For me, Chicken Masala is perfect for this time of year, especially on Halloween night. I love being home then, making something so yummy with all these amazing smells wafting through the house. You can make it as spicy as you would like but it is not difficult to make and has a ton of flavor. Many recipes for Masala include heavy cream but since I don’t include much dairy in my diet, I added coconut milk and coconut cream instead. The coconut cream is absolutely divine. It still gives it that creamy texture that you would otherwise get from heavy cream but adds much more flavor.
If you are not familiar with curries than this will be a great place to start! When choosing a curry powder you may want to start with a mild one unless you love some heat! Although it is not difficult to make a curry and Garam masala spice mixture from scratch, you can find excellent blends at Penzey’s spices. Here is the recipe for Garam masala for those who prefer to make their own.
Garam Masala Ingredients:
3 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. coriander
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
There will plenty of spice mixture for this recipe and some leftover for another day. Store it in an airtight container.
Chicken Masala Ingredients:
1 1/2 Tbs. coconut oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 Tbs. finely grated ginger (you can use 1/2 tsp. ground if you don’t have fresh on hand)
2 Tbs. curry powder (I love the flavor of curry so I tend to use much more than this and a hotter version. It will all depend on your tastebuds!!)
1 T Garam masala
1 28 oz. can Roma tomatoes, diced with juice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 14 oz. can of coconut milk
1/2 14 oz. can of coconut cream
1 pound chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces (or shredded chicken if using whole, roasted chicken)
1 1/2 Tbs. coconut sugar (You can omit this if you do not prefer to have sugar in your dish but it really does elevate the flavor of the spices and balance out the heat if using hot curry)
Rice or grain of your choosing (Brown basmati, quinoa or sprouted wild rice are good options)
freshly ground pepper
toasted slivered almonds or roasted cashews
plain or Greek yogurt (recipe here)
1. Combine the Garam Masala mixture.
2. In a dutch oven or large skillet heat coconut oil over medium heat.
3. Add chicken and brown on all sides.
4. Remove chicken and add onion and cook for about 7 minutes until onions are soft and translucent.
5. Add garlic and cook for 1-minute stirring, so garlic does not burn.
6. Add canned tomatoes and cook down for a few minutes until tomatoes start to melt into the onions.
7. Add ginger, garam masala and curry powder. Cook while stirring for 30 seconds to a minute until you can start to smell the spices.
8. Add chicken broth, coconut milk and coconut cream. Incorporate into tomato mixture.
9. Season here with salt, pepper and coconut sugar.
10. Add chicken and juices and let simmer for about 20 minutes to incorporate all the flavors into the meat.
11. Serve over brown basmati rice, quinoa or with a good Naan or flatbread. I used sprouted grain wild rice from Trader Joes and prepared it according to the directions on the package.
12. Dish up the rice and cover with chicken masala.
13. Add your toppings. My favorites are toasted almonds, cilantro, and plain yogurt. Sometimes if I am in the mood I will add raisins.
Enjoy this amazing, flavorful dish!!!