Crying Over Indian Food and a Chicken Curry Recipe

by Her Happy Balance on February 4, 2013

I have a confession to make….I have a weak spot for Indian food. I love spicy food and the flavors are just out of this world. I can’t get enough of it. So recently I decided to check out a restaurant that was recommended to me as being top of the line authentic.

When I went into the restaurant, the authenticity was immediately confirmed as I was the only white person there, a good sign in my book! I placed my order for way too much food: samosas, a dosa, chicken tikka masala, and chicken biryani. Everything was going great until I got to the biryani. When it came out I was so excited, it looked incredible, very colorful! I am still somewhat of an Indian food newbie and I was surprised to see that the biryani had the greenest green beans I’ve ever seen in it. They looked so fresh so I decided they would be my first bite….only they weren’t green beans.



I ate those. I am convinced they are the spiciest peppers in the world. THE WORLD! And the peppers didn’t have the stems on them (like they’re pictured) so you could see how I would think it would be a green bean, right? RIGHT?! Ugh. Well after a few bites I knew I was very sadly mistaken and had to spit it out. I thought I was okay, but my body said otherwise. Tears started pouring out of my eyes. I couldn’t control it. I was suddenly focused on not dying. I started eating forkful after forkful of yogurt sauce like a mad woman trying to neutralize the inferno that was my mouth. I tried to pull it together, but oh man guys, crying and suddenly downing glasses of water in a frenzy makes it hard to look cool. Not to mention, snot was spilling out of my nose. Everything just flies out the window when you eat one of those suckers. When I felt like I could start breathing again, I paid and left. Then on the way home, I stopped and got a milkshake. I downed it. It just didn’t stand a chance. I have no shame. So where is she going with this? Well, friends, I think I’m sticking to making homemade Indian food for now. You know, so I can control the ingredients, and not slip green bean-like peppers into unsuspecting guest’s dinners. When I get a craving for Indian, now I make this:

Promise You Won’t Cry Chicken Curry:

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 onion

2 tablespoons garlic

3 tablespoons curry powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon paprika

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon grated ginger root

½ teaspoon white sugar

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 cup plain yogurt

¾ cup coconut milk

½ lemon juiced

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

chopped chicken breast

salt and pepper

Heat the curry, paprika, and cinnamon in a pot over a medium heat without any of the other ingredients for about 3 minutes. I know this sounds a little strange, but you do this first to bring out an extra spicy flavor from your curry. If you prefer a more mild dish, skip this step and just add the spices in later.  Sauté your onion in oil and garlic until the onion is translucent.  Add chicken, ginger, tomato paste, yogurt, bay leaf, and coconut milk.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf, add lemon juice and cayenne pepper.  Simmer for 5 more minutes. I served it with yellow Mexican rice, but you could serve it with brown rice or quinoa too. I just used what I had in the pantry.chicken curry

You don’t have to feel bad about eating this dish either, it’s chicken! Nice lean protein with lots of spices. Also, did you know that capsaicin (the spicy compound in cayenne peppers) acts as an antioxidant and that it may help to lower your cholesterol and blood glucose levels? You can read more about that here!  So there’s benefits to eating a spicy dish like this for that reason too!


What your favorite type of ethnic food?

Have you ever eaten something by mistake before? (Come on someone please share an embarrassing story so I feel better)

What did you do this weekend?

Comments on this entry are closed.

Running In Heels February 4, 2013 at 8:57 am

OMG! I would die!! I have never been able to eat peppers, I can’t imagine if I ate one on accident!

Her Happy Balance February 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm

It was quite an experience and one that I hope to never repeat!

TorontoRunner February 4, 2013 at 8:22 am

oh my gosh! I lived off Indian food during my 4 years in university and living away from home. By faaar, probably my favourite type of food to eat when out! I like spicy..but wow, those peppers sound absolutely insane!!

Her Happy Balance February 4, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I work for a university so there are tons of college take-out food places. I’ve had a chance to try a lot of new things which is so fun, but this one dish just was a little much for my taste buds.

pickyrunner February 4, 2013 at 8:42 am

I would have freaked out haha I am such a picky eater so the idea of biting into my beloved green beans and having it be something totally different would make me kind of angry haha but good for you for trying new foods even if it wasn’t necessarily intentional or delicious!

Her Happy Balance February 4, 2013 at 9:13 pm

I know, I LOVE green beans and this one looked so vibrant and then tasted so bad! I was not a happy camper!

jessiebearwhat February 4, 2013 at 9:21 am

hahahaha oh no! That’s awful. I hate accidentally eating really spicey stuff, especially in public!

Her Happy Balance February 4, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Yes, I looked like a total newb. I was trying so hard not to look ridiculously obvious but that was pretty difficult when I felt like I just ate lava.

Alex @ therunwithin February 4, 2013 at 10:14 am

I am such a spice girl, I always love testing the limit of my taste buds. this recipe sounds mighty good.

Her Happy Balance February 4, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Thank you! It’s still really spicy without getting so hot that you can’t even taste it.

Flake And Cake February 4, 2013 at 11:23 am

That curry looks super yum, I love a good spicy curry on cold days. My favourite ethic food has to be Japanese because I love sushi but Indian comes a close second. I’m allergic to cheese and once accidentally ate cheesecake. Ended up in hospital, which was a very embarrassing way!

Her Happy Balance February 4, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Oh no! I dot actually know anyone with a cheese allergy, are there any good cheese substitutes out there? As sushi is fantastic, totally agree with you there!

Brittany February 4, 2013 at 11:32 am

I love spicy! Probably not those peppers though. I am really into thai food, I love a green chicken curry dish at our local place. Havent tried Indian food yet but I did get a recommendation for a restaurant that I plan on trying soon!

Her Happy Balance February 4, 2013 at 9:07 pm

I’ve been wanting to find a good Thai place! I’ve never really ha authentic Thai so maybe ill add that to my list of to-dos!

jsresults February 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

Awesome post! I love spicy food! I wish I ate ethnic food more often

Her Happy Balance February 4, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Me too! And just excuse you go out doesn’t mean you can’t find a healthy option on the menu 🙂 I read your post earlier about the burger place so I know you get this.

ArunaAdvaney February 4, 2013 at 12:09 pm

They’re called Thai Hot Peppers, and they’re a staple at our house.

We’re Indian, and my mom uses these peppers in all her recipes: curries, bhajis (veggie stews), potato mixtures, sauteed veggies, etc. However, she NEVER puts them in whole. She uses about 4-6 of them per batch, and she chops them up so that they blend into the recipe, making it subtly spicy.

Today, she’s making tomato curry of cauliflower and potatoes, and adding the thai hot peppers as usual:

I’ve gotten into the habit of adding cheese to everything, lol. My western twist.

Her Happy Balance February 4, 2013 at 8:30 pm

I think your mom needs to tell the chef at this restaurant not to put them in whole! I was scarfing down drinks like it was my job to try to cool my mouth off. And I’ll definitely have to check the recipe out! Always looking for new ones 🙂 And cheese just makes everything better!

ArunaAdvaney February 4, 2013 at 8:56 pm

So sorry you went through that.

If you like cheese, look for Saag/Palak Paneer on the menu next time. “Saag” or “Palak” is spinach curry and “Paneer” is cheese. It’s a spinach curry with cubes of very firm, slightly tangy indian cheese. It shouldn’t be spicy.

If you’re weary of restaurants, you can also find Indian frozen meals now by Indian food companies like Swad and Tandoor Chef to name a few. Check out their websites. I think they’re less likely to over-spice packaged food, and you can always read their ingredients. Hope that helps. 🙂

jumpeatrun February 4, 2013 at 1:19 pm

I love Indian food! Need to find a good place in Denver 🙂

Her Happy Balance February 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Good luck finding one, keep us posted in case I ever travel there 🙂

Tiny n Fit February 4, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Oh my! What a crummy experience when you were so excited! I actually never ate Indian food growing up (my dad was allergic to curry) so I don’t really have a taste for it. But I do love me some spicy- but not snot-down-your-face spicy. That’s crazy! I’m hope the milkshake made up for it 🙂

Her Happy Balance February 4, 2013 at 8:28 pm

The milkshake was my saving grace! And yes, I’m hoping never to sport the snot-down-my-face look again 🙂

deniliese February 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I had my first taste of indian food (ever. I know. 21 years without it? How did I live?!) And absolutely loved it! Though I don’t remember what I had :X

Her Happy Balance February 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm

It’s amazing, right?! And yeah I understand, the names are hard to remember, but it all tastes good so it’s okay 🙂

Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen February 4, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I love Indian food. The spicier the better. Looks like a good recipe too!

Her Happy Balance February 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm

That’s what I thought too until my little incident haha. Now I’m okay with milder food for a while 🙂 And thank you!

Colin DeWaay February 4, 2013 at 6:29 pm

I recently discovered I like Indian food. I guess you just have to get over the way it looks. 🙂 But I love spicy food so it makes sense!

Her Happy Balance February 4, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Yeah, I never grew up eating Indian food, but working in the city exposed me to lots of new cuisines. Gotta love spicy! 🙂

bezzymates February 4, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Poor you. A similar thing happened to me in Guatemala, when I bit into some kind of chili pepper. Tears were rolling down my face from the heat!

Her Happy Balance February 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm

So you feel my pain! Thanks for sharing, it’s not the best experience ever to say the least!

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