Dum Murgh

Another Indian chicken! One of the things I love about this dish is that you really don’t need to measure every last thing. It’s one of those dishes that gives you exactly what you put into it. So imagine if you will a nice nutty blend of almond and coconut, the slight sweetness of onion and a touch of garlic mixed in with with the heat of chili powder and garam masala held in check by yogurt. Oh, and chicken.

Sound good? Then let’s get into it.

The first thing you want to do is toast about a cup of shredded coconut and a cup of almond flour. The idea is to toast it and not let it burn, which can happen pretty quickly if you’re not stirring constantly because we’re dealing with coconut here. (Try to use the unsweetened variety. It tastes better.) When toasted, set it aside.

Chop a large onion and saute in butter. To this, add approximately 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces. Thighs work as well, but I used breasts because of the higher protein content. Continue to saute for about 8 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the onions and chicken into a baking dish and spread the coconut and almond mixture over them. In a separate dish, mix together 2 cups of yogurt, 2 tablespoons of chili powder and 1 tablespoon of garam masala and spread evenly over the rest. Add salt to taste.

Cover with foil, poking holes in it to let the steam escape. Cook in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!

Total protein per serving: 84 grams

Total cost per serving: ~$5.00

Butter Chicken

If you are my friend on Instagram, chances are you have already seen this picture. I make this chicken often, especially for lunch. It’s quick, easy and it is one of my favorite ways to consume about 85 grams of protein in one sitting.

Melt a tbsp of butter in a skillet and add half a diced onion. Saute until translucent. Add bite sized chicken breast pieces. A usual chicken breast is about 8 oz. cooked, which will give you about 72 grams of protein. Depending on where my protein needs and my workouts are for the day, I eat about half to three-quarters of a breast at a sitting.

When the breast is almost cooked (it doesn’t take very long at all!) add 2 tbsp of tomato paste and just enough water for the consistency you want. I will add about 1/4 cup, but I like my gravy fairly thick. Cover, simmer, cook another 5 minutes or until chicken in cooked through.

Add 1/2 tsp chili powder, salt to taste and 1/2 tsp of garam masala. Add more spices if desired.

Garnish with cilantro and serve with a tortilla.

Total calories: 675 (with tortilla)

Total protein: 79 grams (with tortilla)

Cost: ~$2.50

Indian Fried Okra

This one is a bit of a hat tip to my childhood. I ate a lot of okra growing up in Bombay.

Now, granted okra isn’t cheap around here, but I still get quite excited when I see it fresh and make sure to get some because it’s so rare. This meal just isn’t the same with frozen okra.

The trick to making this snack or lunch high in protein is to combine it with yogurt.

Heat up about 3 tbsp of oil in a small frying pan. Add a 1/4 tsp of asafoetida powder, 1/4 tsp tumeric powder and 1 tsp of mustard seeds (all available at any Indian grocery store).

When the mustard seeds crackle, add 3 – 4 cups chopped okra, salt to taste and continue to cook.

Many people refuse to eat okra because they complain of the texture being slimy. If this bothers you, can add about a tablespoon of dried mango powder to it at this point. (Sorry, I guess I’m sending you to the Indian grocery store again. Dried mango powder is also found at Amazon.)

At this point, add 2 tsp of cumin powder, coriander powder and chili powder. (Cut down on chili powder if you’re worried about the heat.)

Saute for a few more minutes and it’s done! This makes enough for 2 servings. Serve with 1/2 cup yogurt.

Total calories per serving: 336

Total protein per serving: 14 grams

Cost per serving: $3.39