Low-carb cauliflower rice with chicken
Delicately seasoned cauliflower ‘rice’ with spicy chicken – a healthy wholesome low-carb alternative to rice and also quick & easy. Flavor, flavor, flavor. This is what you would call a heavenly meal, with all its glory AND nutrition.
The cauliflower rice and masala chicken may look and even sound humble and boring, but looks can be deceptive. And you thought masala is only for curries and biriyani?? Try this dish and you will know what I’m talking about.
Will you believe me if I say that it is a delicious low-carb alternative to chicken biriyani with lesser healthier ingredients and quicker? Give it a try and you’ll realize it’s lighter on your stomach, leaving you guilt-free.
If you like roasted cauliflower, try these roasted tandoori cauliflower wings for an easy appetizer that calls for hands-free cooking in the oven.
Cauliflower rice ingredients
The cauliflower is riced and flavored with cumin seeds, black cumin and chili flakes. The black cumin seeds have a stronger flavor when compared to the brown ones and taste quite sharp. Black cumin seeds are believed to have some impressive medicinal properties. I have added both in this recipe but it’s ok if you can’t find the black cumin, just increase the quantity of regular cumin and the riced cauliflower could still taste amazing.
Masala chicken ingredients
As for the masala chicken, the marinade for chicken breast has a mix of chili powder, garam masala, cumin powder and yogurt. Yummy Indian flavors. (Like the oven-baked tandoori chicken and easy baked chicken drumsticks.) Low-carb ‘riced’ cauliflower, a spiced vegetable base full of fiber with lean protein. All the perfect ingredients for a sumptuous lunch, dinner or brunch.
For meal prep, the masala chicken can be marinated and riced cauliflower can be prepared well ahead and frozen. Whenever you’re hungry just thaw and cook the chicken with the marinade which would take about 10-15 minutes and then mix in the riced cauliflower and optional scrambled eggs. It’s as easy as that.
The masala chicken cauliflower rice stays fresh for 2 days in the refrigerator or 1 month in the freezer. Store in airtight containers or ziploc bags. If freezing, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat in the microwave.
Marinating boneless chicken breasts in yogurt
- Marinating in yogurt helps soften the chicken so it doesn’t turn dry when cooked.
- Yogurt imparts a creamy texture to any dish.
- It mellows down the sharp flavors of Indian spices.
- Yogurt aids digestion and hence good to have with any animal protein.
- I looove yogurt for its probiotics.
Reasons you’ll love the masala chicken cauliflower rice
- A cheap and lean protein, chicken is the best, um, okay, one of the best ways to get your protein.
- The magic of the Indian garam masala is that it can transform anything into a delicious one.
- The low carb riced cauliflower adapts to any flavor so easily that it tastes great with just a little bit of seasoning.
- Cauliflower lovers, this recipe is for you!
- Cauliflower haters, this recipe is also for you!!
Tips to cook the best cauliflower rice with masala chicken
- Choose a fresh, firm cauliflower. The success of the dish almost entirely depends on the cauliflower.
- DO NOT cook the cauliflower covered, it might get soggy.
- The softness of the chicken. In other words, the more the marination time, the better. Ideally, marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
- Don’t even attempt this recipe if you ran out of yogurt. It’s the must-have ingredient to turn out flavorful melt-in-your-mouth masala chicken.
Prepare the cauliflower rice
For the riced cauliflower, you’ll need a medium-sized head of cauliflower, 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon black cumin seeds which is optional, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 eggs, salt, pepper, lemon juice and cilantro for garnish.
Marinate the chicken with spices and yogurt
For the masala chicken, you’ll need 500 grams chicken breast, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala,1 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder, 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste, 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt and salt.
How to make cauliflower rice
Chop the cauliflower into big chunks with the stalks. ‘Rice’ the cauliflower using the grater attachment of your food processor. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds and chili flakes. Black cumin has a stronger flavor and can be found in Indian stores. It’s just optional, so don’t fret over it if you can’t find. Cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the riced cauliflower and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with a dash of salt and pepper and transfer onto a plate.
How to cook masala chicken
Chop the chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade and coat the chicken. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the same pan and add the chicken with the marinade. Stir well and cook covered for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes on high heat until the mixture thickens and all water evaporates. The marinated chicken will leave out a lot of water while cooking, just keep stirring on high heat until the mixture thickens.
Beat the eggs with salt, pepper and a pinch or two of turmeric powder. Heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in an omelet pan and scramble the eggs.
Toss the cooked chicken, cauliflower rice and the eggs together with a sprinkling of lemon juice and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve garnished with cilantro. Yummy!
For a vegetarian version, replace chicken with extra firm tofu.
More cauliflower recipes
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Thank you and happy cooking!