Dinner & a Movie™: Curry & Prehistoric Eating Machines

Dave and I, after much painful trial and error, have declared Sundays “socializing-free zones,” which means that except for major occasions — like a friend’s recent wedding — we don’t make plans with other humans on Sundays. Sunday is our day to sleep late, do laundry, cook for the week, taunt the cat about being a skinny-ass Zombie beast, read books, take a nap, sit in the yard and think about nothing… or scrap all of that and just lie in bed with the A/C cranked while watching an entire season of a show on DVD. (This Sunday, I was in my pajamas until about 2:00 p.m. Awesome!)

Once the chores are done, we reward ourselves with Dinner & A Movie™. Our dining room table faces the TV, so we dim the lights and sit side-by-side, just like the Alamo Drafthouse, only Zone-friendly and free.

This week, we had Indian food (adapted from Paleo Steve) and watched Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. I give the dinner 4 stars; my compliments to the cook (me!). The movie gets 4 stars for cheesetasticocity and 1 star for overall quality.

Our Menu
Grilled “Tandoori” Chicken
Curry Fried F’Rice (faux + rice = F’rice)
Mint Chutney

The Movie: Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus
“The California coast is terrorized by two enormous prehistoric sea creatures as they battle each other for supremacy of the sea.”

Why this movie is AWESOME:

  • It stars Deborah “Only In My Dreams” Gibson
  • It co-stars Lorenzo “Falcon Crest” Lamas
  • The Mega Shark, a.k.a. megalodon, leaps from the ocean to snatch a jet full of vacationers from the sky and, later, chomps the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • The scientists lure the giant creatures into traps with pheremones, having discovered this solution in post-coital bliss in a utility closet… which lead to “sweeping up” jokes later in the script.

Grilled “Tandoori” Chicken
Makes lots for leftovers. Approx. 1 P block per oz. (1 WW point per oz.)

3 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs (or beef or lamb)
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Mix all of the ingredients except the chicken in a bowl. Place the chicken in a ziplock bag; wash your hands and say “Ew!” when you’re done. Pour in the marinade and place in the fridge. Let marinate overnight.

2. When you’re ready to eat, heat gas grill on high, then cook chicken with the grill lid closed, 5 minutes per side.

Mint Chutney

This is great with any grilled meat or tossed with steamed veggies.

2 cups loosely packed mint
1/2 jalapeno
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons lime rind
1/4 teaspoon dried ginger or 1 teaspoon minced fresh
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Be glad you have a nose; your house will smell awesome! Place in fridge for about an hour before eating. This will taste fresh and delicious for 3-4 days.

Curry Fried F’rice

Makes 2 servings (approx. 2 blocks C + 4 blocks F)

2 cups steamed, chopped cauliflower
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
2 tablespoons blanched, slivered almonds
3-4 scallions, green and white chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground curry powder
salt & pepper

1. Heat nonstick pan to medium-high, add coconut oil, and sautee pineapple ’til lightly brown in some spots. Take out of the pan and set aside. Go ahead! Eat one; they’re yummy. But just one.

2. In the same pan, then sautee almond slivers ’til lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Same rules re: tasting apply.

3. When you’re ready to eat, add cauliflower and stir-fry 2-3 minutes, ’til heated through. Add chopped scallions, curry powder, salt & pepper, pineapple, and almonds. Fry ’til heated through.

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40 Responses to “Dinner & a Movie™: Curry & Prehistoric Eating Machines”

  1. Christie says:

    This Curry Fried F'rice is the BEST STUFF EVER!!! I probably make it a minimum of 3 times a month w/ various ethnic dishes. . . my new favorite pairing is w/ a Paleo-ized version of Chicken Tikka Masala – YUMMO! Thanks so much for sharing this awesome recipe!!

  2. Jessie says:

    I made the Grilled "Tandoori" Chicken and Oh.My.God. absolutely delicious!! Thank you!

  3. Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Jessie –> Hooray! I'm glad you like it. And this reminds me… it's been a while since I made it. Might be time to try it again.

  4. Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Christie –> I LOVE Chicken Tikka Masala. You MUST share. Post here or email me at the address above… glad you like the Curry Fried F'rice!

  5. Christie says:

    Hey Melissa – I actually just posted the recipe for the Tikka Masala on my blog yesterday :) – here's the link:

  6. Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Sweet. Thanks, Christie!

  7. Lyn says:

    My husband and I have loved every one of your recipes that we've tried so far. But the grilled Tandori chicken is seriously special. We used our cold left over chicken on salad and it was spectacular.

    The free recipes you post have helped us learn to eat Paleo and enjoy delicious Paleo meals. It's loving and generous of you to share. I've suggested your site to many friends and family.

    When you do decide to put together a cookbook I'll be first in line to pre-order. (Make it a binder, please.)

    Again, thank you. I'm very appreciative.

  8. Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Lyn –> I'm so glad the recipes are helping you out! And you are super sweet to take the time to comment and let me know… thank you! I'm hoping to have the cookbook out in the Fall. Lots of cooking and writing and photographing to do this summer!

    • tina d says:

      I just made the curried fried f’rice tonight and it tastes NOTHING like cauliflower. That’s meant as a compliment, though I actually love cauliflower. I bet my nieces and nephews would even eat this. Well… if I subbed out the curry for maybe soy sauce. 😛

      Cannot WAIT until your cookbook comes out. I can think of at least 3 people who will be receiving it as a gift. Keep us posted!!

  9. Mel says:

    Hey, Tina! Isn’t it amazing how cauliflower can be transformed?! Love that!

    I’m working on two new versions of fried f’rice: one more traditional Chinese and another curry version with some fun surprises mixed in.

    The cookbook will be out in the fall, and I’m thrilled you want to share it with others. Thanks for the support!

  10. Nora says:

    Hi Melissa,

    Let me start by saying I LOVE YOUR BLOG!! I’ve been doing the dino-chow nutritional plan for about a month now, and thanks to you – I am finally learning how to cook, and have been eating some of the best food in my entire life. I can’t wait until your cookbook comes out, I’m really looking forward to it.

    With that being said, I want to make the mint chutney you have listed on here but I can’t tell what the last ingredient is after the ginger. It says “1/2 teaspoon” but I can’t see what comes after that :( Thank you!!

  11. Mel says:

    Nora –> Thanks for pointing that out! This chutney is really good, and the missing ingredient was salt! Note that I changed it to 1/4 teaspoon… the last time I made it I thought it was too salty. You will really like this with curries!

    Thanks, too, for your kind words about my blog. I’m really glad to know that you’re finding it helpful. YAY!

  12. Nora says:

    Wow, not only helpful – but you are really fast with your responses! Thank you, thank you, thank you – I really appreciate it. I wish you the best of luck with your adventures in cooking :)

  13. KimA says:

    Made the entire meal x 3 so we could ALL enjoy some leftovers–all delish. Thanks for the great recipes! You have given the entire fam a chance to experience Indian (and other ethnic cuisine) through healthy, real food prepared at home. Keep up the great work!

    • Mel says:

      I prefer exotic and ethnic food to American, so I’m really excited about the idea of (1) adapting more recipes and (2) having y’all join me in the international paleo food court.

      This comment totally made my day… thanks for sharing!

  14. […] Chicken curry with f’rice. We made the chicken last night, using this recipe. Though neither of us mind cauliflower, we were […]

  15. Brittany says:


    Like you, I’ve had a crazy October, although I was traveling the country for work, not exploring dark and twisty streets, unfortunately. I’ve been eager to get back into the kitchen, too, especially with the changing weather here in Portland, and this meal is the perfect one to get me started.

    I dug through your index to find some Indian food because (you’ll love this) I was inspired by a novel! I’m reading The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. She’s one of my favorite authors – her writing is plain and simple, but so emotional and rich. She writes about Bengali immigrants – and their food, of course. I could practically smell the simmering curry, taste the chunks of lamb, and tomorrow night, it’s going to be all mine!

    Thanks again for your great paleo recipes. There’s something so infinitely satisfying about measuring a dozen different spices into a bowl in preparation for a delicious meal. Can’t wait for that cookbook!

    • Mel says:

      I love that your tastebuds were inspired by a novel. That is right up my alley! And now I want to read The Namesake.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the recipes. If you’re looking for another book that inspires lovely eating, check out The Night Circus. AMAZING, magical story and lots of references to luscious food.

  16. Gina says:

    Any suggestions for baking time/temp? Can’t wait to try it but don’t have a grill! Thanks!

  17. Mandy says:

    Hi there! I was wondering what you thought about subbing a curry powder blend for the individual spices? Shockingly, I am out of cumin.

    Can’t wait to try! Thank you!


    • Mel says:

      Are you thinking about a more traditional Indian curry blend with turmeric… the yellow kind? I think that would work just fine. It will be a different flavor than above, but it should be yummy! Let me know how it comes out!

      (I felt a little faint when you said you were out of cumin 😉

      • Mandy says:

        Hi there! Sorry for the delay…yes, the yellow kind. It turned out well but lacking a nice Indian kick. I will have to stick more closely to your recipe. Or is there a Penzeys curry you recommend?

        I knew you would die about the cumin…and i am STILL out. Must make a Penzeys run stat!

        Thanks again for being awesome!

        • Mel says:

          I love Penzeys Maharajas Style Curry… spicy with a touch of sweetness so it doesn’t have that harsh turmeric bite.

  18. […] Fried Rice This recipe was mainly inspired by The Clothes Make the Girl. I really only switched out the pineapple because I am allergic to it and didn’t add the nuts […]

  19. Ann says:

    I made this with chicken breast and then decided to double it and make a bunch of legs too so there would be leftovers … but no luck because my (super picky) in-laws and my 4 year old devoured every last bite. My 4 year old ate 4 chicken legs!

    Thank you for making this journey so fun for me and my family!

  20. Kryssie says:

    Is there a substitute for the pineapple? I’m allergic, but I want to make this SO BADLY! :(

  21. Jody says:

    When your recipes call for coconut milk, do you mean canned coconut milk or the kind you buy in the carton? Sorry… brand new to this whole Paleo thing. =)

    • Mel says:

      That’s a very good question! To be compliant with paleo, you always want the canned coconut milk. The kind in the carton almost always has added sugar and other stuff. In the can, if you can get it without guar gum, that’s best — but if not, guar gum is OK. Organic is really great, too. Thai Kitchen is a pretty good brand that’s available just about everywhere.

  22. Jody says:

    Thank you so much!

  23. Jody says:

    This was an AMAZING dinner! Just moved and we’ve been in transition so we haven’t been eating very well. What a wonderful way to get us on the right track! My 4 and 5 year olds LOVED the califlower!!! Thank you so much!!!

  24. Catherine says:

    Canola oil?? Really? I thought that was off-limits for the Whole30 crowd?

    • Mel says:

      Great catch! As you can see, this is an old recipe, back from when I was first exploring paleo. I’ve updated the recipe to remove the canola oil.

      Thanks, Eagle Eyes!

      • Catherine says:

        I’m on day 12 of the Whole 30 and heard your site was THE place for inspiring recipes. I’m going shopping today and going to try this tonight. It looks fabulous. 😀

  25. Kerri says:

    Hi! We are about to start the Whole 30 and I am desperately looking for meals I can fix ahead of time and freeze. Can your curry fried frice, paleo pad thai, and EZ coconut curry be made ahead and frozen, and then warmed back up in the skillet? Thanks so much in advance – loving this site!

    • Mel says:

      Cauliflower rice doesn’t freeze well at all, I’m sorry to say. I tried it once, and it was awful. It just turns to mush when it defrosts.

      I think the pad thai won’t freeze well, either. You can make the spag squash, sunshine sauce, and chicken in advance and keep in the fridge for 4-5 days, but it won’t defrost well — it will get mushy and watery.

      Curries hold up pretty well — as do stews and chili. If you want to make in advance and freeze, I recommend:
      Rogan Josh
      Beef Stew Provencal
      Chocolate Chili
      Greek Beef Stew
      Vampire Fighting Pork Stew

      You can get the links to all the recipes in this post — — ion Step 3, under the heading Let’s Get Cooking.

      • Kerri says:

        Thank you so much for responding to my question! I just changed my make ahead meal plan and made the chocolate chili – it’s delicious! And it’s now in a ziplock in the freezer, ready for a night when I feel lazy. Thanks again – we are loving your recipes!

  26. Meg says:

    We love to grill an upright chicken; could you adapt this recipe for intact whole bird? Or best to chop up into pieces. Also, when you say ‘covered’ we’re taking about foil on the bird or lid down on grill?

    • You can do this with a whole chicken — you might need to double the marinade, and then grill or roast the whole bird the way you usually would.

      “Covered” means “close the lid of the grill.”

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