sealed jar for up to 1 month.

Makes about 1/2 cup

Directions:

Heat the ghee in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, ginger, and garlic and cook slowly until the onions are very soft, about 15 minutes. Add the tomato paste, Garam Masala, cinnamon stick, and chilles and give it a good stir; season with salt and pepper. Pour in the coconut milk, tomato sauce and chicken stock and bring it back to a simmer; simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes or up to an hour. Add the chicken, cilantro, and half the lemon juice; continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Garnish with cilantro and serve over Basamati rice.
This is traditionally served with a bread as well like Garlic Naan but if you want gluten free stick with the rice.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2014 in Mains, Poultry

 

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Raw Chocolate Bark- A Real Treat!

 

DSC_0343This is a really easy and tasty treat. However, it is sweet and there is caffeine so don’t overdo it. The fat is really healthy and there are antioxidants in the cacao. It’s GMO free too. My rant is that ‘they’ are always trying new forms of population control. GMO foods are one of the latest. Apparently Obama has given Monsanto (one of the biggest GMOers) free reign to alter anything they want and puts them above the law. Who does this!!! Get after your local representatives in gov’t and tell them to get real! No one should be above the law. Is Obama nuts? I have no idea but I do know that like any top official, there is pressure from companies and lobbyists so if you want to put a stop to this, take action. See Dr. DiffRANT’s blog on GMOs.

This is a basic chocolate recipe with things added to your own taste. So the options are shredded coconut, hemp seeds, chia seeds (nice crunch), dried fruit and nuts, nut butters, goji berries (and other superfoods) and maybe try some heat with chillies. I haven’t done this yet but will let you know:) You can even add flavors like vanilla beans and essential oils like peppermint, orange, etc…So try a few different versions and see what your favourite is.

Harmonic Arts brand is one source for these products…you can also order online from Sunfoods…see our link

1 cup raw cacao (cocoa) powder

1 cup gently melted organic coconut oil

4 to 6 raw cocoa butter wafers (leave out if you can’t get it) This is about 4 TBSP if you get it in another form instead of wafers.

1 tsp fine Himalayan Salt or other good quality sea salt like Fleur de Sel or Grey salt-might be nice to sprinkle some coarser salt over at the end too.

1 tsp vanilla extract

Raw Blue Agave sweetener, raw honey or coconut syrup (not raw) to taste

This makes enough to spread on one parchment lined cookie sheet so go ahead and increase it if you like. The rest is up to you but here is an example of a recent batch I made…2 TBSP cacao nibs (Sunfoods)-these aren’t sweet so they give a bitter edge which is nice, 1/2 cup raw chopped hazelnuts and pecans, a handful of dried cranberries, 1 TBSP chia seeds.

Melt the coconut oil and cocoa butter together ever so gently. I did mine in the dehydrator so it wouldn’t heat over 113 degrees but stove top is Ok if you must. Pour into your bowl of cacao powder and mix until smooth with a whisk of hand mixer until about the consistency of thickish chocolate syrup. It needs to be runny enough to spread on a parchment lined cookie sheet but not so runny that it doesn’t hold together somewhat. Then place in the freezer for about an hour and then break into pieces and store in the freezer in a plastic container.

 

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