Savory, sweet & spicy this exotic comfort food will have your taste buds singing and your belly happy!   With crispy basmati rice as a topper, it’s the opposite of how most curry dishes are made, with soupy curry plopped on top of rice, making it soggy.    I absolutely loved it upside-down !!!

I’ve had this recipe re-make, clipped from Food Network, for a while.   But I wasn’t sure how I wanted to veganize it …

The original called for poaching chicken thighs in with the broth.   If you have meat eaters still in your family, the others could always add in rotisserie chick’n to your curry base and split the meal.   I also could have used a chick’n style seitan and put it in with the curry.   But I didn’t have any seitan, and thought adding Gardein’s Crispy Chickn’ nuggets on top was kind of fun.   You can add as much or as little chick’n as you (or your hubby) wants!

While the homemade curry was a snap to blend together, if you don’t happen to have those ingredients on hand, I’m sure it would be wonderful with a canned green curry paste (such as Maesri) to make it even easier!

Also of note:  I prefer to cook my rice in a deep sided skillet versus a sauce pan.   It’s ideal for ensuring evenly cooked rice, and to keep the rice from becoming over-steamed.   Go for slightly undercooked than overcooked & soggy.

Enjoy, on this most glorious Bodhi Day – the day of the Buddha’s awakening over 4,000 years ago.    These past few weeks have been exceptionally turbulent in the world.   To quote an article in the Huffington Post:  “Living in the light of humility, kindness and compassion is the deep lesson and timeless inspiration of Bodhi Day (and the Buddha’s teachings).   The suffering of humanity (and all of Earth’s living beings) and its causes persists today as it did in Buddha’s time.  The life question of the Buddha remains:  How do we overcome greed, anger and confusion and create a truly kind and compassionate persons and societies?   What is our authentic response to the world’s pain as it exists today?”  These are the questions I ask myself today ….

To paraphrase an old teaching from the Zen tradition: Every day is Bodhi day (and let it be vegan). 



Curried Coconut Chick'n & Rice Casserole
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Savory, sweet & spicy, this exotic comfort food will have your taste buds singing and your belly happy!
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • 1 17.6 oz can (or 2+cups) coconut water, such as Goya or similar
  • 2 tablespoons earth balance
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • -----
  • Homemade Curry:
  • 1 cup cilantro, leaves & tender stems
  • 3 large scallions, roughly chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Jamaican style curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • ½ habanero chile pepper or other hot pepper to taste, seeded
  • -----
  • 2 tablespoons earth balance
  • 2 medium (2 cups) carrots, peeled & irregularly chopped
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups frozen chopped spinach, (the fancy loose leaf kind)
  • vegetable broth, salt & pepper
  • -----
  • ½ cup golden raisins, for topping
  • ½-1 package Gardein Crispy Chick'n
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine the rice, coconut water, earth balance & salt in an 8" skillet. Cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rice is tender & water absorbed, 16-18 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the coconut. Let stand, covered while you finish prepping the dish.
  3. While the rice cooks, puree the eight Homemade Curry ingredients in a Magic Bullet or food processor. You may wish to add the hot pepper at the end to get the heat to your liking.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons earth balance in a deep sided skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots and chick peas, and sauté until the carrot is just tender and the chickpeas begin to brown (5 minutes). Add in ½ cup or so of veggie broth along with the frozen spinach. Cover and cook until the spinach thaws, stirring occasionally. Stir in the Homemade Curry, adding a little more veggie broth as needed for a nice broth. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Spray an 8x8 casserole dish with cooking spray. Transfer the carrot-chickpea mixture to the casserole dish. Top with the coconut rice. Sprinkle with golden raisins. Wedge in the Gardein Crispy Chick'n pieces, standing them on edge. Spray the top with cooking spray. Bake until crispy, and light golden brown, about 20 minutes.


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