Easy Chicken in Green Coconutty Sauce

(no onion, no garlic; low fodmap)


We have to eat. Given that we are living beings, that’s a basic requirement. And, as humans, we generally need to eat at least a couple of meals a day on a regular basis. So since so much of our lives are spent on having to eat, why not enjoy it, why not take pleasure in it? Because eating is pleasurable. Then you’ll have these guaranteed pleasures to look forward to every day! How wonderful, right? And if you’e eating healthy nutritious meals, you have the added bonus of guilt-free pleasure.

Normally, I enjoy the process of cooking too. It’s creative, it’s soothing, it helps me forget about life’s stresses. But there are those days when it tends to feel like a chore. And normally, on those days, my husband and I would order in or go out to eat. But since I have been on the fodmap diet, eating restaurant meals is not just headache-inducing but also almost an impossibility – what forbidden ingredient might be lurking in the dish despite the dozen questions I’ve asked the waiter in the most apologetic way possible? I’ve been reduced to going only to sushi restaurants the times I eat out (fish, rice, seaweed are all allowed, so basic sushi is the best option for me). But I didn’t want to go out for sushi yet again.

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This dish resulted from one of those days. It’s so easy to make, it’s almost like not cooking.

And it includes 3 of my favorite simple readily-available ingredients – spinach, baby potatoes, and coconut milk. It tastes unbelievably good. And when I’m spending the few minutes making it, it’s so vibrant and green and healthy looking I just want to stare at the greenness of it – no joke. To me, all the green just screams of summer. It’s like summer’s appeared in my kitchen (even though it might be dreary out in reality).

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I use chicken legs and thighs, as the juice from the bones adds flavor. I also prefer to use baby spinach for this, as the flavor is more subtle – so I can use a lot of spinach, have all its nutritional power, without it overpowering the flavor of the dish. Since this dish is for when I’m in a lazy mood, I make enough so we can have leftovers the next day.

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Easy Chicken in Green Coconutty Sauce



  • 10 pieces of skinless chicken drumsticks and thighs
  • 6-8 baby potatoes, cut into halves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Green paste (makes 1 cup)

  • 6 oz or 4 cups fresh spinach (I use baby spinach)
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 green chili, deseeded
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Soak chicken pieces in a bowl of water.
  2. Pulse spinach, cilantro, chili, and lemon juice in a blender. You’ll get about 1 cup of very liquidy paste.
  3. Drain the the chicken pieces of water, sprinkle with pepper and 1/4 teaspoons salt, and add green paste. Mix thoroughly and marinate for 15 minutes.
  4. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat, add butter.
  5. When butter starts melting, add the bay leaves and cardamom, stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the potato halves, and fry for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add the chicken and green paste, coconut milk, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir throughly.
  8. When the liquid starts boiling, cover, lower heat to medium, and cook for about 30 minutes.
  9. Remove cover and cook for about another 5 minutes until sauce thickens, stirring from time to time.
  10. Remove from heat. This goes well with rice (or with bread like naan).
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