Saturday, 2 November 2013

Arthritis Friendly Recipe: Spicy, Anti Inflammatory Chicken Biryani

Spices are great addition to the diets people with arthritis. Turmeric, garlic and ginger all have a natural anti-inflammatory effect and are also contain powerful anti-viral and anti-bacterial phytochemicals so are worth tucking into during the winter. 

This biryani recipe uses all three of these arthritis busting ingredients. It’s much healthier than a takeaway biryani and ready in less time than it takes for that scooter to turn up! You’ll notice, I’ve made general suggestions for the type of curry paste, vegetables and nuts you might want to use. You can vary the recipe based on what you have to hand and it will still taste great.

Serve it with low-fat greek yogurt mixed with a little chopped mint (or even mint sauce from a jar). You can cook your own poppadums for a low-fat treat in the microwave, rather than deep-frying them. Simply place each one in the microwave for about 30 seconds and watch them pop up.

Ingredients:
2 skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
100g basmati rice
250ml chicken stock
200g chopped vegetables of your choice (what is in the fridge or frozen – I used peas, kale, leeks and cauliflower)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1tsp ground turmeric
1 tablespoon mild curry paste (I used a biryani paste but korma would work or even curry powder)
½ tbsp sunflower oil
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped (or you can use ginger paste from a jar)
1 tbsp pistachios, cashews or flaked almonds to serve

Serves 2 (easily doubled)

Heat the oil in a medium sized casserole dish. Add the chicken, ginger, garlic,turmeric and curry powder and stir, cooking on a low heat for 1 minute.

Pour in the rice, vegetables and stock and give everything a good stir. Bring the pan up to a low simmer and then cover and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan (or pop the whole covered dish into the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 180C).

Remove the pan from the heat and garnish with the nuts before serving.

Arthritis diet notes:
No spice can cure your arthritis but the powerful natural chemical compounds in turmeric, garlic and ginger have shown some promising effects in early studies and you can read more on these by following the embedded links.


This arthritis friendly biryani recipe contains less than a third of the saturated fat and salt of a typical takeaway dish and half that of a supermarket ready-meal equivalent.

6 comments:

  1. This sounds absolutely delicious, Kate! I've copied it for my personal recipe file, and I think I'll try it soon. I love Indian food, but my mother (whom I'm caretaking) doesn't, much--she finds it too spicy. Is this version very spicy, sorta-spicy, or mild? I guess it all comes down to the type of curry paste/powder you choose? Anyway, I love the idea of eating not just one, but three "arthritis-busting" ingredients in the same dish! Bravo--and thanks for sharing this recipe with us.

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  2. Ah, and another question (or two): Should the basmati rice be cooked beforehand? And I love brown basmati rice--I love the taste and I feel better eating it, knowing that it might not convert into sugar so fast in my bloodstream. I'm trying to stick to a low-carb, high protein diet, which works best for me for weight loss and for maintaining my weight once I reach my goal. It also makes me FEEL good. Thanks again... :o)

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  3. Hi Wren, glad the recipe has tempted you! For rice, you can add it straight in as long as the cooking time on the pack is no more that 30mins ish. You could also try making 'cauliflower rice' for a low carb alternative or quinoa would also work well. In terms if slpice levels, it depends on the mix so taste a bit before you cook with it to check heat. A korma paste or mild curry powder maybe used a half quantity should be very gentle. Or cut out the curry powder altogether and add a splash of lime juice at the end and some fresh mint. It will still be aromatic but with no heat at all. Hope that helps! K

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  4. I had to smile at your mention of the food being delivered by scooter. Is that typical where you are?

    I'm cutting back on meat, so I'll substitute chickpeas for the chicken. Yum!

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    1. Yep, Indian takeout delivered on a moped is standard fare here! Chickpeas are a great idea idea - they would go brilliantly. Red lentils are quite good too and I personally love some smoked tofu but I know that isn't to everyone's taste ;)

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  5. Look delish. I’m a big long grain basmati rice fan, I throw it into all sorts of dishes. I’ll have to take a look through all those other recipes!!

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