Holi, Indian Festival of Colors: Chicken Tikka Masala Whole30 Style

Contains:  Coconut, nightshades.  Is:  Gluten-free, Paleo, Whole 30.     

Paleo, Whole30, Chicken, Tikka masala, Recipe, cauliflower, Indian, dairy-free, coconut

Yes, if you prefer to have basmati or jasmine rice instead of cauliflower rice, please go ahead.  I made this when I wanted to do one of those Whole 30 resets this month, which among other things means no grains or dairy for 30 days (ghee being an exception).  You are welcome to rip into making some really good basmati.  Didn’t end up doing it (too many meals out this month, etc, but I’m largely eating Paleo at home for various reasons this spring).   And, just sometimes cauliflower tastes better than rice.  Sometimes often.

The recipe I adapted for today’s blog post is indeed Paleo/Whole 30.  My main change on this is that I don’t see a need for boneless, skinless chicken breast when boneless, skinless chicken thigh is 1) available, 2) much more tasty, 3) has a higher nutrient profile, 4) more lonely on the American supermarket shelf.  But if you feel the need for the breast, please just sub it back in.  I won’t chase after you.  More happy thigh meat for me…

(I do have two full chickens plus several parts left in my freezer from my homestead harvest, but I’ve other plans for them.)

I also didn’t run the sauce through a blender.  I like chunks.  I don’t like cleaning out the blender more than I have to, either.

BUT, if you want to make this vegetarian, try subbing in mushrooms or eggplant for the chicken.  Tofu would work if you don’t care if you do this Paleo.  For vegan, in addition, substitute a high temperature cooking oil for the ghee.  Do report back!

Alas, no cilantro when I was last at the supermarket.  But the exclusion will probably satisfy those of my readers who have the gene that makes this herb taste like soap to them — for me, I’m just going to have to imagine it’s in there this time!

The source recipe is at:  Oliveyouwhole’s whole30 Chicken Tikka Masala

Recipe, Paleo, Whole30, chicken, tikka masala, dairy-free, nightshades, coconut, tomato

Canned ingredients used for this

Holi, Indian Festival of Colors

A bit of the background for Holi:  

In my pre-retirement days, I worked with more than several people who hailed from India — various areas in India.  The sciences have attracted a plethora of hardworking folk from Asian (and other) nations over the past couple decades or so.  I got interested in the food, culture, history, and holidays of many of my work compatriots.  Holi is a spring celebration, also known as the Festival of Colors.  It, like many other cultural celebrations around the world, is yet another lunar celebration…  which means it won’t fall on the same day every year as its date is based on the full moon.

Holi is celebrated most actively in India and Nepal, but of course celebrants have brought this to just about every place in the world they have settled.  Overall, it is a Hindu celebration, but neighboring groups might also celebrate.  The holiday celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of spring (hey, I am really on board for this!)  It is a good time to mend friendships that went astray.  To salute new beginnings, the going away of the old, and the partying atmosphere of welcoming in the new.  There’s a sense of commitment here, too.  It starts the evening before, preferably around a bonfire, and includes the full day of colors upon the next sunrise:

The next morning is celebrated as Rangwali Holi – a free-for-all festival of colours, where people smear each other with colours and drench each other. Water guns and water-filled balloons are also used to play and colour each other. Anyone and everyone is fair game, friend or stranger, rich or poor, man or woman, children and elders. The frolic and fight with colours occurs in the open streets, open parks, outside temples and buildings. Groups carry drums and other musical instruments, go from place to place, sing and dance. People visit family, friends and foes to throw coloured powders on each other, laugh and gossip, then share Holi delicacies, food and drinks. – Wikipedia.  

This year, Holi starts on the evening of March 20, and lasts through March 21st – which is when you’ll see the colors come forth!  This year, it actually matches up with the Equinox, not something that will happen most years.

I do wonder how people cope with those colored powders that may end up in their eyes.  (As it is not just liquids being tossed about.)   Somehow, they must, but if anyone responding here knows, please do update me.

Recipe, Paleo, Whole30, dairy-free, chicken, tikka masala, coconut, nightshades

After nearly six hours of marinating, this chicken has been pulled from the fridge, and is ready to meet the rest of its sauce

At any rate, here’s an Indian recipe, which looked quite intriguing.  I had the ingredients to hand (well, except the cilantro, alas); and, this one is Paleo.  Again, feel free to switch back to standard basmati or jasmine rice.

Prep Time: 20 minutes.
Marinating Time:  4-6 hours.
Cook Time:  50 minutes.
Rest Time: Not necessary.
Serves: 2-3.
Cuisine:  Indian, Whole 30/Paleo style.
Leftovers: Go for it. Fridge for up to four-five days.

Paleo Chicken Tikka Masala


About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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2 Responses to Holi, Indian Festival of Colors: Chicken Tikka Masala Whole30 Style

  1. Jhuls says:

    Wow!! This sounds so tasty and I love that you made it Whole30. I also love chicken thighs -my favorite part. Thanks for sharing and happy Fiesta Friday!

    • When I actually DO my Whole30 (I did one a few years ago), I’m keeping this idea on tap. You have a good collection for Whole30, btw… I’ve noticed you do it periodically. And thighs, yes, the best and unsung part of the chicken. Shhhhh, don’t let them know, or the price will rise!

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