I love curry, especially Indian and Thai curry. In general, a good curry meal (whether it be red, green, yellow, or some other curry) is my top meal choice when lunch or dinner comes around. Below are a few of the health benefits of curry and some curry recipes.
Health Benefits of Curry (especially Turmeric)
The health benefits of curry are immense. I first heard about turmeric, often the main ingredient in curry that gives it which yellow or orange color, on a community sponsored radio program describing medicinal culinary herbology. It was said by the medicinal herbalist on the radio station I was listening to that turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory which cleans and restores the liver. As a result of its anti-inflammatory qualities, it is also helpful in treating arthritis.
This special curry spice has also been touted as a possible cure for Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and heart disease. The herbalist on this radio show thought that it was the ongoing use of turmeric that kept the people of India healthy despite the quality if life issues that abound there.
A variety of spices are used to make “curry” (i.e. cinnamon, black pepper, allspice, anise, asafoetida, cardamom, chili pepper, clovers, coriander leaves, cumin, and many other spices, I’m sure) and many of them contain good healing qualities of their own as well.
Health Benefits of Coconut Milk
On another note, coconut milk is another main ingredient of most curry recipes and coconut is a digestible food that is very helpful in nourishing the glandular system. Coconut milk has many uses and, in general, is great in helping to build up your immune system and your body’s defenses.
“Half the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut milk are composed of lauric acid, which is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Coconut milk can help boost the immune system.” It also “contains many vitamins, minerals and electrolytes, including potassium, calcium and chloride.”
Additionally, though it is high in saturated fat, coconut milk can help you to lose weight. “The saturated fat in coconut is made up of short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids the body quickly turns into energy instead of storing as fat. Therefore, even though it’s high in saturated fat, coconut can aid in weight loss.”
Delicious Curry Recipes
Take a large skillet and stir fry any veggies of your choice. (With curry dishes, there are worlds of different nuances in style and possibility.) You can make a Red Curry, Green Curry, Pineapple Curry, Yellow Curry, or even Peanut Curry. Or you can make something unique to your tastes.
For any recipe, stir fry the veggies for a few minutes first, until they are a little soft. Then, stir in a can of full bodied coconut milk and a couple tablespoons (to taste) of whatever curry powder you desire (could be a Thai curry blend, an Indian curry blend, or some curry blend from your local health food store).
It is a lot of fun to experiment with different veggies, especially little extras/goodies like bean sprouts, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, cashews, baby corn, etc. It is also fun to experiment with different curries. Find the one, or ones, you like best!
After adding the coconut milk, curry, and your favorite little goodies, let everything simmer for a few minutes longer until warm again.
Serve any curry you choose to make with some warm steamed rice, cous cous, or another grain of your choice. Adding some cubed tofu is also good (I prefer it added at the end, not fried beforehand). I just ate dinner, but my mouth is watering writing this up nonetheless.
Traditionally, green curry has a lot of fresh green peppers, scallions, carrots, and snow peas.
Yellow curry consists primarily of potatoes, onions, carrots, and peas. It is a milder curry option.
Red curry is often heavy on red bell peppers and tomatoes, with some red tomato paste and red chili peppers (or, at least, chili or cayenne powder) added.
Believe it or not, making pineapple curry involves tossing in a few chunks of pineapple (usually to a red or yellow curry mix).
Photo Credits: Lorenia via flickr and Lorenia via flickr
3 thoughts on “Curry Recipes and Health Benefits of Curry”
I’m drooling just looking at those photos! It’s curry for dinner tonight, no question!
Zach, I am so with you. Curry is one of my all-time favorite foods, especially Thai red curries with tofu. Good to know that they are so healthful!
For the coconut milk, it’s better if you create fresh from the coconut itself instead of using instant coconut milk. The smell is different and the taste is definitely much better from the fresh one.