This January you may have seen many new, earnest faces at your Gym. You would have had to wait patiently to use your favourite elliptical machine. But come February, by when the achy muscles have worn the motivation off the gym will be nice and empty again. Notice I used "you". Unfortunately I am one of those slackers- who are all pumped up in January, after a month of excess and holiday excuses. Or in my case a year of "Hey I just had a baby ok?" excuses. Now that the baby has turned one, I have run out of excuses :(
I'm hoping this year will be different and that my New Year resolutions for healthier living sticks.
To kick off my year of hopefully healthier cooking, I present this recipe from my sister in law, which has become a staple in my house. Its a healthy chicken curry in a pureed spinach and if you want a little more indulgence, cream or coconut cream gravy.
I am also sending this Chicken Curry to the first ever Kerala Kitchen round up which will be happening in just over 5 days so grab those chattagams people and get cooking, if you haven't already! Don't forget there are awards for Top Dish, Best Pic and Top contributor so keep those entries coming in!
Spinach Chicken Curry or Cheera Chicken or Cheera Kozhi
Recipe source: My sister-in-law
- 1 chicken cleaned and cut ( about 1 kg or 2 pounds with bone but skinless or about 3 frozen chicken breasts)
- 1 bunch fresh spinach or equivalent frozen
- 3 medium sized onions chopped
- 4-5 cloves of garlic minced ( Or you can use 2 tsp garlic paste)
- 11/2 inch piece of ginger ( Or you can use 2 tsp ginger paste)
- 6 green chillies minced
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 1/2 to 1 tsp pepper pwd
- 1/2 tsp turmeric pwd
- 1 tsp garam masala /curry masala
- Optional to garnish- 5 tbsp fresh cream or coconut cream ( the thicker creamy part found at the top part of tinned coconut milk) I usually don't add the cream since the curry tastes good even without
- Marinate chicken with salt, turmeric and pepper for 1/2 to an hour while you prepare the rest of the ingredients
- In a large pan pour 2 tbsp of oil ( any vegetable oil - I use canola)
- When hot add chopped onions and sautee until brown
- Add ginger and garlic and sautee until brown
- Add minced green chilles and sautee for a few mins on low. Be careful you don't burn the chillies.
- Add the marinated chicken and sautee for about 5 mins ( uncovered) so that it browns slightly
- Then cover and cook.
- When chicken is half done, add the diced tomatoes, mix well and let cook
- When chicken is three fourths cooked, add garam masala, mix well and let cook covered
- When chicken is fully cooked add spinach ( pureed in a food processor or using an immersion blender. If you like you spinach chunky rather than a smooth gravy, you can simply cut it finely and add)
- Simmer for 5 mins uncovered.
- If using, add the cream or coconut cream, stir well and simmer for another 5 mins.
We went for weeks having just this curry with rice, or mopped up with rotis or bread. It is that yummy. Am so grateful to my sister in law for this recipe as well as many others that she wrote out for me into a beautiful red book as one of my many wedding presents from her :)
II also add some cooked potatoes (either cubed and boiled or lightly salted and rubbed with some oil and microwaved for about 5 mins, mixed around a bit and microwaved again for about 3 more mins until tender) This versatile recipe can also be made vegetarian by using just potatoes or in combination with paneer, tofu or cooked chickpeas.
If using paneer fry the paneer in a little ghee until lightly browned and add to the curry at the end.