Masala Chicken and Vegetable Stew (Nightshade-Free)

Ali Segersten Jan 08, 2015 12 comments

I love curry dishes, but curry powder typically contains chili peppers (a nightshade vegetable). If you are following the Elimination Diet and craving curry, try this stew! It's warming, though not as spicy as a typical curry would be. I use garam masala powder, cumin seeds, and turmeric powder to create a flavorful dish without chili peppers. I know it's not authentic at all, but it is totally satisfying if you are on a nightshade-free diet or elimination diet!

Consuming nightshades (potatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, goji berries) can trigger joint pain, migraines, skin rashes, acne, GI upset, and inflammation in SOME people. Are you sensitive to nightshades? Please share your experiences in the comment section below. If you think nightshades might be an issue for you, the best way to determine that is to do an Elimination Diet.

Garam masala is a staple spice blend at our house. I use it a lot to flavor roasted vegetables, or garbanzo bean dishes. Garam means warm, and Masala means spice blend. Garam masala typically contains cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, black pepper, and coriander.


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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This was incredibly delicious. I know I posted on facebook, but I wanted someone who came to the page know I made it and we raved about the stew with every bite. We served it with short brown rice, which was nice and sticky and delicious. I love it when an elimination diet is more of a treat than a sacrifice. Thanks Ali. :)

You are correct, Ali. Nutmet is NOT a nightshade. Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans and other Myristica spp.) is in the Nutmeg family (Myristicaceae), NOT the Nightshade family (Solanaceae).

Where are you getting your information on nutmeg? Nutmeg grows on a tree and is not a nightshade. I also don't use it here in this recipe or in my garam masala blend. I know for those following an AIP diet this recipe would not be ideal because of some of the spices (seeds), but it is not designed for the AIP.

Oh that can get frustrating! There is some new research pointing to genetics and eating who knows! My kids just eat what we have for the most part. I have one that picks out peas from meals and another that isn't fond of cooked carrots but thats about as far as it gets. Give it time and keep offering your beautiful real food meals. Maybe one day they will just eat what you serve and you won't even look back. :)

This sounds really yummy, but FYI nutmeg is a nightshade! Garam Marsala also contains nutmeg - so there's a double dose! Also, if you in the midst of the elimination diet or on a strict version of the autoimmune protocol, black pepper is a no too. Just wanted to put that out there. It's not hard to substitute. If something calls for nutmeg I use cinnamon, turmeric, or ginger, or just leave it out and add extras of the other spices called for. There are some nightshade free curry spice mix recipes out there but I have yet to try one.

This recipe was really simple and satisfying. My kids still look at me like I'm an alien when I serve up stews like this, which is surprising since it's really all they've known. They definitely seem to prefer dishes with all the foods separate from each other--green beans, carrots, chicken, salad--great! Put it in one bowl (minus the salad!) and they don't know what to do with it. My oldest will eat beans, yams, bell peppers and every other ingredient in a black bean soup, but if all those ingredients land in one pot and then into one bowl, she will look entirely baffled by the whole idea. I have cooked real food for them since they could eat and I let them serve themselves. Soups/stews/curries and other easy one-pot meals are hard to sell here. I love them and it makes my lunch life easier, but I wish it were easier getting my kids to eat those types of foods!

Wendie~ I have a few other curry recipes on my blog that are naturally gluten-free, but do contain nightshades. Check the recipe index if you need more to share. :)

Thanks for sharing! Radishes…..I will have to try roasting them and adding them to stews. Sounds good! I really like to use rutabagas and celeriac in hearty stews to replace potatoes. :)

Nightshades cause my throat to swell a bit (like a sore throat). Thanks for tagging your nightshade free recipes. I just learned that radishes are a great substitute for potatoes, for anyone else struggling with avoiding them. I roasted them with a chicken and I'd bet they be good in this stew as well.

I had a client ask me about ethnic gluten-free recipes just a couple of nights ago. I do not have many on my blog to share so I will share this with her! Plus I am a HUGE fan of Indian. Thank you!

Thanks Kim for sharing your story! :)

Thank you for posting nightshade free recipes! This masala looks delicious!

I used to eat nightshades ALL the time... I'm talking at least once a day I had bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, you name it! I tried the elimination diet a year ago and what do you know.. my body does NOT like nightshades :( When I re-introduced them, I felt sick to my stomach and had a bad headache for the rest of the day. Since then, I have definitely cut back, but it's hard to totally control myself around salsa and spaghetti sauce. When I do indulge, my psoriasis gets really bad, reminding me that I need to stay away!

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