Thursday, February 3, 2011

Curry during a Flurry

There is something completely satisfying about curry and its ability to warm your insides when everything outside is frozen. I love curry, it provides a nice gentle thaw when other dishes just won't do. A good curry provides flavor that lingers longer after it is consumed. Its warmth penetrates your body leaving a person relaxed and content.

There are many types of curry and not all are hot to the taste. In fact, the curry I just ate for lunch today was a sweet mild curry but packed with flavor. An hour after consumption, I am still very pacified without any stomach or intestinal issues. Unlike other cold weather dishes I don't feel like I ate a lead balloon, at least not the way I do after eating chili or beef stew. The recipe we use is a simple crock pot dish that was created by melding two different recipes together.

It is widely known that curry provides health benefits and can help during cold weather. One of the main ingredients of curry powder is Turmeric. Turmeric is known for alleviating swelling and joint pain. Pain such as this can only become more aggravated when the temps dip. Other great benefits of curry is its ability to increase circulation and provide a lot of flavor to recipes such as cauliflower soup, chicken salad, other vegetable and chicken soups without the need of extra salt or fat. Studies for curry's benefits include cancer prevention (breast, prostrate, and pancreatic),and Alzheimer's disease. In a handful of cases it seems that curry may be helpful at least in the lab it seems to be a winner.

There are many curry products on the market but you have to be careful because many of them contain a virtual salt mine of sodium which negates too much of the good a fine curry powder has to offer. I like to purchase curry powder at my local organic market and make my own sauce. You can make it as mild or as hot as you care and you can be the salt judge. Plus, it is super easy to make.

A very basic sauce:

About a tablespoon of curry powder (eyeball it)
About a tablespoon of lime juice
A cup of light coconut milk

An optional ingredient if you want heat (taste not temp) add a bit of red flake pepper or cayenne pepper to the mix.

We just dump our basic sauce over skinless chicken thighs during the last 20 or 30 minutes in the crock pot. Dice some carrots, onions and yellow bell pepper in a saute pan for about 7-10 minutes and dump that in as well. Serve over some rice. Make plenty because trust me it tastes even better the next day. It freezes great too!

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