Curry Chicken

As most of you know, I spent a fair portion of my childhood in an Indian community in Fiji. Now, what you may not know, is that from these Indian people comes pretty much the best food in the entire world.
Curry really should be its own food group. The one at the bottom of the pyramid, that you need the most of.
Also, I must warn you that the "curry" I grew up with and am giving you the recipe for here is very, very different from "curry chicken" that is made here in the States, which has a creamy sauce and is served with raisins and coconut and that stuff. That curry much more closely resembles curries from the more upper-class food of India, using cream or yoghurt. It is quite delicious itself, but it is not the curry I grew up eating, and which I make at home.

This particular recipe I got from a friend from Fiji, who is now living in the States.
While it does not take too many "exotic" spices, it does call for a few. I'm not sure if Walmart carries this stuff... I get them from my local Indian grocery store. Probably a spice store or an herb store might carry them? I'm not sure...

About 2-3 pounds of chicken, cubed
 1 chopped onion
2 curry leaves
2 cinnamon sticks, or about a teaspoon of cinnamon
chili powder to taste (depending on how hot you like your food)
salt to taste
1 tsp tumeric
2 tsp curry powder
4 tsp meat masala
cooking oil
cilantro (optional... I don't usually have it on hand, so I don't usually put it in)
thumb-sized piece of ginger (best if fresh, but you can used 1/4 tsp powdered)
8-10 cloves of garlic (yes, that much)
serrano peppers (also to taste, depending on how hot you like your food. I actually usually just omit them)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp mustard seed

Crush together ginger, garlic, peppers, cumin, and mustard seed.
Heat just enough oil to cover the bottom of your pot.
Add onion and curry leaves, and brown.  
Add crushed spices, and brown.
Add all the rest of the spices and the cinnamon sticks, keep stirring so this does not burn. You will have a spicy, yummy smelling paste.
Add chicken and salt. Stir to just cook the outside of the chicken, then add enough water to cover the chicken about 3/4 the way.
Cover with a lid and cook on low to medium, checking on it and stirring occasionally until done. The chicken will be done and the liquid will have cooked down to about half of what it was.
Taste and add salt if needed. 
Add cilantro and let cook just a little.
Turn off heat and serve with rice, roti, and chutney.
(If you like. Or just eat it with a spoon, from the pan. I might have done that before.)  

Roti is the flat bread, somewhat similar to a tortilla, that is normally eaten with curry. You actually can use the roti instead of silverware to eat the curry (it tastes better that way, promise). You tear off a little piece of roti and use it to pick up your curry and rice. How do you make roti, you might ask? Well, it's very simple, here let me help you:

In a large bowl, mix flour and a little bit of salt. I also add some garlic powder, just for extra flavour and because I like garlic. Add boiling (or very very hot) water, enough to make a somewhat stiff dough, and stir together. Knead for a very, very long time until it is soft and elastic. Pinch off small balls of dough and roll out with flour to keep them from sticking to the counter. You want basically the size and shape of a tortilla.
Heat a non-stick pan to medium heat, and put a roti on it. (I cook them without oil, I find they cook better that way for me.) Cook until both sides are done (some brown spots, but not burnt). I usually flip them three times, that seems to work well. They should puff up as they cook. Pop them and squish the bubbles, or they can get kind of crispy, which is not what we are going for. When the roti is done, place it in a pan and brush some melted butter on it. I put some garlic in the butter, too. Brush melted butter on each roti as they come off the pan. This keeps them soft and yummy. And buttery.

There you go!
This is pretty much about my favorite meal of all time, and I am giving you the recipe.
I know, I'm awesome.  

1 comment:

  1.  Yes that's what I'd call a really delicious curry. I too don't much like those creamy sweet varieties either.