Posted on | January 14, 2009 | 36 Comments |
When I started the South Beach Diet, I naturally assumed that coconut is a big no-no. Since coconut is very high in saturated fat content, nobody would consider it a diet food. As a typical true-blooded mallu, I use a lot of coconut in my cooking, especially coconut milk, so I was sad to lose one of the major ingredients from my pantry. Then a few days ago, I was browsing my South Beach Diet Quick and Easy recipe book and saw a couple of recipes using Coconut milk, that too in Phase 1, which got me all excited and curious.
The book says that unsweetened, light coconut milk is allowed in South Beach Diet. I did some research online and it looks like the jury is still out on whether coconut milk is actually good or bad, kind of like the eggs per week discussion we had last week. How bad can it be though, after all it is a natural plant product and it is used in abundance in many parts of Asia, including my home state, where coconut is the base for a majority of dishes. Anyway, since I am not really sure about how helpful or harmful it is as far as weight-loss is concerned, I am trying to just incorporate moderate amount of light coconut milk in my meal plan, one dish a week. I can’t live on bland food, diet or no diet, I have to have my food with flavor, no sacrifices there. Coconut milk sure adds a lot of flavor to the dishes, and makes a great base for curries.If there are any nutrition experts out there, I’d love to hear your opinion about coconut milk.
This curry was put together as a clean the fridge out project last weekend. There were odds and ends like a red bell pepper, a couple of tomatoes and half a box of mixed greens which were not crisp enough for salad. I decided to just throw everything in together, and the end result turned out to be a delicious curry. I also had some okra in the fridge, but I decided against adding it to the chicken curry lest it turns all slimy, instead I stir fried the okra with some spices. So along with some brown rice and sauteed okra, this chicken curry made a wonderful meal.
- 1 lb chicken breast, skinless, bone-in, cut into small pieces
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup diced onions
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 can (13.5oz) light, unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tbsp thinly sliced ginger pieces
- 2 green chillies, split
- 1 whole red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 small tomatoes, quartered
- 4 cups mixed greens or spinach
- salt to taste
In a large pan, heat the oil and add the diced onions. Saute till the onions are soft. Mix the red chili, coriander and turmeric powder with a little bit of water to make a paste. Add this spice paste to the sauteed onions and stir fry on medium heat till fragrant.
Add the chicken pieces and mix well so that the chicken pieces are well coated with the onions and spices. Saute till all the water from the chicken pieces are evaporated. Add 3/4 cup of hot water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, ginger and green chilies and mix well. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Add the pepper, tomatoes, greens and salt and bring to a boil again. Cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes till the chicken pieces are cooked through. If there is too much liquid, remove the lid and boil on high heat to reduce the gravy.
Serve warm with rice, this curry goes very well with brown rice.