Whole 30 Savory Curry
First and foremost, thank you for checking out Meg's Paleo Living! One of my favorite easy things to make is curry; you can really add what ever vegetables or meat you want, and you get to control your seasoning 100%. Using a slow cooker has made healthy cooking easier for me because I throw it all in, walk away for a few hours and voila! Tasty and incredibly healthy for you. Here is a South Indian-inspired curry that is not spicy but rather savory, and goes perfectly over a butternut squash puree. My aunt (you'll hear a lot about her, she is a huge inspiration for my clean eating) made this recipe originally with lamb after visiting Thailand a few years ago, but I use chicken or sometimes go meatless if I just want a vegetable curry. You can eat it over rice (not paleo), cauliflower, butternut squash puree, it’s totally up to you.
2 pounds of chicken thighs
2 medium onions (yellow or white)
2 tablespoons of ginger
1 teaspon garlic
2 tablespoons of coriander
1/2 tablespoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (you can use any red chili powder, or cayenne if you want is spicy)
1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
salt (to taste)
1 can of chopped tomatoes (I use petite diced, a lot less you have to chop, are already pretty tender)
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 14 oz can of coconut milk
Brown the meat over medium heat, about 5-10 minutes. The goal is just to get color/flavor on the surface, you will be putting it into the slow cooker. Set aside.
Thinly slice your onions (I used yellow - white are ok too. I prefer the flavor of white, you could use purple if you prefer a sweeter onion). Fry in 2-3 Tbsp coconut oil until medium brown, and then turn heat to low. Add the garlic and ginger to the onions and continue to fry over low heat for a few minutes, then add in all of the spices. The goal of frying at this point is to get the "rawness" from the spices - be careful not to burn them, 3-4 minutes of cooking stirring constantly over medium heat.
De-glaze the pan with a little water if needed to prevent excessive sticking or burning.
Drain and keep juice from 1 can of chopped tomatoes. Add the tomatoes to the pan with the onions and spices. Stir to deglaze the pan. Add the meat. Season with salt. I suggest you start with 1 level teaspoon or less. It's better to underseason than overseason - you can put more salt in, but you cannot take the salt back out - as this will cook down. If it's too dry, add a little of the tomato juice you saved from the cans.
At this point, throw everything into a crock pot. Cook on high for about an hour and then turn it to low and monitor it, for about 4-6 hours. Stir occasionally if you are home. For the crock pot, you do not want too much excess liquid, because it will not cook away. Add coconut milk or juice only as needed. My starting mixture was pretty thick, hence the periodic stirring was necessary. I ended up with the desired thick curry, not a soupy mess. If you are eating the curry over cauliflower rice, make it a bit thicker; over regular rice, it can be soupier because the rice will help soak up the sauce.
Meg's Afterthoughts: I have been making this recipe for years and change up what vegetables I add to it almost every time I make it depending on what is season or available. Most recently, I added zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, and green beans. Green beans ARE Whole 30 approved, even though they are technically a legume. Why do you ask? Because the nutritional value of the pod and the beans are not mature, they are Whole 30 compliant.