Tag Archive for 'curry'

Chicken and Pumpkin Curry

This is a version of my favorite go to curry recipe. The base is so versatile and can be used with fish. shrimp, tofu, beans and yes, chicken. It comes together easily and if you are a quick chopper, will be ready in no time. What makes this taste so good are a few essential ingredients – fresh garlic, ginger, lemongrass, Indian curry powder, coconut milk and coriander (cilantro). For the rest you can add what is already in your fridge or freezer. I try to use many different colored vegetables and herbs, which make this meal just as appealing to the eye as to your stomach.

Bear in mind the different cooking times for the vegetables, particularly if using pumpkin. I added it to the pan roughly 10 minutes before the remaining vegetables. Zucchini usually goes in at the end, as it quickly looses its texture and color. 

As to the chicken, here’s a tip that you might or might not know yet. If you cut the chicken breasts into bite size pieces and marinate them in buttermilk for a couple of hours in the fridge, the meat won’t turn tough and dry during the cooking process. It makes such a difference in texture. I can’t stand dry chicken breast and this is what I do to avoid it. Another option is to use a marinade of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, especially if you want to cook a whole breast in one piece. If you want to keep this recipe dairy-free, omit the buttermilk, or make your own using 1 cup soy milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice or try the lemon juice and olive oil marinade.

You can make this as spicy as you like. I add a chili if I have one, otherwise  a bit more curry powder or cayenne pepper can spice things up. Here’s one last tip for cooking lemongrass. Only the lower 5-6″ (12-15cm) are soft enough to be eaten once you have removed the tough, outer husks. Slice the light green sticks into very thin rounds and then mince. You want them to be as fine as possible, otherwise they might not soften in the pan and you’ll end up with some chewy lemongrass bits in your curry. Use the left-over husks to make delicious lemon grass tea. Add the ginger peel as well, if you like.   Continue reading ‘Chicken and Pumpkin Curry’

Aloo Gobi Variation

Curried cauliflower and potatoes with broccoli, beans and chick peas

Aloo Gobi is a traditional Indian vegetarian dish made with potatoes (aloo), cauliflower (gobi) and a great variety of spices. It is one of those popular 30 minute one pot dinners that are so handy on busy week nights. I added some broccoli and green beans for extra color and cooked chickpeas for protein. Traditionally, aloo gobi is served with roti or naan. I substituted with whole wheat pitas, which I brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and chopped garlic and toasted them in the oven until crisp and lightly browned. Thankfully my family is quite adventurous when it comes to food and they all loved it. I hope you’ll have the same luck with yours.

Ingredients

  • 8 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 small broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 handful green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch size pieces
  • 4 large tomatoes, quartered, or one can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15 oz. or 420g, each) chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or 1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas soaked over night and cooked for 1 hour
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons (10-15g) freshly grated ginger
  • 2 hot green chillies, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons (4g) whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons butter, ghee, or canola oil
  • 1-2 handfuls of fresh cilantro (coriander), finely chopped for garnish

Directions

Heat butter or oil in large-size pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, chilies, ginger and cumin seeds and fry until onion is translucent and cumin seeds begin to pop, about 5-10 minutes.  Add potatoes and vegetables and fry, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

Add remaining spices, sugar and salt, stir. Pour in 1/2 cup water and tomatoes, stir well, cover the pot, and cook on low heat, stirring occassionally, until potatoes and vegetables are tender but not mushy. Add more water if vegetables stick to the side of the pan, but don’t turn it into soup.

Stir gently before serving and garnish with chopped cilantro (coriander).

Fish and Vegetable Curry

When we lived in Thailand I never ate much curry. I know you think there must be something wrong with me. Of course I loved the flavors (unless the only detectable flavor was super-hot chili), but I always missed the vegetables. Thai curries are mostly meat or shrimp based and have lot’s of inedible things in them.  Fish and vegetable curries are not as common  as they are in India or Cambodia.  So I searched the net for the perfect recipe, and when I didn’t succeed, I started experimenting with different ingredients, most of them traditional to any Asian curry. I came up with this recipe that fits all my criteria for an easy, healthy, super delicious and extremely versatile curry. You’ll find some ideas for variations at the bottom of the page, but really you can put in anything that is popular on your dinner table, even substituting meat or tofu for the fish. Give it a try, the outcome is amazing. The curry on the picture is slightly different than that in the recipe below. I made enough for 2 dinners and put in 1 broccoli, 1/2 cauliflower, green beans, snow peas, carrots, mushroom, kale, shrimp and fish. I served it with brown rice, but if you run out of time, just add more sweet potatos or regular potatoes. I also used more than a teaspoon of turmeric powder in my curry. It has an amazing range of medicinal properties, from anti-inflammatory, to anti-cancer, to anti-bacterial, to liver-detoxifier. We should include it in as many dishes as possible and I promise to help with that quest.

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2” cubes
  • 4 leaves kale, stem removed, leaves chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer layers removed, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 zucchini, cut lengthwise and then into 1/2” pieces
  • 1 handful beans or snow peas, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tsp. sea  salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. chili flakes
  • 1 pound fillet firm white fish, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 -11/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 4 spring onions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

Directions:

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sauté garlic, lemongrass and ginger for 1 minute. Add the chopped sweet potato, sea salt and chili flakes, and continue to sauté for a couple of minutes.

Add about half a cup of water to the sweet potato and bring to a boil. Cover pot and simmer for about 5 minutes, then add the zucchini and remaining vegetables and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the fish and coconut milk, and simmer until the fish is almost cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. (You can add an extra half cup of coconut milk or water if you prefer a more soupy consistency.) Add the chopped kale to the top of the stew, cover pot again and continue to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pot from stove, sprinkle on spring onions and coriander and drizzle with lime juice. Gently stir and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Variations:

  • You can substitute the sweet potato with 5 regular potatoes plus 1 carrot, cut into bit-sized chunks and omit the rice
  • For a vegan version, you could use firm tofu in place of the fish. Chickpeas are also a great addition. .
  • Examples of suitable fish are hiramasa, mahimahi, monkfish, sea bass, cod or halibut.
  • You can spice it up with fresh jalapeno instead of the chili flakes or 1 level teaspoon Thai green or red curry paste.
  • Use butternut squash or carrot, in place of the sweet potato, .