“We are all dietetic sinners; only a small percent of what we eat nourishes us; the balance goes to waste and loss of energy.” - William Osler
OK, you’ve been reading my Food Friday blog and you know that often I talk about healthful food and what constitutes a good diet. It is indisputable that what we eat, how much of it we eat and when we eat it influences our health. An old proverb says: “Whosoever was the father of a disease, an ill diet was the mother” and it is certainly true. Gurpareet Bains
, a UK nutritionist and chef, claims he has cooked up the “world’s healthiest meal”. It harks back to his Indian heritage and it is a chicken curry that is packed with the goodness of “superfoods”. A “superfood” is one that is full of goodness, in terms of healthful ingredients, anti-cancer components, antioxidants, vitamins, trace elements, etc.
Bains suggests that his recipe for the ultimate superfood dish, which should be eaten once a week, would stave off cancers, malnutrition, obesity and even Alzheimer’s disease. The dish contains natural antioxidants (preventing cellular damage and ageing), antifungals (against dangerous fungi that produce toxins), antivirals (to counteract infections with viruses like the common cold, flu, gastroenteritis viruses), antibacterials (to fight bacteria like salmonella), analgesics (to combat pain) and antineoplastic agents (to prevent cancer). The dish is packed with Indian spices, known to have superfood properties. Add to that blueberries and goji berries, yoghurt and garlic, onions, carrot and ginger and there is your superfood. In fact, Bains’ catch phrase is: “Superfoods + Superspices = Indian Superfood”.
In addition to all the good nutritive properties and healthful effects, his superfood recipe is also economical, able to be produced at $5.00 per serving. Now, all that remains is for me to reveal to you the recipe, with Gurpareet Bains’ blessing: Chicken Curry with Blueberries and Goji Berry PilauIngredients – Chicken Curry
500 g chicken breast, diced
500 g natural Greek low-fat yoghurt
200 g blueberries
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp salt
20 g fresh coriander, choppedIngredients – Rice pilau
1 cup Basmati rice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 grated carrot
50 g goji berries
A handful of peas
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp saltMethod
• Blend the chopped coriander, blueberries, ginger and salt with the yoghurt and set aside.
• Place the olive oil in a pan and het the garlic until it turns golden brown.
• Add the turmeric, heat for 20 seconds, and add the chilli powder and cinnamon, heating another 20 seconds.
• Stir in the chicken pieces and sear thoroughly, stirring thoroughly. Slowly pour in the yoghurt mixture and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
• Mix in the garam masala and garnish with extra coriander leaves.
• For the pilau, heat the oil and fry the cumin seeds for about 3 minutes or until they “pop”.
• Add the onion until golden brown and then stir in the turmeric, heating for 20 seconds.
• Add the carrot and cook for two minutes.
• Place this onion mixture, rice salt and 1 and 3/4 cups of boiling water in a microwaveable bowl and mix with a fork.
• Microwave for 4 minutes, mix and heat for a further 4 minutes.
• Stir again, cover and cook for another 4 minutes.
• Add the goji berries, peas and let stand covered for 10 minutes.
• Fluff with a fork and serve with the curry.
Bains’ Indian Superfood recipe book is due to be published by Absolute Press, March 2010.