Not so long ago, readers, I used to think I didn't like Indian food. I never ate it as a kid and the first time I had it was in college, when I took a bit of chicken in a yellow curry so thick and strong, it left generally adventurous me scarred. After that, I didn't give it a second try, let alone though, which is completely unlike me.
Fast forward to last year. I'd told M about my dislike for curry and he kept wanting me to give it another shot. Finally, he made an argument I couldn't resist. "How about Thai curry? he said. "It's usually softened with coconut. I bet you'll like it." Coconut? Even back then, the man knew the way to my heart and stomach. "Okay," I said. "I'll give it a try. But if I hate it, you have to take me somewhere else for dinner." "Sure," he said. And away we went. And you know what? I loved my red coconut curry!
Ever since then, I've been wading back into the curry waters to pinpoint exactly what I do and don't like about the various curries. I know I like red curry and I know I don't like yellow curry. I still haven't tried green curry, but it's next on my list.
Despite my dislike of yellow curry (I actually think it's the turmeric that gives yellow curry its vibrant color), I wanted to give this dish a shot. I was a little hesitant of the turmeric, so I toned it down a bit and upped the cumin, since I know I love that. I've left the original amounts here, though, since I'm certain I'll be making this again with the actual proportions. It was delicious!
from Williams-Sonoma, The World Kitchen
1/4 c. canola oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-inch piece ginger, grated
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
1 TBSP ground coriander
1 TBSP ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 c. chicken stock
1 c. canned tomato sauce
1 TBSP sugar
salt, to taste
2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. unsalted cashews, roasted
steamed rice, for serving
3 TBSP chopped cilantro or chives
1. In a Dutch oven or large, heavy pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and saute until it begins to soften, about three minutes.
2. Add the garlic, ginger, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and cumin. Saute until spices are are fragrant and evenly coat the onion, about one minute.
3. Stir in the stock, tomato sauce, sugar, and 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil and deglaze the pot, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.
4. Add the chicken to the pot nad stir to coat. Turn heat to low, partially cover the pot, and allow to simmer until the chicken is tender and sauce has thickened, about one hour.
5. About 15 minutes before the chicken is done, combine the buttermilk and cashews in a food processor and process until the nuts are finely pureed and thoroughly combined with the buttermilk.
6. Add the mixture to the chicken stir to blend with the sauce. Continue cooking until the sauce is completely heated through and thick, about five minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick.
7. Divide the rice among warm bowls. Top with chicken and sauce. Garnish with cilantro and/or chives. Serves 6-8.
two years ago: calabacitas
three years ago: lemon-fennel pork chops and basic risotto