Seven of the top ten most antioxidant foods available to us are herbs and spices, including; cloves, oregano, rosemary, thyme, cinnamon and turmeric.
Using herbs and spices in our meals, and especially with other superfoods, makes them healthier still.
For my recipe to make the world’s healthiest meal, I combine large quantities of some of the most free radical fighting foods on the planet, including blueberries and goji berries, and I even go a step further by using a vast quantity of cinnamon. We can only do this in the Indian kitchen, where spices do not overpower meals.
A single serving contains as many health-boosting antioxidants as 49 bowls of spinach, 23 bunches of grapes or nine helpings of broccoli!
Chicken Curry with Blueberries and Cinnamon
Serves 4 and can be made in 45-50 mins
Having so many blueberry anthocyanins, which may aid memory power and promote fat loss, jutting around in a chicken curry, is something quite wonderful. A whopping amount of cinnamon, one of the top ten of the world’s most powerful foods, further blasts this recipe into its superfood status. Yogurt and fresh coriander help you to stay in tip-top shape by expediting the body’s digestive processes.
You may assume this curry to be sweet in taste, but nothing could be further from the truth. The tart yogurt and superspices negate much of the natural blueberry sweetness and what we are left with is a light, yet traditional and tangy-tasting, curry.
This recipe was part of the ‘world’s healthiest meal’ that I created in 2009, which became an overnight hit when BBC Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans declared live on-air that it was ‘the best curry I’ve ever tasted’.
- 7 oz fresh or frozen blueberries (200g)
- ¾ oz bunch of fresh coriander, coarsely chopped (20g)
- 2 tablespoons grated (peeled) fresh root ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 cups low-fat Greek yogurt (500g)
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 17 oz skinless, chicken breast meat, cut into bite-size pieces (500g)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- extra chopped fresh coriander, to garnish
- In a food processor, blend together the blueberries, chopped coriander, ginger, salt and yogurt to make a purée.
- Set aside.
- Place the garlic in a deep saucepan with the olive oil and cook over a low-medium heat until the garlic starts to turn a brown colour – this should take no longer than 1–2 minutes. Add the turmeric, mix well and cook for about 20 seconds. Stir in the cinnamon and chili powder and cook for a further 20 seconds.
- Add the chicken meat, and mix well, cook until the chicken is sealed all over – stirring all the time. Now slowly pour in the yogurt mixture, mixing it into the chicken, and then bring to a simmer over a low heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Mix through the garam masala.
- Garnish with the extra chopped coriander and serve with Goji Berry and Green Pea Pilau.
Goji Berry and Green Pea Pilau
Serves 4 and can be made in 25 mins
The superfood twist is brought into full swing with the inclusion of ruby-coloured goji berries which add loads of vitamin C, as well as a wonderful and slightly fruity, almost tea like flavour.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 cup basmati rice
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- a small handful of dried goji berries
- a handful of green peas (fresh or frozen)
- Pour the olive oil into a deep saucepan, add and cumin seeds and cook over a low-medium heat until the seeds begin to pop – this should take no more than 2–3 minutes. Add the onion and cook until it is soft, stirring frequently – this should take no more than 5 minutes. As soon as the onion is soft, add the carrot and cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Place the onion mixture, rice, salt and 1 ¾ cup boiling water into a large microwave safe bowl and mix with a fork.
- Microwave, uncovered, for 4 minutes on HIGH at 700W, or for 31/2 minutes on HIGH at 800W or for 3 minutes on HIGH at 900W.
- Mix with a fork. Microwave, uncovered, for a further 4 minutes on HIGH at 700W, or for a further 3 1/2 minutes on HIGH at 800W, or for a further 3 minutes on HIGH at 900W.
- Mix with a fork. Cover the bowl and microwave for a further 4 minutes on HIGH at 700W, or for a further 3 1/2 minutes on HIGH at 800W, or for a further 3 minutes on HIGH at 900W.
- Take the pilau out of the microwave, add the goji berries and peas on top of the rice and leave it to stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
Gurpareet Bains is the author of The Superfood Diet and Indian Superfood.