Lemongrass is a tropical plant belonging to the grass family. This family belongs to one of the most abundant groups of plants on earth and it is absent only in central Greenland and much of Antarctica.
Lemongrass is widely used as a culinary herb in Asian cuisine. It has a subtly citrus flavor and it is commonly used in soups, curries and teas. This herb is heavenly when used with poultry and seafood and it pairs very well with ginger. In Ayurvedic medicine lemongrass is used as herbal brew against common cold, cough and nasal congestion. Numerous studies show that lemongrass essential oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-amoebic, antibacterial, anti-diarrheal, anti-filarial and anti-fungal properties. Lemongrass assists in restoring digestion, respiration, excretion and nervous system. This, in its turn, assists in a better absorption of nutrients and strengthens the immune system. All these studies confirm once again that Hippocrates was so right when he said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
And speaking of food as medicine…This Spicy Lemongrass Chicken Curry has some of the most potent anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as turmeric, ginger and garlic. This recipe was developed two months ago, but for a number of reasons I kept on procrastinating and didn’t publish it right away. The good news is that procrastination isn’t always a bad thing as it allowed me to tweak the recipe a bit each time I cooked it. For example, I sort of like chewing on ginger as it releases flavor with each and every bite, but I understand that not everyone shares this passion of mine and I thought that it would be nice to provide an option for a more traditional curry. Below, under notes, you will find a number of tips on how to vary this curry.
With warm summer days left behind and colder days lurking just around the corner, wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy hearty meals prepared in the instant pot? Stay tuned as there are more instant pot recipes coming up next month!
- 1 lemongrass stalk*
- 2 cups coconut milk
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- 30g fresh ginger, sliced into match-size sticks
- 2 tablespoons duck fat
- ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves, whole
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 5 cloves garlic, halved
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch+1 tablespoon lukewarm water (optional)
- 1 lime, juiced
- Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Clean and cut lemongrass into 2 inch pieces and then cut each piece by half.
- In a bowl combine together the coconut milk together with coconut aminos, fish sauce, turmeric and salt. Next add the lemongrass and ginger sticks and set aside.
- Press the “Sauté” button on the instant pot and preheat the insert. Add the duck fat, onion, cloves and cinnamon stick and sauté until the onion softens, about 3 minutes.
- Next add the grated ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir in the apple cider vinegar to deglaze.
- Pour in the coconut mixture and add the chicken chunks. Cancel the sauté function.
- Close and lock the lid. Press the “Poultry" button. Once the time is up, quick release the pressure.
- In a small bowl whisk together the arrowroot starch with water and stir in.
- Lastly add the lime juice and cilantro leaves.
- Serve and enjoy!
For a smoother curry combine the coconut milk with lemongrass, ginger, garlic, coconut aminos, fish sauce, turmeric and salt in a food processor or a blender and process until a smooth sauce is formed. Once curry is cooked run it through a sieve to remove pulp.
Variations: You can vary this curry by adding veggies: mushrooms, zucchini, sweet potatoes, etc. To prepare veggies heat 1 tablespoon of fat and vegetables in a skillet and sauté until softened and slightly browned.