Friday, March 30, 2012

Food Friday: Low-Carb Chicken Masala over faux rice

I recently found a website with some Slow-Carb (and Paleo) recipes that looked good, starting with "Thai Chicken and Slow-Carb 'Rice.'" I'm excited to try a number of Jason's recipes at Finding My Fitness, I found another I wanted to try: "Indian Butter Chicken (Minus the Butter)." The only thing I wasn't wild about was the use of a pre-made spice pack (which according to its ingredients list includes sugar), but I've made some other modifications as well, drawing from some of Jason's other ideas elsewhere on the site, as well as a Chicken Tikka Masala recipe that I really liked. A couple differences are notable: while Jason uses raw chicken, I use pre-cooked chicken, because I tend to cook up a whole chicken all at once; also, Jason's recipe appears to be targeted toward one serving, while I needed to serve two (it ended up being somewhat closer to three servings).

This was rather spicy--not over-powering, but it had some heat. I liked it very much, but my wife found it perhaps a bit too spicy and felt that it "tasted like potpourri." I think that's because of the cloves, which I will leave out next time we try it. I had wanted to include it because it was in the packaged mix Jason used and also because it was one of the spices that Penn State researchers found lower triglycerides and insulin levels (they included turmeric, cinnamon, garlic, cloves, rosemary, black pepper, oregano, and paprika). Looking back on the list, I easily could have slipped more into this dish, but maybe we'll try that next time--and really make it a potpourri! One of the other versions of this story that I read included coriander (in the Garam Masala) and ginger (also in the recipe). In the end, I don't know about piling on the spices just for possible health benefits, but if doing so can also lead to a tasty dish? Count me in!

Chicken Masala:
2/3 c. unsweetened coconut milk
squirt of lemon juice
1 T. Garam Masala spice mixture

1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Cayenne chili powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves (optional)
2-3 servings-worth of cooked chicken, cut into pieces

2 T. butter
1 onion, chopped
two cloves garlic
1 T. minced or crushed ginger 
3 oz (half can) tomato paste

Combine the liquid ingredients and the spices, mixing well. Add the chicken, stir to mix, and set aside.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion until translucent, then add garlic and ginger and cook a little longer. Add tomato paste and chicken and cook until heated through.

Faux Rice
Take 1/2 head of cauliflower and chop in a food processor to very small pieces (think grains of rice or smaller). Cook with some water in a covered pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until it reaches the desired level of being cooked.


  1. Been meaning to obtain a good chicken masala recipe. Am starting to dip into cooking Indian food myself but also don't like the extreme heat of a lot of the spices. I've learned to decrease the chilis, garlics, and some others to decrease the heat. Been watching video at Manjala's Kitchen and have learned a lot watching her cook (she is vegetarian). On her site is a lot of info on all aspects including the spices.

    Thanks for the recipe!