I spent my honeymoon in Southern India, in the Keralan region that Indians call “Gods Own Country” mainly due to its beautiful lush green landscape and incredible cuisine. On that holiday we were introduced to authentic and gastronomic Indian cooking and this heralded a long-lasting love affair of Indian food and the spices used in their cooking.
The Western World were however first introduced to these spices centuries ago through the historic Spice Trade Route. This trade was between civilizations in Asia, Northeast Africa and Europe. Spices such as cinnamon, cardamom,ginger, pepper, and turmeric were known, and traded for commerce.
I know turmeric pretty well from my childhood. My mother did and still does use it liberally it for almost every meat dish she makes because she doesn’t like the smell of meat and turmeric does a really good job of masking that smell! This vibrant yellow spice adds a wonderful depth of flavor and bright color to cooking and has a myriad of health benefits. Here are some:
- Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties which can help prevent and even treat chronic disease
- It has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralizes free radicals helping prevent illness
- Turmeric boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in the brain.
Who have thunk it about little ol’ turmeric hey?
Last night I made chicken curry using turmeric for the family and added some pan-fried vegetables to bulk up the meal. They scraped the plates clean – always a good sign of success. Hope you enjoy it too.
Chicken Curry with Pan-Fried Vegetables
1lb all natural/organic chicken breasts sliced into 1 inch chunks
3 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp curry powder
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cups of sieved tomatoes
2 large handfuls spinach
1 large handful mushrooms
Salt & Pepper
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in the pan and add the spices, frying gently for a couple of minutes.
- Add the onions and garlic and pan fry for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add the chicken and cook until the chicken is browned, another 5 minutes or so.
- Then the coconut milk and the sieved tomatoes, season to taste.
- Cover the pan and cook gently for 30-40 minutes until the chicken cooked through.
- Towards the end of the curry cooking time, heat a small pan and add the remaining tbsp olive oil.
- Add the mushrooms and pan fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the spinach, cook until just wilted and season to taste.
- Serves the curry and vegetables with naan bread or rice. I served this curry with whole wheat naan bread.