My husband and I love Indian food, and we also both hate joint pain. Thankfully, those two things go really well together. I have knee pain and my husband has back pain, but every time we eat this spice-infused meal, we end up feeling a little bit better.
Nutritional facts: why this meal is good for joint pain
This meal is full of anti-inflammatory foods that can help relieve the swelling and stiffness that comes with joint pain. Foods like ginger, garlic, and especially turmeric can help provide you relief by reducing inflammation. Turmeric is what gives Chicken Tikka Masala its orange color, great taste, and health benefits. Turmeric has been used as a medicinal herb for a long time. It is a strong antioxidant because of the curcumin inside of it. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, some professionals even say that it can help with a healthy brain and heart. So enjoy this meal knowing of the benefits it will give your joints.
Chicken Tikka Masala
6 garlic cloves, finely grated
4 tsp. finely grated peeled ginger
4 tsp. ground turmeric
2 tsp. garam masala
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. ground cumin
1½ cups whole-milk yogurt
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise
3 Tbsp. ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup tomato paste
6 cardamom pods, crushed
4 dried chiles de árbol (add less or more depending on how spicy you like it)
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups heavy cream or coconut milk
¾ cup chopped cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
Steamed basmati rice (for serving)
- Cube raw chicken into bite-sized pieces and place in a medium bowl.
- Mix together garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, and cumin in a small bowl. Whisk together yogurt and salt, and then pour half of the spice mixture into the yogurt and mix it together. Set aside the rest of the spice mixture. Pour the yogurt mixture into the chicken and stir until all the chicken is coated. Cover and refrigerate the chicken for 4 to 6 hours. Note: I let the chicken marinate for only 30 minutes and it ended up tasting great. If you have less time, I recommend doing that.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. After the chicken has some time to marinate, place it on a rack on a baking sheet (cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil for drippings). Cook the chicken for 20 minutes at 350, and then for 10 more minutes at 425 degrees fahrenheit. Then turn the oven to broil to broil the chicken until the outside starts to blacken. This is also a great time to start cooking the rice.
- While the chicken cooks, heat ghee or oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. I used a dutch oven. Add onion, tomato paste, cardamom, and chiles (I couldn’t find cardamom pods, so I added a few dashes of ground cardamom, and it worked well). Cook until onion is soft and tomato paste has darkened. Add in the rest of your spice mixture. Stir frequently.
- When the bottom of the pot begins to brown, add in tomatoes with juices, crushing the tomatoes with your hands as you add them in (if you don’t like tomato chunks, blend the tomato and juices in a blender then pour that in). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer, and stir often, scraping the bottom of the pot. Leave the pot uncovered until the sauce thickens.
- Add cream or coconut milk (I recommend coconut milk) and chopped cilantro. Simmer, still stirring occasionally. Leave the pot uncovered until the sauce thickens.
- When chicken is cooked, add it into the sauce. Serve over rice. Garnish with more cilantro and make some naan bread to go with it.
- Enjoy the yummy meal and pain-free joints. And don’t forget to roll out on the Chirp Wheel+ for even more joint pain relief.
Fisher-Titus Healthy Living Team. (n.d.). Improve Your Joint Health with These 12 Superfoods. Retrieved from https://www.fishertitus.org/health/superfoods-for-healthy-joints
Gunnars, K. (2018, July 13). 10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric#section1
Link, R. (2017, October 4). The 10 Best Foods to Eat If You Have Arthritis. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-foods-for-arthritis#section4
Roman, A. (2013, March 8). Chicken Tikka Masala. Retrieved from https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/chicken-tikka-masala