Oct 13, 2009

Chicken and Spinach --- in Coconut and Milk!

Thanks everyone for their nice, nice comments on my new pot :)..uh I mean orange tray.

But back to business!

Coconut and yogurt-- between the two of them they contribute to about 90% of Indian cooking. Its true. In the northern part of the country, its yogurt and in the southern part its coconut.  And in the eastern and western part, its the milk of coconut which is very much in vogue too. Naturally I am inclined towards recipes which use these. Amazingly, I am not at all keen upon any of these two by themselves. You know what I mean. Like, for example, strawberries-- lovely to look at and great in cakes et al (probably that explains the over abundance of these in any ads involving fruits and cakes)..but by themselves--eh.

Having said that, I am often times bothered by the amount of calories a can of milk of coconut contains. I mean its all fat! That is probably what makes it so tasty. But there must be some way to deal with this! And as the saying goes, if there is a will..there is a way. And this idea strike me while pondering upon the calories issues of coconut milk---but because I did not have a can while I was making a dish which traditionally requires use of coconut milk. So what I did was use unsweetened coconut powder and some 2% reduced milk. It was perfect. And the dish Iwas making, I knew what it should taste like. And the substutution did not change the taste/ flavour ..however it did make the dish a little less smooth.

Since then, I was hooked onto this combination-- milk and coconut mixture in place of coconut milk. So much less calories and with almost no change in taste.

Here is one which..yes you guessed right..I made and served in my orange tray!!!


1 lb of chicken-- with bones and no skin is best. You can also use lamb for this one. Chop the chicken or lamb into half-a-palm size pieces.

1 big size potato- chopped into slightly big bite size

1 big onion- chopped

a cup of baby spinach

3 cloves of garlic minced or grated

half a tsp of grated ginger

1 tsp cumin

2 cloves- optional

a tiny bit of cinnamon stick- optional

1 bay leaf- optional

3 tbsf coconut powder

1/3 cup of milk

1 tsp of sugar

1/2 cup of water or chicken stock

2-3 tbsf regular oil

1 tsp of lime juice

Its really chopping and dropping!

Heat oil in a deep skillet. Once hot, add the cinamon, clove and onion. Fry until onions are tranparent. ~ 3 mins. Add the garlic, ginger and potatoes. Fry for another 2 mins. Add the chicken or lamb pieces. Fry for another 3 minutes. Add the sugar, cumin, coconut, milk and fry for a minute. Add the water or chicken stock and bring everything to a boil. Best done by covering the pot. ~ 10 mins. Give the pot a stir or shake once every 2 minutes.  Check to see if you are burning stuff at the bottom. Add water as necessary. Once cooked, season with salt, pepper and lime juice. Add the baby spinach and take it off the stove.

Serve with good quality bread or jasmine rice. Very agreeable on a cold fall evening. Marvelous with a glass of Red wine.

Happy eating healthy living


Nat said...

Another Gorgeous Curry JW ! I agree with you on the Coconut milk...I guess that is the vice of southern asian cooking... eitherway no pain no gain ( literally and technically : ) ... giggles... :)

Leah @ L4L said...

Have you ever looked at using "Light Coconut Milk"? I have found it at Trader Joe's and my Kroger store! Just a thought! :D

Jhonny walker said...

I did! and I always use the lighter ones...but stilll..:)

Erica said...

I love dishes with coconut milk! That dish sounds delicious :)

The Japanese Redneck said...

Very ingenious to come up with an alternative to the fattening coconut milk.

My hubby is not too keen on coconut or yogurt. He considers himself a Meat-a-tarian. And he wants it fried. All the hints that he's getting a pot belly have gone right in one ear and out the other.


Palidor said...

My dad is from the northern part of India, so I didn't discover the wonders of coconut milk until I was in my 20s. Now, I absolutely love coconut milk and can't believe I missed out all those years!

I would definitely love this curry. It would be so tasty over a bowl of Basmati rice.

Jhonny walker said...

Hey Ramona,
make some of these..in no time will your hubby become a convert. Its tried and tested by the way :)

Palidor..it will be gorgeous with Basmati..thats how R had it...I go with my eternal favorite-- bread!

cuppy said...

That looks so yummy.

My husband thinks all curries should be spicy hot, though; if I were to make it hot should I add a serrano? Dry chili peppers?

Jhonny walker said...

Hi Cuppy,
Dry chili peppers, cayenne pepper would work fine. Just toss them in along with the rub used to coat the chicken.

You could also add a bit extra seasoning in terms of freshly ground peppercorn.

good luk!