January 5, 2010

Curry in a hurry

A friend from Chennai (aka Madras) recently sent me a an interesting recipe for a chicken curry, so I figured I'd give it a go last night. Now chicken curry recipes are a dime a dozen, and most of them are mediocre at best, but this one was different.

How different you ask? Well, the base for this curry is nothing more than yogurt, ketchup, some garlic ginger paste, and a few spices, and it was one of the most complex and delicious curries I've had in a long time. Sour and spicy, with just enough sweetness to balance it out, I'm definitely making this one again.


Yogurt - 1 cup (Indian or traditional Greek)
Tomato Ketchup - 1 cup
Shaan brand Garam Masala - 2 tbsp
Chilli Powder - to taste
Ginger-Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp

Chicken thighs - 1 lb
Mint leaves - 2 big sprigs

Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes, though the longer the better. Add chicken and marinade to pot, and cook covered on medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring often. Uncover the pot and turn heat down to low for 15 more minutes. Towards the last 5 minutes of cooking, add chopped mint. Serve with rice, naan, or whatever.

You can add water to thin the gravy if desired during cooking, though the curry is wonderful as is.

I changed things up a bit because I didn't have any mint, but I did have a bunch of cilantro on hand so I used that instead. Not quite the same, but to be honest, I think it turned out better with the cilantro than it would have with the mint. I also made my own garlic-ginger paste, since I didn't have any of that either, by throwing garlic, ginger, and a bit of salt in my giant mortar and pestle, then pounded away until it was a paste. It's way more flavorful than the stuff you find at most Indian & Paki markets, but already prepared paste works just fine. Finally, it's very important to use a good, tangy Indian or traditional Greek style yogurt, so don't puss out and go with Dannon or Yoplait.

To go with my ketchup curry, I had a head of cauliflower and some potatoes from my last CSA box, so I threw together a version of aloo gobi. There's a billion recipes for aloo gobi out there, and the one I use isn't anything spectacular, but you can find it here: http://ahaar.blogspot.com/2006/09/aloo-gobhi-potato-cauliflower.html

I added quite a bit more spice than the recipe called for and it was still kind of bland.

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