8 Curry Bowl Recipes That Will Warm Your Soul
Last Updated: Mar 22, 2017
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Full of flavor and incredibly warming, curries are one of the easiest meals you can make during these colder months. And another plus? They’re good for you. The spices and peppers in curries can help speed up your metabolism and promote weight loss. From chicken tikka masala to shrimp and tofu panang curry, each of these recipes bursts with irresistibly savory and spicy notes.
Gray kitten and red heart.
CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
This orange-hued, yogurt-based chicken curry with a spicy kick is one of the most popular Indian dishes. While its origins are murky (it’s theorized it may have originated from a Bangladeshi community in Scotland), there’s no doubt about where its luxurious flavor comes from: a bevy of spices that burst with health benefits. Antioxidant-rich cloves have anti-inflammatory benefits, while cardamom can help promote digestive health. Chicken tikka masala is usually cooked in a tandoor (a traditional clay), but your stove will work just as well.
Related: Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe
SHRIMP AND TOFU PANANG CURRY
Hailing from Thailand, panang is a coconut- and peanut-based curry that’s typically salty, sweet and nutty. To lessen the calories, opt for shrimp instead of beef or chicken. You can also use light coconut milk and add plenty of filling vegetables and tofu. Panang gets its rich flavor from ginger, clove, chilies and turmeric. The golden-yellow spice that gives curry its vibrant color, turmeric has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Related: Shrimp and Tofu Panang Curry Recipe
Even Thai vegetable curries can lean heavy on calories, largely because of their coconut base (a half-cup of coconut milk contains 200 calories). But enter kaeng pa (literally “jungle curry”), a variety that originates from the forested highlands of northern Thailand where coconuts aren’t prevalent. This watery, translucent curry usually packs some serious spiciness. It also gets its incredible flavor from lemongrass, Thai basil, hot peppers, ginger and red chili paste.
Related: Jungle Curry Recipe
This curry dish may sound foreign to you, but it’s incredibly easy to make. You just create a “berbere” (a spice blend made with cardamom, chile peppers, garlic, ginger and fenugreek), cook the onions, add the meat and some liquid and let it sit for several hours. You’ll only have to check in once in a while to make sure there’s enough broth in which to braise the meat. And the result? A thick, deeply flavorful and satisfying traditional dish that’s perfectly adaptable to the most modern of conveniences: the slow cooker. And while wat is traditionally eaten with a spongy Ethiopian bread called injera, it pairs just as well with steamed greens or a salad.
Related: Beef Wat Recipe
CAPE MALAY LAMB CURRY
Cape Malay curry is known for its mixture of savory and sweet, with the sweetness coming from dried fruit like apricots and mangoes. Traditionally, a spice blend of cloves, ginger, turmeric, white pepper, coriander, cumin, red chili and cinnamon is cooked with onion and tomato paste. But this recipe takes a subtler approach to onion flavor, substituting them with leeks, which are also an excellent source of vitamin A (promotes eye health and blood cell development) and K (boosts bone health). And if you’re tired of the more traditional chicken, try using lamb. We’re serving ours with roasted sunchokes, which are rich in fiber, potassium and iron.
Related: Cape Malay Lamb Curry Recipe
JAPANESE BEEF CURRY
Bursting with onions, carrots and potatoes, Japanese beef curry is perfect for a crock pot and takes just 25 minutes to prep. Its core spices include ginger, garlic and red chili powder, which can help reduce blood cholesterol. We’re using lean beef chuck in this recipe. This cut of beef is perfect for slow cookers and will come out tender and juicy.
Related: Japanese Beef Curry Recipe
VIETNAMESE CA RI PRAWN CURRY
This tongue-tingling curry is typically made with coconut milk, potatoes, lemongrass, fish sauce and green chilies. But for a healthier twist, add nutrient-dense bok choy, skip the potatoes and substitute skim milk in lieu of coconut milk. Our recipe includes prawns, which are a low-fat source of protein. Cooking to impress? Serve this dish with a seared giant Nigerian tiger prawn for visual impact.
Related: Vietnamese Ca Ri Prawn Curry Recipe
Don’t have that much time on your hands? Chana masala is a North Indian curry that can be made in less than an hour. It mostly centers on letting tomatoes, onions and spices stew together while the flavors develop. Its central ingredient, chickpeas, represents a great vegetarian source of protein. Fresh ginger has inflammation-fighting properties, while coriander helps to lower blood sugar. Chana masala pairs equally well with naan or rice.
Related: Chana Masala Recipe
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