Thanks to the miracle that is the world wide web, our blogs reach people in all parts of the globe. Just the other day, for example, a reader from India wrote telling us that she had purchased our book Protein Power and was persuaded by it to commit to the diet to lose weight and improve her health. She loved the book, but wrote to point up what she felt was a glaring omission: no recipes in sync with her native Indian cuisine, particularly traditional Indian breakfast and lunch fare.
I had to admit that she had us there. While the book contains at least an entree recipe or two for dishes that derive from a wide array of ethnic cuisines (Tex-Mex, Korean, Finnish, Italian, Greek, and French) there aren’t any recipes specifically derivative of Indian cuisine.
I responded to her that there were a number of traditional Indian dishes that would work well, sans rice, for a low-carb lunch or dinner that are listed in the dining out section in Protein Power: tandoori chicken or lamb, chicken beef or lamb curry, chicken tikka or chicken masala, zukeni bhaghi (stewed zucchini and yellow squash) and saag paneer (creamy spinach) but that I had to admit that we were unfamiliar with traditional Indian breakfasts or other types of lunch fare. I offered that if she would send me a few recipes of her favorite traditional breakfast or lunch dishes, I would endeavor to adapt them for her. If and when she does, I will post them on the blog for all.
In the meantime, I decided to get started with what I currently could do and adapt a recipe for curry that caught my eye in a Healthy Plate column by Jim Romanoff that appeared recently in our local paper. While mine uses chicken, his used shrimp, which would work just fine, though you’d want to cut the cooking time down to a couple of minutes, cooking just until the shrimp were opaque and tender. Where his used cous cous, I built mine around our old low-carb friend, cauliflower.
Here it is, for all readers wanting/needing a little curry fix.
Curried Chicken and Veggie Cauli-Cauli
Makes 4 servings
1 large head cauliflower, washed and trimmed
2 tablespoon olive oil (divided use)
2 tablespoons butter (divided use)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped finely (divided use)
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound), diced to 1/2″ to 3/4″ cubes
1 cup chicken broth (divided use)
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 cup broccoli, broken into small florets
1 small zucchini, diced
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (divided use)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (divided use)
1. Cut the raw cauliflower head in half and then each half into 1/2″ slices.
2. Place cauliflower slices into the food processor and pulse to chop evenly into small cous-cous sized bits. Set aside.
3. Put chicken pieces in a bowl and season with a little salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon of the curry powder. Toss to coat.
4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet large enough to hold the chicken. Add the garlic and saute until slightly limp. Add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides.
5. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, stir to pick up the brown bits on the pan. Add the broccoli, zucchini and red bell pepper (not the scallions); cover and cook over medium low heat for another 5 or 6 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Turn heat off and hold, covered.
6. In another large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the remaining garlic and the scallions and saute for a few minutes until tender. Add the cauliflower, remaining salt, and pepper, stir to coat in the flavorful oil, then cook for another 3 or 4 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, return the chicken skillet to a low flame to heat the chicken through.
8. Add the remaining chicken broth to the cauliflower and continue to cook, uncovered, until cauliflower is tender and moisture is mostly gone.
9. When the cauliflower is ready, add the chicken and veggies and toss.
10. Serve with a glass of sugar free hot or iced chai.