Curried Chicken & “Rice” Stew

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(Paleo, AIP, GAPS, Wahls)

Curried Chicken and "Rice" Stew | Phoenix Helix

“He who controls the spice controls the universe.”
~ Frank Herbert

Sometimes I wish I could photograph a smell or a taste, because curry is so strong in both, that a photo just doesn’t do it justice. When I first learned I had a nightshade intolerance, I thought curries were behind me. I had already made peace with giving up tomatoes and peppers and chorizo sausages, but a girl has to draw the line somewhere! So with a little experimenting, I created a nightshade-free curry that I love. Its heat is mild, but it’s full of flavor. If you thrive on nightshades, go ahead and cook this recipe with your traditional blend (and eat a tomato for me please!)



1 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs (cut into cubes)
1 large onion (chopped)
4 medium carrots (grated)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
2½ Tbsp. nightshade-free curry powder (see options below)
2 cups chicken broth (homemade or AIP-friendly brand)
2 large mangoes (peeled and cubed)
1 small head cauliflower (cut into florets)
1 lime
sea salt

Nighshade-Free Seeded Curry
my recipe and recommended if you tolerate seedbased spices

2 Tbsp. ground coriander
2 Tbsp. ground cumin
4 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. powdered ginger
1 tsp. dry mustard

Nightshade-Free Seedless Curry
Rachel’s recipe (use for strict AIP)

1/2 Tbsp granulated garlic
1/2 Tbsp granulated onion
1/2 Tbsp turmeric
1 tsp dried cilantro
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried dill weed
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp ground clove


  1. Choose your nightshade-free curry recipe. Whisk the ingredients together and put in a spice jar.
  2. In a large soup pot, melt coconut oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides. (You might need to brown the chicken in two batches. It’s okay if it’s not completely cooked, because it will cook more in later steps). With a slotted spoon, remove the browned chicken from the pan and set aside. Leave the chicken fat and juices in the pan.
  4. Add chopped onion to the soup pot and sauté 5 minutes.
  5. Add carrots, garlic and curry and sauté another 2 minutes.
  6. Return chicken to the pot and add broth and mangoes. Increase heat to a boil, then reduce heat, cover pan & simmer 15 minutes.
  7. Pulse cauliflower in food processor until it reaches a rice consistency. (You might need to pulse the cauliflower in 2 batches). Add cauliflower “rice” to soup pot & simmer a final 5 minutes.
  8. Juice the lime over the pot and stir to blend. Then add salt to taste.

Notes: (1) You can substitute 3 peaches or 4 apricots for the mangoes.(2) If you don’t have a nightshade sensitivity, you can use regular curry.

Looking for more curry recipes? Check out my
Sweet Coconut Shrimp Curry recipe & the SPICE e-cookbook

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This post is linked to the following blog carnivals:
Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable, What Am I Eating?, Whole Food Friday, Sunday School, Natural Living Monday, Make Your Own Monday, Fat Tuesday, Healthy Tuesday, Tuned-In Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Hearth & Soul Hop, Party Wave Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Allergy-Free Wednesday, Well Fed Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Tasty Traditions, Thank Your Body Thursday, Paleo Rodeo, Pennywise Platter Thursday,

Curried Chicken & Rice Stew | Phoenix Helix
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38 thoughts on “Curried Chicken & “Rice” Stew

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    • Yes, all curries contain nightshades in the form of red peppers. I’ve never seen a nightshade-free curry sold, which is why we have to make our own. In general, be very cautious of spice mixes in general and always read the labels. Avoid anything that includes cayenne, paprika, red pepper, chili powder or the generic term “spices.”

  3. My 24 year old son was just diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. He has been off dairy and glutin for 9 months and doing better. He has tried to be nightshade free for about 3 months but it is difficult and he loves peppers. We are both excited to try this nightshade free curry.

  4. Eileen, I’m so happy I found your website! Thank you for all of the clear, comprehensive info, and for the amazing recipes. This is my current favorite 🙂

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  6. Can you please clear up a dilemma I am having
    I cooked this up and yes, it tastes AMAZING!!
    but going back through the recipe the “nightshade-free seedless curry” powder had cumin in it?!?? the AIP clearly lists this as a nightshade spice and no-go!?!?
    was there an error ???

    • Hi Tessa, first let me reassure you that cumin isn’t a nightshade. It’s a seed. While nightshade spices are highly inflammatory for most people with autoimmune disease, seedbased spices are only inflammatory for a rare few people. The AIP recommends eliminating the seedbased spices for the first 30 days and then reintroducing, just to be on the safe side. This recipe gave two options for the curry powder: one includes the seedbased spices (for those who have successfully reintroduced) and one is a seedless curry. Cumin is in the one that’s clearly labeled as seeded. Did you accidentally make that one? If you did, don’t worry – most people do well with seedbased spices. Just monitor your body over the next 72 hours to see how you feel.

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  12. I’m looking to try this with beef instead of chicken. I’m guessing it would take longer to cook, though. Any idea how long I should let it simmer? I only have 1 lb. of beef stew meat, so I’ll be making half the recipe. I think it would be good with the mango (going to use frozen mango, since it’s not easy to get fresh mangoes this time of year where I am).

    • Stew meat takes a long time to cook, so actually, if you want to try this recipe with beef, I’d recommend ground beef instead, because it cooks as quickly as chicken. If you absolutely want to use the stew meat, I would cook the stew meat separately in a slow cooker with some broth, and cook it on low all day. Then, add the cooked stew meat to this recipe, and see how it goes. Keep in mind this is a major change to the recipe, so I don’t know how it will turn out. Let us know, though!

  13. HI. Love the spice blend. I’m currently doing my AIP reintroductions and was wondering if there are any other recipes that you think would go good with the nightshade free curry blend. Thanks!

  14. I’ve been enjoying looking at your blog. I just wanted to share that I found a nightshade free curry blend at Target – Archer Farms brand. Since their sources are liable to change, it’s not a guarantee, but I was thrilled to find it and have bought it several times over the last two years!

    • Also, I use this on frozen cauliflower that I roast….sort of my roasted potato substitute. It’s so yummy that I could eat a whole bag! Have to make two bags for the family….and frozen is way easier and just as good as a head!

      • Great tip, Jenny! For anyone else who’s interested, I checked Target’s website, and here’s the ingredient list for Archer Farms Curry Powder: Turmeric Root, Coriander Seed, Cinnamon, Cumin Seed, Garlic, Ginger Root, Black Pepper, Cloves. It’s perfect for anyone who has been able to reintroduce fruit and seed-based spices, but needs to avoid nightshades. (Like me and Jenny!)

  15. I am just wondering why your curry doesn’t contain curry leaves which were listed on your AIP spices list. Do curry leaves have a different flavor? I was excited to see them on your list since I just found an organic nursery that sells curry plants.

    • Hi Reschia. Ironically, curry powders never include curry leaves. It’s a totally different flavor. Have fun experimenting with the leaves, though. My understanding is that it imparts a unique smoky flavor to a dish.

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  18. Hi Eileen,
    I have made this recipe for my husband and I several times over the past year…it’s BEYOND GREAT!! The Curry Powder (seeded) is not only a favorite of ours, but several friends & family are making/using it as well!

  19. Hi. I’m just a month into the AIP journey, and I’ve lived trying out a few of your recipes. I am trying to be strict about the nightshades, and the link you give for Feed Me Rachel’s website doesn’t link to her site. Any other suggestions for a nightshade-free curry?

    • Hi Elissa. It looks she let her blog expire, but the recipe for that curry is listed above. You don’t need the link. And both of the curry recipes listed above are nightshade-free. Enjoy!

  20. Oh dear! I didn’t realize that the curry spice mix was to be mixed and then measured out!! I dumped the whole curry spice mix (~7 Tbsp!) AHHH! Any suggestion to save it? I would have to double (or triple) the non-spice ingredients to make it right? yikes :\

    • Hi Megan. Yeeks! We’ve all made mistakes like that in the kitchen. So frustrating! If you can increase the other ingredients, that would balance it out. If you can’t do that, try increasing the broth. It will be more of a soup than a stew, but it should dilute the flavor.

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