Easy (& Healthy) Chicken Tikka Masala with Cauliflower "Rice"
Alright, I fully expect you to see take your laptop, iPad, phone or whatever you’re reading HelloGiggles on to the kitchen right this second so you can start making this. It’s that good, I promise. And, unlike store bought sauces in jars, this recipe is made fresh ingredients and contains no sugar, very minimal sodium and LOTS of flavour. Oh, and did I mention this is also paleo friendly and has no grains/is super low carb? BECAUSE IT IS.
Here’s the scoop: I’m obsessed with curry. When I lived in England, we’d eat it sometimes three times a week and I never got tired of it. That was back in my days of living it up with heavy cream and rice. Now that I’m on a bit of a healthier path, I didn’t want to go without – and guess what: I don’t have to! This curry is going to be one I make time and time again. Here’s how to make it.
For the chicken…
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tbsp non-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- salt & black pepper
1. Chop chicken breasts into small chunks and place into airtight bowl, mixing with Greek yogurt, curry powder, salt and pepper. Note: I like to use salt replacements, and several brands offer these – they offer the same flavour as regular salt but are made with potassium instead of sodium. If you’ve only got the real stuff on hand, a little bit won’t hurt you and you certainly don’t need loads.
2. Cover chicken in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes but for as long as overnight. Trust me, this is a crucial step!
3. When you’re starting your actual curry, it’s time to put the chicken in to cook. I put the broiler on medium and the chicken into a roasting pan (with a tiny bit of olive oil non-stick spray on the bottom) and stuck it in for about 10 minutes. Don’t worry that the chicken won’t be completely cooked – it’ll finish in the curry sauce later, if anything. Here’s how it’ll look on its way out:
For the curry…
- 5 tbsp tomato paste
- 5 tbsp non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp each of ground cinnamon and ground cumin
- 5 tbsp curry powder
- 1 yellow onion, minced
- 1-2 tbsp minced fresh garlic
- thumb of fresh ginger, grated
- handful of fresh coriander leaves (cilantro in the US)
- dried or fresh red chili, diced with seeds
- salt & black pepper
- 250ml of water
1. Throw your onion in the food processor to mince – if you’re a fancy chef-type, you can do this by hand – and throw it in a pan with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, the garlic, salt and black pepper and the tsp of cumin. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until onion is nearly translucent.
2. Add your 250ml of water, the tomato paste, ginger, chili, curry powder and cinnamon and allow to simmer until sauce thickens just slightly. Note: If you don’t like things super spicy, you can use half a chili. If you want to burn your mouth off, use two. Sometimes I like to live on the edge and set my throat on fire, but follow your own bliss.
3. When sauce thickens, remove from heat and add in yogurt, stirring to combine. You can also add the chicken in at this point and return to heat. Throw in your fresh cilantro/coriander leaves now, as well – you can mince them tiny if you like, throw them in whole, tear them with your hands – whatever floats your boat. Give the sauce a taste to see if it needs a little more salt – this is so flavourful on its own that you won’t really need it, but only you know your own tastes.
4. Allow to simmer for 4-5 more minutes and voila, you’re done!
But wait – let’s say you want to do this the healthy way and without the carbs. I’ve got news for you – you can! Make up some cauliflower rice! It’s simple and cauli rice is SO versatile that I’ve literally made it three times in the past three days.
For the cauliflower rice…
- 1 head of cauliflower
Damn, simple, right? You’ll also need a food processor or a box grater, but I’ve never done it with the latter and that probably takes ages. Here’s how to do it:
1. Chop cauliflower head, removing stems and leaving only florets.
2. Throw florets into food processor and pulse it for 10 – 15 seconds (literally, it doesn’t take any longer than that) until it reaches a “rice” consistency.
3. Put cauliflower rice in an airtight container, sealed tightly, and place in microwave for 4 minutes. Be careful when removing – it’s hot!
That’s literally all you need to do! (For the record, if you ever want “rice” with another meal, you can follow this recipe and cook it in a skillet with olive oil and whatever else you’d like to combine it with.)
Put some cauli rice in your dish of choice, spoon on your tikka masala, top with fresh coriander leaves and sit down and enjoy! I promise you, you will! Leave a comment below if you end up making it – I’m dying to know what you think of it!