I love Indian food! This year, I have decided to learn more about and cook more Indian food at home. Chicken curry has become a weekly staple in our house over the last several months. On the one hand it's pretty light, and on the other it is warm and spicy-real comfort food. There are a bunch of Indian restaurants near us, mostly vegetarian and not particularly very good.
A couple of years ago, I was watching a British cooking show and most of the details have escaped me, but I think someone like Gordon Ramsay was teaching families how to make their cultures traditional dishes. I have been experimenting with Indian food for a while, but one thing I got from the show really improved my curry sauce. Curry sauce generally consists of onion, garlic, ginger, cilantro, tomato, chili and spices. Often you blend the onion garlic and ginger, then cook and add the remaining ingredients. This never worked for me, I could always taste raw, biting onion. So the show had the people sauté all of the veg in oil, I usually use coconut oil, until soft. Then add some water and puree. Cook the vegetables and then puree? I love it! This produces a much better flavor in my opinion.
A word on curry powder-you can buy it in any grocery store, but look for different varieties in specialty stores or gourmet markets. You can also combine turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander and cayenne to make your own.
Anyway, here's my version of curry:
1 onion, coarsely chopped or sliced
1 couple of cloves of garlic, peeled
1 two-three inch piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 tomatoes (canned are fine)
1/2 bunch cilantro
chile pepper to taste, chopped (I usually use 2-3 serranos)
2-4 tablespoons curry powder
1-2 cups water
1 cup coconut milk (not light) or full fat plain yogurt
2 chicken breasts (boneless & skinless), cut into 1-2 inch pieces
1/4 cup coconut oil
Place the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger and chile. Sauté the vegetables until soft, then add curry powder. Stir to coat everything, then add tomatoes, cilantro and water. Simmer for about 10 minutes then blend in a blender. Return sauce to the pan and add chicken and any vegetables. Reduce heat to low, add coconut milk, cover and cook until chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice.