My family love curries, all sorts of curry. Part of the fun of eating it is having all the accompanying breads and poppadoms to dip in the sauce.
Today I cooked an aromatic chicken curry. I can't eat too spicy so this is on the mild side. It won't make you reach for a drink with every spoonful nor numb your tongue. This is not of any particular style of curry but just how I cook curry. I am not very good with remembering a lot of ingredients so there's only a few here.
The first stage of cooking is crucial to the success of the dish. If you sauté the ingredients well in the beginning, the sauce and the meat will taste great. Patience for the first few minutes is required but the rest is very easy.
The only way for me to know if the food tastes right is if people can't wait for me to take the photos so they can eat the food. This curry makes one pot but I just had to take a bit for the shoot so that the rest can be eaten by the hungry crowd.
4 cloves of garlic
1" x 1" piece of ginger
3 medium onions
1/4 c. cooking oil
1/4 c. butter
2 tsps. salt
1 tbsp. ground coriander seeds
1/4 chilli powder
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. mild madras curry powder
1 big cinnamon stick
4 segments of star anise
1 whole chicken cut into portions
2 tbsps. brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. anchovy paste or shrimp paste
1 cup tinned chopped tomatoes
2 c. water
1 c. coconut milk
3 potatoes, cut into quarters
Chop the garlic and ginger in a food processor. Cut the onions into big chunks and chop in the food processor with the garlic and ginger.
Heat up a big pot and add the cooking oil and butter. This amount of fat is necessary to get the desired taste but it can be skimmed off at a later stage.
When hot, add the chopped garlic, ginger and onions. Add 1 tsp. of salt and stir. Cover the pot with a lid and lower the heat to soften the onions. This will take about 10 minutes.
When the onions have softened, take the lid off and increase the heat a bit to caramelize the onions. You have to stir this to prevent it from sticking. This stage is very important. You have to do this well as this will make a difference to your cooked dish. The taste of softened onions is very different from caramelized onions. It is ready when the onions are soft and light golden brown in colour.
Mix the ground coriander, chilli powder, paprika and curry powder in a bowl and add 3 tbsps. water to make a spice paste. Add this to the pot, together with the cinnamon stick and star anise. Stir for 1 minute until fragrant.
Add the chicken, brown sugar and anchovy paste and stir, on high heat, until the meat changes colour. Add the chopped tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about half an hour. Skim off most of the fat that floats to the surface.
Add the potatoes and coconut milk and the last tsp. of salt. Simmer until the potatoes are done.
I serve this with rice, an assortment of flat breads and cucumber raita.
1 c. plain yoghurt
1/2 c. coarsely grated cucumber
1 tsp. garlic granules
3 tbsps. skimmed powdered milk
2 tsps. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
Squeeze out the juices from the cucumber with a clean kitchen cloth or a potato ricer. Mix all of the ingredients together.
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