Simple Yummy Chicken Curry

What I love about Ayurveda is that there is a place for all food groups as long as that particular food is suitable for your dosha. The fact that meat has a place within the Ayurvedic diet made Ayurveda more accessible for me, as I find myself craving meats quite frequently and cannot fathom giving it up at this point in my life. During my studies I learned that meat is heavy and grounding and is ideal for Vata dosha. Some meats, like dark meat chicken,  actually balance the light, mobile quality of Vata dosha. Meats are also great for children as it supplies important vitamins and minerals required for their healthy physical and mental growth.

One of my reasons for starting my own Ayurvedic recipe blog was to explore non-vegetarian recipes and apply ayurvedic principles to them so that those of us who choose to eat meat can enjoy it in a healthful way. Yeay!

Chicken curry is very popular in my home and this super simple version is never turned down by my kids. In this recipe, I only use a few of the basic Indian spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander, red chilli powder, and garam masala to accentuate the natural flavors of the meat itself. Since I’m vata dominant, I prefer using bone-in, dark meat chicken. The juices from the bones, along with adding an immense amount of flavor, contain important minerals that maintain immunity and bone density. 

 

Simple Yummy Chicken Curry

Ingredients

  • 5 whole chicken legs (bone-in, skin removed and the leg separated from the thigh)
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil 
  • 1 large onion (chopped fine)
  • 2” piece of ginger (grated)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (grated)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder 
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 ½ cups fresh coriander (chopped roughly)
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ lime (juiced)

 

Method

  1. Wash the chicken with water and pat dry. Clean the excess fat off the chicken and with a sharp knife make slits in the thickest parts of the meat. Add ¼ tsp turmeric, 1 tsp salt and massage well into the chicken. Let it marinate in the fridge for 2 hrs - overnight. 
  2.  Take a large pot (at least 5qt) and heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions with a little salt and sauté until the onions are transparent. Add the ginger and garlic and continue to sauté until the onions have browned a little and the ginger and garlic release all their flavors. Keep stirring so that they don’t stick to the pot and burn. 
  3. Add the remaining ¼ tsp turmeric, cumin, coriander and red chilli powders. Roast for 1 minute. Add the garam masala and roast for another minute.
  4. Add the chicken and toss well to coat with the spices. If the masala is too dry, add a little water, scrape all the spices off the bottom of the pot and mix well. Cook the chicken until half way done and then add the fresh coriander. Cover, turn down the heat to medium-low and continue to cook stirring occasionally. If the chicken only releases a little liquid while cooking, add about a cup of water as it cooks. 
  5. The chicken is done once it releases all it’s juices (about 35 min). At this point add the lime juice and salt as needed. Cook for a few more minutes and turn off the heat. 
  6. Allow the chicken to sit for a couple of hours before serving. As the chicken sits, it will continue to absorb all the flavors and it will taste even better the next day! Enjoy hot and serve with white basmati rice or chapatis. 
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AYURVEDIC LESSON

Dark meat chicken is grounding for Vata and white meat chicken is cooling for Pitta. The meat has a natural sweetness which ideal for these doshas, but if you are Kapha dominant you will want to eat chicken sparingly as the sweet taste can aggravate your system. 

Kapha

Add green chillies (with the onions) or increase the amount of red chili powder. 

Pitta

Skip the red chili powder. Use white meat chicken.