I enjoy making a delicious curry dish every now and then but I have to admit, curry vexes me. I’m the sort of guy that likes to know the subtle intricacies of the ingredients that I use but I have to admit, my understanding of curry is shamefully shallow. Fortunately, my lack of understanding doesn’t prevent me from cooking with curry. I’d like to make my own curry blends someday but, for now I will keep relying on my tried and true prepared blends.
Many years ago I received a boxed set of six curry spices from a friend. Each container held 2 ounces of various spices. There was Chaat Masala, Tandoori Masala, Garam Masala, Tea Masala and two that were simply labeled Hot Curry and Mild Curry. I have used a little of each of them over the years and I still have those containers in my cupboard, tucked away in a far corner. They have held up remarkably well over the years. Some spices lose their potency and aroma over time but these seem to have incredible staying power! I only use a teaspoon or two when I make a curry.
This is a variation of a turkey curry that I bravely made several Thanksgivings ago, while visiting relatives.
1 tsp hot curry
1 tsp mild curry
1 tsp turmeric
2 Tbs olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ Tbs fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
½ cup chicken broth
1 ripe tomato, chopped
A pinch of salt
1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp water (thickening slurry)
1/3 cup coconut milk
2 Tbs chopped cilantro
1 green onion, chopped
Mix the spices in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a wok over medium-high heat.
Add the garlic and ginger, sauté for about 30 seconds.
Add the onion and sauté until they almost turn golden brown, about 4 or 5 minutes. Add the curry spices. Sauté another 30 seconds and then remove everything from the wok and keep handy.
Add the chicken to the wok.
Stir-fry the chicken until the chicken turns white and firm, about 5 minutes.
Once the chicken has cooked, add the cooked onion and garlic and stir.
Add the chicken broth and tomato and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add a pinch of salt. Stir and taste. Add more salt, if you like. Stir in the cornstarch and water slurry, to thicken sauce slightly. Simmer for a few more minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk and turn out to a serving bowl. Serve warm with cilantro and green onions over basmati rice.