Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hockey Night (Chicken curry)

Today is an exciting day.... Canada plays hockey against USA in the Olympic games (Wahooo!!!), so I plan on making a homemade curry will all the trimmings, pilau rice and rotis. Mmm mmm. I'll have a busy afternoon but it will be well worth it. I can just imagine Ian watching the game with a beer in hand and a plate of gorgeous spicy Indian curry with lots of roti to mop it up with. It should also help me get rid of this head cold. Hopefully the spices should blow it away.

I always used to buy curry sauces but having caught the foodie bug I thought that I would have a try at making a curry from scratch. I first tried a recipe from Rick Stein where the chicken was cooked in a prepared curry sauce consisting of onion, ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, green chilli and tinned tomatoes. It was great to create a fantastic tasty curry minus all the additives used in store bought curry sauce. Nothing beats homemade food!!! Since experimenting with Indian curries I now always add raw meat into the curry sauce as it allows the meat to soak up the flavors and turns out more tender than if you precook the meat. (The most common meat I use is chicken or lamb). The other important cooking stage I do is to flavor the oil in the skillet with all the spices needed, it  gives off a great aroma and depth to the curry. You can pretty much add any spice to the curry, I like to use the recipe below.

Chicken Curry
2 Chicken Breasts or 6 Thighs diced
1 large onion diced
1 Tin of Diced/ Crushed Tomatoes
Cream/Sour Cream (Optional)
3 garlic cloves minced
Small handful chopped Cilantro 
1 inch Fresh Grated Ginger
2tsp Ground Cumin
1tsp Ground Coriander
1tsp Paprika/ Cayenne Pepper
1tsp Ground Turmeric
1tsp Fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
Curry leaves (Optional)
1 Sliced Green Chilli (use as much as you desire)
1/2 tsp Ground Garam masala
1/4 Stick of butter

Firstly melt the butter with a dash of oil in a heavy based pan and allow to turn slightly golden. Over a medium heat add the diced onion to the pan and cook until translucent. Add the grated ginger and minced garlic and cook for a minute while continuing to stir the mixture, then add the ground spices and continue to cook for a minute. Now add the tinned tomatoes and stir to combine with the spice mixture and bring to a simmer. At this stage you can either keep the curry sauce chunky or blend it to make it smoother, I prefer the latter. Once the curry sauce is simmering add the diced chicken, sliced green chilli's, cillantro and a few curry leaves and continue to simmer on a low heat for approximatley 30 - 40 minutes. If you are using lamb I would simmer it for an hour over a low heat. Add the cream at the last stage and warm through. If you find the curry is too thick add some water.

To go with this curry I make pilau rice which is so simple. I always go with the measure of 1:2 (1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water). This steams to create the perfect fluffy rice.

Pilau Rice
1 Cup Basmalti Rice
2 Cups Water
1/2 Onion finely diced
1 Clove Garlic minced
1 Cinnamon stick
4 Whole Cloves
4 Cardomen Pods
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Turmeric (Optional)
Juice of half a lemon

Heat some oil in a pan and add the onion, cook until translucent, then add the garlic and rice. Coat the rice in the oil and then add the water, spices and lemon juice. Bring this to the boil with the lid off and stir once. Once it starts boiling reduce the heat to low, put the lid on top and allow to steam for approx 15- 20 minutes until the liquid has absorbed. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve. To really jazz this rice up you can add sultanas, chopped cilantro, roasted cashews and chopped pistachios once cooked.  Its sooooo good.

To make the roti's use my tortilla recipe minus the oil. Follow the recipe but allow the roti to puff up whilst in the skillet. Push the air bubbles gently with a spatula allowing the air pocket to get bigger. It does take time to practice and even if they don't puff up they will still taste great. I like to serve these with Indian pickles and salads.

Tonights feast is going to be awesome, lets hope the hockey is too....

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