Tuesday, May 8, 2012

TwoFaced: Red Onion

"TwoFaced Tuesdays" is a joint venture between CupcakesOMG! and Jenna from The Paleo Project. Each week, we select one secret ingredient and put our own paleo spin on it. You can catch up on the entire series here. Also, if you have any special ingredient requests, you can always tweet us (@CupcakesOhMG and @ThePaleoProject) using the hashtag #TwoFacedTuesday.
Indian food is one of those cuisines that I love to eat out but feel intimidated to prepare at home, like Chinese or Ethiopian. Considering the amount of bread (naan) and rice involved, I wouldn't naturally be inclined to make it anyway, as I like to keep my kitchen the picture of Paleo perfection. No, you did NOT just find two pounds of white sugar and flour in my pantry!!!!!! I'm just holding it...for a friend!
Alright, cupcake necessities aside, Indian food is generally loaded with diet pitfalls: hidden sugar, loads of simple carbs, dairy, and tons of fat. But I'm here to tell you that Indian food bliss can be yours if you're willing to put in a little bit of elbow grease (and ghee).
When I order out, my dish of choice is Saag Paneer--cubes of mild cheese floating in creamy spinach, scooped up with loads of naan. 
It's so delicious, but clearly not paleo, and definitely on no one's diet. But a close second, and far more easily made Paleo, is butter chicken.
Butter chicken is a fantastic combination of chicken and a rich, tomato-based sauce of coconut milk and ghee (clarified butter). Some of you might get pedantic on me and be all "but butter isn't Paleo," to which I would say "eff off." It's such a small amount of butter that if you want to squabble over it, then you should probably just leave it out and keep that part to yourself. Nobody likes a know-it-all, duh.
And while it's traditionally served over a flavorful rice, the swap I made with swiss chard is, in a word, delightful. In fact, this was my first introduction to swiss chard. Now it's one of my favorite leafy greens. If you haven't tried it yourself, well...let's get re-chard-ed in here, y'all!!
Oh, and since this is all about a secret ingredient, yes, there is red onion here in the sauce. An entire one, in fact. You'll saute it until it's translucent and sweet, so even if you think you don't like onion, fuggeddaboutit! You will!

For even more onion-y goodness, head over
to The Paleo Project to see what Jenna made!

Better Butter Chicken
Makes 4 large servings
(adapted from Everyday Paleo)
  • 2 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. fenugreek powder
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp. ghee (you can find this in the ethnic section of the grocery store)
1. Dice chicken into bite-sized cubes and set aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add diced onion and saute until translucent.
3. Turn heat to low and add garlic and spices to the onion, mixing to create a paste.
4. Add tomate paste to onions and stir. The mixture will be thick.
5. Turn heat up to medium and add coconut milk and salt, using a whisk to blend everything into a thick sauce.
6. Bring sauce to a simmer and add the chicken. Bring everything to a simmer and then turn to low, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
7. After chicken is cooked, add the ghee and mix until melted.
8. Serve over steamed swiss chard.


Jenna | The Eighty Twenty said...

You see, and before I read this post I didn't even think I liked Indian food. Now I need this and the other thing you talked about. Looks delicious and spicy

Gayla said...

Any leftovers? Too bad I'm a three hour plane ride away!

skorpykat said...

Can't wait to try this tonight!! :)

angie said...

I love going out for a good curry! Thanks for the recipe, looks delicious! I'm a new follower by the way wooop!

Sienna said...

this looks so good. i love indian food. gotta try!

Megan | Freckled Italian said...

I love Indian food! I need to make this.

MelyMel said...

Does anyone know the nutritional info for this dish, per serving? I'm actually just looking for the calories!

Molly said...

I LOVE this recipe! Cook it all the time for my partner and I. Easy and simple, and it can be served with rice or on top of veggies :D Recipe is now stuck on the fridge for easy reference!

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