My First Curry Attempt

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GB

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Tonight I am trying a few new things (for me). I am going to make a curry which I have never done before. I am also going to just make up a recipe out of my own little head. This is something I am not very good at yet, but I am trying to learn how to do it.

I have all of these items on hand so this is what I am thinking, but I would love suggestions from everyone here as well.

I have chicken breasts brining right now. I also have garlic, onion, potato, string beans, curry powder, coconut milk.

I was thinking of sauteing the garlic and onion to start. I would then add the curry powder and brown the chicken and set aside. Then adding the coconut milk and possibly some chicken stock along with the potatoes and cook covered until the potatoes are tender. Once the potatoes are just about done I would add the chicken back in to finish cooking and then the string beans. This would all be served over rice of course.

What are your thoughts? Does this sound like it will work? Are there any trouble spots you see or anything you would change?
 

htc

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Sounds like a good start. Do you have carrots or some sort of sweet potatoes on hand? Vietnamese variations: You can put it over noodles w/ a blend of shredded romaine, matchstick cucumbers and bean sprouts for Vietnamese style. Or eat it w/ French bread. Note that Vietnamese curries tend to be more "watery" than other styles of curry. Also if you have a stalk of lemon grass, add that too. Beat the hard part before you add it to your stock and let it simmer. Good luck!
 

htc

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Sure thing, don't forget to let us know how it turns out! You're making ME crave curry now. I haven't made any in months.
 

sarah

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GB! sounds like a good recipe! i'll tell you how i would make curry though....i never use a curry powder,i use my own spices,which make a fabulous curry,but your recipe will turn out good i'm sure,one thing though! u dont have to take the chicken out though,just brown the onions 1st,when they are light reddish brown,add minced garlic and ginger,fry for another couple minutes,add tomatoes and fry a little and add chicken,fy for 5-7 minutes,add big chunks of peeled potatoes,fry another 5 minutes ,add water or chicken stock(whatever you like,water is just fine too,because it gets cooked with the chicken,it turns into stock automatically),turn down the stove and let simmer covered until the meat and the potatoes are tender.i use lots of other spices after frying the garlic,like cumin,corriander podwer,a little termeric etc,but since you are using curry powder,i think its all included in it.....:chef:
 

jennyema

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What kind of curry powder do you have?

Most southeast asian curries use curry paste, which will have very different ingredients than most dry curry powders.

Most dry curry powders have turmeric, fenugreek, cardomom, etc. which make it more appropriate for Indian-style curries.
 
Last edited:

jennyema

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Indian. Yummo.

I would rub the curry powder into the chicken.

Then cook the onions/garlic in some ghee. Then I would add curry powder and cook that in the ghee, too.

Then I would add water or chix stock and the potatoes; when potatoes are nearly done add greeen beans and chicken back to cook. Then add coconut milk (most recipes using it call for you to add it at the very end).

-----------------

Next time consider skipping the coconut milk and making a curry paste. Use tomatoes, cauliflower, okra.
 

Yakuta

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Hi GB, I understand this is your first attempt and I am sure it will come out fine with the suggestions you got so far. If you enjoy this version do give another version a try. The second time around get braver :) and buy some fresh spices and items such as curry leaves, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, whole dried red chillies that give curries such a unique flavor. I can post many many recipes but I think the essence of a true simple curry has been captured by Sarah. I like to give my curries a change from your normal by using yogurt, cream, ground nuts , caramalized onions and sour cream (I think you have heard me mention that before) for a milder creamier taste. Also contrary to what you may have heard, ghee is not essential for cooking curries, it's good if you have it but you don't absolutely need it. I have been out of India for almost 17 years now and have seldomly used ghee.

Happy Cooking
 

GB

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Thanks Yakuta! I was hoping you would see this post and lend your expertise :) . I would love to try a fresh curry next. My problem will be finding the ingredients. I do not think I have ever seen curry leaves around here (I am sort of in the boonies), but I am sure once the weather is nice I could take a ride to Boston and find what I need. Actually now that I think of it, I do remember my local nursery selling curry plants last year. Maybe I will plant some this time around.
 

sarah

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Yakuta said:
Hi GB, I understand this is your first attempt and I am sure it will come out fine with the suggestions you got so far. If you enjoy this version do give another version a try. The second time around get braver :) and buy some fresh spices and items such as curry leaves, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, whole dried red chillies that give curries such a unique flavor. I can post many many recipes but I think the essence of a true simple curry has been captured by Sarah. I like to give my curries a change from your normal by using yogurt, cream, ground nuts , caramalized onions and sour cream (I think you have heard me mention that before) for a milder creamier taste. Also contrary to what you may have heard, ghee is not essential for cooking curries, it's good if you have it but you don't absolutely need it. I have been out of India for almost 17 years now and have seldomly used ghee.

i dont use ghee either yakuta! infact i prefer vegetable oil,ghee makes a curry look like jelly if its a little cold,plus i forgot to mention that i use yogurt too,it certainly does enhance the flavor,and instead of whole red chillies,i use fresh,fragrant green peppers and lots of fresh corriander or cilantro leaves and a little additional chopped ginger as a garnish really makes it taste a lot yummier...
 

Yakuta

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GB, curry leaves are available at an Indian store and I am sure Boston (which has a large Indian population) should have some. I also have a small plant that I ordered from a nursery called Logees (www.Logees.com) in Philadelphia. It arrived at my doorstep. It's called Murraya Koeniji (botanical name) and is different from a curry plant.

Curry leaf plant is a rather slow growing plant and for those of us who live in the colder part of the country it's even more difficult to keep it healthy through the winter months.

I will post a unique recipe if you get your hands on it that you will surely enjoy and it's a very simple curry with minimal ingredients and most of them can be bought at your local grocer (except the curry leaves and brown whole mustard seeds).
 

GB

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Well I am halfway thee Yakuta. I already have the brown whole mustard seeds :) . My wife just informed me that we actually have an Indian grocery store not far from our house (you really do learn something new every day) so I am sure they will have what I need there!
 

jennyema

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What I use is probably not actual ghee, but plain clarified butter.

Anyway, GB, I have done what Yakuta suggests and the difference when using fresh spices ground right before you use them is phenomenal.

There is an Indian grocery store in Coolidge Corner that I go to, if there aren't any out by you. They sell curry leaves and all the other stuff.
 

Yakuta

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O.K. then here goes my recipe. My husband and boys say this is my signature chicken dish. I can make it with my eyes closed (and you can too) and it will come out perfect. All my friends (from the west and the east alike) love it and it's easy easy with the right ingredients (no substitutions):

Chicken - One whole cut up (discard the skin), wash and keep aside
Heavy cream (the smallest carton available in the grocery store)
3 cups of tomato sauce (canned any brand will do)
1 tbsp of oil (I use canola but you can use any you like)
1 large or 2 small sprigs of curry leaves
2 tbsp of whole brown mustard seeds
5 whole arabol red chillies (available in any hispanic isle of your grocery store or you can get it from the Indian store). Ensure you do not break them (as they can be super spicy, you just want to absorb the spice from the skin and not the seeds)
salt to taste
1 tsp of fresh ginger paste
cilantro for garnish


In a saute pan, add the oil. Once it's smoking hot, reduce the heat and throw in the mustard seeds, curry leaves and whole chillies and cover immediately (its O.K. if they almost turn black with the heat).

Now increase the heat and pour in the tomato sauce and add the chicken and minced ginger and salt to taste. Cover and let the chicken cook for 20 minutes or so. Add the cream, stir, cover and let it cook for another 20-25 minutes on low heat.

Garnish with cilantro and enjoy the wonderful flavors with a very tiny hint of spice. I prefer to eat this with naan or homemade rotis but basmati rice can be great with it too.
 

Yakuta

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Guys, I think the true proof lies in the taste so try and it and see what you think. What attracted me initially to this recipe is it's simplicity and unique ingredients. Normally mustard seeds, curry leaves and whole chillies are never used in your normal curries. All I had to do it try it with an open mind and now I am a convert. I have tried many many recipes but I still keep coming back to this one.

I have to thank my mother in law for this one. She was wonderful to make this when I visited her and share her recipe with me.
 

GB

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Update

jennyema said:
I would rub the curry powder into the chicken.

Then cook the onions/garlic in some ghee. Then I would add curry powder and cook that in the ghee, too.

Then I would add water or chix stock and the potatoes; when potatoes are nearly done add greeen beans and chicken back to cook. Then add coconut milk (most recipes using it call for you to add it at the very end).

OK here is an update. I made it list Jenny suggested above and it came out great. My wife claims to not like Indian food (but I have to give her credit as she does try it as often as I ask her to). It is mostly the way it looks that turns her off, but also sometimes the smell. Well I told her I wanted to try this recipe, but I was worried that she would not like it. She said she was willing to try it, but that I should not be offended if she ended up making a sandwich for dinner. Well she tried it and she LOVED it. She mentioned many times during dinner how good it was. That is the biggest compliment I could ever hope for :)
 

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