Are you ready to learn how to make a really good curry? I don’t mean curry like your mother used to make from her ‘Good Housekeeping’ magazine….I mean a really good, authentic-tasting Indian curry. First of all, your spices are really important – at the very least, make sure they are FRESH. Don’t be pulling that curry powder out of your cupboard that’s been there since 1993. Go out and get some fresh spices, it’s so worth it. The two spices you need (which are actually spice mixtures) are curry powder and garam masala.
Follow the steps in the recipe, taking your time especially when cooking your onions. Remember a good curry is layered with flavour, and to achieve that, it takes time, and also care and love while you are cooking it. After you make this a few times, you’ll become quite pro at it, and you’ll never make beef stew again. So get your ingredients organized, and give it a whirl. You will love it. And buy a jar of mango chutney and some fresh coriander at the grocery store while you’re at it.
A word about Garam Masala: This is a common Indian spice mixture and is available at you grocery store in the spice department – I believe McCormack’s now distributes it. However, if you have access to a Southeast Asian market, go in and find some whole garam masala. (see picture). Dry roasting some garam masala in a pan and then grinding it in your coffee grinder will kick up your curry to another level of awesomeness. While you are there, buy a decent curry powder like Lalah’s or Bolst’s. Ask the grocer for a mild or hot curry depending what you like. Be warned that the hot curry powder is much hotter than you think it will be.
serves 6 as a main course
1/4 cup butter (or ghee – clarified butter)
2 large onions, diced
2 tsp salt
4 cloves garlic minced
1 2 inch knob of fresh ginger, minced
1 tbsp garam masala
2.5 tbsp curry powder
1.5 cups water
1 (14oz) can coconut milk (or 35% cream)
6 chicken breasts, cut up into large chunks, or 10 boneless, skinless thighs
In a large skillet, melt butter (or ghee) over medium heat. Add onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally until onions are cooked down and quite brown and carmelized. (about 20 minutes). Take your time.
Add ginger and garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle your curry powder and garam masala over your onion mixture. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in your water, stir, and let the entire thing simmer on low, and reduce to a paste-like consistency. (about 15 minutes)
Remove curry paste from pan to a bowl. Add a knob of butter to the pan (or ghee). Salt and pepper your chicken pieces and add to the pan over medium-high heat to brown. Once chicken is browned, add the curry paste back into the pan as well as the coconut milk. Reduce heat to a low simmer, and let chicken cook. (longer if using thighs, so they will tenderize). (approx 20-40 mins) At this point, you can also add in some vegetables to cook. I like to use 1/2 a head of cauliflower cut up and some red pepper. The cauliflower works really well with this dish.
Serve over rice or quinoa. Serve alongside mango chutney and fresh coriander. Enjoy.