Friday, February 1, 2013

Clean Eating Quick and Easy Chicken Curry

Makes 4 Servings
About a week after we arrived in Japan, Matt and I decided to be brave and try something out in town. We hired a babysitter and ventured out onto one of the main roads near our hotel. Everything was still very intimidating because we couldn't speak the language or read any signs and it all felt so alien. But, on the babysitter's suggestion, we found this little hole in the wall place called Nirvana. And inside we had hands down the absolute BEST curry I have ever had in my entire life. So good that I think about asking Matt to bring some home from work at least once every day. Dinner for two is about $30, though, so I knew I was going to have to come up with some way to satisfy my curry craving and limit myself to Nirvana only once or twice a month. This is a super fast and easy curry that you can throw together any old time. We ate it with whole grain naan but you could serve it over rice as well. 

  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (or 2 cloves finely chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 big handfuls of spinach, torn into bite-sized pieces

ONE: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown. Add the garlic and salt and cook one minute, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant but not burnt.

TWO: Add in the curry powder, cumin, and ginger and cook one minute, stirring frequently. Add in the coconut milk, tomatoes, and tomato paste and stir vigorously to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

THREE: Add chicken and simmer until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in spinach, cover, and let sit until spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.

Freeze leftovers using the medium/large portions method to feed your freezer stash.

Nutrition Info:
Per serving- 332 Calories (173 Calories from Fat), 19g Fat, 13g Saturated Fat, 73mg Cholesterol, 429mg sodium, 14g Total Carbohydrates, 5g Dietary Fiber, 8g Sugars, 28g Protein, 54% DV VitA, 36% DV VitC, 7% DV Calcium, 17% DV Iron.

Cook onions in a bit of olive oil
Once they start to brown, add garlic and spices
Stir in coconut milk, tomatoes, and tomato paste
Add in chicken, cook through, then add spinach


  1. We were stationed in Japan for 4 years (2005-2009) and loved every second of it. Love venturing out to find hole in the wall places. We were in Okinawa and they had some of the best curry there too! I'm excited you get to experience Japan too. I've been reading your blog for a long time, just never posted.

  2. Thank you for all your great recipes! I cooked this one last night and it was pretty good. I still feel like it is missing something when compared to most restaurant curries. Maybe a spice?

    1. Karen, I completely agree! On one hand, I love how easy this is to throw together and that I usually have all the ingredients in my pantry. But on the other hand, it's definitely a beginner's curry. Let me know if you figure out what's missing :)

  3. I made this the other night in our Navy Lodge room! Thanks for giving me the confidence to cook in this tiny motel setting! (it doesn't hurt that we've actually traveled with our rice cooker...we use it for oatmeal almost every morning!)-Martha

    1. Woo hoo!!!! I got the idea from you when we were doing our time in the lodge. And you know I for sure sent my crockpot, immersion blender, food processor, and breadmaker in my express shipment, LOL. By the end I probably had the best equipped kitchen the lodge has ever seen ;) The best part for you is your easy access to delicious, fresh produce there in wonderful SD. I bet you will cook up all kinds of yummy things!

  4. I made this a few days ago - we loved it! (This was my first time making curry however, so I have no comparisons to traditional curry, be was wonderful all the same!)

  5. is the chicken raw when you add it?

  6. how long can you freeze this recipe for?

  7. hows it clean when there's processed items in it? :-/

    1. Which items are you referring to? I guess it depends on what you consider "processed".