Chicken Burrito Bowl (Paleo)

 Mexican food had always been my favorite! I could eat a bean taco any day especially if it was nicely slathered in ‘hot sauce’ and with a dollop of sour cream on the side! Hence, since starting on Paleo a year ago, I had not had a proper Mexican meal. And the past 6 months I have been on the AIP version of Paleo which meant no nightshades and no spices as well. However in the past few weeks I have introduced spices slowly without any issues (I hope!) – I just add very small quantities of cayenne or any hot pepper though to my servings.  Just so that I get a faint taste of the heat without it triggering any flare up.

So anyways, now that I had been able to introduce spices successfully, I was dying to make something ‘Mexican’! During the week of Cinco de Mayo, I saw a lot of bloggers posting recipes of Mexican Chicken Stir fry with rice (caulirice). And so last week I decided to try making a grilled chicken with cauliflower and veggies stir fry. But as I was marinating the chicken, I noticed I had a ripe avocado available and so thought why not go full blown and treat myself to a Paleo Chicken Burrito bowl!  About 30 mins later, I served up these delicious ‘nightshade free’ burrito bowls that were so jam packed with Mexican flavors that all my cravings of the past one year were assuaged. Even without hot sauce there was enough flavor.  The garlic, cumin and the cilantro mainly did the job! And the lemon juice more than makes up for the missing tomato. I licked up the bowl so well that it looked as if it didn’t need any further cleaning when I was done with it 🙂

I also served up some rice for the rest of my family. Yummy dinner that we all enjoyed!

Chicken Burrito Bowl (Paleo)
Author: 
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Mexican, Fusion
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
 
Paleo and nightshade free version of the Mexican Chicken burrito bowl made with grilled chicken, cauliflower rice and guacamole
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs boneless chicken (preferably thigh pieces) cleaned and cut into bite size pieces
For marinating chicken
  • ¾ tsp cayenne pepper (or 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder)
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • About 2 tbsp coconut oil for sautéing the chicken
For Cauliflower rice
  • 1 medium size cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
For the guacamole:
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and mashed
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped finely
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • ½ tsp sea salt
For the salsa:
  • ½ of a red onion, chopped fine
  • ½ cup cilantro chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
For assembling the burrito bowl:
  • Lettuce, shredded
  • white rice cooked(for non paleo members)
Instructions
  1. Dab dry the chicken pieces with a paper towel. Add all the marinade ingredients to a large bowl and mix well. Add the chicken pieces to this to coat well. Keep aside for 15 - 30 mins.
  2. Heat a large frying/grilling pan and add the rest of the coconut oil. When hot add the chicken pieces and sautee lightly on medium until the pieces are cooked. (You may need to do this in batches since you don't want to crowd the pan).Transfer the chicken pieces onto a dish and keep covered to stay warm and moist.
  3. Shred the cauliflower into small pieces using a food processor or by using a knife to get a 'rice' like texture.
  4. In the same pan that you cooked the chicken, add some more coconut oil and when hot add the cauliflower and the garlic. Saute on medium heat for about a minute until the garlic is toasted. Then add the salt and cover with a lid and cook for about 2-3 mins on low heat until the cauliflower is cooked. Do not overcook otherwise it will get too mushy. Turn heat off and keep aside.
  5. Mix all the ingredients listed under guacamole in a bowl using a masher. Check for seasoning and add additional salt or pepper if needed. Keep aside.
  6. Mix all the ingredients listed under salsa in a bowl and keep aside,
  7. To assemble the bowls, place a few tablespoons of the cauliflower rice into a bowl. Add some chicken pieces. Add the lettuce. Then top with the guacamole and salsa. Mix everything well and enjoy!
  8. Serve white rice additionally if needed.

 

Mangalorean Style Chicken Curry (Kori Gassi)

If you are a lover of ‘all chicken curries’ like me, then this is one that you need to definitely try!  Its funny how I ended up making this curry – Last week when I was chatting with my sis who lives in india, she happened to mention this curry that she had just eaten and how fabulous it was.  Her daughter’s best friend’s mom had sent over some of her Mangalorean Chicken curry to share with the rest of the family.  Oh my, the rave reviews from my niece and my sis were enough for me to start salivating! I had to make this curry myself.  My sis gave me a vivid description of the texture of the curry and also told me that it had a coconut masala baed gravy. Well that was enough to get me started on my recipe hunt. Sis offered to talk to the mom and get the recipe from her. But I could not wait that long.

That evening as I pulled out chicken from the freezer for making dinner, I knew what exactly I was going to make with it!  I had looked up recipes for this Mangalorean chicken curry on the internet and printed out a couple of them. The traditional name of this curry is Kori (Chicken) Gassi (curry). I ended up making a version that was a combination of a few of the recipes plus I made some variations – since I do not use tamarind, I used Kerala tamarind or Kodampuli or Kokum for providing the tartness. Also I used Kashmiri chill powder instead of the badega red chillies since I wanted to cut down on the heat.

This curry in general is very mild in spices and heat. It does not use much of the traditional spices used in chicken curry like garam masala. In addition fenugreek and tamarind I thought were two unique ingredients in this curry since these are not typically used in chicken curries. The fine coconut paste masala gives it a great texture – smooth and silky! And thereby goes excellently with chapatis, naan, paranthas or neer dosas.  The last one is what it is traditionally eaten with in Mangalore. As for our family, I had it with some steamed yucca. And the rest of the family had it with rice! The gravy of this curry is just finger licking good – Yummy Yummy Yum!

Mangalorean Style Coconut Chicken Curry (Kori Gassi)
Author: 
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Indian, Karnataka, Mangalorean
 
Kori Gassi is a delectable chicken curry made by cooking chicken pieces in a mildly spiced creamy and slightly tangy coconut sauce
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs (about 1 kg) chicken pieces (I prefer whole chicken cut pieces or at least thigh pieces if using boneless)
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp kashmiri red chilli powder (I use kashmiri chill powder since I prefer mild hot but you can other red chillies for more hot curry)
For the ground masala paste:
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
  • 8-12 whole black peppercorns (depending upon how spicy you like it)
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 one inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 large cloves of garlic (or 8-10 if smaller)
  • ½ cup grated coconut (freshly grated or fresh frozen that has been thawed)
  • ¼ cup warm water
For the curry:
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig of fresh curry leaves (about 8-10 leaves)
  • 3 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (1 tsp is for mildly hot so use more if you would like it really hot)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 piece of Kokum (kerala tamarind) dissolved in ¼ cup warm water. (optional)
  • 1 tsp lime juice
Instructions
  1. Clean the chicken pieces well with water and dab dry with paper towels. Add the salt, turmeric and red chili powder and mix well. Marinate for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, start making the masala paste - In a small frying pan, dry roast the cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon for 2-3 minutes on low heat stirring frequently until you get the aroma of the spices. Transfer to a food processor.
  3. In the same pan add the 1 tsp coconut oil. when hot add the sliced onions and sauce for 2 minutes on medium heat. Add the garlic too and continue sautéing for another 2-3 mins until the onions start getting slightly crispier and brown. Transfer this to the food processor as well.
  4. Next add the grated coconut to the pan and lightly cook it on low stirring frequently for about 3-4 mins until some of the pieces start browning. Turn heat off. Transfer to the same food processor. (Do not brown the coconut completely since that will result in a different taste)
  5. Grind everything using ¼ cup water. The paste should be very fine - hence do not use too much water to grind.
  6. Next take a large bottomed pan to cook the curry and add the 1 tbsp coconut oil. When hot, add the other set of sliced onions. Add the curry leaves as well and sauce for 2-3 mins.
  7. Add the marinated chicken pieces and cook on high heat for about 3-4 mins. Flip the chicken pieces and cook again for another 3-4 mins.
  8. Now add the ground masala paste, the turmeric, red chili, coriander powder and salt. Add about 1 cup of water rinsing the blender with it to get all of the paste.
  9. Stir to mix well and then cover and cook on low heat for 15 mins.
  10. Open lid and add the water from the soaked tamarind.
  11. Check for seasoning and add salt or more red chili powder as needed.
  12. Cook for another 5 minutes covered. And turn heat off.
  13. Add the lime juice and serve warm over plain white rice or chapatis.
Notes
I have used Kashmiri chili powder here for milder and less spicy taste. If you prefer your curry to be hot and spicy, add more quantity or use another hotter variety of red chillies.
The traditional mangalorean kori gassi curry uses tamarind juice or extract. But I have used kokum extract here since I have been avoiding tamarind.

Crispy Chicken Bites (Paleo, Gluten Free)

Indo Chinese cuisine is pretty popular in India with the craze first starting sometime in the early 90s I believe. I was in college those days and we would sneak out from college to have lunch at one of these make shift stalls outside our campus to have delicious lip smacking ‘chicken manchurian’ soup and chill chicken curry.  The origins of this fusion cuisine is a bit ambiguous I think because the last time I tried to research about ‘manchurian curry’,  I only ended up finding out that Manchurian is a historic region in NE china and there is no curry chicken or otherwise by that name from that region. So I decided to end my research. Anyways, I am so glad that this fusion cuisine came into being combining the best of flavors from both the sub-continents even though the ‘how’ of it is not clear.  Hey, let’s enjoy the food right?

I cooked these crispy chicken bites similar to the chili chicken recipe where corn starch is used as the starch/binder. Only thing I did was replaced corn starch with tapioca starch and replaced soy sauce with coconut aminos to make it paleo. As I have mentioned before, even though I am following the stricter autoimmune version of paleo which restricts even chili peppers, I have been having small quantities of red chili powder and other spices occasionally. But you could easily skip the red chili and these chicken bites would still be delicious I can guarantee.! I also pan fried (shallow fry) these using coconut oil and they still came out very crispy!

Crispy Chicken Bites (paleo)
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer, Main course
Cuisine: IndoChinese, Fusion
 
Chicken pieces marinated with the flavors of ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper and coated with tapioca starch and fried to get crispy nuggets
Ingredients
  • 1 lb chicken pieces, boneless thigh pieces, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger and garlic paste (made by crushing equal quantities of fresh ginger and garlic without any water in a mortar pestle or a food processor)
  • 2 tsp coconut aminos or soy sauce (use coconut aminos for paleo)
  • About 3-4 tbsp coconut oil for shallow frying
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, add the chicken pieces and blot dry using paper towels.
  2. In a small bowl, mix all the rest of the ingredients and stir using a spoon to form a thick paste.
  3. Add this paste to the bowl with the chicken pieces. Mix using your hands to coat the chicken pieces completely.
  4. Add about 1 tbsp oil at a time in a small frying pan and shallow fry the chicken pieces in batches until they are cooked well and crispy on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
Notes
For AIP version, skip the red chili powder

 

Asian Style Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings (Paleo friendly)


Super Bowl was this past weekend and game night is synonymous with lots of food. This year we hosted the party for our neighborhood friends at our home. Folks signed up to bring different kinds of appetizers and dips.  We had a good balance of junk food with healthful foods – grilled vegetables and salads made for a less greasy overall meal! And I decided to make Chicken wings. Since I am on a Paleo diet these had to be strictly paleo with only natural ingredients with no artificial anything!

So I decided to bake the chicken wings asian style!  I added kashmiri chilli powder for the heat and used honey for the sweetness.  Sesame oil and coconut aminos (soy sauce for non paleo) provided the distinct asian flavors and ginger, garlic provided additional flavors that made these chicken wings unforgettable!

My son called these ‘wickedly insane’ ! I think that translates to ‘fantastic’ in high schooler lingo 🙂 These babies are double baked to give them the extra crispiness and the extra sauce on top makes these simply ‘to die for’!

I am not a big sports fan. Game night is exciting to me only for the company of friends and for the food! However last weekend’s game was pretty exciting …at least the last quarter. And I personally thought it had a good message for everyone in all walks of life. And the message is ‘ Do not give up, ever.  Keep positive till the very end and you can indeed turn things around magically if you believe enough in yourself!’

5.0 from 1 reviews
Asian Style Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings (Paleo friendly)
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 40-42 pieces
 
Delicious, sticky chicken wings marinated in a chill vinegar lemon marinade and double baked to get perfectly crisp on the outside and smothered in a sticky sauce made with honey, soy sauce, red chilli and ginger-garlic.
Ingredients
  • Chicken wings around 4 lbs or about 40-42 pieces
for the Marinade:
  • Juice of two lemons abt ½ cup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • ½ tsp chinese five spice ( optional)
  • 2½ tsp sea salt( 2 tsp if regular salt)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
for the Sauce:
  • ¾ cup coconut aminos (substitute soy sauce for non paleo)
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp garlic crushed or finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
Instructions
  1. Pat dry the chicken wings using paper towels to remove any excess water.
  2. Mix all ingredients listed under marinade together in a bowl.
  3. Marinate the chicken wings in the marinade for at least 1 hour.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 425 deg F (210 deg C)
  5. Line 2 large trays with Al foil and brush lightly with olive oil.
  6. Place the chicken wings on the tray spread separate from each other.
  7. Bake at 425 deg F for between 20-25 minutes (or until the chicken pieces are cooked). Make sure you don't overcook at this point - the wings should just appear cooked but not turn crispy. remove wings from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 deg F (180 deg C)
  8. In a small cooking pot, add all sauce ingredients and cook for about 10-12 minutes until you get a thick sauce. Turn heat off. Keep sauce aside.
  9. Reserve some sauce for dipping and dip each chicken wing into the remaining sauce to coat it completely and again bake them at 350 deg F (180 deg C) for about 10-12 mins until crispy on the outside. Flip the wings once mid-way i.e. at after about 5-6 minutes. (It would be best to arrange the wings over a grilling mesh at this point with a pan under to catch the drippings - see picture below)
  10. Serve warm drizzling the extra sauce over top.

 

Step wise pictures:

Marinate wings in the chills lemon vinegar marinade for 30-60 minutes.

Cook honey soy chill sesame sauce

Cook marinated wings at 425 deg F for 20-25 minutes on a baking tray

Dip baked wings in honey sauce and place on mesh/grill and over tray and bake again at 350 Deg F  for 10-12 minutes flipping them half-way through.

Malvani Chicken Curry(Chicken curry with roasted coconut masala)

dsc_0230Born and raised in Mumbai by parents who were natives of Kerala, we grew up greatly influenced by both Keralan and Maharashtrian cultures. Our next door neighbor hailed from the Malvan region of Maharashtra which is also a coastal region just like Kerala. As a result there are lots of similarities in Kerala and Malvani cuisines like seafood specialties and the liberal use of coconut!

Our neighbor aunty used to make this lip smacking Malvani Chicken curry along with a doughnut shaped bread called as Kombdi vade.  Kombdi vadas are made with a mix of rice and different lentils and deep fried like puris. Oh the combination of this chicken curry with kombdi vadas are probably one of the most delicious culinary experience I have had.My mouth starts watering just thinking of the combination!  Whenever aunty made these, she would send over some to share with our family. And how we loved it!  We kids liked this chicken dish so much that we begged our mom to learn this recipe from our neighbor aunty and she gladly obliged by giving a cooking demo in her kitchen one time.  I was in college those days and had already developed an interest in cooking and so I took very good notes!  In the early years after my marriage after moving to the US, I made this curry a couple times. But after that somehow the craziness of work and kids made me forget this curry dish.

Anyways last year when my good friend Vaishali visited us and made Misal Paav for us, I was again reminded of this curry!  And ever since then I have been meaning to make this curry. I was hoping to make this with the kombdi vadas too. However, now that I am doing a Paleo diet, where grains are not allowed, I decided to pass the vadas for now. But I was still craving for the curry and so decided to just make the chicken curry. And I cheated by having the curry with some basmati rice :).  Was heavenly! So worth the little bit of extra effort of roasting the coconut and making the ground masala paste.

The way I remember distinctive tastes of different curries is by remembering the unique combination of spices used. For this curry, it is cumin and garlic that stands out along with star anise and dagad phool.  Dagad Phool whose literal translation means ‘rock flower’ is a spice that is a lichen and has an earthy , musk like smell.  Here’s a picture to those who are not familiar with this spice. Its botanical name is paramecia prelate and this is one of the ingredients of the Maharashtrian Goda masala.

Dagad Phool (Black Stone flower)

There is no coriander (seeds or powder) used in this curry. Also dried coconut or Khopra is used traditionally in this curry however I used fresh coconut which is fine too.

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Malvani Chicken Curry(Chicken curry with roasted coconut masala)

  • Servings: Makes about 4-6 servings with rice
  • Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Ingredients:

2 lbs whole chicken (1kg ) cut into bite size pieces

1 tsp salt

1 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

For the ground masala:

  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut or khopra(or fresh frozen grated coconut that has been thawed)
  • 2 medium onion, sliced long
  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 4 garlic pods
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup warm water

For dry grinding:

  • 2 star anise
  • 1-2 dagad phool
  • 4 about 1 inch cinnamon sticks
  • 8-10 cloves
  • 8-10 whole black peppercorns

2 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)

1 medium onion, chopped fine

1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tbsp fresh garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp garam masala powder

1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)

1 tsp salt (or as needed)

2 cups water

Method:

Clean the chicken and pat dry with towels. Add the salt, chill powder and turmeric and rub the mixture well into the chicken pieces. Let marinate for 15-30 minutes.

In a non stick frying pan, add the sliced onions and fry them on medium heat stirring frequently until they turn reddish brown.( about 3-4 minutes). Take them out of the pan and transfer to a blender. Next add the fresh coconut (or khopra) and roast that stirring frequently until they start turning brown (about 6-7 minutes). Towards the end add the cumin and garlic pods. Stir for 1 more minute and transfer this coconut mixture also to the blender. Add the water and grind to a fine paste.

Dry grind the whole spices using a spice grinder. Keep aside.

Heat a wide bottomed cooking pot. Add the 2 tbsp oil. When hot, add the chicken pieces in batches and lightly fry them (no need to cook fully) just to get a nice sear on the outside. Transfer to a plate.

To the same oil in the pot, add the chopped onions and the ginger and garlic. Lightly fry them until the onions are golden brown. Now add the ground masala to this and add the dry spice blend (ground earlier) along with salt, red chili powder and garam masala. Keep stirring the masala continuously for 4-5 minutes until the oil starts separating out (This is an important step)

Finally add the lightly fried chicken pieces back into the pot.  Add the 2 cups water. Check for seasoning and add salt or more red chili powder as needed.

Turn heat to low and Cover the pot and cook for about 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally to avoid any sticking of chicken pieces to the bottom.

Serve chicken curry hot with plain white rice or chapatis!

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