Tag Archives: Indian

Coconut Curry Turkey Meatballs

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This recipe is incredibly easy, packed with protein and flavor, and so versatile! You can serve these as an appetizer or snack to party guests, eat them as a meal with a side of sautéed veggies and coconut cauliflower rice, or even as a side to your favorite curry (check out my Saag Paneer and Fish Tikka Masala!). I made the meatballs with ground turkey meat that I already had on hand, but they can easily be made with ground chicken, or even with chicken breasts processed with all of the ingredients in a food processor (or beef or lamb if you prefer). What’s great about this recipe is that the shredded carrot and coconut really help the meatballs retain their moisture making it a great option for poultry. A dab of sweet chili sauce gives them that perfect extra little kick if you’re willing to indulge in a small bit of sugar. I just can’t get enough curry in my life–hope you enjoy!

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Coconut Curry Turkey Meatballs (Adapted from Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals) (Difficulty-Easy, Serves 4)

  • 1 lb. organic free range ground turkey (or chicken)
  • 1/2 c. grated organic carrot (about half a large carrot)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 egg, lightly scrambled
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse ground sea salt
  • 1/2 c. organic parsley, chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp. extra virgin organic coconut oil
  • sweet chili sauce for topping (optional)

Place the ground turkey, carrot, garlic, coconut, egg, curry powder, salt and parsley in a medium mixing bowl and combine using your hands until ingredients are well incorporated into the turkey meat. Using your hands, form 12 medium sized meatballs.

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Heat coconut oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Place meatballs in hot oil and brown about 2 minutes. Turn meatballs over and continue browning another 5 minutes. Cover the pan and continue cooking 6-7 more minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.

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Serve with a dab of sweet chili sauce.

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Saag Paneer

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I still haven’t found a go-to Indian spot in LA yet so I have really been missing a lot of spice in my life! I never actually order saag paneer when I do frequent an Indian restaurant, but this recipe in the cheese issue of the Food Network Magazine looked too delicious to pass up. You may be put off at the thought of having to make your own paneer, but believe me its worth it and really doesn’t take much effort at all. I’ve used pre-packaged paneer from an Indian market and the homemade version is infinitely better. Just trust me on this one! And the spinach curry tastes so much fresher than anything I’ve had at a restaurant–I’m guessing they mostly use frozen spinach. But the fresh spinach here really brightens the flavor, texture and appearance of this dish. And of course I paired it with my coconut cauliflower rice.

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Saag Paneer (Adapted from Food Network Magazine) (Difficulty-Intermediate; Serves 3-4)

For the Paneer:

  • 3 c. organic whole milk
  • 1/2 c. greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. arrow root powder
  • 2 Tbsp. organic extra virgin coconut oil, for frying

For the Saag:

  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/3 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 12 oz. organic baby spinach
  • 3/4 c. greek yogurt
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • sea salt

Make the cheese: Line a mesh sieve with a layer of damp cheesecloth; place over a large bowl. Bring the milk to a simmer in a wide nonreactive pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the yogurt, lemon juice and salt. Continue to stir gently until large curds form and separate from the whey, 1 to 2 minutes. Strain through the cheesecloth-lined sieve. Gather the ends of the cheesecloth and twist to squeeze out any excess whey (run the sides of the bundle under cool water if it’s too hot to handle). Tie the ends of the cheesecloth around a wooden spoon handle and lay the spoon over the sieve, letting the bundle dangle; let drain, 10 minutes. Transfer the whey to a jar to store for later use. 

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Untie the bundle and twist the cheesecloth again, squeezing out any more whey. Lay the bundle on its side on a plate. Top with another plate and weigh it down with a large can. Refrigerate until a firm cake forms, about 1 hour; unwrap and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use, or up to 2 days.

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Fry the cheese: Cut the cheese into 3/4-inch cubes. I just crumbled mine as it was already delicate when unwrapping from the cheese cloth. Toss in the arrow root powder until well coated, shaking off any excess. Heat coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Carefully add the cheese and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes.  Be careful not to over cook the cheese, or the center will become too firm. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season lightly with salt and set aside.

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Make the curry: Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Working in batches, cook the spinach until just tender, about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a colander to drain, running under cold water. Squeeze dry, then chop and set aside.

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Pulse the garlic, jalapeno, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, cayenne and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor until finely chopped. Whisk the yogurt, 1/2 cup water and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until deep golden brown, about 7 minutes. Add the ginger mixture and cook, stirring, until toasted, about 5 minutes (add a splash of water if the mixture is sticking). Reduce the heat to medium low; add 1/2 cup water and scrape up any browned bits, then add the cooked spinach and stir until heated through, about 4 minutes.

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Stir in the yogurt mixture and simmer gently until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the fried cheese and the remaining tablespoon butter and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. Season with salt. Serve over coconut cauliflower rice if preferred (half of the recipe is plenty!).

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Fish Tikka Masala and Coconut Cauliflower ‘Rice’

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I’ve been really craving Indian food lately and missing one of my favorite Indian spots, Punjab, in Arlington, MA. So when I came across this recipe in the Penzey’s catalog, I had to make it. I usually order chicken or veggies  with my curry, but I have been trying to integrate more seafood into my primal diet, and I also knew my roomie would eat it if I did fish. Ideally I would use Tilapia in this  but I could only find farm-raised (which I am ethically opposed to, but farm-raised fish is also more prone to hormones and bacteria that are harmful to your body), so I settled with wild-caught Alaskan cod-still a nice textured, mild flavored fish that went well with the bold and spicy curry. And if you love Indian food as much as I do, you know you can’t eat curry without rice. Best of all, you can make it out of cauliflower and still be fully primal! I did sacrifice the garlic Naan, but to tell you the truth I didn’t even really miss it.

Fish Tikka Masala (adapted from Penzey’s)

(Difficulty-Intermediate; Servings- 4 to 6)

  • 1 lb. wild-caught white fish, cut into bite sized pieces (e.g. Tilapia, cod, halibut)
  • 1 Tbsp. full fat greek yogurt
  •  1 tsp. ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp. Tandoori seasoning
  • 11/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 Tb. extra virgin olive or coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 organic tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. cashew nut paste (grind 1 Tbsp. cashews with 1 tsp. water in a blender)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)

In a medium bowl, combine the fish, yogurt, ginger, minced garlic, garam masala tandoori seasoning, cumin and lemon juice. Mix to combine. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for up to a few hours or overnight. In my hastiness to eat dinner I only marinated the fish for about 30 minutes and it still had plenty of flavor-chicken might take a bit longer to soak up the marinade.

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Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy pan. Add onions and tomato and saute until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the fish and cook, stirring constantly, until the meat is white and almost cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Add the ground pepper, coconut milk, water and cashew nut paste. Reduce heat to low and stir until the sauce thickens. Add the butter and salt and mix well. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired and serve with Coconut Cauliflower Rice (recipe below).

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Coconut Cauliflower ‘Rice’ (adapted from Mark’s Daily Apple)

1 head organic cauliflower, cut into florets

2 Tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil

2-3 shallots, minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2-2 cups organic vegetable or chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste

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To prepare cauliflower, use a food processor with a grater attachment blade. Run florets through processor until the cauliflower becomes little grain-like pieces. Heat oil in a large pot. Add shallots stirring until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add grated cauliflower to the pot and cook, stirring 3-4 minutes. Add broth, bringing to a boil until the liquid reduces until it is just barely covering the cauliflower. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 30-40 minutes, or until all the liquid has evaporated. Cauliflower has a lot of natural liquid and will give off its own liquid as it cooks so the ‘rice’ will still be a little more moist than its grain counterpart. Adjust the quantity of liquid according to your preference.

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