Every good cook knows that the secret to cooking (and life) is spice! The right mix can vault a bland, tasteless dish into the spectacular. Not to mention they’re incredibly good for your health! Salt, the overused villain of the spice world, can reveal hidden flavours with just a dash, nutmeg can transform an Alfredo sauce, and garlic? Well, you know how I feel about garlic. I wish they made keychain garlic shakers for, you know, emergencies.
The right blend of spices can be life-changing.
The right blend of curry has changed my life exactly three times.
The first time was when I met Mr. Nomato. Of the two of us, he was the curry fanatic. Originally diagnosed with celiac disease (oh how wrong that was), he ate a lot of rice. And I mean A LOT. Usually covered in salsa/hummus/cheese/whatever he could find. His curry recipe was amazing. Of course, back then he also used the curry powder from the jar, but I’ve been able to incorporate my new recipe into this one. Was his curry a contributing factor in our budding relationship? Mayyyyybeeee….
The second time was when my mother learned how to make Trinidadian curry a couple years ago. It’s one of the most requested recipes when my siblings are all home. Usually accompanied by dal and naan heated over the woodstove, it’s enough to make you drool! But sadly, like the other, FULL of nightshades.
The third time was when I found this recipe for nightshade free curry at Jane’s Healthy Kitchen. For a person desperate to find ANY nightshade free resources and recipes, Jane has been a godsend! I’ve modified the recipe slightly since then, because I can never just leave well enough alone.
This is going to be so delicious. I’m going to warn you now that of course this is a nightshade free recipe, so no ‘so hot your tongue is trying to escape your mouth’ recipes here. This an incredibly flavourful, savoury curry.
First thing we need to do is make our curry powder! I’m going to warn you right now, there are a lot of spices in this, as you can see.
A lot of these you may already have in your kitchen. Miraculously I only had to go to the store and get cardamom. This can be pricey, but you only use a small amount of the more expensive ones.
Mix them all together (in a bowl like a normal human. Don’t be like me. This was a disaster. Lesson learned.)
Smells heavenlyyyyy! Just don’t inhale it.
Stores wonderfully in an airtight container!
Time to make the actual curry. I wanted a lot of leftovers for Mr. Nomato’s lunches, so I went a bit overboard!
Start your rice to cook, and brown the chicken breasts in coconut oil.
In a large pot, cook your vegetables. ‘Curry’ usually refers to the spice and sauce mixture, and not the vegetables, which vary depending where you’re from. I’m using my Asian stir fry veggies since that’s what I had on hand. I’m sure I just broke some sort of international food cooking rule by using sweet peas, red cabbage, water chestnuts, onion, and mushrooms.
If you want to go the more traditional route, curry is usually served with root vegetables, like sweet potatoes, turnips, and carrots. Squash, okra and peas are also a good addition, and chickpeas are amazing in a curry! The thing about curry is that it is different everywhere you go, even in neighbouring villages. The sauce, how it’s served, everything. There is no ‘standard’ curry recipe, just spices that are ‘usually’ used, so feel free to experiment!
Now in said giant pot, add your chicken…
…coconut milk and curry powder!
Stir them all together.
Now bring that whole pot to a boil and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Take a deep breath. Your house is going to smell like this for a solid two days.
Serve that baby over rice, or just in a bowl, you know, with naan as a spoon. No judgement.
Warning: it will turn everything you love and hold dear yellow.
- 3 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp each coriander , cilantro and ginger
- 1/2 tsp each mustard , cardamom, and garlic
- 1/4 tsp each black pepper , cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
- 2 tbsp coconut oil OR canola oil
- 3 medium chicken breasts , cubed (leave out for vegetarian option)
- 2 cans (~14 fl oz. or 400 mL) coconut milk (for a thicker curry, just 1 can)
- 2 tbsp Nightshade Free curry powder
- 2 cups vegetables of your choice. (I used an Asian stir-fry mix because that's what I had, but use what you’re comfortable with!)
- Recommended: sweet potatoes , turnips, squash, carrots, okra, peas, chickpeas
Mix curry powder ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
Add 1 tbsp coconut oil to a frying pan and brown the chicken.
In a large, lidded pot, add the other tbsp of coconut oil. Add the vegetables, cover, and cook until they are soft, stirring occasionally.
Add meat, coconut milk and curry powder to the vegetable pot and stir until everything is completely mixed in.
Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The coconut milk should thicken slightly, and the colour should become very yellow!
Serve hot over rice, with naan, however you like your curry!