Thai Chicken Curry Recipe (low salt)
By Nutritionists from Daley Nutrition
Thai Chicken Curry Recipe (cooking time 20mins)
Since moving to Australia in 2012 I have been exposed to some of the best Asian curries I have ever tasted. The Asian cuisine is seen throughout Australia in the big cities especially Melbourne. However when you look into the ingredients of a traditional Thai Chicken Curry then you realise that it doesn’t suit the Australia lifestyle as an every day dish to consume. It is high in fat, sugar and salt, which is shame as it one of the best tasting dishes around. So I put my researcher nutrition chef hat on and created a recipe that is lower in sugar, fat and salt than the traditional version and can be included as part of a healthy balanced diet. Let’s answer some basic questions about the dish’s ingredients:
Is Coconut cream good for you?
Yes…and no. This isn’t a simple question to answer! What we do know is that coconut is consumed in many regions across the world, the highest consumption is in the Philippines according to Index Mundi. However as a nation they tend to be more active than the western world, therefore can manage the calories better from coconut products than we can in Australia. Coconut cream is very high in fat, especially plant based saturated fats. What we do know is that the fats in coconut cream raise our bad cholesterol (LDL) in our blood, but also increase our good cholesterol (HDL) and some research has shown that this balance of good and bad cholesterol doesn’t create a concern for coconut consumption. However in the western world we have high levels of inflammation in our bodies due many factors including poor diets lack and physical activity. This inflammation can damage the LDL cholesterol, which can increase risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. However cholesterol aside, coconut based products are high in calories therefore should be used sparingly in inactive countries such as Australia. Our recipe is designed a little differently with less calories (see below). In our Thai chicken curry recipe we use an evaporated milk with coconut essence. Either from Nestle Carnations or just an average low fat evaporated milk tin and add in your own coconut essence.
Is curry powder good for you?
This is again a yes and no answer. The curry powder we can buy in the supermarkets tends to be be high in salt, you are lucky to find a powder that is salt free nowadays unless you go to a health food store. The list of ingredients that you get from curry powder are incredible including coriander,turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chili. These ingredients have very strong anti inflammatory properties and are great for reducing the risk of certain cancers and inflammation around the joints. However the salt levels can be very high; up to 3000mg per 100g of curry power which can dramatically increase the salt levels of your dish. The thing to look out for is the ingredients list. If salt is one of the last ingredients on the list you know that the sodium levels will be low-medium. The two brands we use in our cooking demonstrations are:
- Hoyt’s (from Woolworths and Coles)
- Perfect fine foods (from Asian grocers)
Ingredients (serves 4 people)
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
- 2 medium onions
- A handful of green beans
- 1 large sweet potato
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 red capsicums (bell peppers)
- 1 tin of Nestle evaporated milk with coconut essence. Or use 200ml of low fat coconut milk if you are lactose intolerant.
- 1.5 cups of brown rice or wild rice.
- 1 tbsp ginger root (fresh) – anti-inflammatory
- 1 tsp black pepper (ground)
- 1 finger chili (optional)
- 5 tsp (low salt) curry powder – anti-inflammatory
- Start cooking the brown rice in a rice cooker or saucepan (20-mins).
- Chop up the sweet potato, onions, green beans and garlic and cook on a high heat for 5mins and sprinkle with cracked pepper.
- Add the chicken, red capsicum and grated ginger to the pan and cover in curry powder (2tsp) and some cracked pepper then cook until slightly brown (approx 10mins).
- Add the coconut milk and 3 more tsp of curry powder and mix (10mins)
- Serve to 4 people with a palm sized serve of rice per portion (1/2 cup).
Thai Chicken Curry Nutrition Info per person
- 8g of fat
- 32g of protein
- 25g of sugar (from milk)
- 372mg of sodium
- 444 kcal
Thai Chicken Curry Recipe
Posted by Daley Nutrition
A little about us….
Daley Nutrition is a community nutrition team based in Melbourne Victoria, we run a range of nutrition based programs such as cooking demonstrations in Australia to raise people’s awareness of what they are eating and empower them to change certain eating habits. We work with not for profit organisations such as local councils, Diabetes Australia & Nutrition Australia to create a healthy eating environment for children and adults.