First off, I apologize for this picture. It's just a tricky dish to photograph in a bowl. A deliciously tricky one, I might add.
I really try to be adventurous (within the limits of my diet, of course) but there are some dishes that make me nervous. Curry was one of those dishes. I've never found my palate for Indian food, but I figured I should give it another go, as my experience was still limited. Turns out that not all curries are created equal and that some are actually quite tasty.
This experiment also gave me a chance to try out more cooking with coconut oil, which I'm really enjoying. Even the nice virgin variety has a higher smoke point than olive oil, which is most helpful. Plus it's a quite unique saturated fat, one that's benefits seem to be numerous. And I can use it on my skin to boot! Awesome stuff and something that I'll write more about at length some other time. Now it's curry time!
I based my first curry off this recipe over at Allrecips.com. It was simple enough to translate into something diet- and pantry-friendly. I substituted coconut for vegetable oil and tomato paste and fresh Romas for diced tomatoes and sauce. My reasoning on this is attempting to avoid the citric acid that seems to be required for canned tomato products (even organic ones) other than tomato paste. I've heard conflicting reports on its risks (especially to those trying to fight Candida), so I just want to err on the side of caution. Otherwise, use what you have/like. :)
Coconut Curry Chicken
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut bite-sized (you can use 2 lb if you want it heartier)
1 teaspoon salt and pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced (or several handfuls of halved grape tomatoes works well too)
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
8-10 drops liquid Stevia
Chop chicken into pieces and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil and curry powder in a large pan over medium-high heat for about two minutes. Stir in onions and cook until translucent (3-5 minutes) and add garlic, cooking 1 minute more. Add chicken, tossing lightly to coat with curry oil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Pour in coconut milk, tomatoes, tomato paste, and Stevia into the pan, stirring to combine. Cover and simmer on low, stirring occasionally, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
I severed this dish over brown rice. For those looking for more whole grains in your diet, brown rice is a cheap and easy one. I used this tutorial to cook it and I was very happy with the result. It's much more moist than the completely covered method I had previously used. It does take about 40 minutes to cook, so don't wait to the end to start it. ;)