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Paleo Curry Recipe

Updated on September 5, 2016
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Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home." She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated."

Paleo Curry With Cauliflower Rice
Paleo Curry With Cauliflower Rice | Source

Why Paleo?

The Paleo diet is based on the theory that we can better assimilate foods that were presumably available to Paleolithic human beings. In reality, it encourages clean eating and eliminates processed, packaged foods. It's touted to improve overall health and reset the body's metabolism.

The Paleo diet includes a good amount of healthy fats and animal proteins and is low in simple carbohydrates. My husband has tried many fad diets through the years, but this is the only diet he's been able to turn into a lifestyle. He lost 25 pounds through Paleo eating and has learned to broaden his culinary horizons by eating different vegetables.

Paleo dieting can get boring, so it's important to switch things up instead of getting stuck in a rut. Include a wide variety of proteins and vegetables in your diet. Indian cuisine is a good way to introduce new flavors. Although dairy is not a part of the Paleo lifestyle, yogurt is fermented dairy and so technically can be included in the Paleo diet. Ghee or clarified butter is used to saute vegetables and other ingredients.

But what about the rice, you may ask? Our favorite rice substitute is cauliflower rice. My formerly vegetable-loathing husband says he doesn't even miss the rice when served with this curry!

The only special ingredient I recommend for this dish is Shan's Bombay Biryani mix. One package can be divided into two portions if you desire a milder curry. The mix includes both ground and whole spices and is much easier than mixing up your own curry spices. Try it! You won't be disappointed.

Are Sweet Potatoes Paleo Friendly?

Although white potatoes aren't on the Paleo diet because they're low on the glycemic index, are starchy and contain a toxin called saponin, sweet potatoes or yams are allowed. They're high on the glycemic index and are full of Vitamins A and C, besides fiber and many other vitamins and minerals. So eat up!

Gather ingredients
Gather ingredients | Source
Shan spices have the best flavor
Shan spices have the best flavor | Source
Choppped onions
Choppped onions | Source
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped tomatoes | Source
Saute onions and tomatoes
Saute onions and tomatoes | Source
Add ginger and garlic
Add ginger and garlic | Source
Add protein of choice, spices and yogurt
Add protein of choice, spices and yogurt | Source

Is Yogurt OK on the Paleo Diet?

Although most dairy products aren't allowed on the diet, yogurt and clarified butter or ghee are permitted. Since ghee contains no milk solids, it has a high smoke point, making it ideal for sauteeing vegetables and meat. One problem with the Paleo diet is a lack of calcium, so adding fermented milk products such as yogurt is actually a good idea. Yogurt is a traditional ingredient in Indian cooking.

If you still prefer not to use yogurt, you can just omit it or substitute 1/2 cup of canned coconut milk, also sold in Indian food stores.

Paleo Curry
Paleo Curry | Source

Paleo Curry

5 stars from 1 rating of Paleo Curry
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: 6-8 portions


  • 1 lb. Chicken or beef, Cubed
  • 2 large Onions, Diced
  • 4 medium Tomatoes, Chopped
  • 2 medium Yams or sweet potatoes, Chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Fresh ginger, Grated
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic, Minced
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, Plain
  • 1/4 cup Ghee or clarified butter, For sauteing
  • 1 packet Shan Bombay Biryani Mix
  • 2 cups Chicken broth, beef broth or water


  1. Fry the onions in ghee until golden. Add tomatoes and fry until soft, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add beef of chicken cubes, garlic, ginger, sweet potatoes, yogurt and Shan spices. Saute for 15 minutes. Add 2 cups of chicken broth, beef broth or water and simmer on low until meat and potatoes are tender.
  3. Prepare cauliflower rice, if using.
  4. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with a generous helping of plain yogurt on the side.

How to Make Ghee or Clarified Butter

Ghee is allowed on the Paleo diet because it has been separated from the milk solids. It's easy to make. Just melt a few tablespoons of butter in the microwave or on the stovetop until bubbly. Allow the butter to settle and spoon off the top portion, leaving the milk solids in the bottom of the container.

Paleo Curry
Paleo Curry | Source

Optional Side Dishes

Would you like to serve a side dish with this curry? Raita is a salad traditionally served with curries. It includes fresh veggies and yogurt, which cools the palate. Roughly chop:

  • 1 ripe tomato
  • 1 small cucumber

Dice 1/4 cup red onion. Add one cup of yogurt and a tablespoon of chopped fresh cilantro. Whisk until smooth. Salt to taste if desired.


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